Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Training Part TWO

After the MoD walk, I learned something important - KEEP MOVING!  Did you know that if you go from walking 8.6 miles to sitting on the couch you will get sore muscles?  I didn't!  I made the mistake of going home and curling up on the couch with my lunch.  when I stood up, I thought I was broken!

This made Sunday even worse!  My legs felt like tree trunks when I got out of bed and my butt muscles (used for climbing those damn hills) were in so much pain, I leaned left and right when I walked. I was making myself seasick just walking around the grocery store! But, I think walking around on Sunday helped and by Monday, I was 'generally sore', which I equated to 'not as bad as how I feel after Disney, but worse than how I feel after treadmill.'

I worked late Monday, which I plan for, so I didn't have any training, but yesterday (Tuesday) was the first day of the Couch - to - 5k program.  I was to run 30 seconds and walk 90 seconds for a total of 20 minutes. I warmed up with a walk for about 4 minutes, then did my 20 minutes and gladly got off.  However, I can see why lots of people suggest the walk/run combo.  When I walk, I can do a 20 minute mile. Just with the 30/90, I did an 18mm!  I can only get faster from here!

On a different note, when I began this whole process, I made a note on my training calendar to reward myself with something when I finished the first 8 weeks. It turned out that the MoD walk was the final day of that training.  No, the MoD walk wasn't my reward!  But now, I have to decide what I want as my reward - a Garmin running watch or new sneakers?  I'm leaning towards the Garmin because it's techy and I like new toys, but I really should get running gear. Any suggestions?

There is one piece of running gear that I did buy today - a RunDisney tech tee!  It's new at the Disney Store online and I debated getting it (why spend $30 on a tee when I can get another one like I have now at JCP for $12?), but then I got an email today that the Disney Store had a 25% off promo code for TODAY only to celebrate their 25th anniversary. I decided to get it, and it's on it's way to my office, along with a cute little magnet.

$29.95 (Also available for men)
$7.95 (Also available for 26.2)
I can't wait to wear the tee next time I walk and I think the magnet will go on the fridge next to the dinner menu so that I don't overindulge on ice cream!

That's all for now. Just wanted to check in and let you know how my recovery was going.  Tonight is another off night, so I'm going to get some laundry done, some dishes done and hit the sack early! Well, after a hot shower and Jeopardy!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Long Walk needs a Long Post

Today was the day I'd been waiting for for almost a month - the March of Dimes March for Babies!  I signed up at the beginning of the month as part of my company's team. As of that Friday (yesterday), no one else signed up for it! What the hell?!? 

I rolled out of bed at the ungodly Saturday hour of 6:30a.m. (I don't get up that early on a Saturday unless the day ends at Disney!) and began getting ready. I put my hair up in a ponytail and threw on a robe, heading to the kitchen to make some scrambled eggs and OJ. I watched the news while I ate and finally got dressed around 7:15 or so. I was on the road by 7:30 and realized about 2 minutes later that I should have left much earlier! I underestimated the time it would take me to get to the park, much less how long it would take me TO park!  I found a spot next to a church on 8th Avenue and hiked back to the park. Right before I got there, the 7:55 runners began, so I cheered them on as I hoofed it into the park. I made my way through the throngs of bodies to get a Walk Card, then made my way back into the crowd just as we all began to move en masse into the street!  It took about 2 minutes to get from where I was standing to the road, but once we did, I was off!

And we're off!!
The first mile kind of flew by.  
Walking up 16th towards 43rd

We headed down 34th, then veered into the Fresh Market parking lot. This was Stop 1 (1.2 miles). 

Why does that sign say Hollywood Video?

They were handing out awesome purple reusable grocery bags with the MoD logo on it. I totally grabbed one, because I love purple and I love bags!  There was a water stop and I grabbed a cup and proceeded through the parking lot, coming out near the entrance for Thornbrooke Village.  Back onto the road, we walked down and turned onto NW 43rd Street. 

Stop 2 (1.6 miles) was in front of FL Credit Union at the Nationwide booth. I grabbed a water and kept on truckin'. 

The sign never changed - I guess they wanted you to get a loan

Up ahead, I saw a big rainbow made of balloons.  It's the Campus USA booth at Stop 3 (2 miles) with leprechauns and green fortune cookies. OK, whatever. I grabbed a few (I think I'm the only one who actually EATS fortune cookies), a cup of water and moved on down the road. 

