I’m still here! Reflections and other thoughts during my 3-4 month hiatus.

WARNING: This could be a long one.

Yes, I am still here. Not very active on here because well, I haven’t exactly been active.. BUT I have been (we’ll get to that more in a bit).

So, here is what I think happened. After a long, almost two year straight journey with running, I think I burnt out. That was it. I just became burnt out. After doing the 30 Day Yoga challenge, I did end up getting into yoga more. I still continue to do yoga to this day on days where I just don’t feel like doing cardio. Let me tell you: I have seen some positives while doing yoga more often, particularly in my core area. Yay!

While I got into yoga more, I drifted away from running, although I didn’t completely stop. I really didn’t, I still run. Just.. not as often as I’d like.

I found that with all the apps, the charts, the miles, and the blog posts – let me go back to it – I just got burnt out. I needed a break. Simple as that. I can only keep constant track of my running for so long until I realized that it was stressing me out. I suddenly kept comparing myself in every single workout, and thought I didn’t do my best. Didn’t run fast enough? Didn’t do my best. Didn’t run as much miles? Didn’t do my best. Gotta work harder. Gotta be better. My mind became clouded with so much negativity from within myself that I decided to put running in the back of my mind.

But I stayed active. I swam, did yoga, went on the bike, lifted weights, and did my favorite HIIT running workout on the treadmill. The thing is, I just didn’t work out as often as I liked.

After gaining about 5 lbs. (WHY??), I realized running is what kept me truly active, My workouts were organized, I always made sure I had time. It’s time to get back into shape and get back into the routine. However, I realized I should go about this a whole different route.

Since my hiatus, I’ve come up with some ideas that I will need to, if I have not already, implement:

1) NO MORE KEEPING TRACK OF MY TIMES. This means no more apps. No RunKeeper, nothing. While it was cool to know how far I’ve come when I got back to running, it suddenly became daunting when I’d see my times slip, or my miles go lower. I realized I wasn’t running just to run and have fun, I was running for the stats, and that wasn’t fun. I haven’t tracked a run – or any workout – since April, and it feels damn good to not give a damn how I do every single little workout. Sure, when I sign up for races, I’d still like to place a good time, and I think those are the only times I’d actually post up and compare my progress, but I think my goals at any race would just be to run and finish strong. If I happen to finish at a good time, that’s a bonus! i think I’ve come far enough that I am confident in my abilities – I can run X amount of miles, I can do this – there’s no need to prove to myself otherwise.

2) Watch what I eat. I’ve been eating too much good stuff lately, – that means, easy stuff. I’ve eaten one too many DiGiorno pizzas for dinner because I got lazy. Time to keep that habit to at least only 2x a month! I also need to start bringing lunch to work more often – it’s less tempting to go out and overeat on something when I know I have a good lunch! This means I also need to start being more mindful of what I can bring, so I know I won’t wimp out and just buy something later on.

3) Get back to working out 5x a week. This is where I’ve slipped up and I am now suffering the consequences. While yoga has helped build my core, I can’t do it alone – cardio is what kicks my butt, and helps keep me in shape. I will need to implement short yoga sessions into my short workouts to still reap some of the benefits. Or.. relaxing yoga on my rest days wouldn’t be too bad too. 🙂

I’m writing, once again, in this blog to remind myself that I need to get back to it. It was fun while it lasted, but now, Fall is coming.. which means, races are coming up – and a LOT of them. I initially wanted to do another half marathon this Fall, but because of finances (by the way, I FINALLY GOT A NEW CAR IN MAY!) as well as lack of training, I think I will be sticking to the smaller distances. I’m sure I’ll still get some pretty medals along the way.

So here we go – I’M BACK!

Till next time,

P.

Back, and finally 24!

Excuse my lack of posts – I’ve just gotten back from visiting my family over my birthday weekend. Since Thursday, actually. It’s crazy how fast time flew!

I landed in Sacramento early Thursday morning, and managed to get some work done at my Dad’s house while I was waiting for my sister. The rest of the weekend was a mix of eating, spending time with my family: nieces, nephews, Mom, Dad, Stepmom, Stepdad, etc… more eating, meeting with a friend, working from home, catch up sessions with my sister, watching movies, and eating again.

Granted, I managed to have some time for a short yoga session on Friday and a longer one (over an hour!) yesterday afternoon.

Needless to say, I brought my running shoes and did yoga instead.

Since I’ve been back, I’m committed to getting back on track with my eating – not that I ate a lot, I just ate a bunch of Filipino food, which can be really good but really unhealthy. :p I’m straying off coffee and flushing myself with tea. So far, so good. I’ve had two cups of yummy green tea with honey today and my energy levels are pretty good!

I’m determined to keep myself strong at 24. 23 was a good year: I’ve never ran so much miles in my life. I feel like my goal now is to keep at it: to get and to continue to stay strong. Now, it’s becoming a mix of yoga and running, and I’m quite liking it!

