February 27, 2013

how to train for the bear run on a treadmilll

One of the races that made its way onto my 2013 race calendar is The Bear Run in Linville, NC. The Bear is a five mile run up Grandfather Mountain (here's my 2011 race recap).

The race is near one of my favorite cities in America, and it would be a good excuse to sneak in a little vacation. We'll call this my destination race of 2013.

Here's the elevation profile of the 5 mile course:

So how does one go about training to run up a mountain? Hills. Lots and lots of hills.

Even if you're not training to run The Bear, hills are a totally beneficial part of training. (Stud runners Carrie Tollefson and Matt Gabrielson break down the benefits of hill training in this video.)

But what if you live in Minnesota where every hill looks more like a glacier? Two words: treadmill incline.

When I was first training to run it, someone much better at math than me figured out a treadmill run that would simulate the elevation profile of the course. I honestly have no idea how one would go about figuring this out so no, I haven't checked the accuracy. If you're the type (cough*nerd*cough) that can figure stuff like that out, feel free to weigh in.

The Bear Treadmill Simulation Run
Mile     Incline
0-.5:      8.5%
.5-1:      6.3%
1-1.5:    7.5%
1.5-2:    0.5%
2-2.5:    1.0%
2.5-3:    0.4%
3-3.5:    10.3%
3.5-4:    7.5%
4-4.5:    8.0%
4.5-5:    8.3%

If you try this, let me know about all the weird looks you get at the gym when you're practically falling off the back because you have the incline so high.

February 22, 2013

happy weekend

Hi friends, any big plans for the weekend? This weekend is relatively calm compared to last weekend. The biggest thing I have going is Baby Mae's birthday party. (What do you get a one year-old, btw?)
the original #MaeDay
Something cool that happened this week: On Wednesday I got a surprise delivery to my office, which at first appeared to be a tree.

Upon further inspection, I discovered the most beautiful flowers ever! They were meant to be delivered on Valentine's Day but the delivery driver got in an accident and never made it. I absolutely love them!
john knows me well!

Now, on to cool things I found on the internet:
  • Is your flower budget smaller than my boyfriend's? No problem! Here are 3 ways to arrange supermarket flowers to make them look awesome.
  • It's snowing again. Every time I almost fall on our ice-covered sidewalks, I say a prayer for spring. Unfortunately, I think we still have a ways to go, as this graphic demonstrates:
  • This video only fuels my desire to have a goat. Is that weird?
  • Do you feel like you want to get me a present? I would gladly wear any of these t-shirts
  • Because I'm a masochist, I've started the 100 Push Up Challenge (again, because I quit last time).  Join me and we can complain to each other. 
  • I've been on a spaghetti squash kick lately so I'm always on the hunt for new recipes. Here are 5 good ones
Have a great weekend! 

February 21, 2013

2013 race calendar

Okay, first off, I activated my month from Groupon to CorePower and went to a yoga sculpt class this morning, which people described as yoga with weights. Those people are LIARS.  It's more like calisthenics in a sauna with weights. I almost passed out and threw up. No lie. 

So I'll probably go again.

Let's talk about running! It's hard to set big goals this year because I don't know how my body will respond after roughly twelve months of crap training. It's taking more time than I thought to feel normal when running even easy workouts. I'm in no rush, though, and I've set up my races this year to give my body time ease back into distances. 2013 is all about the short and sweet. 

April 27- Get in Gear 10K
I've never run a 10k before. Neither has Kat. We will both be setting our PRs in this distance this spring. 

May 9- Medtronic TC 1 Mile
I ran the Boom last July and due to the weather, they shortened the course to 5 miles. To make up for it, they gave all participants a $25 race credit, which I used on this race so it was FREE. I haven't raced a mile since my jr. high track days where my PR sits at an unimpressive 6:02. I'd like to try and beat that.

June 1- small town 5k #1 (tentative)
I ran this last year and won a free entry so I thought I'd run again.There is a possibility I may be out of town, though.
June 29- small town 5k #2
I've run this race the last three out of four years. I'm hoping to see an improvement from whatever I ran earlier in the month. 

