Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year, New Goals

So we clearly made it back to Jacksonville safe and sound, we arrived home late Monday night, and boy was Peachie happy to be home, she slept like a rock and slept most of the day Tuesday as well!
Tuesday and Wednesday were spent tackling a HUGE to-do list of putting away decorations, cleaning, unpacking xmas presents, headed to the bike shop, exchanges on a few mis-sized xmas presents, laundry, pedicure, grocery store, well you get the gist...

I inherited a very nice racing bike this weekend from my Dad as John and I have talked about doing some more casual bike races as well as possibly a sprint triathalon, but when we took it in for a tune-up the costs were slowly amounting to that of a new bike and now I am super annoyed! I went into that store with a clear purpose of what needed to be done and the satisfaction of being able to cross something else off my to-do list. But then I started thinking about how I also wanted to be able to take my bike on more casual trails and rides and the super high-quality racing bike doesn't necessarily work well on those surfaces so now it has me wondering if I should buy a bike that is a tad more multi-purpose and if I get serious into the racing then I could also fix up the race bike- Like I said really confused now, and delaying my bike enjoyment of any kind.

John will most likely be buying a new bike, and probably soon, so whatever route I decide to go, I want to do so quickly so we can get out there and get riding- I would love to make that a Sunday habit of ours I think it would be so fun! We have also read great things about a lot of trails in the area that are paved so any bike would suffice so this is a high priority of mine this week!

We also went on a Chilly 4.5 mile run yesterday, the Garmin works GREAT and I put the heart rate strap to the test. I LOVE the stats it uploads to my computer so I can see my trends and what I need to work on, as well as it makes it easier on me not having to remember it all while running. Reviewing my HR from yesterdays run was a tad scary, my heart rate was VERY high for what I felt it should have been, It was a good run, but nothing excruciating or that I hadn't done before. We are chalking it up to the cold weather and will monitor it over the next couple weeks.

My normal resting HR is pretty low, usually about 90/55 which is good, so its not like I tend to have high BP or HR, so we are going to keep a close eye on this to make sure we don't need to follow-up further. I plan to copy my stat breakdown for tomorrow's run into my next post so you can all see the Fantabulousness tha the Garmin posesses!

We have pretty much tackled all of the important to-dos on our list, and tomorrow we are headed to Chateau Bloom to visit with the fam and for NYE Celebrations. We will venture home Friday morning for a Football filled day (including the Gators) and try a recipe I borrowed from Michele from last weekend:)

I also went and got myself a pedicure today as my toes looked gross! I realized I hadn't been to get one since the summer, and with all the running my feet certainly appreciated the pampering- I think after we do our half marathong I will reward myself with a pedicure AND a massage ( I am REALLY afraid of massages actually, the only one I have ever had was a sports massage and hurt SO bad- but I think will be super good in this situation!).

So back on track here, while getting my pedicure today I finally wrote out my 2010 Goals ( I will not call it full blown New Year's Resolutions, because some of these things I have already started working on) So here they go....

-Complete my 1st half marathon (Feb. 21, 2010)
-Complete a 5k in under 30 minutes
-Complete a 10k race
- Continue to work on my weight loss goal (14 more lbs)
-Live a healthier Lifestyle (key word here is lifestyle, I want to be able to maintain all healthier changes. More quality whole foods, less booze, plenty of rest, etc)
-Drink more water
-Save Money (always a good goal)
-Improve the blog ( I need to start posing more on food and fitness- with pictures and more frequent posts)
-Start Grad school classes
-Spend more time with my friends
-Learn to cook more variety/healthy foods- I have TONS of cookbooks and limited cooking skills

I feel like these are some lofty goals, but I am very anxious to accomplish all of them, and possibly a few more. So we will see where 2010 takes us, and I look forward to updating everyone along the way! Happy New Year to everyone, see you in 2010!!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Recaps

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, we certainly had a wonderful 2 days! We celebrated 3 Christmases with each of the 3 families. We started Christmas Eve morning with picking up my Christmas present- my new iphone, I am Certainly obsessed, I love it! We then had Christamas Eve lunch with my mom and Michael and exchanged gifts!


John and I got my mom an ipod for Christmas, she has been running recently and from experience, when you start running for more than 5 minutes, you need an ipod! I got a orange and blue Pearl Necklace I had mentioned I really liked, and am REALLY excited to get to wear it next week for the bowl game! And of course, my annual gift of new PJs- this has been a tradition for as long as I can remember. After reading many blogs, it seems this is a tradition for many people!

After Christmas #1 we headed to Lawtey for Christmas Eve (Christmas #2). We visited with John's whole family- parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents...you get the picture. We had some muchies for dinner- I ransacked the fresh grapes and some cheese, but nibbled on a few other bites as well! I did manage to spend a great deal of time fussing over my new phone and playing with it until it was almost dead:)


We hung out for a while and finally turned in about midnight, quite late for me:) We were the first ones up Christmas morning (per usual) at about 7, and John and I got to making homemade cinnamon rolls! This was a first for both of us, but it was fun and a lot easier than I would have expected. We hung around that morning, had some breakfast, and finally made it to the gifts about 11am. I think this is the cutest picture of Penny, the perfect present opening shot!

After presents and loading up the car, we said tearful goodbyes to Peachie and hit the road about 1pm for Atlanta.

We had original plans to spend the entire Christmas time in Atlanta and Blairsville, but a last minute decision about no time off at work, changed those plans a few weeks ago, so we were making it up for Christmas afternoon.


During our 5 hour ride to Atlanta I got an exciting call from my friend/co-worker Eliza that she got ENGAGED on Christmas morning! I am SO excited for her and her Fiance' Matt and cannot wait to get back to Jacksonville to see the ring and hear the stories!


