Sunday, February 28, 2010

Day of Workouts

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend, mine ended very well today.

This morning I made sure I got up early to head to the gym to get in my weights workout to start the week. John headed to Lawtey again so I was on my own to get everything done today.

The gym came first. After a 5 minute warm up, I started with 2 miles of hill repeats where I set the treadmill at incline of 8.0 and would run for 1 minute at speed of 6.5 and then walk for 1 minute at speed 4.0. I did this for 20 minutes which came out to 10 hill repeats total and ended just a little over 2 miles.

After the T-Mill I set out to do my leg weights which were killer, but will be SO helpful down the road. I really need to work on strengthening my hips so I went all out in this department.

Next up came the grocery store. I needed to get a few things for tonight's dinner as well as the weekly necessities. I have been meaning to try a new dish for the last month or so, and finally got around to purchasing the key ingredient today...

Check out this beast of a Spaghetti Squash. As I have read and heard from others this is an awesome pasta replacement that fills you up, gets in your veggie servings, and eliminates the high calories and carbs that come with a traditional pasta dish. Hopefully I can convince John that he needs to try it.

Once home with groceries unloaded I got dinner started in the crockpot, Chili was on the menu. I wanted to make it one more time before it gets too warm and it seems silly. I made sure to add some extra ingredients to give it some extra punch to it. I tackled the next 5 questions on my test, and actually managed to get through 6!!! I have 4 questions left and I have not even attempted them the remainder of the day.

Costco was an absolute nightmare considering I only needed 3 things. After that trip I knew I could not sit inside any longer and waste the beutiful weather I decided I could still do my bike ride as planned even if John wasn't here. I got myself all ready to go and came out to this sad face...

I decided that I would keep my ride short and come back and take Peachie for a jog.

I decided 30 minutes would be about 6 miles or so, and I set off to do a quick loop on our run route near the house. My legs were fatigued from this mornings workout, but I was determined to push myself.
27 minutes and 6.28 miles burned another 290 calories on the day- crazy.

I stopped at the house quickly to dseposit my bike, have an electrolyte beverage, and grab the Peach!!! I had about an hour left before I needed to be home, and I figured we could get 4 miles in. I knew Peachie could run but wouldn't last 4 miles so I figured I would do a light jog and take walk breaks every 4-5 minutes. She held up very well, and we got in all 4 miles!

We averaged a 13:51 pace which is awful for a run, but pretty good for the little doggie, especially considering, walk, sniff, and bathroom breaks.

After dinner I hit up my local favorite for dessert, and brought a friend with me for the ride

Peachie has thoroughly enjoyed the ride. And I thoroughly enjoyed my treat....

I even got John his own yogaberry! I'm beat and off to bed now, Hope everyone had a nice weekend!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Speedy 6

Hope everyone is havnig a nice weekend. I am glad that it is not a beautiful and perfect weekend, because that would make it no fun to be stuck inside.

First things first, I want to give a major shout out to Penny for smoking the Gasparilla 15k today! She averaged a 7:49 pace for the 9.3 drizly miles in Tampa. Look for an awesome race recap

I got out of bed early this morning to do the 6 mile innaugural run my shoes were itching for, and it was fantastic. It was cold, but not nearly what I was expecting. I kept a really good pace the whole time and my splits look pretty awesome. John came and met me on his bike at about mile 3.5 and I took a small walk break to take my gloves off, remove headband, baisically do a wardrobe adjustment.

Towards the end of the run I was keeping my mimimum goal for my 10k in mind which is to finish in under 1 hour. I ran until 59:59 and then stopped to see how far I had made it...

Almost the full 6.2, and if I had not stopped to shed those layers I probably could have hade it. I was very pleased with a quick run in the early cold morning, and then proceeded to clean up and head to work.

My splits looked like this

6.14 miles in 59:59
-Mile 1:  9:38
-Mile 2:  9:39
-Mile 3:  9:47
-Mile 4:  10:28 :( Can you see where the walking/wardrobe change took a hit
-Mile 5:  9:35
-Mile 6:  9:38
-Last .14:  1:14.46 or a 9:05 pace

I did 1/5 of the test at work and had 2/5 more to do at home (10 questions). I managed to get through some, but lets face it, this is not high on my priority list.
I decided that there were better things that I could do with my time, and that I am much better at. Enter these

I decided chocolate chip cookies were appropriate, so they were baked.

Well, I did have an awesome post planned for you with my spring training plan but Google is giving me trouble, so be on the lookout for awesome-ness tomorrow!!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Pink Babies

HAPPY FRIDAY!!!!! Boy I am glad the work week is OVER, even though I have a less than stellar weekend planned. I really wish I was in Tampa right now getting ready to run Gasparilla this weekend, but work and school I suppose need to get accomplished.

I have spent a lot of time this week reflecting back onto my race last weekend and how amazing it was. I am utterly amazed at what my body is capable of, and even more so that after 2 easy days I was itching to get back for more. I seem to have some serious racing fever and I really want to get in a 15k before the spring racing season ends, but work seems to be getting in the way of that. The 2 15k's I have the options to do I have to work both days- there must be some way around this.

