Thursday, July 28, 2011

Achieving Greatness

I know July isn't quite over yet but August is right around the corner. I have a lot coming up in the next few months which means I am going to be pretty busy. I have been really inspired by fellow bloggers who maintain really busy lifestyles and still train for hard races. Emily just recently completed her first Ironman while working full time, and Lauren and Emily are training for their first Ironmans too. As I was reading about their journeys I started thinking that someday I would like to finish an Ironman. The problem is that the longest race I have done so far is a 5K, and I have never done a triathlon. So why would I want to do an Ironman?

Growing up I was a competitive swimmer for 11 years, and I was pretty good. However, I was unable to achieve greatness because I was sidelined three years in a row for devastating injuries that ultimately left my unable to compete anymore. I was ripped out of the sport right when I was just starting to reach my potential. I may not be the best athlete but I know I am destined for greatness. I have a fire inside me and a burning passion to compete. Lately I feel like I have been holding myself back. I wanted to achieve greatness in swimming, but just because I can't compete anymore doesn't mean I can't achieve all that in running or triathlons. I have always come up with excuses as to why I shouldn't train harder or put more time into the sport. But I am done trying to cheat myself.

I want to pour my heart and soul into my training and find out how great I an really be. Now this does not mean that I am going to give up my social life or let training consume all of my free time. It means that I am going to make all the right decisions regarding my training and stop half-assing things. I don't want to skip a workout for silly reasons, but I will skip workouts for being injured, sick, and extremely tired. My ultimate goal is to complete an Ironman within the next few years but I will see where my training takes me.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Shake Out Run

Today I planned on running 3 miles in the morning and then biking 12 miles at night. But then my plans got changed because I had to make the 75 min drive down to UMBC to do some apartment stuff. I originally wasn't sure if I should run or bike since I only had time to do one. But when it came time to head out I wasn't feeling a bike ride so I went for an easy three mile run. I started out right under 11:00 min/mile and thought that was a good pace to keep since this was supposed to be an easy run. After a mile my shins started bothering me but after some quick stretching they were feeling better. I finished in about 32 minutes and felt great the entire time.

I have already run 10 miles this week, which is a lot for me, and I am loving it. The more I run the more I love it and the better I feel doing it. I don't think I am going to be one of those people who runs 70 miles a week anytime soon but the higher running mileage seems to really be helping when I hit the pavement.

I am going to the beach next week so if anybody wants to do a guest post let me know!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Back In the Game

Yesterday was the first day of my new training plan. I ran three miles on the trail and felt great the whole time. My goal was to get faster with each mile and that is exactly what I did. 

Laps 4
Avg Pace

I was so happy to just go out there and run based on how I felt. I was planning on running 4 miles today, and swimming followed by some strength training but we are getting some serious storms today, which means the pool is closed. I can move my swim to another day but I am really hoping that I can at least get outside to run 4 miles. If I can't get outside I will just do an Insanity workout since those are pretty killer. 

Congrats to Emily who completed her first IRONMAN yesterday at Ironman Lake Placid!!!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Catching Up

Things have not been going as planned around here. I hardly got any biking, running, or swimming in this week due to the heat, and I have been majorly stressed about signing up for classes for the fall semester. I am trying to get back into the groove of things and really start training for this half marathon.

I know I posted last week about my upcoming class schedule but I decided to switch some things around in order to have a more successful semester. I am planning on giving school my all, which means a lot of studying, joining clubs, and having a great time. I have a lot already lined up for the semester, which means I will be pretty busy. So far I have contacted the Running Club and the Vegetarian Club about joining, and there is talk of a club swim team starting in the fall. I may actually be pretty involved in the development of the club swim team, so that is pretty awesome. Then I have my classes. I decided to drop a few classes that I realized I do not actually need to take or that I can take over the summer at home. As a result I was able to add something really challenging that I think will also be really rewarding: Russian! I have always wanted to take a more complicated language than French or Spanish, and with the way my semester played out Russian was the winner. I am so excited to try something so different! My class schedule as of now looks like:

Advanced French I
TuTh 11:30-12:45

Advanced Spanish I
TuTh 1:00-2:15

Child Developmental Psychology
W 5:30-6:45

Psychology of Culture
MWF 9:00-9:50

Basic Russian I
MWF 10:00-10:50
W 2:30-3:20

Now on to triathlon and half marathon training.. I have decided to throw away my current training plans, which detailed what I was supposed to do each day, for a new one that says what my mileage should be each week. In order to make sure I get in all of my long runs I am planning how long they should be each week, but besides that I can do pretty much whatever I want. For example, next week I want to run 15 miles with my long run being 5 miles. The other 10 miles can be run whenever I want throughout the week and they can be split up into different distances. I did the same thing for biking and I think this will really help my hit my goal mileage for each week.

