Tuesday, January 31, 2012

One Month Down

I set some pretty big goals for January and unfortunately I didn't do very well with them.

1. Run 70 miles. I thought by making a big goal regarding running mileage I would be more motivated to run. Turns out it didn't help at all. I actually didn't run for an entire week during the middle of the month because I was sick and just couldn't get myself to run. I am really happy with how my training has been going lately though. Lesson learned about setting unrealistic goals, however.

2. Bike 180 miles. I have absolutely no idea how many miles I biked due to the fact that I can't keep track while on the trainer. Assuming I'm riding at 15mph I definitely didn't bike 180 miles though. I didn't spend nearly as much time on the bike as I wanted but right now my focus is on running.

3. Swim 9,500 yards. I didn't even come close to this one but only because the pool that I was supposed to use while at home for break was closed and I couldn't justify paying to use a different one. Again, my focus is on running right now so this really isn't a big deal though.

4. Start strength training. Negative. The gym I was planning on going to was the same one that I was going to swim at. Even though I didn't get to the gym, though, I did a fair amount of cross training. That has to count for something, right?

5. Read two books. I haven't quite finished the second book but I am almost done. The first book I read was The Most Beautiful Book in the World, which is a compilation of short stories. The stories were good but didn't keep me on my toes. I am currently reading The Madonna's of Leningrad and absolutely love it. It is about an old woman who reflects on her time during the war. It is really neat to see her comparisons to the present day.

6. Go ice skating. I'm pretty disappointed that this didn't happen. I probably won't have another chance to go ice skating until next year because of being at school. It's really not a big deal but I thought it would be fun to go. There's always next year!

7. Learn to ski. This was a big success. I went skiing twice and actually went down a beginner slope. I am really proud of myself for doing this because I was so scared I would hurt myself. I still am, but I know how much it means to my boyfriend so I think it is worth it.

8. Organize & clean my apartment. Another big success. I went down to my apartment three times while over break and now it is looking great. I did heavy duty cleaning, hung pictures, brought down a dresser, got rid of unnecessary stuff from last semester, and set up the fish tank that I got for Christmas. Now I can't help but smile every time I look around!

9. Go to the National Aquarium. I am most upset about not meeting this goal. We were going to go this past weekend but something came up. We are supposed to go this upcoming weekend instead so I really hope that actually happens. The big problem we keep running into is that the aquarium closes at 5 pm, which I think is unreasonably early.

10. Meditate for one hour once a week. I am really disappointed to say that I didn't meditate at all. I think jumping into meditating for one hour at a time is a too big step. I think it is more realistic to start with 5-15 minutes a few times during the month and work my way up to longer.

11. Track food at sparkpeople.com. I stuck with this very consistently for the first two weeks but then got sick of always rushing to the computer to log after every meal. I think it is important to keep track of what I eat because I have been having trouble with eating & running but I think just writing down what I eat and when is a better idea.

12. Cook one meal a week. I am SO proud of myself for actually sticking with this. I didn't cook very elaborate meals but they still took awhile to make. I want to cook more for myself and be more in control of what is being put into my body. I also learned that I really enjoy cooking and now I can't wait to try even more recipes.

13. Do something active every day. I set this goal a few days late but I think it was the most important goal. While there were a few days where I didn't get some activity in, I was significantly more active than I usually am. There were so many times where I just wanted to stay in bed but got up to take the dog for a walk instead.

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Hills Are Alive

This afternoon I set out for my first run since being back at school. I had grand intentions of running over the weekend but really just needed some time to relax and settle back into the school routine.

I was originally planning on doing a morning run today but I didn't end up going to sleep until at least 3 AM and just couldn't drag my butt out of bed when my alarm went off. Today was a long day of classes and I didn't want to show up to the second class half asleep.

When I got back to my apartment I heated up some soup that my boyfriends mom sent me and made whole wheat toast with mango jam. I wasn't able to grab any lunch on campus during my lunch break because the lines were crazy. I thought I would be okay eating when I came home but my stomach wasn't feeling it during the run.

I set out to do four easy miles around campus to get back into the swing of running regularly. I felt great during the first mile but soon after it went downhill. Then uphill. And uphill again. I forgot how much I hate running the hills around campus. The downhills anger my IT bands and the uphills just kick my ass. I know hill training is supposed to be really great, but I always feel so much better running the trail near my house.