After dealing with the disappointments of missing a few races I really wanted to do, I am being very thorough about getting the info and dates for all the fall races so I can make sure I get in everything I want. As rediculous as it sounds I am already looking into next springs race schedule- crazy I know!!!!!

So tonight after work John and I went to get something to help me with my spring/summer running...

Can you guess what it is, do you have any idea???? Yeah, I know you are all smarter than that...

It was time for new running shoes, my other ones had over 500 miles on them (the recommended amount) and while they were good neutral running shoes I knew I needed something with more stability and structure through the midsole.
Introducing my new Pink Babies!!!

These shoes are Asics Gel Kayano 16s, yes quite a long name. They are similar to my previous pair in that they offer a great deal of gel cushioning and are Asics.

These shoes have less flexibility throughout the midsole (think arch) and offer more stability and support through that area. I am considered an Over-pronator which means my feet role inwards as I land with each step which definitely can contribute to knee pain, and the appropriate shoes can help correct these form issues.

The additional structure through the midsole helps to counteract the rolling inward my feet do naturally- who knew a little pink shoe could fix all the rediculousness in my feet and knees :)

Can you tell that I am DYING to try these babies out!!! I have every intention of getting in a 6 mile run before work tomorrow. And despite the expected freezing temps I REFUSE to let their innaugural run be on a treadmill, so I will be suiting up in my warmest clothes tomorrow morning and heading out as the sun comes up in 38 degrees- the coldest I have ever run in.

I am interested to see how this plays out actually as I have every intention of watching the Speed skate finals in the olympics tonight, so 6:15am sounds a lot more painful than usual!

I want to say GOOD LUCK to Penny tomorrow in the Gasparilla 15k! You will do fantastic, wish I was there with you!!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Positive Thursday

Hello all, it is ALMOST the weekend, and I wish I was looking forward to it more than I am. I have a Calc test this weekend and I am truly dreading it- I am hoping to find some poor grad student who will do it flawlessly for some extra cash. If you know anyone, send them my way :)

It has been a pretty rough work week here and I tried to make it more positive today. Being my late day I had some extra time this morning, but instead of running errands or getting into trouble I relaxed at home with Peachie and watched the news. It was nice not having anything to do but sit here.

I was supposed to go to the gym this morning for a 2 mile run and some weights, but it was TOO COLD to get up when it was still dark this morning so I did some abs and low back exercises here and hit the TMill for 2.5 miles after I got off work- Positive Ending :)

I am excited for the weekend, but not so much for the test, but I have some other fun plans up my sleeve and some good workouts planned despite the frigid temps that have returned.

Tomorrow after work John and I have a special outing planned, there will be a post about said outing. I suppose I will start in on the wretched T word as well, and then I have 6 miles planned for Saturday morning, I REALLY hope its warm enough to crank it out on the outside, I may just suck it up and do it as long as it is above freezing.

Off to watch the ski jumpers and hopefully NBC will cut into some figure skating!!!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Get Ready to Pump some Iron

Well this week has been dragging for me, don't know about you guys.
I think a lot of my lackluster week has been due to a lack of movement on top of a less than stellar work week.

Tonight I was able to get in my first post-race run of 3 miles. The weather did not hold out and I was sentenced to the T-Mill. I actually have come to love the revolving apparatus of death and kind of wish I had one in my living room. I love that it forces me to keep whatever pace I set it at, lets hope it will help me shave a sold minute of my avage pace over the next 18 weeks...

I have spent a good amount of time constructing a training plan for myself for the next 18 weeks. I knew I didn't necessarily need a full training plan, but it helps keep me focused and on track with my workouts when I already have them figured out and have a good balance for the week.

One thing that you will start seeing regularly in addition to all of the running is weight training. I know that strength training is SO important to overall fitness and strength and I have been seriously neglecting it for the last 18 weeks so tomorrow morning my weight training plan will begin.

I will be strength training 3 days per week and each day will consist of a different workout. The only thing that will be done on each of the 3 days is abs and low back.

Workout #1- Legs Day               
-Leg Extension                                                                      
-Prone Leg Curl                                                           
-Leg Press                                                                                             
-Abs/Low Back

Workout #2- Back/Biceps
-Lat Pull Downs
-Biceps curls
-Abs/Low Back

Workout #3- Chest/Shoulders/Triceps
-Arm Cross
-Chest Press
-Tricep Extensions
-Lat Raises
-Overhead Press
-Abs/Low Back

While strength training is the primary change you will see in my workouts, I am also wanting to do something different with my running starting Monday. Instead of just going out and running X number of miles, each run is going to have a purpose. I will be running 4x per week doing 1 of each a long run, tempo run (at race pace), speedwork or intervals, and an easy run. There will also be 1 day with a long bike ride (Sunday's) and Cross-training (either the stationary bike or hill walking). A 5th run may be added as an easy run some weeks and you may start to see some spinning take place too :)

I am really excited to be at a place where I want to continue with my serious running training but also play around with some new things and see how they pan out! I am hoping all the Iron Pumping will leave me looking lean and toned come beach season (which cannot get here fast enough!!!!).