We managed to escape the acclament weather we were expecting during the drive and made it to Atlanta in 5 hours. During my planning for the trip I packed some snacks, but assumed if needed more of a meal we could pop into and quick restaurant and grab something- Oh wait! NOTHING is opened on Christmas day?!?!!? So we made Fig Newtons and a candy bar last us for 5 hours! Upon our arrival we sucked down some snacks and my all time favorite....SHRIMP AND GRITS!!!


We also had dinner and present opening, and .....MY GARMIN HAS ARRIVED!!! I was so excited to see it and even more excited to test it out. It has taken me SEVERAL days to get everything set up and figured out, but I think I have got the important parts down as of now!

After all the presents were open we all piled up to watch The Hangover (it seemed to be the movie of choice for many families this Christmas!)


Saturday morning the alarm went of promptly at 6am and John was nice enough to join me on my day of Christmas shopping excursion. I have done this the last couple of years and Love the un-crowded stores and great sales! I set out with Christmas money in hand Determined not to come home Until I had new pants that FIT me. The weight loss is at about 13 lbs and most of me jeans and work pants are too big to to continue wearing, I look a 90 year old Grandma with a saggy-ass...Not Cool!!!!!


I came out of shopping with a new pair of jeans and 2 pairs of work pants and a couple tops. I didnt want to spend too much money or get too much because I am anticipating that in another 6-8 weeks I will need the next size down again. Sales and gift cards applied, I only spent $20 for my purchases.


After shopping we headed to lunch at Ippolito's when I had half a Chicken Bruschetta Flatbread. I added some sauce to the top, it needed it, and there was a tad much olive oil making it a little greasy for my liking.


We relaxed a bit yesterday afternoon and then headed out for our annual family viewing of the Lake Lanier Festival of Lights!!! We all loaded up into the big white bus (aka...excursion) piled in the cooler of beer and headed up to the lake. We do this every year, and each year it gets funnier and funnier (Last year 5 of us ended up riding most of the path on the car roof and having to stop for 5 bathroom breaks- HA!).


There was no roof riding this year, as the temps were low into the 30s, but we still had a blast!!!


Much beer was consummed as we had just found out as we were leaving that Florida Head Football Coach, Urban Meyer had resigned due to health reasons- devastating. We have since found out he is only taking an indefinate leave of absence, but still- It Hurts:(


This morning John and I headed to publix for some supplies for breakfast today and tomorrow, and then waited for the temps to rise and our food to digest before we headed out for our scheduled 9.5 mile run. I suited up with my new headband, clothes and GARMIN. I opted to leave the camelback b/c we were planning to do 2- 4.9 mile loops and I figured I would be fine without the extra weight- bad idea there!
We ended up doing just over 5 miles- we were dehydrated, got very hot, and the hills kicked my Butt!!!! We have a 'taper' week next week with 6 miles so we baisically did that today- will do some longer runs this week, and do our 9.5 next weekend, followed by 11 miles the following weekend. Remembering my post from earlier this week, BE FLEXIBLE. Moving that run is no biggie, and it gives us more time with the family.
We got back, stretched and I got reeeaally cold, so I hoped in a hot bath and was suprised that we were headed to Whole Foods (HEaven!) We headed up there to pick up dinner, but I got lunch as well- Cajun Crab and Spinach soup! I was expecting spicy seafoodiness, but it was not quite the taste I anticipated and ate about half.
We are watching the Sunday pro games and waiting for the Urban Meyer press conference. A short shopping trip my be in the works after than...
I feel better now that I have FINALLY updated on my last 4 days- yikes, a long time! Have a good rest of the weekend!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Heaven on a Stick

So for anyone who saw my facebook updates today, you know that I sampled some Amazing snackage at work today! More on this later...

So this morning I visited with Heather and her playful kittens before our Breakfast date- we hit up Cool Moose Cafe in Riverside. I had a ham egg and cheese sandwich on a crossiant, and it was Delish!!! We split an order of breakfast potatoes, always a good idea, and I had some hot tea with my food! There was an interesting character right outside the restaurant who was seeming to gather all the parts needed to build a car in his briefcase- it was wierd, and NO I was not able to capture a picture of said nomad.
After dropping Heather at the airport I headed to work for what was a very slow day, almost no activity, the phone didn't ring- nada! I did somehow secure an enrollment- pure luck, nothing more, although I have come to learn, that is about all this job is, luck and working re-donkulous hours!

After work I made it home to discuss tomorrows plans with John, we have a few presents left to wrap, 1 or 2 last minute stops to make and then hit up Mom's house for late lunch and presents and then on to Lawtey to begin the true Christmas festivities- food, family, and presents!
I started getting my things to pack together tonight, mostly the sleep and running clothes portion, tomorrow will be the remainder of the packing list. It is supposed to be SUPER chilly in Atlanta during our visit, highs in the mid to high 40s and lows in the 20s, layers and sweaters are needed, this never makes for a slight suitcase, I will be busting out the Mac Daddy suitcase tomorrow! I did score some new boots tonight to keep my feetsies warm in the cold as my old ones were falling apart and essentially useless.

Tomorrow we have a 3 mile run on the schedule but I plan to do 4 miles to make up for my lack of workout today, as well as to make up for eating this beauty today- my heaven on a stick!!!!


Think Long pretzel stick dipped in warm chocolate fudge rolled in mini chocolate chips and set out to dry...YUM!!!!!! I could not seem to eat it fast enough- embarrasing I KNOW!!

I am sad to have to leave my Peachie for so many days while we are gone, but she will be too much for the sick kitties:( I miss her terribly when we are away and hate even more having to leave her to sleep outside in the cold the way she did before she came to live her fabulous domesticated life.

Pray for Peachie during her camp out with her family this weekend.






A Cold PR

So after a late escape from work last night and a quick trip into Publix John and I set out on our 3 mile run we had planned. We were not quite as warmly dressed as we should have been, and were pretty hesitant to get started, a warm dinner seemed much more ideal at the time. But we approached the starting point and John took off.

