Archive | June, 2011

Double Workout Wednesday – A SUCCESS! (Day 44)

30 Jun

I started this morning with a 6 a.m. “hot” yoga session – in my very own living room! I don’t know if it was the humidity or the fact that my yoga practice has been mega slacking lately.  Either way, I was a sweaty mess when I was done. But for the first time in weeks I was able to use stairs like a normal person.  Does anyone else find that mass accumulation of running miles equals hobbling on stairs like an old person with a replacement hip?

I really do love yoga – but not meditation ohm-ing yoga, real hard core muscle testing yoga.  It makes me feel so strong and powerful when I’m in a side plank, holding my body up by nothing but my arm, core strength, and the edge of my foot. That’s why all of the yoga videos I own are named things like “Yoga Sculpt”, “Body Slim”, and “Yoga Meltdown”.  And don’t forget P90X Yoga – but that’s only for when you’re really feeling like kicking your own ass.  I feel like Gumby when I finish that – it’s fantastic.

Then I got to work and realized – I HAVE THREE DAYS LEFT to get a TON of work done since I have next week off.  And all that beautiful yoga feeling left me..

Seeing that it was a beautiful day, I took off at lunch to cheer myself up.

Strawberry Lemonade Coolatta (Running fuel?)
Windows down – music UP.
Results – Happy me! 

Then I had to go back to work… damn.

Workout #2 consisted of “Doggy Intervals.”  I really want to start taking Lexi on my recovery runs, to get her more exercise, and to spend more time with her. She was an unhappy camper today from what my neighbors tell me, so I took that as a sign that she needed to get out for a while.

She’s a pretty damn good runner – must be the 4 leg thing.  She made it 2.63 of the 3.01 miles – I could tell she was getting tired, so back home for her, and I went out to finish up 3 miles.  I am just going to eek over the 100 mile mark for this month.  I’ll take it! Fourth 100+ mile month in a row.  I was afraid I wouldn’t make it this month due to less than 10 miles in the first 11 days.  Luckily a couple 20 milers helped me make that up quick quick.

Running is hard work!

In other news – by the time I leave for work tomorrow I’ll officially be under 10 days til the Mad Marathon starting gun.  I’m starting to get scared! And I changed up my whole outfit that I chose too… haha, such a girl… Decided my running skirt is a much better idea, 26 miles of thigh chafe sounds painful.

Is it normal to have pre-race jitters 10 days before the race? Somebody calm me down!

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Slow Ride…Take It Easy (Day 43…yes, I skipped Day 42)

29 Jun

Fasten your seatbelts boys and girls – it’s gonna be a random one!

Today’s Run

What happens when you properly execute 20 hilly miles, then try to run again less than 48-hours later? Let me put it to you this way… it brings a whole new meaning to recovery run.
I haven’t run this slow since…well, since I was doing Couch to 5k.
I literally asked myself “Why am I even bothering? I might as well be walking.” But I slogged along nonetheless.  I hope this recovery did it’s trick.  Tomorrow is my last chance for a hard, fast run – because TOMORROW marks the beginning of the 10 DAY COUNTDOWN TO MARATHON SUNDAY!

I am beginning to freak out…a little…even with the reassurance of everyone that “You’ve got this”, “Two great 20s under your belt”… that’s all well and good, but doesn’t the race start AFTER mile 20? Yeah, I’m still ever so grateful that miles 16-26 are all downhill.  I love running downhill – sometimes when I run downhill really fast, I like to yell “weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee” for the fun of it. People stare. It’s ridiculously amusing to me. However, I do know I won’t be running these miles wicked fast – but I may just yell “weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee” anyway, it’ll definitely make it more fun if I’m in agony.  Smile, act crazy, and try to pretend you’re not in pain and half dead, right? I better stock up on more Gu Roctane to help with my energy.

