Monday, May 7, 2012


Just 5 days after my blogoversary (is that a real word?) I finally accomplished my goal (oops...only 5 months late...). I AM A MARATHONER!!! Yesterday I completed the Potomac River Run Marathon in a short 5:16:09...they didn't have chips so I'm using my GPS watch time and ignoring the "official time" they report. I came up with my tiered goals ahead of time and advertised them to my sister but I was deathly afraid of not meeting any of them so I didn't want to put them online. Here they are:

Goal A: finish under 5 hours
Goal B: finish under 6 hours/get a finisher's medal
Goal C: beat Al Roker's marathon time
Goal D: just finish the darn thing

I accomplished goals B-D...woot! Being the super awesome planner that I am I did almost no research about this race. I saw that it was "the easiest marathon in America" and I was good. What I did not see was that it was an out an back 2x basically four 10.5k legs...which turned out to be not as bad as I expected. It helped because once I hit the midpoint turn around, I knew what to expect for the second half...exactly what I had experienced with the first half! And once I got to the 31.5k mark I knew the fastest way back to the car was to just finish the darn race. 

What I also didn't fully comprehend about this race was that it was run on pebbles. It said it was on a tow path and my brain interpreted that as "well worn dirt path." NOT SO. IT WAS GRAVEL!!! When I took my shoes off after the race I felt like I had just walked over hot coals.

Soo...on to the gory race recap.

The race started at 6:30AM (I voluntary took the early start as it was recommended for anyone who might need more than 5 hours). I somehow managed to fall asleep the night before so I woke up at 5AM rather refreshed (maybe for the first time ever before a big race?). I ate my breakfast, got ready, and my brother in law drove me to the race about 15 minutes from their house. We got there early and my brother in law graciously offered to let me sit in the car until 15 minutes before the race since it was drizzling and coldish. There were a whopping 100 or so people who took the early start so there was really no need to line up early.

I decided to wear a camelbak since I had worn one during my longest practice run and loved having water available to me whenever I wanted it. I also wanted someplace to store my chews and my iphone so my sissy could track me and know where I was. Did I mention this race was super high tech? Yeah...not so much. The race did not provide online updates on my location. But I did on Facebook! I did quick check ins at every turn around and my sister was trying to track me through the Find My Friends app on the iphone. Unfortunately the app wasn't too accurate. According to my sister I spent a lot of time running in the Potomac river.

I ran the first half of the marathon pretty much running on the heels of a few girls who I found that were keeping a good 11 min/mile pace.

When I say I was on their heels, I mean can see my blue shirt and little head in the back of that pack.  I had to consciously back off of them a few times because I was afraid if I tripped I'd take them out with me and that was no way thank a couple of girls who paced me for 13 miles.

After turn around 2 (the half way point) I took a few walking breaks and lost my pacers. I slowed down to 12ish min/miles. There was a woman taking photos at the farthest water stop from the start. After turn around 3 I gave up on my camelbak and texted my sister to see if she could meet me at a bridge to pick it up. Just before the bridge I passed by the water stop photographer...Ladies and gentleman, may I present to you...

Mile 20 of a Marathon

Pretty horrible, huh? To my defense it was right before a water stop so walking is allowable at that point...right? This was just before I found sissy to ditch the camelbak.

Thanks to the fabulous tracking on the Find My Friends app, she thought she had about 10 minutes before I made it to the bridge. I crossed under it just as she got to the far side of the bridge. My poor pregnant sister sprinted across the bridge while I started running towards her. The second she got close enough I pretty much threw my backpack at her and took off back towards the race. Sissy, if you're reading this, thank you for being super fabulous. I felt horrible throwing my stuff at you and not even saying thank you but I was afraid to slow down!

After I ditched the bag I got a new burst of energy to keep going. Although the last 3 miles were torture. I picked a song on my ipod and put it on repeat and just ran through certain parts of the song until I got to the end. By the end I was averaging 13ish min/miles. It was brutal. Walking and running were about the same speed at that point. I finally made it within sight of the finish line and spotted sissy (thanks to the red shirt she was wearing!) and my brother in law. There was this annoying girl running in front of me so they couldn't really get a good photo of me, but here's me turning into the chute to the finish was about 15 feet after this point.


Overall, I'm glad I did the race. I can say I'm a marathoner now! I'm pretty happy with my time considering the several weeks of training I missed but I kind of wish it had been under 5 hours. I'm sure at some point I'll forget the pain and want to run another one but for now, this might be my only there you have first marathon. Finally!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Check Out Those Legs!!

So I've been going to Bootcamp as consistently as I can for the past 3 months I've gained about 5 pounds since I started going...probably fat because I haven't really perfected the eating part...BUT I have been seeing progress in some giggly areas. It would appear that ALL of my fat has gone to the area around my belly button but I can deal with that as long as the other 90% of my body appears better than before...

There is a wall of mirrors in the Bootcamp gym. Every day when I walk in I stare at myself for the 5 or so minutes before class starts...I also stare at myself as I work out. Sometimes I review areas of my body with a friend before class starts.

Yesterday I was all by myself in class so I had a lot of time focus on my body. That's when I realized how awesome my legs look. From the knee down my calves are tighter and defined. I EVEN HAVE ANKLES!! That's right, no cankles here ladies!

Sexy Leggies (not my own but mine look this hot now!)

I've also noticed lately that my quads are looking better. I have hated my quads for as long as I can remember. I can even remember sitting in my dad's old truck (with sticky vinyl seats) and asking him why my legs were so fat (specifically referencing my quads right above my knees)...for the record he got rid of this truck when I was maybe 10 so I've been well aware of my quads since before then! You know that quad stretch where you pull one back and balance on the other leg?

yeah...that one

Well I used to turn away from the group during PE in school to hide the bulge of what I can only assume was fat or maybe untoned muscle above my knee. Well I can happily report that bulge is shrinking! IT'S ALMOST GONE!!!

