Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Getting in the Habit

Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going. - Jim Ryun

7/25 workout:

3.63 miles on Rivertrail
30:00, 8:15/mile

Pittsburgh Marathon: 283 days

Monday, July 25, 2011

Border of Pain and Suffering

It's at the borders of pain and suffering that the men are separated from the boys. Emil Zatopek
I just found that quote, and it could not explain my weekend better! I had two terrific workouts and am in absolute pain this morning (which is a good thing to me!)

On Saturday, I biked for 30 minutes at the maximum resistance on my very old stationary bike, then increased my weight on about half of the exercises I did, and increased repetitions on the exercises I didn't move up. Overall my body was feeling very strong, but I was really sore the next day!

Sunday I went out for a run while it was in the 90's, and ran on the trails in Riverview. I decided to run without calculating my distance or pace to just relax and run for time. I ran for about an hour, and it felt terrific to just enjoy the run and not worry about pushing myself to the limit!

This week I'm hoping to run 5 days and lift 3. It's almost time for vacation (Deep Creek, Maryland!) and Blue Band, so I need to kick my training into high gear!

P.S. Sorry for no maps today, it's tough to map out the trails at Riverview since they don't show up on Google Maps! More to come later, I like that layout much better :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great. - Pre

7/19 workout:
4.70 miles on Rivertrail
40:07, 8:30/mile

7/20 workout:
30 min upper body lifting
3.25 miles at Riverview Park
26:00, 7:58/mile

Pittsburgh Marathon: 289 days

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Here are some pictures from the weekend:

-Friday night, taken at the "water steps" on the North Shore by PNC Park. I'm on the left and my roommate Heather is on the right. Coordination was not planned.

-Saturday afternoon at Station Square. This was taken at the "dancing waters", which light up and puts on a show to go along with music. Favorite with tourists!

-Saturday afternoon at the Duquesne Incline.

-Again from Mt Washington, further down the road. This is Heinz Field where the Steelers play!

I apologize for the terrible picture quality, these pictures were all taken with my phone!

Enjoy and have a great day!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tour around Pittsburgh

Unfortunately, once again, my life is taking over my training schedule and I haven't been running as much as I'd like. This weekend, my two roommates for next year came to visit, as well as my grandparents, so I've been extremely busy! Here's a quick summary of my weekend:
Friday: dinner at Atria's, walk around North Shore
Saturday: kayaking on Allegheny River for two hours, walk around downtown, lunch at Primantis, walk to Duquesne Incline, walk around Mt. Washington, Duquesne Incline down, walk to Station Square, late lunch/drinks at Bar Bleu, fish and veggies dinner at home
Sunday: church, mall, lunch/drinks/watched Pirates and World Cup at Rivertowne Tavern, walk around downtown and North Shore
Monday: Hofbrauhaus with grandparents after work

Overall, very busy past few weeks. Everything should be settling down until the end of my internship (a few Happy Hours after work but nothing more than once a week). Training should be back on schedule. Luckily I've been staying active and not over-eating (or drinking) too much the past few weeks so I've been able to keep my weight down.
Here's to getting back to training and pushing through the last three weeks of work!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Back on Pace

"You have to wonder at times what you're doing out there. Over the years, I've given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement."

After taking a few days off from training, I'm finally back to it. I had to rest up to get over a few areas that have been bothering me, but I'm now back in action and feeling better than ever. On Tuesday, I rode a stationary bike for a half hour and did a weight lifting circuit. The two moves I did for legs were lunges and leg extensions, both of which I haven't done in a while. Yesterday, I got back to Riverview Park and did an easy trail loop that was around 3 1/2 miles with rolling hills. My average mile was 8:30, so it was a decent run.

The quote at the top is by one of my favorite athletes and role models- Steve Prefontaine. For those of you who don't know him, do yourself a favor and read a bit about him here or watch a movie about him, I'd recommend Fire on the Track. His outlook on running has inspired me throughout the years, not only in my training but also in life. He pushed himself to the limit in every way to become the best person he can possibly be, which is always what I strive to do. His quotes are a great source of inspiration and power to me, and I hope it'll help others too!

I'm working on creating a new layout and format for this blog, all this text isn't really working for me-I want it to be more about the actual runs and courses! Hopefully I'll have something soon :)

Pittsburgh Marathon: 296 days
7/12 Workout: 30 min cardio 1 hour Full Body Conditioning
7/13 Workout: 3.52 miles/30:10

Monday, July 11, 2011

Living the GREAT Life

What a weekend I had! Unfortunately, I didn't officially work out, but I did get to exercise some new muscles, which I'll explain later. This weekend was one of the best that I can remember, and definitely is the highlight of my summer.

To start off, on Friday after work, all of the PNC interns were invited to the Pirates/Cubs game. I am a HUGE sports fan, especially of Pittsburgh teams, so I was really excited to go. This year I've already been to over ten games, so it's been a really special summer getting to see the Pirates doing so well. We had incredible seats (picture below) a few rows directly behind home plate. It was such a great game, and we ended up winning with Mike McKenry's first major-league home run. What an exciting, amazing game! On top of that, McCutchen and Correia got named to the All-Star team, and the Pirates won the series. Overall, a terrific weekend to be a Pittsburgher.

On Saturday, two of my friends from college, Chris and Rob, came to visit and we went white-water rafting at Ohiopyle. This was one of the most incredible things that I've ever done! It was a physical workout, constantly battling the waters and paddling. It was also such a gorgeous place. Unfortunately, we couldn't take cameras because they would get destroyed, but you can just imagine being surrounded by trees and mountains, drifting along a wide river covered in rocks and rapids. It was an unforgettable experience, and I can't wait to go back to try harder rapids!