Before and After pictures and Measurements will be coming as part of my Iron Pumping challenge to myself to see if there is really any difference. A picture-less post tonight will result in a picture loaded frenzy tomorrow!


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Massage Envy-ous

Hello all and Happy Tuesday! Hopefully everyone's week is starting off well. Today had been circled on my calandar for weeks, as I had my first real massage scheduled. The few I had as part of my physical therapy years ago don't count.

Heather booked a massage for both of us at her favorite place, Massage Envy.

Massage Envy has a really neat package where you have a monthly membership that includes 1 free massage and then each additional 1 that month is at a reduced cost.

I was nervous that my mind would be wandering too much and that I would not be able to relax and let all my tension and soreness to be worked out, but not 3 minutes into it I looked like this chick

It was SO relaxing and I could instantly tell a difference. My calves/achiles that has been permanently tight for months was instantly loosened up.

As instructed I am drinking a good amount of water this evening, and am excited to see how I feel tomorrow. I think a massage to end a long training season or big race is great, and if I was running 50+ miles a week could be needed even more frequently, but for me, I am thinking every 3 to 4 months will be plenty.

Today Penny and I were collaborating about registering for the Disney Princess Half Marathon in 2 weeks, but with a lot going on we decided next year was better and we would make a big weekend out of it.

Well, with all that being said I think I have gone through and found my next race. I feel like I am still sorting through all the other ones, but for now I will be doing

The St. Patty's day 10k! This is a Sunday Race here in Jacksonville, and as much as I would love to get anohter 1/2 marathon under my belt this spring it does not seem in the cards with my current schedule.

I am really excited as this will be my first 10k and I feel really good about doing this distance and am already setting myself up for some lofty goals. I plan to do my first run of the week tomorrow, an easy 3 miler. Then 1 on Thursday then a 5-6 mile run this Saturday. After this weekend I feel I will have a better idea of what my pace goals should be.

Well I am off to drink more water and watch the basketball game. See you all tomorrow!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Breast Cancer Half Marathon

For those who frequent the FB you have already seen all of my ecstatic posts about how the race went, but for those who are not social network obsessed I hope this can capture the excitement that has taken place in the last 48 hours!

Saturday night Penny and Jason came up to stay and we had your traditional pasta dinner. I enjoyed about 1/2 my portion of Baked Ziti from our local Italian joint, Guilianos. I think everyone enjoyed their meal, even though the waitress was a tad ditzy.

We came home, got all my stuff ready, watched some olympics and got in bed as early as my excitement would let me. The 4am alarm was not my friend, I figured I would bound out of bed with extreme nerves and excitement but I found myself wanting to hit the snooze button- wierd.

I did manage to get up, eat, and get myself dressed. I stuck with my original outfit as planned even though it was 41 at that time not the 48 degrees we had expected.

I stuck with the pink skirt and had a pullover to hang on to until it was time to leave. Those 7 degrees that the weather forecast was off would have made a world of difference at 5:30am when we were out in the cold.
Penny was up and ready to go, I am SOO glad she decided to come up and run with us :)

We left the apartment a few minutes after 5 and made it to the bus pick-up lot at UNF. We were able to get right on a bus and avoid the cold. The bus was toasty warm and we enjoyed the quick ride over to the start line.

We were having lots of camera fun on the bus. I had upgraded to a warmer fleece at this point since yeah, it was that cold.

Don't let his face fool you, John was very much awake at this early hour, but our lone spectator was not...

After about an hour of waiting, and several trips to the port-a-potties we had to ditch our warm clothes and venture towards the start line. I left my pants and fleece I had on, but had brought an old long sleeve t-shirt that I had no issues dropping once I got warm.

We loaded up into our corral and stayed pretty warm until everyone pushed towards the front as the gun was about to go off. I have 1 serious regret about this race and that is that I did NOT buy the spi belt I saw at the race expo on Friday to carry my camera so we have no mid-race pics until the officials come in on Wednesday.

It only took about 90 seconds to cross the start line once the gun went off, we were in the 2nd corral not the last as I had originally thought. I was concious not to go to quick as I knew there were 2 decent hills within the 1st 2 miles. John and I lost Penny at about mile 1, but that was best because I would have burnt out trying to keep up with her for too long. The bridge and ramps going out were not bad and I felt I made really good time. I lost sight of John going down the off ramp and onto A1A I knew he was close behind, but I kept going.

I took my first water at mile 4 and realized I was at an even 10 minute pace and I still felt good, no aches or pains so I just keep it up. When I passed the mile 5 sign just past 50 minutes I knew I would need some fuel as the sand was fast approaching. I ate 4 Gu Chomps which were warm and sticky. That went down so much easier, but got my hand all sticky. Right before we hit the beach there was a water station when I drank some and rinsed off my hands.

