Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Sorry to disappoint, but this is NOT my new boyfriend. I've been having mad cravings lately and needed a little inspiration to stick with my diet. Diets can be ugly, and, I'm finding, more difficult than quitting smoking. I'm convinced there is some nutritional deficiency or perhaps some endocrine malfunction going on with my body, because these cravings are NOT normal. And I am definitely NOT pregnant.

I am very leery of nutritional advice from anyone (including friends), because our bodies are not created equal. I do know however that I shouldn't be listening to my body right now, otherwise I'll soon look like the guy in the video....not pretty. So I'm putting my research "hat" on instead and am mentally preparing (through education) for some drastic changes. Now if I could find a book like "The Easy Way to Quit Smoking" but for sugar I'd be in business. That book was incredible at explaining how smoking is actually a drug addition and that all you are doing is feeding the monster. It mentally prepared me for the challenge and proved quite effective.

Instead of taking a hike, I'm convinced my smoking monster transmuted into a sugar monster. That's UGLY. Uglier than any CrossFit workout I've ever done. Time to get stronger....much stronger. Mentally and physically.

Which leads me to the GOOD news. On Friday, I set 3 personal records in weight lifting! I am getting stronger.

Bench Press - 85 lb.
Squat - 95 lb.
Dead Lift - 175 lb.

Below I'm setting up for my 175 lb. deadlift. I was able to do 2 reps! WooHoo!

The other good news is that I finally started some interval training this week. I did eight 1/4 mile sprints. It was hard. Initially I seemed to peter out around half way, but the more I did, the more I could keep a more consistent pace. I can totally see how these will help my training. What was really fun was sneaking in the FAU campus and doing them there. ;-)

The bad news is that a couple days later while running on the beach I hurt my ankle. I'm pretty sure it's tibialis posterior syndrome. Although the beach is a great place to run, it is not exactly a flat surface. Where I've been going has a pretty steep incline and when I run south, the right foot is higher and when I run north, the left foot is higher. Apparently my right foot doesn't like the inclination. I noticed it the first time I ran, but stupidly ignored it. The second time I ran there I really felt it, and could barely walk the next day. Even though nothing touched that area of my ankle there was an actual bruise there and a lot of swelling. So for 2 days I iced, elevated, and rested it. Running is on hold for a least a week. Maybe two.

Boy do I miss my hills at home in California. I don't seem to get ANY injuries there. Perhaps I'm allergic to Florida! No worries though, I'll find something else to do in the meantime.

This week's training....

Day 6 Apollo Challenge - 6 rounds of "Cindy"

Workout of the Day (WOD)
"Met Con Day"
The following for time:
-Run 400 Meters                          
-Row 500 Meters                       
-Jump Rope 200 Singles
-Run 200 Meters
-Row 250 Meters
-Jump Rope 100 Singles
-Run 400 Meters
-Row 500 Meters
-Jump Rope 200 Singles

Marathon training
1/4 mile sprints

Two 1/4 mile warm-ups, then
1. 2:00
2. 2:00
3. 1:56
4. 2:00
5. 2:02
6. 1:57

Day 8 Apollo Challenge - 8 rounds of "Cindy"

Workout of the Day (WOD)
7 Rounds for time                                    

-21 Shoulder Press  75M/45W                   

-21 Back Extensions

-21 Double Unders or 63 Single Jump Rope

Day 9 Apollo Challenge - 9 rounds of "Cindy"

Workout of the Day (WOD)
For Time: 

-Double Unders or 3 x's Singles


reps of 05-15-25                       






Marathon training
5 miles running barefoot on the beach (MID-Tempo)

Day 10 Apollo Challenge - 10 rounds of "Cindy"

Workout of the Day (WOD)
Strength Training
reps of 10-8-6-4-2

Bench Press 55-65-75-75-85
Squat 55-65-75-95-95
Dead Lift 125-145-155-155-175
Barbell Curls 25-35-45-45-45

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Utter Exhaustion

I hadn't realized how much my body needed to recuperate until today. First off, I slept in this morning. I was out late last night with friends at a going away party, but sleeping until 11:00am? Whoa! Guess I really needed some sleep....

When I did get up I didn't feel like doing anything. I could barely find the energy to make breakfast. Even breakfast didn't revive me. In fact, I jumped back into bed and watched "Van Helsing" with the yummy Hugh Jackman. Fell asleep again right afterwards.

Next I knew, it was 5pm! Geez the whole day was getting away from me. By now I was hungry though and since I read that other crossfitters cheat on the zone on weekends I decided I needed to cheat too (thanks V). I wanted a big juicy hamburger with fries. Nothing else would do. I even drove 25 minutes to get a good one. Boy did that hit the spot. And I made sure to put lots of ketchup on my fries. I mean if you are going to cheat, you might as well do it right. I didn't even feel guilty since I had been so good all week, working out everyday and staying within the zone. Except maybe those 2 mojitos I had last night. Hmmm. But they were really really good.