A Decision Has Been Made

I am not going to turn this into a food blog.  I will continue to talk about anything and everything I bake – because it’s a passion of mine, right next to running.  I’ll also continue to review new foods that I try, and share interesting concoctions and inventions, or just pretty food when I make it, because I am always proud of myself when I make pretty food.  But you won’t see daily logs of what I consumed – mostly because I am very boring in the food department.  I eat cereal and bagels for breakfast, aside from the occasional eggs I may cook on the weekends.  Lunch is usually either a salad, or leftovers, or if I’m really lazy something from some sandwich shop or something.  I owe a lot of my creativity lately to food blogs I read regularly. That being said, I do have some food to share with you today. 
Yesterday I was in a fog when I packed my lunch – still exhausted from 20 on Sunday I suppose (and a couple extra beers at dinner…).  I had packed up a bunch of veggies to dip in sour cream, one of my fave hot summer day treats.  I forgot the sour cream…I am truly a space cadet. Being good at thinking on my feet (I cracked myself up with this one – don’t ask why – perhaps because I’m good at improvising runs when they don’t go as planned. You know, no pun intended and all? Am I the only one laughing?) I immediately chopped my veggies up, threw in the last of a bag of almond/cranberry salad topper stuff I had, and drowned it in salad dressing (Confession: I am always heavy handed in the salad dressing department – I just can’t eat dry salad).  It looked pretty, and was tasty. 
I also tried a new “candy bar” today.  It says it’s a candy bar on the wrapper, but I’m going with cookie bar. 
Please look at the food and pay no mind to the fact that I desperately need a manicure.
De. lish. Seriously.  I didn’t even chew – I just inhaled. It’s that good.  And relatively healthy to boot.  The stats: 
The even better part? I ate this mid-afternoon, probably 3-ish…it held me to dinner! 
The second even better part? They also come in PEANUT BUTTER FLAVOR! OMG! If you like chocolatey, wafery, cookie like snacks – these are for you! 
Tomorrow – Something New

I am going to attempt two workouts tomorrow.  I say attempt because every single time I say I’m going to get out of bed early and do core work, or yoga, or something, then run in the afternoon, I don’t do it.  My morning run is being foiled by rain showers (and 93% humidity – gack!), so I plan to run tomorrow evening instead.  I was going to wuss out and go to the gym – but the forecast has since changed.  77 and 64% humidity – a walk in the park for my southern friends.  I’ll do it, but I’m still going somewhere with lots of trees! 
The plan:
  • Exercise TV Yoga Sculpt @ 5:45 a.m. – this workout is fantastic.  She really gets into your legs.  I need that.  And it’s a quality workout for only 1/2 hour.  I get an extra 1/2 hour of sleep.  Win, win? Yes, I think so.
  • 6 p.m. – Hit one of the bike paths on the way home for a 3-mile tempo run, 5 miles total including warm up/cool down mile.
Wish me luck!
Randomosity

How do you entertain a 5-month old puppy for hours? $2.99 rawhide braid from Walgreens.  She won’t stop with it – perfect for my peace (and hopefully my furniture…). 

Thanks Mom! Perfect for my puppy teeth!
That’s all folks – hope you enjoyed super random Tuesday.
Question for today:  Do you ever workout twice in one day?  How do you motivate yourself to do both? For me, I’m more motivated to get my run in, and sleep tomorrow morning, but I know I need both. 

The "Better" 20-Miler (Day 41)

28 Jun
Yes, that’s right.  I did it.  I didn’t just do it, I slayed it. By 11 minutes to be exact.

I also beat my 18 mile pace by 1 second per mile.  AND I only walked 0.36 of a mile.  Out of 20.  Incredible, right? Last time I did the 20 I walked so much – it actually took a massive toll on my body, apparently I am not made to walk/run because whenever I slow to walk, my body automatically starts to stiffen up.

I analyzed, and reanalyzed, and analyzed some more, the details of my last 20.  I compared it to previous, shorter runs.  I ran 15 miles of almost the exact same route at a 10:23 pace.  So why, oh why, am I walking these hills? I run them all the time! I decided then and there that I was only going to walk if absolutely necessary, and that is what I did.

I started my morning in my typical pre-long run fashion – honey wheat bagel topped with pb/honey/naner.  This time I tried to eat a whole bagel, but it was just toooooooooooo early.  I started eating at 6:15 a.m. – I don’t do well when I try to eat soon after I wake, and I had only been up since six.  I still managed 3/4 of the bagel.

I got dressed in my marathon test outfit, filled my fuel belt bottles, and was ready to go.