Running on the beach (read...sand) was really not bad. I had actually planned for my pace to drop due to difficulty but it actually picked up some. I ran as close to the water as I could which meant the sand was super firm and not really kicked up at all. The stretch on the beach was about 1.25 miles rather than just the 1 I was expecting, but the breeze coming was nice and there was a lot of spectators out there cheering.

Coming off the beach was rough as the sand was soft and the sport court squares they had laid over the incline coming off were super slippery. Shortly after we had departed the sand and left the people continuing on with the full marathon I hit the sign for mile 7. It was a relief to see I was still at an average of a 10 minte pace and was more than half way finished. At this point I knew my finish under 2:20 goal was made and I was shooting to finish in 2:15. At this point I started to notice the achilles tendon ache a bit and it got a bit quit. Mile 7-8 felt long, but I still felt good. Mile 8-9 was tough, mentally and physically. I wanted a break to catch my breath but knew I would hurt the second I stopped or slowed down so I just kept going.

Right before mile 9 I saw these 2 shirtless guys (one was really hairy and the other was shaven clean) I thought it was a really wierd combo so I kept them in my sights as shaved boy seemed to be pacing really well. I took 2 more Gu chomps with water at mile 9 as we were headed back to the on ramp at JTB. Running up the spiral on ramp was brutal, not only was it uphill and my pace dropped but it was slanted sideways and the left sides of both feet were rubbing my shoes SO bad I was convinced I would have bloody shoes by the end, but my feet held up with only small blisters. Once over the ramp and 1 more minute I hit mile 10 only about 90 seconds over the 10 minute average and I knew I could hit 2:15 but it would be close.

Mile 10-11 was pretty flat, thank God. I took some active water here and a small water to get rid of the grape taste (yuck! I hate grape flavoring). I saw the hill coming and people ahead walking and I started to try and pump myself up about how many people I wanted to pick off.
Mile 11 came with a string of survivors and I started to tear up watching them. Volunteers were handing out sandwiches and bananas and I stayed far away, I did NOT want to be the girl puking at the top of the bridge.

Mile 11-12 THE HILL! Going back up that bridge SUCKED! No sugar coating here, it was a bitch! I saw a girl a teeny bit ahead who had on a pink shirt that I also own and I caught up to her with all I had. She and I ran side by side for a minutes with no words before she pulled ahead. There was a lot of grunting and some swearing and the incline increased and right before the top I caught up with pink shirt again.

She said "You still with me?" I told her I was staying with her come hell or high water. She asked if it was my first and I told her yes, and I was pushing to finish in under 2:15. She told me she ran her first in 2:14 and I told her I was not letting her get away from me. We exchanged some stories on the downhill for the last mile and after getting off the ramp at 2:12 I KNEW I could make it by 2:15.

With about .25 to go I heard the sirens from the lead motorcycle coming up behind me and I knew my 1 fear had come true. I was going to be sprinting to the finish line with the lead Full Marathon Runner. Thank goodness the race organizers had made separate lanes for the full and half marathon finishers so I could finish as fast as I could without worrying about getting in this Elite Guys way. 

Though Blurry here is the Garmin shot- The best I could get 
I beat my new set goal and finished in 2:14.36!!! Average of a 10:14 pace!

Mile Splits looked like this
Mile 1- 10:18
Mile 2- 9:40
Mile 3-10:17
Mile 4- 10:04
Mile 5- 9:46
Mile 6- 10:14
Mile 7- 10:28
Mile 8- 10:19
Mile 9- 10:33
Mile 10- 10:33
Mile 11- 10:36
Mile 12- 10:32
Mile 13- 9:54
Last .14 -1:17 or 8:54 pace (garmin went long)

I was SOOOO excited and the minute my legs stopped they got insanely heavy!!! I got my medal found Penny and Jason and tried to find some ice. We hung out at the finish to wait for John, but I was getting nervous when 2:30 approached and I was afraid I had missed him.

John made it in at 2:35 and finished strong. I am SO proud of him, he did great!

After John finished I grabbed ice for my knee (which started bothering me at about 9.5) we took some pictures and headed to the post-race area for our celebratory beer!

Penny Obviously finished first smoking her goal and both of us and finishing in 1:54.52

She did awesome and you check out her blog for her recap here

We hung out for a bit, took plenty of pictures and then headed back out to the finish line to watch my mom cross the finish line.

She had decided this last week that she was going to do the race with her secretary who is also named Stephanie:) Other Stephanie had trained really hard and my mom was nice enough to be her partner even though some unforseen circumstances had detoured her training the last month.

They finished about 10 minutes before I was expecting them, but since she was smart enough to carry her cell, we knew when she was coming.

We stayed and visited a little longer before making our way back to the buses and then the car.

Post race walk still so excited and my brain is already scheming for the next race. There was bus talk about doing the half vs full next year and of me trying to plan a spring 15k and my first full.
I really wish this pretty face lived closer so we could be running buddies
But race buddies for now is good!