Really?  I'm frugal, but reusing crap from St Patty's day is cheap!

At the end of 43rd, we came upon our vet's office (Millhopper Vet Med Center is great) and cut through their parking lot and behind a big ol' bank. 

It's my vet's office! 
This turned out to be Wells Fargo, Stop 4 (2.4 miles) and judging by the line of grabbers, you would think they were giving away gold!  I saw one of those dorky basketball hoops you stick on your bedroom door and heard someone say they got speakers, but this wasn't worth my time! I got out of line and got the hell out of the crowd!  I hit up the Pepsi wagon, grabbing a few mini-cans of Pepsi Max and a bottle of water, tossing them into my nifty purple sack. As I walked across the parking lot, I ran into Stuart, one of my coworkers. I didn't know he signed up, but he said he did on Friday, so that was cool. I gave him a smile, put my earphones back in and took off.

The walk down 39th Avenue was pretty uneventful. Kind of neat to walk 'in the middle of the road' on such a busy highway, but nothing important happened. I forgot about the large hill on 39th, but I did okay. I took a photo of the folks behind me at one point, just to be able to say that I wasn't LAST!

The line of people goes back so far you can't really see the end!
We turned onto 34th and crossed the street over to North FL Regional Med Center Stop 5 (2.4 miles) and they had ALL sorts of stuff! There were bananas, OJ cups (sealed, I tossed 'em in the bag), water cups, fruit snacks, chips, banks, bubbled and little Milky Way bars! Yummy I grabbed a few of everything (including two bananas for my daughter) and maneuvered around the crowds to get back on track. 

Veering off 39th onto 34th, headed for Glen Springs Rd.
Walking through Glen Springs neighborhoods required us to stay on the sidewalks at all times. It was crowded and very boring. At some times, as I walked near woodsy areas, it smelled like my grandmother's property and I inhaled deeply. Other times it stank of road kill or something fishy. Oh, and poo. I smelled lots of dog poo, too. That was pretty bad. 

You could hide a body down there and no one would know...
While on GSR, we got to walk through Ambassador Mile, and there were all these happy families with their little cute babies waving and cheering us on.  One little girl was giving out lollipops and another one (she wasn't more than 2) was giving out fist bumps. I totally got in on that one.  

There was a great sign at Glen Springs Elementary School as we passed that I had to take a photo of, too. 

The only sign I saw that said Thank You. Thanks GSES!
Up past GSES was the Tower Hill Insurance Group Stop 6 (4.1 miles). They had Planet Smoothie strawberry-banana smoothies, water, popcorn (in a sports bottle) and soda. I grabbed a smoothie, popcorn, water and a soda and took a quick break. As I pulled to the side, I was run into with a jogging stroller. In all the years going to WDW, I've never been hit with a stroller, but my very first MoD walk, I do? How weird. There was no damage (and even if there was, she was long gone), but I took the moment to chug my smoothie (it was okay), drink the soda and head back down the road.

Yo, where my swag be at?
Further down GSR was the Memory Mile, which, frankly, was depressing as hell.  There were signs up along the road listing baby names. Some had dates and some didn't so I assumed the ones with dates were when the babies died? I don't know - it didn't say. I know the point of the Memory Mile is to remind us why we are doing this, but all it did was make me want to cry, especially when I passed one family who was pausing to take a photo with their 'child' at one of the signs. I kind of put my head down and pushed on at that point. It was hard.

It's like the Oscar In Memoriam show, but for March of Dimes

Between stops 6 and 7 was my favorite stop thus far - the Blue Bell Ice Cream Man!  They had grape or cherry popsicles, ice cream sandwiches and coupons. Be still my thrifty little heart! I got a mini-ice cream sandwich and a coupon. Doesn't it look yummy?

Please deliver this truck to my house please

It's small, but just the right size!
Florida Virtual School was Stop 7 (4.6 miles) and they handed out little sling backpacks.  I hate those, but grabbed one for my daughter. She'd like it. This stop also meant that I was over halfway done. Apparently, I didn't take a photo at this stop, but trust me, you didn't miss much. I don't even remember what they were giving out, but I didn't get any of it.

