Happy Father’s Day to my Main Man! :)

I love me my Dad!!! :)

Father’s Day is special to me because my dad is seriously the boomdiggidy! He came into my life when I was about 5 and stuck around through some pretty crazy shiznit. I joke that had he knew what was in store for him, the smart thing would have been to go running for the hills! :)

DNA does not a father make. It is a guy who is man enough to be there, sacrificing his wants or needs for the betterment of his kids and family.

He is the one who taught me how to ride a two wheeler.

He is the one who then picked me up off the ground when I rode my two wheeler into a tetherball pole. Seriously, those things are skinny, how did I manage to hit one dead on?!?!

He is the one who got into a near throw-down with a lady when she grabbed me by the arm and yanked me towards her and started yelling in my face. Daddy will have none of that! ;) (PS-that one was actually a pretty funny story.)

He is the one who drove 9 hours up to P-Town to take care of me when I was in full gimp status after my car accident and I could do literally nothing by myself. Sometimes a dad’s job isn’t a fun one. I also appreciated that he spent any free time on that trip deep cleaning every nook in my apartment!

So, my dad is the best! I love him to the moon and back! I hope you all have a father figure just as rocking in your lives. Dads come in many ways, shapes, and forms. Heck, my cousin’s ‘dad’ isn’t technically a male…but it doesn’t matter. A daddy sticks through thick and thin, is there for the laughs and to also scoop up the piles of poop that are sure to amass along the way!

Happy Father’s Day!

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Check Out My Trash Bag and Altitude Running

So it turns out a nice little form of cross-training is to fall on the pavement like a dork…who knew?! Just kidding, it’s just that my stupid arms are sore and it feels like I was hefting around some dumbbells. Funny how a millisecond of impact can put a weight workout to shame.

Speaking of, today I did my usual recovery/easy run of 8 miles and change followed by my core and abs routine. I on was on the treadmill today, okay Oregon is worst than a menopausal woman when it comes to it’s weather. Yesterday was beautiful out there, dare I even say warm, and today it’s rainy and gross.

Never fear, the gym in my apartment complex, with it’s fabulous single fan for the whole place was nice and humid. I think I sweat out half my bodyweight. I don’t understand how people can stand working out in full on sweats or those trash-bag sauna suits, I’d probably just melt into a puddle of goo like the wicked witch of the west.

Well, people usually use those things for one of two reasons: 1) they think that if they workout in them they’ll lose weight faster. (these people really make me laugh) or 2) they are actually training for an event that is going to be done under extremely hot conditions and are acclimating themselves to these conditions.

The second group of people are SMART and are sweating like mad for a good reason. I know lots of athletes prepping for those Beijing Oly’s were donning some mad sauna suits. If you’re going to be racing in conditions that you aren’t living in, it’s smart to take other measure to mimic race day. Otherwise the shock of the conditions can lead to some pretty ugly results. Another example? Altitude.

When I was first starting out as a runner, I remember I had a race up in Reno, CA. I’d never run at any kind of altitude and Reno was definitely higher than sweaty old Sacto. I remember my mom and dad saying how it will probably feel harder than running at home, but being young I gave them the ‘ya, ya, ya’ thing and sort of brushed it off. Flash-forward a few miles and I was sucking major wind. The thing with altitude is that the longer your race/run the more it effects you. Actually sprinters love the whole race high thing because in the sprints the higher up you go the less wind resistance you have to work against. So they get faster times. Not so with anything more than a couple laps.

So if you’re going to be doing a race in a place much different from where you train it’s probably smart to do the best you can to simulate race day. For the heat thing those trash-baggy suits might come in handy. For altitude it’s a little trickier but here’s some tips:

* At least try to take a visit to a place at altitude before the big day so you can see how it affects you.

* Get there either weeks before or the day before. Anytime in the middle is the ‘you’ll feel extra crappy’ phase. The body has time to sort of acclimate if you get there a few weeks in advance, on the flip side your body hasn’t had time to fully absorb the shock of the less air if you get there the day of your race or the day before. Anytime in between and your body is in the adjustment phase and it’s not going to feel so hot.

* Be conservative. Going out too fast in a race is never the best way to go about it but at altitude the effects are infinitely worse…trust me on this one.

* Adjust your target time. The same perceived effort run at sea level will show up as a slower clock time at altitude. Plain and simple, they have conversion charts proving it. The longer the race, the slower the clock time will ‘feel.’ So don’t try to beat your sea level PR if your race is at altitude. Even if the clock time is slower and you know you’re in awesome shape, take a gander at some of those charts and it will make you feel better.

There are also folks that do the altitude training camps, but that’s not all too realistic for us regular folks. Of course to those peeps already living at altitude, they get the benefit of sucking down less wind on a regular basis and are used to it. The nice perk for them is when they go down and race at sea level they usually are pleasantly surprised that their same perceived effort shows up as, ta-da, faster ‘clock times’ and they can unexpectedly get a new PR. :)

That all said, backing up a bit in my post and addressing the first group of people running in those trash-bag suits (I know Kendra Wilkinson was one) you’re wasting your time. You’re only ‘losing’ water weight and as soon as you start drinking again you’ll magically ‘gain’ it back. Work on busting your butt in the gym sans suit and you’ll get there, I promise.

