Tag Archives: spring

Running and Breathing… at the Same Time

Back to the grind. I’ve returned to exercise in a big way. I love having a plan to follow and while the “plan” I posted last Friday didn’t have much rhyme or reason to it, it was nice to have a guide to follow. Work has been kicking my butt lately and if I had to plan anything out after a long day in the office I’d probably go home, lay on the couch and eat ice cream (which sounds pretty good right about now).

  • Saturday 5/21: 2 miles to loosen my legs back up and remember how to breathe. Done!
  • Sunday 5/22: WARRIOR DASH with Suze! (Recap & Pictures)
  • Monday 5/23: Rest/Sports Massage (Note to self: Don’t purchase a massage on Groupon. The negative reviews will scare you away from ever using it).
  • Tuesday 5/24: Group trail run with the NorthFace Endurance Marathon Relay Group Done!
  • Wednesday 5/25: Test out the Pacers distance run (eeep. Nervous!) Done!
  • Thursday 5/26: Cross train: Bike, Stairs, Weights Will be headed out to do in 2 hours.
  • Friday 5/27: Rest
  • Saturday 5/28: Yoga

I’ve exercised 4 out of the last 5 days (5 out of the last 6 if you’re reading this after 6:00 pm) and have been sleeping so much better.

Sleepy puppy spends too much time getting his workout on.

I haven’t been logging a ton of miles but every mile has felt good.  It’s such a relief to finally see a noticeable difference in my heart rate and breathing.  On Tuesday night, I went out for a run with my North Face Endurance Challenge teammates and we kept it conversational, something I was never able to do before! We did a muddy lap around Roosevelt Island and then a few miles on the Mount Vernon Trail, in a great area where it’s nice and flat along the water.  It was so much fun.  I was shocked when I looked at my Garmin data and saw that my average HR was 161 (new readers, that’s super duper low for me!).

Last night, I joined Suze for the Pacers Distance Training Program speed/hill work at the Iwo Jima Memorial.  First of all, let me just say that the views in DC never get old.

This memorial is HUGE. I never realized how big it was until I got right up next to it last night!

This isn't bad scenery to admire as you huff and puff up hills

(Source)

The running group was great. They were all extremely nice people and the workout was hard but not so much that wasn’t fun.  I did have some problems with breathing/my heart rate was I tried to do speed work but I guess for short bursts it’s not so bad.  Weirdly, I really enjoyed the hill repeats – though my butt is super tired today.

It sounds really run-geeky but I’m looking forward to starting my half marathon training program in June. I need some workout structure in my life!

Do you work out better with a plan or are you able to self motivate?

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Warrior Dash Maryland: The Mud Pics!

We have Warrior Dash mud pictures! Suze is pretty awesome and she already got our photos developed from our disposable cameras. They came out pretty well!

Before the race - Go Team Sesame Street!

Photo Op in the middle of a mud pit

Danger! Enough said...

Hey there barbed wire. I actually went around most of these because I was scared to lose a shoe.

Hanging out on the net.

I look weirdly graceful here. I'm actually trying not to fall on my face.

We clearly took this race seriously, like real warriors would! 🙂

In all of my muddy glory! So awesome!

The mud… well we’re still not sure it was all mud. The squishy factor leads us to believe there may have been a fertilizer type component mixed in. But the pictures are great and we had fun.

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Words on Wednesday (still featuring Natalie Dee)

I’ve been a terrible blogger this week. Work has been super busy, I went to visit my parents over the weekend and their internet was broken, and did I mention work has been really busy?  I’ve been a super cranky face so I’ve tried to abide by the whole “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” strategy.

I have managed to get two pretty quality workouts in since the last time I blogged.  The first was a trip to the gym with my mom where I did my first brick, though not on purpose.  We were on the bikes for 25 minutes and then decided to hop on the treadmill for 20 minutes.  Whew, were my legs ever tired after that run but it was a great workout.

