Monday, June 29, 2015

Race Report: Harrisburg 5k

Two weeks ago, I ran my first race of 2015, the Harrisburg 5k. I've ran the 10k a couple of times, and opted for the 5k this go around to see where my "speed" was at as I knew I didn't have any speed+endurance, making the 10k sound like hell.


I had plans to go out around 8:50 pace, in hopes that I could maybe sustain an 8:45 for the duration of the race. Most of the super fasties did the 10k, so I lined up toward the front, and then we were off! I tried to go out comfortably, but clearly I haven't raced in awhile, because somehow comfortable was significantly sub-8. Including some sub-7 moments. Uh... nope.


I finally settled in-ish but had my watch set on lap pace, so I had a hard time judging what pace I was actually running at since I had gone out so fast. I kept track of the ladies that were passing me as I was putting on the brakes, knowing it'd be good motivation for my competitive side once it was time to kick it in to gear! 

Mile 1 8:20

 

I was pretty tired and wasn't sure if I was physically tired, or if I mentally felt like I should be tired after running an 8:20 first mile. Turns out I was pretty tired, as the next mile was in 9:05. Around the half way mark, I knew I could be under 27 minutes, and thought I could maybe be close to 26:30 if I didn't fade too badly, so that became my new goal.


Mile 2 9:05 oops.

There was not a single whisp of a breeze at this point, and I would've paid handsomely for someone to fan me with a giant leaf as I ran by. I'm not familiar with the town the race was in, despite having run it before, and the route wove all around, so I had a hard time judging where we were in relation to the finish line. So I just kept running. As you do.


I picked it up every so slightly in the final mile, although I'm pretty sure I was giving it all I had at that point.

Mile 3 8:53

I kicked in the last .5 of the race, and caught up to some folks in the process, and then steps before the finish line, one of the gals I passed came WAILING through to pass me. Of course she was in my age group. :P


.1 7:19 pace

Final time 26:33


Overall I'm pretty pleased with my efforts and was excited to see I ran the race a minute faster than my last 5k in November. I've still been running minimally, with the focus being on yoga teacher training, so I'm excited to be able to commit myself to a program and see some more progress.

Race Result

35 / 109 (32.1%)
  5 / 35 (14.3%)
12 / 72 (16.7%)


Friday, June 26, 2015

Weekly Training Recap

I started off the week with a group run at the running store followed by a yoga flow that I led!

Saturday I ran my first race of 2015. I did a quick warm up before with some strides and then raced a 5k.





I went to an awesomely tough and sweaty power vinyasa class Sunday morning and learned just how fatigued my legs were from the race. Whoa.





I'd also signed up for a 2 hour arm balance workshop. Which I regretted almost immediately because of how hot it was. Uff. It was stellar and I learned a lot, but a recovery post race, this was not.



Tuesday night was spent at the barre. 
 



Wednesday night was the best group run yet--a group run at the new brewery in town! The run was short and sweet and the beer was cold and delicious. Win, win!



Friday I ran to BarreAmped Cardio, and within 15 minutes of the class starting, I realized that doing my cardio BEFORE a cardio class was d-u-m-b. It was so tough, and I almost died from sweat, if that's a thing. Needless to say, my trip home was a run/walk. And my glutes were sore for daaaaaaays.


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Weekly Reads: #GIRLBOSS

#GIRLBOSS has been on my radar since it came out a year ago, and I finally had a chance to dig into it. I'm not familiar with Amoruso's Nasty Gal brand, but it was interesting reading about her unorthodox entrapreneurial rise. She had some good advice, and some other duh advice.

Fast interesting read.

My rating: 3 stars.

Summary from goodreads:

The founder of Nasty Gal offers a sassy and irreverent manifesto for ambitious young women

At seventeen, Sophia Amoruso decided to forgo continuing education to pursue a life of hitchhiking, dumpster diving, and petty thievery. Now, at twenty-nine, she is the Founder, CEO, and Creative Director of Nasty Gal, a $100+ million e-tailer that draws A-list publicity and rabid fans for its leading-edge fashion and provocative online persona. Her story is extraordinary—and only part of the appeal of #GIRLBOSS.

This aspirational book doesn’t patronize young women the way many business experts do. Amoruso shows readers how to channel their passion and hard work, while keeping their insecurities from getting in the way. She offers straight talk about making your voice heard and doing meaningful work.

She’s proof that you can be a huge success without giving up your spirit of adventure or distinctive style. As she writes, "I have three pieces of advice I want you to remember: Don’t ever grow up. Don’t become a bore. Don’t let The Man get to you. OK? Cool. Then let’s do this.”
 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Weekly Reads: Echo

Echo is the newest children's book by Pam Munoz Ryan, and it immediately received possible Newbery buzz, so I added it to my list. It is a big book, clocking in just shy of 600 pages, but it is a very fast read. The story is historical fiction (which I typically loathe), told in 3 separate parts (which I typically hate), but for some reason I really really enjoyed it. I would recommend this for fans of historical fiction, those that love books that are interwoven in the same way that the movie Crash was portrayed, or anyone just looking for a really well written story.

My rating: 4 stars.


Summary from goodreads:

Music, magic, and a real-life miracle meld in this genre-defying masterpiece from storytelling maestro Pam Muñoz Ryan.

Lost and alone in a forbidden forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and suddenly finds himself entwined in a puzzling quest involving a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica.
 
Decades later, Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California each, in turn, become interwoven when the very same harmonica lands in their lives. All the children face daunting challenges: rescuing a father, protecting a brother, holding a family together. And ultimately, pulled by the invisible thread of destiny, their suspenseful solo stories converge in an orchestral crescendo. 
 
