Monday, January 24, 2011
Sunday, January 23, 2011
If you believe in and love your Vibrams - good for you. However, they are not for me. Granted, I only wear Saucony shoes (and 99.9% always will), so the brand alone was not something that I wanted to try. When I walk into my local running shoe store I just tell the guys what I want and leave. I don't even try my shoes on because I get the same thing every single time. If it is not broken, don't fix it...right? But, today after watching da Bears lose to the Packers I was talking to someone about the shoes. He had a pair and I wanted to try them on. Just because I'm curious about all the hype/hate/love for them. He brought them out and I struggled to get my feet in the shoes.
My feet are unique. I have incredibly high arches, so high that you can see through my feet. My toes are special as well. Not only are they super tender and sensitive, they are also ugly. But..who really has pretty toes? As I struggled to get my right foot in the shoe, I knew it was a problem. I could not figure out how to separate my toes to fit into the toe spaces in the shoes. I finally got a few in but it felt so awkward. How running like that could actually be comfortable is beyond me. I need my cushioning, toe room, support, and Saucony logo on my shoes. In addition, I don't know how well they would work, given the fact that I run fairly high mileage. Vibrams, no thanks.
Does anyone actually use these shoes? Do you really find them comfortable? Or, are you like me, and think they are really ugly?
Friday, January 21, 2011
The "Then and Now" Meme
10 years ago I was:
- A sophomore in high school
- Playing on the varsity basketball team, running track, and cross-country
- English was my favorite subject in high school and realizing how wonderful my sophomore year English teacher was
- Taking 4 shots a day (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and lantus)
- Thinking basketball was the best sport ever and running was purely social
5 years ago I was:
- Majoring in elementary and adolescent education in college
- Living in Minnesota with tons of snow
- Having trouble controlling my diabetes (I got my pump in February of 2006) and having many low blood sugars
- Training for my first half marathon
- Loving college life
1 year ago I was:
- Running with no plan and not training for any races
- Struggling with keeping everything up-to-date at my job
- Not paying for and did not have cable or Internet
- Living by myself
- Trying to figure out how to meet more people post-college
- Was happy driving to my job
- Teaching students about a solar system and explaining that they will be building a dodecahedron the following week in school
- Ran a 20:04 5k on the treadmill
- Called and talked to my mom
- Blogged about how much I like blogging
- Went to ask my principal if I could teach a different grade next year
- Complimented each of my students for doing something well throughout the day
- Talked to a friend for an hour
- Had a Panera salad for dinner because I ran out of food
- am happy with my life
5 songs I know all the words to
- Sweet Caroline - Neil Diamond
- Car Crash - Matt Nathanson
- This Town - O.A.R.
- Dynamite - Taio Cruz
- Fire Burning - Sean Kingston
5 things I'd do with 1 million dollars
- Go on vacation to Hawaii
- Go to Africa for the entire summer
- Donate money to my favorite charities
- Buy new desks and laptops for my class
- Buy a condo
5 favorite TV shows:
- Wheel of Fortune
- the news
- Law and Order (the original with Jesse L. Martin)
- House Hunters
- How I Met Your Mother (I just started watching it, but it is hysterical)
5 biggest joys
- My family and friends (aka my family in Illinois)
- Running well
- My job that I love so much
- Going on trips
- Good coffee
Thursday, January 20, 2011
One of my favorite things to do is open up the "stats" tab in blogger. It is the small joys in life, right? I like to see how many people have read my blog for the day and what search terms lead people to it. I must admit, there are some pretty entertaining ones. My favorite hits that have found my blog are:
- Can a diabetic have a skinny vanilla latte? (Yes - I highly recommend them, especially from Starbucks)
- Exercising Stick (do you mean the runner's stick? If you do, I love it and think you, too, should invest in one)
- Garmin Forerunner Blogurl (Yes, I have a Garmin Forerunner watch and think it is wonderful...although I'm not sure what you wanted with Blogurl)
- I'm a type 2 diabetic with bruises under my toe nails (I had my share of black badges this summer, but now they are all healed. I highly recommend NOT wearing sandals unless you're a female who can paint your toenails.)
- what was blackbeard famous ship at the currently sunk? (I have no idea how that found my blog or what you are even trying to say!)
Have random people found your blog? Sometimes these just make me laugh.
