Wednesday, January 22, 2014

They Ran Away From Me.....

In case you didn't know, the East Coast got a few inches of snow yesterday. You know what that means....treadmill runs. Boo. 

Tuesday I had 4.5 miles on the agenda. I tried, I really did, but I just wasn't feeling this run. My legs were still sore from this weekend's workouts and I just couldn't find my stride. 

I even turned on some music that was sure to pump me up.

Haha. Don't judge me. 

After 3.5 miles I called it a day. Better luck next time. I was in my sweats and on the couch watching Sex and the City within 15 minutes.

The motivation today was a bit better.  I had a 40 minute tempo run on the training plan.

This was the first song that came was a good sign. :-)

I started at 6.5 mph and went up to 7.6, then came back down.  4.6 miles in 40 minutes. 8:41 pace.

During my run, 2 teenage boys came to the door. When I opened it, and they saw me dripping in sweat, they both looked at me like I was crazy and took a step back. I think they practically ran away.

I guess I did look a little rough.....they should have read my shirt and realized the sweat dripping off my forehead and chin wasn't nasty, it was just me being awesome.

A quick lunch came together right after.

Turkey and avocado, veggies and sweet potatoes. I'm trying to up my carbs these days and see if I feel a difference in my running. 

Butter Lemon Whole Wheat Noodles, baked chicken, and a spinach salad.

I think dinner helped me hit my quota.

When was your last "blah" run?

Do you make an effort to eat more carbohydrates? If so, do you feel a difference?

What's your current favorite song to run to?

Monday, January 20, 2014

A 3 Day Weekend and 3 Workouts to Fry Your Legs

Hey there! How are things going for you? Who doesn't love a three day weekend? 

Three days off and three serious workouts that fried my legs. 

 My half marathon training plan called for a 4 mile "pace" run. As much as I love to run outside, I had to get to be by the gym for clients starting at 8 AM, so I decided it'd be best to get there early and knock it out on the treadmill. 

I warmed up with the first mile in 9 minutes, then ran the next 4 miles at an 8:00 pace. This didn't feel too hard physically, but mentally, it sucked. I am one of those people who are constantly changing the pace or incline on the treadmill to keep myself entertained....... 5 miles with an average pace of 8:12. Done and done.

After my run, I worked on some balance/core/stabilization exercises and foam rolled for about 30 minutes before cleaning up for my 8 AM client. 

I refueled that night with some awesome, homemade chicken tortilla soup.

Some people may consider 1/2 an avocado too much, but I don't think they know what they're talking about.

I woke up around 8 AM and quickly threw some food in my belly so I could get my long run in.

Oatmeal squares, sliced banana, Sun Butter and milk. 

Before I knew it I was cleaning the house and doing errands......and I decided that I'd rather do my long run on Monday since I was off of work and was craving a good trail run. 

Instead of totally bailing on my workout though, I popped in my headphones, cranked the "Rise Against" station on Pandora, and picked the "Magnum" workout on the Nike Training App. At first glance the workout didn't seem too bad, but after 3 sets of squats, side lunges with rotation, single-leg deadlifts, and around-the world lunges these old legs were definitely starting to feel it. (There were other moves as well, but these were the leg killers.)


I woke up determined to get this long run done. I lounged around for an hour eating breakfast and sucking down a couple cups of coffee....

Whole wheat english muffin w/grape jelly and two runny eggs (smothered in Siracha before consumption) and an apple sprinkled in cinnamon

before heading to the good old state of VA. 

I had to go to Woodbridge anyways, so I thought it best to take advantage of it and go to one of my favorite places to run, Burke Lake Park. 

It's a wonderfully maintained 4.7 mile loop around Burke Lake. 

Unfortunately, the 9 miles (which turned into 9.4) didn't fly by as quickly as I'd hoped they would. My hips were tight from the "Magnum" workout (Haha. Sounds so wrong....) and I just couldn't find my groove. It didn't help that my Nike App was lying to me and telling me I was going terribly slow (Apparently, GPS devices don't tend to work too well on winding trails in the woods. How relieved was I to find it it miscalculated by an entire mile?!). 9.4 miles with an average pace of 8:40.

Long run for the week, done.

Stiffness in my legs, increasing by the hour.

Have a good week!

