Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I'm Baaack!

Okay, so being sick took a lot out of me - I haven't been that sick in a while!  But I'm officially finishing the antibiotic tomorrow and I went back to work yesterday.  Since I'd spent about ten days on the couch, I thought it best to put off my first run back until today.

My thinking is that I'll repeat week 4, which was the last week I was doing, because I haven't run in two weeks. Since I wasn't that far along on the 5k program, two weeks is a LOT of time.  But I was determined to do week four, no matter how slowly I ran, which meant I was doing three minutes running, 90 seconds walking, five minutes running, two and a half minutes walking, three minutes runnings, 90 seconds walking, five minutes running.


Fortunately, I had a nice day for it.  It's not advisable to get right back into running on a very cold day if you have lung issues like I do, particularly if you're just getting over semi-bronchitis, because the cold air is very hard on your lungs.  It's been chilly here again, but by mid-day here, it was 51 degrees and sunny - perfect!

It was also windy, and you know how much I love the wind. Not.  But anyway, I started to come up with excuses not to run today, but I finally just told myself to shut up and went out to do it anyway.

It was definitely a brutal run.  The first three minutes were killer, and I was sure I wouldn't be able to do five minutes straight.  But I really paced myself and pushed myself to do it.  And I did!  Sure, I felt like vomiting by the time I was done, but I could still breathe, mostly, and it felt good to be back to running.

Last night, when I was sitting on the couch, my legs were so on edge.  That seems to go away when I'm running regularly, so it was definitely a sign to me to get back out there!

I can tell I lost some muscle too while I was sick because my legs are really feeling the run tonight.  But that's a great feeling to have - it means I did something that warrants sore muscles!

So this week, it looks like I'm doing runs today, Thursday and Saturday morning - then I leave for another trip. This one's in Orlando, where it's been quite warm. If it's warm and humid, I'll probably run inside (I've already checked to make sure they have a gym), but if it's not too humid, I'll be running on the jogging trail that's on the property where I'm staying.  It will be nice to have some real sunshine!  It's been quite a while.

Let's hope I don't pick up anything else on my flights this time, and can keep running.  I got a postcard the other day for the River to Bay 5k in May, and I REALLY would like to do it.  I would just be about up to 5k distance by then, which would be pushing it, but I think it would be nice to get back into racing, even if I'm not very competitive!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sick as a Dog

Hi all - I just wanted to give you a quick update. I'm taking a running break because it turns out I have a bad sinus infection, and the beginnings of bronchitis.  I really miss running, surprisingly, particularly when it was in the 70's last week, but I'm just not able to do anything more strenuous than hang out on the couch all day.  I hope to be back to running on Monday, and I'm planning to repeat week 4, since I will have lost five running days by then.

I'm hoping that I'll be in 5k shape to do the Bridge to Bay 5k again this year.  We'll see how things go my first week back.  Keep your fingers crossed that the medicine continues to kick this bug and I'm all better by Monday!

Friday, March 18, 2011

For Japan, With Love

Thanks to Mandy over at Mommy Musings for the link and button:

One week ago, I was in Hanoi when news broke of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan.  One of our Japanese clients was with our group, and he was fortunate to be able to get news quickly that his family and colleagues were all okay, although they all had to walk home from the office - which took some of them more than ten hours.  There are many heartbreaking and uplifting stories coming from Japan, and the thing I keep thinking is that this is when we need to join together and offer our help.

So take a moment today to send a prayer, or make a donation.  The American Red Cross is one option, or click the link attached to the photo below to head over to For Japan With Love, which has raised almost $40,000 for Shelterbox.

I'll be back with new posts hopefully next week - I'm battling a post-travel chest cold that's keeping me from running!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Running in Hanoi

So my crazy internet issues followed me from Paris to Hanoi, where I could only get internet access sitting in the hotel lobby, or with my laptop sitting in an open window in my room.  Delightful.

However, that didn't mean I wasn't running!

I didn't run on Wednesday as originally planned, because we got into Hanoi a bit later than I thought, to the hotel a bit later than we expected, and then our rooms weren't ready.  So by the time I went to take a nap (I didn't sleep one wink during the two flights of a total of 13 hours), it was 3pm.

So I slept until 9:30, and went back to bed at two.

But Thursday morning, I woke bright and early at 6:30.  Since I was up, I thought I'd check out the gym - I knew that if I didn't go for a run pretty quickly, I would just skip them all.  I managed to find out what my assigned run for the morning was (3 minutes running, 90 seconds walking, five minutes running, 2 1/2 minutes walking, 3 minutes running, 90 seconds walking, five minutes running).

