Tag Archives: breathing

night with nathan

Tonight, I had my first night with nathan. Ang gave me nathan as a birthday gift…she’s so sweet. I’m excited to have my very own nathan…and a pink one at that!

For those of you who don’t know about nathan, nathan sports is a company that creates some pretty awesome products for athletic training. Check them out! If you’re like me and a company’s background and mission draw you in, their story and brand is pretty great.

Meet nathan (nate, if you’re close to him). As you can see we’re getting along great already…

Nate and I had a great run tonight. Breathing was great, legs felt pretty good and mostly recovered from the weekend’s long runs, and nate kept me cool.

After I had dinner (homemade spaghetti, meatballs, and garlic bread at mom & dad’s…mmm!) and took a relaxing nap outside, I grabbed nate to head out for a run by my parents’ house. Kid Rock, The Doobie Brothers, and Natasha Bedingfield came along with us as well…and everyone got along great tonight. I think I’ll be taking everyone out with me again in the near future.

Although it was a hot & humid evening, we managed. Nate was there for me…kept me hydrated and kept me cool. In fact, I’m pretty sure more water ended up on my head than in my mouth. But, hey whatever it takes–that’s why it’s necessary to carry water! Thanks to nate, I had a delightful run tonight…and I think I’m going to be hanging up the water belt now that I have nate. Sure, the water belt will likely be jealous…but I have to admit–nate has won me over!

As nate and I were getting back, my lovely mom was outside and she snapped a nice end-of-run photo. So, with that I leave with you an end-of-run photo for my end-of-blog-post photo. Happy Running!

First night run with nathan…sucess!

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final pre-training goal: learning to take your time

Today’s run was a fantastic one. I took my iPod with me, my chosen playlist didn’t let me down, and my breathing was better than average. Today’s mission was to get in a good run that lasted more than 30 minutes. Mission accomplished. Not only was the mission accomplished, but it was one of my better runs, and I am happy to say that lately I feel like I have been writing more and more about runs that have been good rather than bad.

I usually start thinking about this blog while I’m running and about what my next post will be about. During this past week I have had a few thoughts, and it was today’s that I decided was most relevant and important for me. Today I realized that my best runs are the ones when I take time.

Sure, the concept seems simple enough. Take your time doing anything and your results are sure to be better than trying to rush through anything.

When there are a million and one other things going on during the day this is actually a difficult thing to accomplish. I noticed that the majority of my runs that are bad runs are the result of trying to cram too much distance into too little time, or setting unrealistic goals for the day’s run…and if it’s not one of those things, it’s something right along the same line.

I decided that there is an easy solution to that: I will take my time to run.

Remember just a few weeks ago when I wrote about making running a priority? Well, if it is a priority that means I will allow enough time in the day to meet that day’s running goal. So, there is no reason I should not be able to take my time and meet my running goals. Now, this is not to say that every day is going to be a great running day because I am well aware that there are, and will continue to be, various other factors that affect my runs. However, this is to say that I know that there is at least this one thing I can do to work toward making each one of my runs that much better; and, because I know this, I have a powerful tool that will help me be a better runner.

This week is my last week of pre-training. Next week begins my strictly scheduled workouts and the countdown to Oct. 17, which just four months away. So, pre-training’s final goal: learning to take your time.

I’m looking forward to ending pre-training and getting into the thick of things with all of you. Who else is running Detroit on Oct. 17? Are you ready to kick it into high gear?

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making running a priority, seven-mile monday, and sweating like a girl

I was supposed to run 7 miles yesterday. I didn’t. I was exhausted and needed to get rest more than anything. So, I decided the smart thing to do would be get rest, hydrate, and move my 7 miles to today.

Smart move.

I got home from work today, fit a power nap in, then I put my running clothes on. Sure, I would have loved a longer nap but it is necessary to make running a priority. That is one of the biggest things that needs to happen in the coming months: running must be a priority in 2010. This was something that was made clear by one of my dear friends, Elisabeth (much love, dear), yesterday. I had a really good chat with her on my way home from the west side of the state yesterday. We were just catching up and we talked about running, of course. Now, that girl is amazing…and she is a proud marathon finisher. We are quite similar and I know that if she can find it in herself to train for and run 26.2 miles, I can dig deep enough to do the same. She reassured me of this, and it was great motivation.

With that in mind, I made running a priority today. I want to run 26.2 miles six months from now, so I believe I can make running a priority for the next six months. I really wanted to go meet up with my friends for Monday night shenanigans, but I opted out because I needed to get 7 miles in. I tried to get my brother to come along and ride his bike while I ran but he wasn’t having it today. Instead, I took my iPod with me. This is the first time in quite awhile that my iPod has been along for a run. I had a great shuffle of songs – everything from Elton John, Kid Rock, The Lost Prophets, Third Eye Blind, Trisha Yearwood to Jay-Z, Fergie, 3OH!3, Gwen Stefani, etc. It was quite a mix, and it got me through a strong 7 miles.

