Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Five 2.0

I don't know about you, but I am *so* glad it's Friday!!

Dallas weather is looking absolutely beautiful!  We are officially in "summer lite" (not quite summer heat; also called spring in most places).

Here are five things that made my week!

Remember this from last week?

It's finished!  I *LoVe* it!!

More detail:

2.  I'm sure everyone is sick of hearing about tutugate, but I think these women freaking rock!  This lame article from a magazine I will now be sending back (it was a free subscription thank goodness) makes me want to wear my tutu daily.  Like my friend Lisa pointed out, women already have enough self esteem related issues.  Now your going to make fun of something we wear, while bettering ourselves?  Shame on you.

3.  These.  A picture speaks a thousand words of delicious.

4.  I signed my life away up for a HUGE challenge this winter.  The New Year's Double.  I have done parts of this race the past two years, but the big draw is the double aspect.  You can double up on a 5k, 1/2 marathon or full.  Well...this year the 5k was bumped up so runners can double double down!  Somehow I was cheerfully coerced into a 5k/26.2 on NYE followed by 5k/26.2 on NYD.  "It'll be fun!" they said....gets me every time!

This really is a great race...great friends, great swag, awesome (HUGE) bling.  Especially if you complete one of the double aspects.  Can't. Wait.

5. I definitely saved the best for last...

This boy.

One of the love's of my life.  He was honored at his school's assembly today for exhibiting extraordinary forgiveness.  He is a "Bear of the Month"!  I am so proud of him!!

I love him being 7 (almost 8).  While I look forward to what the future brings for him, part of me wishes I could keep him this age forever.  He is so funny.  So loving.  Adores his mama.

Love that kid.  He is my heart.

Until next time...

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Rock and Roll Dallas Half Marathon

Rise AND shine! 5:20am.

For those of you who know me well, you know this is an absolute ungodly hour for me to get up, yet I was wide awake and ready to run!

I met my MRTT girls at the train station and we were on our way into the city.

These are some of the *bestest* frunners every!

Side note: This was Ampy's (the beauty in the middle) first half marathon!  She *crushed* it.  Sub 2 on her first try!  Luisa (the beauty next to me) also killed it with her first "official" (it's a long story) sub 2!  Marissa & Heather (the beauties on the right side) ran great races as well!

Luisa, Ampy & I made our way to corral 4. Before we knew it, we were up!  Time to run!

Over the years, I have moved up a little bit in corral placement.  Progress!  Year one (2010) I was all the way back in corral 10.  While I may have overestimated my finish time by just a few minutes, I was keeping up with the rest of the corral and managed to stay ahead of the 2 hour pacer for a little while.  A sub two has been my goal for this race the past two years.  I knew it wouldn't happen that day, so I ran this one purely for fun.

I managed to stay below a 9:40min/mile pace for a lot of the first half and only slowed down slightly over the split.  This is good news for me.  Progress and pacing are taking shape.  I have a bad habit, like a lot of runners on fresh legs, of going out to fast.  Rocking a fast first mile of two and then falling apart.  Not this day.  I made sure to stay steady throughout, especially the first 2-3 miles and it paid off.  I finished strong and probably ran more during this race than any in the past six months or so.  It was cold.  It was windy.  But it was fun!

My A goal was 2:10 and to stay <10min/mile.  I hit it.  On the dot.  

Search Results (Search Criteria : Last Name = aden)
OvrPlBibNameCity, StateTime
42154209Jolene AdenMcKinney, TX02:10:57

9:59.  That counts as <10, right?!

I had a lot of fun and saw a ton of friends along the way.

Two of the Bakers.  They jumped on the same train with us & ran this race as a family.  How cool is that?!  Wife Amy, finished just a few moments later.

The signs are always a fave!

Overall this is one of the funnest (that's a word, right?) races I do all year.  It was my very first half back in 2010 and my introduction to a long road of distance running.  I've had my ups and down throughout, but such is life.  We are always learning; finding ways to improve and better ourselves.

