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5K’s and Mockingjays!

Friday afternoon, I finally got that long long long (looooong) standing goal of running a 5K over and done! Even though I finished, I definitely didn’t run under optimum conditions. My lunch was too acidic, and I got a sharp pain in my stomach halfway through. I can also say I gave it everything I had at the moment. I was a little out of training…hadn’t had a decent run in a couple of weeks. So, when I finished my left knee hurt and I might have strained a muscle in my calf. But, even though I’m a little more sore now than I should be, I’m glad I got that milestone behind me.

I hope my little success can show some of you out there that anybody can turn themselves into a runner with the right supportive shoes and determination. It’s all about initiating habits and pushing yourself a little further each time. I recommend the couch to 5K programs because they start out so easy that you don’t feel overwhelmed and the success in the beginning keeps you with the program and on to the end goal of 5K-dom.

But honestly, the whole process was a lot harder than I thought it would be….overcoming a knee injury early on, battling through a million colds and post-cold asthma-like crud for months afterwards, and times when busy schedules would delay training for a while and I felt like I was starting over again. But, in the end, I did it. I kept focussed on my goal….which is all I wanted really. And I think I knew all along that I’d get there EVENTUALLY! The next plan is to get a little more comfortable with 5K distance and then work towards 10K!

Me in all my post 5K glory, hehe

And as for my Sunday, it revolved entirely around the third (and final :/) book in the Hunger Games series: Mockingjay.

Breakfast:

Lunch:

Coffee Shop:

And dinner:

I’m done now and totally have a head-ache from cabin fever and reading in the dim light. But, at least the book had a perfect conclusion. I won’t say any more because no one likes spoilers! Just read it, K? : )

Also, if you want to stay posted on my workouts, check out my dailymile account by clicking on the ‘Work Outs’ tab above. There I post all my running, biking, and swimming work outs since I don’t always get around to blogging them all.

Thoughts on Tri-Sport and Why I Work Out These Days

Being a ‘triathlete’ is exhausting, but exhilarating. I use the quotes because I feel like I am such a n00b at all 3 diciplines that calling myself a triathlete is poser-like. But you can’t deny that I run, I swim, I bike (and I play :D). When one muscle group is resting, I tackle the other ones. And, I’m finding variety really is the spice of life. I can usually convince myself to do one of the three things even if I don’t necessarily feel like running. I think once my skill set gets a little bit more of a foundation that biking is going to be my favorite. You can make it as casual or as intense as you want to really.

I run because I want to prove that I can. Plus, I like running because it can be mindless if that’s what I need, and a good way to release stress in a positive way. I swim for the strength training (and for the hot tub….). I bike because I love it: going fast…mechanical nerdy noises…gadgets….pretty scenery….going on adventures. And, I have awesomely long legs, so I might as well use them.

So, here are my end of the week workouts:

Thursday: The plan was to bike, but thunderation killed that thought, so I met a buddy at the pool and we did some laps. I swam 550 meters and kicked 400 meters (with flippers). Swimming is still pretty exhausting to me. I have to take a mini break every 50 meters it seems, just to get my heart rate down enough so I’ll be able to have controlled breath during the swim.

Friday: Nighttime treadmill run at the gym. It ended up being treadmill because there was a cheerleading camp in the main gym. As soon as I opened the door to the track I was nearly knocked over by the sound of 100 pre-teens screaming and cheering. Yeah, I couldn’t do that to myself. I got my 25 minute run in (with 5 minute walking warm-up and cool down), but it felt like a struggle the whole time. I really don’t like the treadmill as much as I once did. I hate not being able to adjust pace constantly and I feel kind of clausterphobic on it.

But…The next run is the 5K!! Almost done! And, by done I mean, almost time to start working on the 10K distance ;)….

On the ‘Results‘ front, I haven’t weighed myself in weeks. I think I’m finally in a place where I’m not working out to keep myself thin or get thinner. One of my coworkers asked me, if there was a magic pill that kept you thin with no side effects, would you take it. For the first time in my life I’m in a position where I would say no. Numerical results (pounds/ inches lost) are great. And if they happen, I will feel good about it. But, now (Finally!) I’m working out for my personal well being – for the joy of challenging my body and to keep my energy level and spirits high. It’s such a healthier place to be. I accept and love my body for what it is, and relish the opportunity to train it and mold it slowly and  naturally. I hope I keep this mental attitude for a long time. And I hope I find a way soon to help friends who have trouble with body image and self acceptance. Constantly critiquing and ragging on your body is not the way to live. I did it for long enough.

Double Dip Tuesday

So, apparently a way to sneakily end up working out twice in a day is to work out so early that you are half zombie and your brain violently regurgitates all memory of it….