July 11- The Bear Run (tentative)
I've run The Bear in Linville, NC twice now. It's pretty much a five mile race up a mountain. Providing funds and time off are there, I'm there.

August 3- small town 5k #3
Another staple race for me. If all is going according to plan, this would be a great race to get a new 5k PR.

Fall/Winter: Half Marathon TBD
I will be looking for a little more distance in October/November but don't have my mind set on anything yet. Any cool ones you recommend?

That's it. I'm off to clean up for work. Pray for strength for me to be able to lift my arms overhead long enough to wash/blow dry my hair.

February 19, 2013

weekend snaps

I meant to post this last night but after Bachelor watching and a tattoo touch-up appointment (followed by a Hey, that wasn't so bad beer), it got a little late. 

Weekends aren't always eventful for me, at least not in ways you people would care to read about. But this past weekend was busy! And fun! A recap, in pictures: 

Friday marked the five-year anniversary of Joel's death. I took the day off of work because I knew I would be pretty worthless if I went it. That afternoon, I drove down to my mom's house for the weekend and this card is one of the first things that I saw when I walked in. Made me cry all over again. 

My parents have a cat that is sort of nameless and lives in their garage when she isn't out killing birds and leaving their heads on the front stoop as some sort of weird sacrifice. When you let her inside, she's your bestie. We hung out for a few hours on the couch. #CatLady

My younger step-sister Whitney is getting married in a month so we had a bridal shower for her on Saturday.  My main functions were gift recorder and leftover food eater.

And then I got to meet my new nephew.

bite sized

Sunday started with this:

... and then was followed by breakfast with one of my oldest girlfriends and sister, a "long" run (windy!), and concluded with a lovely dinner with runner girlfriends where decisions were made that impact my racing schedule for 2013.  

All will be revealed in due time. And by that, I mean later this week.

February 15, 2013

five years

There are no words.

February 13, 2013

midweek amazing

Three terrific things happened yesterday that necessitate a midweek post:

1. My nephew was born! He's my step-brother Tom and wife Jackie's second son. I hear that under that hat he has lots of dark curly hair. I'll go down to meet him on Friday.

Liam Joel- 7.1 lbs, 19.5"
 2. This showed up in my email inbox. It's a sign. Purchased.

3. We finally hired a home care nurse to take care of my Grandma three mornings a week! My dad and I have been going over there every morning and I've been helping her shower, get dressed, etc. It's such a relief to know that they'll be taken care of and I can go back to being a granddaughter.

Hope your day is amazing!

February 12, 2013

yoga week review

Last week was Yoga Week as I tried my first week at Core Power. I only made it to three classes at two different studios but I feel like I have a pretty good idea of what regular practice would be like. 

What I liked:
  • I like that they play  Trevor Hall and Alexi Murdoch and not stuff like this.
  • I like that the studios smell like Aveda products.
  • I like that the instructors are friendly and encouraging and have impossibly soothing voices. 
  • I love the deep breaths we take together as a class.
  • I like whatever it is that drives me to practice crow and supported headstands against the wall in my apartment.  

What is challenging:
  • Not knowing all the poses makes it hard to relax because I really have to focus and listen to what they're saying.
  • Lingering issues from my PE make it difficult to breathe deeply, sort of a necessity for something like this. 
  • I have to modify a lot of poses because I'm so inflexible.  
I really do think I'll get a membership there soon but with my current schedule, getting to classes in the morning is almost impossible and my evenings tend to be unpredictable. Also, it's not cheap. I really want to have a set schedule and be in a position to fully commit to get the full benefit.

Honestly, though, I just want to be able to do this.

February 8, 2013

happy weekend

We've made it. TGIF. I've just finished a quick three miles at the gym and am mustering up the energy to shower and change for a little date with the cutest bearded man around. We're going to see Silver Linings Playbook because word on the street is it's a good movie

love that beard

Anyway, here's some cool stuff I found on the internet this week.
  • There's a Spirit of the Marathon II! How is it possible I didn't know about this? (Just hope you like reading subtitles.)
  • I found this graphic by way of Steve in a Speedo. John has been known to say You're a little crabby. You should probably go running. Truth.

