Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 by the numbers

Blogging to you from sorta sunny Jacksonville as I wait for my delayed flight back home.

I was bored so I thought I'd look at my numbers from 2013.

Miles run 767.
Miles biked 813.
Miles swam 13.
Miles walked 29.
Total miles 1622.

Races:
200 mile relay - my first
25k - PR'd
6 half marathons - PR'd
2 10ks - PR'd
Sprint triathlon

Weight: no change from 1/2/13 to 12/18/13 (the last time I weighed in). I'm sure it's up after the holidays & vacation.

I finished the year with my 10th half marathon and while I'm very proud of getting to double digits and setting PR after PR, I'm disappointed in my performance on this race. I can validly blame my injury, the heat & humidity but those factors really don't make me feel better. I owe you all a recap from the Jax Bank Half and when I can write one without my inner mean girl coming out, I will. For now, I give you the last sunrise of 2013 from the beach in Jacksonville, FL.



Thank you, everyone, for all your encouragement this year. Happy New Year & wishes for a wonderful 2014.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, December 27, 2013

Jax Bank Half: midnight thoughts & goals




I hadn't planned on posting today but I'm wide awake in the middle of the night so I figured I'd use my insomnia wisely.

My flight to Jacksonville leaves in about 11 hours (probably the cause of my insomnia since I'm not a big fan of flying) and I'm laying here thinking about the race in 2 days.

I know I said there would not be time goals posted. I'm not backing down from that. However, I do have numbers in my head because that's just who I am. I've had some good runs the past 2 weeks but I'm still dealing with constant heel pain and now some knee pain on the opposite side because I'm sure I'm subconsciously altering my gait or something. I've raced injured before but not quite like this. I'll let you know next week what I decided to do with those numbers and how much my heel impacted my run. With the weather forecasting rain and in all likelihood humidity, this may just be a splash in the puddles and have fun sort of race. Mostly I'm looking forward to the DailyMile meetup Friday night. The run is just a bonus at this point :)

If you'd like to track me during the race, you can download the free RaceJoy app (droid & apple versions I think). Sorry I'm too lazy to try and find the link. Scroll down to select the Jacksonville Bank Marathon and search for my bib number 1482. If my phone & the app are working it's supposed to use GPS tracking to show where I am on the course. I'll probably also set it up to post to FB and twitter. If there is rain of biblical proportions, I will probably leave my phone in the car & the on-course markers will track me instead. Otherwise, watch for the Instagram of a tired me with my bling sometime Sunday morning (at least I hope it's still morning when I finish) because not finishing is not an option.

It's now even more middle of the night than it was when I started this and I'm yawning so I should try and sleep before I need to head to the airport. Have a great weekend, friends!

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

#TBT: My First Half Marathon

October 2010 - Grand Rapids (Half) Marathon



In 3 days I'll run my 10th half marathon. I've come a long way, baby :)

I hope everyone had a great Christmas. I'm now officially "on vacation". Blogging will resume next week.

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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!




Sending Christmas love and prayers for many blessings in the new year.

Xoxo, Bari

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Jax Bank Half - Almost Go Time!

Merry Christmas Eve!!

How is it that I'm getting on a plane in 3 days to head to Florida????  The past couple weeks have flown by with school finishing up before break (with a bonus day off because of an ice storm!) and now Christmas this week.  I find myself making lists and starting to pack, but afraid I'm going to forget something in the shuffle.

The past week was a good one for training once I worked the kinks out.  I think I've figured out my shoe issue at least for the race - I'm racing in my new Mizuno Wave Elixir 8s.  My race-day outfit is yet to be determined though.  Good thing Southwest allows for 2 checked bags :)

Here was my last official week of training.

Monday 12-16-13 RUN 3.1 in 31:45 (10:14 pace)

Tuesday 12-17-13 RUN 1 mile in about 12 minutes.  I wanted to get outside after a long day but the snow and ice kicked my ass and I quit after only a mile.

Wednesday 12-18-13 RUN 5 miles in 49:40 (9:56 pace). This was actually two 2.5 mile runs back-to-back as I tried out 2 new pair of shoes.  Felt good to get a relatively fast run in.

Thursday 12-19-13 BIKE 5 miles in 21:09 (14.2 mph) then stretching for another 15 min.

Friday 12-20-13 REST (except for walking around the mall)

Saturday 12-21-13 RUN 10 miles in 1:44:44 (10:28 pace).  Another long treadmill run and this one went well.  Last long run before Jax.

Sunday 12-22-13 REST

I'm excited for my trip and looking forward to the race, but mostly I'm looking forward to getting out of the snow and ice and meeting up with some friends for beers.  Can't wait to see Marcia and BethBob, plus some other DailyMile peeps!  Gonna be a great time with a little 13.1 run thrown in.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Motivation Monday: race strategy

I found my plan for next weekend's half marathon.



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Friday, December 20, 2013

Fitness Friday: weatherstalking

I leave for Jacksonville in exactly 1 week *SQUEEE* which means the Jax Bank Half is in 9 days. Close enough that I can legitimately start weather stalking.

The weather for driving to Chicago & flying out looks promising so far. (Knock on wood, fingers crossed)







And while Jacksonville doesn't have exactly the best beach forecast, it's looking pretty decent for running a half marathon on Sunday. Plus I probably don't have to worry about my shorts not fitting.






