Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Workout Wednesday

Happy Hump Day, My legs have been going all day, and it feels good to be sitting down right now with no demands. A quick Happy Birthday to my step-dad Michael! Hope you had a great day!!!

So workout Wednesday was awesome here, my day broke down like this

5am alarm- ugh! I was fighting getting up this morning but after about 10 minutes of laying there I got my butt out of bed and ready for the gym. I did a light 5-10 minutes walking on the TM to warm up before heading into spin class

6am- Spinning...Whoa! Nothing gets my legs burning like this spin class- I really like the instructor and the people that regularly attend which is why I now regularly attend- that and Wednesdays my schedule is such that it fits perfectly with my day. I have never sweat so much as I have in spin class the last 2 weeks. Like have NEVER sweat so much, not even during volleyball 2-a-days in a non-air conditioned gym in Florida in August. I had sweat dripping from everywhere, into my eyes, off my face, neck, arms, legs, it was gross!

Due to some time constraints and lack of banana, I did not get the oatmeal I was craving for breakfast, but I am prepared and will be having it tomorrow. I did not want what I had brought for lunch so I hit Panera for my favorite

the Fuji Apple Chicken Salad and a break from my office- it was fantastic, the break and the salad.

After work I could not wait to get in workout #2, the weather was absolutely perfect for running and I was so excited for my 3 easy miles to be able to relax and enjoy the weather.

I ended up doing a tad more than the planned 3 miles which normally I can't stand. I will run to an even mile or at least 1/4 and then stop the Garmin and jog or walk to cool down, but tonight I was going against the grain ;)

3.36 miles in 32:36, avg pace 9:42, avg HR 167

Mile 1- 9:38
Mile 2- 9:39
Mile 3- 9:52
3-3.36- 3:25 (9:28 pace)

As I got to about mile 2.8 in the bank parking lot there was what looked like an amateur cycling group all riding in 1 tight circle and were making a lot of noise, I slowed down a tad to observe, it almost seemed like some weird cult, so I got out of there.

Dinner was kind of heavy for me tonight, I normally can't eat that much at the end of the day

 I had almost a cup of brown rice. 1 1/2 cups of steamed broccoli and a few more shrimpies! I was craving brown rice, probably because I didn't get my oatmeal fix today. I made sure I had enough rice leftover for dinner at work tomorrow too.

I am off to love on Peachie, she is feeling neglected tonight I guess. See you all tomorrow with a March Recap!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I can cook

You get a double dose today, you should all feel so loved!

After work John and I headed back up to the gym so I could beat up my neglected shoulders and my abs since it pretty much seemed I had done nothing to them this morning. I wore my old sneakers so I wouldn't be tempted to run- I am suprised after all I have done this week that my legs aren't more tired.

I came home and had big plans for dinner again! On Sunday John and I agreed that I wouldn't be making big/normal dinners this week. He thinks it is "such a production" to make a normal meal of chicken and rice or veggies or whatever. So I told him he was on his own, and I think 3 days in he has already realized that it is boring and there is nothing to eat when I don't cook :)

I however, have taken the opportunity to make things I don't normally because John doesn't eat them and then it really is a production. So tonight I made myself half a sweet potato (in fry form) a few shrimpies and some mushrooms- it all turned out delish!!!!

Perfectly portioned dinner and suprisingly low in calores for as much as it was- coming in under 350 calories but 25 grams of protien! I also had another billion strawberries as dessert, I am suprised there are any left from that huge carton, I feel like I have been eating them non-stop!

Tomorrow is Wednesday, Spinning in the AM, and 3 miles Easy after work. The last couple weeks- easy miles have never ended up easy, so tomorrow I am going to focus on having a comfortable conversational pace and see what that it, because I feel like my comfortable pace is starting to change, in a good way.

Off to watch the evil back-stabbing shenanigans on the Biggest Loser!!!

Calm, and Ten Things Tuesday

It is amazing how much calmer I feel just to be done with that test and have it out of my sights. I slept like a log like night even with the little doggie down at my feet- she would not get in her bed last night and when we kicked her off the big bed she would open the door and go out to the living room, so John caved and she slept by my feet all night.

Despite crawling into bed light I was more than ready to get up for my workout at 5am. Technically Tuesdays are a cross-training and weights day, but I mixed it up.

