Thursday, January 24, 2013

Lots of Updates! Work, Amy, and Run Less Run Faster!

Well, I had my first day of work yesterday!  It went by really quickly.  I spent most of the morning shadowing people as they met with people 1:1 to show them the facility and how to use the equipment.  We aren't trainers, and they have trainers there, so we just ask them what they want to do, and show them the proper way to use the equipment.  I am also responsible for changing the towels at the machines.  Yay, getting paid to do laundry FINALLY!  I love washing towels because they are so uniform and the folding is easy.  That is the one thing at home that I am good at- sheets and towels. (BTW, I have made good on that pledge I made last year to wash ALL the bed sheets every Monday.  The only ones I have missed have been when we have been gone on a Monday, or are leaving on a Monday, and I have done it as soon as I got back.  I felt it didn't make sense to change them and then leave.  If you have any scientific information on this, to have me change them before we leave, I wouldn't mind the feedback.  Like, if the cooties/dust mites double or something while I am gone, that would be good to know, and worth changing twice)  Also, it is pretty easy.  I guess that is why I don't make hardly anything :)  Soren enjoyed the playroom, and was really excited about it.  Keira was upset she didn't get to go, but the kids aren't technically members for another 2 weeks when I go to an orientation meeting downtown.  I am attended the soonest one, and still have to wait that long!  Good thing I still have my other gym membership!  It is another perk that I get to wear black loungy pants AKA yoga pants to work.  I can really wear any black workout bottoms that are not too short, but I would feel silly going to work in my tights.  I did purchase one new pair of black pants at Costco for $20, so there goes my first whole day's worth of work! 

(photo taken by my friend Alan Ho, first photo since the accident, on one of his visits)
Amy has moved out of the hospital and into a rehabilitation home.  It is an actual house, where she lives with other patients and can do therapy during the week.  She is allowed to leave with visitors and the staff has outings that she can sign up to do.  This is a great step for her!  Yay!  There is a benefit this weekend in MI to raise additional funds for her.  It is a screening of "Road to Ironman" that Running Fit is organizing.  If you can attend, that would be awesome, because there will be great silent auction items up for grab.  You can also just make a donation.  Here is the site:

Run Less Fun Faster:
I am LOVING this plan so far!  It is great that I am only running 3 days a week!  It is a little weird though, but I am dealing with that.  We are traveling back to back weekends, so I might miss one workout, but I may be able to make it up by doing 4 runs next week.  I am not sure if I will opt for that or not, with the new job and all, but we'll see.  I might not even miss it.  I have been able to do the track workouts without too much difficulty.  Perhaps it is because I have encorporated track workouts into my marathon training for quite some time and my body remembers how to do them.  Also, the long run paces haven't been bad either.  I have started a little fast, and ended on the slow end, but I think part of it has to do with the topography around here.  I have an awful hill to run up for my  last two miles!  What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right?  So, it does mess with my paces a bit, but my averages have been OK.  Also, I get a little bored in the middle, and slow down a bit, but tend to pick it up once I am halfway done.  I am still doing lots of out and backs because finding a big loop hasn't gotten me the mileage I need.  I am having a harder time with the tempo runs.  I think this is because I haven't really done tempo runs like these before, and I am doing them outside and not inside.  I can't just set the treadmill to the pace I need to go.  I also have wind and hills to deal with that makes it harder.  My first tempo run was a mess, but my second averaged out all right.  I may be skipping this weeks due to travel.  I might squeeze it in tomorrow morning, but after today's 17 miler in 20deg weather, I'm not so sure.  I really could use a day off.  I guess that is the hardest.  I am used to running 3 days in a row, and then taking a couple days off, instead of skipping a day between each.  It makes total sense and it way easier on my body, but it is harder on my scheduling when I am limited to Tues/Thurs for running.  I have to run on Sat, which has been hard lately.  I'll get it figured out.  Besides, skipping a workout or too isn't going to be the end of the world.  I can say that this plan is awesome for me, since I get all OCD and LOVE how detailed it is.  It is super challenging to hit the paces, and every run has a purpose.  The bummer is that it makes it hard to work out with other people.  Erin is training for a trail ultra, so she is running lots of miles, but at a lot slower pace.  I wish I could run with her more, but right now our goals are really different.  Jen has no desire to run a marathon, and I feel weird running with guys without a big group.  I am also doing my long runs on Thursdays, so there aren't even a lot of people available, but it works for me.  Ryan loves that I don't need to run much longer than an hour or so (so far) on Saturdays.  I will have to run a little longer, but I don't think it should be too bad, and I can always switch it around to do my shortest run on Saturdays.