Have you ever done a "pace" run? Do you do them outside or on a treadmill?

How do you keep yourself entertained on the treadmill?

What is your favorite pre or post run meal/snack?

How was your long run this week?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Thinking Out Loud

Yesterday was a very exhausting day. It was my only afternoon that I didn't have something to do, and all I wanted to do was rest. I got home and immediately put my sweat pants on, dabbed a little Proactive on the mountain on my chin, grabbed a snack, and hit the couch to read some blogs.

5 minutes later, the boy walks in the door. DAMN IT. Busted. 

Two hours later, I'm in the same exact spot writing this post. It' just going to be one of those nights. At least he's joined me, heated up some leftovers, and turned on some Duck Dynasty. Quality time at it's best. 

My fancy dinner:-)

Anyways, Wednesdays are always my speed work day. The training plan that I'm following called for 8x400s today. I don't have a track nearby, so I hit the treadmill.

1 mile warm up, followed by 8x400s (pace: 7:10-6:50 min/miles), with an active recovery lap between each one (pace: 9:10 min/miles), and a very short cool down (.25 miles - I had planned to do .75 miles but I got bored) for a total of 5 miles. Average pace = 8:24 min/miles.

I actually really love 400s. They really make the time fly and I kind of feel like a bad ass:-)

Although this is probably a little more like it. 

On to the "Thinking out Loud" portion of this post. Recently, I've found that a lot of people around me seem to consider me a member of the "food police" of sorts. While I am work, the following two things happen a number of times a day:

1. People see me eating and comment on it. I don't mean comments like "oh hey, that smells good", I mean comments like "what are you eating NOW?", "are you actually eating again?", etc. 

2. People are eating, and when I walk by, they try to hide their food from me if it's bad, or tell me how good they are eating, etc.

Case in point: My office ordered pizza for everybody last week. While I was walking away with two slices, I started receiving comments such as "You're actually going to eat that?". People seemed surprised that me, as healthy as I seem to be, would indulge in 2 slices of pizza. I shook them off and walked away, but they bothered me. What makes any body think it is there business to comment on what I am eating? especially with negative connoation. Like I shouldn't be allowing myself to have a couple of pieces of pizza because I try to be healthy? 

But it gets better. 

I had actually brought homemade lasagna for lunch that day, having not eaten it I offered it to a woman in my office who had missed the pizza and didn't bring anything to eat. I even offered to plate it and heat it up for her. As I'm in the kitchen, the peanut gallery chimed in again:

Douche Bag: "Didn't I just see you eating?" 
Me: "Yeah."
Douche Bag: "Are you really going to eat that as well?"
Me: (In the bitchiest tone possible) "Why yes, I did, WHAT IS IT TO YOU?"
Douche Bag: (Shocked and surprised) "Nothing." (Looks at the ground)

Woooo Buddy, was I mad as ever.

What makes people think that I give a shit what they are eating? What makes people think they have a right to comment on the things that I choose to eat? or how often I eat? Why must they tell me their food choices? 

Because honestly, I don't care. 

What sort of speed work do you do? On the track or treadmill? 

Do you have the same issues because of your "healthy" lifestyle? 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Hardest Thing About Running

In my opinion, the hardest thing about running is finding the balance.

( Hell, maybe that's the hardest thing about life.......but that's another very long blog post)

I know, for me, it's hard not to get wrapped up in it all, and just run for the sake of running. Run to clear my mind and distress. Run to feel the strength my body can produce. Run to feel alive. 

I run for those reasons, but I also run for numbers. I run to make negatives splits, to lower my average pace, increase my weekly mileage, PR in my next race. 

I don't think those things are bad, it's good to have goals, but when is it too much? When do you need to tell yourself to 

and just run? 

When do you tell yourself you need a break? Take some time off from running to let your body heal. Run disconnected, with no sense of distance, time, or pace, just listening to your body.

Recently, my average pace has gotten much faster than I was used to running. Overnight, it seems, my "comfortable" pace went from 8:50-9:00 minute miles to 8:20-8:30 miles, and it makes me nervous. Am I pushing it too far? Or am I finally getting back to the fitness level that I had before fracturing my left foot twice? (You can read about that here and here

For instance.......

This girl does not train at sub-8 miles.....but this is the third time this year I've finished my run with one. That is NUTS to me. 

