Friday, August 31, 2012

Productive & My New Newtons

Last night I worked really hard at home. I really felt like I had a super productive evening, which felt necessary after this crazy work week I have had. Work has truly been nonstop. I have been exhausted every day when I leave the office. Luckily, J has been super busy overall, and so I have been able to go home and not worry about cooking a "real meal". Eggs and leftovers are just fine thankyouverymuch.

I started my productive evening with a run. My hammies had been suffering from some major DOMS, so I stayed in bed in the morning. And since it has been crazy at work, I didn't take a lunch (not going to lunch = no running at lunch!). So after work was my chance. My legs were still a little sore from the squats and deadlifts from Tuesday, but I wanted to give it a try. Shake things out a little. So I made the decision to go really slowly.

To help FORCE me to go slowly, I decided that I should test out my new shoes!
These are the brand new Newton shoes that J bought me for our anniversary! You should check out their products here: Newton Running. Full review to come after they get 10 or so miles on them. Right now, they have only 4. :)

After my run, I changed the laundry over to the dryer and brought up all of the other laundry that was already done to fold it. I heated up some leftovers for my dinner and settled in with the pups to eat and watch a little television. I folded the laundry and put it all away. And I got ready for today while watching Teen Mom in bed.

Overall, it was a great night!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Lost Art of BALANCE

Yep. Balance. I am terrible at it, I am failing miserably. I know that I have always been an all-or-nothing sort of gal, but I have never felt so negatively about being so "all-in" to some sort of workout.

I am burnt out and bored of running today. Ha. Not sure if it is really just today or not, but I am realizing how much trouble I am having by not getting in the strength training that my body CRAVES. I have been happily participating in Tina's Bootcamp, but I have been doing LOTS of modifications to NOT do weighted lower body exercises. My legs are already sore from just bodyweight full squats and lunges. I am suffering from a mean case of DOMS resulting from from 15lb Romanian Deadlifts the other day.
(That is a really great how-to RDL video)

I am upset with myself because this bootcamp is something that I would normally throw myself into 100% (and then some).
Strength training is my thing. Following a strict plan gets my juices flowing. Seeing results strikes me as HUGE and I get results from strength training. Running, well, while it is a stress relief for me, I just don't get the same results.

I know that I said when the Pig was over I was going to work hard to re-find my balance. Yeah. Has not happened. I get up in the morning. I run. I come home from work, I might do some strength training in the living room. My bootcamp workout typically, using light or NO weights. That breaks my heart.

It is to the point where I am nearly ready to give up on my full marathon hopes and move into the half stage where I can go in feeling ready to go with much less running and much more enjoyment. But that would be a friend fail, I am afraid.

Any advice?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Em Runs Yassos (and doesn't know how to work her Garmin)

I tend to have stressful and overwhelming days at work. Everyday. Anyone else have this problem? I guess in some ways it is a good problem to have. It has caused by the fact that I work for a small company that is growing extremely quickly, far more quickly than we can keep up. But catching problems that we have as a growing company is a good thing, right? I mean, on some days I just have more work than I can deal with on my own. But I guess it goes with the territory and it is far better than any of my previous jobs in my field of study!

Yesterday I did my speedwork on the track that I crapped out on on Monday. Despite going out on Monday night, I still felt MUCH better running fast on Tuesday than on Monday.

Karen and I had Yassos on the schedule. We were supposed to do 6 of them with a 2 minute jog in between. That worked out to be nearly a 400m jog (just under). We were supposed to keep our 800s at around a 3:53 pace (or 7:45-ish per mile) and I must say that yes it was tough, but I think I succeeded. Check out this pace graph from my garmin:
Pretty obvious where I was running, right? Lol. Looks like around 7:30-7:45 on the speedy sections, right? I know that my garmin has the ability to track laps, but I have not figured out how to do that yet. Soon though, I promise!

Tonight I have a dinner date with Karen while J is at his fantasy football draft. #winning

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My Anniversary - Delicious Eats

It is hard to believe that we have now celebrated our one year anniversary. It is hard to believe that we have been married for more than one year now. It is hard to believe that one year ago right now, I was waking up in a hotel room with my husband getting ready to head over to my mom's house for a brunch prepared by her friends and some gift opening. It has been the fastest year of my life it feels like. So now we are ready and moving forward to the next stage whatever it is when you are no longer newlyweds. I guess we are not anymore, are we?

We started celebrating our anniversary on Sunday evening. My friend Leah started her own cupcake company (check out Ava Belle Cupcakes on facebook!) and so I decided to use her new company to make us a top tier for our anniversary. We ate our real top tier when we came home from our honeymoon last year because we didn't want to worry about storing a cake for a year in our freezer (which has limited space) and have it get freezer burned or something. So my original plan was just to call the bakery we got our wedding cake from and order a half dozen cupcakes or something, but with a friend starting her own business, you gotta support that!

Oh yes, J and I had a red velvet wedding cake with a remade red velvet top tier. And yes, cake + champagne (a bottle we received as a wedding gift and saved all year) was our dinner on Sunday night.
Monday was a little bit of the usual. Up early to run 4 miles at maintenance pace (I ended up slower than that because my legs would have none of it!), work all day, etc etc. But then we had a dinner reservation at Melting Pot (which is one of my favorite restaurants). I have only been there a handful of times, the first being my birthday in 2010. I was turning 27! (whoa)

I think we pretty much look the same then (other than my MUCH lighter hair - the dark hair is the natural color). I look a little thin in the shot of us together as well. Hmm... I can't decide if that is good or bad?
But here we are last night.
We enjoyed dinner, and I took a break from tracking my food for once, since I tend to do that obsessively, and just enjoyed ourselves. We had a delicious dinner of cheese, salad, the entree course (meat + veggies, J ate all the shrimp though) and of course, chocolate at the end. It was worth every delicious calorie.

