Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Moving Hurts

All this sudden influx of activity is definitely affecting my muscles. This morning, I woke up with back soreness which I assume is from wildly flailing in front of the kinect.

But I kind of enjoy muscle soreness from a workout in a weird masochistic way? I just feel accomplished when my muscles are sore the day after a workout.

Today was a rest day from running, because I met up with my parents' friend for a tennis lesson at 7AM. Here's a small picture of me blending into the background.
Don't worry, I didn't wear the same shirt again. This picture is just from last time. 
Today's lesson started off fun but by the end, I never wanted to look at a tennis ball again. I'm not being ungrateful. I know people pay a lot of money for private tennis lessons that I'm now getting for free.

But two hours and twenty minute of a private lesson? It was a little too much and way too tiring.

Part of it was my fault. I had a little too much pride to say that I was tired. So I kept on smiling and swinging. And now it's hard to think about anything other than sleeping. And I'm rhyming.

So here's a nicer random photo that I took at the beach for you to enjoy while I sleep.
A doggy water fountain! What a fun idea. 
Happy Wednesday! 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Confession time

I have somewhat of a shameful confession to make.

I can't really drive. At 21, it's kind of shocking that I can't drive, but I am sort of afraid of it.

I got my license when I was 16, but because of how expensive the insurance was, once I got my license, I didn't get to drive at all. And then the whole college thing happened. Now, I am insured during the break, but I much prefer to walk or run. So I've only driven a few times during breaks. And since I'm only home for about 6 weeks out of the entire year, this means driving is not my friend.

But today, I think I finally sort of overcame that fear. I wanted to go get bubble tea with a friend, but the only way to get there was by driving or having my brother drive me there and then pick me up later. Thanks to my cheapness (didn't want to spend extra gas by having my brother go back and forth twice), and my love for bubble tea friend, I just did it.

I thought about it like a tempo work out. Instead of obsessing at home for hours, I just went out and drove an unfamiliar route for the first time. Considering how I never drive and I've never really driven alone, it was a big feat for me.

I did make a 15 minute drive 30 minutes by getting lost both ways, but now I know that I can drive by myself with no real problems. About time!
And we took this kind of blurry, bad quality photo. 
And played kinect games, which was hard since I'd already gotten in my workout of 5 miles at 9:38/mile pace this morning. We actually took about 10 photos and the above was the best one. Yup, the others were horrific and blurry. 
Proof  that I got all sweaty this morning. If you'd seen me in person, you would also see the dirt marks all over my white shirt as a courtesy of my dog. 
Does kinect count as cross training? Because I was sweatier than I was from my easy run.

I hope your day is going swimmingly. And does anyone know of how to get rid of tightness in calves? Mine are killing me. Rest day tomorrow!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Conquering the Long Run

I finally got a long run in. It was about time after weeks of not running.

I had originally planned on getting in 8 miles. I ended up completing 7.56 miles at 9:05/mile pace. It was awesome! I know it's not super fast or anything, but after all the stupid things that I did, the run exceeded expectations.

First of all, I was super sore from the three mile run on Friday and tennis yesterday. I feel so wimpy getting sore from a 3 mile run, but that's the sad truth these days. And tennis made me incredibly sore in weird places like my forearm.

And then I made the mistake of not eating. I didn't wake up as early as I would have liked. I usually tag along with my brother when he goes surfing. and while he surfs, I run on the bike path along the beach. I usually have cereal, but today I just didn't have time to.
A nice flat route that goes on for miles. Yay! 
So all things considered, 7.56 miles at 9:05/mile pace? It was a miracle. A Christmas miracle. 

The run itself was great. Even though I was running on empty, I felt strong and saw lots of neat things. Like this boat for sale. If only I had $2500 extra dollars and dock space. 
That baby could be all mine. 
 I also made a froggy friend that I named Albert. I liked him so much that I tried to take a self picture with him, which failed horriblly. 

