Saturday, September 29, 2012

My favorite sports bra ever.

I used to get cheapie sports bras from Target. They don't provide the support I need for running, though, and were questionable for the other athletic stuff I do. I finally decided to break down and buy myself a big girl sports bra!
I had a coupon for a local sports store, so I checked out their stock. I really like the sports bra I got from them, I do, but it's not my favorite.

Under Armour Endure sports bra

I really like the criss-cross straps in the back, but the front of it cuts a bit into my armpits. It's still comfy, so it's definitely near the top of the rotation.

However, I found another bra at my local running store, and I have fallen in love. I have it in both black and white.

Moving Comfort Fiona sports bra

I love this thing. It stays put. It fits around my rib cage, and the shoulder straps are adjustable. It also wicks like nobody's business. I have become a Moving Comfort convert.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Lap around the lake

Tonight's run was short and quick. A mile around Crown Hill Lake... 11:14 minutes. It's a good thing it was short... I couldn't slow down, although I could tell I needed to if I was going to run anything more than a mile. However, it was getting late and dark, I'm afraid of crazies when I run at night, and I had just given four hours of massage and didn't really have the energy, mental or physical, for anything more.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

New trail, better times

I decided to go numerous loops around the park behind my house today for a more ambitious trail. I headed to Little Dry Creek Trail down the street from my house and checked out the damage from last night's torrential downpour in a little out and back run.

The last week or two of running hasn't been good. I mentioned before that I felt like I was in a slump; my pace was slow and my breathing was crap. I had exercise-induced asthma in high school, and realized that this is the first time I've really, truly exerted myself since organized sports back then. I found an over-the-counter asthma medication and tried it out today. 

Wow. What a difference. The first mile was pretty good but my breathing wasn't there. I struggled a bit going into the second mile, and thought, oh well, the pills didn't work. I walked a bit at end of that mile, enjoyed some beautiful scenery, chilled out, and turned around to head back. My third mile was the same pace as the first, but felt so much easier. I was feeling really good by this point. I cranked it up for the last full mile and ran it in an 11:14 minute pace, and then pushed the last 400 feet at a 10:31 minute pace!

I'm still slow, but this felt gooood.

Parts of it could have been faster... we had a pretty heavy rainstorm last night and a couple of the underpasses were muddy and slick. I had to tiptoe my way through these to prevent myself from skidding out. It was crazy to see the damage from last night's storm... wish I'd had a camera on me.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I've become a doper!

Okay, not really. But I did pick up some vitamins at Walgreen's last night that I'm pretty excited about.

I already take a crapload of calcium due to a medical issue (parathyroids got taken down when my thyroid was removed), so I'm in the habit of taking horse pills daily; adding one more isn't that much of a hassle. I also don't have the best diet, but I'm working on that. Hopefully these will help.

What I especially liked about this particular formulation is that there is not an inordinate amount of any one thing -- it's a good mix of a bunch of vitamins and none over 300% of the recommended daily value. Sure, I'll take 1300% of my daily intake of Vitamin C if I'm fighting off illness, but this supplement is meant as just that... a supplement.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Scheduled Rest Day

Some weeks I take easier than others. I think this is going to be an easy week, especially after yesterday's milestone. I'm actually feeling a bit sore and tired for once. I could go running today... but I feel like taking the day off. Now if only I could find a beach...

Sunday, September 23, 2012

New milestone - 4 miles

I've decided to embrace my slowness this week, and went for a slower, longer run tonight. I ran 4 miles for the first time in my running career!

I wasn't fast. In fact, I'm hoping that this is the slowest I ever run 4 miles. At least I was good at pacing myself.

The first 5 minutes is my warm-up walk; I stayed pretty darn close to 13:30 for each mile time, then did a little cool-down walk before coming inside and stretching.

Have I mentioned how much I love my Garmin? This thing keeps me going way after my mind tells me that I've gone long enough.

Yesterday's run

Ran around Lake Arbor in Arvada yesterday. Got to see lots of high schoolers getting pictures taken for some semi-formal dance. What a bunch of hoochie mamas. Two good things about that, though... every time I went around their group, I was motivated to keep going. Also, they made me appreciate the natural beauty of the lake that much more.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Aches and pains

I got my first chiropractic adjustment ever yesterday. I'm a little bit ashamed to say that... I've seen the benefits every week in my position as a massage therapist in a chiropractic office, and I saw how it benefited my mother when I was a kid. I just didn't think I needed it.
Turns out I did. The ache/pain I've been feeling for the past month or so in my left hip was likely caused by the imbalance in my hips and sacrum. My left leg was shorter than my right... but now they're back to same length. I also had an issue with the vertebrae in my midback and neck. I ached a bit last night, but today I feel pretty good. Since it was my first session, the doc stayed pretty conservative in treatment; I still have some issues to work on, and I bet I'll be back.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Tough run today

I've now been running just long enough to recognize when I'm not having a great week. That would include this week. I want to be able to run a 10K in the near future without killing myself, but I can't seem to break through the 5K distance.

I started the Bridge to 10K this week, and so far, I'm not doing so hot. Week 1 is supposed to be 3 sessions, consisting of jogging 10 minutes, then walking 1 minute, and repeating 4 times. So far I've done that once... and the next two sessions I was only able to eke out 3 repeats. Today was just plain rough and I really had to mentally push myself to finish the last 5 minutes of the third 10 minute jog, and ran over a minute slower than my first 10 minute jog. I felt like I couldn't catch my breath. I'm not sure what is causing the slowdown, but I'm hoping that after a rest day tomorrow, things will pick up again.

