Archive for September, 2010

Race Recap: IKEA 5k 2010

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

I ran another 5k race this morning. I’m happy to report that it was far more successful than the 5k I did last month, where I couldn’t even run the whole thing without walking. (Still beating myself up about that one…)

This is the second time I ran this particular race. Last year, I did pretty well (great for where I was a year ago!) and this year was even better.

Once again, my friend J-Roc ran it with me. We decided that we’d try to beat each other in an attempt to push ourselves to do better. He was convinced that I’d have a better time, but I wasn’t so sure.

The first mile of this race is downhill, which is great for me. A lot of people have problems running down hills because the impact hurts their knees. It doesn’t bother me at all, though: I still have reasonably young knees, and since I went most of my life without doing much physical activity, they’re not worn out. Advantage: laziness!

So, I ran my little heart out that first mile, passing as many people as possible. After the Mile 1, we got to a trail which was perfectly flat. That’s when I had to slow down to my normal pace… and many of the people I had just passed passed me back.

But not J-Roc!

He didn’t pass me until a little bit into the third mile… :/

Of course, I couldn’t let that stand for long, and I sped up a bit so we were going at the same pace. Shortly before the finish line, I picked it up again (thanks to Huey Lewis on my iPod) and finished ahead of him by a whole 8 seconds. Take THAT, J-Roc!

The best part, really, is that I set a PR, finally breaking thirty minutes in a 5k.

At 29:09.

Yee haw!

Actually, this race only had a chip sensor at the finish, instead of both the start and finish. Which means they give everybody the same start time even though – unless you are at the very front of the pack – you likely didn’t start at the same time as the gun. And I was not at the front.

Which means, my real time is probably more like 28:50 or so, but we won’t split hairs: I broke 30 minutes, and I’m thrilled.

Now I have to set a new goal! Any suggestions?

Running Washington

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Last week my husband had to go to Washington D.C. for a meeting – he’s important like that. As I mentioned, I have a friend who lives pretty close to DC (Awesomesauce!), so I hitched a ride with him so I could spend the day in our capitol with her.

But that’s only part of the reason I wanted to go.

Years ago, one of my old running buddies* told me about this “2-mile loop” in DC that goes by all the monuments. Ever since then, I’ve wanted to run this loop. I’ve been to DC a few times in the recent years, but I’ve never actually seen any of the famous landmarks. None of them!**

This was the perfect opportunity. In the morning, I had breakfast with my husband in the hotel lobby, then he went off to his meeting and I figured out how to maneuver the Metro to get over to the main part of the city. I didn’t really have any problems, but I got off earlier than planned because I saw “White House” on a sign outside the window at one of the stops. I’m such a kid, sometimes.

I got off the Metro and followed the sign up the steps. When I got off, there it was: The White House. I truly didn’t think I would be as excited about it as I was. I’ve seen it hundreds of times on TV and in photos, but that just doesn’t capture how amazing it is in person. I would love to tour the inside some day.

I didn’t really know what this ‘loop’ was exactly, but I looked it up on the interwebs and talked to some others about it. It sounded like it was a pretty well-known, easy to find/do thing, and it went from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial and back. So, I asked one of the guards standing on the street in front of the WH how to get to the Capitol Building. They pointed me in the right direction and I was on my way!

The next thing I saw was not the Capitol Building though. I turned a corner, and there in front of me was the Washington Monument! Holy cow is that thing big! I stopped running for a few minutes to take a picture.

Then I was off again! Next up was the World War II Memorial, which was cool, but not as awe-inspiring as the other two – probably because it’s not as famous.

Kept running in the same direction, because I could see something big and white in front of me. I wasn’t sure what it was, but I knew it was something! When I got closer, I discovered it was the Lincoln Memorial!

And in it…

And then I turned around…

I was looking for the Reflecting Pool ever since I ran by the Washington Monument. I expected it to be really close! It was very neat, but not as nice as Forrest Gump made it out to be…

I set off running again, not knowing where I was going. This so-called “loop” was not very clear. It might look clear on a map, but not when you’re running it. There were paths and turns all over the place! I asked for directions to the Capitol Building again.

Shortly thereafter, I ran by a man sitting on a bench taking a picture of himself and apparently having issues getting it just right. I offered to take the photo for him. He thanked me – in an Australian accent! – and I took a picture of him with the Jefferson Memorial in the background. I like to think that I gave him a positive impression of all Americans :)

Jefferson has always been my favorite. The Declaration of Independence really gets my juices flowing :)

Once again, I asked directions to the Capitol Building, since this alleged “loop” supposedly went from the Lincoln Memorial to the Capitol Building, and I had really hoped to see the Capitol. But alas, I discovered that it would take too long for me to run there, take the Metro back to my hotel, then shower and change in time to meet Awesomesauce, so I had to abandon the Capitol and head back.

“Loop” my ass.

Regardless, this was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. I wouldn’t say it was a great training workout (even though I sweat my butt off) because I stopped so frequently to take pictures, but I would do it again in a heartbeat. With a slightly more planned out route so I could finally see the Capitol.

*I miss you, M-Cat!
**Not true. One year, my husband and I got lost looking for our hotel the night before a Kung Fu tournament and wound up in the parking lot of the Capitol Building. But it was dark. And it was just the parking lot. It doesn’t count.

Phase Three

Monday, September 6th, 2010

I’m halfway through Week 10 of P90X. Since it’s a 12-week program, that means I’m almost done! I haven’t been perfect, but I read somewhere that if you stick to your training program about 90% of the time, that’s pretty damn good. I’m paraphrasing, of course.

I feel like my overall fitness has improved through the program, and I can see a difference in my arms – there’s some actual definition there!

Unfortunately, I haven’t really lost much weight. Weight loss is about 80% diet and 20% exercise, so – given my eating habits of late – it’s no surprise that I haven’t seen good news on the scale.

Last weekend my parents visited, which was quite enjoyable. However, we ate out for every meal while they were here. You know how when people you are dining with are eating dessert it’s harder to refrain yourself? Yeah, I had an ice cream sundae on Saturday and cake on Sunday… after mostly unhealthy meals…

Then on Monday, my husband and I went to DC; he had a business meeting on Tuesday and I have a friend who lives nearby who I spent the day with. Of course, this friend has been perfecting her homemade cupcakes for theca last few months and I coerced her into bringing me some. I ate two. They were delicious.

Wednesday was back to normal. I went grocery shopping (for the first time in about three weeks!) so we finally had food to cook. I should really try to be better at keeping the house stocked with food; it’s much easier to rationalize eating out or ordering in when there’s not much food available to cook.

I’ve been trying to be good about my eating for the last bunch of days, but that one week was pretty detrimental: On Friday I weighed 174 – a heartbreaking increase from 171 from the week prior. Even though I worked out every day that week, my food intake was so bad that I still gained three pounds. Ridiculous.

I’m not sure why I keep doing this to myself. Two steps forward; two steps back.

Unless those three pounds weren’t legitimate and I’m magically down to 170 this week, getting down to 164 by my birthday is going to be a stretch. I’m not willing to call it yet – I still have about a month left – but it’s not going to be easy. I need to get back on my game and start trying harder.

Here goes nothing!