Archive | May, 2011

Feel the Burn (Day 4)

20 May

I’ve been to the gym three times in the past week thanks to Mother Nature’s glorious stunts. It was raining again when I left work this afternoon but I couldn’t bear the thought of the gym again.  So, I rearranged this weeks training plan. That’s why it’s called a “plan” and not a PLAN

Yoga instead of recovery run tonight. This yoga workout definitely works AS GOOD AS a recovery run.  This is the Exercise TV Yoga Works Body Slim DVD. Its  claim to fame:

“YogaWorks Body Slim is an active series of yoga postures that flow together to build long, lean muscles, improves you flexibility and make you drip with sweat. This powerful 2-in-1 practice will increase your energy while sculpting and strengthening your body. Increase your upper-body and lower-body strength, improve your focus and balance, and raise your energy level. “

This video is NO JOKE.  Yoga core to warm up, a hard core cardio yoga routine (as in dripping sweat and out of breath),  followed by a “slow burn” routine.  My muscles were shaking less than 5 minutes into this video (it’s 50 minutes long). Two more cardio yoga and two more slow burns after the first round.  And a cool down, phew did I need that. HOLY HELL.  I LOVED IT!

I’d like to say I’m almost through week one, but the hardest part is Sunday when I run 18 miles for the first time.

Meanwhile I’ve been busy working on Mini-Goal #2.  I’ve found if you break things down into mini-goals, rather than huge changes or resolutions, they work a lot better.  Take it a week, a day, or even a minute at a time. 

So what is mini-goal #2?  Get a firm grip on my eating habits.  I eat fairly healthy, but I have a GINORMOUS sweet tooth, combined with an undying love for kettle cooked salt & vinegar potato chips, and then of course there’s my spring/summertime weakness…Dunkin’ Donuts iced mocha coffee, which wouldn’t be so bad, if it weren’t for the cream they use.

I pretty much gave up ALL of that stuff before I took up running. It was the only way I could control my weight back then. When I started training in December for my first half, the pounds just melted off, it was amazing. Then came the trouble – I started to get the attitude, “Oh, I’m going to run tonight, I can eat that…(fill in the blanks)” Well, again, training for a marathon not only requires physical training, but proper nutrition!

Normally I wouldn’t even think of attempting to start working at two mini-goals in the same week, but workout/eating habits go hand in hand. For me, that’s just a recipe for disaster. I’m good for setting goals/resolutions, allowing myself a minor failure (like a missed workout or a poor meal choice) and just quitting altogether. I think I’ve figured myself out: 

Set one LARGE goal. Then work on the mini-goals necessary to accomplish that large goal. Especially when that large goal requires you to plunk down large amounts of cash (aka registering for a marathon).

This year’s goal is to run a marathon before I turn 30 – hence the reason I’m sitting on my couch at 10 at night writing this.

So far so good on BOTH mini-goals this week.  I’ve worked out 5 days in a row, and only had one slip in the food department (a snack size bag of salt & vinegar chips LOL). 

This week I made some really great meals for myself – the best part, foods that you’d normally consider junk food just made over! Pizza, mac and cheese, sausage (chicken sausage), etc…
Awesome, right? The pizza is LOADED with turkey sausage, broccoli, and black olives on a whole wheat Boboli crust. And that mac and cheese? Thanks Food Network for this FABULOUS recipe.  I used sharp cheddar in mine.  It was DELICIOUS. 

I think mini-goal #3 may be “Get better at taking blog photos”. I do have a really nice camera, and my lazy butt used my cell phone camera because it was convenient.  

Right now I’m grateful for a weekend without many plans.  Perhaps I’ll bake.  I do have a healthified chocolate chip cookie recipe (which is a big hit with friends and family). Or maybe cupcakes…any cupcake recipe suggestions?


Glad I didn’t…(Day 3)

19 May

…let Mother Nature win. Today is the 5th straight day in a row without any freakin sunshine. 