Despite the jet lag, I was able to do it - and it actually made me feel much less tired.  I found that to be true the whole time I was away actually; sweating really made me much more awake and energized.  Who knew? ;)

My schedule this week was pretty jam packed, so I knew I'd need to get another run in on Friday at some point.  And I realized that I wouldn't be arriving back in the states until 11am on Monday morning, so I really should try to get another run in on Sunday as well.

Friday's run was another good one - really tiring, but it made me feel great.  I worked out all three days at the hotel gym rather than running outside.  The hotel had a nice running trail on a map in the rooms, but I'd have to cross the street to get to it, and if you've ever been to Hanoi, you know that one of the most treacherous things you can do is cross the road!

So instead, I opted for the gym treadmills, which worked fine (though I could tell the first day that it was a bit easier than what I had been doing outside).  I put on my music, plugged in my workout, and off I went.

However, because of internet trouble, I didn't know what the first workout for week 5 was supposed to be.  Instead of skipping it altogether, I did week 4's workout again, and figured I'll just delay week five start until Wednesday.  I don't lose time because I still ran, but I don't want to try to jump right into day two, week five, since day three, week five is that sneaky 20-minute run.

It actually was a good place for me to get exercise, Hanoi.  I was staying on the second floor of the hotel, and there were stairs to get there, so unless I was carrying something heavy like a suitcase, I almost always took the stairs.  We also walked around a lot, and on Saturday afternoon, we headed to a village on the outskirts of the city for an hour-long bike ride through the rice paddies and village.  It was fabulous, and no small workout (parts of it were uphill).  So between that, and my limited diet there because I'm so picky about eating, it was a good trip for me healthwise.

Unfortunately, I still didn't get nearly enough sleep.  The hotel in Paris was super uncomfortable for sleeping, and the hotel in Hanoi was much better, but I didn't always have the time.  So I'm planning to sleep on my second flight tonight - I flew from Hanoi to Kuala Lumpur (about 2 1/2 hours) and the next flight is KL to Charles de Gaulle, about 13 hours.  Then, I still have one more flight to JFK before I am back in the states! I'm tired just thinking about it.

It was a great trip, and if you'd like to read more about the travel part, my blog posts are over at http://www.travelblog.org/bloggers/lextraveler.  But I am looking forward to being home, in my own bed, and running in some (hopefully) good weather!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Running in Paris

Thanks to crazy internet issues, this post is late in being published, but I wrote it on Monday - I wanted to add a photo I took, but I'm currently sitting in the lobby of the hotel in Hanoi, since it's the only place I can access the internet, so it will have to wait for another time!

I know you’re all wondering whether I skipped my run on Friday or not, since I didn’t post anything…well, I didn’t.  It was a really hectic day, trying to finish up getting packed and ready for my trip and heading up to my parents’, but I got up early and forced myself to go. 

I felt great afterwards, but the run itself was another terrible one.  I was just so tired and sore, starting out.  Unfortunate.

Then, today was my run in Paris.  I was nervous about it, since I’ve never run outside in a foreign country (and I’ve been to over 20 countries in the last six years or so, so you understand how little I have been running!). 

I initially intended to run first thing this morning, but because the beds are hard as rock and thanks to jet lag, I didn’t fall asleep until about 4.  So the 8 am wakeup wasn’t looking so hot.  Instead, we headed out around 11 after breakfast and walked to the Champs Elysees where we wandered around for a little while.  It’s been chilly here (and I forgot my coat, of course), so I was definitely cold, but it was nice in the sun. 

I talked my dad into walking back to the hotel as well, and it felt good to be out in the fresh air after being cooped up so long all winter, and on the plane. 

When we got back, I decided to head out for my run. I had a pretty good idea of where the park was thanks to our drive in and walking around earlier, so I went in that direction.  It was only a couple of blocks away, but was much smaller than I thought it was –no big deal, I just did some laps. 

Today’s program called for 3 minutes running, 90 seconds walking, 5 minutes running, 2 ½ minutes walking, 3 minutes running, 90 seconds walking, and 5 minutes running again.  I wasn’t sure how I’d manage after the long walk this morning, and being tired and jet lagged, but I thought I’d give it a shot, but cut myself a break if I needed to.

I definitely felt the run, but today, the pain was good.  I pushed myself a little to start with, because it was so nice out, and that was a mistake, but overall the run was a great one. The weather was perfect, I was dressed warmly enough, and it was nice to run a little on pavement and a little on dirt – give my poor knees a break!

