Monday, March 29, 2010

Week in review- Monday, March 29th

Happy Monday! Sorry I am a day late with this week's post. I am sitting here debating whether I should brave the elements and try to do my workout outside (which I prefer) before a storm hits or venture off to the gym!

I had a good workout this week at Sac Fit. I did 9.5 miles. For the first half, I was discouraged again and then I got distracted talking to somebody and was able to get back into the walk mentally. Our coach had us run up the hills and run it in at the end. It actually felt good to change the muscles up a bit here and there. Believe it or not, it seems easier to run up the hills sometimes then walk them! I did stay off on the left side of the path on the decomposed granite/dirt, which eliminates some of the jarring. I also discovered that wearing longer running pants with crew socks keeps the rocks out of my shoes where capris and short socks do not. I think it's that time of year to pull out the shoe covers/gators and get serious!

Late last night, (while trying to catch up on laundry) I was watching an episode of Ruby that I previously recorded earlier that evening. Weight loss and exercise reality shows fascinate me. For those of you not familiar with it, Ruby is a reality show on TLC that documents Ruby's experience as she works to lose a significant amount of weight. On last night's show, Ruby was struggling to avoid those dreaded weight loss plateaus and speed up her weight loss again. Her doctor suggested she make five changes and see if that made a difference. It sounded like an interesting experiment to me, so below is my list. Whether you need to lose weight or have a different goal altogether, this may be something to try. What is your list??

1. No eating after 7:30PM (Sometimes work dinners and other special occasions make this out of the question but this will be a good general rule! Instead, I will make sure to have a well balanced filling dinner, with whole grains and veggies)!

2. No double dessert days (This is the hard one! That includes those darn Lara bars I am addicted to! This means adding one "dessert" to my little food bag for the day and when it is gone it is gone)!

3. Eliminate after dinner snacks (If, before 7:30, I really need a snack it's only fruit or plain popcorn for me)!

4. Use the stairs at work all the time (For those of you who work with me, you know those narrow slippery stairs can be a challenge)!

5. Attend all three mid-week workouts! (Whether it is late or not or after another event, these must be the priority)!

Wish me luck as I try to include these changes in my day to day routine!

Product of the week: This product may sound a little girlie but anyone can use it! Even if you have good socks and shoes, some people are prone to those nasty and unattractive calluses. Although I love a good pedicure, I am not willing to risk having any issues in the weeks before a big race! As a "semi-product junkie" I have tried a number of things and the only solution to soften and eliminate those calluses is the lavender & eucalyptus foot creme by Lather. They have a few stores (one in Pasadena, CA) so most of you will have to order this off the Lather web site. It really is worth it. There is a scrub available too but the creme alone does the trick if you use it every night! I used it after my 9.5 miles on Saturday and it really made my feet feel better even after just one use!

Have a great week/workout!


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Week in review- Sunday, March 21st

Spring is officially here, which hopefully brings great running and walking weather. This weekend was sure perfect weather to be outside. Lara and I each completed our Sac Fit workout on Saturday. I struggled a bit to complete my 8 miles. My overall pace was good but I felt a bit sluggish and slow. I know that happens sometimes, so I am not discouraged. Next Saturday, I am going to go back to trying the intervals of slower and faster walking to see if that makes a difference. I did incorporate a little running up the hills, which gave my walking muscles a break! Lara had a great 10 mile run!

Today, Lara and I had a great time volunteering at the first (and hopefully annual) Modesto marathon. We worked the early 6:30AM shift and helped block traffic at the half mile point. All of the runners and walkers were so appreciative and friendly that it made us feel great to give back. Of course, at a half mile you hope people are still happy! The race was well-organized especially for an inaugural event. After our shift we were able to get over to the finish line and see most of the half marathoners finish as well as the first place marathoners. It was very inspiring to be out there supporting the runners and walkers but I have to admit I felt a little bad I wasn't out there myself! We definitely recommend volunteering for a race when you can. It feels good to give back in the spirit of the people who support us on the races we run/walk.

I also had a fun surprise this week. I went to meet a friend at her house for dinner and a walk and her dad was down from Oregon training for his next iron man competition. I had the pleasure of speaking to her dad for a quite a while and tried to absorb everything he was telling me. Not only is he an iron man winner/competitor, he has completed multiple ultramaratons including the infamous Western States 100 and American River 50 to name a few. What makes his story particularly inspiring is he didn't start running until shortly after his 40th birthday and 34 years later he is literally running strong! I can only hope to accomplish half of what he has done. Talking with him also gave me hope that the possibilities for what I can achieve in running and walking may be even further than I can imagine right now. I wish him well in his next Iron Man as he hopes to compete again in the Kona Iron Man Championships in the Fall!

