Thursday, July 31, 2014

Friday Five - Training Love

I'm once again linking up with Courtney @Eat, Pray, Run DC, Mar @ Mar on the Run and Cynthia @You Signed Up For What?! for the Friday Five!

This week...

5 things I love about marathon training.

It just started this week in fact!  Seriously, I have been looking forward to it as soon as I got into my "A" marathon and get a goal.

It feels good to have a "plan" again.  Without one, I kind of flounder.  I run here and there, but mostly junk miles.  No speed work, no long runs.  I haven't even hit double digits since my last half in April.  That's sad for me.

I think I've lost some fitness.  At least cardiovascularly speaking.  Pure barre has been great for toning, but it does not mimic the intense heart rate that running provides.  I kind of feel like I'm starting from scratch sometimes.

This year's marathon season holds my biggest challenges yet.  A time goal for my November race, to finish the Dallas Marathon strong after the abysmal outing I had there two years ago, back to back FULL marathons with 5k warm ups on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, did someone say ultra?

In some bizarre way, I look forward to those 16, 18 and 20 mile training runs.  I always do them on the weekend's my son is not with me to avoid the mommy guilt, but there is something I get excited about leading up to them.  Perhaps I just like to watch TV uninterrupted?

Food.  Not that I don't eat the rest of the year, but I kind of feel like I can get away with a little more when I'm running 30 miles a week.  I don't feel bad about eating those cupcakes or snacking all day.  While I'm really trying to hone in on nutrition this year, I'm human, and yes, I run so I can eat.  Cupcakes mostly.

Have a great weekend!!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Weekly Chase #20

It's that time of year again!!

Marathon training takes off THIS WEEK!!

Basically, each week looks the same, the numbers just change. Tempo Run, Speed Work and Long Run x 14.

I am using the "Run Less, Run Faster", FIRST method to train.  I debated for a long time whether to use that one or a Runkeeper plan.  The Runkeeper plans (FREE by the way) have treated me well in the past.  When training for a 2 hour marathon, it got me *very* close (like 4 minutes off).  BUT, I're heard and read a lot of great things about the RLRF, here we go!

I'm looking forward to another moonlight run with my MRTT frunners on Tuesday and then getting out of this blistering heat on Thursday for the cool temps in Minnesota.  It's crazy that nearly ever year, my first week of marathon training has been there.  I don't know how that happens, but it's kind of odd.

I'll be keeping up my barre schedule during this training cycle, with a goal of going 3 times a week.  Closing in on 100 classes (only 28 classes-about 6 weeks away!), I am finding I actually have some serious bi/triceps, not to mention the "ledge" Pure Barre is known for!  PB has really helped build my core strength & I believe that will bode well for me over the next 14 weeks.

Have you ever tried the FIRST training plan?  Thoughts?

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Weekly Chase #19

The chase is late again...mostly due to exhaustion from a crazy, busy weekend!

Even Louis asked me today if we could stay home all day.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, most of our weekend was spent with family.  We celebrated a birthday Saturday night and Sunday, was Ryan's and my engagement party!  It was so fun to see all of our friends and family in one makes me really excited for next summer.

Ryan's mom and Grandma with Ryan, Louis and me

Back off ladies....he's mine!! 

Ryan's mom did such a great job organizing and putting everything together, not to mention the awesome food she made.  She is a *great* cook!  Sadly, Ryan's dad was unable to attend as he spent the weekend in the hospital, but he still gave us a very heartwarming and tear provoking toast via facetime.  We were all missing him yesterday.

(Ryan's dad on the mac screen)

Other than all of our social events, I spent most of my week just hanging out with Louis - so FUN!  There was a lot of lego building and "relaxing" as he likes to do.  It was the best.  We ended our week doing something we both love...hanging out at the pool - we love the waterslides at Lifetime Fitness!

My workouts were pretty few and far between.  Can you believe I didn't go to barre once last week?  Don't worry, I'm planning a binge this week.

I got in a few miles here and there for a total of 18.1 miles.  Nothing epic, that's for sure.

This week?

My aforementioned barre binge.  A barre class a day (ok...not *quite* everyday) and NO miles.