So despite the fact that I'm slowly gaining weight, I'm starting to see progress in my body and that makes me happy :)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Honey Stinger

So despite the fact that I've ignored the marathon training plan for the past 6 weeks I decided to pick it back up again today...with 3 weeks left until the marathon. I asked to be moved to the half marathon for the big day but I haven't heard back yet so I figure I'll be running the full. Today's run was a 20 mile long run, blargh. Quite a challenge considering that the longest distance I'd run until today was 13.1 miles...

When I was at EMS a few weeks ago when I stumbled upon Honey Stinger organic waffles and organic energy chews. I'm not a super organic person or fact I think the first time I realized they were organic was when I went to find the products online. I do, however, LOVE HONEY so I figured anything sweetened with honey couldn't be a bad thing!

First up, the energy chews

I love pink lemonade so I was super excited to see these babies! I also bought the Orange Blossom ones but I haven't tried them yet. And I think I'd like to try the Cherry Blossom ones too but I didn't see those in the store...just online. I tried them during my run today. I like them a lot more than other chews I've tried in the past. I normally just suck on the chews and let them dissolve in my mouth over the course of a few miles. Other chews I've tried have also been sticky which I don't like when I'm running because I hate sticky fingers and it's hard to wash your hands on a run! These ones dissolved quickly and only lasted a few minutes before I had to chew them up, but nothing stuck to my teeth, a big plus for me because I hate most gummy foods for that exact reason! 

I've been having a lot of tummy troubles the past few weeks that get worse when I run so I was worried I'd have issues today, especially since I'd need to eat something while I was out. I'm happy to report that I had no tummy pain the entire time I was running! These will be my go to chew from now on! Now I just need to try new flavors!

Next up, Honey Stinger waffle

This one had sooo much promise. How could you go wrong with waffle and honey!? I mean, seriously! Unfortunately, it was wrong. All kinds of wrong. The overall taste was ok but I couldn't get over the consistency. I opened it up and it was kind of soft and grainy. I took one bite and almost hurled. It felt like I had just put a wad of dirt and sand in my mouth. It wasn't just grainy and gross, the graininess was hard like sand! You know, when you get beach sand in your sandwich and you just can't get the gritty feeling out of your mouth once you've bitten down on the sand? That's what this was like, eating a sandy sandwich. I'm sorry to say but I just don't approve. Some of this goes back to my childhood where I was forced to eat sandy peanut butter sandwiches at the beach, you just couldn't avoid getting sand in those things...

So yeah, that's my Honey Stinger review. Chews good, waffle not good. And I'd like to mention that I stumbled on these things on my own and paid for my own samples. I was reimbursed in no way or even asked to provide a review of these products. It was all my idea :)

Friday, April 13, 2012

2012 Leap List

Since I don't really have any big milestones within sight I'm going to make a list of things that I want to do soon...and place a time limit on it to push me to accomplish items on the list...

It started off as a summer 2012 thing but there might be a few things that will take a little longer to accomplish or are just scheduled for later in the year and there isn't anything I can do about that...

1. Run an entire race series...I'm currently paid up for a 10 week long series of 5k's. I tried to do something similar last summer and ended up injuring myself in week 7 :( This year I WILL WIN THE GOLD PLATED MEDAL!

2. Run a marathon...duh...I kind of have to make good on my promise...even if it is a year late.

3. Compete in a triathlon. I'd like to say I want to finish an Olympic Triathlon but I really don't like cycling enough to commit to that just yet. But maybe I just need a little kick in the butt like I did for running.

4. Hike Bondcliff. The pictures I've seen from the top just look amazing!

5. Run in a mountain road race. I won't be running Mt. Washington anytime soon but there are less steep mountains to race up...

6. COLOR RUN! Everything I own is colorful so how could I avoid the chance to get doused in color and run at the same time?!

7. Hike Mt. Katahdin. Should be doable as we are white water rafting in the area later in the summer.

8. Run in a night time race. There are a few I can sign up for. My dream would be the Wine and Dine half marathon at Disney. Hopefully it doesn't fill up early!

9. Learn how to cook more healthy food options.

10. Attempt new baking recipes (you really didn't think that eating better meant avoiding baking did you?)

A mud run or other adventure race would be fun too but those things are just so darn expensive and only fun if you do then with friends...ohh and I want to do one of those 200 mile 48 hour relay race thingies too!

As an added bonus, I need to find 3 people to compete in this race with me...anyone interested???

What's on your leap list for the year?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Baking on a Tuesday

If you didn't know by now, I like to bake. And I bake when I'm stressed or bored. So baking on a Tuesday means bad things are going didn't help that two ginormous muffin tins magically appeared on my desk today at work.


So here's what came from tonight's day of baking. Individual monkey breads...


4 can of Pillsbury Grands Homestyle biscuits
2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
0.5 tsp nutmeg
1 3/4 cups butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1. Cut the biscuits into sixths

2. Mix white sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in big bag

3. Add biscuits (you might have to do several smaller batches) and mix!

All sugary and delicious!!

4. Melt butter and brown sugar in pan on stove

5. Add 8 pieces of sugar coated biscuit into bottom of each muffin tin

 6. Pour half of mixture over biscuits

7. Repeat steps 5 and 6

8. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes

 It makes 12 big muffins or 24 regular cupcake pan size muffins

You can also add pecans or raisins. My mom always made this shizz with pecans (and in a bundt pan like normal people) but I always viewed them as a vehicle for the sugary goodness and I'd just suck the sugar off and toss the nuts. Now that I'm more mature I actually eat the nuts but I was blinded by the carbs at the grocery store and ended up walking out of the store with nothing but biscuits, pizza dough, and prefrozen mango margarita...guess we all know where my priorities are...