I was pretty happy with my pace considering the hills and how infrequently I have been running lately. When I was getting close to my apartment I started running in the grass instead of on the sidewalk. It slowed my pace significantly but was so much fun. I felt like a little kid again playing in the grass.

Avg Pace

I am going home this weekend to watch the Superbowl with my family and help my boyfriend watch his younger brother so I am aiming to do my long run on the trail this weekend. I am really excited to tackle a new training distance! Look out for a recap on the weekend!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

And So It Begins

Today was my first day of classes of the semester. I have always been one of those nerds who is super excited about school. But this semester marks the first time that I am not particularly looking forward to going back to school. I want to be excited, problem is that I'm just not.

Despite my lack of desire to be back at school, I have been doing everything possible to ensure that this will be a great semester. This might be the first time that I am truly excited about all of the classes I am taking. I know they won't be easy but at least I am looking forward to them.

I spent almost all yesterday getting things ready too. I did some intense cleaning and organizing a couple weeks ago so that I wouldn't have as much to worry about when I came back and I am so glad that I did. I still had a lot to do yesterday but I wasn't stressed out at all.

I stopped by the bookstore to pick up some books, cleaned & vacuumed the bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, & living room, unpacked two suitcases full of stuff, and got everything ready to start classes. I even set out my outfit!

While I am not particularly excited about always doing homework and constantly studying I am excited for the new adventures to come. So here's to a great spring semester!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

This Week Is Off to a Rough Start

I haven't been doing so great with hitting my workouts this week. Luckily it is the beginning of the week so I still have time to redeem myself/make up missed workouts later. After last weeks 7 miler I was so excited for this weeks runs. I was going to nail them all and kick some booty. Except that isn't how this week has been going down.

Yesterday I was planning on doing 4 miles easy. Sunday night I saw that we were supposed to get freezing rain all day on Monday though. So I decided to move my run to the treadmill. How hard could 4 easy miles on the treadmill be? I made it about twenty minutes before calling it a day. I would always rather run outside than on the treadmill. It's a fact.

The goal for Tuesday was an 8 mile long run on the trail before heading back down to school. I bonked during last weeks 7 so I bought Nuun and a GU to try out. I was really excited for this run because the longest training run I have ever done is 7 miles. I got to the trail, started running, and couldn't stop smiling. (I love running?) I only made it about a mile before the trail turned into a giant slushy mess. I was going to try to run in it but I kept slipping. And that was the end of that run.

I know you could say I should have tried to run somewhere else where there wouldn't be slush everywhere. But no thanks. I try to do all of my long runs on a flat trail because if not my IT bands lose their marbles. I would rather push my run to later in the week if it means running a route that is better for keeping my body happy & healthy.

On the agenda for the rest of the week:
  • Wednesday: Insanity Recovery
  • Thursday: 30 min AM swim, 8 mile long run PM, & 1st day of classes
  • Friday: 3 miles recovery AM, 3 miles tempo PM
  • Saturday: 5 miles, maybe a bike ride?
  • Sunday: rest 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Spring Semester Goals

Goal 1: Participate with Russian Club more
During the fall I joined the Russian Club and met some really amazing people. We had meetings a few times a month and three parties throughout the semester. The one thing that I did not participate in that I really wish I had was the bake sales we had to raise money. Helping out at the bake sales is a great way to get to know people even better. I want to be able to establish a better relationship with the friends I have already made.

Goal 2: Participate in Relay for Life
I was looking into other clubs to possibly join this semester and discovered Relay for Life. It is too late to help with planning the event but I really want to raise money and participate in the actual relay. A lot of people in my family have dealt with cancer and I want to do something to give back to them but being a part of such an amazing event. Plus I think it will be so much fun to get a group of friends together and make some great memories. 

Goal 3: Form better study habits
When I was in high school I never procrastinated and was always ahead when it came to schoolwork. Ever since I got to college, however, and had more time I started doing schoolwork at the last minute. I wasn't studying much for tests and was just doing enough to get by. If I want to focus on training I am going to need to really buckle down and do my assignments with plenty of time. I am planning on doing the majority of my schoolwork in the library this semester where there will be minimal chance of getting distracted by something.

