Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas in Pictures

I started Christmas Eve teaching class, which was just perfect. We did a '12 Days of Christmas' workout. I typed it up below. You do it just like the song. 

1 30 second plank
2 star jumps and a 30 second plank
3 bent over rows, 2 star jumps and a 30 second plank

It was a lot of fun! It ended up taking my class about 30 minutes. We stuck together through the whole thing. I let some people go ahead and told them to just meet us in a plank each round. 

Afterwards, Milo and I got on the ferry to head over to the Peninsula. There was hardly a ferry line at all and we got on the ferry within 30 minutes! Woop!

Milo and I on the ferry. Poor little dude still hates the car. We did make it within 10 minutes of my parents' house before he threw up though! Progress!

My parents don't do a real Christmas tree anymore. This was a tiny guy with some lights and LOTS of presents!

Milo was very happy with lots of room to roam in a big house. We actually ended up tying him and my parents' dogs on opposite ends of the room because they are both puppies and play so rambunctiously!

Hey, Dad, can you get any closer to the TV?

Christmas morning was great! We ended up going out to get coffee and then came back to open gifts. I got a new Vitamix! And some stuff for Milo including some personal training and a Gentle Leader harness.

I went for a short run on Christmas and was wearing the most ridiculous outfit ever, so I asked my Stepmom to take a picture. Please note the green and black striped socks and pink shoes.

The rest of trip was spent hanging out with family, taking lots of walks with the pups and soaking in some relaxing time.

 I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Two Day Weekend

What a great weekend! It was so nice to have two days off in a row, I can't even tell you how much calmer and more relaxed I was! 

Friday included a final trip to Core Power Yoga on my week free pass. I've really enjoyed this place. I do feel like it is more about getting in a workout than actual yoga, but I found myself loving the sweat-fest that happened each class! This Friday class was rough for me because my body was pretty sore and exhausted. Which meant Saturday was a complete rest day for me!

Saturday I took and PASSED the NASM Personal Trainer Certification exam. Thank goodness. My previous certification was WITS (World Instructor Training School), which I've always been mildly embarrassed about. Glad to have another certification under my belt! I have plans for several more in the next year including Ace Group Fitness, Les Mills Body Pump, and hopefully TRX!

I didn't feel like I was well prepared for the exam. I had studied a bit, but didn't feel like I had put everything to memory or that I could use it in a practical situation. I fully expected to have to retake the exam, and was kicking myself in the butt because it was going to cost me $200. On the way to the test, Mt. Rainier was out in full force and gave me a moment of calm that I desperately needed!

After I found out I passed the exam, my anxiety literally melted away! I spent the rest of the morning finishing up a little Christmas shopping before heading home to wrap presents! Milo helped. I also baked cookies that I planned to decorate Sunday. My sugar cookies are at least a 3 day process of making the dough and chilling it, cutting out and baking the cookies and then decorating. More on that to come.

On Sunday, I slept in until almost 7:30am, which felt GLORIOUS! (By the way, I know it's sad that 7:30 is sleeping in for me.) Milo was itching to get outside at that point.

"MY ball!"
After a slow morning, I headed out for a run. I randomly decided to wear headphones, which I haven't done while running outside in probably almost a year! It was fun, but I remembered why I like running without headphones. I missed the quiet! I spent a lot of my run being thankful. I feel like there are so many people who are injured and sick right now and I'm just so grateful to be able to continue doing what I love!

One of my co-workers hurt her MCL and is hobbling around not able to do much at all. Three of my co-workers are also sick, like been out for almost a week sick. My Dad is suffering from his up-teenth time with plantar fasciitis. My Stepmom has to tiptoe around her tight back that is prone to injury. And then I always think about those with chronic illnesses like Ali and Robyn, who fight so hard to get the chance to live their lives the way they want to live it. It must be so difficult when your body fights you and it feels like everything is against you.

Anyways, I'm very lucky and I try not to forget that.

And here's a random tidbit: I've been trying to grow my hair out and have been putting coconut oil in it once or twice a month. This stuff is awesome! I slather some on my hair and comb it through before I go out for a run and then I come back and wash it out. My hair ends up so silky and smooth ("Oh really fool, really! Stop looking at me swan!" - name that movie)! I'm not sure if it helps the lengthening process, but I'm sure it makes my hair healthier.

