Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Semi-Wordless Wednesday: Happy Halloween!

A few funnies from the world of Pinterest...

Stay alert, my friends! Feel free to send any extra Almond Joy & Reese's PB Cups my way, too.

Are you dressing up for Halloween? I'm wearing a superhero cap for work, but nothing major this year.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Wine and Dine Half Training: Week 11

I won't lie...this week really kicked my butt!  Peak weeks are no joke, my friends, and my legs are not very happy but the rest of me feels great about how the week turned out.

Monday 10/22/12 - XT: 2 mile walk in 31.55.  Basically I just needed to stretch my legs after my relay the day before. The hills on the course really nuked my legs and then trying to run with my team to the finish line was just the nail in the coffin (the pictures only prove how much I sucked at that point because I'm not even in them since I couldn't keep up).

Tuesday 10/23/12 - RUN: 6 mile tempo in 1:01:53 - I ran on my BFF's treadmill while she rode on her trainer because storms were predicted (and hit while we were working out). This wasn't a great tempo run and I really struggled to maintain paces - the struggles were more mental than physical.

Wednesday 10/24/12 - XT: Cycled clipped in at my gym (used one of the gym spin bikes). Rode 10.5 miles in 32 minutes and felt pretty good.  Still way to chicken to clip in on my own bike - in fact, I haven't even installed my new pedals yet.

Thursday 10/25/12 - RUN- Yasso 800s x 8 in 36:17, plus 1 mile wu/cd.  I did these at the gym again and managed to hit my paces (around 4:30ish for each 1/2 mile).  I've decided I MUCH prefer running these outside, but our weather hasn't been cooperating. It doesn't look good for this coming week either due to the remnants of some Frankenstorm.

Friday 10/26/12 - Rest day. 

Saturday 10/27/12 -  RUN: 13.1 miles in 2:29:37.  I finally had a strong run!   It was super cold out (32 degrees) and sunny with a breeze that didn't bother me until I was running into it for miles 9-11.  My shin/calf were unhappy through the whole thing, but nothing I couldn't work through.  Mentally I stayed tough and I ran the whole time (except for all the stop lights I stood at - those weren't recorded by my garmin except for the spike to zero miles per minute and a pause, and stopping at home after 3.1 and at the gym at 8.1 to top off my water bottles).  When I uploaded my data, it had my "moving time" at 2:26 - so I might have actually set a half marathon PR if you don't count the funky way I ran the route today.  :)

Sunday 10/28/12 - XT/stretching: I'm counting the 1.5 hours I spent walking around doing the grocery shopping as cross training. I also stretched and foam rolled several times during the day.

I can't believe I only have 1 more week of hard training before I'm into the taper for Wine and Dine.  I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am to be heading to the Happiest Place on Earth!  

Monday, October 29, 2012

Motivation Monday: Bling!

To a self-professed bling-whore, sometimes the shiny things are what keep you training.

Paraphrasing Wayne Campbell from Wayne's World...She will be mine...oh yes...she will be mine :)
And because I completed the Tinker Bell Half Marathon back in January, when I finish Wine and Dine, I'll earn one of these too - the Disney Coast to Coast medal for finishing races at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World in the same calendar year :)
So...make me feel better - I'm not the only one running for bling, right? What's your favorite race medal?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Fitness Friday: Wine and Dine Half Goals

My next half marathon is a mere 15 days away - SQUEEE!!!!  I'm setting some non-time based goals for this race.  It is Disney, afterall.

  1. Finish with a smile on my face :)
  2. Have Fun!
  3. Remember the words I have tattoo'd on my wrist and ankle and keep them in mind through the whole race
  4. Make my friends and family proud - but mostly be proud of myself
  5. Come away from the race with double bling - my Wine and Dine Half and Coast to Coast medals
  6. Have enough left in my legs to have fun at the afterparty!
Do you set non-time goals for your races?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Three Things Thursday: More Randoms About Me

I'm slowly chipping away at the questions my lovely readers have sent me.  Sorry it's taking so long - when I have another 20, I'll add a second 20 questions page up top ^ there, but for now I'm answering them a few at a time.  (I apologize also that I didn't do a great job of remembering who all the questions came from - I really should be more organized.)

1. Kimert79 asked: "What is one thing my injury has taught me?"  For those who don't know, I overtrained last winter/spring and was diagnosed in April with (initially) a stress fracture in my left tibia that was then downgraded to a stress reaction.  Basically a stress "reaction" is a fracture waiting to happen. I spent almost 6 weeks in a boot and then slowly built my running back up over the summer.  What is the one thing I learned? I learned I really need running to stay sane.  The problem? Running is now harder (even though I've made a ton of progress and I'm almost back to my pre-injury self) and it isn't ever without some pain.  I think part of that is just getting older (and the weight I put back on while injured) but a lot of it is the lingering injury. Even so, I LOVE when I have a run that lets me forget about life for a little while and enjoy some me time.  I've learned a lot of other things too, but those little nuggets of wisdom (or whatever) could probably be their own blog post.

