Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Dependable

There are two things really important to me in a relationship: honesty and dependability. These two components equal one HUGE quality: Trust.  If either of the two smaller components are missing, then trust is broken.

At the moment, I am being honest with myself and depending on my knowledge and training. So you can trust that I can remain on the right path to happiness in my health and spirituality. The key to this is there is only 1 person who can control this - ME. It's a relationship with myself.

Ok, ok, enough babbling because that is starting to sound like some psycho-babble BS.

Personal crap aside, I have to say I finally did hot yoga. Well, not Bikram Yoga like everyone else I know, but infrared yoga. Sunday, I met up with a friend at Blue Tree Yoga located in an industrial building in an art district of town (I really should have snapped some photos). Of course being me, I was there EARLY (even after making a pit stop at Tar-jay for water) because I wanted to get a good spot. Hey, it's donation yoga and that could mean swarms of people. Luckily for me, it only meant 5 people and I had a spot near the door incase I needed a quick escape.

Our Yogi was young, tiny girl who apparently just gave birth approximately 2 months ago and was performing what looked like what we called airplane as kids.
Photo: www.TheSecretsofYoga.com

You'd swear this girl just turned 18. Big ups to yoga!  She introduced herself and mentioned that our class would be infrared. Um, excuse but what the heck does that mean?  It means she was planning to turn up the heat. As I began to panic and think of the quickest way back to my car, she reassured us first-timers that it wouldn't get much hotter than it already was in the room (currently at 75) and that your body would make most of the heat - not the room, so I stayed.

Bikram yoga studios are steamy hot the moment you walk in the room, this yoga room was bearable, comfortable. Of course, I felt as if I was having my own personal summer from the moment I entered the room (but that's been happening often) so I didn't realize there was a difference in the room temp once she adjusted the thermostat.

Unlike my one and only experience with Bikram (I lasted 2 seconds and then had to bolt because it was stifling hot and that excess heat lowers my BP), infrared yoga was enjoyable. The flow was perfect for not having been to yoga regularly since May. My warm body temp made getting into pigeon easy right off. The warrior poses were a challenge, but more because of my tight legs. I was even able to jump from downward dog to the forward fold - I've never been able to do that - I usually end up walking to that pose.

All-in-all, I thoroughly enjoyed the warm (dare I say, hot) yoga class and I'm looking forward to next Sunday (dependable). The big plus, it's a donation studio so on the days when I don't have $10 to pay, I can pay $5. I can also afford to bring my friend who is struggling a bit financially while she attends school. The yoga seemed to have her more balanced and I know she likes the practice.

Do you practice yoga? Do you find it centering? Do you feel that it helps with your daily life? Do you find it helps with your running goals or other exercise goals?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Gobble Gobble

I'm a bit late with my TXU Energy Turkey Trot update and I figured out why...I didn't snap a single photo! Nope, no pre-race pictures, nothing along the route, not even post-race. However, not playing around during this race (as per my usual), I PR'd this 10K and shaved 10mins off my time.  Hot Dawg! 1 hour, 15mins. I had my fastest mile time at 11:26mins.



This made for my 2nd Turkey Trot, the first being in Sacramento in the cold and rain (what a nasty race) and running with over 26K people. This one was a bit more sedate at 14K people and it was ok weather (sunny, not too humid, not too hot). I stuck to my plan of running a mile and walking a quarter mile. I did start out running with a girl from my running club, but she had to slow her roll due to numbness in her feet. Normally, I would say: No Girl Left Behind (BGR motto) and that I will walk with you, but something clicked again (like at Rock n Roll) and I didn't want to slow down. I made sure she was ok to walk (this is a normal thing with her feet) and I kept on running. She finished around 1 hour and 26 mins, which is my usual time.

I am finding that races are fun when you start out with your friends. It would make for even more fun to see familiar faces cheering you on, but I am learning that running, although social at times, you have to be your own cheer squad. So I turn up my headphones and sing along as I cross the finish line.