Ugh… that is enough to make anyone grumpy. To say I was in a foul mood today is an understatement, and that put a RIDICULOUS damper on my motivation. All I wanted to do was go home, stuff my face, and curl up on the couch with my snuggie. Yes, I have a snuggie, and YES I LOVE MY SNUGGIE. I fall asleep every time I put it on, it’s THAT cozy. 

I hemmed and hawed ALL AFTERNOON about going to the gym.  I don’t like the gym in the first place – a giant building full of sweaty people, yuck. Not to mention the treadmill is B.O.R.I.N.G. With a capital GIANT B. 

So, what did I do you ask? I thought to myself “Hey dumbass, you put yourself out there on this blog, and on Facebook, for everyone to see.  You announced your intentions to everyone who reads this (I have 8 followers…I know of at least 3 that actually read). You announced it to everyone you are friends with on Facebook (maybe about 6 people read that…Okay, okay, maybe 10, and that’s being generous LOL). YOU CAN’T SLACK!” Not to mention after running 26 miles I’m going to be in pain, all this working out is an attempt to minimalize that (is that even possible?), and get through my first marathon HAPPY (And without poor Coachy killing me – I don’t think he realizes how unwise it was to volunteer to run 26 miles with me…he may regret it later…I’m thinking I’ll owe him a few beers). 

So I WENT TO THE GYM.  I had to make it that big, that’s how awful I felt about it earlier. Now, I feel freakin awesome! 

Wednesday is supposed to be my mid-week endurance run – but 8 miles on the treadmill sounds dreadful. 

So tonight’s workout was FABULOUS.

  • 45 Minutes on the Elliptical – A mile forward, a mile backward, etc… cranked up on Level 10 and SPEEDY.
  • THEN…
  • A super easy 3.5 miles on the treadmill (My calf is still a tad cranky from wearing my soon to be retired Kinvara’s last night). 

I’m glad I did it. Between last night’s workout and tonight’s my legs need a break.  Tomorrow I plan on trying out a new yoga DVD. 

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to get in my snuggie and finish watching American Idol. GO HALEY GO! (Since my fave James was voted off – I have a new fave).

Day 2

18 May

SUCCESS! I may be screaming in agony as I crawl out of bed tomorrow, but right now I’m celebrating. I successfully completed Day 2 of what I have dubbed my “Super Ass-Kicking First Marathon Plan”. (I just came up with that…just now…pretty good huh?).

As I mentioned earlier today I had a gym date with mommy. After a couple of minutes of trying to find two treadmills together there was success! I only ran 3 miles in 35 minutes (more on that in a minute) but I mixed it up with some regular running, hills on level 10, and an 8:00 minute mile sprint to the finish, followed by the typical treadmill cooldown.

So, why did I only run 3 miles in 35 minutes? That damn calf of mine is still tweaking out.  But, I have figured it out.  It’s time to retire the Kinvara’s (insert extremely sad weepy face here). They have 328 miles on them, most of them fast miles (not sure if that really matters) because the Kinvara’s are my go to speed shoe (hehe I rhymed). I noticed when I was putting them on tonight that they seem sloppy around the ankle area, which forces me to tie them tighter, which I think is what’s doing the damage to my leg. 

Beautifully obnoxious

Here’s the worst part – Saucony came out with a Kinvara 2 and none of them are near obnoxious enough for my liking. But I am IN LOVE with the Kinvara.  My pink ones are on closeout, not in my size.  I’m struggling with this dilemma, and this other HUGE dilemma:

Nevermind. I just went onto Running Warehouse and saw the latest Kinvara 2 colors.  I have found my next pair. 

Not quite as obnoxious as the originals – but THE LACES ARE PINK! And that’s a really pretty shade of blue. Amazing how I can solve a dilemma all while blabbing on about my favorite shoes.  

The rest of our workout went off without a hitch, once mom figured out how to use the leg press machine.  That was pretty amusing.