So this week my 10 Things Tuesday is my 10 Things I did during my morning workout:

1.  10 Min Stationary bike to warm-up
2.  Abs - 3 sets on what I call the crunch machine and 3 sets with medicine ball on the decline bench
3.  Obliques - 3 twisty sets on the decline bench
4.  Arm Cross, 3 sets
5.  Chest Press, 3 sets
6.  Overhead Press, 3 sets
7.  Dips, 3 sets
8.  3M run (9:20 avg pace)
9.  .46M walking (b/w 3.7 and 4mph)
10.  Stairs- on the big stair climber set to intervals, and man let me tell ya, this HURT!

This morning ended up being 50 minutes of cardio and about 20 minutes of weights, but I forgot to go back and do shoulder so I will be heading back this evening to get some buff shoulders and probably some more abs, I felt like the few exercises I did weren't as effective as I would like. I really wish my gym had an ab class. The gyms I went to in HS and College both had awesome 20 minutes abs or abs and glutes classes that would leave me in pain the next day- I miss that, I can never seem to get a really killer ab workout on my own. Any suggestions???

Monday, March 29, 2010

A good mistake

Happy Monday, my test is FINISHED!!! Only 1 more to go, and then I get a make-up test to bring up my lowest grade, which will be test 2 for sure!!!!

After a full weekend I felt pretty ready to head back to work today. I had big intentions of getting in a double workout today, my 4M tempo run this morning and hopefully a spin class tonight, but it was Pouring down rain when my alarm went off this morning, and between that and my sore legs, I just stayed in bed for another hour :) No worries the only thing on the schedule for today was the 4 mile tempo, so I was more than happy when the skies cleared up and I had a perfect evening to run in.

I started my week off really well with my operation lose the stubborn lbs. I had 7 bottles of water at work today and another large one tonight. I also had 10 servings of fruits and veggies today- Wow! Here's what it looked like!

Breakfast: 1/2 Pear, 1/2 banana and 1/2 cup strawberries (all on top of 6 ounces greek yogurt w/ granola)
AM Snack: 1 cup strawberries and the 2nd 1/2 of pear and 1/2 banana
Lunch:  Spinach Salad (3 cups), Orange
PM Snack: Sliced green bell pepper, Fuji Apple
Dinner: Spaghetti Squash (I assume this is a veggie, it may not be), 1 cup broccoli
Dessert: 1cup Strawberries

That's 10!!!! I only count all the 1/2 cups and such at breakfast as 1 serving, or I guess 1 1/2, but you get the point. I thought that was pretty good for not even trying! It would be good to have 6 servings veggies to 4 fruit, but I will take what I can get.

Now onto the running portion of this program. I was excited to get in my 4 miles in the beautiful weather, and decided to wear one of my new shirts out tonight

It was great, fit perfect and sweat wicking- can't beat that, oh and the fact that it matches my shorts :)

So the intention with the tempo run is to do a 1 mile warm up, 2 miles at tempo pace and 1 mile cool-down. I had figured I had it in me to do 1 mile warm-up, 3 miles at tempo (race) pace and then a 1 mile cool down, making it 5 miles, but there was some serious wind out there today and I made some rookie mistakes.

I started out trying to do the first miles between 9:10 and 9:30 pace, but the few times I checked Garmie in mile 1 I was going so slow due to a VERY strong head wind, so I just kept pushing harder and harder. Well Mile 1 beeped under 8:45 and it was like, oops, WAAAAY too fast! SP now I knew I had to keep it up, but probably would not be that quick. As long as I was in the 8:50-9:00 range I wanted for the tempo portion I was happy. Well a mistake turned into a good thing, and my 4 mile run looked like this...

4 miles in 35:10 a fast one to date for sure.

4 miles- 35:10, avg pace 8:47, avg HR 180

Mile 1- 8:38
Mile 2- 8:49
Mile 3- 8:47
Mile 4- 8:55

I died a bit in the last mile and just walked back towards the apartment for another .25 miles instead of a 1 mile cool down, I was done for the night. John has been riding his bike out to find me during my outdoor runs and he always seems to find me at the right moment where I am exhausted and want to quit, his visit tonight was much appreciated!

I am off to celebrate the end of my test and a fast run with the new issue of Shape and a hot bath, be jealous!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Most Productive Sunday

Hello all, as the weekend draws to a close, I realize that I have stubled across one of the most valuable things in life- how to get everything you need done. The answer, you will find at the end. So as you might imagine I have gotten SO much done today, and it has been so productive and fantastic that I just can't help but smile :)

This morning I opted to sleep past the 6:30am alaram I had set and just get up when I was ready. I ended up getting out of bed at 7:30am and was surprised that I was not more stiff after my long run yesterday, no complaints, it left plenty of play room for what I had on the agenda for today.