Goal 4: Stay organized
This past semester was my first living in an apartment by myself and more times than not it was really messy. It is hard to always keep it neat and organized but I really need to find a place for everything and develop some kind of system for cleaning. I don't want to have to put cleaning on my to-do list every single day anymore. Plus having an organized apartment will help me stay on task with training and not procrastinating on schoolwork.

Goal 5: Try new things
This is probably the thing that I need to focus on the most. I am an incredibly shy and introverted person so sometimes getting out there and trying new things is difficult. I am starting to realize, though, that I am really missing out on a lot of great opportunities by not getting a little of my comfort zone. I also want to be more open to trying some crazy things that I will only get to experience in college. I don't want to do anything too out of control but I don't want to look back and regret not living it up while in college. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Tackling the Upcoming Semester

With my second semester at UMBC starting on Thursday I have been super busy getting everything ready for the new semester. This is going to be my second semester here, which I am really excited about, but I also want to do some things differently.

Last semester I fell into a rut and all aspects of my life suffered. This semester I am going to make a conscious effort keep my well-being and happiness a priority. I wrote a goal post for this semester that will be posted later this week, but I also wanted to write some guidelines for making this a great, successful semester.

1. No procrastinating. When I was swimming competitively I never had much free time so I had to be really efficient with how I used that time. I would never just be sitting around doing nothing and consequently I would usually finish my homework days in advance. Now that I have a lot more free time I keep putting things off and then end up cramming to finish things at the last minute, which leads to lots of stress.

2. Focus on what is best for myself. I am a people pleaser (I don't think that is a word). I will give up things in order to keep others happy. Don't get me wrong here, I am not saying I want to be selfish but sometimes it is better to put ourselves first or else things can get overwhelming. I need to understand that nobody will treat me differently if I want to take a quick nap or go out for a run.

3. Be proactive about stress. Stress sucks. And it can come out of nowhere. Stress is different for everyone but regardless nobody wants to deal with it. For me, a cup of chamomile tea, and a hot bubble bath can cure almost anything. A few minutes reading a good book and getting enough sleep also really help. I want to get in the habit of fending off stress before it happens.

4. Take advantage of what the school has to offer. UMBC is mostly a commuter school so there aren't as many events on campus as most other schools but there are still a lot of really great things going on. I always have intentions to go to some of these events or even just go to a professor's office hours but never actually do. This is the semester to do the things that I know I should do but never do. When I am no longer in college and can't go to free yoga classes I am going to be upset that I didn't go to as many as possible while I could.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Back To the Slopes

Since I go back to school on Thursday, my dad and I decided to go skiing again on Friday. We went up around 2:30 to get in some skiing before we met up with the boyfriend and his brother. My boyfriend loves snowboarding and is really good at it so I wanted to get some more practice before he got there.

We did a few runs on the bunny slopes before I decided to try a beginner slope. I was surprised with how much better I was this time than my first time. I was really nervous about the ski lift but I never fell once. I actually didn't fall while skiing at all, but I did fall over while walking once because I lost my balance.

Before I knew it I was actually skiing down a beginner slope! I didn't know how to turn very well so for the majority of the day I would just go almost straight down. My dad said I was going like a kamikaze but I that was all I could do.

Eventually I figured out how to turn and zig zag down the slope with out hurting my knees. I wouldn't say by any means that I am ready for a more advanced slope but I could see a huge improvement over last time. I think next time I am ready for longer skiis since I have really tiny ones now.

I'm not sure with the weather we've been having plus being in school if I will be able to go skiing again this year but I can't wait to see how much better I can do!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Seven Miles In the Books

On Thursday I finally found enough motivation to head out for a longer run. I haven't run anything more than six miles since Baltimore, but I haven't really run in a week or two either so I wasn't sure what to do. I decided to run for thirty five minutes, stretch for a little, and then head back.

I was running just under 10 min/miles and was feeling great so I thought seven miles would be okay. Since I am trying to focus more on running for myself and not because I have to, I wanted to run at a pretty easy pace for the entire run. Before I knew it I was half way and it was time to stretch.