For awhile I was putting a lot of pressure of myself for my upcoming triathlon. This will be my first triathlon so there is really no need to have super ambitious goals that will just leave me crushed and disappointed later. I am just going to give it all that I have and see where my starting point is. I want to enjoy this experience and putting too much pressure on myself was causing me to not enjoy it.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Too Hot

Things have been crazy around here and as a result my blogging took a hit. Unfortunately, so did my training for a little. It was nice to have some extra rest days though to relax and regroup. I went for a 3 mile run this afternoon in the 90 degree heat and almost died. I should have brought my water bottle with me but instead left it in the car. HUGE mistake. I had to take a couple walking breaks and was pretty dizzy by the time those three miles were up. It has been super hard to run lately with this insane heat. The bad news is that it is only supposed to get hotter throughout the week. Hopefully it will cool down some so I can get some killer workouts in.

Tomorrow I am going to Pinchot State Park, which is where my triathlon will be taking place. I have never done any type of open water swimming so my goal for the day is to get my first OW swim in and practice some sighting techniques. I also want to ride the bike course and see how hilly it is. I am horrendous at climbing on the bike and I want to be mentally prepared for how many hills I will have to tackle come race day. I will be reporting tomorrow about how the day goes so check back tomorrow!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fall Class Schedule

I had transfer orientation today, which means I picked my classes for the fall! Because I am registering so late a lot of classes are already filled but I still managed to get some decent classes. This schedule may change because word is that my psychology professor is less than stellar and I want the best professors out there. This schedule works perfectly for me though because there are no early morning classes, no evening classes, and plenty of time on campus between classes.

Advanced French I:
TuTh 11:30-12:45

Finite Mathematics:
TuTh 10:00-11:15

Foundations of Leadership:
TuTh 2:30-3:45

Basic Concepts in Sociology:
MWF 10:00-10:50

Advanced Spanish I:
MW 2:30-3:45

This schedule also allows me to join both the running club and the yoga & meditation society. I really want to get involved this year and take advantage of all of the wonderful opportunities that are available. I want to live with no regrets!

In case any of you are interested, I am double majoring in Sports Psychology, and Modern Languages & Linguistics with concentrations in French & Spanish.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tentative Fall Race Schedule

As many of you may know I am racing my first sprint triathlon at the end of August. I am super excited about this race and training for it has been going pretty well. Something you might not know if that I am planning on going to school at UMBC (University of Maryland Baltimore County) in the fall. Last year was my freshmen year of college but it didn't exactly go as planned. I started off at the University of Pittsburgh in the fall and ended up coming home for the spring semester for medical reasons. During a swim practice at Pitt my left arm went numb and as a result I spent the night in the ER. At the time the doctor thought I was having a stroke, but later it was found out that I have an extra rib on each side of my rib cage. In order to prevent further complications I needed to have surgery. So I left school and went home for a semester. I took online classes instead of attending classes per doctor's orders. Originally I had planned on returning to Pitt in the fall but then I realized how much I liked being closer to my boyfriend and decided to transfer.

I know that is kind of background but I wanted to explain why I am going to this school. Location, location, location. Just because I will be going to school full time in the fall doesn't mean that I won't be running and training though. I have found a few races that I want to run this fall but I don't really want to sign up for much yet because school will be my number one priority.

So far my schedule looks like this:
9.24- College Park Cares 5K
9.25- The Great Prostate Cancer Challenge 5K (Baltimore)
9.30- The Great Prostate Cancer Challenge 5K (Harrisburg)
10.2- Warrior Dash Virginia
10.15- Baltimore Half Marathon
11.24- York YMCA Turkey Trot 5K
12.3- Hot Chocolate 5K & 15K
12.10- Santa's Sleigh 5K

I do not plan on doing all of these races but these are the ones that I am considering. I definitely plan on doing the Baltimore Half Marathon & the York YMCA Turkey Trot 5K though. If anyone has done any of these races or has any suggestions for ones that I should consider it would be greatly appreciated!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Keystone/Baltimore Training: Week 3

3 weeks down.. 14 more until the Baltimore Half Marathon! And I think it is something like 7 weeks until the Keystone State Sprint Triathlon! I am so excited still, and my training has been getting better. Even though my leg was really bothering me on Monday, my other run felt great and my leg is starting to feel better.

Spent the day with Callen and the family relaxing and having fun.

Run/Walk 1.92 miles @ 12:45
This run was incredibly painful and I ended up walking almost half of it. I wanted to run 3 miles but that just wasn't going to happen.