Saturday at the races, anyone who did one let’s hear it and brag on yourself!! Ummm, and anyone who is a track nerd like me will know that next week USA champs are upon us…some smoking track races to be sure..exiting stuff, peeps. :)

1) If you were so cool as to rock out a sauna suit, what color would you choose?

Lime green.g

2) Ever had the joy of running at altitude?

Such a pleasure…lol. Side note, altitude also makes some people has even worse stomach issues, of course I’m one of those people…fun stuff! :)

3) Workout today? Race today?

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Please, A Standing Round of Applause for Klutz of the Year

Sorry for being so late to the post today! I always do my best to be a positive person but today really was a bit stinky. Started off pretty good, I’ve got another blog I’m really loving, Shut Up and Run, as if the name alone wasn’t good enough reason to pull me in right?!?!

But this morning was a really great post about doing something that scares you. As I read it, I knew there was something that I’ve been putting off, saying I’ll do it tomorrow. But tomorrow really never came. It’s getting off the d*** treadmill and running outside again. Ever since my car accident I’ve never really gotten back to the ‘old me’ in that sense.

The old me would run in gale gust winds, torrential downpours, heat, semi-trucks blazing by. I once did a track workout while they were in the middle of redoing the track. Lane one was still yet to be totally torn up so I just worked around the bulldozers. I used to think treadmills were for weenies.

Flash-forward and ALL I do are treadmill runs. Now, I no longer think running on a treadmill makes you weak or anything like that. I think treadmills certainly have their place, can be great training tools and sometimes it’s actually SMARTER to run inside than out. But not for the reason I’m running in the treadmill. Yes, a part of it is because I’m neurotic and like to know exactly how many miles I’m doing and exactly what pace. But I’m also avoiding something. I’m avoiding actually running outside. It scares me. Plain and simple.

I know that it’s in my head. I KNOW that, but still that ‘tomorrow’ where I’ll start training and running outside had yet to come. I had run like that for darn near a decade and never got hit. It was just one really bad day that changed that.

So I finally bucked up and decided to strap on my watch and head outside, I was going to do something that scared me, step outside the comfort of my cozy little treadmill bubble and TV.

Five minutes in and being the klutz that I am I trip on the side of a curb, the pavement was uneven, BAM I’m pavement roadkill again. This time though it was totally at my own hand…err, foot. Luckily I avoided a full faceplant but I did tear off a fed layers of skin from both palms and got some roadrash on my stomach and shoulder.

Well, today’s menu featured a tempo run, so I picked myself up and got on with our regularly scheduled programing. Warm-up clocked in with 3 miles to a nearby track, did my 6 mile harder effort, then wrapped with a bit over 2 miles for a cool-down. By the end I’m not going to lie I was a bloody mess. A more sane person probably would have called it a day after the skid, but sorry, five minutes does not a run make regardless!!! haha.

I had done what scared me. Ya, it ended up sort of sucking, and during my tempo blood was covering my hands and of course there happened to be some kind of kiddie camp that ventured over to the track. They all waved at me, but I was hesitant to actually wave back lest I really scare those poor 4 and 5 year olds! So a smile would have to do.

Luckily the track I was at happened to be where I used to work and I knew the people. They have a really great first aide center (in case other people get hurt, sadly my own story was one of clumsiness and not really exciting) and I had a fun 90 minute chat with Olivia as she picked gravel out of me.

Then getting home was a bit of a fiasco, I had run to the track so didn’t really have an easy way to get home. I took to walking. By this point I was wiped and things were hurting. I made it over halfway, but passing a little church I was wearing thin and a thought came to me. Maybe, just maybe someone there would take pity on an idiot runner who is a klutz. There was only one lady working and she wasn’t able to leave. Totally understandable, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bummed.

Walking away from the church there was an old man watering his lawn. He saw me and asked me what was up. Do I tell this old man that I’d just about kiss his feet for a ride a mile up the road? I caved. This was sort of hard (or embarrassing I guess) for me because I don’t like being a weenie and asking for help, I mean I can run 11 plus miles but another mile walk puts me over the edge? Man up, Cait!

But in recent years I’ve gotten better at knowing when to ask for a hand. I told this nice old man (at this point I ventured he was safe and not a Chester the Molester type..but again, in all honesty I was sort of past the whole caring thing!) and had a really nice time getting to ‘know’ Gene for that mile drive. BTW, Gene’s been awarded the #1 Grandpa plaque from his grandkids. I’m of course going to have to be partial to my own grandparents, but in my book Gene is CERTAINLY looking promising for the bronze this year. ;)

So here I am, just walked in the door. I’m tired as heck and just look oh so pretty. I took a picture but really it is just too atrocious to even post. Even I have some standards. I did however get Olivia to snap my hands on her phone and she said she’d try to send those to me. I’m a sucker for all those nice, bloody shots. If I get them I’ll post those.