OK, so now that I'm properly (or overly) fed, my energy levels are finally coming into existence and I can start my day. Gee, what do I do? My hot date for tonight got cancelled so I didn't have to take a shower. Ah, relief! Dating sucks anyway. Nor did I feel like going to the Octoberfest where most of my friends were going to be. So instead, I made a date with Mr. Barnes and Noble. It was an excellent choice....very relaxing, with no one to bother me, and I didn't even have to dress up. Aaaahhhhh. The simple pleasures in life...being lazy for a whole day. Gives me a whole new meaning to the words "rest day."

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Barefoot in the Rain

It rains a lot here in Florida. Normally I would reschedule a run if it were raining, but tonight I felt different. My thinking was, "Well, if I were in an adventure race and it started raining, would I go find a big tree to hide under?" Of course not. I would keep going. That means I need to get used to it. Next will be mud, then, snow, and whatever else mother nature brings. Tonight it was rain.

Since I'm working only 2 miles from the ocean, I headed straight for the beach. Stretched for about 10 minutes (per the training program I downloaded last night) and headed out for a 6 mile run on the beach barefoot. My 2 purple toes needed a break from the shoes, and besides how better to keep one's training constantly varied! I was supposed to keep a 10 minute pace, but I forgot that beach running is a little bit different than regular running. Pace was more in the 12-13 minutes per mile range. I ran as close to the water as I could because that's where the harder packed sand was. Otherwise I would have really put my legs through some abuse. It must have been high tide, because the sand wasn't packed as hard as I remembered it to be which made the run a bit more strenuous. But I got into a groove nonetheless.

Shortly after starting I noticed a 20 somethings couple follow me in a run. We were the only people on the beach. And I thought it was weird that they just suddenly decided to go running too. Such crazy people. Anyway, after about a half a mile they got farther and farther away from me and when I looked back after about a mile they were gone. Made me feel good that I can out-run those much younger than I. :-)

The rain had been on and off since I started, but all of sudden disappeared. The clouds started opening up and the light from the moon came just in time to light my way. Good thing because I didn't have any lights on me tonight. It was actually quite beautiful...the moon reflections on the surf, the gentle breeze, the smell of the sea air. It was enough to keep my attention occupied, seeing how I didn't have my ipod with me tonight.

On the way back, there was some really cool lightening far out on the horizon. I started counting 1,2,3,4,5,etc. to determine how many miles away it way, but the sound of thunder never came. It seemed I was safe from lightening. However I picked up the pace in any case for the return journey. It was a really good thing I had my training watch on tonight because otherwise I'm not sure I would have found my way back. There aren't a lot of landmarks on this particular beach and all the lifeguard huts looked the same. In the dark you can't read anything, and with everything looking the same, it can be quite disorienting. It woke me up to the fact that I need to be very aware of my STARTING location so that if my watch stops working or I don't have it, I can find my way back.

On Monday I went back on the zone diet again which is helping to keep my energy levels up. Now I just need to figure out how to get more sleep!

Thursday 10/09/09 Workout
Three rounds for time:
-Run 400 meters
-1 1/2 pood Kettlebell X 21 swings (or 55 pound dumbbell swing)
-12 Pull-ups
Time: 9:55 (scaled with jumping pull ups)

Wednesday 10/08/08 Workout
4 rounds for time:
-200m Run
-100m Farmer walk
-10 Wall Ball 14#
-20 Pushups
-20 Kettlebell Swings 35#
-20 Squats
-20 Double Unders or 60 Singles (I did singles)
Time: 30:26

Tuesday 10/07/08 Workout
Complete as many rounds in 20 minutes as you can of:
-Run 400 meters
-Max rep Pull-ups

+ 9.25 mile run

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Why Run?

While packing my suitcase this morning I watched a video on why runners run. Most of the reasons were the same as mine: a love of the outdoors, the solitude, the challenge, a way to calm the mind, experience life, get away and see new places, keep fit, and feel good, etc. It didn't hit me until later what my real reason was.

To explain that, however I need to go back in time.

My dream as a young woman was to write music for film and television...I went to school for it, I interned for it, I moved to California for it, and after a couple of years achieved that goal despite all the odds against such a challenging profession.

I did it for 10 years. It was hard work, the hardest work I've ever done. But I loved it, even when I'd have to stay up three days straight to meet a film or production deadline. There was never an option for not finishing...even if it was an hour's worth of music that had to be written in a ridiculous time span. I worked on a lot of cartoons and direct to video films, game shows, and even theme park music. I worked with some of the most talented studio musicians on the planet and even conducted an A-list Hollywood orchestra. I was good at what I did.