I'm guessing the temps will be around 50 at race time, which is on the border for sleeves or no sleeves. I'm leaning towards a tank top & skirt combo with the expectation my arms will stay cold. Multiple options will be packed though (thank you Southwest for 2 free checked bags - I might need them both).

One more long run tomorrow to put my Mizuno Wave Elixir 8s through their final test & then it's taper time!

How early do you weather stalk for races?

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

#TTT - mini thanks

Gonna be brief on this one. You're welcome.

1. I'm thankful that these Mizunos have potential.



2. I'm thankful for the advice of a really good friend.

3. I'm thankful Squirt has a sense of humor and no front claws. She says "Meowy Christmas".



What are you thankful for this week?

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Running shoes: lucky number 7? #runchat


Sit down, kids.  Grab a beverage. I'd like to tell you a little story about 7 pairs of running shoes and my quest to find the perfect pair.  Because my foot is a little on the wide side, finding shoes that fit is difficult.  I don't really need a wide width (except my Asics are a wide) because most wides are actually too big.  If a shoe does come in a wide width, most stores don't even carry them - you have to special order.  It's dumb but it is what it is.  Since my race is in less than 11 days, I don't have time for that shit.
From left to right, my shoes for the past 2 years.

Asics GT 2170 (grey and purple) - I've run in Asics GT 2170s (or whatever number their predecessors were) from the time I started running.  When I had my stress fracture and started running again, everyone said I needed MORE support.  I tried the newer GT 2000 and hated it.  Too much support and they hurt my feet.  I had doctors telling me I needed orthotics and other crap too, but whatever I tried just made my shin still hurt and I felt like I wasn't getting better.  Then, my PT suggested something very radical - that I probably had been running with too much support and I should try Newtons.

2011 Newton Gravity (orange) - LIGHT BULB! It took some time to transition to a shoe with a 4 or 5 mm drop, but transition I did.  I set PR after PR in these shoes and they will always hold a special place in my heart.  They were on my feet for the Martian Half (17 minute PR), Rivertown Half (3rd fastest half), River Bank Run 25k (11 minute PR), Reeds Lake 10k (9 minute PR), and then Bayshore Half (another 3 min PR from Martian), and then my first relay - The Fred - where I ran 18 miles in less than 24 hours.  Yes, a lot of hard work went into those 10k, half and 25k PRs but I attribute a lot of it to learning to run more midfoot in my Newtons.  Obviously, all that racing and training did a number on those shoes and they needed to be retired. By the time The Fred came around, I was having heel and achilles issues, probably from overtraining and my shoes wearing out.

2012 Newton Gravity (blue and green) - I bought these shoes and something was not right.  They felt HUGE.  I exchanged them for a half size smaller and started really feeling some issues with my heel.  I wore them with heel cups for the Wine Trail Half and it really sucked.  My body was telling me I went a bit overboard this year.  I don't really blame the shoes, but I think the fit not being quite right contributed to my heel spurs.

2013 Newton Gravity (hot pink and blue) - I decided that maybe there was something flawed in the 2012 Newtons so I ordered the 2013 version.  These seemed to run very narrow and my runs in them left me with numbness and tingling in my right foot (the "good" side).  Wearing shoes a bit too tight probably have given me either a neuroma or I have a fracture.  At this point, I'm not finding out until after Jax.  These are currently sitting in the box waiting to be shipped back. *sad face*

Mizuno Wave Inspire 10 (black) - This was a completely new shoe to me and I was excited to be able to review it for the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans's holiday gift guide.  The Inspire line is a highly structured but very light shoe.  I was skeptical and sadly, my gut instincts were right.  I only managed about 4 miles total in these shoes.  This shoe had so much support that it hurt my arches.  Did you know you aren't supposed to "feel" the support in your running shoes?  If they press into your arch, they have way too much support.  These are also sitting in the box.  I can wear them for walking around but will never run in them.

Hoka One One Bondi Speed 2 (white, red and orange) - I ordered these out of sheer desperation.  I was able to borrow my girlfriend's Bondi 2 and although it was way too big, I liked the cushioning.  (These shoes are insanely cushioned but still quite light).  Do you notice anything in the picture when you compare this shoe with all the others?  How about the fact it's about 2 sizes too big?  I think these could have had potential, but if you have baby feel like me (about a 7-8 in running shoes) you are pretty much out of luck in Hokas.  They run very big and the ones I ordered only come in men's sizing.  This is the smallest size they carry.  Also sitting in the box waiting to be shipped back.

Mizuno Wave Elixir 8 (blue and orange) - Also a completely new shoe to me and just purchased last night at our local running store.  I'm getting very desperate. I love the look of this shoe - it actually feels like a racing flat and is very light, but it isn't a racing flat at all.  This shoe has very little support but a lot of cushioning in the heels, to the point of a 13mm heel to toe differential (for comparison, the industry average drop is about 12mm).  This is HUGE, especially since I'm used to running with 8mm (Asics) or 4mm (Newtons).  It also has almost no cushioning in the forefoot to allow for a more powerful toe-off.  This part worries me for my run this afternoon.  I already have issues with my forefoot from the neuroma or whatever and I'm afraid they are going to hurt.  I ran 1/2 mile at the store in them fine, but that 5 minutes was nothing compared to a 2+ hour half marathon.  I also feel like I'm taking a giant step backwards in that I had transitioned to a more minimal running shoe and now I'm clear at the other end of the spectrum.  I'll put them to the test this afternoon.  I know that already being broken, there will be no miracle shoe that will all of a sudden make all the hurt go away, but I'd like to get through a run without limping.  Stay tuned.