My run was great, if not a little slow. I wasn't shooting for anything, but ended up with about 6 miles.

The rest of Sunday was designated as cookie decorating time! Cookie decorating is a process for me because I might be a bit of a perfectionist about them. I ended up doing trees, holly, mittens and santa hats. I think they turned out pretty well. Although, of course, now that I'm done I've thought of ways to improve them next time. I decorated for about 6 hours and by the end, I was SO finished smelling that sugar! I'll be gifting these to my co-workers and some friends and family. Hope everyone likes them!

Onward to Monday!

Friday, December 13, 2013

All Over The Place

Finally! It's Friday!

This week has felt like it's been all over the place for me. We have 2 people sick at work and one on vacation, so I've been covering a lot. I had to work in the evening last night and it just about killed me. I get SO tired! And when I get tired, watch out!

Wednesday I was feeling really sore from teaching on Tuesday, so I took a desperate Milo to Discovery Park for a quick loop.

It was a nice day for it! The weather was starting to warm up just a bit, and the sun was peaking out from the clouds.

I was feeling extra winded and I'm not sure if my body was just exhausted or if it was the fact that I haven't been running much this week.

So Thursday I planned to go to hot yoga again to make use of my free week, but I ended up having to go back into work (almost a 10 hour workday!). I ended up doing a quick workout at the gym before I had to be on the clock.

My workout looked as follows:

1.5 mile treadmill warm up

3 rounds of the following: (I used 55 lbs and, sadly, that was really hard!)

  • 7 deadlifts
  • 7 power cleans
  • 7 front squats
  • 7 push press
3 sets:
  • 8 jumping pull ups
  • 12 ab roller
All of that took me about an hour to get through and I was so high off endorphins when I finished!

I am hoping I don't have to go back to work this evening so I can get Milo outside to the park and then go to a hot yoga class. I definitely need a rest day, but I want to get one more hot yoga class in today since tomorrow is my last day on the free week and I can't make any of the classes.

On the agenda for the weekend: 
  • Certification exam
  • Making holiday cookies for friends and coworkers
  • Milo time (he's been pretty neglected this week!)
Yippee for 2 days off from work!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

90/60/30 Workout

This week is slowly slinking by, it feels like. I actually get 2 days off this weekend, so I'm pretty excited and can't wait!

I attended another yoga class at Core Power Yoga in Ballard on Monday night. It was like pulling teeth to get myself there (the couch + Milo is a recipe for workout disaster!), but once I did I was so glad. This time I went to a "Yoga 2 Heated Power Yoga" class, which I liked a million times more than the sculpt class I went to on Sunday.

I situated myself near the thermostat this time because I wanted to see how hot the classroom was during class (talk about focus...whoops). For most of it, I was shocked to see it was 100 degrees! When I told my co-worker about it the next day, he didn't seem to think that was all that hot, so maybe I'm just being a temperature wuss. Yet again, however, I was dripping sweat by the end! I swear it felt like my skin was on fire at some points.

We did a few new-to-me poses including the "low lunge cat", which was basically a low lunge with your hands on the floor and then arching your back. It felt wonderful! Not sure why I didn't think of that before!

Like this only arching your back and looking up.
Tuesday I taught my normal classes, and they were killer! I got in two good workouts and am definitely feeling the aftermath today. I had my class go through a 90/60/30 workout. The following is a version of what we did:

Three rounds through the entire circuit. First round, do each exercise for 90 seconds. Second round, 60 seconds for each and the final round 30 seconds. Try it out! Don't say I didn't warn ya! =)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Sweaty Sweaty at Core Power Yoga

I went to hot yoga this weekend and holy cow did I sweat more than ever! Let's start on Friday, though.

Milo and I headed out to run some of the trails at Discovery Park. It's been a few weeks since I took Milo out to really run, so we were due for an adventure. It was cold, but I layered up and the only thing that was chilly on me was my fingers!

We ended up running about 4 slow miles and I felt great until the end, when my calves started telling me to chill. They have been tight since the marathon so I'm working to loosen them up.

Saturday I did another slow run, only about 3 miles this time. Still felt fine, although a little sluggish. One of the things I strongly dislike about marathons is the recovery time afterwards! So annoying! I just want to get back to my normal routine again!

Sunday I took my frost-bitten self to Core Power Yoga in Ballard to try their yoga-sculpt class.

