Marathon Training – Week 12 – Keeps Gettin’ Better

I love that when I let go of all expectations, doubt, anger, angst, frustration … everything in week 5, things just started to come together for me without me having to try.  Seriously … I threw my temper tantrum during the SF Half, cried for a minute when I got home, and decided to let it go because really there was nothing that I could do about it at all.  All I could do was realize that my running self was having a hard time, pray about it, and let the pieces fall as they may.  I couldn’t force myself to run, I could only hope that I could finish out the year.  But it was in that letting go that something happened.  For one, I decided that complaining was not going to make it any better.  I also decided that I was going to listen to me and MY body, not what everyone else was doing or saying.  It was a great choice because my training got better!  =)

I changed up my workouts in the beginning of September.  I decided to do more resistance training … and that was a GREAT move!  I now have a great trainer who not only trains my body, but talks to me and lets me know that I’m okay, that I CAN do many things that I originally believed that I couldn’t.  He’s working on making me a “Phenomenal Athlete.”  I like that.  He reminds me that it’s in me, that I am a BEAST.  When I wane, he’s harder on me.  I’m always asking, “Are you sure that I can do this (or that)?”  The answer is always a resounding, “Yes, Row.”  So I have learned to stop asking, to just suck it up and do the work, and get it done!  I watched myself in the mirror the other day and I caught a glimpse of what other people see.  I was amazed at the strength of my little body.  My trainer calls me a “Power House.”  I saw it.  There are times when I ask, “Really?”  And I know that the answer is always, “Without a doubt, really!”  Mind you, I have to work very hard to get the work done, but know that it gets DONE!

Sunday:  Oh Sunday … this weekend kicks my hiney!  Lots of excuses, but the only one I have is that I am truly exhausted beyond belief working that three in a row!  So … I did nothing!

Monday:  Monday was rough.  I was going to just skip out on any kind of morning workout whatsoever because of the fact that I had just worked a full three day weekend and it seriously kicked my butt.  Working those three days are hard enough, but couple it with being short staffed, and being completely busy … It was rough.  I didn’t workout at all over the weekend (Saturday or Sunday).  It was all I could do to just get myself home and into bed.  But on Sunday, my workout buddy, Becky, sent me a text that read, “Let’s go workout at 0800!”  I explained to her that I was working a 12 hour night shift, and kinda whined a little, but in the end going to workout with Becky was something that I didn’t want to miss … Sooooo … I rushed myself out of work that morning, drove like a maniac down the freeway (because I was more than 25 mins away) to get there on time and guess what?!?  No Becky!  I almost just stayed in my car, and left, but I’m not like that.  I was already there, I may as well just get the work done!  So … The workout went down like this:

Run 800m
20 High Knees
20 Butt Kickers
20 Jacks

4 x 20 Back Squats (65#) with a 400m run in between each set

The Workout:
5 Min Rounds/AMRAP, 1 min rest in between rounds
#1 – 10 Pull Ups, Clean & Jerk Ladder
#2 – 2 Clean & Jerks, Burpee Lateral Jump Ladder
#3 – 3 Clean & Jerks, 3 Burpee Lateral Jumps, 6 Pull Ups

Let me tell you that after the second round of those back squats, I couldn’t feel my legs.  They were total jello.  Running was difficult.  When we got to the actual workout, I was wondering if I really had it in me. This workout kicked my ass so bad I dry heaved for an hour afterwards!!! An hour, seriously!  I finish all of the workouts and do the work, but damn, it’s rough some days. My trainer had to remind me that I had just finished working a 12 hour night shift with no rest so I still rocked it! I know I’m getting stronger.

Tuesday:  I love Tuesdays.  Not that I have a specific workout, I just like Tuesdays.  I hit the gym at 0900 and noticed that the parking lot was empty.  I mean, usually it’s FULL of cars that I fret that I won’t get a parking space.  But today it was empty.  Just me and a few peeps, which I thought would be cool … and it was until I looked at the board.  I shouldn’t have looked.  I should’ve just started my warm-up and got out of my head.  Instead, I took a peek, then I literally ran out of the building – well, you know, for my warm up run, of course!  Hello!

Warm Up:
Run 800 m

5 x 3 Strict Pushes (Overhead) after finding max weight. 55# was my max weight for today. I tried 65, but I could hardly get 2 up so I backed down.

The Workout:
3 Rounds, no rest in between
25 Wall Balls (14# ball)
25 Double Unders
25 GHD Sit Ups
25 Double Unders
25 KB Swing (35#)
25 Double Unders
400m Run

Today I learned a lot about myself.  I learned that I am stronger that I believe myself to be.  I doubted that I could do the 35lb kettlebell.  I complained that it was “too heavy.”  That’s always my big complaint.  And my trainer had to remind me, “It’s not, trust me.  Have you seen your guns lately?  They can handle it.”  Alrighty then.

This workout sucked.  It was literally the workout from H-E-Double Hockey Sticks!  I barely finished round one and I was dying.  Round 2, I wanted to just up and quit.  Round 3, I said, “F– It!  Just get it done, Row.!”  Whoa!  It was hard.  Dang!  But I finished, and I finished with a feeling of accomplishment.  My trainer reminded me that it was all about finishing, gettin’ the job done.  And I did, 14# Wall Ball and 35# KB and all.  Those sucked!!!  LOL!  The entire workout sucked!

Wednesday:  I can feel my core.  It’s tight and it looks awesome.  But I’m tired today, so I decided to just lay low and lay down!  Hee hee hee!  Yep.  I’m calllin’ it a rest day.

Thursday:  I was lucky, and due to unforseen circumstances way beyond my control, I was able to leave work early and hit the 0700 class with my buddy, Becky! =) I was excited, then not so very excited when I saw the workout. LOL!

The Warm-Up: 800m Run, stretch. 15 of each:  Squats, Opposing heel reaches, Rock & Roll Ups, Jacks.

The Workout:
500m Row
50 Box Jumps
500m Row
50 Push-Ups
500m Row
50 Ring Dips
500m Row
50 Burpees
Run 1.5 miles

It doesn’t sound bad, but when you get to those burpees, it’s rough and I was thinking that I should just bust them out. The harder I tried, I tuckered faster. But I got it done. So it’s all good! =) A little tired from being up all night, but I. Am. DONE!!! I still love my trainer though!!!

Friday:  I’m pretty tore up!  My core is screaming soooo bad.  So I lay on the couch and rest my little tore up self.  I sent a text to my trainer and told him so, and he said that’s how I should be feeling after working out HARD all week!  Damn!

At the Expo! Never mind that I look like I'm 12!
Love my bib!

Saturday:  Another rest day.  Today Chris and I head out to Half Moon Bay for the Half Moon Bay International Marathon.  I’m running the half tomorrow.  Packet pick up was easy, fun, small.  We met some really nice people there.  Chris was able to register as a volunteer and then we hit the hotel before heading back to the dinner.

Sam's Chowder House in HMB
Our view from our table.
Our dinner table.

Dinner was at Sam’s Chowder House.  They offered an enormous Pasta Feed which included a menu of Ceasar Salad, Manhattan Clam Chowder, Seafood Pasta, Bolognese Pasta, or a Vegeterian Pasta choice, soft drinks, and lots of bread.  The atmosphere was very relaxing and peaceful outdoor venue.  The company was even better.  Chris and I were able to meet and mingle with the race director, and we met a lot of the staff who were helping with the marathon.  The food was to die for.  As it was buffet style, we were able to go back for seconds, or even thirds.  We were happy that we took advantage of this!

The rest of the evening was spent searching for a Starbucks for my customary Mocha which will be reheated in the morning, getting my race gear ready, and attempting to get a good night sleep.

As for the actual race … Yeah … it’s a Sunday post, so you’ll have to read about it in week 13’s post!  Don’t worry … It’s well worth the wait!  It’s been a good week for me, albeit somewhat short.  It’s all good though … I got some QUALITY workouts in.  =)

Next week brings the promise of a chance to start over if you need to.  If last week wasn’t the best, here’s your chance to make it better, start over, do better.  Nothing is impossible, and you are the only one that can make the necessary changes that you need to make.  Make up your own mind, and do what you need to do.

On another note, thanks to my friends, Shiloh, and Marci … I’m gonna have some shirts made for Running Code 3.  We decided that our motto is, “Suck It Up, and Do The Work!”  It should be awesome!  =)

Until next week, my running friends … Train hard.  Train Smart.  Eat well.  And most importantly, have FUN!!!  Catch ya’ll later!

Marathon Training – Week 11 – Workin’ It …

I keep saying that I’m going to find that marathon training schedule that I chucked during my tantrum in week 5.  I have yet to find that dang thing.  I think I really threw it away!  Seriously, I can’t find it.  I know kinda what the mileage is, and I’m getting most of the runs in, and the long runs, too.  And if I wanted, I guess I could just print off another schedule … but in that respect, I’m lazy.  Ah well, I’ll eventually get to it seeing as I’m already halfway into it!  I keep saying that I want a new schedule anyway and in a sense, I have made up my own.  I’m running, and I’m getting my long runs in so it’s all good.

I’ve really been training hard.  Seriously … I have been training so hard that I’ve worn my body down slightly.  I’m at a point now where I *need* to rest or I’ll suffer another bout of burnout.  I believe in the last 2 weeks, I’ve had a total of 2 rest days.  As much as my mind loves the workouts and marvels at the results, my poor body has been pretty beat up over the last few weeks.  I’ll see what I can do to scale it down a little bit.  I know.  Crazy.