John took Peachie out and was kind enough to make breakfast while I cleaned the bathrooms, they needed it, and had gotten quite dusty- which I hate. Breakfast was 2 slices of whole wheat french toast with 6ounces greek yogurt, 1/2 cup of fresh strawberry slices and a pear. After that, I was ready to get moving!!!

We loaded up the truck and headed out to the beach for a nice morning bike ride. We parked and rode all the way from South Jax Beach all the way up to the end of Atlantic Beach at the South end of Hanna Park.
John and I were both surprised that it was not a longer ride round trip, but really enjoyed it, and got in an hour of quality cardio.

It took a little over an hour to do the 12.7 mile ride. We averaged a 12.7 pace also (wierd). We really took it easy this morning, and were wanting to have a nice ride and take in the scenery more than seeing how fast we could go.

For those who live in Jacksonville, or know the 26.2 with Donna race we did last month, this will be a fun story for you. As John and I are riding north along 1st Street up through Jax Beach we noticed that several houses still had flags and signs up Supporting the 26.2 with Donna and Breast Cancer Research. John and I talked about how that was a nice route to run, and maybe doing the Full Marathon next year wouldn't be so bad.

Well no sooner had we stopped talking we saw a couple ahead walking towards us. As we got closer, I recognized them...It Was Donna Deegan and her husband Tim out for a morning walk!!! Yes, THE DONNA of 26.2 with Donna. She is the evening news anchor for First Coast News, the local news station that we watch every day, and her husband Tim, is the weather man!!! I waved and said hello and they said hello back, I Was SOO excited for my morning minor celebrity siting!!!

After our bike ride, we loaded up the truck again and headed towards home. We decided since we were out and in the neighborhood that we would go ahead and knock out our grocery shopping. Costco came first

I bought these babies in addition to the usual. This is 4 lbs of strawberries and it was only $4.99!!!! I have sliced up half already, and sealed up the other half. And a few may have already made it into my mouth ;)

After our 2 grocery store trips and lunch, I unloaded the groceries, cleaned out the fridge and started the 1st of the 4 loads of laundry I have done today. I did manage to work on the test for an hour, enough time to eliminate enough questions so that I could leave it until tomorrow. This is where I had my major revelation...

I have been SO productive today because I was doing anything and everything else I could to avoid that test. So moral of the story, if you have a lot to get done. Find something that you really don't want to do, and add it to your to-do list. You will happily complete the rest in order to procrastinate on the one thing you don't want to do. I have now finished 16/20 questions on my test, and if I have time I will work on it more tonight. If not, I have all day tomorrow to finish before I have to have it submitted by midnight tomorrow night.

After the test I rewarded myself with a trip to the gym. I did 3.5 miles on the treadmill (it was raining here) and then I did leg weights. Of the 3.5 miles I ran, 1 mile was hill repeats, and I realized that hills are the biggest reason my leg hurts so I will stop doing hills until further notice- its not like we have a ton here anyways.

I had a kick-ass dinner planned for tonight, and it actually turned out so well, I am going in depth into what I did! It started with this, and an idea

I bought these All Natural Italian Style Chicken Sausages at Publix today, and knew I wanted to try one in my dinner. These are really good for what they are. 1 Sausage has only 130 calories, 7g of fat and 15g of protien. I tossed 1 sausage on the grill and the rest in the freezer. Once cooked I diced up the sausage and mixed it with 1 Tbsp Wheat Germ instead of bread crumbs. Once mixed up I mixed in about an ounce of crumbled goat cheese and put the entire mixture on top of a large portobella mushroom I had also grilled.

It turned out like this, and I also threw in a nice easy veggie for a side dish. This meal was amazing and filling

The whole thing has less than 400 calories and plenty of protien to keep you satisfied. I will definitely be making this again!!!!

I am going to spend the rest of my evening folding laundry and catching up on my large stack of magazines. I have an awesome week of running planned and I am excited to be back.

Since she is just so cute, I have to leave you with a Peachie picture of the week!!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Ten Solo

Happy Saturday! I hope everyone enjoyed the nice spring weather, I know I sure took advantage of it.

Last night I headed to bed at a reasonable hour with my alarm set for 5:20am to get up and ready for my planned 10 mile run. Today I was looking at something I had never done before: a double-digit solo the dark.

Due to some recent happenings in Jacksonville, I heeded John's warning that it was probably best not to be out running solo in the pitch black for almost 90 minutes before the sun came up. I decided to start my run as planned so I didn't eat into too much of my day, but I would do the first few miles in the indoor safety of the gym and then head outside to finish it up. It was not bad at all, and was actually a nice way to break up a long run.

