Monday, February 23, 2009

A Very Ambitious Running Schedule

There are two main things that I need to work on as a runner: endurance and speed.

After running (4.38 miles mutha uckah!) tonight, I decided that it would be in my best interest to incorporate interval training into my regular routine. I have strayed from the C25K schedule now that I am comfortable running for extended periods of time, but I miss the structure that it provided! As a result, I have created the following overly ambitious schedule to follow:

Monday: Interval training for speed – sprint ¼ mile, walk ¼ mile, repeat for 30 minutes
Tuesday: Run nonstop for endurance – run 3 miles, walk 10 minutes, run 3 miles
Wednesday: Interval training – sprint ¼ mile, walk ¼ mile, repeat for 30 minutes
Thursday: Endurance Run – run 2 miles, walk 5 minutes, run 2 miles
Friday: Interval training – sprint ¼ mile, walk ¼ mile, repeat for 30 minutes
Saturday: Endurance Run – 40 minute nonstop run
Sunday: Rest

Mileage: speed ~9 miles, endurance ~14 miles; ~23 miles total for the week!

It's like a beginning runner's boot camp! I realize that it's a bit ambitious, but I'm going to try it out this week and see how I fare. At the end of the week, I'll adjust it based on my experience. Regardless of how I do, I will most definitely be staggering days of distance running and sprinting from now on... especially since word on the streets is those sprinting intervals boost your metabolism like crazy. Faster pace + increased metabolism = WIN!

On the interval training days, I’m thinking of adding a yoga workout in the evening to stretch out my poor muscles, relax and clear my head. I have only been doing the basic pre-run stretches and consequently have really tight leg muscles 24/7 now. Not cool. So that's another three workouts that can be added to my self-inflicted boot camp.

Hopefully, the results will be worth all the hard work.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Nike+ iPod: Excitement and Awesomeness

I love music. I need it for everything. EVERYTHING. So, naturally, I bring my tunes with me while I'm running. I have been using my ghetto little iPod shuffle for all my workouts but have been pining for the nano ever since my discovery of the Nike+ system.

Guess what I got the other day? That's right, iPod nano and the Nike+ system... as a gift, no less! It's even my favorite green color. Somebody loves me!

I've been super obsessed with it ever since I ripped it out of the package and as I expected, is a great motivational tool for my runs. Everything is being automatically tracked by the Nike+ website with graphs, goals, training schedules, forums, challenges, the works! It's really cool to have hard data on my runs: mileage, pace, calories burned, time. I am in heaven with this right now.

I've set a few goals for myself on the site:
- Distance: finish 50 miles in 4 weeks
- Run more often: workout 20 times in 4 weeks
- Calories: burn 7000 calories in 4 weeks

I'm happy to say that so far, I am ahead on every one of these goals I've set!

I've also entered a few community challenges to compete against other users... and even created my own! Naturally, mine is the best. Here it is:

Overall, life is treating me good. I have that biology test in a few hours and I'm looking forward to getting that done and out of the way. If I pass, I will be on cloud nine.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Procrastination at it's finest

I have to take (and PASS) a Biology Praxis exam this Saturday for my grad school application and I'm super intimidated by it. Naturally, in true procrastinator style, I have been putting off any and all studying until the last possible moment. Today, I finally dusted off my books for a hardcore study session and all of the sudden, everyone in the entire world thinks it's totally cool to engage me in conversation, blast music, turn the TV on to something hilarious that I can't help but listen in on, maniacal crackhead antics, what have you.

I have had a few days straight of peace and quiet, but now that I'm trying to get stuff done nobody wants to leave me alone. C'MON PEOPLE! Do you not see an enormous textbook in front of me and the pained expression spread across my face when you interrupt? Seriously, guys... Really?

PLUS family drama on top of all this. Oh boy, oh boy. Lucky me.

My joints having been aching all day from the killer 40 minute run, so I initially decided that I would use today as a rest day for my poor body. The Geek Squad showed up at my house though, and Slug (my ferocious Maltese) started barking at them relentlessly. It was grating on their and, more importantly, my nerves so I took him out for a walk. The walk evolved into a run just for the hell of it... so kudos to me for getting my ass moving on my supposed "rest day". I did not, however, run 40 minutes. Hell to the no. More like 20-30ish, but I honestly didn't even time it. I do know for sure that it was approximately 2 miles. Not too shabby.

I have been exercising consistently for over a month now, but have yet to see any weight come off. I officially hate that scale. I step on it, hoping to see the numbers drop, but always walk away full of disappointment. I haven't been dieting at all, and I don't really want to, but perhaps that's what I need to get the ball going in the right direction. I'm just so tired of all the crash diets and starvation I've put myself through in the past. Dieting always seemed like a short-term solution, so I need to be conscious about making changes that will last in the long run.

Easier said than done.

Gah! After this exam is over and I'm a bit less stressed, I'll devise a solid plan that I can stick to.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

First. Post. EVAR.


So, get it out of your mind that this is yet another motivational blog about overcoming adversity, weight loss, or any other inspirational shenanigans.

No, no, that’s not it at all. I mean, it could be... but that's just not my style.

It's more like: I'm trying to lose weight, looking for a job, desperately seeking grad school, and have too many boy troubles. I already spend an exorbitant amount of time on the internet, so I might as well make a blog, right? A place for me to brag about any success I may come across and bitch about the many failures that I will surely endure.

(Hint: Fails > Wins, lately)

At any rate, today (or yesterday, technically... I haven't gone to bed yet so it doesn't count) pretty much broke even. I didn't do jack shit for pretty much the entire day; just watched a marathon of "Dead Like Me" on the Sci-Fi channel and ate a Subway sandwich. Most people would count that as a win, being lazy with no responsibilities all fucking day long. Not me! This is what I do all the damn time and I'm getting pretty sick of my boring slacker lifestyle. So, score one for the world... it basically had me beat until around 9pm. But after 9? I got myself out of the house and ran with my brother for 40 minutes. FORTY FUCKING MINUTES! That's right, bitches. I swear on everything that I love, that is the longest period of time I've ran. Ever.

Me: 1, World: 1. It's a tie!

About five weeks ago, I started the Couch to 5K (C25K) running program that slowly but surely transforms couch potatoes into runners. I've honestly never been a huge fan of even the idea of running. Any attempts I've made in the past either resulted in puking from over-exertion then giving up or an extremely short lived stint (2 weeks max) of walking, with short spurts of sprinting. With C25K, I have been able to gradually build up endurance to run for an extended period of time at a pace that is comfortable for me. I've mostly followed the program, however I've added extra runs here and there -- especially in the beginning. I am technically on "Week 6" of the program; after running for 30 minutes instead of the planned 20 without noticing last week, I feel like I am at the point where I can keep that up on my own rather continuing the scheduled runs. Anything else would feel like backpedaling. The end goal of C25K is to run for 30 minutes without a break, so if I am able to do that already with no problems I want to continue challenging myself. The 40 minute run today felt amazing when I had finished... I'd like to work towards an hour long run now.

And whaddaya know? A program geared towards C25K graduates who want to become a "One Hour Runner". Awesome. That totally seems doable.

I'm motivated, but it would be super rad if I could actually lose some weight and see the numbers on the scale drop already! Grr.