Saturday, February 26, 2011

Limping my Way to the Weekend

After last weeks crazy work out sessions, I woke up on Monday with some pain on the top of my left foot. I taught class, and ignored the pain, naturally, and by Tuesday my normal 10 minute walk home from work took me about 30 minutes. It hurt like hell to lift my foot off the ground so I decided it would be easier to walk home zombie-style, dragging my left foot with each step, as to not aggravate it. After my incredibly sexy walk home I sat on the couch and whined about the pain for about 2 days.(Yes I can embrace that I am a whiner.) Coach P informed me to take it "easy" on the runs and just turn every run into a bike ride. Needless to say I logged a shit-ton of hours on the bike this week and by ass and lady parts are paying the price.

Today I am going to into the city to find some bridesmaids dresses and partake in some afternoon lunch/drink debauchery. Then it is home to get on the bike, so obviously it will be more lunch debauchery for me than drinks. But it is worth it. I have officially lost 5 lbs since I got back into training, and with a wedding in 8 months, I am all about keeping the trend moving forward!

I am going to attempt to get back to running tomorrow. And why ease myself back in? I mean really! I have a 1:22 Z1 run ahead of me and I am looking forward to it. I am going to hit the streets again and head out on my old route that I knew so well before my little bike mishap. Here's to hoping that I don't have to revert back to the sexy walk on Monday!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Much Needed Day Off

Now don't get confused by the title, that was in no way in reference to training. That was just the break I got from my normal job. Now mind you, even with the day off I still had to get up and teach at 6am, but at least I got to come home and go right back to sleep.

This weekend was quite a weekend in terms of training. On Saturday, I got up and got on the trainer for a nice 3+ hour ride. I spent my time reading the new Bicycling magazine, and watched a 30 Rock dvd. But let me tell you, my legs were shot. I am not sure if it was from spinning class on Friday night or what, but about 1:15 into the ride, I felt like I had to be close to done, and that was the way it went for the rest of the ride. Once off the bike, I made the executive decision to skip my 35minute recovery run I had. Something was not right and I didn't want to push it. So instead I took a shower and got back into bed for a little while.

Sunday, I got up early again and began my 1:35 Tabata drill ride. I had 20 minutes in Zone R, then 8 drills the the rest of the time in Zone R. Then I headed out for my frist transition run of the season. I deciced I would just run outside, although windy the sun was out and I figured it was about time to brave the cold and just run. I headed down towards the waterfront at a 9:43 pace and did a full loop of the city before turning back to the house. On my run back to the house I realized that all of my thoughts were based on food, so when I got back we ate some burritos and watched a little tv. Once digested I headed over to the gym for my 2nd 41 minute run. After that I was ready to go to bed again!

I finished off my long weekend with some lifting on Monday and I am happy to say that I can walk today. The first round of this lifting segment left me hobbling for 4days and today I was good to go at 6am when I started out on my 60 minute Zone 1 run.

So that only leaves a quick 30 minute swim and a spin class to teach tonight. But at least there is a short work week ahead!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Just Breathe

One thing I have noticed about myself lately, is that I need to find a way or method of relaxation. I feel as though I have turned into an entirely too high strung person. I know, I have a lot going on with my dad's cancer, my friend's baby who is very ill and all the planning I have been doing, but still I need to calm down. Usually I am able to use exercising as my outlet, but lately I find myself just looking for another work out to do when I have free time. Instead of enjoying it, I am just trying to log the time. So now I am in need of a release.

A perfect example of the person I am becoming can be seen in my Monday morning. This weekend I realized that my stress rash that I tend to get on my face as a result of stress and anxiety has resurfaced. It has been years since this happened and it really only shows up physically as dry skin, but when it is there, I know it is there. All I want to do is scratch my face off. So after realizing it was back, I made an appt to see the dermatologist first thing in the morning.

Now here is where my good friend irony joins the story. I give myself about an hour to get to my 8:15am appt knowing that there will be traffic. Little did I know just how much there would be. By 8am I still have about 30 minutes to go and in true Jessica fashion, here comes the stress. So here I am totally stressed about making it to my appointment on time to get my rash cleared up that shows up in the first place as a result of stress! Once realizing the irony of the situation I was able to chuckle a bit, but not first without a minor meltdown.