  • 50 Leg presses @110 pounds
  • 25 calf raises with 30 added pounds (I did some yesterday too)
  • Not sure how many squats with 10 extra pounds but my quads were screaming ENOUGH ALREADY
  • Walking lunges from one end of the gym to the other with 15 added pounds
  • Lots of stretching.  And laughing at mom.  I’m glad I’m flexible.
I may be crying tomorrow, but I feel good now. 

Something to look forward to…

17 May

Yesterday I put it out there for all my friends and family to see:

Facebook status update: I will not let the fact that it’s supposed to rain for the next 9 days bring me down – or interfere with my training. 54 Days!” (Yesterday at 8:50 a.m.)


Minor panic attack over…I am really TRULY running a marathon in 26 days. O.M.G. (26 days? I think I was going to write I’m running 26 miles in 54 days…HAH!).

This week is the week I decided I need to give every workout my all.  I need to strengthen my core AND my legs. I need to balance that with upper body workouts and yoga. And most importantly – I NEED TO FINISH EACH AND EVERY SINGLE SCHEDULED LONG RUN. (It’s being drilled into my head, literally, on a daily basis…by a dear friend who I’ll call Coachy from now on )

I was going to run yesterday but I had errands to take care of right after work, that I wouldn’t have been able to do after leaving the gym (it was 48 and raining out).  I didn’t want to blow my first day of my hard-core training already! I know my #1 weakness, so I decided to work on it with this:

I DO NOT do this video often enough.  I firmly believe that it’s my subconscious telling me not to do it – it’s HARD. I can’t even get good enough at Level 1 to move onto Level 2.  

MINI-GOAL #1: Implement this video once a week.  She never actually says at any point during the workout how many times per week you’re suppose to do this to get that 6-pack in 6-weeks, but judging by how I feel right now, I’m thinking one is enough. 

I wanted to work out for an hour (I was only going to do the video…but Coachy called me a pamby, well WE CAN’T BE HAVING THAT) so I continued after the crazy lady beat my abs up with more ab work: 50 table top crunches, a 42-second plank (I guess that’s my record, I’ve never timed myself before), and enough other miscellaneous ab work plus a few minutes of stretching to make up the hour. I’m happy – Day 1 of kicking my own ass in the workout department complete!

Tonight I have to go to the gym (ick) but I’m actually looking forward to it because I have a workout partner: my mommy! Knowing I have someone to work out with actually makes me look forward to, rather than dread, going to the gym.  On tap for tonight: leg torture strengthening. I’m hoping I can get the treadmill to play nice for 1/2 hour – then onto exercises to help keep my legs happy (squats, lunges, etc…more stuff recommended by Coachy, to help keep my knees and calves strong and help prevent injury).  

I am really motivated to keep this workout routine up – partly because I know I’ll be HUGELY pleased with the results, and partly because I just shared it with anyone who reads this blog, so now I kinda have to stick with it.

Hope everyone has a great afternoon!

A Little Something Different

16 May

Everything happens for a reason, right? Right!  After a long day of celebrating the birthday’s of two of my most wonderful friends, I was EXHAUSTED this morning. Yesterday started with a little bit of this:

Kevin’s Birthday Brew

And a few of these:

And ended a little bit like this:

So you wanna be a rock superstar…
Do I even need to say that getting out of bed AND getting motivated to do anything this morning, was less than easy, or desirable.  Well, I totally screwed myself over in the run department.  Because of my inability to motivate this morning, when I finally got dressed and out the door it only took 1/3 of a mile before the skies opened up on me.  SERIOUSLY MOTHER NATURE? We need to have a talk… I mean, a serious talk…look at this forecast:

Guess that gym membership will actually pay itself off this month? Ugh…

I made my way home.  I was already dressed and fueled since I was supposed to run 16 today so I hopped in the car and headed to the gym.  For the past week or so I’ve been fighting a knot/strain/something painful in my right calf, which made me want to avoid the treadmill like the plague. I planned to ride the stationary bike for an hour and then the elliptical for an hour. I was enjoying the super sweaty workout I was getting on the bike so much I stayed on it for an hour and a half. I rode 17 miles! Not quite the same as running 17 miles, but I amazed at how refreshing it is to throw an entirely different workout into the mix once in a while. Other than the fact that I could not feel my butt, or my legs, when I finished those miles (sitting on a stationary bike for 90 minutes really takes a toll on the ol’ bum), it was a FABULOUS workout. 

