Friday, September 28, 2012

A Grizzly Weekend

The last few days have been busy since it is the start of the new school year. Yesterday I squeeked in a 3 mile run in the morning at a nice aerobic pace. I was hoping to run today, but it just didn't happen. Hopefully I'll get in another shorter run tomorrow morning. Good thing it's step-back week!

This weekend I'm going away for a department retreat. Should be fun to hang out with a bunch of friends in my department that I don't get to really see very often. We're going up to Grizzly Creek Ranch near Lake Tahoe. By the way... I love their logo! So cute, right?


Next weekend is my first Half of the fall season, as a warmup to the RnR LV Marathon -- the Urban Cow Half Marathon. I'm getting SUPER excited about it because I've actually been doing pretty good with running often since I'm gearing up for the marathon, and because two of our friends will be running the relay. These friends haven't done too many races yet, so Ry and I have been trying to keep them excited! I'll talk more about my plans for this race later next week.

Anyone have weekend plans?

Fall race season seems to be coming into full swing around the country -- who has races lined up? I'm doing a whole bunch of 'em.  3 half marathons (though a couple I'm planning on using as training runs), and a 20-miler!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Three Things Thursday

I've seen "Three Things Thursday" on a few other blogs, and I thought it might be a good way for you all to get to know me a little better as I'm getting into this whole new blog adventure. So... here goes!

1. I have "lax ligaments", which has resulted in 3 surgeries. 2 on my knees, which I mentioned in this post, and one on my shoulder. The ACL surgeries on my knees were in 2000 and 2001. The shoulder surgery was in 2007.

{can't believe I'm posting this photo, but here I am with the UltraSlingII. rocked that thing for 2 months straight!}

2. I have slowly moved my way across the country. I grew up in Rochester, NY and went to the University of Delaware for my undergrad. Then, I decided to continue my education and got my MS at the University of Minnesota. Today, I'm still in grad school at the University of California, Davis for my PhD. Where to next? Not really sure yet.

3. My husband and I were married in September 2009. We met in Delaware where we both played on the ultimate frisbee team (Go Sideshow Ultimate!) We didn't start dating until just before I graduated, but the long-distance thing worked out for us. And we lived happily ever after.

{photo credit: FotoImpressions}

Have you ever had ACL or shoulder surgery? Even if yes, don't let it stop you!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Keeping my hair back

Workout last night:
Ran on Treadmill
5.0 miles / 49 mins
1.0 incline

Did a treadmill interval workout. After a warmup, completed 1 x 400m, 4 x 800m @ 8:34/mi, then cooldown. I was going to do a couple more intervals, but Ry was done with his workout so it was time to go.

What I wore:
Please don't mind the messy office/guest room behind me. Also, note to self -- get a better full length mirror!

These awesome shorts from Athleta. Seriously so comfortable and lightweight. And a black tank I purchased at Bob's Stores a few years ago. And my Brooks Ravenna2 shoes, of course (sorry you can't see them in my photo)!

My hair was going a bit crazy in the middle of the run, so I think it's time to invest in some kind of hair band. Outside I've been wearing a visor on my runs, and that helps, but seems weird to wear one at the gym. Skinnyrunner says she loves BIC Bands -- maybe I'll try one of those.

I SOOO needed a good workout last night. Stuff at work has been a little overwhelming / annoying / stressful lately so I was feeling restless and stressed. I think getting a good sweat in really helped. Then I had a glass of red wine and chocolate after dinner. Yum.

Anyone else have a headband they recommend?

What helps you the most after a stressful day?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A side-dose of yoga

I have quite a few athletic interests outside of running including cycling, weight training, and yoga.

I don't belong to a yoga studio, but my gym (24 hour fitness) has a seriously ROCKIN' yoga instructor that I absolutely love!

I've been doing yoga for almost 2 years now at the gym. I usually attend just once a week, but it seriously calms me and stretches/relaxes my sore muscles from other training. It keeps me balanced. For a few weeks over the summer I wasn't able to attend, and I definitely felt thrown off by it. When I can't make it to the gym, I often try to fit in a day of P90x yoga instead.

Right now I'm working on getting into headstand . I can do it when my hands are in a tripod type formation instead of the way shown in this photo. But I am seriously {this close}. Right now every time I try, I end up leaning back too far and rolling over. So soon though I think!

Yesterday, instead of a running workout I went to yoga, then did a chest, triceps, shoulders workout at the gym afterward with Ryan and another friend. I think its important to me to do other athletic activities besides just running.

