Thursday, December 30, 2010

Stair Master Workout

Today was a semi-cross-training day for me. I ran 3 miles and stopped because my stomach hurt, so I hopped on the stair master instead. That machine makes me sweat so much. Is that the case for you? I am not a total sweaty person like some people, but when I got on that machine after running 3 miles I started to drip. Seriously. I lost an incredible amount of sweat in 25 minutes. It amazes me how good of a workout the stair master is - my legs are tired right now. Tomorrow it is supposed to be 51 degrees and rainy, but I can't wait to run outside. I plan on doing some type of long run..not sure on how many miles, I think it will just depend how I feel once I get going. I can't believe tomorrow is the last day of 2010. It has been a great year for of my life. I'm hoping the same for 2011!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Winter Running

I've learned this year that I really like to run outside, however, running outside in the winter provides some challenges. A few days ago I ran while visiting my parents. The city they live in has had a ridiculous 28 inches of snow in December - it is everywhere. Some people do a really good job at shoveling off their sidewalks, while others do not touch them. The ladder is a problem when running, especially on hills.

My goal was to do a solid 8 miles around an 8-minute/mile pace. This would have been totally do-able on the treadmill, but I wanted the fresh air and to put my garmin to good use. I set out running and wanted to get to a flat, main road in their city. I realized that the hilly road that leads to the main road has sidewalks that rotate sides - not one that goes all the way up and down. After running down and up a huge hill, I realized that the sidewalk ended and I needed to turn around. I crossed the street and cut through another neighborhood to get to the main street. I was happy to get there and new that I would be on relatively flat land for a while.

What I did not anticipate was the amount of ice, snow, and slush I would have to run through on my run. I kept have to skip and jump around the sidewalk and hurdle snowbanks when crossing streets in order to log my miles. I was constantly afraid of slipping and landing on my butt, and getting hurt by twisting an ankle or something. After 4 miles I headed back since it was close to dusk. I went through a different neighborhood that was even quicker and ended my 7-mile (unfortunately) run in 59 minutes, happy that I did not get injured.

When I woke up the next day and even today, I am sore. My ankles and knees are sore from running on a weird surface and having to do hurdles. I've gone back to the treadmill for the past 2 days, but plan on running outside tomorrow and for sure on Friday. It is supposed to be 51 - heat wave!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tis the Season for High Blood Sugars

I love Christmas. I love spending time with my family, getting dressed up in ugly sweaters, listening to Christmas music, seeing lights outside, and eating an abundant amount of cookies. However, with my cookie-cravings come high blood sugars. I know I am a very picky eater - I don't like a lot of food, but cookies are something I love. Therefore, when they are everywhere I have a hard time staying away from them. Cake and pie I could care less about and won't touch, but when I see cookies it is a different story.

I am going to try to limit my cookie intake to 1 per meal this year. When I type this it sounds like I am a glutton, but if I only eat 2 cookies per day my blood sugars should be better...I hope. Imagine going to your house to find 10 different kinds of delicious cookies waiting for you to consume them...limiting yourself would be hard, right? Maybe I just need some more will power this holiday season.

Although I've been having high blood sugars, they tend to come down quickly because I've been exercising a lot lately. This week I've logged some major mileage and it has felt good. My times have been good for me which is nice because I didn't think I was in that great of shape. It is always nice to start the year off on the right foot.

Speaking of cookies, do you have a favorite? I love peanut butter and my mom makes these cookies with peanut butter dough and then a peanut butter cup in the center of them. Happy holidays and I hope your blood sugar is going better than mine!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Daily Schedule

What is your day typically like? Here is how I normally function on a day where I am teaching. However, today I am not abiding by this schedule since I am winter vacation (yay!!!).

5:03: Alarm #1 goes off. I wake up but continue to lay in bed, trying to decide what time I should get up out of bed for the day.

5:11: Alarm #2 goes off and I hit snooze, knowing that I need more sleep.

5:31: Alarm goes off again. This time I actually get out of bed and turn it off, realizing I need to get going or else I'll be late to school. I then make coffee and get in the shower.

5:31-6:40: Shower, drink coffee, attempt to wake up, do my hair, pack my bag for the gym, pack my lunch, and eat breakfast.

6:45 - 7:05: Drive to school. Think about everything that must get done.

7:05 - 7:30: Get things ready in my classroom for the school day, check school email, grade some papers.

7:30-2:30: Teach.

2:30 - 5:00: Grade papers, projects, homework, tests, plan lessons, organize other school-related things.

5:00 - 7:30: Work out, stretch, run and lift, depending on the day.

7:30 - 8:00: Drive home.

8:00 - 8:30: Dinner. Sometimes I go out with friends which means that I either don't eat if I'm not hungry or I take a snack to eat. And I go to bed a lot later.

8:30 - 9:00: Check email, read blogs, etc.

9:00 - 10:15: Do all other random things that need to get done.

10:30: In bed, hopefully sleeping.

What is your day like?

Looking Ahead to 2011...