I can't wait to see how long I can keep this particular race streak going.

I'll leave you with this.  

My attempt at the hottie selfie.  I have true respect for the original poster.  This is a difficult task!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Rock 'n' Roll Dallas Expo

This has always been one of my *favorite* expos!

It was my very first "big time" expo back in 2010.

I am, as always, amazed at how much my son has grown!

 2010 (that boy cracks. me. up.)

Louis wanted to ride the train downtown, and who was I to parking fees, no parking problems and he got to ride the train.

Brooks, as always, had a huge set up.

Happy Island was their theme...Louis and I were both issued our "passport".

There were three areas to stamp our passports and they were all super fun (at least the two we did....the gait analysis line was L O N G).  The more stamps, the better the prizes!

We played a race up the volcano game, which of course Louis won and then he rode a shoe (like a mechanical bull)! We laughed....a lot.

We spent nearly two hours perusing all of the booths picking up free swag & playing games.

Louis scored a new pair of shades and we both made out like bandits with all of the prizes & the couple of items I had purchased.

We signed up for an autographed Dallas Stars hockey stick & Louis scored an autographed puck (I think it's because he is such a sweet boy)! Lucky!

We both played a WII bobsledding game & this time this mama won....

This was my prize!

I thought I had myself a new pj shirt....instead I got a tent.  3XL?  Really? We all got some good laughs out of it that is for certain!

I picked up my *legacy* gift, which I thought was totally awesome.  I have ran every year since the inaugural race back in 2010.  I almost missed 2011, but looking back, I'm glad I didn't bow out of that one (even though I had bronchitis).

Before we headed out, we stopped to see Deena Kastor, bronze medalist in the marathon and co-star of "Spirit of the Marathon".  She was adorable and we both thought it was cool to see a real "celebrity".

Have you ever met a running "celeb"?

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Weekly Chase

Once again, our weekend was too short.

I could use at least another day off.

This last week in fitness looked like this:

Monday – Rest - I really did this!
Tuesday – Barre Fusion at Lifetime and 3.1 miles after that - check!
Wednesday – 6 miles easy - Barre AND 6 miles
Thursday – 3 miles at my wishful pace + light strength - I did Barre instead
Friday – Rest
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Rock and Roll Dallas Half Marathon Goal Time: 2:00-2:20 - smack dab in the middle 2:10 (more on that later this week)

Total miles:  22.3

My friend Alicia *KILLED* her 50 miler on Saturday! 

Read about her amazing journey here.  This girl is in her word "amazeballs"!

I can't even fathom the thought of doing basically another marathon after just running a marathon (which is pretty much what this is), except that a) this was a difficult trail run and b) the "trail" was actually a lot of sand per Alicia's report.  I didn't get a chance to go out to the course, but saw lots of smiles & saw lots of updates from my friends that were out there with her. 

Our entire group is SO proud of her!!

What's up for this week?

Monday - Barre 
Tuesday - Barre Fusion & 3 miles
Wednesday - 4 miles and strength train
Thursday - rest
Friday - Barre
Saturday - group run with MRTT (6ish?) and strength
Sunday - Barre (I am still really loving this Barre thing!)

Total milage: 13 miles

I can't remember the last time I ran so little in one week.  I'll let you all in on my plans later...(i'll see if it works first!)

Who else raced this weekend?  How did it go?

Friday, March 21, 2014

Friday Five

1. My friend Melissa (who is currently in a boot - BOO!) sent me a picture of what could 
potentially be the best pair of shoes.  Like Ever.  

They are pink.  They are glittery.  Glitter is *always* a good idea.  Can I order 6 pairs?

2. I recently found a new hobby (because isn't it obvious I needed something else to do?).
While my first piece was an epic disaster, this one is a gem. 
It is missing drawer pulls, but you get the picture.

3. Spring is here!  That means summer will be here soon.
Pool. Summer vacation. No school. Hawaii?

4.  Marine Corp Marathon.  Well...I wasn't lucky in the lottery, but I feel like I'm
doing something even cooler.  Running for charity.  
More importantly, a charity that has 
a great deal of meaning to me and my family (more on that later).