Well the moral of this story is I ran my fastest 3 miles EVER! 28:28, or about a 9:29 average pace. My splits were a little less pretty, and I definitely could have pushed harder considering the weather was very cooperative. I was very proud of myself and John who also finished in just under 30 minutes! My slits were as follows
Mile 1- 8:58
Mile 2- 9:42( took a 30 second walk break)
Mile 3- 9:48 (took a 50 second walk break)

I probably could have pushed through at a slower pace rather than taking walk breaks, but I feel like even short ones help me to maintain a faster pace.

I cooked up some ravioli for dinner, and added mushrooms to my bowl- pretty tasty, and had a glass of wine out of the new Christmas Wine Glass I received at work yesterday! it is quite festive!

This morning I skipped the gym, but may go tonight after work for some bike time or a couple miles on the treadmill. Tomorrow calls for 3 miles, I am trying to squek it in in the afternoon before we start the Christmas Festivities. I am about to get ready and head over to Riverside to pick up Miss Heather (my super fun co-worker). I am taking her to the airpoirt this morning for her flight home to Oklahoma for Xmas, but we are going to get in some kitty play time and breakfast first! Happy 2 days until Christmas!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What I Learned Today

What I learned Today!

Do you remember when you were a kid and you would come home from school and your parents would ask you what you learned that day? Well at the time I could never seem to recall anything important enough to mention.

Yesterday I had a co-worker asked me what I did when I started running. I stumbled to answer at first because I found it to be such a vague question (I ran and the more I did it the easier it was) but after thinking about it for a few minutes I realized she was asking what have I learned through my running endeavours that might help her get started with a running regimine. I suddenly remembered my blog and that this is why I started it! I wanted to document my running journey and all that I learned and encountered along the way!

I printed off a copy of my training schedule and a Couch-to-5k training schedule for this girl and walked her through the process. It also make me think about my Sunday visit to my Mom’s house, upon which I noticed she had bought true “running” shoes- asics, just like mine, and it made me realize how seriously she is taking her running also. She is hoping to do the same ½ marathon John and I are in February. It makes me feel good to pass on some wisdom about what I have learned while in training the last 4 months, so here it goes….

-Take Training plans with a grain of salt and don’t be afraid to modify it to your needs and schedule! I tried to follow the first training plan I had to a T, only to realize that it just wasn’t working with my schedule. Running at least 4 days a week is a MUST for me. 1 run for speed work, 1 long run, 1 easy, and 1 tempo/ goal pace. I prefer to do 5 runs (add 1 more easy run) and 1 day of cross-training, but as long as I get in 4 runs, 2 XT days are good too.

-Cross training is important, but not the most important. So many plans call for 2-3 XT days a week, that does not work for me, so I built in extra run days.

-Be flexible! Not the twist up like a pretzel kind. Be flexible with your schedule when needed (to accommodate bad weather, sickness, etc)

-Stretching becomes the 2nd most important activity of the week. I have NEVER stretched as much in my life as I have these last 4 months, but it is crucial to keeping soreness at bay and I have found many new ways to contort myself to relieve these sore muscles.

-When you live in Florida, Dry-Fit is a MUST! I have pretty much packed up every cotton workout item I own and said good-bye, I have been slowly trying to build up a solid workout wardrobe of dry-fit items. When its 80 degrees (when you run in the DARK) and you sweat as much as I do, running a sopping wet shirt just is NOT fun. I love my dryfit items, I still manage to soak them with each run, but at least it isn’t rubbing all over me while running!

-Just because you live in Florida does not mean you don’t need cold weather gear! It has been COLD here in the recent weeks, John and I have done several runs in the 40’s and 50’s. I have added jackets, gloves, and headbands (for ear warmth) to my collection to keep me moving even in the cold!

-There are things made specifically for running that are worth your investment: Real Running shoes, High Impact Sports Bras (yes not every sports bra is good for a multi-mile run), moisture-wicking socks (love these babies- probably not necessary but have seriously helped keep blisters away

-Running on the grass/dirt/gravel/sand is Definitely harder than trotting along on the road or sidewalk, we have adapted our regular runs to eliminate the grass factor.

-Have a go-to route you use and know the distances well, but make sure you have a couple extras in your back pocket to mix it up with, especially on a long run. Mixing up your scenery keeps it interesting, especially when you are chugging out 8-10 miles and want to die!

-Hydrate! Water is so important for me, if I am dehydrated, my run usually sucks! I like to make sure I have had water before heading out and have it with me if it is a run longer than 4 miles or a temperature higher than 75 degrees!

-Fuel! Food is fuel and making sure you are fueled up properly before running can make a huge difference. I can feel a difference if I had been eating crappy food or had too much wine the day before. Also, Mid-run fuel is a HUGE pick-me-up when you are out for more than an hour.

-IPods make a nice distraction while running, but learn to run without it. What happens if it dies mid-race, better be able to finish without it!

-Listen to your body!!!! SO IMPORTANT- it will tell you when to rest, when to push, when to stop to avoid injury. Don’t forget this!!!

-Running is 95% mental! Only once after a run did I come home and say I could not run right now to save my life- Endurance and training are certainly important, but when it comes down to it, like most sports, running is ALL MENTAL!

Hopefully this enlightens you as to my running journey thus far, and maybe it might just help you with your own!

Monday, December 21, 2009

My first video!

So I am attempting to add something new to the blog...video!!!

Yesterday while out in Lawtey John got a very shocking video of Ms. Peach...BARKING!!!!!

Yes, you read right. My dog that Does Not Bark, was getting a little yippy at some skateboards yesterday! I am hoping to keep these outburts to the outdoors as we really enjoy having a peaceful puppy!


video




So I got out of work Right on time today, always a pleasant surprise! I went straight to pick up the last of the Christmas presents. I made it home by 6:30 relaxed a bit, wrapped all the remaining Christmas presents, and then headed to the gym for 30 minutes of cardio. I did 15 minutes on the bike of pretty intense intervals and then 15 minutes of hill walking between a 12-15 incline.
Then came home, bath + new issue of self (yes, I ALWAYS read in the bathtub), and now catching up on the blogs. The strange use of different muscles tonight has left my legs tired and tight already- off to stretch out these legs and head to bed. I have an interesting post coming your way tomorrow- It is all the ins and outs of my running research the last few months and how to get started yourself!!!

