Monday, July 30, 2012

do over!

I went home this weekend to Halifax for a wedding (which was actually in PEI). My weekend was filled with spending time with family (both mine and my boyfriend Jamie's)!

Lots of laughing, eating, and sleeping. And of course lots of driving (21 hours in 4 days, ugh).

AND absolutely no running. So this week I am going to re-do week 7 of my running plan. My eating has also fallen towards the not so healthy side recently, with this weekend being the worst! To counteract my weekend I am planning on monitoring portion size more closely this week and increasing my water intake.

Six and a half weeks until my dual-run (5k Friday evening, 10k Saturday morning) and I want to be in my best condition!

Here are the songs I chose to download for my new running music. I got some ideas from this Women's Health Magazine article, and thought of some on my own:

The Prodigy - Firestarter
Refused - New Noise
Outkast - B.O.B
Fatboy Slim - Rockafellar Skank
Daft Punk - Around the World/Harder Better Faster Stronger (remix from their live album)
Franz Ferdinand - Do you want to?
MGMT - Kids
MSTRKRFT - Bounce (All I do is Party)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

get up and try again

One great thing about Portland was that I finally got to check out Whole Foods. It was pretty amazing! Their fresh food looked delicious and they had so many options. I wasn't able to get a full grocery load so I picked up a few treats for myself:

I bought a re-useable sandwich bag from Built and two Justin's single serving Almond butter. One original and one maple! 

Yesterday I ran 3km. It was incredibly difficult. My legs felt like lead. I just could NOT move them any faster. I ended up finishing, but it was a struggle.

I am usually a morning runner. I think I perform better in the evening, but usually by the time I get home I am feeling too wiped out from my day that I can't force myself to run. This morning I woke up and felt like I really needed an extra hour of sleep, so I gave that to myself. When I came home this evening this is how I felt about running 6km:

Do I have to?

Today was the first time since I started my running program that I have really felt like calling it quits. 100%, not doing it. So, I told myself not to think about it and just get dressed and go. So that's what I did!

After my last trail debacle I decided to try out another trail nearby. This trail is one straight path that goes along the river. I'm glad I gave trail running a second try! Beautiful wide paths, and I actually saw real live people!!

The trail goes directly beside the river which is gorgeous and if I decide to run on a hot day, I can just jump right in!

During my run, I am feeling great and I am SO happy that I forced myself to come out. And then...

BOOM! I took a huge nose dive (probably over a root)! I scraped up my knee and jammed my finger a little. More than anything I was SO embarrassed, and thank that there was no one around to see. I kept running (a bit more cautiously) and made it home in one peice.

And on that note, I am going to bed.

Monday, July 23, 2012

lost & found

I've had a few very interesting runs recently. On Friday, I decided to finally try out the UMaine campus trails. I have gone on the trails once or twice before, for very short walks. I set out with a little map, my iPod and my sense of adventure to complete a 4km run. Ten minutes into the jog and I'm feeling fantastic. Why have I not used the trails until now?! It was sunny out but the tree cover provided wonderful shade. The trails were wide and even, with a fairly flat route. I'm loving every minute!

My first turn approaches and the trail isn't marked as clearly as I had hoped. No worries! I find it on the map and keep going. Fast forward to about 15 minutes later. I have NO idea if I'm on the right trail or not! Have not seen a sign in awhile. Almost trip twice. Have to resort to walking. Go through a very swampy area leading to TWO soaked and muddy feet. Roots everywhere and the trail has somehow become about a foot wide. I end up crossing paths with a man on a bike (first person I have seen by the way) who tells me where I am going. I end up back on the right path, feeling very discouraged! [I would like to note that I wasn't really lost... I always knew the direction of the road and the woods really aren't that thick. It would have just been very annoying to have to go to the road and walk around, would have made my run 3x as long!]

I am happy that I got out and tried something new. However I think it made me realize that I am definitely a city runner! One good thing was that I finally tried out my new hand held water bottle:

It was amazing! It was a little sloshy but I definitely appreciated the water and the small pouch to hold my keys. Will be using this again for sure. I purchased it at the Running Room for $15.99 Canadian.

This past weekend I went to Portland, ME with my friend Sarah. Sarah ran the Old Port Half Marathon and did amazing! So proud of her. Especially since there was a mix up with the cab and she almost missed the start!

While Sarah was off being amazing I decided to stick to my running plan and run 7km. I decided to run around Back Cove. There is a beautiful trail that is very flat and right next to the water. There are water fountains along the trail which I have never experienced before. I was SO grateful for them as I did not bring my trusty water bottle. 
I was unaware that my planned run was along the race route! Fortunately they still had the trail open, but I did have to be aware of those doing the race. I was going in the opposite direction of the runners but it was wonderful motivation to keep going and I hope my cheers helped some of them stay motivated too!

Portland is a beautiful city with lots of trails and parks! I would love to visit again.

Sarah and I in Portland!

Ashlee and I in Portland!

This week I will be starting week 7 of my 12 week training program. Over half way! I want to celebrate this milestone with some new running music. Any suggestions?! I prefer to run to upbeat dance music.