I hope I can beat Oprah's time.

5.  Here's to high school/college BFF's.  To 20+ years of friendship.
The first friend I made at a new school in 9th grade.
We shared our love of big bangs, the clarinet & "belle".

 Why yes, those *are* garbage bag decorations in the background.

In anticipation of my 20th high school reunion this summer.

I can't wait to see these people & many others!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

My New Addiction

I absolutely am in *love* with barre.  All of the classes I have taken over the past week or so were uniquely different, yet a freaking crazy awesome workout. 

So far, I have gone to two classes at Lifetime Fitness and two at a barre studio. 

Let me tell you a little bit about my trips to the barre…

Barre Fusion at Lifetime was more of a barre/pilates/yoga mix.  My new friend, Elaine, from MRTT had invited me and I am *so* happy she did!  Since there was no actual barre, we used body bars, planted vertically on the ground, for balance and performed what seemed to be hundreds of plies.  I think my legs are pretty strong and in relatively good shape, but DANG, they were nothing but shaky jello when I was through.  I did my second class at LTF this past Tuesday and had the same experience.  Shaking legs.  You are instructed to “embrace the shake”.  Easier said than done!

I ran three miles after class and felt I had some trouble finding my groove.  I liken it to the brick workouts all my tri friends do.  Difficult! 

While it would seem like it is all about the legs & bootie, there is a good deal of ab and arm work as well.  With all those plies and leg lifts, you start to feel very graceful and like a *real* ballerina!

Cue “Tiny Dancer” in my head. 

My favorite version can be seen here:

The class even ends with a super cute curtsy at the end!

The instructor is the same each week.  She is adorable and spunky & knows her stuff.  This made the class even more enjoyable.

This past Sunday, I tried another barre class, with my friend Rene from work.  It was INTENSE.  Non-stop from the minute it started until the minute it ended, yet the hour flew by.  The class was held at a barre only studio called Pure Barre.  It was a very new, cozy studio in a neighboring city, about a thirty minute drive from my house, but well worth it.  I was sore the next day (a sign of a good workout!).

Only a few items of equipment were needed for both workouts.  Grippy socks are a bonus to help stay in position (they really help with plank!).

It was for real.  

Their catch phrase is LTB.  Lift. Tone. Burn. 

They aren’t joking. 

After a very short warm up, Kendra “fab” (the instructor) took us straight into ab work.  We worked through a series of some arm work with very light weights (which sounds easy, but becomes incredibly HARD) and then moved to the actual barre.  Leg work, bootie work and more ab work ensued. 
The class moves by fast and so did the time; not a minute wasted. 

I went to a second class last night the Pure Barre closer to my home, which has only been there for three weeks.  I was greeted by the owner, who is also a teacher (just not that night). 

I found that after attending one class already, a lot of the moves were much more familiar and it was easier to follow the flow.

I have also come to the solid realization that there is another way to get a great booty without doing hundreds of squats.  I know it sounds too good to be true, but it does not come without hard work.

While both barre workouts focused mainly on lower body exercises, each of them provided a great full body workout.  They were slightly different in some ways and alike in others.  I am really enjoying them both.
I think this is a great way to improve balance, flexibility, strength and core stability.  It definitely will increase foot and ankle stability as you spend a lot of time on pointy toes…feeling that *burn* in the calf muscles.  Hip flexor strength and flexibility is also a target during the workout (*great* for runners). 

Barre is also a great workout for all fitness levels.  It is not jarring to the joints, modifications can easily be made and it is not high impact by any means.  The method has proven results. 

It is my intention to make a 30 day focused commitment to barre to see how it can improve my running (all in the name of research of course!).  I’ll let you in on the results next month!  Until then, I'll be LTB'ing at the barre!

So…have you ever done a barre workout?  What did you think?

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Weekly Chase 3.0

It’s time to rock and roll!

I am trying my best to turn this into a REAL taper week.  