Today I did speed work and I'm impressing myself. I am a better runner than I thought. My workout today was a planned just get on the treadmill and run a 5k..no holding back. And it was a success! My time was 20:04, averaging a 6:27/mile pace. My goal is to now break 20 minutes for a 5k this year. Being a confident runner makes all the difference in the world.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
With that being said, there are a few things I'm always up for eating, no matter how "bad" they are for me (read: Mexican food, especially chips and salsa). But for the most part, I'll take my organic goodness everyday of the week. I'll continue to shop at Whole Foods, pay more money, and be happy consuming my organic food. Plus, who doesn't like the "Whole Foods experience," as my mom calls it? Best. Grocery. Store. Ever.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Today he asked me about my training, upcoming races, and how I felt my blood sugars were going. We talked about all of the topics mentioned above and how I can avoid lower blood sugars while working out. I've been ending a lot of work outs/runs with 60 or so and feel weak. He suggested setting my basal at 80% and then going back to a normal basal 20-30 minutes before my workout ends. I'll be trying this tomorrow while I run, and hope to have success. I did change one of my basal rates this winter on my own (lowered it), which he said he was proud. Trust me - this is a big deal for me!
My doctor ordered some blood tests to test my iron levels again as well. I know they are doing far better than this summer, and am curious to see if they are in range or not. My A1C was 5.8, the exact same number it was in October. I think it is pretty impressive that it did not change at all. Another interestng thing was my resting pulse rate - 56. The nurse seemed surprisied at this, so I googled some information on it and if you are in good shape then your pulse will probably be low. Makes sense to me. The second number in my blood pressure was also low - most liekyl due to working out/running.
Today was a rest day for me. I did not run at all because I could tell my legs needed a break. Yesterday I had an awesome day - I ran 11 miles (the first 8 in 59 minutes, 9-10 @ 7:53 pace and then cool-down mile at 9:20 pace), bike 6 miles, lifted weights, did 1 mile at level 15 walking on teh treadmill and then the stairmaster for 1 mile. Today was nice and easy - 8 miles biking, 3.5 on teh ellipticle, and 3.5 on the stair master. Tomorrow I'll be back to my favorite - runnng. I know that I need to schedule days off running like this to avoid getting hurt, so even though I wanted to run, I knew it was not the best idea for me. I want to stay healthy this year for all of my races.
(Jerry --> I am still considering doing the glucamotive relay. I am just not quite sure yet so it is not on my official race calendar. I agree with you - they are super fun and quite an experience. Are you doing it?)
Monday, January 17, 2011
Sunday, Feb. 20; Frozen Foot 5k Race; Boulder, CO; 5k
Saturday, March 12; St. Paddy's Day 5k; Naperville, IL; 5k
Sunday, April 17; NCO Spring Ahead; Naperville, IL; 10k or 5k
Saturday, April 30; Illinois Marathon; Champaign-Urbana, IL; Half
Sunday, May 29; Dash to Cure Diabetes; Barrington, IL; 4 mile
Saturday, July 30; Bix 7 Classic; Quad Cities, IA; 7 miles
Monday, Sept. 5; Benefit Classic; Dubuque, IA; Half or 5k
Sunday, Sept. 25; Quad Cities Marathon; Quad Cities, IA - IL; Half
Sunday, October 9; Chicago Marathon; Chicago, IL; Marathon
I also plan on running another half marathon in late March or the first weekend in April. This will most likely be the Chi Town Half Marathon on March 27. I'm also considering doing another race in August back in Iowa and then possibly the Hot Chocolate 15k in Chicago in November again, along the Ragnar NW this summer. I am excited and can't wait to start racing again. It makes me wish I lived in a warm climate so I could race all year long; however, that is not the case in Illinois.
Have you ever completed any of these races? I've run the Benefit Classic (5k) before, Bix, and Quad Cities half marathon, but the rest are new.
Friday, January 14, 2011
This got me thinking, since I technically PR'd yesterday on the treadmill. Does a treadmill PR count as a real PR? My personal view is no - I must run in an official race, wearing a race number, in order for a run to count as a PR. So even though I had my best run ever, it does not count in my mind for a PR. What is your opinion on this? It does give me motivation and encouragement to go out and PR. It is all mental now.
Side note - Is anyone running the NW passage Ragnar Relay with Insulindependence? I think I might sign up. It is a fun race experience (I did Madison to Chicago last year with some people), however, I'd be more tempted if I knew someone else was doing it as well. Let me know!
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
As I got more into running in college and post-college, I lost a few pounds. (fewer pounds = faster miles in my mind) I lift weights and have been doing a lot of cross training so I know that even though I lost fat, I also gained muscle, but still ended up losing weight. After everything I've read, this seems like an unusual situation. I had to go down a size or two in pants, and buy smaller shirts than before, which is great, but I have a different issue.
Even if people tell me I look skinny, or thin, or whatever, I rarely feel that way. When I look in the mirror I don't see a fit person staring back; rather, I see a girl with a gut that should work on her abs and try to tone her gut. It is like one of those pictures where there is a stick person looking in the mirror but the image reflected is a fat girl. Most days, that is how I feel. I think I am having these feelings even more so now because the amount of cookies I consumed over Christmas. Its like they have decided to permanently glue themselves to the inside of my stomach for the time being, instead of being properly digested and lost for good.
