Saturday, December 27, 2008

Post-Christmas Post

One of the things I love about Christmas is that my older brother still is the first to wake up/wake me up, and my parents still fill our stockings! Never gets old.

After church on Christmas Eve night, the fiance & I set out for an easy 3 mile run through the neighborhood among the lights. So beautiful! It also happened to be in the 60s, so the weather was great. That was my first nighttime run, and I loved it. So peaceful.

I woke up Christmas morning with sinus pain. I have been poppin these bad boys the past few days & feel pretty good at this point.
Even though I felt pretty beat on Christmas night with the sinus stuff, I knew we had a scheduled 2 mile run to do. I was planning on just skipping it, but we ended up running it on the treadmill at my future in law's house (they have a home gym!). I kept off the incline, though.
Friday was my first rest day this week. Today was a milestone! We took advantage of the amazing weather and went to First Landing State Park, where we ran 6 miles (a half mile longer than the most I've ever run) on the trails/through the mud! All I can say is wow...painful! I have problems with my esophagus, and while the first 3 miles felt pretty good, during the last 3 I felt like someone was stepping on my esophagus. I grunted and moaned my way through the last 2 miles. It really sucks because this happens often and is very debilitating, even though my legs, respiratory, and circulatory system feel fine. I could not have finished this run without the fiance by my side, encouraging me & praying with me. It sounds dramatic, but I pray this doesn't happen during the actual race, because it could really prevent me from finishing, and that would devastate me. On the other hand, the scenery was beautiful & I definitely want to run trails again. We finished in 1 hr, 5 mins, I burned 843 cals, and had an average HR of 151 (pretty high for me to sustain for that long).
Tomorrow will be a well deserved rest break. Keep it real.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Eve Eve

Sorry for the delay! I assumed I'd be having the most relaxing break, but I've been so busy I haven't even had time to crack open Twilight in a week! Don't be alarmed, though, I have been keeping up with my training (I know you were worried).

In case anyone's interested, here is the training program we've been following to a T, straight from the Shamrock website. I'm really pleased with it. It progresses slowly and always seems challenging, but never unattainable.

Guess what? We already have our Valentine's Day date planned. We are going to be running the Virginia is For Lovers 14k! Romantic, huh? We aren't officially signed up yet, but have been meaning to do so. I'm doubly excited because it fits right in with our training program, which calls for an 8 miler that day anyway (I think the 14k is 8.62 miles if I'm not mistaken).

I had an amazing birthday, by the way, and *thanks* to all of you who made it possible. I took the day off from exercise on my actual birthday. The day after, Friday, I did a simple 2.25 TM run at 1% followed by 10 minutes on the elliptical, because the run didn't leave me sweaty enough. I chose to not wear my HRM that day because sometimes it's just uncomfortable! I always fidget with it when it's on. Friday night I had my birthday party at Shorebreak's!
Here is me in the center with all my pretty laydays:
The fiance, me, the bff, the bff's husband:
I love Joanna even though she's wearing my birthday crown:
The fiance and I did a side-by-side TM run for 5 miles on Saturday. I stayed at an incline of 1% (it's amazing how just 1% grade can make it feel so much harder!). I finished in 48:50 (slightly under 10-minute miles) and burned 548 cals with an average HR of 146. Not too bad at all--if only I wasn't suffering from esophageal problems the whole time :/
Sunday, of course, was a rest day:)
I woke up early on Monday to hit the gym before work. Sitting in my freezing cold car waiting for it to warm up in 26 degree weather, in the dark, was not very encouraging! I love late morning workouts, but I really don't care for early morning ones. They seem too forced! Sometimes you have to work with what you got, though. I did the 2 required miles at 1% (no HRM data here--forgot that, along with my ipod--talk about boring).
Today I met up with Chelsea at Gold's for our weekly strength sesh. Feeling the burn already! I was at the gym for 45 minutes, so I probably was only working for 30 minutes. We moved right along, though, and finished with our side plank competition: trying to beat each other out for holding the plank position the longest!
I am exhausted from holiday baking! Seriously, my back hurts from slaving away in the kitchen for so long tonight. Luckily, I just now (at almost midnight) found unexpected coverage for my shift at work tomorrow--so I get Christmas Eve off!
Tomorrow I solemnly swear to do what I can to run outside for once. It's supposed to be a lot warmer, but we'll see....

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

hurt so good!

I love being off from school! It's so nice to come home from work and be able to do whatever I want! I was also pleased to finish with 4 A's and 1 B (ugh...physics). One more semester to go. I do like school and am kind of passive about graduating, but all I really want is to be married! Not having to worry about schoolwork for our first year of marriage is very appealing as well. I wonder what it will be like when I start Physical Therapy school after that year? I think I'll be refreshed and ready to get back into classes, but I hope the long days and long nights of studying won't be such a drag.

