Archive | August, 2011

Monday Love Part 3 (Day 19)

30 Aug

Happy Monday bloggy friends! It was a beautiful day here in Lil’ Rhody – aside from all of the debris scattered everywhere, you might not have even known we had a stormy storm yesterday. So, here we are for our third installment (already! where does the time go?) of what I love on a Monday! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do, and in case you missed the first two installments, here’s where you can find them:

Love #1

Speaking of ol’ Irene – the first thing I love today is the fact that she did not cause any significant damage or injuries to me, my family, or any of my friends.  I am very fortunate in that my house and belongings were spared, and that my electricity has been restored since last night, and internet since this morning.
My heart goes out to every. single. person. that is suffering through this disaster right now.  I cannot imagine the pain and suffering others are feeling, and for that I feel infinitely grateful. My thoughts are with all of you out there who are dealing with disastrous aftermath from Irene. 
Love #2

Fall is in the air! I love fall, it’s my favorite season.  The crisp cool mornings, the warm days, the cool clear nights perfect for sleeping. Pumpkins, pumpkins, and more … pumpkins.
With fall comes pumpkin, one of my favorite things on the planet. Yesterday morning, while preparing to lose power, I was digging around in a closet looking for candles.  Since it’s almost fall I pulled out all of my yummy fall candles (pumpkin pie, apple spice…).  Last night at my parent’s house, my mother also had fall candles burning.  I’m officially ready for fall, and well, pumpkins. I’m dreaming of pumpkin spice coffee, pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin overnight oats, pumpkin beer…oh the list goes on and on…
Love #3

A good stretch. 
I ended up taking yesterday as my rest day because I literally lost power just as I was about to throw a yoga DVD on.  Today I knew that even though I had a great long run on Saturday, I needed to help my legs more.  I cannot say enough about the P90X X-Stretch video, especially for runners.  A lot of focus in this video is put on the quads, glutes, hamstrings, and there’s a great section towards the end for feet/shins/calves.  It’s the best hour I ever spend working out. 
Love #4

Laughing at myself.  Last week I wasn’t giving up summer, now I’m ready for fall.  I’m such a crackpot sometimes. I always find it amusing to see how often I change my mind – on a lot of subjects, mainly non-serious subjects, like the changing of the seasons.
After all, if you can’t laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at? Never take life too seriously!
Love #5

Well, I’m ending this week’s edition of Monday Love on 5 instead of 6.  I’m feeling rather tired, and 5 a.m. comes early.  With only 19 days to go until Marathon #2, I know I need to be diligent about getting all of the rest I can!
My latest I can sit still while listening song:
Gotta love the Black Eyed Peas!
So my friends, what are you loving on this Monday?



I Really Needed that Run (Day 21)

27 Aug

With all of my long run bad luck lately, I really needed a good, solid long run. This morning was also my second to last opportunity to run long, with Marathon #2 only three weeks away.

I set out with something to prove.  The goal: finish. (Obviously) The secondary goal: finish with an 18 mile PR, preferably with a sub 11mm overall pace.

Mission. Accomplished.
Here’s how it went down:
I started the morning with a cup of coffee and my typical pre-long run fuel.  While the food was digesting I threw together a new playlist for the first half (I’m tired of all the ones I have – I need to really find some time to completely overhaul the music in my iPod). Then I got dressed, filled my fuel belt bottles, grabbed a package of Gu Chomps and hit the road by 6:40 a.m. I wore my Asics instead of my Kinvaras today, because as I learned last week, the Kinvara 2’s just don’t make a good long run shoe. What a difference! My feet hurt when I finished, of course, but not bad enough to prevent finishing.
I ran up through my neighborhood, through town, and over to the bike path.  I noticed that the world was pretty busy for 7 in the morning on a Saturday, looked like everyone was trying to beat the gas station and grocery store rush ahead of Hurricane Irene. 
I turned around at 4.5 miles and headed back toward home. I was already sweating buckets – it was 70 with 90% humidity when I started.  
As I was headed for the end of Mile 9 I was feeling really good still so I decided to push the pace a little.  I ended quite a few of my miles with striders (Coachy says these are good for the legs, so they don’t seize up from moving in the exact same motion for hours), but this time I wanted a strong mile finish.
I got what I wanted! 
I got back home feeling very strong still at 9.65 miles.  I quickly refilled my fuel belt and restocked my fuel, and headed out for the remaining miles.
I was stopped dead in my tracks at 10 miles by a wicked side stitch.  I stopped, took a few deep breaths, stretched out a bit, and was good to go.
Then I hit 11.5 or so miles and my calves felt tight and my feet were starting to ache.  So I stopped again, stretched my calves/feet and I was off again.
I felt really great and strong for the next few miles, and I had some excellent splits to prove it:
And then it hit me: 
THE WALL.

