Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Fitness weekly wrap up

I'm a little late wrapping up my fitness routine from last week, but better late than never!  Last Sunday was day 7 of the Honor Your Zen yoga challenge, Wheel Pose.
 In cheerleading, we called that a "back bend!"  Let's just say, I am not very flexible any more and it hurt!  We went to church that morning and I took my daughter to her Performance Team tryouts at dance.  She ended up making the team!

Monday, hubby and I ran 2.5 miles at the lake!  It was my first run in a long time.  As of right now, I've only logged 12.5 miles for the month of April.  I was really happy to be back out there running and thankful I had my husband for support.  
Our floors at the lake house were being put in that morning so I went on home after we ran.  Today's yoga pose was Side Crow, but I could barely manage regular Crow pose.

 I had my sweet lab, Chuck join in on the fun again!  He needs his own page/blog lol.

Tuesdays I usually have my home group Bible Study, but only one person could make it so we changed it to Thursday.  I decided to go to a workout class I used to go to last year.  It was just our instructor, me, my mother, and best friend Bethany.  It was a lot more fun working out with them than by myself.  We did a lot of upper body work, running, mountain climbers, jumping jacks, and burpees.  
I had a great time and got in a great workout!  Day 9 of the yoga challenge was Triangle Pose.  I was glad to be back on my feet for this one!

Wednesday, I ran a 3 mile heart rate one where I would stop and walk if my heart rate went above 150.  It was pretty hard keeping my HR down since I was running a hilly route at the lake.  I had to walk a lot and I think my second mile was 13:23.  I finished with a 12:48 average pace which isn't too bad considering I have not run much over the last month or so.
 You wouldn't think your heart rate would get up that high running so slowly, but it does.  I was diagnosed with Mitral Valve Prolapse in 2004.  I've had problems with palpitations, chest pain, and fatigue all during my 20's and 30's.  I had been feeling pretty terrible after my long runs in February and March so I think this is the best and safest way for me to train.  After my run, I finished the last day of the Honor Your Zen yoga challenge with Fish Pose.  I thought it was a little weird at first, but the stretch actually felt really good!

Thursday morning, I woke up, wrote in my prayer journal, and read my Bible like I do each morning.  I checked my email and saw that I actually got into the Chicago Marathon!  
I had applied for non-guaranteed entry several weeks ago and figured I wouldn't get in lol.  I have applied for the New York Marathon two years in a row and didn't get in.  I got into Chicago on the first try!  I wore my royal blue for the first day of the Runner's Love Yoga IT Band yoga challenge.  It was IT Band stretch.  Chuck joined me for this one too!

Friday was leg day at the gym.  This was the first day I was able to go all week so I hit legs pretty hard.  3x10 squats on the Smith Machine with 70 pound weights, 3x10 leg press 150 pounds, 3x10 leg extensions, 3x10 hamstring curls, 3x10 dead lifts, calf raises, and side leg lifts (inner thigh and outer).  
My son had a tball game that night so I did Day 2 of the Runner's Love Yoga IT Band Challenge, Standing Pigeon Pose.  I love this stretch!

We were at my oldest daughter's soccer tournament in Jackson, MS all weekend so I'm behind on my yoga challenge.  We had a great weekend and my daughter's team won first place in their division!  That wraps of my fitness from last week!  I am really looking forward to training for the Chicago Marathon and getting my body in the shape it needs to be to prepare for the training.  Who else got in??  Have a great week y'all!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Heart rate training

I started heart rate training again this week.  My coach I contacted to help me train for a marathon last December, wanted me to heart rate train.  I had a monitor already for my Garmin and just needed a new strap.  I was so excited about this new way of training at first.  However, I had so much trouble with it and I would finish my training runs extremely frustrated.  My goal was to keep my heart rate between 140-150 during each training run.  If it got up over 150, I would have to stop and walk.  I ended up walking a lot and did not stick with the training but maybe 5 weeks.  I started having trouble with anxiety in January while trying to train for the Destin Marathon.  I ended up telling my coach I needed a training break, dropped to the Destin Half which I didn't get to run, and went back to my old way of running without a heart rate monitor.