A ton of rest and some grocery shopping later I noticed that a small bruise on my knee from Saturday had ballooned into some serious swelling and a HUGE bruise.

It was on and off today between good and bad, but it is doing better now and I am hoping for a light workout tomorrow morning followed by a massage after work :) Stay tuned that should be interesting!

Back to the normal running on Wednesday and hopefully a confirmation for my next race!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

My First Half Marathon

As you sit here reading this I am making my way to the start line at my first half-marathon. I have learned so much over the last 19 weeks of training: about myself, about running and about life (profound, I know).

Before I move on to discussing myself and what I have learned throughout this training, I hope everyone knows how proud I am to be running this race as a small pawn in a hopeful fight to finish Breast Cancer. I am very glad I chose the 26.2 with Donna as my first long distance endeavor and am in full support of what they are working to accomplish. Today I run for myself and for every other woman out there who cannot.

When all this started 19 weeks ago, my first long run was 4 miles...I ran 4 miles of hill repeats last night and woke up to run another 2 today. Never in my life did I believe I would be that person, and I would have laughed in your face if you had told me that I would come to LOVE running!
Over the last 19 weeks I have run 356 miles, an average of 18.4/week...Who does that?!?!?

As I have eluded to many times before, I started running seriously and training for races as a way to lose weight and improve my cardiovascular health which I'm sure was lacking. I signed up for my first 5k in October knowing that the already paid registration would ensure I did it, and give me some motivation to train for it. Well since this training started 19 weeks ago I was unhappy with myself and looking for a change. When I set out to run my 13.1 today, I will be 24 lbs lighter and my knees sure do appreciate it.
I have overhauled my eating habits, fallen in love with running (and now biking) and I am very pleased with the results. I still indulge in fries or a burger when I want it, but usually never end up finishing what I get because for some reason it just doesn't taste as good as it used to. I look at mayonaise now and the first thought that pops into my head is 1tablespoon mayo = 2 miles. I have come to LOVE fruits and veggies (although I always loved fruit) and my craving for salty things has diminished. I guess I have learned that if you want something have it, because denying yourself will probably lead to a huge binge a few days later, just make sure that you aren't having that cheeseburger or bottle of wine every day. Another thing that has changed is my alcohol consumption. It was no big deal for me to have a glass of wine or 2 a night after work a few days a week, especially after a long and rocky day. Now, when the day turns south I think about how I can't wait to bolt out the door and lace up my running shoes, pounding out the stress feels SO much better!!

I embraced something I read from a fellow blogger months ago and that was "Fake it until you make it". As dumb as it sounds, having quality clothes and gear while running made me feel like a runner until I finally reached that point where I knew I had made it, and now I am just a snob, haha! I felt better and excited to go run 5 miles that would kill me knowing that I looked like a runner, and over time felt like and became a real runner.

I suppose the most important thing I have come to realize is that I am much happier now than I was when I started out on this journey. I am confident in myself and my abilities, and I know that I can pretty much do anything if I am willing to put the time and effort into it.

I want to thank every single person who has taken even 5 seconds to read this blog since it started those many weeks ago, and to all of you who have been so supportive of me and this endeavor!
A few special thanks to be said are first and foremost

To John: you have been the best support and companion I could have asked for through all of this. You agreed to take on this huge goal with me as my running buddy and support system, and have been there through it all for the last 19 weeks. You dragged me out to run when I didn't want to, you pushed me when I wanted to stop, and you have believed in me since we started this. I love you very much and appreciate all your love and support! I am so excited to cross that finish line with you, and am so proud of all you have done!

To my Uncle Richard: I hope you know how much I appreciate all your words of encouragement, and every note and message made me smile and want to keep going that much more! Thank you for your constant love and support! I miss you lots and cannot say thank you enough for all your encouragement!!!

For Miss Heather: Thank you for listening to all the rediculous-ness that has ensued over the last 19 weeks! My justifications for needing more running paraphenalia, listening to me rant and rave about food/hydration/blisters and for scheduling my post-race massage this week!!! Thank you for being an amazing friend and always taking the time to listen.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

T-Minus less than 24 hours

Hello All! Yes I have been a Huge blog slacker, I blame work (what else is new).

So we are now less than 24 hours til race time, and I did not get a chance to publish all the fun posts I wanted this week, so I combined them into
1 post that will be published tomorrow morning
stop by when having your cup of coffee to read and think of me as I am running!

If you are interested in tracking me or any other runner doing the 26.2 with Donna you can head to this website here and register for text or email updates.

Last night John and I headed up to the Race Expo to pick up all our stuff, Penny has also made the last minute decision to come run with us so we were getting 3 of everything last night. It was not too crowded so we weren't fighting hundreds of people to get our stuff. We went to Jason's Deli for dinner (My favorite!) and I got a roastbeef sandwich which I was craving. I will probably also have another for lunch today:)

So the loot, what you really care about right...

