Sore

Today will be my fourth day in a row of CrossFit. I am sore all over! Luckily, the soreness in my abs has subsided. CrossFit has you do these sit-ups that make you sore as hell. I don’t know why these kill me while other types of sit-ups really don’t. Ugh…

Fat

My CrossFit gym (it is called a box, actually) has the Bod Pod this week and I signed up to find out technically how fat I am. Don’t know what a Bod Pod is? Click here.

Turns out, I’m 38.8% fat. If I could get below 24% I would be a very, very happy girl. I will be re-checked in three months.

Back-tracking

It’s been nearly eight (8!!!) months since my last post. A lot of changes, a lot of sameness. Here’s a re-cap:

August: I continued to do CrossFit like a badass, but stopped running. Ironically, I PR’ed big-time during a little 5k (hello, 8:30 minute miles!). Also, I decided that I wanted to move closer to town, and out of the ‘burbs. I realized that it cost less to own than rent, just as long as I got out of Lake Oswego, that is. I went and got myself pre-approved for a practically no interest mortgage and plopped a down payment on a little house in the city.

September: I continued CrossFit while working on my second job as someone buying a house. Wow, this was some process! I also ran in the Warrior Dash. That was hard work and oh so muddy. I had mud in places that I’d never expected to ever have mud! Speaking of jobs, I got a new one during this month, too.

October: I not only finished the home buying process, but managed to rent my apartment at the very last minute. I had the hardwood floors in my new house refinished. I packed. I cleaned. I moved. I also got settled into the new job. I ended CrossFit since the location was no longer doable due to my new home location and new job location. I also totally skipped out on the Portland Half-Marathon because I wasn’t ready and was scared of running 13.1 miles so out of running shape.

November: I was finally settling in, but my priorities changed from fitness to new job and new house. I ran a little bit and thought a lot about CrossFit. I made a new friend and talked her into getting into running (mostly so I could be motivated myself).

December: Interesting month, this one… First, I had to run the Las Vegas Half Marathon since A) I committed to friends, and B) I already paid for the airfare and hotel. While in Vegas, I drank for the first time in 11 months and broke my no-booze for a year committment. I also ran a half marathon while really, really hungover. I spent the rest of the month going out every weekend, drinking like a fish, and eating like a queen! I also tripped and fell during a run and messed up my hand pretty bad.

January: I recommitted to exercising and continued to eat like there was no tomorrow. The drinking got old, though. I’m too old for that shit. This was all mostly due to socializing and dating. From October through early January, I was going on a date or out with a friend at least three nights per week. The exercising part was inconsistent even though I signed up for half marathon training. I also decided to run the full marathon in October (2013) since I was turning 39 this month and it was on my list of “to dos before I turn 40″. But, then I realized I was turning 38 so I was off the hook. Whew!

February: Things started to mellow out as my clothes became a little snug on me and I realized how much money I was spending on dinners and drinks with girlfriends. Dating got old, but in late January I started seeing someone exclusively, anyway, so that worked out. The running was still inconsistent, but for the most part, I was getting out there. This was a rough month for me due to the weather and the dark and my dad passing away unexpectedly. I hibernated a little this month. I’m so thankful for my awesome and supportive friends and family. They are the best!

March: The sun started shining and the flowers began to bloom this month. I recommitted to a new CrossFit box across the parking lot from my office (chosen not due to the proximity, but it was highly recommended by my former box — I just got really lucky). I ran the Shamrock Run miserably and slowly but it felt good to be back out there. I ran it with my friend. It was her first race. Exciting! And, the sun was shining so that certainly didn’t hurt.

FUTURE . . . 

The job is going well and I can see myself here for a really long time. The money is great, it’s flexible, and the people are awesome.

The house is looking good. I have a lot of cosmetic (but still hard) work to complete. It’s expensive and time consuming, but I have zero regrets. My dogs have a big fenced yard, I can garden to my heart’s content, I’m closer to my friends and family, and it’s so peaceful and quiet.

Running is going … eh. It’s really hard to get back into it when you’ve been out of it for even just a few months. I guess I lost my running mojo when I completed my first half marathon back in May and then really lost it when I moved. I do want to run a marathon before I turn 40, but I have some time. I think that running in the winter doesn’t do it for me, so this might turn into a seasonal thing. Only time can tell.