I am looking forward to my race line-up whether it be with a group, a single friend or solo.  Here's what's on my schedule:





Date
Run
Supports
Location




12/9/2012
Jingle Bell Run (10K)
Houston YMCA
Houston - Downtown
1/5/2013
Friends of Galveston Island State Park Fun Run (10K)
Galveston State Park
Galveston
1/27/2013
Keep on Truckin’ Half
Brazos State Park
Brazos State Park
2/9/2013
TX Med Center 5K
Harris County Hospital District
Houston – Medical Center
2/17/2013
Sugar & Spice Half

Clear Lake, TX
3/23/2013
Zooma Women’s Half

Bastrop
4/13/2013
Blue Bell Fun Run (5K or 10K)

Brenham
4/27/2013
Wildflower Run

Fredericksburg
5/11/2013
TX Flower Country Women’s 5K or 10K

Wildseed Farm, Fredericksburg



Which races are on your upcoming running calendar?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Rockin and Rollin

...or, I survived my first Rock n  Roll Half Marathon. And on my big 4-0 nonetheless.

What was I thinking?

I was thinking it would be a nice day in San Antonio in Nov with Fall-ish weather. Boy, was I ever wrong. It was hot. At 9:00am, around my 5K point, it was already 72 degrees. I must have been delirious because I saw Elvis.
Elvis is taking off
What was I thinking?
I  wanted to finish 13 miles in under 3 hours. I signed on with the 2:45 pace group, but started back in Corral 33 with my running group. That was the party zone. I felt great the first 4 miles until the heat smacked me in the face. I walked between Miles 4 and 5, I snapped photos along the route. I talked to people as I ran. I let my usual self take over and slow my butt down.
Best signs seen along the route

What was I thinking?
It's freaking hot outside. I just want some water. I just want to take a break and close my eyes for a moment. I just want my feet to stop hurting. I just want this to be over. This was between Miles 6 and 8.

What was I thinking?
I'm just going to walk a bit and cool off. Thank goodness for the breeze and the downhill slope. All yes, finally Mile 12 - I'm almost done.

Sorry for the sideways photo. I've tried unsuccessfully to rotate - no luck.
Ha, see me with that silly grin on my face. That's because I didn't know what was waiting for me at Mile 13. I didn't even snap a photo. It was a damn hill. REALLY???? At the finish??? In the heat???? Who thinks this is a great way to finish a long-ass, feet burning, skin burning run? Ahh hell!!!

What was I thinking?
This medal was worth the heat and hurting feet. This race was a lot of fun thanks to a well-organized expo, the music along the route, the people running the race, the fun tees seen along the route, the various people cheering along the route.

Finisher's medal
yeah, I was feeling this shirt
I was not coming in behind her.

My running buddy would say: Run with your butt!
It's the Great Pumpkin!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Taper Week

So I am 5 days out from my first half marathon. Whoop Whoop! I am looking to finish in under 3 hours. I know I can do this. This is easy (and before you say it isn't - it really is easy).

This week is taper week for me (not that I was racking up many miles during the week to begin with) but I am also trying to stay in line with my mileage challenge at work and log 75 miles for the month. Although I usually run 4:1 intervals (and that's the gameplan for Sunday), I want to work on my endurance and run longer. So yesterday my running buddy and I set out after work. She asks - "so what are we running today" (because it's her SLLLOOOOWWWW run day with me - LOL). I ask that we simply do 4 miles slowly and let's see how far I go before I feel like a break. She was awesome with her constant reminders to me to slow down (I am a jack rabbit starter) and those reminders were so helpful.

The weather was perfect yesterday evening. Cool and low humidity. It's finally running weather in Houston (hopefully it will stick). We took a new route along the bayou that included small inclines (Houston doesn't have hills). I concentrated on running a mile before my walk break vs running time and that worked very well. I was so elated when we hit the 3 mile mark because I found that I was able to keep my pace slow at the start, complete a mile, walk approx .25-mile and then hit another mile.

Then she did it to me. We were heading to the water fountain and she says - "ok, I'm going to run". Now, I know her pace is much faster than mine (her 5K pace is about 24min, my PR was 36 min back in July '11). She takes off! I tried to keep up and noticed that my pace topped off at 6.3 mph! I can't maintain that at the moment, but it's definitely something to shoot for. So I see some sprint intervals in my future.

