Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 - Year in Review

2012 was a pretty incredible year! In January I made a commitment to getting fit and healthy - for real this time. With a wedding in July, I had finally run out of excuses. Well, it's now December, and I have to say I am happy with what I was able to accomplish. I am in the best physical shape of my life and feel good! Looking forward to setting some new goals in 2013. After all, I have to work off the hundreds of cookies I ate at my mom's house last week on vacation - that might take a while.

The first half the year I really focused on my gym workouts. I was going to Boot Camp twice a week and throwing in some spin classes and doing some more generic workouts with the husband-to-be and brother-in law.

In July I married my best friend and tomorrow we celebrate 6 months of marriage! I was able to fit in my dress with no alterations and a single try on that was 2 months before the big day. Whew.

We had a destination wedding (highly recommended)! We got married on a Carnival Cruise, and then invited our guests to sail away to the Bahamas with us! It was a blast. Seriously, the best.

After the wedding, I decided to refocus my fitness efforts on training for a half marathon. I've never been a runner before, but I found a training plan and got to it. In September I finished my first half marathon - and in November my second!

My sister came to cheer me on for my big day. 

Showing off my race swag after finishing the US Half. 

December has been a great month as well. After the Turkey Day 5K, I saw a post from @RunnersWorld on twitter about a RunStreak that was taking place from Thanksgiving to New Year's. I had never considered anything of the sort, but I thought what a great challenge. I had already knocked out a run on Thanksgiving, so I thought to myself, I can do this. Well, 3 days in I got the flu, so the official runstreak was ruined. When I was back on my feet, I decided to start over. My goal was to run every day in December. I am happy to report that I succeeded. I knocked out 93 miles this month, making it my highest month of mileage ever - and I'm topping off the year at 404 miles. (Check out my dailymile profile to see all my runs).

Hope you accomplished all you set out to do in 2012. Happy New Years!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Bikram Yoga - I'm in LOVE

About a year ago, I got a great Groupon deal for 2 months unlimited classes at a local Bikram Yoga studio (Funky Door Yoga). I thought this would be a great way to get in shape for the wedding. Well, it's now December and I've been married 5 months and I recently got a reminder email to use my Groupon before it expired.

After putting this off for about a year - I was kind of dreading / nervous about trying out "hot yoga" - but I didn't want that $40 to go to waste. I've tried a few Yoga classes at my gym over the years (not recommended), and I was never able to get into it. But I told myself - you just need to go to 2 classes and the deal will have paid for itself.

Fast forward 1 week - I've been to 4 classes and I'm in love! Bikram Yoga is nothing like regular yoga, in my opinion. Sure I find myself twisted up like a pretzel every so often (see pose #4), but it's quite a different experience from the crappy yoga at the gym.

Lights on - the teacher has a mic and gives detailed instructions on every move - and it's 100 degrees in the room. The class is 90 minutes long and is composed of 26 poses. It's best to wear as little as possible in the class - because you will get sweaty! And no need to be self conscious - no one is looking at you - they are all focused on themselves...for reals.

Pose #13 is one of my favorites - especially after falling over like a fool attempting to do #12.

Needless to say, I am going to take serious advantage of my 2 months of unlimited classes. Obviously I can't go every day - but 3-4 times a week should suffice. I'm so happy school is over until mid/late January - that clears up 2 extra nights a week - and there are late evening classes so I can go after work. Kind of bummed that I'll be missing out next week when we're in Arizona for Christmas. I already have days picked out for my post holiday sweat.

Have you tried Bikram yoga - or a regular yoga studio? What do you like most?

In other news, I hit day 17 of my runstreak today! The beginning of the week was a little rough, I was getting pretty tired, but I find that the yoga has really helped loosen me up and my runs later in the week were pretty good.

It's been a while (about 6-7 weeks) since I've done any longer distance runs (anything over 4 miles), but I'm thinking about signing up for the Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon on February 3rd - which is right around the corner - so I had to officially kick off training. Yesterday I knocked out a 10K (close enough, 6.14 miles). The run started out good - but I was slowing down a little after about 3.5 miles - but then found myself on some holiday race route being chased by a few dozen runners in Santa suites. This was good motivation to pick up my pace. I wanted to make it to 7 miles, but decided not to overdue it and finish strong.

I was super happy with my finish time - about 55 minutes - giving me a pace of 9:03/mile. This is phenomenal - my finish time for the US Half Marathon left me with a pace of 10:00+/mile. If I can keep this new pace during training the next few weeks - I might be able to PR, which would be a great start to the new year.

Tough Mudder training has been on hold for the most part over the past 2 weeks. My brother-in-law had a guest in town and then was sick this weekend. And I'm sure the holidays will mess up the next weekend or two. Don't get me wrong - I have done something active every day for the last 17 days - sometimes doubling up with 2 workouts in one day - but none have been super focused on strength building for the TM. Although, last weekend, I was able to do my first unassisted chin up. It was awesome! I felt like a badass. And I know you're probably thinking, seriously, she's getting excited over one chin up?! Really, don't knock it until you've tried's hard. Hoping by Tough Mudder day, I'll be able to do several - otherwise, someone is pushing me up and over the wall.

I think that's all for now. I know I've been slacking on the posts lately, going to try and pick that up. Having next week off should be a good motivator.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

December Runstreak

After the Turkey Day 5K and a day of cooking, I spent the evening surfing twitter posts and came across the Runner's World Runstreak. A challenge to commit to running at least 1 mile a day from Thanksgiving to Christmas. What a great challenge to keep the holiday pounds away (have I mentioned I have a serious cookie addiction). I haven't tried anything quite like this before and I'm all for trying new things, so here goes.

Well, I made it 3 days before I ended up with the stomach flu. Not cool! Not to mention a totally crappy way to end a 4 day weekend and ruin off my RW runstreak. Damn!

I was sick for 2 days and then took an extra 2 days to let my body completely recover - I think this was a wise idea. I didn't have a proper meal over those 4 days, so I probably wouldn't have made it far without collapsing. So after all this the end of November had arrived...instead of scratching the runstreak, I decided I would adjust the plan and run every day in December. Run at least 1 mile a day for 31 days. Challenge on!

Today is the 6th and so far I'm on track. I went for a run on the 30th, so my streak hit 7 today. This is a new milestone for me, it's small but it feels good. I feel confident that I can make it through the month - and come January who knows...maybe I'll keep it going.

What's your longest runstreak? I've read some blogs and twitter feeds about runners on streaks well over 100 days. Seriously impressive!