Monday, September 30, 2013

Week 6: Lady luck and duh, food pics

The running:

Tuesday: Plan was 4 easy @9:21, Actual was 4 easy @8:57

Thursday: Plan was 3X1 mile @7:21 with 800 jogs, 6 total miles, Actual was 8:25, 7:19, 800 @ 8:27 pace, 7:02, 800 @ 8:21 pace, 6:56, 8;11

Friday: Plan was 3 easy @9:21, Actual was 3 easy @8:57

Saturday: Plan was 18 easy @9:21, Actual was 18 @8:13 with splits of 8:24, 8:23, 8:16, 8:16, 8:15, 8:18, 8:17, 8:17, 8:14, 8:10, 8:18, 8:33, 8:14, 8:07, 8:04, 8:01, 8:00, 7:47

I was pretty happy with my training week.  My foot gave me a little bit of issue on my long run a few miles in, but for the most part, I am feeling good.  I was especially pleased that I was able to bang out my mile repeats on Thursday night, have a true recovery run Friday, and a really great long run Saturday.

My middle miles on my long run felt really easy and comfortable and looking back at my splits, it is just a few seconds faster than what I am aiming for on race day.  I was definitely pushing it in the final miles, but mostly because I knew that I had conserved early and that my body was feeling good.  I drank Nuun instead of Gatorade and water this go 'round and while I still had salty skin when I was done, I didn't experience leg cramping.  I still have yet to figure out why sometimes my legs feel like they are on fire post-long run when all the other variables are the same.  Ah, running, a constant experiment....

In non-running news--a lot of the reason I haven't been reading bloops--was that I have been busy working, eating, baking, dinner with friends, and catching a few hours of the few TV shows that I adore (re: New Girl, Parenthood, The White Queen, and The Amazing Race).   I had a work dinner on Tuesday night, dinner with high school friends on Wednesday night, date night with the gang on Friday night, and an impromptu dinner party Sunday night. Whew!

You want food pictures, I got 'em!

First I got a little healthy with brussel sprouts:


And my I-can't-decide-what's-for-dinner default dinner, steak and potatoes:


Tuesday, I baked!! I did some experiments with pumpkin, paleo, and gluten-free flour. I love trying new recipes and these turned out pretty good considering that they weren't chocked full of 'normal' ingredients.  I'm not paleo or gluten-free, but my sister is gf and our third wheel for date night is now officially seeing a girl who gf.

I made paleo pumpkin bars:


Paleo pumpkin chocolate chip cookies:


And gluten-free pumpkin bread:

After dinner with the high school friends on Wednesday night, my best friend told me she had my pie dish in her car to return to me.  She borrowed it for a photography project awhile back.  And she return it with a pie! Sa-wheet!

After I showered, ice bathed, ate random things from my fridge, and turned on a football game, the sofa monster summoned me to a loooooong nap on Saturday afternoon.  The BTs hogged the sofa kept me company:


Adam and I both had Sunday off and it was absolutely gorgeous outside.  We had purchased a Groupon for the zoo and we decided it was a perfect day to use it.


We saw lots of birds, including flamingos:

Dirty warthogs:


Elephant butts:

And really big turtles:

Jeff and his new gf joined us and he managed to snap a great pic of Adam and I:


We decided to keep the fun going into the evening and stopped at Whole Paycheck Foods for goodies to make appetizers munchies and kabobs:


We all contributed to the meal like we had spent 1000 nights together and conversation flowed as generously as the wine:

It was a relaxing and lovely day.  Sometimes I have to pinch myself to wonder if this is all real!  Because I really am quite a lucky girl.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Short 'n sweet: The rest of week 5

Finally! A good mojo run.  By my standards, a run that makes me feel strong, powerful, and without any aches and pains.  It wasn't a runner's high run, but I'm content with saving that for race day.

I already blooped about my first 2 runs of the week, but here are the stats on the last 2:

Friday: Planned 4 easy miles @ 9:21, Actual 4 miles @ 8:34

Sunday: Planned 6 tempo with 4@7:51, Actual 6 miles in 8:18, 7:46, 7:13, 7:23, 7:13, 7:33, last .2 in 1:28 (7:10 pace)

I hit my groove a little later than anticipated and while I initially was shooting for about a 7:40 pace, I just let my body carry me through the run.  I was running at about an "8" effort where 1=strolling and 10=pukey pants.  However, I felt like it was a controlled 8.  Sometimes I feel like I am running more of a fartlek when I tempo because I paying way too much attention to my time.  This time I tried to just settle into a as-comfortable-as-a-tempo-can-be pace and let my body do the work.