These were all the freebie's I managed to snag walking around through the different vendors. 2 bags, towels, waterbottles, activ-water, breast cancer braclets and pins, shoe wallets and some pace tattoos!

The race bag we were given as what came with our registration. It all had the pertinent race info, promos for other races and some other fun things like magnets, chocolate from Peterbrooke :), granola, chapsticks, pink bandans, and some sports authority coupons:) :) :)

Obviously the most important is the race shirt
A long sleeve Tech Tee which actually my pink running skirt nicely. This shirt will not be making an appearance tomorrow, but the original pink skirt will as the temps will be perfect!

Last night we watched Law Abiding Citizen as I sifted through my goodies.

Today, I woke up wanting oatmeal. it has been very cold this week, and I finally got around to wanting a hot breakfast, even though today wasn't that cold.

I couldn't finish my serving and Peachie had been begging for a lick at both John and my bowls so I let her go to town and finish mine off, I wish I had moved quick enough to capture a video but you will have to settle for this sub-par iphone pic.

I have some cleaning left to do before everyone makes it back from Lawtey today, and I still need to pick up a few things both for tomorrow and for John and I for the week.

DONT FORGET to check back in the morning for a Race Day post!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Free Weekend?

So I am utterly in shock that I have made it to a weekend where I truly have no real plans or obligations. True, I am sitting at work right now, but that was by choice. I volunteered to make this my scheduled Saturday to work this month so that I could have the next 2 weekends off :)

Last night John and I went to see the new movie Valentine's Day, it was good, kind of like an American Version of Love Actually, and done on Valentine's Day, not Christmas.

I have been catching up on a lot of reading this week, books, magazines, blogs, etc. as I seemed to have gotten behind. I am going to register for the GRE this weekend, I have been putting off registering to find the appropriate weekend, but I really need to stop procrastinating.

John is out working on the Corvette today in Lawtey, and after work I am pondering what to do with my free time this afternoon- maybe hunt down a pair of running capris as it seems we may have cooler temps for the race next weekend- also I might have to stop and Pick up a Valentine's Day present for the boy- we had said we were going to go to dinner tonight to celebrate, but have yet to make those plans at this time.

Today at 6pm I will be doing my last "Long Run" Before our race next weekend, and I say long but we are only doing 6-7 miles. This week will be the real tapering and I only have 3 more runs planned after today, they will probably be done on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. I also hope to get in a bike ride tomorrow. Monday will be a rest day or maybe a long walk. Wednesday will be some cross-training. And I will probably do a walk Saturday to keep the legs loose and get in one last good stretch.

In addition to a run and bike ride tomorrow, I need to grocery shop, do a little schoolwork, and that is all that is planned- shocking to have so little to do.

At work this morning I made my playlist for the half-marathon, and I am super excited about it! I know I probably won't get through the whole thing so I frontloaded all the songs I want to make sure I get a chance to listen to. I hoping to start to get a realistic weather forecast this week, as we can never seem to have a consistent forecast more than 3 days before so here is hoping for temps in the high 40s or low 50s, and slightly overcast- not wanting to bake in the sun.

Off to enjoy my free weekend!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Hello to all, sorry for my lack of posting this week. Today is Wednesday and I have already put in 12 hours of overtime this week. Today was our monthly start, but the madness will continue through tomorrow.

I have not eaten anything worth writing home about, nor have I taken any pictures to share with you so tonight you just get lots of rambling.

When the clock hits 12:01am it will officially be 10 days until the half marathon and I am so excited! I have a series of posts planned for next week leading up to the race and I am really hoping to reflect on all the things I have done and learned in the last 18 weeks.

Next week be prepared to see my thoughts on the following:
Sports Bras
Nutrition while Training
Weight Loss
Sleeping Habits
Training Plans
Race Morning Reflections

I am currently starting the drop into taper mode, and will be slowing down my workouts over the next 10 days. Part of me is excited about the rest and part of me gets antsy thinking about the inactivity that is in my future. Luckily I have been so busy this week that it has kept my mind off of it, and a missed workout due to a crazy schedule doesn't have me getting all panicked.

Tomorrow morning I plan to hit the gym for an easy 3 mile run on the treadmill since the 30 degree tempratures have returned. I also am going to scout out for a possible pair of new running capris as it seems we will be having cooler than anticipated race weather and my little skirt may not make the cut. We will see.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Weekend of Half Marathons

Happy Super Bowl Sunday! John and I are sitting at home watching the game (lets be serious, the commercials). We had hoped to join our friends this evening, but schoolwork and a long to-do list kept us here. Well here is a very LOOONG weekend recap, and we surprisingly have done quite a bit even though it feels like nothing.

Friday was spent carb-loading in anticipation of out last long run this weekend, we enjoyed take-out from Carrabba's Friday night courtesy of a gift card we had gotten at Christmas. I took the opportunity to indulge in some seafood since I never make it at home. We decided to be 105 and got into bed about 9:30am so we could make sure we had gotten at least some rest before our 4:15am wake up call!!!