Ready to GOOOO!
Comin' up to the finish!
The BEAUTIFUL Girl who lured me ...

Sunday:  In a last minute decision, lured by a beautiful girl and her cookies, I decided to sign up and run the Buffalo Stampede and Migration 10 mile run in Sacramento.  I wasn’t going to.  I was perfectly happy to just spend a lazy Sunday at home, but my friend, Shiloh @bakinginheelz, said that she was running and she said that if I came, she would bring me the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies I have been coveting.  Okay … I’m tellin’ you … a beautiful girl and her cookies.  How could I say no?  I registered before the deadline and I was “IN.”

Done and Happy!  =)The race itself was a very nice run that started at Rio Americano High School and went thru a very posh neighborhood of East Sacramento.  It seriously reminded me of running thru the neighborhood that surrounds the University of the Pacific here in Stockton, but better.  Ten miles of beautiful houses … how could one not dream build during this run?  Loved the course.  Loved the support from the CHP, the kids of Rio Americano High School, and just miscellaneous volunteers.  The course was well marked, and it had enough aid and water stations throughout.  One pit stop for me at mile 6 – I’m glad I stopped too ’cause I really had to goooo!  I was bombarded by a guy with a box of donuts once I stepped out, but I already told him that I was getting cookies at the end!  The weather was perfect and the pre-race speech had a lot of people choked up.  The only downer … no bling!  =(  But we did get a really cool reflective vest!

The "goods," the bait ... PURE Yumminess!!! Thanks, ShiShi!

I ran alone as it was a last minute run, and I signed up for the Migration Run (>10min/mi) vs. The Stampede (<10min/mi) so I started an hour earlier than my friends who I knew were running:  Shiloh and Mike Bravo @MikeBravo11.  I saw Mike around mile 7 where we high fived.  That was a much needed boost.  It was nice to see a friendly face, not that there were unfriendly faces on the course, I just didn’t know anyone.  I did run with a man named Jay off/on throughout the ten miles.  It was during the last 2 miles that we interacted.  I kept telling him that we were almost done, that we needed to finish strong. He was happy that I was there to help him. That’s what it’s about to me … having fun, and helping others get to the finish. =) (Just don’t tell Jay that I was really talking to myself … lol!)  It was a fun run.  I was happy to get my long run in, and to see Shiloh at the end.  Her cookies are to die for, let me tell you.  Moist, oatmeal chocolate chunk cookies.  Mmmmm!

Looking at my time, I was a little disappointed.  However, I had to remind myself that I had worked my legs HARD all week and they really hadn’t been given a break.  I also reminded myself that I was running sick.  Yep … Upper respiratory cold.  I gutted it out.  I didn’t complain.  I was out there, running, and I did well.  At one point as I was running, I looked down at my legs and I could see the changes being made, and I thanked them.  I swear I heard them say, “Girl, you shouldda stayed in bed!”  Seriously, I thought they were going to fall off at mile 9.

I have to tell you that I went to work in the afternoon.  Seriously.  I was floated to part of the hospital that’s new and is about a half mile from where the parking lot is.  I did a lot of walking on this shift as the department is HUGE and my patient load was fairly busy.  I’m sure that I got another 2.5 miles in just walking in my short Princess Shift!  My legs are really getting used to working while tired.  Last week Knotts Berry Farm after a half marathon.  This week, running on tired legs then working immediately afterwards!  My workout on Saturday just about did my legs in.  I’m basically teaching my legs to work while tired … breakin’ them down to build them back up as my trainer would say!

My Saucony Strong!

Monday:  I woke up and knew that I was not going to make any kind of workout today at all.  I could hardly breathe and my body was really screaming for rest.  I wasn’t 100% so I sidelined myself.  I mean, I could’ve just gotten up and gone, but it would not have been a wise choice.  So I laid in bed, becomming one with my mattress.  Instead, I played with Saucony’s “Strong” on their website and ordered my shirt, I slept for the better part of the day, then I got up and got my eyebrows done, and went grocery shopping with the fam.  Easy schmeasy, no stress, very chill day.  Just what I needed.

Tuesday:  Still not 100%, maybe only 85%.  I considered taking another day off, but why?  Why when I could go workout and give all that I had at the gym?  So … I made the decision to suck it up and go, and I’m glad that I did … Here’s how it went:

The Warm-Up:
Run 800m
20 Mountain Climbers
20 Push Ups with Rotations

6 x 5 Back Squats with increasing weight. My max load for today was 140 lbs.
Handstand pushups. Yeah! Love those! =)

Run 800m
10 dumbbell clean & jerks with 20# dumbbells
10 burpees
Run 400m
10 dumbbell clean & jerks
10 burpees
Run 200m
10 dumbbell clean & jerks
10 burpees

Never mind that I was suckin’ in air by the time the last run came around.  Never mind that I couldn’t breathe.  Never mind that my legs were screaming with the last set of clean and jerks.  I was spent, but I felt good!

Wednesday:  I found my lost marathon schedule.  I’m pretty much on track with the short mileage, and most of the long runs that have been due.  I’m okay with what I’ve been doing.  I’ve been running a lot more than I’ve been posting.  Seriously … my runs are all interspersed in my workouts and I’m counting them all.  My long runs have been pretty much spot on.  So all is good.  If my blog workouts look familiar, it’s because I post on Daily Mile so if you follow me on there, you’ll see pretty much the same thing posted.

I missed my morning workout because I was falling asleep at the wheel while driving home.  Not good.  So I slept, got the rest that my body needed, and I decided to get up and hit AMAA for a cardio workout!  I’m glad I went.  I went to the first class thinking that it was early and that if I really wanted to, I could get things done afterwards.  I ended up feeling sooooo good that I stayed for a double.  Yep!  1.5 hours of pure cardio and resistance.  I was my usual “Front Row” obnoxious self!  It felt “easy” and I felt great.  The first class was torture using the resistance cuffs around my ankles!  Jump lunging, knee strikes, mountain climbers, and kicking by itself if hard, with the cuffs on they are rough, but I did it.  Lots of kicking, push ups, planks to push ups, ab work … yeah … I got my friend Karyn to stay for the second class with me.  We thought we were doomed in the first few minutes of the class, but it got better.  Ladder/agility work, more push ups with punches, ab work, knees, and so much more stuff!  We laughed the whole time because we were having FUN!!!  =)  I love Karyn!  I love all my peeps at AMAA!!!

Thursday:  I knew today was going to be a good day!  I love when I know I’m gonna get my butt whipped!  I got there and got started right away …

Today was such a FUN workout for me! I loved it. Kinda crazy, I know, but I felt really strong despite sucking in some serious air!!!

The Warm Up:
20 yd knee raises
20 yd butt kicks
20 quad stretches
20 leg squats
20 opposing heel reaches
800m run

6×2 80lb Push Presses

The Workout:
2 min at each station (no breaks):
Burpee Wall Climbs (10)
Tire Flip (26)
Box Jump (35)
Distance Stone Carry (40lbs/525yds)

I loved this workout.  It made me feel strong throwing myself over the wall, and doing all that work.  I felt so proud of myself when my trainer called me a “Power House.”  It made me work harder!  =)  I just enjoyed myself.  I’m getting stronger!  I can feel it.

Friday:  I woke up feeling as if I really shouldn’t go or do anything.  I wanted to be lazy.  Seriously lazy.  I could’ve skipped my workout this morning. I could’ve, but I didn’t. I chose NOT to. I chose to go, and make the best of it because I love my workouts!  I seriously LOVE my workouts with my trainer, and I feel the effects of my workouts for HOURS afterwards.

The Warm-Up:
3 min Row.
20 Lateral High Knees
20 Good Mornings
20 Roll & Reaches

25 Walking Lunges with a 25lb plate held over head then 300 jump ropes x 2 sets.

Workout – 3 Rounds of:
15 Burpee Box Jumps
15 Dead Lifts (90lbs)
15 Wall Ball Squats (20lb ball)
Run 600m

By the third round I was seriously considering hanging myself. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t get my HR down. I was thinking that there was seriously something wrong with me. I asked my trainer if this was normal. He said that he’d be more concerned if I wasn’t feeling like I was. o_O Really?  I felt as if I got hit by a train!  Heehee … My “train-er” kicked mah behind!  Lucky for me …It’s kinda like giving birth … I have a very short memory of the pain and I “forgot” and felt soooo FABULOUS afterwards.

Speedwork kicked my booty!  I know that it makes a big difference in my performance, and I know that it’s good for me … so I do it.  I only did 30 minutes worth, but it was enough!  =)

Saturday:  I haven’t done much in terms of running this week.  I mean, I’ve been running, but not “just running.”  I know that I’m missing a long run this week, and that’s okay with me.  Eventually, I’ll make it up somewhere, somehow.  I’ve been training my body HARD in other ways and I’m loving it as I’m having FUN!!!  With that being said … I did nothing today.  NOTHING.  Working my three day weekend kicks my a$$.  Imagine a 12 hour night shift, short staffed, busy as all get up, running around, without a break or lunch for 10 hours … yeah.  So you’ll forgive me that I did absolutely zero.  My body probably needed it.  My body always needs the rest, but I keep pushing it to it’s limits which is how I like it.  Hey!  As long as I can, I will continue to do as much as I can.  Okay?  Okay!

