Monday, June 30, 2014

Marathon Training: Week 4 of 20

Another week of moving forward in marathoning has come and gone. I have already been at this for 4 weeks, which is hard to believe. I am through 4 weeks of training, with 16 more to go. I skipped a weekend of racing with friends in order to potentially focus on the bigger picture. Not wearing myself out or getting hurt racing for not the real goal.

AND... J was playing in a golf tournament, so I was on Addie duty. :)

Regardless of all of that, I accomplished another week's worth of solid workouts. Runs as planned. Crosstraining & strength training. I am doing all of the right things. All of those things that should result in the best marathon I have run to date.

At least I hope so...

So, let's do a quick rundown of my workouts for last week.

Monday: 5 miles of speedwork (1200m repeats)
Tuesday: 20 minute treadmill warm up (2.16 miles), strength, 0.9 mile afternoon walk to straighten my head out
Wednesday: 4.1 miles @ 8:41. Supposed to be a maintenance run, but just ran without my watch, and that pace felt pretty good.
Thursday: 5 tempo miles.
Friday: rest day
Saturday: 9 miles on the treadmill. 8:54 average pace while watching Hunger Games.
Sunday: 3.3 miles walked with Addie. The stroller's tires were pretty low, so it was MUCH harder to push, and I couldn't find the air pump. Evening core and leg workout.

1 day xtraining
2 days strength
4 runs
29.46 miles

As you can see from above, another week of nailing my workouts. I am pretty pleased with all of it. Another good week checked off.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

31 things for my 31st birthday

I turned 31 one week ago. With my 30th birthday spent pregnant and the whole year spent adjusting to being a mom (ok, not just a mom, but a mom who works full time and attempts to be a good wife and tries to hit major goals in racing), I did not necessarily spend a ton of time focusing on the fun things that I might have liked to.

So, as mentioned, I wanted to make a list of fun to accomplish before I turn 32. And now, I am going to share it with you.
I definitely think this list is doable, overall. Some of these things already have plans around them, and some of them are tentatively in the works. But you I need to have the accomplished by June 22, 2015. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Speedwork and a B-day!

Well, the giveaway for the custom shirt from My Race Ragz has ended, and I would say it was successful! Thanks to everyone who entered. The winner was DG Middenorf, who followed My Race Ragz on twitter.

Congratulations, and the winner has been notified via email.

Yesterday, I had speedwork on tap. Runcoach had me between 4 and 5 miles, and since I was feeling pretty good, I wanted to do 5. That involved extending the warm up and cool down that I had on the schedule. Therefore the workout went as follows.

1.5 mile warm up
1200m @ 7:41
400m recovery
1200m @ 7:41
400m recovery
1.5 mile cooldown
That gave me 5 miles total in 43:50. And the 1200m were about 7 seconds per mile faster than prescribed, which I am always happy about. Something about training on the treadmill makes me feel the need to go a little faster. The best part about training on the treadmill is that it keeps my paces consistent. It will help me from overdoing it because I can generally stick to what I am supposed to be doing, whereas outside I tend to go a little fast sometimes.

In addition to yesterday's speed work, Sunday was my 31st birthday. I am working on coming up with a list of things that I want to accomplish before my 32nd birthday. So far, I have about 5 things, but I want it to be a 31 things in my 31st year kind of post. So I am working on it. Follow up on that concept is coming.

But I did enjoy the day with my mom and brother who were in town from Toledo, and of course my little family (J & Miss A). And Addie enjoyed helping Momma open her presents from Gramma.

She is so adorable. I still cannot believe she is MINE! :)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Marathon Training: Week 3 of 20

Three weeks of marathon training are in the books. The time has been flying by, and I am feeling great so far. Granted, my mileage has not been too too heavy so far, which definitely makes it a little bit easier, but I am still feeling excited and motivated to keep up with all of the goals I have set for myself.
So let's review the workouts I did this week.

Monday: Speedwork for 5 miles total. 300m repeats. 1 mile walk.
Tuesday: Strength training. 1 mile walking warm up, then a full body strength workout with light weights.
Wednesday: 5 soupy miles at lunch with an 8:47 average pace.
Thursday: Threshold run during Addie's naptime. 5.5 total miles.
Friday: Crosstraining day. Lunchtime walk
Saturday: 10 very humid miles with Karen. 8:31 average pace, last mile at 7:42. I am pretty proud of that.
Sunday: REST

Overall, I followed my runcoach schedule perfectly (which is always a big deal). I had a strength training day and a crosstraining day. I had one full day of rest. And I covered 30 miles for the 3rd straight week.

