Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Zumba and Mini-Goals

For my particular marathon training plan, I use Wednesday as a day to cross train. The gym at my work offers interval spin classes during my lunch break, so it’s the perfect way to break up the day and get my muscles to do a little something different.

Well, it was until they canceled it. What the eff?

I thought that I would probably just jump on the elliptical. Not excited about my decision, I spoke to my coworker who told me that I should really give Zumba a try. Zumba?? Really?? I have no moves or rhythm so I’m sure to make a total ass out of myself, and (not to sound like a snob) I kind of thought of Zumba as one of those exercises that don’t really do too much for you…..

I decided at the last minute to swallow my pride and just try it out.

The class was 45 minutes long and had about 15 other people in it. As soon as the instructor walked in, she cranked up that music and we got started. Let me tell you what, we didn’t stop the entire time! It was really fun and I definitely worked up a sweat! And you know what? If I had known how to do ANY of the moves properly I probably would have sweat even more. I have no balance, no coordination and no sense of rhythm. As soon as I got the feet portion of the move down, she’d add arms and I’d be alllll messed up. Then she’d tell us to turn, to do it backwards, to add a spin…..I was seriously confused. I kept my smile on and just did what I could.

I think I might even go back :-)

After Zumba class I did a quick upper body workout because I feel as though I have been realllly bad about doing strength training recently.

15 bicep curls to shoulder press (10 lb.)
12 single arm row with lunge (10 lb.)
12 tricep kickback (8 lb.)
12 ab/lower back crunches (I don't know what this contraption at the gym is called. I'll have to look next time)

Repeat 4 times.

While I was doing my arm workout today, I thought of a few other little things that I really want to do, but never really do. So I've decided that I'm going to set some mini-goals for myself to do during the week:

1. Take my vitamins:
-Biotin - every night. It's to promote hair growth. Phff.
-Multi-Vitamin - every other night. I say every other night because it's a prescription vitamin with iron. Iron = not pooping. Nobody is happy when they aren't pooping.
- B12 Nasal Spray - Once a week (another prescription)

2. Do two strength training workouts for my arms a week.

3. Do two strength training sessions for my legs a week.

4. Do yoga (at least 20 minutes) twice a week.

5. Roll my foot and ice it twice a day.

6. Eat 3 servings of veggies a day. I'm usually pretty good with this but I could be a bit better.

None of these are exceptionally hard but for some reason, I just suck at them. Honestly, why can't I just do 20-30 minutes of yoga before bed or as soon as I wake up.

I cannot commit to anything but running, Coffee and Sun Butter.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Track is a Terrible Place.

Yesterday I had planned to do my Monday Pilates class but the gym didn't open until noon because a couple of pieces of ice feel that morning.....ugh.
So I took the entire day just to rest. It was pretty nice but I really enjoy taking that break away from my desk. I always come back chipper and energized.
When Kaitlyn and I got home we got right to business.
This week its her turn to take home Speedy, the flower pictured below. We have to show him a good time, take some pictures and Kaitlyn has to write in his journal about his adventures.
Naturally, we went and got froyo before we started playing with her Christmas presents (Yes, she still has presents IN THE BOXES. She is the most spoiled child I know. This is only about 1/5 of what she got). Speedy will write nothing but good things in his journal:-)
Today's weather was AMAZING. 67 and sunny! On Jan. 29?? I don't know what the hell is going on but I'll take it.
As much as I wanted to go and run outside during work, I felt like Kaitlyn should get to partake in this fabulous weather as well. I skipped my break today and left work a bit earlier than usual so we could head to the hell the track.
It's exactly a mile away from my house, so during the summer it was perfect to run there as a warm-up, do a speed session, and run back to cool down.
Running on it straight for miles?? AWFUL. Worse than the treadmill. I only did 3 miles on it (5 total miles today) and I felt like I might want to slight my wrists. Just a little though.
She helped kill a boredom a bit.
Today my run was a little different than usual because I actually ran with no timing device. I just ran at the pace that my body felt like it and to my surprise, I kind of liked it!
Sometimes, especially during my marathon training, I see the pace that I'm running at and it drives me NUTS.
 "Why is an 8:30 pace for 3 miles so hard when I ran 10 miles at an 8:20 pace last week and it was easy?? "
Thoughts like this run through my mind and I beat myself up mentally and maybe even push myself farther, on that particular day, than I should. For this reason, I've decided to not time myself during every single run. During at least two of my runs (probably my shorter ones 4-5 miles) I will not time myself at all. This is my goal. I'm anxious if it helps me fully recover from those long runs.
After Kaitlyn and I got home tonight, we had a pish-posh dinner.
She asked me for a smoothie for dessert. I happily obliged:-)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Ice Baths = Torture

