Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Workout Improv

Have you ever been in the position where, in order to get your workout in, you have to find a way to squeeze it in? 

I have that issue today. I had a chiropractor appointment this morning and was already getting up earlier than usual (so no morning workout, which I typically hate anyway). This evening I have a wine tasting event planned, so no evening workout. I typically work out on Saturday, Sunday, and Tuesday through Thursday. Monday and Friday are my usual "rest" days.

Normally if I can't workout one of my "normal" days, I will switch it to Monday. This week, I also had plans on Monday (wedding stuff).

I was thinking of skipping working out on both days due to a nagging toe issue (another blog, another day), but I tend to feel "off" if I don't get a workout in when I'm supposed to. It nags at me. I can tell myself that it's fine if I skip, but it will still bother me all day.

So to make up (at least a little) for the fact that I can't workout today, I decided to go for a walk on my lunch hour. I work downtown and this is one of the easiest ways to "slip" in a small workout. Even though walking is good for you, it's not as "hard" of a workout as I would have typically done today and was still feeling a little "eh" because of that.  What to do, what to do!

Hello Chicago Riverwalk! (Disclaimer: I am definitely no photographer! Also, if you hate pictures of stairs, stop reading this blog post!)

I decided to take a 25 minute walk on the Chicago Riverwalk and utilize the many staircases along the way for some stair workouts!  So for the first half of my walk, I walked up and down every staircase I passed.  I started taking pictures of them and while doing so, realized how different most of them are! For some reason, this was intriguing to me...but I don't get out much.

I walked up and down 6 sets of stairs during my 25 minute walk. It was better than just walking (as far as workouts go) and I even sweated a little... sorry co-workers.

This was my favorite staircase.
I thought it was cool looking.


So I walked up and down 6 sets of stairs. Might not be a TON...but considering it was on my lunch break during a short 25 minute walk, I don't think it was too bad.  This is my "improve workout" for today.

There was also an abundance of runners, walkers, speed walkers, puppies, boats, and people eating lunch on the Riverwalk. Lots to see!

What type of workouts do you do when you need to squeeze something in?  Or do you just tend to skip it?

Friday, March 4, 2016

Racing Schedule

Happy Friday!

First, let me apologize that my racing schedule to the right of this blog is completely out of date! I's 2016! Get it together Amanda! In my defense, I can't access that part on my work computer and I never think about it when I'm home. Anyway...let's get on to 2016!

In 2014, I did 11 half marathons, 1 full marathon (my current PR!) and 1 tough ultra marathon. Not to mention a few smaller races and a sprint triathlon. I also had a goal to hit 1,000 miles for the year and need to keep pulling out the numbers straight through the end of December. I felt like I didn't get a break!

Turn to 2015 and I was burned out! I didn't want to run at all that year. I stopped tracking my numbers and workouts. I still ran and did workouts but I didn't care to track anything. My running was slow, my weight increased, and I just got by. I managed to do 1 slow marathon at the last minute and of course a few half marathons. The only thing I was really excited about was my first Olympic Distance triathlon.

I knew 2016 would be a slightly less "race heavy" year due to my wedding in August. I didn't want to be tied up doing things while trying to plan a wedding. I also don't know exactly when my honeymoon will be so I don't want to plan things afterwards. Plus my main goal this year (besides getting married!) is to lose weight, become healthier, and hope my cardio endurance will improve and so will my running.

So far in 2016, I have signed up for a few shorter races. I have been just running long distance mostly the last few years and I'm just not into it right now. So 8k's and 10k's are where it's at! I also signed up for the Esprit De She Triathlon again this year even though I wasn't sure if I'd actually be able to do it due to my shoulder surgery. The swag was expensive enough I figured just that covered the cost of the race.  Here's my schedule for 2016 so far...

2016 Race Calendar

3/6/16 - Running O' The Green 8k (Tinley Park, IL) - I ran this a couple years ago. Super local for me and very inexpensive. It's my first race of the year. I'm using "race" lightly as I'm just trying to complete the 5 mile distance! THIS WEEKEND! I'm kinda excited!

4/24/16 - The Champion of the Trees 10k (Lisle, IL) - This is at the Morton Arboretum and I'm kinda excited about this race too. Although because of the location, I'm excited some rolling terrain.