You can't even tell he's a frog in this picture. If only I had super long arms. 
All in all, it was a great morning run. And I'm starting to think maybe I won't die en route to the finish line come Jan 15. I might make it out of the race alive and running. 

Hope everyone has a wonderful start to their week! And what gets rid of muscle soreness? 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Back in California

After a hectic few days of packing and flying, I am finally back home with my family in California on winter break. Which means back to regularly scheduled programming of running and blogging.

Yesterday, to celebrate my first day of being home and because my parents insist on waking me up before 7AM on breaks, I went for a first morning run in a while.
It's hard to look happy when tired. 
I ambitiously thought I would do 4miles. But then almost immediately, I started having stomach cramps and felt super thirsty.

I also sped off at 8:07/mile pace for the first mile. My body was probably thinking "Yay flat road and sea level elevation," instead of remembering the month of little running. I stopped a few times during the rest of the run to slow the pace and to stretch out the heaviness out of my legs. In the end, I covered 3.2 miles at 8:28/mile pace which is a great pace for me. But probably not a good idea.

Today, I was planning on running, but my parents convinced me to go get lessons from a family friend for tennis. So no morning run, but tennis was a harder work out than I thought.
Yeah, I'm wearing the same top. But it's been washed, I promise
Not as good as running, but cross training is always good, right?

I hope everyone's having a good weekend! And having less of a trouble with training. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Not quite back yet

Sorry I've been majorly MIA. For more than a week, I didn't post anything or even comment on anyone's post.

My google reader has 300+ unread items.

I also haven't ran in a too long of a time unless you count yesterday, when I had to bring a book to a friend and I thought I could brave the elements in shorts and flip flops in central NY. Not the best idea I've had, but I did run like a pack of wolves were chasing me.

But I am almost back to regularly scheduled running, posting, and reading other blogs. I just have one more final left. I like to conserve my energy toward possible all-nighters instead of running during finals time. Running makes me sleepy. And then I'll be back home in sunny California.
I am not actually riding a real moped. 
I am quite excited to read about everyone's adventures in about 30 hours after my last bioprocess test ever. And I will scarily be a second semester senior. Yikes!

And when I'm not studying, I've been playing with my brand new ipod touch. I just downloaded the smart coach app and nike training app. I really like the smart coach app. It tells me what run I should be doing and makes me feel guilty. It's also telling me that there's only 29 days left until my goal race, which I'm definitely not ready for. 

But since I laid down some big bucks for it, I will die or PR. 

So any good fitness apps that I should be downloading? Bonus points if it's free, because I'm a poor college student. :P I will see you all after my finals! 

Monday, December 5, 2011

I've been lazy

Once I break a habit, I find it so much harder to get back into it. Now, five miles seem daunting. Which is a problem since there's the whole birthday race thing that's coming up. 

To ease my conscience, I've tried to do at least one active thing every day.
Poor board. Totally looks like it might break. 

Long boarding is fun. 
Unfortunately long boarding isn't part of the HBBC point system. Oh well. I have a sad number of points so far. But I WILL kick it up this week. 

 But on my personal activity tracking, I decided to label long boarding as core work. It takes some sort of core strength to balance on these bad boys. So that counts, right? I'm just going to imagine everyone nodding yes. 

On the bright side, there's no more shin pain or any other running pain. So now there's no more excuse and  I'm going to kill my training from now on. 

How do you stay motivated? Do you find it hard to get back into something after a long break? 

Friday, December 2, 2011

I went for a run

It finally happened. It was about time for a short 3 miler. 

I'm weirdly stubborn about unimportant things. Technically, I was going to go for the three mile run yesterday when it was sunny and warm. I had planned on wearing shorts. Then the weird nap thing happened and the run didn't. So today I was determined to wear shorts no matter the weather. So that's how running in shorts in 30 degress weather happened. 

But I didn't just shorts it. I'm not that hardcore. From reading Ali's blog, I knew that some runners pair leg warmers with shorts. 
I pulled it all the way up, so that it looked more like compression sleeves. 
The best part? No one could tell that I've been lax on the shaving. Score! Don't worry. It's all taken care of now. 