Took an extra rest day to let my leg calm down some. I was going to go swimming but didn't want to do anything to aggravate it.

Bike 9.8 miles @ 14.5 mph
First bike ride in awhile. I wanted to go faster but I started dying on the way back. I really need to work on getting my speed up on these rides.

Run 3.05 miles @ 10:36
Insanity, Cardio Recovery
This run felt great. I was so worried that my leg was going to hurt but it held up and did great. I ran on the trail, which really helped. I really liked this Insanity workout too. It was no cardio but a lot of deep muscle work.

Insanity, Core Cardio & Balance
I really liked this Insanity workout too. It wasn't insane cardio but still felt great and got me sweating. I especially like the hip flexor work at the end of the workout.

I stayed with Callen since he wasn't feeling well. We had a great weekend relaxing though

Weekly Totals: 4 hrs 9 min
Running: 4.97 miles, 56 min
Biking: 9.8 miles, 40 min
Strength: 1, 15 min
Insanity: 2, 1 hr 10 min
Other: walking, 1 hr 8 min

Friday, July 8, 2011

Total Body Transformation

When I turned on my TV this morning to watch the news, I instantly saw an infomercial for Insanity. It is advertised as a 60 day total body transformation. A few months ago I bought Insanity, but I haven't been using it religiously. I actually hadn't used it in more than a month until yesterday. And when I did it yesterday, I fell in love with it all over again. However, the infomercial got me thinking. A total body transformation sounds awesome to me, but I don't have enough time to do Insanity everyday while training for a triathlon and a half marathon. But does that mean I can't have a total body transformation? I say no!

In order to achieve this while training, I am aiming at doing Insanity three times a week. However, a total body transformation won't happen unless I change my eating habits. Food is definitely my weakness here. Even though I tend to eat healthy foods, I can eat like a teenage boy. I am constantly hungry and most of the time eat when I am hungry. I am hoping I can really work on my eating habits in order to get in the best shape I can be in for my half marathon.

I have decided that each week I will set a goal relating to food for the week. That way I won't be super overwhelmed by a lot of changes. Some of these goals will include drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day, eating 5 servings of fruits/veggies a day, one dessert a week, only eating out once a week, etc. I am hoping this will really help me lose some of that weight that I gained at school in the fall

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Hitting the Trail

When I ran on Monday I was terrified that something horrible had happened to my lower right leg. I could barely make it one mile before I had to turn around and walk home. Today I decided to try running on the trail near my house to see if my leg felt any better running without doing hills and running on a softer surface. Well, I set out to do 3 miles this afternoon and was able to run all three! My leg was a little tender in the beginning but once I got warmed up I felt great. I ran three miles in just over 32 minutes! I am going to try running on the trail more with hopes that it will help my leg and prevent other injuries.

However, I am still playing it safe with my leg and am thinking about investing in a pair of compression socks. My legs swell a fair amount when I run and I think the socks would also help my leg. I know nothing about compression, or even where to buy them. Please help me out! I really need advice people!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

I have always been somewhat of a shy person. I am not good at making friends and I hate meeting large groups of new people. Similarly, I really don't like trying new things that are of out my comfort zone. When I went to school last fall I planned on joining a bunch of different clubs and doing awesome new things that I couldn't do while at home. All of the wonderful plans that I had made for myself fell through simply because I was too afraid to try. I am not exactly sure what I was afraid of, but I was surely afraid of something. This fall I will be attending a different school and I want to make sure I don't let my bad habits get the best of me. I have made a list of ways that I can help myself achieve all of my goals and have a great time this fall:

1. Start with just one new thing to try
When I went to school in the fall I became overwhelmed by all of the new and exciting things I wanted to try out. This fall I want to make a list of what I want to try or do and rank them. First I want to join the running club, second I want to try spin classes, etc. This way I only have to focus on one scary thing at a time.

2. Write down the reasons you want to do something scary
If I have justifiable reasons as to why I should do something even if it is scary to me then chances are I can convince myself to do it. If there is something that doesn't seem worth the anxiety and stress than I am simply going to cross that thing off my list until it becomes meaningful.

3. Do something that you are passionate about
I have really fallen in love with running and I am training for a half marathon in October. I know that joining the running club will not only help my running but help me like running more. Because I already have a base established with the sport of running not everything will be new, just the people.

4. Tell yourself you only have to try it once
One of the reasons that things seem so scary to me at times is that I get nervous about having to do it again. If I tell myself that I only have to try it once then I can get a objective perspective about whether I liked it or not. If I try something and hate it then I don't see the point in continuing, but if I love it then I should continue and eventually it will no longer seem so daunting.