In case you missed it - Corey won my book giveaway! Congrats, Corey.
Have you ever had this much trouble finding a running shoe?  What is your favorite shoe to wear?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Jax Bank Half - T minus 12 days!

Some of you may be counting down the days until Christmas (for the record, it's 8).  But I'm counting down the days until my next half marathon and trying not to freak out about all the snow we've been getting and whether my flight on the 27th (10 days!!!) will take off as planned.

Training while injured has resulted in some re-evaluation of race goals.  Basically, my only goal at this point is to have a great weekend and come home with some new bling.  I will not be posting any time goals for this race.  Whatever happens, happens. (Although, for the most part I'm doing ok - shit hurts after I run to varying degrees but during the actually running parts it's tolerable.)

I'm even planning to start my vacation a day early now by hanging out with my friend Nancy and her family.  Super excited to see her again because it's been WAYYYY too long, snuggle her cute grandkids, and have a 2 hour shorter drive to the airport the next morning.  It takes a really special friend to open her home the day after Christmas and Nancy is that friend.

Onto my weekly recap (from now until the race, all of my running will probably be done inside - I'm trying to acclimate to FL weather and would prefer to not kill myself on the icy roads).

Monday 12/9/13 - RUN 3 miles in 31:20 (10:26 pace).  This was my first run in Mizuno Wave Inspire 10s. It was not love at first run.

Tuesday 12/10/13 - BIKE 11 miles on the basement trainer in 46:48 (14.1 mph).  I think I'm faster outside, probably because the trainer might actually be more boring than the treadmill.

Wednesday 12/11/13 - RUN 2 miles in 20:40 (10:20 pace).  Total clusterf*ck at work left me zero time to get in the 4 miles I was supposed to do.  Did a quick 2 on the mill at my girlfriend's before kid duties took over.  Got to try out her Hoka One Ones.  Went home and ordered a pair in what I thought was my size but they ended up HUGE.  I'm obviously getting desperate and I feel like I'm never going to find a shoe that doesn't hurt.  It's looking like my 10th half will be run in the same shoes I ran my 5th half marathon in. Kids - don't try this at home.

Thursday 12/12/13 - RUN 4 miles in 39:44 (9:56 pace).  This was a 2x1600 tempo that was basically a fail.  Nowhere close to hitting the goal paces (8:40s) but at least I was in the low 9s (9:10 and 9:03).  I'm officially back to my old Asics 2170s for now. They are probably close to 2 years old and starting to hurt my knees, but I have no other options at this point.

Friday 12/13/13 - BIKE somewhere around 8 miles in around 40 minutes.  My Garmin died within about 10 minutes of getting on the trainer, so I just biked through two DVRd sitcoms.

Saturday 12/14/13 - RUN 10 miles in 1:44:47 (10:28 pace).  I set a treadmill PR today.  Thanks to everyone who "voted" last Friday - I watched Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.  At least it kept me from total boredom, but this was still a very long morning.  I wouldn't recommend treadmilling it for 10 miles but at least I got my run completed.

Sunday 12/15/13 - SHOVELING.  It sucks. My arms were so sore on Monday.

I'm hoping the next 2 weeks go well and I get to Jacksonville no worse for the wear than I am right now.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Motivation Monday




I got busted just the other day for breaking this rule. Probably one of the hardest things for me is not comparing myself to others.

Own your path.

While you're here, don't forget to enter my giveaway! Contest ends on Wednesday.

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Friday, December 13, 2013

Fitness Friday: going for a PR!

Got a little email today :)

I was a bit concerned because the site said confirmations would come out on Dec 2nd and here it is, Friday the 13th.  At least now I know I'm registered!

As for that PR?  I'm going to attempt my longest treadmill run ever tomorrow - 10 miles.  The weather here has been awful and while I'm fine running in snow, I have to draw the line at ice.  Also, I learned a huge lesson while training for Disney's Wine and Dine Half 2 years ago.  Running all my long runs in 30* temps and below did not acclimate me to what the temps would be in Florida on race day.  As of right now, Jacksonville is downright chilly by their standards (as I write this, it's 59* but it was in the 40s earlier this morning).  While 40s are the perfect running temps, that's still a good 30* warmer than it is here.  As much as running 10 miles on a treadmill in a hot gym is going to suck, not being used to running in warmer temps will suck even more.

I've selected 3 movies I currently have hanging out in my cloud that are long enough for me to finish 10 miles.  You get to vote for what I watch :)

Night at the Museum
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Twilight

(I tried to be all techie and use a poll but none of them would work.  Just vote in the comments. Thanks!)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Three Things Thursday: Giveaways!

I love this time of year - so many fun giveaways are happening in the blogosphere.  I'm going to share three of them with you today.