We finished with a  half-mile walk to cool down. When it was all said and calculated, I logged 4.58 miles in 1 hour yesterday, averaged a pace of 13 min/mile, which is my comfy pace, and fewer walk breaks than my regular interval runs.

How do you taper?  How do you work towards increasing your endurance and speed?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Thankful

Last week, there was plenty of talk around the sphere as to what constitutes a runner and I still say that no matter if you run for a min or run a full marathon, the fact that you laced up your sneakers and make an effort, it makes you a runner.

It's funny to me that I say this now. I have 6 days until the Rock 'n Roll San Antonio half marathon. My first half.

Over the weekend, I posted a thank-you via FB to various people who have provided the motivation to get off my butt and run and workout. This thank-you has lead me to reflect back on why I run.

Growing up, I wasn't the most active child. I spent a lot of time reading. I did play volleyball in elementary school and moved on to tennis in junior high and high school. When I started college, I was on an Army ROTC scholarship. This meant meeting a weight requirement for my height (I never reached the weight requirement), regular PT (that included running). At this point, I was only partially running on a track (running the straights and walking the curves) to keep my endurance up for tennis. I HATED running. On PT runs, I was always the one behind the safety patrol. I never ran in rank because I could never keep up. I was made fun of and was truly miserable.

Fast forward 20 years. I haven't played much tennis these days because it's difficult for me to find people who know how to play. Thanks to a co-worker, I bought TurboJam a few years back and got hooked on TKB. I've lost 40lbs and stalled. So I started reading more fitness blogs and saw that folks were shedding pounds through running. Thanks to various blogs such as Carli over at Running Into Shape, Tricia at  Endurance Isnt Only Physical, Kim at to dream the KIMpossible dream and a few other now-defunct blogs, I decided to try Couch to 5K. The program seemed easy enough, especially on a treadmill. I found myself running almost everyday before or after my workout classes at the gym.

Then I moved to Sacramento. This move threw my workout schedule a curve ball, but after a few months, I was back on a workout schedule with plenty of TKB  and Body Pump classes. But I still wasn't really running. In an effort to meet people outside of work, I answered a CL ad for a workout buddy and we signed up for my first 5K with the intention of walking it. A recap of that race can be found here.

Following that race, I wanted to challenge myself to run outside even more. I completed a Fun Run. Still looking to meet people and make a home in Sacramento,I came across Black Girls Run and noticed they were starting local running groups. My running has spiraled into an activity that I am really beginning to enjoy (even though I swore I would never run further than a 10k). While in Sac, I promised the ladies I would run the Urban Cow Half if I was still there. Unfortunately, I'm not. But to hold up my end, I picked a race on my birthday, the BIG 4-0 (it's even national running day).

Even being back in Houston, I look forward to my early morning Saturdays and my after work running sessions. I've recently started running without music and have my races picked out from now until April 2013, including 2 more halfs. To date, I have completed 2-5Ks, 3-10Ks, 1-12K and come Sunday I will have run my longest - a half.

So I have to say thank you to the many who have crossed my path to serve as motivators to get me to do the one thing I never liked and to go further than I ever planned.

I guess this is a true testament to never say never.

Thank you!



Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I am a runner and so are you

Reading My Journey to Fit yesterday reminded me that I hadn't cross-posted from my SparkPeople blog from last week.  She really hit the nail on the head as to why I run.  Do you run? Did you just start or have been running for a while? Why do you run?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
From my SparkPeople blog:

I've had a difficult time accepting this title I've put on myself.

Why? Because I jog/run/walk through races - I don't run 3 miles straight through, not even on the treadmill. But after my last 2 training runs that has somewhat changed (still not running straight through).

I am a runner.

Why? Because I train; because I listen to my breath; because I watch my heart rate increase with each step and decrease with each rest; because I work on fueling properly; because I've fallen while running; because I've endured a minor injury; because I still have to remember to stretch; because I've done it in the rain; because I have 3 medals , several tech shirts, and various race bibs. But simply put - because I get out on the road, track, or trail, laced up and I do it.

Oh yeah, and I've paid race fees!