Not looking forward to the sting of a shower, but ’tis okay. I still did something that scared me. I’m actually proud of that. I’m happy I did it. I don’t know if I’ll run outside or on the tread tomorrow, but as one famous therapist said, “Baby steps, baby steps.” ;) So thank you Beth for a particularly great blog post that gave me the kick in the butt to get outside for the first time in WAY too long.

1) What’s something that you CAN do that scares you?

2) Are you willing to put it in writing that you WILL do it and tell us how it goes?

3) Did you workout today, if so, let’s hear it folks! :)

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Stretch or Become a Tight@$$ Like Me

Okay I’m going to have to try and keep this one short today. Why? Procrastination. Yup, I’m the queen of it, but I will say I NEVER miss a deadline and in fact with work type things I tend to be early. I also say I work the best under pressure, I guess forced productivity and all. But this time I’ve procrastinated in getting the whole Father’s Day things in order and two days after that is my bro’s birthday so I’ve got to get cracking on things.

Let’s see, so for today I did an easy run after yesterday’s harder workout. Came out to be a little over 8 miles, and again I’d like to note how that whole easy day term gets thrown around way too loosely. Trust me that first mile was a symphony of cracks and pops, and it felt like it. Then, not gonna lie, I was counting down the minutes of those last three miles! But get er done. Finished with core/abs and stick a fork in me.

I am also notoriously tight. Not a tight@$$ I’d like to note, although my adductor has been a beast lately and it’s really tight way up north so maybe I am. At any rate I’m HORRIBLE at keeping up with the whole stretching. I know I’m paying for it, I feel it, and running in fact makes you tighter. So I need to start getting better and forcing myself to do it.

It seems everyone has their own personal views on stretching: when to do it, how to do it, what kind to do it. I will say this:

DON’T stretch cold muscles. You’ll tear something, you always see people doing their little quad stretch before going out for a run, that’s actually not a good idea. Stretch after your run/workout or at least once you’ve warmed up and already been moving.

DO hold static stretches long enough. Fun fact of the day: for a static stretch (one that you just hold a pose) to be effective at all it has to be held at least 20 seconds. So just reaching down to your toes for 15 seconds isn’t gonna give you anything, sadly there’s no ‘A’ for effort there. Guilty for that one. :(

DON’T be a weenie like me and avoid doing it because you’re already inflexible, you don’t like stretching to begin with, it’s uncomfortable and you suck at it.

DO dynamic stretching. Actually I like this kind a little more because you’re ‘doing’ something with the stretching. These are the kinds of stretches that work on range of motion/flexibility through the stretch; think leg swings, torso twists, donkey kicks, the like. These are the ones that you look like a dork doing but are really good for you. Oh the price we pay in the name of health and fitness.

So let’s have a little stretching line-up that might possibly help motivate me to get my tight butt a little less tight:

* Forward leg swings: Stand to the side and hold onto a wall or post for balance. Now swing your left leg in front of you and then back behind you in a swinging motion. Aim to reach your leg higher in front of you and further behind you the more swings you do. Work into getting more of a stretch. Do a set of 10-15 and don’t forget the other leg. (Check yo I did this one today.)

* Lateral leg swings: Again steady yourself with your hands on a wall or post but this time you’ll face the wall. Swing your left leg across your body this time, first across your body and to the right,then back to the left side in a big sweeping motion. You want to feel the stretch in your legs but also in your glutes and work on opening up your hips. Again work on getting your leg higher with each swing. Do a set of 10-15 on both legs.

* Torso circles AKA ‘the creeper’: Put your hands on your hips and do a full circle with your hips. Make that circle wide peeps, look like a total creeper, but you want to really work on that range of motion. Do 10 hip circles clockwise then 10 counter-clockwise.

* Donkey kicks: Get on your hands and knees (Charlie Sheen really enjoys this one), take your left leg and tuck it in close to your tummy then keep it bent at the knee and lift it back and up towards the ceiling. Repeat 10-15 times then do the same with the other leg. A nice little bonus is it works your glutes a little bit too.

* Butterfly (static stretch):
I think we all did this in gym, sit on that butt of steel you have, place the soles of your feet together and try to get those quads as close to the floor as possible. If you saw me there would be about three feet between the floor and my knees, sad picture.

* Straddle reach (static stretch): Pull the mind outta the gutter here. Sitting down you’re just going to spread your legs and reach towards your left foot, hold, then reach to the right foot and hold.

* Quad flamingos (static stretch): Stand up and grab your left foot with your right hand. Lots of people do this one but hold their left foot with their left hand, but you can get a little bit better stretch if you do it with your right hand and with your leg across your bum. So try it that way if you please. :) And don’t forget your other leg.

* Calf on a wall (static stretch): Stand again facing the wall, place your hands there for support and then with your legs a few feet away from the wall. Keep your left leg straight and the heel of your foot planted flat on the floor and hold. Now bend at the knee with your heel still flat on the floor. You’ll feel this in a slightly lower spot, your calf is made up of two muscles: the gastrocnemius and the soleus. The straight leg stretches the gastrocnemius the bent knee the soleus. Don’t forget your other leg. (Couldn’t resist putting this picture up, could this chick be in a dorkier ensemble? Makes me look fashion forward.)

