Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes - In review

It's that time again to review the March Book Club selection for Julie's blogger book club!  This month, the book that I voted for was not selected (unlike the previous two months) however, I think I am glad that the book that was chosen was the one that won out.

For our March book club, we read The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlain. 


I have not read any of Ms Chamberlain's books previously, although they ALWAYS pop up on my recommendations list on amazon (I think that is because I have purchased many Jodi Picoult books) and so I have been meaning to try some for quite a while! 

Quick book recap:
CeeCee works in a diner as a young woman on her own.  She has been living in the foster care system since the age of 12, and is trying to make her life hers now. 

She meets a young man in his mid-twenties, Timothy Gleason, and he charms her.  They date and she falls helplessly in love with the older man.  He fills her in on his family life, including his sister who he tells her is in prison, awaiting the death penalty, for killing a man who raped her.  CeeCee is very sympathetic to this story and feels for Tim and his brother Marty.
Eventually she is wrapped up in a plot to help free their sister by kidnapping the Governor's wife and holding her hostage until the sister is released, but Genevieve is pregnant and dies while being held.  CeeCee knows what happened to her, as well as her infant which she gives birth to with CeeCee's help, but she must keep silent to protect herself and her family.

Holy smokes.

I started this book immediately after purchasing it for my kindle and was a quarter of the way through it the first night.  It had me wrapped up in the story immediately.  Initially, I was absorbed because I could identify with CeeCee.  Her complete devotion to Timothy prior to the kidnapping reminds me of my younger, more co-dependant, self.  As the story went on, it became less relateable (for obvious reasons,) but even more interesting.

The book reads VERY quickly, and it is definitely a fast read.  And overall, I loved it.

However, there was one thing that I had an issue with.  As we get to the point of Cory being an older child, we start to fly through time.  I was kind of telling the story to J as I was reading it, and he was like "wait, how much have you read?  wasn't she just 8?" and all of a sudden she was 18.  I feel like to fully understand how Cory got to the point that she did, not even speaking to her mother, we need a little bit more insight.  I mean, all parents are very protective of their children!  At the same time, I know that this was not necessarily as important to the story overall, so it was kind of glazed over since it was already a book of a certain length.

I wish that there was a there was a little bit more focus on the relationship between Dru and Cory.  I feel like that had an important role to play, that was not as outlined as I thought it could be.

So, what did you think of the book?  If you had a mother that was SUPER overprotective, did you rebel?  Most kids do to an extent, but did you lose touch?  I know that I didn't, despite being the oldest and therefore most protected.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tempo Pace?

As I am learning more about running and still enjoying it, I am finding myself more focused on pace than I was 8 weeks ago (8 weeks ago just seemed like a good number to me!) and so I am working on it.  Mostly on short-ish runs, because I know that the long runs are still going to be a struggle to complete, regardless of my pace!  So for now, I am working on that little 5K PR goal on my short runs.  I am not there yet, but I have definitely made a lot of progress!

Today was a good example of this progress.  When I woke up, my legs felt like tree trunks.  I was pretty sure that they would.  J and I hung a ceiling in the bathroom last night.  Meaning, he drilled stuff while I stood on tippy toes and held sheets of drywall over my head!  I think yesterday was definitely a shoulder twofer after the morning's shoulder strength training, and then holding all the drywall up.  So anyway, as a result, I slept like lead and I woke up feeling like it too. 

So I got dressed (back in shorts, yay!) and headed out the door anticipating slow.  I even posted on Twitter how I thought it was going to be so slow!  And it started slow.  The first pace that hopped onto the Garmin was 10:34.  But I found my stride, and my legs started to feel lighter.  When I saw on the garmin that I was holding pretty steady around a 9:12 for the first mile, I decided I was going to push for 2 tempo miles in the middle, and I wanted them to be around 8:45.  (Eventually, I have work to do to pick that up, but for now...)  Today was scheduled to be tempo, and by gosh, I was going to DO IT! 

My hope was that I would push hard for the second mile and by the third, I would just be "going" so it would be slightly more natural to me.  And it kind of was.  Splits were as follows:

Mile 1 - 9:13
Mile 2 - 8:46
Mile 3 - 8:35
Mile 4 - 8:58

My average pace ended up right around 8:53, which I am pleased with for 4 miles.  It needs some work, but I am doing that work!

And there is the Garmin proof of this one.  I am pleased with me!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Money Money Money...

I am not a big discusser of money.  With anyone, including my husband.  Money is a topic that makes me exceptionally uncomfortable, and that might have to do with how I was raised.  I grew up in an upper middle class home.  My dad made a lot of money, and I never knew it.  Plus, my mom worked part time until we were all in school and then went back to full time.  Both of my parents had their own retirement plans at their jobs, my dad got hefty bonuses, and we had an in ground swimming pool in the backyard as a result of one of those bonuses. 