I started my day at 6:30 AM running around the hood with a couple grad student girls. Honestly, we all run at a different pace, but it helps to have someone to meet at a certain time to keep you accountable. I did what I wanted to – 2.2  mile run – and called it a day. And like that I’m 2 runs away from the 5K goal!?!? (Honestly, it’s ABOUT time).

I called my mom the other day and told her about my new bike. I think she was excited I was excited but also thinks I’m crazy (She repeatedly told me to be careful and not overdo it, oh mothers). She jokingly said, oh, pretty soon you’ll be doing one of those tri thingies…

And, well, actually, I swam today! I’m lucky enough to know a guy (name dropper) who swam in college and is willing to coach a bunch of grad students on how to be better swimmers. The group has been meeting for a while, but today was my first time.

I swam some freestyle, got some tips on how to improve said freestyle, kicked, relearned backstroke, and called it a day. I felt like the posture tips on my free are going to help a lot. I felt so much more efficient after 5 minutes of knowing the right way to align my body.

The best part was the hot tub after!! That’s some motivation to go back to the pool right ther.

So needless to say, I’m exhausted. The bed is going to feel like a little slice of heaven! I feel so good about today’s swim. I feel like I’m slowly aligning all the puzzle pieces I need to be able to do a tri one day. I’m lucky to know people who can help me in all the areas I need – running buddies, bike yoda, and swim school teacher. Life is good : )

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Also, in case you want more VEDA, I have 2 new videos. Please excuse the fact that each one was taken after a workout, but, at least that fits in with the theme of my blog!

Day 2: Me describing what mornings are like (aka, my love for coffee)

Day 3: Me talking about things I’m bad at (I know, I didn’t think there were any either)

Summer is FLYING

So how in the world is it Sunday again already?! This is insane. And somehow I have yet to really get a post in about my week and eats/workouts.

Looking back, I don’t think I got as many workouts as I wanted to. Monday was classic tennis action and Wednesday I took a 15 minute nighttime run (+15ish min walk) around UVA’s campus. Tuesday and Thursday I ‘accidentally’ let bars call me away from my running shoes…

One of the more exciting meals of the week was Waffle Wednesday! My hoarder friend (hehehe) needed my judging eye to help him get rid of a ton of stuff. Having helped him move a month ago and saw the ridicule he got from all the ‘happy’ helpers, I knew he needed some serious help letting go. But, I’m glad I got a yummy waffle meal the unprocessed way.

waffle with peanut butter and berries!

And a fun yogurt mix on the side: Artificial sweetener free yogurt (which is way too hard to come by), frozen berries, coconut, high fiber cereal, and chocolate chips!

I got to test out a fun tip I read online – if you have trouble of letting go of things for sentimental reasons, take a picture of it! It takes up little room in the digital space and you’ll still be able to look at it and remember good times (or at least be comforted that you have the ability to do that….I doubt he’ll actually look at these pictures very much).

Though, I really think this was only phase 1, I’m proud he was able to trash as much as he did! Letting go of excess belongings always makes me feel a release – decreases my anxiety and I just feel less mental load. Plus, it’s way easier to keep tidy and organized and clutter free with less physical stuff.

Friday, instead of eating at my desk (ewwww), I decided to eat out in the sunshine! Why do I not do this every day?! All I was missing was a book.

Red pepper hummus + cucumbers + roasted tomatoes + house dressing on pumpernickel! Fab!

And look at the view. UVA is very pretty!

the lunch spot!

Saturday I traveled to northern Virginia to test out a bike! I did also make a last minute sanity stop at Ikea! I mean, I can’t be that close to one without going inside to ogle at all the nifty organizational tools and play bedrooms! While in Arlington, I got to eat at my first Whole Foods! My plate was pretty friggin yummy! I wish the Cville Whole Foods would get its act together and open a market.

Curry Tofu, Samosa, Vegetable Korma, Sundried Tomato Polenta, and Mediterranean Salad...Obvi I couldn't decide on a theme!

Ok, I guess I’m more or less caught up now. At least, caught up enough that I don’t feel like I wasted the effort taking the above food pics!

Today after church I got a…wait for it….2 MILE RUN IN! I went in saying I would let myself settle for 1.8 miles if I had to. And honestly, mile 15-18 were so suck inducing I thought I was going to quit. But, once I passed lap 18, laps 19-20 were cake and I finished strong : ) I’m now officially in my last week of Couch to 5K! And, I’m going to finish it this time, guys. Mark my words!

For dinner I ended up being lazy and eating a sammie at Panera since I had to go to lab later and was hungry post run. It was a Mediterranean sandwich: feta, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, and such on sour dough. MMMM! I never knew a meatless sandwich could be so yummy until I became a veggie-almost-terian.

Anyway, I’m ending this disjointed post in hopes that this week I’ll be more with it!  Tomorrow I’m buying a bike! AHHH!