I am at 93 miles for the month of June. Assuming I stick to my plan, I am going to hit 100 miles in the month for the first time ALL YEAR. Thank goodness. I have been waiting to get my mojo back to the point where I would do this!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Nailed Workout

Despite working at home yesterday, I managed to have a rather productive day. I probably managed to work about 5 hours. I also got the baby to the doctor and kept her fed. I mean, those are important things.
Plus, how many other folks can look so cute with half a grilled cheese sandwich shoved in their face? I know that I don't look that cute. :)

She honestly was totally fine yesterday. Her fever was like 99.0 at the doctor and then completely normal later, and that was without taking Tylenol to lower it. Darn school rules about a fever! She was having a grand ole time playing with all of her toys and stuff, so I brought her to school today. Hopefully she is a-ok, and doesn't have to come home for any reason. *fingers crossed*

I also squeezed in my workout. I got Addie down for a nap in the afternoon. I figured she would take a long afternoon nap since she did not get a long one in the morning, she just got her shorter one since we went to the doctor. I was right - she slept for 3 hours.

I had a threshold run scheduled for yesterday. And although I am preferring outdoor running these days, I do like to do fast stuff on the treadmill because it helps to ensure that I am hitting the appropriate paces. I have been nailing the paces and although struggling sometimes, I am supposed to be at the speedwork paces, right?

Here is the workout:
1.5 mile warm up
2x 1 mile @ 8:06, 400m recovery
1.5 mile cooldown
That gave me 5.5 miles in 48:19. It felt pretty good to accomplish that workout. I am glad that I nailed another one. This week is going well overall.

Are you nailing your training for the week?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Work-at-Home Day

It is Thursday at around 11 am. I am at home, putting in a few hours of work from the couch with little Addie Roo nearby. I got a phone call around 2 pm yesterday from her school saying that she had a fever. Boo for fevers and sick babies. Apparently she was not really acting like herself, and she had just been snuggling with her blankie and her little monkey lovey (that she has claimed as her own at school) and not really playing much. So I picked her up and brought her home, taking the rest of the afternoon off.

She is behaving just fine, but after she took a nap yesterday in the afternoon, her fever was up to 101.8. So that was quite a bit higher than it was when I picked her up at school (when it was only 100.2). But she was still behaving normally. Playing with her toys, eating her dinner, going to the bathroom regularly, etc. She was not super fussy or anything. So other than the fever, it did not seem like she was sick at all! I suspected teething, and knew that she was going to have to be out of school today (24 hours fever-free is the rule) but I figured things were a-ok.

She slept great last night. She rolled around a bit, but she always does that. Didn't wake up and fuss or anything. Since I was not needing to leave quickly to get to work this morning, I let her sleep until she woke up on her own (around 6:40 am) I took her temperature right away (before her bottle or anything) and it was at 101.5. I decided then that I was going to call her pediatrician.

We got in at 9 am, so right after I got off the phone with them (around 8 am) I loaded up the baby, put the pups in their crates and headed out to Mason for her appointment.

Double ear infection. Yuck. The poor little peanut. I am glad she feels ok over all though, because she is still behaving normally. She has started her antibiotics and I am getting some work done. I took a half day today, so I am just going to get as much work done as I can, so I can feel like I am accomplishing some of the things that I need to.

But still, my poor, sick little lady. How do you other moms out there do this? When your kid is sick, do you have a back up plan? Or is it you who is taking the day off work and hanging out at home with the kiddos? Without my family in town here, it is definitely on me to take care of all of this. J goes to work, and I stay home. It is definitely a tricky thing to make sure it works out ok.

If you are a stay at home mom, how do you handle this?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Busy Week at work

It has been an interesting week so far... Things have been quite busy at the office with a few important vendors in, as well as a few of our C level staff who do not make it in here too often. But it is my favorite folks, so I am always happy when they visit us from New York. But it makes for a lot of meetings and less time at my desk, so I am always happy when 5 pm rolls around and I am able to go fetch the little Lady A.

I woke her up in the morning to get her ready to go to school she was SO TIRED still.

How cute is that little nugget?

But trust me, I get that exhaustion. I feel wiped out as well.

