Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Lock and Load

Well Saturday was race day, and boy was it ever. If you were to put everything that you don't want to happen on race day in a hat, I drew them all. I had no sleep, my ride was late, my esteem was low, it was pouring rain and freezing and there was a giant head wind. Lining up with my pace group was really intimidating, and before gun time I considered bowing out. For some reason, the day before I had to continually mentally talk myself into this one. I think a lot of my nervousness had to do with my very poor performance in my last half.

Less the never, I showed up. I ran. I conquered.

There was a lot more support there than I had anticipated for an inaugural race. We were told it was a really flat course, but someone was either lying to delirious. Running uphill is exponentially more difficult with a current of fallen rain, but we persevere. Mental frailty will not give you satisfactory results, so sometimes you have to convince yourself that your the biggest, baddest runner out there-even if you know you aren't. That's what running is about anyway right? Believing that you can push yourself to do something you probably weren't made to do.

The decision was made early in the race that I wasn't going to walk one single step, unless forced at a water station. I decided that no matter what, I had to be going at the pace of at least a speed walk. You know the lies we tell ourselves to make things a little easier on the ego? Like Oh, it's ok to walk you've done so well so far! Those nice little sweet nothings that justify an action? Well, I was mean. I was really mean to myself. If I told you what I was saying to myself, you would probably be disappointed.

To get through this race, I did everything in my power to keep pushing. I literally thanked every volunteer, every police officer and nearly every cheerleader-even if they weren't there for me. Just pretending they were there for me, kept me from disappointing them and eventually myself.

But the most important thing that kept me going was telling myself: pedicure, pedicure, pedicure.

It worked. I ran the whole darn thing, and even skipped a few aid stations-which I like never do. The only thing that could have improved my time was skipping the absurdly long line for water at mile eight and maybe halting the rain?

The ice bath after was painful, but the pedicure made it worth it. That should become a ritual for races.


TODAY'S THE LAST DAY FOR CHALLENGE POINTS!!!
TODAY'S QUESTION: How do you reward yourself after a good run?

Want 20 bonus points? Donate to my race @
https://www.active.com/donate/kcregap2010/julialovesgreys
Any amount will get you 20 points.

Also, if you have linked TBB anywhere, please show me so I can add those points!
Thanks to everyone for participating!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Rock the Parkway Half Marathon Results


Race: Rock the Parkway Half Marathon
Distance: 13.1 Miles
Gun Time: 2:05:30
Chip Time: Unknown
Weather Conditions: Rainy, Sleet, Wind and Forty Degrees
Full Race Description to follow

Today's Challenge Question: What are your ideal racing conditions? Weather, participants, with a group or alone??



Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Run, Run, Run

It's a picture only kinda day!!

Proof Goliath runs in circles!

Rain, really cold rain.

Victory after two miles in under fifteen minutes!


The tunnel of doom.

Today's Challenge Question: Where's your favorite place to run?
Only a few days left in the challenge! Want bonus points?
Email ([email protected]) us a picture of your last race, and tell us why you ran it!

Today's Mileage: 2.03
Time: 14:53

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Things Have Changed for Me, and That's Okay

Being back in control feels phenomenal. It's not always the easiest position, but it always pays off. Now, to just figure out how to keep my attitude from wavering like a sine wave. When I'm at my apex, Goliath and I have the best runs. They might not be the best training sessions but they are always fun. With a marathon in view, we are technically tapering but really we're just taking it easier and aiming for twenty minutes of activity every day. Don't fret we'll rest completely on Friday.

In the midst of everything and "tapering" we are 188 days out from a full 26.2 miles. So we are loosely sticking to that plan and all the while making it work with all our other races, and impromptu runs. Our coach called for a four mile, easy run today. Which we set out for as per normal, except my NIKE+ started acting up. Without getting into too much useless details, it wasn't giving me the distance options it usually does, and even though the settings were on "Miles" it was giving me my distance in my ear. Unfortunately, I do NOT like trying to do math in my head. One kilometer complete...welllll five kilometers is threee point one miles soo... As much as it sounds like a nice way to distract you, it was just irritating to me. So we had to reset the workout twice and it didn't log the whole four miles in one work out. Oh well?