Or I hit it, either way it wasn’t pretty. 15 miles and my legs feel like someone took a baseball bat and smashed them right out from under me. I had to walk/run the last 3 miles in order to finish.  I walked the hills and ran the flats – my legs were screaming to much to force them to run uphill. 
Aside from the last 3 miles it was a great run! I finished in 3:16:04, with an average pace of 10:54mm.  That’s a new PR of 6:09.  13 seconds per mile average faster than my first 18-miler.
This run brought back the confidence I was losing due to all my long run issues.  It also showed me that a 4:30 marathon can be mine.  This run was only done 36 seconds per mile slower than the average pace necessary to run a 4:30.  I’m going to sign up for the 4:30 pace team as soon as I hit the expo in Dayton in a couple of weeks! I’m so excited! 
After that I showered up and made myself a beautiful breakfast:
OJ, Spinach/Tomato/Feta Omelette, Whole Wheat Toast
Farm fresh tomatoes in a beautiful omelette (If I do say so myself!)

 I have no idea when I learned how to make un-ugly omelettes? I’ve never made one that beautiful before!

A nap was had, the weather was checked, and now I’m finishing up a protein shake, going to curl up and enjoy some Dexter on the couch with Lexi and a beer!
Hope everyone’s having a great Saturday!
What was your workout today? Anything make you extremely confident and happy like mine? 

Have you ever suddenly learned how to make a food that used to be so hard for you, like my omeltetee?


Confessions and a Hurricane (Day 22)

27 Aug

Yesterday turned out to be nothing like I had planned.  I really hate it when that happens! I wrote yesterday how I had woke up dreaming of the elliptical.  So, naturally I made plans to go to the gym directly from work (it’s on the way home) and make that dream come true.

That didn’t happen.  I got to work and realized I had forgotten my sweat towel (not that big of a deal) and my headphones (huge deal). Okay fine, I’ll go home, get my sweat towel and headphones and go to another location, there’s another gym 8 miles from my house.

Then I got home and as I was in my backyard cleaning up after Lexi (such a glamorous life I lead), I noticed a big pile of junk on the side of my shed.  With the threat of Irene making landfall in Southern New England this weekend, and because Friday’s are garbage day, I took the time to drag all of the junk up to the curb.  Oh boy that was fun.

Then I realized it was almost 7 p.m. and I hadn’t had dinner yet.  Well hell, too late for the gym.  I called it off, ate dinner, and cleaned my kitchen and bathroom instead (more glamour).

So I missed yesterday’s workout, and I blame Irene.

This morning I woke up at 5 a.m. for my run and the first thing that crossed my mind;

