Monday, July 30, 2012

Not the best person

So I'm not the best person in the morning. As much of a morning person as I am, I still am cranky in the morning and want to jump back in bed. For me, I just call myself a morning person because I can't stay awake past 10:30PM.

This morning, my mean girl was out in full force. I did not end up running my planned 5 miles during the weekend. By the time I wake up at 9AM on weekends, it's way too hot to run outside. So I got in 5 miles on the treadmill (9:14/mile pace).

The run itself was good, but I was definitely snarkier than usual. There were these two women walking on the treadmill next to me.

Woman #1 - You should really put up the incline to at least a 0.5. It burns so much more calories.
Woman #2 - Really?
Rena (in her head) - You should really try running. It burns a lot more calories.
I should have totally said "Omg, I love how much calories you are burning. How do you do it?"
I am so nice in the morning. In my defence, Woman# 1 sounded really arrogant like she was better for walking with an incline. People say that running makes you a good person (dedication and good mood and all that), but I feel like I get bitchier when my body is tired. I guess the endorphins can't win over my inner bitch.

Even though I didn't get any runs in, my weekend was awesome! On Saturday, I fit in a zumba class. The only bad thing about the class was that it was a cop out for me. I would have gotten a much better work out if I had run, but I was feeling lazy. But I tried to get a maximum workout  from the zumba. I tried so hard to make each movement big and more of an effort that when the class was over, the woman behind me asked me how long I've been zumba-ing.

After the zumba, I went on a tour of an alligator farm. I figure I have a small window of opportunity to do the tourist thing while Stefan is in Baton Rouge visiting.
I'm sitting on a six foot alligator. I would like to point out that the gator's mouth isn't taped. 
Stefan is trying to eat the baby alligator. He was hungry. 
The tour was fun. The only thing that bothered me was that the tour guide said that the alligators lie out in the sun so that it could soak up the sun and convert that into energy later when the sun isn't out. Unless my schooling has been a lie, I was pretty sure the alligators weren't photosynthetic. I guess it's sort of snarky to think that you know more than the tour guide and I hate to be THAT guy, but I couldn't help it. I didn't say anything, but I felt bad for all the little kids who were eating it up. 

All in all, it was a great weekend. Did you guys do anything fun during the weekend? 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Holy Humidity

You're lucky that you're getting this update through an internet blogpost and is not chatting with me in person, because I'm a one sweaty mess. I don't mind sweating when I'm working out, since sweat=awesome workout. 
And Monster=giddiness. A Monster a day keeps the Starbucks away. Yes, I know this picture is sideways, but my computer was being stupid. 

But it's not fun to be all sweaty and hat haired at work. I am finally beginning to do some real work that is helpful for the company instead of just attending training. Unfortunately, this also means that I spent the entire morning out in the Louisiana heat and humidity tracing lines in the plant. Because of safety concerns, I also had to be out wearing long sleeve collared shirt, long pants, steel toed boots, hard hat, and safety gloves. 
True story, except my boss doesn't think I sleep through the day. I hope not. 
Knowing that I'll be outside walking up and down flights of stairs, when my alarm buzzed at 4:50AM, I opted for more sleep. I knew a spin class would have made me feel better, but I also thought that might kill me at work, so back to sleep it was. It's a lot easier to justify going back to sleep when you're half asleep and cozy in bed. 

Now that we got the work talk out of the way, let's talk about running. Despite this being a running blog, I haven't written about running in a while. Let's be honest, I haven't written anything in a while. The bad thing about a running blog is that you have to run in order to blog. 

Yesterday, remember how I said that I went to a Body Pump class before work? Well, after work, I actually headed out for a 3 miler. It felt like I was dying, but I got in 3 very sweaty miles at 9:47/mile pace, which is faster than I've been running outdoors. 

The only reason that I ran "so fast," was that I felt like I was going to die if I stayed outside for longer. Note to self, bring water on runs. 
Photo of me if the heat was the moose(?) Is that a moose?
Hopefully, now I'm ready to get back into running and I will soon be able to tell you about exciting things like mile splits and emergency bathroom runs track workouts. A big maybe on the track workouts, since I never really did them even when I was in the racing mode. The emergency bathroom stops will definitely come up more often than I'd like since the route that I run has zero bathrooms. I mean seriously, what do all the runners do when they need to go? The woods is not an option because it's heavily populated and right by major roads. 
You knew this picture will be in the post since it's so relevant. Here's to hoping that won't be me and there's some hidden bathrooms on the route. 
I'm also now in the process of looking for new shoes. I feel like I should break in new running shoes while my old ones are still good. To be honest, I wasn't a huge fan of the Asics that I have. Now, I don't know what brand to try. I'm thinking about a different line of Brooks or Sauconys. I really want to try out Hoka One One, which I found out about from this awesome blogger who doesn't know I'm alive. But she's cool and she swears by these shoes. Fun fact, Marshall Ulrich, ultra runner, also loves them. 