Here is an example of my run for Tuesday

Thats all for now!  Anyone else in the thick of a big training plan?  How is your race season for 2013 shaping up?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I have a job! Yikes!

I have been a stay at home mom for the past 6.5 years.  I have been thinking it would be nice to break into the fitness industry, but wasn't sure how.  I have been struggling with the childcare problem, because I don't have a ton of time when Soren is in school, and really, do I want to give up my first taste of freedom as soon as I have it?  I wasn't sure.  I thought maybe I would wait another year.  Well, some of you may have read in the news or been affected by the fact that Urban Active was recently bought by LA Fitness.  It caused all sorts of changes at my current gym. I wasn't terribly bothered by any of these because the main reason I was there was because it was cheap, and my kids were happy there.  My previous plan was rolled over, so I was paying the same amount.  All good.  Well, right before Christmas, when I brought Keira in with me, they told me I didn't have 2 kids on my account, and that they could add Keira for either $5 a time or $10/month.  What?  I explained kindly to the lady that it was obviously a mistake, and the let me workout no problem.  The problem was when I talked with the new manager, and she didn't want to fix it without my paper contract that I knew I didn't have anymore.  I was given the run around for several days.  I was furious with them, and didn't want to pay the extra money out of principle, even though it was still the cheapest option around, even with the increase.  I had "some words" with a guy in corporate, and he implied I was lying.  He didn't say I was lying about this, but I told him he was making me feel like a lier since he wasn't believing me.  He didn't deny that.  Finally, I was able to go into the gym on a day when the new LA Fitness manager was sick, and the old Urban Active manager was there instead.  He fixed it, no questions asked.  Whew.  It is all good now.  Or is it?

Where am I going with this?  Well, as a result of all this frustration, I started looking into new clubs.  I mean, if they were going to jerk me around and not fix it, I wasn't going to stay there.  However, all the places I looked at were just as expensive, and the ones that were similar in price were much further away.  I really wanted to join the Y.  Funny, but our Y is more expensive because once you have 3 people on your membership, it is considered a family membership, where at Urban Active, you could get a single membership and add on up to 5 children for one $10/month charge (not the case anymore at LAF).  I have gone back and forth on the Y.  The one that Soren goes to to play soccer is a lot closer to our house, except it is on the opposite direction of Costco and Meijer.  I had been lamenting that there needed to be a gym by Costco and Meijer, so that I could spend less on gas.  Our gasoline bill is out of control every month.  I had calculated that I could save enough money in gas to make up for the more expensive Y membership, if I was going every day.  However, now that I only go 2 or 3 times per week instead of 5, I am not seeing that gas saving since I have to still go to Costco and Meijer every week, and I have to do them on separate trips.  With those places being in the opposite direct of the gym, it was the same amount of gas to go from the gym to Costco, instead of our house to costco.  I couldn't win. UNTIL THEY OPENED A GYM BY COSTCO!!!!  It is a Y, and while they have raised their rates even higher than I had last checked, they are hiring AND WILL LET ME BRING MY KIDS TO WORK WITH ME, for up to 3 hours per day!  My membership is free, and I just have to add on my family, which will be about the same as what I am paying.  I hope I can make this work out.  I have some stuff that I still need to do to be officially hired, like background check and drug testing, so I likely won't actually start until next week when everything comes back.  As a result, I won't have the opportunity to work before I can cancel my membership with LAF before being charged for February.  This is probably a good thing.  This will give me about a month to figure out if this is going to work out.  I would really hate to cancel my membership, struggle with balancing work and my own workouts, and then not be able to afford the Y membership, and be back to square 1 with the LAF folks.  The big thing is that I can only do 3 hours of either workouts or work per day.  They said they can be a little flexible with that, so hopefully I will be able to squeeze in an extra 30 minutes or so to hop in the pool and rinse off before getting the kids, or just be scheduled for 2.5 hours at a time to have that extra 30 minutes.  I have listed that I am not available while Soren is in school, so hopefully this won't impact my running at all.  It will just mainly be my swimming.  I do my biking at home on the trainer.  They will need me for a weekend shift, so hopefully that won't be too big of a cramp in my style.  They schedule a month out, so I should be able to list my race weekends, and even still work, after the race is over, and it isn't a big deal is I can't do one here or there. 

