Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Oh 2011...

I don't want to be the only blogger who doesn't do a 2011 recap so here goes and since I actually started my blog in 2011 I guess I should wrap up the year...

Looking back on my I Run Alot! page I realized that 2011 is definitely the busiest running year I've had to date and probably the most fun I've ever had running.  Let's take a look back through some of my 2011 races...shall we?

Mercer Island 10K: I started off the running year and my blog around this time so this was my first official race recap and I'm finding out that I really enjoy going back and reading my recaps...I have a terrible memory so if anything it reminds me why I run or why to run or not to run a particular race again.  This was the beginning of my 2011 PR's...coming in around 57 minutes.
Seattle Rock and Roll 1/2 Marathon: I had some pretty lofty plans to run a sub 2 hour half at this race but I knew my speed training wasn't up to par and when I hit mile 6 during the race I knew it wasn't going to happen, but a PR was possible so I still pushed through and set a new half marathon PR of 2:03:53.  This race holds a special place in my heart because it's where all the running madness began back in 2008 when it was still the Seafair Half Marathon.  I'll probably run this race every year until I can't anymore.
Ragnar Relay Northwest Passage: My third year running this relay and I still can't say enough good things about this race and how much fun it is!  If you are considering a relay JUST DO IT, I promise you'll have fun...unless you are an anti-social hermit.  I ran some super speedy times for me and was proud of my whole team!

Chicago Marathon: And oh yeah, I ran a marathon this year...did you forget?  Sometimes it feels like a year ago that I ran this race but it was mere months ago, crazy!  All the training leading up to this race, traveling to Chicago with my besties, and running probably the longest race of my life was an experience I will NEVER forget.  And of course, the marathon was the whole reason I started this blog that has introduced me to a whole new world of friends that share my crazy obsession with running and telling others about it.

P.S. WOW...I really like the color blue, maybe I should try to run in something other than blue this year during races :)
I have to admit after the marathon I kind of hated running, but I think that is normal?  I decided to focus on weight training and started following Jamie Eason's LiveFit program on and I'm still doing it and loving the change in routine and actually seeing muscles on myself.  It has definitely taught me the importance of incorporating strength training into my running routine and it will be making it's way into my future training plans for sure!

Rest assured my love for running is back and I plan on making 2012 an even better year...stay tuned for that friends.

Question: Do you plan on your race calendar a year in advance?  What race are you most looking forward to in 2012?  Mine will be running a sub 2 hour half marathon no matter how many races it takes to do it :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

LiveFit Trainer - Phase 2 Recap

Hello all! It's almost Christmas, where on earth did this YEAR go...I honestly have no idea.  I'm still sort of struggling to post regularly on this blog post marathon but just be aware that I really want to, so don't leave me :). 

I'm still doing Jamie Eason's LiveFit Trainer and in fact I just finished Phase 2.  I followed the weight training portion of the program almost to a T but usually did not do two days of legs.  I found it really hard to be at the gym 1.5 hours/ 6 days a week so I just considered my extra activities like 5K's and indoor soccer my 6th day of working out and called it good.  I don't remember a time in my life when I wasn't sore since starting this program but definitely in a good way. 

Some things I LOVE about this trainer:

1. VARIETY! Every two weeks the exercises are changed up completely.  You never have time to get bored with any exercise, number of reps/sets, etc.  I have learned how to use so many different machines at my gym I would have just stared at in confusion otherwise.  For example check out the Arms/Abs workout one week and then two weeks later you change it up to this

2. SUPPORT! is so comprehensive and FREE.  This entire program including what you should eat and what supplements you should take for FREE.  There are videos for every exercise so you can see the proper form before you head to the gym.  One of my new favorite moves I learned was the Straight Arm Pulldown...I could only do like was much harder than it looks!

3. RESULTS! I immediately noticed at the end of Phase 1 how much stronger I was and could even notice it in the mirror a little.  Now after Phase 2 I'm down about 6 pounds and my jeans are all a little loose.  My arms/shoulders/back actually look muscular! 

There really isn't anything I don't like about the program but I'm not doing it 100%.  I'm not following the nutrition program or supplementation plan.  I did, however make Jamie's Chocolate Protein Bars and they are pretty amazing, I would highly recommend for someone with a severe sweet tooth like myself! 

What's next?  Well Phase 3 of course, that focuses on getting super lean with lots of cardio type intervals and sprints along with weight lifting.  I'm not planning on starting this phase until after the holidays since I can't get the time in at the gym with the travel to my parents and all.  I also need to start training for half marathon season soon so I need to figure out how to fit it all in.  Just check out this workout from Phase's super long and then you have to sprint for 30 minutes at the end of it.

Question: How do you runners out there fit in weight training? I definitely don't want to loose the muscle I've gained but I'm itching to get back into training mode for races!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Race Recap: Jingle Bell Jog 5K

First off, can I just say that I LOVE 5Ks!!  Definitely my new favorite distance.  Of course, I'm not really taking them seriously or trying to sprint them but at the same time you get all those giddy race feelings without all the nerves knowing you will be done in 30 minutes or less!


I signed up for the annual Jingle Bell Jog in Seattle a few weeks ago with my running buddy, Sonia, and we had a great time just chatting it up for the whole race with a short sprint to the finish.  I was telling Sonia during the race that some day I would like to train and try to place in my age group at a smaller race or something but the Jingle Bell Jog is definitely not the race to try and do it.  The third place female came in around 19 minutes...I have LONG way to go!

Pre-Race: Another reason to love 5Ks...I don't have to get up insanely early to eat a huge breakfast so I don't starve while I'm running for 2-5 hours.  I woke up around 7, got dressed, ate a Luna bar and headed out the door to pick up Sonia. We parked a few blocks away for free in downtown Seattle and stepped right in line 10 minutes before the start.

The Race: The jog is really about people watching and hearing all the fun!  There were santas, reindeer, a grinch and even a couple guys in nothing but shorts and running shoes (I'm not sure how that is Christmasy)...BRRR!!  It was a pretty crowded course so we really couldn't run fast even if we wanted to.  The course started on a gradual uphill going through downtown before it turns back north on the express lane tunnels.  The tunnels would have been nice if it was raining (it wasn't!) and they were just kind of loud and a little smelly.  By the time you get out of tunnels you zip up a decent hill and then it's downhill to the finish.

Results: 29:29 - 9:34 pace
finish line madness

Post Race: For a 5K this race had the most extensive post races treats I've ever seen.  Water bottles, orange slices, bananas, bagels and Top Pot donuts...oh and a FREE beer. Sonia and I decided to skip it all including the free beer and head right to brunch at Pesos where I enjoyed a bloody mary and shrimp and avocado omelet.

You can't see our awesome socks in this photo...darn!

Raced a 5K, ate a delicious brunch, good time with a good friend and home before noon...great start to a Sunday morning.  So great in fact, I signed up for another holiday 5K next weekend :).

Oh and I'm still doing Jamie Eason's LiveFit trainer, I'm on week 8 starting today...last day of Phase 2.  I'll recap for you all after this week!

Question: Who out there is running holiday races this year?  Did you dress up?  I bought some fun socks and wore reindeer antlers.