Busy weekend update!

Hello all, I took a blog break this weekend as I had PLENTY to do and not nearly as much time to do it all in. I preface this by saying I have no yet uploaded the pictures from this weekend:( so this will be an un-picturefied post. Heading back to where I last left you...

Saturday morning John and I woke up with time to do our 6 mile run before I had to be at work, and not only was it 44 degrees (a little colder than I expected) but it was SUPER windy. We decided that this was not how we wanted to run our 6 miles so we snuggled up to watch the rest of Love Actually and plot out the day before I had to head to work. I managed to make my work day worth my while, and then ducked out to tackle the rest of my to-do list and meet up with John and his family who were up in town for the day.

While they all had lunch I managed to tackle my Christmas Shopping list and then met them for some browsing at Dick's Sporting Goods. I was actually a little disappointed in their selection, I think Sports Authority has a much better selection! We then came home to place ANOTHER online order to pretty much round out the Christmas shopping- I just need to pick up 3 small things! I have yet to wrap any of said presents yet, but hopefully I will get to that tonight!!!

We relaxed at home for a bit and I finally grabbed lunch/dinner, caught up on some blogs and took a short nap:) We hung low Saturday night as we had BIG plans for Sunday!

Sunday morning I woke up early and headed out the freezing cold to Volunteer at the Jacksonville Bank Marathon and 1/2 marathon. I was set up as a 'course marshall' at the 6.55 mile mark or the turn around point for the 1/2 marathoners and a pass point for the marathoners so I got to see EVERYONE! This was SUCH a fun experience for me to see all of these hard core runners, it really got me exctied for my 1st half in February and got me ready for the 6 mile run we had scheduled that had been put off until then. I mad it home by 8:30 (yes these races start this early) and we headed out for 6 cold miles!!! John set the pace for the 1st 2 miles and he was FLYING. We did 2 miles in just under 19 minutes so about a 9:30pace, a little faster than we are supposed to be going on our "long run" days. I managed to finish all 6 miles at a 10:15 pace, better than the 10:30 pace I was hoping for and I could have done it quicker, but I lost John temporarily and got worried and stopped a few times to check for him. He took a different route and beat me home!!!!!!

I was Very pleased with my 6 mile time and am hoping to do the next one in 2 weeks in 1 hour, or hopefully a tad less. But first we have to tacke the 9.5 or what I am hoping to turn into 10 mile trek this upcoming weekend. Based on plans and looking at the weather forecast, a Sunday run is probably most appropriate. Even though it is 9.5 on the schedule 10 sounds most appealing to me to hit double digits, we would have 11 miles 2 weeks after that so I think it would make it easier. I realized we have 4 more true long runs before our race and 4 more 6/7 mile runs. I am starting to put together my race goals and they are certainly hefty for a first race, but assuming I dont break and the weather is not disgustingly hot that day, I think they are totally doable!

So after getting back from our run, a quick shower was had and I refueled with a glass of milk, an apple with Peanut butter, string cheese, and the other half of my CLif Z bar left from earlier in the morning. We headed to Lawtey to visit and let Peachie play with her friends! She had lots of fun and was thoroughly worn out once we got her home- I even still saw the effects this morning as she curled right back up to go to sleep as soon as she had finished her breakfast.

We made it home from Lawtey and I went to visit my mom who had some jaw surgury last week. She is doing well, but can't talk or eat for another week or so- it was interesting having the whole conversation with myself sort of. I then went to Publix (this makes me happy). This week was a short grocery list as it is a short week for us, but we will be making one more trip to the store on Thursday for the things we need to bring with us! I did a TON of laundry read a little then went to bed.

I feel very well rested today and have some crosstraining (bike and hill-walking) on the schedule for tonight. John and I also need to make a BestBuy Trip- it was a Nightmare this weekend!!! Off to do work. I have a fun video to post tonight!!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Merry Christmas- Happy Wine Year

So here is the recap from tonight's work Christmas Dinner Outing!

I will start with documenting my eats! When we arrived ready to drink straight from work it was happy hour. Which means I got a Caraf (sp?) for the price of a glass. I ordered the house red as I knew it would last me a long time since I cannot drink red wine in a quick manner.

From there Apps were ordered. I had a small serving of each: Bruschetta and Calamari
I split this plate of calamari with a co-worker

And had a single slice of bruschetta. No contents of the bread basket were consummed by this attempted healthy blogger!!!
I ordered Seafood for dinner since I don't regularly make it at home. My dinner came with a salad, which I ordered a house salad with house dressing. It was a cream-based dressing MUCH to my surprise. I had about 3 bites and pushed it away! Lets not forget the NO white condiments or cream based condiments rule I have implemented!!!
When my entree arrived I was STOKED! I ordered a dish with shrimp and scallops (garlic butter sauce on the side) and the veggies (no butter) it was delish and I did manage to dip the shrimp/scallops in a small taste of the sauce as it was DELISH!!!!!!


From there began the excess wine consumption and the White Elephant Gift Exchange. We each were responsible for bringng a gift that we received that we no longer wanted and then played the "dirty santa" gift exchange until all presents were had. Needless to say it was great time with LOTS of stealing and fun! A close up of each co-worker!!!

Miss Heather!!!


The Blondies! Linda, Patti, Cathy

The boys- Nick and Barry
The Young People- Nick and I

Nick and Barry again

Nick Mocking his Run Rate

My first choice at a gift

Cathy;s First and Last gift

Barry having Lots' O' Fun

Nicky...
Heather with the gift I ended up with! We figured she would get more use out of the inflatable My-Size Marilyn Monroe and Elvis and that I would actually use the Flat Belly Diet Cookbook...We will see!!!!
WoW!!! This is a GREAT inside joke! We LOVE Cathy!!!!