Have you entered my #giveaway yet? Enter here!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

My Race Ragz: A Review and Giveaway

Through my ambassadorship with Fit Approach (sweatpink) I was given the opportunity to try My Race Ragz, where you can create a custom shirt from technical material or use one of their MANY already designed shirts to get something that is uniquely you. I was pretty excited for this opportunity and I am ready to tell you all about it.

You start on the website by picking one of their white shirt options (they have 5 options for female and 5 for male with various sleeve lengths) and after that you get going on your design. The whole process was very easy, and I played with various options while designing mine to make sure that I ended up with exactly the shirt that I had in mind. I placed my order and played the waiting game. They are upfront that your shirt is custom made, and so there may be up to 6 days before it ships.

However, I was pleasantly surprised at their timing, and I received the shirt quickly. Here is what I ended up with.
The shoes were one of their standard designs, and I added my name to the front.
On the back, I actually got some input from Karen for what to write. She suggested any of these, and I decided that I liked the idea of ALL of them best. They are written in indigo.
Here I am in the shirt. I took it out for 5 miles of Speedwork on Monday, to see how it felt.

The shirt got nice and sweaty, and now it has been washed twice (once before I wore it, and once after), and all of the printing seems to be holding up great.

Do you want to win a shirt of your own? Enter the below rafflecopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Note: I was given this opportunity to design a shirt in exchange for the review given. All opinions are my own.
The winner of the above giveaway will be given a coupon code for the value of a shirt they can design themselves, the winner will be responsible for the shipping charges.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Marathon Training: Week 2 of 20

Well, I have already gone through 2 weeks (of 20) to train for the marathon. Granted, I still have not registered, but so far, so good. So the plan for the marathon is...
So let's chat workouts for week 2 of the training plan that runcoach has prescribed.

Monday: 1.75 miles walk/jog and 1 hour of strength training
Tuesday: Speedwork. Warm up, 6x400m repeats, cooldown for 5 total miles
Wednesday: 6.75 miles, including a 5 mile maintenance run and 1.75 miles walk/jog. 1 hour strength
Thursday: 5 miles, maintenance pace
Friday: 2 miles, 1 hour strength training
Saturday: 11.1 miles (per my strava app) with the Buckeye collective and especially Karen! (8:35 avg)
Sunday: rest day/Father's Day!

Totals: 3 days strength training (I have to keep this up!), 31.6 miles, one day of speedwork, one long run.

Saturday's LR went great. It was fun being out with Karen again, and I managed to stick with her pretty well, so she got her LR in at her required pace (well faster than mine!) and so I am extremely happy so far. Here are the splits according to Strava:
Mile 1: 8:37
Mile 2: 8:30
Mile 3: 8:51
Mile 4: 8:37
Mile 5: 8:33
Mile 6: 8:47
Mile 7: 8:27
Mile 8: 8:47
Mile 9: 8:31
Mile 10: 8:35
Mile 11: 8:13
And the last 0.1 was super fast because Karen was pushing me HARD, but I kept up and it felt good.

Overall, I had another awesome week, and I am super proud and pumped to keep going!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day - J's first

I hope that everyone out there is having a lovely weekend, and all the dads out there are having a great Father's Day. I think that J is...  He is starting his day with a little golf. He takes his dad to play golf most years on Father's Day, and this year is is right out our front door (they have typically gone to this course that we now live on in the past!)

He has a general idea of what Addie and I got him for a present, and I think he is excited about it. We bought him a grill. He does not know which grill we bought him though. I talked to my mom though, she works at Lowes, and she chatted a bit with the guys in the outdoors department to get their feedback. We didn't want to overpay for features that we wouldn't use, but we wanted a grill that would be high quality and would last.
With that, meet the Weber Genesis. It was the most recommended grill from the guys that my mom is friends with, and Weber is obviously an outstanding brand. It was a bit pricey, but I am hoping that it is well worth it and J is excited to have such a nice grill. We also got the weber branded grill cover, because I might as well get the nice cover to ensure that we keep the cover on it when it is not in use. we need to keep this thing NICE! At least, that must be the goal. We want it to last.

But I am so glad to have the two best dad's in my life.
My dad.
And Addie's dad.

Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 13, 2014

PT, Graduated.

I am already nearing the end of my physical therapy journey. I have been working hard every single day to make sure that I am taking full advantage of this opportunity, doing all of my stretches and exercises at home. I know that my right arm is getting stronger. I am less scared to try things that I was once afraid of. Examples of that include a forearm plank (I have been afraid of how the plate would impact my ability to be on my forearm) and a side plank on the right side. I am pretty sure I could have done these things prior to this round of therapy, but it was good to have someone there with me when I attempted them.