It became “official” last night that my friend Rosa and I will be doing Muddy Buddy San Jose in October.  I almost didn’t sign us up because of the fact that I know Rosie has been having a rough time these last few months.  I was waiting for her to give me the “go ahead.”  I waited patiently.  I was even secretly coveting my day off … But I knew that she wanted to do it.  She needs to find her “new normal.”  And I promised to help her.  So … I signed us up!    We are “Team Nucking Futs!”  Don’t mix the letters up now!  It’s gonna be a good race.  Good because this will be our third race together – and we promised to keep going until we got it “right.”  Good because I want Rosie to get out and find herself again.  Good because I love my Rosie, and I know that we’ll have a great time together!  We always do!   I plan to conquer the bike again this year, as I have in years past!  So … Look out San Jose!  Rosie and Row will be in the house at Mt. Hamilton!

So that’s my 11th week in a nutshell.  Pretty cool, ‘eh.  I’ve been workin’ mah behind off getting my entire body stronger.  I can feel it, and I can see it.  I love my trainer.  I love my friends who support me from near and far.  Speaking of friends … I got a SUPER cool package in the mail on Friday from my friend, Maddy @maddyhubba!  I feel sooooo loved, but ya’ll are gonna have to wait to see what I got!  I really do have some awesome supporters!  So … what does Week 12 bring?  I know!  A happy weekend with my awesome husband coming up in Half Moon Bay for it’s inaugural Half Moon Bay International Marathon  next Sunday which I was blessed to have gotten into as there are only 500 runners total for the entire race!  Whoo hoo! I’m excited!  I really lucked out with this race entry!

10 weeks out to CIM people!  3 weeks to Muddy Buddy!  4 weeks to Nike Womens!  5 weeks to Stockton Half!  6 weeks to Folsom Down & Dirty (haven’t reg’d for this one yet).  7 weeks to Fresno Two Cities!  OMG!  I’m tired just thinking about all of this! My schedule is full!  October’s gonna be soooo busy for me!  Eek!  But if I know one thing, I know that I am ready!  =)

Let’s get out there, peeps!  We got this!  Train hard.  Train smart.  Have fun.  Eat well!  =)  See you next week!

Marathon Training – Week 10 – Changes Abound …

It’s week 10, halfway there I’m guessing.  I have yet to find the marathon training schedule that I chucked during week 5.  Oi.  Hee hee hee.  I’m slowly finding my mojo and my footing, and am once again getting excited about training.  Life is good, and I know it’s because I seriously changed up my workouts!

Tori, my Twitter BFF, and I at the Disney Expo.
Ali and I

Sunday:  This was seriously the FUNNEST run that I have had in a long time.  Besides the Giants Half last weekend, this Disneyland Half Marathon was a BLAST!  Wow!  My friend Judy, once again had a bib that she was not going to use, so I quickly asked my Twitter BFF, Victoria @easelytorie, if she wanted to run with me.  I got a resounding, “Yes, of course!”  But she was worried about finances, etc.  I explained to her that I was given the bib and that if she wanted it, it was hers.  Last year, she was in a similar predicament where she had to give her bib away, so she was very grateful for the opportunity to run this year.  She had been injured, so she was worried that she would slow me down.  I told her not to worry, that we would just run together and have fun.  We met for the first time in real life at the Disney Health and Fitness Expo.  It was as if we had known each other for a long time!  We also met Ali @alitherunner there, as well as our friends Kristy @kristylpants, and Lauren @liloruns!  Good times.

Row. and Torie ready to goooo!

The run on Sunday was on a day with ideal conditions.  We met early in the morning at my hotel and walked the short walk to the start.  One complaint that I had was that once you got in your corrals, there were no porta potties to be seen!  So although I had to go, I couldn’t unless I walked back out to where they were herding runners.  It was okay, just irritating that waiting in line would add to my time.  Oh well, just subtract 10 minutes from my time.  We hit the first set of porta potties just after mile one – perfect.  Hardly any lines … except people were peeing so s l o w l y … What the heck, people?  Drop and go!  Drop and go! How hard is that?  Heehee!

The run was pretty uneventful, meaning, no running issues for me.  We took water at every water station, and we ran side by side for the entire race.  It was amazing.  I thought that I was slowing her down, and she thought she was slowing me down.  It was perfect pace though.  I had a little twinge in my right foot, but it was tolerable and in the end did not cause me any undue issues.  The weather was awesome – slightly overcast, 60s.  Crowd support was awesome!  The volunteers were great – always smiling and encouraging.  Cheerleaders, Boy Scouts, everywhere … they were so happy, and all I could do was thank everyone for being there for us!  Running thru Angels Stadium was a nice experience.  I high fived all the kiddos, and we saw our friend Kristy as we went in.  Wow!  I loved it.  It was an awesome run with someone who I interacted with only via web and text … She was a great partner!  =)

Disney Blingage!!!
Soooo Much FUN!!!

Post race we were greeted with “cooling” towels, water and, the most important, BLING!!!  We did the post race picture thing, then headed back to my hotel.  This race was very well organized, from parking, the expo, the volunteers, to the corral herding, to the post race festivities.  Everyone knew what they were supposed to do.  I had my reservations in the beginning, but I seriously had a BLAST and can’t wait to run it again next year!!!

Poor feetsies just couldn't catch a break!

I thought I’d catch a little break after the run, however, I had my kiddos with me and they deserved a little fun, too, right?  So while they headed off to breakfast, I hit the showers and got ready.  As it was a little pricey to hit Disneyland for a family of six for just one day, we decided that Knotts Berry Farm was the place to be … and we were right!  The kiddos had sooooo much fun there!  We had heard from the locals earlier that Knotts was definitely much better than Disney.  The Wallen Kiddos are not much into crowds or rides, so this place was perfect!  10 hours and maybef 6-8 miles of walking later, I’m sure that you’d think that my legs would be screaming.  In all honestly, they were not.  I felt great, the only time I ached was when I quit walking for a minute … then my right foot would have a tiny bit of trouble getting started again.  Nothing a quick ice bath couldn’t help with after we got back to the hotel.

Monday:  Monday, Monday … What can I say?  We did a little bit of walking when we hit up Citadel on the way home, but other than that, it was more of a rest day as we headed home.  My kiddos were tired but happy … Life is good … =)

Tuesday:  Back to the grind.  Back to training in full force.  No time for slacking. 1 mile warm up. 3x: 30 kettlebell swings w/ 26lb kettlebell, 30 box jumps, 400m run. Tabata rows x 4 min. Tabata barbell push press alt with burpees x 8 min. Then 3x: 12 push ups, and 12 clean and presses!  Holy cow!!!  I seriously thought I was gonna die, but didn’t.

Wednesday:  Today’s workout left me gasping for breath.  Literally.  1 mile w/u run. 3 x 10 straight legged dead lifts with 75#s, then 30 box jumps. Then 1200 m run, 50 kettlebell swings with 26# kb, 800 m run, 50 kb squats, 400 m run, 200 m run with the kb! Oh. My. God!  All I could do was just lay there for a second to recover.

Thursday:  I made every effort to get to the gym after work.  I brought my clothes, changed into them, but as I was driving I began nodding off.  I decided that it was probably not the best idea so I proceeded to head home and immediately crashed as soon as I hit the bed.  Now, if you think I took a rest day, think again.  I got up early before work, and set a goal to run at least 2 miles.  I ran 3 and felt like a million bucks.  Okay.  Okay … I felt like $1.50, but still … I got the work done.

Friday:  Today I was going to do it.  I once again got dressed, and headed on over to the gym.  I made it this time.  However … I started questioning myself immediately after I got there.  That was quickly nixed in the bud when my trainer said, “You’re here after working all night?  And you’re smiling?  You’re badass.”  Then I saw the workout of the day … Whoa.  Yeah, I was wishin’ that I just went to bed … Warmed up with 1 mile run … Then … For time:
25 Walking lunge steps
20 Pull-ups
50 Box jumps, 20 inch box
30 Wall ball shots, 10 pound ball
30 Kettlebell swings, 26 pound kb
50 Sit-ups
20 Hang squat cleans, 15 pound dumbbells
30 Push Presses, 15 pound dumbbells
30 Push-ups
1/2 mile run

I did this workout after working a full 12 hour night shift. I came in with a smile on my face, and left with an even bigger smile on my goofy face. I gave it 100%. I thought the weights of the DB and KB were a little too heavy, but my trainer said that, “Hey, you are a little bit strong. You are a stud!” So how could you not push harder. I left it all on the floor and am so proud of myself. Love my trainer!

Saturday:  Okay … I really debated getting out of bed for this one.  I should’ve just stayed in bed and slept.  Nooooo … I got my butt outta bed and I went.  Maybe not the bestest idea that I ever had, but too late now.

Warm up: 50 high knees, 50 butt kickers, 50 squats, 10 pull ups, 20 burpees, run 800 m.

150 wallball squats with 14# ball.
30 burpees, 30 DB thrusts. X 3
30 DB deadlifts, 30 jump lunges x3
Run 800 m

This workout put me in check.  See, I have always believed that I was a good athlete and that I’m in fairly good shape.  This workout challenged me and I wondered if I could *really* do it.  Today I’m sooooo sore that I’m starting to doubt my ability.  It probably was not the best idea either as tomorrow I’m running the Buffalo Stampede 10 mile run.  Oh boy.