Nick ended up with the handle of vodka I brought to pass off- God knows we will NEVER drink it in this house!!!! Glad someone and his wife will consume it after months of sitting here!


All in all it was a GREAT night!!!!! I work with a GREAT team!!!!





































































Friday- but not really

So even though today is Friday its not really the weekend for me as I do have to go into work tomorrow from 9-1:( BUT my day was made early this morning while John was attemping to feed Peachie an Apple!!!

IS this not the CUTEST thing you have EVER seen!!!! I just got back from the longest work day ever! We also had our team Christmas get together tonight at Carabbas, just the team, was VERY fun!!! Food, wine, and 6 miles bright and early tomorrow! I am SUPER StOKED about the 6 miles and am hoping to finish in 1 hour 3 minutes or less- I think the temps will be super conducive to a quick run tomorrow!!!

I have TONS of pics and a SUPER fun blog post to put up of the XMAS festivities, but MUST finish and submit this last test first. Look for a LONG and fun post with pics tomorrow AM!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Visions of To-do Lists

SO I have been lazy/busy since my last post, but I hope to do a nice recap here!
Tuesday evening we picked back up our running routine and did an awesome 4 miles in a little under 41 minutes! It was warm out again and was the first up to speed run I had done in a week!
Afterwards I went home, and got back to schoolwork mode, my legs were getting tight really quick so I made sure to stretch and ice the troublesome knee.
Wednesday morning I had really ambitious intentions of getting in a 5 mile run (or any kind of workout for that matter) but my legs were super tired and I wanted the sleep, so no gym time was hadL I then had planned to get in some Christmas shopping since I feel I am super behind in this area, but this did not happen either. I did manage to get in an Amazon Order and some stocking stuffers!
My crockpot dinner was not what I had hoped, but here is hoping that the leftovers might make for a better dinner tonight- I am thinking add bbq sauce and reheat potatoes and carrots.
I neglected all schoolwork yesterday- 2 tests in 1 week is an awful lot, but I NEED to finish the last one TONIGHT so I don’t have to stress about it tomorrow- so finish it I will.

Tonight’s Plan:
-Leave work AT 6pm
-Get home, change clothes
-Run 3 miles (the quicker the better)
-Let John reheat dinner while I get to work on that Test
-Keep doing test while watching Jags game
-Finish Test tonight! Get an A! Be done for the semester

Friday’s hopeful plan
-Gym first thing- make up for Wednesday
-Work
-Work Team Dinner at Carabbas
-Watch Love Actually!!!!!!

I will be so happy to have this Test done and enjoy my weekend, we have quite a bit to do/see, starting with an easy 6 miles Saturday morning in the cold!!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Broken Internet

So the lack of a Monday post is due to the fact that we had broken internet yesterday:( John mentioned that while I was still at work and I got a little panic-y as I HAD to submit my test answers by Midnight. I made it home from work to a still broken internet and managed to finish off the test with John pretty quickly.

Dinner came from a bag as I was trying to get the test done and go to get it submitted. I was REALLY hoping to also get in 30 minutes of crosstraining at the gym to loosen up my sore legs from Sunday's 8 miles. Well after pounding my dinner, I headed to Panera to set-up shop and submit my test. I ordered a chi latte (I DO NOT recommend this) it smells and tastes pretty gross. I had read good things about them- Do not believe everything you read!!! After successfully scalding my tongue and getting the internet to finally behave, I was chugging along with my test.

I made it out of Panera just in time to get to the gym for 30 minutes of XT and catch the start of the Monday Night Pro game- I don't really like pro football but distractions are always welcomed! I did 10 minutes on the bike before I got bored and hopped on the treadmill for some hill walking. Usually when hill walking I try to keep my speed at about 3.8 and the incline at about 10, a quick walk. However, since I was trying to stretch out my legs I set it at 3.5 and a incline of 5. Slowing down allowed me to take longer strides and definately helped stretch out my tight legs and burn some calories in the process. I knew this was going to be super important for me going back to 5 days a week running after being sick and missing almost all my runs last week. I finished my cardio, went home, took a bath, stretched, and iced my knee which was giving me some trouble. I slept like a rock last night, I think all the weekend activities finally caught up with me.

I have been thinking a lot about Sunday's 8 mile run. I came out of that run pretty mad at myself, I felt like I was running really slow for what I am capable of and that I took waaaay too many walk breaks. So this morning I was on the official website for our 1/2 marathon race and was browsing some new stuff they put up and saw a link on the training page Mastering the Long Run. Being bored at work and curious I clicked and was reading something I had already read but had certainly forgotten.
It is important to slow your pace when doing a long run by an average of 2 minutes per mile and take walking breaks frequently. If you can complete a long training run like this- you will be able to complete your race in your goal time!!!!! So basically it said SHUT UP STEPHANIE you did it right and are having crazy unrealistic expectaions about being able to run 8 miles in 80 minutes the first time you ever try.

So I am happy about my 8 mile run and am excited for 9.5 in Atlanta over Christmas weekend. I have spent part of my morning with a new toy MapMyRun.com to map out some fun runs for us both here and in GA. We are going to try a 3 mile run Sunday with about half being on the beach (just like our race will be) lets see how it goes.

I also learned on MapMyRun.com today that they have an iPhone App......Can you say Christmas Present!!!!

I am finishing up my lunch break here so more later. I am trying to be very diligent with my normal eating habits this week and the holidays can be a very indulgent time and I am keeping unnecessary indulging to a minimum. I am about 1/3 of the way through my weight loss goals and would like to continue to lose the 1lb per week I have been for the last 4 weeks.
Happy Tuesday all! More tonight!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Epic Eight

So today we finally were able to get in our 8 mile run! A new personal long distance for both John and I!