I have only three more races planned this year: a 5k in June, a half marathon in July, and an obstacle race in August. I’m always willing to run in a race in support of my friends, so I may end up doing more, but it is not my focus. With CrossFit (see below) I think I can do that and then run long once a week. If the CrossFit workout is easy that day (or easy on the bottom half) I may run after for a few miles on occasion. There are some pretty great running trails nearby.

CrossFit just started last week. I know I love it. I know I love the atmosphere. I know it does a body good — real good. So, I signed up for a year (only $108 per month, which is a great deal!). I’m going four days per week after work and perhaps one weekend day per week at a box close to my house.

My weight is not at an ideal place. I still wear the same clothes, they just aren’t as comfortable and flattering. I feel “sloppy”. I’m at a point where either I get back to exercising and eating right, or I get new clothes. I have spent a small fortune on my wardrobe over the past couple of years and I’m not about to do it again (well, not unless the weight goes down, then I will happily splurge on myself). Next winter I have a trip planned with some girlfriends to spend a couple of weeks in a tropical location learning how to surf. So, I need to be strong and confident. And I need to look great in a bathing suit.

My dogs are awesome, my friends, are awesome, and, other than picking up a creepy and obsessed cyber-stalker along with the new boyfriend in January, life is great!

Still going at it!

My love (well, a special kind of love where there is also hate) of running has been replaced by a love of CrossFit. I love how running can and is incorporated into CrossFit but without the tedious act of just running all the time. I have decided that with all the sprinting in CrossFit, I don’t need to go to track. But, I do need to get my longer runs in on the weekends. I don’t think I’m going to run more than 10 miles for my long runs and even then I’m going to keep it closer to seven or eight. I don’t think a person who is working out otherwise really needs to put in all that distance regularly.

In a perfect world I would do CrossFit five days per week and one long run, but at my gym (or box, as they like to call it) my options are limited. There’s no way I could consistently get to class at 6:00pm what with the parking situation downtown and the traffic not to mention work and my dog. I would be setting myself up for failure. In a month or two I’ll be able to work out on Sundays in “team training” which I understand is a more competitive environment. That will put me at four days per week. Hopefully they will add the 6am option on Tuesdays and Thursdays (I’ve made the suggestion) once more people show interest. As of right now, there are often two or three of us there (perfect for me, as a beginner) so I’m assuming they are waiting for more people to start to show up. Perhaps once summer is over, this will happen? I’m hopeful!

Box jumps

Box jumps are hard, as I discovered this morning (early) during my CrossFit class. I had a little box, even. Everyone else had a big box and I swear I watched two guys in my class almost die (not really)! Lots of push-ups, too. I can do one assisted pull-up (assisted with the strongest band available). I’ve got a ways to go.

Last night I walked the dog up a two-mile-plus hill then jogged back home in a thunderstorm. My dog got hot and occasionally threw himself down into the nearest puddle a few times, so plenty of rest breaks as I tried to coax him to get out of the water and keep going. Not much of a workout, but that’s OK, I got out there and moved.

Mornings suck!

This morning thing is getting old, but I’ve got to shift things. It’s for the best.

Today I was up at 6am despite not having a work out. I’m working out after work, going on a little run and practicing kickball with a teammate. I’m not as sore from yesterday’s CrossFit class as I thought I might be. I definitely feel my muscles, but I’m not in pain.

I’m really excited to go to be tonight and looking forward to sleeping. How sad is that?

CrossFit Day 1

This morning — at the miserable hour of 5:15 — I shoved my ass out of bed. I started putting my alarm in the dining room so that it will wake me but I can’t turn it off in my sleep. Both a smart and stupid move all rolled into one. But, it does keep me from getting distracted by the phone when I’m trying to sleep as well as making me get up. It’s working on both accounts.

I drove to CrossFit class and arrived just on time. There were only four others, which was nice for me as they were all experienced so the instructor could focus on me. I was a little confused about a few things but figured them out, and overall had a decent workout. It wasn’t barf-inducing, but it was hard and I’m sure I’ll feel it tomorrow as I used several muscles that have been laying dormant since February. My push-up muscles, for instance, and my squatting muscles.

