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 PVC OHS
20 Push Ups with Rotations

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

Workout:
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

Strength:
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

Strength:
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.

Workout:
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!

Happy.

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 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!

It’s All On YOU!

What's It Gonna Be?

We all want it to some degree … some MORE than others. Some just dream about it, while others are out there working hard to get it. Some try and take shortcuts believing that this gadget, or this new diet fad is gonna work for them this time. Let me tell you though, that it’s NOT. The only thing that’s gonna get you that body that you desire is pure HARD WORK. Eighty percent is eating “right,” and the other twenty percent is working out hard. I don’t just mean a leisurely stroll, nor do I mean working out until you puke your guts out. I just mean, getting a good sweat on. Cardio and resistance training. Find something that you love, that you enjoy, that makes YOU happy! Hate running? What about riding a bike or dancing? Don’t like lifting weights? Try resistance bands or TRX! Just move!

I’m tired of watching people around me slack. They talk about “wanting to lose weight and getting into shape.” They talk A LOT. But talk is cheap. Talking only works your jaw and tongue muscles. All I can do is encourage, and try to guide in the right direction … but they have to want it more than to just talk about it. They have to put forth the effort or else I’m just wasting my breath. They have to want it for themselves.

I’m not “perfect,” but I work hard at maintaining and improving what I have. I’m in that gym or hittin’ that pavement 5-6 days of the week. Some call me OCD, but I know that if I didn’t … I’d be “soft” and my heart and entire body would suffer. I’m over 40 and I function and look so much BETTER than some, okay, most who are younger than I am.

There is no magic get skinny pill. There is no magic diet. There is no magic exercise gadget. Sorry, but there’s not. There is only YOU. You and your decision to make your life better. It’s not going to be easy. There will be days of frustration. You will hurt in places you didn’t think you had muscles. But think of that end result … A better, healthier, stronger, fitter YOU.

I know and understand that I am supposed to be encouraging and motivating.  Do it, or don’t. That decision is all YOURS. I’m not going to force you. I’ll ask you to come run with me. I’ll invite you to come to the gym with me. But if I keep hearing your excuses, trust me … I won’t ask or invite anymore. I’ll just wait until you’re my patient … no, I’m kidding, I won’t. I’ll keep encouraging (I may roll my eyes a little), I’ll just know to not waste too much of my breath and to save it for someone who actually cares. I know, I’m hardcore. I know, I can be “mean” and sound somewhat “demeaning,” but trust me … I don’t mean to sound like that, it’s said with love and respect. It just comes out sounding more like a Drill Sargent, than all “lovey dovey.” That’s just how I roll.

So … What’s it gonna be? You in? Or do you keep doing what you’re doing which isn’t exactly working for you? The choice is YOURS and yours alone. But whatever you decide, be happy with what you choose. If you keep doing what you’ve always been doing, you will ALWAYS get what you’ve always gotten. In order for changes to happen, you have to step out of your comfort zone and be willing to do the work. It WON’T be easy, but trust me … it WILL be worth it. The only thing standing in your way is YOU.

With that … I’m done and I’ll get off my soapbox now. I’ll leave you with one of my FAVORITE videos inspiring motivation … Enjoy. Make good choices, and have a great day!!!

Update:  I realize that this blog may seem a little harsh.  I should be kinder to those individuals that want to do better, but yet do nothing, right?  My husband says that I’m somewhat demeaning.  Well, all I can say is that I know that I’m not exactly the nicest person.  I know that I can be brash, harsh, hard … BUT … I am also hardest on myself when it comes to stuff like this.  I am the best person at kickin’ my own ass and beating myself up.  Being nice only gets you so far.  I’m an ER Nurse, for gosh sake.  I am one of the FIRST persons that sees first hand what all this nonsense does to people who make excuses.  Obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, strokes … I’ve seen my share of “stuff,” and believe me, it is NOT pretty and I will admit that I don’t like to touch fat!!!  Our society is a society of wanting quick fixes and easy way outs.  There aren’t any!  NONE!  So … what you do with your body is your choice.  I’m just saying that it’s easier to put in the 30 mins to an hour 5 times a week, than it is to have a hospital stay that may render you bed bound for a LONG period of time.  Okay … I’ll get off my soap box again.

Together, Let’s Kick Some A$$!!!

I Believe That We All CAN!!!

