Thursday, October 18, 2012

What Taper?

It's been a fun week fitness-wise, probably because I'm tapering for the half-marathon so all my workouts are "light", which also makes them a bit more fun.  I feel like a kid playing around with the grown-up weights.  On Monday I rode the bike for 20 minutes, level 5 (down from 25 min on level 8) and then did legs/shoulders/core - though fewer sets than normal.  On Tuesday I had an "easy" 3 mile run on the agenda.  I got on the treadmill with the intention to run at 6mph the entire time.  But as I neared the 10 minute mark I was getting bored so I decided to do 7mph for 1 minute out of every 5 minutes.  I did that a few times.  At the two mile mark I upped it to 7mph and decided to see how long I could run at that pace (8:30 minute  miles) and after a few minutes I got the wild idea that I might run the whole mile at 7mph.  I didn't start feeling taxed until I was at the 3/4 of a mile mark, and you know I wasn't going to back out then.  So I kept running, and breathing, and thinking, "I'm going to do it, I'm going to run a mile in 8 minutes and 30 seconds."  And I did.  And there might as well been a crowd of people cheering me on at the end I was so inspired.  It got me to thinking that I need to let go of any idea that holds me back - I shouldn't place any limits on my ability because who knows what I can do if I keep pushing and growing and working hard? 

Of course this was supposed to be an easy taper run.  So much for that.  I was still 4 days away from the half marathon so I think I'm ok.  That night my mom came over and I ended up tagging along with Miguel to his pool league (as in billiards, not chlorine) night.  It was at a dud of a bar but I still managed to have a bit of fun with a couple cocktails and the jukebox.  When the league was over we stopped at Yack-in-the-Box and I had way more food than was necessary.  Two tacos, a $1 burger and an Oreo shake.  I know, I know - not going to hit that goal weight this week, right?  The only bad part is the burger.  I really didn't need or want the burger, I ate it because it was there.  Silly girl.

Wednesday was a day off from exercise, other than the painful neighborhood walk I took with the kids.  Painful because halfway through Marek decided he didn't want to ride his bike and tried to kick Myra off the scooter.  When I wouldn't let him take her scooter he decided that he wanted me to carry him.  I couldn't carry the bike, his helmet and him so he threw a major tantrum the whole way home - walking behind us screaming and crying.  He even tried to get in front of Myra and I and block us from walking.  Sheesh - I am not used to these full on tantrums, thank goodness they are rare.  I got a few looks from the neighbors but I surely wasn't going to kill myself trying to carry him when he was being so unreasonable.  Good thing our neighborhood walks are short. 

I went out to dinner last night with some mom friends - Michelle and Michelle. Yes, there were three Michelle's out to dinner together.  We're going to start exploring new restaurants together. I had a couple beers and dinner, topped off with coconut ice cream.  It was very high calorie I'm sure but not crazy big volume, I wasn't uncomfortably full. I'll call it the beginning of carb-loading (though it was actually a protein heavy meal).  I read that starting today I should be eating 90% carbs at every meal. I don't think I can do that!

Anyway, that brings us up to date.  I have a 2 mile run on the plan for today.  It's going to be hard to go easy for such a short distance.  Tomorrow is another light bike ride (level 5 for 20 minutes) followed by some easy strength training.  And then Sunday is the big day. I'm shooting for 11:00 to 11:30 minute miles.  I'll be thrilled if I can pull that off.  I probably won't post again until after the race so wish me luck!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Listen to Me on The Half Size Me Show!

I was interviewed by Heather of The Half Size Me fun!  My portion of the interview starts at 13:40 but I encourage you to listen to the whole thing because Heather has a lot of motivation and tips to share.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

T - 7 Days and Counting

Phew, this weekend has flown by!  But before I get into all that I just want to recognize my weight from this past Friday's weigh-in.  145.6 pounds.  What the...?  I was shocked when I saw that number on the scale because just the day before I was in the 147 range so I wasn't expecting to see a loss.  The scale is nothing if not befuddling at times.  In any case, that means I am .6 pounds from my goal weight.  This is a goal I've been moving toward for over 5 years, and in some ways, my entire life.  And I have to tell you the truth, with everything else that's come along the way, it might be a bit anti-climactic.  Or maybe I'll break down in tears when I get there, I'll just have to wait and see.  All I know is it's coming soon.  Maybe this week, maybe next.  I'm all about the 2 steps forward, 1 step back when it comes to my weight so it's hard to predict.  I didn't want to post that I am less than 1 pound from my goal weight as if it were no big deal, but I was honestly too shocked to write anything at the time.

Ok, on with the rest of the weekend.  Friday I hit the gym and did the upright bike, random level 8, for 25 minutes.  Followed that up with back/biceps/core work.  Love my biceps, they are getting really strong.  And I'm doing seated rows now instead of the standing dumbbell ones I was doing.  A strong, hard core guy that works at the gym told me they are better and those are the people I tend to listen to.  And I think he's right, I'm up to being able to do THREE neutral grip pullups now (palms facing in).  It still feels weird to grasp the bars, and with no use of momentum whatsoever, I pull my body up until my chin passes the bar.  And I can do this three times!  Or did I already mention that?  Will I ever not be surprised by my fitness feats?  I hope not because it sure is fun to surprise myself.

Saturday was a day off from exercise.  Miguel had to work and I had no plans.  But when I was watching the morning news I saw the Golden State Warriors basketball team was having an open practice so I hurried to get the kids in the car and off we went.  It was a fun little adventure!  Mostly anyway.  Myra was not as interested as Marek and started loudly saying, "I want to go home!" about halfway through.  So we hung on as long as we could.  At least Marek and I enjoyed ourselves.

Today, Sunday, we took the kids to a pumpkin patch.  Marek is Superman this year and Myra is a cat.  They are too cute together.  I was hoping Marek would pick Batman because then I was going to dress Myra up as Robin - how cute would that be?!  Darned kid has a mind of his own.  Oh well, maybe Superman has a sidekick cat, I never did read the comics.

We came home from the pumpkin patch starving!  I ate a late lunch at 2:45pm and then sat around waiting for the food to settle so I could head out on my long run.  I was ambivalent about how far to run.  My training plan said 12 miles but most things I read suggest a shorter run since this is the beginning of the taper.  I mapped out a route that was 12 miles but in the end I decided 10 was better so I mapped a shorter route.  I was a little worried it would be uncomfortably hot out there but it turned out to be perfect.  I'd guess it was in the mid-to-low 70's.  I did a great job pacing myself (I'm finally appreciating how important that is) and managed to have a faster last mile than first.  My last mile would have been even faster except I got stuck at a friggin' light!  So when the light turned green I ran as fast as I could to "make up" the lost time and get my pace back under 11 for that mile.  All in all I had a fantastic run, felt very comfortable out there.  Man, have things changed.

So I'm super excited for my second half marathon that is only one week away.  I'm secretly hoping I can average an 11 minute per mile pace but I'd be happy if I can do 11:30.  I don't know much about the route and hills, elevation, etc so I don't want to make any hard goals.  All I know is, I'm going to pace myself and try and balance enjoyment with effort - the sweet spot.  This week will be all about the taper.  Short, easy runs, cut back on the intensity with the strength training.  I want to arrive primed at the starting line next Sunday.

And then, I'm supposed to be at the starting line for an Olympic triathlon only two weeks later.  What was I thinking?  I haven't swam in the bay since doing the sprint version of this event last year.  And only two weeks after a half marathon.  Yikes!