Now I can't wait for tomorrow's maintenance run to test out my anniversary gift!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Columbus: Week 10 in Review

Well, we are down to less than two months to go until the Columbus Marathon! I am definitely starting to look forward to it. I am not sure what will be next after that, but suffice to say I am not training for any full marathons soon!

So this was my highest running mileage week in the history of running. There is only one week since I have started running that has higher mileage logged on DM, and that was one that I was out with a broken foot and was biking at the gym for 40 minutes per day! So it doesn't count.

The extra mileage came from the husbands start of half marathon training. He has found himself an 8 week plan (I think I mentioned this last week) and he is planning on doing 1 week twice since he actually had 9 weeks until the half. We went out together in the evenings twice last week to get his runs in. I would stop my garmin when he was ready for a walk break and start it up again when we would. He actually did his "long run" (4 miles) on his own on Saturday morning when I was with Karen doing 17! I am super proud of him!

I need to be better about cross training this week, even if it is just taking my pups for a walk in the evening. I haven't done anything to help my legs relax and adjust to longer miles, so I think I am going to attempt that this week. I have been keeping up with strength training (although certainly not to the intensity that I like!) but it is not them same as the good ole elliptical. So that will be a decent goal for week 11 of training!

I think J and I will be headed to the track together in the morning. So I will not necessarily add additional mileage this week by running with him. He can do his workout while I do mine on the same track. That way we are together, but not working out together. Does that make sense? It is a low mileage week for me, so I want to keep it that way and allow these legs their much needed rest!

Hope everyone else had a good training week too!

1 Year Today

J and I got married one year ago today. I have to be honest, it is really hard to believe that it has already been a year! It has been a very trying year (who knew it would be an adjustment to be married when we already lived together for more than a year before the wedding?) but it has also been the very best year of my life. I knew I loved him, I knew I wanted to be with him forever, but this year has truely exceeded all of my expectations.

Now for a little photo recap, one year later.

It is tough to believe how much has changed in one year, and yet, how little. J and I will be celebrating tonight at the Melting Pot! (He is buying since he lost a bet on baseball over the weekend, GO CARDINALS!)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Taste is Tonight!

Long run is over over over. I am so grateful to be through another week of training (not to mention J's first week of training) but I will review the week overall tomorrow, as usual.

So last night was a pretty relaxed evening. Nothing special. J had to play golf in his league (which I feel like he has hardly done at all!) and then he came home and we just tossed a frozen pizza in the oven for a quick and easy dinner. It was pretty good and I followed it up with the turkey hill cookies-n-cream. It was a delicious dinner in reality.

I hit the hay pretty early, around 8:30 and watched an episode of Teen Mom in bed. Yes, I watch that show. It is definitely a guilty pleasure of mine. I figured that would pretty much be resting, so I would be ready to go this morning, and at 6 am when my alarm went off, up I was! I took care of the pups and headed out to go to meet Karen at MCC, our usual starting point for our long runs.

We survived. I will talk more about the details when I write about my training week, but we made it. We covered our scheduled run and I am very proud of us.

I came home for another ice bath (the hubs picked me up a bag of ice while he was out running his errands) and it felt amazing. Now I am just hanging out with my dogs and waiting for our friends to come over (they are planning a little after 4!) We have Taste of Blue Ash in our neighborhood this weekend.
We should have a blast with Leah and Bryan eating yummy local food!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday and some Swimming.

Friday. I made it to the end of another week. Thank goodness. I mean, yes, we need to get through the workday still, but overall, I think I am there. Yes, I am completely nerdy for talking about simply "surviving" a day at work, but that is how I am feeling right now. It has been a long, hectic, and stressful week.

I am slowly making a little headway on something that I have been spending time on since March. I am starting to get the timing on it correct, which is helping me to figure out how to properly reconcile the numbers, etc. I know that anyone who reads my blog potentially wants to hear about my running, maybe my lifting or food, and maybe Zeus (because he is so darn cute!) but this is my "real life" and it is hugely important.

Making progress = positive thing.

Moving into what people really care about (ok, what I really care about as well), running. :)

Last night was J's second training run of his Columbus Half Marathon training. He is not registered yet, because he cannot get a deferral if he does register. He is taking this week (and potentially next week too) to kind of size himself up and see if he can do it. My opinion on the matter is, of course he can do it, anyone who wants to do it, can. BUT I think he wants to do it with some semblance of success. He wants to beat Chuck and Sara.

Last night we did the full two miles that his schedule called for with a few walk breaks. We probably went three miles all together, but we ran two.

And now for what is REALLY important...
This happened today.
 Oh yes. Silver medalist backstroker Nick Thoman. In my office. And Julie and I with him and the medals. And yes. I got the gold one. (from the medley relay). So exciting!