This studio offers a free week trail before you sing up for a membership, so I took advantage of that awesome deal. I now declare this week: Yoga Week!

The studio is beautiful and the people seem to be very nice. One of the yoga instructors where I work said the studio is more about getting a workout than a good yoga practice. That sure didn't deter me, though. Sometimes I really enjoy a more meditative yoga experience, but, more often than not, I want to get in, do my thing, and get out.

I was really curious as to how the yoga sculpt was going to work. I grabbed some weights (3 lb, 5 lb, and 10 lb) and set up my mat in the super duper warm studio. It seriously felt like a sauna! Talk about defrost!

Then we got started. And I have NEVER sweat more in my life. Literally sweat was dripping off of me!

We warmed up with some flow and then we would get into different poses with our weights to lift. I didn't find most of the class very challenging other than the fact that I was sweating so much, which really made my heart rate skyrocket! The instructor was great, I think his name was Jaime. In the middle of class, we even did some cardio work, and there were burpees! Burpees in a yoga class...definitely not something I thought I would ever say! We ended with some traditional yoga flows and seated poses. I definitely appreciated the half pigeon we held on each leg.

I had a lot of fun, and can't wait to utilize the rest of my week pass! I'm hoping to try out a regular hot yoga class this afternoon. This time I WILL be bringing a water bottle with me!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Marathon Aftermath

As expected, after the marathon my body was a little tight. I actually wasn't as sore as I thought I would be though! My calves were the only thing super sore on me, and other than that my feet were just a little tender.

I took Monday off completely and only walked Milo. I think the bottoms of my feet were slightly bruised because they were really the only thing that hurt.

I never get tired of that cute little face! 
Tuesday I knew was going to be tough because I had to teach my own classes. I knew my body still wasn't roaring to go, so I thought up a workout that I wouldn't have to demonstrate much of. I had everyone do stations. There were 10 stations, and I had everyone work at each station for 3 sets of 40 seconds work, 20 seconds rest.

So I did parts of that workout twice on Tuesday. As you can tell, there was hardly any leg work. Sneaky! The classes were great and worked up a nice sweat while I yelled and dinked around with some of the arm exercises. Haha!

Yesterday I randomly went swimming! I trained a client this week who mentioned lap swimming and I decided swimming was a great activity for me this week.

My relationships with the swimming pool is lengthy. I grew up as a competitive swimmer, and jumped into a cold pool twice a day for too many years. I ended up hating the sport when I quit so I tend to still feel a love/hate relationship with swimming. I also taught swim lessons when I lived in New York and can't even begin to explain how difficult it was throwing kids around in a freezing cold pool for 4 hours a day. Needless to say, it's pretty tough to get me into a cap and goggles again. I can't deny it's great cross-training though!

I ended up doing the following workout:

The pool was actually nice, and was a full 25 yards. I was in for about 45 minutes before I just wanted to shoot myself in the foot out of boredom. So, I got out and spent about 5 minutes in the hot tub before showering.

I will not be swimming again anytime soon, but it was nice to cut through the water again. A very familiar feeling for me.

As everyone is saying: it is FREEZING here in Seattle. Actually, compared to New York, this is nothing. And I'm still planning to run today in shorts. =)

I hope to get Milo and myself over to Discovery Park for a slow, easy 5 miler this afternoon. Hope you are staying warm this weekend! Have a good one!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Seattle Marathon 2013: That Time I Ran a Marathon Without Training

Alternate title: Allison's a Doofus.

Why did I think running a marathon without any training would be a good idea?

Last year I was WAAAYYY overtrained and this year, I was WAAAYYYY undertrained. What a difference! I think I much prefer being overtrained, but I was also pretty unhappy last year as well. A story for another time! Anyways...

Here's a spoiler alert: I finished! There were many times I didn't think I was going to make it and several times I thought of just stopping. I finished in a pathetic 4.02. I'm trying to tell myself that's actually a pretty good time having not done any training (except for one 18 mile run a month ago). My time was faster than my first marathon was, even though its almost a half hour slower than what I ran on the Seattle Marathon course last year.

Start line at Seattle Center. There go the walkers!
Let's start at the beginning. I always get so angry that the Seattle Marathon makes you go all the way downtown during the busiest shopping weekend of the year to get your bib. Like, I get seriously irrationally angry about it. I wish you could just pick up your bib at their office, which is close to my apartment! Grrr. I was lucky enough to have a friend who picked up my bib for me the night before the race so I didn't have to deal with shoppers, parking and driving downtown.