This week:
Monday - off (did some leisurely swimming)
Tuesday - 3km
Wednesday - 6km
Thursday - off
Friday - 9km
Saturday - 5km

Monday, July 16, 2012

busy bee

What a busy week! Back in Maine, getting settled back into the school routine. Managing to keep on top of my running which I'm happy about.

Just completed week 5 of my training which included:
M - off
T - 3k
W - 4k
T - off
F - 3k and I did kickboxing at the UMaine Rec Center! (Beautiful new gym, check out their facilities!)
S - 6k
S - walk 30 mins

I actually ended up doing the 6k today (time 39:39, pace 10:35, 3 - 1 minute walking breaks). I ended up waking up too late on the weekend and so by the time I got up it was WAY too hot! Today was beautiful though. It was a tough run which I attribute to me not sticking to my schedule. So I want to make a point of trying to stay on track.

Some photos from my run today:

Two photos while I'm crossing a bridge.
View of the bridge from another part of my run.

The route I've been doing lately has allowed me to check out my current neighbourhood a little bit which is nice. I go over that bridge twice (there and back), which allows for gorgeous views and a nice breeze. Today I ran through the University of Maine campus which has great tree cover. My only complaint is that in a lot of areas the sidewalks are TERRIBLE but there is usually a wide shoulder, so I run there instead.

My running schedule (week 6) for this week is:

M - off (but I ran the 6k)
T - 3k
W - 5k
T - off
F - 4k
S - 7k
S - walk 30 mins

I am trying to increase my strength, and so I am trying to incorporate more strength workouts in my routine. I find this difficult to do on my own, as usually by the time I get home from a run (even just 3k!) I am WIPED out. I think the heat has a lot to do with it. This is why I attended kickboxing last week. 
I want to do kettlebell on Wednesday, but I'm not sure if I'm up for a 5k AND kettlebell. Looking for some opinions here... should I keep my current schedule and try to do a 5k and kettlebell? I could also switch my T/W run and do 5k tomorrow and 3K & kettlebell Wednesday, but then I would be doing a 6k and a 5k back to back. Let me know if you have any insight! Thanks

The beautiful UMaine Rec Center lit up at night!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

a day in the life

I started out today with a 5k run. It was amazing! Perfect weather... sunny and hot but not humid, with a bit of a breeze. It was fantastic. And I came home with a healthy glow, aka sweat:

I haven't posted much in terms of food so I thought I would take a few pictures of what I ate today. Sorry the quality of the photos isn't great.

Post run snack consisted of cottage cheese, 1/2 banana with a little bit of honey bunches of oats on the top. I've been trying to incorporate cottage cheese into my diet because it's high in protein, and relatively low in calories and fat.

Next was lunch. I opted for one of my favorites: eggs! I fried two eggs and toasted two pieces of sourdough bread. I put avocado and a slice of deli turkey on the bread with some spinach. Cherry tomatoes on the side!

For supper I grilled with my friend Sarah. I had shrimp skewers and corn on the cob. So delicious!

I hope this gives you some ideas for healthy meals. If you have any favorite healthy recipes (especially those including cottage cheese!) please send them my way.

Friday, July 6, 2012

maine living

I'm back in Maine now to complete a 6 week practicum for school. I'm sad and a little nervous to leave my running buddies behind. That being said, I have some new inspiration as I recently signed up for not one, but TWO runs! The two runs are a part of a running weekend called Maritime Race Weekend. I will be running a 5k on Friday evening, and the next morning I will be running at 10k. To top it off this will be my first ever 10k! I'm really excited to do this and also scared, so I'm hoping these two feelings will meld together to boost my motivation.

The race takes place around Eastern Passage and Cow Bay in Nova Scotia. It's going to be along the coast which will be beautiful. The two races have a pirate theme which I LOVE! They are calling the two races together the Tartan Twosome.

You can check them out on facebook here.

I recently bought some new products I tried out today. One was Body Glide which is an anti-chafing and anti-irritation balm. I used it this morning on a 3k run. I thought it was fantastic! It was not greasy, as opposed to the Vaseline I was using previously. It held up despite the fact that it was really warm out. I am looking forward to trying it out on a longer run soon. 

 And finally...

Nikki [left] and I prior to a VERY hot 6k that we did last Sunday morning.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Self Motivation

We've all heard the saying 'running is 90% mental'. I want to challenge that and say that running is 95% mental. No wait, 99.99999% mental.There are so many times throughout a run where I want to quit. Quitting is SO easy. It takes much more determination and focus to continue, but it really pays off in the end.

One way I have found to ease my mental strain is to run with others. Having someone else there pushing you along helps me tremendously. And, if you look over at your partner, and you're BOTH dying, then I think it's safe to say that you can take a break without beating yourself up about it.

While running, I recite multiple positive phrases to myself in order to push myself farther and faster. Some of my common ones are "you can do it!", "don't give up now!", and "think about how good you'll feel after!". Also, I have begun to tell myself that I am not finished running until I'm done. Meaning, I haven't reached my end point, so there is no option to stop. So, since I can't stop running, I might as well stop thinking about it and let go and enjoy it!

NOTE: I do not think walking or taking a break is giving up!! I take multiple breaks and walk. I believe that a person knows deep down when they have given up and could have tried harder, and it really comes down with how you feel you performed. 

And, if all else fails, watch this video and this kid should get you pumped up and ready to achieve your goals: