Sunday, June 29, 2014

June Goal Recap

Hey, everyone! Where did June go? I felt like it just started! I hate this whole time going too fast thing! I'm not having THAT much fun!

Anyway, remember that time when I set a bunch of goals for this month? Well, I figure that since the month ends tomorrow, I might as well recap today!

Here's the full list in case you forgot...

Well, how did I do? Here's the full breakdown:
1) Limit soup to three days a week. I nailed this three weeks out of the month. There was one week where I had it four times (Lemon Chicken Orzo is so damn addicting!), but it was MUCH better than me eating it every day.
2) No weigh-in AT ALL. I made it three weeks, then cracked last Saturday and today. So this was a bust.
3) Back to measuring everything. Nailed it! Once I started doing this, I realized my portions (especially milk and peanut butter) were getting a little out of hand! Looks like I'll be sticking with this!
4) Plan my solo weight training workout and write it down. Nailed this too! It did feel like homework, but knowing that I had a plan going into the gym, it made it that much easier to get my workout done! Plus, it helped being able to make notes throughout the workout!
5) Put at least $25 into savings. Not a total fail, but not a total success either. I got $20 in. Given that I had to help the family out a bit, plus one smaller than usual paycheck, I'm glad I got something in. I'll call this a win.
Overall, this month wasn't perfect, but not terrible either. I wanted to get back to basics, and I think I made steps in the right direction. I think a lot of this will stick with me for awhile. The damn scale thing is the biggest problem. I did get over the daily weighing thing though, so at least it's something.
I'm planning out my July goals and will have that post up in the next two days. Happy Sunday Funday!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Union Beach 5K (Union Beach, NJ)

It's been almost a week since this race, and I'm just now writing the recap! You would think that since it was an awesome race, I would have done it right away. Whatever. At least it's getting done.

It was in this particular race last year that I wound up with a personal worst, but learned that this whole running thing is about more than making good time. This particular race was about showing that a small town is stronger than a storm. Even though it was a PW for me, I knew that I would be back because it was an amazing event.

Sure enough, I found myself registering for this race a few days after I ran an awesome race in Middletown on May 17.

I picked up my race bib and shirt the night before so I could get Flat Tracy ready as much as possible. Plus, it saves time on race day! I got my bib and there was one thing that made me excited: TIMING CHIP!!

Lack of timing chips was my one complaint about last year's race, and this year, we would be chip timed! For those who are unfamiliar with race speak, chips mean that the runners get timed based on when they cross a mat, instead of just a clock. This wouldn't be perfect (more on that later), but at the time, I was relieved!

As usual, I laid out Flat Tracy the night before, mostly to show what I would be wearing, to make it easier for any of my friends who happened to be spectating (none this year). As you can tell, the Sparkle Athletic skirt stayed! After my then PR in May, I wasn't racing without that! I chose purple for the rest of the outfit, mostly because I loved the shirt that I picked out.

This race started at 9:00, but I still had to be up at 6:30, so I would have time to eat and such before leaving around 8, since the race site was about 15-20 minutes away. I won't bore you with all my ritual crap, since you've seen it all before. Before I knew it, I was on my way to race!

Once I was in the area, I had to park a few minutes from the start, since street parking in Union Beach is really limited. I managed to find a spot in a lot about three minutes down the road, and walked over. Different experience than in the past, but hey, first time for everything?

As usual, after I got to the site, it was all about staying loose until race start. I walked over to the start and noticed that there was no start mat, just one at the finish. Not perfect chip timing, but it would have to do. Again, this was more than they had last year, so it was something.

Unlike my May race, time before start seemed to FLY! It was at that point that I decided that I was going for the personal. Conditions were perfect, and I knew that as long as my body was cooperative, it was possible. I just had to stick to my strategy of running when I felt comfortable, since that's how I trained, and I wasn't sure if the humidity would end up kicking in later (BTW, it didn't).

Soon enough, we lined up, all the usual pre-race speeches were made, and at promptly 9:00, we were off! My seventh 5K was under way!

Despite another 600+ person race, I didn't find start crowding to be an issue this year. I was a little more in the front than I would have liked, but I would manage. I think this may have been an advantage later on, so I worked with it.

I found the adrenaline kicking in, and running a little more than I wanted in the beginning. After previous races where I went out too fast, I reeled it in a little, and hit my first mile in about 10:40 (Endomondo was a little off, so I didn't rely too heavily on it). Exactly what I was aiming for. At this pace, I would PR for sure! all know I STILL haven't learned my lesson, and completed the second mile about a minute slower than the first. I always have trouble with the second miles of a race. Probably because the adrenaline kicks in at start, and picks back up with about a mile to go. Strange.

Anyway, this is an exclusive to my blog, as I was a little hesitant to post on Instagram. Here's my failed attempt at a mid-race selfie (clear sign that Dani is a friend of mine...haha). Damn headphone wire got in the way. Would have been perfect otherwise. =P

I knew I had to dig deep in the last mile if I wanted to PR. I wound up doing a minute of walking, minute of running cycle. This seemed to work perfectly. I finished the third mile a few seconds faster than the second. It wound up being a SPRINT to the finish, and next thing I knew it, I had crossed the finish line! #7 was in the books!