This weekend I put in some serious mileage.
Saturday called for an 8 mile run. I really wanted to go outside and run since the treadmill is driving me crazy but I ended up on that damn thing again, for a couple of reasons:
1. I finally got my new Brooks Pure Cadence!!! SO EXCITING!! I wanted to try them out on Saturday but it's not smart to run 8 miles in brand new shoes, so I figured I'd run a few and then change them.
**I ended up keeping them on the entire 8 miles because they felt really good**
2. It had snowed the day before and it was pretty icy in some spots.
3. Kaitlyn really wanted to come to the gym with me and workout. Who am I to deny my 6 year old when she asks to me active??
The treadmill drove me just as crazy as I thought it would. Even though I covered up the time it still drug on and on. It didn't help that my iPod bit the dust so I was listening to Pandora on my iPhone. I like my playlists and hate commericals, but beggars can't be choosers.
**I ended up putting on my play lists on my phone but now I need something to calculate distance when I run. Really aggravating because this is about the 5th iPod I've gone through in a 3 year span**
When I got home I made a delicious dinner for my boyfriend, the kids and a friend that was coming over. Pulled BBQ chicken, corn on the cob and salad with these wonderful things as dessert.
I love toffee and these were AMAZING.
**If you decide to make them just know that one batch made 70 cookies!! Holy cow. My friends, family and coworkers are thankful for it but I'm not so thrilled they are there to tease me**
My long run this week, which I do on Sunday, was 18 miles. I was intimidated and anxious.
I ate a Power Bar - Performance Energy Vanilla Crisp pre-run.
I have found that these bars work pretty well for me. I feel energized, but not weighed down and don't experience and GI issues.
Since I still haven't found a gel that I love I grabbed two of Clif Shots - Mocha.
I stopped at approximately 5, 9, and 13 miles and took a bit more than 1/2 (with some water) each time. I really enjoyed the flavor of these, and thought the texture was better than Gu. Unfortunately, I got what felt like a caffeine headache towards the end of my run though. It was a short one and could have been a fluke though so I might try them again next time and see how it goes.
I ran the entire 18 miles on road and sidewalk and maintained an average pace of 8:21.
This run kicked my ass on so many levels. My body hurts!
I came home and took and ice bath. You have to understand how hard it is for me to voluntarily sit in freezing water and ice for 10 minutes. During the day I wear layers upon layers and plant myself in front of a heater. It's not hot in my book until it hits 90 degrees outside. Seriously.  It was torture but I think that I really needed it. Since Monday I have ran 56 miles. My body hates me.
Tomorrow is a rest day. Thank little baby Jesus.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Amazing Food and Fashion

I am exceptionally tired this week. I suppose "mini-vacations" will do that to you....and life in general.
Wednesdays are my cross training day.  I should really make them my rest day because I don't want to do anything....but Wednesday is the only day interval spin is offered at my gym, so to spin class I went.
and it served as the perfect pick me up:-)
The class that I take is called Lean and Spin. Intervals on the bike. We climb a lot of hills, do a lot of jumps and sprints, do push ups and isolation work (have you ever tried standing on the bike and isolating your legs...wowzers!! Talk about your quad burn).
Since on Wednesday, most people talk about food, I thought I'd show you my amazingly good dinner.....
I made turkey burgers for dinner. I think it was the toppings that made it so awesome. Avocado, Colby Jack Cheese (I usually don't even like cheese that much but it was calling to me), relish, garlic hummus and my beloved Cholula.
I didn't want it to end.
**Don't judge me for all the crap on the table. I was going through my mail.**
I also had a scoop of this amazing stuff to finish it up.
Coffee is my favorite ice cream flavor and toffee is my favorite candy. It's a match made in heaven.
Thursday morning I woke up and discovered that it actually snowed!! The first snow of winter. Obviously, my run was on a treadmill. 8 miles on a treadmill feels like 17. At least I got it done.
By the way, I have a serious callus/blister thing on the inside of my right foot. This bad boy is as big as my thumb.
It forced me to pull my old lady card and take off my heels and wear sneakers and a skirt. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Mini-Vacation

This past weekend was just what I needed.

After work on Friday my daughter, twin sister and our good friend all headed up to NJ to visit our recently knocked up best friend. A three day weekend with all my favorite people was just what the doctor ordered.