I've been good and haven't touched these babies (minus scraping all of the sugar/butter mixture off of the edge of the pans). They'll be super delish tomorrow at work and I'll be super popular and feel special for about 5 minutes until they're all gone...because I only have 12.

Oh and I wanted to spin while these things were in the oven but that didn't happen...oopsies!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

I Won All the Prizes!!

I have a friend at work who coaches triathletes. This winter he joined forces with a few other coaches to start a winter, indoor triathlon race series. The first one was too far away for me to want to drive to it but then there was on on my home turf, even at MY YMCA! It was today....

In case you can't see, that is a GOLD medal! Yup, I placed first in my age group and was the second place overall women's finisher! Woot!!

Since it was indoor, they choose to measure distance over a set time...but since it's almost April they did the run here's what we did:

15 minutes in the pool
30 minutes on a spin bike and they measured cadence to determine distance
5k run as fast as you can!

It was a points system. So if you went the farthest distance or ran the fastest you got 100 points and everyone lower got a percentage of 100 points. I got 97.06 points for the swimming, I only missed first place by a lap! I didn't do as well in biking and running but still good! The biking was difficult, because, naturally, the easiest way to get the fly wheel to turn the most was to set the resistance to zero but then you start going to fast that your feet flop out or you can't slow down. So I had to hold back a little since I didn't have shoes that would clip in and I lost my footing twice. :( The running was also a little slower than I wanted but, I kind of expected that. My lungs still haven't recovered from my cold. It was brutal!

But, overall it was super fun. And I placed! They also gave out whoopie pies (delicious!) but I gave up chocolate for lent and couldn't indulge :'( Only 2 weeks left until Easter! Woot!!

Alaska is Cold (and my return to blogging)


So last time I posted, I was on my way to Alaska. That was like a month ago. Here's what I saw...

 SANTA CLAUS!!!! We went to his house!

And there were reindeer at Santa's House!! That's Dasher and Dancer

 Of course, we had to scope out the local ice cream hot spot...sadly I gave up chocolate for Lent so I couldn't try any of the really cool flavors :'(

 That's a Muskox. Their hair is super soft and yarn spun from it costs like a bajillion dollars because you can only collect it when it falls off, they don't shave them or anything!

 Here moosey moose!! We saw 2 in the wild while we were there!

Anyone watch Ice Road Truckers? If you do then you'll recognize someone in this picture. If not (like me), this just looks like a bunch of random people. Luckily I have good detective skills and figured out that the guy putting on a microphone MUST be the famous guy. Oh, and if you do watch the show keep an eye out for me in a future episode! Being the fame whore that I am, I strategically placed myself in EVERY shot they took while I was there...

The ice carving championship took place while we were there. This is one of a bunch of sculptures!

This puppy guided me trough the wilderness on a sled! Super fun, but like everything else, IT WAS COLD!!!

Tee hee hee...all of the cars had little power cable tails to keep the engines warm at night!

 Oh yeah...and we saw some lights :) Here's my favorite shot I took....unedited

Here's another one that daddy edited...preeeetty!

I ran a little while I was there, but as expected, I didn't keep up with the plan. And then I got a serious cold and had to drop out of the half marathon I had planned to run in Atlanta a week after I got back :'(

I've also decided that, due to the vaca, and the cold, there is no way I'd be able to train for a full marathon at the beginning of May so I've requested to be moved to the half marathon race. Hopefully they'll let me switch! Both races are sold out so I'm not sure they'll allow people to move around.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

On my way

In less than 6 hours I will be touching down in LA and in less than 36 hours I will be in a dark secluded part of Alaska hopefully enjoying my first Northern Lights show. I am beyond excited. I get to spend a night with my adorable cousins before meeting up with my parents to head north. Seeing the Northern Lights is something I've had on my bucket list before I even knew what a bucket list was. Overall these past few weeks have been pretty amazing but some of those details will have to be revealed at a later date. Until then, I'm going to enjoy my 8days ofbvacation glory. I only have my iPad and I never really spent time trying to figure this thing out (specifically uploading photos) so you will all have to wait for photos of my exciting adventure...

What's on your bucket list?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Keeping the Mystery Alive

So I've been trying to lose weight since the beginning of January...I've been super awesome at the gym and trying really hard to eat well but something isn't adding up. I haven't really lost any weight (I think my scale is broken, for reals). We have a "health coach" at work provided to us by our super fabulous health plan. She's super nice and has one of those fancy biometric scales. According to that thing I lost 7 pounds in 10 days (not so sure I trust that scale either...).

When I originally went to her freaking out about the amount of time I'd been putting in at the gym and my attempts at foodage control she thought maybe I was under eating and my body was reacting by holding on tight to my fat reserves. She suggested that I download an iPhone app where you can easily track your food and exercise and it tells you how many calories you can eat in a day. You can always jump back and forth between the app and their website so I can track everything while I'm at work with no phone!

I've been using it for a few weeks and while it can be a pain to log everything it has made me more aware of what I eat and how many calories I burn when I work out (although I don't fully trust their calculations of calories burned). I've had some issues getting the calories under control but I'm still working on it.

The app also is a social network so you can friend people you know and be accountable to someone because they know when you eat too much or don't work out, blah blah. I'm friends with the health coach so I can pretend she's paying attention to what I eat and will call me out if I eat too much...

Sunday morning I awoke to a friend invite from some random guy. It felt awkward but I accepted in case I actually knew the guy...and then minutes after I accepted I got a message from him...yup...he was just trying to hit on me. Is this really what the internet has come to these days? We don't have enough dating sites, we have to use fitness and calorie counting websites to meet potential significant others?

At first I had to give the guy credit for being creative (although slightly creepy). That is until I clicked on his profile and saw that I can see everything he eats...which means...he can see everything I eat. And, I'm sorry, but that's where I have to draw the line. I mean, most couples don't spend ever waking moment together. There are plenty of opportunities to sneak a hidden moment of pleasure without your sig other knowing and potentially making you feel guilty. Knowing every detail about what your sig other eats is like farting on a first date. YOU JUST DON'T DO IT!! You have to keep the mystery alive for at least a few months!

