Monday, February 28, 2011

ABCs of Me

I'm such a joiner =) Not one to be left out of a blogging trend, here are my ABCs. Enjoy!

(A) Age: 29
(B) Bed Size: Queen
(C) Chore You Really Dislike: Vacuuming - I spend the rest of the day sneezing thanks to my dust allergy.
(D) Dogs? 2 retired racing greyhounds: Suka and Ezra
(E) Essential Start Your Day Item: Coffee - I gave it up while preggo but, sigh, I'm addicted again.
(F) Favorite Color: Forest green - though, I really prefer to be in a forest.
(G) Gold or Silver? Platinum or white gold - I'm too lazy to keep silver clean.
(H) Height: 5' 8"
(I) Instruments You Play: None
(J) Job Title: Systems Engineer
(K) Kids: Noelle, 5 months
(L) Live: Pasadena, CA - soon to be San Francisco (Berkeley, maybe?), CA
(M) Mom's Name: Cathy - though, she wishes it was Katherine.
(N) Nicknames: Linds
(O) Overnight Hospital Stays? My birth (1 month), broken arm (2 weeks), Noelle's birth (2 nights)
(P) Pet Peeve: Wasting time - specifically, other people wasting mine.
(Q) Quote from a Movie: "One Dollar!?!" - Trading Places
(R) Right or Left Handed? Right
(S) Siblings: 2, younger sister and younger brother
(T) Time You Wake Up? Right now, 7am with Noelle. Starting next week, 5am for work.
(U) Underwear: Thongs
(V) Vegetable You Dislike: None, they're all good.
(W) What Makes You Run Late: I am almost always punctual.
(X) X-Rays: Left arm, back, teeth.
(Y) Yummy Food You Make: Coffee crumb cake - okay, it's a mix from a box.
(Z) Zoo, Favorite Animal: Cheetah

Sunday, February 27, 2011

'Long' Run FAIL

The hubby is out of town for the week, so little miss and I have been getting some quality time with the jogging stroller. She has really seemed to be enjoying it too. She even let me get in a six mile run last week, during her fussy evening hour, without so much as a peep! BOB should use that as a marketing line - the fussy-hour baby soother!

I was so encouraged by this that I thought I'd still try to meet my friends for our weekly long(er) run by the beach. Running on The Strand is one of my favorite things in LA (I realize how lame that makes me, given all the entertainment options LA has to offer). We drove down this morning and baby girl seemed to be in a good mood as we started. I had my fingers crossed for a good 6-7 mile run, at least.

Unfortunately, my timing was not perfect. Mom FAIL on my part. Twenty minutes into the run we hit baby's morning nap time. I was hoping that she'd just fall asleep in the stroller and I could run through her whole nap - but it was not meant to be. Instead, she was very upset/fussy - as she had a right to be, away from her comfy crib. So, I turned around and b-lined it back to the car, waving my friends on and wishing them luck.

Baby was quiet and semi-zoned out by the time we got back to the car, but still awake. Given the drive we still had to do to get home, I decided that was enough running for the day and called it quits at 4 miles. She happily snoozed on the way home, and fell back asleep in the crib shortly thereafter. All-in-all, not a complete waste. Four miles and some brief social interaction is better then nothing. Plus, baby got her first look at the ocean =)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Game Has Changed

The Boston Athletic Association announced a new registration process for 2012 (rolling admission based on qualifying time) and new qualifying standards for 2013 (5 min, 59 sec faster per age group). Rolling admission will remain in effect for 2013 also. New Boston Marathon Qualifying Standards

Boston was my very first marathon. I ran it as a charity entry in 2005. Like most first-timers, I toed the line over-trained and semi-injured. It was a very painful, wonderful, slow & exhilarating 26.2 miles... and I was hooked. I have long set my sights on running my (now old) qualifying standard of 3:40 (my last attempt came in at 3:48).

I'm not going to say too much about the new standards... I'm already snowed in by the flurry of blog chatter. I would, however, like to say this. Challenge raised - Challenge accepted!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Love Yourself Valentine Challenge

Zoe over at runzoerun is hosting an awesome love yourself valentine challenge. She sent out 36 valentines w/ tiny skull tattoos to 36 of her readers (yay, I'm one). The idea is to take a photograph with the skull tattoo on the part of your body you're most proud of, and explain why. So, here's my pic:

I love my middle because it made my baby =)

I chose my tummy as my 'most proud of' body part, not because it looks the best, but because it has accomplished the most; it was able to make my beautiful baby girl. In the process, it expanded to huge proportions and then 'almost' back again, 4.5 months later. I'm impressed with, and grateful for, all that my tummy can do!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mom's First Race

First 'Race' Post Baby
This past Sunday I earned by Super Bowl game chow with the super fun Redondo Beach 10k. Above is me (on the left) chit-chatting with a friend as we make our way through this race.