Here are some pictures to sum up the fun:
Mani/Pedi Time:-)
**I always feel terrible getting pedicures and tip very well due to my nasty runner's feet. One time (probably a TMI) my toe nail feel off mid-pedicure......HA. How embarrassing**
Atlantic City for the day.
The girls gambled, we walked the beach and boardwalk.
Ate an ENORMOUS piece of pizza
And ate massive amounts of food. This is the Chocolate Volcano at the Rain Forest Cafe.
Despite being out of town I managed to get in all my runs this weekend (score for dedication!). On Saturday I was supposed to do an 8 mile pace run.....while I wasn't as fast as I wanted to go, I was close enough not to be disappointed. I think what really killed me (besides running in a completely straight line! The worst) was the second half of this run. I have really been pour about adequately fueling before and during my runs......The 4 miles back to the house were brutal mentally and physically.

My long run (which was supposed to be Sunday but got switched to Monday) was supposed to be 17 miles. I didn't think that this entire length was going to happen since my last couple of long runs were a bust and I didn't run at all last week due to foot pain. I set out bright and early before anybody in the house had woken up. **Lacing up at 7 AM, when you are on a mini-vacation, went to bed at 12:30 am, and everybody else in the house is still warm it bed is realllllly hard**

I've decided that my fueling before and during my long runs has not been the best recently and really wanted to make sure I had enough calories to sustain me. Since there are NO running stores in Cape May I was forced to go to Walmart, which had NOTHING. My last resort was 7-11 the night before my run. I was able to find a Power Bar - Performance Energy. I used to eat these a lot pre-run and really like the Vanilla ones. The only one available that night was Chocolate, WOOF. I hate chocolate-flavored bars, GUs, etc. It was my only choice though.......Last minute I also remembered I had a Blueberry Pomegranate GU in my gym bag.

Pre-Run I had half of the PowerBar and a cup of coffee. After 6 miles I returned home for the other half of the bar and about 6 oz of water. The next stop was around Mile 12 or 13, where I had the GU and water. I felt amazing the entire time I was running.....before I knew it 17 miles were done (at a 8:11 pace) and I was headed inside to eat anything and everything I could find.

I really needed this run to help boost my confidence for my upcoming marathon. I know that I can do it!! If I did 17 miles without any issues than 26 are not going to kill me. I know this.

Today I cranked out 5 easy miles on the treadmill and tomorrow is cross-training (spin class). I am a bit anxious for this week because my mileage is going to equal 42. That's high for me

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Two Things New To Me

Yesterday I was finally able to return to work and running. Kaitlyn seemed to finally kick the flu and my foot started to feel better.

Guess a few rest days were beneficial to both of us :-D

I am not going to lie. I was nervous. I promised myself that if my run went badly, I would take another week off. I had 4 miles on the training plan.

I started out at an 8:34 pace with a 1% on the treadmill, my usual"warm up" speed. Almost as soon as I started running I was aware of an uncomfortableness in the ball of my foot. Nothing excruciating like before though....After a while (maybe a mile? I cover up all time/distance indicators while I run) the feeling subsided and I was chasing the biggest running high I've had in a long time!

To bust treadmill boredom, I usually turn up the speed by .1 every time a song finishes. Since I wasn't trying to really push myself, I kept the speed at 7.3 for two or three songs....then the crazy runner came out. I wanted to go faster and faster! I knew that I'd regret it if I hurt myself though, so I tried something I don't do very often (read: once or twice a year!). I ran a STEEP hill on the treadmill.

The treadmill climbs by .5% increases. I kept going up and up and up until I was finishing up my run at a 5% incline, with an average pace of 8:14. Yay to me! Not only for choosing to climb a hill but also for controlling my speed!

As far as my foot is concerned, I am going to take it easy. I'm pretty convinced that what I'm experiencing is some sort of tendinitis, similar to Plantar Fasciitis. I know PF pain usually manifests in the heel, but the symptoms fit so I am going to use the same plan of attack: Rolling my feet on a baseball (This hurts SO good) and icing my foot 1-3x a day, Ibuprofen if needed and sleeping in that
ridiculous (but essential) boot.

I've also ordered some Brooks Pure Cadence
 How beautiful are these??

(Yeee!! I love new shoes!!)I choose these shoes a) because the amount of people who have experienced PF and found relief by switching to the Pure Cadence is intriguing and b) Brooks is amazing!