This definitely made me more confident for my mile repeats that I have on the calendar for the upcoming week.  I have 3@7:21 on the calendar.  Speedwork is by far the thing that is the most challenging in this particular go 'round of marathon training.  The easy recovery runs are well, easy recovery runs.  And my long runs are not daunting in the sense that I know my body is completely capable of running that distance.  I still respect the long run and prepare for it, but I am not scared if I feel like crap.  Been there, done that.

I have toyed with the idea of vamping up my training program, but honestly, my A goal is just to BQ.  When I look at my previous training logs, I was running just a few seconds slower overall on the majority of my runs.  But I was also racing on a pretty hilly course so it's possible 8 minutes could be made up on a flat course.  I dunno.  I still have so many self-doubts about it all.  But I will do the training, trying to not act a fool on Friday night in Rehoboth, and remember to keep it all in perspective.  I could be on a long horse ride!

The good news about fall is that we will finally get some welcome relief from the heat and hopefully my running will feel even easier.  The bad news is that the days are definitely getting shorter and running outside becomes harder on work days.  I am hoping that we get lucky with the weather for my half in 2 weeks!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Week 4+: Please do not read if hungry

I started to write a bloop on Sunday, got 2/3rds of the way finished, and then somehow managed to shut down the laptop.  I was tired anyway and just decided it was meant to be.  So not only do I have to catch up with last week's running & other adventures, but I have part of this week's as well.

I have been busy, busy, busy and not just with running and working!

But first, as always, the running.

Last Tuesday: Plan was 6 easy @ 9:18, Actual was 8:25, 8:20, 8:17, 8:07, 8:24, 8:14

Wednesday: Plan was 5 easy @ 9:18, Actual was a 5 mile, 50 minute program treadmill run with walking to warm up and cool down.  The running portion was between 6.0mph (10mm) and 6.7mph (8:57mm)
Thursday: Plan was 5 easy @ 9:18, Actual was 8:16, 7:37, 7:51, 7:46, 7:46
Saturday: Plan was 6 easy @ 9:18, Actual was 8:25, 8:14, 8:06, 8:20, 7:55, 7:53
Monday: Plan was 3 easy @ 9:18, Actual was 3 @ 8:34 (TM run)

Today: Plan was 16 easy @ 9:18, Actual was 16 @ 8:12, splits: 8:17, 8:01, 8:13, 8:13, 8:13, 8:19, 8:09, 8:11, 8:22, 8:17, 8:10, 8:24, 8:16, 8:18, 7:56, 7:49

I have to confess that last Thursday's run was because I got a little competitive on the Greenway.  I had just finished the first mile and started to creep up on another runner.  As we got to a small incline on a bridge, I overtook him by going a little faster than I had been so that I could distance myself once I went past.  We hit the decline and I picked up the pace to (hopefully) give us a little space.  I went about 2/10ths of a mile before I was about to pass some walkers.  As I looked over my left shoulder to avoid cyclists or faster runners, the runner I had passed was right there. I blurted out, "sorry", and tried not to crowd his space as we went around the walkers.  Now that I was aware that he was right on my tail, I continued to pick up the pace.  After another 1/10th of a mile, he came shoulder to shoulder and started running right next to me. We huffed next to one another for a minute or two before I ripped out one of my ear buds and said, "hi, I'm Carissa!". He huffed out, "hi Carissa, I'm Jeff". We ran until we hit the 2.5 mile mark where he told me that I kept a great pace, have a great run, and turned around.  I was doing a 5 miler too, but Garmin had me at like 2.45 miles and I was supposed to be running easy, so I ran a bit more before I turned around.  I guess I was so amped up that I just kept running at tempo pace...oops.

Today's run was all together different.  I don't know what it is about 16 miles, but I hate it, hate it, hate it.  18 is fine, 20 is peachy, but I don't think I have ever had a good 16 miler in my history of running.  And because I have these negative thoughts about it, I am likely putting the curse on myself.  I had problems from the get go with my ear buds only piping in Pandora at half-sound.  So, like, I was getting a lot of the treble and no bass.  Super annoying.  I tried all my tricks and for the first half mile, I kept stopping trying to get my music going.  The music was an ongoing annoyance because I kept trying it and finally resorted to just listening to it sans ear buds for the last 8 miles--my apologies to the few other patrons on the Greenway today that might have gotten an earful of Pitbull or LMFAO.

But the big problem of today was that my legs felt like bricks.  I had no pep in my step.  My fuel belt felt heavy, I felt tired, my body hurt--it was like a culmination of all the bad running stuff suddenly rained down on my run.  I started questioning my own abilities.  I would try to slow down, but that didn't feel any easier or better and then I would speed up, and that didn't help either.  I was playing rabbit and tortoise the entire run and it was more mentally draining than anything else.