Since the gym did a Groupon recently they added some classes for beginners in August and I thought that would be a good idea, but I was told by the two coaches I worked with that I should just jump into the regular classes. All of my time doing weights (past years) and recent bootcamps have helped me with my movements and I am fairly strong, I just don’t have a lot of endurance. Anyway, apparently I am a star pupil!

I did not make it to track last night. By the time I got there (traffic — need to leave sooner) and found a parking spot (track is downtown — whose idea was that?) I had to pee (like a race horse — and there are no bathrooms), and I was super late and did not want to jump in when I had no idea who I was even there to see. I felt all kinds of uncomfortable. Instead I found a place to pee then went and bought CrossFit shoes because all of my running shoes are too much for the gym. Instead of resting on Sunday I will run and I will make it to track next week, but leave even earlier from the office.

I’m glad to be getting into it right away because I need to rock a bikini by the end of January because I’m spending a week in Mexico learning how to surf for my birthday. Yeah, really!

Youch!

I am sore!

I went to CrossFit on Sunday and did an intro type class one-on-one with a coach. It was more about learning with about ten minutes or so of actual exercise. The basics: push-ups, pull-ups (no, not the kind you’re thinking, the easy kind), and squats. Granted, I haven’t done any strength work since probably February, but I am sore all over!

My initial thoughts? This space is new (formerly, it was in a one-car garage in someone’s house!) so it’s quite nice for garage space. There are huge double doors that open onto the sidewalk on a quite cul-de-sac in SW Portland and backs up against the Lincoln High School track. The space has an office, a place for kids to hang out (with a Wii), nice bathroom, HVAC system, etc. so it’s not entirely garage-like. It’s also very bright and airy.

The people seemed to be having a great time. There was lots of smiling, laughing, helping, and positive support. The coach was great and super helpful. There were people there of all shapes and sizes, and lots of young woman. As I’d hoped, the majority were around my age and were young professionals. So far, communication, flexibility, and support via email and in person have been outstanding! Tomorrow I have my first official class and I will goals and scheduling with my coach, Ann, who I have yet to meet.

I heard back from Team Athena and Run Portland about track nights. In a nutshell, Team Athena has very few slower runners (probably due to their small size – 40 ish). I will be going to a track night next week to meet the ladies. Run Portland does have different groups: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. They invited me to participate in track night tonight and meet the intermediate coach. Despite being sore, I’m going to give it a whirl. Right now, I’m excited to be meeting at the Lincoln High School track because it’s state-of-the-art whereas the track at Duniway, where lots of other groups go, is pretty crappy. It’s a city park, so I’m really glad it’s there, but it is lacking in cushion and lighting.

Finally, I have gotten up at 6am four days in a row! This morning was tough especially since I didn’t have to get up. Saturday and Monday I ran but since I have track tonight, I’m just taking it easy, having breakfast and coffee, and then going into the office early so I can leave early.

What’s new with me?

Warning: this post is going to be all over the place.

I took my blog off Facebook because, well, I want to get a little personal and I don’t need everyone reading about it. If they want to, that’s OK, but I just feel better not advertising it. If I want to share something, I will but generally, I don’t.

This is the first week that I’ve really made an effort to get back on track. Ironically, just the act of getting up early (6AM) has given me energy and motivated me. Not only have I gone running twice this week, but I have crossed more things off of my to-do list this week than I have over the past month.

I tried a new shoe and it didn’t work. The Saucony Ride 5 felt like a good shoe, but not enough arch support for me. It strained my feet and the insides of my ankles. My feet are still sore today after a five mile run 24 hours ago. This is new so I know it’s the shoes. Even though I am neutral, I do have a high arch. I was lucky to have been able to trade them in at Foot Traffic, where I bought the Sauconys, for my old stand-by the Brooks Adrenaline. I had to go up one whole size so that during, and especially after long runs my toes don’t feel like they’ve been run over by a truck. I also had to drive to the far-away store to get them in a better color. The white with denim blue looks like a men’s shoe (in person anyway — online they aren’t so bad). Ugly! I got purple, though I would have been happy with pink as well. Once I’ve determined that I like this shoe and when rain/mud season starts, I’m getting them in black with the hot pink and lime green accents. Very cool . . .

I have kickball on Mondays through the summer and hopefully I can learn how to kick better so I can actually do some sprinting and get something of a workout!