So … that’s my week in a nutshell.  It’s pretty crazy what I’m doing, changing up my workouts and all, but it’s all good.  I can feel the changes and I’m having fun working out and getting put into place.  It may look like I’m not doing much running, but believe me … it’s there interspersed in all of my workouts.  I’m running on dead legs let me tell you, but it’s good to know that they still move after all that I have put them thru.  My quads, glutes, and hammies are SCREAMING at me!  Screaming, I tell you!  Whoa!  But it’s a good hurt.  It’s a good kind of pain.

Oh … here’s something to ponder … The new “thing” at work is to talk health/fitness/exercise to our patients as part of their vital signs. No problem for me because I practice what I preach. The only issue I have is when patients scoff me, telling me that I’m skinny, etc. They never believe how hard I have to work to stay in the shape that I’m in, and they don’t get the difference between being “skinny” and being “fit.”  A lot of people don’t get that.  Also, ALL of my patients one night – EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM – was a woman between the ages of 45 – 65 who was as round as they were tall. Some didn’t fit on the gurneys properly. All had a BMI of 40 – 60+. What has happened to our society?!? I just don’t even know … I just do the best that I can to help & encourage, but it makes me sad, and, honestly, it creeps me out …  And honestly, I’m not sure why I have to waste my breath for someone who’s not going to do more than lift a fork to their mouths?!  But I’ll do it with the hopes that I may inspire even just one person to get out and get movin’ …

Week 11 comin’ up.  It’s gonna be a good week … I can feel it!  Have a great one, everybody … Train hard, train smart, and you know … have FUN while you’re at it!  =)

Marathon Training – Week 9 – Breakin’ Me Down To Build Me Back Up

It’s no secret that last week’s training for me was somewhat of a joke.  However, I need to remember that even rest days are training days … I just took more than one day.  I took 5 days.  FIVE very much needed days to rest and regenerate.  I’ve still got 12 weeks to go in this marathon training cycle … 12!

It’s just about September (where has the time gone???) and I have 2 Half Marathons scheduled this month!  First one comin’ up this Sunday … The Disneyland Half Marathon in sunny Southern California!!!  I have to tell you that I have a few reservations about this race, just because it was booked on a whim and not really well thought out on my part.  But I’m going to have fun and have a great time with my family!

Sunday:  Planned to get up early and run with the Fleet Feet Group, however, decided it was more important to rest my aching foot and figure out my shoe/insert issues.  Besides … I really wanted to sleep in, okay?  Don’t judge!

Balance and coordination. Serene peace. I love S.U.P.

Over the last few weeks, I have been researching S.U.P. or Stand-Up Paddleboarding.  As an island girl from the beautiful islands of Hawaii, I was an avid beach goer.  Wasn’t really a surfer, more like using it as a flotation device, but I got on and never really got that great at it when it came to riding swells.  When I heard about S.U.P., I knew that it was for me.  My co-worker, Elaine, and I happened to be talking about working out one night at work, and she mentioned that she was going to try it.  What?  Serendipity, right?  We decided that we would go together, and it was by chance that the instructor could include us in her class today!! Really?  That’s awesome!  So off we went to Lodi Lake, where we met the instructor, Tasha, and another student, Melody.  I was hesitant at first, because I’m such a hydrophobe, and this was soooo out of my element, but not to worry … After a mini panic attack when Elaine said that if I fell off that I would not touch the bottom … I caught on quickly and found peace within the water!


Two and a half hours later, I was somewhat proficient at maneuvering the board around Lodi Lake and the Mokolumne River, and found myself inquiring about purchasing my own board, or renting it out for a weekend.  It was a beautiful day, and I got such a GREAT workout in (probably a good 3-4 miles of paddling) … I could feel it in my core and my upper body, but especially in my obliques!  I seriously loved this workout, and I am so glad that I overcame my fear, stepped out of my little box, and went.  It was easier than I thought, and I’m looking forward to more workouts with S.U.P.!

Monday:  OMG!  I rocked my workout this morning!  I love my trainer … he didn’t let me slack at all.  Warm up with jump rope x 5 mins and rowing x 5 mins.  6 x 5 reps with increasing weight loaded front squats, then 20 minutes of Row 250 meters, 20 Kettle Bell Swing Squats, and 10 pull ups – I was able to do 5 rounds of this madness.  Then run … Only once did I want to throw up.  I had such a great workout!  So much fun!

Tuesday:  Today was a killer workout day.  Killer, but a great one none the less.  I’m loving what I’m doing, and I have to say that I “feel” all my workouts.  Today’s workout was a mile warm up.  Turkish Get Ups – 25 on each side with a 9lb kettle bell.  Next up was 5 rounds of 25 GHD sit-ups or 35 regular sit-ups, 20 R side push presses with a 12 lb dumbbell, 15 burpees, then 20 L side push presses again with a 12 lb dumbbell.  Holy Mother of God!!!  By round 4 I was dying, but I pushed through and finished all 5 rounds, then finished up with a one mile run!  Wow!  Let me just say that finishing up that workout left me feeling quite proud of myself!  =)  I love how I was doing push presses and my trainer says, “Row., when you jump, I don’t want you jumping off the ground.”  So I countered, “Why are you trying to keep me grounded?!” And he tells me, “Don’t you worry, you’re gonna fly soon enough!” He’s awesome!  Breakin’ me down to build me up.  Yep.

Wednesday:  I’m feelin’ every bit of my muscles today.  All of ’em.  I’ve got D.O.M.S. at its finest and I love it.  I love that feeling that I’ve “really” worked out.  I almost didn’t go.  I could’ve used the excuse that my body ACHED! I made my way back to AMAA, my second home, and I love my trainers and my peeps there!  They are a great bunch of people.  I’ve made some really good friendships there, and I can’t complain.  Today’s workout was running while Ed added resistance and pulled me with a resistance band that was around me and I used a med ball to first push out, then we switched, Ed ran while I pulled the resistance band behind him and he used the med ball, we ran and switched for awhile all the while with a med ball to work arms and core.  We then slipped on resistance cuffs and proceeded to workout with them – punch with dumbbells, squat knee lift x 2 for 3 min, punch, squat knee lift x 4 for 3 min, punch, squat knee lift x 6 for 3 min, all the way to 8.  Then drop down for pulse ups – HOLY CRAP!!!  I thought they would never end 1:30 on each side!!! Then it was round house kicks with the resistance band 100 on each side.  Yeah … my glutes were SCREAMING!!! We finished off with more combos of kicks and punches that made me happy, also more core … =)  I tell you … I never leave AMAA without a smile on my face.  Everything that I have, I leave it on the floor.  I never slack and I’m ALWAYS in the front row, hence the nickname “Front Row.” I’m thankful for my friends, Karyn, Z, Camille, and Ed who were my motivators today.  They rock!  They always say that it’s me that motivates them, but they help me just as much if not more.  I was very thankful for the movement today as I was seriously TIGHT, especially my right bicep for some odd reason.

Thursday:  Thursday was almost a rest day.  It could kind of be considered a rest day.  I wanted to go workout in the morning, I had every intention.  I didn’t go though.  I slept instead.  In the evening, I hit the spin bike – 11 miles is 35 minutes.  Seated climb, and speed drills … quick, but effective.  Then I hit my core exercises.  Easy schmeasy.  It was a great day.  Went to lunch with my friend, Linda V., who brought out some thought provoking conversation.  I love her.  =)  Since my right forearm was pretty shot, I put the H-wave on it as I fell asleep … It worked like magic.  I woke up with NO pain!  SCORE!!!

Friday:  Holy mother!  My workout today rocked.  It taxed me somewhat, but didn’t take me to my beloved puke point.  Let’s start with my 5 min jump rope, then 1 mile run warm-up.  Then … dead lifts.  Easy, it’s all good, until he changes it up just a little … He tells me to add weight to my 45lb bar.  Okay.  20# on each side.  The routine:  5 push ups with increasing dead lifts from 1 – 10.  No sweat.  Ahhhhh … then 50 wall ball squats, then run 1 mile.  Okay.  I get thru the push ups and deadlifts no problem.  The wall ball squats were a little challenging because my trainer kept wanting me to throw that ball up higher … no, Higher … com’mon, Row., HIGHER!!!  Okay, okay.  I finish the routine in 10 minutes, then head out for my mile run.  My legs were pretty worked over by the time I hit that run, but I gutted it out and finished strong.  Not done yet … nope … get on the row machine, Row.  2000 meters … my goal? 10 mins.   Go!  Missed the goal by a few secs, but I’ll get it  next time.  At my height I was at a  huge disadvantage on the row machine, and my trainer  joked to, “Use your superior height and go!”  It was a fun workout, like I said, it taxed me, but it didn’t take me to puke point.  I can already feel a HUGE difference in the week that I have change up my workouts.

For lunch, I met my friend, Becky, and we went over some goals and came up with a plan for our fitness goals, etc.  It’s gonna be awesome as we have the same goals and aspirations and we have the same mentality when it comes to working out.  Becky and I met at AMAA, and we both teach kickboxing and do Krav Maga.  We have the same hardcore mentality and we just have so much fun together.  She is an awesome human being.  Becky is good for my psyche, my soul, my fitness.  We plan to rock this mutha out!  We have so many ideas and it’s going to be a great ride.