So to start with a weekend recap...

Saturday morning I woke up to pending rain, and we got dressed and headed out for our run only for it to start raining. Considering it was a tad cool and I was just getting over a yucky cold we decided an hour and a half run in the rain was not a smart idea. I went ahead and started the first of many loads of laundry and headed for work.

I managed to work, and then John and I headed to the outlets in St. Augustine but came home empty handed. I took about an hour nap (something I never do) and then got ready for my work Christmas Party.


The party was at a local restaurant called Seven Bridges, I have been there several times, but was not as happy with the dinner fare last night as I normally am, I will chalk it up to a mass order and will return there again. We spent a while there talking with my co-workers and then headed home to relax a bit and turn in early. After the downpour that took place all day Saturday we knew our 8 mile run HAD to be finished this morning.


So the alarm went off at 6am and Peachie started to stir. We managed to get up to the start of our pre-planned route and start off at 7:00am! The first 2 miles were unbelieveable humid and I had already sweat through my shirt by then. At mile 1.5 I started having a coughing fit and I had to stop for a good minute to cough up some stuff in my chest. I really thought with the coughing reaction that I was going to throw up, but I drank some water, caught my breath, and it passed. I found my breathing to be VERY off today (i'm sure in part to the humidity and rising temperatures) but mostly because I still had a lot of stuff running down the back of my throat from my nose and was still coughing quite a bit. It forced me to have to take short/quick breaths rather than breath at a slow steady pace, and I feel that this impacted my running I just felt very out of whack. Normally my strides line up with my breathing very well and it allows ne to maintain my pace very well, so I felt so off today. By the time I made it to mile 3 I was mentally ready to be done.John was ahead of me by almost a 1/2 mile and my feet felt so heavy, but from there I forced myself to implement the Galloway Method I used when I first started running- using run/walk intervals. I let myself run for 5 minutes, walk for 1. This kept me at about an 11 minute pace until mile 6.Not too bad considering my goal was to finish in 90 minutes. At mile 4 I took 2 of my clif shot blocks, they were a tad more solid than I anticipated but they helped me SO much. I didnt eat much last night and didnt eat at all this morning. They were a huge pick me up and gave me the energy to maintain a stable pace for the 2nd half of the run. I kept my 5 minutes running/1 walking until I finished and finished a tad over my goal at 1:33:12, not too bad considering I thought I was going to puke before the 2nd mile.


I learned a couple things today...

1. walking isnt a bad thing while running, just keep it in moderation and it can help you run quicker and maintain your pace.

2.Fueling during a long run is critical! This is the first time I have found it necessary to fuel mid-run but I noticed a HUGE difference once I did.

3. I NEED and camelback. I drink a ton of water when I run (John doesn't- I don't get it) but 1 waterbottle will really only hold me for about 4-5 miles comfortably and I HATE having to ration water while running.

4. It will always be humid the day after it rained for 24 hours

5. Running is all mental- so crucial to mentally prepare for each run. I was not quite ready today, but was able to push through the mental block and finish respectably.

6. My body can run 8 miles- and probably more- I will rock this half marathon in February! I am already trying to think about my race strategy and splits to make sure I prepare properly during training runs.


After we got back to the car after the run John and I hit panera for sugar and some breakfast. We came home to eat it and I took a hot bath as I was super cold and stretched quite a bit. I rested and then started in on the dreaded Calc Test as John was leaving for the Jags game. I struggle d through it, then rocked it, got some lunch, tried some more and finally quit for the day to finish my to-do list. I finished the laundry, wrapped some Christmas presents and built this little palace for Peachie!

She LOVES to watch the squirrels, and this just gives her a nice space to sit and do so. She sat her most of the day with no movement and hardly any noise either. John came home and we hit Costco and Publix, threw in a quick dinner, put away laundry and am getting ready for my week. John still has 2 more days off:(

I am off to bed as I am super tired after all that was accomplished this weekend. Hope everyone had a nice weekend!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Back from the Sick

Hello blog readers!

I have been quite ill this week, hence the blog slacking. But I am pleased to report I woke up this morning feeling SO much better! Only occasional coughing, no more sore throat and minimal congestion which I am sneezing away with no problems.
My week has been pretty uneventful- I have not run since Tuesday and John and I have 8 miles on the schedule for tomorrow, which I was really hoping to be better and able to run it, and it seems I will be. I am a tad nervous considering I haven't logged too many miles this week, but I think I can do it. The weather here in Jacksonville tomorrow is supposed to be high 40's in the early morning hours and high 50s/low 60s at mid-day the 2 times we have available to run.
I am excited to log this new long distance and am praying that the cold temps will make it a pretty painless run.

Goals for tomorrow's long run:
-Finish 8 miles (first a foremost, this is super important considering I have NEVER run 8 miles before)
-Complete all 8 miles in 90 minutes (this allows for an average of an 11:15 pace- More than doable)
-run the first 4 miles without stopping- this is harder to do on our normal route b/c there are 2 serious hills that come into play usually killing us, so I am hoping with a fun new route, cool weather and fresh legs I can do this!!!
-fuel/hydrate!!!

I am nervous about this one- John and I have never been on a long enough run where we needed to fuel mid-run. So many of the things I have read from experienced runners recommend refueling mid-run for anything longer than 6 miles (or an hour). We have some clif shot blocks ready to go for tomorrow. Hydrating is also going to be needed- first off I am very dehydrated from my yucky sick week and I will be carb loading and hydrating today to prepare as I also have not eaten much this week. I think this 8 mile run is going to be helpful in preparing for our half marathon as it is a little more than half the total distance of that race, and it going to start forcing us to experiment with mid-race fuel and pre-run carb loading which was never super necessary before since our runs were shorter distanes but bumping up to medium distances is a whole new game and I am SO excited! We have 9.5 miles on the schedule in 2 weeks which will fall over Christmas weekend in Atlanta so I am mentally starting to prepare for the long cold run + hills...should be interesting.