My mobility on the elbow is not improved, which means straight arm planks should be avoided, just because I cannot use proper form. In addition, things like overhead squats with any weight are probably also out of the question for form reasons. I just cannot straighten that arm out, so I would imagine that it has the potential to be dangerous.

At this point, my mobility options (for improvement) are rather limited. There is always the option to have a second surgery to have the plate removed. Obviously that would be determined in part by my surgeon and if he even thinks it will be worth it. I mean, surgery is surgery whether it is necessary or just desired. So obviously there are some downfalls to having surgery and risks and complications involved. So I would imagine that there will be a discussion between myself and Dr. Penix, as well as myself and J, since I will be relatively out of commission for a week or so. (PS – about 85% of the time that I type ‘Penix’, I misspell it – tee hee.)

As far as things with the legs go, I have moved past Graston in my sessions. Apparently the fibrous tissue is broken up and it is now on me to continue with the foam rolling/stick using to KEEP it broken up, and to keep this from forming in my other leg or other places. I have moved into running at physical therapy as part of my warm up and doing lots of plyo exercises to help me legs get stronger to stand the pounding that I am putting them through. It feels good to know that I am helping myself in that way. I am working hard to get stronger and be able to put my legs through more and more.

I definitely have had days when I walk out of there that I am feeling it and am sore. Those are definitely the days when I feel less enthusiastic that I have been so gung ho about getting “fixed”. Being strong can make you sore when you are doing a million squats and lunges on a bosu ball, mixed with plyo stuff.

So today (Friday) was my graduation day. I hope I continue to feel great.  

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Rocking all the miles

Well good morning on a Thursday! I kept thinking all day yesterday that it was Thursday, and as a result, I was very much disappointed to realize that today was not Friday. But I guess I am glad that tomorrow is Friday.

Yesterday I ran in the morning. I got up, took the baby monitor and the dogs to the basement, and flipped on the TV to netflix with plans of 5 easy miles. I found a new show to watch. I decided that it was maybe time to watch "Once Upon a Time." So I watched the first episode while logging those 5 easy miles. Obviously, I am sucked into the show already. I am loving Ginnifer Goodwin, she is one of my favorites, for sure.

So for 5 miles, I kept the pace easy, between 6.4 and 6.7 on the treadmill, to keep my average pace right around the pace that recommended pace for maintenance miles. For my training this cycle, that is 9:14/mile. Training around the paces that were prescribed for me when I was training for the GCM half helped me to pretty much NAIL what was prescribed for finish time. So I guess that basically means that I need to trust the process, especially if I am planning on running a fall full.

So let's have a post run #sweatyselfie

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Addison Rose: 10 Months

So something has happened. Somehow it has been more than 10 months since a little nugget came into my life. I definitely cannot believe it has already been that long. Everyday with her in my life has been difficult in the best possible way.

Addie probably weighs around 17 lbs (based on her weight at her 9 month appointment). She is long and lean. But no worries. She has rolls in all the good places, like her thighs. She is getting so big and making me crazy! It really is amazing to see how much her personality has developed over these last 10 months.

Right now, Addie loves all food. Lucky for me, she will try anything. J gave her a taste of ice cream and it's game over. I was really hoping to avoid that. But too late now. I think it is less about ice cream and more about that she wants everything that we have. So I guess that can help encourage us to make better choices. 

She can pull up now, but she does not seem to always remember that. Sometimes she just will get to her knees and call it a day. I guess I am excited for her to pull up all the time and learn to walk but at the same time I want her to stay my little peanut forever. I guess she will always be my peanut, right?

Addie is learning to stack rings. She now will put the ring around its base and let it sit before taking it off again. But if I make a tower, it must be knocked down. She also loves playing with Zeus. He is gentle enough that they can both tug on a toy and play together which is so fun!

Where did the time go?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Marathon Training: Week 1 of 20

Last week was pretty much one of the best week’s I have had in running. At least, one of the best that I have had in a very long time. I actually managed to get in all four runs, I had good mileage, I raced, and I stuck to my schedule. Not only those things with the good schedule, but I actually felt pretty good while running. I didn’t feel tired or run down or unmotivated, which has been the norm over the recent months of running. I don’t know what has caused the shift in motivation/ability, but I am glad to have had at least one good week of running under my belt now that I am planning on marathon training for fall.