I trotted along on the treadmill. Hoped off, refilled my water, inhaled my sport beans and was off again. I tried not to give myself rest time while I was transitioning, and I felt it went as seemlessly as possible, and probably is what allowed me to maintain my pace. Splits look like this:

10 Miles- 1:35.12, Avg HR 171, Avg Pace 9:31

Mile 1- 10:00
Mile 2- 9:31
Mile 3- 9:22
Mile 4- 9:31
Mile 5- 9:22
Mile 6- 9:40
Mile 7- 9:27
Mile 8- 9:39
Mile 9- 9:10
Mile 10- 9:11

After a week off of running I found it a bit tougher to keep my usual pace, but I handled it, and I am sure another day or 2 it will be normal again.

Once finished I sucked it up and did what I knew I had to do...

ICE BATH!!! I knew I would need to ice my knee as well as my ankle/inner calf that has been troublesome, plus my right foot which started to ache the last mile. Well that would be a lot of individual icing, so I decided 15 minutes in a cold bath was the most efficient option. It was cold, but hot tea and a magazine make 15 minutes fly by.

After my bath I whipped up some breakfast for myself, and also managed to steal a small bit of John's

I made a 1 egg and egg white omlet with spinach, ham and onions, topped with a little cheese, 1C Strawberries and a stolen Cinnamon Roll that John had made.

After breakfast, John and I worked together to get about 1/3 of my test done. I was pleased to get that much cranked out in about an hour, and was starting to feel better about it, but truth be told, I haven't touched it since then, it was too perfect a Saturday to eat up any more time with a test.

We went out, enjoyed the weather, had lunch and ran some errands. The errands were of my favorite kind, shopping!!!

I got a couple new dry-fit shirts from Sports Authority, they actually were all out of the shirt I really wanted, they had no more in my size :( But I was more than happy with these two purchases, and the price!

John and I decided to try and be smart and a tad healthier and make dinner at home, so we decided on doing homemade pizza since we had a pizza crust we needed to use.

It was certainly healthier than take-out pizza, but I definitely think we could have been healthier. We topped out pizza with some pineapple and a little ham that I normally use to make my lunch sandwiches, it was tasty!

Tomorrow there will be some much cleaner eats, I have been pretty bad in the last 24 hours, and that is no way to get to where I want. Back to my usual veggieness tomorrow! We have an AWESOME day planned tomorrow- again, minus the calc test, but hopefully I can knock it out and get a passing grade.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Another Free Weekend???

Welcome to the weekend, I have never been so happy to see a 2 day weekend, now if only I didn't have that damn calc test to deal with.

I treated today as I would any other Friday, as a rest day. I got plenty of sleep, skipped the gym and and made sure I ate normally. I was not wanting what I had brought for lunch so I ended up just eating a lot of small things like strawberries, a pear, a mini luna bar, cheese stick, etc.

I have not been feeling my best today, and I was really wanting a terrible cheeseburger for dinner, so I caved and had one. Tasted great, worth every bite, thank God I have my long run planned for in the morning!

Stay tuned for a crazy busy Saturday, hopefully with no mention of Calculus!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A quick fix

Happy Thursday- I am dying for the weekend even though I have another evil calc test that awaits me.

I opted to sleep in this morning, I just couldn't bring myself to get out of my warm bed for a hot date with a stationary bike, I wouldn't even get to wear my running shoes :(

I decided to have another mini Luna Bar as my morning snack today, and it was perfect and tasted great! Spaghetti squash for lunch is becoming my favorite, it is so filling, and its nice to have a warm lunch instead of
a sandwich and salad everyday.

For dinner tonight, we had big plans to make our own version of fried rice, only without the fried part.

So basically it was rice +veggies and seasonings, I thought it turned out very well. I had maybe a cup with a half a piece of chicken- by far the heaviest dinner I have had in a while, but it was well worth it.

Well my big news today, came from the gym! I went after work to do some weights and my daily dose of the stationary bike. After some time on the bike I hopped over to the treadmill for a little bit of walking. My leg/ligament had felt really good today, John rubbed it for a while last night, and I am convinced that did the trick. After walking for about 10 minutes I decided I needed to see how my leg felt running to decide how much longer I needed to keep up this boring cardio routine.

Well the good news is my leg did not hurt one bit!!!! It felt great, normal, relaxed, honestly better than it probably has in almost 2 months- sad I know! I ran about half a mile and as good as it felt I stopped, knowing a couple days off has helped, and another day is still a good idea, so I didn't want to ruin a good thing.