Wow, okay so much for a shorter post, sorry. Got carried away. That said, also remember that for all those static stretches you’ve got to put in your due time, longer than 20 seconds. ;) I know, I’m a lazy bum when it comes to stretching and will skimp out if I get a chance. I wish I were like the people who really dig on all this and are complete yogi masters but alas, I’m just a runnerchick with a tight @$$.

On to trying to figure out these gifts and cards that are in order…wish me luck! What are you all getting your pops and grandpops for Father’s Day? I’ll share what I come up with even though you really may not care all that much! Mwahahaha!!!

1) Do you live close to your dad/grandfather and plan on visiting come Sunday?

No, but I wish. :(

2) Do you find stretching one of the banes of your existence like me? Do you also kick yourself in the butt every time you get a soreness or niggling injury BECAUSE you skimp on stretching like me?

3) What shoes are you currently rocking in?

Nike Structure Triax baby! Have been a fan forever, BUT not gonna lie they did a major overhaul on them a few years ago and they’ve never been the same. I say that in a negative light. PS- I happened to run into one of the guys behind the overhaul and he gave me the reasoning behind it all, maybe I’ll say more about that in a later post. BUT, I made sure to tell him that I, for one, was not a fan and that I wasn’t the only one who thought so. I’m pretty sure I intimidated the heck out of him. ;)

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A Raging Anti-Smokite And Entering Freakdom

What sound did I wake up to today? Alarm clock? No. Birds harmoniously chirping? No. My cat licking himself incessantly, that sort of constant slurp slurp that while I love my cat really grosses me out? No. It was the hacking of my neighbor…think a phlegm coated throat, trying to work up a loogie but nothing is quite coming up, oh wait, there it comes!

My neighbor is a nice enough dude, later twenties, but a smoker. He goes out on his little balcony porch thing and is constantly lighting up. Hacking up soon follows. Today it seriously sounded like he was about to die. Now that it’s getting warmer here and there’s not AC in my apartment I naturally open the windows. So his smoke, and hacking drifts into my place.

I’m just going to say this, call me an anti-smokite if you will, but I can’t stand smoking. I’m not a racist, I’m pro-gay rights and love my gay friends, I don’t care if you’re purple and think you’re from the moon….but smoking gets to me. I have never had a cigarette in my life and have never had the urge, I was kinda lucky I guess and was able to dodge any real peer pressure to try all that and other stuff growing up because everyone knew I was ‘the runner girl’ and it sort of gave me that free pass. “She’s in training not a complete loser.” Little did they know that I was in fact a loser, but for plenty other reasons.

But we all have our vices. I’ll never be a smoker but there are plenty of other things that keep me from obtaining that stamp of perfection. Surprising, I know! So let’s run down Cait’s list of freakdom habits:

* I’m boring. I’ll just get this one up and out of the way off the bat. I try my very best to not be, but let’s face the facts. I’ll own it.

* Celeb trash.
When I grab the rags in the supermarket line I sort of joke the anyone nearby, “Might as well since we’re waiting.” But who am I fooling? I’m a subscriber, love E! News, and always enjoy a good celeb body showdown/comparison on other people’s blogs.

* I drink like a fish. Water that is. I don’t like alcohol, I seriously don’t like the taste. Judge me if you will. But even if I DID like it, not gonna lie, I’d rather eat my calories folks…just saying. But back to water, I seriously take a waterbottle nearly everywhere, I’m always thirsty.

* I can’t cook.
I’m not just saying that. I’m trying to get better, I’m reading recipes, drooling, and WISHING I could cook. Make a few failed attempts. But I’m a microwave queen. I think a part of this is also that I’m lazy. I want my food now. I think here we go back to needing an assistant.

* Enter psychosis. OCD. Lot’s of people say they’re OCD kind of joking; and people probably think I am whenever I say it too. Not that I make a habit to blurt it out, but in a rare moment of seriousness here, I do in fact have OCD. Now, most of my ‘things’ people probably don’t notice on a daily basis, and I’m not so bad I’m soon to be featured on Dr. Phil or that OCD House show. But really some of my quirks are actually quite funny and I don’t mind making fun of myself about them. In fact I’m sure that whole treadmill quirks thing tipped a few people off. Anyways I wasn’t even really sure if I was going to list this one, but I would be lying if I said it didn’t make life a tad more difficult at times. It has also made me more sympathetic or understanding of people who go through their own shiznit, struggles, and addictions. Their things may be different, we all have our own crap, but I sort of know the thought process behind feeling compelled to do something that logically you know is either ridiculous or not in your best interest.

* Eavesdropping, people-watching, blog reading, I think there’s a trend there.
I guess I’m nosy. I love feeling ‘in the loop’ even if it’s just dumb stuff. I’m NOT the creeper lurking in the bushes with a telephoto lens though, I’m not a perv. I know when to draw the line.

*Food on the brain. I’m a foodie. Kinda ironic since I can’t cook, but thankfully most of my fav’s can either be ordered, eaten with minimal prep, and like I said I’m actually quite the whiz with that micro. Anyways, when I’m not actually eating I also love reading what other people are cooking up and posting on their blogs, I guess we come back to being nosy here.