I never liked running. I hated doing PT while in ROTC in college. I was always the one behind the traffic patrol trying to keep up. I did other things to stay active - I played tennis, I walked, I rode my bike, I bought plenty of fitness vids over the years. But a move to Sacramento spurred a reason to get out and meet people. I joined Black Girls Run and have been running, jogging, slogging ever since. I am now learning to run without music (or at least only 1 headphone). I want to work on my endurance and actually run the first 3 miles of my races.

So if you don't consider yourself a runner...think again. Even if you run for 60s or only get in a half a mile or a mile, it doesn't matter. The fact that you laced up your sneakers, hit the road and put miles on your shoes makes you a runner too.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Time flies and pounds creep at night

At least that's how I'm feeling. It's been over a year since my last post and so much has transpired during that time.

1. I moved back to Houston from Sacramento
2. I found 2 new jobs in a 6-week time-frame
3. I am training for my first half marathon to take place on 11/11
4. I've gained over 10lbs since being home
5. I've moved into a new apartment and STILL living among boxes.

For the most part all of these are good things with the exception of the weight gain. I am not sure of the root cause which makes it more difficult to nail down how to remedy the situation. But I am not focusing on the bad.

The good is that I ran my furthest distance this past Saturday!!!! 13.5 miles. It should have been the worse run ever since:

1. my hydration belt was a complete nightmare. It was too bulky and the bottles flew out of the holster not even a 1/4 mile into the run. Luckily, one of the group runners stashed one bottle, I carried one and put another in my back pocket. The fourth I tossed in the trash.

2. my iPod wasn't fully charged so I my Nike+ didn't track my run.

3. my Cardio Trainer app couldn't connect a GPS signal so it didn't track my run either.

4. the girls in my pace group thought we took a wrong turn and we spent too much time discussing which way to go (I wish folks would listen to me because I have a good sense of direction and knew where we were headed).

5. by the end of the run, my white skirt was drenched (luckily not see through) and one leg was chaffed.

I still say my run was great because I accomplished something I swore I would never do - run further than 6 miles and ENJOYED it. My goal for the actual half marathon is to complete it in under 3 hours. The practice run was done in 2 hours and 56mins (including potty break, direction discussion, and stop lights).

My concerns during and following the run were hydration and soreness. I generally don't drink during my runs but have noticed that since moving back home, the humidity sucks all life out of you so I find myself hoping for a water break. I will invest in a camelback this week and make sure there is a bathroom along the race route. It's Day 2 post practice run and I'm just a bit tight. I used my tiger tail immediately after the run, I stretched Saturday and yesterday, walked for 2.35 miles and did yoga yesterday. I think that helps with the delayed soreness. I need to foam roll tonight and continue to stretch. I think today will be a cross train day. Did someone say TurboFire?

So that's the practice run recap. Tomorrow, I will work on a game plan for my diet. Ah, the never-ending saga of attempting to be healthy.

I will catch up on my blog reading. Time to get back in the game.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Updates coming soon

This poor blog has languished in no-man's land for such a long time.

So much has happened since the last one. New posts coming soon.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

You Know What Happens When You Eat Asparagus

Since learning that I am not eating enough fruits/veggies daily, I have revamped my breakfast. That has working pretty well until this morning. I decided to pack my breakfast one of my snacks, which left me with either oatmeal or no snack.  Hmmm.. but those coupons from CrackDonalds came yesterday. 2 for 1 on the breakfast sandwich.

Wait a minute, LaShaune... You're supposed to be eating clean for the next 90 days and I doubt that CrackDonalds counts as a clean meal.  Hell, not even a cheat meal.  So off to Staryucks I go - grab the protein box.  I even tried to eat the power muffin that comes with it.  Today, it tasted AWFUL. One bite and BAM! in the compost pile.

Whew! Breakfast crisis averted for today. Tomorrow is another story.  I really need to roll to the supermarket.

Now my other issue with fruits/veggies is dinner time. Living with The Fella has been a bit different.  His ideal meal is lots 'o meat and lots 'o carbs. Well, now that I'm attempting this 90 challenge (What? I didn't tell you about the challenge..hmmm...ok - well, we are going to eat as clean as possible for the next 88 days. Sorry Buddy). Yes, The Fella reads my blog too. Last night I had to laugh as I was serving plates.  I reached for the spinach and he says...but we have asparagus.  Little did he know I was sneaking in 2 veggies for dinner. Spinach as the base of the meal, layered with couscous, topped with baked salmon with a side of asparagus.  How's that for getting in my recommended serving?