I was running aphrensively, and I hate running that way. Even though ice has been my best friend lately, I am really not that fond of pain and am starting to learn that it's smarted to avoid the dive into injuries. We did this crazy thing called WARMING UP, who does that? Goliath and I usually run door to door. We are acustomed to that, we know the mile markers and we know the hills. Today, we walked a half a mile and started our mileage after that.



We ran three miles out, and found a baseball diamond. I let G-Money go nutso. Sometimes I feel like he runs with me a pretends that it's enough, just to appease my ego. He ran back and forth, smelling everything. We played tag, and fetch with a ball we found. The pure physics of his energy is unexplicable.


The run was a good one. The weather was beautiful. The trail was full of smiling faces. The pain was minimal. We got a good work out. We got some miles on the shoes. We stuck to our plan. and of course, we got a little muddy.


Today's Challenge Question: When was your last perfect run? Describe it!

Challenge Rules HERE

Today's Mileage: 4.3 Miles
Time: 36:57

Monday, March 22, 2010

All I Ever Needed

I truly believe there are two kinds of people in the world: the ones that see excuses and the ones that see obstacles. Which one are you? When something comes your way that could potentially get between you and goal, does it become your excuse for not getting there or setting your back? Or does it become your obstacle, something for you to overcome and make your accomplishment more worthwhile?


Admittedly, as of late I have been the excuse maker. I have been letting the generals of life be my excuse for everything. Since I do not have groceries, I will just eat whatever, however much and however frequently. Since I have to work early, I have no time to run. My running and weight loss journey has been the shantiest house of cards. When one face card is removed, the whole three story edifice falls.


I wasted last week, and I tried to make it a joke. Tried to make light of it, and tried to make it out to be like no big deal. Each day, Monday through Sunday, I continually told myself Do Better. Why? Because I deserve better, I deserve more than the mediocrity I have been giving myself. I am not finished and I am acting like I am. I am pretending like I know it all, I've done it all and most importantly I've lost it all.


By Friday, when I had not done better I reached out for help. Asking for assistance is typically a fundamental key to success in many plans, albeit weight loss, learning something new, recovery...really everything. The bottom line is this: when I feel like letting go of the wheel, I need someone else to snap me back in the driver's seat.



All it takes is one decision. One decision to turn things around. One small choice to get you back on path. It's like if you keep taking left turn, after left turn and you're lost-but you go right once and you're back on route. That's all I ever needed, one small decision to make me feel like I am back in control. Even if that choice came seven days late, it happened. Even if that choice came at 10 pm, it happened. Yes, I may have spent the day eating cookie after cookie BUT when I reached for my seventh I said Maybe there are some carrots instead.

What do you know? There were some carrots. You could twist this into a giant metaphor if you wanted. The cookie sweet, and delicious may be everything I want right now it's not getting me where I want to be. Carrots, give me heart burn and bad breath, but they might get my foot out the door. And whether the cookie is an obstacle or an excuse is really all up the person, but for now it's my obstacle that I'm looking at in the rear view mirror.


Today's Challenge Question: What's one GOOD decision you've made today?

Today's Mileage: 3.1 miles
Time: 26:47

Sunday, March 21, 2010

My Old Dog Does a Little Singing

I have been a lazy blogger, among other things. So this will be WORLD'S shortest post on TBB.

I'm still feeling some residual pain from the groin tear, and with a half marathon a week away I have been trying to get it to heal as much as possible. The only running we did last week was the 2 miles on Monday, and a 5 miler on Thursday. How do you taper for a half marathon on 9 miles a week? Ha.

This week, my schedule will be back to normal and with a race in view maybe my hip will realize it's high time to heal.



We got like 800 inches of snow this weekend, only Goliath is happy about it.

Today's Challenge Question:
What's your favorite running food?