After I crossed the finish, I immediately stopped my Endomondo (which strangely decided I was playing baseball; explains why I was off a bit) and Polar. App had a time of 34:35, Polar had 34:39. I knew I either had the personal or was about five seconds slower. Either way, I wasn't disappointed. I had a solid race and felt awesome!

Once my timing devices were off, I grabbed a bottle of water and granola bar, and kept walking to keep loose and cool down. Calf and shin pain were not an issue, since I wore my Zensah sleeves again, and it paid off. Note to self: EVERY run requires them, training or race!

Since the race was chip timed, results came back fast. I scanned them, and saw my official time was 34:36.13 (11:09/mile). PR by 3 seconds! I was shocked, but in a good way! It was close, but it's still a personal!

I hung around for a little bit, watching the kiddie races and just soaking in the atmosphere. I also was able to get a post-race pic, since I couldn't get one before.

After I left the race, I immediately went for a chocolate chip bagel (my newest fav post-race meal) and my iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts. Chocolate milk would come later.

Overall, this has become one of my favorite races. Perfect atmosphere, flat course, and now chip timing! I have no complaints other than the lack of timing mat at the start. Still, for only the second running, it was awesome! As long as this race keeps going on, I'll be back!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Thinking Out Loud

I haven't done one of these in awhile, and haven't blogged in about a month (damn you, real life), so I decided it's time for a Thinking Out Loud post! Just a quick shoutout to Amanda at Running with Spoons for the idea!

What am I thinking this week?

1) My last 5K of the spring season is on Saturday in Union Beach! I'm hoping for better conditions this year than last, but will just remember the reason for this race.

2) I'm still in denial about hockey season being over. Is it October yet? I'm ready for more Rangers hockey (not to mention the hotness that is Carl Hagelin...haha).

3) My digital food scale busted on me just as I was going back to measuring everything. Thank goodness for an old-school dial scale. Still, I need a digital one, and ordered this American Weigh Scales Black Blade Digital Pocket Scale from Amazon (Thanks to Dani over at Weight Off My Shoulders for sharing this with me!)

4) I recently tried on a bikini for the first time ever! It wasn't perfect, but I still felt great! Yes, I know this isn't a perfect bikini body, but it's real, it's mine, and I'm damn proud of it!

5) I applied for FitFluential and Sparkly Soul ambassadorships. We'll see what happens!

6) Just glad tomorrow's Friday! It was a rough week at work, and I'm looking forward to the weekend!

What are you Thinking Out Loud today?

Sunday, June 1, 2014

May Goal Recap and June Goals

Happy June, everyone! I can't believe how fast this year has gone already! Whew!

Since it's June 1, I figure I should probably recap how I did with my May goals, huh? ;-) Well, in case you forgot what they were, here you go:

How did I do? Only FREAKING AMAZING!! Got my 100 oz. of water in every day, avoided the scale except for once a week (Still maintaining!), limited the coffee trips (and enjoyed the few I had even more than usual), and planked every day! I did break Treat-End once, but it was on my nephew's birthday (and even that was only a tiny piece of cookie cake). Oh, and I PR'd my 5K on the 17th! Yes, I know that wasn't on my list, but after two years, I knew it was a matter of time before it happened.

Anyway, since my May was so stellar, I think I earned my Lucky Clover, no? Well, I hopefully will get it next weekend! I've been wanting it forever and it will finally be mine soon enough!

After some thought, I decided on some goals for June. Some health related, some just stuff I want to work on. Here you go:

1) Limit soup to three days a week. I work at Panera. Home of awesome broccoli cheddar soup. Also home of awesome lemon chicken orzo which I eat almost EVERY day. Yes, it's low calorie and low-fat. However, it's also HIGH in salt (along with almost every other soup). So I decided that I need to cut back a bit. Plus, it'll let me enjoy some other foods more.

2) No weigh-in AT ALL for the month. You heard that right, folks! I've been maintaining for eight months now, and need to feel less tied down to the scale. So, I weighed myself on Friday, know where I stand, and don't plan on weighing again until July 4 (I weigh in either Friday or Saturday, and the first Friday of July is on the 4th).  This will be a test for sure, but one that I think needs to happen.

3) Back to measuring everything. I've fallen off this wagon a little bit. Yes, I'm still maintaining, but I've become a little lax about portioning (especially with my milk and peanut butter). The measuring cups, spoons, and food scale are coming out to play again!

4) Plan my solo weight training workout and write it down. I've gotten MUCH better with solo weight training. I actually get in the gym before Tuesday night spin and do it! As for planning it...not so much. So, I need to plan out my moves in writing and take the list with me to the gym. This way, I can make notes and see what works best! Note: I don't plan on writing a set weight down before the workout. What weight I use will depend on how I'm feeling that given day.

5) Put at least $25 in savings. Originally, I was going to work on a budget, but since I don't have a fixed income, this wouldn't be the best option at the moment. So, I decided to put a little money into savings instead. I have two paychecks in June (I get paid every two weeks), and only $12.50 each check should be doable, no? I think so!

Oh, and I guess I should get a reward for all this, right? ;-) Well, I decided to buy myself Coldplay's "Ghost Stories" album as an MP3 download after I rock this month!

So, there you go! My goal for the month is pretty much to get back to basics, and I think I set the right plan in place for that!

Happy June, everyone!