Do you sneak in veggies? Do you have a difficult time getting your family to eat more fruits/veggies?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Are you getting served?

I've been keeping track of my calories (I'm in to the 2nd week so far) as my Lent resolution and I've noticed that most days I am not getting the recommended serving of fruits and veggies.  Funny how you think you eat healthy all day, most days until you track what actually goes in the pie hole.

For the past 10 days, I'm lucky if 50% of them I will even get 2-3 serves of fruit and/or veggies. I haven't been juicing once a week either (too lazy at the end of the day and it's too noisy in the early morning), so that idea hasn't panned out.

Any other options to getting in the recommended daily servings?  Does anyone even know what the recommendation is?  Well, it's 5-6 cups dependent upon age and sex (yeah, that's clear).

So here's my game plan to increase my fruit/veggie intake...Eat them at breakfast. I have a small betno boxes that I carry my lunch in.  So my new breakfast will consist of carrots with hummus, tomatoes, and fruit (whichever I have on hand for the week - this week, it's grapes and apples) with either a high fiber piece of toast with honey or English muffin with honey and of course, coffee. My lunch will also have a fruit or veggie side.  Today it's an apple. Yesterday it was carrots. Tomorrow will be another apple and a tangerine.  When the weather changes, dinners will include a salad.  I am thinking of going for a salad a day for 30 days (but not until the weather changes).

I know I need to make a better effort to snack on fruit and nuts vs. animal crackers or almond cranberry bars.

How do you get in your recommended serving of fruits and veggies each day?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Things That Don't Suck About Sacramento: Walking on Sunshine

I can't believe it's almost 1 year since I moved to Northern California from Texas. Northern Cali is vastly different from Southern California in culture, dress code, weather, food, etc. so my adjustment period is taking bit longer than I would like.

However, advancing my goal of seeking out things that don't suck about Sacramento, I've joined a few hiking groups.  This past weekend's hike was HARD!  Calling it a tough intermediate is a bit of a stretch in my opinion.

We ventured to Stebbins Cold Canyon Nature Reserve for a steep 5-miler (this after completing a 4-mile run in the morning).  Although going up was killer, all 108 steps, the views of Lake Berryessa and the dam were well worth the trek up.






Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Cancelled

No, not The Biggest Loser (although, I am really disliking this season - all the backbiting, whining, bitching and moaning...Ugh, you signed up for this because you wanted to learn to be a healthier human...that starts with being nice - oh wait...that's a rant for another blog).

No, I didn't cancel my FB account (feel free to be my friend).

No, I haven't cancelled my cable. The Fella won't allow that to happen. It's basketball season, Yo!

I cancelled my WW account. 

WTH!?!?!?!

I know what you're going to say...LaShaune, you have to track your points, go to the meetings, and not look at the scale. LaShaune, it's a process that takes time.  LaShaune, it's a great way to spend $42 a month.

Um, yeah...I know all of the above and some. I know weight loss is calories in vs calories out. I know I expend anywhere from 500 to 1300 calories per workout, depending on the day.  I know this because I wear a HRM. What I don't know is how many calories I am ingesting. I don't know this information because I don't track it. Therein lies the problem.

Time to piss or get off the pot.   All my gripin and moanin about the 1-2lb discrepancy between my scale and the WW scale isn't making a bit of difference in my pants size. And trying to out exercise a diet that has way too much room for improvement is counterproductive.

So, as Merry pointed out in her post today...it's Lent. I'm a horrible Catholic because I didn't even consider giving up something for the next 6 weeks.  Actually, I haven't practiced Catholicism for years (again, another blog for another day), but I want to make a conscious effort to write down my food and my calories on a daily basis.  At the end of the week, I want to reflect on my meal planning for the past week and make adjustments for the coming week. I know this is what I need to do to make the changes I want to see. 

Are you planning to give up a bad habit or adopt a new one for Lent?  Do you track you calories?