When I was done, I noticed that I was covered in salt.  I'm a salty sweater anyway and this was certainly not anything new, but it tends to happen in the heat of summer.  It was pleasantly in the upper 60s today (why my mojo didn't appreciate this, I don't know).  So while I cannot blame all the ugliness of the run on a lack of proper hydration/sodium levels, I know that the excessive salt is not really a good thing.  Let's just hope that 18 miles plays nicer next week!

Okay, if you've made it this far, you deserve to see that fun stuff that I've been up to when I haven't been running my easy runs too fast and getting my butt handed to me by my long runs.

First, I thought I should include a pretty picture from my run today:

Followed by a much-needed ice bath:

I created a new twist on trying to tough out the ice bath.  I decided that I could only get out of the ice bath when I finished today's crossword.  Please note that this super dork only does crosswords in pen and I own clipboards (yes, 2) specifically for my crosswords.  But don't be too impressed, they are only the USA Today crosswords.

The before:

And the after:


I've working on my all over fitness with the September Fitness Challenge.  Mainly trying to stay on the gun show circuit:


And drinking green smoothies in an effort to combat all the party food I've been ingesting:


Because last weekend, I hosted a Mary Kay spa party at my house with lots of yummy things.  I tried to keep it light and healthy with cucumber water:

Caprese skewers and dried fruit:

But we also had to have a little cheese too:


I baked some pumpkin bread last week and sent a little care package to my 90 year old grandma:


Then I started baking, cooking, and prepping for my sister's engagement party.  I was in charge of all the food and flowers while the other hostesses provided the games, decorations, and venue.

We started with strawberry mimosas made with pureed strawberries and rose champagne:

My sister is gluten-free, so I created a menu with all GF-friendly foods.  We had tarragon chicken salad on apple slices, spicy pimento cheese atop cucumbers, truffled egg salad on GF bread, blue cheese stuffed cherry tomatoes, mixed nuts, olives, and "he popped the question" popcorn:

For dessert, I made GF chocolate cupcakes with buttercream frosting.  It's supposed to look like a wedding dress, but I was running out of time to perfect it:


The decorations turned out beautiful and I was so glad that the other girls are crafty:



Instead of a traditional guest book, I hustled my brother into buying a giant bottle of wine (a Jeroboam for all you oenophiles) to have all the guests sign with a metallic sharpie.  The sign says "A guest book is fine, but we prefer you sign the wine".  Thought of by one of the hostesses awesome DH!:


And lastly, the requisite picture of at least one of the Boston Terriers:


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Week 3: Shenanigans > running stats

You can read about my running or just skip to the fun pictures of my week!

Week 3 of train-for-a-BQ is in the bag.  I am still have on again, off again foot pain that is likely exacerbated by work and duh, running.  But I taped it up a few days this week and that seemed to help a bit.  Whatevs. I just keep running.

Here are the numbers:

Tuesday: Plan was 4 easy @ 9:20, Actual was 4 in 8:34, 8:34, 8:27, 8:20.
Wednesday: Plan was 6 total with 4 tempo @ 7:54 on Thursday, Actual was 6 in 8:11, 7:46, 7:27, 7:35, 7:15, 7:37
Friday: Plan was 4 easy @ 9:20, Actual was 4 in 8:32, 8:27, 8:20, 8:13
Sunday: Plan was 14 easy @ 9:20, Actual was 14 in 8:10, 7:55, 7:54, 8:01, 8:01, 8:05, 7:57, 7:52, 7:51, 7:50, 7:51, 7:59, 7:45, 7:34

Tuesday I felt great and relaxed. Wednesday's tempo was tough at first (I ran after work), but I got into my groove. Friday was okay--not good, not bad.  Today's run was okay all things considering.

I woke up at 4am because the dogs were stirring and so I let them outside.  Torrance (the 5 year old BT), bolted out towards the back fence and caught a rabbit trying to escape.  It made a terrible yelping noise that traumatized me all morning. I woke poor Adam up to dispose of the rabbit.  I had a pet bunny growing up and while I'm not immune to the cycle of life and hierarchy of animals (I do enjoy my meat!), I am particularly sensitive to this.  It took me about an hour to calm my nerves and fall back asleep.

The alarm went off just before 7am and while I snoozed a bit, I knew I needed to get out before it got too hot.  I had my coffee, a bagel with peanut butter, and drove to the Greenway.  The tickle in my throat wasn't any better than the night before--Adam's been battling a cold all week--but I wasn't going to let that hold me back.  The first couple of miles I was feeling sleepy and lethargic.  After I hit the bathroom at the 3.5 mile marker, I felt a little peppier from my brief intermission.  The next few miles were hot as I was in the sun, but I finally started to feel like I was awake.  At just past mile 7, I got to the turnaround point and refilled my water bottles and at my Gu.  The next 3 miles I actually felt pretty solid and kind of got lost in my thoughts for a bit.  The final 4 miles I alternated between feeling good and creaky every few minutes.  It was getting quite warm and while I was in the shade, I couldn't wipe the sweat away because it was so humid.