I know we had thunderstorms last night, cuz they woke me up.  I hope it’s still raining.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?! Apparently I’m not used to my 5 a.m. wake up call yet – I’m yawning as I write this! (It could be the beer, food, and wine…).
It wasn’t raining, so I ran, 4 not terribly glorious miles. I took it slow on purpose (10:30 avg pace) because I have to run long tomorrow (yup, also Irene’s fault – I’m beginning to really not like that beatch). When I got home I realized just how humid it was when it felt like it was raining inside my bra (sexy, right? I know…). It was like running in a sauna.  I fear tomorrow will be much of the same.  Perhaps I’ll sweat out all of this beer (and wine). 
I did take the extra 20 minutes this morning that I wasn’t running (since, ya know, I’m supposed to be running all 6 milers on my non long run days, per Coachy) and stretched super extra good.  I hope it helped, I’m honestly dreading 18 tomorrow.  I’ve missed so many long runs since returning from Marathon Sunday, and now Marathon #2 is THREE WEEKS AWAY! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
I have good reason for each one…Coachy thinks I’m making excuses but I do! Just look:
  • Sunday after Marathon Sunday (July 17) – Duh, not running long.
  • Sunday after that (July 24) – I climbed Mt. Washington the day before.  Again I say, duh, not running long.
  • And then (July 31) I had PF symptoms on what should’ve been a pre-RnR Providence 10-miler.  Yeah, not risking the price of admission for that one when I know I can run 13 miles.
  • August 7 – RnR Providence Half Marathon
  • August 14 – I tried to run 16 miles.  I ran 8.  It rained, then it rained some more, all the while I was running 8.  Then it started to pour.  I quit.  After running RnR in the rain, and the blisters that followed, I wasn’t playing that ugly game again.
  • August 21 – Set out for 18, managed 15.  Learned that Kinvara 2’s do not make a good long run shoe.  Cut it off early with mega foot pain.
  • August 28 – HURRICANE IRENE. Well, hopefully I will have a successful 18 miler tomorrow.  Keep your fingers (and toes!) crossed for me. 
See, all logical reasons. Right? Right. But, not good when you’re training for another marathon.  Now the pressure is on and I need to whip my butt into shape.
But I’m ready see:
Oh wait, that’s hurricane ready, not long run ready.
Oh well.  I’m ready, 2 beers, 2 glasses of wine, and a delicious dinner from my rents, and I’m ready for that early morning wake up call.  I better get my buns to bed! 
Before I do, some of today’s shenanigans in pictures:
Oh, it’s stretch time? Okay, I’ll join you.
Patio before – now, emptiness.  Everything’s put away and ready for Irene.
Dinner with the ‘rents: ribs, brown bread, beans, salad, and maybe there were 2 glasses of wine too.

Oh good it’s blog time!
What do you mean I can’t help you write? 
Creative juice
That’s all for tonight friends.  No question for this Friday, just a message.
To all of my friends, in real life or in bloggy land, please stay safe and be careful this weekend if you are in Irene’s path.  I hear she’s a real beatch and determined to wreak some havoc.  Stay safe!!!! If it gets bad around here, I’m packing my sh!t up and heading for my ‘rents house.  I won’t be alone then, and I’ll have some hella good food to eat. 😉


My Love/Hate Relationship with Marathon Training (Day 23)

25 Aug

Training for a marathon is like being in an extremely intense relationship – with your legs.

No word of a lie – I woke up at 4:47 this morning dreaming of being on the elliptical trainer.  Think my legs are trying to tell me something? This brings “listen to your body” to a whole new level. I mean really, who dreams of ellipticalling (new word?)? WTH is wrong with me?  It didn’t take me anytime to realize why I was dreaming of the elliptical versus another 5 a.m. run.  Yesterday I was exhausted after two days of 5 a.m. runs in a row.  I didn’t get enough sleep the night before both workouts AND I chose this week to cut back on my caffeine intake. Well, duh. That and I’ve already run 95 miles this month.  August is setting up to be my biggest month ever, which makes sense as I am peaking (3 weeks away!) for Marathon #2.

SIDE NOTE: In case you missed Marathon #1 – You can read all about it here in Part 1 and Part 2 (The Race Report).  If reading isn’t your thing (um, what are you doing here in that case?) you can just relive it through pretty pictures.

What was I to do but listen to the legs (and the weird dream)? Right? I reset my alarm and went back to sleep until 6:30 and boy oh boy did it feel good. Now I have to go the gym tonight and get my butt on the elliptical,but the extra sleep was worth it.  I hope my legs thank me, I’m doing them a favor.

I know the rest of my body is thanking me because I quit trying to cut back on caffeine.  I feel human today, not like some chair dwelling, phone answering, paperwork shuffling zombie, like I felt yesterday.

So the crazy dream and my revolting legs got me to thinking – I really do have a love/hate relationship with marathon training.