After the run, I went and visited the bf. And found this . . . 
Yes, that's duct tape. We are classy here. 
My bf and his housemates are all engineers. Four years and $200,000 each of engineering education  later, this is what they do when the freezer door doesn't close. 

I also went to a dinner party celebrating the last day of classes. This will be my last fall semester. Freaky! 

I hope you guys had a great week. And have a great weekend! 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I am back

It's the last week of school and finally all the projects are done. Now all there's left is to bang out three tests and wrap up my research project. Easier said than done, but yay. And I also somehow have to figure out what I want for my life and try to find a job. Yikes! Despite the fact that I always complain about tests and hw  come May, I feel like you'll have to drag me away from my little sheltered college world.
College land is pretty. That's our art museum. 
It's sort of worrying that even in this unreal world of academics, I still have a hard time fitting in running. To everyone who goes to grad school, has a job, and/or has babies and runs, kudos to you. In fact, I haven't run in more than a week. It's not even the time commitment that prevents me from running. It's that if I know that I have to stay up past 4AM, I don't want to expand more energy than is strictly necessary.
But there's always time and energy for a super Asian pose.  Always. 
But I was determined to run today. Even though I felt like the walking dead. I was lurching around moaning for brains AKA Starbucks. Thank God for seasonal flavors that I can try out. Let's just say that last night, I spent 15 hours straight, except for a 10 minute where I went out to grab dinner, in Olin Hall (chemical engineering building at my school).

However, I slept through an alarm and by the time I woke up from my nap, it was getting too dark. But dammit I was going to get some exercise tonight.

So, I went for a little night walk through campus.
A little arm work out. 

This was what I was going for. Not the wild flailing that I'm doing with my legs. 
And best of all, I got to wear matching leg warmers with my sweatshirt. I love the legwarmer poking out from the tops of boots look. Which inspired me to do a dancey pose. 
It looked better in my head.  
I am definitely running tomorrow. Happy Friday everyone and may your garmins catch signal quickly! 

Monday, November 28, 2011

21 Things

Thanksgiving was great. As you probably noticed, I took a complete break. I did some cross-training, but didn't run or blog. Or read blogs. Unfortunately, I became sick during the weekend, so no running for me for a while.

But while I'm not running, Tall Mom, has tagged me to do a 21 things about me post. And since all the cool kids were doing it, I decided to do one.

1. I like fashion, but I lack fashion sense. Good thing I don't own a fashion blog. For some reason, I can't match and pair a good outfit.
I usually have shirt, jeans, and sneakers on. 

2. I am easily inspired by words. So reading blogs about people running is a great motivator for me to keep on running.

3. I am not a huge fan of drinking and that kind of shenanigans. There seems to be a lot of running bloggers who also like a glass of sangria or too. Unfortunately, I'm not one of them. I just dislike the taste, and no matter what I mix it with, I can't get into it. 

4. I am still not sure what I want to do with my life. But graduation is drawing nearer and real life is getting scarier. 

5. I am obsessed with bubble tea. I used to go almost everyday. But the whole no job thing has caused me to cut back. 
If you can't see, I am holding bubble tea. 

6. I enjoy writing creatively. It would be amazing to be a writer, but I don't think I have enough talent to pursue that line of career full time.

7. I first took up running, because I wanted to spend more time with my dad. He told me that I can tag along on his run if I can keep up with him for 20 minutes. This was during elementary school. From then, running was always something that I could do at least for 20 minutes. 

8. I moved a lot. Not as much as someone from a military family, but more than an average person probably. I was born in South Korea. I then moved to NJ, WI, CA, and now I'm in NY. 

9. I love figure skating. I've wanted to do it since high school, but by then I was too old and the lessons were too expensive. Luckily, I go to a college where they offer figure skating classes.
Not very good, but I'm at least comfortable on the ice now. 

