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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

This pretty much sums it up.

Earlier this month I did go to, and finish, the Chickamauga Half Marathon. Worst time ever because I had to walk a lot of it. My heart rate is doing some weird crap recently and after about 6 miles every time I started to jog my heart felt like it was going to explode out of my throat.

Pleasant thought...

So since I really didn't feel like finding emergency help on the race course I just walked it and hated pretty much every minute of the last 6'ish miles. It was so freakin' cold that morning. While I had started to warm up in the first half (of the half) when I slowed down to walking I could feel the cold again. I'm almost tempted to buy my race photos because the look on my face is priceless. It pretty much says, "what is this crap?" Or stronger language was probably actually running through my brain at the time.

This morning on my Facebook feed I saw this article from Runners World. And I agree with every word and gif.

Monday, October 20, 2014

My non-Eminem version of 8 Miles

Nothing inspirational to write about but wanted to check in that I did one long run last week. One week after the half I got out to do a long run. I had no real plans - at least 4 miles but whatever felt fine.

After a rough start: "good God I forgot about those particular butt muscles", I got to about the 2 mile mark and then figured:

"Hey it's a nice day let's take this path which will put me at a 7 mile run."

And please understand that I'm very liberal with my use of the word "run". This weekend it was 5 minute jogs with 2 minute walks - until the end when sometimes I did 3 run/2 walk or just kept going because I was close to the end, and I had a good song on, and:

"For the love of God I was NOT going to let that girl pass me AGAIN...."

Apparently I have a lot of irreverent spiritual thoughts while I run.

But I did eventually talk myself into an 8 mile run/walk/whatever - which I have now decided I will abbreviate as "RWW" in future posts. Most of my splits were in the 13:30+ range. I didn't really care at all about time. My only plan for the next couple of weeks is to get long runs of 8-10 miles on the weekends and if I can I'll do some shorter 2-4 mile runs in the middle of the week. I don't have high hopes that I'll actually achieve these goals but there you go. Just for fun we'll say my race goal is to be under 3 hours.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Middle Half Results

Lack of posts equals lack of training. Plain and simple.

Since I last left you I have travelled a bit and started working again. Between my schedule, my husband's schedule, sinus headaches, and basic laziness there wasn't much training over the past several weeks. I did a couple long runs - which were enough to show me that I can walk/run for a long distance but I never did go further than 7'ish miles.

Then it started raining. All freakin' week with more scheduled for this morning. I still didn't back out. I was emotionally prepared to be much slower than my last 1/2 or to even DNF. But I got up this morning and was actually pretty excited to do the race. The rain wasn't too bad - there was a long section of misty rain but I didn't get too wet overall.

My plan was run 3 minutes, and walk 2 minutes. And that's what I did - after the first mile. I went ahead and jogged the full first mile at a 12 m/m pace. After that my pace varied between 13-14 m/m for miles 2-8. Then crept above 14 m/m after mile 8. I really, really, really felt the race from mile 9-13.1. I was close enough that I wasn't going to stop and give up, but it was no longer enjoyable - at all. I saw that I wouldn't be able to stay under 3 hours but in the end I wasn't too far past it - 3:02:something.

I got a little bit of food because I got super hungry on the race. I brought Gu Chomps (for energy) and had a half of an orange on the course but I was ready for starchy carbs.  And despite the name of this blog I did drink some Gatorade at half of the aid tables, doesn't mean that I like it any better. The food tent had pizza which I grabbed but I only took a bite. I overestimated my stomach's ability to actually eat after a long race. I did really enjoy a carton of chocolate milk however. Then I drove home to find my husband fighting the flu - or something like it - so my plans to stay in bed for the rest of the day were pretty much ruined.

Every time I do a half I really enjoy the first 6 miles, am still okay through 6-9, and hate the rest. And yet, I keep trying them rather than sticking with 10-15k races as my max distance.

I'm sore but can move with the help of ibuprofen. And I need to do some short runs this week and actually do a bit more training for the next one in November. Good lord, why did I sign up for two?

Friday, August 15, 2014

When you expect an iced soy latte and you get an iced chai latte (not chia latte)

I treated myself to Starbucks after my run this morning. I ordered an iced soy latte which, after a pumpkin spiced latte on a cool fall day, is my favorite coffee drink. It's not that I don't like chai lattes - they're fine in their own way. But I wasn't expecting a chai latte and when I took my first sip of that sweet/nutmeg'y taste I almost slammed on my brakes and turned the car around. Until I took a breath and realized it wasn't all that bad even if it wasn't what I wanted.

Kind of like my running.

Did you catch that attempt at being profound? Subtle eh?

Listen, there are lots of things that haven't gone the way I expected or wanted in my life. But if I give it some time I usually reconcile myself to the disappointment or frustration. And overall, I have a fantastic life. I just sometimes forget that when my focus is on the things I want rather than appreciating what I have.