Saturday:  I’m posting this early.  I’m planning to make Saturday my rest day as we’re driving to Southern California for the Disney Half Marathon early in the morning.  I plan only to walk the expo, nothing strenuous.  =)  It’s going to be a fun weekend as I’m going to run with my Twittter BFF, Victoria.  I hope to see and meet many of my friends there.  I’m slightly disappointed that I’m not running with Mac because she opted not to go and sold her bib to Ali.  One of the reasons that I signed up for Disney was to run with her.  Oh well … It’s all good.  I looked for Eeyore colors to wear, however found none … I’m taking it as a sign to not be so blah, and instead I’m going with purple and I’m gonna have FUN! My family plans to hit Knotts Berry Farm while I’m out running and hanging out with my friends.  I’m excited to meet people that I have been interacting with via the net.  =)

As a closing to this post, I just wanted to share a few pics from the Giants Half Marathon from last Saturday.  I had such a good time at this run and my photos show it.  This is what running should look like …  

Cory & I at the start!
Big Cheezer!
Wild Woman!

That’s my week 9 recap!  It’s been a fun week for me getting out of my comfort zone and changing up my workouts.  As I head into Week 10, I’m guessing that I *really* should find my training plan and get serious about my running.  Yep.  Okay.  Okay.  Week 10 brings much promise.  I plan to keep changing it up and working hard.  Life is good.  Train hard, train smart, and have FUN!!!  =)

Marathon Training – Week 8 – Downshifting

OMG!  This week started off soooooo wrong!  So wrong!  How can this be?  I had a good week last week, why?  Why?

I know that not all weeks are the same.  I know that some are good, some are bad, and some are downright U-G-L-Y!!!  I get that, but I want all good weeks from here on out!!!  (Said in best pouty, whiny voice ever!)  Here’s the thing … I understand … I get that sometimes in order to progress you have to take a step-back, you have to downshift … and I know that’s what’s happening.  I know that’s what my body has had to do in order for me to move forward.  So … here I sit … stuck in second gear, or almost in reverse kinda.  I’m just idling … yeah, that’s what it is … Idling.

My body doesn’t quite recover quite as quickly from working 12 hour night shifts anymore.  It’s sporadic … but most nights have been rough on me lately.  I know what it is … I’m just not getting good, quality sleep on some days and I’m running on an empty tank.  That makes a big difference.  I know that as long as I get a good nap in on that first day, I’ll be good to go for the upcoming night and nights.  But if I don’t sleep good, I’m toast!

All this week, all I have wanted to do is sleep!

Sunday:  I meant to do something in the morning after working all night.  Instead … I drove home and I crawled into bed with every intention of waking up early and doing something.  I did.  I got up and I planted myself on my spin bike and rode for 10 miles.  30 minutes.  Perfect.  I worked a little on my core, but other than that, that was it.

Monday:  I gots no data for you.  I can tell you that I was beat down exhausted after getting my behind kicked at work.  12 hours running around without a break … yeah … I was tired.  A little stretching, and massage, but that’s all.

Tuesday:  Again … NOTHING.  I know.  What’s happening here, Row.?  What the hell?!  It’s so unlike me to have nothing.  But like I said, I was exhausted.  What can I say?  I have no excuses. I did go get my hair done, then got my eyebrows threaded, then I did go to lunch with one of my good friends, Linda!  Life is good.  In case you’re wondering, I am feeling a little bit weirded out that I haven’t done anything strenuously physical, but I know that I physically can’t do it.  I’m so run down and feeling so out of it.

Wednesday:  Okay … It gets a little better here.  I went to Cross Fit!  OMG!  I loved it.  Too much fun for me.  I told Gabe, my trainer, that I was a little out of my element and that I was slightly intimidated.  He laughed at me.  He said, “I can tell just by looking at you that you look like a phenomenal athlete, and I don’t even know anything about you.” Let’s just say that I wanted to puke at least three times, but in typical Row. fashion, I gutted it out and finished the hour long workout.  Rowing, jump rope, dead lifts, then 12 minutes of 5 burpees, 5 flat hand push-ups, and incremental clean and press/jerks … Whooo whee!  Run one mile, then back to core – 50 x weighted Russian Twists, and 20 x weighted sit-ups … I did this 4 times!  Awesome!  I so needed this.  I talked to Gabe for a little bit, told him what my goals were, and he told me that in the month that I’m there, he would break me down to build me up!  I am so thankful that my friend Ly gave me her groupon, and that my friend, Gina, convinced me that I could do it.  I love my friends!  I can tell that it’s going to be a gnarly 30 days, and I’m sooooo looking forward to it!

Thursday:  Talk about D.O.M.S.  My body is TIGHT!  Holy crap!  Yeah, I’m a slacker.  All I did today was a lot of stretching and got a massage.  Whoa.  I’m sore.  Yeah, I told you, the nights have been kicking my butt big time!  I’m not gonna fret anymore about not getting a workout in.  It is what it is.

On another note, my friend Judy was going to run the SF Giants Half with me on Saturday, but at the very last minute – literally the very last minute, had to bow out of this half.  What the heck?!?  It was a mad dash to find a replacement, but not to worry, my friend and running buddy, Cory, was able to  find coverage for her shift and stepped up and agreed to run the Giants Half with me.  =)  Yea!!!  (**I’m really sorry, Judy, that you had to bow out.  You’re a great running buddy and you know that I love running with you!)

Friday:  Nothing.  Rest day ’cause tomorrow is a half marathon!

Cory & I Ready To Gooooo!

Saturday:  I have NO expectations for today.  I really just want to run and have fun.  I’m thankful that my friend, Cory, was able to get the time off and was able to run with me.  We started our day pretty early – 0500.  We ran to Manteca to pick up Cory’s bib, then headed for SF.  We got there on time, except parking was horrendous!  Lots of traffic!  But eventually we made it into Lot A and headed straight for the porta potties!

The start was somewhat chaotic as well with 15,000 people running the half marathon, 10K, or 5k.  I lost Cory for a second as we headed into the corral – there was a little bit of a panic.  Not to worry, I found her.  I did not find Shiloh or Mel though.   =[  It was decided that Chris would run the 10k since he had not been training.

Me, Inagural Endorphin Dudette, and Tony, Endorphin Dude at Mile 1.

Race day was perfect.  The weather at the start was about 55, cool, overcast.  Nice.  The race started on time, no delays.  Lots of happy people surrounded us as we ran down Embarcadero.  I found Endorphin Dude just as we hit mile 1.  I just about gave him a heart attack as I hugged him from behind.  Posed for a quick pic, then a hug and I was off!

The miles went by pretty quickly and were uneventful.  Cory and I just enjoyed the scenery and focused on the mileage.  Our training called for 11 miles today, and we were happy to not be running in Stockton.  At around Mile 6, we saw Brian Wilson, and hit Crissy Field at about Mile 6.5.  There was an abundance of aid stations and porta potties throughout this half.  Lots of great volunteers that provided much needed encouragement.  Miles 6.5 to 8 were run on sand which provided a little challenge for Cory.  We had fun, pushing each other every step of the way.  I am thankful for my ability to run backwards to encourage Cory every so often.

Bling and Cheezin' post race!

Mile 11 got hard for Cory, but she was never that far behind me.  I ran ahead and started to encourage the other runners.  I love doing that.  I know that they were thankful, too,  because a few of them found me at the end to thank me.  I really enjoy doing that for others.  Running into AT&T Park was amazing.  I loved it.  I like the Giants, although I don’t follow baseball much except for that of my boys.  This half was really nice and very organized.  Loved the course!

The after race Expo was a different story.  Talk about CHAOS!  Lots of walking and mazes.  But we eventually got our post race goodies – Race Shirt, Medal, and bobble head.  So much fun!  I loved that half, and I plan to run it again next year!

I know that this week lacked a lot of mileage and quality workouts.  The one workout and run that I did were awesome!  But in all honesty, I have been burning that candle at both ends and have just worn myself out this week and needed to rest.  I’ve got lots planned for the upcoming weeks though.  Not to worry … I’m gettin’ back on that bandwagon pretty quick here.

Week 9 brings much promise and a chance to start over again!  I have two halves coming up in September, starting with the Disneyland Half next Sunday!  Changing my mindset and mixing up my workouts is going to be awesome!  So thankful to be blessed with good friends, a body that works like a machine, and for the ability to do what I do and have what I have (work, travel and run local races, workout, be a mom, be a wife, etc.).  So even if this week was a bit of a minor disappointment in that I had to downshift and slow down to an almost complete stop, I know that it’s not permanent and that it’s not the end of the world.  My life is still awesome, and I am still one very blessed woman!

Have a great week everyone.  Train smart, train hard, and have fun while you’re at it!  =)

Marathon Training – Week 7 – The Middle

So here I am … Hard to believe that I’m already into Week 7 of my marathon training.  I’m slowly finding my footing again, as I’m starting to hit the pavement and get back into the groove of training.  My theme song of the week has been Jimmy Eat World’s The Middle.  (Listen to it here). I love this part of the lyrics:

Hey, you know they’re all the same You know you’re doing better on your own, so don’t buy in.  Live right now, yeah, just be yourself.  It doesn’t matter if it’s good enough for someone else.”

It was on my playlist for the Keep Moving Forward 10k.  It’s perfect for the weeks of blah that I’ve been having, something to remind myself to be true to me and to do what I need to do, not what others think I should do.

My Kinvara2s with Row. Flair!
Not even half of the Tempo Shorts that I own ...
Most FAVORITE running tops ever!

