Monday, May 2, 2011

"I just go all in"

What a great weekend! Seriously the best running weather anyone could ask for. In the 50s, partly cloudy, with a light breeze. It was absolutely beautiful and wicked busy for me.

Friday afternoon when I got out of work I decided I was due for a rest day. Although it seems like an eternity, I have to remember the marathon was only two weeks ago and I am still recovering (even though my legs are fine and I'm right back to running, minus the long runs, already). So, like any other rest day, I was instantly bored and cured my boredom by baking some cookies. I made chocolate chip and oatmeal awesomeness, then ate about half of them as they were coming out of the oven to make sure they tasted ok. I approved of the overall quality of the cookies and continued to scarf down several more before I passed out from cookie coma on my couch watching some couple's wedding that apparently made the news on Friday.

Saturday morning, I tried to sleep in since I wasn't meeting my friends to run until about 9:30, but my plan backfired. It was so nice out Friday that I slept with the windows open and at about 5:00am there was a bird singing right on the tree outside my bedroom that prevented me from getting the rest I was trying to achieve. Oh well, I got up and had some tea and breakfast and finished up the laundry I had started the night before, oh and of course I had some cookies too. Oatmeal cookies for breakfast are ok because there oatmeal, right?

9:00 rolled around and I was dressed and ready to go. I headed out the door to run to my friend Kim's house for our Saturday morning workout. I planned another fun playground workout for us. This time Shannon decided to join us, all the other Lowell Ladies that usually run with us on Saturday's wussed out as soon as they heard we were doing a bootcamp style workout with the run (to be fair, some had races, family vacations, and longer runs planned). Anyway, for those that are interested here is what we did (1.5 mile run to and from the park for warm up and cool down):
3x10 jumping jacks
3x10 plyo squats
3x10 push ups
3x10 dips
3x10 alternating lunges (10 each leg)
3x10 Burpees
3x10 side kicks (slow and controlled movement, uses balance, coordination, and core stability, plus a little hip flexor action)
3x10 box jumps on picnic table benches about 18-20" high
3x10 invert rows
3x30 second wall sits
Then we went to a grassy section of the park to do abs:
3x30 second planks
3x20 scissor kicks (works the low abs)
3x20 bicycles
3x30 second side planks (each side)

Not a bad workout. Challenging, but not too tough. The run home was definitely slower than the run to the park, but we had fun and that's what really matters. When we got back to Kim's she had mentioned that she wanted to give cookies to the fire station up the street for responding to her house the week before when she left a pot on the stove and went for a walk forgetting the stove was on and nearly burned her house down. She didn't get a chance to make any cookies because her little angel Ryann was a party animal Friday night and refused to go to bed. I wanted to get the cookies I made out of my house so I would stop eating them, so I volunteered to donate them on her behalf. I ran home, got the cookies, drove back and we walked them over to the Fire Station. Needless to say, the guys were very appreciative.

Saturday, was also the day my friend Jenine was having a health fair in Melrose where her fitness studio is. After I showered and ate some lunch I drove down to swing by and check it out. It was great. They had all kinds of vendors there and live entertainment and even managed to organize a flash mob. I'd say it was a huge success and "Healthy Melrose" definitely helped make Melrose a little healthier and educated the community on all of the great resources they have around the neighborhood. Well done Jenine!

By the time I made it home I was exhausted and didn't feel like cooking dinner, so I just had some leftovers. I made some yummy herbed chicken and pasta verde the week before with broccoli, sugar snap peas, and zucchini. It totally hit the spot and put me in a happy food coma for the night.

Sunday I ran the James Joyce Ramble 10K in Dedham. What a fun race! The course was sort of hilly, but wicked pretty. We even ran past a castle! Oh and all along the course they had people dressed in period costumes reading from James Joyce books. I have to admit I couldn't hear them over the 'Eye of the Tiger' blasting in my ears, but it was a pretty cool sight to see. And the after party was clearly what most of the 3000 runners showed up for. Free flowing Harpoon IPA and UFO and live music on a sunny Sunday afternoon, in a word - AWESOME!

I hung out with a group of Greater Lowell Road Runners after the race and laughed so hard my abs still hurt. Many of us had just run Boston and some were tapering for upcoming races, some were just there for the free beer. Either way, there were a lot of great discussions and jokes flying around. As we talked about our marathon experiences, someone started using the analogy of gambling and knowing what cards you're holding and how to play them, referring to race strategy and my response was, "I just go all in!" I know it's not the wisest race strategy and I could be a better runner if I played my cards right, but for now I'm having fun and that's the most important thing. I try to never take myself too seriously. I mean I have high expectations of myself and I do train hard and try to do my best, but my ultimate goal is always to have fun. For example, after the race I changed into a new t-shirt a friend recently bought for me which perfectly illustrates my life philosophy right now:

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