I had no clue that we had a lot of money.  My mom couponed, my folks budgeted, we never went on family vacations to Disney World or the Grand Canyon like some of my friends did.  We did not have a big TV or a video game console or starter jackets (remember those?  EVERYONE had one when I was in middle school).  We did not get big Christmas gifts, we got small things like books and movies and clothes.  I  just never though of us as being particularly wealthy! 

Anyway...  So money talk is tough for me.  It is extra difficult because I have 5 years of student loans, among other things, and so I have quite a lot of expenses for a girl who makes what I do.  But I have adjusted to it.  I make my life and my expenses work with what I have, and I always get by.  I am even back to the point where I have a credit card again, and I use that in the same manner as my debit card.  I pay off the whole thing every month, and therefore I earn lots of points for Marriott! 

J makes a lot more money than I do.  Nearly double.  He saves a lot, and spends when he wants to without hesitation.  He can golf and travel and not worry about it.  But he is thrifty as well, and talks himself out of things that he wants if he doesn't need them.  Golf for him is like running for me.  He is playing A LOT of golf this summer.  He has a financial advisor even, who has now become mine since we got married.  Now, I have zero interest in that.  I have my 401k, and I am happy with it.  I save for vacations (and someday, a bicycle!) and that is a lot more than MOST people my age do. 

I blog and use ebates and swagbucks and silly things like that for any little bit of extra cash that I might generate, and that gets to be fun money.  Especially the swagbucks, because I use that for amazon gift cards! 

The point is, having a financial advisor is hard for me.  I don't have a lot of money to be investing or anything like that.  And tonight, we have a meeting with him.  I am always embarrassed to even go, much less talk about my own money!  And it is really important to J. 

So I have my information together.  I am going, but I am really nervous about the whole thing!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tuesday Morning

I really started my day off on a solid foot this morning.  I am really working hard to turn over a new leaf and get back to my healthy way of life that I was working hard for most of 2011 to establish.  Now that my kitchen is done (future entry coming!) I can get back to cooking and eating better, and that will help tremendously.

I was laying in bed before my alarm went off today and I was definitely making an effort to force myself to get up.  I kept saying to myself in my head before the alarm "you haven't ever regretted a run."  I know EVERYONE has seen a little postcard on pinterest that has said that (or never regretted a workout. One of those two!) And eventually I got myself out of bed. 

I had to put my tights on this morning, which felt weird after running in shorts and a tank so many days in a row.  It was a chilly morning.  I didn't wear my gloves, but I honestly SHOULD have.  Here is the run:
Negative splits for all 4 miles, by the way.  So I am quite pleased and proud of that.  I want to continue to get faster, but it is not going too fast.  Whoa.  That sounds funny.  By that, I guess I mean that my running buddy is definitely faster than me, and it kind of happened all of a sudden!  And yes, Jes, I am jealous.

After my run, I prepared a healthy breakfast for myself. 
GREEN MONSTER!

It was super delicious and the greenest one that I have ever eaten.  I usually stick some berries in there too because the green smoothie scared me, but today I just went for it.  Protein powder, naner, and a ton of spinach.  2 huge handfuls (nearly filled up the blender) and just a few ice cubes along with 1 cup of water and blend away.  It turned out really yummy, and I am no longer scared of the green drink!

While I was drinking my smoothie, this happened:
Oh yes, both of them in my lap at the same time.  It got cold here and they already have summertime haircuts!

I hope you have a day filled with cuddles too!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Whirlwind Trip Home

This weekend was a whirlwind trip to my hometown.  I left work around 2:30 pm on Friday because my sister has decided that she is getting married this summer, which has turned into June, which has turned into 4 months to plan a wedding.  And a "real" wedding no less... and by that I mean she wants to invite 150 people, etc.  But it is her wedding, and I got to have all of those things when J and I were wed this past summer, so I cannot say I really blame her for it.  It is just a lot of work coming up.  We took care of a few things this weekend though, so we are on our way. 

On Saturday morning I had scheduled a long run.  Just like every other Saturday, but this was going to be my longest solo run ever.  13 miles was on the agenda.  I had packed my ipod this time, which I have not had on a long run in quite some time.  But I am prepared.
 
Gu was this weekend's pre-run breakfast of champions, and I had another one with me in case of trouble later on.

 It was a tough 13 miles.  It was run at a local park that I really enjoy, but Toledo surprised me with more hills than I anticipated.  But it was a success. 