What do you think about this? Hitting on girls on a fitness app, creative or creepy?

8 Down, 10 To Go. Almost Half Way There!

I've been having issues juggling bootcamp and running lately...and it seems like every time I take a rest day I end up having an issue later in the week that prevents me from gymming, boo! On to the update...

Sunday: 13.5 miles on the Expresso Bike, 3.5 mile walk, and 1 hr clogging class
Monday: Bootcamp
Tuesday: Intentional rest day
Wednesday: Unintentional rest day, thanks migraine!!
Thursday: 5 mile run, my stomach was NOT in it to win it
Friday: 3 mile run and bootcamp
Saturday: I had to work this weekend so no race, I did my 13.1 mile run and 12 minutes faster than my half marathon PR!

This week:
Sunday: 60 min cross training
Monday: rest day
Tuesday: 3 mile run
Wednesday: 7 mile run
Thursday: 4 mile run
Friday: rest day
Saturday: 10 mile run

Going on vacation this week to we'll see how that all works out...the hotel has at least 1 treadmill but we are going to see the Northern Lights so I have no idea what our sleep schedule is going to look like. I don't have high hopes for getting in super awesome workouts during this trip...

Saturday, February 18, 2012

7 Down 11 To Go

Week 7 is done...I think I need a new February goal because this whole cleaning thing just isn't working out. It's not a total loss. My house is cleaner. Maybe I just over committed time wise...that being said. I didn't do any extra cleaning during the week this's the workout summary.

Sunday: Kickboxing class (this one was work!), 1 mile pool swim, Clogging class, and 2 mile treadmill walk
Monday: Planned rest day. I didn't wanna but I forced myself to take a day off.
Tuesday: Unplanned rest day and pity party. I kind of saw this one coming on Monday...should have listened to myself
Wednesday: 6 mile run (fastest yet!)
Thursday: 5k (fastest yet!) and Bootcamp
Friday: 12 mile long run (10 min mile average woot!) and Bootcamp
Saturday: 2.4 mile pool swim

I almost made up for the missed 3 mile run with the extra swim.

On the docket for next week:

Sunday: 60 min cross training (it will really be a lot more than that...)
Monday: rest
Tuesday: 3 mile run
Wednesday: 6 mile run
Thursday: 3 mile run
Friday: rest
Saturday: rest
Sunday: half marathon (here's were I tweak the plan because I have a 10 mile race on Sunday so I'll need to make up the difference in miles...)

Not much else going on this and all...

Monday, February 13, 2012


Yesterday I went into a cooking/baking frenzy...I made a bigger batch of my super tasty ratatoullie for lunches this week. With 1/2 a chicken breast and 1/2 a serving of pearl couscous the whole thing is about 400 calories a serving and super filling and tasty!

And as I've found myself doing most Sundays lately, I made a tasty treat. I have to admit, I came up with the idea of fluff brownies after reading seeing a picture of fluffernutter cookies on Pintrest. I searched out a recipe to make my own and I've spent the past two weeks tracking down the ingredients to make my own fluffernutter cookies (I say track down...I really didn't try that hard. I couldn't find the cereal at the first grocery store I went to so I tried a different one over the weekend and found it).

The fluff was a mess (as always) but it was definitely useful to pre-measure out the fluff and let it freeze while you make the cookie dough...makes the actual cookie constructing easier.

One cookie dough scooper size scoop, flatten, piece of frozen fluff, another cookie dough scooper size scoop flattened around the fluff ball. Bake for 12 minutes and...


I was good and only ate one yesterday...and then today I feel apart and ate 2...and then some ate some Birthday Cake Oreos...that I also bought at the magical grocery store that carries Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch (truth be told, I went to said grocery store because I heard they had the Oreos).

After a long day of work today I drove home dreaming about the ooey gooey of the fluffernutter cookies that were long ago consumed by my coworkers. I still had some fluff from the adventure yesterday so as I was driving I thought of everything I had lying around in my kitchen and concocted the Ultimate Fluffernutter Sandwich in my head.

Yes, peanut butter, fluff, and banana

I was all ready to stack it up and throw it on the griddle, and then in a magical moment of inspiration...Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch...

An ode to Ally Sheedy a la Breakfast Club (minus the pixy stix)

Grilled to perfection

Ok so it may have been a little sugary (maybe I didn't need fluff in BOTH layers) but it paired perfectly with Special K sour cream and onion cracker chips.

Have you ever experienced the joy of fluff? I was talking to someone at work today about the magical properties of fluff and how I was denied the joy of fluffernutters as a child (maybe not denied, my mom made them for my sister, I just thought I hated fluff). I then went on to describe the Elvis (think Ultimate Fluffernutter, minus Cap'n Crunch, plus bacon) and he says...

"Are you from the south?"

Why, yes...yes I am. And proud of it!

Week 6

Week 6 Summary....

Sunday: Pedal and Paddle class...swim for 30 minutes, spin for 45 (hardddd); cleaned my kitchen for an hour
Monday: Rest, and cleaning for an hour!
Tuesday: Track workout...6 miles, no cleaning :-/
Wednesday: Bootcamp, pooped after
Thursday: 6 mile run and Yoga...too lazy to you see a trend forming?
Friday: Bootcamp and The Vow!
Saturday: 7 mile run, lots of nap time, and cleaning for 2 hours (I almost made up for the 4 days of not cleaning)

This week's plan:
Sunday: 60 min cardio cross training
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 3 miles
Wednesday: 6 miles
Thursday: 3 miles
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 12 miles (yikes!)