I thought this morning's swim would help, but alas, all I could think about was the next workout and my day ahead of me. As far as other workouts this week, I am recovering a bit, so not much to report on that end. I think I work my way back into Zone 1 tomorrow, and my legs are just about ready to get started again.

But for now I need to figure out how to "just breathe" a bit. But I promise I won't stress out if I can't find the answer right away!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Who Is This Girl? And Where Did Jessica Go?

This weekend was a great slow weekend with Saturday off. Can't lie, I do love a Saturday of sleeping in and only having to think about working out as opposed to actually working out. I was prepping for Sunday race simulation, as I wasn't able to find a 5k in my area. At around 8pm Coach P sent over the prescribed run, 4 miles, run the first one at 7:45 and then see how you feel for the other 3. And I got 90 seconds rest in between each. Well my first thought was, see how I feel? Am I going to feel anything when I am passed out on the gym floor after 5/10's of a mile? Seriously, that first 7:45 would be my fastest mile I have ever run. Like as in, my entire life ever.

On Sunday I got up and began procrastinating. Having seen my stress levels on the rise the past few weeks Nick had booked me a massage appt at 1:30, so I knew I had a bit of a deadline but going to bed at 9pm on a Saturday creates for an early Sunday morning and ample time to waste time. Once I realized I had no choice I headed over the sports club. The whole way there I can admit I was a bit nervous. I figured I could hold onto a 7:45 to start only because I wouldn't allow myself to shoot off the back of the treadmill if I couldn't keep up, but any longer than that would be a challenge. I got there, waited on line for a treadmill and it was time to run.

Now apparently the treadmill goes from 7:41 to 7:48, so I had to pick 7:41 to start. I banged out the first mile without a problem and didn't really feel like the 90 seconds was really need. I got 3/4 through the 2nd one at 7:41, started to feel tired, but pushed myself to finish. By the third I figured I might as well try it again, but this time at around 5:30 minutes, I started to really feel it. I literally felt like I didn't know how to breathe. Like I had forgotten all together. After mile 3 I really needed the 90 seconds or maybe a few hours. I wanted to try to see if I could push myself for mile 4. I wanted to force myself out of my comfort zone, and so I started at 7:41 and said I would allow myself to drop the speed after .5 miles. I made it quite far before needing to do that and ended up with a 7:46 to finish. So that was 3 miles at 7:41 and 1 at 7:46, which is crazy to me.

I finished up weak legged and red faced and began my walk home with Nick. As we were walking I think I was able to sum it up perfectly. I said to Nick, "I am not sure who the hell I think I am lately with the times that I am achieving but I sure as hell hope this girl continues to show up when I race." So let's see if she sticks around.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Sunday Here I Come

So this week was a light week with another race planned for Sunday. There has been some major progress this week. I lost 3 pounds! That puts me back to my lowest weight while training since 2 years ago. And I am psyched! I think it has a lot to do with my eating choices and the fact that I am not trying to reach calorie and protein goals all the time and stuffing myself just to do it. I think I found the way to do it and I am going to stick to the current plan.

Recovery from last week's race took a few days. Up until yesterday my legs still felt like lead. But today I turned the corner and I am ready for Sunday. Except for the fact that today I used my paddles while swimming and they kicked my ass. So I may not be able to use my arms much on Sunday but hey, with all this paddle work I might not have to work too hard to get my arms ready for the wedding!

So now I am in search of a 5k for Sunday. Being part of the NYRR makes it hard to ever really find 5k's. NYRR does a ton of races but they are mostly 4 mile races and it is seldom that they do races back to back. And all other races in the area really don't' start until April or May, so I might get stuck doing some mile repeats instead.

Either way I am ready to go! I am totally motivated right now and I am really enjoying my training. So I will hold onto this feeling while it lasts! Happy Friday!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Man it Feels Good to Be Back!

So this weekend was my first race back in six months. It was an easy 4 miler in Central Park that I have done before. I went into it not knowing how I would do or really what I should push for. We spent Saturday night on the couch printing out pictures and watching TV and on Sunday I got up at 6am to devise my plan. I figured I would do whatever I could in the first mile since I would be probably in a decent herd until the group thinned out a bit. Then push the 2nd mile, taper the 3rd and go for it on the 4th. As Nick and I drove into the city I said, I was going to be conservative about my goals since I hadn't run a race in a while and because I hadn't run outside and that I was going to go for 9:00 min miles.