Speaking of which, I still have not officially selected or registered for a fall marathon yet, but I am really hoping to get that squared away prior to the next price increases for the races. It sounds like that the majority of the races that I am interested in for fall have the next jump on July 31. Therefore, I have a little bit more time to get the husband on board with what I am hoping to do. (Admittedly, I have just pretty much been avoiding the subject up until now, because I was not sure – still am not sure – how to best approach it.) But it is definitely getting closer to time to take the plunge and make the choice so I can add it to my calendar and be solely focused on one race. Something that I haven’t really done for 2 years – since the last time I planned on running Columbus.

So, since I had a great week, let’s do a quick rundown of what last week in workouts looked like. That way I can remember what a good week looks and feels like going forward.
Monday: 5.1 miles of speedwork
Tuesday: 2.5 miles walk/jog, 75 minutes of lower body and core strength training
Wednesday: 7.2 miles, 60 minutes strength
Thursday: 5.1 miles
Friday: 1.5 miles, 60 minutes strength
Saturday: 10.2 miles, including a 5K race (2nd place, AG!)
Sunday: much needed rest
Totals: 3 days strength training, lower walk/jog mileage, and 31.6 total miles

30 miles in a week. Not bad, right? I am definitely pleased with it, as it is easily the highest mileage week I have run in well over a year. It made for a great first week of marathon training, now to keep it up over the next several (19) weeks!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Back in PT

Physical therapy. Not my favorite thing in the world, but I guess it is important in order to be the healthiest and most physically fit person that I can be. If my elbow is properly functioning, then I can run better. I honestly did not think about that before, but in reality, I am VERY aware of my elbow when I am running. I probably always will be for the rest of my life, I am afraid.

I am mentally having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that it has somehow been more than a year since I fell, broke the 'bow, and had it surgically repaired.
My life has pretty much been feeling different ever since then. (Granted, that is 99% because I have had little Addie in my life since shortly after that, but still, I am sure a metal plate is PART of it).

So here I am back where I started. I am in PT three times per week. I am getting my elbow worked on in hopes that I can get some additional mobility. Granted, the range of motion that I have is sufficient, it is not causing me any problems, it would just be nice to have a little bit more. I would like to not be aware of my arm at all times, and I think that there is a good chance that the fact that my arm simply does not move exactly like I might like to move it has something to do with that.

So in addition to having my elbow worked on, I am having my legs taken care of in physical therapy. After seeing the chiropractor at the GCM expo, I realized that I had a pretty big issue with my glute (and my super tight hamstrings) and that chiropractor recommended looking into a technique called Graston, which is similar to scraping, if you know anything about that. Basically metal instruments run along your muscles to break up any fibrous tissues, which in turn helps my legs (I can speak from experience now!) feel stronger and more fresh.

So far, so good.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Pure Lyft: A Review

Disclaimer: I received the Pure Lyft as a sample to try through my affiliation with Fit Approach/Sweat Pink. I received no additional compensation. All opinions are my own.

Have you heard of Pure Lyft? Admittedly, prior to my receiving the opportunity to try it through my Sweat Pink Sisterhood, I had not. But when the opportunity presented itself, I hopped on their website to research it immediately and decided that I definitely wanted to be in the group that was able to sample this caffeine stick.

From the product's website:
LYFT® Energy Stir Sticks are a zero calorie, “Clean Caffeine”™ energy product infused with all natural caffeine derived from green coffee bean extract with vitamins A and B complex that can be used with any beverage to provide a sophisticated energy experience with a clean taste.

The idea of a "clean" energy drink was definitely appealing to me. I have been known to drink a red bull or a 5 hour energy on occasion, and who wouldn't be interested in one that has zero calories and less chemicals? 

I received the product about a week ago. After opening the envelop I was greeted with 2 stir sticks in a package.
I decided to use the first one in the morning on my way into work. The product was tasteless in my water, which I would consider to be a plus. Some folks struggle drinking enough water, and I am not one of those people. I can see someone wanting maybe some flavor to go with this, but for me, it was perfect as it was. 

The energy level was perfect for me. It was competitive with coffee, I would say, and there was no jitters from this level of caffeine. I would definitely consider using this product again.

So if you are looking for "clean caffeine", you should definitely consider Pure Lyft.