* Running talk nearly ranks supreme. I could talk about/read about/look at pix of people running forever (or fitness in general); that is when I’m not actually doing it. Oh, I even draw about it. I guess this can be annoying to people at times so that’s my reasoning behind listing it.

* The mother of all: exercise. Okay, okay, I admit that some people have said I’m addicted to exercise. I’m on the fence with this one, I say there’s a good chance, but if I had to pick an addiction I’d rather get my fix running than strung out on some street corner. That’s just me, and if I AM addicted I’m fine with that.

Well I may be all those things and more, but I’m not a smoker. So that makes me okay. ;) jk.

Today, after waking up to such a wonderful sound I clocked in a total of 11 miles and change on the tread. Warm-up and cool-down with the middle 5 miles uptempo. I’m happy to report I felt better than two days ago, hopefully getting some juice back in those legs, but not quite ‘there’ yet I still am not hitting the splits of a few weeks back. Then upperbody weights, some lunges and squats. Hope your Wednesdays are off to a great start!

PS- I also talk way too fast, talk way too much when I’m nervous, and laugh when it’s not appropriate.

1) What are some of your vices or I guess habits?

2) Where do you stand on smoking?

3) Hump day baby, who are you doing…I mean WHAT are you doing? (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

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Random Seinfeld Conspiracy and Cross-training Workouts

So I kept seeing this commercial and something about it has been bugging me. This has been going on for days! You know that feeling when you recognize someone but you don’t know exactly from where? Well, this also happens to me when I recognize an actor on TV, not the big name actors though. I’m talking about the ones who have the one time appearances on a show, they sort of drift around in the background of the usual sitcoms like the leftovers passed from one table to the next.

I have this funny little game that I play. I’m obsessed with both Seinfeld and Disney Channel shows. Well, I swear there is an odd connection between the two because lots of Seinfeld characters have made the D-Channel circuit. Who? Well I’ll name a few of my favorite sightings. Larry David himself (my favorite LD character on Seinfeld was of course the man in the cape) made an appearance in a Hannah Montana episode where he was a father trying to get a table at an exclusive restaurant. He gets bumped by HM. Estelle Costanza’s been in a few different D-Channel shows but was an irate old lady on Sonny With a Chance. J Peterman showed up on Wizards of Waverly Place to play Captain Jim Bob Sherwood. There’s others but I’m getting way off on a tangent here.

Well the same thing of obscure recollection was bugging me about this random commercial I kept on TV. It’s with a family sitting in front of the TV wondering what to eat and then this awkward looking lady walks in from their kitchen touting the words of some new frozen food thing. I seriously spent forever looking for the dang commercial online and of course now that I’m obsessed with it it’s not on TV. I think it was for some kind of stuffed popper bun, but the woman selling the product, THIS lady was the one I swore I had seen in something else but I couldn’t quite place where. It was driving me crazy…ya, I’m the kind of person where stupid things like this will seriously bug me.

Last night it came to me! I thought I must have seen her in some other kind of commercial or cameo but no…I SWEAR I used to see this lady in my old gym!! Now, like you I thought there was no way it was the same lady, ya it’s not like it’s a huge role or anything and it was probably filmed somewhere else. But, she’s got a pretty distinct face and way about her. I’m convinced it’s the same lady; she was really nice by the way. Those popper things look gross, but power to her!!

Speaking of gyms, in perusing blogs and such, the whole cross training issue came up. Running of course is my top pick of exercise/cardio but let’s face it, it’s really hard on the body. Inevitably we ALL wind up with stupid injuries that force us to resort to some kind of cross-training. The usual round-up are the bike, elliptical, and swimming. I’ll tell you, after my whole car accident and spending what felt like an ETERNITY on the elliptical, it got to the point where looking at the d*** thing almost made me physically ill. When I finally got to move up to the treadmill I almost wanted to burn that elliptical! Juuuust kidding.

But in reality that elliptical is awesome. If I had to pick my favorite cross-training activity it would be that…it feels the most like running to me. Though, not gonna lie, it does get boring. So to help pass the time, and also get the most out of the workout, intervals are perfect. Here’s a pyramid style interval workout; the harder effort times vary which is good because it works both your endurance but also strength/power because on the shorter bouts you really want to push it and go nearly all out for that interval. Tell yourself that ya, it hurts but it’s almost over! ;)

**Start with a warm-up of 5-10 minutes

* 1 minute- Hard effort; try to get your RPM’s really up there, think sprinting

* 1 minute- Easy recovery

* 2 minutes- Hard effort

* 2 minutes- Easy recovery

* 3 minutes- Hard effort

* 3 minutes- Easy recovery

* 2 minutes- Hard effort

* 2 minutes- Easy recovery

* 1 minute- Hard effort

* 1 minute- Easy recovery

* 2 minutes- Hard effort

* 2 minutes- Easy recovery

* 3 minutes- Hard effort

* 3 minutes- Easy recovery

* 1 minute- Hard effort

**Finish with a cool-down

Okay, so the hard portion of the workout comes out to be a total of 29 minutes. Obviously you’ll be going ‘faster’ for the shorter intervals just like you would running a 300/400 meter repeats on the track versus the longer interval times. Think of those like a 600/800 meter repeat. Take the easy minutes as just that…easy and allow yourself to regroup and recover. Because tension levels and inclines vary between machines I can’t give an exact guideline there but on the one I use I tend to put the incline at around 6-7 and the tension there too. What I also do is for the harder portions I’ll set the tension higher, 7, and scale it down to 5-6 for the recovery minutes. For me I like to feel like my turnover is similar to that of running and getting that faster rather than upping the tension to a level where my turnover just feels to slow…if that makes any sense.