2.  Suzanne asked: "Are you planning another marathon or ultra?" No.  I won't say "I'll never run another marathon" because a few years ago I said I'd never run a 10k, a half, a marathon, do a tri (you get the idea), but as of right now I have no plans to do so.  If the right race came along, I had the time to train for it properly, and the right person/people to run it with, I would consider another marathon. I can say with 100% certainty, however, that I have no desire to run an ultra - the marathon was bad enough.

3. Lani asked: "What's your favorite color and why?" I actually answered this when I did my first 20 questions post and at the time I said orange.  Right now I would say it's purple or turquoise.  I don't have any particular reason for liking those colors (except I look great in turquoise but not so much in purple).  I chose purple for my firework tattoo and my roadID is purple, so I associate that color with running - plus I ran my marathon in a purple Team Sparkle skirt :)

There you have it...3 more tidbits about me.  I need a few more questions to get to 20, so if there's anything you'd like to know, leave me a question in the comments or send me a tweet!

Also, I want to know YOUR favorite color and why!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Semi-Wordless Wednesday: BEER

Wisdom compliments of Magic Hat Brewing Company.

I'm loving this Heart of Darkness stout right now. (Well, not right this second since I need to go to work, but you know what I mean.)

What's your favorite beer?

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Wine and Dine Half Training: Week 10

Getting into the home stretch.  It's time to start earning that taper in a couple weeks - I can't believe the race is in less than 3 weeks. I know I can cover the distance, but I had a bit of a rough week, so I'm not going to say much.

Monday 10/15/12 - RUN: 6 mile tempo. My longest tempo to date and it didn't go well. 1:01:04 (10:10 pace overall).

Tuesday 10/16/12 - XT/Cycling - I hooked my bike up to my girlfriend's trainer.  Holy sweat fest! I cycled for an hour & guess it was around 14 miles.

Wednesday 10/17/12 - RUN: 7x800 Yassos (plus 1 mile wu/cd in 10:47).  First time to do 7 of them.  I ran outside (my 1/2 mile neighborhood loop) and I averaged a 9:07 pace. 3.5 miles in 32 minutes is crazy - but when you take into account the 4:30 rests it's not as impressive.  

Thursday 10/18/12 - XT/Yoga- Did 30 minutes of yoga. The workout was supposed to be 40 minutes but it was mostly sun salutations and I got bored.

Friday 10/19/12 - Rest day. 

Saturday 10/20/12 -  RUN: 2.4 mile shake out run. Easy 2 miles followed by 4 sets of strides. Averaged an 11:10 pace, but the strides were crazy fast.

Sunday 10/21/12 - RUN: 12 miles in 2:16:23 (ave 11:24 pace).  I ran the 2nd leg to the Grand Rapids Marathon Relay and then ran back to town. You can read what a disaster it was here.

I REALLY need some good runs this week to get my confidence back but my training this week scares me.  This is peak week - 6 mile tempo, 8x800 and a 13 mile long run. To be brutally honest, I'm scared.  I'm still sore from Sunday's crap 12 and I'm afraid  I know I can finish the half at this point, but I also want to have fun and not completely suck. I don't think that's too much to ask.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Grand Rapids Marathon Relay Race Report

Yesterday I participated in my first marathon relay. I ran with 4 others as part of team "All About the Cupcakes" (because, let's face it, most of us run so we can eat). We are a diverse group with totally different race experiences, from shorter races to a full marathon, with the goal to just have fun.

Angela, Brian, me, Mike, Heather
The weather was cool at the start but because I had leg 2, I could wait in the YMCA for a little while before heading to the exchange zone. We all went outside to watch the start (holy crap those elite runners can FLY) and about 20 minutes after Brian took off, I jogged to the relay zone about 1/2 a mile away. I also added in some strides & turned on my music, dancing around to stay loose & warm.

Warm up: .79 miles in 9:03 (11:28 pace)

I saw Brian, grabbed the wristband & took off. I REALLY took off. I started right after the 4:14 marathon pace group passed & found myself keeping up with their 9:something pace. Way too fast knowing how far I needed to run. This was mistake number 1 but I think I realized it before I did too much damage. I settled in to a better pace and just enjoyed the foggy morning & race energy.

The first 3 miles of my 6 were relatively flat & had lots of spectators. Then I hit the hills & struggled to keep running. I walked through the 2 aid stations (I didn't bring my own water - this would prove to be a huge mistake later) and took a gu around mile 4.5. I entered Millennium Park & quick texted Mike to let him know I had 1/2 a mile to go. I ran thru an aide station here since I knew the exchange zone was close. I handed off the band & my leg was over.