Things I Love


100+ Mile Months
Runner’s high
Speed workouts
Eating large quantities of carbs everything (Hellooooooooo Carb Friday!) 
That feeling that you get 18 miles into a 20 mile run (no, not the pain – the other feeling!)
Powering up that hill that used to be daunting
Knowing how I’m going to feel when I cross that 26.2 finish line – it’s indescribable.
How my body looks and feels


Things I Don’t Love


5 a.m. wakeup calls on the weekend to make sure you get the long run in before it’s too hot out
Running takes precedence over all other workouts – I miss yoga
Chafe
Heavy/tired legs
Having no life because of above mentioned 5 a.m. weekend wake up call
Ice baths (and forgetting to buy my ice and having to call my mom every time) 
4 hours worth of non-race running – who does that?! 
Being too embarrassed to get a pedicure because my feet (especially my toenails) look AWFUL

In other news, today I am featured in a segment on Cook Train Eat Race called Athlete’s Plate by the Athletes.  Check it out!!!! I’m feeling famous! It’s a great segment not only because you get to see what real life athlete’s are eating, but Jason takes the time to offer vegetarian options of many of the dishes for those that don’t eat meat.

What do you love/hate about your current training plan? 


For the Love of Speedwork (Day 24)

24 Aug

I love Wednesday.  Wednesday means SPEEDWORK!

Random fact about me: Speed workouts are my favorite.  Especially intervals. And short (5k or so) tempo runs.

Call me crazy if you must, but there’s something about pushing your body to it’s absolute limits that is just so rewarding.

Today’s workout went a little like this:

  • Mile warmup @ 9:48
  • 8 x 1/4 mile @ 7:36 average pace (I kept my intervals between 7:25 and 7:45, and they averaged out around 7:36)
    • Side note: I rebel against the norm when it comes to using meters.  We don’t use the metric system in the U.S., my Garmin doesn’t measure my distance in metric, why the hell would I plan my workouts on metric measurements? Miles it is thankyouverymuch.
  • Between speed intervals I jogged/walked (mostly jogged which makes me SO EXCITED because I was recovering from the speedy portions quickly) 8 x 1/4 mile recovery intervals which averaged out to approximately an 11:35 average pace
  • 1.16 mile cooldown in 14:18 (cooooooooooooldown – jogging, some walking – my legs were done)
The whole run was 6.16 miles in 1:02:41 which is an average 10:11 pace overall.  It felt especially good today because I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to run the intervals today, since my legs weren’t happy about yesterday’s recovery run.  I guess that’s why they call it recovery. (Sing to the tune of Elton John’s I Guess that’s why they call it the blues, come one now, you know you wanna…)
Then today, after that killer workout, I saw these posts: 

Back then I was 18 days away from my first 5k as an official runner, and 26 days away from what I was determined to be my first sub-30 5k (it wasn’t, it was over crowded and poorly organized – oh and the finish line was UPHILL). So, I knew I had to do speedwork, but I had no idea what I was doing. I ran both races non-stop, no walking, and that was a feat for me so I was happy with that.
I look at myself now and I’m pretty well stoked. I love finding old posts to remind me of where I came from.  It makes you feel good!

I was going to write about speedwork and all the stuff Coachy has taught me, but I got a little tangentalized tonight.  I’ll save it for another time. (Sorry, Coachy, I know you rushed to make sure that e-mail said everything you wanted to say, just be sure to know that I WILL USE IT! Soon! I promise!).

It’s only 8 p.m. and I’m ready for bed. 5 a.m. tomorrow again, recovery run, most likely.  I’m sure I’ll have ten million pound legs.

Now I’m off to chill with my crazy little pooch and an early bedtime so my beat up legs can heal!

Do you like speedwork? What is your favorite workout (running or otherwise)?


With Every Failure Comes Success (Day 25)

24 Aug

Week 2 of the 5 a.m. running wake up call is off to a wondaful start! I was up and at ’em this morning for my daily 6.  My legs, however, weren’t quite up for the game. Luckily they weren’t as upset with me as they were last Thursday.

I ran 6 miles in 1:02:35, an average 10:20/mm. Now, I’m relaxing on the couch in my compression socks, blogging and #Fitblog chatting. Phew, multitasker  extraordinaire!