The best part is I know I will be up to my long run I had planned for Saturday- 10 miles! I am excited. This will be my first double digit run since my half marathon 4 1/2 weeks ago. 9.3 is the longest I have done since then, so I am excited to get back into double digits and have it get easy, because I might have a marathon up my sleeve! See ya Friday!

The Great Age Group Debate

So for the last few days I have been doing some very in depth age group analysis. Most races split the 20's into 2 age groups (as they also do with every other decade) there is the 20-24 age group and the 25-29 age group. Many of my fellow runners that I converse with, belong to the very popular 25-29 AG and I am lucky enough to be in the 20-24, not just because it makes me younger, but when it comes to running distance races, the younger the better, and here's why...

It started as just a simple discussion with a fellow runner who happens to belong to AG 25-29 who said she had awesome times, but could never place and/or break the top 10 in her age group because there was so dang many of them, and they were all so fast. I told her my age group was no different, but after winning my race this past weekend I figured she may have some truth behind her claim.

Being the nerd that I am I took the last 6 major half marathons in this region (namely the ones I had looked at doing) and did some data analysis- fancy right? I looked at all sorts of stuff like # of participants, lead finishers time, average time for the top 10%, and number of below 10 minutes pacers in the field. What I found out was, getting old Sucks!!! Oh wait, we already knew that. The 25-29 female age group on average has DOUBLE the number of participants of the 20-24 age group. In the Breast Cancer Half Marathon I did last month, there were 172 runners in AG 20-24 and 345 in AG 25-29, almost double!

When it comes to overall times, it seems the older ladies have it figured out there too. In most cases their AG winner was faster than that of 20-24, and the top 10% times of 25-29 year olds smokes the younger ones by almost 2 minutes. If you were to take the overall average  pace of the entire age group, the 25-29 would probably produce a lower overall average, but with more people, there are more walkers and that drags the overall numbers down. The fastest of the big girls certainly beat out my little 20-24 minority in almost every way execpt for overall age group average pace- crazy fast ladies once they turn 25, I wonder if it's something in the water?!?!?

So what I learned in a Nutshell....I better race my little legs off for the next 15 months before I get shoved into that crazy 25-29 group because once I do, my times won't look so good anymore, and I'll be getting old! Here is to rocking the rest of my 20-24 career!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Hello all, it's Wednesday, meaning the work week is half over! Today has been an interesting one, and because I think it is, you get to hear about it!

So my revelation actually occured late last night while I was reading up on running injuries. What I had mistaken for some moderate achilles pain actually is not. I felt a lot of the pain near my ankle which led me to think achilles, but further poking and proding told me it was in fact the inside of my lower leg, not the back and heel where your achilles is.

What is it??? More than likely I have a medial ligament sprain (the ligament on your lower inner calf). It is very sensitive to pressure, but even that has been alleviated by a lighter 2 days. Although I also learned in spin class, that spinning does still use your ankle area. I would REALLY like to run tomorrow morning, but may just hold off until Saturday. It almost made me cry today when I walked into the gym and had to get on the stationary bike and there was this girl running who had no business running, it was sad :(

I did about 15 minutes of cardio on my own and then headed over for a VERY intense spin class today, it was awesome, Wednesday morning spin is now a must for me, and you may start to see it a few otehr days as well.

My eating was very clean today, tons of water, and the dessert I let myself have was this little guy

Yep, I found a box of the Mini Luna Bars at Whole Foods, they never disappoint!!!

The baby bar was just the right amount of sweetness to satisfy my dessert craving and it was healthier than anything else I would have chosen. Low in calories, fat, And it has protien, yay!!!

I ended up not being hungry for dinner, so the spaghetti squash will be saved for tomorrow. I did have a try of the Yoplait brand of greek yogurt that they have recently come out with

I had the plain flavor, and it was a bit off from the brands I normally eat. I would be ok in a crunch, but I will stick with Chobani or Fage. I also had about 2 cups of strawberries once I got home, it was exactly what I wanted!

Off to relax before I have to get in bed in like 30 minutes. Night!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

TTT- Ten Things Tuesday

Happy Tuesday, get settled in for our standard Tuesday edition

1. Umm Running Injuries Suck! I am not enjoying not running :(
2. Riding the stationary bike is pretty lame unless its during a spin class
3. I am a major slacker when it comes to doing abs during my weights workouts- like major slacker, oops!
4. I have found a recipe to healthify friend rice, and will be making it this week- yay for being able to indulge my bad cravings in a good way:)
5. I am Loving strawberries being in season, I forgot how much I miss fresh berries.
6. Blueberries are by far my favorite, I could eat the entire carton in 1 sitting.
7. I am seriously considering hiring some poor starving grad student to do my calc test for me this weekend. Let me know if anyone is interested.
8. I have found out that Luna Bar makes LunaBar minis and I MUST find where they sell these in Jax
9. I had 11 servings of fruits and veggies today- wow! I am at least rocking that part of my new plan!
10. Last and Most Important... MY BABY SISTER GOT INTO AUBURN TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am so proud and SO excited for her! I know she is so excited and will love Every minute of it!