Relay Leg 2: 6.18 miles in 1:07:14 (10:53 pace) Splits: 10:25, 11:20, 11:09, 10:33, 11:18, 10:43, 9:59 (for last .18) The green is elevation and blue is pace, in case you were though I was joking about the hills.

I stood around for a few, checked the garmin (and was happy I'd stayed under an 11mm but sad it wasn't closer to 10) and texted Heather to let her know Mike was on his way & that I was headed back to town. (This standing around was mistake number 3, in case you're counting).

I headed back roughly the way I came and a marathon runner offered to take my picture as I had my phone out. I think this was the last I smiled because after this the wheels came off.

As I started to run back to town, my legs cramped up. I don't know if it was the lack of water or the standing around, but either way it sucked out loud.  I ran/walked the 5 miles back to town. Needing to run all the hills again mentally killed me (and physically beat me up too). When I was running, my paces were in the 10s, but the amount of walking was just awful. The whole time I was run/walking back to town, every evil thought that could've entered my head did. Plus the course was deserted at this point, with the exception of 2 people I saw walking the marathon, the roads were open, and I was freaked out. I passed 1 aide station as they were breaking it down & got a 1/2 cup of water. I took baby sips & ran with it with the top folded over to try not to spill any. I was tired and likely dehydrated but only had about 1/4 cup of water to last me another 3.5 miles. Epic fail. At around the 9 or 10 mile mark, I took my last gu and finished the last 2 sips of water.  Not having enough water with the gu made my stomach hurt.  Once I got back into town near the zoo I moved to the sidewalks to avoid cars. I contemplated running into the park near the zoo to look for a drinking fountain, but the thought of adding another 1/2 mile to my run on what could've been a wild good chase made me want to cry.  I tripped on uneven sidewalk a few times. My legs were so tired, but even more so my will was pretty much shot.  I've never "hit the wall" on a run of this length.  Today I think I did.

Return run: 5 miles in 1:00:06 (12:01 pace) Splits: 12:44, 11:13, 11:43, 11:45, 12:39.

I finally made it back to the Y and found a friend who was spectating (after having ran a kickass half). I got a hug & went in search of beer. Mike found me and got me to eat a chili dog, which is crazy but I was so shaky and depleted I was willing to try anything.  I think all the salt in the hotdog helped a little.  The beer helped A LOT.

Faking a smile but loving my oatmeal stout.
Mike and I walked around for awhile and then I went into the locker room to try and roll my legs a little with my stick.  We then found Angela (who had run the 4th leg) and went back to spectating. We got a text from Heather that she was at mile 25 and we watched for her to run across the finish with her. She's FAST! Mike and Angela could keep up but I couldn't catch her. Still, we finished and all got our cool medals (she'll deliver Brian's to him later).

We headed back to the beer area for more carb replacement & then headed to a local pizza place to finish refueling.

Team All About the Cupcakes ran a great marathon. We finished 21st of 29 co-ed teams in 4:08:36. I have no idea what our individual splits were (I only know mine and Mike's) but everyone ran a really good race.  Heather and Angela both said they felt guilty running their legs and passing so many people (who were in miles 14+ on the marathon course). They kept wanting to apologize and say "I just started." or "I'm only running the relay".  Since mine was at the beginning and I started in a mix of much faster runners, I was getting passed left and right, but still managed to pass a few people myself, especially on the hills.  In all likelihood, I'll never see that kind of a marathon time again, so it's cool I got to experience it with such a fun group of people.

My overall run wasn't what I needed with only 2 long runs left before my half, but I'm still glad I did this. Next time I will NOT run back home afterwards, especially on deserted country roads with no water. I'm also re-thinking my fueling strategy for Disney. Peanut Butter gu, while very tasty, is not so great coming back up. Just sayin'.

Have you ever run a relay?

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Friday, October 19, 2012

Fitness Friday: You Can Dooo It!

This weekend I have a bunch of friends running races ranging from 5ks to mud runs to marathons. Heck, even I'm running one - my first marathon relay. :) So for everyone who has any doubts this weekend, remember these two things:


Have a great weekend, everyone!  Enjoy whatever miles or adventures are headed your way!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, October 18, 2012

3 Things Thursday: Insomnia

Yep. I'm wide awake and have been all night. It's almost 4 am. Might as well steal crap off Pinterest (sorry I don't know where these came from) & blog. Warning: f-bombs ahead. Sorry for the language but I'm fucking exhausted.

I've run out of ideas. Probably calling the doctor today for drugs stronger than melatonin since that hasn't done shit.

What do you do when you can't sleep?