I’m going to join a running club. There are three (that I am aware of) in Portland: Red Lizards, Team Athena, and Run Portland. They each offer long run options and track nights with a coach (I think). Red Lizards is the largest and most known. Yearly fees are $30. However, I think their slowest runners are in the 9:30 pace group, which I can be in with more work, but right now I am not. And, I want support, not a face-full of dust. Team Athena is all women, which is pretty cool. Fees are $100 and I’m not sure why — perhaps because they are the smallest group of the bunch? I’m not sure how active they are or how beginner/slow-friendly they are. I have sent them an email. Run Portland . . . their website sucks big-time and I have no clue what they are about. I mean, a little, but certainly it needs a lot of help. I’ve contacted them as well. They are pretty large and fees are $30 annually.

I really did love Fit Right’s running program. It was amazing. Unlike Foot Traffic, Fit RIght has track nights and is lead by a great coach. I think Foot Traffic was awesome for me as a raw beginner just getting my miles (I remember when my first five-mile run almost killed me), but Fit Right was a great progression into speedwork as well as a more structured plan with professional support. Fit Right was $120 and Foot Traffic was $95. Even though I could start back up with Fit Right’s second session and be in a good place to do so at the moment given my hiatus recently, I’d like to find a permanent group. All of the paid running coaching through the stores offers sessions which start over each time and the people change. You can make this work, especially if you have friends doing each new session with you, but that is not the case for me. I think that if I’d had more individual support, I may not have taken my haitus. Not that I’m blaming anyone but me, and some of that was injury-related, but I really had no one out there bugging me about getting my ass back on the road. Sometimes we need that. I’m willing to do it for someone else, too. If I can’t figure out a running club that works for me at the moment, I will rejoin Fit Right’s program and keep doing my research and join up later. It’s another $120 but really it is worth it.

I have my first CrossFit class today! I decided that CrossFit SW was a great choice. There are some CrossFit gyms (they call them boxes) in Lake Oswego, but I wanted to get closer to the city in my spare time. I get sick of the ‘burbs and with any luck I will be moving downtown by next summer. As luck would have it, when I Googled CrossFit SW this morning to write down the address, I saw a Groupon! Paying a half month’s membership would have cost me about $70 today, but with the groupon I save $40! Yay!

I did enjoy bootcamp, but over time it became wrong for me. First, 5AM is too early! Second, the classes started over each month, which didn’t really work for me after about the fourth month. I think that the classes should be a progression where, of course, each exercise can be ammended for beginners or the more experienced. The new people for the month should have a first class seperate of the rest of the people to learn the basic moves (how to squat properly, for instance) and do their testing. In addition, bootcamp has a lot of teaming during exericises and since there were new faces quite often and I didn’t go with a pal, I would get teamed with someone who was very new and I would have to compensate. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy to cheer her on and help her, but it also meant I wasn’t getting the most of my own workout. If I’m going to get up at that ungodly hour and pay a premium, I want to get killed! The winter space was really small and stuffy and when it was Groupon time, wow was it crowded! And, finally, because of the location, it was mostly older woman, housewives, and as a somewhat newly single and kid-free person, I really want to connect with like-minded individuals.

Don’t get me wrong, bootcamp was a great way to begin my new fitness regime. I think going for six to 12 months is ideal. Perhaps when they become more established, which I’m sure they will as they are a great team putting on a great program, they will have a solid group of ladies joining them month after month. Overall the experience was pretty good and Noelle and Katie have my vote. They are a lot of fun and very supportive and they put their heart and soul into the program. I’m just ready to move on to something different, more challenging, to keep my interest and increase my fitness level, as well as having some other interests in mind, like meeting and befriending new people.

Foodwise, I’m really diving into Paleo. I have been doing it awhile, but not as strictly as I should be. Everything got out of whack over these past few months, including my diet. So, it’s just another thing that I’m getting back into the hang of doing consistently.

I’m going to get more involved in the community. One of the reasons why I’m joining a running group is to get involved in the community. This is something I have not done since living on the east coast. Most of the running clubs also offer volunteer opportunities, whether that’s manning an aid station during a race or volunteering at the local Special Olympics. Running has brought a lot into my life and I want to not only give back but hopefully help others gain the same things I have. Girls on the Run is an organization that I would like to get started in, so I’m volunteering at their aid station next weekend during the LaCamas Lake race.