Well  there it is folks, ten things Tuesday. I am Not enjoying being chained to the bike, it really makes me wish we had a rowing machine or pool at our gym so that I could at least mix it up a little, but at least there is a spin class tomorrow, so I can not have to pedal all by my lonesome. I plan to head up to the gym before spinning and get in a little more time before the class starts. I am on a mission to find these mini Lunabars tomorrow before work too. Night!!!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Plan Updates

Happy Monday! My fun filled post will have to wait until tomorrow, because I have news today. The news is two-fold so I will go in the order of which all my revelations occured today.

There has been a bit of a struggle for me to ditch these last few stubborn pounds and get to my goal weight. I know that the last 3-5 lbs are always the hardest, so I knew I needed to really clean it up these next few weeks to get where I need to be.

I wrote up some new guidelines for me to follow the next couple of weeks in hope of hitting my goal and then some. They look a little something like this:
-60 minutes workouts 6x per week (up from 4.5-5 hours per week)
-NO junk food (chips, candy, booze, dessert, etc)
-8 servings daily of fruits and veggies (I usually hit this, but just to be sure)
-Eliminate unnecessary snacking
-Keep track of food for accountability (I am religious about this but tend to slack on the weekends)
-5 bottles of water a day minimum (thats 60 ounces and helps me from random snacking)

Doesn't seem that hard right. Well lets hope I can keep my eating pretty clean the next few weeks along with some high intensity workouts. I can't wait to see if this helps in the next 4 weeks.

So up next, I went into work today, checked out my workouts that were on my training plan for the week, and got to work planning out my speeds for tempos, intensity for intervals, and paces for my long run. I was SO pumped for an awesome week of running especially with such a good race yesterday. I could see that my speedwork has been helping tremendously and I was already calculating paces for my next race.

Well I start out on my planned 4 mile tempo and I notice some tightness in my left achilles tendon. I didn't think much of it then, I have had similar tension before, typically after a long run of 10+ miles, but I figured with a hard race yesterday it was just worn out. Well the tension got worse so I slowed down thinking it was my sub 9 minute pace, well slowing down did not help at all, and it got worse. My achilles went from tension to pain, like REALLY painful and I had to stop my run at 2.5 miles. I was disappointed that I did not get my 4 mile tempo in that I was so excited for, and I am really upset that I have somehow injured myself with what seems to be an overuse injury.

I have no idea how I have managed an overuse injury like this since my weekly mileage is no higher than it has been for the last 5 months, 20-25 miles per week. But I am bummed, but acting smart I guess.

Ice and some rolling took place as soon as I got home, everyone swears by using a golf ball or can of soup to roll out the pressure with an achilles, but it hurts to even really touch it, which according to everything I have read is not a good sign :(

Needless to say I will NOT be running this week, and I am really bummed :( You will see a lot of biking, spin classes, weights, and maybe so stair climbing, but probably not, just to be safe.

I am hoping to do my long run as planned on Saturday, but probably drop it from 10 miles down to 8, we will see how it feels, but I am hoping to run on Saturday. ANy advice on achilles pain is GREATLY appreciated as I have NO idea what is going on.

Off to drown my sorrows with some magazine reading, night...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

St Pattys Day 10k

Hello all, Hope you have had a nice weekend! Sunday has turned out to be pretty good here, but what you all care about is my St. Patty's Day Race Recap. I warn you, this is a long one, but at least there are photos.

I also want to give a huge shoutout to Penny who ran her 2nd half marathon today and Smoked her previous PR. Head over to her Blog to check it out!!!

This morning my alarm did not come any earlier than it would on a weekday, which is a big change for a race morning, normally we are up and out the door at some rediculous hour. The alarm went off at 6am which gave me plenty of time to eat and get ready.

I opted for the green shorts, the weather was supposed to be great today, but with a serious chance of rain, and I knew the shorts would still be light and easy even if they got drenched. I ditched my pullover long before the start, and with temps in the low 60s I didn't really need it anyways.