I was slightly worried about the weather. The forecast was for rain and wind all day long. Luckily, it didn't rain the entire time, was quite warm, and the wind wasn't all that bad! Score! Just goes to show: no need to worry about something that is out of your control!

I was able to get my bib, get downtown and find some free street parking very quickly on race morning. Since it wasn't too cold, I had a light long sleeve shirt on, shorts and compression socks. I decided to run with my hydration pack because it just makes me feel more comfortable having everything with me, including water whenever I needed it. I was debating whether to wear my older shoes or newer shoes. I went with the older ones, but I think it is definitely time to retire them! Since I haven't been racing for a year or so, I wasn't really paying attention to how many miles are on my shoes, but it's safe to say these guys are finished now.

I had about 45 minutes by the time I got to the start line before the gun, so I wandered around, went to the bathroom several times, and looked around at all the Christmas decorations up around Seattle Center. Before I knew it, I lined up in the corral. I took my place around the 4 hour pacer, but really didn't have a clue what my legs were going to feel like doing. Before I knew it we were off!

Almost immediately, my stomach started cramping up. Grrreeeaaatttt. I passed the port-a-potties at mile 2 and decided to try and make it to the next set before stopping. I wanted to walk so badly, but knew I would just feel so stupid walking in the first 2 miles, so I slugged on. By the time I got to the next set of bathrooms, my stomach was feeling better so I didn't stop. Luckily, it kept getting better so I never had to stop at all! Thank goodness!

Despite the stomach trouble, my body felt pretty good early on. I was trying to hold myself back a bit, but wasn't doing a very good job. I probably should have started off slower and I know better than to start off too fast, but I didn't even know what I should have held myself back at! Yes, I was that unprepared and under-trained that I didn't even know what pace I should try to stay at. Zero plan for the win.

Mile 1: 8.36
Mile 2: 8.47
Mile 3: 8.44
Mile 4: 8.51
Mile 5: 8.21
Mile 6: 8.52

I ended up feeling pretty comfortable around where the 4-hour pacer was for most of the race, which was actually really annoying. I HATE running near the pacers because there is always such a crowd of people around them. I kept running ahead to try to stay away from them, but those little pesky guys kept catching up to me!

We ran over the bridge and back, which was less windy than I thought it was going to be. I saw so many people losing their hats, though! It's always nice to be able to see the leaders heading the other way on the way out and to see all the people behind you on the way back. We headed off the bridge onto Lake Washington Blvd. and I was still feeling pretty good. I was starting to get a little tired, and wondered how I was going to possibly finish. I debated just stopping at the half and asking for a ride back.

I was running right behind a girl who was on her 4th marathon in four days. I think her name was Tanya because people kept yelling at her. Anyways, it was a great distraction thinking about how tough that would be. I could barely even think about finishing just the one!

Mile 7: 9.25
Mile 8: 9.05
Mile 9: 8.43
Mile 10: 8.49
Mile 11: 8.46
Mile 12: 8.50
Mile 13: 8.55

We hit Seward Park and then turned around to head back to the bridge. I was starting to feel pretty tired at this point. I'd already taken a Gu, but decided to try some Gatorade at the next water station. I never drink Gatorade and I didn't know how it was going to effect my stomach, but I figured I might as well give it a shot. Idiot, party of one! Luckily it was a great help and I continued work well through the rest of the race.

At this point, I was just telling myself to get to mile 18. I knew I could make it that far since the only long run I'd done was 18 miles about a month ago. My body was feeling tired, my feet (especially my neuroma) hurt and I was doing everything I could to distract myself. It was a really weird place to be in so early in the race. I didn't want to pep myself up and start going faster, since I didn't actually know how long I would hold out. But, of course, I didn't want to dwell on how I was feeling because it wasn't that great!

Mile 14: 9.01
Mile 15: 9.08
Mile 16: 9.13
Mile 17: 9.02
Mile 18: 9.09
Mile 19: 9.29

I was slowing down and I knew it. I didn't do much to combat it and figured my body was trying to tell me something. Instead of kicking myself in the butt to go faster, I just told myself to keep going. I watched the bridge getting closer and closer. We wound our way along the water and back up. Then the hills started and I was dying. I ended up stopping at an aid tent for some Vaseline at one point because I was chaffing pretty badly. The culprit was between my legs, and of course the aid tent I stopped at was lined with people, all of whom watched me lather Vaseline between my legs. Haha, it helped!

