Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My Running in 2009 & Goals for 2010

I have no idea how many miles I ran, but here are some things I do know:
Number of races run: 2 (a 5K and a 10K, both in Korea)
Number of countries I ran in: 5 (US, Thailand, South Korea, Cambodia, UK)
Number of PRs: 1 (10K in 45:09)
Longest run: 11.4 miles (last weekend)
Net weight change over the year: -7 pounds...WOOHOOO!

A little different from my running in 2008, which had WAY more races (including a marathon) and way less travel.

Goals for 2010:
1. Qualify for Boston (hopefully at the LA Marathon)
2. Run at least two full marathons
3. Set PRs at 2 or more different distances
4. Run at least one trail race

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

That was stupid...

I spent a few months in physical therapy for my IT band in 2008 and have pretty much successfully kept it in check since then. My PT said I could do basically whatever I want as long as I was smart about increasing my mileage and I stayed away from lunges.

But then I got 30 Day Shred and got hooked and what does Jillian Michaels loooove to have you do? LUNGES. So I did them. What an idiot.

My knee was not a happy camper on my 6.5 mile run this morning, and it's still not happy even though I've been icing and advil-ing all day. I am not running tomorrow, and I'll probably just do 30 Day Shred (sans lunges). I REALLY hope I didn't mess my knee up too badly! I'm planning on a track workout Thursday morning, but I won't do it if my knee hurts. I guess I never learn...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Feeling the Burn

My husband and I planned on not getting each other any Christmas gifts. We spent a chunk of money traveling around Asia, and moving into a place back home was a little spendy as well.

So I was definitely surprised when there were a few gifts waiting for me on Christmas morning, and I felt horrible because I hadn't gotten anything for him. I was really excited to get a new yoga mat (I thought I'd put mine in storage before we went to Asia but it somehow disappeared) and 30 Day Shred, which I've been wanting for months! Thanks, Hubs!

I didn't have any running to do Christmas Day, but I did Level 1 of 30 Day Shred with 3 pound weights and I'm still a little sore. Kind of embarrassing. On the other had, I guess it's good I'm working muscles that haven't been used since I stopped going to the gym in August.

I definitely did my share of indulging on Christmas, and my weight is up about 2 pounds. I'm not worried about it, though. We've already purged the house of all the junk and we're back to TONS of fruits and vegetables at ever meal. No waiting around for New Years Resolutions here!

And now about my exercise for the week:

Tuesday: 4 mile run

Thursday: 4.7 mile run (I planned to do a track workout but the gate to the track was locked and I didn't feel like climbing over it. Kind of a slacker...)

Friday: 30 Day Shred, Level 1

Saturday: 3 miles easy (my husband ran with me!)

Sunday: 11.4 miles at 8:08 pace (I was REALLY happy with this run!)

Week Total: 23.1 miles

Sunday, December 20, 2009

LA Marathon Training Week 2

I gotta be honest, I've kind of felt like an imposter when I title posts with "Marathon Training" because running less than 20 miles a week really doesn't feel like marathon training. But fortunately, my 9 mile run this morning made me feel a little bit more like a real runner again.

I wasn't expecting much, since I ate a big dinner of taquitos, chile relleno casserole, apple pie, and ice cream (it was a holiday get-together with my husbands family), but I felt surprisingly good this morning! I popped out of bed at 7:30, ate a banana, and hit the road. I'm still living in the Dark Ages (with just a watch and Garmin) so I had mapped out route that included a few hills (for fun!) and was pretty much exactly 9 miles.

I didn't really check my watch during the run, but was overjoyed to wind up back at my front door in 1:14:11 (8:15 pace!) That's my marathon goal pace, and it felt really good. I knew I was pushing a little, but never felt like I was running a pace I couldn't maintain for a few hours.

So here's how the week ended up:

Tuesday - 4 miles

Thursday - 4 miles

Saturday - 3 miles

Sunday - 9 miles (8:15 pace)

Total: 20 miles

I also did my 8 minutes of core work every day except one, when my abs were so sore I could only hold the plank for like 20 seconds.

This week I'm planning on some speed work at the track. Oooh boy!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Work the Core

I have SEVERELY neglected my abs the past few months. Moving from hostel to hostel every few nights, frequently with no floor space in the room, made it pretty hard to get my core work in.

But, now we're back to reality. New apartment, new jobs, new marathon to train for, and a middle that's gotten a little soft. So here's what I'm going to do about it. This is inspired by the "Whittle Your Middle" challenge that Angela posted over at Oh She Glows.

