Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thursday Blues

Wellll my alarm mysteriously did not go off this morning.... so I did not go run!

To be honest it did go off at 5 as planned, and I somehow managed to stumble out of bed and turn it off. Not press snooze, but turn it off. Then my back up alarm clock (just for general getting ready) did not go off. So, I slept until 7!

It felt great actually, and was probably needed. I didn't go to bed early because I got in the "sewing zone" making a dress for one of my sisters. Sometimes when I'm in the sewing zone I start thinking "oh I can just sew up those darts/cut those pieces/hem that skirt in the next five minutes" and then before I know it an hour has gone by and my sewing area looks like a herd of kindergartners were set free in a fabric store.

This is the dress I'm making for S:

View B, in a cool purple rayon batik
print. She is a tiny sprite of a girl and I
think it will look good.

I'm also making dresses for my other
sisters, M & K, but haven't finalized
fabric/pattern choices yet.

Tomorrow I am going to get up at 5 and
run! I swear! No take backs...even if I
stay up until 11 finishing this dress

Line Drawing

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Gym ettiquette?

Goal: up at 5:00; 6 mile run
Reality: up at 5:05; 5 mile run

Well once again I failed at going to bed early. Rodgy and I stayed up watching Downton Abbey (season three is just around the corner!!!) and before I knew it, ten o'clock had come and gone. S

But- the coffee was brewed and I only pressed snooze once- and felt so guilty I didn't press it again.

Onto the run- I had hoped to run 6 miles. I had gone 2.5 and needed to hop off the treadmill to use the restroom. I pressed pause, left my ipod and sweat towel on the machine, and scurried off. I came back after a little over a minute (maybe? I didn't time it...) to find a woman already on my machine! She was shoving my stuff off to the side and was getting the machine all reset. I stood at the side of the machine until she noticed me (she had headphones in so it took a minute) when I reached for my ipod. She asked if I was still using it and seemed genuinely annoyed when I replied that yes, I had just run to the restroom... I mean, I seriously wasn't off the machine long enough for the "workout summary" screen to be gone. I just went another 2.5 after I regained control of treadmill #4 but was so bored at that point I stepped off. I finished with lunges, abs, and pushups. mid-workout treadmill takeover highlights a common problem in gyms, especially small ones like my current gym. There are only four (!) treadmills.

three of the four treadmills (                    

When the mister and I signed up I made sure to ask about time limits on the machines, and the standard answer (30 min or less when busy) was given. Therefore, I think that I was okay asking for my machine back today- although the other machines were in use I had been using it for less than 30 minutes. Thoughts?

I have used gyms without a time limit (a runner would do 20 mile runs for marathon training there!! Crazy!) and gyms that had the 30 minute time limit plastered all over the place. At one gym I remember people getting in line behind my treadmill once I got to the 26 or 27 minute point. I am more a fan of the no limit policy- I mean, cardio is good for you! But I see the point in limiting usage during busy times.  It is annoying when you have to wait for a machine...but also annoying to have a queue forming behind you, getting flicked with sweat...

Tomorrow I'm hoping for another 5:00 work out. Is is sad that my friend and I made running plans for 7:45 on Saturday and I thought oh good, I can sleep in??


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Cuddling vs Running

As I mentioned, the following tips are supposed to help you wake up for an early morning workout. Here is how they worked for me today:

1. Set everything out the night before.
  • This was helpful because I didn't waste time trying to find my socks/sports bra/shorts...but I did forget to set out my sweat towel (none are provided at the gym), headphones, and a t-shirt to change into after my run... so I guess I need a checklist of "gym stuff".
2. Put your alarm clock out of reach.
  • This was the cruelest, yet most effective tip. I set my alarm in a place that I had to actually get up to turn it off. BRUTAL. I did press snooze (ignoring tip number 6) but I didn't fall back asleep like I normally would.
3. Go to bed earlier (WHAT! Mind blown....)
  • Didn't happen. Probably would have helped. 
4. Program coffee maker the night before.
  • Ugh I wish I had remembered to do this...
5. Meet up with someone
  • Not an option because I don't know anyone else that goes to this gym :( but I did see a colleague (not someone I'd call to meet up though)
6. Have a "no snooze" policy
  • See number 2....oops. I guess this habit will be hard to break. I love my snooze button!
7. Plan the work out before you wake up
  • I did plan out my workout in my head as I was falling asleep. I guess this helped? I didn't really have to fret about what I would do once I got to the gym, and it was nice having a goal.
So- how successful was this attempt to wake up early? My alarm was set for 5...and I got up at 5:20. There was part of me (okay about 75% of me) that wanted to say screw it and just get more sleep and cuddle Rodgy.

Who could resist cuddling with this little guy??? Creepy sleeping pic courtesy of the mister. Please note the phone next to us...sometimes I'll keep it in bed after the first alarm goes I can press snooze over and over and over....
But I knew I wouldn't go work out tonight, and of course I'm glad I went.