It’s been a good week.  Through one of my Twitter buddies I got a heads up and great discount from Running Wharehouse!  Score!  I got a new pair of Saucony Kinvara 2s in black and I paired them up with some awesome laces that I’ve had, and I got some crazy Saucony Hattori’s …. Soooo comfy, both of them!  So … two pairs of shoes for so much LESS than what I would’ve paid for one, and FREE shipping!  I also got a 25% off coupon from Sport Authority so I headed on over there got another pair of Nike Tempo shorts and another one of the racerback running tops that I love from Nike!  You can’t ever have too many shoes or tempo shorts or racerback tops, right?

Sunday:  Cory and I planned to start the week off with a *bang!*  We were going to meet at 0700 and run about 9.  That was the plan, but life got in the way.  Actually, our lack of sleep got in the way, and we both ended up texting each other at 0600 to tell each other we were tired.  No biggie, we agreed to run in the evening.  We met at 1915, the weather was gorgeous, perfect.  We started off not really knowing where we were going or where we were running to.  We were just going to run.  Okay … We’ll just run, and run we did until it started to get dark … FAST … and Cory says, “Why didn’t we wear our headlamps?”  Seriously, why didn’t we?!?  We started getting a little faster as it got darker.  Fun!  We got towards Cory’s house and we both agreed that 4 was good.  Not quite our goal, but we were out there and we had a good time.  The weather was perfect at that hour, but it was just too dark!  Had we thought to wear our headlights, wear reflective gear, or had actual street lamps that were on, it would’ve been a different story.  It was a good run, regardless.  Any run that we can get in is a good run!

Monday:  You would have found me at AMAA/CVAA.  OMG!  I’m sure Nina was trying to kill me!  Whoa!  But you know me … I love that kind of “torture!”  My cardio workout was INTENSE!  Holy cow!  Running, sprawling drills, push ups, squats, pulsing squats, running with the med ball, jacks with jabs, planks, and med ball core!  Wow!  As if I didn’t think that was enough of a workout, I went home and ran 3 miles and added my own Row. “flair” to it … Run one mile, 10 burpees, 10 push ups, 10 mountain climbers … run another mile, do the circuit again, then run that last mile and do the circuit one last time.  3 miles, 3 circuits of insanity!  Yep …

Tuesday:  I had a lot of excuses to not meet Cory.  I could think of sooooo many, but NONE were good.  Not one.  So I did what I always do … I got out of bed, I got dressed, ate some breakfast, and headed on out the door to meet my beautiful friend.  Then my friend, Madeline, posted this on my FaceBook page …

Oh Maddy … Thank you so much for this.  I really needed that little boost!  I really had NO excuses so I did go out and got’er DONE!  Cory and I had a great time, although it was a bit HOT towards the end.  Our goal was to run 5 at least.  So we got to mile 3, and we started saying, “Let’s run to ‘that’ stop light.” or “Let’s run to ‘that’ light post.”  Our goal was to make it to Target, we made it to Target, 3.6 miles … then we walked for less than half a mile and started up again.  Like I said, it started to get hot, so we ran to find shade, then we ran a little faster because we were done.  It was such a good run.  Total mileage including our little walk break was 6.6 miles!  Our “long” run for the week was out of the way.  Yea!!  That run kicked my behind!  Oh boy.  I can tell that my lack of sleep had caught up to me, and it literally knocked me out for the rest of the day until my kiddos got home and I had to get ready for work!  But I’m encouraged that my mojo makes an appearance here and there, letting me know that I’m okay!

Wednesday:  I did it again … I headed off to AMAA for another ass kicking workout!  OMG!  It was a workout with “cuffed” legs, lots of squats, lateral movement, backwards running, sprints, push ups with a partner, squats with knee raises, jacks, “skaters” with those dang cuffs still on, planks, and geez … Whatever else we could fit in.  I got home and I made it a short run.  2.5 miles total.  Slow, but it’s all about the mileage.  Nothing fancy today, just a slow, relaxing run.

Thursday:  I almost made today a rest day.  I wanted to do nothing so bad … I stayed up too late on Wednesday, then I got up early in the morning to meet my friend Rosa for breakfast.  I love Rosie.  She lost her son 7 weeks ago and it breaks my heart that she is suffering.  I just wanted to see her, spend a little time with her.  She told me that she made it to Fleet Feet earlier in the week and that her husband got her some new shoes.  Her goal is to run the Stockton Half Marathon, and my friends Cory and Melinda have decided to run beside her as it will be her first half.  We also comitted to Muddy Buddy!  Yep!  We are Team Nucking Futs!!! It’s gonna be fun!  Rosie and I have trained together in the past, and  this will be our third Muddy Buddy together.  I also had a class at work.  It kinda sucked the life outta me so I took a nap until my kiddos came home then Chris and I took them to the Chiropractor.  Yep!  My kids love the Chiropractor and they asked to go!  I’m still not sure if I’m gonna go workout at that point, my family was just hangin’ around, but I posted a tweet that said I was gonna go … so … I kinda committed myself to show ’cause I can’t look like an ass.  Wow!  Within 15 minutes of working out I wanted to puke.  My trainer, Mikey, had me running with a heavy med ball – push it out in front, then take it up over head and hold it there.  Jump squats with that ball, knee raises with that stupid ball, push ups, jack knives with the ball, planks, burpees, running, running, running … drop and sprawl with three push ups, get up and run some more … Yeah.  I wanted to puke … but I didn’t.  I left it all on the floor, and ended up with a massive endorphin rush!  And just so everyone knows, that medicine ball IS my friend.  Yeah … I’m glad that I went!

Friday:  Finally … A rest day.  I wasn’t going to, I was going to go work it out, but instead I had a breakfast date with my old friend and workout buddy, Debbie.  I love Debbie.  She and I met at AMAA, we both taught Cardio Kickboxing, and we worked out together – doing things like Krav Maga, running, P90X, etc.  This morning she wanted to pick my brain about hosting a 5 and/or 10K run to help raise funds for Helping Hands of Stockton.  She said that she asked me because 1) she knows that I love to run, and 2) she believes that I know how these events worked.  We ended up talking for a long time, and brainstormed a bunch.  I surprised myself with all the ideas that I came up with.  I seriously have an entire notepad full!  In the next couple months we’ll be researching and talking to a lot of people to see exactly what it would take to make this a reality.  I’m excited.  We also made plans to meet to workout and train in the upcoming weeks.  I think I talked her into running the Stockton Half Marathon also.  Oh, how I love my friends!  Funny how I get “roped” into these things, but I serious enjoy it, as health and fitness are my passions, and I LOVE that my friends think of me when something fitness related comes about.  So … even though it was a rest day, it was a very productive, happy day for me.  It also starts my three day work weekend … eek …

Saturday:  It’s been a long night … I’ve been up all night working and I have every reason to not do anything at all today except sleep and get ready for another night shift.  I’m not sure what’s on my schedule, but I believe that I’ve hit all my mileage for this week.  I know better than to go home after work.  I know better than to do that because I know what happens … I go to sleep.  The one rule that I follow usually is that if I need to get the work done, I don’t go home after working all night.  I bring my clothes to work with me, in fact, I travel with workout gear ALL the time.  I keep it in my Rolling Gym (aka The Mini) at all times – workout gear, shoes, med ball, jump rope, weights, resistance bands, etc.  It’s all in my lil’ Rolling Gym.  But I was tired, and I went home … and I went to sleep … just. like. that.

Working a 12 hour night shift can kick your butt.  I’ve been doing it for over 21 years, and over that last couple years it’s been wearing on me.  It’s a combination of my amped up workouts, me getting older, and the work that I do getting to me.  I’m on my feet for the majority of my 12 hours.  If I’m lucky there’s lag time, but most times I’m so busy running around!  My body is usually always right though, I know that I needed that sleep.  And if you’re wondering, I don’t fantasize about taking a day shift position.  Ever.  I am one true nocturnal being.  Always have been, always will be.

That’s week 7 for me.  Keepin’ it real and doing my own thang! My friend, Ly, gave me a groupon for a month’s free of unlimited workouts at a local Cross Fit, so I’m adding that into the mix here soon.  I’m so thankful for my friends that think of me and give me head up on great deals, and share their coupons, etc.  I’m also thankful for my Coach SpeedySasquatch who still, to this day, checks up on me and sends me running drills when I ask for them, and gives me much needed pep talks/encouragement.  He’s the BEST!

I’ve got a full week already scheduled for Week 8 which includes running the stadium with my friends Becky and Bazooka Joe, and the SF Giants Half on Saturday!  Yippee!  I can’t wait to see my friends Judy, and Mel, and my friend, Shiloh … she’s bringing me cookies from her bakery!  Life is good … running makes it better.

Consider supporting me as I run for those who cannot … I’m raising funds for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society in honor of my beloved Father as Team Running For Dad … Check out my fundraising page here .  It’ll be my 4th year raising funds for them!  NWM is a great race, but the Leukemia Lymphoma Society and Making Cures Happen is a great cause.

Have a great week, everyone.  Remember … Train hard, but train smart, and have FUN!

Marathon Training – Week 6 – Finding My Way Back To The Pavement …

It’s been over a week and I’m still finding my way back to the pavement which was once the second home for my feet.  I once lived for the rhythmic tapping of my shoes hitting the pavement, which was music to my soul.  I still have no desire to just pound it as much as I once had, and I can’t force it …

That said, I’m sure you’re all wondering how exactly I’m going to pull this marathon off … Don’t worry.  It’s still early in the game.  I’ve got this.  I’m still in full on training mode.  My mentality has not changed.  I’m still going at it as best as I possibly can … giving my mind and my feet a much needed and deserved rest.

This was after my first post meltdown a run last week, but it's all good.

