Friday, August 04, 2006

Back in the U.S.A.!!

We made it back to the U.S. in mid-June, after an unbelievable trip down under - the highlight of which was snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef, but there were many other wonderful adventures. I was able to keep up a good three-day-a-week running schedule (with increasing long runs on the weekends), plus did lots of walking and hiking. I lost a total of about 8 pounds, and have managed to keep it off since we've been back. And I ran in a 5K in the city we were living in (Wollongong, about an hour south of Sydney). I had hoped to break 30:00, but with two long hills and a wicked head wind in the last mile (which was right along the beach), I just missed, and had to settle for 30:33. But it was still a lot of fun!
The running schedule I'd been following was from Galloway's book, Running: A Year Round Plan. Its main components for the most basic schedule, which I followed, are walking breaks during all runs; and running 3 days a week - a cadence workout for 30 minutes one day; a hill workout for 30 minutes another day; and a long run on the weekend. This worked extremely well for my schedule with work and kids, and I felt like the walking breaks made even the long runs not take a huge toll on my body.
So, I started training for the Adirondack Half-Marathon, which is in mid-September. A couple of weeks ago I did a 10.5-mile long run that was WONDERFUL, so I was feeling great about how the training was going. Unfortunately, a couple of days later, I started feeling a pain at the top of my foot, just behind the middle and fourth toes. Having had a stress fracture once when I was in graduate school, I suspected that's what it was, and stopped running until I could get checked out. This Wednesday I got an X-ray and saw a podiatrist. He also thinks it is probably a stress fracture, although it is not showing up on X-ray yet. So, no running until I see him again in 3 weeks (we leave for vacation on Tuesday for 2 weeks). Which means my half-marathon hopes are probably shot. But at least I can bike! I'll just have to pick another goal in the more distant future for the running. And I need to re-evaluate the Galloway schedule. My podiatrist thinks it would be better for me to run more days a week (4), do a long run every week (Galloway has you switch to every other week once you get above 7 or 8 miles), and not increase the long runs by as much (Galloway has you increase by 1.5 miles once you get above 7-8).
At least I've got a lot of time to think about such things during my 2-week, non-running vacation...
Hope the rest of you are managing to stay injury-free!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Running Upside Down

The family and I made it safely to Australia - been here almost two weeks now! - and it is AWESOME! In addition to the jet lag, the weather has been quite a lot to adjust to - today it was 88 degrees and humid, and that's not atypical for what we've been experiencing here.
But let me tell you, things around here are SOOO conducive to exercising and eating right! Tons of paths for biking and running, and fresh, whole foods everywhere you look. And portion sizes at restaurants are actually reasonable, instead of 4 times what a healthy person should eat. Every weekday morning I've been running or walking in the Botanic Gardens that are just around the corner from our house. On the weekends, I take a longer run on an awesome path I found that is packed sand, shaded, and runs between a lagoon and the beach. And I'm eating fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, etc. - hardly any processed foods since we've been here. If I don't get fitter and lose some weight while we're here, it will be no one's fault but my own!
My husband and I are doing a blog of our adventures here for friends and family back home (lots of personal details, so I'm not linking to it here), so that's where most of my blogging time is going right now. But I'm trying to check on all of you when I get the chance. Hopefully that will happen more often in the days to come!
G-day!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Stating the Obvious

I seem to be taking a break from blogging. With the holidays going on, preparations for our Australia trip, etc., I have found myself with precious little time to blog or comment on blogs, though I still read them when I get the chance.
I also have gone through a period of low motivation - for both eating right and exercising. I have been doing both, but sporadically. Something about this time of year, with the cold weather, dark days, and no races immediately on the horizon = I can't find my friend Mo. It has been heartening to see that others are going through the same thing, and encouraging to read the blogs of those who have managed to overcome this natural decline.
So the last few days I've been better about eating and exercising, and am hoping to keep it up through the holidays (including the cookie exchange I'm going to on Sunday, for which I need to bake 6 dozen cookies - yikes!). We leave for Australia on January 22nd, and suddenly I'll need to be in shorts (including running shorts!) and bathing suits again (for the beach!). Now if that isn't motivation, what is?!
Happy holidays to my fellow bloggers!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Yes, I'm a Slacker

I’ve been terrible about keeping up this blog lately, in part because I feel like I don’t have anything new to say and in part because I haven’t had enough time to do much reading and commenting on others’ blogs. But I thought I’d check in and count myself among the living.
I feel like such a slacker with so many other bloggers taking on new races and challenges at this time of year – Lara’s half-marathon, Susan training for one, Jon training for a marathon, Jack running his second, Mia keeping up a running schedule with a freakin’ NEWBORN?! The list goes on…And I have dropped any racing plans, and am just focusing on exercising for fitness and enjoyment – including some running, but also walk/jog workouts and hiking – with the family, with friends, etc. I am really enjoying myself, and finding it easier to keep in control of my eating than when I’m ramped up on a pre-race running schedule. The racing bug will no doubt hit again, and I fully expect to be starting a more formal training program for running in the spring, but for now I’m treating my running as a good friend that understands if I only call a few times a week instead of almost every day. ;-)
I mentioned in my last post that we’re going to Australia in February – my husband is leading a study group there, and we’ll be living right on the coast in New South Wales for 4-1/2 months. So we’ll be leaving the dead of winter in central New York and going to a place where it will be summer. Should be a great adventure! And I’ve already learned of a running club there, called the Kembla Joggers, that sounds like a great group and also sponsors some races, training runs, etc. So that is enough to keep me motivated to at least maintain a semblance of running conditioning without actually training for a race in the near future.
Happy running and racing to everyone! I’m enjoying the vicarious experience of reading about all your training and racing adventures.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Back to the routine...