By this point, I was seeing lots of apartment complexes and I knew that we should be getting to 'civilization' again soon, so I was keeping an eye out for the Social Security building on this street.  I should have been keeping an eye out for the huge freakin' hill!!  Gainesville has a lot of hills. This was the nastiest, I think.  I felt like I was climbing a mountain. The incline on my treadmill doesn't even go this high! But I made it and I didn't even break tempo, either. Hell yeah! I think if I can do this hill, I'll be able to do the Contemporary Hill at the Princess Half in February 2013. Once up the hill, I saw a few ladies take advantage of a well-placed bus stop, but I just smiled and kept going. There's another stop ahead!

In front of Planet Fitness was the AvMed Stop 8 (5.7 miles). Sonic and K-Country were also there. I scored a cup of cherry limeade from Sonic and crossed the parking lot in front of Godfather's Pizza to the Pepsi truck where I got another bottle of water and a bottle of Diet Sierra Mist. I tucked them into my purple bag and continued to 13th Street. 

The K-Country Guys all looked bored when I walked by

What, no ice? C'mon that's my favorite part!
Traffic was blocked in one lane again, so I just strolled right down the middle of the street like I owned it. Walgreen's was Stop 10 (6 miles) and I got a plastic cup with water and another plastic cup with crackers. 

I'm walkin' right down the middle of Main Street USA.... No?
I drank the water and tossed all the cups into my bag while heading down to GHS, where Wal-Mart was Stop 11 (6.2 miles). They had a really good station with Gatorade, water, apples, grapes and my favorite, Sno-Cones!  I got a red one. I also grabbed a few granola bars for later. 
Too many people hate Wal-Mart; these guys were great!

Cherry Sno-Cone. 
As I turned onto NW 16th Avenue, my body was beginning to realize what the hell was going on and that I didn't plan on stopping. It's when I first began to notice my feet hurting, but I kept going, knowing how close I was to being done. I grabbed a GNV sticker from the Gainesville Airport Stop 12 (7 miles) and some water. The woman there tried to console me and tell me that it was only 1 more mile, but I guess she forgot that there was another .6 on top of that. 

The stop is WAAAAAY down there. RUN!
At this point, I saw sign saying "Victory Wagon Stops Here." 

Victory, my ass.
This sign means, "If you give up, wait here so that other walkers can mock you until the Sweeper Wagon can come collect you and take your loser ass to the finish line." Okay, so maybe it doesn't mean that for everyone, but it meant that for me. I'd been seeing them for an hour or more (since stop 2 or 3) and every time I passed one, I smiled and kept going.  This one, though, past Mile 7 made me stop to take a photo of it. I believe the narrative in my head while I took a photo of it was "no it DOESN'T motherf'r, not for me." I put that sign behind me and out of my head and pushed on to the corner of NW 22nd and NW 16th. 

Stopping takes away all my momentum. Hurry up!
We had to stop to wait for traffic, since we were crossing over to the left side of the street, so I took the time to stretch my poor calves.  

 Giggle was stop 13 (7.1 miles) and they had granola bars and dorky stuff. I kept going.

I wouldn't be Giggle-ing if I was right next to those!
RTI Biologics was Stop 14 (7.2 miles) and had one thing that I loved - a cheap little checkered flag. I loved it. I knew how close I was to finishing and that made me smile. The awesome mister they set up for walkers to walk through was pretty nice, too! 

The lady I walked behind was part of RTI's walking team
A bit past RTI, I finally made it to Wolf's house. I forgot how far down 16th he was, but I made it damn it, here's proof! Hi Wolf!

I don't think he was home at the time
After Wolf's house, I turned around and took another photo of all the people who are still behind me and trudging up the big-ass hill I finished tackling.  I'm still not last! Yay!

Still not last!!!
A few minutes later, I look ahead and see an arch made out of purple, lavender and white balloons. There is lots of cheering up there. Could that be the finish line? No, we're not there yet.  I think it was the One More Mile Cheerleaders.  

What is that? Is that .... the END?
I won't lie, I got all choked up when I went under the arch, though. I knew how close I was, how many miles were left (less than 1) and that I could do it. Let's go, bitch, walk faster! (Yes, I call myself bitch sometimes).

Not the end, but so damn close!
Finally, we've made to the corner of 34th and 16th. Everyone in Gainesville knows this intersection. We've all driven though it. I've never walked through it. Until now.

This intersection is usually MUCH busier!
We turn left and we are on a straight away to the finish line. I'm so tired, I know it's within my reach, I keep walking and FINALLY, I make it to the Finish Line and walk through!!!!!!!