Want Challenge BONUS points? Email Goliath and I a picture of you and your favorite running partner, whether two legged or four; and tell us what got running. Pictures and stories will be posted on TBB.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sometimes There Will Be Rain

Sometimes there will be freezing rain. Sometimes there will be debilitating pain. Sometimes there will be weekends that must be dedicated to weddings. So sometimes there will be days where you can not run. It is only when sometimes becomes most times that things start getting difficult. Most times means you start losing endurance, and it becomes a nasty little cycle. You miss a day or two, and you know you are losing endurance and fitness. Knowing that the next time you get out there it's going to be hell, just makes you less likely to get out there.



All day today, I avoided running. Yeah, Julia AVOIDED running. I kept telling myself that I would go to the gym and run on the TREADMILL. What? Apparently, I was setting myself up. When I came home after Goliath slept all day it was clear, he needed a run too. He circled me, jumped up, licked my face and was just unusually excited. We both knew we needed to run, so click went the leash and boom went the ipod.




Do you ever just have a run where you aren't feeling it? Like you feel like your form is off, and you're just hurting and feel goofy? I didn't feel like a runner today. We ran two miles out, and walked the split back. I just wasn't feeling it today. Maybe it's because I was running in the evening when 99.95% of the time I run before noon, or maybe it's because my diet is so out of whack. Whatever it is, all that matters is that I got out there. Goliath was literally running in circles when we walked into a grassy field. He was galloping so quickly that he was tripping over his hind legs. Yeah, work that out in your head for a second... This went on for a few minutes until he found a stick.


Today's Challenge Question: What discourages you from running the most? How do you overcome it?

Challenge rules HERE

Today's Mileage: 2.26 run/ 2.01 walking
Time: 19:53 / untimed

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Longer than the whippoorwill

Yesterday I cross trained. Today, we trained. You don't just decide to run ten miles, you have to commit to running ten miles days in advance. That is unless you're insane, and have a dog named Goliath. We are three weeks out from the Rock the Parkway Half Marathon, and training is essentially finished. There's no strict schedule anymore, so really other than wanting to see double digits on my Nike+ and hear Lance Armstrong congratulate me there was no reason to run ten miles. But we did it anyway.



I do not own any fancy running gear to carry water or gels, so ten milers take planning. To hydrate I usually carry a ziplock bag with water in it, but it gets really annoying bouncing in my back pocket. It feels like two pounds of jiggly fat, and isn't what I'm trying to get rid of? Why simulate bouncing fat? So today, I tried to figure out a way to get Goliath to carry it for me. Maybe belting it to him or securing it to the leash, but he would not have it. He doesn't have to carry water for himself, so why should he have to do for me? I have been toying with the idea of making him a cape that has the race name on it that I'm training for, so I can have it as a reminder when the walls come along during training. I could just look down and see "Olathe Half Marathon" flying beneath his speed winds, and go That's WHY!



We saw many faces, some familiar and some new, on the trail today. Nice weather makes everyone come outside, but it means Goliath has to been more time on leash. He wouldn't bother people, but you never know who is going to stop me one day and say: "You know you really should have your dog on a leash!" Spare me the leash law lecture because Goliath spent over ninety minutes on leash. Him being on the leash means I get an awesome run, I am faster and I never stop. If you were wondering what ten miles of sweat looks like, here ya go!



We paced and averaged an 8:51 min/mile. With a half mile left, I was thirsty and ready to walk. We slowed down a little but pushed the uphill half mile, my power song came on and just when you're almost finished, you hit a red light crosswalk. The second I stopped moving, my knees started locking up. The Nike voice lady said "Congrats..." the second I arrived at my door. When she started running down my stats: one hour twenty eight minutes thirty-three seconds, average pace eight fifty-one a mile, calories burned one thousand ninety-eight. I almost collapsed, over a thousand calories charred. Get outta here weekend woes! Tomorrow's boot camp better not be terrible hard, because my knees had matching hats this afternoon. Peas and carrots, peas and carrots.


Today's Challenge Question: Why running? What made you decide to run?
Find Challenge Info HERE


Today's Mileage: 10.0
Time: 1:28:33

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

BLOG GIVE AWAY! BLOG GIVE AWAY!