I take heart meds for my Mitral Valve Prolapse.  Any time I have palpitations, I take Acebutolol and they go away.  Acebutolol slows my HR down so sometimes after I take it and run, my HR would be low.  If I had not taken it, my HR would be high.  I felt like if I took my medicine it was almost like "cheating" my training runs.  When I raced my 10k in January, my HR only got up to about 160 at the end, but I had taken my medicine the night before.  When I first started running 3 years ago, I made it nearly 8 months without taking the medicine at all.  I thought running had healed my prolapse symptoms once and for all!  However, the palpitations came back and they came back with a vengeance.  I was so disappointed when I had to start taking my medicine again in January 2014.

So what is heart rate training and what are the benefits?  I looked up some info and HR training can benefit everyone.  Whether you are a beginner, trying to lost weight, or just improve overall cardiovascular fitness, heart rate training might be just what you need.  Here are a few steps to calculate your ideal HR training zones.

1. Calculate your maximum heart rate:  Subtract your age from 220 and the result is an age predicted maximum beats per minute.  This does not take into account your genetics or fitness level which can make your true max HR 10-20 beats per minute higher or lower than the age-predicted number.  I am 36 so my max HR is 184.  I have heard you can get to your max HR but it is not safe to stay there.

2.  Determine your resting heart rate:  Take your pulse before you get out of bed each morning for several days to get consistent readings.

Key Target Zones
Zone 1:  Very Light 50%-60% of maximum HR          Getting your blood flow going
Zone 2:  Light         60%-70% of maximum HR           Light intensity, enhances your endurance
Zone 3:  Moderate  70%-80% of maximum HR           Aerobic fitness
Zone 4:  Hard         80%-90% of maximum HR           Improving maximum performance.  Training at this
                                                                                   intensity should only be for a short amount of time
Zone 5: Maximum   90%-100% of max HR                This zone is for experienced athletes only.  Short
                                                                                   bursts in this zone helps develop speed and overall

Okay so my maximum HR is 184.  184 x .6 is 110
                                                     184 x .7 is 128
                                                     184 x .8 is 147
                                                     184 x .9 is 165
My Zone 1:  92-110
My Zone 2:  110-128
My Zone 3:  128-147
My Zone 4:  147-165
My Zone 5:  165-184

This is why it is necessary for me to start walking when my HR goes up to 150.  By the time my HR is 150, I am in the "hard" zone! If I want to build endurance, I would have to slow down even more.  If you are running 5 miles in the "hard" zone, you will not feel very good after.  I think that is what was happening to me.  I want to feel good while I am running and afterward.  Here are my paces and heart rate for today.  

My average pace was 12:48.  Not too bad considering I have not been running much or any heart rate training since January.  I have a long way to go.  Remember, sugar and caffeine will make your HR be even higher than normal.  Mine was pretty high today so maybe I should not have any coffee or a chocolate bar the night before I run!  My coach would always ask how I felt after a HR run and I do feel good today.  I don't feel tired or that I over did it today and my HR came back down quickly.  I think this training will benefit me physically and mentally.  When I do decide to race again a long time from now, I will be ready!!  Have a great Wednesday y'all!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

My week in fitness recap

As most of you know, I am on a running break.  I am not "breaking up" with running, just taking some time off until it feels right to lace up again.  We came home a week ago from a wonderful spring break at the beach.  It was really hard to get back into our school, activity routine after staying up late and sleeping late for nearly a full week!!

Monday, I headed back to the gym to work legs with hubby.  It had been a few weeks since I have been there, but went up in weight for squats on the Smith Machine.  I like doing squats using that machine instead of just a barbell with weights.  I have to use the sports pad for the bar to cushion my neck and back.  I have had so much stiffness in my neck lately which may have caused all of the headaches last month.  So leg day it was!  
I was able to squat 3 x 8 (3 sets 8 reps) using 75 pounds!  I did 4 x 10 leg press using 150 pounds, 3 x 10 leg extension using 50 pounds, 3 x 10 hamstring curls 50 pounds, and I went back over to the Smith Machine to dead lift 70 pounds and I only did 2 sets of 10.  Those hurt my back and hubby said I wasn't doing it right.  Sigh.  So I grabbed some 15 pound dumbells and did some step ups on the bench.  This is where you step up one leg at a time for 10 reps then switch.  This really engages your quads and glutes.  They are much easier on your knees than lunges and I do not like lunges.  I went to a small park in our community and did some yoga.  I have joined a new yoga challenge called Honor Your Zen.  The pose for day one was Cow Face pose.
 I have enjoyed starting yoga again and it has really helped me feel better.  There is just something calming about yoga.  I went home and cleaned house all day to get ready for my home Bible Study group ladies that were coming over Tuesday morning.  My legs were already sore when I got home.