Monday night I decided to go for a run since the weather was nice.  I haven’t been outside on a run in over a week because the heart doctor had me on “no exercise at all” orders.  It was like I’d never run at all. I forgot my sunglasses and my shin sleeves.  And apparently for the first time in my life I was overhydrated because I had water sloshing around my stomach the whole time.  But I got out and ran some hills and I was so happy.

Now I’m stuck at work super late today/tomorrow.  I hope I can squeeze in some kind of exercise tomorrow or Friday.

I hope everyone is having a good week or at least a less sucky week than I am.

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TGIF! Featuring a 90’s Throwback!

TGIF! I am so excited to see Friday.  It’s been a long week! I’m off to see my parents in a few hours to celebrate Mother’s Day but wanted to drop in with a little update before I go.

My friends from the 90's are happy it's Friday

Let me quickly admit that I love Beth’s post today, where she breaks out 5 things that are making her happy and I’m copying her. I hope she doesn’t mind.

1) I’m cleared to be exercising again! My thyroid levels are looking better and the heart palpitations that have been bugging me should be going away soon.  I can actually take less thyroid medicine, which is awesome but I still have to stay on the heart medicine for another few weeks. Last night I celebrated with some resistance band work, though not much because I had a really heavy dinner and didn’t want to make myself feel sick.

Cue Snoopy and his happy dance!

2) I may be running the North Face Endurance Challenge Marathon Relay on June 4th!  We’re around90% certain we can get a 4th person for our team before the prices go up on Monday.  This was kind of totally a whim decision but one that I’m really excited about.  I haven’t ever done a trail race and a 6.4 mile introduction doesn’t sound horrible.  It actually looks pretty awesome and I think I know a few people doing the marathon or 50K so it will be a fun day.

Yes, I just went there.

3) I’ve found my training plan for the Rock N Roll Virginia Beach Half.  I’m using Runner’s World Smart Coach and am really excited to start.  I have to keep reminding myself that there would be no point in starting things up so early just because I’m excited and there’s no point in risking injury just to tweak the finish time by a teeny bit of time.  My current plan is to run for fun in May and cross train heavily.  Then I’ll start the actual training at the very end of May.  I’m going with a 13 week program, which some would say is bad luck but I think will be awesome. I’m thrilled with the plan’s potential.

4) There should be a giveaway coming up in the next few weeks on the blog. I actually have a pretty important blog related announcement coming up sometime soon, but I haven’t had time to sit down and get it put together.  Something just kind of fell into my lap and I’m excited to share it with everyone. 🙂

5) I’m off to spend a quiet weekend with the parents! I know I mentioned that in the beginning of my post but I’m so happy to have some family time on the books for this weekend.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there. I hope everyone has a great weekend!!

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April Wrap Up

April was a fun month, even though it was kind of chilly and really rainy!

I can't wait to see the May flowers after all this rain!

April was a fun month.  It started off with a huge 5K PR at a local race series that runs through my neighborhood.  It was a lot of fun and I was really excited.

I started taking heart medicine to fix the heart problems I’ve been having over the last few months.  It’s been great for my health but very hard for my body to adapt to exercising on the new medicine. I’m starting to notice it getting easier and I’m looking forward to seeing that continue.

I volunteered at the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler and ran the George Washington Parkway Classic 10 Miler.  The 10 miler was so hard for me but I was really proud to finish.  I know I can only get better at running longer distance!

So many bananas!

Done done done!!!


I started going to boot camp in mid-April.  The workouts are tough and leave me really sore.  I’m not super in love with the teacher but it’s only a one month class.  I know that strength training will help me running so I am trying to learn to embrace it.

I ran 3 more 5K’s in the Crystal Run 5K Friday series, 2 of which were in the rain!

Yay, I finally got over my fear of tripping over the timing mat and took a good finish line pic!

You know you've run a PR when your finish pics all show you staring down your Garmin!