After my run I drank one of my delicious protein smoothies and went through my usual pre-work morning routine.

By 10:30 I was hungry, but what else is new? Yesterday I was excited for an empty peanut butter jar because we all know that means overnight oats in a jar! With all this talk of fall lately, I decided to try a pumpkin spice overnight oats in a jar.

Looks good, right?

Welllllllllllll mega blonde moment.  Pumpkin pie spice has nutmeg in it.  I also added nutmeg.  The result? Gack – mega bad tasting OOIAJ.  I couldn’t even eat them. I have an even better idea for next time.

But, with that failure I had a dinnertime success!  While I was planning my weekly menu I was craving pizza in a bad way.  I went on the search for good pizza recipes I could make at home. I found a great recipe, but modified it because I wanted to grille everything (while I still can – I’m a fair weather griller).

Grilled Chicken Sausage, Tomato, and Spinach Pizza
(Adapted from this recipe I found on Carrots N Cake)


Ingredients:

  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes (halved)
  • 2 links chicken sausage (I like the  Al Fresco Roasted Garlic Flavor)
  • 1 store bought whole wheat pizza crust
  • 5 slices provolone cheese
  • Salt, garlic powder, Italian seasoning to taste
Directions:
  1. Preheat grille to medium high heat.
  2. Spray a large piece of aluminum foil with non-stick cooking spray and place spinach and tomatoes on top.  Sprinkle with seasonings, to taste. (I did a light sprinkle over the top, which seemed to work perfectly). Cover the spinach/tomato mixture with another piece of foil and fold over all four edges, making a foil pack.
  3. Place the foil pack veggies and chicken sausage on the grille for 10 minutes – flipping the sausages halfway.
  4. While the veggies and sausage are cooking, place your 5 slices of provolone on the pizza crust.
  5. Place the cooked veggies on top of the cheese layer.
  6. Slice the chicken sausage into rounds and place on top of veggie layer.
  7. Place the entire pizza back on the grille for 8 minutes (or until cheese starts to bubble and crust gets crispy).
This was incredibly delicious.  I served mine along side a simple spinach salad, then joined my mom for a post dinner ice cream cone.
All in all a great Tuesday! I’m going to bed tonight with my compression socks on in hopes my legs will care to join me for speedwork tomorrow.
Any success and/or failures lately you’d care to share? Both in the same day like mine?

Monday Love (Day 26)

23 Aug

Since Monday is typically the most disliked day of the week, I am going to continue with the theme I started last week of showing a little Monday Love.

Every Monday I will share with you 6 things that I am loving at that particular moment.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

#1:

Having enough energy on my rest day to go for a walk.  Today was beautiful. At lunch time it was 77 degrees with 53% humidity, I had to get out for a bit! I ended up walking 1.5 miles in 25 minutes!

Beautiful, yes?

People do look at you funny when you’re walking down the road looking like this:

Doesn’t everyone wear Kinvara’s with a sundress?

#2:

This dinner I prepared for myself. It is not only beautiful, but delicious.  It’s the Greek Salad with Tzatziki Sauce from my Skinny Bitch cook book, along with a seasoned grilled chicken thigh, also covered in Tzatziki sauce.  I think I’m going to be eating a lot more of this sauce, it’s freakin’ good. (Not loving about the recipe: time consuming for a week night, I should’ve actually read the entire recipe and not just the ingredients before making it, whoopsy.)

#3

Not letting go of summer.  So, the kids may be going back to school, but it’s still warm out.  All of the windows in my house are still open.  I’m still wearing sun dresses and sandals. And seeking out summer beverages.

I actually had to seek this out in the store – boohooooooooo

#4

Empty peanut butter jars.  Oh yeah, we all know what that means.  Overnight oats in a jar experiment is about to happen, stay tuned!

OOIAJ Where have you been all my life?

#5

10 for $10 Chobani.  Really, you just can’t say no.

Stocking up for post-run protein smoothies

#6

Music that makes me wanna dance.  There are a few songs out there right now, but this is my personal favorite.  I can’t get enough of this song. Tell me you can sit still while listening to this… I dare you.

What do you love today?


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