My goals are pretty much on-track. Still no drinking. I have been racing each month. If I can’t get on a Hood to Coast team, I have found some local races, both big and small, that I can join to reach my goal for August (one race). The boy situation happened and now that is finished. It definitely brought me off-course. I did gain nearly 10 lbs during my hiatus. The last five will go away easily as it’s likely all the junk and water in my body from eating like shit. The first five will take a bit longer. But, more importantly, I am focusing on getting my fitness back to where it was.

Race Recap: Foot Traffic Flat

Remember this post about getting my ass in gear for the race today? The race happened, but the getting my ass in gear part did not. I have a lot of excuses but they are just that: excuses. The bottom line was that I was lazy and I kept putting it off. Truth is, I wasn’t going to run the race even though I had paid for it. But when I received the email about packet pick-up, I made up my mind that I was going to do it and while it would not be a great race, it would be a reminder of what could have been and what should have been, as well as what happens when you give up. I wouldn’t know what that would be until after the race, but I needed to find out, and I felt like I deserved the punishment that would ensue. Tough love.

As this was my first Foot Traffic Flat on Sauvie’s Island and I was doing it alone, I didn’t really know what to expect as far as getting there and traffic. All of the downtown races are predictable; it’s these other ones that can be sketchy. However, it’s worth it for the diverse courses. I did purchase a ticket for the shuttle but I understood that parking was bad. I asked a friend nearby if I could get a ride and he agreed to help me out.

Long story short, I ended up getting just a few hours of sleep, sleeping in late, and missing my shuttle. My friend, bless his heart, drove me to the island, right up to the start. The drive should have taken minutes, but it took us over an hour. Because I was running so late I ate my breakfast and drank my coffee in the car on the way. The start was delayed 15 minutes but I didn’t make it to the line until well after that.

Besides feeling like I had a softball in my stomach, my run was going fairly well for the first 10k. It was slower than it should have been, especially for such a flat course, but I felt decent and it went by quickly. At mile seven I started to hurt. At my last half-marathon I did not experience this type of hurt until mile 10 or 11, but since I’ve run hardly at all since then it made sense that it would come on sooner. My saving grace was the familiarity and knowing this was normal.

I figured that that I was going to suffer and there was no way I could PR this race, so I walked all of the water tables, stretched when I needed to, and tried to enjoy the scenery (grass, cows, roadkill, farms, and runners). Because I was so late with my meal, I had to stop at the porta-potty around mile eight and wait in a long line. At first I was going to deduct this from my time but decided not to because had I gotten up on time, it would not have happened. It was purely my own mistake. It took at least ten minutes and I took advantage of line time by stretching.

Miles eight through 10 were hard. After mile 10, I was hurting pretty bad and stopping to stretch about three times per mile. At mile 11 or so I really wanted to walk, but that is against my rules unless injured. I pushed through to the end despite some tough mental battles and was happy to make it across the finish, crappy time and all. This was the first race where I was unable to give it my all the last mile of a race and finish strong.

This course was fairly flat, especially compared to my last half-marathon in late May where I had a better time and pace, despite hills and some little injuries. Between training and the difference in courses, I should have shaved at least 15 minutes from my time between that race and this one and I could have if I’d kept up with my training. I lost strength and endurance, as well as many other things I could have used.

The good news was that I had no injuries this time so I didn’t feel like I was compensating for anything or feeling worried. I also knew what to expect and this race seemed like it flew by. FInally, I felt amazing after the race and after I get some of these unknowns out of the way, I’m back on a training plan. It was nice to feel the accomplishment of a run and finishing a race again. I’d forgotton how wonderful it can be.

I’m sore in my legs, my toes are covered in blisters, and I am exhausted. I also received a sunburn despite the race starting so early. Overall the race seemed like a success. The traffic was terrible and even the shuttle buses were late getting runners to the start. It seems like perhaps the race has gotten too big for the little island. However, it was very friendly, the food was good, the venue was beautiful, and the weather could not have been better.

Not sure what August holds race-wise as I am trying to get on a Hood to Coast team!

Race Results:

TIme 2:37:22

Pace 12:00

Age Division Place 167 / 209

Place Overall 1467 /1874

Sex Overall 938 /1264