Saturday, January 31, 2009

Off and Flying!

I think I'm on the every-other-month plan for running half marathons. In March I will be attempting the Disney Princess Half Marathon...and as of this week, I am now registered for the Flying Pig Half Marathon. Looks like hill repeats will be in my future...although climbing stairs seems to be my version lately of hill repeats. The training is going well for Tackle the Tower, but I am dangerously close to race day. I know I can climb 25 flights without passing out, but 37? Hmmm...maybe some more stairs this weekend will make me feel better. And besides, all these stairs will be a great foundation for my Pig training. Stay warm!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Brrrr...Baby, It's Cold Outside

14 degrees and snowy and the only one who noticed was me. My black lab "running partner" bounced and jumped through big piles of snow, digging his nose in the snow, and running back and forth to see what was taking me so if I was *trying* to keep up with him. I just couldn't bare the thought of a 6 mile run on a treadmill so I figured a trail run would be scenic and a good workout. It was both! And the added bonus (besides the incredible workout on my legs) was that my 5-year-old puppy was so happy. Mental note...invest in more Under Armour!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Stairs - and lots of them!

Today I actually attempted to "train" for the Tackle the Tower race. After going to three different "tall" buidlings, I finally found someone kind enough to allow me to run their stairs. I climbed 25 flights of stairs (16-17 steps per flight) in a reasonable amount of time. I was pleased that I didn't feel like tossing my cookies in the stairwell...although I have to say I saw some bizarre stuff in the stairwell. I had no idea that people actually sneak out to the stairs to smoke - I kind of thought that was off limits...especially in Ohio. Two weeks to go and I'm determined not to be an embarassment to my age group!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Update from Keystone

Keystone was everything I hoped it would be. It truly is a family-friendly ski destination. Sunday we went on a sleigh ride with one of the most entertaining tour guides, learning about the history of land purchases in Keystone. Bridget got to pet the horses, two sets - named Bert & Ernie and Charlie and Kelly. Charlie and Kelly are large Belgium horses weighing a ton each and can each pull 3-5x their own weight. We sat under plaid sheepskin blankets and stopped halfway for hot apple cider. What a Norman Rockwell experience! Meg unfortunately is allergic to horses and had a terrible attack, but did she stay away from the horses...noooo.

As we headed back to Denver from Keystone, we stopped along the way at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre. All four of us climbed EVERY step from the stage to the top. Not sure how many steps there were, but I do know that if this is any indication of my fitness level for Tackle the Tower, then I'm in trouble (did I mention how altitude changes everything???). Even small Bridget climbed the majority of the steps. What an amazing place and it was so cool to see so many people running up and down and across the steps for exercise/training. Oh yeah, it was 60+ degrees outside (while Cleveland was 10-ish degrees). We then spent Monday in Denver at a hotel I highly recommend - Hotel Monaco. Wow, they really get the concept of customer service.

Now back to reality (and training). I started back on my 30 day shred and I'm not sure if it was the DVD or the Red Rocks steps, but I'm feeling the muscles at full throttle. Finished another workout on the eliptical and made sure I did my hill repeats.

Hope you're staying warm.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

My First Experience with Snowshoes!

While in Keystone on a family ski trip, I signed up for a snowshoe lesson. The Nordic Center (who upsized me in my quest to learn a new sport) suggested I instead try the Snowshoe Eco Hike. I am so glad I did! It was a 2 hour, 2 mile hike in snowshoes across some of the most breaktaking terrain. We walked along the Snake River and learned about wildlife tracks and trees. I learned the difference between the needles on a fir (flat), spruce (square), and pine (in pairs). I also learned the difference between dog tracks and coyotes/fox tracks (very key if I ever decide to run in the winter months in the Summit). It made perfect sense because Jameson always runs from smell center to smell center (aka trees, weeds, shrubs, etc.), whereas foxes and coyotes travel in a straight line on a mission. The problem here is I will probably go into panic mode if I'm running and see straight-line tracks! I also got to smell wild sage, which was so cool being plucked out of the snow. The view of the mountain ranges was incredible. Definitely an experience I won't forget. Oh, best of all, I chatted with a fellow runner who explained to me what I needed to look for in snowshoes so I could cross train in the winter.

Later today, we're scheduled for a sleigh ride and possibly tubing tonight. Can't wait!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

30 Day Shred

Day 1: what started out as exciting soon proved that I had a core. I always knew I had abs (hidden deep down inside), but I had no idea they would be screaming at me so much! I can't wait till tomorrow to do it again! I figured this DVD would be a good idea since I finally committed to doing the Tackle the Tower race and, since it requires climbing 37 flights consisting of 646 stairs, I figured it would be smart to start building up those quads. Afterall, I only have 24 days for this miracle to occur!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

My Favorite Quote

I came across this really cool quote on the web the other day and can't get it out of my head...mostly because I secretly dream of being this person: Is it rude to count the people you pass out loud? I occasionally catch myself laughing just thinking about this quote and then I started thinking about the Marine Corps Marathon I ran October 2006 and how I actually passed a girl dressed up as Super Girl. I don't think I ever felt such a rush of energy as I did at that moment (especially since I'm a sub 6 hour finisher - yes, a 5 hour 59 minute finish counts as a sub 6). THAT would have been my opportunity to count out loud! Off to do another elliptical session since it's snowy outside and an ice storm...even my yak traks said "no way, we won't play" in this weather. So it's me, the elliptical, and the Biggest Loser.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

2009 Off and Running

Although I "technically" began training for the Disney half marathon earlier this week, today was my first actual run. Most of the week consisted of time on the elliptical...which is still exercising, but completely different than a full out run. So while I was passing the time away on my 4-miler, I decided I would write down, via this blog, some personal goals for 2009. Nope, not New Year's resolutions since those so often result in being pushed aside. These are short, realistic yet challenging goals...and I invite husband (aka co-author of this blog) to post his as well.

  1. I will run a 2 hour, 15 minute half marathon this year. This will, of course, require me to actually do crunches and weight training...maybe even plyometrics (shiver!). My personal best was a 2 hour 25 minutes 48 seconds at the Waddell and Reed half marathon in October 2008.
  2. I will run a 60 minute (and change) 10k this year. My personal best was 1 hour 4 minutes 22 seconds in Pittsburgh in September 2008.
  3. And, not fitness-related, I will use less profanity this year (there goes my moonlighting job as a truck driver).

The best part of today's run is that my thighs were screaming at me afterwards...I really missed that.