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Wine and Dine Half Training: Week 9

This week turned out to be a bit of a bust.  I shortened my long run way down because I was planning on a 25 mile group bike ride and because of the weather (read torrential downpours and high wind) I didn't ride. I only logged 13 miles this week.  Not the kind of numbers you want to report a month out from your half marathon.'s the way the week played out.

Monday 10/8/12 - RUN: 3 mile tempo. 1.5 mile wu/cd at 11:35 pace then 1.5 mile tempo at 9:45 pace.  Massage appointment after school.

Tuesday 10/9/12 - Nothing :( I don't even know why I didn't work out.

Wednesday 10/10/12 - RUN: 6x800 Yassos (plus 1 mile wu/cd).  First time to do 6 of them and I averaged a 9:03 pace. Used the TM at the gym and it seems that surface makes my shin and knee less cranky but is boring as frak. It's pretty cool to see on DailyMile "Bari ran 3 miiles in 27 minutes" even though it's not really true with the 4:30 rests between sets.  I'll still take it though.

Thursday 10/11/12 - XT/Strength - 20 minute core circuit.

Friday 10/12/12 - Rest day. 

Saturday 10/13/12 -  RUN: Long run Saturday and I only ran 6 miles, but I did them at a 10:08 pace in a cold rain.  That should make them count double, right???  The first 4 miles were sub-10 m/m pace, which was clearly really, really stupid.  Kids...this is how NOT to do your long run. Just sayin'. I wanted to just run the middle 2 miles at HM pace and I ended up running the whole thing at my 5k pace. Oops.  I'm also disappointed in myself for not riding in the charity ride I was supposed to do but I really didn't feel comfortable biking 25 miles in the rain and wind. One of these days I'll be a badass on my bike, too, but not less than a month out from my half. I was pretty sure I wasn't going to ride when I set out for my run at 7 am.  I should've added on a couple more running miles but after busting out 6 way too fast miles, I had nothing left. Live and learn, I guess.

Sunday 10/14/12 - XT/Stretching - I found a new YOGA app (I downloaded the free version) and it was pretty good. I had an app awhile back that only showed photos and I'm yoga dumb so the videos in this one were much easier to follow.  Did the level 1 20 minute workout and then finished with 10 minutes of foam rolling.  One of my friends asked which app, so here it is.  I'm going to do a few more of the "free" workouts and if I still like it, I'll drop the $3 for the full version.
So, even though I only logged 13 miles this week (which probably should have been my long run #fail) I at least did a couple easy stretching/toning workouts.  Not ideal, but better than the zero XT sessions I had last week.  Baby steps.

I've already made a contingency plan for tonight's workout. I'm hooking my bike up to a friend's trainer and giving indoor biking a shot.  I'll have no way to determine speed or distance since I don't have a cadence adapter for my new Garmin, but I'll at least shoot for a good hour ride.  On Saturday, I bought cycle shoes on clearance and when pedals go on sale at Thanksgiving, I'll add those to my arsenal.  Still trying to find a trainer on craigslist since those things are so freaking expensive.

This week the rain and wind stopped me on the bike but I had no issues running in it.  Where do you draw the line with training outside in nasty weather?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Motivation Monday: Race Planning

In 7 days I'm participating in my first marathon relay - so excited - and even though it isn't even the end of October, I'm starting to look ahead at 2013 to plan out some races.

I'd set a goal to run 12 races in 2012 and due to events outside of my control, I won't be meeting that goal.  I don't want to set a 13 in 2013 goal because I don't think it would be realistic.  Or I'd just end up doing a bunch of local 5ks to get my races in and they don't have bling. We all know I love my bling. I also did a triathlon this year and want to do more.  There's so much to think about!

The thing can get expensive. Especially if you travel for races (and this year, with races at Disneyland and Disney World, I've probably tapped out my travel funds for awhile).  So what's a bling whore to do?  Stay local? Limit how many races I run? I've discovered I need a training plan and to not be injured or I slack of HUGE in my training and then gain 15 pounds.

Here's what I have so far.

January 5, 2013 - Yankee Springs Trail Run 10k - Probably a bit insane since a) I've never done a trail race before and b) it's in January in Michigan, but it's close to home and sounds like fun. I'd have no time goals for this, just a fun run through the snowy wilderness.

February 2, 2013 Groundhog Day Half Marathon 13.1 miles. In the snow. I've clearly lost my mind, but this race sounds like an absolute blast.  Seriously - go check out the website, I'll wait. There will also be a 1/6th Marathon the night before and I'd probably do that one too.

March 16, 2013 Irish Jig 5k - This is a local race and I've never run it. Could be fun.

April 13, 2013 Martian Half Marathon (or 10k) - The bling is an alien head. What more do I need to say?