The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans - This fabulous group of ladies is giving away a TON of fun gear and you don't have to be a runner to enter.  Since I'm one of the writers and reviewed several of these items, I know how awesome they are and I can't win, so I'd love for one of my friends to win something.  There are 20 individual prizes featured in The Ultimate Runner Gift Guide.  You really must go check this one out. Contest runs through the weekend, so you better hurry!

Run with Jess - Jess is hosting a 12 Days of Christmas giveaway with a different prize being awarded each day. Check out her giveaway and make sure you keep checking each day as she adds prizes!  Giveaways every Monday through Friday until Dec. 23rd.

Me! - Yep, I have a giveaway happening right now as well.  If you missed yesterday's post, just hop back over and enter to win a copy of Vanessa Runs's book The Summit Seeker.  Fun and inspirational read I'm sure you will enjoy.  Contest ends on Dec. 18th and you can enter once each day.

There you have it, folks!  Three ways to get a little Christmas shopping done - either for yourself or someone on your list.

Are you lucky at contests? What's the coolest prize you've ever won?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Summit Seeker book review and #giveaway

TheSummitSeekerCover
source
Have you heard of Vanessa Runs?  She's this totally bada$$ ultra runner who lives in a small Rialta RV and travels the country, running and writing.  A little while back she reached out to me to tell me about a book she had written and asked if I'd like a copy to review.  The Summit Seeker is Vanessa's voice as she "explores trail and ultra running on an emotional, psychological, and spiritual level."

Vanessa will be the first to tell you this is NOT a book about how to run faster.  It's not a training guide.  It is a memoir about running from a young woman who has learned to use running as a way to escape and heal.  Each chapter reads as it's own essay with topics ranging from home (12 different addresses) to dogs to Steve Jobs to making excuses.

I enjoyed reading Vanessa's perspective and I believe you will too.  Vanessa was very gracious to send me an extra paperback copy for one of my readers!  All you have to do is enter through the Rafflecopter widget below.  If you want, you can also find her book on Amazon here.  It is available in a Kindle edition for $4.99 or paperback for $11.69.

Vanessa blogs here.  You can also follow Vanessa on Facebook, by liking her Facebook page The Summit Seeker, and on Twitter @VanessaRuns

Good luck!  The contest will run until 12:00 am EST on Wednesday, December 18th, 2013.  There are multiple chances to enter, so get to it!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Training Tuesday: is it too early to taper?



Monday 12-2-13 BIKE/RUN Brick, for no reason other than I felt like doing a brick.  20 minutes on the bike (7.2 miles) and a 2 mile run (10:23 pace). Decided today that the 2013 Newton Gravitys I was so in love with are evil and will be getting returned.

Tuesday 12-3-13 STRETCH 20 minutes during lunch then BIKE 7.36 miles on the basement trainer (14.6 mph).

Wednesday 12-4-13 RUN 4.18 miles in 44:10 (10:23 pace).  This was supposed to be a 5 mile tempo but instead ended up a warm then torrential downpour hilly run.

Thursday 12-5-13 STRETCH 20 min of roller and stretching at lunch.  Feeling burnt out.

Friday 12-6-13 SWIM 1 mile in 58 minutes.

Saturday 12-7-13 RUN 14 miles in 2:38:32.  I had my longest training run for a half marathon EVER this past weekend.  For the first time I trained past race distance and did a 14 mile long run.  It was the cap to a not-so-great training week, but the miles count.

Not crazy about the pace but it's supposed to be ok.
The middle 5 miles were part of a group run. The weather was abysmal. 

It's not just a figure of speech.

Sunday 12-8-13 REST.  I vegged out and watched a lot of football.  I'm ok with this.

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Monday, December 9, 2013

Motivation Monday: go the distance




I doubt myself a lot when I'm running. Saturday, I wanted to quit about 3 bazillionty times during my 14 mile run through frigid GR, but I didn't. I finished.

I may never run ultras and whether I ever run another marathon is still a big question mark, but I AM a distance runner. I'm trusting my training to get me to the finish line of my 10th 13.1 in less than 3 weeks. If my training doesn't get me there, stubbornness will :)

What about you? What do you think of that helps you go the distance?


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Friday, December 6, 2013

Fitness Friday: Long Run Motivation

This post is as much for me as for those of you who read my little blog. I'm stressing and obsessing over tomorrow's 14 mile run. I've never actually trained past race distance before (but I've covered this distance probably 10-15 times in the past). It shouldn't be a big deal but for some reason it is. As one of my friends has informed me, I stress about every run but I always get them done. I should try and remember that.











While Ryan is very motivating, it's still my mind I have to convince to just do this thing & then yes, I shall have beer.

What's your plan for the weekend?

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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Three Things Thursday: irritations

Totally random thoughts this morning.

1. Athleta keeps sending catelogs and I want it all. Seriously, how awesome is this running outfit? I've always wanted to try a vest and I'm a sucker for any shirt with thumbholes.



Also, I want the model's legs and ass but I'm too lazy to work that hard.

2. A guy was here yesterday replacing our electric meter.  I remembered to reset all the clocks...except the one on my Keurig.  Morning coffee fail.  Luckily it heats up pretty quickly.

3.  Training for a race at an odd time of year makes it really hard to have social runs with friends.  Who wants to run 14 miles in 17 degree weather when everyone else is only running 5?  No one.  Not even me.  I'm really struggling with how to get my long run in this weekend.  Any suggestions?