I’ve been bad. I haven’t ran since last Monday. I am, however, planning a run tomorrow just to get used to it again. I’m planning on a 40 minute run tomorrow, and then some speed work on Friday. I didn’t realize that I already have my 5k race coming up this Saturday! I’m excited: I haven’t raced since January and it’s been forever! I’m not even going to try and shoot for time: I’m just going to go my own pace, and have fun. I’m really trying to not be so hard on myself when it comes to time since (as I’ve mentioned in my previous post) it stresses me. So with this race, I shall run it and conquer it, and cherish my newly obtained bunny medal. 🙂

Till next time,

P.

Yoga.love

An eventful week, ending with some new Nike sweatpants.

It’s been a pretty busy week!

Earlier this week, I got an interview with a museum that I wanted to volunteer at. Just a little background info: I’ve always wanted to have a museum career. I’ve volunteered and interned at two museums prior to my job now, and lately I’ve realized that I need to get my foot back in the door again. Anyway, the interview went REALLY well. I ended up getting accepted as a volunteer! Since I work all week, I have to pick up my training materials tomorrow and have to do independent training. I’m so excited!

Thursday was a pretty eventful day: it was my coworker / sorority sister’s birthday, and it was my boyfriend and I’s four year anniversary! I had crafted a spare Birchbox I had for my friend and put her present inside. I just had to take a photo of the box, at least – I haven’t crafted in a while and it just looked so cute!

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I wanted to take her out for lunch, and she made a great decision in having it at Souplantation. I NEEDED THE VEGETABLES. Let’s just say that my diet has not been A+ lately. Having salad and soup was also a really good decision because I needed to be really hungry by the time my boyfriend got out of school (which was around 8:30 pm). We were going to have our anniversary dinner at a sushi place; ALL YOU CAN EAT, of course!

It’s been a while since we’ve done AYCE. For our anniversary last year, we had AYCE sushi as well, and it seems like every year, I just eat less and less! I just can’t eat too much sushi anymore. Hard to believe that before, I could last all three rounds!

Philadelphia Roll and the boyfriend... with a $1 bottle of sake! We came on the right night!
Philadelphia Roll and the boyfriend… with a $1 bottle of sake! We came on the right night!

Part 2 of our anniversary gift to each other? Moving into our new apartment next weekend! 😀

And of course, yesterday was Halloween. I ended up dressing as Wednesday Addams (but with no white collar!), and my boyfriend and I passed out candy to the trick or treaters. There weren’t a lot of trick or treaters this year.. probably because it finally rained hard last night!

Wait, is Wednesday supposed to smile? No, right? Well, you got me.
Wait, is Wednesday supposed to smile? No, right? Well, you got me.

I’m actually glad Halloween is over and done with. Time to get down to the REAL holidays: Thanksgiving, and my favorite holiday: CHRISTMAS!

November was greeted beautifully, as it finally feels like Fall! It finally stopped raining this morning, but it’s still fairly cool out. That means optimal running weather. 

Since I’ve finished my half marathon training plan, I realize how easy it is to stay on track especially if I am on a plan. I looked up other plans on RunKeeper, and decided to try out the “Running 4 Fat Loss” training plan. It consists of a lot of speedwork (tempo, fartlek, interval) in a short amount of time, ranging from 30 – 60 minutes. I found this plan to be a good fit for me at the moment because 1) I would like to do some running that would help me lose the bit of weight that won’t come off and 2) SPEEDWORK! As much as I’ve enjoyed running longer distances, I have to say, it feels so good running a fast 5k again.

I saw a 5k that’s taking place literally a block away from our new place on Thanksgiving Day. I’m almost certainly signing up for that one. What better way to check out the new neighborhood AND make some room for Thanksgiving dinner? 🙂

Lastly, I realized that I needed to use the $20 Nike gift card I got from my half marathon goodie bag. Since it was expiring tomorrow, I checked out Nike’s clearance section and scored a good deal on some comfy looking sweatpants. Can’t wait to receive them in the mail!

Well, I have a 30 minute run to do sometime today. At least it’s going to be cool out all day!

Till next time,

P.

Getting sick, 101.

Seriously? I’m under the weather again: muscle aches, fatigue, migraine, stuffy nose, stuffiness in general… argh!!

I feel like I’ve been sick even more frequently since I’ve been training. Well, that bout in August was pretty much allergies gone awry, and what I learned was that allergies in Southern California is pretty much unavoidable, especially for runners (GREAT.). What I thought was another allergy attack last night is now becoming another sickness. 

Uhg. Well, I took it easy today and have been drinking a lot of fluids. I had sushi and soup for lunch, which hopefully helped boost my immunity, somewhat. I was planning on going for a 4-5 mile run tomorrow, but seeing as I feel crappy as I write this, we’ll just have to see how I feel in the morning.

I’m also pretty bummed that my Runner’s World magazine still hasn’t come! 😦 I was hoping for something to read while lying in bed tonight.

I hope everyone doesn’t get what’s going around! Apparently everyone’s been getting sick.. phew. Take care of yourselves!

Till next time,

P.

Running around…where?