We left the house at 7am, snagged some breakfast for my photographer and then headed down to the ghetto for the race. Today's race took place at the Evergreen Cemetary which is the Springfield area of Jacksonville. While they are working very hard to improve the Springfield area, this is certainly not a place I have ever visited before, nor would I return for any other reason than a race where they lock you in.

I am still working on getting used to the whole daylight savings time thing, as it was still dark-ish when we arrived at 7:30am.

We did manage to make it up there pretty quickly, this left me plenty of time to get my timing chip on my shoe and hop in the line for the bathrooms. By then the sun was coming up, and it was looking to be a very pleasant race day. The idea of running through a cemetary didn't really bother me, and to be honest I really didn't give it much thought. The whole route was paved and almost all of it had a nice canopy of trees that kept us shaded and made for a nice quiet and scenic run.

And as always, there must be plenty of time left for unflattering candid pictures to be taken. John is not a huge fan of posed pictures, which is why I am always talking.

I left John to go line up, and then it finally hit me how mentally unprepared I was for this race. My last race, the half-marathon, I was beyond prepared. I had spent days making sure I was hydrated, properly fueled and rested, and spent even more time thinking about pacing strategies and times. I went into today's race after a night of staying up late, having a beer and not giving much thought as to how I wanted to pace myself.

I decided since my less than 59 minute goal was non-negotiable, and in my head I really wanted to break 57 minutes that I needed to do 9:30 in the first mile and then drop to about a 9:15 pace for the next 4 and then have a 9 minute pace of better for the last mile. It was early and I was groggy, but the math seemed to add up right that I could finish in 59 minutes.

The gun went off and I tried to move, but was bombarded by slow people, kids, and strollers. I knew that there were no mats at the start so I needed to get moving and keep my pace. I ended up on the grassy hill that lined the sidewalk for the first hundred yards until I cleared the cluster of kiddies in my way.

After we made it around the first curve I found myself a nice little spot and people going at the right pace.

We had not been even a half mile yet when I felt it start to rain. I knew that this was a possibility, but it really said it wasn't supposed to start raining until 9am, which is when I would be finishing. It wasn't heavy and actually felt pretty good, so no complaints on that front. The rain managed to stop at about mile 1 and then it got humid, which was gross, but thankfully there was no sun to speak of, so that was one less concern.

As I was turning at the loop right after mile 1 I saw all the 10k front runners heading towards me, they were already looping back, crazy fast! Everyone ran together until about mile 2.9 and then the 5k and 10k split. We veared left to go back and repeat the same loop we had just done, and as I turned a corner just past mile 3 I saw a friendly face...

I had not expected to see John until the end, so it was nice to have a little pick me up. I was still feeling good at this point, and just kept going.

It wasn't until after I left John and turned a corner up a small hill that I started to feel tired, but I had found myself an awesome pacer back at mile 1 and was determined to stay with him the entire way.

In the background here you can see the man I named Stroller Dad. Stroller dad and I never spoke 1 word throughout the race, but I think we were both aware of each others continued presence. When stroller dad first found be just after mile 1, I smiled at the cute girl he was pushing and how nicely she thanked the volunteers at the 2 mile water station. At that point,  I noticed stroller dad's shirt was from yesterday's MS Mud Run here in town which is a 10k run with military obstacles all throughout, oh yeah, and all through the mud!!! He was rocking this race not 24 hours after finishing that full body challenge, and oh yeah, he was pushing a 30 pound kid in a 30 pound stroller.

I told myself if this middle aged man could do all that, I could certainly keep up with him for the remainder of the race, and I had better beat him by at least 1 second. I hung with Stroller Dad through the end, and started to pull ahead in the last half mile or so.

I turned down the home stretch spotting John's bright blue shirt ahead, but was quickly distracted by this guy right in front of me who was already finished who was screaming something. It turns out one of his track teammates was coming up quick behind me and he was chearing him on. Well that 16 year old kid blew past me and kind of took me by surprise.

You can see speedy gonzalez passing me on the left, and at that moment I got pissed. Oh no way I just let some kid pass me after all of that.

So I kicked it into high gear and was hell bent on passing at least 1 person between there and the finish line. Check out stroller dad hanging right in the background!

I blew past this woman who I had seen in the bathroom line earlier that morning, but it felt great to pass a very experienced runner right before the finish.

I managed to pick off 1 more unsuspecting lady too before actually crossing the finish line. This made me smile :)

Pretty much as soon as my legs stopped I was spent, I had given it everything I had at the time and I was pleased to know I came in well under my 2 goals.