That's right.  NO MILES.

I am taking a week "off" from running because next week....marathon training begins!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Friday Five: Favorites

It's Friday!!

Which means a link up for the Friday Five with Courtney @Eat, Pray, Run DC, Mar @ Mar on the Run and Cynthia @You Signed Up For What?!

This weeks topic?  My five favorite things happening in my life right now.

1. Spending the week with my son!  I know to most parents this sounds like something that happens all of the time, but unfortunately with split custody, it doesn't work that way for me.  His dad had to "travel" so I got to keep him all to myself for the week.  It has passed entirely way too fast.

2. I'm halfway through my class this quarter.  Advance Pathophysiology.  Yes.  It is as hard as it sounds.  BUT, I'm learning A LOT (it's been 20 years since I took anatomy and basic phys, this is *way* more intense).  It's just very time consuming, but the end is in sight!

3. Our upcoming trip to Minnesota.  Because we haven't been on vacation enough, Louis and I will head to MN in 2 weeks!  He goes up every summer to spend time with my mom and dad, I go to get a reprieve from the heat.  This year I'll also be attending my 20th high school reunion and am *really* excited to see my old friends and classmates!

4. Engagement Party!  On Sunday, Ryan's parents are hosting an engagement party for us, so that we can celebrate with our closest family and friends.  I am so excited and have been looking forward to it for several weeks.

5.  Wedding planning.  While I want to do as little as possible for this wedding (think destination wedding where I buy a dress and pretty much just show up), I am having a lot of fun looking at dresses, flowers and decorations - dreaming about the beach and marrying my prince charming!

There are also a couple of other things I'm totally excited for that I'll write more about next week....stay tuned


Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Too Hot to Handle 15k - Race Review

This past Sunday I ran in the longest hot weather, summer race I've ever done.

In the past, I usually take a "break" in the summer, kind of "saving myself" for marathon training and because I am not a big fan of the heat.  I've had bad experiences in hot weather while running...heart rates in the 200s and probable heat stroke 4 years ago.  Those two things alone make me leery of running outside in the summer.  So this summer....I've committed myself to running outside once a week (if not more), so I can become "acclimated" to the heat, work on my mental toughness (I need some!) AND so I can do races like this!

Too Hot to Handle was definitely a race on my radar early on, but due to unknown summer plans/vacations, etc, I never registered.  Lucky for me, one of my fellow MRTT'ers had a bib available that would have gone unused.  So, I jumped right in!

This 15k course is entirely next to one of the few outdoor oasis' in Dallas - White Rock Lake.  It was flat, shady in most parts and had nice scenery!  There was also a 5k option available.

I arrived at the race site at 6:50am (yawn!) so that I'd have plenty of time to park and walk to the start.

I met my fellow MRTT & Lifetime Run friends for a picture and soon we were lined up to start.

Honestly, the first few miles weren't all that bad.  The race started at 7:30am and while it was still in the 80s, it didn't seem terribly hot.  The course was well supported and even had sprinklers at several aid stations to run through.  It felt awesome!  Volunteers handed out ice cold towels at 3 stations (*awesome*) and at the finish.  There was no lack of water or Gatorade (a problem that another summer race in the area, that will remain unnamed, chronically seems to have).

After mile 4, I slowed down significantly.  My goal was 11min/mile, which is a lot slower than the pace I have been running, and I hit that spot on.  Running by effort only and taking walking breaks when I felt like I needed it, this pace felt comfortable without feeling like my heart was going to explode.  Seeing that I hadn't run 9 miles since March, I am pretty happy with my finish time.  At the time I finished, temps were in the low 90s.  This race definitely lived up to its "Too Hot" title.

Post race there were a lot of vendors, snow cones (to purchase) and beer.  I had to work, so I headed straight home without checking any of that out, but it all looked pretty fun.

Despite my loathing of running in the heat, I will definitely do this race next year!  I've already recruited my fashion twin Luisa and I'm sure I can bully a few more friends into this as well.

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Weekly Chase #18

Last week turned out pretty well as far as my running goes.  I am having a hard time deciding on what plan to follow for my fall/winter marathons and I realized one of them started last week, so I just kind of went with that and will decide this week which I actually want to use.