I think that I’ll have to make more of a habit of shaking it up every now and then… Just not on Sundays – I only have 7 Sunday’s left until the BIG DAY!

My First 15 (And …CUPCAKES!)

14 May

 Yes you read that right – I finally made cupcakes! But first, my first 15 miler… 

I ran it this past Sunday.  I spent the week stressing, calming myself down, stressing, telling myself it’s less than 2 miles longer than my longest run (all of my halfs have been around 13.25 miles, according to my Garmin), stressing again, etc… 

I made sure to do it all right, starting with this beautiful breakfast – whole wheat toast, peanut butter, banana, honey.  It really makes fabulous running fuel! 

While that digested I prepared – I was NOT going to let this run get the best of me.  I got dressed in my usual running attire and packed my fuel belt. I only carried two water bottles – it wasn’t super hot out, and I planned my run around stopping at my parents house to refill the bottles about halfwayish. I packed up one of these:

Roctane – just sounds cool, doesn’t it?
And a whole buncha these:

Miscellaneous gummy things – bears and clif bloks…

I fueled with Clif Bloks at miles 3, 5, and 7 and got to my parents house at exactly 8.88 miles (I only remember it cuz… 888 easyyyyyy – oh and I have this ridiculous penchant for remembering stupid things like addresses, phone numbers, zip codes…yeah I’m a nerd).  So I refilled my water bottles and ate the above pictured Gu, and got my chops busted by my brother “Do people running marathons take breaks this long?”.  Well, some do, and I may, so yes…leave me be boy. Gu is not near as bad as I had expected it to be, it seems to have a texture of unmelted honey. I highly recommend the one I show above – it was actually quite tasty, and it has 2x caffeine, I’m sure that helped power me through the last 6.12 miles of my run. I didn’t try to fuel again until Mile 13 – my mouth/body/everything was totally disgusted by this.  Clif Bloks, for me anyway, don’t go down very well 13 miles into a run.  I have to eat them in tiny little bites anyway, otherwise they make my throat feel icky and that totally f’s up my breathing.  NOT cool. 

Okay, so I wasn’t expecting this to be a long post and here I sit blabbing on and on and on about how I fueled my first 15 miler? Boooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooring… I know, get on with it, where are the CUPCAKES?

Patience my friends… first I have to celebrate a little.  I RAN MY FIRST 15 MILER AT A 10:23 AVERAGE PACE! I didn’t even hit my wall (usually mile 10) – and this run includes 575 feet of elevation gain! Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Then I refueled with this delightfulness:

Bowties, sauce, CHEEEEEESE = Yummy post run re-carbing
Don’t judge – I burned 1600 calories on that run, and I know that’s a HUGE bowl of pasta.  It was good…I also had it with a beer, and a nap, cuz that’s how I roll.  Then went on to eat ravioli and chicken parm with my family for mother’s day dinner.  And a cupcake…and some wine…

Okay onto the interesting stuff…

Last Sunday was Mother’s Day so being the Cupcake Queen that I am – I decided to make cupcakes for my mommy (and a few extra for me…of course). I chose Neapolitan Cupcakes with Ice Cream Frosting.  I absolutely cannot take credit for this recipe – I have Courtney over @ Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life to thank for these.  I tweaked her recipe a tiny bit, not even enough to mention.  

I also overfilled my cupcakes before I baked them:   

Ooopsy…they still look pretty? And pink 😀
Oh well, they were still delicious.  Let me tell you – if you love the flavors of Neapolitan ice cream, you need these cupcakes.  And the ice cream frosting – OMG.  Mommy liked them too – I’m glad I saved a couple at home for myself.