Now I'm off to trace some more lines and hydrate so that I don't faint off the unit. How did you guys find your shoes and how did you know that they were the one? Was it love at first wear or do you need to develop the relationship? 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Did you know that there's a song about peacocks by Katy Perry? Errr . . . .it's not exactly about peacocks per say (hint: take out the pea), but it's my new favorite song. Apparently I've been living under a rock and this song has been out for a while, but yesterday was the first time I've heard it and I'm in love.
Not the best movie ever, but the best peacock costume. 
Yesterday, I went to my newly subscribed gym (do people say subscribe to gyms? well, you know what I mean) for a hip hop dance class. The class was amazing. The teacher is super funny, and we dance to fun beats the entire class. We even learn a little routine at the second half of class, and I get to feel like Britney Spears and Britney S. Pierce (Bam, glee reference).

To be honest, I've sort of been in a workout funk. While I love the after run feel and racing, I am not the biggest fan of heading out the door for a run. It's especially been difficult because I have to drive to wherever I want to run, which really takes the convenience out of running. So yesterday, I forced myself to actually use the gym pass and go dance. Best decision ever!
Did not look as good as this cat during the dance, but I felt super awesome. That counts.
That fun workout was all I needed to jumpstart my workouts. Today, I actually got up at the ungodly hour of 4:50AM-who am I kidding, I actually got out of bed at 5:00AM-and rushed out the door to make it to 5:30AM body pump class, which solidly kicked my butt. Fun fact: I have no problem running without food (it seems to suppress my appetite), but weight lifting without food, bad idea.

Turns out, if you never ever EVER strength train, you'll be struggling with 3.5Kg weights (each side) on a bar, while people around you silently judge. Just kidding, I'm sure there was no judging on other people's part. Since I wasn't able to keep up with the reps, I did lots of judging admiring.
Yup, I've got a long way to go. 
I still haven't tried out any of the equipments, but if I attend the classes, I think I can get my money's worth. The best part is that I sincerely enjoyed each workout despite the inhumane wake up hour.

Hopefully, I can get a mini run in after work today to wrap up a solidly productive (workout-wise) day.

Now, please share! How do you guys keep out of a workout funk? Any good tips to stay motivated? You guys know, I need all the help I can get!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Treadmill Run

I attempted to head out for an ill fated 4 mile run today. I was supposed to meet up with a coworker to get in about two miles with him, but due to my lack of skill in the direction giving area, we never met up.
I assume this is how confused he was. Except he's not as cute as this very confused giraffe. 
Heads up to future running buddies, I may give you bad directions.

Our attempt to meet up was also doomed by the fact that it started pouring as soon as we got to the lake area. And that there's tons of apparent bridges and parking lots that look similar. Let me tell you something about Baton Rouge. The weather here doesn't know how to do something half heartedly. When it rains, it doesn't just drizzle, it goes all out in a downpour.
Totally true. And sort of relevant, because it started pouring right when I got to the parking lot. 
With the whole weather and being confused about the meeting point, I ended up doing a sort of a interval ish run of 2 miles at 8:30/mile. I ran faster than I would normally to each bridge and waited for a while under it to see if he was waiting there. Let's just call that a fartlek workout. Anyways, by the end of the two miles, my clothes were wet and heavy, and my sneakers were seriously waterlogged.

Now comes the dilemma. I would love to meet my major running goal for this year and run a marathon. There's a perfectly timed one in Baton Rouge in the first weekend of December. However, I am not certain I'll be able to get all my training runs in outside.

In an attempt to not fall off the wagon again and also so that I could get some cross training in, I signed up for a gym today. My plan is to go to group classes like spinning. Now that there's some monetary commitment, I'll at least get some good cross training in.

So I know that I'll most likely always have a treadmill to get my runs in. Other than the crushing boredom, I'm worried that running at the treadmill will make me super unprepared to run an outdoor race.
This is totally what I do. I sneak looks at the speeds of everyone around me. I'm glad I'm not the only one. 
Flat, air conditioned treadmill runs do not adequately prepare a person for a varied terrain and humidity. What do you guys think? Do you think it's possible to train for a race with a lot of the miles logged on the treadmill? 

In a random note, I brought the sexy back in my newly obtained prescription safety glasses.
Whoa close up. But look at the side shields on those glasses. Yeah, this is how us chemical engineers do it. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Happiest day of the Workweek

I love pay days. It's so nice seeing your balance jump from almost nothing to something more overnight. 

