Monday, October 31, 2011

Track My Training

I hinted in a previous post that Derek and I are planning a big ice climbing trip this January. While the details of that trip are still being hashed out (look forward to some future posts on what all goes into that planning process), our training for the trip officially began today.

Now, Derek has been training pretty hard core since he's been permitted post-surgery. He's been logging his work-outs and nutrition intakes regularly. He's been getting outside to climb as often as possible. In short, my love is looking pretty rock solid right now.

And me? I've just been running. No core work outs. No nutrition tracking. No climbing outside. No nothing.

So it shouldn't have been a surprise this morning when we went outside for our 'hard core' workout in preparation of ice climbing that I flailed in all my weakling glory. But it was. It was surprising, demotivating, and truly pathetic. I actually cried because I felt that pathetic. Now, I'm a bit of a crybaby, so it doesn't take much to get me going. But still. I was amazed at how little of the workout I could actually do.

On the bright side, such a complete and total failure means that any gains I make in my workout will be that much more noticeable - right? Amazing gains or not, these are the things that I want to share with you during this training cycle - the difficulty of the process and the progress made towards a personal fitness goal.

For the "Track My Training" series of posts, I will be posting our work-outs as we progress in the training. When we conclude our training and travel to New Hampshire for our ice climbing trip, I may also post some before and after pictures to show off my massive muscle gains. Only if my 'after' pictures look totally awesome though, because the 'before' pictures we took today were somewhat embarrassing.

Today's Workout 
Warm Up
2 mile run at 13 min 52 sec

4 Sets Each
Calf Raises, 60 seconds
Tool Swings, 60 seconds
Assisted Lock-Off Pull Ups, 10
Plank Walk Ups, 30 seconds
V Ups w/ 10lb, 10
Floor Swipes (Floor wipers) w/ 15lb, 10
Side Planks, 45 second/each
Back Planks, 45 Seconds

I also attempted to do Foot Cuts and Assisted Tool Matches, but those didn't go so well. Will take pictures in the future when my abilities are less embarrassing, as I'm sure writing "Assisted Tool Matches" means exactly nothing to most folks reading this :) A couple of you know what I'm talking about though!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tough Decisions

With my half marathon in St. Louis done, I am moving onto my next training cycle. The big upcoming event is the Tashka Trail 25K/50K this December. I need to decide now whether I will do the 25k (15.5 miles) or the 50k (31 miles).

Originally, I wanted to run the 50K. However I had wanted to run it 'competitively' - meaning, I wanted to run it fast. I also wanted to maintain good health throughout my training - meaning, no weight loss from my already scrawny frame.

To add in another factor to this decision making process, Derek and I would like to do a biggie ice climbing trip in January (more on this later), which means I need to start doing strength training now. Remember how I partially dislocated my shoulder during one of my training runs? Yeah, clearly I need to put on some muscle, but it's pretty dang hard to do that when training for a 50K...

While it makes me feel like I'm giving up before I really even started, I think I'm going to have to run the 25k and hope that it's the right decision. I guess I'll be able to judge better as I start training and see how things feel.

Tashka Trail Run, 2010

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Rock 'n' Roll Race Report

Derek and I are back from our weekend trip to St. Louis for the Rock 'n' Rock Series Half Marathon. This race was my first major road run. I've done a couple of trail races, but they did not really prepare me at all for something like the Rock 'n' Roll Series. From the pre-race expo to the sheer size of the event, I was amazed and a little bit overwhelmed.

Race day was an early start. We got up at 5:30AM to have a breakfast of milk and cereal before heading into the city. I was super grateful for my Uncle Mark and Aunt Lorri giving us a ride! We ended up getting stuck in traffic, so Derek, cousin Greta, and I hopped out at a stoplight and made a 'run' for the starting line. We got there with enough time to wait for an empty port-a-john before heading to our corral.

This was my first wave-start run, so the whole corral system was kind of funny to me. There were over 25,000 runners (holy cow!). Greta and I were in corral 18. I was relieved when it came to be our time to start, and we were all able to spread out a bit more.

Once things got going, I found the run to be super relaxing and fun. There were aid stations every 1.5 miles with water and restrooms. There were cheerleaders on many corners and live bands rocking it out to keep us motivated. It was a lot of fun to keep an eye out for Derek, who popped up on the sidelines throughout the race to take photos and cheer us on. It was also super encouraging to find our Aunts & Uncles waiting for us around the halfway point and at the finish line to cheer us on as well.

The highlight of running this race was getting to run it with my cousin, Greta. I don't get to visit with my extended family very often, and I have never been able to run a race with anyone before so this was a double bonus. It was awesome to have a running buddy. This was Greta's first race, and I hope she enjoyed it enough that she wants to do it again sometime.

We finished together at 2:59:30

Check out more photos at: Rock N Roll Race Photos

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Back at the Glass

At present, I am on the road to St. Louis with Susan for her half-marathon this weekend, the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon - St. Louis.  We departed early this morning from Tuscaloosa well before sunrise to ensure that we will arrive in time to pick up a race packet.  I am a little tired not just from the alpine start but also since I just returned from a three-day trip to North Carolina last night.

Filling up at a "marathon" gas station before leaving town this morning.
My business partner, Chris Latham, will be taking his AMGA Single Pitch Instructor examination in November, so we hit the road together so he could practice for his exam and get familiar with the exam terrain.  We spent most of our time in the Pisgah National Forest in Brevard, North Carolina, where conditions were cold, damp, and mostly sunny.  Since temperatures when we left Alabama were peaking in the 80s, the daytime highs in the 40s left my fingers and toes in a semi-permanent state of numbness.

Chris high on the second pitch of "Second Coming" (5.7)
Despite my grumblings about being cold, we had a great trip.  Chris got plenty of technical skills work and led what few dry pitches of climbing there were at Looking Glass Rock and Cedar Rock.  In the midst of our whirlwind 3 days, we even got to visit some old friends from Fox Mountain Guides - Adam Fox , Ron Funderburke, Karsten Delap, and Lindsay Fixmer. 

It was great to be back in Brevard and catch up for a bit as well as be back on my "home" rock.  Even better, though, was coming home to Tuscaloosa to see Susan and now heading to St. Louis to see her run.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

It's a Library Thing

I am about to reveal to you my latest project, which I find fantastically amazing in all of my geeky wonder - The LibraryThing!

The LibraryThing is a type of social media website for bibliophiles and librarian types. You can sign up for free and create an online catalog of your own personal library. You can include books you have, books you've read, a wish list for future books. AND perhaps one of my favorite parts - you can sign up to receive pre-print books for FREE in exchange for providing a book review to the author.

Isn't that the most awesomely insane and cool thing ever??

I'm sure any of my library classmates reading this are thinking, "Geeze Susan, get with the times, we've all been on LibraryThing for ages." But this is new to me, and thereby BIG NEWS. I love it!

I am still adding our books to our LibraryThing catalog, but you can go ahead and check us out at Right now, the "Outdoor Library" is the most complete collection.

I want to start adding reviews for the books we have & have read. If you are interested in borrowing stuff or were thinking about buying a book & want feedback, just give us a holler!

I'm gonna go geek out some more now and add subject tags... ::blissful grinning::