Does anyone else notice they eat better on days they work out? For some reason on days I rest I eat all kinds of crap food...maybe because I have more time to sit around and think about food...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Healthy Baking

As I've mentioned before, I have a nasty baking habit (y'all saw those magic fluff brownies last week). I also have a nasty habit of letting fruit over ripen. I actually had to stop buying apples because I found myself making a personal size pan of apple crisp almost nightly in December. There has to be a happy medium. I made progress towards that this week with these babies (and over ripe bananas)...

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins!!!

I used this recipe (photo above is a double recipe). They were only 79 calories before I made the genius decision to add chocolate chips bringing them to around 125 calories. Still not terrible if I only eat 1 or 2 a day...

Monday, February 6, 2012

The benefits of cleaning

Yesterday I cleaned off my kitchen counter and did a pile of dishes (yeah, it took an b)

Today I spent a whole hour cleaning my bedroom and got halfway through. I piled up a whole ikea bag full of random clothes including a pair of yoga pants and 6 pairs of socks that have never been worn! I LOVE NEW SOCKS!!!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

February Habit

So it's well past Feb 1 and I have yet to pick the habit I am going to work bad. I'm going to blame on the fact that work sucked this week and every second I wasn't at work I wasn't thinking about anything. I even missed 2 days of gym this week!!!

So anyway, onto February's goal. My house is a mess. It always has been. Even when it's "clean" there is always a room that is a mess. So the habit I will develop this month is cleaning. Every day (ahem...starting tomorrow) I will clean for 1 hour every weekend day, and 30 minutes every week day. Hopefully that will get me to the point where my house is in shape and once the habit is developed that will give me enough time to keep up the clean!

As it stands now I go through my upstairs (my bedroom with loft, and my closet guest bedroom every few months and end up with piles like this:

for Goodwill

And and equally large pile of crap for the dumpster. That needs to end!! And hopefully I'll start down that path this month! As a part of this habit development I will add my cleaning hours to my weekly logs. SO feel free to call me out if I'm not living up to my promises!

5 Down, 13 To Go!

My week in review...

Sunday: 9 miles at the Y, 81 laps, wooot
Monday: Bootcamp
Tuesday: Rest day (first day off in 29 days...I know, rest days are good, blah blah)
Wednesday: Bootcamp, 3 mile run
Thursday: I had to work until after 7, I was too brain dead from forced rest day
Friday: Bootcamp, Yoga, 5 mile run (I had to make up for Thursday!)
Saturday: 5 mile run, yoga, 5 mile run (as I would find out after the fact, this was a BAD IDEA!)

I tried out my new shoes yesterday and for the second half of the long run today. They're ok. I'm wondering if it is because they aren't broken in yet or if they aren't quite the right thing. Unfortunately my old Nike's are a little past their expiration date so running in them isn't really the best idea anymore...

Next week's running plan...
Sunday: Crosstraining 60 minutes
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 3 miles
Wednesday: 5 miles
Thursday: 3 miles
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 7 miles (yay for step back weeks!)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Really, Nike?!

I have some very sad news...remember those Nike shoes that I've been anxiously awaiting to try for the past week or so? The ones I've been raving about? The prettiest running shoes I've ever seen??

Yeah, these ones

Well apparently Nike has some serious quality control issues. I went to try these shoes on Wednesday (finally!). I pulled into the Y parking lot, grabbed my old shoes to trade out my Superfeet inserts. This should have been my first sign that something was off. I went to put the inserts into the new shoes and I practically had to hammer them in because they just weren't fitting right. I finally jammed them in and put on the shoes. They felt a little tight and half a size too small. I ignored the nagging voice in my head and zipped into the gym to try them out for a run. I wanted to try my new nano!!

As I jogged around the track I still couldn't shake the feeling that the shoes just weren't right. As I turned the corners of the track there was an awful pinching feeling in my left foot. After I got home I looked at both shoes and did a side by side comparison. I checked the make/model/etc, all the same. The only difference was the color, and the width of the toe box. WAAAAY different!

Just to be sure I wasn't going insane I dragged myself into the local Runner's Alley this morning with my tail between my legs and begging for forgiveness for not buying my shoes from them to begin with. I asked for their opinion. They came to the same conclusion I did. The shoes were exactly the same short of the width of the toe box. The helpful clerk explained that sometimes companies get it wrong. When they switch colors sometimes the make a mistake in the manufacturing. She said the store once got an entire defective shipment of another brand of shoe and they didn't know it (they looked just fine!) until customers all starting returning them for the same reason.

So I'm going to attempt to return them...if I can't I'll have to think of something creative to do with them...$80 flower pots? To prove to Runner's Alley that I don't just rely on them for free advice, I asked them to help me pick up a new pair of shoes. They didn't have any of the Nike's in my size so I decided to branch out and I bought these...

Not hideous...

I told runner lady that I wanted pretty shoes. I mean, how could I go back to boring white shoes after finding glory in the Nike's?! If only the Nike's had fit!! The Asics aren't bright pink but they aren't ugly. There is a little yellow in them which is fun. These babies were $30 more than the Nike's but they felt like a dream in the store. I might try to take them out for a run later today if my tummy behaves (it is NOT happy right now!).

Moral of the story: buying shoes online to save money isn't always the best idea. Fork over the extra cash and go to a real store so you can try them may end up spending more in shipping fees if you send back the online shoes (luckily, I bought mine from a site that pays for shipping both ways...)

Have you ever tried to buy running shoes online? How did that work out for you?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

New Experiences

So I finally tried my new shoes today...and they sucked!!! I don't get it. I bought the same style (even same know they update them every 6 months?), same size, different color. They are like a size too small! I don't get it!!!

I also tried my nano with the built in Nike+ to track my runs at the track. It said I ran a 5k, which should have been 28 laps. I counted 25.5 laps...I'm going to have to work on calibrating that thing. Otherwise, it was super fun to run with!