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Training Tuesday: Jax Bank Half T-25 days

It seems a bit odd to be starting a countdown for this race, but I really have no clue what training week this is.  All I know is I'm supposed to run 13.1 miles as fast as I can in a little less than 4 weeks.  This week's training was ok.  I have a plan for the running pieces but the rest is lacking.

Monday 11/25 - REST (oops, not a great way to start the week).  I actually did Monday's workout on Sunday, so I didn't exactly skip it.

Tuesday 11/26 - RUN 3 miles up "Treadmill Mountain".  It hurt and was really slow.

Wednesday 11/27 - STRETCH Did a yoga workout for my hips.

Thursday 11/28 - Happy Thanksgiving!  RUN I didn't participate in any organized runs so I just headed out for 5 miles on my own. Frankly, they sucked.  It had snowed and I was slipping and trudging all over the place.  Took 1:02:23 (12:28 pace) to cover those 5 miles.
I'd forgotten how hard it was to run in snow.  Ugh

Friday 11/29 - RUN Met a friend for the week's long run a day early.  10 miles and they were fantastic.  We chatted the entire time and even saw a bunch of deer along the river.  It was one of the best runs in a long time and I didn't even really care about my pace.  10.16 in 1:49:24 (10:46 pace).

Saturday 11/30 - REST

Sunday 12/1 - REST

Still too many rest days but I needed them after running 15 miles in 2 days.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Motivation Monday: being compared to baked goods




My motivation:

I'm leaning for Florida in 25 days to run my last half marathon of the year.
None of my clothes fit.
I've been comparing myself to that busted can of biscuits a lot lately.

Time to ramp up the workouts & put down the pint glass.

I hope it works.



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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: what day is it?





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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Training Tuesday: Jax Bank Half week ???

Well, since I announced yesterday that I'm running one more half marathon this year, I can now label these training posts for the race :)  I've had this one on my radar for awhile now but wanted to get to double digits and have some solid long runs before I pulled the trigger.  Sadly, this past week's runs left a little to be desired, but I've been running around this block long enough to know that crappy runs happen.

Monday 11/18 - RUN 3.12 miles in 32:19 (10:21 pace).  We had a huge wind storm and didn't have school, so this was a weird time of day run to check out some of the damage.  It's always a bit odd to see a truck on my running trail - the park service was there cutting up trees that had fallen on the trail.

Tuesday 11/19 - REST.  Watched my daughter qualify for the Division 1 State Diving Championships at her Regional meet :)

Wednesday 11/20 - RUN 4 mile tempo in 38:53 (9:43 ave pace).  This was a tough run.

Thursday 11/21 - LONG RUN 8 miles.  This was supposed to happen on Saturday but I knew we'd be traveling for divegirl's state meet.  I had to do this run after school and I was poorly fueled and not well hydrated.  Basically, this run sucked balls and I even stopped my watch and sat down at mile 4, wondering who might be home to pick my sorry ass up.  I got my shit together and finished but it wasn't pretty.  8 miles in 1:28:31 (11:03 pace).

Friday 11/22 - REST while I spectated my daughter's awesome diving.  She finished 33rd in the state in Division 1 and I couldn't be more proud.

Saturday 11/23 - RUN Treadmill Mountain.  I have a friend who has started doing these workouts and I thought I'd try one.  2 miles at 10% incline in 30 min.  It was hard as hell.

Sunday 11/24 - RUN 3.1 in 30:00 (9:40 pace). This was Monday's run done a day early since I had an appointment with my sports med doc and then my girl's swim/dive banquet.  Very cold, windy morning and I finished with exactly 30:00.00 on my watch.  So bizarre.
I couldn't do that again if I tried.
So, one of my highest mileage weeks in a long time, but an epic fail where crosstraining is concerned. This week was all about the run and watching my girl dive.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Motivation Monday: another race!

How do you motivate yourself to finish the year strong? You sign up for your 10th half marathon!


Sunny Florida - here I come!


I was a bit surprised when I realized Jax would be my 10th half, especially considering my first one was only 3 years ago.  Must have been all those shiny things :)

Friday, November 22, 2013

Fitness Friday: spectating

Today I'm heading to the easy side of the state to watch my dive girl, one of her diving teammates & a relay team from our high school compete in the Division 1 State Championships.

This is K's first time qualifying for state & I'm busting with pride over how hard she's worked & her accomplishments this season. I still can't believe that she's one of the top 36 divers in division 1 in the entire state of Michigan!

State wasn't even on our radar when the diving season started this year. K is proof that you should never say never and when you work your ass off, great things happen.



Think happy, safe, strong, clean diving thoughts today & tomorrow for all 36 girls in Michigan who qualified to compete for the state championship today.

(Thanks to K for her shameless use of the selfie since she refused to let me take her picture before she left yesterday.)

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Semi Wordless Wednesday: proud




I'm celebrating my diver today.

Last night she competed in the regional diving competition and by that smile, I think you can guess that it went really well.

31 divers qualified at their conference meets to compete at Regionals.  After the first round (5 dives), they cut the field to 20.  She was in 19th place.

