Let’s start things off with a non-explanation. I’ve been lazy and that’s all I’m going to say about that.
Last month I talked about the fact that I had signed up to run The Color Run with my 9-year-old daughter. This was the very first time we laced up and hit the starting line together. As casual and laid back as this event was, it was a far cry from the 5K races she’s run in the past on lazy, summer Wednesday nights down at the local running club. Now those are laid back. You toe the line, run however you want and no one cares (much) about placing or beating someone. It’s all about the casual mid-week atmosphere and as far as I’m concerned, the potluck dinner and drinks afterwards. So, for her, the loud, beat-box music, the constant announcing and talking going on over the loud speakers, the wild and crazy costumes (Men in tutus? She thought this was insane!) were a bit out of her comfort zone and she nervously bounced from one foot to the other as we waited for our corral to start.
We finally took off and headed straight toward a color chute. “Oh, yuck!” I thought, the idea of being doused in a cloud of color was simply appalling and I did the best I could to avoid the colored dust from infecting my ears, eyes, nose and every other body part that I could. Still, my mostly reluctant daughter was not quite sure about how this race would unfold. We walked. We ran. We trudged uphill. Only one mile into this event (because it certainly was not a race in any way, shape or form whatsoever) and I was pleading with her to please press on, mostly for selfish reasons to get away from this strange event and the non-runners-who-sort-of-considered-themselves-runners who kept elbowing and shoving me despite the full girth of roadway.
Somewhere around mile 1.5 I turned to take a crowd shot and by some stroke of genius luck there was my friend and neighbor only yards behind us with her daughter. Had I known that they would be there, too, I would have made plans to meet up or carpool. But, I was glad to see them all the same because as it turned out her daughter was dragging her feet begrudgingly the entire way. As soon as the two girls saw each other it was a much better experience for the mommas.
At that point my daughter decided that this entire experience was FUN and decided to become as colorful as she possibly could – I continued to try to avoid the color clouds even though the color chutes become more and more narrow with each new color. She literally began to collect color in a used water cup and carry it with her to the finish where she dumped the entire contents over her head. I’m just glad I thought ahead and brought towels and a change of clothes.
Despite my hating every second of the messiness and crowd, I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with my daughter and the fact that she ended up having so much fun.
I have been rocking the SMP trails lately. I am slowly whittling away the amount of time it takes me to complete my loop, which is another way of saying my pace is picking up. I have runner’s high for hours after my runs lately. I’m struggling less and enjoying it more.
Months ago my daughter and I signed up for The Color Run which takes place tomorrow. This is definitely not an event I would ever willingly participate in if it weren’t for my little girl. (Little? She’s almost 10!) I’m not shy to say that I am a racing purist and I poo poo mud runs, color runs and any other run of that style. Now I’m not arguing that they shouldn’t exist because yes, they do get people out and moving and it’s better to participate in an event of this kind instead of wasting your time on the couch in front of a television. But, personally, I would rather spend my time running a race where I can compete against myself and others instead of wasting my time at an event of this nature. Who am I kidding? I’d rather spend my time sitting on the couch in front of a television than running a color run, mud run, etc.
That said, the only reason I am running The Color Run is for some quality mother-daughter bonding time. She loves to run and has been asking to run a 5K for months. This seemed like something unique enough to make a good memory for her. Now, on the eve of the run I’m having second, third and fourth thoughts about doing it. Yuck! So I have to get splashed with color and be a total rainbow mess? I am not looking forward to that part one bit! I’m sure we’ll laugh and have fun, us and 4,000 other runners which alone will be absolutely craziness for a 3.1-mile distance. Guess you’ll have to check back in for a “race” report after tomorrow, won’t you?
Dear South Mountain: I’m headed your way. Are you ready for me?
Here’s a dose of reality for you. I love exercising, lifting weights, getting stronger and finally feeling as if I am working my way toward my former fitness level. I’m not there yet, but I’m really starting to feel it. However, as good as this all is, I do get lazy from time to time. Take yesterday, for instance. I really wanted to run but it was a gym day. I failed to get out of bed for my 4:24 a.m. wake-up call (don’t ask me about the significance of 4:24 for I have no explanation other than the randomness of it) and decided I would hit the weights after lunch. Lunch-time came and went and you know what I did instead of going to the gym? I made cookies. I mean, seriously? What is wrong with me?
Now I’m off an entire day from my routine and I have plans to meet up for a run later this week on my scheduled running day. Looks like Thursday is going to be a double: run in the morning, weights in the afternoon. Speaking of lifting, I am in the final two-week cycle of the program. These next two weeks consist of circuit training focusing on a different body part each day. Today’s was a lower body workout, 3 sets of the following:
I’ll probably be feeling this tomorrow but this I can tell you: my legs have definitely gotten stronger over the past 11 weeks. Back to that earlier comment about random lazy days. I’m not so sure that it means I’m being lazy. I think that sometimes that feeling is simply my body rebelling and saying it needs another day of rest. And, yes, I listen.
Last week and this week my strength training has consisted of two exercises three times a week. Each exercise consists of 10 sets, 10 reps per set. Really, not as hard as you might think. Going into it I thought this would probably kill me (obviously it’s been so long since I last did this program, I’ve forgotten how these two weeks were going to feel.) Now I’m loving it, although this morning’s workout focused on legs and I’ll probably be hobbling around tonight and tomorrow morning.
100 calf raises with 150 lbs
100 barbell squats with 50 lbs (plus whatever the bar weighs on the Smith machine, probably not much)
Walking up and down the stairs the rest of this morning I am already feeling the strain I put on my muscles.
Not only that, yesterday I hit the trails for an hour & a half. It was a GREAT afternoon! The weather was perfect, the sun was shining, and there was no one else there so I had the mountain all to myself. I nearly stepped on a snake basking in the sun, and then stopped to chat with two deer. They seemed pretty calm but were probably happier once I moved on.
After a run like that it’s hard not to feel really good inside.
I’m at that point in my weight training program where rest is prescribed. For the next six days I am not to do any formal exercise in order to allow my muscles to heal, my body to recuperate from eight straight weeks of lifting. I am definitely feeling stronger and healthier as a result of all this training. I’m going to need this break because the upcoming two weeks of lifting are pretty intense.
I hit the trails last Friday with the lovely Muffin for another go at South Mountain. This run was so much better than the last time we met up there. 1) Because it was an easy lifting week for me. 2) I’m getting stronger. 3) I had great company.
Another new health habit of mine is juicing. Several weeks ago I decided to try Dr. Oz’s weekend cleanse which consisted of juicing, protein shakes, snacking on fresh veggies throughout the day and a homemade vegetable broth for dinner (which came with sides of apples and sauerkraut.) I liked it so much that I have been incorporating juicing into my everyday life. I like the idea of improving my nutrient intake via juicing. I find that I am ingesting a wider variety of vegetables and fruits than ever before and the drinks are delicious. Beet juice was rather interesting, so earthy tasting and I find that I’m able to tweak the recipes that I find quite easily. As far as I’m concerned, anything goes.
I think I much prefer juicing over multivitamins.