April ??, 2013 Striders Saturday Classic 10 mile - I missed this one this year too, but at least I hadn't paid for it yet.  It's local and cheap, so it's on the schedule. It's also hilly as hell so it might get booted off :)

May 11, 2013 5/3 River Bank Run 25k or 10k - The 25k was my DNS this year due to my injury and missing out on the 35th anniversary bling really hurt.  I'm not sure if I want to try and redeem myself or not. We'll see how the spring goes.

This is as far as I've gotten on the schedule.  Triathlon season starts up here in June and I'd love to complete at least 3 sprints and maybe an Olympic distance this summer but the dates for those won't be up for awhile. The Grand Rapids Triathlon is June 9th, but I don't know if I'd be ready for the first one that early in the season. It will depend on how much I get in the pool and whether Santa brings me a trainer for my bike for Christmas.

I'd love to travel for at least one race this year.  Maybe Chicago, Indianapolis, Cleveland. Those are all easily drive-able.  The Detroit Marathon goes into Canada, which would be very cool, and is also a short drive for me.

Feel free to weigh in - pick some races you think I could get to next year (keeping in mind the school year is out for travel).    

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fitness Friday: Running Pop Quiz

I found this quiz on Tuesday from Fancy Nancy at Living the Dream and earlier in the week from Michelle at Running with Attitude who linked over from Christine over at Big Dream Runner. I'm all about not needing to think of my own blog topics so I figured I'd play along.  

1. FUEL: Shot Bloks, GU, Energy Chews, Candy or Other?
I'm one of those weirdo runners who try lots of different things (but never something new on race day!).  There are a few flavors of GU I can tolerate (Espresso Love is my favorite and I tried Vanilla for the first time a couple weeks ago and it was pretty good).  If I use GU, I have to take a good 1/2-3/4 of a mile to get it in. If I suck the whole thing down I'll pay dearly.  No fun.  I also LOVE Sport Beans (1-2 every couple miles like a treat) and used Shot Bloks for my triathlon and last weekend's 12 miler.  My complaint with Shot Bloks is that they get stuck in my teeth.  One of these days I'm planning to fuel with Swedish Fish. :)

2. Race Length: 5k, 10k, 1/2 Marathon, Marathon, Ultra or Other?
I'm definitely a fan of the 1/2 Marathon because it's a distance you really have to train for but doesn't consume your entire life like marathon training.  5k's are, IMO, harder than distance races because you basically just go balls out until you die, and that's no fun.  I'd still love to post a sub-30 5k in an official race though. Next year, I think I want to focus on more of the middle distance races. 10k to 10 mile.

3. Workout Bottoms: Skirts, Running Shorts, Capris, Pants or Other?
Because of where I live, this ranges from longish Nike shorts (because chub rub is the devil and there isn't enough body glide on the planet to prevent it - believe me, I've tried) to capris to winter running tights.  I have a running skirt but the shorts underneath are too short for my taste so I never wear it. For bigger races, I'm usually sporting a Team Sparkle skirt over my shorts/capris :)
4. Sports Drink: Gatorade, Powerade, Cytomax, you stick to water when you run or Other?
I alternate between water and Nuun.  For races, I'll carry Nuun in both water bottles on my belt because I know I can get water on the course. If I'm only going for an hour or less, I'll just use water. I hate all sports drinks - or rather they hate me.
5. Running Temperatures: HEAT or COLD?
I'll run in pretty much any weather (in Michigan you have to) but my ideal temperature would be just a little bit chilly - like around 50 degrees - with clouds and no wind.

6. Running Shoe Brands: Saucony, Mizuno, Nike, Brookes, Asics or Other?
I've worn Asics GT2170s (or whatever the previous numbers were) for as long as I can remember. I just heard they've redesigned them this year and are now calling them the GT2000.  I'm not sure whether to be excited or horrified.  The good news? They come in some really loud colors now and I've always wanted running shoes that can be seen from space!
7. Pre-race meal: Oatmeal, Bagel, Banana, Eggs, Cereal or Other?
My pre-race meal is always a little bit of coffee and 1/2 a bowl of oatmeal with butter and brown sugar.  (Note to self: pack oatmeal for Disney). 

8. Rest Days: 1x per week, 2x per week, never ever ever or Other?
Right now, my training schedule has 1 rest day (before the long run), 3 running days (tempo, 800s, long run), and 3 cross training days.  Sadly, only the rest day and running days are being followed.

9. Music: Have to have it or go without it?
I'm definitely in the "have to have it" camp.  I find my head is not somewhere I want to be on my runs. The music I run to varies a lot though. The only rules are that it can't be sad or too slow. One of these days, I should post a running playlist.

10. #1 reason for running: stress-relief, endorphins, you love to race, so you can eat all the cupcakes you want, weight-loss, love running for social reasons or Other? 
Can I just say "all of the above"?  I definitely need the stress-relieve and sense of accomplishment.  I also love to race for the bling. 