Are you a goal-setter? I feel like I am always setting and re-setting goals in all areas of my life. With the new year just around the corner, I've made some goals. Here are a few of my goals, which, of course, I hope to accomplish all of them being the perfectionist that I am.

A few 2011 Goals:
  • Run a marathon! This will be the year I will run a marathon. My current plan is to run the Chicago Marathon in October.
  • Run 2 half marathons. I want to run a spring half somewhere to keep me motivated during the winter. Also, I want to run the Quad Cities half again this year. I loved that race and want to do it again.
  • PR. It is wonderful to run and I'm always happy to cross the finish line, but there is something special when I PR. I know I have the ability to PR in a 10k for sure, and am hoping for the same for 5k. I am going to run a St. Patrick's Day 5k so I'm thinking that might be the ideal time. I see speed work in my future this winter. I'd also like to PR in the half, and getting below 1:42 would be ideal.
  • Get more sleep. I've not gotten nearly as much sleep as I should be getting, especially in the past 2 months. I need to go to bed earlier so I can function better during the day. I need to make sleeping a priority.
  • Read, read, read. This summer I read 18 books, but since I've only read 3. I love to read but have not had a lot of time for it lately (see above: get more sleep). I'd like to read 2 books per month in 2011.
  • Appreciate the little things. Sometimes I feel too busy that I don't appreciate all that I have or the things that people do for me.
  • Run with others. On Sunday I ran 11 miles with a friend of mine who is training for a marathon. I can't remember the last time I ran with someone else - probably high school. The miles went by so quickly when running with him.
  • Don't have regrets. Pretty self-explanatory.

Do you have any goals for 2o11?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Training with Friends

One of my friends is currently training for the Walt Disney World Marathon in January. Actually, two of my friends are running it (more to come later). Friend "A" plans on doing a full Ironman in May, so this is part of his training for that. He's natuarlly a cycler, so running isn't his number 1 passion. I've been talking to him about training for awhile now and I'm going to go on part of his 20-mile run on Sunday. As of right now, we are going skiing Saturday, driving back on Sunday, and then running later in the day. I have a feeling I might be a little tired...

I feel like it is hard to find someone to train with me. I run fairly fast, and faster than all of my female friends that run. I also log many more miles than the majority of my friends. Finding someone who runs close to the same pace and has the same distance goals in mind is hard. Do you run with a partner? Do you have similar abilities, or how do you make up for your differences? I'm excited that I'll be running with "Friend A" because his training runs have been about 8-minute/mile pace, which is just a tad slower than what I currently run. I'll be meeting him at his halfway point and then log 10 miles together. I don't remember the last time I ran with someone...should be an interesting change.

Now, my other friend running this marathon - "Friend B" - has a different approach, one might say. He's run a few other marathons (2 I believe), and doesn't think he needs much training to run them. I asked him yesterday how many miles he is up to and he said 8. I wanted to say that I am not even training for anything right now and am passed that! Aren't you worried?!??! I would be having major panic attacks if I was in that situation. So I asked him his goal pace, which he told me was 8:30/mile. I wanted to say WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? Is it possible to run that fast of a split with sooooo little training. It's not like he bikes or anything, either. I'm a little concerned.

Do you have crazy friends, too?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A New Sport

This weekend I'll be going skiing with a group of friends. I've never been skiing in my life and am both excited and nervous. Growing up, my parents always wanted me to be healthy. I played AAU travel basketball the majority of the year, starting in 4th grade, and they did not want me to get hurt. Even in college, after my basketball-playing days were over, I never had the desire to ski. I am always cold, and being in the cold just does not appeal to me. However, my friends were going and wanted me to come, so I decided I should.

Although I love to try things, especially sports, that I've never done before, I typically get those nervous butterflies in my stomach. First, I'm nervous about my pump. Running is easy - I just keep my pump clipped to my running shorts/tights/pants and it is fine. However, with skiing there is the risk that I am going to fall down. I'm 100% positive I'll be falling a lot on Saturday. What about my pump? Will it be okay? I sure hope so. I plan on bringing my back-up pump in case something major happens, but I'm crossing my fingers that nothing will.

And then there is the whole blood sugar issue. Do you burn many calories while skiing? I'm wondering if I should plan on it being like biking, or more like a slow jog day? I'm not sure at all. What do you do?

We've gotten a ton of snow so far for December, which should be good for skiing, if they got as much in Wisconsin that we did in Illinois. In the meantime, I'll try to stay warm.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I knew it would happen sometime. This morning I woke up with a runny nose, massive headache, and a high blood sugar to greet me. My blood sugars were running abnormally high the past few days and I thought I might be getting sick, but hoped not. However, I typically get sick every winter at least once without fail. Hopefully I can get some major sleep this weekend to cure myself of this never-ending nose-dripping cold. Maybe going out to the bar last night until 11 wasn't such a good idea...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tuesday Meme: First One Ever

This weekend felt non-stop and the trend has continued into this week. Due to being tired, I decided that it was time for me to complete my first meme on my blog. You probably know a lot about my running and some about my diabetes...but now you get to learn more. (don't you feel honored? just kidding). My meme was stolen from Allison's blog.