Nick dropped me off on 89th Street to pick up my number and then I began my walk to 72nd Street to the race start. On my walk I was thinking about how cold it was and basically getting in my own head about the race. I finally resigned to not thinking about anything besides not slipping on the ice and made it to the start. At the start they warned us that there was a lot of black ice on the road and that we should be careful. And there it was, plain and clear, my excuse if I didn't do well. I could blame the ice. Off went the gun and off I went as well.

In the first mile I tried my hardest to not try and kill myself by taking off, but I just couldn't stop myself. I ran the first mile in 8:37, at which point I realized that I could and wanted to really push myself. I took off, it was like a totally different person running from last year. I figured I would push myself to the point of exhaustion and if I crapped out before 4 miles, then now I know my limits, if I didn't though, that meant I need to keep pushing myself until I find them. So that is what I did. I pushed myself harder than I ever have and kicked being conservative to the curb for the morning. I crossed the finish line at 33:07 with a pace of 8:16 min/miles. And that is the fastest I have ever run! Talk about a great first race back.

In the end my laps looked like this:
Mile 1 8:37
Mile 2 8:11
Mile 3 8:18
Mile 4 7:53

And I couldn't be happier. I am looking forward to a different type of season this year. I feel like a different more determined person and I can't wait to see how it all pans out. But for now I am enjoying the two rest days I have and taking some nice hot Epsom salt baths.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

I Think I am in Need of a Refresher Course

So with my first race coming up this Sunday, I started thinking about the usual stuff. You know, like what time do I need to get there, what should I eat that morning, what is my warm up and I realized I don't remember any of it! I am going to have to have Coach P debrief me a bit before 9am this Sunday. The good thing is that I checked the weather and we are going to hit a balmy 40 degrees! The last time I did this race it was around 15-20 degrees and instead of warming up I spent the 30 minutes leading up to the race hiding in a port-o-john trying to stay warm and listening to the announcer heckle all those participating in the longest football throw competition. Maybe this year I will try to be a little tougher and hang out in the large packs of people at the start with some hand warmers. Doesn't sound real tough when I read it back to myself.

Yesterday I continued with my running experiment, now known as fitness, and got the gym at 6:15am for my 1:05 Z1 run. Now let me tell you that I deserve an award for getting there in the first place. I woke up to about 3 inches of ice on the ground and had to basically ice skate to the gym. About a block into my walk I decided that walking down the center of the street was the safest way to get there and get there I did! So back to the run. I set out and again was not seeing my HR rise that much, although a tiny bit more than my last run. I read my trashy celeb gossip magazine periodically speeding up the treadmill and checking my Garmin. I finished and checked my speed, 9:44 min/miles! I think this could be the real deal people and I am pretty excited about it.

Now let's see how this pans out on Sunday. I am only worried because I haven't run outside in FOREVER, so I can't imagine the world of hurt I am going to be in! But it doesn't have to be my best race, just my first one back.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Welcome to the World of Being Fit

So I am going to cut right to the chase here. Last Friday I ran 50 minutes in Zone 1 at a 10:19 pace and then on Sunday I had a 1:18 run in Z1 and ending up running at the bottom of the zone with a pace of 9:39. What the hell is going on here? This is by far the fastest I have run in Zone 1 in 3 years and it is all just happening in a few weeks. I was actually so surprised by my Sunday run, that I began to think that my brand new Garmin must be broken. I decided that I would talk to Coach P about the issue, since I was totally shocked and his response was perfect, "It's called fitness!". Well there you go! My heart is finally agreeing with what my body is set to do for the next 11 months! It is about freakin time!

And of course, me totally doubting the situation, I am going to plan on running my 1 hour run tomorrow at the same time on the same treadmill to see if maybe it was a fluke. If it is not, then all I have to say about this season is BRING IT!

And speaking of the season, I have managed to rearrange my race schedule to fit in with my wedding and have come up with the following races:

4/2 Queens Half Marathon
5/7 Devil Man Half Lite
5/15 Red Bank Olympic
6/5 Rev 3 – Half Ironman-Quassy
7/24 New Jersey Olympic
9/10 Shoreman Half Iron (not totally sure on this one yet)
11/11 New York Marathon

I will also be participating in the the Gridiron Classic 4 miler in Central Park this weekend. I am kind of excited only because this is my first race back since the accident. Let the comeback story begin!!!!