Sunday, June 29, 2008

Weekend Warrior

As most people that know me know, I'm usually not to be found in my apartment or in Charleston on the weekends. This past weekend was no exception. I got together with some friends from college on our semi-annual reunion. This time, we all met up in the Great Smokey Mountains in Tennessee. About 14 of us (including a cousin and a sister & brother-in-law) had a cabin in Sevierville, TN and spent the weekend beating ourselves up.

My friend Pat and I finally arrived at the cabin around 2am Thursday evening. The next morning we waited for the last family to arrive (Heather, Dewey and Baby Alex) before going to "Zorb." Basically, they put you in this big inflatable ball and roll you down a hill. Yeah, exactly. You can either be strapped in and roll head over heels or you can sit in about a gallon or two of water and pretty much slide around in the thing - while getting the biggest wedgie of your life - and ride it like a waterslide down the hill. I chose the latter. Wedgie does not cost extra.

(PS This isn't me.)

After getting dried off, we went to drive up one of the Smokey Mountains and hike to the lookout on top. However, our group got separated into those that needed a snack at Wendy's (after waiting about 3 hours to Zorb) and those that forgot dry clothes and stopped at Wal-Mart. Once we got everyone caught up, I slept most of the way up the mountain, walked about 20 feet before finding the rest of our group, and then we left. Eh, I was tired...I'll live.

Saturday we went white water rafting on the Occoe River! We drove about 2 hours to get to the rafting outfitter and were on our way. My battle wounds include a bruise on my lower back where my friend Melissa's knee aggressively met my back when we were told to "get down!" in a rapid, and a giant swollen bruise on my left shin where my own leg hit the air cap on the seat in front of me when we were "getting down." Yikes. Other than that, I was the first crew member tossed in during a rapid (no thanks to my "friend" Melissa who claims she inadvertently pushed me out), the river guide let me steer for a while, and upon taking the reins back from me, pushed me out again...on purpose. It was funny though and I'm sure he wouldn't have done it if he knew he couldn't get away with it.

I sure could use a massage right now, but instead I'll settle for a good night's sleep in my own bed and some reading. G'night!

Countdown 'til Tuesday

All right gang, as promised, I start this week seriously training for this 5K in September. I have some prior commitments each evening, Tuesday-Thursday through the next month at least so I've decided to run on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday. I think I can get a run in each Tu/Th evening before I have to be at community band. If nothing else, I can do it afterwards or in the morning. (Yeah right, have you met me in the morning? Not pretty.)

Tomorrow though (Monday) I am headed to the Rec for some strength training and summer Abs class. Hopefully the bruise I sustained on my lower back from rafting over the weekend doesn't hinder that workout.

Peace out.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Decatur Shoreline Classic

Ok, so I've decided to run the Decatur Shoreline Classic on September 21. I'm having trouble getting myself motivated to run without a goal in mind (besides the overall health benefits and to look smokin' hot). After this weekend, I have exactly 12 weeks to prepare, which is just as many weeks as the Couch to 5K program requires.

I've started this program about three times now in the last two months, but due to travel and other time constraints, I've gotten off for a week and then had to start over.
I'll continue to blog about my progress to keep myself honest.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Hey, I put some new shoes on and suddenly everything is right...

I bought some genuine running shoes Saturday morning. A friend (and runner herself) recommended I get my stride analyzed and buy shoes accordingly. So, I went to a place called Body 'n Sole in Champaign, IL and got both. Here are my new shoes!

My right leg is giving me some weird hip pain, so I might wait another day before trying them out, but I'm excited!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

I have to go where??? And when???

The City of Charleston, due to some budget restraints, had to move the 24-hr. recycling container that used to reside near McDonald's. Apparently the good people of the Chuck were recycling TOO MUCH!! The city and Coles County split the cost of having it picked up every time it's full and apparently pick-ups were needed too frequently and they couldn't afford to have it open all the time.

So, instead, they moved the "dumpster" to some remote location I have yet to find and it's only open on weekends. If I can help it, I'm usually not here on weekends, and haven't been since Memorial Day. Since I'm a good little re-cycler (but could probably do better), I have trash piling up around my kitchen! I will be here this weekend and can't wait to get rid of this stuff tomorrow or Saturday.

On a sidenote, a group within the Leadership Coles County class I participated in studied the feasibility of having curbside recycling in Coles County, or the very least, Charleston. I have reached out to the Mayor to volunteer for any efforts they might take on to make this happen, but haven't heard anything substantive just yet.

Week Two

I started Week 2 of the Couch to 5K program tonight. Unfortunately, the only time I had to run was this evening, but at least it was a bit cooler than it has been during the day and the humidity has taken a break.

Week 2 consists of the same 5 minute warm-up and cool-down with intervals of 90 seconds of running and a 2 minutes of walking for a total of around 20 minutes.

I messed up and didn't have much to eat for dinner. I got busy after work (read: I took a nap) and then had to go to community band. After that I rushed home, got changed, stretched, and took off from my apartment. However, I got sidetracked. The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps are rehearsing in Charleston this week until next Tuesday and I could hear the drumline from my apartment. I walked over to O'Brien Stadium to watch with what turned out to be a couple of friends and other community band members.

When they finished I took off for my run. For those familiar with the layout of Eastern Illinois University, I started near the fieldhouse, ran/walked through the Weller Hall alley, through the South Quad, north to the Union and about that time I thought I might give up...I was worried since I hadn't "fueled up" enough, I wouldn't be able to make it to the end. Instead, I kept going. I continued in front of the Union, past Stevenson Hall, up Division St. and then west on Lincoln to the corner of Lincoln and University. It timed out pretty well since that was when my cool-down walk was to begin and I was about 5-6 minutes from home.

So, now I'm beat!!!! I'm hitting the showers and having a bowl of cereal. Yum!

Monday, June 2, 2008

This is pretty much what I feel like while I am actually running/jogging as I am teaching my body to do so. are my inspiration.

Seriously though, I half-heartedly started the "Couch to 5K" program a few weeks ago, but only after a day into it, I left for a work trip to San Francisco. I started up again last week and ran on Tuesday and Thursday of last week (2 of the 3 days a week suggested.) I'm doing day 3 today.

In order better complete this goal of mine, I downloaded podcasts of this program from a dude named Robert Ullrey. He has the whole program timed out along with some hip, techno music for you to listen to as you run/walk. He provides a 5 min. walking warm-up and cool-down, and then has the running intervals timed out so you don't have to. He even tells you what a great job you did at the end (even if you think you look like you run like Phoebe from Friends and are a giant sweaty mess).

So, two days down, one more to go for Week 1. 8 weeks to go.


PS Still upset that I can't take my recyclables to the collection dumpster by McDonald's and instead have to wait for the weekends to unload. I'm never here on weekends!