I heard her talking about me.  She was telling Jeanne, one of the owners of AMAA/Stockton Karate, “I didn’t know who she was, but she was right next to me and she was so encouraging.”  She was a new student at AMAA and Jeanne told her that my name was Row.  Hearing that made my spirits soar high.  She was working out right beside me, and I saw the look of, “Are you freakin’ kidding me?!” written all over her face more than once during our 45 minute workout.  All I told her was that she was doing a great job, to just keep moving, and that she could do it.  Easy.  Nothing to it, just a few words of encouragement.  She had heard me, so my words were not of wasted breath.  Whew!

You CAN, and You WILL ...

I’m one of “those” people … you know one of those obnoxious people who yell in a group exercise class.  It’s even worse if I know your name because I will call you out!  Why?  Because I know how it feels to need encouragement.  I know how it feels to be dead tired, but then to hear someone tell you that you can do it, it allows you to put forth that much more effort to get the work done.  So, yes … If I see you “struggling” in class, I will let you know that you CAN do it, that you only have so many more minutes left.  If I see you in a race, regardless if I know you or not, I will tell you that you’re doing a great job, because you ARE.

Seriously … just by you being in class or running in a race, you ARE doing a fabulous job because you could very well be doing absolutely nothing.  You have won half the battle by choosing to get out and move, and I will commend you for it and help you any way that I can.

Honestly though, I encourage others because it helps me.  I hear myself tell others that they can do it … If I’m telling you

Hear me?

that you can, and I don’t, then it makes me look like an ass  a hypocrite, right?   I can’t look like that.  I refuse to look like that.  When I hear myself give others encouragement and motivation, then I believe it myself and it allows my mind to cancel out what my body is telling it to do which most times is, “Shut the eff up and stop already!”  You see, I believe that your body will do whatever your mind tells it to do even if it’s tired.  I know because I have tricked my body countless times.  I have learned that I can do so much more than what I believe that I can.  It seriously is all in your head …

Others have done it for me … given me encouragement and motivation when I have needed it most.  Some have never met me, others have been spectators with great signs on a marathon course, and some have been my friends training with me … it has helped me every time, and gotten me through to the end.  Because of this, I pay it forward by encouraging others.  Yes, true motivation has to come from your heart, you have to want it, but it never hurts to have a little help from your friends.  So I don’t care if I am the loudest, or the most obnoxious in class … I get heard, people hear me, and they get’er done!  Helping others helps me.  Helping you helps me.  Watching you succeed helps me, it motivates me, it encourages ME …  We have to help each others get thru and push thru … Let’s do it!

I Workout So I Can Eat Whatever I Want – Fact or Fiction?

I’m not going to lie … I am like every other woman who wishes that there was a Magic Pill that would keep the body in shape without working out, to allow me to eat whatever I wanted without gaining an ounce, to keep the wrinkles and gray hair at bay, and to keep me healthy. Fountain of youth? I know that that doesn’t exist so I am not even going to start dreaming about it! I’m just looking for the lazy way … but the lazy way doens’t exist either!

Thankfully though, I am one of those women who has been blessed with athletic abilities. I believe that once I was released from my mother’s womb, I hit the ground running. I started walking at 9 months old. I ran my first track meet in the 4th grade. I dabbled in gymnastics, ran high school varsity track and cross country. I have a black belt in Krav Maga. I have participated in and have taught kickboxing classes. I have run 10Ks, half-marathons, and even a couple marathons. I am proud to say that I AM a very accomplished athlete.

My difficulties lie in that 1) I’m getting a little older, and 2) I like to eat – not a lot, but I do get caught with my hand in the proverbial cookie jar more times than it should be in there! The getting older part, I can’t do anything about. But that part is only numbers. I don’t feel the number that I am, and, if truth be told, I am better than those with numbers smaller than or less than mine. It’s just hard to believe that I am over 40! I laugh when I think about that … when did that happen?!? The eating part, I can change. I cannot change that which I do not acknowledge … therefore, let me acknowledge my weakness now.

My name is Row., and I am HUMAN.

I like to eat. Not junk food, per se, but snacking on those which are not that great for an (slowly) aging body. I love bread and pasta. I love pastries – namely Apple Danishes from Toot Sweets, and Cinnamon Sour Cream or Blueberry Muffins. I DON’T eat them everyday, but I lie to myself when I do eat them. I try to tell myself that eating one will not harm me, and it won’t, but I have to work EXTRA hard to work it off, and most times I don’t do the extra work that is necessary. I forget the mantra, “A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips.” I understand that I am the only one in control of what goes into my mouth. I cannot lay blame on anyone because no one is forcing me to eat the things that I do. However … there are the occasional sabateurs …. Ha! I won’t blame them either!