After a long day of still being pretty tired, I needed a good solid run. It was a perfect way to destress on a Monday evening, and honestly who really likes Mondays? I know I’m not the biggest fan of Mondays, and completing a great run was a great way to turn today into a good day. I had 7 whole miles to clear my head, breathe, relax, and enjoy being with me on the road running with nothing to worry about…not a care in the world other than running, going strong, and sweating like a girl.

Yes, I said it…sweating like a girl.

I wore long sleeves and shorts today. It was a nice out, a little breezy – I probably would have been fine with a tank top but something compelled me to go with a long-sleeve top today. (Warning: if you are so sure that girls don’t sweat and that they only glisten, and if girls who sweat gross you out for whatever reason, stop reading now.)

As I was somewhere around the beginning of mile six or so, I had to adjust my headband. Now that I have shorter hair I have to wear a headband and bobby pins in my hair to keep everything pulled back and up. Wow, my headband was sweaty. I could feel the sweat dripping down my face. Now, the fact that I was sweating was no news to me. I am 110% positive this started much earlier than mile six. I’ll be the first to tell you that when I work out, I work hard and I am not afraid to sweat. However, it was today, at this moment near the beginning of mile six that I realized the joy in working out, going hard, and giving it your all…and in sweating. Yeah, I said it…relax.

There is nothing pretty about running long distances – sweat pours out of your body, you breathe hard, you spit on the side of the road if you have to, you pour water on your head during long runs on hot days, you get blisters on your toes, and you certainly don’t look or smell like roses when you finish your run. But, for me that is part of why I love running. The fact that there isn’t much pretty about it makes it that much better.

Yes, I like to get ready and do my hair, wear cute shoes, put make-up on, and accessorize, but just as easily as I can put effort into looking nice, I can put effort into sweating and finishing a good workout. Yeah, I sweat like a girl when I workout…and let me tell you, girls sweat. All those girls who “glisten,” and have seemingly non-existent sweat glands, I have no doubt that there are plenty of girls who are jealous. But, I have to tell you…for me, there is a satisfaction in the fact that I don’t merely glisten. After a hard workout, I feel like I worked hard, I look like I worked hard, I stink like I worked hard, and you know what…I did work hard.

That’s what sweating like a girl is about. And, why not sweat like a girl? I mean, after all…saying “I sweat like a girl” sounds much more powerful and hardcore (maybe even a little prettier;) ) than “I sweat like a man,” which sounds kinda gross and improper 🙂

So, girls…I challenge you to go out there and sweat (and guys…well, you should go out there and sweat too).

Seven-mile Monday and all that goes with it…success.

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weekend recap

Well, weekends usually bring long runs but after a few longer runs this past week I needed to work on my body, stretching, and allowing my body to recover correctly so longer runs weren’t the case for me yesterday and today.

After a fabulous time on Friday night at a wrap party in Hollywood (I know, I’m so fancy…right?! LOL), my friends and I knew I would not be waking up for the weekly Saturday morning run at 8:30am. However, at 6:30am on Saturday morning I popped up without an alarm and even though I was still a little tired I was determined to stay awake, get ready, and head out for the morning run with the group.

Sure enough, I had some breakfast and headed out to meet with everyone. A beautiful Saturday morning down at the beach and we tackled a great run. I fit in a 4.5 miles and felt great, and stretched out for a little while after the run.

We went out to dinner last night, and I tried to keep it healthy yet delicious at the same time. I succeeded for the most part, with an entree of sesame-crusted seared ahi tuna, sweet potato fries, and grilled zucchini. The martini I had was even acai berry (is acai berry still good for you if it is in a cocktail?!). That was all fine and dandy…then Jeremy decided we needed gelato for dessert. It was delicious, and everyone needs sweets every now and then. I had a small (they let me have 3 flavors!) with roasted banana flavor, extra dark chocolate flavor, and cinnamon flavor. Mmm mmm, good.

It was apparent everyone was exhausted when afterward we planned on going out, but then we ended up at my apartment just hanging out. We called it a night and I went to bed as soon as everyone went home, expecting that I would get a lot of rest and wake up early for a Sunday morning run.

I certainly did get a lot of rest and did wake up early, but a Sunday morning run just was not in the works for me. Instead, I headed out for breakfast and some errands with Chris and Kelly. I did wear workout apparel though so that I was sure to get a workout in later.