Feel free to copy the questions from me if you want to play too - just let me know you did so I can read your answers!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Speedwork

Today I'm giving thanks for speedwork.  Ok, now before y'all think I'm completely nuts, let me explain.  Bullet points might work for this.

  • Speedwork does, in fact, make you faster and stronger.
  • Speedwork makes you feel like a badass.  When I started doing Yasso 800s 2 months ago, the thought of doing 2 of them at a 9mm pace was laughable.  Yesterday I did 6. And I didn't die.
  • You can do speedwork almost anywhere.  The track, on a treadmill, or in loops around your neighborhood. I haven't tried them on the track yet because it's football season and the high school track is a little busy after school, but I really like running the 1/2 mile loop in my neighborhood - even if my neighbors think I'm a bit insane.
  • When you tweet about your speedwork, Bart Yasso might actually tweet you back. :)

That tweet totally made my morning. I joke that I'm a real runner now because Bart Yasso tweeted me, but really I've been a badass mother runner all along. 

Who would you love to get a tweet from? Have you ever received a tweet from someone "famous"?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Semi-Wordless Wednesday: Discipline

On Saturday, I wanted nothing to do with my planned long run.  The weather was crappy, I was frustrated at the outcome of my daughter's diving meet, it was already 1 in the afternoon when we'd gotten home and I wasn't properly fueled.  You get the idea. I had it in my head that the run was going to completely suck before I'd even laced up my shoes.

Then someone reminded me that athletes don't always want to do their workouts but they do them anyway.  This person was 100% correct (and called me an athlete which was pretty cool).  If I hadn't gone for my run, I'd have missed this:
12 miles of some of the prettiest trees God and Michigan had to offer.  Getting out there required discipline that I don't always have.  I needed some serious encouragement on Saturday, but I'm blessed to have people in my life to nudge me in the right direction.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Wine and Dine Half Training: Week 8

I'm a bit amazed that I'm not just a little over a month away from heading to DISNEY!!! This week has been another week of strong running and little to no cross training.  This seems to happen at about this point in all my training cycles.  I keep up with the running, but everything else goes to pot.  I keep saying, "this time it will be different" but it's time to call bullshit on myself.  It's never been different. I don't know why, but I can't keep up with the cross training and stuff. I should be able to, but for whatever reason I completely fail in this regard.  Ugh.  

Monday 10/1/12 - No workouts, but saw my massage therapist for my usual Monday treatment.

Tuesday 10/2/12 - B double E double R U N BEERRUN! Tonight was the final GR Marathon Beer Run for the year (except for the post-marathon one they usually do in November) so I moved Monday's tempo to today.  Since I needed to get 5 miles in, I left for the run about 20 minutes before the organized group run started. 1 mile warmup and then one of my fastest 3 mile runs ever (29:48, a 9:56 pace!), followed by a 1 mile cooldown.  This was very tough but the beer afterwards was worth it.

Wednesday 10/3/12 - Bupkiss. This is becoming a very sad trend.

Thursday 10/4/12 - Run - 5x800 Yassos.  This time on the treadmill because the weather was pretty crappy.  Averaged a 9:02 pace for the 1/2 mile sprints, which was great, but I hated doing them back inside after the great outside runs I've been having.

Friday 10/5/12 - Rest day. 

Saturday 10/6/12 -  Run: 12 miles beyotches!!! This was an untimed run, which for me is almost unheard of.  I have no idea exactly how long it took (I have a rough idea but I'm not reporting it). It was very refreshing to just go out with my music and try to find that joy in running again.  

Sunday 10/7/12 - Nothing. I focused on stretching and rolling. Also went up and down my stairs doing the laundry and did all the grocery shopping. That should count as cross training. (This is exactly what I wrote last Sunday, only the stairs were more painful this time.)

This coming week I have a few shake-ups in the schedule and I'm hoping the weather holds for what is in store on Saturday.  More to come!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Menu Monday: Easy White Chili

It's definitely becoming fall up here in West Michigan & one of my favorite fall foods is chili. The possibilities are endless. This is probably the easiest chili recipe EVER and can be made on the stovetop or in a crockpot. The bonus? Only 5 ingredients!

  • 2 large or 4 small chicken breasts, diced up & cooked.
  • 1 large jar of great northern beans, liquid included.
  • 16 oz jar of your favorite salsa (this jar is too big but I didn't use it all). The hotter the salsa, the more heat your chili will have.
  • 1-2 tsp cumin
  • 8 oz shredded monterey jack cheese

Dump everything into a big sauce pan and heat it on low, stirring occasionally, until the cheese is all melted and the chili is hot.
You need to watch it so it doesn't burn to the bottom of the pan.  Trust me. I've learned this one the hard way and nothing sucks more than burnt cheese.  If you cook this in a crock pot, you could probably start with the chicken raw but I've never done this.  You might need more liquid, too.  When I crockpot it, I still cook the chicken first and then just heat it on low for a few hours.