Richly imagined and masterfully crafted, ECHO pushes the boundaries of genre and form, and shows us what is possible in how we tell stories. The result is an impassioned, uplifting, and virtuosic tour de force that will resound in your heart long after the last note has been struck.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Harrisburg 5k Race Goals

About a week ago, I decided to drop from the 10k to the 5k for this race. I know I can complete a 10k this weekend, but as far as a solid race is concerned, I know I'm not yet into 10k race shape. I'm working on some issues with my left glute and my form is still struggling when I did into the 5-6 mile range.

With that being said, I have spent some decent runs going "fast" for me. I haven't done any targeted speedwork, per say, but I have spent some time each week running faster than normal. My runs have been faster overall since I've been running shorter amounts.

My goal for tomorrow's 5k is to run faster than the last 5k I ran back in November which was a 27:30. A sub 27 would be top notch, but I'm not sure that I'm in that shape. I guess we'll find out tomorrow!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

28 Day TransFORMation Final Thoughts

Well the 28 Day TransFORMation is long past, and for me it's been officially done for a bit longer. I did really well for the first two weeks, and felt great. Kyle and I had plans to go out with one of his best friends and meet his new girlfriend, so I had given myself a pass to enjoy the evening and not worry about the rules. That meant pizza and beer. And then, of course my stomach felt terrible the next day so it spiraled on and on.

I got back on track slightly, but my all or nothing brain couldn't spiral back completely.

The good news is that I was able to learn quite a bit about my body that I haven't been able to pinpoint before.

I learned that sugar is the main cause of my rosacea flare ups. This was HUGE. I've struggled with this for quite a few years now. And I'm thankful that I finally have something to blame it on that I can control. I can now consciously decide if whatever sweet treat I want to eat, is worth some uncomfortable heat in my face and some excessive red face that will linger for days. Sometimes the answer is yes. Sometimes it's no. #progress.

Sadly this also means (and I've suspected this before) that alcohol is also a huge trigger for my face flare ups. Sad face. Major sad face. I've yet to determine if certain beers are worse triggers than others, but I may have to take on a scientific study with myself as the test subject to see. ;) Stay tuned.

I also learned that dairy, while it doesn't effect my stomach nearly as much as it used to digestion-wise, it is a huge cause of bloat for me (yuck) and causes excessive mucus (double yuck). When I started eating dairy after the two weeks, all of my nasal and throat membranes filled back up and I've been "snotty" ever since. I'm trying to cut way back on dairy, but this is so incredibly hard for me. Because it takes a few days for the symptoms to clear up, even having it once a day or once every other day causes me to have the symptoms non-stop. Additional sad face.

Finally, I have found the culprit of my GI issues--gluten. Ugh. I also learned that gluten is essentially in every damn thing. So that's been difficult. I did find that while I was eating burgers without a bun I felt full without being gross and uncomfortable (for the first time ever, probably). My re-introductory meals were not as systematic as they could've been, so I'm still uncertain how severe the intolerance is. So I'll have to keep being mindful of things.

I also found that I enjoy prepping and preparing my food at home. I l.o.v.e. going out to eat. I just love food. And I love the experience of going out to eat. And I love looking over every item on the menu in hopes that I found *the* perfect menu item. But Kyle and I actually had a lot of fun spending time in the kitchen together and will definitely try to spend our date nights making up something great in the kitchen and/or on the grill.

I'm glad I did this challenge, even though technically I failed, I did learn a lot, and that was my goal. Ultimately I lost 8 pounds and several inches in the two weeks I was "on" and have continued to keep off, and even lose a couple of more pounds by being more mindful about what I'm putting in my body, and continuing with the heavy water drinking. Knowing that beer makes my face look terrible has allowed me to pass up social night time beers with Kyle 99% of the time, which certainly doesn't hurt. And I've found many awesome healthy dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free recipes that I can use as go to's for meals and meal prep.

Ideally I'd like to eat in this manner 80-90% of the time, and that is my goal. But I'm still working on the how to execute that. For those of you that eat like this, feel free to send me any and all of your fave recipes.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Weekly Reads: Love May Fail

Love May Fail is the newest book by The Silver Lining Playbook author, Matthew Quick. I am fairly obsessed with his books, so I was thrilled to get an e-arc of his newest book to promote to library customers. I waited until the last minute to read this book before my copy expired, and I was not in the mood for a "Matthew Quick" intense dark read. Soooooo that threw me for a bit of a loop. But the story itself was so great, despite its intensity, and I would highly recommend it to everyone, but just make sure you're not sitting down looking for a nice light summer read, because this ain't it, yo.

The story was told from four different perspectives, which I usually hate, but the stories were so intrinsically weaved together that I loved it. Definitely worth a read.

My rating: 4 stars.

Summary from goodreads:

An aspiring feminist and underappreciated housewife embarks on an odyssey to find human decency and goodness—and her high school English teacher—in New York Times bestselling author Matthew Quick’s offbeat masterpiece, a quirky ode to love, fate, and hair metal 

Portia Kane is having a meltdown. After escaping her ritzy Florida life and her cheating pornographer husband, she finds herself back in South Jersey, a place that remains largely unchanged from the years of her unhappy youth. Lost and alone, looking to find the goodness in the world she believes still exists, Portia sets off to save herself by saving someone else—a beloved high school English teacher who has retired after a traumatic incident. 

Will a sassy nun, an ex-heroin addict, a metal-head little boy, and her hoarder mother help or hurt her chances on this madcap quest to restore a good man’s reputation and find renewed hope in the human race? Love May Fail is a story of the great highs and lows of existence: the heartache and daring choices it takes to become the person you know (deep down) you are meant to be.