Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Give Back by Volunteering

Having participated in events ranging from short but fast 5k's, half marathons, a marathon and even an ultra marathon (a 50k, or 31+ miles...yeah, I know...what was I thinking?), the common denominator among all of these events is that without the hard working volunteers, none of these events would be successful or enjoyable for everyone involved.

Recently, I was able to find time in between my work, school and marathon training schedules to volunteer for a local triathlon.  On that morning, I woke up at an un-Godly hour, walked a mile to a bus stop, took a bus and then walked over 1/2 mile to get to an aid station that I would be volunteering at.

Here's a pic of the aid station with a nice view:

If you can, volunteer and help out your fellow athletes.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Race Day Etiquette

During events, I had other participants toss their cups right in front of my path; I have had people turning into me because they didn't look; and I also have had too many folks going across blocking the road, so don't forget Race Day Etiquette.

Everyone wants to have a good race day experience.

Monday, August 23, 2010

PowerBar Gel Special: The Running Warehouse

Gels, or goos, usually come in small packets to give endurance athletes a sugar boost, so they can keep going.

I usually take GU's, but this PowerBar gel had such great pricing that I just felt I had to mention it.

Buy 2 (24 pack each) or more, get 50% off.  Mix or match.  (2 boxes @ $24.47 for both; $12.23 thereafter.)

For the Special, go here:  PowerBar Gel Special at the Running Warehouse

Updated:  Offer valid through October 31, 2010.

A Surprise in the Mail: A $10 PF Chang's Gift Card

Although I usually get only bills and junk mail in my mailbox, I was surprised by what I received last week.

Although I have just started blogging about how I started getting into running my very first 5k, I am to date a veteran of 1 ultra, 1 marathon, 20+ half marathons and a number of 5k's.

The most recently half marathon I had completed was the Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon in the Windy City.  At the Health Expo, I passed by the PF Chang's booth, where I signed up for a discount card good at their restaurants.  The discount card I received from them on the spot.  They also gave me 1 of these puppies:

With the pictured wristband above, I was admitted to their VIP area after the race for free food. The food was a delicious PF Chang's lettuce wrap and a very yummy chocolate brownie cake.

Anyhow, last week in my mailbox, I found a $10 PF Chang's gift card.

So, if you happen to pass by a PF Chang's booth at an event, I would stop by and sign up for their newsletter and/or discount card.  You, too, many get something in your mailbox.

Many thanks to PF Chang's.  You guys rock!!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I signed up for my 1st - 5k. What do I do next?

In my evolution from running on a treadmill to a 5k event, I had to come up with a plan to get me to the finish line.  Since none of my friends run, they were of no help.  I dropped by a local brick and mortar bookstore, but their shelves were of full of books for those wanting to do mostly marathons.  A few books were on half marathons.  I guess it's hard to write a book for a 5k, since the event is so short.  I mean how much can you write for a 5k.

Off across the Internet I searched.  The plan I liked the most was the Couch to 5k Training Plan.

Best all, it was free.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Runner's Day event. Sports Basement - Sunnyvale. August 29, 2010, Sunday

Runner's Day event.  Free clinics, raffle prizes & BBQ.

August 29, 2010, Sunday
10 am to 2 pm

Sports Basement - Sunnyvale
1177 Kern Ave
Sunnyvale, CA 94085
(408) 732-0300

I love raffles and especially BBQ's.  This one might be a bit far for me, but if it works for you, you are lucky...and I am envious.

Bay Area Track Club (BATC) announces the Marathon Speaker Series

One of my favorite stores, Sports Basement - Presidio, is hosting the new Bay Area Track Club (BATC) Marathon Speaker Series.

Part 1 will cover how to structure a marathon training schedule, avoid injury and maximize your potential.  World class marathoners Madgalena Lewy-Boulet and Peter Gilmore will be on hand and will address questions from attendees.


Sports Basement - Presidio (SF)
610 Old Mason St.
San Francisco, CA 94129
(415) 437-1000

Event date:
August 25, 2010, Wednesday at 6:30 pm

Attendees receive 10% off purchases with 10% benefiting BATC

Raffles from Sports Basement and Saucony.

RSVP and submit questions here.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

2011 OC Marathon and 1/2 Marathon Registration is Now Open

OC Marathon and 1/2 Marathon registration is now open.  Limited SPECIAL PRICING until August 19, 2010.

Event date is on:
May 1, 2011, Sunday

I did the 2010 OC 1/2 Marathon and had a wonderful time. I finished within 1 minute of my 1/2 marathon PR.  Budget permitting, I would do the 1/2 marathon again.