Tuesday, I had my Bible Study group over and we visited, drank our coffee, ate donuts and pimento cheese (yum), prayed, and watched a video of our new study called Breathe.  I am really excited about it.  I did not sleep at all the night before due to bad weather so after my mother left, I took a nap.  When I got up I did some yoga!  Day 2 of the Honor Your Zen yoga challenge was Crescent Lunge.
 This stretch felt great for my back which was sore from my workout the day before.  My son had a tee ball game that night and I got to be the dugout mom.  I was in charge of getting all the kids ready to bat and keeping up with all of their hats, helmets, gloves, and bats.  It was a lot of fun!

Wednesday was bike riding day.  My husband and I had to work at our lake house we've been builiding for nearly 9 months so I thought we should ride our bikes.  He "forgot" to bring his and borrowed our neighbor's bike.
 My bike's tires were flat so we only rode 4 miles in a little over 30 minutes.  It is very hilly at the lake so I got in a great workout.  I love this picture my husband snapped of me on my bike.  
I was thankful the week was going so well and that I was feeling better each day.  We worked the rest of the morning at the lake house and my hubby took me out to Barbecue for lunch!  I did my yoga back home and day 3 was Compass pose.  Can you say... OUCH?

Thursday, I could tell I was starting to get irritable.  I had not run consistently all month and when I was running before, I would designate a time to do it so I would get a little time to myself.  By this day, I had not had any time to myself in two weeks and I was feeling a little grumpy.  Hubby went to work and I took care of my son all day.  I did some yoga and it helped me feel better.  Today's pose was Cobra pose.
Even my white lab, Chuck got in on some yoga action as I was filming my video.

 I sure do love him.  He is so easy to please.  He doesn't ask for a thing from me; he just wants love.  My husband asked me that morning if I wanted to come to work for a few hours. I was trying to be a good wife so I said yes.  We own a restaurant and I have been working there since 1998 believe it or not!  That is how Christopher and I met!  I waitressed for 8 years then have been filling in as a cashier whenever they need me since 2006.  I thought it would be a good idea to get out of the house.  I got to the restaurant at 4 with all of our kids.  We thought Aubrynn, our oldest who is 12, could watch the little kids next door at my Father-in-law's.  I did okay at first but the busier we got, the more overwhelmed I began to feel.  I told my husband I wasn't going to last very long.  Plus the kids had come back to eat so I left around 630 with them.  I had made it 2 and a half hours.  I think it was just too much too soon.  The fish house as we call it, is stressful enough even when you are not struggling with anxiety.  Any job working with the public is tough.  I felt better when I got home and got all the kids bathed and in bed.

On Friday, I cancelled an appointment and made an appointment with myself. It was much needed and it's okay to do that. It's been a long week and I can tell not running had been making me irritable. That's okay too and I will just have to get over it. I think this was the first time I had used 20 pound dumbells for one armed rows.
It felt great to go up in weight today on just about every upper body exercise even though I have not been very consistent with my weight lifting. This morning's workout went like this-- 4 x 10 Lat pull downs and I went up to 60 pounds the last rep, 4 x 10 seated cable rows up to 60 pounds the last rep, 3 x 10 single arm dumbells rows, 3 x 10 bent over rows, lower back 20 reps, 3 x 10 tricep pull downs up to 30 pounds last rep, 3 x 10 tricep extension with 20 pound dumbell woo hoo, 3 x 10 tricep dips, and 4 x 10 bicep curls using the cable machine up to 50 pounds last rep! Yay! 2 mile stationary bike ride in 8 minutes for a little cardio.  
I did not enjoy that 8 minutes at all.  I would rather ride my bike outside any day! I tried my tripod head stand for day 5 of my yoga challenge and it was a disaster lol.  Hey, I tried!