4:15am came pretty painlessly Saturday morning, I think it was because I was ready and motivated for this last run, even though the idea of 13 miles in the dark at 5am scared me to death! I had everything ready the night before and got up to have a granola bar and hydrate before we ran. We managed to get out the door about 10 minutes before our 5am goal. It was cool, but a good cool, I was happy to have 57 degrees with a nice breeze the whole way.

I was very concious to pace myself very easy for the first 5 miles and then would let myself run the remainder as my energy level would let me. I kept a solid 11 minute pace for those first 5 miles. At mile 5 we took a short walk break to inhale some Gu-chomps and I was off again, at that point, all I wanted to do was hit the half-way point, once there, it was just a matter of getting home. I did manage to make it to mile 6.5 before even touchimg my ipod, and it feels good to know I could do this race with not music IF I had to.

At the half-way mark I pulled ahead some and just kept going. I stopped at mile 8 to stretch and wait for John, and then we started on the last long stretch home. A little after mile 9 I ate 2 more Gu Chomps (1/2 serving) and I forced myself to eat them while running to get used to the motion and feel of it. There is a very good chance I will be able to do this half-marathon with no walk breaks and if so, they will be minimal so I wanted to make sure I felt comfortable eating and running simultaneously.

Once we hit mile 10, I picked up my pace and was dying to get home. I ran mile 10-11 in about 10:30. And about half way throught that mile the sun started its very rapid ascention. It went from pitch black to fully light in 25 minutes. The last 2 miles I did in an average of a 10:12 pace and I knew in those 2 miles I could not stop for anything because the second I did the pain would set in.

With about a 1/2 mile to go my stomach started to cramp pretty bad, but I just dealt with it, it wasn't a side cramp from bad breathing I just figured I was starving and my stomach was saying "Hey, crazy lady! Feed Me!!!!" I knew at this point I was several minutes ahead of my partner to I told myself I would go to 13.1.

And 13.1 miles I did!!!! I ran my first (unofficial) half marathon this Saturday and I was SOOOO excited!! We had expected this run to take us 2 1/2 hours exactly since we knew we would be taking it easy, but at mile 10 I was about 5 minutes ahead and I KNEW I could make it under our 2:30 goal. So 13.1 in 2:26.42

I am really starting to evaluate what my goal is for our first official half marathon. John and I have said from the beginning we would stick together, but my competitive side is getting itchy to go balls to the walls and see if I can hit 2:20, I would really LOVE to hit that 2:20 mark but as long as I finish at 2:24.06 or less I will be content. That would be an average of an 11 minute pace, but I know I can do more. At the same time, I would never want to run my first race like this alone and hit a wall in the middle with no one to help me through and that is why I think it is best to have a partner, but we will see what the next 2 weeks brings.

After our run, I was on a short time limit to get ready and get to work. 4 hours of work came and went with some light snacking. I was surprised after burning 1500 calories that I was not more hungry, but I had to force myself to eat because I knew I needed to. I did stop on my way home from work for Quiznos for lunch which was eated while watching the Gator Basketball game! Gators won, and then we headed out for some shopping. John needed new work shoes, and we managed to track down a pair.

The rest of Saturday was boring and lazy, and I crashed early again. Today started with waffles and then a bike ride. I was dying to ride my beautiful Blue since I did not get a chance to last weekend, but I knew I needed to keep it light. John and I headed down the same route we ran yesterday to check out the new high school they are building by my mom's house. It was blocked off, but we saw it and it is going to be HUGE!!!!

So I baisically rode a half marathon again this morning. My legs were more sore than they have been on other bike rides, but nothing I couldn't handle. After our ride, John headed to Lawtey with the Peach and I got productive...

4 loads of laundry
Change sheets
clean bathrooms
wipe down baseboards
clean kitchen (John did the hard stuff, but I wiped down the counters)
Grocery Store
6 sections of homework
Put away laundry

Oh and then the usual...
slice veggies
menu plan for the week

John and I had nachos for dinner while watching the game. We used the left over shredded chicken from our soup this week and it made an excellent dinner. I may have also had a beer since it goes hand and hand with football and a chocolate chip cookie which I certainly could have done without.

This week is crazy: Orientation tomorrow, Movie date with Heather and Liza Tuesday, Start Wednesday... so it will be busy, thank goodness we are in the 2 weeks of tapering. I can't believe my 1st half marathon is now less than 2 weeks away!!!!

I will leave you with a Peach Picture. She was watching the 6th annual Puppy Bowl before the real game started tonight

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Opinions Needed

Hello to all, it a slow and dragging Thursday night here at work. After a very late night on Tuesday with the biggest loser I slept in yesterday and had a miserable time trying to pick out something to wear since the temps had turned south and all my pants were at the dry cleaners- doesn't it always work that way...

Last night John and I mixed it up with 4 quick miles on the treadmill. I have come to embrace the treadmill somewhat during the cooler months as well as the days where I don't have the energy or motivation to pace myself properly, it just does it for me:)

After our run I was ready to dive into the next chapter or Calc 2 (not excited about this one bit), but I am really excited to have a new study buddy...