I came home, stretched out the legs, showered, grabbed my mom, and off we went to David's to meet my sister for her appointment.
 She's a knockout, right?  Lol.  She absolutely cracks me up.  This day turned into something that I did not really expect to be honest.  She did get her dress, she almost HAD to.  I mean, her wedding is in mid-June for goodness sakes.  So she got the one in her size right off the rack.

She wanted the trip to be super productive, especially since I came to town too, so we were on a mission to come up with bridesmaid stuff as well.  I brought over a few dresses that I liked, and tried one on.  Erika, the other bridesmaid that was present hated my pic.  So then she picked one she liked.  I was fine with it too, so that is what we ended up with.


Not in this color, but it is this dress.  Excuse the fact that I look horrible, but I had a rough run!  The actual color is a very dark purple.  I love it!  The funny part is that that is a VERY sexy dress for an outdoor/backyard/on a farm wedding, which is what they are having.

After our whirlwind of a shopping trip at David's, I went over to my dad's, we just hung out for a little while, and then ran some errands.  I took my first ever trip to menards (have you ever been there?  That place is pretty sweet!) because J wanted me to pick up a can of paint that matched one of my dad's walls, and that was where he got it.  Paint there was $6.77 per gallon, which is MUCH less than our Lowe's paint that we usually buy!  My dad said, yes, it will need two coats, and yes, it is not as durable, but we are using it to paint a hallway.  It will be perfect for that.

After our errands, Dad and I headed to my favroite Toledo sports bar, Jed's for some dinner and beers.  It was as delicious as I had hoped.

After dinner, we went back to his place, but only until I got a text from my mom telling me where she and my brother were.  Then my dad and I both got in our cars (this place was much closer to my mom's than my dad's so I figured we should both have our cars) to go and meet them.  They were also at a bar called Nick & Jimmy's and my dad and I both ordered beers and hung out with them while they finished their dinners.

I left my mom's early on Sunday to come home to a FINISHED KITCHEN and my husband and pups.  Apparently Zeus had an exhausting weekend, because when I was taking a shower, this happened:

Awe, poor sleepy Zeus.  Can you even see him?

Marathon Training: Week 12 in Review

Well, I am down to less than 6 weeks remaining.  That is really hard to believe.  I have been running and adding more and more distance every week for the last 12 weeks. 

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
3.25 miles 4.15 miles 5.2 miles 4.13 miles 3.09 miles 13 miles rest day!
0:30:39 0:40:01 0:50:00 0:40:00 0:30:00 2:05:12  
  Strength Yoga Yoga Strength    
  Chest & Arms 20 minutes 20 minutes Back & Shoulders  
Here is the week's worth of work. 

The 13 on Saturday was a mental game for sure.  I could have kept running, I think, but I am not used to running by myself on long runs anymore.  I was in Toledo for my sister's shopping trip.  I brought my ipod, which I hardly run with anymore, as well as all sorts of other gear.  GU, my hydration belt, my calf sleeves, etc. 

I will write more about that specifically in a later post, I think.

Anyway, the week in review...

I was just kind of going with the flow all week.  I wasn't sure how my body was going to react to the half marathon last Sunday, and especially since we decided to throw a 5K on top of it, so I just let my legs do their thing all week. I kind of ran for the minutes this week.  I had the minimums, 3 miles, 4 miles, 5 miles, but was usually still a few blocks from home when I hit them, so I would just keep going until I hit the 10 minute mark.  Except on Monday.  I got better with my garmin as the week went on as well, as you can see from the even minutes (versus :01 on Tuesday!)

My pace was decent all week, especially considering I was running by feel rather than focusing on pace.  I was admittedly a little bit bummed about Saturday though because my running partner went without me, and her average pace was around 9min/miles, so quite a bit faster than me!  :(  It makes me a little nervous.

This weekend will be the big 20.  Eeep!

Friday, March 23, 2012

FedEx Delivers

Look what came in the mail yesterday! 
My hydration belt!  I just ordered it on Wednesday and it was already here on Thursday!  And yes, I am wearing my Bearcats gear and YES I am sad that they did not win last night.

Alas...

I will be testing it out I think on my long (solo!) run tomorrow.  There is a drinking fountain at the park that I have selected for my long run, but I figure its a good time to give it a go, before it is actually so sweltering hot that I desperately need it.  I'll let you know afterward what I think of it.  It wil be heavier on my waist than my little spibelt, which is what I wore last weekend for the half.

I also picked up the dogs last night from the groomer.

And he fell asleep after an exciting day filled with baths, nail clipping, and haircuts.  Teek got one too, but she is a little more used to it.  When they have been groomed, it is easier to see the poodle in them both.  They look much more alike, and you can see their bodies built so similarly.  They are both pretty little guys. :-)

Oh!  And guess what!? When I come back here fromToledo my kitchen will finally be done and I cannot wait!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Quick Trip Home... AGAIN...