Serve with some tortilla chips and maybe a salad if you're feeling the need for some greens.  You can add more cheese on top, sour cream, whatever floats your boat.

Enjoy!  Do you have a favorite 1 pot, minimal ingredient recipe you want to share?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, October 5, 2012

Fitness Friday: The Real Deal

This morning as I was drinking my coffee, I opened up the November 2012 issue of Runner's World magazine that came yesterday.  I started flipping pages because I didn't really have time to sit and read page-by-page like I normally would and I came across an article about Luc Carl. The article's title "Bottle Rocket" and tagline "Luc Carl used to be a lot of things: Boozer, Smoker, Lady Gaga's boyfriend. Then he discovered running" intrigued me.  I had no idea who Luc Carl was so maybe it was the Gaga connection that drew me in, but in any case, I started reading.

Luc Carl came into running like a lot of us do. Overweight, getting older, and realizing that "this is enough".  I give him a ton of credit.  He started running in February 2008, has now lost 55 pounds, written a book (that I might want to read since it's full of my favorite expletives), and is getting ready to run his 6th marathon - the 2012 ING New York City Marathon.  That's hugely commendable.  Props to Mr. Carl.

What struck me in the article and has been marinating in my brain all morning were a few sentences the article's author, Mark Remy, used to describe Luc Carl and his book.
"Carl...devotes just one chapter to running, and his advice boils down to, "Just put your {expletive} shoes on and go" - but make no mistake. Luc Carl is the real deal. He broke four hours in his first marathon...His goal is 3:19..."
The Real Deal

Does this mean that those of us who run a 33 minute 5k, a 3 hour half marathon, or a 5:27 full marathon are NOT "the real deal"?  Maybe I'm taking this personally or overreacting, but for a magazine that typically does a great job at promoting and supporting runners of all abilities, this phrase hurt.  I'm as much "the real deal" as anyone else who gets out there and puts one foot in front of another. It's taken me a long time to be able to say that. Implying you must run a sub-4 hour marathon or better to be "the real deal" is insensitive.  I'm sure Mr. Remy didn't intend to hurt anyone's feelings and it's probably my own insecurities coming into play here, but the words stung.  Do a search for the defnition of a "runner". There is NOTHING that indicates a particular pace or finishing time defines a runner. You are simply a "person who runs". 

So remember - if you are getting out there, trying your best, and putting one foot in front of the other (no matter how fast or slow you go), you are a runner. And I'm proud of you.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Three Things / Thankful Thursday

Three randoms I'm thankful for today:

The weather calling for rain this afternoon & my sore knee are making me thankful to do my speedwork on the treadmill after school. I've loved running my 800s outside but I think my knee needs a break from the pounding. The predicted rain is giving me an excuse.

I'm loving the color of my new shirt (and the fact I ordered it online & it fit - the one I ordered with it was so small my daughter couldn't even wear it). How can 2 size mediums be so different?

This posted to Facebook this morning literally made me laugh out loud & almost spew my coffee. As a child of the 80s, I find this hilarious.

What are you thankful for today?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: BEERRUN

Tonight was the last of the 2012 Grand Rapids Marathon beer runs. We ran 5 miles on the White Pine Trail in Rockford and celebrated with awesome New Holland brews at The Corner Bar. My Ichabod pumpkin ales were AWESOME.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Wine and Dine Half Training: Week 7

Over half-way there for Disney's Wine and Dine Half Marathon!  I'm getting excited and at the point where I know (baring any bad injuries) I can definitely FINISH the distance - how quickly I finish still remains to be seen.

This week the long run and speedwork miles ramped up quite a bit again but I'm feeling better than I was last week at this time.  I'll consider that a win.  I was awful, however, on cross training this week. That part is a fail.

Monday 9/24/12 - Run: 3 treadmill miles (1.5 mile tempo) at 6am. Kept my tempo pace at just under a 10m/m but I was tired and this run felt harder than it should have considering it was a step-down from last week. Finished the day with my massage therapist after school. I like that she helps flush out all the lactic acid from the weekend's long run.

Tuesday 9/25/12 - XT scheduled but I did nothing. I have no excuse.

Wednesday 9/26/12 - Run: Yasso 800s around my neighboorhood. 1 mile warm up/cool down in 12:00, then 2.5 miles of 1/2 mile repeats (5x800) with a 4:30 rest in between sets. Averaged an 8:56 pace for these (provided I did the math right) and I felt incredible when I was finished.  They still kicked my ass and I was dying about 1/4 mile into each one, but I think I'm starting to get the hang of them. I'm so proud of myself for hitting my paces pretty consistently throughout too (4:25, 4:33, 4:23, 4:34, 4:27).