It’s a joke to tell yourself that you workout so that you can eat whatever you want. It’s a waste to workout if all you’re going to do is eat crap. If you’re not seeing the changes that you want, or if you’re seeing changes that you don’t want, most likely it’s because your nutrition sucks! Bottom line is, if you eat crap and workout, you’re still going to look like crap! Nutrition is a big part of fitness. We need to remember to eat to live versus living to eat. Fitness alone will NOT solve my “problems.”

So here to day … I acknowledge my weakness and my desire to change this behavior. When I choose to eat badly, I will make up for it in the gym by working out harder or longer. I intend to make better choices because most times it’s just NOT worth the extra effort that must be put out to work it off! Seriously … to “have to” run 2 miles to work off one doughnut … Yeah, no!!! I’d rather do the best that I can to “keep it clean” and out of my mouth! I CAN do it, I know that I CAN!!!

(Reposted from an my old blogsite 12/7/2009)

The Power of a GREAT Workout

I’ve always known it.  As a child, I loved running, riding my bicycle, climbing, jumping, playing sports, and doing just about anything physical.  It is inbred, ingrained, so natural and deep within me.  My “need” for physical exertion has always … ALWAYS been a huge part of who I am, and of who I have always been. Without that physical exertion, I am not me.  I am lethargic, become depressed, cranky, moody … that person that NO ONE cares to be around.  It is the reason my family lets me do what I need to do … because they know that, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”

There IS power in a great workout.  I have always known this.  It is as if I am able to purge all of my pain, frustrations, and what-nots out through my pores via my sweat, and through all the grunts and groans of my physical exertion … leaving it all on the floor, so to speak. I am able to transcend while working out. I know … I can see you rolling your eyes now, but it’s true. I’ve done it on more than one occasion … I am able to get myself into such a state, into that zone, where I am there, yet I’m not. I love that. Absolutely LOVE that feeling!

Exercise is my drug of choice.  It is my religion, my sanctuary.  It is my outlet and it fuels me.  I am happiest and most relaxed after a great workout. They say that exercise is for those that cannot handle drugs or alcohol. I believe that wholeheartedly.  I crave the endorphin rush – that is the BEST high, and I wish that everyone loved that kind of healthy high versus highs or the blunting of their emotions and pain obtained via illegal substances or by alcohol.  I believe that the world would be a much better, and a much happier place.

It’s so disheartening to me that so many individuals don’t take the time to get a good workout in.  Thirty minutes is all that it would take.  It saddens me, no, let me be honest, it infuriates me when I hear excuse after excuse as to why one can’t or doesn’t workout.  I don’t understand our society – when did we stop being active?  When did people become so sedentary? Getting older doesn’t mean that you can’t be fit. Having children doesn’t mean that you have stop being active and become a fat mom or dad. It’s the time to be the example for your child!  People are so quick to blame MacDonald’s … Ummm … Hello?  I don’t believe MacDonald’s was physically force feeding anyone! Take responsibility for your own health, people! Face it and get real!  It’s never too late! Never. Small changes made consistently can make BIG differences.

While at my Physical Therapy appointment today, something my therapist had posted on his bulletin board, caught my eye.  I was so inspired by what I read, that I took a photograph of it so that I could remember what it said. In it’s entirety, I have it here for you to peruse.

Written by former NFL Washington Redskins Coach, George Allen, may it motivate and inspire you as it has me.

What Is A Workout?

A workout is 25 percent PERSPIRATION and 75 percent DETERMINATION.  Stated another way, it is one part physical exertion and three parts self-discipline.  Doing it is easy once you get started.

A workout makes you better today than you were yesterday.  It strengthens the body, relaxes the mind, and toughens the spirit.  When you workout regularly, your problems diminish and your confidence grows.

A workout is a personal triumph over laziness and procrastination.  It is the badge of a WINNER — the mark of an organized, goal oriented person who has taken charge of his or her destiny.

A workout is a wise use of time and an INVESTMENT in excellence.  It is a way of preparing for life’s challenges and proving to yourself that you have what it takes to do what is necessary.

A workout is a key that helps unlock the door to OPPORTUNITY and SUCCESS.  Hidden inside each of us is an extraordinary force.  Physical and mental fitness are the triggers that can release it.

A workout is a form of REBIRTH.  When you finish a workout, you don’t simply feel better, YOU FEEL BETTER ABOUT YOURSELF!

So … Who’s ready to come workout with Row.??? NO EXCUSES!!! Let’s goooooo …