I tried really hard not to be ultra nerd, but then it became impossible. Completely starstruck am I.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Tempo/Track Thursday

Today was a tempo run. And not a tempo run measured by miles, but rather, I was supposed to run at my given tempo for 30 minutes. The tempo that was given to me by the schedule that Karen and I have been following was marathon goal pace (9:07/mile). Now that is not a terribly difficult pace for me to hold for a decent distance. I can obviously do it in a race setting for 13.1 miles (as I did in Toledo in April). But I am slowly working up to my marathon readiness, so I will follow the schedule.

The Warm up:
I ran over to the track this morning to get this workout in. I figured the track was going to be a better move because it would be nice and flat. Not that the marathon is going to be run on a perfectly flat surface, but much more flat than the surfaces than I generally run, and I get a lot of rolling hills training in my usual runs. I did a 2 mile warm up.

Mile 1 - 9:43
Mile 2 - 9:39

The Tempo:
Now let's be honest, 30 minutes is not a terribly long run at this pace compared to the half marathon that I did in April. So I figured, I could push a little. I set myself a "look at your watching every lap around the track to see that you are following your pace goals" goal, and when I crossed the marked finish line, that was when I checked the watch. I am impressed with my consistency during this part of the run, and I am also really glad that I was on the track. I don't think about it when I am running on the road, but the track is noticeably easier on my legs. And I could tell by how fresh I was feeling!

Mile 1 - 8:48
Mile 2 - 8:48
Mile 3 - 8:42
Mile 0.44 - 3:44

The Cooldown:
When the watch hit thirty I stepped over to the side of the track (there were actually two other people there that early in the morning!) and stopped and reset my watch. I didn't want my cooldown pace to drag down the average pace of my tempo run (hello, garmin obsessed runner alert!) and then only took a second, so then I continued to run. I was not worrying about the pace really, I just made the decision that I was going to continue on the track until the garmin beeped at a mile and then I would finish the lap I was on and head for home. When it beeped, I was still feeling good so I decided to run another lap and then finish and head for home.

When I left the track just under 2 laps (!!) later, I immediately noticed the difference. The sidewalks in my neighborhood are cobblestones, which are worse than concrete, if you have not run on them before. It was amazing to actually feel the difference plain as day in my legs! I jogged all the way home and really felt great for the run!

Mile 1 - 9:12
Mile 2 - 9:09
Mile 0.33 - 2:58

And overall? I ran 7.78 miles in 1:10:42. A 9:05 average pace for the full thing. I would say that is a pretty awesome run, and I am super pleased with it!

I have been doing pretty great keeping up with my Best Body bootcamp workouts, which I am pleased with, especially considering the amount of running that I am doing. I know I do not talk about them day to day on here, but it is definitely a great program that I recommend looking into if you are looking to begin strength training (she has links with videos for all the moves!) or increase your knowledge.
I cannot believe it is more than halfway over though! I am definitely planning on signing up again for the fall session (it ends right before Christmas, what a great way to stay on track at a tough time!)
J's second training run is tonight. We are headed to the track so he doesn't have to do hills.  Wish us luck!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

J Starts Training for Cbus

Yesterday J and I went out to run together after work. He is tentatively committed (as in, has not registered yet but is very seriously considering) to the the Columbus Half Marathon. I know I mentioned it last week, and my confusion surrounding it, but now he has gone out and found a training plan that he thinks will work for him, and yesterday was the first run.

He arrived home from work very shortly after me (I was upstairs changing out of my work clothes and into my running clothes when he got home). He changed into his running clothes and I fed the dogs and got the Garmin started. I know that he just wanted to get it done, so my plan was to take it really easy for him. I was going to guide pace (slower than 10 minute miles) and keep my mouth shut. I know that encouraging words might be discouraging to him, so I was just going to jog and ask him occasionally if he wanted to speed up or slow down.

Looking back, we potentially started too fast. He did not want to go too slow, as he felt like it would make him seem... weak, or something, but tomorrow on run #2, we are starting slower.
I am hoping that tomorrow we can go a little further than we did yesterday. I suppose that is a very good goal for beginning his plan. We have a long way to go though before he is ready for a half marathon. I truly hope he sticks to it though. Maybe he can do the Vegas one if Columbus becomes a stretch!

I asked him, what spurred this decision? He responded "so he can say he did it, and I will never bug him to do it again." Now, I have to be honest here, I have spent the last year of my life (which has been spent running, pretty much) trying my best to NOT bug him about it.

In non-running news, I had a failed recipe last night.
The best news is that it tastes slightly better today than it did last night! I guess that is a plus? Or maybe I just tried too many new things at once. Gluten free pasta, sauce made from avocado...  Maybe it was just all too much for one night! But, the good news... my vitamix handled that sauce blending like a champ. So I have to be pleased with that.

This morning's run was another 4 miler. Maintenace. I am feeling good this week. Ready for tempo Thursday!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Back into it - Starting Week 10

Yesterday's post did NOT have to do with running! Are you shocked? I suppose I was a little bit. It seems to be my life a large portion of the time, so NOT writing about it is a bit of a change.

So how about I DO write about it today!? I was, as usual, right back on the horse on Monday, back to running. I managed to get LESS sleep on Sunday than normal because J got up very early for golf and when he left the dogs would not leave me alone. So on Monday morning, when I woke up due to an adjusting Teek/bedhog (how on earth can an 8 lb dog be a bedhog?), I switched my alarm from the regular 4:35 am to 5:45 am. I had been feeling incredibly nauseous when J and I went to bed on Sunday night and that had not gone away completely. I figured this was an all-around better choice.