I stretched for only a few minutes but I could really feel the difference. I was hoping to keep the pace the same for the last 3.5 miles minus the super easy half mile I was running as a warm down. I felt great until about mile six. Then I started feeling thirsty and my head felt heavy.

I knew I didn't have enough to drink so I slowed the pace a lot to make sure that I wouldn't pass out or get sick since I was so close to being finished anyway. I made it back to car, finishing seven miles at a 10:09 min/mile. I was pretty happy with this considering how I felt at the end.

I know a lot of people don't bring fuel with them on seven mile runs but I think I need to. I never run with food or drink but now that I am doing longer runs it is what will enable me to finish without feeling dizzy. Hopefully.

I don't like the idea of eating GU's but have tried things such as jelly beans & chomps during longer bike rides over the summer and liked those. How do you fuel for runs?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Fun Facts Friday

I am not big on themed blog posts like this but I have never done one and I thought it would be fun to give you guys more of an insight into who I am.

I was bit by a zebra when I was two. My mom told me to feed the zebra and it big my finger. My mom wasn't sure if I was going to have a finger after that. Luckily, I still do.

I skipped a year of preschool. I am young for my grade and have always been the youngest in my class. I actually love it.

I have never been on a roller coaster. Not sure why, but I have never been on one. I feel no need to ride one either.

I hate when people respond with only LOL in a text. Seriously, use some real words.

I learn languages very easily. So far I am studying Spanish, French, and Russian. I love them and want to also learn Hindi, Arabic, and Chinese.

I used to be obsessed with dolphins. When I was little I used to know absolutely everything about dolphins. You could ask me any question and I knew the answer.

What are your random Friday facts?!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Inspired By the Olympic Marathon Trials

As I'm sure all of you know, the Olympic trials for the men's and women's marathon were on Saturday. While I wasn't as lucky as Emily or Sarah and wasn't in Houston as spectators extraordinaire, I was glued to Twitter all morning for live updates. I have never run a marathon and I have only been running for a few months but I still felt pride watching our nations best achieving their spot to represent the USA in the London 2012 Olympics.

Lately I have been really struggling with finding motivation to train for my upcoming half marathon. Watching the trials really inspired me though. No runner out there by taking the easy way. They were all focused on achieving their dreams. I loved seeing all of their hard work pay off at such a special event.

I came to the realization, as simple as it may be, that I need to figure out what is truly important to me. What do I want to achieve in my life. I won't be motivated to do something unless I am truly passionate about. More specifically, what I need to figure out is what motivates me to do those things that are important and that I want to achieve. I want to be a runner and triathlete but I have to figure out how to add these two sports comfortably to my life.

For me, the trials couldn't have come at a better time. I am around eight weeks out from my spring half marathon. I still have time to turn my sour attitude around. I am going to channel my inspiration from this country's greatest runners into my training. I am going to run because I love it and because I can, not because I have to.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Back To It

I am so happy to be feeling better. All week I felt weak and had no motivation to do anything at all. It was so nice to wake up this morning craving to go for a run. I have still been having stomach issues with running so I ate a little snack and waited a few hours before heading out.

I don't normally run with music but I really wanted to today. Unfortunately my ipod was dead and my charger is at my apartment (I'm at my parents house until spring semester starts). Instead I decided to run with Gracie. I figured it would be nice to have some company and she could use the exercise.

Since I hadn't run in over a week I wanted to just go easy to get back into the swing of things. We ended up averaging 9:46, which wasn't too bad. It was definitely a colder run than either of us are used to but it still felt really nice being outside.

I think I am crazy but I really wish it would snow. Normally we get one or two good snows a winter plus a few small snows. So far we have only gotten that random storm in the end of October but that just doesn't count to me.

Friday, January 13, 2012

About My RR USA Half Training Plan

Even though training for the Rock N' Roll USA Half Marathon officially started a few weeks ago, I still wanted to do a post about my training. I didn't stick to a training plan while training for Baltimore and it showed. When I was training for Baltimore I was only concerned with finishing. I didn't really care about what my time would be or what paces I should be training at. While I don't want to put a lot of pressure on myself for this race, I still want to PR in a big way. I really truly believe that I can crush my current PR with some actual training.