Have you ever bought a pair of shoes "knowing" they will fit and then they don't??

Monday, January 30, 2012

No More Long Runs?

As I mentioned in my weekly recap, I started going (back to) Bootcamp last week. I say back to because I went off and on for about 2 months last winter and then for some reason I stopped going...probably because I wanted to run more. I did notice last winter my 5k pace dropped by about a minute and my long run "comfortable" pace dropped by more than a min/mile. I knew the "muscley" stuff played into my pace going down...I mean, I didn't get that much faster just from running an extra month! And I've already seen a difference in the past week! My long run today was a breeze, I didn't feel like I was really pushing myself and I averaged a 9:40 mile!

Over the past year my pace has gone back down because of injuries and such...and I think the treadmill has a field day playing mind games with me. For some reason it's near impossible for me to run a 10 min/mile on the treadmill but I can do it just fine on the track or outside.

When I went back to Crossfit Tuff this week I was talking to the trainers about how I'm training for a marathon and they mentioned that I could replace a lot of my running with Crossfit workouts and still be able to run a marathon. He even said he trained someone who ran a personal best marathon and his longest run training for the marathon was 10 miles! It was his third marathon so he had some idea of what to expect, but still! I didn't really buy it so I still snuck off to the Y on Wednesday after bootcamp to get my prescribed 3 mile run in.

But as I was reading the February Issue of Runners World today, I found this. Basically it reaffirms everything the trainer told me at the gym this week! Crazy. For those who don't want to read the whole thing, it basically says you if you combine short, high intensity aerobic exercise with Crossfit Endurance, you don't need the long, low intensity runs to prepare for a big race. The longest run you train in a single session is 90 minutes. Overall you can reduce your mileage to 1/4 of what you'd run in a "typical" marathon training program.

Granted, it says that it probably works better for experienced runners because there are mental benefits to long runs for a first time marathon runner. And it might not work as well for longer, Ironman type events. I'll stick to the long runs for now. But if all goes well with Bootcamp and stepping up to real Crossfit classes and if I finish my May marathon I might try to Crossfit/intense short run hybrid plan for my next marathon (is it weird that I'm only in week 4 of marathon training and I'm already thinking about marathon 2?).

It would be interesting to train for both and do a comparison of how well I, personally, survive both races. Granted, if I try to do them relatively close to each other than 2nd race might be slightly tainted since I'm pretty much starting from nothing now and I'll be relatively fit if I start training for a 2nd one. Maybe I could take a month or two off and eat ice cream every day before I start training for a 2nd race so I'd start on an even playing field :)

What do you think about incorporating Crossfit Endurance training to reduce the mileage of a training program?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Food Choices

I really shouldn't be surprised that I haven't been losing weight despite going to the gym for 2 hours a day...

Today I made lunches for the week...

That would be a giant pot of: 1 bag of frozen spinach, 1 bag of frozen random veggies, 3 servings of pearl couscous, 4 tomatoes, 1 can of tomato soup, and 1 can of tomato sauce for a grand total of 1600 calories. It was enough to fill 7 Tupperware containers and I threw a 70 calorie chicken sausage in each container....300 calories a container. It's a lot of food so it will be super filling. They will be great for lunch.

And then I made:

Yup, that would be a big container (not a jar, the bigger container) of marshmallow fluff on top of a pan of Ghirardelli brownies. I didn't eat a lot of them...but know...

At least I did my long run today?

Marathon Training Week 4

Here's the summary kiddos...

Sunday: Paddle and Peddle at the Y. About 1000yd swim in 30 min and 45 min spin bike class. And then Clogging class!
Monday ("rest day"): Bootcamp at Crossfit Tuff (I would provide a link but Google is being a jerk right now)
Tuesday: 1hr track workout, about 5 miles and lots of push ups, sit ups, blah blah, to get LOTS of points in Fitocracy!
Wednesday: Bootcamp at Crossfit Tuff and 3 mile run at the Y
Thursday: 3 mile run at the Y, 8 miles of intervals on a stationary bike for about 1 hr of workout
Friday ("rest day"): Bootcamp at Crossfit Tuff (and pigging out at the movies)
Saturday: I was supposed to do my long run but the previous night's pig out session was not settling in my tummy so I did 1 hr Fitness Yoga class and 1 hr on the Expresso bike (14.5 miles)
Sunday (today): 9 mile run as soon as I talk myself into it...

Next week's plan dictates...
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 3 mile
Wednesday: 5 miles
Thursday: 3 miles
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 10 miles
Sunday: 60 min cross train

My plan is to keep up with the Bootcamp 3 days a week to help burn off extra calories and work on strength training. I also like to fit in Yoga at least 1 day a week to help stretch out my muscles. I wish it was warmer outside so I could run much as the track is better than the treadmill, it gets kind of old running any distance over 4 miles...I am super excited to try out my new shoes on a shorter run next week, they're soo pretty!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

They're Here!!!

They are even more amazing than I expected!! Somehow I missed the polka dots in the online picture...I should have ordered more!!!

The prettiest pair of support running shoes I've ever seen :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Fitness Competitions

How do you feel about fitness competitions? I always thought they'd motivate me to workout more because I love competition. My work had a weightloss competition during the holidays (overall I lost 5 pounds in the in first 5 weeks and maintained for the next 5 weeks, better than gaining I guess). Then there was the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge sponsored by Run to the Finish (she has decided to run monthly challenges this year). I lost interest in that one too after it became blatantly obvious that I wasn't going to win.

Awhile back my friend invited me to Fitocracy. I signed up in like October and didn't do anything on it for a few months because I was tracking my exercises on dailymile since all of my goals for the year were focused around miles and dm has all kinds of pretty graphics for miles run...and donuts burned

who wouldn't love this??