I know this is not a healthy way to view myself, and I fight daily with myself to try to avoid these comments from trying to come into my head in the first spot. I should be happy with the body I have, no matter what shape it is. After all, I am in pretty good shape, so my body shape must be somewhat okay. It is just not where I want it to be, which is my perfectionist personality coming through. The same is true for the scale. A number should not determine my happiness, but I'm not going to lie - if my weight increases then I get frustrated. I like to be below a certain number, although it does not always happen. For example, this morning I woke up and saw a number on the scale that did not please me. When I see a displeasing number my body image in the mirror looks about five hundred times worse as well. It was just bad all around, but I tried to remember my run from earlier in the week to make things better. It helped a little, but was not a cure-all.
Hopefully I can get out of this mindset and start to see myself as healthy instead of fat. I do know that a change like this takes a lot of time and patience on my part. I want to change, but it always hard to start.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
This year I REALLY want to do a destination race. The thought is nerve-racking and incredibly exacting to me at the same time. I realize that this will be challenging for me on multiple levels - I want to do it on my own, as in go to the place by myself and not with anyone else. Usually I have someone else to give my stuff to, but that would not be possible in this situation. I think it would be fun to just go and run somewhere completely new. I've got my eyes on a couple of different races and am trying to put together a tentative schedule for the year. This is always hard because there are so many races I want to run in, but only so much time and training for them in order to PR or even run well. Hopefully by this weekend I'll get things sorted out and posted.
But, I need some feedback. Have you ever done a destination race? How did it go? Would you recommend any races to me? I'll probably be doing a half marathon for my destination race.
Monday, January 10, 2011
I know that speed work is an ideal part of most training plans for half and full marathons, but I'm just not a real fan of it, and never have been. I am going to do a 5k for St. Patrick's Day on March 12, so I decided this weekend that I better start to train for it, as I want to PR (21 here I come!). Today I did 5 miles at a 7:25 average, but my miles got progressively faster as I went along. I think today's run was a nice building block for me for the next couple months of preparation for my 5k and possibly half/halves in the spring.
One thing that I have noticed much more with quick runs as opposed to slower run (8:00 miles) is the impact on my blood sugar. Although I might end my workout with a blood sugar of 70, which although is not ideal, is fine for me, I spike big time post-workout. I used to completely disconnect from my pump when I ran, but now I leave it on the whole time and don't bother to reduce the basal rate. I eat some Shot Bloks as I workout because I need the energy anyway. It just seems to work better, although afterward I'm still going higher than I would like. I realize it is not possible to always be between 80-100, especially after a meal, but I don't like to see my blood sugars going higher an hour after I work out for no apparent reason on some days, but stays fine on other days. It is a mystery on life to me.
Does this happen to you? Or, do you know the cause?
Sunday, January 9, 2011
I love to read other blogs to learn new things and think about ideas that I normally would not think about in my own life. I recently read on my friend K's blog that her students asked her if she had to pick three countries or cities, one to live in, one to work in, and one to vacation in, what she would choose. This, of course, got me thinking about what I would choose.
Currently, I love where I live. I like the friends I've made and my life, and could not and would not ask for anything to change. However, if I could transport everything to a new city (friends, work, everything else), I would pick somewhere in the southeast - Florida or South Carolina perhaps. I've always wanted to go there because of the warm weather and think it would be great to live in a nice climate year-round.
If I could work in a different city, I would pick somewhere in Ireland. I have always wanted to go travel there and like their accents, so teaching there would be a tremendous amount of fun.
I love to go on vacation; however, I don't go often. I do not travel well and always take a ton of stuff. Traveling disrupts routine, and I am a very routine-oriented person. If I could pick any place for vacation, I would far and away say Hawaii. I've always wanted to go there to see the islands and the bright, blue water. Although I do not swim, surf, or do anything in water, I want to go lay on the beach and enjoy a nice, long vacation there. Maybe someday...
How awesome would it be to wake up in Florida, fly to Ireland for work, and then go to Hawaii for vacation? Where would you go if you had the chance?
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
The first year she gave each of us a piece of artwork that she made in high school. One quality that I greatly admire in my mom is the fact that she saves almost everything, but you'd never know it because she is so organized. She was interviewed by my sister's friend for on of her classes and rediscovered her high school artwork that she kept - 4 pieces. My mom framed each of them and chose which one she wanted me, my brother, sister and dad to have. I don't remember what my sister got, but my dad got this drawing of a piece of corn. How fitting, since she grew up and they live in Iowa. I think he has it hanging in his office at work. My brother got this runner print that my mom made, which was super neat. I loved it. My mom was a runner in high school, which was probably the inspiration for that piece. I was given a flower pot rice piece of artwork, which I now have hanging in my bedroom. It is nice to always be reminded of my mom, since I love her dearly.