Thursday 9/27/12 - XT - biked 7.8 miles in 36:49 (ave 12.7 mph).  I was hoping this ride would help flush my legs out after the speed work but they just felt heavy and fried. My average speed was awful compared to what I should be able to do and I ended up cutting the ride short because I really wasn't feeling it.  It was still probably better than nothing, though.

Friday 9/28/12 - Rest day. 

Saturday 9/29/12 -  Run: 10 miles in 1:52:58 (11:17 pace). I ran a supported (sorta) 10 mile training run that was put on by one of the local running stores.  I paid and registered and had a race number but the run wasn't times and there is some question that the distance wasn't totally accurate so I'm not calling it a race. The weather was beautiful and I ran the first 4 miles with one of my runner girlfriends.  The conversation was great and it helped the miles go by faster.  I had forgotten how hilly this section of the Grand Rapids Marathon course was, though, and the hills kicked my ass. Literally. As in my ass was still sore on Monday.  But I need to suck it up since this will also be my section of the GR Marathon Relay in a few weeks. My splits weren't too shabby considering all the hills: 11:24, 11:29, 11:22, 11:19, 11:22, 11:36, 11:22, 11:47, 10:56, 10:23.  With that push in the last 2 miles, I definitely had some gas left at the end, but still don't think I can maintain that pace (10:23) for 13.1 miles.  Time will tell. I felt pretty good by Monday, but Saturday night and Sunday I was pretty sore and my ankle was PO'd from the slant on the street.  Again, just telling myself to suck it up.

Sunday 9/30/12 - Nothing. I focused on stretching and rolling. Also went up and down my stairs doing the laundry and did all the grocery shopping. That should count as cross training.

Last week at this time, I was fighting a cold and a little worried as to how it would affect my training. Luckily, it seems I've mostly nipped it in the bud.  This coming weekend I might shoot for 12 miles.  I need to flip-flop a couple weeks because I agreed to do a 25 mile bike ride/fundraiser thing on the 13th and have ZERO desire to also attempt a 10 or 12 mile training run that day (I can switch to the 10 mile ride if I need to, but even that after a 10 or 12 mile run would be nuts). I think this weekend's 5 would be much more reasonable that day. 

This training cycle I'm hoping to hit at least a couple 12 milers before the half.  I've never trained past race distance before (obviously I've run farther than 13.1 in the past since I've done a 25k and marathon).  Do you ever train past race distance, or stick to just below?  I remember topping out at 20 in marathon training and thinking there was no way I'd be able to add a 10k to that, but I did. This week I knew after running 10 that I could add another 3.1.  Running is so mental, don't you think?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Menu Monday: Sloppy Joes

So, yesterday I was stuck in the car and bored so I sent a tweet out asking what I should blog about, because let's face it, what good is a freaking smart phone if you don't use it to entertain yourself in the car? Right?

Anyhoo....I got a reply back from Brooke and I posted a recipe.  Only I screwed up the recipe (Sorry, Brooke!) because I was typing really fast on my phone to be able to publish it since we were in the middle of nowhere and I didn't know when I'd lose a signal.  So here's the corrected recipe.

Easy Sloppy Joes

1 pound ground beef, fried up (we keep containers of it in the freezer - just pop out and nuke as needed).
1/2 to 1 can tomato soup (use a good one, like Campbells, if you want it to taste good) this was the ingredient I forgot, oops!
Ketchup - however much you want
Minced onions (or cut up a real onion if you so desire)
Chili powder
Brown Sugar

Basically, just add all the ingredients to the cooked up hamburger. If you aren't using frozen, you can cook up some minced onion and the spices with burger, but it doesn't really matter.  You could even throw in some red pepper flakes to spice it up, cumin, minced green pepper, whatever your little heart desires.  Everything you add based on how sloppy you want it (we call it "Not-so-sloppy, sloppy joes" because I don't use as much of the soup and Ketchup) and what kind of "stuff" you like in your sloppy joes.  Add the brown sugar at the end (usually just a teaspoon or so) to sweeten it up if you want.  It's super easy and I think tastes better than the sloppy joe mix from the jar.  Serve it on buns with some tater tots on the side (and a nice salad) and your kids will think you're a rockstar.  It's even better reheated the next day, so double the recipe. As is, this will make 4-6 sloppy joes.


Do you have any easy, in-a-pinch recipes that you like to throw together when you're short on time?

Happy New Year 2020

It looks like my M.O. is to open this blog when I get the notification the domain name renewed. LOL oh well. I hope everyone is having a n...