10. I dropped out of kindergarten. Yup. I'm a kindergarten drop out. What a delinquent. But I did start up first grade with  my peers after dropping out.

11. I get obsessed with things. Once, I spent an entire week making felt, miniature stuffed animals. I had dozens! I also get obsessed with knitting at least once during the winter. I knit day and night and finish a long scarf in a weekend. I have problems. 

12. I love poetry by Billy Collins. I like poetry that show me a different way to see the world.
Litany might be my favorite work of his. You should check it out.

13. Lately, I've been thinking about where I want to settle down and develop my career on the basis of which city has the best races. Obsess much?

14. My favorite animals are giraffes. Don't know why. But I love them. I now have a quite sizable collection of them.

15.One of the best parts about Christmas is going to see the Christmas decorations on houses with my family. I just have happy memories of walking down streets lit up by cheery lights and decorations.

16. I would love to have a dog once I settle down in one place. Right now, the top contender is a shiba inu.
I love the way that they smile. I love using pinterest to get my shiba fill for the day. 

17. I have dreams of one day taking gymnastics classes. One of the things that I'd love to be able to do before death is to do a front and back hand spring. I also want to be a good dancer before I die, but the hand spring thing is probably easier.
I'd love to be able to do this. But the closest I can get to dancing like a pro is looking up photos on pinterest. 

18. I love it when people give me their insights on life and their way of living. I find them so inspiring and useful. 

19.  I dislike mysteries unless it's a Sherlock type of mystery. I find Sherlock logic fascinating and admirable. I'm not as big of a fan of finding who murdered whom with use of DNA tests and etc. 

20. I am stubborn and have a hard time listening to others. (At least I know it? So that I can fix it?) When I was 7 and all my other friends wanted to be a nurse, I wanted to be a doctor so that I'd be in charge. 

21. I am a fairly reserved person. Finding 21 things about myself was very difficult. I just couldn't find anything interesting that I thought others might find interesting or at least quirky. 

And now I'm tagging, the most recent people to comment on my blog. Since I'm not quite sure who reads my blog regularly. 

And whoever is reading this post! 

Have a great Monday!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Forgetting things

Today was supposed to be my tempo day. I didn't want to get out and do it, but I was planning on just forcing myself to go. I just told myself, "get out the door and see what happens."

The weather was cold. And I set out faster than I intended just to warm up. Midway through my warm up mile, I noticed that something was odd. More specifically, somethings were bouncier than they were supposed to be.

I debated turning back to change into my sports bra. But the weather wasn't great and I didn't think I would venture out again if I went back.

So I set out to do some easy three miles. I ended up keeping a fairly brisk pace (brisk for me) of 8:26/mile. It also started raining a mile into the run reducing visibility. I guess it worked out for the best that I skipped a workout run.

I probably had the tempo miles in me. But after four hours of sleep, and rock star fueling (thanks to genetics prelim), it was nice to "rest."
Clearly studying hard . 
The run was a great way to kick off the Thanksgiving weekend. I probably will take it easy this week, because my shins have been feeling sorer than usual. 

I hope everyone's week is progressing nicely. And do you ever forget important things for a run? Do you usually head back or just go with it? 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Best Dream Ever!

Don't you hate it when you have a super realistic dream? Then you wake up and the sad reality hits.

I had one of those moments this morning. This dream was so good that I tried to get back into it by lying in bed for thirty extra minutes thinking about the dream. 

In my dream, I ran a 2:09:00 marathon. I just pushed myself really hard and at one point, I ran next to Kara Goucher. After I finished, the media surrounded me and asked me about my training and etc. And all I could say was, I don't know. I just went for it. And because I was an elite runner, Kara Goucher and Ryan Hall were my best friends. Additionally, everyone loved me, because it was like a Cinderella story except with athletics. 

After I ran the marathon, my first thought was "Yay, I have a BQ!" Then after a few days, I had another marathon coming up. But I was really afraid, because what if the first race was a fluke? The second race started off badly and I ended up dropping out after a mile. People tried to comfort me by saying that my longest training run so far had been 12 miles, and for that I really did well in the first marathon. And that the next will be better. 