In better news, I bought some new duds off ebay yesterday and got them hand-delivered that night. Yay for the seller living five minutes away from me! I wore them today and am pleased with my purchase.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Testing shoes

When I first started running, I wore a ratty old pair of Nikes that I had bought for clinic in massage school. They were serviceable when I was starting the C25K, but as I started being able to string together more minutes of running, it became more obvious that they weren't going to cut the mustard.

I have odd feet. I know, I know, most people probably say that, and mine aren't freakshow level (I don't think), but not just any old shoe fits. I have low arches, bunions, and narrow heels. My toes are long and flat. There are entire styles of shoes that I avoid altogether. So, I was a little anxious to start the search for running shoes that weren't too expensive, and also about putting myself forth as a runner when I was just barely starting out. Were the salespeople going to laugh at me?

I had no clue where to start. I knew I needed something better than what I had, but what? And where should I buy them? I journeyed to the mall (any excuse to go there is always good in my book), and wandered through a few different sports stores. I ended up price checking and buying a pair of Brooks Ravenna 3 shoes from the last store I visited based on the recommendation of the clerk there. I had tried on a few pairs in other stores, but this was the first -- and only -- pair I tried on at the final store. The salesperson was awesome and took me seriously and put me in exactly what I needed.
Brooks Ravenna 3

They've been great, and having new shoes is always a motivation to me to use them. However, at the Panerathon 5K, we received coupons to the Road Runner Sports store in the same shopping plaza as the Panera store. I'm already a VIP member at RR, so this was an added bonus to go shopping. After the race was over, I headed over to see if my shoes are really as awesome as I thought, or if they were just awesome compared to those ratty old Nikes. I worked with the cheeriest girl ever to sell footwear.

I tried on Mizuno Wave Inspire 8s. They had a weird bump that pushed into the medial side of my heel; if I noticed it just walking around, I couldn't imagine what it would feel like after a few miles.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 8

 I tried on some Asics Gel-DS Trainer 17s. They were okay, but didn't seem to fit my foot right. 

Asics Gel-DS Trainer 17

Then my salesperson put me in a pair of Brooks PureCadences. 
Brooks PureCadence

I was there with my boyfriend who wanted nothing more than to finally head home after the race and get in a nap before his afternoon work shift, so I felt a bit pressured to speed up my normally hesitant, wishy-washy shopping style. I thought they felt like a dream! Great fitting, enjoyed walking around in them, hopped on the in-store treadmill for a couple of minutes and still liked them. I walked out the door with them.

The next day I took them for a run. Everything that felt great walking around turned into not such a good thing when I was running. It felt like they forced me to run on the sides of my feet, and in fact, the lateral sides of my feet starting going a bit numb. My left foot hurt. My right ankle didn't feel quite right. I slogged out the run, determined halfway through to return these bad boys and resolved to spend more time with the trying on process in the store next time.

I ended up returning them last night. Road Runner Sports has a great shoe return policy; 90 days to try, wear, workout, see how they go, and if anything is wrong with them, they accept them back. Road Runner only had the Ravennas in the color I already have in stock at the store, so I ordered a pair from their website in a different color (the color I *really* wanted once I found out that it was available, *after* I had already bought my purply-blue pair).

Brooks Ravenna 3 - anthracite/silver

They should arrive early next week. Another perk of the Road Runner VIP membership is free shipping!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The beginning... sort of

I was never a runner. Oh, I played sports in high school like millions of other kids, and I'd say that at that point in my life I was fit, but running was something I did as part of something else. Not on its own, because really, what's the point of running over there just to run back over here and waste time (or so I thought back then)?

Keeping fit with an 18-year old body was a whole lot easier than it is now, almost two decades later. Add in work stress, social life commitments, going back to school, and a little bout with thyroid cancer that threw my metabolism out of whack, and I felt like was a fatty. Sure, I wasn't morbidly obese, but I certainly wasn't happy or healthy.

My friends would decide to do something strenuous, physical, some fun activity that honestly my body couldn't do with my current level of fitness; I'd either beg off due to work or "just not interested" and either try not to take notice when they left me behind, or watch from the sidelines. It got tiresome. I was tired of being the fat, lazy friend who couldn't, or didn't, do anything. I wanted to be able to do those things, too!

I still retain some of my muscularity from high school and some college athletics; I have some residual strength, I just didn't have stamina or endurance for longer aerobic activities. I decided to change that after I got the results from my first annual post-cancer exams that I was clear. Sure, my life was never really in danger, but what better time to make some changes and get a little healthier? I'd heard about the Couch to 5K running plan; I had even sort of started it last winter, but just fizzled. This time, I had determination and desire.

I finished Couch to 5K sometime in August. I don't know exactly when I stopped following the schedule, but since I was feeling good and ready to just keep running on my own time, I took off the C25K training wheels and kept on going. I ran my first 5K race on September 8, 2012, and I ran my second 5K on September 16. My friends and I are planning on running another 5K on Thanksgiving Day and I'm actually excited about it. Since I already know I can do it, I'll be training in the time between now and then to improve my time. I've also moved on to the Bridge to 10K plan and will be looking for a 10K race to run in the spring. Who knows... I even have the idea to run a half-marathon in the back of my head! I'm still considered a beginner runner, though, so I'll consider this the beginning.

I was a skinny, flexible kid.

High school - field hockey days - probably the last time I ran on a regular basis.

Recreational softball. Yes, it's a beer league. I was red and sweaty and winded that day.