I did a long stretching session this afternoon, so I am waiting to get a good workout in tonight. It’s not good to workout after stretching out too much–the long stretches should come in post-workout or during a stretch-only time. I have found that works out best for me.

Tonight I will get in a 1.5-mile run and some strength training. I’m looking forward to a shorter run to work on a quicker pace, and this will then help me with increasing my pace on longer runs as well. I’ll also be able to work on my breathing, so if I can get some better breathing going during the quick-pace, shorter workouts I should be able to easily transfer that to longer workouts as well.

Good weekend workouts to end the month just the right way! January has been a success in kicking off the 10-month training process to successfully make it to 26.2 in October, with a gradual mileage increase, solid strength training routine, and enough stretching to keep the muscles in good condition.

Looking forward to another fantastic month in February, full of its own challenges and experiences. Hopefully by the end of February I will have mastered consistent breathing techniques and will maintain motivation.

What are your exercise goals for the February?

Weekend workouts…success.

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a lesson in patience

I was ready to go for a run outside today, but then after getting ready and grabbing my iPod Shuffle (new playlist just added) I realized my Shuffle was not charged. Oh well…I could go without music. Then, I stepped outside and it had just started to rain again. With the rain has been, I knew if I decided to go for a run in the rain it would probably be my luck that it would just downpour. I decided I would just head to the cardio center and workout on the treadmill instead. At that point, I had certainly wished my Shuffle was charged, but whatever…I decided I could get through it with the sound of the treadmill and the TV that is on the wall in the cardio center.

My goal today was a solid hour workout on the treadmill that allowed me to push myself. I knew this was going to be somewhat difficult because running on the treadmill for a long period of time is a challenge anyway, but without music I knew it would be that much more difficult.

I hopped on and started with a walking warm-up. After I was feeling good and warmed up, I figured I should get my run on. I knew I needed to push myself today, too. So, I ended up wooooorrrrkiiiing out!! I stayed on the treadmill for one hour, doing a walk/run combo workout and in the back of mind kept the thought that I wanted to workout for longer than an hour today.

As I approached that 60-minute mark, which you know I have been working with lately and that you have been reading about, I was certainly tired and ready to end the workout for the day. I knew I had to push through though–plus, what was my rush? It wasn’t like I had a million things to do the rest of the day.

That was when I was reminded that with running must come patience. For those of you who know me, you know very well that I am always moving, always ready to go, go, go. Patience has never really been my cup o’ tea…even though I have tried tirelessly to become more patient. Well, today on the treadmill, I reminded myself I need to work on my patience, especially if I am going to be increasing my mileage, and finishing the Detroit marathon.

Along with patience, I believe that my breathing will also get better. I will learn to be in the moment; to leave myself enough time to stretch, warm up, get a full and proper work out in, cool down, and stretch again; and, finally leave enough time for a post-workout shower and replenishment of vitamins and liquids. Setting time aside to work out is, after all, about more than just the meat of the workout itself. As I get better at this, I will surely be more at ease, my workouts will be more effective, and my endurance will build.

Another way to look at this is if I am going to continue updating this blog to capture my journey to Sunday, October 17th, I need time to think about what I will write and how I want to write that day. A good workout is the perfect time to get that all figured out!

So, as I finished my hour walk/run combo, I set the treadmill for 15 more minutes. I wanted to push myself a bit more, and put my patience to the test. I increased the incline and got a great speedwalk in for 15 minutes, followed by a cooldown.

My accomplishment today was a solid 1 hour and 15 minute workout on the treadmill, which landed me at just more than 6.5 miles!

Walk/run workout + lesson in patience + breathing…success!

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watching the crashing waves

Last night, I went out with the three coolest people I have met in California to see Pee Wee Herman Live. Chris, Kelly, Jeremy and I started the night at Trader Vic’s for dinner–delicious food and nice atmosphere. We had Beef Cho-Cho for an appetizer–mini skewers of beef in a delightful sauce that came to our table uncooked, along with an open flame (we’ll call this a mini hibachi, for all practical purposes). We got to cook each mini skewer, for about 25-30 seconds to get it to cooked perfection, and indulge in this wonderful appetizer. After this lovely dinner, we have some time before Pee Wee was going to begin so we stopped at New Zealand Natural for ice cream. That was some of the most delicious ice cream I have ever put inside of this little mouth of mine. I had Spotty Dog flavor (basically a chocolate chip of sorts)…on a sugar cone, which was wonderful because I swear to you, out of all the frozen yogurt and ice cream places out here it is extremely difficult to come across one that has cones! Sheesh. Anyway, so to continue our lovely evening at the Nokia Center we headed to the Pee Wee Show. It was great–just like the television show, and Pee Wee does not look or sound like he has aged a bit at all (granted I’m sure plastic surgery and botox advancement have been able to help with this 🙂 ). Great show, even though the guy sitting next to Kelly knew EVERY line and was reciting it (weird and rather annoying).