Needless to say, when I woke up, I was extremely disappointed. I was still my chemical engineering student self who has yet to break 2 hours in a half marathon.
I wish this was me crossing the finish line at 2:09:00 for the marathon. 
But thanks to that dream, I went out and conquered my long run of 12 miles. The course was hilly and I was not keeping the pace for a 2:09 marathon, but I didn't give up even when the going got hard. I wanted to quit after six miles, but I kept chugging along and kept a fairly even pace and averaged 9:22/mile.
My school has an arboretum that my long runs always pass through. 
Do you ever have running dreams? Or dreams that you wish would never end? Sorry for lack of photos, but you can't take photos of dreams. What a shame. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Running without a watch

Today, I was forced to run without a garmin. I briefly considered waiting for it to charge, but I didn't want to risk not going for a run at all. So, I forced my bf to accompany for the first three miles. If I couldn't spend the run obsessing over my mile splits and distance, I needed distraction
I made him go even though he didn't have long workout pants. I'm a fantastic girlfriend. 
But turns out, running without numbers might be the best thing ever. 

In the beginning, I slowed down instead of pushing it. There was no watch telling me that I was running slowly, so I just took it easy. 
I even sat down on a bench that I've always wanted to try sitting on. I hadn't been missing out on much. It was cold and not very comfy. 
It was also good to slow down because my bf has been experiencing some pain in his achilles tendon area. He's had it for weeks. Anyone know what that could be caused by? Or what to do to treat it? 

After 2 miles, he decided to walk home and I set out to run a little longer. My legs settled into a nice rhythm and I enjoyed the alone time. I ended up completing 5.44 miles at an unknown pace. I wanted to run longer, but the light was fading and I was sort of dressed in darks. Great for stealth attacks, but not so great for night running. 
My hair is black too. I could totally be a ninja.

All in all, I am very happy. At times like these, I am so thankful to be a runner. Especially since I may have had a giant cotton candy for lunch that needed to be burned off. 

Tell me, do you always run with a garmin? What was your favorite running moment of the week? 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Winter is here

And I kind of miss fall. 
Path that I always walk by on the way to class
Today was the first real snow fall of the season. And while I love snow, I will miss all the pretty leaves.
This is the prettiest tree in the engineering quad. We are good friends. 
I was thankful that I got my run in before the snow thing happened. Not that it snowed hard, but now I get to stay warm and under the covers. 

The run itself was disappointing. I was planning on doing 3x1 mile intervals at 7:37/mile with 0.5 mile rest in between. But I somehow lost steam in the middle of it. I know that I can do it. I knocked out a 5K, 3.1 consecutive miles, in 7:34/mile. This should have been easy. 
See? I'm not lying. It's documented. 
However, for whatever reason, I couldn't keep up the pace. I would like to think that it was the three hours of sleep I got last night. But probably it was a combination of my weak will, exhaustion, and the fact that I haven't ran much in the last week. On the bright side, I did get in 4.36 miles. 

The weird part was that after deciding to not complete my intervals, I couldn't bring my pace down to my normal easy pace. I ran the first mile at 9:20 as a warm up, and ran the rest of the miles at a 8:12/mile pace. 

So it's sort of like a tempo. Right? Right? 

Tomorrow, I am definitely shooting for slower miles in preparation for this weekend's long run. 
Winter in California. Definitely different than winter in NY. Doesn't it look like my dad has a halo? 

Happy FRIDAY!!!! I'm excited about sleeping. Lots of sleeping. What are you guys excited about? 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My Wild Tuesday

Sorry that I haven't posted anything in a while. For no reason at all, I just took a break from life for the weekend. I did not go run or do anything particularly productive. I just did the things that I HAD to do for school. I was planning on running during the weekend, but I just wasn't feeling it. So it's been 5 days since my last run, and today I was more than ready to come back to the running world.

