Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Getting Back into Shape

The week following my half marathon, I took a break from exercise and just let my muscles rest. But starting Saturday, I've begun in earnest to get back into shape. Don't get me wrong, I don't think I'm out of shape. But in my final semester of grad school and training for the GW Parkway Classic and Boston's Run to Remember Half Marathon, I lost a lot of muscle tone and flexibility by concentrating on running and neglecting yoga and weight training. While many women try and get their body back after having a baby, I'm trying to get mine back after "having" a MPH.

My goal is to gain lean muscle through weight lifting, improve my flexibility through yoga, and maintain much of my endurance through running three times a week or more. Oh, and I want to bike more, too.

So on Saturday, instead of driving to meet Amy at our meet up spot, I biked. Amy and I ran seven miles and then I biked back home.

On Sunday, I went to a Bikram yoga class with Brenna. It's been months since I've practiced and the class totally kicked my butt. I don't think there is any form of exercise out there that will make you sweat and test your limits like Bikram yoga (you do 26 postures twice in a room that's heated to 105 degrees). The entire 90 minutes felt like torture. However, the second I was done, I was already looking forward to my next class.

Yesterday, I ran a fast three miles outside after work. Although there was a big part of me that wanted to run further, I made myself stop since it was about 90 degrees out and I didn't want push myself to the point of dehydration or heat stroke.


Today, I biked to the gym, ran a mile on the treadmill, took a PowerFlex class and biked home. My muscles are still shaking. I have a feeling I'm going to be sore tomorrow! 


Depending on if I can move tomorrow, the plan is to run an easy three or four miles in the morning. Thursday, I plan to put myself through torture and go to Boot Camp, which is probably the hardest class I've ever taken. Friday will be my day of rest. On Saturday, I get to run with Amy. And we'll just have to see about Sunday...the pool, not the gym, may be calling me name :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Amy

As I mentioned in my last post, I recently signed up to run the Thunder Road Amica Insurance Half Marathon in Charlotte, North Carolina in November. The reason I signed up for this race is because my good friend, Amy, is moving to Charlotte next month. As you can imagine based on how much I mention Amy in this blog, I'm going to miss her terribly. Over the past few years, Amy has become one of my best friends, my favorite running partner, and someone that I look up to (whether she realizes it or not).



Amy was the one who inspired me to start running. I can distinctly remember the day that she told me that she was joining Team in Training to run her first half marathon. Back then, I thought she was crazy for wanting to run 13 miles. But her dedication and her passion for running was infectious, and I clearly caught the bug. And more than that, I would say most of the things I know about running I've learned from her, including being introduced to the running and healthy lifestyle blogs that I follow daily. 

Although waking up every Saturday at 6am to run anywhere from 6-13 miles is never easy, there is a big part of me that looks forward the early morning wake up call because it means that get to spend uninterrupted time with Amy. We talk about everything under the sun and many mornings, the miles seem to tick by without us hardly noticing. And on the days that we do notice the miles, we encourage each other to keep going; we almost never let each other stop, but rather push one another further until we finish.   I think that's just how we are as friends- there's no cattiness or jealousy, no undermining or fakeness. I think we just want to see each other succeed. 



So as much as I'm going to miss my incredible, amazing, beautiful friend Amy, I'm so excited for her new adventure in life. She's heading to North Carolina to be closer to her family, to support her husband in his career, and to make a name for herself among all those healthy living bloggers down south ;)

Despite the fact that there are no races in my future until November, when Amy asks, I'll suggest that we run eight or nine on Saturday because I know it will mean an hour and a half of time together. Until mid-July, I'll cherish those miles. And in her moving, the silver lining is that I won't have to say goodbye, but instead will get to say, "See you in, November."