So, you might be wondering why I’m telling you about all of this in my running blog. And the reason is because these three lovely people that I went out with last night are the three coolest people I have met in SoCal, and I met them because of running. We all run for different reasons, but the fact of the matter is that we run for fun, and that is what initially brought us together. I feel pretty lucky that I have made these great friends, all thanks to taking a chance on a running group to meet a few people in my area and do something I enjoy.

Enough mushy gushy…I have awesome friends…thank you, running…thank you, friends stuff…ON TO TODAY’S RUN!

Now, we are all part of Meetup and set up runs throughout the week to get people together to run…and lately it has been rare for me to head out with the group to run. And, don’t even ask Chris, Kelly or Jeremy about me getting out for an early morning weekend run…because they’ll just laugh and make fun of me and my “non-morningness,” and the fact that I say I just can’t do it at 8:30am in the morning if I’m out too late the night before.

So last night I sort of alluded to the fact that I would make it out for this morning’s run. Sure enough, this morning I woke up and met the group for a run. Although they continued on to a quite hilly area, I chose to tackle one hill and turn around and continue my run, to get a good hour in on flatter ground. I was glad I remembered my Cho-Pat knee strap today…what a difference it makes to wear that. My knee feels so much better when I put that on and keep everything aligned while out on a run. Tackling my hour with today’s playlist, crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean, I continued on and made it remembering to keep my breathing in check. I also was sure to keep moving at a solid pace. Slowing down too much can surely tire you quicker, and I was able to settle into a nice pace that kept me around a 9:30 mile.

I finished my hour run and met them back at our meeting point, and we all felt great after getting a good run in. Jeremy, the machine that he is, was still off a run…finishing something like 18 miles or so I am sure…that’s a good solid normal workout for him. However, Chris, Kelly, and Julie (Kelly’s sister) and I were done and ready for some breakfast. We cooled off, stretched, and headed over to the Yellow Vase in Redondo Beach.

It was absolutely beautiful outside so we grabbed a nice picnic table out front of the restaurant and enjoyed a lovely Sunday breakfast. I had a caramel latte and strawberry almond french toast. DELISH!

All in all…a great run today…still working with that 60 minute mark and really making progress. Thanks to a great night last night, some extra motivation, and the sun shining this morning, I got in a solid run and feel great.

Now, after a nice Sunday afternoon…it’s time to get ready for a little dinner party tonight. Steaks on the grill, mashed potatoes, biscuits, salad, wine, and fun.

Friends who run and eat together stay together, right!?!

Morning workout along the ocean…success.

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getting used to that 60 minute mark…so i can pass it later…

Like I mentioned the other day, I am trying to work on getting used to being on my feet for a long period of time in preparation for the marathon. This, combined with using every muscle in my body to get stronger, will be one of the greatest challenges.

As I did a workout today in the cardio center today (once again, TONS of rain and wind in LA…as in downpours, not good running rain) I took note of a few things (other than the dog running on the treadmill next to me–more to come on that in  moment) that I have been noticing as I embark on my training plan. A few major things I noticed that I must work on are my breathing patterns, my leg muscles, my knees, and my hip flexors.

None of this comes as a major surprise to me, especially the knees. For those of you who know me, you likely know that I have been through physical therapy and have struggled with weak knees in the past. Well, thank goodness I learned how to take care of my knees through all of that physical therapy I went through. I will certainly be working on some strengthening exercise to strengthen my knees and the surrounding muscles, especially my quads which will help my knee strength as well.

Breathing patterns are one of my biggest weaknesses and I need to really work on figuring all of that out.

Other than that, I am focusing on amount of time spent working out rather than mileage right now. Mileage will come after I get myself going, into good patterns, and can endure. Right now, I am working with a solid 60-minute time that I would like to continue use as a marker. I will continue with that mark, and I will eventually be comfortable with it and will push past it, no doubt.

So now that business has been taken care of…the dog on the treadmill. This is a true story, and just proof that I truly need to have some type of camera on me at all times. I walk down to the cardio center today and sure enough, some chic is walking her dog on the treadmill! It is one thing to walk your dog on your own treadmill but really, do you need to walk your dog on in public workout room? Ugh! Luckily, she wasn’t there for much longer after I got there. Weird…but whatever…to each his own, right?

Today’s workout: 45 minutes on the treadmill–combo of running and speed-walking on an incline, and 15 minutes on the bike.
Total mileage covered: about 7.5 miles

Off to shower and get ready…I’m going to see one of my favorite bands, Rocco DeLuca & The Burden, tonight!

Cardio center…success.

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