John happens to have a 5 day weekend this week and I am SO jealous, espcially considering mine is only a day and a half and in that time my to-do list is as follows:
-Calc Test 5 (last one)
-Work (9-1 Saturday)
-Run 8 miles
-Work Xmas Party
-More Test 5
-HUGE load of laundry
-Clean the neglected dirty house
-Speedwork on Sunday-3 miles
-Grocery Shopping (this is probably the best part)

What is on your list for the weekend?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Non-Sick Run

Hello to everyone, today was a busy Tuesday at work, nothing exciting on that front, and I made it home at a resonable hour.

Yesterday at work I started getting a scratchy throat but chalked it up to the yelling from Saturday's game and went on my way. Well, after arriving home last night there was still no relief so I had 2 cups of hot tea before bed. I slept pretty badly and woke up several times convinced I was choking because I could not swallow or breath through my mouth- woke up this morning- no relief!
I managed to down yogurt and 2 cups of tea before work, soup and 9!!! cups AT work- by the time I got home I was SO frustrated (and hungry) I didnt know what to do!

SO I made tacos as planned and we dropped our 4 mile run down to 3 miles- sounds fine right? Throat still hurts ANOTHER 2 cups later!

NO, I am not sick, its just a throat thing. NO, its not swine flu! Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I am off to bed as my lack of food today has left me cranky and lethargic. My exciting post will have to wait until morning!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Long Recovery

So I haven't blogged since FRIDAY! I feel a little sad and behind, but I kept putting off this post because I knew it would be LONG!
So lets try to do a quick weekend summary.
Saturday John and I got up early, were denied a Whole Foods breakfast we were so happily anticipating:( and headed to downtown to watch the 2nd half of Gameday and head over to the Pre-game Gator hang out to watch the 12pm game. I am sure most of you know that the Florida game was pretty disappointing, but off to the Sugar Bowl we go. After our game we watched the late games from the house and vegged.
Sunday John and I got up, hit Panera again, and made it on the road to recover Peachie by 11am. We made it to Peachie by 4:15 with several stops included, so not bad at all! From the report we got she was a bit of a bully this weekend, and was absolutely wild when we picked her up- not a pleasant thing. Once we made it home, we unloaded the car, and I made a beeline for the Gym. I normally do a speed workout on Sundays but I knew I didn't have the motivation or energy for that. Instead I told myself I would do 30 minutes of whatever I could muster. I ran almost all of it, with some walking, more than I would normally walk, but not bad since I was able to get somehting in at least. I made a quick publix trip and came home to put it all away and prepare all the veggies for the week. We had a birdseye Steam fresh meal of chicken alfredo pasta with some veggies (and I added extra peas!). If you have not tried these frozen meals for 2 I HIGHLY recommend them. They are pretty healthy for frozen processed food and quite filling and tasty. I also managed to do all the unpacking, grab a bath and still be in bed by 9:40!!!!

So now we are up to Monday. It was HARD to get up this morning and I did not drag myself out of bed until 6:15! Yikes, and I had to be to work by 8am today. The boss was out again today which made it a leisurely yet productive day. I had an appointment tonight to get my hair done since it was an off night from running and it was certainly time to get in their and get it fixed. I LOVE the girl that does my hair and I enjoyed every minute of my appointment. Tonight was sweet and smoky chicken with peas (an inspiration from last night) and John wanted some cresent rolls. It was tasty meal and it was good to catch up on veggies, I missed them this weekend when I didn't get any.

To any blog readers out there I pose a question...Do you have to wash your hair again after coming back from the salon? I guess since I get my hair highlighted this has a lot to do with it, but I CANT stand the smell of the dye that is left lingering in my hair- smells like ammonia! I always wash it again when I Get home which is why I always tell them not to bother styling it as I will just wash it out. Does anyone else do this, or am I that wierd?

I am off to walk Peachie and crawl into bed! Night Night- fun news coming tomorrow of upcoming events!!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Hello from the Cold!

Hello all from Atlanta! John and I headed out at 4:52AM from Lawtey. I was 49 degrees and rainy but we knew we needed to prepare ourselved for the rest of the weekend!
We stopped in Valdosta for breakfast from Cracker Barrell and then continued on our way. We made it to the house at about 10:45 or so. We were greeted with many animals, Peachie would have enjoyed new friends, but with a couple of sick kitties it was best she kept her curious nose at home. All of the fur-children!










After a little relaxation and a change of clothes we headed out for some light shopping and lunch! John wanted to check out a computer parts store that we don't have at home and then we headed to J. Alexanders for lunch. I had a Veggie burger and it was SO tasty! So much flavor and I got in some veggies. I ate it with only ketchup and no bun, as well as about half the fries.
After lunch we headed to the local sports paraphenalia store to scope out the loot for more possible weekend attire. We left empty handed, but I had the most fantastic idea...
I really need to buy 2 sets of these little infant booties and have Peachie wear them to keep her little feetsies dry:)
I did manage to track down a scarf for tomorrow as well as a very specific Christmas present I have been trying to obtain.
John and I DID get a 3 mile run in today as we said we would, it was cold, but we were prepared and it felt great by the end. The biggest challenge was the HUGE hill we had to tackle right at the beginning, and it was not real fun or easy. It really took a toll on my calves which slowed me down for most of the run. Our last mile was back up at normal pace as we were speeding the opposite direction, down the monstorous hill this time, but forget about the last little one right at the end that snuck up on me. 3 miles =33:05, not bad for 45 degrees and lots of hills.
We had a nice dinner and are now going to head for bed. I can't do 19 hours like I used to with little sleep in between. I have to prepare for tomorrow's Unofficial National Championship Game!