I had so many grand plans for my new found money when I was in school, but now that I'm actually trying to make it in the real world, there's so many mandatory things to spend money on like insurance, rent, utilities, and etc.

Now, I'm supposed to choose how much contribution to make to my 401K. It's so hard to start to think about retirement when I've just started working. And I could put that money toward something that I want more. Ahem, movie tickets to Magic Mike. 
Who wouldn't want to go watch this? 
One major dilemma that I'm facing (and this is such a first world problem) is to TV or not to TV. I had originally planned on no TV. Who needs TV when there's things like running and netflix on the computer? But after weeks of my coworkers talk about how awesome their new 50 inches were, I am starting to think that I'm missing out. What's your stance on a TV? Necessary or not?
Speaking of Channing, I love this picture. This is why I haven't watched the the Vow. I probably can't relate to a character who doesn't think like the above picture. 

On the non lazy front AKA non TV front, I've actually been trying to work out more. I went running Wednesday night (3 miles at 10:18/mile pace) at this awesome running path at University Lake. I looked so hard for an apartment near it when I first moved, but I gave up. It's right next to the school, so all the apartments are crappy college apartments. 

The path was nice except for the duck poop smell at occasional points. 

I would love to drive there everyday to run, but what I had loved most about running back when I ran consistently was that I could just step outside and do it. So today morning before work, I ventured out for a 3 miler (9:49/mile) around the apartment. The run itself was good, but I ended up just rounding an outdoor shopping center over and over again. 

I think I would definitely drive to the lake even on week days if I could leave straight to work from there and change/maybe shower? at work. I would even buy a gym membership if that said gym was on the way from the lake to work, but that doesn't look like it'll work out. 

Good thing it's the weekend and the only thing preventing me from running at the lake is my laziness. Have a happy Friday! 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

News Flash

Well, it turns out that if you don’t blog or read them, there’s less accountability and you tend to fall off the exercise wagon. While you guys were all out conquering races and hills, I was sitting around securing my title as the queen of Couch Potatodom. There were lots of trashy reality TV shows (Heidi, why can’t you see the things that Spencer does?) and “hydrating” if sucking down Amaretto sours count.
First world problem at its finest. Totally happened to me once or twice . .  .

The month of so that I was in Baton Rouge hasn’t all been debauchery, there was training for the new job and the whole exercise thing for a while.

Two weeks ago, I attempted to run with a running group in my naiveté. Five miles easy? I can totally knock that out! Well, first of all how is 7:00 something /mile pace anyone’s easy pace? And also five miles in the Louisiana humidity and heat is not something to laugh at. Luckily I didn’t bring my watch, so I don’t even know what pace I was running. I would have quit after the first ten minutes had I known the route and could walk back to the car.

Thankfully, I found a running buddy who was nice and then some. She was from the area and told me that she ran at about 10:00/mile pace, so I tried to stick with her. Even though I was dying from the beginning, I had no choice but to stick to her pace and keep prodding on to avoid getting lost. After thirty minutes of torture, I finally threw up the proverbial white flag and asked her for directions back to the car. She was nice enough to actually stop with me and walk with me back to the car. I felt bad that I might have ruined her run, but she assured me that she only usually runs about three miles anyways.
After that ill fated running attempt, I actually haven’t stepped a foot inside my running shoes.
This should be my new mantra for the next few days. And it was more like a bad month but whatever
Then there was the intro class at the local cross fit gym. That was fun and vomit inducing. I seriously was about to sign up until I decided to try out a boxing gym. 

So I moseyed on over to LA Boxing and took a intro boxing class, which was hard. However, the classes weren’t varied enough for me to justify forking over a huge sum of money. Also, there were lots of umm . . . “bigger” people at the gym. Call me shallow, but that did not instill faith in me that the gym would be getting me my Jessica Alba’s Sin City body any time soon.

There was also an attempt to just try out a regular gym by trying out the spin class. If you are friends with me in outside of virtual world, you’d know that I usually gripe about how much I hate biking. Well, spinning was a total struggle city on my non worked out body. I’m sad to say that for a decent portion of the class, my spin bike was pedaling my legs and not the other way around.
Kind of place that I always imagine I'm riding through on a spin bike
That brings me to now with no monetary commitment to fitness. Wait, that’s a lie. I did spend money to subscribe to Runner’s World and Women’s Health, which is sort of a fitness commitment. I'm starting to feel like how I felt senior year of college. I don't think just signing up for a gym would force me to go work out. More likely, my money would be better spent on a race so that I start training. 

Sorry for the very wordy post. I would have found/have more pictures but I'm sort of running late for work! Later! What's your favorite non running workout? Do you guys do cross fit?