I set another PR at the 4th 5K.  Two PR’s in one month! Pretty impressive! I’m already planning to blow it to pieces this fall after my half marathon training.  I can’t wait.  Hear me now, I will break 30 minutes in a 5K this year!! 🙂
I also had a great month on the blog! My traffic continues to go up every month and while the number is still tiny it’s nice to see that there are a few people who find these stories interesting!  And in April, I wrote my most viewed post When Can You Call Yourself a Runner and was blown away by how awesome runners are.
April’s been great but now I’m ready for May.  I can’t believe how quickly this year is going!! Towards the end of May, I’ll start training for my half marathon – Virginia Beach in the beginning of September.  I am so excited!
I hope everyone had a great April and hope your May is even better.  Do you have any big plans for May?

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Achoo!

I was doing pretty well this allergy season, I’ve experienced fewer allergy symptoms than usual.  And then Wednesday afternoon rolled around.  I started to get a weird sinus headache/migraine thing and it didn’t go away until about 5 a.m. this morning.

Sneezy cat understands my pain...

So I haven’t really exercised much this week.  I went to boot camp on Monday and got eaten up by mosquitoes (already. How did this happen?!), took a pass on Tuesday’s class, planned to do a Jillian Michaels DVD on Wednesday night but felt too sick.  Here I am today, hoping to run the last Crystal City 5K but I don’t know if that’s going to happen since I’m still really queasy.  I really wanted to set another PR but I am pretty certain that’s not going to happen so I’m not sure if I want to go out there to walk the course. I must be feeling pretty bad to be thinking I’d rather stay home. I was starting to get upset about it this afternoon but then I remembered I’m not training for anything right now so this is a pretty good time to feel like crap. There are going to be a lot of other chances to break 5K PRs.  🙂

Good luck to everyone running races this weekend – especially Beth & Amy who are on their way to rock the Eugene Marathon.

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Crystal City 5K Week 4/Jelly Bean Virtual Race Recap

Friday night, I ran the fourth Crystal City 5K, which was also my Jelly Bean Virtual Race!

The weather was less than ideal for the end of April, in the low 40’s and lots of cold rain.  I headed out with a North Face windbreaker over my tights & tee but by the time I got to the start, I was hot.  Probably because I wanted to get to the start as quickly as possible so I pretty much ran from home.  I checked my coat and a change of clothes and found Beth, who was doing a test run on her knee before she runs a marathon next weekend.  It was so much fun to run with her because she’s normally so much faster than me.  Thanks for running with me, Beth! 🙂

We took off, dodging puddles, and made it through the first mile in 9:50.  We were chatting and having a good time so I was surprised to see how quickly the first mile went for me.  The great part was that my heart felt great at the one mile mark, which is where I’ve been running into trouble.  I was still chatting and was feeling great.

I don’t remember much of mile 2. I remember I was feeling good, but for some reason my 2nd mile is always so much slower than 1 & 3.  I guess I was feeling good because I dropped my pace down to 10:38. 🙂

Mile 3 is where my heart started to beat too fast.  It wasn’t hurting but I started wheezing pretty hard (sorry for making you listen to that, Beth!), which I know is from my heart beating too fast to provide enough oxygen for the rest of me.  Nothing hurt though so I figured finishing up and getting out of the rain would be a better option than slowing down and walking.  I finished up mile 3 in 10:10.  Then Beth picked our target to pass in the last .2 before the finish (because of course I can’t run the actual course distance here) and we took off.  Race done in 32:27 (10:08 pace), a 9 second PR from Week 1!!

You know you've run a PR when your finish pics all show you staring down your Garmin!

I’m so excited to finish up next week. I’m really hoping to knock my time down into the 31 minute range.  It will all really depend on how the heart is feeling (though I have every reason to be optimistic that it’s feeling better each day) and if I can push myself it keep my mile 1 pace during mile 2. Oh, and to stop running the extra tenth of a mile.

I hope everyone had a great weekend full of lots of quality running.  Happy Easter!

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