Well it's more of a blog inspired motivational challenge with a PRIZE at the end!

HERE'S THE DEAL:
Follow the rules and win entrance to the 5k of your choice!
That's right, A Bosky Blog sponsored 5k. You win, you pick the race, we pay.
You can be a beginner runner, or a seasoned veteran The Bosky Blog wants you running and getting motivated! To "officially" enter reply with your name, age and skill level!

HERE'S THE RULES:
1. This is a point based give away, rack up the most points between now and March 30th and you win!
2. No cheating, that's lame. Only you can get points, no one get the points for you.
3. Challenge ends March 30th, and winner will be announced March 31st.
4. The winner picks their 5k, challengers do not have to have the 5k determined at the time of entrance. Winner will have a month to decide what 5k they would like to compete in.
5. There will be prizes for runners up.

HOW TO GET POINTS:
-Follow the blog and get 10 points, if you're already following you start off with 1o points.

-Starting tomorrow there will be a question at the end of each post, answer it you get 2 points

-Link The Bosky Blog anywhere, get 5 points

-Report MILEAGE to The Bosky Blog, whether it's half a mile or twenty, get 10 points

-Send The Bosky Blog a running/dog question to be answered, get 5 points

-There will also be random ways to get bonus points, so watch out for bonus days!

GOT QUESTIONS? CONCERNS? COMMENTS?
Leave a comment, or email us.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Rather hurt than feel nothing at all

Food wise this weekend turned out to be a total disaster, between home made doughnuts and several trysts with ice cream I've put myself weeks away from goal. Yesterday, was embarrassingly bad. I told myself in secret that "high calorie" days are necessary, but I still felt completely defeated by my own poor decisions.

Goliath had a good weekend though, he worked out like nuts as usual and his calorie intake was a minimum as usual. Like we do most weekends we ventured to the dog park, the weather dictated that we do so. I think the weather dictated that every dog owner in Overland Park do so because the park was full. The people to dog ratio was a little off, it seemed like pooches brought their entire families.



The DP is the best when it's full, Goliath darts from one end to another finding new friends and periodically checking in on us. We come so often that he's recognized, one of the last times we came someone walked in and said "Oh Goliath's here!" as their dog ran off to greet him. There are few dogs that can match his energy and endurance, but the few that can have very thankful owners. The beautiful bevy of breeds was fun, Logan and I like to stand and guess the mixes and comment on all the different varieties, Oh babe, check out that alpha blue bull dog!

Here are some highlights from Sunday's visit:

Duncan, a Bichon-miniature Schnauzer mix. He's one of the seven dogs our friend's Blake and Danee have, and also happens to be my number one. He loves laps, and standing in the water bowl.

This is Ellie, a retired racing Greyhound. She's also one of Blake&Danee's. Ellmillionaire likes to give you nose kisses, and walks at my sprinting pace.


These little Yorkies were having a wittle too much fun...the one with the bow is Lili, remember Sarai from last week? Lili is Sarai's little sister. The guy giving her, a uh-hug, was a three year old male, named Tyson. BUT it was love at first sight, when his mom tried to separate them he ran the acre across the park to find Lilly.


This little guy loved Danee(mom to Duncan and Ellie). He wanted to be held and oversee the dog park with her. He lives in a house with a Great Dane that is over 100 pounds.


Paulo, a brindle Boxer, has been coming to the dog park a little over a year now. His owner moved here from Russia, but loves German dogs. Paulo has champion blood line, but would rather play.

Oliver, the Pugle (Beagle+Pug) fell head over paws for Ellie. Seriously. He LOVED her. Ellie played a little hard to get, and totally not interested but we think she kinda liked him too.


This is Scout the Siberian Husky. Scout plays with Goliath frequently in the winter months, they both love the snow and to run in it.


Now that we aren't the only family at the dog park, you can plan on seeing more posts like these-so I hope you like dogs.