Sunday found me on a spin bike.  I wanted to get some mileage in before work, so I hit it for 30 minutes.  Seated climb, standing climb, then 10 x 1 min intervals.  30 minutes … 9.5 miles.  Perfect.  I left my spin bike drenched, with that ache in my legs that let me know that I got a good workout in for the short amount of time that I had.

Monday:  Tired.  Thought about making it a rest day, but only for a second.  I got dressed and headed off to American Martial Arts Academy.  Great choice!  I love Jeanne!  She knows that I’m capable of more and NEVER lets me slack.  Nope … no, no, no!  Medicine ball and dumbells … alone they’re a great workout by themselves, but it’s kinda rough when you pair them with cardio!  Lots of arms and shoulders, push ups on that dang med ball, planks with rows, then lower body … just let me say that my behind was screaming and sighing at the same time!  Gotta love weighted cardio exercises!

Tuesday:  Rest day.  My do absolutely nothing at all day.  Remember rest days are as important as training days.  Don’t worry, I did run around the ER where I worked which equaled about a couple miles.  No joke.  There was no sitting, I was in constant motion helping everyone.

Wednesday:  Self-Care day.  Hit the Chiropractor.  My most FAVORITE Chiropractor in the world … Dr. Brian Crawford.  He’s awesome.  I’m kind of sadistic and prefer the “torture” of a manual adjustment versus gun manipulation.  I LOVE the sound of my spine clicking into alignment, and I love the feel of it all coming into place – from my neck down.  I’m serious!  Dr. Crawford aligns my thoracic spine by “throwing” me against the door.  I had to laugh because I noticed that there was now new padding hung against the doors where there once was none.  You always know that it’s me being thrown against the door because of my loud exhalation “scream” (it’s not really a scream, more like all the air escaping from me) as soon as it’s done.  I love it!  Makes me happy.  Dr. Crawford not only aligns my spine, but also my hips, ankles, and feet.  He opens up my sinuses by manipulating it with the gun.  I get a massage in which I remind his assistants to push with all their weight – and they do, hitting all the key parts including my feet.  I also sit for H-Wave therapy for my feet and ankles, then lay on the traction table and chill for about 20 minutes.  I believe wholeheartedly that I am and remain healthy because of Chiropractics.  There is documented evidence that individuals who receive regular chiropractic care have 200% greater immune competence than those that do not.  You would not believe how much your spine plays in your health and well being.  For that reason, I will continue to be a loyal patient.  My Chiropractor ROCKS!

Thursday:  I had a good day today.  I put in a great 30 minute spin workout on my bike.  Intervals/Sprints, and a seated

Motto for the week/weak ... Keep. Moving. FORWARD ...

and standing climb.  11 miles.  Yeah!  Immediately afterwards, I got my medicine ball out and opted for a quick resistance workout because I was short on time.  Squat/swing 2×30; Halos 2×25; Triceps 2×25; Biceps 2×25; Step Ups 2×30.  Had to get something in, and I did …

Friday:  Didn’t do much today … just a core workout which was good enough for me.

No stress. Hence, the smile!

Saturday:  My first organized run since my Mini Meltdown.  I was okay going into it because I knew that there was NO expectations.  I had registered for the Riverbank Keep Moving Forward 10k.  Two reasons why I registered: 1) It’s walking distance from my Mother-In-Law’s house.  Literally just right across the street.   And 2) I like little races and knew that it would be a good training run for me.  It was a great venue that supports Vision Impaired (read: Blind) Individuals.  I am thankful for my vision and my ability to see.  I had such a great time at this event!  I even won a Hawaiian Shirt!  How cool is that?!  The ease of packet pickup and race day registration was well organized.  There was breakfast and coffee at the start, which was also post race fuel.  It was a really nice spread, too!  Starbucks coffee, bananas, watermelon, cookies, chips, etc.  There was also LOTS of water, and electrolyte drinks.  The course was well marked with support crew everywhere directing all of the runners – despite my husband laughing and telling me that I would get lost.  Joke’s on him.   Water stops were at mile 1.5, 3, and right before mile 5.  Bathrooms?  Yep!  No course porta-potties but it’s only a 10K so it wasn’t expected.  But the Galaxy Theater in Riverbank opened up their bathroom for us to use pre/post race!

Finished also with a smile!

The run for me was pretty uneventful.  It was a nice run through the streets of Riverbank.  I didn’t PR, which was not the goal, but I didn’t PW either. I’m pretty sure I was in the top 5 of my age group.  I just ran, and as I ran I encouraged all of the other runners, and high fived  all of the support crew.  It was fun, and that, to me, is what running is about.  Having fun, and helping/encouraging others.

I’m still here.  I’m still working out and running.  This week may look light compared to others, but it is what it is.  I’m happier training my way.  I like that I don’t hear the voices that once invaded my head.  I’ve gotten “me” back … the me that is strong willed, strong minded.  I’m sorry that I let so many people influence me for that short period of time … it won’t happen again.  I’ve got a great week planned next week … Week 7  – Look out!

Marathon Training – Week 5 – Chillin’ Like A Villain

It’s week 5, and for me it means that I’m starting over with week 1 of my training plan. It’s kind of hard to explain, but the training plan that I’m using is 18 weeks long, and since I started early (July 1) I was 4 weeks ahead. So … once week 4 was over, I was to start over.

At first I thought that I was being hypocritical by writing this post after I had just posted a blog where I basically said that I was done running for awhile. I didn’t and still don’t want to run “seriously” at this time. But I’m still working out because as I said, I’m not the kind of athlete to just walk away completely. I’m still doing things. I still plan on working hard, just not running hard as I have hung up my running shoes. I think that I got over zealous and put too much pressure on myself with the marathon training and basically petered out.

My last blog post caught the attention of a lot of people. Maybe it was the title, “Hangin’ Up My Shoes.” I don’t know.

MiniRow, MACHine, & Mellie Mel!

A lot of people were worried about me, and wanted to know what happened and why. What can I say? Things happen. Running is such a huge part of my life, but like I said, it’s WHAT I do, not WHO I am. Marathon training is NO joke. It takes up a lot of time and energy. Waking up early to run left me practically listless throughout the rest of the day, leaving me without the needed energy to do much else. I missed my boys baseball games, I didn’t read or play much with my daughter, I still had to work full-time, I couldn’t pick up many shifts at my other job, my husband had to ask for various days off to take me to the races. Mind you, he says that he doesn’t mind, but in a way, I know that he did/does. Then at races, it wasn’t just about running anymore … It was “racing.” I am not a “racer.” I am a runner. Where once running made me happy, it was and is now overwhelming and became more like another job and felt like chore, and I started to resent it. Stepping back was a good choice for me. Once I did, I could feel myself take a huge breath and the weight was somewhat relieved from my shoulders.

On The Golden Gate Bridge.

I was literally running the San Francisco Marathon last Sunday thinking, “WTF am I doing?” I was running amongst all these individuals who were happy and smiling and excited to be there, and here I was … Debbie Downer, so unhappy, and thinking all these negative thoughts. I imploded. No joke … the bomb went off in the middle of San Francisco. I’m surprised that it didn’t take SF out! It was so loud inside my head, I’m surprised that my head didn’t explode like a pumpkin being dropped from a high rise building! I felt lost. I felt as if I was drowning as all of these thoughts flooded my head. And I wanted to cry. But being who I am, I held it together and finished what I started because Row. does NOT cry!

There were many decisions that needed to be made. The first one was telling my running buddies and my marathon training partners that I would not be proceeding as planned with the training plan for now. I will still run CIM in December, however, I needed a break from the training as I reevaluated how I was going to do this because I really had no clue! Holy cow, how the heck am I going to pull off running a marathon without “formal” training? I think that it is better to take some much needed time off rather than force it because as I was feeling in SF, I know that it would only get worse!

So … here’s a recap of my Week 5 training …

Sunday: 13.1 miles through the streets and Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. This is the only time I truly lost it.

Osmin Style! Except I swallowed a lot of water! LOL!

Monday: I relinquished all expectations and control. I decided that I would no longer do what did not serve me or make me happy. So, in the midst of my Mini Meltdown, I took myself to a local tattoo shop and had a tattoo placed on my wrist to remind me. “Comprometerse.” I love this word, and now it is a permanent part of me. As soon as I got it, I felt an IMMEDIATE inner peace and a calming sensation come over me. My workout for today started as a fluke. I was just going to hop in the pool with my fun-loving kiddos. It ended up morphing into something else … 30 minute “swim” (okay, it was more kick boarding) but I hit 1000 yards! 30 minute spin = 9.5 miles. 3.25 mile walk/”jog” intervals (39 mins). My own Mini Tri. It was fun. No stress.

Tuesday: Rest day.

Wednesday: Rest day. Did a lot of self-care today. I got my eyebrows threaded, and I got an hour massage which was awesome!