I was still feeling a little sick when I got up just before 6, but packed my bag with my running clothes anyway. After all, it was my tummy that was bothering me, not my legs, these legs were feeling pretty great after Saturday morning's ice bath.

And I wasn't actually getting sick, just feeling it. So it might be worth the risk later on. Give the run a whirl.

At lunch, I got all dressed up in my running clothes planning on knocking out the tough part of my day's workout. Fartleks. I did 4 sets of 5 minutes on with 3 minutes of recovery. All of my "work" sets were at below 8 minute/mile pace, right where they were supposed to be. I am not sure the exact pace of my rest intervals, but I still was able to keep a decent pace throughout the run. I ended up going just over 4 miles in that time.

After work, I wanted to crank out the remaining miles on the schedule for the day. 3. They were supposed to be my warm up and cooldown, but I decided that since I have to break up runs occasionally I should push it harder. So I ran the last three at approximately 10K pace (~8:25). I felt pretty good throughout.

I knew I was going to be feeling more tired this morning though, after 7+ tough miles yesterday. So I was grateful to have 4 miles (9:28 - maintenance pace) on the schedule today. And that is exactly what I did. 9:28 pace.

How has your week of runs started off? High points? Low points?

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Lonely Weekend and the Z-Man!

In one week, I will have been married for one year. Shocking right? It just does not feel like it was that long ago. I won't be doing a lil recap today, but I just had the thought cross my mind ... how close it is to being here...

This past weekend, BESIDES an ice bath and a long run, was a tough weekend. J had some friends in town from Toledo, and he played a lot of golf. He played 72 holes this weekend with Jamie and Tim (and Tim's friend Duck who lives here and therefore did not stay at our house). I hardly even saw him! Saturday they played 36 while I ran and then relaxed.

I went out with Jes in the evening and while they were home when I got there, they were playing Cornhole in the driveway and J grabbed the dogs, handed them to me and sent me inside to bed. And I did want to go to bed, that is for sure, but I feel like I missed him over the weekend.

On Sunday J played another 18 holes of golf. He came home after that and we headed over to Sharon Woods for my company picnic. They had some lawn games, food and cake, and just a nice time for me, my coworkers, and our families.

The above picture is of Buckeye Falls at Sharon Woods. It is such a pretty place. When I was there, I started thinking that it might be a good idea to purchase a park pass for the year. Sharon Woods is not very far from our house, and they have some pretty nice running trails! But at the same time, it is August, so how much use would it get for the remainder of the year? It is something to think about though for sure.

Zeus and I had a little photoshoot because he's my punkin.

He's showing you where his treats are kept (in the cabinet behind him). He wanted one, but MEAN MOMMY said no. :) I love him. Teek has no interest in hanging out with us and getting her picture taken. Lame puppy.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Halfway Through

Hard to believe I have been through 9 weeks of marathon training and I have 9 more to go. Week 9 during Pig training was a little bit different than it was this time around. I suppose that means I am getting stronger? At least, I hope that is the case. That week, I ran a 30 mile week.

Here is the training for the week:
High mileage this week!  Higher than last week, which was my previous high that this training cycle. And this week last cycle, 30 miles was my highest week ever.

Karen and I met up on Friday evening for a little "crosstraining". And by that, I mean we had Bradley, her son, in a stroller and we just went for a walk. I truthfully don't know the exact distance (a little over 2 miles?) because I did not wear a garmin.

I hope this week to be a little bit more consistent with strength training since I do not have any 10 mile days. Crossing my fingers!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

A Tricky 15 - Accomplished

Karen can sprint up hills. That is one thing I have to say about this morning's long run. It was a rough one, and definitely the longest run that I have done since the Flying Pig. But somehow, after the first 11 miles, my body started to work again. We got stuck at a stop light, and I stretched the glutes and calves. After that, I really began to feel better.

Our overall goal was to finish faster than we started. And we accomplished that 100%, without a doubt. Here are our splits (yoinked from Karen - so if they don't add  up to the total, it is because the splits came from here and the total came off my watch):
She really really really pushed my at the end to get me to kick it up when I did not want to. My legs were tired, of course, and she starts running for home. I seriously considered dropping back. Big time. But then I just mad the decision that NO, I have gone too far today to really give up and let that last mile get away from me. So I followed her. So we kicked it up and headed into the park and kept going until our garmin's beeped at 15 miles.

It was hard, but I am happy, and I am so glad to have had a little bit left there at the end to push through that final mile.

On the way home, I stopped at the gas station, bought a cheap-o cup of coffee and a small bag of ice. I had in my head that I was going to take an ice bath using Sweaty Emily's techniques. I am grateful to her for that post, as long ago as it was. The bath definitely helped the legs. I took a hot shower after that, and now I am going to be spending time with the foam roller (I need to get that knot out of my rear end that made that 11th-12th mile miserable).

Tonight, dinner with my Pig running partner, Jes!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Columbus Confusion

Today is a day off from running. It was great. I am trying to learn to take these scheduled days off and not feel guilty about them, plus get in some other work because I do enjoy strength training (and miss it!) So today I hit the gym for some upper body and core work. I avoided squats and deadlifts like the plague as they just wear my legs out and we have another long run tomorrow.

Here was the workout I completed this morning:
I was tired WHILE doing it, but afterward (now) I am not really feeling it anymore. I guess I have some work to do on the strength front to get my workouts back to their old caliber!