Then after the 2nd round (3 more dives), they cut again to 16.  She'd moved up to 13th place.  K needed to gain 1 spot to make it to State.  3 more dives and she finished 10th!

My diver is competing at Oakland University this weekend!!!

I'm so proud of all her hard work this year.  She's doing harder dives, including 3 new ones - 2 that she's learned in the past 2 weeks.  I love seeing the look on her face when she realizes all this dedication and work paying off.  I'd say her coach looks proud of her too :)

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Training Tuesday: new post-injury distance PR

Feet, quads, glutes, biceps, abs... All at the same time!

This week was a bit "off" for me.  I hate making excuses for missing workouts, but I definitely didn't get in everything I should have.  I've been sick for over a month, my son had his play this week, and there were a couple days that I just wanted a break. Plus I did Monday's run on Sunday, which threw off this week. Basically, all I did was run.  And my feet hurt.  A lot. Threw in some stretching and one bike ride, but the cross training was meager at best.  All-in-all, it was still a decent week with another post-injury distance PR, so I'll take it.  I'm *thisclose* to pulling the trigger on one more big race for 2012. 

Monday 11/11 - REST

Tuesday 11/12 - REST (not a good trend - haven't had 2 rest days in a row in forever)

Wednesday 11/13 - RUN Windy mile repeats run (2 x 1600 at 8:48 pace).  Did 4 miles in 37:52 (9:28 pace) but my repeats were all over the place (8:17 and 9:13).  I need to work on consistency.

Thursday 11/14 - BIKE 8 miles in 39 min.  This was a very easy ride while I watched Nashville on my iPad.  I knew I needed to do something but had no motivation to work hard.

Friday 11/15 - REST (normally a swim day but I had family coming up for dinner and then D's play, so I scooted home to cook right after work).

Saturday 11/16 - LONG RUN 12.12 miles in 2:12:29 (10:55 pace) - this run was HARD but more so from a mental standpoint than a physical one.  I had a lot of heel pain after but the hip hasn't been feeling as bad, so I'm considering this to be progress.  I wore my 2012 Newtons with heel cups that a friend loaned me and I didn't have the numbness in my toes that I've experienced with my 2013 Newtons.  Starting to wonder if I need a different style shoe, which makes me sad.

Sunday 11/17 - STRETCH/ROLL.  Worked a lot on my calves in an effort to make my heel not hurt so much. 

I'm going to be working this week on adding some extra speedwork into my plan (or at least being a bit more consistent).  I've heard really good things about short, slow-paced hill-work sessions on the treadmill, so those might start making an appearance.

How was your week? There were a lot of races around here (our season is coming to a close). Anything fun to report?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Meal Monday: best pie EVER


I'm posting a recipe for which I cannot take any credit.  The crust is all The Beeroness and the filling is a mix of a couple different recipes based on a suggestion by one of my friends.

I've always failed at pie crust.  Never have I had one turn out even remotely flakey or tasty, so I've always used those refridgerated crusts from Pillsbury.  They aren't awful, but let's face it.  They aren't that great either.  When I saw The Beeroness's blog last week, I knew I needed to try this recipe.  I wasn't sure what type of beer to use (yes, the crust is made with beer) so I sent out some tweets and requests on Facebook for ideas.  Jackie, The Beeroness herself, even responded and suggested a higher alcohol IPA and that if it's one with a high IBU (bitterness) content, to just add an extra tablespoon of sugar.

Here's what I did for the Pale Ale Pie Dough.  This is The Beeroness's recipe but I really think you should visit her blog. Add her to your reader.  Plus, she has the ziplist and Pinterest plugins so you can save the crust recipe. 

Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 12 tbs cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 8 tbs vegetable shortening (I used butter-flavored Crisco sticks)
  • 1/3 cup ice cold high ABV pale ale (I used Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale - 6.8% alc and 65 IBU - no extra sugar needed)
Directions
  • Add 1 ½ cups of flour, salt and sugar to a food processor, pulse once or twice to combine. Add the butter and shortening, close the openings or you will have flour all over your kitchen not that I have any experience with that then process until well combined and dough gathers around the blade. You might have to stop and push the dough back into place a few times depending on your food processor.
  • Add the remaining flour and pulse 6-8 times or until all the flour has been coated. It will look a little bit crumbly. 
  • Put the dough in a bowl and use a rubber spatula to stir in the beer.  The dough will be very soft and a little sticky.  This is fine.  The Beeroness says "don’t add the beer in the food processor or your dough will turn into a cracker". 
  • Lay two long sheets of plastic wrap on your counter and divide the dough between the two sheets.  Mold them into flat disks and wrap them each with the plastic wrap.
  • Place the disks into a freezer bag and put in the refridgerator or the freezer depending on how soon you want to use it. I kept mine in the fridge for a little over 2 hours.
  • Freeze for up to 3 weeks. (If you want to use the dough the day of, place the wrapped disks in the refrigerator for 2 hours and up to 3 days)
  • 24 hours before use, put the dough in the refrigerator to thaw.
  • When ready to roll out the dough, roll out the first disk between 2 pieces of wax paper.  Do NOT roll it out on a floured surface.  The dough will be really soft and a little sticky but this is totally ok.  Put the first crust into your pie plate and add the filling (recipe below).  Put it in the fridge while you roll out the top crust.  You can then use the top crust however you want - lattice, whole with slits or you can make 2 single-crust pies.
Notes from The Beeroness
If the dough breaks easily when you try to roll it out, gently knead it with your hands until it comes together. Roll it out, line a pie pan and refrigerator to chill, about 30 minutes. *This recipe also works with all butter, or all shortening, if you prefer.