Looks aren’t everything…
I wish they looked prettier… Unfortunately I picked up the wrong pastry bag at the store, the one I bought is for cake decorating, not cupcake frosting.  Ooopsy… 

Enough rambling from me today – tell me this:

What do you use to fuel your long runs? Clif Bloks are becoming repulsive, but they work. Sport beans? Gu? Clif Shots? Traditional sugary treats like peanut m&m’s and gummy bears? I’m interested to see what everyone else uses. 

You Know I’m Gonna Have to Face It…

7 May

I’m addicted to racing. I started 2011 with a goal – run at least one race a month this year. That was quickly modified when Mother Nature decided this winter would be a good winter to POUND the Northeast. It’s kinda hard to find races in Rhode Island when there’s two feet of snow on the ground. 

No joke – I didn’t run outside for two months. One race a month or 12 races in a year – same difference, right? Right! I also added a SERIOUS goal to this smaller goal: Run a full marathon before I turn 30. 

Fast forward – May 6, 2011: I’m more than halfway there, tomorrow will be 8 races so far this year.

75% of the way there and not even halfway through the year?! Yup, I’m crazed.

Me & Wicked Awesome Paysah Don
Excited! I just finished my first 1/2 marathon!
That post-race party made that weekend even more exciting – closing down the local pub with these crazies was a BLAST:

Love these guys! What a fun group!
  • Next up: Tour de Patrick.  A three 5k series in RI and MA over three weekends in March.  Best part? 4 Long-sleeve tech tees if you registered for all three races. Sign me up! Oh, plus I PR’ed, twice in the race series (25:32 in the Celtic 5k in Worcester, MA – WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE). I must admit, I was SAD when this race series was over.  A 5k a weekend was such a blast! Plus, who doesn’t love Irish themed knee socks? 

Me & Mommy – rockin the Irish knee socks, oh yeahhhhhhh
And how can you not love it when the last race in the series is in Providence so you can refuel at one of my favorite places, Trinity Brewhouse.  A corned beef Reuben (appropriate, right) and a couple pints of IPA. Delicious!
Trinity IPA – It doesn’t get much better than this

And of course, a wicked awesome medal.  I’ve never seen a finisher’s medal for a 5k before, that was kinda fun!

(Get the picture that I liked Tour de Patrick? It really was a blast!!!!)

  • A couple weeks after Tour de Patrick I was in for my second half marathon – Charlottesville Half Marathon.  That was, um, fun? It was hard, hilly, and I didn’t have a proper dinner the night before and maybe a couple too many beers? I did not PR in this race, but I finished exactly 6 minutes after my first – to the second! Wild, right? There were girls with funny signs, someone dressed like a monkey, and lots of beautiful scenery. There were tons of spectators too, it’s kinda cool running through a college town! 
The man in the monkey suit may have thought I was a tad crazy…?

Me & Wicked Awesome Paysah Jim!
Love the signs!

  • Then it was my friend Jen’s first race – EVER! So, I ran with her, it was so much fun! RI State Police 5k Foot Pursuit.  She finished still smiling, and I decided that an “ice bath” in the ocean sounded fun. 
Still smiling after her first race ever! YAY!

  • So, where am I? Ohhhh 1 year raciversary.  You can read all about that here.
  • What’s on the agenda for the future of 2011 you might ask (or you might be sick of me reliving all my race fun already and you’ve already closed this window and moved onto something more exciting – like your friends giving you the run down of EVERYTHING they did today on Facebook.)

That’s what I thought… 

Up next:

Okay so if my math is correct that’s 14 races in 2011. And I’m sure there’ll be more – I can’t possibly just take October-December off? HAH! No way man! 

The real question is: Am I crazy? Have I gone off the deep end? Or am I just enjoying the thrill of competition? The endorphin rush you get at the end of a successful race? I don’t know what it is, but I’m enjoying every second of it!

In the midst of all this running madness I’m also participating in Seek the Peak – a fundraising drive for the Mount Washington Observatory.  I’m going to climb  to the top of Mt. Washington! 

I hope my legs don’t leave me in 2011…
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