I have no wedding news to announce...I really hope we don't put off getting the save the dates out any longer. You're supposed to send them out 6 months before and we're already under 6 months. What is our deal?

We finally saw the movie Fireproof yesterday, which I've been wanting to see for a long time. It was excellent! I would recommend it for anyone in a serious relationship. While the couple's relationship in the movie did not really apply to us, it was uplifting and really makes you appreciate each other and the importance of the Lord as the center of everything you do. It's true...the only way to know what true love is or how to truly love someone is to know God's unconditional love.

Onto running news...yesterday I ran 2.25 *fast* miles on the TM at a 1% incline. I mean, I smoked it! While on the way to the gym, I decided that I wanted it to hurt. I mean, I wanted to sweat so hard and run so fast that I'd never forget it. Mission accomplished. I kept my speed up between 7.5 and 8.0 mph for the majority of the time (something I rarely do). My limbs were flying so fast that they felt detached from my body. It was great! I managed to finally get in some strength training as well. It had been an embarassing 2 weeks since I'd strength trained, and my body let me know it. I am feeling it today....

I had a bff workout date today, starting with a 3 mile TM run. While I kept an easy pace, the run was just plain hard. I seriously think it's the fact that Gold's is so incredibly hot. We did some insanely fun and challenging ab work after. I go through phases with ab work...and right now I'm just into it.

Goodnight! Tomorrow I turn 22!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A few of my favorite things: Twilight and planks

Hi! Exams are finally done and I am loving the free time and have been spending most of it losing myself in the Twilight series! I am currently finishing up book 2, New Moon. I haven't had this much book fun since I finished Harry Potter!

It has also been great having a social life back. I am going to be working a bit more over the break, but other than that the only things on the agenda are to relax, train, and take care of some wedding details like sending out the save the dates and picking out invitations. We are also planning on registering for wedding presents after Christmas. Fun! We realized last night that yesterday was the 6 month mark till the big day!

Onto workouts for the week:

The day after my enjoyable 3 mile run outside in the beautiful weather, I was still feeling ill, but I wanted to give 2 miles a shot. I decided to walk on the TM at a slight incline for 1 mile to warm up, and then felt ready for a slow 2 mile run. I made it through a miserable 1 mile before I had to stop! All in all, it was just a bad idea and I probably shouldn't have even tried. But I was glad I at least got some activity in.

I had no nausea on Thursday, just some headaches, so I tried out the 45 Minute Treadmill Workout. Phew! I did the running option and honestly didn't think I was going to finish at a couple points. I rarely incorporate hills into my running! I burned 531 cals and kept an average HR of 152. Not too bad! I will definitely be trying this workout again. My goal was not mileage for this workout, but I ended up running 3.75 miles *uphill*!

I definitely took Friday off to rest from that insane workout, although I wasn't particularly sore. Running really doesn't make me sore anymore. I guess that's a good thing because it means that I'm being consistant, but not increasing my mileage too quickly (which can lead to injury).

The fiance and I headed to the gym for our weekly long run (another 4 miles--next week will be 5). I kept the TM at a 1% incline (to mimic being outside with terrain, wind resistance, etc.). I really don't want to spoil myself on the TM, because I run on it so much. I just love being able to zone out and not have to worry about cars, stoplights, weather, or whatever else. Pointing a fan at my face and a TV in front of my eyes might be a reason, too:) We both shaved 30 seconds off of last week's 4 miler without even trying! We both finished in 38:30 (even though we started at different times and did different speed intervals. The same thing happened last week when we both finished in 39 minutes. Talk about being *N Sync!).

I plan on taking another day off today. I may do some ab work, though. Here is some inspiration: the plank--the all around best exercise for your core. So simple and can be done anywhere. Assume the position and hold for as long at you can! Repeat!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Ups and Downs


This past week has been really tough, mentally and physically. On top of exams, my body has been acting weird. I think I mentioned earlier, but I've been plagued with nausea and headaches all day, every day. The combination makes me only desire to lay in bed and completely wipes me of energy. As a result, I feel sluggish and lazy! The only thing I can attribute this all to is the birth control pills I've recently started. I wanted to toughen it out and let my body adjust, but I finally caved and called my doctor today, and I'm being switched to a different pill. Please Lord, let this be the answer! I want my energy back:/

By some divine intervention, I've managed to keep up with the training program! The 4-miler the fiance and I had planned for Saturday got postponed till Sunday (due to reasons noted above). It was a great run on the TM, and we ran it in 39 minutes. Monday I was basically confined to bed (with the exception of suffering through a physics exam, ew). I felt pretty good when I woke up today, though, and decided to take advantage of the 65-degree weather and took a 3 mile run outside in the sunshine! It took me 33 minutes and I burned 463 cals with a peak HR of 171 and an average HR of 158. That's pretty high for such a slow pace, but it actually felt great and was very relaxing.