I really enjoyed having the ability to look back on the things I did, and didn't do, while training for Baltimore. When I was writing my training plan for this race I wanted to incorporate a lot of cross training. First, I get injured very easily and I really don't want to get injured. Second, I want to also use this time to build a solid base for triathlon training. I also had to really take my class schedule into account. Some days I have class earlier than others and I can only get to the pool on certain days.

So here it is:

  • Monday: speed run AM/ long bike PM
  • Tuesday: swim & strength AM/ medium bike PM
  • Wednesday: tempo run & short bike PM
  • Thursday: swim & strength AM/ long run PM
  • Friday: rest
  • Saturday: rest
  • Sunday: easy run & short bike

I decided to stick to four runs a week because any more and my IT band becomes very angry. As for what types of runs, I chose to do a long run, an easy run, a tempo run and a speed run. Originally I wanted to do two easy runs but I opted for only one easy run since four runs a week isn't really that many. I thought doing two hard runs a week would help build strength and increase speed. My main goal for my runs during this training cycle is to hit all of my long runs. I am aiming for between 8-12 miles. I didn't do runs that long last time it really hurt me in the end.

I also decided on biking four days a week. I am not an experienced cyclist and need to work on this leg the most. I don't have many guidelines for my rides, it is all about spending time in the saddle and getting used to being back on the bike. I have a longish ride planned for Monday nights and I want to do some interval work since I am such a slow cyclist but other than that my rides will probably be at a pretty easy pace and used for recovery.

I knew I wanted to do a few days of swimming a week so that I would be able to take advantage of my experience in the pool come tri season. Since I have two scheduled swims a week I want to do one as a recovery and technique swim and the other as a speed workout. Swimming will be the least important part of my training though. Swimming is what I am best at and I know that I can still do well in a tri with minimal time in the pool. 

The part I am most excited about is actually strength training. I only lifted weight while swimming during my last year but I saw an insane amount of improvement. Not to mention how much strength training helps prevent injuries. I will focus on upper body one day and lower body on the other day. And I won't be able to start strength training until I go back to school at the end of January.

Not written into my schedule is yoga and Insanity. I want to try to go to yoga once a week but I don't know what the spring schedule is yet. I wanted to be able to do Insanity regularly but I just don't have enough time. In the end I decided on using Insanity as cross training if I miss a run. For example, if I am unable to do my tempo run for some reason I will do an Insanity workout instead.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Not the Best of Weeks

Honestly, I haven't done too much this week. I haven't been feeling very well and just couldn't get myself to do anything productive. I wanted to get in a bunch of runs this week but I never felt up to it.

Ever since after the Baltimore Half Marathon I haven't been as motivated to run. I thought it was just because my big race was over and I had off time before I needed to start training for my next big race.

I was so excited to start training for my upcoming half marathon but then I would hardly run. The less I ran the more frustrated I was becoming. It felt like a never ending cycle and I started to feel trapped.

As the race is starting to creep up on me I am realizing that I need to really commit to my training. I love Christine's idea of using a dry erase calendar to keep track of workouts. 

At least for now I am also going to do all of my runs at whatever paces feel comfortable. I still want to do tempo and interval runs but I am not going to stress over exactly how fast they are.

I want to get back to running for fun and to relieve stress. Hopefully I will have some great posts throughout the next week about all of the awesome workouts I have been doing.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Signed Up

On Thursday I registered for my first triathlon! I woke up on Thursday and checked my email only to see that a triathlon I had been eyeing up had a special deal for the first 50 people to sign up. I originally wasn't sure if I should register for this triathlon because it was more expensive than I was looking for and would be after my desired A race, but after I saw the deal I couldn't pass it up.

So as of Thursday I will officially be racing the Keystone State Olympic Triathlon on August 26! Even though this is the first triathlon I have signed up for it will not be my first of the year. I had wanted to do this tri last year but with college starting a few days later, moving into my apartment and being hit with a hurricane it just didn't work out. I am excited for this triathlon because it is close enough to my house that I won't need to stay overnight. I am all about saving money on races this year.

Because this will most likely not be my A race I probably won't be training specifically for this race. I am already signed up for a half marathon in September and am not sure what my A race will be in the fall either. I am just so excited for the upcoming tri season and to see what I can accomplish this summer.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Learning How to Ski

On Thursday I went skiing for the first time. My boyfriend is an excellent snowboarder and is always begging me to learn so we can go together. I'm not sure why but snowboarding freaks me out. I guess just being sideways? Not sure.