It’s always interesting to go on Instagram, look up “#running” and see the millions of posts from people all around the world. From a snapshot of their running app stats to a snapshot of their surroundings, it’s always nice to see from a different perspective: where is everyone running from? Why is this their favorite place to run? Why can’t I find a gorgeous place like that to run in? Damn, if only I could go for a run near the Eiffel Tower!

Running outside allows us to see the beauty in… well, being outside! It’s become one of the things that I enjoy the most simply because it gets me out. At work and at home I’m glued with my eyes on a screen. It’s refreshing to see and observe something else. And when you’re running outside, no matter how many times you run the same trail, you’re always bound to notice something different, even in the slightest things.

One of the goals I’m trying to achieve throughout my running journey is to run in different places. Whether it be a new trail down the street or in a whole different continent. It’s exciting because there’s so many options – there’s so many roads to run in!

It’s funny. Earlier this year when I went on a business trip to Chicago, I was really determined to log a run in a different state. I was even planning my route around the AirBNB we were staying at weeks before we arrived. But unfortunately with the snow, it was dangerous to run outside on the slippery street, and I was only limited to certain areas because I didn’t have the luxury to go out and about to find a running trail by myself. However, I did manage to get a run in the University of Chicago’s gym. I mean, that’s something, right?

And so, my journey continues. I haven’t even logged a run in my home city of San Francisco since I got back to running again, so at least that’s something I can cross off my list this October!

Comment: If you could run anywhere in the world, where would you like to run? Where is your ideal running place, and why? 

With a cough like this, there was no way I could run. (Half-Marathon Training Day 36)

Yesterday, I picked up my medicine that my doctor prescribed for me that would help with my congestion. I took some last night, and this morning I had expelled so much mucus. Gross, yes, but I’m glad it’s all coming out.

However, since Friday my coughs had begun to get worse. It was a deep cough that stemmed right from my chest. I knew with a cough like this, there was no way I could run. So sadly, I didn’t run at all this weekend because of it. I thought I felt better enough last night that I can run 6-miles this morning, but when I woke up I just felt like total crap and was coughing up a storm. There was no way around it.

I’m pretty distraught, because it has now been two weekends in a row that I have not ran.. but I kept telling myself, it’s better to take care of myself now, than ruin myself later. I can miss a couple of days, or I can miss a whole season if my congestion turns into bronchitis.

I’m hoping that I can start running again on Tuesday, but I might have to alter my mileage to accommodate for me running less than I was supposed to. Instead of that scheduled 10-miler next week, I might bump it down to 7-8, and then the weekend after, bring it back up to 10. I know I shouldn’t do too much in too little time. After all, I technically still have two months to train. I can also follow the official Nike Women’s Half-Marathon training schedule, which is actually far behind compared to my training schedule on RunKeeper. I don’t think I start running much longer distances until September if I follow their training schedule! It does make me feel better that I had a month head start of training, at least.

Meanwhile, it’s going to be tea and cough drops for me. Can’t complain too much though. Earlier today my boyfriend and I went out to get some shabu-shabu (Japanese soup) to help sooth my coughing, and now he’s baking some brownies, so I can’t wait to enjoy some with my tea and honey.

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I hope that you all had a splendid weekend!

P.

Alas, sickness: you have reached me.

This past week, I’ve been feeling pretty crummy in the mornings when I’d wake up. I would just hack up and blow my nose to get rid of all the excess phlegm from my congestion that started about two weeks ago. Only now has the phlegm loosened up for me to get it out of my system.

So it’s a good and bad thing: it’s good that I’m getting all the mucus out, but it’s bad becuase it’s also making me feel sick. It’s 100 degrees in Southern California and I feel slight chills. Today, I woke up extremely lethargic and my chest and throat didn’t feel too great, so before work I ended up getting my favorite China Green Tips tea from Starbucks + honey to help. Luckily, there wasn’t much to do at work so I had left early after I made sure everything I needed to get done was finished. I had spoken with my doctor regarding my congestion and she prescribed me some medicine. I had asked her about running outside while congested / sick, and sadly, she had told me to wait it out until my symptoms get better, especially since my congestion was caused by allergies. Running outside would just prolong me getting better.

Uhg. A runner’s nightmare. Missing scheduled runs.

But of course, it was a given. There’s that running-while-sick rule: above the neck, okay to run; below the neck, don’t run. Seeing as my congestion is obviously below the neck, I shouldn’t be running.

And I was stubborn. I was much, much more congested two weeks ago and I still ran. Ay. I should’ve just taken care of it then.

Perhaps tomorrow, I will get on the elliptical or the bike in exchange of the 4-mile scheduled run I was supposed to do. I should probably take it easy for a bit, until at least my chest feels less tight and I don’t feel as crummy. I do have that 10-miler next week, after all. I definitely don’t want to miss that. Man… I don’t even want to miss my 6-7 miler on Sunday!

I guess I’ll just get some rest for the rest of today and just see how I feel later this weekend.

How do you deal with training when you suddenly become sick? What types of exercises do you do when you can’t run?