My great week of running consisted of:

Monday - 3 miles + barre
Tuesday - 2.5 miles in 96 degree heat - 80s night with Lifetime Run! + barre

Wednesday - rest
Thursday - 3.1 miles outside
Friday - barre
Saturday - rest
Sunday - Too Hot To Handle 15k (Race Recap later this week) + barre

That's much as I love the treadmill, there was NO treadmill running again this week.  I am almost thinking I might do my *really* long runs outside again.  It was really run running around White Rock Lake again and I forgot what a nice oasis in the middle of the city it is.

So this week (potentially week two of marathon training) will consist of:

3 easy runs during the week + 9 miles this weekend

This week and last week have been so class taking up a HUGE part of my time.  I've really had to rearrange priorities.  Louis spent this past weekend back with his dad and while thinking it was a "free" weekend, it was far from it.  15+ hours of "awake" time were spent on a professional paper on asthma, something I thought would be "easy" since asthma is basically a huge part of my job.  Notsomuch.  The amount of detail and frustration were found in equal parts.  While I would have loved to run and go to barre on Saturday, I chose rest and academics instead.

This week, family comes first.  Louis is here for the entire week - YAY! - and we are trying to nail down a venue for our destination wedding.  With so many good choices, we finally made a decision, I think?

So that's the weekly chase!  Happy running!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Friday Five - Snapshots

Getting back on track with the 'Friday Five'.....I'm linking up again with the DC trifecta, Courtney @ Eat, Pray, Run DCMar @ Mar on the Runand Cynthia @ at You Signed Up For What?!, for the Friday Five.

This week's theme includes a lot of pictures and just a few (ok, maybe more than a few) words - Snapshots.

So here are a few from one of the best summers ever!

#1 - Yesterday pretty much made my week.  Louis is back!  After 3 L O N G weeks with his dad, he is back at home! YAY!!! Ryan and I got to tell him we are getting married - he was pretty excited...We have our own 3 weeks coming up with his a little later this summer and have some super fun things planned!

 I saved our Maui pineapple for his return - we L O V E pineapple! 

#2 - My favorite food this summer.  I seriously cannot get enough.  One night while I was doing grad school work, I ate a half a watermelon by myself.  Don't judge.  It was good.

#3 - Best place I've ever worked reunion.  After we got back from the best trip ever, we met up with this awesome group that I worked with for 7 years.  I left that agency almost 3 years ago and not a day goes by that I don't miss these ladies (and a few gentlemen).  These weren't co-workers, these were family members.  We laughed together, cried together, had babies all at the same time (5 of us were pregnant in 2006 and within 5 months of each other, we all had baby boys!) and did some serious work of the heart together.  


*LoVe* these ladies!!

my work bestie - Dana

#2 - My pretty Kayle girl.  While we were in Hawaii, we nearly lost her.  If it weren't for the heroics of my awesome pet sitter, Cherra, she probably wouldn't be with us today.  Cherra found her on her evening visit breathing so heavily her eyes were bulging and her tongue was purple.  She rushed her to the doggy ER.  Turned out it wasn't anything that required any kind of crazy treatment (they were talking plasma infusions for awhile), just A LOT of anxiety from the storms we had been having.  Kayle is my old girl and so dear to my heart.  I felt so terrible being away from her, but knew she was in good hands with Cherra and later Ryan's parents who kept a close eye on her, sent me daily videos and pictures the rest of the time we were gone.  Today?  She is back to her spunky, old girl self!

Her little bandage from her IV is still on her leg. 

#5 - My summer has been FILLED with books.  These books mostly.  

Advance Pathophysiology is officially kicking my a$$.  I have a very close relationship with that purple and black book.  We're close.  

Makes me long for this.

When can I go back?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Hawaiian Adventures - Surfing Goat Dairy

I was going to write a post about the road to Hana...I'll save that one and tell you about something fun we did on our last day on Maui.  We toured a working goat farm.

During the trip I had a couple of instances where I ordered something at a restaurant with cheese from this particular goat farm.  It was delish! and so that made me want to go here even more.