❤ K

Run, Baby, Run: C25K Week 5 Cont.

AH!  I feel sore in weird places after yesterday’s bike ride! It’s interesting though haha.

I ended up going for a Couch to 5K-esque run this afternoon:

The Details:

Walk to the Gym (0.8 miles)

Walk 2 laps in air conditioning bliss so I can stop sweating before the REAL sweating was to begin

Run 15 laps!!!

Walk 3 laps

I decided to run 5 more laps (even though I didn’t HAVE to according to my ‘training plan’)

Walk 3 laps, and then walked it back home (0.8 miles again, ya know the drill).

Good, strong run, but right now my left knee and ankle are pretty achey, so I think I need to take it easy on the running for a day or two. I felt such a high today after my run, I just wish my crappy, over-pronating feet would cooperate and stop giving my joints such grief!

I’m ‘secretly’ training for a 10K in September, but have been kind of keeping it slightly hush hush because I wasn’t sure how my body would react to increasing the mileage. Hopefully this is just me being paranoid and I’m back in running form in a couple days.

My other mini work-out of the day was moving some books over to my new apartment. I’m excited about the new pad and new roomie, but ughhh, transporting all your worldly possessions to a new resting place is pretty anxiety-inducing. I don’t feel like I have THAT much stuff, but it seriously makes me consider being a more minimalistic person every time I’m confronted with moving. I can’t wait to settle in a place and know I won’t have to do that for a long time. Hopefully this new apartment will last me a couple years at the least!

Peace,

Karen

A Mile? No Big Deal! C25K Week 5 (the remix)

So, time for some exercise updates for this past week. So, I sneakily went back to following my long abandoned couch to 5K plan. It’s kind of a bummer – in March I was like a week away from finishing it and then this whirlwind of who knows what hit and running didn’t happen for a while. And when it did, it was sporadic and unplanned. I transitioned from treadmill to track/outside where my pace was faster, but I couldn’t run as long. Well, I’ve gotten my shit together, so now it’s back to a plan so I can get passed this 5K goal/hurdle that’s been on the horizon since more or less January!!!

So, this week runs have taken place in the AC filled and humidity free gym – no puffs of the inhaler needed!! I ran 10 min/mile pace, 1 lap = 1/10 of a mile!

Tuesday:

Walk 2 laps

Run 10 laps

Walk 2 laps

Run 5 laps

Walk it out!

I was so excited to be able to run a mile without stopping! I’ve come so far since the days I was huffing and puffing during a 2 minute interval on the treadmill. I crossed the mile threshold to the song “I’ve Got a Feeling” by Black Eyed Peas. ‘Tonight was a good night’ indeedy!

Thursday:

Walk 3 laps

Run 12 laps!!

Walk 3 laps

Run 5 laps

Walk it out!

After today, running a mile felt like no sweat. I remember in elementary school how big of a deal the dreaded mile run was. It was my least favorite day of the year because I knew I would be last (and ya know, kids are mean) Now running a mile is just another Thursday night  : )

Man, I love feeling myself get more fit – even over the course of 2 days! This training thing makes me feel like I’m unstoppable – that if I work hard that there is nothing I can’t do!

Peace,

Karen

Lazy Sunday

Today I maintained the weekend tradition of a breakfast in bed of scrambled eggs with feta (perfect combo!) and toast with earth balance spread.

The ghetto set-up, with lots of small entertainment screens

Close up of the 'goods'

And of course, no morning in the world of Karen would be complete sans a cup of JOE!

I love how enigmatic I ended up looking haha! While breakfasting I watched my current new show that I’m finding pretty addicting: Coupling. It’s like the British ‘Friends’, only a little more off the wall.

Honestly, the real reason I keep watching is because THE ACTOR WHO PLAYED COMMODORE NORRINGTON IN THE PIRATES TRILOGY IS THE STAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I love me some Commodore Norrington! He was such a classy gentlemen. I don’t know why silly Elizabeth had to run off with scoundrels when this hot piece of ass was begging for her hand. And don’t even get me started on when he became rogue in the second film….

For lunch and dinner I nursed some Mellow mushroom mega veggie pizza. By the end of the day I finished a 10 incher.

Today’s work out consisted of a 2 mile run on the glorious, air conditioned gym track. I was so reluctant to get off my bum to go run, but felt so glad I did when I got back. One less thing to feel guilty about, ya know!

The basic set up of the run was: Run 8 minutes, Walk 1, Run 8, Walk it out – with running at 10 min/mile pace.

The asthma hit me hard again, so I’m thinking I’m going to start my pre-run puffs off the inhaler again. I should probably check in with the doctor before summer is over as well. I’m kind of in an awkward self diagnosis phase.

Anyway, hope you all had good weekends! Better get to bed so I can conquer my Monday!