Now it is Saturday and I have spent the day with my kids, niece, and mother.  I did my day 6 yoga challenge pose at the park! Today's pose was Goddess pose. It made me feel a little awkward lol.
 I picked up my oldest daughter at her sleepover and we will head to my mother's for dinner.  I will get to visit with my brother which is always nice.  I had a really bad night last night.  I got pretty upset because I can't be in Destin this weekend to run the Destin Half Marathon.  I originally signed up for the marathon in January and training became too hard.  When I first started running 3 years ago, things were so easy and simple.  I only raced 5k's and would go by myself.  I signed up for as many as I could.  As I started running distance, I felt more and more accomplished.  I made running friends and these are people I have known for years and I got my heart broken when they all stopped talking to me and inviting me to races.  We all go to the same ones so I just did not understand.  Well, I do know why, but I will keep it to myself. I just wish women would be nicer, more kind, loyal, and think about how it would feel if they were the one excluded or left out.  I am feeling much better today, but this is why running has become so difficult.  It's hard to train for a race then have to go alone.  Our restaurant is open on weekends and hubby has to work.  I get that.  What used to bring me joy and a sense of accomplishment ended up causing me a lot of heartache.  I just have to get back to running being my friend again.  Maybe it was too much of an addiction before and need to find balance.  I have started applying for jobs and praying God will open a door.  I think it would be great to get out of the house a few days a week and contribute financially.  We will see!!  Thank you for being here and for your encouragement.  I really need it during this tough season of life.  I love you all!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Living with anxiety

I am going to admit something to y'all that is very hard to admit. I have terrible anxiety. This is not something new and I have learned the more I look back, that I have had a strange sense of fear since early childhood. We have had a few things happen in our family over the last 6 years that seem to have made my anxiety much worse. 

I had my first full blown panic attack almost two years ago which was the same year I was diagnosed with melanoma. I had a panic attack two weeks ago and again this week. I have been having headaches for a month now which I believe are stress related and causing more anxiety. I have tried medication because I definitely think something is chemically off balance in my brain, but the medication makes everything worse including headaches. I finally waved the white flag last night and had my mother let all three children spend the night with her so I could do some soul searching, pray, read my Bible, watch videos on how to deal with stress, read my new book Fervent by Priscilla Shirer, pray, and cry a whole lot. I wrote down several Scriptures about peace and posted them in different places where I can see them. In my closet, on my bedside table, my mirrors, and even my Keurig. Joyce Meyer said that the stress isn't really about what is going on around you, but INSIDE of you. That really spoke to me. I have worked my little body into a tizzy worrying about EVERYTHING. The thing is I have a great life and I am truly blessed. I have done this to myself and only I am to blame here. I have managed to worry myself sick. However, now I am taking a stand and taking my life back. I am taking steps in the right direction and I know God will bring me through this. I trust God and I am going to continue to do good even on really hard days. I don't plan on running for awhile, at least until these headaches go completely away. I am asking you all to say a prayer for me because even though I have come really far in my walk with God, I am a pretty high strung person and there isn't much about me that is "calm." Many things have led up to this point and I wish I could share them all with you. I really want to be like Jesus when I start to feel stressed out. I would like to remain calm in all circumstances and not let things upset me. I hesitated sharing this, but hey, if someone needs to hear my story and if sharing what I am going through helps only one person, I am willing to put myself out there. I hope y'all are enjoying your weekend and hope to be back to running soon if it is God's will.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Disney Princess Weekend recap!

Wow, I checked my blog and realized I have not posted one thing for 2016!  I am going to recap one of my favorite race weekends of ALL time.. Disney Princess weekend February 18-22!  It is really neat how I ended up getting to go!  I've been following @roadrunnergirl aka Mindy Bobe on IG for at least 2 years now and she happens to live in Daphne, Alabama, only an hour away from me.  I also met an Instafriend named Jenny or aka @jennyfren on IG and she also lived in Daphne.  I saw in July that they were both registering for Disney Princess weekend and I left a comment that I wished I could go.  Long story short, they invited me to go with them on this amazing trip!  The Glass Slipper Challenge was sold out so I signed up for the Disney Princess 5k and Half Marathon!  I was over the moon excited!  I met Jenny and Mindy in person finally in January before our big trip.  We had a 3 hour late lunch at Jason's Deli in Mobile and got to know each other better.  The three of us seemed to hit it off immediately which made me even more excited about the trip!