The kids, hubby, and I are all back to our normal school/work schedules, and things are busy but going well. We've been having some unbelievably beautiful weather around here, and fall - my favorite season in central NY - is in the air.
I have decided that the half-marathon ain't gonna happen for me, and I'm okay with that. In the last couple weeks before school started, we had tons of family activities together, and lots of other things going on, and I was starting to get super-stressed about trying to get my long runs in (I had gone up to 8 miles). Then I realized that it made no sense for my RECREATION to become yet another source of stress for me! In addition to the fact that I wanted to spend as much time as possible with the kiddos before they headed back to their full school schedules. Those long runs, and recovery from them, sure do take up a good chunk of a day, at least for me! And I realize I could still run the race, and probably still finish even with what I've done so far, but I don't have any need to prove that to myself, and I'd rather run a race like that when it can seem like a real achievement rather than just something to struggle through so I can say I did it. When I ran a half-marathon before getting pregnant with my daughter, I had really trained well for it over a period of months and was in excellent physical condition, and I felt so great about it - I want to feel the same way the next time I run one!
Part of what threw off my running schedule over the last couple of months was the fact that, since my daughter switched to her "big girl" bed, she comes in to get me in the middle of the night and wants me to sleep the rest of the night with her (luckily, we got her a full-size bed!). I know I should be a hard-ass about it, and make her sleep by herself, but damn, I know how fast their growing up goes by, and it won't be too long before she doesn't want to be seen with me, let alone have me sleep half the night with her! So my early-morning runs went by the wayside for awhile, but I am now able to sneak out early without waking her up and still get them in. Those early-morning runs really help me keep consistent with my schedule, so I'm very psyched to be getting back to them.
I'm re-evaluating what I should be doing with my running at this point. Despite doing a lot more running this year, my weight has stayed roughly the same, so I'm at the point of wanting to use my running more as a fitness/weight loss tool instead of just an end in itself. I'm considering heart-rate monitor training toward this goal, as well as walking breaks during my long runs and walking on days I don't run. If I find that all doesn't keep me focused enough, I'll pick a race somewhere out in the distance and start training for it. And I hope by this time next year to be training for at least a half-marathon, if not a marathon! We head to Australia in February for 4-1/2 months, so I'll have a short winter this year!
Loved reading about the New Haven RBF meetup on various blogs - sounds like a blast!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Still here...

But still finding little time to blog read or post. In the past 2-3 weeks I've had 2 trips to D.C. for work (I ran on the mall - my old stomping grounds! - during the second trip), a family camping trip, and many other work- and family-related things going on. We're off on another short camping trip this week, then my husband and I start teaching for the semester the following week (he's a full-time prof., I teach one course per semester as an adjunct prof. in addition to my other part-time telecommuting job), then the kiddos are back to their normal preschool/school schedule the week after Labor Day. I am not getting in all the runs that I'd like to for my half-marathon training, but still trying to keep up a semblance of a running schedule. The next couple of weeks will tell whether it's realistic for me to do the HM or not. I hope so!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Last-Minute 5-Mile Race

Last Saturday, almost on the spur of the moment, I decided to run in a 5-mile race here in my hometown. I had originally planned not to do it, since I'd been having calf tightness problems, in addition to the fact that I felt self-conscious about running in front of people I actually KNOW. But the weather was so beautiful heading into the weekend, and my calf was feeling much better after a few days of going down to the track for flat runs, so I said what the heck, and decided to go for it.
As Lara has described in her blog, it was a rolling course, particularly after the first mile. I live in a hillier part of town than this race was on, so the hills were not too bad for me, but I'm sure they were very noticeable to anyone who trains primarily on the flats. Anyway, I went out feeling pretty strong, waving to friends as we went through town, and was a little worried when that first flat mile went by in 10:25 - a sinking fear that I had started out too fast! Somehow, though, it just turned out to be one of those days when I was feeling pretty comfortable, so I was able to keep pushing it for the rest of the race. It was a LOONG straight shot to the finish line at the end of mile 5, and I was completely by myself at that point, but then towards the very end I saw and heard my family and some friends cheering for me, and that helped me finish with a bit of a kick. Overall time was 53:10. I can't seem to find a pace chart that goes higher than 10 minutes per mile pace, and I'm too lazy to do the math, so I'm not sure exactly what that works out to, but overall I was pleased. And my kids were excited to see me do it, and were having races with each other for the rest of the day, so it was nice to see that, too!
It's funny the things non-runners say to you, though. I was wandering around the farmers' market with my family after the race, and had a couple of people come up and ask weird things about the race. The strangest was one older guy who came up and said, "Well, did you win or lose?" I told him I certainly didn't win, and he said, "Well, what place did you come in?" I said I had no idea, that I had just run it for fun, and he looked at me like I was crazy and seemed a bit exasperated. I mean, sheesh! Oh, and speaking of winning and losing, my fast neighbor's husband (otherwise known as my REALLY fast neighbor) finished among the top 5 while pushing their twin toddlers in a babyjogger! He averaged sub-7-min. miles, including retracing his steps once or twice to retrieve one of the boys' dropped water bottles! Some people...
I haven't run since then (trip to D.C. yesterday for work got in the way) but will get out again tomorrow. And tonight or tomorrow I hope to spare a few minutes to catch up on blog-reading!