Although now even though the desire is here, thanks to my last round of prelims, I am actually unsure of how much actual running will get done.
Yay running! 

Before college, I wondered what it would be like. I thought it would be filled with wild nights like Wasted Wednesdays, Thirsty Thursdays, and just plain old weekend partying. But I did not magically turn into a party girl with college. I'd still much prefer salted caramel mocha at Starbucks to a cocktail.

And now that I am a runner, my wild Tuesday night is going for a run the day before a prelim. 
Look at this wildchild go. Partying it up with a run. 
And posing awkwardly on purpose.
We can't take credit for this awkward pose. We saw someone do it online. It doesn't look as bad because he's wearing workout clothes, but the guy online had a suit on.  
So now I am all recharged and whatnot. And ready to take on more studying. 
Parting shot of my school at night. 
I hope you guys are having a great week! 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Dreadful Tempo

So, after getting your input on the training plan, I decided to do the laziest thing possible. I decided to try out the Smart Coach at Runner's World. Since I only had about 9 weeks of training left, I didn't feel like tweaking Higdon's plan. I figured, Smart Coach will just automatically adjust whatever plan it had. It also told me exactly what pace I should run.

Me and my new lover, the foam roller. Instead of lazying around after my run, I roll out my legs  for about a minute. I am that diligent. 
Unfortunately, Smart Coach had a tempo run scheduled for Wednesday. I procrastinated and pushed the run to yesterday. All day, I kept on giving myself little pep talks. If I can run a 5K in 7:34/mile pace, I can pump out four miles at the prescribed 8:09/min pace.

I would just like to say that I beasted it. It was hard for me mentally to complete the run especially at mile 4, but I pushed through it. I mean by the time I was on the third tempo mile, there was no way in hell that I was going to give up and do the run some other day. I didn't want my first two tempo miles to have been for nothing. After a mile warm up at 10:08, I was able to pick it up for first tempo mile and ran it at 8:04. Miles 2, 3, and 4 were 8:06, 8:04, and 7:48 respectively.
This is my beast pose. It's a little awkward, but  I can't take good photos of myself. 
The best part about the whole run was that after the miles, for my cool down I ran the last mile at 8:49, which felt really slow. In total, I went for 6.25 miles with an average pace of 8:31/mile.

One thing though was that I purposely picked a flatter route. Is that cheating?
A lot flatter than my usual runs. 
Have a great Friday everyone! 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Training Plan

PRing is hard work. I know that I can't just run whenever I feel like at whichever paces I feel like and expect to hit my goal time. But finding a right training plan is so hard.

For the Oak Tree Half, I found my training plan by checking out two years worth of Runner's World Magazine from the school library. Then I went through each issue cover to cover in the span of two days. Luckily for me, I found a perfect six week plan with a day of intervals, a day of tempo, and a day of long run. And I followed that plan like the world was going to end if I didn't.
Sort of like this, but less hardcore. Since the training was during the summer. And also at the beach. 
But now, I have an important race coming up, but no training plan.  Every time I think about having to hit certain paces for a tempo or intervals, I get stressed out and lose the motivation to run. I think I can't, before I even step out the door. I think that for my first half, there was less stress to PR, because I could have ran that half in 5 hours and it still would have been a PR. Additionally, I did most of my training runs by the beach in Cali.
Elevation profile of my run at the beach. It changes maybe about 40ft at most. 

Elevation profile of my runs now. It changes around 300ft. 
Since I don't have easy access to a track or a treadmill, and even if I did, I wouldn't want to run my longer intervals on the track, the hills are daunting. 

This also is probably why I had such a hard time at Oak Tree Half. I went from sea level flat training runs to higher altitude hilly course. 

My point is that I don't know what to do about a training plan. It would be nice to have one, but at the same time, I am afraid of not being able to hit my paces. These are the times when I wish I had a coach telling me what to do. 
Exactly my problem. 
How do you guys find a training plan? How do you keep yourself from being intimidated by the specific paces that you hope to hit?