I have run about 9 miles since I last wrote an entry.  5 yesterday and 4 today.  I think I am starting to get what is going on with my legs.  By that I mean, they always feel beat when I first get going.  It is normal for it to take a little while for them to warm up and feel like they are moving.  I think it might be because I roll out of bed, use the restroom, and start running.  So yes, my legs are still asleep.  That definitely would make sense, right?

I did a little bit more than 5 and a little more than 4.  I ran until 50 minutes and 40 minutes.  I guess that is kind of the goal that I set for myself this week. It is what I did for my 4 mile run on Tuesday as well, except that I hit "stop" on my garmin one second late. :-)

So something CRAZY happened two days ago.  My sister text me to tell me that she is getting married in JUNE of THIS YEAR!  Please note, it is March 22.  She has been engaged for just under 1 month.  So while one month into the engagement, I completely understand setting a date (I did!) having that date be around 4 months away is the tough part.  And the kicker is that she doesn't actually have a date, that is just when she would like to be married.

Ever since this text, my life has been feeling like one giant blur of stress.  I have made arrangements to travel to Toledo for the weekend.  I will be doing a 13 mile run on Saturday morning SOLO.  I think Wildwood will be on the agenda, along with my ipod, that has not joined me for a run since December.  I will be trying on dresses at David's Bridal (not to mention watching my sister try them on!) following this run.  I will be joining my father for much beer & wing consumption following the dress trying on.

In other news, one of my coworkers took a friend vacation to Disney World (adults only), and came home with a present for me! 
A teeny tiny bottle of hot sauce.  Haha. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My Half Marathon Souvenir

I discovered a little souvenir from the race on Sunday.  At least, I believe that is what it is from...

Oh yes, I just posted two pictures of my feet on my blog.  Hooray runnrs and their nasty feet.

Can you see it?  Its a little blister on my toe.  I popped it last night after I showed Jason (he definitely loves my grossness. I hope. :)  There was quite a lot of liquid in that tiny blister.  After it was out, it didn't hurt at all.  In fact, it didn't hurt before, but I figured it might get more liquid in it if I left it unpopped.  Might as well let it get healing.

We went and grabbed dinner together, talking about the kitchen and how it is progressing most of the meal.  Honestly, its not.  I mean, yes, it is progressing, it just feels like it has been going on for so long and we still don't have full kitchen access yet.  Although John (the guy who is doing the work) called me last night to tell me that we can start putting thing away in some of the cabinets, which was enough to help me feel better about the whole thing.  I started last night...  I got my cookbooks put away to where I think I want them, and started putting pots and pans away as well. 

This morning I was up early for a run.  4 miles, done and done.
I have been letting my legs run at the pace that they wanted to for the last two days.  It has been a little bit faster than I would have expected considering the race on Sunday.  But hey, I can't complain.  My legs are feeling good, and it feels like everything has loosened up since Sunday!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Heart Mini Half Marathon - Race Recap

Yesterday was the Heart Mini Marathon.  I had originally planned to run the Mini (a 15K) but was later convinced to run the half marathon AND the 5K to get my mileage in for the weekend, not to mention run my first ever half marathon. 

So I was excited about it, but at the same time, a little... ehhh...  Just because it was a training run.  It wasn't the thing that I have been working toward and praying for since the beginning of the year.  That is the marathon.  So this is just a step along the way.  So I am a little sad because originally a half marathon was my big goal. 

Ahh, well...  I still have big goals.  They are just different and BIGGER.

Jes and Andrew came and picked me up around 6:45 am, for a non-corralled race start at 7:45 am.  We were downtown and parked by about 7 thanks to Jes's trusty parking garage pass.  She works for a company downtown, but actually works in a suburb office.  But she still has access to the employee garage, which works out AWESOME because it was pretty much right where all of the action was!

Andrew was not running, but he came to be our photographer for the race.  We had various timing devices with us because Jes is working on an emerging technologies final project (she is working on her MBA) and has decided to do GPS for runners for the project!  So Andrew was going to take pictures of us to go along with the project.

We started our morning hanging out in Fountain Square half stretching and half looking for our friend Chris who runs in our Saturday morning group.  Apparently (this was something I was previously unaware of!) we were shooting for a 2 hour Half, and Chris was going to be pacing us.  To be honest, that made me excited but nervous.  This was my first half, and only Jes's second.  Her first she did closer to 2:45 because the friend she ran with got sick and had to stop at every port-o-let on the course.