Unfortunately, a group of young kids were there on some sort of exercise assignment with their teacher or coach, and THEY were running as well. I ran by them a couple of times as they were hanging out in their group, and I could have sworn that their teacher/coach told them to “chase the slow lady” – because a couple of them blew past me!   Ah, to be young and have boundless energy.

I just reminded myself that I’m building my endurance back up, and stuck with my little plan!
So now I’m back in the hotel and needing to take a bath (no shower here) and get ready for this evening’s wedding!  Au revoir!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Back to Back Runs Kick my Butt

I always forget how much I dislike running on back to back days.  But despite being tired and sore today (both from yesterday's run, and smashing the door into my heel...and then this morning, running my quad into the corner of a chair and causing an awesome bruise), I just could not figure out how to get around running today.  If I want to finish this week out, it was better to get the back to back run out of the way today then to wait for tomorrow and Friday.

So off running I went.

And this run totally kicked my butt.  My legs were just not cooperating, no matter what pace I tried to find.  The only upside to today is that it's ridiculously beautiful out (minus the strong wind). So there really was no excuse not to get out there.

And now that I'm back, although I'm tired and definitely feeling it, I'm glad I went.  It cleared my head and it was nice to get out in the sunshine for a little bit, and away from the glare of my computer monitor.  And I feel good about making myself go instead of slacking off.

So today was another 90 seconds running/walking, 3 minutes running/walking times two, and Friday is the same.  Let's hope I start to feel like I'm building some endurance up soon, because I just feel beat down every time I'm running.

I decided to look back at my posts from the same week of running I did back in 2009, and I was disappointed to realize that I'm about a week behind where I thought I was at this time of year!  No wonder I've been feeling like I don't have very much time before the April 5ks start!

Interestingly, after the second run of week 3 in 2009, I was actually starting to feel like I liked running.  I'm not so much feeling that today - I am really enjoying the post-run endorphins and feeling that I actually accomplished something instead of sitting on my butt, but I'm still not having fun during the actual run.  I hope that will come back.  I just need to find my motivation again!

(PS, this cartoon is also from the same post two years ago!)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Today's Run and Upcoming Plans

Today, it was time to ramp up the time again on the run - it worked out to being the same amount of time running, I think, but there were longer intervals.  The program called for 90 seconds running, 90 second walking, three minutes running, three minutes walking twice.

Woo. It was killer.

It seems so silly - particularly since I ran a 10k at one point - that 3 minutes of running felt so exhausting.  But it did.

However, I'm glad I ran today. I didn't run yesterday because I was traveling back from my parents' and was ridiculously exhausted - I finally got a little sleep on Sunday night (on Saturday night, I fell asleep around 5am), but I was still so tired overall.  Last night, I got about nine hours of sleep, which was glorious.  I'm still catching up for two weeks of insomnia, so I think it will take me all week to recover.

And then, I go to Europe and Asia for business.  So jet lag will get me all over again.

This is also the first time I'm planning to run while I'm away.  Usually, I don't want to also have to pack my running clothes (with a million functions while I'm away, I usually have to pack about three outfits per day. No joke).  Plus, I don't like doing things out of my comfort zone, and running in an unfamiliar place falls into that category.

But I really don't want to lose my momentum here, so I'm making plans.  First, we're headed to Paris for a wedding of two of my clients.  We're staying in a hotel without a gym, so I looked up some local routes and found that there's a park nearby, with a lake, and a 5k route that someone posted.  That's a good place to run on Monday morning.

Then, I'm heading to Hanoi, Vietnam and fortunately, there's a gym in the hotel.  Unfortunately, that's when the busy-ness of my week really ramps up.  So I've got to motivate myself to head to gym for a run on Wednesday night after hopefully catching up on some sleep thanks to flying from Paris to Hanoi on Tuesday into Wednesday.  And I've got to try to fit in a run in the two hours I have to relax and get ready for dinner between our afternoon and evening events on Friday.

I'll also be doing a leisurely bike ride through the Vietnam countryside outside of Hanoi on Saturday afternoon - and I'm actually really excited about that.  Plus, it's some good cross-training.

So I've got two more runs this week - tomorrow, so I can keep on schedule since I moved yesterday's run to today.  And Friday morning, before I head up to my parents' for the trip to Paris.

And in klutzy news, I managed to give myself a very minor injury this afternoon - coming back from the run, I let the heavy storm door at the front of my house scrape along my achilles tendon.  That really stung and is still a bit sore, particularly since it rubs right against the back of my shoe.  Good times.