Last year, I took a pic of that year's medals at the Expo.  Here's a pic of last year's medals:

The Biggest Loser Event Challenge: 5k and 1 Mile Events

The Biggest Loser and Active.com have gotten together to start a series of 5k and 1 mile events to motivate folks toward a healthier, fit and active lifestyle.

So far, the only event listed is the following:

5k and 1 mile challenge
Myrtle Beach, SC
September 25, 2010, Saturday

I hope they have an event closer to me.  I'd like to sign up.  I'll definitely be checking back regularly to see where else they'll be having these events.

Lose the Soda Habit: 2nd Things 2nd

I use to drink 1 can of soda per day.  Sometimes, I drank 2 cans of sodas per day.

I knew I had to part with my favorite drink, Coca Cola:

I also estimated how much my soda habit was adding more pounds to my weight.

        140 calories per can of Coke
x      365 days per year________
   51,100 est. calories per year

It is also estimated that 3,500 calories = 1 pound.

     51,100 / 3,500 = 14.57 pounds

Essentially, my soda habit was adding an estimate of 14.57 pounds onto my body annually.  That is 14.57 pounds I would be more than happy to lose or better yet, never to have in the first place.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Losing Weight: 1st Things 1st

One of the 1st things I did in trying to lose weight was by going here more:
I literally went to the gym 3 to 4 times per week for the 1st 6 months after I became a member.

Also, I came to realize that my eating habits needed improving.  Often times, instead of me eating a more healthier lunch, I went for something that was convenient but probably not as healthy.  So, I tried to go less here:

RnR Los Angeles 1/2 Referral Bonus of $10 PF Chang's Gift Cards

RnR Los Angeles 1/2
Event date:  October 24, 2010

If you use the code:  "LAFRIEND" AND input my email addie:  "gymratznut@gmail.com" in the Referral Box, each of us would receive a $10 PF Chang's gift card.

Limited to the 1st - 50 who register with code and provides a referral email address.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

From treadmill to 5k

After a month of running on the treadmill at 24 Hour Fitness, I wanted a change of scenery.  After all, how much excitement can the view be of a TV that you can barely see across the gym?

There was an upcoming race several months away, which was the San Francisco Marathon.  I knew I wasn't ready to run 26.2 miles or even 13.1 miles, but it did offer a 5k (or 3.1 miles) and a Progressive Marathon.

I decided to do the Progressive Marathon.  I figure I can run and walk 23.1 miles in the months leading up to race day.  And, I can run 3.1 miles (or 5k) on race day, finishing 26.2 miles total for the Progressive Marathon.

For completing the Progressive Marathon, I would get a medal, which I thought would be totally cool.

Meeting the treadmill

One day, I was bored at 24 Hour Fitness and went over to the treadmill section.  I got on one and turned it on.  I started slowly to make sure it wasn't going too fast to knock me over and then roll me off the back.

I became hooked with my new toy.  Slowly, 1 mile became 2 miles.  Later, 2 miles became 3 mles.  Later, 3 miles became 4 miles and so on.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Getting some exercise

I joined a gym, 24 Hour Fitness, and hired a personal trainer to get me started in the right direction.

Walking into the gym the first few times was intimidating.  All of the people working out on every machine looked toned and fit.  I was embarrassed and felt out of place.  I looked like an out of shape fat lady, which I was.  I totally get why some people purchase Tony Horton's P90x or other fitness DVD's to work out at home instead.

Even the machines intimidated me at the beginning.  I kept thinking that I would turn the wrong knob and would break a machine.

I religiously went to the gym 3 to 4 days per week to work out for 6 months and lost 25 pounds.

I got fat

One day when I was in my doctor's office getting a regular checkup, my doctor asks me, 'What have you been eating?"

Moments earlier, I was shocked when I found out I weighed 180 pounds.  It was the heaviest I had ever been.

I knew my eating habits were poor as I juggled one full-time job, one part-time job and evening classes.

On top of poor eating habits, I also was inactive, living a sedentary lifestyle.

But, then and there, I decided to do something and take control of my eating habits and get some exercise.

I hate PE

Growing up, my least favorite subject was physical education (PE).  I recall the 50 meter dash one day during PE class.  I don't recall what time I ran it, but I huffed and puffed with my legs running as fast as possible underneath me until I came across the finish.  The instructor told me, I got a, "C."  Like many other things in PE, I mostly came up with "C's" despite all of my effort.