We decided to leave Wednesday February 17 and drive most of the way to Orlando that day and night so we could be at the expo on Thursday when it opened.  I drove to Mindy's house in Daphne and we loaded up Jenny's rental car with our bags and my Keurig coffee maker!!  We are all coffee addicts!  We drove all the way to Gainesville Florida and spent the first night at a hotel there.  We got up early the next morning and drove straight to Disney World!!  We made it to the expo right when it opened at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.  
Jenny, Mindy, and I met up with Tracy our roommate and Brittney, our travel agent who planned our special trip.  Brittney did so many nice things in preparing our group for the trip and even made all of us several care packages.  Most of the ladies in our group were from the Alabama area.  Back to the expo!  We went straight to the Run Disney items first and let me tell you it was a mad house.  People were grabbing, pushing, and breaking things.  I just happened to get the Cinderella's Castle tank I wanted thanks to a lady who grabbed an arm load for me and my friends.  I am not the type of person to jump in a crowd and fight over a shirt.  I was pretty overwhelmed at all the people and we had to wait in a long line to check out.  I picked up my Sparkle Athletic visor I ordered online and the other ladies did some shopping.  I also got to meet Mary or "Grand Mary" as we called her.  She was Brittney and Kristin's (Bamagirlruns) mom and she made our cute princess t-shirts.  We decided to grab something to eat.  I ordered a hamburger and barely ate any of it.  My nerves were completely shot from all the people!  We still had to go over to a different building and pick up our packets.  We ended up being at the expo for over FOUR hours.  I would say that was the worst part of the trip.
 By the time we checked in at Pop Century and unloaded the car, I was in desperate need of some down time.  I stayed in the room while Tracy, Jenny, and Mindy went to Downtown Disney.  Crowds make me so nervous indoors, but outdoors at races, I am completely fine being surrounded by people.  My roommates came back around 9 and we went to bed since we had a 330 AM wake up.

330 AM came quickly and the 4 of us got up to get ready.  We had a big group of ladies and we all had mermaid leggings to wear with different colored tank tops.  I was in all green!  Talk about cute, cute, cute!!  Everybody looked so good!!
 We had so many people ask us where we got our leggings (Amazon for $10!).  We headed down to the bus around 4 or 430.  It was a little chilly, but not too bad.  We took lots of pictures waiting for the bus and headed over to Epcot where the 5k would be starting.  We took more pictures waiting for the race to start and it was still dark outside.  
I was in corral B by myself and the race started at 6:00 AM.  It seems like a long time to wait, but the time goes by so fast!  
It was time for our corral to start and I remember the first part of the 5k was pretty boring. It was really hard to run in those leggings and hard trying to get around all the people.  I gave up trying to run a decent pace and just enjoyed myself.  I'm not very familiar with Epcot, but running through the park at sunrise was just beautiful.
 I had to stop and use the restroom too and took a lot of pictures.  The race was over in a flash and I received my awesome Ariel medal.  I loved it!
 I found Mindy and Jenny and we waited in a long line to take a picture with Ariel and Prince Eric.
 Ariel disappeared for a few minutes, but I was determined to get a picture with my favorite princess.  
I got my picture taken with her and we headed back to the bus since we were cold.  I really enjoyed this 5k so much.  We got ready and went to spend the day at Animal Kingdom.  We had so much fun!!  
We ate a late lunch at Tusker House and pretty much had the characters all to ourselves!  
We ate and got on a bus for Epcot.  I was so tired, I only stayed at Epcot a few minutes to take some pictures and headed back to the room to shower.  It was such a fun day though.