After we finished, Chris, Rob and I decided to try out the "natural waterslide" that our guide told us about. I expected a little slide little kids liked to play on. Quite the opposite, it was more like a waterfall that shot you all around and gave me one of the biggest adrenaline rushes of my life. Here is a picture of it from White Water Adventures, the company we used:

We were also able to walk around the beaches and soak up the sun for a few hours. It was an absolute perfect day to be there (mid 80's and mostly sunny).

After all of that excitement, I slept in on Sunday (which was WONDERFUL) and tried to recover from the trip. I was, and still am, covered in bruises just about from head to toe, as well as scratches and cuts. My arms and legs are also really sore from using muscles that I don't normally work out, so it feels great to have worked them. For dinner, my parents took my sister and I to a restaurant called Burgatory Bar in Waterworks. I had two amazing beers, Duck Rabbit Milk Stout and Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter. They were both dark beers, which I really like. The stout had a great coffee and chocolate taste like Guinness but was much lighter. The porter was a bit more bitter, but still paired well with the delicious bison burger I got that was rubbed in coffee grinds (Kona Crust). We also ordered Gorgonzola Truffle fries, which, before the burger, were probably the best things I had to eat in all of July.

Overall, a fantastic weekend even though I took a break from my training. Sometimes you just have to live life a little bit and then get back on track! Back to running TODAY!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Looking for Results

It's been a few days since I've posted, and I've been quite busy with both training and work. After work on Tuesday, I went running at Riverview on the trails, like usual. I was expecting to go for an easy run, only one lap around the park, which is a little over 2 miles. Once I started running, though, I wanted to keep going and ended up doing 4 miles of trails. I felt really great, and stronger than I have in a while.
On Wednesday, I had an intern activity after work and took that as my first day off in a week, which was a much-needed break.
Yesterday, I decided to lift and had a terrific session. Here are the exercises that I did (3 sets of 10 reps per exercise, 10 pushups in between each)
-military press
-dumbell squats
-bent over row
-bench press
-calf raises
-skull crushers

I felt absolutely wonderful and am really starting to see some results as far as my leg and arm muscles are concerned. This has definitely helped improve my speed as well as endurance during my runs. Some runners don't believe in strength training, but I think it's worth it to do some light lifting a few times a week.
On another happy note, since I'm talking about getting results from workouts, I've finally crossed the 125-pound mark. Since entering college, it's been my goal to get back below this number, and it seemed impossible to do. Once I saw the needle hitting below the 125 mark, I thought about how much work I've put in this past year to improve myself physically and mentally. It's nice to finally have concrete evidence that I made a difference. It may seem like a long journey, but everything is worth it in the end if you keep it up!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fourth of July Weekend!

Hello! Happy (belated) 4th of July to everyone!
I had a fantastic weekend. It was nice to be able to relax and see some friends and meet new ones. Having a day off of work is also always nice! I was able to get in a few good-quality workouts this weekend, which I'm really happy about. On Saturday, I wasn't feeling so great, so I wanted to have an easy trail run at Riverview. Once I started though, I immediately felt better and ended up having a great run. I ran 3.58 miles all over the trails in a little under 30:00. On Sunday, I was able to go running at North Park, which is a really nice place that I like to run. There's a road going around the lake there, and it's 5 miles. The course is a bit hilly, which makes it challenging but it's a very quick run. It was an extremely hot day out, and it was a bit of a challenge to finish the run. I did the 5 miles in 41:00, which I was pretty happy about.
I also lifted weights on Monday, which I haven't been doing lately. For a while, I was lifting about 3 times a week, and it was really helping my conditioning. I have three different workouts that I rotate through, and they each have three moves for legs, two for shoulders, two for triceps and one for biceps. I do three sets of each exercise with ten reps, and in between exercises I do ten pushups and jumprope for two minutes. Sometimes I'll do a half hour of stationary bike before I start, but didn't yesterday. The workout was pretty good, but I could definitely tell I took too much time off of lifting.
Overall, I'd say my fourth of July weekend was very productive, happy, and fun :) Everyday I can feel myself improving and that's really great for motivation! Even if training is tough at first and it's easy to give up, pushing through that will make it all easy and worth it. JUST KEEP GOING!!

Pittsburgh Marathon: 305 days
7/2 Workout: 3.58 miles/29:42
7/3 Workout: 5.02 miles/ 41:27
7/4 Workout: 1 hour Full Body Conditioning

Friday, July 1, 2011

Running, Running, Running

Yesterday afternoon I got the chance to use my new watch for the first time. Needless to say, I was extremely excited about it. I went to the river trail on the North Shore and ran towards the stadiums for a mile and a half then turned around and ran back. The watch shows all kinds of stats- distance, elapsed time, lap time (you can touch the screen and it'll mark your laps), calories burned, pace, and average pace. It was so neat running with it and knowing exactly what my speed was.
I haven't been able to run much this week, so yesterday's run was pretty laid back and relaxing. Running along the river, especially on a weekend like this, is such a great experience. There were tons of people on their boats, playing in the water steps by PNC Park, running, biking, yacting, everything. I love being surrounded by people when I'm running to keep motivated and avoid slowing down too much.
Overall, I really like the watch so far. I haven't plugged it in yet to check out my course and see other stats, but I'm sure that'll just take my love of it up another notch!

Pittsburgh Marathon: 309 days
Workout: 3 miles/27:08