The gory details (this format is loosely based on another blog I read, you can check it out here, I loved the idea so I borrowed it):

  • 90 – Percent humidity when I left my house. Eww.
  • 1 – Gu Roctane Blueberry Pomegranate gel pre-run.
  • 4 – Fuel Belt bottles for the first 10 miles – 2 plain water, 2 powerade zero (grape if you’re wondering).
  • 2 – Gu Chomps at Mile 5 and Mile 7 ( Blueberry Pomegranate again). 
  • 10 – Miles run without incident.  
  • 561 – Feet of elevation gain in the first ten miles.
  • 4 – More Fuel Belt bottles filled up to finish the second half.
  • 1 – Gu Tri-Berry gel to start the second 10 miles.
  • 12.9 – Miles run until a wicked bad cramp started in my right side. By now the sun had burned through the clouds, so I found some shade, took some nice deep breaths, and was back on my way.
  • 14 – Miles run until I desperately needed shade again.  By now it’s 73 degrees and 73% humidity (matching numbers, weird) – but the sun makes it feel like it’s 90. 
  • 1 – Package of watermelon Sport Beans consumed while sitting in the shade at Mile 14.  They’re really yummy and juicy – I definitely like the sport beans ALOT.
  • 16.35 – Miles run before I wanted to throw in the towel.  I sat again, this time on the steps of an abandoned business.  We can’t be picky now, shade is shade. I could feel myself overheating and I was worried because I only had 8 oz of fluid left.
  • 17 – Miles into the run when the clouds took over again.  I prayed and prayed for rain – it didn’t happen.  But I’ll thank Mother Nature for at least allowing the clouds to take over for a little while, it helped me finish.
  • 19.1 – Miles run before my body just didn’t want to run anymore.  I was overheating bad still, and it was causing my whole body to shut down.
  • 19.3 – Mileage point where I yelled at myself for giving in to walking when I WAS ALMOST THERE!
  • 19.7 – I started to walk again.  I had to.  I was almost home and it’s about a 75′ climb to get home.  I couldn’t run no matter how hard I tried.
  • 19.95 – I start running again – YOU CAN’T WALK ACROSS THE FINISH LINE!
  • 33 – Seconds PER MILE this run was faster than the previous 20 miler.  Oh yeah, Mad Marathon here I COME!
  • 7 – pounds of water weight lost.  This isn’t a good weight loss technique, why?
I’m glad I did this again.  I’m glad I pushed myself.  My confidence for marathon completion has been boosted by a TON.  
My marathon outfit checks out perfectly – I had a slight sports bra mishap that resulted in some WICKED chafe.  I’m chalking that up to weight loss, and a bra that is most likely too big now.  Whoops, won’t be wearing that one on Marathon Sunday. 
I am officially in taper mode.  No super hard runs, no super long runs, until Marathon Sunday arrives. Less than two weeks now – AND I AM READY!

Marathon Practice and Fast Easy Runs (Day 40)

26 Jun
I woke up this morning with the intention of running a few easy miles to keep my legs limber for tomorrow’s final super long run before Marathon Sunday. Boy was I surprised when this is what I ended up with:

 My legs just moved today, no pain, no tweaks, nothing.  My lungs were a little peeved – but I told them to shut up and deal with it, they need to get better.

No food today – not that I didn’t eat, that’d be weird, I just didn’t photograph it – way too many other things going on.  I will say I was mostly well behaved today – I did have some ice cream (yeah, well, it’s summer – and it’s ice cream) and I did have a piece of banana bread that was probably pretty unhealthy.  The rest was good though, and no worries, still plenty of carbs for tomorrow.

Tomorrow is Marathon Simulation #2 – Except this time it’s REALLY the marathon simulation. I’m testing out my marathon outfit, chosen fuel, everything.  I am even taking the hillier half of the route first, and the flatter half second – just like Marathon Sunday.  (Although in all reality Marathon Sunday is 16 miles of UP and 10 down – but this is the best I could do).

Marathon Outfit Test (I’ve worn all of these items before, but the only one I’ve worn on a 20-miler is the shirt and socks).  I wanted to wear my running skirt, but it’s black, and it’s a race in July.  Not a good idea.

Pretty and summery!
Asics Women’s Core Singlet in Orange Peel – I own two of these singlets.  There is no built in bra (I don’t like those), it’s just a light weight, breathable, loose fitting top.  I don’t care to run in anything but these two singlets when it’s hot out.
Asics Women’s 3″ Split Shorts (Yes, the singlet and the shorts do make up a suggested outfit).  You can’t tell from the pic, but the split on these shorts is 3″ (hence the name…duh).  It makes them SUPER awesome for running in. 
You can kinda see the split in the shorts in this pic of me where I look frighteningly jacked.   (And yes, pink is a major part of my life.  I own more pink than should be allowed in any one person’s wardrobe – both running clothes and regular clothes).  During this race an old man running by me said, “Pink compression socks, sweeeeeeeeeeeeet.” Yah, I got passed by an old man, but in my defense I was pacing a friend who runs slower than me.
Lucky socks.  These were a gift from Coachy.  I wear them as often as possible (you can probably tell).  Thorlo experia really are great running socks, I need more.  My birthday is soon, wink wink, nudge nudge. New running socks make great 30 y/o birthday presents. hehehe.
New Kinvara 2’s – I’ve worn them for speed, now I’m going long…write up on them later this week.  I almost want to say I like the color schemed on these better than my bright pink Kinvara’s… ALMOST.
All the rest of my gear – minus my fuel belt and Garmin.  Two gels (one for the start, one at 10 miles, Gu chomps and sport beans).  That’s approximately 4 hours worth of fuel, on top of breakfast.  I should be good. 

