Friday, December 30, 2011

Get fat for running

Earlier this week I was bitch slapped by a scale at the doctor's office. I thought maybe I put on 7-10 pounds, try more like 15 pounds. It's truly a wonder I can still fit into my jeans. Although a little uncomfortable and tight lately, I can still zip and button them! To rationalize re-gaining weight I worked VERY hard on losing between 2009 and 2010, I'll have to think of my slow down in running as a sacrifice. Either continue to run at the same level on an inflamed tendon to keep the weight off, and risk permanently jacking up my foot, or reduce my mileage, risk gaining a little weight, recover, and continue running until I'm 100 years old (hey, it's possible). Of course I've learned there are other activities I can do to stay in shape, but none are as effective or rewarding to me as running has been. Thanks to Jillian Micheals, it's now a habit for me to work in weekly strength training. Strength is truly a runner's ally. This week I did two, 2 mile runs which is the most I've been able to do in a week without a noticeable increase in pain. I will be registering for the Shamrock Shuffle in March on New Year's Day! I plan to start training the first week of February. Eight weeks of training for a 5 mile race had better whip this 15 pounds into shape!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Eating around the holidays

This is the toughest time of the year to try to lose weight. There has been a non-stop conveyor belt of snacks and cookies around the office. Some stuff has been pure crap, tasteless, grocery store cookies, but every once in a while, something fabulous has come along I cannot resist.
The cupcakes were a gift from one of our vendors and they're to die for! I imagined myself inhaling the whole box by myself, but I controlled myself and had only one. The rest, I gave away! Seriously, I have gotten so many boxes of chocolate as gifts, I have to re-gift them. I'm recovering well enough to workout 3 times a week. A combination of running, and the 30 Day Shred. I decided to only weigh myself once a week (Sunday). I made the mistake of weighing myself in the middle of the week, and I was UP three pounds. What the what? I'm hoping its only water weight from all the stress of preparing for the holidays. Yeah, water weight, that's it.

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Holiday Gift Guide by Chicago Blogger Network

Chicago Blogger Network is a collective of Chicago area Bloggers. The organizers put together networking events, and members receive invitations to events around town, with the expectation they'll tweet, Facebook, and blog all about the fun and interesting things going on in Chicagoland. The group is largely fashion bloggers, but there are a few bloggers covering other subjects. They put out a call to the group for holiday gift ideas for their first ever gift guide. My suggestion was The Nike+ GPS Sportwatch. It was gifted to me, so of course I think it's a great gift idea! Since CBN has a lot of folks writing about fashion, I wasn't sure my gift suggestion would get put in, but hooray, it's #31 on the list! The layout of the guide turned out really nice. My suggestion is the only sports related product, but I think it fits in well because it is a pretty fashionable watch in itself.
In other fun news, I'm guest co-hosting an Internet radio show this weekend! The Nappturalite Radio show is all about natural hair. I don't write a lot about hair on this blog, but I contribute for an article about hair on Examiner.com. A co-worker turned me on to the show and it turns out the host follows my Examiner article! I'm really looking forward to participating in the show. You can log on and listen live here, or check back for the on-demand episode.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred: Week 4

I've decided I'm happy with my purchase of Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred : ) It's been four weeks since I started incorporating the workout into my return to running program and I'm down 3 pounds. Not a huge weight loss, but I'm very happy with the progress since my goal is to lose 10-15 pounds by mid January. At this rate, I'm losing about a pound per week. I was brave and moved on to level 2 of the workout this morning. WOW, it was intense. But I felt GREAT afterwards. Tendinitis hasn't shot back up drastically. I'm still icing after activity to keep it in check. I did a lot of walking in Vegas, so I was pretty sore earlier in the week, but on Wednesday my foot felt great. So I'm still getting sore with increased activity, but I'm recovering a lot faster. I'll continue to increase my mileage and workout with the DVD this winter. Between the two, my goal is to workout or run 3-4 days a week. I REALLY want to do the Shamrock Shuffle in March. I'm hoping I can continue on training at a slow and steady pace to be able to complete the five mile run.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

2011 Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon Las Vegas Recap

Viva Las Vegas! I had a blast in Sin City this weekend attending the Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon. This was my second visit there and my second experience with the Rock 'n Roll series. I had a nearly four hour flight from Chicago, and my sister flew in from California on Friday night. We were both pretty much exhausted after also having to work that day, but we were excited to be there.
Saturday, we took a field trip on the Deuce bus to and from the expo. The expo was super crowded and cramped. This was only a prelude to how the race would end up being, we'll get to that later. At the expo were pretty much the same vendors and gear in Chicago, but I did make one interesting discovery there, Spider Tech. I've been wanting to try out K-tape for the arch of my foot, but the last couple of expos I've attended, the line for free tapings has been way too long. Spider Tech's booth was tucked away in the back, with only a few people waiting. I got my foot taped for plantar fascia and posterior tibial tendon support. I was really excited about the price, a box of 40 for $20.
One of the female employees did the taping, I felt like she just put it on and there was not enough tension to provide any support. She said the more tension, the less effective it would be, but I can't say that I felt a difference at all. By the time we got back to our hotel, the tape was already starting to come off. It could be that the foot is a difficult area for athletic tape to stay put, but sigh, I was less than impressed. There were several members of the run group planning to race, so Sunday there was a planned meet up before the race. It was so nice meeting other Black women from around the country who are also running obsessed!
After the meet up, we had a few hours to relax before the race. Our hotel was near the start line, so we figured it would be a breeze to walk over there. This is when the real fun began. It was pretty crowded trying to walk between the Luxor and Mandalay Bay. It was difficult to get past the crowd at gear check and out the door into the corrals. Thankfully, we made it to our corral in enough time.
The start of the race was very organized. It started promptly, just as it had in Chicago. There were several corrals ahead of us, so we waited about 30 minutes to start. I lost count of each corral as they were sent on there way, but I think at about corral 25, they just let everyone take off, there was no pause in between. There were 40 corrals in total. So what ensued was a mad mix of runners and walkers starting at the same time. There were runners darting in and out everywhere! It was like people forgot the basic rule of staying to the right and passing on the left. I registered for the race before my injury, so I did not have time to properly train, but I knew I was still coming for the experience . . . and for the fact that I already paid to register and bought my airfare. I ran the first few miles of the race, then stood on the sidelines to cheer on the runners, then finished the last mile with my sister. When we crossed the finish line, the finish area was so random. The medals were scattered, people were tearing their own space blankets off the roll, there was a ridiculous line to take a finisher photo, and the bananas and snacks were on the other side of that line. We skipped the photo and cut through for some nourishment! From the secure race area, we had to re-enter Mandalay Bay to get back to our hotel. The line was absolutely ridiculous! Worse than trying to get to the start of the race. Probably because nearly 20 corrals were finishing at the same time! The last thing people want to do after running a marathon or half is stand in line. When it was clear we weren't getting anywhere soon, we exited back outside to get some air. We walked a bit and found another less populated entrance to the hotel. I hear we avoided most the craziness. There were apparently several people that passed out in the crowd and EMTs had to be called. When the race sold out at 44,000, RNR raised the capacity. I believe the final count was near 60,000. I think the major issue with this race was raising the cap and not being able to handle it. RNR got a little greedy in Las Vegas this year. They gambled and lost in the opinion of many runners! It's unfortunate because the course is amazing, it's really cool to run at night on the Strip. Hopefully next year RNR will better manage the crowd.
Update: Shortly after I published this post RNR sent out an e-mail to Vegas participants acknowledging the race issues and offering a $10 off code for an RNR event in 2012. At least they recognize there was a problem!