I'll be back next week with final thoughts on Yoga Week and will share my tentative race plans for the year. Minnesota friends, settle in for the snow on Sunday! Be safe.

February 5, 2013

yoga week continued

So Saturday was the beginning of Yoga Week. Here's what's been happening the last few days:

Sunday: Colleen and I took the Core Power 1.5- Intro to Heated Yoga class.  It. Was. Hard! I was so sweaty and kept slipping on my mat. Note to self: buy a fancy towel that everyone has.

We also did a couple of inversions. And by "we", I mean everyone else in the class.  I only attempted to lift one foot off the ground in Crow.
crow pose. and not at all what i looked like (source)
And then there was the supported headstand. Um, yeah, probably not. For real, they are doing this in an intro class! I'm beginning to doubt my ability to ever move beyond this level.

Monday: I literally cannot lift my arms without pain and the thought of Chaturanga makes me want to cry. No yoga today. Instead, breakfast for dinner and Bachelor watching.

eggs, bacon and a greyhound

Today: I regressed back to a C1 class after work today. I borrowed one of John's fancy towel things but failed to realize until we started class in Child's Pose that it was stinky dirty. Like hockey locker room stinky. Suffice it to say, the next 60 minutes were not relaxing. Also, I'm still too sore to high-to-low plank it.

So after four days and three classes, my biggest takeaway is this: Yoga is like lifting weights with the added benefit of not having to see a bunch of hairless overly-tan dudes with their shirts cut down the sides strutting around the gym.

In other words, this is something I could see myself really getting into. 

But why does it have to be so dang expensive?!

February 2, 2013

yoga week

I'm writing a Saturday post to bring you some very important news: Today I started a free week of yoga at Core Power. They have this deal that if you've never taken a class there, you can go to as many different studios/classes as you want within a seven day period. Sweet, right?

Having only done yoga a few times at Lifetime, I thought I better start with an intro class. Colleen was kind enough to come with me and we took the C1- Intro to Power Yoga class. 

We go there early to register and get situated. We were the first people in the studio and set up our mats in the back of the room (duh). The studio was really warm and it felt great to relax a little before things started. 

The instructor was a super cute, super fit young girl and she did a great job leading us through everything. I was a little surprised by the speed the class moved. If I had never taken yoga before I would have been completely lost. We did a lot of sequences (Flowing, maybe? I don't speak yoga.) and I was a sweaty mess about 15 minutes in. I felt off-balance in some of the poses and my hamstrings were really tight, symptoms of my weak core and running habit. I'll work on that.

By the end of the class I felt comfortably fatigued, like I had a good workout. We were both starved after so we went to Yum to grab lunch. I wolfed down an amazing salmon beet salad. 

i love beets!
Since I want to take another yoga class tomorrow, I decided I would get my "long" run in today and successfully completed 7 miles on the treadmill. It was my longest run in a few months but it was a little depressing how slow my pace is now compared to what it used to be. The good news is this marks the fourth week that I've been consistently running 4 days a week!

I'm celebrating the small victories.

February 1, 2013

what i read this week

I failed miserably with my 2012 goal of reading more books. However, I think I'm making up for it with the number of blogs I've added to Reader. Here are my favorite posts from the week:

  • Excited for the Super Bowl? Me either, unless you're talking about the food and commercials. This post gives a football-themed guide to portion control.
  • I loved Tegan and Sara before it was cool to love Tegan and Sara. You can imagine my delight when I found this hilarious video of them promoting their new album. 

  • This is a really funny (yet totally true) list of 17 things you wish you could ask someone during a job interview.  
  • I really wish I had a permanent permanent address (Lord knows I won't live in my studio apartment forever) so I could get this
  • This video has fueled my desire to consistently go to yoga. Aside from being great supplemental training, how cool would it be to be able to do some of this?

(And if you think that video is crazy, check out the acro yoga she does with her husband!)

Happy weekend, friends!