We waited in line for the bathrooms before and then headed to the start, we were pretty far back, but worked up manuvering our way closer to the 2 hour pace group. We thought hanging with them would be helpful!  We did not get that far up before the gun (more like a CANNON!) went off.

Cincinnati is hilly in general.  Anyone who is training for the Pig SHOULD be thinking about this for their training.  And rumor has it, this thirteen mile course has more hills than the first 13 miles of the Pig.  The course starts out route 50.  This is a combined course with the 15k so we went out a little over 4 miles before turning around.  50 is all rolling hills.  There was a small jog up a road (Torrance for any Cincinnatians) which was straight uphill.  And then we turned around and came back down (had to be careful not to fall!) and then back toward downtown on 50.  We finally split around 8.5 miles.

And that was where Andrew found us!

We look much better than we feel at this point, however, we were still doing pretty well as of now.  We looped around through the city a little more passing over the chip sync at the 15K mark.
Do lots of longer distances have this?  They had one at the 5K, 10K, 15K and of course the finish line, so then when our official times posted it had all of that!  Andrew found Chris too!
And then us again (this is around mile 10.)

I think Chris is trying to jump here.  Lol.  Yeah, we were feeling the hills.


Right around here there was a group from Fleet Feet handing out honey stingers.  Jes and I both took one after Jes asked them if they were caffiene free.  They told her yes.  They were the chocolate ones.  I have never tried them before, and let me be honest...  I never will again.  YES they DO have caffiene in them (fine for me, not for Jes).  They are also not as thick as gu.  And chocolate?  Blarg.  They went down easier than gu, I admit that.  But they also started to slime back up.  They didn't, but it felt like they might.

We crossed over the purple people bridge and ran in KY for a little while.  On our way back to Ohio (around mile 11.5-12) Andrew found all three of us again.
There was also a pic of Andrew's shoe thrown into the mix around here.  haha.


You can tell in these three pictures as we are nearing the finish how much I was struggling.  Jes was powering through because we were SO CLOSE to our goal.  I was trying.  Hard.  To keep up with her.  I wound up finishing just one second behind.
All 3 of us, after we caught our breath.
The GPS devices used for the project.
My garmin showing my time.  You can see from the pace how hard I was pushing at the end!

My actual time was 2 seconds less than this by chip.  I am sure that has to do with the placement of pushing start/stop.  You'll have that.

I am ridiculous proud of myself and am infinitely more confident in my Pig abilities, because I am NOT going to be pushing this hard for the Pig.  The goal for that is just to finish.

PS - we ran the 5K after this.  It felt pretty awesome.  We just ran it to run.  Not to worry about time or anything, basically to shake out our legs.  Now I realize how great that feels!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Marathon Training: Week 11 in review

11 weeks in, only 7 more to go until the Flying Pig Marathon!

This is my highest mileage week so far in training with 32 miles on the books.  Here is the week's training rundown!

Three full days of strength training, 2 days of yoga, and 6 days of running, totaling 32 + miles. 

I had a few days of struggling for sure.  Some tough runs this week.  Today was obviously no different.  Although the 5K we ran as a shakeout run, felt awesome.  I have learned why a shakeout might be necessary.  It felt so good to keep my legs moving, but not worrying about our paces at all.  Who knew?

We definitely kicked up our pace big time when we were running the half.  Jes had a 2 hour goal, which made me feel a little bit nervous with the hills as well as it being my first half ever.  But we kicked it up and were very very close to succeeding.  I am looking forward to my next half where it will be very nice and flat in Toledo.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Speedy Speederson

This morning just had a little 2 miler on the schedule.  I have my longest EVER this weekend though.  So I decided since it was a 20 minute (or less) run, I would do it on the treadmill, and then be able to lift afterward.  I had a little shoulder and back workout on the schedule.  So I was up at my normal time, despite the fact that we were out last night watching basketball at the bar.

I headed over to the gym, and decided I was going to do my two miles FAST.  Goal: 8 minute miles. 

And I did it.  I did my 2 miles in 15:59.  Woo hoo!  It was not too bad.  I will definitely have to keep working on that outside, because I am sure that it will be more difficult to do there than it was on the treadmill, but this was a really great step in the right direction.  Especially because with the exception of Jes and I, everyone on our running team runs 8 min/miles, even for lots of miles!

For me, at least right now, it is a step in the right direction of my sub-25 minute 5K.  That is definitely a goal for me this year.  It eluded me a little bit last summer, but I got pretty close to it back in June at the Redlegs race.  And then I got more interested in distance, so the 5k's kind of fell off the map.  I will get it this year though.