Thursday, December 3, 2009

Weekend of the year

So this is pretty much my favorite weekend of the year, there is something so fantastical about SEC weekend, and I cannot get enough of it.
So today, I slept in after being up late with Top Chef and I certainly needed the extra 30 minutes. Work went super quick this morning, but the last 3 hours really dragged as I was just SO ready for it to be the weekend. John and I then headed home to finish packing up, get some dinner and headed to Lawtey where Peachie will be vacationing for the weekend.

Tomorrow we are setting out quite early (between 5 and 5:30am) to get to ATL in time to enjoy our day off. We are preparing for some frigid temperatures this weekend with nothing higher than 45 degrees!
We opted out of our run for tonight and are planning for tomorrow once we arrive. The temps will be much better than at 7am on Saturday when it is 35 degrees!

I did manage to score some new jewelry this evening from Hotel Bloom and I am super excited to wear it. I am going to go watch the Women and head to bed!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My Favorite Day!

So Wednesdays are normally great for the idea of being halfway through the week as well as tomorrow is my Friday:)
Work was suprisingly rough today, but we move on. I exceeded my expectation for the year and am moving on to 2010. I am SO excited for our trip this weekend, and equally excited for the winter weather we will be experiencing! Highs are going to be in the low 40's and I am stoked to FINALLY break out my cold weather orange and blue!!!

So back to the start of the day. Last night John and I did a 4 mile run *outside* and today I had 5 miles on the schedule. While getting in bed last night I was nervous about running today due to sore legs from Sunday's leg weights workout and yesterdays strong run. I woke up about 5:20 today to very sore legs (esp calves) and I decided to just push through it. I headed up to the gym for 5 miles on the DREAD-mill and...I DID IT ALL!!!! A tad slower than I would have liked, but did it ALL none the less! I keep reminding myself that lond runs are not for speed, but for distance and to prepare the legs for lond duration sustained running (which they are slowly getting used to). I averaged about a 10:20 pace for the full 5 miles which is a little under my half marathon goal pace of 11 min miles. Although the longer we train the more I think I may change my goals. DOn't be upset than I may not speak of said goals until after the race b/c I don't want to feel a wave of disappointment if I dont meet these publically declared expecatations. I will continue to evaluate my performance during the next 10 weeks of training and decide then what I think I will be capable of!

My legs have been tired all day, but I haven't felt excessively famished, I think I did a good job of refueling today and adding in a extra 50-100 calories per snack/meal.
Tomorrow after work we are doing a quick 3 miels before heading to Lawtey to drop off the Peach! We also have 2- 3miles runs planned for the weekend, both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday's run will be in the FREEZING cold, probably 32 or lower so it will be about completion and getting in a few hills, depending on Temperature...I may wait until getting home Sunday to get in those last 3 miles.

No exciting food today, standard snacks and lunch, plus leftovers for dinner. Top chef JUST got rid of my 2nd fav, so for next week's finale I am pulling hard for Kevin! GO Kev! I plan to experience your food first hand in a few weeks!!!
Night all, better post 2M!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

To the Maxx

Happy Tuesday Everyone! My work week is officially half over, yay! Today was pretty productive for a Tuesday and I managed to put together a verwy detailed plan for the rest of the week!
This morning I woke, up had the usual breakfast of toast with PB and yogurt and blueberries. Went to work and it was a relatively slow and uneventful day. I took my hour lunch to try to accomplish some Christmas shopping with stores that happen to be up near my work, but I had no luck finding the gift I had in mind, oh well, there is always tomorrow:)
My afternoon wasn't any more eventful, and I was able to make it out of work right at 6pm. I ate all planned snacks and lunch today but did manage to steal 3 mini twix- sticks that made it into the office due to the Christmas Festivity.

Tonight we had a 4 mile run on the schedule which I was mentally not ready for when we headed out at 6:30pm, but once I started my watch and took my first few steps I saw John fly by me. I was a little annoyed at first why he was trying to go so fast as I knew I really needed a running companion to make it through this run, but I found myself keeping a very solid pace just to keep him in my sights. We hit our 1/2 mile mark in under 5 minutes and I felt good, thats when I knew I could finish the 4 miles AND do it pretty quickly! I hit mile 1 at 9:35 and John had passed almost a minute ahead of me. I finally caught him after another couple minutes as he had slowed down some and just kept pushing to the 2 mile mark. I hit 2 miles at 19:36 ( so a 10:01 time for mile 2). At this point I HAD to stop and stretch my calves (the are super sore from my leg workout on Sunday) I walked for a minutes before taking advantage that the next half mile back was ALL down hill. I made it to mile 3 at 29:36 (another 10 minute pace:) and then stopped to stretch and walk for 1 more minute. At that point I told myself I would run til the end and was REALLY hoping to make it at 40 minutes or less (or an average of a 10 minute pace for all 4 miles) I had to stop for about 30 second with a 1/2 mile left b/c I was getting really bad calf cramps, but managed to hit 4 miles at 40:03- SOOOO Close, but I am happy and will take it especially considering the calf pain! My goal before we ever started or even before I left work today was to do it in 42 minutes or an average of a 10:30 pace so I am VERY pleased!

Once home from our run, I got dinner started as I knew we would both be hungry within 15 mintues. Tonight's dinner was yummy and super filling. I made chipotle chile grilled chicken ( a tad spicy) and had some leftover green bean casserole from Turkey Day! We also made some flaky biscuits (per John's request)! It was sensational, and I am very sad I did not take a picture of my yummy plate! I also cooked up some mushrooms before they went bad and plan to eat them tomorrow night for dinner while at work.

We did however use our cure Christmas Plates for dinner which I pulled our Sunday will all of the other Christmas decorations.
Now, as I mentioned I went Xmas shopping at lunch and found no gifts, but I did find something else I was looking for...a Peachie Stocking!!!!!!
I found this adorable stocking at TJ Maxx (where else) for $6.99 and could not resist- besides she needed it anyways, where else was I going to put all of her goodies!

It looks SO pretty! Well, off to bed now, getting up at 5:15 for 5 miles, I was planning to be stuck on the t-mill, but John said he may just join me:)