The workout itself was pretty boring. 5 miles- 10 minute warm up, then 5x 3 min hard, 2 min easy, and maybe 4 minutes cool down. I know I should take more time to recover but the treadmill already is the worst. Don't judge.

Tomorrow I am going to try to get up at 5, just like my alarm says to....and I want to get 6 miles in. Here's hoping that is successful!!!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Running in the morning

Today's Run: 4 miles on the treadmill, 30 minutes, 31 seconds.

It is usually best for me to get my runs over with in the morning, before work. My job can get stressful and most nights I am just ready to make dinner and crash. But it is still really difficult to wake up with enough time to get a good workout in! My husband is crazy and wakes up at 4:30 am to go workout! To be fair, he works earlier than I do, and works about 45 minutes away. But still. Crazy! I really struggle waking up early to run, even though it didn't used to be a problem.

A couple of years ago my friend/roommate/teammate and I would be up every day at 5:00 to run with our little four legged buddy Ari, and that was never a problem.

Little Ari
But is another story. Maybe I have just perfected the art of convincing myself that I'll go after work, or that just one day off won't hurt. But I need to stop doing that, and just get my ass out of bed! I love the feeling of getting my run over with and having the whole evening to relax. Plus, I feel that even though I get up earlier and exercise, I still have more energy (maybe I drink more coffee??).

In any case,one of my new goals is to get up at 5 during the week to get my run in-every day! I've perused some blogs/running sites for tips on making this easier. Here are my favorites:

1. Set everything out the night before.
2. Put your alarm clock out of reach.
3. Go to bed earlier (WHAT! Mind blown....)
4. Program coffee maker the night before.
5. Meet up with someone
6. Have a "no snooze" policy
7. Plan the work out before you wake up

Some of these might seem like no brainers, but for me they are hard to put into practice! Any other tips are appreciated!!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The ghost of runs past....

I almost didn't even make it to the gym this morning. My key fob thing (is that what it is called? ) was missing. I was resigned to sneak in to the gym using the mister's key fob but it turned up in the back of the car... so I was one part relieved (they charge $35 to replace those bad boys!!) and one part annoyed because I had spent 20 minutes tearing the house apart looking for it.

Anyway. The gym was less packed than anticipated for a Saturday morning. I hopped on a treadmill and thought up a nice little workout to make the run less than torture. I figured I'd do 10 minutes warm up, then five times three minutes hard, two minutes easy. The warm up was fine so I turned the pace to 7:13 (just starting to get back in shape...this used to be a long run pace....) and put my towel over the time/distance/pace screen. The treadmills at the gym each have a TV on them so I switched mine on just in time to catch the greatest show ever- SportsNation Turkey's. This show featured some goofs and misses that made me actually laugh out loud, at the gym, during a workout- and made my first three minute repeat turn into six minutes total, without even realizing it. So the workout changed to six minutes hard, three minutes easy (twice) followed by three times three minutes hard, two minutes easy ( I think?). Whatever- it was 5 miles total in 37:47. 7:33 pace overall.

I checked my running log from 4 years ago and I ran 6.5 miles at 7:23 pace. Thinking about how easy running so fast used to be usually makes me frustrated.   I know why I not as fast as before (helloooo weeks off at a time...) and I know what I need to do to be at that level of fitness again. It is just that actually committing to that again is not easy- which is part of the reason I started this blog.

I love to run. I love to be fast and I love to work hard to be fast. I want to again challenge myself to become the best runner I can be.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Old Man Winter

I'm sorry to say that winter has finally arrived in Minnesota. We've had a lovely, mild autumn, and  yesterday was 60 degrees (!!!)..but all good things must come to an end. It is barely above freezing this afternoon.

Winter running is one of my least favorite things ever....well, at least most days of winter running. I used to be tough, and ran outside on all but the most brutal days. One of my favorite runs was a day in December or January back in college, and my coach told my fellow distance girls and myself to go out for 45 was windy, sleeting, and freezing, but we toughed it out together and ran outside. When we got back inside and thawed, our coach (who was bundled up in a floor length down coat) commented that maybe we shouldn't have gone outside. Too little, too late for that Tim!

Now that I am an old lady that is no longer running every day with my ten best friends, I have found that I am also not as tough as I used to be. Running outside in the winter is something I cannot bring myself to do alone! Unfortunately, treadmill running is its own kind of challenge/hell so running inside is hardly a preferable alternative. I have bounced around from gym to gym all over the area, from the posh (Lifetime SLP!! I'll never get over your luxury....) to the less flashy  (YMCA in WSP-my HS locker room beats this place) but none of these gyms have made the treadmill experience less terrible.

However. I'm not an idiot. I am lucky to be able to afford a gym membership and to live in an area with trails/well lit streets. So no excuses this winter. I am going to run at least 5 days per week, so when the beautiful Minnesota summer rolls around, I will be in shape to enjoy those long runs on the river and lakes.