I spent the remainder of the day with the's his birthday today! For 9 days a year he gets to be older than me, and he never lets me forget it! Poor thing had an exam on his birthday, though. I told him this was his last birthday where I wouldn't be waking up next to him! Can you tell we're counting down the days 'till June 13th? :)

I am off to get some sleep and pray tomorrow will offer some repreive from this discomfort! I'm sick of relying on triple-daily doses of Tylenol! That can't be good....

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I love when I have wedding updates

Wedding Updates:
The dress is in! I got a call from Williamsburg Bridal announcing that my dress has finally arrived. Sad part is I have no idea when I'll have a chance to get up there to try it on (the shop is about an hour away) until exams are over. But I am beyond excited!
The save the dates finally arrived! The plan is to get them sent out over Christmas break. Yay for a whole month off of school! Gotta love college life.
Running Updates:
Since Tuesday was a rest day, I decided to just follow the training program and do the required 2 miles on Wednesday. Normally I would have done more, but wow, those 2 miles were torture to crank out. I don't know what the deal was, but I jogged very slowly (21 minutes to run 2 miles=average a little over 10-minute miles), yet my heart rate was higher than normal. As I was cooling down, it hit me: I felt so nauseus. I stretched for a little, but all I wanted to was to be in my bed! Once I got home, I layed in bed for probably 2 and a half hours, praying for relief. I had the stomach flu back in March (which happened to fall on the day of Chelsea and Justin's wedding) and have serious fears about getting it again. But by that night I felt fine!
Thursday, the fiance and I met up for a run through the neighborhood. We had a really good time and did 3 miles in 30 minutes.
Friday I did some basic crosstraining at the gym: about 25 minutes of HIIT cardio. HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training, which basically means alternating between 30 seconds to a minute of all-out exercise, followed by about 90 seconds to 2 minutes of recovery. I chose to do it on a strange machine that's like a mix of a treadmill, an elliptical, and a stairmaster! Depending on the range of motion you use, you feel like you're running through sand! I tried to find a picture online, but I have no idea what it's called or how to describe it. Anyway, the HIIT was a success and I burned almost 400 calories, keeping my heart rate up around an average of 157 (peaked in the mid 170s! Finally!). I also did some serious ab work (which I have been putting off for real). Definitely feeling that today.
Get this: it's Saturday, and I have a final exam at 3:45. What was that I was saying about loving college? The fiance and I are planning at 4 mile treadmill run (so cold outside) for later today.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

engagement photos

Our photographers have posted 5 of our engagement photos...I copied and pasted these from their blog! I had to really shrink them down because they were too big to fit on the page, but go to their site to get the full effect. Our photographers are so talented and we can't wait to see the rest of the photos! The fiance does NOT like the closeup one of him, but he's just so cute!

In other news, I last posted Saturday. I took Sunday off, and Monday I had an amazingly fun workout. Since Chelsea moved to Norfolk, she joined Gold's, so I met her there. I know I swore up and down I was going to end my membership, but exercise dates with my BFF are incentive enough for me to keep it awhile longer! I did a 2 mile run on the TM while chatting with her. The combo of talking and running made my HR go through the roof! We also did a great strength workout and hit every major muscle group. Chelsea had to leave early to go get paint for her house (!), but I still had time to kill, so I stretched for a while and ended up running another *fast* 2 miles. In total, I exercised for 1 hr, 15 mins and burned around 887 calories! Whoa. It sure felt like it though; I was exhausted by the end of the 2nd run!
I'd like to point out something, though. While I was actually at the gym for 2 hours, I was only actively exercising for a little over 1 hour. It's easy to go to the gym and believe you're getting a long workout, but once you factor in time preparing to exercise, warm-ups and cool-downs (which should definitely be included in your workout, just not as part of your total time), moving from one part of the gym to the other, resting, water breaks, chit-chatting, bathroom breaks, etc., you probably worked out a lot less than intended! Once, I went to an outdoor bootcamp, and I used my HRM to track the time we were actually exercising. The class was an hour long, but we really only exercised for under a half-hour! Just something to be aware of.
I am giving my sore body a break today!