Success!!! I got two stickers from the cute kids at the finish line that say "I did it!" I stick those suckers on my shirt and continue into the park. I run into another co-worker of mine who had just finished as well and we chatted for a minute or so, but I didn't want my legs to cramp up, so I took off in search of my Party in the Park food options. There was Sonny's, Moe's, Zaxby's, a few local places and Domino's (ewww). I settled on Zaxby's, grabbing my chicken sammich and sneaking out of the park.  Halfway across the field, I realized I forgot to look at my stopwatch, so I stopped for a moment to take a photo of my finish time.  3 Hours, 14 Minutes.  My goal was to finish in 3 hours, so I think that I met that.  I spent 5-10 minutes in the park, so not counting that, I'm right at or a little over. I'll take it!

3 Hours, 14 Minutes.
I limped my way to the church I parked near (probably another 1/2 to full mile away!) and opened the car, where I promptly took off my sneakers! Oh, that felt so good!  I started the car and got the AC going, had some water, then headed for home.

Once home, I think it took me 5 minutes just to walk from the car to the house because by then my feet hurt so bad, you'd think I went to Disney! Well, that and because I still didn't have my shoes on.

I got hugs from Hubby, whose first question was, "Did you finish?"  HELL YES I FINISHED! I want to scream it from the rooftops, I am so proud of myself!  I plopped down on the couch and elevated my poor feet and we all chatted for a bit. He brought me my Zax sammich, and I finally ate it (it was pretty good) while my daughter and I watched the last 15 minutes of "The Princess and the Frog."

2 Waters, 3 Soda, 4 Chips, 10 Granola bars, gum, lollipops, mints, awesome!
When the movie was over, I forced myself to get up and get moving so that I don't freeze that way and cause more pain, and I decided to take all the stuff out of my Swag Bag.  I ended up getting LOTS of stuff!  I gave my daughter a bunch of stuff and she took off with it back to her room and I headed in to my office to download all my photos and check out all the photos I sent to Facebook while I walked.

Wouldn't you know it, not a single photo made it to FB!  Apparently my upload email was incorrect. Dammit. Stupid Facebook.

I think it's time for some food. I'm STARVING!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Maybe this bird CAN change?

If you look at my track record so far (get it, track record?), you'll see that I am a weekend slacker. I'd much rather chill in my jammies on Sunday then do a training day.

Today was different. I didn't do my 2.25 miles on Saturday (cuz I'm lazy!) and decided, what the hell? Let's do it today!

Once the laundry was done, I changed and hopped onto the treadmill. I put In the Kitchen with David on the TV (muted) and popped in my earbuds and off I went. I like having something visual in front of me that doesn't need to be heard (cooking shows and Man v Food also work, go figure...) to zone out to while I walk.

I did a 60-second burst here and there. A 90-second burst to one song.  I got bored and began shuffling through the tunes. I got to Freebird. Yes, Freebird is on my MP3 player. I'm cool like that.  I decided that I would run during that climax part. That is the part after he stops singing and goes for about 4 minutes with the bum Bum, Bum BUMs in the background and the heavy guitar work until it is so hard and so fast it bursts through and begins to flow again (Yes, get over it - I completely sexualized one of the greatest rock songs ever.) Anyway, it's been a while since I heard Freebird and I thought that part was about 2 minutes.  At the 90-second mark, I'm all "good job, almost done" but it kept going.  At 2 minutes, I'm beginning to freak out but became determined to make it.  At 3 minutes, I was cussing the bastard who thought that this part needed to be so freaking long, but by the time I reached the end, I was almost in freakin' tears.  I could not believe that I had pushed myself that hard (I was running at about 4.2mph) for that long.  Remember, this is Smokey McGee over here, she of the Smoker's Lungs. Stairs kick my ass.

As I put the treadmill back down to about 2mph so that I could catch my breath, not puke and not pass out, I said some pretty choice cuss words, but my favorite phrase was "Holy FUCK, who the hell thought I could fuckin' pull THAT out of my fat ass???" (Sorry mom - but I got my salty vocab from dad, there.)