Last year each of us was given 6 stamp envelopes that were framed vertically. My grandpa, my mom's dad, collected stamps and gave all of the newly released envelopes to my mom when she was in college. He died 16 years ago, but the envelopes have his name and company printed on them. My mom went through dozens of envelopes and picked out stamps that fit us. Some of mine include one on love, another one on Harriet Tubman, and one from Africa.
This year I didn't know what to expect. I told my mom that this special gifts was my favorite each year, and she promised I would get something from her. The gift this year is unique - my siblings and I each got a Time magazine "The Year in Pictures" from the year we were born. Apparently my parents subscribed to Time when we were younger and my mom saved a couple end of the year magazines, something I never knew. It was so interesting to look through the old magazine, especially at ads for cars and cigarettes.
I always feel so lucky that she is my mom, but then again I'm somewhat biased.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
I know fast is a relative term for people, but this is all just according to my perspective. I used to be a slow runner. I ran my first half marathon in 2:17....over a 10-minute per mile pace. As I started to run more and got in better shape, I improved. My fastest half time is 1:43....a 7:50-something minute/mile pace. Did my height change between my slowest race and my fastest race? No. Did my weight change? Yes. Did my endurance level change? Yes - I got in much better shape.
I don't think it matters what your body type is - if you are short, medium, tall or skinny, normal or heavier....it depends on how good of shape you are in. Even though I finish in the top percent for races, I am constantly being beaten by both males and females that are shorter. So, uneducated person, please know that height does not affect how fast I am.
Do people say any comments about running to you that annoy you? Or, is it just me? Do you agree with my perspective?
Monday, January 3, 2011
My life was pretty busy from my birthday to Christmas, including a skiing trip and then traveling to see my family for the holiday. I didn't have time to get shoes the first week and knew I could not live without a pair, so I broke out my old running shoes from this summer. Remember when i lost my toenails this summer? It turns out my feet grew a half size, so the shoes that I left at the gym were bigger than my summer shoes. I was worried about the wearing the smaller-sized shoes, but decided to give it a go anyway. As it turns out, my summer shoes were okay. I didn't have any major problems, just that my feet were a little squished; however, I was still able to log some pretty awesome miles in that time.
After my winter vacation began, I finally found time to go to the running store to get a new pair. It turns out they updated my Saucony's and the color was gold, not blue, anymore. I am a big supporter of Saucony shoes - they are the only thing I will run in. I knew I needed a low-mileage day to break in my new shoes and I had that opportunity when I was visiting my family. And it turns out that my new shoes are even more awesome than my old ones. At first I was not a huge fan of having gold-accented shoes, but now I love it. They have a little added sparkle and remind me of how awesome I am as a runner (no comments necessary). They are also more comfortable than the older model. I love my new shoes and am on track to log 100 miles on them by next week. So in the end, maybe it was a good thing that I left my shoes at the gym.
Have you ever forgot someone at your gym? Did you get it back?
Sunday, January 2, 2011
Technology has come such a long way since I was born. It is always interesting to hear what computers were like when my parents were growing up. My mom was a math/computer science major in college and she has explained to me on multiple occasions what computers were like...pretty much gigantic machines with lots of buttons. I can even remember the first computer my family had, in which you could click on one of four boxes on the main screen, depending on what you wanted to accomplish. However, technology has greatly evolved. And along came the Wii.
I don't have a Wii but many of my friends have them. Therefore, I have played them before and know a little bit about them. This weekend I played Just Dance on Wii. Hands down, this is my favorite Wii game of all time. If I had a Wii, I would go buy it. Seriously, it is that good.
I think the highlight of Just Dance is a song from Russia called Rasputin. There is a skinny, bearded man with a tall hat and dressed in a red outfit that dances. Now, his dance is rather unique because he does numerous leg kicks throughout it. The music alone was funny, as you had to read the translation on the screen, added to the laughing fits as we attempted to do the various, unique leg kicks had us on the floor laughing. So, if you want a good time, go dance to Rasputin. Not only will you burn calories dancing, but also from laughing.
Saturday, January 1, 2011
The weather was perfect yesterday. I didn't have a plan on how many miles I was actually going to run, but after 1 I had to stop back at my place to change into a cooler set of clothes. I ended up logging a little over 5 miles and then went to the gym for one final workout of the year before getting ready for the night.
For the past couple years, I have tried to pick a word that is something I want to work on or focus on for the upcoming year. My word in 2010 was transformation. I think this word sums up last year perfectly for me. My word for 2011, after much thought, consideration, and debate, is......LOVE. Over the course of 2011, I plan on using this word as one piece of the framework in my life. It is already there, I just want it to play a bigger role.
Do you have a word that describes you in 2010? Or, are you focusing on a word for 2011?