5/30/16 - Ridge Run 10k (Beverly, IL) - This race is on Memorial Day every year. I used to do this one every year (they have a 5k and 10k, or you can run both for "the challenge"). I love it. Local and very neighborhood friendly. I'm excited to do this one again.

6/12/16 - Esprit De She Triathlon (Naperville, IL) - I originally wasn't going to sign up for this but was talked into it. I just wasn't sure about my shoulder. The doctor told me to wait another month and then I can start trying to swim. The good thing about the swim here is that you can walk half of every lap. As long as I can swim a little, this will be a good way to stay in the triathlon game.

After I typed this...I realized that the first 3 races, I typed "I'm excited!" THIS is what I'm going for this year. I want to run because I enjoy running. I want to do the races that make me happy. Speed will come later when all other things are taken care of.

Possible Half Marathon

I've been looking at half marathons that won't break the bank and are in driving distance. We have some issues with whether it's at the end of the month or if it's on a Saturday (I didn't want to take Friday off of work). We were looking at Wisconsin races, St. Louis area races... etc.

Madison Half Marathon - (5/29/16) I looking at this race and was considering it until right now. It's the day before my 10k on Memorial Day. Ugh. Plus the end of the month races are hard for the Mr. and his work. Back to the drawing board. Maybe...

Thursday, February 25, 2016

February Check-In

Welp...nothing much has been going on with me, which is probably why I haven't felt the need to blog! But I'm sure I can find SOMETHING to talk about, right?? ....

My birthday was on February 11th. I'm another year older (yay me!). And I found my first gray hair that day too? Coincidence? I'm "only" 37 so I'm not going to let it get me down.

My running is slightly improving. After gaining a bit of weight in November and more post-surgery, I probably packed on 10-15 lbs late last year. Not that my running was going perfectly before that... I mean, last year I was just slow as molasses. But after the extra weight plus the shoulder surgery recovery time, I just could barely run without wanting to walk. I decided to slow my pace and just hope that getting back into running and losing some weight will help me. And it has been I think. Is it just one? Both? I think probably a combination. Don't get me wrong, I'm not were I used to be at all. But I'm running for the enjoyment of it and hanging with my "semi-back-of-the-packers" and we are a fun happy bunch so it's all good.

Going really well actually! As of today, I'm down 17.2 lbs total (3.6 lbs lost this past week). 17 pounds makes a huge difference. I have no doubt that's one of the reasons I'm starting to feel a little better and starting to speed up my runs a bit sometimes. All-in-all I'm only slightly down from where I started before I gained all this weight last year. And I'm still about 30 lbs from my goal weight but baby steps. I'll take it. Another 15 pounds and I'll be a happy camper!

They changed the program at the end of last year and decided to incorporate sugar and saturated fat into the way the points are calculated. And wow! What an eye opener! Some of it does feel a bit restricting but I'm fine with the changes. I shouldn't be eating all that sugar and saturated fat anyway! But when you do want an indulgence every once in a while, it can be tough. And I'm from the mind frame of "everything in moderation." So it can be challenging but I fit it in when and where I can to satisfy my needs. I'm still working on fitting in pizza and ice cream though. This has been my challenge. But all in all, I like it. And my fiancé is on board with helping me find and make healthier meals. That is an extreme help!

I'm only running about 2 days per week (up from 1 day). But I need to workout ... for my health physically and mentally. I've been loving the bike trainer lately. We have the Wahoo Kickr and I connect it to Zwift on the computer. I love that I don't have to leave the house and I think the program itself is pretty fun. It's a great workout and the kickr adjusts to the hills and definitely can be challenging. So I've been doing this a couple times a week since it's winter and I don't feel like doing outdoor activities.

I've also been doing some spin classes every once in a while (but frankly, I'm been deciding to do the trainer instead lately).  I am trying to incorporate some strength lower body workouts. And I've been walking.

I think it's getting better. Sometimes I'm a bit frustrated. I'm trying to keep up with my shoulder exercises but I've gotten off track a few times here and there. I know I need to keep up with them. I went to the chiropractor today and she noticed I'm not rotating my shoulder when lifting my arm straight up to the side. I need to work on this and need Derek's help doing it. It's important that I try to keep this going otherwise I won't have full range of motion. So this is a bit frustrating. I want to be normal and fine. Maybe one day. At least I'm not dislocating my shoulder all the time.

I'm so over it! :)