Maybe I like dm so much because I'm so in love with math. At the beginning of the year my friend started to bug me about being active on fitocracy so I logged in and started logging my 2012 miles. It was the perfect time to really join the site. Once I started playing around I realized how fun it really is! You get points for what you do and how much effort you put in (an 8 minute mile earns you more points than a 10 minute mile). Your points accumulate to help you level up. The higher the level you are the more you've exercised. So instead of comparing miles (not always fair on dm if you're comparing a biker to a runner), you compare level of effort (it might factor in your weight and perceived effort, not sure what their algorithms are). You can follow your friends and compete against them or you can just do it for your own benefit and challenge yourself to get a certain number of points every day/week/whatever.

In addition there are also Quests. Quests are kind of arbitrary in my opinion but still fun. I think once you log some stuff they start adding Quests to help you round out your training and push your farther and harder (I'm just going to go with that thought...). You get bonus points when you complete Quests (in addition to the points you get for doing the exercises!). As you progress your Quests get more difficult. For example, after I completed the "Run a 5k" Quest, I unlocked the "Run a 10k" Quest and now that I've completed that my next running related Quest is "Run a Half Marathon."

Example Quest

I also have a ton of cross training related Quests. The Quests are fun because the weight lifting ones (at least for me at this point) aren't too difficult/time consuming so it makes you want to add on a few extra things to your workout every day to complete the Quests...or even do some little things maybe while you're watching TV at night instead of sitting on the couch.

It has definitely gotten me to stay at the gym for longer every day and do a little more each time. I haven't really focused on going after specific Quests yet. Until now I've just been happy when I randomly complete a Quest. I think starting this week I'm going to start targeting Quests and try to do more at the gym.

What gets you motivated to work out? Do Fitness Competitions work for you?

Marathon Training Week 3

Week 3 is done, woot! Here's the recap:

Sunday: Sunday ended up being all discombobulated. I didn't realize that the Y closes at 6 so I only got in about 20 minutes on the video game bike before I got kicked out so I got dinner before dance, went to dance class, and conned a friend into signing me into PF to finish my workout. I did another 25 min on the bike and the 30 minute strength training circuit.

Monday: I tried an at home Pilates kit that my cube mate won at work but was never going to use. It worked some abs but overall was kind of bogus. Not a huge loss since it was technically a rest day.

Tuesday: Track practice. I was pretty consistent across all of the 800's. Total mileage including warm up and cool down was 5.4 miles

Wednesday: 3 mile run on the track and 7 mile/30 min video game bike path

Thursday: I had a rather annoying day at work and no work on Friday so I spent 3 hours at the gym. 3 mile run, 60 min kickboxing class (not super impressed), and 60 min yoga class (soooo good to stretch out and relax!)

Friday: I had an intro at the Y. They made me a strength training workout so I'll actually do muscley stuff now that I don't have the PF circuit!!! I did 2 sets of the strength workout (they recommend 1 set but 12 reps just didn't seem like enough so I went for double sets and I'll work up to 3 sets and then start adding weight once I master 3 sets), then I rowed for 10 minutes on the rowing machine and did 30 minutes on the crazy half elliptical/half stair master machine

Saturday: 5 mile run. I didn't try to anything more

Sunday: Day 1 of triathlon training! 30 minutes in the pool and 45 min spin class. I didn't eat enough for breakfast so I got hungry and there was less swimming that I would have liked in the swim session but overall it was a good class.

Next week's plan:

Monday: rest day, I think I might try to do yoga and/or some strength stuff to knock off some Quests on Fitocracy

Tuesday: track day! Hal says I need to run 3 miles (easy peasy)

Wednesday: 4 miles (I'll likely run 3 since I run more than 3 on Tuesdays)

Thursday: 3 miles

Friday: Rest day (probably do some kind of something...but maybe not since I have to work Friday, blah)

Saturday: 9 miles (eek!)...I might have to alternate between track and treadmill on this one. I don't know if I can handle 81 laps!

Sunday: Cross training. Hopefully I'll get back in the pool. Maybe it will snow enough so I can go cross country skiing!

Question for the world out there. I've been running a lot on the track at the Y but I seem to lose track of laps easily (despite repeating the lap number over and over again in my head). How do you keep track of laps? I thought about getting the Nike iPod attachment because I don't want to run with my iPhone but that's not insanely accurate and I could see it getting off by 0.1 miles (1 lap) after 81 times around the track...thoughts?

Friday, January 20, 2012

I'm so excited!!!

I learned a long time ago the importance of getting the proper running shoe. I learned awhile ago that I overpronate when I run. For those of you who aren't in the know, shoes made for those of us who overpronate are UGLY!!! Big chunky white heel support, ugly boring colors...that is until today. I've lived the past year and a half in ugly boring shoes while all the cool kids with perfect feet have been running around in beautiful brightly colored shoes. But that all changed about 10 minutes ago when I discovered these!

I ordered them right away and even considered ordering 2 pairs but I stopped myself. I'm hoping that this is the beginning of a wonderful future of brightly colored shoes. Nike, please don't fail me now! The other super exciting part about these shoes is that they were on sale AND they are the model that have not failed me yet. I'm on my 2nd pair right now and running out of time with them so this is perfect timing. Let's hope this is the end of ugly shoes for overpronators!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Remy's Ratatouille

Look at the pretty meal I made tonight...yes, I baked something HEALTHY!! woot.

I've wanted to make this ever since I saw the movie 2 years ago. I was severely disappointed last year when a friend said she was making Ratatouille and served me some kind of stew looking thing (I had no idea that the dish from the movie wasn't REALLY Ratatouille!!) so I've been on a mission to find the perfect recipe since that time.

I stole the recipe from here:

I didn't use the goat cheese but I made another pan with Parmesan cheese on top, super tasty! I served it over garlic couscous. I think the garlic in the couscous was a little powerful...not sure how I'm going to get away with eating leftovers for lunches at work and continue to be able to talk to people for the rest of the day...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Marathon Training Week 2

Week 2 is done! Here's the summary:

Monday: Rest day - 3 mile warm up on the bike and then Yoga/Fitness Pilates at the Y. As far as I can tell it was just Yoga but I guess that's a good thing since it was a rest day. I just wish I had gotten more sweaty.