Every run has been one of those "this is why I run" runs. Let's hope I don't crash too hard, because it's pretty inevitable at this point.

In order to properly fuel for these amazing runs, I've picked up a new food addiction.

Pre-Long Run

Post Long Run. 

English Muffins are incredible and I don't know why I haven't had them for years. Thank goodness I got the jumbo size version at Costco. :-)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Longest Run of the Year.

Happy Wednesday.
Last we spoke, I was gearing up for my longest run in a year, 8 miles. I was excited for it, but I had my obstacles. As soon as I parked at the trail I opened the door and slide right out of my car! Nothing but my ego was hurting, so I walked over to the trail, and did it again......yeah, this wasn't going to happen. I couldn't even walk to the trail without falling, how the hell was I going to run 8 miles on it?
I got back in my car and started driving. The thought of going home and getting on the treadmill crossed my mind......I knew it'd be a little like dying a long, painful death though, so I quickly nixed it. I found a spot to park on 210 (a major road that had been salted/plowed) and got to it.
The run started off a little rocky but, as most runs, it ended great! I jammed out to Pandora Call me Maybe radio the ENTIRE time (this is odd for me because I usually get bored and switch my Pandora station every 2-3 miles) and the miles just rolled on by. My splits weren't perfect, but I was happy with them. I conquered some pretty big hills during those 8.5 miles (I was shooting for 8 but miscalculated and ended up doing 8.5) and the last two were a decent speed but I didn't feel as though I was pushing myself at all,  so I know I still had a lot of juice left in me. 

Half marathon, here I come! 

When I got home I devoured some french toast casserole.....

I heated up frozen mixed berries and put them on top. SO delicious that I had the leftovers for breakfast AND dinner the next day. 
On a random note, who remembers eating Runts as a kid? I always picked out the bananas ones and saved them for last because they were THAT good. When my daughter asked me for a quarter for this machine who was I to deny her?

 How was your long run this week?

What is your favorite post-run meal?

Did you eat Runts? Weren't the banana ones the best?
My boyfriend is saying "No" to that one.......please prove him wrong.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Great Way to Start the Weekend

Hey Hey! How goes it? 

This morning started off bright and early with my all time favorite breakfast.

Wheat toast with jam (peach this time), runny eggs, and Siracha. Deeeelish....People are constantly telling me I eat the weirdest things......They just don't know what they are missing.

I woke up early on a Saturday because I had three appointments at the gym this morning. Unfortunately, my first client had to cancel last minute, so I decided to make use of my extra hour and get my run done. Today's run was supposed to be a 3 mile "pace run". Since I haven't committed to a pace for my half marathon, I decided I'd just run a bit faster than I usually do and see how it goes.

The temperature was 12 degrees and the trail was not as tidy as usual.

I almost turned around. The snow wasn't terrible to run it, but it got pretty icy where the sun had hit it the day before. I stuck it out though. I was already out in 12 degree weather! Might as well make it purposeful, right? 

So I ran, not expecting to much, but to my surprise....

Not to shabby! I feel like I'm finally getting my stride back! Which makes me very excited, yet very nervous.....One of my biggest goals in 2014 is to really listen to my body and respect it's needs. Take it easy when it tells me to and push it when I have it.

Perfect way to start my weekend.

After a couple of clients at the gym, and a trip to the center of the universe (aka: Costco), I was home and starving! 

**I would have gotten food before this time, but let's be real, who doesn't get a million samples at Costco? The best ones today: lentils, chickpeas, and Skinny Cow Chocolates....So GOOD. I may have tried more than one, just too be sure! (Please tell me you do this, too)**

I had a Morningstar Chipotle Spicy Black Bean Burger topped with Greek Yogurt Guacamole. (Promptly smothered in Siracha after the picture, and eaten with an Apple and PB).

The rest of the day has been spent lounging around with my awesome little family and enjoying quiet times after the hectic holidays. Sometimes a lazy afternoon is just needed. 

8 miles on the agenda tomorrow. Longest run in over a year.....wish me luck:-)

Do you ever go to Costco? Do you ever take more than one sample? 

Do you run in the snow? 

Throw some new breakfast ideas at me!
I bought english muffins today and want to try a french toast bake tomorrow. Breakfast is definitely the best meal of the day!