They hired me to be a Wellness Coach.  I think I can handle that.  It is mostly showing people how to use things on the fitness floor, and answering questions about the equipment.  I will need to get CPR certified, which they will do onsite.  They will also supply my tops, and I just need to supply black workout pants.  I think I have that under control.  I will be making just a tad over minumum wage, so not much at all, but it is better than nothing.  It should at least help pay for our rising healthcare costs as well as defray the costs of racing.  It will also get me out of the house, have me closer to home and shopping, and perhaps be that foot in the door for bigger and brighter posititions.  The kids will get to use the pool, as well as Ryan. 

Also, since I am doing the Run Less Run Faster, I am running less days a week.  The program really only calls for 5 workouts total, which is a lot less than I had been doing.  I still want to train for tris, so I can't completely skip out on the pool, but I am completely fine with my marathon training with only 1 swim per week, and one bike per week.  This means only 2 gym workouts, because I like to do my speedwork on the treadmill.  I would like to add back one more swim, so hopefully I can still do this even with the new job.  Also, there is a bigger range of childcare hours, so even on the days I don't work, I can bring Soren in before school on a Tuesday or Thursday and swim, then run while he goes to school.  That might sort of suck, but it is at least an option to get it all in. 

Right now I am feeling a bit crazy on this program.  I like that it is 3 workouts, but they are HARD!  Also, it is best to have a day off between them.  We are scheduled to be out of town the next two weekends in a row, and I am really freaking out about how I am going to fit everything in since I am supposed to cross train or rest between runs.  I did do my track workout yesterday, which I nailed, and my tempo workout today, which I also nailed, so I am feeling good about this week.  Next week might be more of a challenge because I will be gone Monday as well, so I will only have 4 days next week to squeeze it all in.  It is our anniversary, and we are going to be in a secluded cabin in the Greay Smoky National Forest.  I don't know that we are going to do much touristy stuff, so we might get some hiking or biking in.  I don't want to have to plan to run.

Sorry I haven't included any pictures in these last couple posts.  I dropped my digital camera and the screen broke.  Most of my photos are on my phone, and not the best quality, and not really related to the post anyway.  Now that I have a job, maybe I can get the screen fixed or just buy a new one.  Although at just over minumum wage, it will take me a little while.  Not quite like working for Fordm but it is better than nothing.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Run Less Run Faster Marathon Plan and basic goals for 2013

Sorry I haven't done any major recaps of 2012 or goals for 2013 yet.  Aside from just in general not keeping up on my blog, I got strep and most likely the flu over the time between Christmas and New Years.  I am on the mend, but I had to take additional time off, and have just wanted to sleep all the time.  Not that it is anything new that I want to sleep all the time, but I was sleeping a ton, and still felt that way. 

I am finally feeling more like a capable adult instead of a newborn, which is great, because I started the Run Less Run Faster marathon training plan this week in preparation for the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon at the end of April.  Wow, is all I can say.  It is hard.  I was freaking out about the first workout.  It was 3x1600m.  My least favorite speedwork ever, and at a 6:41 pace.  Oh dear.  I planned to do this workout on the treadmill so I could just set it to the speed and try to not fall off.  Well, on the first mile, I thought I was going to puke, but I made it through with no issues.  The minute rest FLEW by, and I had a coughing fit.  Sheesh.  The second mile, I made it halfway through, and had to hold onto the treadmill a couple times.  It sort of made it harder, because I couldn't swing my arms, but I also wasn't falling off.  The third mile was just plain ugly.  I had to alternate holding and letting go to make it through.  It totally kicked my butt, but I was so happy that I didn't need to stop the treadmill early during the intervals, or fall off.   I am sure watching the Biggest Loser helped.  You just tell yourself you can do it and you can, and I did (well, sort of, since I did hold on a bit).  Hopefully that was just because I was getting over being sick.  I will try harder next week, and I get to do 800s.  I am much better at 800s than 1600s.