The idea behind this being that I need to strengthen my feet muscles by running in a "minimalist" shoe. Only this is the "minimalist shoe that offers support". I am very excited!!

This week's training is supposed to be:

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 4 miles
Wednesday:Cross Train
Thursday: 8 miles
Friday: 4 miles
Saturday: 8 mile PACE run
Sunday: 17 miles

I don't see this happening. I am not going to go into any of these runs with a specific number of miles in my head. I am going to take my time and listen to my body. If I need to stop, that's exactly what
I'll do.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Cabin Fever

It's official. I have cabin fever.
My poor daughter has been sick with the flu since Wednesday. This means that we are confined to the apartment so all of my workouts must be at home.
While I have managed to get some really good sweat sessions in (thanks to Jillian Michael's and P90X) the rest of the hours in the days have consisted of sweat pants and lounging on the couch. The first day wasn't it's Sunday night and I feel like a blob.
My priority is getting this little girl back to health though. She's still running a fever, won't eat, and is coughing and sneezing all day. So for now, we lounge.
and bake of course.
Baby girl -requested home made cinnamon rolls. When baby girl is sick, Mama delivers.
I happened to have all the ingredients for overnight cinnamon rolls.
**We haven't even left to go to the grocery store. I need fresh fruits and vegetables in my life**
I was pretty nervous about making these since they call for yeast. I have never had a good experience cooking with yeast. I always, always kill it. This time, I was successful!
The night before.
The only change I made was adding pecans to the filling (healthy fats, baby!) and I used an easy cream cheese icing for the plain fact that cream cheese is amazing, plus I don't keep corn syrup.
They were amazing the next morning! A job well done.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Week With No Running.....

This week has been really slow on the running front. After my short 4 miler and a Yoga class on Tuesday by foot pain increased drastically. Seeing as though this was the same foot I fractured back in May, and the pain was centralized in the ball of my foot, I decided that this is not something I'm going to ignore.

I emailed my doctor letting her know what was going on and she immediately sent me to get my foot x-rayed.

The good news is that I did not re fracture my foot.

The bad news is that I still don't know why it's hurting so much and still have to take some time off from running. As bad as this stings since I'm weeks deep into my marathon training, I know that if I push through this chances are I won't be running a marathon at all......

So for now I strength train. I do workout DVDs, continue with my spin, Pilates and Yoga classes and get on a bike or elliptical whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Just because your injured doesn't mean you have to let your fitness go completely. Work around it. Find things you can do that don't exasperate the issue.

I've still gotten some SERIOUS workouts in. My hamstrings, glutes and quads are really sore these days!! Switching things up and keeping your body guessing results in GREAT results.

I'll continue to push myself in other areas of fitness and hopefully return to running in a week or so:-)

My marathon is not yet off the table!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Inchworm Kicked My Ass

If you go to and look up "Rest" here is what you get:

1. The refreshing quiet or repose of sleep: a good night's rest.
2. Refreshing ease or inactivity after exertion or labor: to allow an hour for rest. 
3. Relief or freedom, especially from anything that wearies, troubles, or disturbs.
4. A period or interval of inactivity, repose, solitude, or tranquillity: to go away for a rest. 
5. Mental or spiritual calm; tranquillity
Monday is constantly my "Rest" day, but for some reason I find no "calmness" in "inactivity", in fact it's physical activity that gives me "Relief or freedom, especially from things that worry, trouble, or disturb me".....Anybody else with me??

For this reason, I frequently take part in what I call "Active" rest days. On these days, I do no-impact activities, but still DO something. This week, I decided to continue with core has never burned so good. Keep this up and I'll have 6 pack abs a stronger core in no time. :-)

One thing in particular that I loved from this class was a new Quad stretch that the teacher showed us. Personally, I always find it hard to get a reallllly stretch in my quads, until now that is. I can't find a picture of it online though. It is done by lying on your back.....if you have any idea what I'm talking about please help me out.

I did find this one while searching for's called a "Half Frog". I don't even know how her leg is bending like that!! Who tells people to go dislocate their knee to get a good stretch!

Moving on from Gumby up there....After Pilates I felt like I wanted to pump a little iron.
I took this workout from Women's Health.
I did 15 of each move instead of 12. I used 8 lbs weights for moves 2 & 4, a 10 pounder for move 3.
The Inchworm started off being terribly easy, so I decided to do a push up at the bottom. That lasted 1.5 circuits, then things got tough! But not in my arms as expected! My core, tired from Pilates, was feeling these! My hamstrings were buuuuurning baby.....I'm not sore if that was supposed to happen with this move or if they were just sore from trail running the day before. I know that just touching the floor with my palms was giving them a nice stretch!