So yesterday I get a text from the hubs that says "Do you want to run the Columbus Half?" I have to be honest, I was not (and am still not) sure how to react. I am having several thoughts on that. The biggest is obviously a little bit of shock, since running is not his thing and he very recently expressed the fact that he does not "get" marathons as he does not understand the point. However, I am registered to run the full and have been training with Karen for the full and he knows it. But if my husband wants to run a half marathon, I feel an obligation to him as well! 

What would you do if you were me in this case?  I mean, its a tough one because I am putting in a lot of time (not to mention, convinced Karen to upgrade to the full to run together!) training, but when its your spouse, who really isn't interested in something that you are passionate about, I should do it with him, right?

So confused!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Fall Marathoning - Here it comes!

Fall is in the air...  I know that it is going to be 90* today, but the SMELL in the air is starting to change. If you live in the midwest, have you noticed? Bars and groceries are starting to get their pumpkin beers in stock (my FAVORITE sign of fall!) and Kroger near me has an aisle that they are starting to have fall decor and candy corn (an unfortunate addiction of mine!). Fall is my absolute MOST favorite time of year.

But first, I need to get through the remainder of August. Not much left though!

Fall means stocking up on Libby's canned pumpkin, pumpkin beer, apples, my skinny legged Halloween decorations...
(my mom got me into these guys, they are made by folk artist Lori Mitchell)
Fall also means heavy duty marathon training for this girl. I will start getting into the 18-20 milers that crushed me last spring. I am beginning to finally feel ready for them though, and my legs are finally beginning to feel a little bit stronger and a little bit more like they are ready to handle it again. I have been spending excessive time with my stick and foam roller, and last night I spent probably 10 minutes just stretching out my glutes (they were KILLING me!)

It is starting to seem like everytime J and I are talking to new people, they are planning on Columbus too. His cousin Chris (a member of our wedding party) and his wife Danielle, our friends Chuck and Sara who we had dinner with last night... They are all planning on the half rather than the full, but still, it is giving me an extra push to be working hard toward this!

I switched things up today and ran at lunch. I haven't done that since I have officially been on a training plan. I was doing it more frequently when I was just kind of "winging" my weekday runs and doing long runs with the group on Saturdays. Now that Karen and I have an official plan, my runs have been much more structured and typically I have been doing them in the morning to avoid any heat issues. But I slept in today and was feeling brave. Now another 4 miles are checked off the schedule!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My Fitness: One Year Ago - A Reflection

It's another day. Another day when I got up and ran in the morning, keeping with the most days per week tradition.  I have now been running 4 days per week since January 1. It might have even been a few weeks before that, as I was trying to adjust my legs to the miles. That is hard to believe to me. How is it that running became my life so quickly?

A year ago I was on my "peak week" diet before the wedding.  I cheated on this miserably and pretty much all the time (ladies cannot live on chicken, egg whites, and asparagus alone!).  I was still working with Joe, my coach, and lifting 4 days per week. I was doing steady state cardio 4 times per week (this was typically 2 days of running with 2 days on the elliptical). I was doing HIIT on Wednesdays (also the only day that I did not lift). I never went to lunch with my coworkers because I was at the gym every day.

It was a completely different time, one that I am not sure if I miss a ton, or one that I am glad is gone. I am not sure where I would be right now in my fitness and routine if I had NOT gone through that time however. I am  not sure where J would be on his feelings about me competing, my running, or even just me in general, if we had not gone through that.

Now, I still rarely eat lunch with my coworkers, but not because I am at the gym, more because I have plans with a friend or I am trying to save a buck. I am running 5 days per week, doing a LOT of core exercise, doing some upper body work (but more like pushups and tricep dips versus all of the heavy weights that consumed me a year ago), and occasionally crosstraining on the elliptical or by walking (I need to do this at least once per week).  My current training could not be any more different than what I was doing last year.

I am not sure where I will go AFTER the Columbus Marathon, suffice to say I will not be training for any marathons for a while, as I will NEED a BREAK (the one that I skipped after the Flying Pig). I will keep running, because it seems to de-stress me, but I miss strength training so much! Any thoughts on achieving this balance when there is NOT a race on the books?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A 10 Mile Weekday

So yesterday we had 10 miles on the schedule.  10! On a weekday! In case you don't follow me on daily mile, or you did not make the connection when I write this blog, but I run in the morning, before work. Most days I get up at 4:35 and get out for my run or hit the gym. 10 miles just was NOT going to happen before work and stay on the same schedule that I have adjusted my dogs and husband to.  (A happy husband = a wife who can get out and enjoy her long runs without her husband being upset!)

Here is how our schedule works: Em wakes up at 4:35, uses restroom, gets dressed in workout clothes. Em and Teek go downstairs and Em gets watch ready (if running) and shoes on. Em is out the door by 4:45. Em runs (or works out) usually between 4-7 miles (with the occasional 3 miler thrown in when the schedule calls for it!) and is back around 5:40.  The next 10 minutes is spent uploading my run from the garmin to daily mile.  At 5:50, Teek and I head upstairs to wake up Zeus and we go outside.  Then around 6 I start to get ready for the day, shower, dress, feed dogs, make breakfast, make J's breakfast, watch the news while eating breakfast.  Its a good system, I don't feel rushed, and I don't really want to change it.

Which is why I had to come up with an alternate plan for yesterday's 10 miler. Because I will be running in my first relay (and I have been assigned the longest and most difficult legs) I decided to split the run into two 5-milers.