But I lived with someone who didn't believe in me, and who over time shattered my own self-confidence. It's weird how we see the early warning signs, but don't listen to ourselves until the damage has been drinking a poison. Consciously. That was a big lesson. And I'm the only one to blame for not having listened to myself much earlier on. So when I left that life, I left everything including the music. I needed a new beginning.

And for some reason, today I wanted to play my new keyboard during the 20 or so minutes I had before driving to the airport. It was a rough go....My fingers fumbled around and the playing generally sucked because it's been so long. But as I was playing I realized that running had become my new creative outlet. Running and adventure. I thirst for it. I need it. Right now I live for it. And can't seem to get enough of it. Perhaps I'm obsessed. Music had been for so many years... More than half my life. And it just isn't anymore--at least not in the same way. Now I use the energy from other peoples music to feed my running. It's kind of a reverse flow.

It's been eight years since I stopped writing music and interestingly enough that's when I got back into running again. Now I know why.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Party In the Clouds

I love running, even though it sucks sometimes. Especially the first 2-3 miles. But once I'm going, it's such a great time to reflect on things...clear your head and extrovert. Or even set goals and daydream. It's kind of like long distance driving (also a favorite of mine). People who worry a lot should try running. It's very therapeutic. Oh, and if you ever need stress relief I found the perfect thing. It's called adventure racing. It's guaranteed to make your stress completely disappear.

I'm already thinking of Tone 40's next race because I know the stress will start building up over the next couple of months while I'm working as an Art Director for a national beauty magazine. Most of my job will involve browsing thousands and thousands of images looking for the most beautiful, sexy, half (or fully) naked women to feature. Believe me I get a little self-conscious after looking at gorgeous women all day!

Anyway, I just learned about the Equinox 24-Hour Race in San Diego coming up early next year. It will involve a 2 Km swim, a 20 Km kayak, some 140 Km of biking (mostly trails, but some bike paths and roads to connect) and about 40 Km of hiking. We can have a team of 2-5 people. There are 3 of us confirmed (Shannon, Dan and myself) and we would like to get 1-2 more, preferably someone with navigation skills. And if you have a good connection with Santa Claus, please let him know I need a really good mountain bike for Christmas!

OK, so back to running. (Boy, do I get distracted!) For the second time this week I've gone on a 14-mile run in preparation for the West Palm Beach marathon on December 7th. That puts me at 32 miles for the week so far. Today's run was still difficult, but much better than when I went on Wednesday. For one, there was a huge temperature difference--Wednesday was around noon, probably high 80s and today was starting just before 5pm with a slight chill in the air.

Next, my leg muscles seemed slightly more recovered than the last time. Wednesday they were pretty burnt from the previous day's CrossFit workout of squats and dumbbell presses. Today the sorest muscles I had were in my upper back/shoulder area and arms from the heavy lifting we did yesterday. So it didn't affect my running. Right around mile three I got into the groove, running strong with a decent pace and was generally enjoying myself. I planned on only going 10 miles, but I felt so strong at mile 5 I thought "what the hell?" and continued on to the farthest radio towers (mile 7) before turning around.

Of course I knew the danger in this. It was going to get dark on me again. On the way back the air started to quickly get cooler and all of sudden these clouds just appeared out of nowhere. It became so foggy I couldn't even see the city below. I was running in the clouds! What a cool feeling..literally. And this run felt so good I didn't even need to stop like I did the last time.

That was until I ran into my new mountain biker friend Carlos at the main radio tower. Up until then, I had only seen one other person on the trail this whole time. Carlos invited me to the Friday night radio tower party with his other mountain biker friends. What? A party? At the top of the mountain? After dark? Who are these crazy people? Who would have ever guessed I'd be running up in the hills seemingly in the middle of nowhere and find a party? I amuse myself by what I find sometimes.

Instead of beer and wine, we exchanged bananas and trail mix. Yeah, yeah, parties should have alcohol, I know. But we were still 3 miles away from our vehicles...with only fire trails to the top of a the mountains...completly in the dark...with who knows what kind of creatures running around. And it was getting cold. Really cold. After about 10 minutes of the party, I had to bail as I was only wearing my running shorts and tank top. Considering how foggy it was, my little dinky flashlight wasn't going to help me get back to my car so Carlos volunteered to bike down with me as I ran...such a gentleman.

It was a long way down, but it was pleasant with the company and the light from his bike! The only trouble I had was the 4th toe on my right foot was getting jammed in the shoe as I ran down the mountain. It felt like someone was beating--just that one toe--with a sledgehammer. Ouch! I need advice on how to manage that. But the good thing about these runs is that I learn what needs to get fixed for longer runs (like new shirts that don't chafe, something to keep my camelbak from irritating my neck, and a way to handle the downhill sledgehammer effect on my poor little toe). Since my new goal is to run endurance races, I need to learn how to ENDURE (with as little pain as possible)!

Post advice to comments please.