I finished my 2.25 miles and continued to 2.5, just for the hell of it. I was done in 50 minutes. Still not near the 4-minute mile I need to qualify for the PHM, but still pretty damn good!  I shut the treadmill down, changed and made a promise to myself. In the next 6 weeks (since I"m 6 weeks into this training thing so far), I'm gonna run that entire song. All 9 minutes of it. I might puke or pass out after THAT one, but I will have done it.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Improvements already!

So last week I skipped all of my training because we went down for OMDD. To make up for that, I doubled up all my training days from 2/25 until 3/9 so that I could get back on track.  It's been kicking my ass and yesterday was the first day I could get through the entire thing (30 minute walk AND a 30 minute run/walk).  As I was plodding along, I realized that, after 45 minutes, my lower calf had yet to cramp up!  Usually it starts to really hurt around 20 minutes (I have very tight calves that need to be stretched, I guess - I'm working on that!) - sometimes so bad that I have to stop.

I finished my hour and as I was changing into lounge-y clothes, I realized that there were a lot of improvements so far:
  1. No leg cramps while on the treadmill. 
  2. I ran for about 2 minutes at a time before I had to stop (this is a vast improvement over my 10 second time when I began).
  3. The pants I wore to work that day were saggy and baggy and not nearly as tight around my waist as when I first got them. 
After I sat for a while after dinner, I got up and was stiff, so I assumed that I would hurt a LOT today, but I really don't.  I feel like I "exercised" - you know, that good muscle feeling. 

I think the biggest improvement, though?  I'm looking forward to the walk/run now.  I'm thinking of heading to the park tomorrow and doing their 3-mile trail.  Of course, it's supposed to rain, so I probably won't get to. But the fact that I'm thinking that way and kind of bummed that I probably won't GET TO do it makes me happy. 

The mindset is changing. I'm on my way.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

So, Who Figured out the Announcement?

I got all sidetracked with talking about the journey that I haven't announced the destination!

Yep, you are seeing things correctly!  Me, the fat girl with a big ass and bigger boobs, is actually training to do a half-marathon in 2013. 

I can't run more than 2 minutes at a time.

I still have smoker's lungs.

I still get migraines. 

I have Plantar Fasciitis in my left foot.

I have muscles that don't want to stretch.

I have ankles that roll.

I have to do this. For me.

It's that simple.

Identifying My Weakness...

For the rest of February, I kept to my training schedule pretty well, but found that I have ZERO motivation on the weekends! I grocery shop on Saturday, so I never want to do it then. On Sundays, it’s my chill time, so I don’t even want to get out of my jammies. And sadly, I don’t think I did much on the weekends, looking back at last month. I have to do better there!

Anyway, Disney did this really cool thing for Leap Day called One More Disney Day where Magic Kingdom would be open for 24 hours.

We decided to skip down to WDW for a few days and enjoy the festivities. Needless to say, there was no training that week! (But I can say that I walked for about 12 hours in ONE day, so that could be counted as endurance training!)

I took the following Friday off to recover and ended up calling the entire week from 2/27 to 3/2 a wash. Nothing was done.  Now I’m playing catch up, which isn’t going too bad. Yesterday I did 45 minutes on the treadmill with a total of 5-6 minutes of running thrown in.  I’m getting there!

I don’t have any training today – I have a rescheduled massage that I missed last week!  Ahhhh, relaxation, here I come!

Monday, March 5, 2012

March for Babies

I recently began thinking that, before I get to the Princess in 2013, I should sign up for some 5ks or something between now and then to give me smaller goals to work towards. There is one in April that I am very interested in - the 5th Annual Fallen Heroes 5k.  It supports the Wounded Warrior Project and the Gainesville Fisher House. (Click HERE to view the flyer).

However, last week the family and I went to Disney for One More Disney Day and it kicked my butt.  I ended up calling in sick on Friday, but I did check my work email just in case there were any little fires I needed to put out. 

In my inbox was an email from our Director about making a team for the March of Dimes walk.  What irony! So when I got to work this morning, I signed up for it.  It is an 8.6 mile course that starts at Westwood Middle School (near Westside Park) at 8am. Click on the March of Dimes logo for my personal page.

I think that this will be a great way for me to get a taste of what a long walk feels like, even though I don't know if I'm ready yet...

But then again, I got lost in Payne's Prairie one year (long day and long story) and I go to Disney a lot, so I think I can handle 8 miles! Positive thinking is what I need!!!!

Please donate to March of Dimes. It is one of the few charities that I wholeheartedly believe in!