Dog park aside, when the reality of what happened this weekend, nominally my binge eating, finally hit me I felt pretty low. Breakfast came around and I still was not ready to correct my diet, I wanted junk. Sugar and Butter. So I put a little in my oatmeal, and begrudgingly put one foot in front of another. I intended to run six miles, just an easy six-but at two and half miles my Nike+ ended my work out unexpectedly. So I restarted it for the 5k distance, and had this major energy surge-like out of no where? It was kind of awesome considering those first two miles I seriously thought I was going to vomit from all the unfriendly running foods I inhaled.

The 5k turned out to be my fastest 5k ever. My race PR is 27:11, and it wasn't a chipped timed race so I'll never know how accurate that is. Today, I ran five whole kilometers in just over twenty five minutes. TWENTY FIVE MINUTES. Excuse me while I toot my own horn, but I did that after running two and half miles. Take that weekend binge eating! Goliath and I laid down on the trail after that, the cold ground felt delicious.




Like the brace? I owe my miles to Megan C.

THERE WILL BE A BLOG GIVE AWAY POSTED THIS WEEK! GET READY!

Today's Mileage: 6.1 (5k+3 miles)
Total Time: 55:45

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Can't Say It's All Been Time Lost

The frustration of being so close to a goal and continually experiencing set backs is absolutely, well frustrating. There are four pounds between me and the door to Goal-atopia. Actually, there WERE four pounds. Before I even officially weighed in at Weight Watchers, I knew. I almost skipped out of going to the meeting, and even when I got there I almost skipped weighing myself. Regardless, I stepped on the little platform and tried to muster up an excuse to the receptionist but the only thing that came out was: "I don't...I don't even know..." Honestly, I don't know what happened. If I take anything away from this though, I think it just goes to show that you can do everything right and still gain three pounds. Yup, three pound gain.



Good news is, that pretty lady on the right lost five pounds. Whatta jerk. That's my mom, and my biggest cheerleader.

Tears did breach on my drive home, and I may or may not have punched the steering wheel. I couldn't wait to get home to make pancakes, drenched in butter and syrup. Oh whatever, it's a cliche for a reason right? Feed your feelings and all that. You may be relieved to know, I came home and stood in my kitchen and resolved to eat oatmeal and strawberries. Not because it was the healthier option, but because I simply was too lazy to scratch up pancakes. Yup too lazy to throw a few ingredients in a bowl. This is an instance where lazatude works in my favor in the end.

After my low cholesterol meal, I got the spouse out of bed and by some grace of God convinced him to go running with us. Seriously...guys, is the world ending? Am I dying? Don't get me wrong, the guy is in shape-but naturally. He weighs a buck fifty, at five foot nine and is leaner than Jennie-O turkey. The last time he went out for a run was over a year ago when I first started. We went for a mile, and walked another-it was cold, at night and neither of us really enjoyed it. More than twelve months later, one of us has had an affair with running and the other turned a blind eye.



So maybe I was so excited that he was coming out with Goliath and I, that I may have set a rather lofty distance goal. Four miles. Over zealousness aside, I DID ask him how fast he thought he could run: 8 minute mile? 9? 10? 11? He just told me "Not very fast at all," so allow me to translate: 8 minute/mile. After our first half mile, it was clear that four miles was absurd. I wouldn't have expected that out myself a year ago-so why would I do that to him? Who's the jerk now? We ran 2.23 miles and stopped.


We retraced out treads home, just at twice the pace. Walking was a nice change of, well pace for me. The trail looked different, Goliath had more time to explore and I was able to note all the different people out training. It's fun for me to watch other runners, sometimes I write little stories about them in my head. Oh that guy is a three-time Boston Marathoner, he started running in high school and never gave it up. I like to watch their form, what gear they have and how fast they go. I get excited about it, and there's never any judgement passed I just love the sport.

Our little family was super hungry, and with a mile left to go it was decided that Logan deserved a hamburger for coming out with me. Even though it will probably be another year before I can drag him out, I was so thankful that when we got home I made him a giant burger. Giant burgers are not strangers in our home, in fact Big Burger Sunday is kind of notorious with us.