1. What do you order at Starbucks? It really depends on my mood. I like their Thanksgiving and Christmas blend coffee a lot, so I usually just stick to that. Sometimes I go for a Skinny Vanilla Latte, but only on the rare occasion. I do love Starbucks!

2. Where is your favorite place to eat breakfast? Does my house count? I am not a morning person and would rather sleep than eat any day of the week. However, breakfast is my favorite meal. I like weekend mornings when I can leisurely eat my breakfast in my pajamas while doing mindless things, like going online. However, if I had to pick a favorite restaurant, it is a tie between the Athenian Grill (in Iowa) and Egg Harbor (in Illinois).

3. Are you on Twitter? Why or why not? No, and I never will be. I am against it because I don't think a person needs to share everything about what they are doing with the world. I have better things to do than post on it and read about everyone else. Twitter = waste of time in my opinion.

4. What is your favorite Christmas movie? White Christmas. I love it and watch it every year with my mom and sister. We can all quote it word or word.

5. Are you a good gift giver? No, I'm not, and I know it. I over think about the person I am buying the gift for and have a hard time making decisions. Good thing that we make Christmas lists in my family so there is no need to come up with anything on my own. (I recently learned that many people have never heard of families doing this - does yours? I've never known a different way.)

6. Do you like your handwriting? Yes, I like my handwriting when I write slowly. I think it is pretty good, and very "teachery" as I've been told.

7. Is your signature legible? Sort of. I have a long first and last name so the first part looks like it and then the end just kind-of trails off.

8. Have you ever been to New York during Christmas season? No. I've never been to New York City at all, but want to go some day.

9. Are there any items that you are completely brand loyal? Unfortunately, yes. For running shoes I only wear Saucony. I'm a big fan of The North Face, Nike clothes, Polo, J.Crew, the Limited, Vera Bradley, and more. I need to get over this habit.

10. Who is your favorite public speaker? I don't really have one. I'd rather read a book than hear a speech.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

True to Myself

Do you remember being in middle and high school and following the crowd? Maybe you were strong and did not ever do that, but I did occasionally. I'm an introvert and like to please people, so sometimes it was just easier to go along with the group than say what I really wanted or felt. I know I still sometimes do this, but just because I like to get along with people. I don't like having people not like me. For example, if I read a post on a blog that I don't agree with, I don't need to write it out. I can just think it instead.

This year I've become much more true to myself. If I don't want to do something while around people, I don't. If I do want to do something while around others, I do. I feel that the results of living my life this way have been incredibly beneficial. I've had a pretty good last 5 months of 2010, and December isn't even over yet. I love my friends, have a wonderful class this year, have run well, and just overall really enjoy life. I do what I want to do, and act how I want to act. It is a freeing feeling. I'm living for me, having complete control over what I do, and love it. Now that I type that, it sounds very self-centered and egocentric. Although I'm focusing on being true to myself, I still make room for others, and gladly. Being true to myself has made me less introverted. It has allowed me to love my life, and for that I am grateful.

Are you true to yourself? What benefits have you reaped from being true to yourself?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Taking it Light Before Revving it Up

I originally to take it light in mid-November and December as far as mileage is concerned before starting to log some major miles after the first of the year. I've stuck to it...not really logging anything longer than 5 miles for the past week. However, today hit and I had the urge to run something longer. I wanted to run for longer than 40 minutes, so I ran 7.5 miles and it felt wonderful. My body felt pretty good as well. I had some hamstring issues around mile 6, but they worked themselves out so I felt pretty good when I finished. I didn't push myself hard and ended up finishing in 1 hour and just under 30 seconds, which I was quite pleased with. Tomorrow I haven't decided if I'll do 5 miles or less, or some type of cross training, or take the day off completely. It all depends how I feel and what I feel like doing.

Are you taking it easy as far as running goes in December? Or are you training for something? There are not a ton of races around here in the winter, so December is a good month to relax.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Welcome, December

I love the month of December for a multitude of reasons. Below are my top 10 reasons why I love the last month of the year.

  1. The first snow typically falls in December. Today was the first day it snowed here and it was beautiful. I love seeing snow fall.
  2. Since it is the last month, I always reflect on the past year. It helps me remind myself of both the good and bad things that have happened, and allows me to set goals for the next year.
  3. Christmas! I love seeing my family during the holiday.
  4. Christmas cookies. I don't like a ton of desserts, but cookies are by far and away my favorite. Don't you just love the peanut butter flavored dough cups with the miniature peanut butter cup in it?
  5. Giving presents to people. I would much rather give a present than receive one.
  6. Shopping for the presents I am going to give to people. My family is very diverse in terms of what we are interested it, which makes for a variety of shopping stops.
  7. My birthday. This year I'll turn one year older...26 here I come!
  8. Christmas vacation at school. I love my students, but it is nice to get a break from them and relax for a bit.
  9. Christmas music. My personal favorite is Christmas in Killarny by Bing Crosby. I bet you have not ever heard it before, right?
  10. It gives me great joy and hope to look ahead to another year, not knowing what experiences I'll have or be transformed by.
Why do you love December?