Every day for the next 30 days, I'm going to do AT LEAST 8 minutes of core work. Today it looked a little something like this:

1 minute front plank (on elbows)

1 minute bent-leg crunches

1 minute Russian twists

1 minute bicycles

1 minute left side plank (on elbow)

1 minute right side plank (on elbow)

1 minute leg lifts

1 minute back extensions

Fun stuff! I'm a little scared of how sore I'm going to be tomorrow, though!

Monday, December 14, 2009

LA Marathon Training Week 1

Well, my sister in law is mighty persuasive... I'm now signed up for the LA Marathon in 14 weeks. YIKES.

My training was a little light this week, but I have two decent excuses - on Tuesday, we flew from Bangkok to Tokyo to Seattle to Portland, and then on Thursday we drove from Portland to San Luis Obispo and were in the car from 5:20 AM to 7:40 PM.

I ran 3 times...
Sunday - 5 miles (in Bangkok, temp = 86 F)

Tuesday (yes, after 18 hours of air travel) - 3.5 in 28:20 (8:05 pace) (in Portland, temp = 12 F)

Friday - 4 miles (in San Luis Obispo, temp = 56 F)

Tuesday's run left me coughing like CRAZY... my body was not prepared for that 74 degree drop in temperature!)

This Sunday I did an easy 7 miles in the rain. I'm definitely going to have to be careful about upping mileage slowly so I don't get injured. LA may not be a BQ race for me, but at least I have a few other chances this year (SF and Portland)!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I think I can...

I was playing around in Google Calendar tonight, casually dropping a tempo run onto one date, a long run onto another, really not considering anything crazy. But then I realized, it's not for 104 more days and that's plenty of time.

I'm going to see how the next few weeks go before I register. After all, we're moving in with the in-laws, looking for jobs, and looking for a place to live, and that may not be conducive to marathon training. But I have always wanted to do the LA Marathon! The great news is, if it looks like it's a no-go, the OC marathon is a few weeks later. Either way, I think a Spring marathon is definitely going to happen!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Fresh Start

The last few months have had a whole lot of eating, and not enough running. The food carts in Bangkok (and most of the rest of Southeast Asia) are completely irresistible to me, and while delicious, the fare isn't always the healthiest.

In just 5 days, we'll be on a plane home, and I'm already thinking about some goals for once I get there. I haven't stepped on a scale in at least 3 months, and I think I'm about where I was when we left Korea, but I have no idea (kind of scary, not going to lie).

I've also been looking into races for 2010, which I have dubbed "THE YEAR I BQ." Yikes, now I guess I'm going to have to actually do it. So far, I'm interested in the OC Marathon (May), the San Francisco Marathon (July), and the Portland Marathon (October). Whether my IT band will cooperate with these plans remains to be seen, but I'm cautiously optimistic.

It might be a little premature to think about 2010 goals and resolutions, but I think the earlier I can jump on the healthy-eating-consistent-training bandwagon, the better. So, I've got my log started, my running shoes back into frequent rotation, and I'm beyond psyched to be home!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Running in Bangkok

Hey I'm still alive! We left Korea on October 15th and have been traveling through Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand. I haven't been doing much running, but I'm back at it now and am just starting to put together my racing schedule for this blog won't be dead anymore!

I have a feeling Bangkok doesn't make it onto many peoples Favorite Running Cities list. It's hot, it's humid, the traffic is nuts, the sidewalks are uneven, and the air could be a whole lot cleaner. But Bangkok is my favorite city in the world, and actually can be a decent place to run, if you know where to go.

Lumpini Park!

At 5:45 AM this place is PACKED with runners, walkers, and people doing aerobics and tai chi and yoga.
It's a calm oasis in the middle of the city, and even though the running path is only 2.5 kilometers, you can put together a pretty decent workout. Plus I love that every 100 m is marked!

There's also some interesting wildlife... this guy is about 4 feet long!

I think my favorite thing about running in Lumpini Park is that it feels like a party. There's always loud music going for the aerobics classes, and there are tons of people socializing as well as working out.

I love the aerobics classes right by the main gate. I've never participated, but they look like tons of fun!

We fly home to the US in 6 days, and from now until then I plan on running in the park every morning!

How to get there: Take the MRT to Si Lom or the BTS to Sala Daeng. The park is bordered by Rama IV Road and Ratchadamri Road