Friday, August 19, 2011

My running friends ... I'm Pregnant!

My dearest running friends. I apologize for my lack of blogging, though my excuse is more than awesome! I am pregnant. I am almost 6 weeks along and am now re-evaluating my running goals for this year.
But in the meantime, please follow my newest blog (which I will write on as well as here).

In this blog I will be exploring the possibilities of running while pregnant and what this wonderful baby will mean when it comes to my running. Hope to see you there!

Onwards and Upwards my fellow runners ... parents and non-parents alike!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A nice bowl of sore back muscles with a side of stiff arms for breakfast.

I love rolling out of bed in the morning and landing on sore legs. That's when you KNOW you had a good workout the day before. The kind of sore where you need to stretch before you make your way to the kitchen. The kind of sore where you groan just a little bit as all the memories of yesterday's workout come flooding back ... yes, I love that kind of sore :-)

This morning my mid back and triceps were a little tight from the swimming I did yesterday. That gives me hope that I will become a stronger swimmer since it seems I haven't really been using those muscles till now. I was thinking, now that I can make it from one side of the pool to the other that I should try to learn some proper technique. I bet I would use a lot less energy and become a better swimmer faster.

I'm back to running today. I am however going to wait until after my classes at the gymnastics gym because it is just too hot outside, even for the gym. There is nothing like working out to the max and walking outside into an oven ... I think I can wait till evening time!

I am back up to 4 miles ...finally! But I wanted to take my time after the knee injury (which has been feeling fantastic!). I will continue doing 5k loops and a few 4 milers next week before upping it to 5 miles. If this marathon is still going to happen this year then I really need to start making some plans because I am running out of time!

I have set up a pretty strong base now, so I can probably start building on my miles ... I need to planning now!

Upwards and Onwards my fellow athletes with sore muscles ... doesnt it feel gooooooood?!?!?!  :)

Monday, August 1, 2011

A fish, I am not ... :-/

I have been trying to get into swimming. I have been to my complex pool a few times now and hope to keep it up. I have spent the majority of my life not being able to swim and fearing the water, but I think that 24 years of that is more than enough.

I am not sure why I have not been able to swim. I have been in multiple swim classes through out my childhood, but it just never stuck. I am fine when I can stand but once out of my dept I start to panic. I also don't like having my head under water because when I cannot breathe, I also start to panic. Living in southern California by the ocean, this is a little ridiculous!

I can now swim clear across the pool, which I couldn't do when I first started, so I am definitely getting stronger and more comfortable in the water. I want to be a somewhat good swimmer for the mud run in 48 days just in case there is a little bit of swimming involved. Of course, just being able to swim in general is good!

Onwards and Upwards my fellow swimmers and non-swimmers alike!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Gettin back into the groove.

It's been quite a few weeks since I wrote last. I have been pretty busy with work ... moving up to 'shift lead' has been taking a lot of my time and energy. But, not to worry, I have still been getting my workout on!

The week after I got back from Ireland was just an awful workout week ... Every time I tried to run I got no further than 10 minutes when 'runner's itch' just got too intense to continue. I have broken skin and bruised my legs in the past with the intense itch, so once it became to much I would start walking. But I managed to get past it! I am back to working out 5-6 days a week and back to running a 30 minute 5k. I did run it faster in the past, but getting to this point has brought my confidence back and is motivating me to continue.

Today I decided to back to the elliptical mashine. My legs were still pretty sore from yesterday's 5k and I wanted to give them a chance to recover. Though the elliptical machine is no walk in the park! It still gets my muscles working without that impact from running.

My eating habits are just about back to 'normal' now too. It took me a while to get away from the processed foods and sugary products. Now I am back to fruits, veggies, salads, whole grains and non-colesteral containing proteins. I have also weened myself off of flavored drinks, and am once again comfortable with water. Not to mention that I havent touched a drop of alcohol since I left the homeland. My body is happy :)  Though having said all of that, all the junk food I ate on my trip was completely by choice and totally worth it!

I have also started swimming. The weather has been so warm and sunny that it's not only a relief to jump in the pool, it's also an incredible workout thats low impact and works every muscle in my body. I never really last too long, but I hope to keep it up and use it as part of my training more and more often.

Anyway, long story short, I am enjoying getting my ass back in shape! It was frustrating to start out, but feels great now that I can see progress! Onwards and Upwards my fellow runners and swimmers, whatever shape you are in!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Coming to a close.