I’m ready! The only thing I’m not ready for is my 5 a.m. wake up call – but if I’m going to be running for 4 hours, I’d rather it be while it’s 61 degrees and the temp is rising, rather than 71 and the temp rising.

I just noticed my Garmin is missing from that picture – I don’t leave home to run without it!

Is anyone else this anal retentive about getting their stuff together the night before a big long run?

Stress Eating, Almost Burnt Pizza and More Randomness (Day 39)

25 Jun

Friday is my rest day. That brings TGIF to a WHOLE different level.

Where do I even begin…today was crazy, stressful, and random, all rolled into one.

It started out decent – had a good conversation with Coachy about my second 20-miler scheduled for Sunday.  After talking about it out loud, it made me realize that doing the hillier half first made more sense (I did it the complete opposite last time – and it was painful). We also talked about my future training – Marathon #2 is only 68 days after Marathon #1. I need to recover (obviously) but I also want to hard core train for Marathon #2 (Air Force Marathon in Dayton, OH) – turns out he has so much confidence in me he thinks I should start researching 4-hour marathon plans (say WHAT?). Anyone have any they’d like to recommend? I’m feeling pretty bad ass, so I’m up for the challenge.  Should make for some interesting blog posts in the near future.

It was ALL downhill from there. Friday’s are pretty crazy at work anyway, but today totally takes the cake.  I work for a construction company, and usually on Friday all of the Project Managers and everyone else are in the office, driving me crazy.  I was SO STRESSED today – I took it out on my diet…I use that term loosely, as in I’m not on a diet but more my diet, as in what I eat every day.

It all started this morning when I dropped half of one of my precious honey wheat bagels on the work kitchen floor. Ewww…glad I had another half. It made for quite the Facebook discussion too – I don’t even eat off of my own floor, nevermind my work floor.  That’s what I have a dog for.

I didn’t pack a lunch today, and by the time lunch actually rolled around I was stressed to the MAX.

First I went to Subway:

Turkey, bacon, avocado sub, loaded with veggies to make me feel a little less guilty.
Veggies? Carbs? Both?
I ATE PACMAN! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
Then I went to Dunkin’ Donuts for a Mocha Iced Coffee and some unpictured (and almost unchewed) munchkins.  Yeah, total stress eating.
I didn’t eat again until dinner… which I made sure was healthy. I don’t feel guilty for what I ate today – it could’ve been much worse (Big Mac anyone?). Plus I rationalized it by telling myself I’m running 20 miles on Sunday – I’ll burn plenty of calories to make up for it!
For dinner I made pizza, compliments of Liz over at Blog is the New Black.  You can get the recipe for her Spinoccoli Pizza here.
The only difference in my version is I used feta instead of Parmesan cheese.  And I left it in the oven while I was on the phone with my mom and the cheese almost burned…
Almost burnt pizza cheese is still tasty.
It was still good, and I paired it with a simple, but delicious spinach salad.
And of course, since it’s Friday:
Chocolate malty/porter-ish type homebrew from a friend.  DELICIOUS!
I think I’ll spend the rest of the night catching up on some shows taking up space in my Tivo, like Pretty Little Liars.  I call it my guilty pleasure show, it’s SO for teenagers, and yeah I’m almost 30, but who cares, I still like it.
Do you stress eat? How do you deal with eating when you’re stressed?

Do you have a guilty pleasure show? It’s kinda fun, I’ll admit.

Start of the Two Week Countdown (Day 38)

24 Jun

Two weeks from now I’ll be packing and planning for the big day (okay, I’ll probably be 90% packed, and I’ll be unpacking, and reorganizing, and rearranging, and second guessing, and making sure I have everything…).  I actually should start a list – I’ve traveled out of state to run races twice now, but they were half marathons.  A full marathon is FULLY a BIG FREAKIN DEAL. Plus, I’m not flying this time, so I’m packing plenty of food/snacks/beverages, to last me and Coachy the whole weekend.  We must stay hydrated between Friday night and Sunday morning – and carbed up, of course.