This was his burger, and this was mine:


Notice any difference? Shh...don't tell anyone but mine is half black beans. I don't discriminate foods, but I am a self-proclaimed hamburger connoisseur. When I first started Weight Watchers, it was the one food I was not willing to substitute or find a low calorie/low fat version. That is, until now. Until I gained three pounds. To make your own Big Black Bean Burger just combine 1/3 cup ground beef(or turkey), 1 tbsp egg white, 1/2 cup black bean and season with Worcestershire and black pepper.


Today's Mileage: 4.53
Time: 1:16:40

Friday, March 05, 2010

Forever and Ever, Forever and Ever. Amen.

The difference positivity makes is remarkable. I have had one of the best fitness weeks of my life, and I believe I owe thanks to an attitude adjustment-and maybe the sun coming out. My calorie burn has been off the charts between speedy runs and work out classes at the gym. My diet has been completely on point and I feel fantastic. Where did this new found motivation come from? I love it, and I have a feeling a certain pup loves it to. As I type, he's crying at the door because we've yet to hit the pavement and knows our usual time has passed.

Yesterday's work out class was incredibly difficult, incredibly. I THOUGHT it was a kickboxing class, but it was really a boot camp. A boot camp full of burpies, frog jumps, wall sits and other completely insane things. There will be a full review once the experiment is complete, but let's just say after an hour of that I was exhausted. BUT the weather was just too gorgeous to not run in, so I mapped an eight miler to work and intentionally didn't give myself enough time to pace less than an 8:30/mile. Fifty degrees means I get to run in a tank and shorts, thank yoooouuuu:

It's kind of a bum out not running with G-Money, it's such a different-less-fun vibe. He makes me laugh when I wanna cry because of lactate pain and his curiosity of what comes next keeps me going. Other than races, and running to work I don't run without him and it's a million times less motivating. So when I completed eight yesterday all on me onsie, in record time I was pretty impressed with myself. I rely so much on the poor dog, that I do kinda forget that I am capable of running on my own. I don't need him, but when I arrived at work and there wasn't anyone there to celebrate with me I realized I want him to be there. I've trained Goliath to give "high fives" and so after a harrowing run, we collapse on the living room floor and I will say "High five buddy" and he'll raise his paw into my hand. When his rough paws tap my palm, I know we've had a good run.

There are few things more rewarding than that high-five, except good food. By no means am I "foodie," but I really love eating, and since my whole weight loss marathon started I've become exponentially smarter about food choices when it comes to fuel, runners gut, caloric intake and nutrition. The only rule I follow: Keep it simple. The foods I eat, and the recipes I come up with are simple in that they contain very few ingredients, are not processed and are relatively easy to make. Some examples:


Raw pepper stuffed with black beans and rosemary rice couscous
.1 bell pepper
.1 c cooked black beans
.1/2 c couscous seasoned with rosemary, and a pinch of salt
Directions: Cut&gut the pepper, stuff with beans and couscous. Eat.
To spice it up top with favorite cheese and bake or five minutes.


Shrimp Arrabiatta and Gluten Free Penne
. 1 box of penne (Mine if GF, your's doesn't have to be
. 1 lb of shrimp
. 4 cups broccoli
. 3 cups diced tomatoes
. 4 tbsp tomato paste
.4 cloves of diced garlic
.4 tsp olive oil
.Red pepper to taste
Directions: Boil pasta until finished, duh. Heat oil in pan on med-high heat, add garlic and then shrimp. Cook shrimp until pink. Add broccoli and cook until bright green. Add diced tomatoes and paste, and turn heat to medium heat. Add red pepper, 1 tsp for less spice 4 tsp for extra spice. Let simmer for three minutes for the pepper to permeate the sauce. Serve sauce on top of pasta, duh.

These are two meals I had this week, super filling and super yummy. Super Food!

Well, Goliath has whimpered throughout this post. Dog park, ho!

Yesterday's Mileage: 8.01 miles
Time: 1:09:13