I am planning on starting to go to my running group's track workouts once J starts softball since they are on the same night.  That'll definitely help me with my speed!  I want to go now, and I am sure that J would eventually feel like that was ok, but for right now, I am trying to be with him when he is home.  So softball starts in two weeks.  So I will be going for the end of Pig training, and MOST of Columbus training, and by the time that J isn't playing softball because summer is over, I will be very familiar with track workouts so I can do them at MY track!

This morning's weights looked like this:
Not bad, not bad...

I got a gift at work this morning too.  Well, everyone did, but I ate mine already.
There is M&Ms in there...  well, there was. Now they are in my tummy!

Got finish up some work, then its basketball time!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Little Range Action

After work last night I spent a little bit of time with my puppies before J got home.  I was tired, but looking forward to a night with J.  We were back to eating dinner out because John was there working in the kitchen yesterday.  I had suggested Tap House Grill early in the day, so we were kind of set on it already!

When J got home, he mentioned hitting the range first, prior to dinner.  With it being my year of running, he wants it to be the year of golf, so he is actually playing at Pebble Beach this year with a friend of his, plus his regular golf trips to Kansas City and he is playing in a league.  So for Pebble Beach especially, range time is needed.

Here is J at the range, working on his goals!
This trip I just hung out.  Next time I will probably take a chunk of his bucket.  But it has been a ridiculously long time since I have swung a club, so I figured this trip was for him.  He tried out this new driver that he is thinking he might want (J got a LARGE bonus this year, and we had made the decision that we both got to spend some of the bonus on ourselves and the rest of them were for home projects (the kitchen, mainly!) I got myself a new pair of tights, a pullover and compression sleeves for my calves with my bonus for me.  He is getting new clubs (and his bonus was a lot more than mine!)

We went to taphouse after that and both ate chicken sammies with sweet potato fries.  The sweet potato fries there come with this pumpkin sauce that is absolutely amazing.  I LOVE it.  So if there are ANY readers in the Cincinnati area, I highly recommend the food (especially the sweet potato fries!) as well as the beer selection at the Tap House Grill in Montgomery.

This morning I woke up (tired as always) and covered the three miles that were on my schedule.  I ran them outside and tried to run a little bit of intervals.  I just counted in my head and sped up and slowed down on my own random intervals.  Here is how it went:
Eh...  Not too fast.  I am a little disappointed with my time, but with such randomness, I guess it just is what it is.  I do want to PR a 5K this year (and not on a treadmill!) so I do need to work on my speed, but I am trying not to have too many focuses at once. 

When I got home from my run, I lifted a little upper body.  Bis and tris, mainly.  Here was my workout:
Hope everyone is having a lovely Thursday and is looking forward to basketball!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A few homemade meals - YES!!!

A nice 5-miler this morning.  It felt bad when I was out there, my legs were feeling tired.  Not sure why they were feeling so tired and heavy, but they were.  I forced myself out there anyway, and tried to keep my pace to under 10 min/miles.  I succeeded for all 5 miles, but only by a few seconds per mile.  Here is the official timekeeper:
Not very bright, but it shows you my time and distance.  I was really trying to kick it up at the end, hence the 7:05 pace for that last 0.01 miles. 

I had more oats for breakfast.  In my jar like I talked about yesterday.  I forgot about them in the fridge at the office until almost 10 am, so they were nice and creamy and delicious.  It felt really good to eat them, like I was doing good things for my body, again today!

At lunchtime (right now) I went into the kitchen and opened up the company fridge.  I was planning on eating a sandwich just like yesterday.  But instead, I was greeted with a giant tub of greens!  After confirming with Mo that it was company food, I decided to go with salad for lunch.  Basically the same as the sandwich that I was going to eat (lunchmeat, cheese) but on a salad instead of bread! 
It is piled high with tons o greens but they are all covered up with the lunchmeat (chicken breast!) and colby jack cheese.

In the company fridge I also found some dressing that I thought would work.
I figure this must just be leftover from some company meeting where they ordered lunch.  I think that is the kind they have at larosas, which they had yesterday! 

I have plans to lift at home when I get there tonight, and I think J and I are headed out for dinner.  John is back to work in the kitchen as of this morning! (FINALLY)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Meals at Home? Kinda...

We did not hear from the guy who is supposed to be working on our kitchen at all yesterday.  Not one word.  So nothing happened all day.  Again.  I tried to remain calm about it, but by the end of the day, as I was driving home from work, I was crying.  I couldn't help it.  I am just so frustrated by everything right now, that the tears are just coming now.  I mean, more than once last night I had to start to cry, becase I just am feeling so overwhelmed with the process (and underwhelmed with the progress!) and I am at a loss for meals and everything.