Filling: Peach Blueberry Pie

Ingredients:
  • 5 cups frozen (partially thawed) sliced peaches
  • 2 cups frozen blueberries
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup quick-cooking tapioca (I added a bit more after filling the pie shell)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • dash cinnamon
  • dough for double crust pie
  • milk or egg and sugar for top of pie
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 425*
  • In a large bowl, combine fruit, sugar, tapioca, cornstarch, lemon juice and cinnamon.  Let sit for 15 min, stirring occasionally. 
  • Roll out first pie crust as directed above and line pie plate.  Spoon the fruit mixture into the crust. If there is a lot of juice in the bowl (there was with mine), use a slotted spoon and leave almost all of the juice in the bowl because you don't want a watery pie.  I thought I still had too much juice so I sprinkled a bit more tapioca on top of the fruit mixture.
  • Refridgerate while you roll out the top crust.
  • Gently place the top crust over the fruit and make prettier edges than I did.  Cut a few slices in the top crust to let the steam escape.
  • Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and brush with milk or egg then sprinkle with sugar.  Cover edges with foil to prevent over browning.  Bake another 20-30 min or until golden brown.
  • Let cool for about 2 hours so the juices in the pie set, otherwise it will be runny.
  • You can reheat slices for a few seconds in the microwave if you want them warm.
  • Serve with vanilla ice cream.

This was, by far, the best pie I have ever made.  The crust is super flaky and buttery tasting, plus I LOVED the peach and blueberry combination.  Some version of this pie will grace my Thanksgiving table for sure.

What's your favorite flavor pie?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Fitness Friday: fun news from @vanessaruns!




Last week, Vanessa Runs contacted me through Facebook and asked if I'd be interested in reviewing her book, The Summit Seeker.  Vanessa is an ultrarunner who writes and runs full-time after leaving a career in journalism.  She agreed to send me a copy to keep and a copy to give away to one of YOU!  The books came yesterday and I can't wait to dig into my copy.

You can find Vanessa's blog here and follow her on Twitter.  Stay tuned for the book giveaway in a couple weeks!  If you just can't wait and want to read Vanessa's book now, you can find it on Amazon here.

What was the last book you read for fun?  Do you prefer hard copies (like me) or the Kindle versions?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, November 14, 2013

World Diabetes Day: wearing blue!




On this Thankful Thursday, I'm giving thanks for Sir Frederick Banting.  In case you didn't know, today is his birthday and he's the scientist known as the main discoverer of insulin, a hormone my sister, Buffi, and good friend, Corey, could not live without.  They are two individuals living with Type 1 Diabetes who continue to amaze me with their strength and perseverence.


Today, the anniversary of Dr. Banting's birth, is designated World Diabetes Day.  Take a look at that chart and find something you can do today.  (Thanks to Corey for posting these graphics.)

Learn the signs and sypmptoms, take the quiz, eat right and get your exercise.  Knowledge is power.


I'm wearing blue and sharing information about Diabetes on my blog and FB today.  What are you going to do?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: is there good?




Jury is out today.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Training Tuesday: Double Digits!



I hit a recovery milestone this week - my first double digit run since the end of August!  Was it perfect or pain free? No.  But it was a move in the right direction and knowing that I can hit that distance still was a huge confidence boost going into the end of the year.

Monday Nov 4 - RUN 4 miles in 43:23 (10:50 pace).  Not a great run, but miles banked.

Tuesday Nov 5 - STRENGTH/STRETCH Did my hip exercises and some yoga.

Wednesday Nov 6 - RUN 4 mile tempo on a mix of the track and treadmill in 38:51 (ave 9:42 but the tempo miles were around 9:00)

Thursday Nov 7 - REST while I watched my diver qualify for the conference finals in diving.

Friday Nov 8 - LONG RUN 10 miles in 1:45:18 (10:31 pace).  I decided to move my long run to Friday afternoon and it went alright.  Running at 4:00 for almost 2 hours meant I finished right before dark.  I'll need to do this again in a couple weeks because I'll be out of town on Saturday, only then I need to do 12.  I might be doing my 6 mile route twice.

Saturday Nov 9 - REST while I watched my diver qualify for regionals!! She finished 9th out of 28 in her conference and I couldn't have been more proud.

Sunday Nov 10 - RUN 5 miles in 47:41 (9:32 pace).  I moved Monday's run up a day because I was awake and it was a beautiful but very windy morning.  Not sure where all that speed came from but I'll take it.  Some soreness during the day but a much better run than any other this week.

Do you switch around your training plans like this?  I think it's making me a bit more flexible.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Fitness Friday: companies & social media

I got some new shoes this week.



This is my third pair of the Newton Gravity so I didn't expect any problems but when I did my first run, I had numbness in my feet. These feel much narrower than my last pair.

I sent a tweet to Newton & they replied!



We had a nice little 140 character convo.


I love responsive companies. Hopefully these will feel great for my 10 miler tomorrow.