So first thing in the morning yesterday I went out for 5-miler number one of the day.  It was tough, and my legs were still feeling a little fatigued from the 12.5 over the weekend, plus potentially sitting in the car for 3 hours on Sunday morning.  I got through the 5 with around a 9:30 pace. It was supposed to be a big speed workout, but either way, I am trying to be happy about it. I have been working hard, and that is all there is to it!

When I got to work yesterday, I was greeted by this in the parking lot.
Now, while I totally get drinking at work on occasion, let's at least go with good beer - like Miller Lite!

After work, I headed out for 5-miler number 2.  I started on the treadmill and after about 3.5 miles it was just unbearably hot in our spare room where we keep the treadmill.  So outside I went to run the final mile and a half. When I was finished, I definitely was glad to be finished.  I was sweating up a storm (despite the fact that it wasn't horribly hot out) and I kind of wanted to die a little.  I did a little bit of full body strength training when I was done though.  Air squats (not too much weight for these running legs!), pushups and planks.  It wasn't a super thorough workout, and I honestly slacked a little on the pushups (I will do better tonight!) but it was something!

J arrived home shortly after that.  He has been getting home a little bit earlier lately, and I am loving it.  He had an eye doctor appointment at Sam's Club, and then did a little shopping which included this:
I am loved. :)

He hit the treadmill while I cooked our dinner.  I had tacos planned because I had all of the stuff, and I bought the tortillas last week and did not want them to go bad. Here was my dinner:
I had a second taco as well.  They were delicious (and I had some leftovers for lunch sans tortilla!)
And here is a cute picture of me and the Z-man.  Zeus loves compression as much as I do!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Running: A Week In Review

Another week of training is in the books!  I am pretty pleased that I went through the week's workouts as prescribed this week.  It is not a first or anything, but it sort of feels like it. It was a tough week for my legs, much more so than my mind.  My legs were tired and heavy for a large part of the week as I wrote about while it was happening.  But here is the week's log:

Good week on the mileage front for sure.  That is the longest week I have had since the Flying Pig Marathon.  I logged 35 miles that week.  So I am definitely starting to see the upswing that comes with marathon training in mileage again. 

Saturdays run, I know that I talked about it a little that day after the run, but I need to say that it was a good one.  It felt good to run that far and feel ok doing it.  I did stop at stretch and eat some shot blocks at mile 7, refilled my water around mile 9 and that was it.  I figure that is ok, right?  I have gotten into the habit of stretching every few miles, and sometimes I regret that.  It is not something that I want to feel like I need when we are running in Columbus this fall, so I have been trying to make it be "further" into my runs.  So two weeks ago I stretched at 6, and this week I held off until 7. 

69 days until the Columbus Marathon!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Dads are obnoxious and other tales

J and I are in Toledo for the second weekend in a row visiting family members.  He is off at a golf outing right now, one that did not tee off until noon.  There were 36 teams playing, so I have no idea how long it is actually going to be today.  Normally he does an outing in around 5-6 hours.  That is much longer than his normal round of 18, but they sometimes do not start in time, and not all of the players are great, so it tends to go much slower.

Once he is done with golf, I have to drive out there, pick him up, and attend the dinner that is after.  The dinner is not in the clubhouse of the course, it is somewhere else.  So that is kind of weird, but I promised I would do it since it is sort of a family event. I have no idea what time that will be, however.

I had to turn my dad down when he was texting me asking me to come to where he is however.  He is at Pride today.  And I do the best I can with the fact that I have a gay dad (one who is recently out), and that is not easy. I do better than some because of the extensive time spent in the theater as a kid and young adult, I think.  He is still my dad, so of course, I love him, etc, but that does not make this situation easy!  But I am at my mom's house.  She is not here. My dogs are here, and my Grandma who lives here is sick. The dogs make her a little nervous, so with my mom not here, I really need to be here with them so Grandma isn't so nervous!

Doesn't that make sense? But he keeps texting me, all whiney about how his friend left hanging with him to go hang with he ex, blah blah blah. Honestly, it is a little obnoxious. And childish.

But that is neither here nor there, I am doing what I need to do by taking care of my pups, being a good doggie mamma, etc. And that is what really matters.

This morning I got up and headed to the park. I ran at Wildwood, which is not the park I ran at last weekend, but is my favorite park to run at here in Toledo. I ran my first solo 13 miles there during Pig training. I ran 9 miles there the day my sister got married before I went to get my hair done. I ran 8 miles there last August the day before I got married which was my longest run EVER at the time.

Today I covered 12.5 miles in decent time, and I am pleased with that.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Travel + Rest Day

Last night after work I cooked a new recipe.  It was another one that I found on the Paleo Plan website.  I dreamed up the sides myself (meaning, I cooked what I normally might) but I used their recipe for the chicken.  I had to cook it on the Foreman grill though for two reasons (we were getting a big storm and we ran out of propane!) and I was nervous about how that would go.

I cooked bacon wrapped rosemary chicken.  This is exactly what it sounds like.  I took a sprig of fresh rosemary, set it on top of the chicken breast, and wrapped a piece (ok, two pieces!) of bacon around it to hold it in place and put on the foreman.  The reason I was nervous was because they were pretty large pieces of chicken, and with bacon wrapped around them, how was the cooking going to go?  Was the bacon going to get scorched and leave my chicken raw in the middle?  Turns out, no, it cooked just fine.  I served us some sweet potatoes (roasted) and green beans on the side.  It was a delicious dinner.