You don’t have to do this on the elliptical, you can do the same layout on any kind of machine or even if you’re aqua-jogging in the pool. Just go harder in there like you’re trying to run faster. The goal is just to get that heart rate up! That said, cross-training isn’t only for when you’re injured but a great supplement to your running. So now that I’m able to run again I’m happy I didn’t burn the elliptical. ;)

Side note, that cartoon up top with the man on the elliptical was another one from the Gym Offenders Caught series. He’s the guy plugged into his iPod and belting out the lyrics like nobody’s business. I’m all for listening to music to get you pumped but do you need to sing so loud we all have to listen to your music selection?

Today for me I did an easy 8 and change. Pedestal core routine and abs. I’m thinking that’s it for now, but I hope you all are having a great Tuesday!

1) Favorite Seinfeld character? If you don’t like the show then we’ll have to send the Soup Nazi out after you. Just kidding. :)

2) Have you ever met an actor or actress? They can be quasi-famous too, or not even all that famous. I’m adding my gym lady poppers peddler to my list! hehe.

3) What’s your favorite crosstraining activity?

Mine’s the elliptical, but it looks like some people have resorted to just switching shoes. ;)

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Confessions of a Flat-chested Runner

I’m a Flatsy-Pasty, rocking a pair of AA’s (probably AAA’s even!), I have two mosquito bites…flat as a pancake. That last one though shouldn’t even be considered something negative, hello how can pancakes be bad?!?! No, I’m flat chested. But you know what, that’s fine by me.

Weird as it sounds, but I never really ‘got’ the whole wanting big boobs thing. I think it’s because around the time most of my peers were coveting celeb bodies, I was looking at distance running stars. Mary Decker-Slaney, Paula Radcliffe, Kara Goucher, Shalane Flanagan…those Ethiopians and Kenyans aren’t known for their robust busts! I was ogling over times not breasts. Records, titles, medals. To me they had the ‘perfect’ bodies.

My mom’s just as flat as I am. She got a mammogram once and the nurse called her on the phone thinking the pictures she was looking at were those of a man. No joke, I only feel okay blogging this story because my mom’s got a great sense of humor and laughs at this story all the time. That’s okay, because my mom’s gorgeous and when you see her she bears NO resemblance to a dude. (See for yourself, pic with her and my bro.) Ya, I may be partial in say this, but I think she is. :)

Being athletic, I would HATE having huge knockers jiggling up and down while I’m running. Strapping on two, three sports bras does not sound appealing. I get annoyed when my hair flies in my face, I couldn’t handle a double set of distractions.

There are tiny girls who are embarrassed about being flat-chested. I can see how wanting a little bit more on your chest than a AA would look nice in everyday attire, going out, dressing up, looking cute and filling out an outfit. Then there is the whole insecurity thing about looking attractive for guys. Need I bring up the whole Bachelorette roast thing? But in my opinion, Ashley looks adorable.

Skinny Runner did a post on some of the hottest celeb bodies. Inevitably the topic of implants comes up, and the rumors about Audrina. Now, I do find Audrina really pretty…would I want her body? Everything maybe but the boobs…she has some awesome abs, but the boobs would get in my way. That takes us back to the whole athletic thing. (On a side-note, while boobs have never been my ‘thing’, that bodypart we all kind of focus on, my abs/stomach area is my ‘thing.’ Flatsy-Tummy would be cool!)

In the women’s sports scene I think it’s a lot easier to disregard insecurities about your chest because it’s more the norm. If I had grown up wanting to be a supermodel or actress I’m sure things would have been different. Christina, The Athletarian, did another post about how she wanted to be strong, not just skinny, but with a body that had power and could DO things. Achieve feats of strength, speed, stamina, endurance.

So I’m okay with wearing only a single sports bra. Maybe my own mammogram will resemble that of a dude, but that’s only in black and white and I like to think that if anyone actually were to see me there would be no problem in identifying me as a female! Plus, if my future hubby were to have bigger boobs that me, well, I think that would reflect more poorly on him. Scratch that, I don’t think I’d be dating a guy with manboobs in the first place. But I digress…

On another site I write for I’ve got an ongoing cartoon series: Gym Offenders Exposed. I thought this one is fitting to today’s post, the girl at the gym in full on dolled up make-up and hair. Perhaps she’s had some implants and is more interested in getting her flirt on that working out. We’ve all seen her in the gym. If she wants to use the gym as a single’s mingles venue go ahead, but me, I’d rather bust my @$$ on the treadmill.