Well, I finally caved and decided I should learn how to ski at least. So I enlisted the help of my dad who has been skiing since he was little. We went to a ski place about 35 minutes away and signed up for the beginner package. It included an eight hour lift ticket, ski rentals, and a lesson all for $40. Serious deal if you ask me!

Luckily there was hardly anybody there when we arrived so we had lots of space to practice. I was really surprised how much upper body strength I was using to go cross country style. It took me awhile to figure out how to stop and turn but eventually I got the hang of it. And to my surprise the only times I fell were when I needed to stop but didn't know how to.

I am still not sure that skiing is going to be something that I will love doing but it was a nice change of pace to learn something new. Hopefully the next time I go I can advance to a beginner slope instead of just the bunny slopes!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Do Something

I few days ago I posted my January goals. Well, I am adding another one. My newest goal for January is to do something active every single day. I understand the importance of rest days so I do not plan on running or biking every single day. Rather, other things such as going for a walk, doing yoga, or even going skiing will count.

So far I have done something active every single day and I am loving it. I feel great and my body is really starting to crave activity. I feel more energized and am starting to feel stronger even though I haven't done any strength training yet.

This goal will also help my body get accustomed to triathlon training in the spring and summer. Even if I am only going for a walk with my dog, knowing that I am moving and not just sitting around will really help me gain confidence going into heavier training.

So far, this is what I have been up to in January:

  • January 1: walk
  • January 2: 30 min bike, 1.5 mile run, walk
  • January 3: 2 x 800, walk
  • January 4: 30 min bike, 10 min run, walk
  • January 5: skiing
2012 is all about being healthy for me and doing what is best for my body. I know being more active will keep my body running smoothly.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Epic Workout That Wasn't

Last night I had an epic workout planned for while I watched Biggest Loser. I was so psyched for this workout because I really wanted to push myself and see what I could do. But my epic workout turned out to be not so epic.

Because it was so cold outside yesterday I decided to try my speed work run on the treadmill. I thought it would be great. Let me tell you, it wasn't. I don't mind running at a comfortable pace on the treadmill but running almost as fast as my body will let me just sucks. And not in the hurts so good kind of way.

After deciding I would do my run inside, I thought it would be a good idea to bike afterwards. I planned on biking for 45 minutes at a pretty easy clip. I thought it would be good to spend more time on the bike since biking is not my strong point.

Then, I planned on getting back on the treadmill to finish my workout with an easy 2.5 mile recovery run. I loved the idea of doing a speed run, biking, and doing a brick all in one workout. All afternoon I was so excited for my epic workout.

Right at 8 I hopped on the treadmill and did a half mile warm up. After, I was ready to run fast. Or so I thought. I did my first half mile repeat in 3:39 for a 7:19 pace. For the first part of the repeat I felt good, strong. But then I started to die. I forced myself not to change the pace. I was so happy to be done but wondered how I would be able to do three more repeats all at increasingly faster paces.

I decided to do my half mile recovery run and then decide whether I would increase the speed or not. I felt great during the recovery run so in the end I did decide to up the speed. Big mistake.

Again I started the repeat feeling strong but about half way through I really felt like I couldn't run anymore. I wanted to throw up and was becoming increasingly dizzy. I, somehow, finished the repeat and did my recovery run but then decided I was done for the day.

I was so upset about quitting only half way through my first of three workouts, but my body was just not up for the challenge. I have been struggling with finding the best ways to fuel my body and I think I ate too soon before my workout yesterday.

I am taking this as a learning experience to be more careful about what I eat and when I eat it before running. Here's hoping next weeks speed work goes better. I will also probably never attempt fast running like that on a treadmill.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Starting 2012 Off the Right Way

Yesterday I did my first workout of 2012. It was glorious and amazing. I planned on running six miles yesterday but I just didn't feel like running so I decided to bike instead. I then decided to do a short brick workout.

I biked for about 30 minutes before hitting the treadmill for 1.5 miles. I wasn't sure how my legs were going to feel after biking so I didn't push it too much on the bike. I don't know what my pace was because I don't have my bike computer set up yet but I felt like I stayed at a pretty steady pace the whole time.