I cannot believe that the 3 weeks in Ireland are almost over. It has been an amazing trip, but with just two days left, the wind down has begun. I don't really have too much planned for today and tomorrow, though there are still a few things I want to do like go to the Arklow Beach just to see it again. I also need to go to the cemetery one more time.

I have absolutely no regrets though the running didn't go as planned. I didn't expect to be out partying as much and so end up being so tired in the morning and having such full days. But it's okay. I can just pick back up on my running when I get home. Dad and I did make a decent effort and there was a lot of walking in places like Dublin, The Giant's Causeway and Kilarney. So it's not like we sat around doing nothing the entire time. In fact we hardly sat at all unless we were in the car or the pub haha.

As they say, time flies when you are having fun. I finally finished uploading all the photos (to date) to facebook. It took me a while lol. Anyway, I am keeping this blog short as I can smell the last Sunday dinner at Ella's house mmmmm!!!
Onwards and Upwards!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

What a week!!!

Holy Crap what a week! This is the first time I've had to sit down at the computer in a while. On Monday we left Arklow early in the morning and headed North past Dublin, into Northern Ireland and up to the very top to see the Giant's Causeway. There was the Causeway Hotel there, which is where we spent the night. Then the next morning we headed west towards Galway (going through Sligo, Mayo etc) before stopping in Lisdoonvarna, county Clare. That was the tiniest little town with the biggest character! We stayed in a cute little B&B there before driving a half hour the next morning to The Cliffs of Moher. We got rained on big time at the cliffs, but there was no way I was going to pass up the opportunity to see them. It was very very windy, but dad and I didn't care  :)  Then we headed into County Kerry where we stopped in Kilarney for the afternoon but decided to stay the night. Then the next morning which was Thursday, we drove along the south coast before coming back up the east coast to Arklow.

It was an awesome road trip! We saw a lot and did a lot. Then on Thursday night we went up to Rathdrum to spend some time with my Uncle, Aunt and cousins. There was a lot of drinking that night, including an Italian alcohol called Lemonchello that Sarah and Philip brought back from their honeymoon. It was amazing!

I also got to see Paul and his wife Anne very briefly (a quick drink in the pub) while I was in Rathdrum. Paul was one of my gymnastics coaches when I was here in Ireland so it was wonderful to see them :)

Then last night (Friday) I spent the night in Dublin with Stephanie Doyle, my best friend since the 5th grade and her boyfriend Keith. It was awesome. We had Chinese for dinner and I just about passed out while eating the prawn crackers mmmmm!!! Then we got dressed up and went into the city to drink and dance. It was a lot of fun. I think we got back to her house around 2:45am. Then today (Saturday) we went shopping before I came back down to Arklow.

It has been quite a week! Tonight we have a big family dinner down town ... kind of like a last big get together since we will just have Sunday and Monday left. I am sure there will be alcohol again tonight, which will mean I have been drinking almost every night for a week. I will need a big detox at the end of this vacation haha.

Not sure what will happen for the next few days ... but they will not be wasted, thats for sure!!!

Onwards and Upwards my fellow runners! Hopefully your liver is in better condition than mine  ;-)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I conquered Croghan Mountain!

This morning at 8am, cousin Peter Byrne picked me up and we made the 10-15 minute drive to the base of Croghan Mountain. Here is a little information for ya:

Croghan mountain is 1,988 feet tall and lies on the border of Wicklow and Wexford in the Wicklow Mountains. The full name is the Croghan Kinsella Mountain, named after a historically powerful family that lived in the area. Croghan was also the site of Ireland's only gold rush when a nugget was found in river gravel on the mountain in 1795. The gold is now gone, but many poor people benefited from it at the time as the gold was retrieved by mainly local people. Three thousand ounces are known to have been found.

It took Peter and I close to an hour to reach the top and my goodness it was a challenge. There were some parts of the trail that were incredibly steep and made my lungs work! My legs were feeling okay, but the huffing and puffing slowed me down. The fresh, country air was awesome and taking deep breaths felt very nice. It was also nice to not have to worry about listening for rattle snakes, coyotes, mountain lions and bobcats. I didn't think twice before jumping into the long grass.

Peter is one fast walker! When we were going up the hills I was struggling to keep up at some points. But it was one amazing workout and I can feel already that I will be sore and stiff later!

When we made it to the top it was well worth the hard work. I stood at the very top and could spin 360* and see for miles. It was such a clear day though very windy. I would definitely do it again  :)

Onwards and Upwards fellow runners ... waaaay upwards  ;)