Speaking of, today I’m feeling so-so about my workout. 10 miles and change total with warm-up/cool-down, and did the middle 5 as a breakdown style harder effort. I upped the speed 0.1 every half mile…I’ve been feeling just flat/blah the last week so I was able to run it faster than my last two hard workouts but not nearly as well as I’ve done in the weeks past. But I’m hoping it’s just that the work’s catching up to me (It had been a long while since I started pushing myself more and doing harder workouts) so I’m hoping it’s just that I’m a little more fatigued and will start feeling better soon. Training cycles and all that jazz, so we’ll see. Also did some upper body weights. And on with Monday! :) Hope all of you guys are starting your week off well!

1) Are you a flatsy too? Would you like a little more up top?

2) Who are some of the people you think have killer bodies?

3) Best flat chested joke?

4) What’s on tap for your Monday?

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Negative Splits Rule or it Might Get Ug-LY

Up and at ‘em early today. Got up and put in my easy 8 and change on the tread this morning. Sundays kind of stink TV wise so it was Nick at Nite (bleeding over into Nick Early Morn would be more correct) and Family Matters was on. I’ve never been a huge Urkel fan myself, and when he was on TGIF I put up with the half hour block but looked forward to the Full Houses and Step-by-Steps on later.

Finished up with abs and core work and on with the day! Yesterday I noted how there are tons of races going on now that summer’s here; for some these are their first races and for others it’s their bizzillionth. Newer runners often ask for tips before their first races, or perhaps they’ve raced shorter distances but are now signing up for the longer ones. I think one of the biggest lessons that most of us have learned the hard way is this: DO NOT GO OUT TOO FAST!!

Sorry, didn’t mean to yell that one, but trust me on this because it’s a very easy trap to fall into but paying for that fast start later in the race gets ug-LY!! I used to think that if I went out faster and under pace in the beginning of a race (or even workouts) then I’d be setting myself a nice little ‘cushion’ so that if I happened to slow down later I’d still be able to hit my target time. That sounds pretty logical, doesn’t it? Well, the body isn’t always logical as any PMS’ing woman can tell you.

When you’re running, or working out in general, the body burns glycogen as it’s prime fuel source. Physiologically the body burns glycogen more efficiently if you gradually work into a faster, more intense effort and not the other way around. And it doesn’t make just a little bit of difference, but a lot. The amount of time you go out too fast in the beginning could leave you slowing down 2-3 times that amount in the later miles. That means that should you go out even just 10 seconds too fast in the first mile, you could be paying for that with 20-30 seconds/mile by the end. And trust me, those seconds will feel WAY longer than the time on your watch indicates…lol.

That’s why negative splits rule. Negative splitting just means that you get faster as the race/workout progresses. Not a complicated theory but it’s tough to hold yourself back and not get swept up in the excitement of race day. But you want to go into a race with a goal pace and race plan in mind and then stick to it.

Finding your goal pace is pretty easy to do based off of your workouts for most races. But it’s trickier come marathons only because you don’t typically run the full 26.2 miles in regular training like you would a 5k or 10k. For a marathon you can of course get a good idea based off of your long runs but there’s also a track workout you can do to give you a fair approximation.

Marathon goal prediction workout as Perfected by the Running Coach Legend Mr. Bart Yasso:

Do a warm-up and then head to the track for 10×800 meter repeats. Do a recovery jog lap between each repeat and make sure to take your recovery easy before starting the next one. Once you’re done with all 10, take your average time and whatever it is in minutes:seconds will translate into your marathon prediction time in hours:minutes. So if Bob ran his repeats in 3 minutes and 30 seconds, his predicted marathon time will be 3 hours and 30 minutes. From there you can figure out his mile pace should be 8:01. (PS-don’t forget your cool-down! hehe) This workout is fittingly dubbed Yasso 800′s.

Going out too fast for your capabilities in the beginning of ANY race can suck, it’s just that it’s a lot ‘easier’ to gut out the rest of a 5k than some of the longer races. In the case of a marathon you might not even be able to finish. So that’s my spiel on negative splitting. :) Oh, one more thing real fast, other factors that can make you slow down more and feel even worse should you go out too fast are heat and elevation. So keep that in mind too, if you aren’t used to running at elevation you might want to go out even more conservative at the start.

All this marathon talk reminds me that if you happened to read about the drunk driving accident I happened to see and wrote about, I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s tragic that these accidents are so common. My friend, Kara Goucher, lost her father because of a drunk driver and is an avid supporter of MADD. (For anyone who doesn’t know who she is, you should because she’s a kick@$$ distance star, she’s one of the leading US distance gals. She rules the track and the marathon…so that was my line of thinking to get here…lol) Well, she created a design that is featured on both a card and shirt and if you order one 100% of the proceeds benefit MADD. So I wanted to share those links!

Okay, so I think that’s it for now! I’m off to the store to restock and then we’ll see. :)

1) Worst story of going out too fast in a race or workout?