After 30 minutes I quickly changed shorts and shoes and hit the treadmill. I started out at a 10:20 pace for the first half mile and ended with a 9:24 pace for 10:03 pace overall. I was really surprised with how great my legs felt. I was expecting them to feel heavy but they felt more warmed up and ready to run. I was super happy that I able to keep upping the pace without feeling like I was going to burn out.

I don't know how many bricks I will be doing during half marathon training but I am really excited for triathlon training to start. I loved how my legs felt and the overall feeling of pushing myself.

Monday, January 2, 2012

January Goals

January is a big time for New Year's resolutions. Even though I did set some goals for 2012, I think it is a better idea to set monthly goals or resolutions. That way you are only committing to 30 days, not 365. Furthermore, the things I want to accomplish in January and probably going to be very different from what I want to accomplish in August. A year is a long time and a lot can change.

Some of my January goals are based off of my yearly goals, while others are just fun things that I want to do throughout the month.

1. Run 70 miles. This is the most important goal for me because of half marathon training. I want to break two hours and I know that I need to stick to my training plan. I added up the miles I have planned for January and 70 is a few less. This way I still have a little wiggle room in case I miss some runs.

2. Bike 180 miles. This is just a rough estimate goal since I will only be biking on the trainer and I can't tell how fast I'm going while on the trainer. I am just basing this off of the assumption that I will be biking at 15 mph. The main goal here is just to start spending time in the saddle to prepare myself for triathlon training.

3. Swim 9,500 yards. This one is like the first two. Having a concrete number that I need to meet will help me get my butt to the pool on the days that I don't want to. This number could be way off depending on when the college pool reopens so forgive me if this goal just doesn't work out. Let's hope it does though.

4. Start strength training. I started strength training a few years ago as part of physical therapy after I had rotator cuff surgery but I stopped after I quit swimming. I know how important strength training is and I always see great results with my running and swimming while training regularly. I also know this will help me develop power and speed while on the bike.

5. Read two books. I absolutely love reading so I have decided to try to read 15 books this year. I know once school starts it will be hard to find the time to read, which is why I am going to read two books and get in the habit of reading instead of watching tv. Hopefully this will carry over once I start school.

6. Go ice skating. This is one of those for fun goals. I have been ice skating once before but I was pretty young so I don't really remember much. I think this will be a fun date for the boyfriend and me, and will be a great way to enjoy the winter weather.

7. Learn to ski. I have always been weary about learning to ski or snowboard because I am afraid of getting hurt, but I don't want my fears to hold me back anymore. My boyfriend is a regular snowboarder and has been begging me to learn to ski so we can go together. This goal is really more for him than me, but I do think it will be something fun to do together.

8. Organize and clean my apartment. I am going to go to my apartment before the spring semester starts to do some serious cleaning and finally get my apartment organized. I am hoping that by starting off the semester all nice and organized it will help me stay organized. This is by no means a fun goal, but it is really necessary.

9. Go to the National Aquarium. For my birthday my boyfriend got us a couples membership to the aquarium at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore. I absolutely love going to the aquarium and have been begging him to go with me. January is the perfect time to go since neither of us will be in school and we will have the time.

10. Meditate for one hour once a week. I have always been intrigued my meditation but have never really tried it out. A few summer ago I would meditate for a few minutes here or there but never consistently. This is something that I can only commit to for one month but I am interested to see the results. I think it will also be good for me to slow down and teach my mind to relax.

11. Track food at Sparkpeople.com. I hate to be cliche and say I want to lose weight this year, but I really do. I don't want to just lose weight though, I want to be at a healthy weight to racing and training for triathlons and half marathons. By logging my food I can see where I am slacking and where I need to cut back. Tracking my food will also make me feel guiltier if I start to get off track.

12. Cook one meal a week. I hate cooking. Not only do I hate cooking, I am terrible at cooking. However, I want to go into the spring semester able to whip up some delicious meals. I am not counting breakfast because I already make breakfast pretty successfully. I am only going to try to cook one meal a week because I am currently staying with my parents, who are always doing the cooking. The goal here is learn how to make healthy dishes that I can make at my apartment when I don't have anyone cooking for me.