I did manage to cook us a little bit of dinner last night at home.  Was it a good dinner?  Ummm, probably not.  But I made it at home.  And right now, that is really all that I can care about.  I am not sure if I can make it happen for a second night in a row, but I might be trying! 

Last night we just went with grilled cheese sammies.  I had some almonds on the side, and J ate some leftover bread from pizza the night before.  But eating at home was a prettybig step that I was pretty happy with!  I have a few thoughts for the evening, so hopefully I will be able to incorporate those into some kind of at home meal as well.  The most difficult part right now is the fact that the kitchen is 100% cut off from the rest of the house by gigantic plasic tarps. 

I was up at my usual 4:34 am for my run.  I had only three miles on the schedule, but since the rain stopped, I was DEFINITELY doing them outside.  I put on crops (hooray, no tights!) and headed out.  My garmin was a little wonky in the beginning, but after comparing it to previous runs, I think it got caught up with itself somehow!

This morning I tossed some oats and protein powder in a bowl figuring I could do some overnight oats with yogurt that we had in the office.  And I also have a jar of almond butter here (which is now just empty enough for oats in a jar!) so I dumped the remaining 2 tbsp on top of my oats for extra yummy.  Tomorrow I think I will use the jar!

So I am getting ready to eat lunch now.  I have had meals the last 24 hours that were made of random things that I was able to find.  Coming up is a sandwich, which I guess is better than buying something, right?  I am just making a turkey sandwich with supplies we have at the office, and I will toast it up on the foreman that we have in the kitchen here.  Right now, I have a better kitchen at work (which has no stove!) than I do at home.  How frustrating.

Hopefully tomorrow I will have some good updates for ya'll regarding my kitchen. I don't hink I can handle another night of crying.  Crying is exhausting!

Monday, March 12, 2012

To Toledo - Overnight Only

After my run on Saturday morning, I had to speed home for a shower, and head immediately back out the door for the baby shower of my friend Sara.  She got married the month before I did, and pretty much is having a honeymoon baby, due on April 25.  Haha.  I know that it was not exactly planned, but they are definitely making the best of it, and it is so weird to see her now.  Some of us were chatting at the shower about the fact that less than a year ago (last MAY!) we were all together for Sara's wedding shower.  And now a baby shower.  Maybe its a ploy for presents. *winks*

After the shower, I drove home and J was just finishing up getting ready to head out.  We had plans to go to Toledo for a birthday party on Sunday.  It was a surprise party, and J was VERY involved in the surprise, so we needed to head up there.  I got the pups packed up while he finished a work thing.
But mom, I DO NOT WANT TO GO IN MY CRATE!  And he really didn't.  He was digging in there until we got him settled into the car.  He usually relaxes within just a few minutes though, and he did once again, so that was good. 

We went right to my dad's new house when we arrived in Toledo.  He has been there a little bit over a month, and we figured it might be time to go and see it!  He also cooked dinner for us, and I threw together a salad while J watched the basketball game. 

Here is dad's new place:
It is neat.  The living area is all upstairs, and the downstairs like the HUGE garage, some storage and a laundry room.  It has 2 bedrooms and 2 full baths.  He is doing a lot of work to it, putting in new floors, painting, new countertops, etc.  Its really starting to look like him. 

And here is a view of the backyard:
His house backs up to a park, so its all woods back there.  So beautiful.  Its in a weird location, and by weird, I just mean I had no idea there was a neighborhood there.  But I am so glad he is finally settled some place.  He moved out of my mom's almost three years ago, so it is time for him to be settled, right?

After dinner, we just went to my mom's for more basketball, and we went to sleep.  I was up early as usual, with the dogs, and we left around 11 am to go to my dad's again (he was dog sitting!) and then to the birthday party. 

The biggest part of the surprise was that Jamie (birthday boy!) was turning forty, and his wife was buying him a very special gift.  She got Jamie a golf trip, and asked J if he would be the golf buddy for the trip and paid for the whole thing.  Not only are they going for a long weekend of golf, but they are going to pebble beach and playing ALL of the courses there!  J is ridiculously excited.  This is supposed to be his year of golf since it is my year of running, and so he sort of wanted to play there anyway.  It is even better now that he gets to play all of the courses and he gets to do it for free! He offered like 100 times to pay for things, but she would have none of it.

I received this picture while I was at the party.
My little mop of a dog is OUT.  Too much excitement for one weekend I guess.  Haha.  He's such a sweetie (and he needs a haircut.)

We came back to Cincinnati around 4 pm yesterday, arriving here about 7.  We had yet another dinner out (picked up calzones from a pizza place) and I was sick and upset about it yet again.