Too many times to count, but I think the most embarrassing was at a really big cross-country meet that I hoped to do really well in. My whole family was there, coaches, and let’s face it plenty of other people who I hoped to ‘look good’ in front of, and I totally bombed. That was one painful and humiliating last mile!

2) Favorite track/running type workout?

I already said tempo’s and long runs, but for intervals I like mile and 800 repeats.

3) What are you up to this fine Sunday?

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I’m Clearly Making a Fool of Myself and Saturday at the Races

Wow, so today I had the incredible urge to really push the limits of my dorkdom. I may have reached an all-time high, and to be quite honest I’m still a little on the fence about just how much I will actually show. Time will tell.

What am I babbling on about? Well, I’ve made a few little videos that might loosely qualify as humorous. I’ll call them workout video spoofs. I made four in total, each one more heinously embarrassing for me than the last. I decided to post this one, probably the one I’m the least shy about, and figured that if nothing else it might offer a couple haha’s for some folks on this fine Saturday morning. So I hope you enjoy. :P

I’ll finish up by saying that I’m really thankful the gym was totally vacant at the time, but being that it was about 6am I thought I’d probably be safe. As for my own workout, today I put the treadmill to good use and got my run on. Still feeling sluggy in the legs but hoping they’ll get some life in there soon enough. And today was an upperbody weight day too so I tossed around a few 100lb dumbbells and called it a day!

I know the summer race circuit is well underway and there are plenty of folks out there getting it done! I’ve got some friends racing and I’m sending all my positive vibes. A few shout outs to Jenn and Julia up there in Utah taking part in their very first half and full marathons respectively!! They might be done by now, in which case I hope they are refueling in full gluttonous glory after all those miles…hehe. My suggestion would be a mile high stack of pancakes. Actually, if they are lucky they may in fact run into both The Cranky Hamstring and Texas RunnerGirl because they are running up in Utah as well! Cranky’s in the marathon and our Texan beauty is in the 5k. And wouldn’t you know it that place seems to be crazy popular because The Hungry Runner Girl is there too! Back in her first road showing, now with femurs of iron strength (thanks to massive quantities of fro-yo), she’s helping pace a portion of the marathon. Gotta admit I wish I were there and not doing dorky sketches in a basement gym, but such is the way of life…haha!

And on with the rest of the day! Who knows what kind of mischief I’ll be getting into but to all those racing: best of luck and feel free to brag on yourself! To those running and working out in general I hope you’re having fun sweating it out and to those who consider a change of shoes to be your workout, well, godspeed. :)

1) In your opinion which fitness persona is most in need of a little ridicule?

I’ve spent a morning with three others…and it was scary.

2) Did you take part in any races?

3) Did you get your workout on in another form?

4) Best thing you refueled with?

I’m boring today it was oatmeal and eggs but in my dreams it was my dad’s chocolate chip pancakes only a day earlier in the week. :)

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A Cheeky Debate – To Bun or Not to Bun…

Do you bun? I’m talking about bunhuggers of course! Okay, so two things got me thinking about his post. First, over on Emma’s blog she had announced that for the first time ever she had worn only a sports bra while working out. The second thing was a few days ago Katy (darn girl, I’m bringing you up like crazy, I hope this isn’t coming across as creeper/obsessedo! haha) commented on one of my pages about how the kids she coached would DIE if they had to wear the uniforms my high school team was wearing.

For those still a little confused THIS is what it looks to run in bunhuggers. Sorry for forcing you to look at a really old picture of me and I hate running pictures because they always look really funky. Either my face is all torqued out or the photographer catches your leg at the worst possible time and your quad looks super scary ripped.

I admit, I’m not one of those people who embraces the whole flaunt what you’ve got attitude. I’m a lot more body confident than I used to be but I still don’t like baring it all. Though power to those who are able to rock it! The exception I guess are running clothes; weird how that works because I give no second thought to donning running shorts but a supershort skirt would make me feel odd. Probably though because I never wear skirts. (Photo credit to Margaret Gallagar)

Back to buns, I don’t wear them today or out on regular runs but when I was competing and racing I admit those suckers feel good. Not even because with them you don’t have to worry about that whole annoying shorts riding up thing but every time I put them on I knew it was time to get down to business. Sort of like putting on those racing flats…it’s go time.

Would I wear them at a local fun run or in a race today? No. I sort of feel I have to earn the right to bun, and if I’m not going to run fast I’ll take a pass. So that’s my story with the buns. I admit it took me awhile to be confident enough to wear them, at first I refused. But like with many things, it’s that slippery slope. I used to promise myself I’d never wear shorty short running shorts. I caved. I swore I’d never wear those tight running tights. I caved. I swore I’d never wear buns.

But I’m such a contradiction because I still don’t like wearing bathing suites. Haha.

1) Have you bunned? Would you bun?

2) Do you feel self conscious in certain workout wear?

Not with shorts or anything and I try not to be. I’m a lot more secure in my skin that I use to be but I think all women tend to be more critical of themselves, which I don’t think is right but it is what it is. I will wear only a sports bra if it’s just way too nasty hot not too but I just feel a little more comfy with a shirt on. But this I’ll save for another post. :)

3) Women with rocking bods…name ‘em people! :)

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