Now, onto the fun stuff, pictures of my week!

First, a few pictures of running. Like, my 14 mile run stats:


And a post-run stretch with the hooligans:


Plenty of healthy fuel both pre- and post- running like salads:

 Green smoothies with kale, kiwi, honeydew melon, and green apple:


A bagel with PB:

And a monster stack of blueberry pancakes:

The beer challenge seems to be living on however.  In the form of Dos Equis while at dinner on date night:


And some pumpkin beer while tailgating (for no event, just life) in the parking lot of the liquor store after dinner. Adam (the DH) is taking the picture of Jeff (our date night extra) and I:


Finally, the crazy BTs.  Torrance is the wild child:


But she and Luxy can be cute snuggle buddies both in the morning:

And in the afternoon:

Time for a cutback week and more adventures!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Week 2 will bore you to tears (sorry!)

I have been completely lacking in my comments on others' bloops.  Please don't take offense.  The past 2 weeks I have either been walking with Adam in the evening and/or had too many other things I was busy with (re: beer challenge) to concentrate on catching up on bloops.

I wouldn't even write a bloop except for the fact that I wanted to try to at least have a once a week check in while I train to BQ. If I'm successful, these bloops will give me great joy to reread.  If I fail this go 'round, I will try to understand if/when my training went wrong.

I'm no marathon expert.  I've only run 5. I like to think of them as (1)bonk, (2)gleeful, (3)poopy-pants, (4)mojo-killer, (5)awesomesauce.  So I have a little bit of knowledge under my belt about how this could all go down.  It all comes down to race day morning and how my body and mind decide to cooperate. 

Week 2 of training went pretty well. 

Tuesday: scheduled 5 easy @ 9:21 actual 9:05, 8:34, 8:13, 8:13, 8:34

Thursday: scheduled 6 speed with 3X1 @ 7:24, actual (on Wednesday) 6 total 7:19, 7:13, 6:54

Friday: scheduled 4 easy @ 9:21, actual 4 @ 8:34

Sunday: schedule 12 easy @ 9:21, actual 8:26, 8:18, 8:09, 8:14, 8:15, 8:15, 8:06, 7:51, 7:59, 7:54, 7:58, 7:43

Tuesday's run was just boring.  I ran on the TM before work so that I could walk with Adam in the evening.  Wednesday's run was great!! I actually felt like I could have gone faster.  Plus, I still had plenty of gas left in the tank when I was done.  Friday was so-so.  Another boring TM run before work.

Today's run was weird.  The first 3 miles I was about 1/10th of a mile behind a small pack of boy's cross-country runners and their coach.  They were trucking at the 8:20ish pace and I was trying desperately to not run my long run too fast.  I was still a minute off of my planned time....  I was not feeling great though.  The humidity was 100% and I knew it was not going to be a pleasant time in the woods.

Once they peeled off at around the 3.5 mile mark, I tried to maintain their comfortable pace.  But I was still feeling as though something wasn't clicking.  I hadn't settled in yet.  At the 5 mile mark, I had a Gu and within a few minutes, I started to feel instantly better.  I had some toaster waffles before I left, but apparently all this physical work I've been doing at work has really done a number to my hunger.

At mile 6 and the turn around point, I stopped my watched for a second to stretch my calves.  Then, I was off! The path had started to crowd up a bit as the morning wore on and I couldn't help but to start picking off other runners.  Besides, I started to feel better as I sped up and fell into a tempo pace.

I kept up the pace relatively happily until mile 10 when I knew I was glad I was not rounding up my 12 miler to 13.1 today.  I definitely was good to finish my 12, but there wasn't going to be much left after that.  My Garmin started getting all crazy around mile 8 because I was sweating so badly (thanks humidity) and the stupid bezel thing means that it toggles between all the screens that I don't want to be looking at.  So I basically ran the last 1/3 by feel.  I was happy that they were sub-8's, but I knew I was pushing it at the end.

This week, I have a 14-miler on the docket and the following week is a cutback week.  I don't like cutback weeks because I have a whole bunch of basically the same boring run.  I like the variety of speed, easy, long--gives me new challenges.  But I will try really hard to stick to the training schedule and hope that the training pays off.

I'm so tired right now.  It's only 8:15 and I'm contemplating going to bed.  I usually hit the hay around 11:30pm so this is highly unusual.  Too lazy to find pictures to post to my blog.  Too fuzzy-brained (work has also mentally exhausted me) to blog about anything else.