If you live in the LA area, I highly recommend making it out for this one. You feel like you're at a marathon start line, with all of the energy and crowds that this race musters. Redondo Beach has their act down, too. With probably 10,000 plus participants, we were still able to walk up 30 minutes before the start, casually register, get our chips and shirts and have time for a port-o-potty stop. Talk about easy!

Perhaps the best part of this race, though, is the carbo-reload at the beer garden. Really, it wouldn't be a race without a beer garden. And, to top it off, the Packers won the Super Bowl! (I'm from WI). So, yay!

Monday, February 7, 2011

And the Next Marthon is....

I have finally been able to choose my next marathon, and it's the San Francisco Marathon on July 31, 2011!

We have been planning a move to an, until last week, undetermined location. So, I was unable to choose my 'marathon comeback' until family logistics were decided. Last week, the final location of our move was determined and I'm so so so excited that it's to a city I love, San Francisco!

I spent most of 2002 living in the Bay Area and have always wanted to get back there. At the time, I was a student taking time off from school for an extended internship. Now, I'll be there with my husband, baby and two dogs! This city is so beautiful and I can't wait to start re-discovering what I love most about it and finding new things to enjoy.

To that end, my very first action upon our final decision was to register for the SF Marathon, embracing the move in full. What a wonderful way this will be to see the different areas of the city, and motivate me to find plenty of new running routes for training once we get there! Also, at 25 weeks away, this race gives me ample time to finish up my strength building phase and then hit marathon training with full force.

Right now, I'm only logging about 20-25 miles a week, but the strength training is going wonderfully and I'm pretty much completely back in shape. I even hit my pre-pregnancy weight last week. So, let the adventure of the marathon come-back begin!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Getting Strong: Base Phase

About a month ago (3.5 months post baby) it became clear to me that those last 7 lbs and my long-lost muscle tone weren't going to take care of themselves... at least not with running alone. So, when Charlotte of Great Fitness Experiment wrote of her group's results weight training w/ Rachel Cosgrove's Female Body Breakthrough* routines, I decided to give it a go.

I got myself the PC Kindle version of Cosgrove's book (yikes, I've crossed into the forbidden e-book realm. Somewhere, a library quietly weeps) and had a look.
It's an actual book, too!

At first glance, the routines seemed very doable. More importantly, they are all full body workouts and only take about one hour (3x a week)... very manageable. Upon closer inspection, I realized that I would have trouble meeting all of her "unbreakable" rules. Here's a summary:
Cosgrove's Rules

Unbreakable Rule #1. You do not miss a weight-lifting workout (3 days a week). - I can handle this one.

Unbreakable Rule #2: You must drink a post-workout shake within 15 minutes of finishing your weight-lifting workout. - Not my favorite but, again, I can make this work. When I don't have time to make a protein shake right after getting home (hungry baby calls, etc) I found a pre-made protein shake at Trader Joe's that I like.

Other Suggestions
Rule #1: Lift as heavy as good form will allow. Okay by me, I liked lifting heavy back in my sprinting days. Though, I could do without the massive quads again, it was hard to find pants that fit! Fortunately, Cosgrove's routines call for enough repetitions that massive muscle building isn't in the cards.

Rule #2: Eat 5-6 small meals a day, each containing a fat and a protein. I tried this the last month, I really did. I even kept a detailed food journal of each meal. It The most difficult part was the 'eat breakfast withing 15 min of waking up'. With the demands of taking care of baby girl this was almost impossible and stressed me out. Also, I prefer to feel full after eating, and 5-6 smaller meals never got me there. So, while I'll stick to her recommended meal composition, I'm going back to fewer, larger meals this month.

Rule #3: Eat clean 90% of the time, a few 'cheat' meals are allowed. This one I like. Dietary guidelines with the flexibility to indulge guilt-free every so often.

Rule #4: No running (or other cardio)! Instead, she allows for some metabolic circuits on non-lifting days and 1 cardio workout in the final phases of her plan. There is NO WAY I could handle this one. I don't run simply to get fit; running is my therapy. I recognize, however, Cosgrove's point that too much cardio forces your body to want to conserve its fat stores as reserves; counterproductive to the goal of changing body composition. So, this last month, I reduced the frequency and duration of my runs - only going 3 times a week and only for 3 or 4 miles. However, I miss the semi-long runs, and will be re-introducing 6-10 mile runs this month.

Base Phase Results: I'm not big on before/after pictures and body measurements, they stress me out. However, I can report that after this first month I've lost about 5 lbs and more-or-less look to be back in my pre-pregnancy condition (4.5 months post baby). My middle isn't quite there yet, but my arms and legs look better then pre-pregnancy. More importantly, I feel great and am really enjoying her varied routines. The first time I did her warm up (it's goofy, but works!) I felt exhausted, and I had not even gotten to the workout! Now, I finished my last base phase routine feeling great and ready for more. We'll see what next month, the 'Define Yourself' phase brings.

* I have no affiliation with Cosgrove and have not received anything for this review.