5. Remember you are not alone
Other people are going through the same that you are and are probably just as nervous as you are. Most people are willing to help and support each other so try to take advantage of the help you can get from others.

7. Have fun!
It is important to go into things with an open mind, and intending to have a good time. Even if I am super nervous about something I try to think of all the positives rather than the negatives so the chances of having a good time are maximized.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Shin Splits? Or Something More?

I have been dealing with a pain on the inside of my lower right leg for awhile now. I first thought it was a shin splint but nothing was making the pain go away permanently. I tried icing it, rest, stretching, cross training, and taking ibuprofen. At this point I am worried that something is really wrong and I am not just dealing with a shin splint.

The problem is that I am supposed to be starting half marathon training but it hurts to run. I tried to run yesterday but I could barely run a mile because the pain was so bad. I am going to try running on the trail tomorrow to see if the hills have anything to do with the pain but if it still hurts really badly than I will have to go to the doctor.

If anyone has any ideas for stretching or what may be happening to my leg I would love to hear them!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Keystone/Baltimore Training: Week 2

5K @ 9:00
I loved this 5K and hope to do it again next year. Unfortunately, I hurt my knee after the race so that is why there is no other running this week. This was much faster than my previous 5K and my second split was the fastest.

Swim 1,700 yards
Every time I swim I am feeling so much stronger and faster. I haven't been paying too much attention to my times since there is no clock at the pool but I can feel that my arms are remembering how to swim.

Kayaking 1 hour
I was supposed to swim today but I chose to go kayaking with my Dad instead. It was a great upper body workout but was so relaxing at the same time. It's nice not to have to religiously stick to the swimming part of my plan.

Walk 25 min
Took Gracie for a walk on the trail since my knee was still feeling funky. Didn't want to mess anything up so just went slow and let Gracie lead the way.

Bike 14.5 miles @ 12.86 mph
I hadn't biked in awhile so my Dad and I just went super slow and chatted the whole way. It was nice to go farther than planned but still not feel like death. I really need to work on picking up the pace on the bike though.

Went to look for apartments all day Friday so I really didn't have time to do anything. I just moved my rest day from Saturday to Friday.

Walk 25 min
Took Gracie for another walk on the trail. I was going to go for a 5 mile run but decided to play it safe. I really hope this extra rest will help my knee bounce back and not lead to any further complications.

Weekly Totals: 4 hrs 12 min
Running: 3.1 miles, 28 min
Biking: 14.5 miles, 1 hr 9 min
Swimming: 1,700 yards, 38 min
Other: Walking, 50 min, kayaking, 1 hr 11 min

Friday, July 1, 2011

July Goals

I had made a list of goals that I wanted to achieve in May and then I completely forgot about them and didn't meet any of them. I decided to not bother making any goals for June since May was so unsuccessful. But with the start of July here I want to say my July goals out loud and hold myself accountable to them.

1. Finish reading Run Faster from the 5K to the Marathon: How to Be Your Own Best Coach by Brad Hudson and Matt Fitzgerald.

I just started reading this book and I think it is going to be incredibly valuable to my training for the triathlon and half marathon. I also want to take a lot of what I learn from this book and apply it to my everyday training. I am a new runner and can learn so much from this book.

2. Bike 150 miles
I really want to amp up my biking because it is definitely the weakest leg of my triathlon. I want to try biking in new places and maybe find some people to go biking with me. This is a lot higher mileage than I am used to but I think it will really kick start my training.

3. Run 50 miles
This is also a big jump from last month but I am starting half marathon training so I want to hold myself accountable and really stick to my training plan. I want to especially focus on my long runs, because they are the most important.

4. Swim 15,000 yards
I want to add more swimming to my triathlon training. Swimming is my strongest leg so I want to make sure that I really take advantage of that. I would hate to get to a triathlon and not do well in the swimming simply because I thought I didn't need to train.

5. Lose 5 pounds
I have been struggling with my weight for awhile now and what better time to start losing weight than now?! I don't need to lose a tremendous amount of weight but 5 lbs will definitely kick me into motion and get me on the right track.

6. Complete Kari's Virtual 1 Miler
This is an awesome race! Go check out Kari's blog for more information!

7. Ride triathlon bike course
I ended up not doing a triathlon a couple weeks ago because I didn't how hilly the course was, and I was not at all prepared. I want to go into this triathlon with confidence and know that I am capable of kicking ass on the bike.

8. Complete first open water swim
Even though swimming is my strongest leg, I have never done any kind of open water swimming. I have heard some horror stories about people freaking out when they get into the water for the first time and I definitely don't want that happening on race day.