Jason and I made a few travel accomplishments last night as well. 

We booked our flight to Las Vegas (hotel was booked a while ago) for our annual trip and so I can run this race:
I am pretty much looking forward to it.  Especially because I do not really plan on training for it, I just plan on running.  No PRs necessary.

We also booked our hotel in Cleveland to go and see the Tigers play the Indians on September 15!  Those are the tickets that we got from the auction that we went to last weekend.  So far, my cousin and her husband are coming with us, and we have invited Stephanie and Dave.  If they come (I hope they come!) that will cover our 6 tickets that we have (and Jamie and Nic have the other 6).  It was a tricky process because everything downtown was already booked!  We cannot figure out what is going on in Cleveland (no concerts, no football, nothing!) other than this game.  And yes, Detroit is not terribly far from Cleveland, but would Tiger fans really book up ALL hotels?  Oh well.  We've got a room.

This morning when my alarm went off at 4:35 am I made the decision to turn it off.  I decided to stay in bed and keep sleeping.  It was not a run day, and let's be honest, after having tired legs for a week, I needed this.  It felt great to get that extra hour of sleep.  So today is going to be a cardio rest day.  When I get to Toledo tonight I plan on doing a few rounds of pushups, crunches, planks, air squats, etc just to get a little workout in.

Have a lovely Friday!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Fall Beers & Threshold Run

I spent a long time (probably 20 + minutes) working exclusively worth the stick.  Have you ever used this little torture device? 
Omg.  It hurts so good.  I spent a decent amount of time on my quads and IT bands because they were kind of where I was feeling the most drag during my last few runs.  I spent a little time on the shins and calves as well, but not as much. 

Before I had the Stick, I started using a rolling pin, right before the marathon when I was having knee/IT band issues.  It worked pretty well, but maybe not quite AS well because the rolling pin is wider and cannot dig in to smaller knots like this thing can?  At least, that is my thought. I have (and use) a foam roller as well, but I tend to use that more for my glutes and the stick more for the legs.

J and I had a friend, Bryan, over for dinner last night. We had hamburgers and chips with salsa and a little side salad for our meals.  Along with a few beverages.  J was glad to have someone over to drink the beer that is in our fridge that he doesn't like (someone gave him a Great Lakes variety pack, and he does not like all of the flavors.)
Dortmunder Gold.  J is NOT a fan.  But now we are out of it.  Hooray!

Speaking of beer - how is it possible that I have not discovered this before now?
Sam Adams makes a PUMPKIN beer?!?  I seriously have not seen this before now.  Well, before last weekend when J told me that he had seen it somewhere.  I love pumpkin beer.  I CRAVE pumpkin beer.  I drank my first one last night!

I got up for a threshold run this morning, first thing.  I woke up about an hour before I had to because a Charlie developed in my calve. That's the worst.  After that, getting back to sleep was tricky, so I actually got up and started getting dressed about 10 minutes before my alarm.  Turns out, that was fine since I had 7 miles on the agenda. 

The plan was 7 miles with 3 mile repeats at a threshold pace (according to the training plan I have been following while seeking out my sub-4 marathon, that is an 8:33 pace).  In between the repeats, I was to jog for one minute.  I got out there and did my warm up and my drills (some butt kicks, high knees, strides, etc) and then started to roll on my repeats.  The times for those three miles were as follows: 8:46, 8:33, 8:31.  So not as fast as I wanted, but not too bad either.  I finished the full 7 in 1:04.  So fairly equivalent to last week, I suppose!

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Queasies - or that's what I call them.

I have been feeling sort of weird for a couple of days now.  Not unmotivated in any way.  Just weird. I am still enjoying all of my runs, I am just feeling weird.  Yesterday I was really nauseous.  My legs have kind of been feeling like lead.  I am still enjoying my runs, they have just been tough. I guess that is a lot better than being unmotivated. 

Someone commented on my Daily Mile entry yesterday when I mentioned that the legs felt like lead, that this is my legs getting stronger.  And he is a Boston runner, local race winner, and is ranked locally (pretty awesome!) so I want to trust that he is correct.  Of course, I have no clue if he is or is not!  I just figure I will spend a half hour or so with the roller and the stick tonight and do some really heavy duty stretching to try and loosen everything up...  Fingers crossed as I have 7 tomorrow!

Last night because of all of this weirdness, I was in bed when J got home.  I just didn't want to move for a little while.  Of course, he was ready for dinner even though it was a little early.  Since I was feeling lazy, I left it up to him completely and let him do what he wanted. He toyed with the idea of grilling something. He mentioned going out.  And 10 minutes later we were in the car headed to BW3.  I ordered a beer - because that is what you do when you go there! - and I drank it very slowly.  That is not terribly normal for me, but I guess if that is what my stomach wanted, that is what I was going to do!  We ordered an appetizer (soft pretzels!) and as soon as I took a bite, my stomach started to feel better.  I was not short on food yesterday prior to dinner, but I guess my stomach just needed a little food to settle it down or something!

I am beginning to wonder if these things are related though.  Nausea, not feeling too hungry (forced myself to eat that pretzel and dinner yesterday!), lead legs...  I don't know what could be causing it.  When I am running I feel fine (my head, stomach, etc), my legs are just heavy.  Its after breakfast that my tummy usually starts to give me the queasies.