Not run 25-30 pre half or full marathon.  

Not rack up 50 miles in a week like I did the week of my last marathon. 

An easy week is on the books and I plan to make it just that.

Monday – Rest (does it get any better than that on a Monday?)
Tuesday – Barre Fusion at Lifetime (I’m in LoVe with Barre) and 3 miles at lunch
Wednesday – 6 miles easy
Thursday – 3 miles at my wishful pace + light strength
Friday – Rest
Saturday – Rest, packet pick-up and cheering my friends Alicia & Christine on at their first 50 miler!
Sunday – Rock and Roll Dallas Half Marathon Goal Time: 2:00-2:20, it’s anyone’s guess

Weekly mileage total: 25.1ish

Other goals:
I’m still trying to work on increasing my protein intake and am going to start keeping track each day for a week. 

Maybe try to hit up another barre class if I can find some time.

Non-fitness related….

Spend as much time as possible with the LOML’s.

Baby shower planning with Ryan’s sister in law for the baby Butler that is on its way!

Complete one of many furniture restoration projects that are currently taking over our house and garage!

What are your goals this week? 

Putting my goals “out there” really helps me get them done…what works for you?

Week in Review

Thankfully, this past week went by quite fast.

I am *SO* looking forward to tomorrow, when this boy gets to come back home!

I can’t wait until he gets home from school and we can spend some long awaited QT together. 

What I did last week:

I followed through and cut back on miles (yay!) & I went to not one, but two, barre classes.  One much different than the other (that story is for another post).

Monday - 10 mile interval run – check!
Tuesday - Barre Fusion with a new MRTT friend, Elaine! – yep!
Wednesday - 8 and strength training – check!
Thursday - Easy 8 or rest and strength train – 2 mile walk
Friday – rest - check
Saturday - Easy 10 – swamp air and all, done and done
Sunday – rest – another barre class
Weekly total:  36 28

Best run of the week:

My Moms Run This Town group met up for a Saturday morning run.  The air was damp and swampy, but we had a *huge* turnout!  Biggest group run yet!  I am so happy for our awesome group.  We keep getting more and more *awesome* mother runners.  I ran six miles with the girls, powered up with one of Nicole’s delicious banana cupcakes (that counts as a muffin as there is technically a fruit in it, right?), then went to my gym and cranked out four more miles PLUS a strength workout. 

I *LoVe* these ladies!!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Weekly Chase!

In my promise to cut back on miles this week, this is what I have planned...

Monday - 10 mile interval run
Tuesday - Barre Fusion with a new MRTT friend, Elaine!
Wednesday - 8 and strength training
Thursday - Easy 8 or rest and strength train
Friday - rest
Saturday - Easy 10
Sunday - rest

Weekly total:  36

While 36 miles doesn't sound like I'm backing off, there are 2 easy runs in there.  Easy runs are, well, EASY!  They are effortless.  I plan to do the 10 miler with my MRTT frunners, so they are guaranteed to be fun and easy (and may or may not include cupcakes muffins with frosting at the end).

So what is barre fusion?

Spark people writer and barre instructor, Andrea Rogers, states that while all barre workouts differ slightly in structure, most methods incorporate exercises done at a ballet barre combined with the elements of ballet, Pilates, and yoga.  Barre exercises rely mainly upon one's own body weight for resistance, and the moves challenge core stability and balance.  Barre workouts are designed to help an individual achieve a "dancer's body" - strong, sleek, and streamlined. Typically, classes are just under an hour long and include a 5-10 minute warm up, 10-15 minutes of light weights (upper body), 20-30 minutes of barre exercises (mostly lower body), 10 minutes of floor work that includes abdominal and lower body exercises.  Most classes end with a cool down and final stretches (Spark People, 2014).

Barre isn't that fancy that it has to be done in a studio.  Your "barre" can be as simple as the back of a chair. I found several interesting sounding workouts of Pinterest.

Unfortunately, no tutu's are required.

What is your goal this week?

What is your favorite "out of the box" fitness class?