Tuesday: I did a track workout with the local running group! It was scary, people were nice but didn't go out of their way to talk to me, but I didn't really try to talk to many people either. All in all I ran about 5.4 miles (it was supposed to be a 3 mile day...I think I'm ok with a little longer)

Wednesday: 3 mile run at the Y. I was cranky and tired and not feeling it so I just did my run and went home (it may have been really late too?)

Thursday: 2 mile run on the treadmill at the Y, Strength and Tone Class (hard work!) at the Y, and 1 mile run after

Friday: rest day - Yogalates at the Y. Much more intense than the Monday class! Too bad it's in the middle of the day so I can't go every week :(

Saturday: 7 mile run on the track at the Y. LOVED it! Maybe it's the novelty of running a track but it was soooo much better than running on the dreadmill. The only issue I had was counting laps since it's 9 laps per mile!

Sunday: TBD...I'll make it to the gym for my 60 min cross training and dance class but since it's so cold outside I figured I'd only venture out once today

Overall this week was good. It wasn't a chore to go to the gym most days. I think Wednesday was hard because I was trying to work longer days to take Friday off. I won't have that issue this week! I like the runs are pretty short during the week and I have time to fit in a fitness class in addition to the shorter runs! My eating was pretty good this week too. I did have a little dessert every day but I didn't really binge at all. Most days I had a Banana Baby or cookie or two. I ended up losing weight this week but I probably gained a little back with eating out over the weekend. It's soo hard to eat small meals when you go out!!

Next week:

Sunday (today): 60 min cross training

Monday: rest
Tuesday: 3 mile run
Wednesday: 4 mile run
Thursday: 3 mile run
Friday: rest
Saturday: 5 mile run
Sunday: 60 min cross training

Yay for mini-taper weeks!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Week 1

Well today is January 8th, which means that week 1 of the 2012 is complete. This also means that week 1 of marathon training is complete. I kind of fudged this week since the training plan I want to follow is 18 weeks long and the marathon I want to run is 19 weeks into the year...I also didn't fully commit to the marathon until yesterday. I was on the fence between really committing to training the right way for a half marathon (since I've never really trained properly for any of the 4 half marathons I've run) and going for a new PR (since my current PR was my very first half!) and training for a full in the spring knowing I might get into NY in the fall.

I talked a friend into running the Publix Georgia Half Marathon with me on March 18th...a date that falls in line with the half marathon required as a part of the marathon training I guess that means I'm running a spring marathon!

So the summary of this week was...
Sunday: rest day - Sea World
Monday: 3 mile run, 0.5 mile walk
Tuesday: Legoland! (no time to run!)
Wednesday: 4.5 mile run
Thursday: 3.25 mile run
Friday: rest day - 30 min circuit workout at Planet Fitness and 3.2 miles on the Elliptical
Saturday: 5 mile long run (and it took every ounce of my willpower to finish...shame on me for not eating before running)
Sunday: 60 minute boot camp at the Y

Next week plan says I need to run:
Monday: rest
Tuesday: 3 miles
Wednesday: 3 miles
Thursday: 3 miles
Friday: rest
Saturday: 6 miles
Sunday: 60  min cross train

Since I want to lose weight I'm also going to try to work in weights on the days I have shorter runs and maybe try out some new classes at the Y since that's half of the reason I switched gyms (btw kudos to Planet Fitness for being SUPER AWESOME about letting me quit, I've never had such a good experience quitting a gym, no 60 days written notice, no calling an 800 that hangs up on you, just walked in, signed a piece of paper, and I was done!). The other half of the reason why I moved to the Y was because they just built a super nice new gym including a brand new indoor pool! And after I finish marathon in May I want to start training for an Olympic Triathlon for later in the summer. I figured having a pool would be nice and a super awesome way to cross train and recover from the running (maybe water run if I need it).

In other news, I signed up for track practice with the local running group. I've never been to a track practice so maybe that wasn't my smartest thing to sign up for having never actually met anyone from the running group. I'm a little nervous...I have no idea what to expect and there are all kinds of rules about track etiquette! Any advice from the blog world? I know the people will probably be nice but will they be accepting of the fact that I've never done a track practice and I'm showing up to one?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Years Habits

I am not making sweeping resolutions this year. Last year I did well. I didn't reach my initial goal of running 500 miles but I met my adjusted goal of running/walking/hiking/swimming/biking/rowing/etc 1000 miles!

While I was thinking about this year's goals I found an article about setting 12 small goals throughout the year, one each month. Goals that will become habits, small changes. The point is that if you choose achievable habits you won't be so overwhelmed with sweeping changes so you won't be setting yourself up for failure. I like that idea but thinking of 12 goals now is overwhelming. Plus I think part of the beauty of 12 small goals is that it can be fluid, as your life changes you can adjust your goals accordingly. An unpredicted injury prevented me from achieving my 500 miles of running last year. 12 little goals will give me the freedom to adjust my goals as my body and life changes.

So I'm starting the year with a goal to run a marathon. Training started on Jan 1. So January's goal is to get to the gym/exercise 4-5 times a week with a minimum of 30 minutes for each visit. 5 days into the year and I'm happy to report that I've run 3 days so far with plans to go tomorrow and Saturday to reach my 5 days! My 2 "off" days this week were sent running around theme parks so it's not like I was a total slug but my new habit is to focus on a concerted effort to burn calories, anything beyond that (like spending a day outside being active) is just a bonus!

What are your plans for 2012?

I think it would be pretty sweet if I beat my numbers from 2011. I think it should be easy if I maintain the exercising 4-5 days a week!