Product of the week: This week's product of the week is pretty simple and may seem quite obvious. Get fit with the right shoes! I know a number of people who train with whatever they picked up off the rack or liked. As somebody who at times suffers from shin splints and plantar fasciitis, I know that having the right shoes can make the difference between even doing your workout letting alone achieving a goal. The right shoes may not be the prettiest color but the fit is truly what counts! It is worth every penny to go get fit by a professional at your local Fleet Feet or specialty running store especially if you don't know if you pronate, supinate or can just wear a neutral shoe. You can get by without all of the other fancy gear but please make good shoes a priority. As somebody with a long, narrow feet that pronate I have found several Asics stability shoes to work well. They seem to have a wider toe box but fit my heel. That is just what works best for me, though!

Only 6 weeks until our next half marathon. Whatever your goal, happy training!!


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Week in review- Sunday, March 14th

Happy Sunday! I hope those of you who did the Shamrock half marathon or relay today had a great race! It sure was a perfect day for walking or running. I was so pleased to get in all my workouts this week. Ironically, all of them were either different distances or locations than originally planned but the important thing is I got them all in! Monday, I worked out at the gym. Wednesday and Thursday I was able to walk outside. Unfortunately, I had to cut Thursday's walk short due to a sore shin. I stretched it out and was fine to have my long walk again on Saturday. I actually walked with my parents on Saturday and had a great time! I am still getting used to all the bells and whistles on my Garmin but so far it is a great training tool and motivator!

Soon we will be sharing our new Square Peg Running logo with you. My friend who is a designer has been working on some different options. We will be excited to share the select one with you. Who knows, you may even see it on t-shirt somewhere out and about. Interestingly enough, my friend said talking to Lara and I about the logo and our running/walking experiences has inspired her to start running again. She recently joined a local running program; and I wish her all the best with it!

Next weekend, Lara and I are going to volunteer at the first (hopefully annual) marathon in a neighboring city. We definitely appreciate the volunteers who cheer us on and staff the aid stations in the races we've done, so we want to give back. Plus, it is so inspiring to watch other people achieve their goals or dreams whether it's their first marathon or they achieve a PR. Of course, we have to get our own workout in first!

It is less than two months until our next half marathon, so I am sure we will have lots to share as we start completing our longer distances. Lara's group has done a few longer runs already but there are more to come!

Product of the Week: With the sun out and Spring arriving soon it is essential to have a good sunscreen. I have extremely sensitive skin and burn very easily, so I was very happy to find a new product last year that worked for me. It is the Neutrogena Ultimate Sport sunblock location with helioplex. It is both ultra sweatproof and waterproof. I use sport face (70+ SPF) on my face and neck and Ultimate Sport (also 70+ SPF) on my arms and legs. It keeps me well protected and doesn't irritate my skin. The bonus is it is under $10 and available anywhere that sells sunscreen including Target and Wal-Mart. I highly recommend it!

I hope everyone has a great week this week and if are on the West coast enjoy the sun! Happy running/walking!!


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Week in review- Sunday, March 7th

Happy March! With the time change coming up, we will all have that extra hour to get our workouts in outside after work. Yay! Although I struggled with a migraine and virus this week, it was a week of small successes.

Yesterday's Sac Fit workout was great! We did six miles. Our usual coach wasn't there but my coach from last year lead our workout. We followed the SacFit variable pace method, which involved periods of faster and slower walking and/or running. Although I was afraid we were starting out too slow, our overall pace was on target and I felt better than ever after my workout. I could have kept going! I guess there is something to the science behind the SVP, so I look forward to training with it again next weekend. Thanks, Coach Erin!

We also received the results from our Cooper workout two weeks ago. Our Sac Fit leader, Ken, did a great job of explaining the science behind it! What I am taking out of it is that I can train on the longer workouts at a slower pace so my body adapts to the energy/fuel process but still perform at a great race pace during a half marathon. Another tip for me to try this season!

Another big event this week was the purchase of my new Garmin 405CX fitness watch and heartrate monitor. Lara purchases her 405 a year ago but I didn't really think I needed one. Boy, was I wrong! In order to take my training to the next level while safely monitoring my heartrate and pace, the Garmin is a must have. Although I've only used it twice, I think it is just what I need to progress in my training and get re-motivated! We will see!

Product of the week: This week's product of the week may not sound so exciting but is a necessity for us women walkers/runners, the headband! I cannot workout comfortably with my hair in my face and all headbands are not created equal. There are a few other brands I may want to try... I will let you know if those work out but for now I highly recommend the Goody no slip headbands for Spring and the North Face fleece headband for winter. The Goody headbands are comfortable, they don't slip, and are available in a variety of colors at your local Target or drugstore for about $5.00 for three. For winter, the North Face fleece headband is a must have! For those of us who don't like hats, the fleece headband keeps the hair out of your eyes but also keeps your head and ears warm. It is available for about $10-15 at your local REI or Sports Authority.

Thanks to all of you who are listening to our podcast and/or following or reading the blog. We appreciate your support and ideas! Over the next month, we will be volunteering at a few big, local races and look forward to sharing our experiences with you!