What activities do you do besides run? Or do you just stick with running every day?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Running to music

I don't run with music. I'm not really sure why -- probably because I would just get annoyed by cords, and would rather get lost in my own thoughts. I think a lot of people are surprised when I tell them I don't listen to music on runs -- especially on my long runs alone. Instead I try to amp myself up in the car on the way to the trail!!

This week is a step-back week for me, after 3 straight weeks of increasing my long run distance. Coincides with a good time because I have to go away this weekend for school. Then, the next two weeks I'm doing half marathons. Hmm, maybe it wasn't the greatest idea to schedule so many races in the middle of marathon training! Guess I won't be getting another actual long run in  for a while --oops!

Other randomness of the weekend -- went to the Aftershock Energy Concert yesterday in Discovery park. Chavelle and Bush were super awesome!

Also, I ate a lot of delicious food this weekend. Checked out Sandra Dee's BBQ on Friday night, and Pete's Pizza & Brewhouse after my long run on Saturday nigh. So awesome!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The long run

Today I did my third truly "long run" for marathon training. I think things have been going pretty well, but I'm still seriously nervous for the big day.

Random side note, on my run today I saw so many animals. Not like dogs running with wild animals. First, there was a group of turkeys, then a coyote probably like 15 feet from the trail, and a pretty large deer with big antlers. Too bad I don't run with my camera...maybe it's time to start.

So back to this nervous for the marathon thing. According to the RnR LV page, the marathon starts at 3pm, but you have to finish in 4.5 hours. I think it seems a little crazy, especially since the half marathon starts at 4:30pm, and they get 4 hours. I'm nervous because I'm predicting my finish time to be preeeetty darn close to 4.5 hours. And without having completed a marathon before its hard to know what to really expect.

Please keep your fingers crossed for me come race day.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Marathon Training

I mentioned in my last post that I'm training for my first marathon. I'm not using any particular plan like Hal Higdon or Run Less Run Faster -- kind of making it up as I go along. I know that type of training doesn't work for everyone, but so far with my other races it has worked out for me.

Since I have had those knee issues in the past, I'm always worried running 5 days a week would be too much. Of course, I realize it is important to get the miles in to be able to cross that finish line in a few months.

So far I've worked my way up to a 17-mile long run. This weekend I'll go 18. Being over 2 months away from the marathon, I think things are going really well!

By the way -- I think the "Strip at Night" theme is pretty great.

Anyone else going to be in LV for the Rock 'n Roll Marathon? I've heard mixed reviews on it the past few years, but the race organizers say this year will be much better!

Starting the journey

Yep, I'm starting a blog. I figure, I read enough of them so I might as well put myself out there too.

Who Am I?

I'm Kristen. I'm a 20-something girl who loves to exercise, trying to eat right (except for the occasional chocolatey snack), and defying my limitations. I'm a graduate student in Biomedical Engineering, so I'm also a bit of a nerd. I always want to learn more about how the body works, and enjoy reading as much as I can about health and fitness topics.

Besides working out, I enjoy spending time with my husband, Ryan, and our friends, imagining how I will DIY my house someday, and checking out the local hot spots.

My Active Lifestyle
Growing up, I was always interested in playing sports -- mostly soccer and gymnastics -- but I also competed in high school track to keep active during the soccer off season. When I was in 10th grade, I tore my ACL at an indoor soccer tournament. It took almost 2 months before I had surgery, where I found out I also tore my meniscus and had to be on crutches for 7 weeks! I worked so so hard to be able to get back to full soccer shape for my senior year... got a trainer, weight lifted, strengthened all my muscles. My first real game back -- I tore my other ACL!! Complete devastation.

I made myself bounce back and fully enjoyed track in the spring, and started playing ultimate frisbee when I went to college. I have always been cautious of my knees, and how they will react to running, or playing sports since those high school injuries. After moving to California for grad school, and not having any more college eligibility, I started running and going to the gym more to stay in shape. After Ryan completed his first half marathon in 2010, I was motivated to try pushing my own runs past the 2 or 3-mile mark, but was very nervous about how it would go.

I completed my first 5k in October 2010, 10k in February 2011, and half marathon in March 2011. Since then I have completed another 5k, and 10k, 4 half marathons, a sprint triathlon, and two 100-mile bike rides! I am so proud of myself for pushing myself and not letting my past injuries take control of my life.

I'm on my way to training for my first marathon, so I hope you will join me on this exciting journey!

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