Mile 20: 9.33
Mile 21: 9.55
Mile 22: 9.31
Mile 23: 9.50

Once I hit mile 20, I knew I was going to finish. I wanted to stop and walk more than ever, but kept telling myself the faster I went, the sooner it would be over and I could go home to my couch.

I may look happy, but I was dying!
I literally was just waiting for each water station as they came, where I would stop and take a few sips of Gatorade before picking it back up again. I hadn't walked in a marathon since my first one, but I could not help it. I ended up taking two walk breaks that lasted a minute and a half. They saved my life. Somehow I made it through all the tough hills running (or slogging), but the places I ended up walking were actually pretty flat! Haha, go figure. I was flabbergasted how much my quads hurt going up those hills though! I felt like I had just squatted 78 kilos or something. My guess is teaching an extra class two days before the race must have done it.

Mile 24: 10.44
Mile 25: 10.19
Mile 26: 9.35
Final .34: 3.16

The final miles were tough, to say the least. I just wanted it to be over was was cursing the dude in Greece who ran 26.2 miles and made that the "marathon". Why couldn't the guy ahve run 24 miles? Or 22 miles? Thinking back I was pretty delirious =)

The most bizarre thing kept running through my head every time I wanted to walk. I kept thinking how unfair it was to Milo that I was walking without him. Haha, whatever keeps me moving, I guess!

The finish line finally came, which ends in the stadium at Seattle Center. I didn't even try to pick it up at the end. I just trucked along, ran through the finish, got my medal and kept walking until I got to my car. I just wanted to be warm and sitting down!

I finished in 4.02 with an average pace of 9.13. I'll take it. Marathon #4 finished!

The race itself was great. As usual, The Seattle Marathon put on a great event. Lots of bathrooms, water stops, Gu stations and recovery area. I remember last year there being a lot more crowd support along the way, but that wasn't anyone's fault this year. I'll bet the threat of bad weather kept people away, which I totally understand. Other than that, I enjoyed this race for the second year in a row.

I would like to say that I will never do something this dumb again. I'll bet that next year, however, I'm going to forget all about this and do the same thing all over again. I live, I don't learn. Sigh. =)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving Weekend Success

In case you were curious, I DID run the Seattle Marathon and actually finished without killing myself. It was a close call, and I will do a full recap later in the week.

I was lazy and didn't check in at all last week! I had Thursday (Thanksgiving) off, so Milo and I headed over to my parents' house on the Peninsula of Washington. I had a brilliant idea of covering my backseat with a tarp because I knew after this happened, we were never going to make a 3 hour drive without some Milo throw-up.

I was so glad I had that tarp down this time! Poor little dude got sick twice on the way over. The tarp made clean up SO much easier, though.

Milo's backseat set-up.
You can already see the panic in the eyes!

View waiting for the ferry.

We got to my parents' house for dog-a-polooza. They recently adopted a two year old golden retriever named Maizey. I, unfortunately did not get a good photo of her with my phone, but she is a beauty! And is she full of energy or what?!

The pups played around like crazy idiots for a day and completely wore themselves out.

My family decided to go out to eat for Thanksgiving this year. There were only 4 of us and since we have to cook a big dinner in a few weeks for Christmas, we just figured it would be easier. 

I am not a big fan of Thanksgiving food, so it was a-okay with me!

On the way to dinner with my uncle Lorney
and a Maizey face in the back!
I didn't take any photos of food, unfortunately, but we went to a great "European fusion" (as my step-uncle called it) restaurant and everything was FABULOUS. I seriously can't believe how great all the food was! We had wine, cheese plates, prosciutto wrapped prawns and beet salad. I got beef tenderloin for dinner that was topped with sauteed mushrooms and melted cheese. Mmm-mm good!

I got a run in earlier on Thanksgiving day. About 6 miles, none of which felt awesome, and made me slightly nervous for the marathon.

Milo and I had to head back Thanksgiving night, so we hopped in the car shortly after we got home from dinner. 

After a lump scare on Milo Saturday, I was all a flutter for the Marathon on Sunday morning. I'll take you through that train wreck next time. Have a great Monday!