Any great social media companies you've interacted with?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, November 7, 2013

#TTT Three things Thursday: Facebook Funnies

Three images from FB this week that made me smile.



Who can resist cats killing each other? The looks on their faces? I die.


This is precisely why I'm not listing thanks every day.


I adore the humpday camel.

What made you smile this week?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Not-So-Wordless Wednesday: Safety First! #runchat


Yes, it's "Weigh-in Wednesday" and I was down a little bit this week, but in light of recent events, I wanted to send out this reminder instead.

Light yourself up, people.  A very well-known runner in the Grand Rapids, MI running community was killed a couple nights ago after being hit by a car.  It was only 6:15 at night but it was DARK.  The time change means many of us are running at dusk or after dark (or in my case, still running in the morning when it's dark) and it's better to look like a dork than to not be seen.

A couple nights before this, someone I know almost hit a cyclist who was biking at midnight with NO LIGHTS and all black clothing.  Really, this is beyond dumb.

If you are going to be out walking, running, cycling or whatever any time near dusk, dawn or dark, PLEASE wear the appropriate safety gear.

  • headlamp or KnuckleLights
  • reflective vest
  • blinky lights on your front and back
  • leave the music at home or wear only one ear bud and don't get lost in your music
Just having clothing with a few reflective markings isn't good enough.

Be safe out there my friends!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Training Tuesday: step-back week

This week was supposed to be a step-back week and I think I stepped back a bit too much.  Mentally I think I needed the break.  After PT on Thursday, I ended up running a longer run on Saturday than I'd planned so we'll call it a wash.  Overall, I think the week was a success and I'm feeling less pain in my hip after each run.  (My heel and some new issue with my foot are a different story, but my PT isn't concerned and I'm trying to follow his lead.)

Monday Oct 28 - RUN 4 miles in about 44 minutes (10:55 pace).  This was disappointing but was also my 3rd run in 3 days so I'm going to chalk it up to tired legs.

Tuesday Oct 29 - Stretching and rolling for about 20 minutes.  I should've done more but it is what it is.

Wednesday Oct 30 - RUN 3.14 in 32:12 (10:15 pace).  A much better run on some little hills.  Legs were still tired but I pushed through and got some hill work in at the same time.

Thursday Oct 31 - REST.  I'm not sure why I took a rest day other that being lazy.  I had PT earlier in the day and he did a bunch of stretching but I can't really count that.

Friday Nov 1 - SWIM - 1700 in about 56 minutes.  Faster actually since I didn't stop my watch for rests between sets.  It was a decent swim.

Saturday Nov 2 - RUN 6.04 in 1:05:31 (10:50 pace).  I'm calling this a good run because I was out way before dark to run and was feeling less than great from going out Friday night.  I didn't sleep so it's a win.

Sunday Nov 3 - REST.  I needed a mental health break as much as a physical one.  I was lazy and watched TV all day, except for the 3 mile walk I took in the afternoon.

This coming week is going to be tough.  I have my first double-digit run coming up on Saturday and I'm thinking back to where I was a year ago when I was training for Disney's Wine and Dine. I'm planning the same route that I ran for my last long run before Disney.  That 10 miler went great and had me thinking I'd have a huge PR in Orlando.  That ended up being far from the case. It's ironic that this year's race is also coming up this weekend.  Been remembering that weekend a lot.  I wish I could go back and do it again.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Motivation Monday: reader's choice!

source
I love this poster because there's something for everyone.  Right now, I'm pretty much rocking the "F* the injury and the pain" quote and choosing to work through it (with medical guidance - no hate please).  

Which phrase will you take with you this week?

Friday, November 1, 2013

Fitness Friday: Making Plans

teen quotes - Google Search
source
It's no secret that I strive on organization and structure.  I have to have a plan and I love my spreadsheets and google docs that tell me what I'm supposed to be doing.

After yesterday's PT session, I have a much more ambitious plan than I did when I went in.  I guess he thinks I'm doing much better.  We've re-vamped my fancy google spreadsheet to include a lot more miles on the weekend than I was planning.  There might be a another race in my future and if the stars align, I want to be ready.

The problem with my plan is some holes where crosstraining needs to go.  I'll figure that out in the next few days.  In the meantime, this is what my weeks will look like for the remainder of 2013.

Monday: easy run day - distances range from 3 to 5 miles at an easy pace.

Tuesday: crosstraining of some kind, biking on the trainer or strength workouts, or both.

Wednesday: speedwork - either intervals, tempo runs or hill work.  Right now there is no hill work written in so I need to fix that.

Thursday: crosstraining or a very short run (like 2 miles) and strength training.

Friday: swimming day - I'll swim for roughly an hour

Saturday: long run day - the shortest run between now and the end of the year is tomorrow's 6 miler.  I hit double digets next weekend and will top out with one 14 miler at the beginning of December. I'm praying for a mild winter.  I'll be honest - I'm scared of those 12 and 14 milers.  Even the 10 miler I have planned for next weekend makes me nervous, but my PT knows me and knows I need those distances as much for my mental game and the physical one. It may not be easy but it will be worth it.

Sunday: Thou shalt honor the rest day and keep it holy.  Or something like that.

What about you? Do you like the structure of a plan or are you more likely to just wing it?