For today’s workout I decided to kinda take it easy on my legs.  This week is my first full week of training in 3 weeks, and last night was my first quality speed workout in much, much longer (think, April).  I had planned 40 miles for this week – Coachy was concerned with the toll this would take on my legs since I haven’t been full time training.  So, I opted for the stationery bike tonight instead.  I rode 16.7 miles in an hour, with the hills setting on Level 10.  WHAT A WORKOUT! It definitely tested my quads and hamstrings tonight, and gave my calves a break. Plus, I read 8 chapters in the book I’m currently reading:

I am really enjoying it so far.  If you are a runner and you haven’t read “Once a Runner” (“Again to Carthage” is the sequel) – I highly recommend it, you will not be disappointed.

So, how did I make out in the food department today?  Well, well, well… last night’s workout RAMPED my metabolism.  I was hungry ALL DAY LONG. I did manage to contain myself and not eat everything in sight (times like this having the emergency snack drawer is notsuchagoodidea). I drank a TON of water today – it does actually kinda sorta help when you feel like you could eat your arm, your stapler, maybe even your computer.

I started the day with a Carnation Instant breakfast/banana blend:

I consumed a peach chobani within minutes of walking in the door to my office:
I could eat Chobani every day – oh wait, I do.
That lasted til 10. I managed to hold off until 10:30 but my belly was screaming, and the water wasn’t cutting it.  Enter:
Am I torturing myself by looking at this beautiful tropical scene every day while I’m at work?

Mid-morning snack on the mouse pad that reminds me every day of where I’d rather be.  This is a great granola bar because it tastes so indulgent, but it’s not!

Hungry again by 11:30 – WTF?! SERIOUSLY? I love my speed intervals, but sheesh, this is ridiculous! I calmed the belly monster with water until noon. But then I just HAD to eat my lunch.

Ham & cheese wrap, baby carrots w/sour cream to dip them in
I’m excited – my food pictures are finally looking pretty! What’s in there? Ham, cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and MUSTARD!

I threw in a handful of those Quattro Formaggio Triscuits too.

And then…

FINALLY FULL.

Then the hunger started again…around 3ish though, so that’s not bad.  I finished off the cherries (finally – I ate an entire bag of cherries by myself, I am honestly sick of them for a while.).
Then I realized – I’M GOING TO THE GYM! I can’t workout off of a bunch of cherries.  Into the emergency snack drawer I went, and what did I come out with? 
90 Calories of pure deliciousness

The best 90-100 calorie pack snack I HAVE EVER HAD.  The carb count told me it was good enough to fuel me through a workout, and it worked.  But I was starving when I got home.

And why do I really loathe going to the gym at night more than anything? Because then I have to cook myself dinner.  Ugh.  I decided on breakfast for dinner – quick, easy, and full of the essential nutrients I need to refuel after a hard workout.

Yummy egg scramble complete with peppers, broccoli, cheese, and salsa

And it’s pretty to boot.

I am thoroughly exhausted and completely looking forward to my rest day tomorrow.  Not only does it mean rest from exercise, but I get to sleep in.

And tonight I do have a question for you…

Marathon Weekend is around the corner – I need a road trip playlist.  It’s a 250 mile drive. What are your favorite songs to drive to? And, what are your favorite road trip snacks? 

So I’ve Been Thinking

23 Jun

The past few days I’ve been sharing every bit of food that has crossed my lips with you guys.  I’m doing it now to keep myself honest up to Marathon Sunday.

But I don’t think I’m going to make it a regular occurrence.  Unless that’s what people want to see/read about? In addition to my regular antics workouts, and of course all of my baking.

There are plenty of other blogs out there where people share every meal and snack of every day – along with other stuff.  I truly enjoy reading them – three that I really enjoy and read every day that are along those lines are:

These ladies share, day in and day out, what they do and what they eat, and so many other aspects of their lives.  I find it fascinating and inspiring; however, that was not my intention when I started this blog.
My question is for you my friends – what would you like to see (read) from me in the future? More food? More cupcakes? Or just sharing whatever I find amusing and crazy in my life – after all craziness is a daily occurrence in my world.
The workouts and the cupcakes will always be here – just thinking of adding to make things more interesting and possible increase my exposure to other readers.
Any input would be awesome! Thanks guys! 
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