When I got to work this morning, I noticed that our Director of Customer Service was back from visiting our call center in the Phillipines.  And he brought me back a present (well, me and a few others).  I was VERY excited about it, and I plan on using it on my dinner tonight!
Jufran hot sauce.  Best hot sauce ever. :-)

Marathon Training: Week 10 in Review

It's tough to believe that I am now more than 10 weeks into this, and I have less than 8 weeks remaining before I have to cover 26.2 miles in one morning.  I am nervous and excited all at once.  But as of right now, still more excited than nervous. 

Overall, I had another pretty good week of training.  There were a few days in there where my legs really took a while to get moving.  For me, those are definitely the most difficult days.  Tuesday, as I mentioned at the time, was extra tough since I was feeling so horrid in the morning.  I forced myself to get out there though, and that ended up working out.  It actually ended up being at a pretty good pace as well, which makes me even more pleased!

Wednesday was my first 5-miler (during the week).  I think I was maybe tired from being sick on Tuesday or something, because I started out really slowly.  I ended up being able to get my rear in gear though and finish in less than 10 minute/miles, which has really been my only goal throughout this whole process. 

Here is the breakdown of this week's workouts:
Three days of strength training with 2 days of yoga?  I am very pleased with last week.  Mileage was less because of a lower weekend run, but I am still right on schedule.  I almost ran yesterday, because my friends were doing a 5K, but I rested like a good girl.  Because of the 5 miler on Wednesday, I ended up lifting on Thursday, but that was fine. 

I am down to less than 8 weeks left until the Flying Pig.  It is hard to believe how quickly time has gone by, and I am sure that it will be speedy the rest of the way through as well.  My boss's wife is running as well, and she had 16 over the weekend, which was her furthest this training cycle.  She has done this race before though.  She is also training with another running group, the BIG one around here.  Whereas I am training with a much smaller, much newer group that has only just begun to establish themselves.  This is the second marathon that they have trained for (their first being Columbus last fall) so it is a little bit like getting in on the ground floor!  Several members of the gang will be doing Chicago in the fall, but I am doing Columbus (about4 weeks later) so I will train with them in general, and then kick it up alone at the end for one final 20 miler and then a few more relaxed runs.

Friday, March 9, 2012

A Lil Update - a few days worth...

Another day, another 4 miles checked off my training plan.  I love it.  I almost wish that I had some kind of checklist on the fridge or a paper calendar so I could "x" off all of my runs.  I guess I have my google calendar which I could print, but I don't! 

Anyway, this morning's 4 miles were scheduled to be a tempo run, but I decided to treat them as speedwork.  So here was my 4 mile plan:

0.00-0.25          6.5 mph
0.26-0.75          7.5 mph
0.76-1.00          6.5 mph
1.01-1.50          7.5 mph
1.51-1.75          6.5 mph
1.76-2.25          7.5 mph
2.26-2.50          6.5 mph
2.51-3.00          7.5 mph
3.01-3.25          6.5 mph
3.26-3.75          7.5 mph
3.76-4.00          6.5 mph

And that will take you just under 34 minutes.  I did it in 33:56. I was super pleased with my pace, and even was feeling really good afterward.  That is really all that I can ask for in a case like this.  The 4-5 mile runs are the ones that I feel best about these days. 

I am not sure what it is, but I just feel worn.  Obviously, it could be all of the training and the 6 days/week of running, but I think that they decided to do that on purpose with the schedule since there are a few people on our team/in our group are trying a run streak.  It started on Jan 1 and is still going as of right now.  I am impressed with them.  I have done 7 days in a row, yes, but only once, and I was glad when that was over.  Haha. 

I have now moved on.  It's Friday morning, sorry for not finishing this entry yesterday, but today was another run.  I managed to get in some strength training yesterday (back & shoulders) and even got in a few exercises today post-run for biceps/triceps.  I might try and do a few more things when I get home tonight to round out my day and call it a full three days of strength training (which is my goal, if you remember!) and be pleased with myself.

I am currently at 18 miles for the week, with another 10 on tap for tomorrow.  I am looking forward to tomorrow's 10-miler because I have my fingers crossed that it will seem easy after last week's 13.  It should, right?

So, for a quick update on my kitchen situation?  I have no updates to report.  *sigh* I am ridiculously frustrated with the whole damn thing.  It'll be at least next Wednesday before its done.  It stinks.

Today's lunch:

This is my attempt to eat not another meal out.  Yesterday I went to Whole Foods for the"brown box special" which was yummy, but there was still cost involved.  This was stuff from the community fridge at work, and my fridge at home.  Almond butter topping a microwaved sweet potato, and turkey slices for lots o protein.  It tastes darn good.  Better than I remember a sweet potato could taste.  Haha.  And hopefully it will help provide fuel for tomorrow!