Monday, January 7, 2013

I Crashed into a Wall.

This past week, running-wise, has not been the greatest for me. About a week ago, I started to feel a slight pain in my left arch. Nothing to substantial but it definitely didn't feel like it should. The pain has started to intensify. It got really bad last Sunday after my long run, hurting the worst when I first got out of bed Monday morning.
Obviously, I've been trying to take it a bit easier this week. Seeing as though I once ran 10 miles on a broken foot , I know that I have a tendency to ignore my pain.
Personally, I think it is more than likely my Plantar Fasciitis. It hurts worse in the morning and after a long run, feels better with icing, stretching/rolling (I have been rolling my foot on a baseball! Holy Crap. What a painful pleasure!), Ibuprofen and a soft running surface.
 I have had Plantar Fasciitis before and I know it's not fun. If ignored, it can become a serious side liner. I will continue to play it safe.
I decided to cancel my 7-miler on Saturday. On Sunday, I decided to go into VA Runner and talk to the employees there. (They are all runners and extremely knowledgeable). It was recommended that I try a good pair of inserts to give me some more support. After a strong recommendation and a short test run I purchased a pair of Spenco Total Support Insoles.
Does anything make a run better than new gear??!?! Don't think so.
I headed to Prince William Forest Park to try out their trails for the first time. The rangers there were very helpful but as soon as I left the visitor center I couldn't find a damn place they told me to go to! Haha.
I just picked the first trail I found.
The trails were definitely a bit tougher than what I have been doing (this picture really doesn't show that though.) There were some parts where running was not an option. They were too close to the banks, or covered in rocks, or muddy, or all of the above. I didn't mind though. Made things interesting. 
I really thought that things were going well until suddenly, around mile 9, I ran into a brick wall. I know this is just a figure of speech for runners but I swear to you, this wall was real.
Luckily, I ended up popping out of the woods and running less than a mile back to my car.
I refueled with a GU Tri-Berry and some water.
PS - I have only just gotten running gear with thumb holes. It's popular for a reason. I'm a fan. This is a Fila Pullover that I got for Christmas along with there running tights and a jacket. Great gift!
I trudged back into those woods hoping that the gel would kick in soon. It never happened. Ever. The last few miles were excruciatingly long. My step was all out of pep.
Then I came across this thing....
and got the hell out of dodge!
ha ha. Just kidding. I would have pooped my pants, without a doubt. We went to The Baltimore Aquarium on Saturday and my daughter asked me to take this picture....
I didn't complete my 15 miles. I claim to have completed 12 but I'm not totally sure, it's very hard to measure distance when trail running. At least my foot wasn't worse than when I started (I definitely think the insoles helped) and I only feel 3x!
After giving it some thought, I've decided that I probably didn't eat enough that day. I had toast with almond butter around 10:00 am, a Clif Bar around 1:30, then ran at 3:00/ That's only about 500 calories.....and I expected my body to carry me 15 miles?? No way.
I've got to start eating a hearty, carb dinner on Saturday nights and a big breakfast early Sunday if I expect to make it out of these long runs feeling good.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Pilates for Cross-Training

Monday morning I decided to try something new to me. Pilates!!

I needed a day of cross training and my core is probably the weakest
part of my body (I would rather run 10 miles than do 10 minutes of ab
work. Real talk.) so I thought it'd be a good idea.

The class was completely non-impact. We started by warming up our
muscles and then going straight into ab work for about 20 minutes.
After that we went to some leg (glutes, hamstrings, inner and outer
thigh) work which mostly consisted of pulses and small, controlled
movements that seriously caused my muscles to buuuuurn. I'm not going
to lie. I looked like a turd. I'm positive of it. I was out of my
element, my flexibility has diminished as my miles have recently
increased (Bad!) and I have absolutely zero grace and the ability to
flow through movements.

Point in case. Sit up with your feet flat on the ground and sloooowly
roll done Sounds simple?? I lower for about
all of 3 seconds and then drop my shoulder blades onto the mat. I
don't think that's what she was asking me to do.

The verdict?? Like most any form of exercise I had a great time and
have sworn to make it part of my weekly routine.....we'll see how it works out!
I did end up doing the elliptical for 30 minutes after the class, just to up the cardio a bit, and I'll probably keep that routine.
I've got a heavy running load this week. Wish me luck:-)