This was my whiney pouty face when I realized I had not managed to stop Garmie as I crossed the finish line, I can be such a baby!

Even with the 10 second lapse in judgment I still managed to come in under my goal. 56:49 by my watch and an official time of 56:39! YAY!!!!!!!!! PR, under goal, AND a 9:08 average pace- my best race pace EVER!!!!!!!! Pretty good for a race I felt mentally unprepared for :)

56:39, 6.2 miles, Avg HR 183
Mile 1- 9:10
Mile 2- 9:18
Mile 3- 9:13
Mile 4- 9:03
Mile 5- 9:16
Mile 6- 8:57
last .2- 1:40 (8:42)

All smiles at the end, I wish there had been a medal, but then again, this story isn't over!

About 2 minutes after I finished, I grabbed a cup of gatorade, a banana, and got John a cookie, then it started to rain- 9am, just as expected. As much as I wanted to wait around and see the official results, I was not wanting to hang in the rain, so we high-tailed it home.

Well, here is some very valuable advice I can offer to all new runners. If you think you did well, stay and see the official results put up....

Because you might just have WON MY AGE GROUP!!!!!! I had a thought in the back of my mind all week that I could place in my age group, maybe 2nd or 3rd just because I knew there wouldn't be that many people racing, but I NEVER imagined to win, I screamed in the car when the results finally published online!!

After unknowingly winning, I can home, showered, and made my self an omlet and sweet potato hashbrowns, a fantastic post race meal- I wish I had time to eat this every day!

After a few hours of a bit of everything, I headed out for my reward...Frozen Yogurt! Last night I found out that we already have a self-serve frozen yogurt establishment in Jacksonville, and I had to try it.

I went to Mochi at the Town Center and piled my cup high with original yogurt, rasberries, mango, strawberries, blueberries and kiwi. This was essentially my lunch and worth every bite!!! I am in love!!!

So that is what I have for you today folks, a PR, an age group win, and the best yogurt yet! I have some interesting posts coming your way this week, so don't stray too far!!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Hello all and happy GRE Day here! I have made it home and taken my test, and the word on the street is that I scored high enough to not have to take that lame test again, woo!!!

Just in case your Saturday was as lame as mine and you are doing nothing on this beautiful day, here is what my day looked like.

I woke up at a normal workday time to get showered, fed and out the door by 8am. The drive was easy and I was enjoying listening to all my bad music, but a desolate drive can still get a bit boring...

Since I never really took the time to show it off, here is my haircut that I have had now for a month, I am very pleased with it, and with my ability to take self-portraits while driving. Kids DON'T try that ever!

Also, on my drive down to Gainesville, I noticed some hard core military choppers and had to attempt a shot

They looked really cool as they flew overhead, but this was the best I got.

I got to G-vegas a few hours before my test to visit with my Grandmother. We had a good time catching up, and she seemed to have read my mind and had all the fixin's for the roastbeef sandwich I had been craving yesterday but never got. That right there was my good luck charm- SO GOOD!

I was quite annoyed on my way to my test that it was PERFECT beach weather today and I was stuck in a windowless testing hole to take the GRE. I  promised myself a reward as long as I passed with a minimum of an 1100- what I considered the minimum respectable score.

Well I took my test, and finished in exactly 2 1/2 hours, good job me! I did manage to surpass my 1100 point minimum, and between the short time elapsed + non-crappy score, I was pleased and headed for Gainesville's Mecca....

PITA PIT!!!!! For those who have been, we could spend hours speaking of it's amazing-ness, for those who have never been, GO!!!!

I have missed my beloved Pita Pit since I left Gainesville 28 months ago, and have only had it once since. The closest one to me is about 45 minutes away in a way off suburb of Jacksonville that I never go to, so this was my only shot for a while.

I ordered, my usual, the Chicken Crave which has Chicken breast, a slice of ham and cheese of your choice- I chose swiss:)

Topped with Veggies and a little honey mustard I enjoyed this baby on my drive home. It was SO good, and I hope its not another 2 years before I go back. I am home now, having my leftover pizza for dinner, and  keeping off my feet for now.

John and I have plans to head up to sneakers in a bit to meet some friends to play pool and watch some March Madness. My plan is to partake for about an hour and 1 beer before heading home to hydrate and rest for my race tomorrow.

I have noticed I am not taking my little 10k with the same excitement and neuroticism as I did for my half marathon, I know my body can easily crank out 6 miles, its just a matter of how fast.

For those who are inquiring, my goal for my 1st 10k is to finish in under an hour, and under 59 would really be ideal as it would give me an average 9:30pace, we will see how it goes!!!!