Thursday: Triple workout!!!  You read correctly – TRIPLE!  Workout number 1 –  Lower body resistance.  Holy mother! Lower body was awesome! Lunges, Squats, Inner/Outer Leg Lifts, Hamstring Curls, Leg Extentions, and Ab Work! Nice! Immediately after came workout number 2, my FAVORITE cardio workout … Awesome workout! Running, Jump Kicks, Burpees, Mountain Climbers, Two Point Burpees, Jacks, and Ab Work! Love it! My trainer, Mikey, ROCKS! He knows how to push me and takes me to puke point. I wasn’t going to stay for yoga, but my friend, Karyn, had asked me, so a third workout it was.  I’m glad I stayed.  My third workout of the day! Very nice – our instructor made it hard, yet peaceful and relaxing in

Not drowning! =)

the end. It was a nice class, just me, my girl Karyn, and the instructor, Alexis. Loved it. The best part of my day was when I walked through the dojo doors and my friends were all saying that they were just talking about me and asking about me. The people that I work out with at American Martial Arts Academy/Central Valley Krav Maga have dubbed me “Front Row.” I try to encourage everyone that I workout with – EVERYONE. If I know your name, you will hear me call you out in class! I love my peeps! LOVE! I am so thankful that I am able to workout with a great bunch of people!

Friday: I really thought about sleeping in, but decided against it at the last minute. As usual, I do what I always do … I get dressed and I head on over to they gym. If I change my mind when I get there, then I don’t go in, but usually by the time I get to the dojo, which is my second home, I’m

Ready for the cycle part of my Mini Tri ...

ready to goooooo and get a good workout in whether I’m tired or not. I don’t workout half assed – ever. If I’m there, I give it 110%. Go big or go home! Anyhow, this morning’s workout was done the resistance bands and the ankle straps (sounds like S&M lol)! Push ups, knee raises, lunges, arms, shoulders, abs, running sprints! Damn, I LOVE this workout! So good for my soul! And to think I *almost* slept in …

Saturday: I worked a full 12 hour night shift. Thought about just going home and crawling into bed, but instead decided to get my workout gear on and do a little bit of something first. So a very slow interval run it was. 5-10 min walking warm-up, then I hit the intervals – slow running/even walking at times, then I picked it up, then walked a cool down. Did this for an hour total and hit just about 5.5 miles. Not bad. Got an arm workout in also which is always nice to get some resistance in along with my cardio. On this run I wore my HR monitor and just watched my HR, made sure it didn’t get close to max. It was HOT, but I wanted to get something in and I did.

Those that know me, know that I am not the kind of athlete to just slack. I’ll always do something because it’s just what I do – even when I’m not training for anything.  I had a very low stress week and I’m happy that I decided to just lay low and not put any kind of pressure onto myself. I am happy with my decision to stay off Twitter and FaceBook. I did lurk a bit, but did no posting. I did post on my new favorite Google+. It was nice to not hear any “voices” and feel no pressure. All in all, it’s been a great week for me. It seems as if when I just let go and relinquish any and all control that I try to harness, that things just fall into place by themselves. As I said, an immediate inner peace and calm washed over me as soon as I posted that I was hanging up my shoes, and after I got my new tattoo. I’m happy. Thanks for a great week, Week 5. Week 6 comin’ up … You ready for me?


Marathon Training – Week 4 … Getting It Together!

It’s Week 4 of CIM training, and I planned to make up for last week in a BIG way let me tell you! It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt, right? I know that will be me if I don’t get serious about my training. I don’t have much time to waste, and I have to make good use of the time that I do have. Some days I wish that I could afford a Coach to tell me exactly what to do. Other days, I know I’m okay without one. Every day, though, my friends hold me accountable. Thank God for my friends.

It wasn’t the week that I wanted, although I did try to get it together. I almost feel as if I am bipolar with my training, but more down/low days than good days. To recap my week 4 …

Sunday: It was a great run with my running buddy, Cory. We started off at 7 and ran our scheduled 6 miles. The morning was nice and cool – kinda cold for me, actually, and I ran with a hoodie on the entire time. I know, huh? It’s been in the hundreds temperature wise, and I’m running with a hoodie? What the heck? We had a really nice run along the levee, down to Target, short walk thru Spanos Park to regroup, then we picked it back up all the way back to Cory’s house. We were able to negative split our last half because we were running pretty fast. It was nice! Total mileage was about 7 miles.

Monday: Turned up the heat today. I went to my favorite place to workout … Central Valley Krav Maga, and I hit it up for a double – back to back- a$$ whopping! Dang! What was I thinking? I worked out with the resistance bands around my ankles for two classes – lots of leg work today. Intervals interspersed with squats, lunges, kicks, knee raises, mountain climbers, jacks, “fast feet,” push ups, then core. I felt it in my glutes and hammies the next day, but it was a very good hurt. I love working out there! =) All day I tried to talk myself out of it, and it *almost* worked, but in the end, I did what I always do … I got dressed to go workout, got in my car and drove there, and by the time I got there I was good to go. I left it all on the floor!

Tuesday: Hit InShape for Rodger’s infamous Spin Class! Love that class! I’m thankful to have “free” gym membership there thru work. 20 miles on the spin bike, then 3 mile interval run! Yeah, baby. Brick Tuesday!

Wednesday: Sucked it up and ran 4 miles … in the heat! Ugh.

Thursday: Rest day. After working all night it was a little difficult to get myself going.

Friday: Thought about going to cardio, then thought against it. You see, I’m running the San Francisco Half Marathon on Sunday and I need rest. I haven’t been feeling well, nor have I been getting enough rest. So the decision to skip out was an easy one.

Saturday: Hit San Francisco with my girls, Mac and Melissa. We’re all running the First Half of the San Francisco Marathon. It should be fun! We walked throughout SF for a total of 3 miles. Lots of hills and even a little resistance work.

Sunday starts a new week, so you’ll have to read about SF in another blog. But we’ll see. I have A LOT to say about that because I realized a lot of things during that run. Not just little things either … HUGE realizations.

My training was not as amped up as I would have liked it to be, but I next week not only starts a new training week, it’s a week that I’m starting over kind of. It’s hard to explain, just that in my training my program is 18 weeks long. Starting in July added another 4 weeks. That means next week marks the “official” marathon training. So much to do, so much to say. I’m not starting my marathon training next week. Right now, that’s all that you need to know.

So … so long week 4. It was a good effort … just not the week that I wanted. Time start over … again …

Marathon Training – Week 3 … Kinda …

Well, I knew it was going to happen.  I knew that when I went on vacation that it would not go exactly as laid out on paper.  What did Robert Burns say again?  “The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray?”  I had it all laid out, ready to go, but life had other plans.  I heartily believe that it was the Universe calling me out, challenging me … Basically saying, “You know, Row., you have this great plan set out, let’s see if you’re gonna stick to it.”  ‘Cause you know that’s usually what happens to me anyway, when I set out to do something.  Yep … the Universe likes to challenge me … over and over … again and again … I set myself up …

I spent my week in BEAUTIFUL South Lake Tahoe with my family.  My week consisted of two birthdays … Milestone birthdays at that.  My son, Samuel, turned 21, and my hubby, Chris, turned 40.  Yep.  So … in typical Wallen fashion, we hit the impromptu vacation – just picking up and taking off whenever we can get a couple days off together.  So … here’s the breakdown of my week …

Monday:  I had a little soreness from my half marathon on Saturday night.  Just a little not a lot.  I hit up my favorite Chiropractor, Dr. Brian Crawford, and had him adjust me from head to toe, feet, ankles, and sinuses.  I had my H-wave treatment done on my feet, and I laid on the traction table for awhile.  Aaaaaahhhhh!  I love manual adjustments of my head, neck, back … I love the feeling and sound of all my spinal cord clicking into place.  I’m a little sadistic, I know, but that’s me.  Afterwards, a 2 mile walk done once in Lake Tahoe to explore our surroundings.

Ski Run Drive in S. Lake Tahoe. Loved this place!

Tuesday: 3 mile run done.  Kind of an interval workout, interspersed with lots of hills.  Was a nice run.  Beautiful weather, great surroundings, nice place to train.  Then another 2 mile walk.

Wednesday:  More walking.  This time about 3 miles.  So much fun here in Tahoe.  I love it here.  In the evening it was time to do a little resistance training, so biceps, triceps, shoulders, and core … DONE.  Today was also my son’s 21st birthday!  Yippee!  Can’t believe that he’s already so “old.”  Wow!

Thursday:  4 miles – walking.  I know, I know … I’m supposed to be running, but it’s time on my feet, right?  At least I wasn’t sedentary.  So proud of my daughter who walked 1.5 miles and only complained a few times.  Did a core workout also.

Friday:  Cardio.  I love cardio!  My cardio is high intensity and includes lots of resistance along with interval training.  I got smart and prepared an ice cold towel to cool me off which was a good idea.  Made it a little more bearable, and I got a good solid hour in!  Intervals, squats, lots of leg work, and core.

Saturday:  I did absolutely nothing …  I had every intention to go to cardio or to yoga and I slept instead.  Yep.  I made it a recovery day … from my vacation.  It was also my husband’s 40th birthday!!!

So there you have it.  My week at a glance.  All in all, even though it was a very “easy” week, it’s okay because I know that not all weeks will be this easy.  I also didn’t make the *best* food choices, not all bad, but not all good either.  Hey, I’m human, okay?  And I like my share of cake and ice cream … it’s not my fault that two birthdays fell within 3 days of each other.  And I don’t go on vacation all the time either so weeks like this will be few and far between!

Tomorrow starts another week.  Hope everyone has a great one.  School starts for my kiddos this week so life will once again start to have some sort of routine.  My sleeping patterns are still somewhat crazy, but at least I’m sleeping.

Happy training everyone.  Make good choices, and just get out there and do it.  That’s the hardest part … getting out there.  But what I have found is that if you just show up and start, it gets a little easier.  Just give yourself 20 minutes … if after 20 minutes you want to stop, then at least you will have gotten a little something done, but chances are you will be ready to finish once you start.