The next morning, my roommates were running the 10k so I woke up while they got ready, but when they left, I turned the lights off and went back to sleep until about 6:30.  I got some good sleep!  I got ready while they were gone because we were spending the day at Magic Kingdom!  Jenny and Mindy came in and they had a great race.  They drank coffee and started getting ready and Tracy came in.  We decided to go over to Hollywood Studios and eat lunch and we got to see the Star Wars exhibit and got to meet Chewy!!  
We headed over to Magic Kingdom after that and spent the rest of the afternoon there.  
We met the sweetest cleaning lady named Curlie.  We actually met her in the ladies room off of the Main Street area and she told us she had been working at Magic Kingdom since it opened over 40 years ago!  She had the sweetest memorabilia in her storage closet.  Over 40 years of items she had collected and pictures on her walls.  She was so precious and it was a great moment for all of us to be able to meet her.  Jenny actually mailed her this picture of us with a sweet note.
After that we went to Starbucks on Main Street and visited with a few other ladies in our group and I got a picture with Kristin aka @bamagirlruns!  She is super nice and so funny!  
We went shopping after the parade and I bought a few souvenirs for my children.  
I left Magic Kingdom around 4:30 to go back to the room and do my prehydration ritual that I do before every race.  I drink 4 twenty ounce half water half Gatorade drinks so I don't get dehydrated during a race.  My roommates and I ate pizza at the resort so we could go to bed early.  We had a 2:30 AM wake up for the half marathon the next morning!!

The next thing I knew it was 2:30 AM and time to get up and get ready for the Disney Princess Half Marathon!  I was so excited!  All for of us were up, dressed, and out the door by 3 AM to catch the bus.  
The half marathon started at 5:30 so we caught the bus to Epcot at the same place the 5k.
 Our group took pictures and we danced and had such a fun time even though it was 4 in the morning and dark outside!!  I walked with Jenny, Mindy, and Leigh to the corrals.  It was a LONG walk to get there and I was in corral E which was really close to the starting line.  Once the first groups started going through, it was only a few minutes before I got to start!  
BOOM!  Fireworks and we were off.  I did have to stop and go potty after the first mile.  We ran into Magic Kingdom after about 4 miles and I stopped for a picture with Jasmine.
 I ran under the Run Disney sign and around the Contemporary Resort into Magic Kingdom!  
I ran on Main Street and someone was nice enough to stop and take a picture of me in front of the castle!  
I can't say enough about how nice people were at Disney.  I took a picture with Buzz Lightyear and my FAVORITE pictures are of me, the Stepmother and stepsisters from Cinderella.  I had a blast with all of them!  
I took a picture with Woody and Jessie and waited in a 15 minute line for a picture with Belle and Beast since she is my daughter's favorite Disney princess.  
After 6 and a half miles, I was outside of Magic Kingdom and the rest of the half went by pretty fast.  I didn't stop and take a picture with Mary Poppins and I should have.  I did stop at mile 10 for a Bambi selfie.
I remember running over a bridge and it was getting hot at this point.  I was ready to be DONE.  I feel like I ran all over Epcot before finally making the last couple of turns to the finish line.  I took a selfie with the gospel choir and mile 13!
 They say whoever is on the banner at mile 13 will be the theme of the next year's Princess weekend.  Snow White it is!!  
When I crossed the finish line, it almost felt like the first time I had ever finished a half marathon.  It felt amazing!!
 I had so much fun at this race and took my time.  There was no pressure or competition, just fun!!  I found Jenny and Mindy after the race and we took pictures and hung out for a few minutes before I got on the bus to get out of the sun.
 We had such a fun afternoon taking pictures as a group in front of the castle in our cute shirts Grand Mary made for us and eating at Ohana!  
That really hit the spot!!  We went back to Magic Kingdom and a few of us took more pictures and rode a couple rides.  
My favorite part was meeting Ariel again!
 We watched the fireworks and wishes at the castle.  My roommates and I crawled into bed at around 11:30!  What a wonderful day and weekend it had been!!

Jenny, Mindy, and I got on the road around 11 or 10 Central time.  We were all ready to see our families and had a safe trip home.  Thank you Jenny for driving us!  I can't say enough about this trip.  It had been literally years since I had gone any where with a group of women.  This was just what my spirit needed and I am so thankful for all the new friends I made!  I love my family but I think it's important to have friendships and find people you have things in common with.  These women were all so welcoming and loving.  They love the Lord and they love to run!!  I cannot wait to go back next year!!