Also, I am feeling more positive that this isn't a terrible idea because I totally NAILED today's workout.  I did my long run today while Soren was at school.  I was aprehensive because the weather report showed it forecasted to rain from today through Tuesday, and with me still not 100%, I was a bit worried that running in the rain would be detrimental.  It was dry at my house until I dropped Soren off for school.  Figures. My first mile in the light rain was a few seconds ahead of the 8:30 pace I was supposed to do.  My second mile, with the big uphill, was way slower.  Oh no!  Just keep trying and pushing, I told myself.  Don't give up on the pace just yet!  Thankfully, once I got to the flatter section, it stopped raining (or it just wasn't raining over here), and I struggled a bit with the first 4 miles, but then everything clicked.  I ventured into a new area for my 13 mile run, so that I could explore more options than just running back and forth on Old La Grange Road.  Instead of taking it until it ends on my side of the freeway, I jumped onto 146, which is what I normally use to ride on to get to the IM course from my house, and stayed on that until Old La Grange Road popped back up on the other side of the freeway.  The shoulder isn't super wide on 146, so I didn't love that part, and it was exactly far enough for me to run 6.5 miles from my house before I got to a good turn around spot.  I did have to cross a lot of railroad tracks.  Thankfully, I didn't get stopped by any trains.  It started to rain really hard on me the closer I got to my house.  That last mile, which is uphill, was brutal.  I was super excited to see that I finished up in 1:49:55, good enough for an 8:27 pace!  Sweet! My pace seemed a bit all over the place when I checked my garmin, but I was keeping track of my splits somewhat in my head, so I knew it would be pretty close, but was pleasantly surprised that it was under.

I have one more run this week, it is a tempo run.  2 miles warm up, 2 miles 7:14, and 2 miles cool down.  This should work nice outside.  It is about 2 miles to get to the flat part of Old LaGrange Road, so I can run on it a mile, turn around, and then head back.  I hope I can hit the paces I am supposed to.  Today's run showed me that I really am trying to do the right plan in the book.  I was worried after the first workout and being sick.  I have heard that in the beginning, it is really hard, but it is supposed to be to improve. 

Here is my tentative race schedule for 2013: BOLD are events that I have entered
Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon, 4/27/13, Louisville, KY
Horsey Hundred cycling event, TBD, 5/13, Georgetown, KY
Michigan Mountain Mayhem, 160K cycling event, 6/8/13, Boyne City, MI
Triceratops Triathlon, 6/19/13, Brighton, MI
Cardinal Half Triathlon, 7/15/2013, Louisville, KY
Tree Farm Relay, 7/13, Novi, MI
Oldham County Mini Triathlon, 9/13, Buckner, KY
Columbus Half Marathon, 10/20/13, Columbus, OH
Louisville Sports Commission Half Marathon 11/13, Louisville, KY

I am making an effort this year to do more local races.  This should save me a lot of gas money, and the stress and time of traveling.  Please don't tell my mom that I have  the Columbus Marathon down because it is still just tentative.  I actually think doing it next year might be a good idea, because I ran my first marathon there in 2004, so going back in 2014 would be cool, right?  There are lots of half marathons in the fall here, and I think there is usually one in Indianapolis on the Saturday before, so that is also on the table.  I wouldn't mind going back to Indy with the family, but it is always difficult to go to a race with my family unless I have friends going too, so that I can get a ride over to the start.  This is another reason why I want to do more local races, so that it doesn't disrupt my weekends as much.  A lot of the dates have not yet been posted for the KY races, so this will likely change.