Peachie had a blast watching Professor Burger and his Lecture on "U-Subsitution" She did not want down from my lap and watched intently for the entire 16 mintues of blabbering. We have one smart dog folks!

Today being my late day, I was in no huge rush to get out of bed, but I heard lots of noise coming from the kitchen...
John was making waffles, so I decided I also needed one! It was a great weekeday treat!

I topped my 2 squares with plain greek yogurt, 1/2 a pear and a banana- so yummy!
Even though it was my late day, I had to head into work early again, but not before retrieveing the dry cleaning, and a few other errands.

Today was a slow Thursday with some harsh realizations about the week ahead of us, so be prepared not to see me for a while.

Ok, now time for a very serious and very important opinion poll:

I am deeply conflicted about whether or not I should get a serious hair cut at my next appointment on February 15th.

The hair had gotten quite long, and while I like it and am attached (literally) it is becoming a pain! It wont stay up in a bun or anything while running because it is so thick and heavy and I can't stand it sticking to the back of my neck when it is just in a ponytail.It takes twice as long to style as short hair, and I don't even take advantage of all the fun things I can do with it now that its long.

So...I want an answer from EVERYONE!!     Cut it or Keep it?????????????  Jury is still out here.


One more opinion poll: Are polka dots acceptable for adults?

I am usually the first to walk away from the little girl pattern of polka-dots, but lately I have been seeing them EVERYWHERE!!! I stumbled upon the above dress at our favorite local target and tried it on becuase it looked like it would fit great and would be a good work item- well I was right, it fit perfect and then I realized "well, I would buy it, but I look like a 10 year old in a really grown-up dress"

If siad dress was all black I would have already worn it twice, but its like the depressed version of Minnie Mouse's signiture item.

For my fashion savvy freinds and readers please advise if polka-dots are grown-up acceptable....

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Late Night Blogger

So for those who are taking the time to look at the time stamp, you will notice this is WAAAY past my bedtime! For some reason the new Biggest Loser Episode is from 9p-11p tonight instead of 8-10, hmmmm.

Tuesday was a frustrating and busy day at work, but I suppose it ended very well. I have been starting to work on our next training plans during lunch and have been scouting out some awesome races. I will be posting these schedules next week as we get closer and closer to our half marathon which is now only 18 days away!!!!

Tonight John and I headed out for a speedy 3 mile run, and I was only 3 seconds away from having negative splits- that stupid last mile, grrr. Oh well, I did 3 miles in 28:25, not too shabby, but always room for improvement.

We had leftover soup for dinner, and I spent some time wrapping up loose ends from my test. I also had my first mid-week indulgence
I opened up this baby which we received over the Christmas Holidays, and I must say I enjoyed my very large glassful.

I see a VERY late alarm set in my future tomorrow! Night!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Crockpot Monday

So when I last left you all it was Friday night and all was Peachie. Saturday came and work was done: I both went to work and spent a majority of the day working on my test. We did manage to take Peaches on a 3 mile run/walk before the rain set in. We also had dinner at McAlisters, I am remembering why I used to love eating there so much, they have so many yummy choices!

Sunday morning John and I had intentions of making up our missed 12 mile run, well it was 40 degrees and windy when we woke up at 6am so I did some more of my test, and did the grocery shopping.

We returned home and were ready to run about noon, I pulled my cold weather clothes out again and got myself ready for the long challenge

Well about 30 feet out the front door in 42 degrees and plenty of wind I knew I had another date with the treadmill in my future

There was no 12 mile outdoor run, but I did get it 5 miles on the treadmill in just under 50 minutes so I suppose that is a good solid base, and we will really have to make our last long run this upcoming weekend count...

Sunday ended as usual, finishing the test from hell, doing laundry, peparing food for the week.

Monday at work was full of fires, and none seemed to end how I had hoped, oh well, such is work.
I did manage to sneak this little guy into my mid-morning snack and it was Amazing!!!

We got these gluten-free chocolate bars in our race bag from our race the weekend before and I had it sitting in my desk at work, and for some reason I had a slight sweet tooth. It was like a much less heavy kit kat bar, so tasty and only 140 calories for something the size of a granola bar.

I am implementing Crockpot Monday from now on. It gives us leftovers to give us 2 extra meals for the week (dinner Tuesday and Thursdays) AND it makes Mondays a little less stressful. I love coming home to a yummy smelling apartment, and today it smelled like Mexican.

I had been eyeing the recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup and finally got around to making it. The chicken shredded SO easy after cooking for 7-8 hours

I topped my bowl a little sour cream and shredded cheese- YUM! It was really chunky with TONS of chicken.

After dinner I headed to the gym for 30 minutes of hill walking, and I had a blast listening to some songs I normally don't get to on my playlist. I am now indulging in the newest episode of 24 and working on my next training schedule. We will return to regular posts this week :)