So on our last day, with several hours to kill, we trekked into the hills of the island to the Surfing Goat Dairy.

The goat farm is owned and operated by a German couple who came to Maui a little over a decade ago after deciding they needed a new twist in their lives.

When we arrived, it didn't look like much more than a few pens and a small sheds where they sold cheese.  There was a one hour "chores" tour at 3:30 and I was told this included being able to milk a goat.  Sold.

Our adorable guide for the tour (I wish I could remember her name!) had worked on the farm for a year and a half, moving from the east cost after hurricane Sandy.  You could tell she *loved* her job.

We visited the older babies and then another pen of moms who were being considered for the milking crew.  We learned that they all had names and their own baby book!  Adorable!

This is Pumpkin Pie!

We saw where they made their cheese products; they also made cheesecake and truffles (of course I had to buy some of them).

Then it was time to milk!  The goats get to chow while they are being milked so they all scamper to the milking line.  Watching them line up and get into position was hilarious.  They are actually super smart and like routines.

On a conventional milking apparatus (is that what they are called?) it only takes 2-3 minutes to milk a goat, but if you wanted, you cld milk one by hand.  After all the kids went first (I guess I had to let them go first or something...) I finally got to milk my goat!

After the tour commenced, we bought some cheese and truffles to bring home as well as my, what seemed like 17th, homemade lemonade of the day.

As I was walking out I overheard the tour guide telling one of the little girls that she could see the brand new baby goats....soon there were 2 little (one not so little) girls on her tour.

Just 5 days old!

There are actually over 100 female goats and 3 bucks that live on the farm.  There had already been over 100 babies born at the farm this year - the 3 bucks apparently take care of all of those ladies!

Other fun facts:  during a goat's first pregnancy, she will only produce one baby, subsequent pregnancies 2-3, with twins and triplets being very common.  Labor and delivery only last 30 minutes for them, but before you get too jealous...their babies are born with teeth!  Happy nursing!!

Seriously...if you ever get the change to visit Maui, you should make the trip up to the Surfing Goat Dairy.  It was a great tour with lots of interesting almost made me want to stay and work there!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Weekly Chase #17 - A Pep Talk To Myself

I don’t know about you, but I really enjoyed the short week! I had Monday off to try and recover from
Maui and then of course, the holiday was Friday.

I didn’t really meet any of the goals I had set for myself last week and the task of marathon training is
becoming quite daunting and intimidating.

This isn’t my first rodeo, but my weekly mileage has dropped so much since May, the eight mile run I told myself I *needed* to do Sunday felt like I was trying to run a full marathon. Thinking about not one, but three 20 milers in the next few months was making me feel like I couldn’t do it.

While I’m still reaping a TON of benefits from attending barre regularly, my cardiovascular endurance has diminished greatly. Earlier in the year 8-10 miles every run was pretty much the norm. I think the last time I ran 8 miles was before Mother’s Day! The 8 I did yesterday was difficult, I feel like I *barely* made it. I’m just feeling so unmotivated to run and feeling REALLY unsure of myself to get in all of these massive training runs before November.

I keep telling myself every week – I will increase my miles, I will increase my miles...and it’s just not happening. SO, before s#!+ things gets real in 2 weeks, I need to get real. Run my planned runs. Or suffer with exhausting, uninspired runs for the rest of the season.

So....for this week.

Monday – Barre in the am, but no run – Moms Night Out with MRTT – it’s a running club so it *counts* as something related to running, right?

No really, it’s just an excuse for me to eat chips and queso.

Tuesday – Barre + 4-5 miles

Wednesday – Rest Day – Louis comes back from his 3 weeks stay with his dad!!!!

Thursday – Run/bike ride for Louis to the snow cone stand – 4 miles

Friday – Barre

Saturday – Barre + 8 miles

Sunday – Barre

Total Mileage 16-17 miles. This is the same as last week, but with higher mileage runs. I have been
stuck in a run doing 3 mile runs here and there, which are not helping my endurance AT ALL!

SO! On to a new week, a new plan, a new attitude!

Do you ever find yourself in a running rut? Does it take you long to snap out of it?