Today is a better day though, so wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Silver, and Pinterest for the WIN!

Have you seen this article?  As an athlete who is not even close to Olympic caliber, I struggle to think I could possibly be upset with winning a silver.  However, that is most likely because I am not even close to Olympic caliber.  I suppose if I was McKayla Maroney, I would be pretty ticked off.  And I would probably even make that face on the podium.  And as a 16 year old, I would be a sore loser.  Right?

Moving on, I just found that to be really interesting, so I wanted to address it.  Plus some of the expressions in the photos are priceless.  Oh yeah, and the American's team cycling uniforms?  I think I would be embarrassed.

So when I was in Toledo I decided it was finally time to try a pinterest recipe.  It was storming out pretty badly, and I was at my mom's and wanted to try a recipe.  I browsed my pinterest board for something that we had all of the ingredients for, and I came up with this: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread. The link is to the website that my pin took me too, and I thought they turned out deliciously.  Sometimes I just wing it (even when baking) and I have been met with varying degrees of success with that.  Here is the android version photo of my cookies:
And it was taken with the phone, so please don't be too critial of my photo skills, its a terrible photo!

Yesterday was a weird day for my body.  Despite taking the day off COMPLETELY on Sunday (and then running 6 miles - speedwork Monday morning), my legs were just feeling beat to a pulp on Monday.  I got all compressioned up for most of the day.
Oh yeah.  Compression shorts and socks, and Emily loves red!  :)  It definitely felt great to have all of that stuff on, but my legs were still feeling tired and lead like this morning.  But I still got my rear out there for 4 miles.  I struggled to hold pace, but in the end, my pace looked pretty good.

Do you "believe" in compression gear?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Marathon Training: Week 7

Another week of marathon training is in the books.  It is hard to believe that in less than 11 weeks I am going to be toeing the line, once again, at a marathon.  Still in my home state, and this time completely in my home state (the Flying Pig had several miles in Kentucky).  I am getting very excited already.  I am nervous too, because I am not sure that I am going to hit the sub-4 goal that I want, but I know that I am going to do great and feel great, right?

Here is the week of workouts:
This is my highest mileage week since the last week in May (when J and I were in Chicago and I did 10 on Friday with 4 on Sunday with my uncle) and the second highest week since the Flying Pig marathon.  I truely did not feel like I overdid anything this week, although my legs are tired now!

This weekend we have a 12-13 mile long run.  I will (AGAIN) be running it in Toledo.  Wildwood, here I come!  I am very seriously considering stopping at a gas station on my way home for a bag of ice and trying out the whole ice bath thing.  It really makes me nervous, but at the same time, I know that it will be a good idea and will help my legs to recover much faster!

Have a great week of training, everyone!

Saturday, August 4, 2012


I ran some trails today. I have never run trails before. I know that I posted a map of the park and said I was sticking to the all-purpose trail, but when I got there, I changed my mind. I just felt the urge to run on them.

So I ran 11 miles, and 5 of them were on the all-purpose trail and 6 were on dirt and gravel. I had so much fun running like that. It was different and I was definitely slower, but it was so different and fun! So yes, the 11 were slow compared to what my original goal was, but I know from learning from other runners how much slower trail running is than road running. So I am taking a deep breath and taking it easier on myself.

11 miles in 1:46:30. I will write a full update on the week of training when I get home tomorrow, but long run success happened today, and it is very difficult to be upset about that, no matter how tough it was to get those miles when you actually were running them!

We went to a charity event with my dad last night. It was a wine and beer tasting set up through the greatest store in Toledo, the Anderson's! And there was a silent auction and a live auction. We split (with our friends that were with us) 12 tickets to the Tigers v. Indians game in Cleveland on September 15. So we split the 12 in half and decided we will see what friends we can get to join us for a short weekend in September. I am looking forward to it already!

We had fun at the event, and I think (and hope) that our friends did too!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Finally Friday

When I was writing the title of this entry, I actually typed "financially friday" first.  Bwhahaha!

Last night I went out with my two fave runner girls, Stephanie and Karen.
There the three of us are looking ridiculous, as usual at the color run last week. 

We planned this dinner when driving home from Louisville last Sunday morning, and I have spent the entire week looking forward to it.  Karen picked the place and we decided that off of the Kings Mills Rd exit was where to go.  Karen lives about 45 minutes North of me, and this exit is a good middle ground and it is pretty close to Steph (she lives between us, in Mason).  We all ate what we wanted for dinner, and I managed to stay within my calories for the day.  I quite pleased with that considering I drank some beers and ate a chicken wrap!

Columbus training for the day had crosstraining on the schedule, and I also needed to get in workout C of #bestbodybootcamp since I did not have time earlier in the week for that one. 

So the workout consisted of about 25 minutes of full body supersets and then I finished it up with 20 minutes on the elliptical.  I struggle with the strength moves that combine upper and lower body, to be honest.  I just feel like I can't figure out what weight it correct to challenge me on the lower body stuff, but not overdo it on upper body.  Does that make sense at all?  Meaning...  I can lunge with a heck of a lot more weight than I can use on a bicep curl, but I have to do both! 

I just read this article from men's health.  It is regarding the amount of food that Michael Phelps consumes to get his crazy swimming workouts solid.  If you will remember back to Beijing, he was eating around 12K calories per day and it would consist of things like an entire large pizza with a milkshake chaser.  The article talks about how he has switched to more whole foods and not just calories.  Its a good read!