As I went on my sssslllooooowwwwww long run today (7 miles) I was bogged down in the frustration of it being so difficult to do this, and was it even a good idea, and running in August is idiotic (even though it really wasn't that bad outside), and loads of other negative thoughts. Then I would try to get myself out of my grumpy mood by yelling at myself for being negative (mentally - I wasn't the crazy lady yelling at herself while passing/being passed by other runners/walkers). Finally around 3.5 miles into my run I finally came to a clear realization.

So what if my run/walk intervals meant going at almost a 14 m/m pace? I'm blessed enough to have the time and health to get out and run. Even if I'm not in a good place fitness wise to complete a half marathon at the pace I would like; at least I have something on my plate that pushes me to get out there and push myself harder than I would if I were just focusing on 5k's or 10k's.

I was still glad to be done with my run today but it made the second half more bearable. Also, 3:2's are intervals that I can do for 13.1 miles if needed. I'll be one of the last ones at the finish line but I could finish. While I still want to be a bit faster for race day at least I know I could do it.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Just because everybody hates it doesn't mean it's not good

Today was nicer. Lower humidity and lower temps. Nice to run in 70 degree temps instead of 90's. If you were to look at my GPS data you'd see I ran 10 miles today at an incredible speed. But then again I forgot to stop the GPS when I got back to my car....

I actually went 5 miles. Still in intervals but I went longer (13:3 more or less). Still a major struggle. Enough of a struggle that I had to start thinking that the October half may end up being a DNF or just super slow. So far the best interval combination that I've tried is a 4:1. So that's what I'll do on my long runs as prep. My shorter runs I'll still try to run longer intervals just to build up my endurance. It's just frustrating since I was able to successfully do the longer intervals back in June.

Even though I didn't sweat as much today I still went and picked up a BOGO deal for PowerAde. I dislike it almost as much as Gatorade but it does help me recover a little faster. But after taking a sip this morning after my run I immediately thought of this scene.

This is my reaction to drinking any kind of "sport's drink":

Monday, August 11, 2014

Me and Olaf in la la land

Actual picture of me today.
Aaaah August. You are so delightful with your high heat and higher humidity. Running during the month of August is everything one dreams of. It makes achieving your goals feel realistic. Like anything is possible.

And then I come back to consciousness from my apparent heat stroke.

Why August, why?

Four miles on the greenway today: two 10 minute stretches with 1 minute walking break in between and then it was off and on running. I pretended to run when I could - the pace wasn't any faster than walking but my gait was different - but walked a lot because it was just too warm and humid. With all of my walking (including warm up and cool down) it took 55 minutes. Looking back at my data I started off at a quicker pace than I thought I was going. It was between 10-11 minutes per mile. I was kind of following a pair of ladies that had gone past me while I was still doing my walking warm up. Unfortunately, they slowed to a walk so I lost my pacers. For my last stretch I was more at the 12 m/m which is really all I was aiming for during this weather.

But even though running is not fun nor rewarding right now I did actually weigh myself again. It had been a couple of weeks since I dared to look. During my July hiatus I was super surprised not to have gained any weight. I haven't been tracking my food and I snack when stressed, bored, happy, or sad - so you know anytime. But today, after running but also I had drank quite a lot to replenish as well, I was down 2 pounds. So I'm now at my goal weight for July - just a month behind schedule. Nine pounds to one-derland and I've had some fun buying slacks that actually fit - even when I sit down.

I had a weird spike over the weekend in the hits on here which made me go back and look at some of the posts that had been visited. It was good to look back and read the older entries and know I could get there again. If I can only get past August with it's 80% humidity days.

Plan is for 4 runs this week and one zumba class. Schedule should allow for it. Now back to chugging some more water.

Friday, August 8, 2014


Still trying to get on a good schedule. Missed most of this week due to back to school madness for the kids. Wait? Didn't they just finish school like 6 weeks ago? Yes, yes they did. The joys of ending school in CT and starting again in TN.

Sooooooo....... I went out today. It was hot and humid and nasty. And brilliant woman that I am, I decided to go 6 miles by running 4 minutes and walking 1. I started regretting this decision when I got to mile 3. The last 3 miles back sometimes had longer walking breaks. I was just so hot and had already blown through my water bottle. I refilled at a water fountain but knew I really should have had some Nu-un tablets or something since I was losing so much in sweat.

But in spite of the fact that it took me over 80 minutes to "run" 6 miles I instantly felt better about myself when I passed this guy:


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Why I'm against any kind of jumping exercises.

Every freakin' time.

Got through 22 minutes of running today. Only have to multiply that by 8 and I'm ready for the half!! Typed in my sarcastic voice. Actually it was a solid 22 minute run followed by a 5'ish minute walk and then another 10 minute run for a total of 3.5 miles.

I have a plan to increase my mileage over the next 11 weeks. On paper it works without killing myself or risking injury. My max long run before the race will be 11 miles. However, when I think of the work that needs to be put in my brain wants to stop me. Stupid brain.

My plan is to go slow and incorporate walk breaks. So my finish time will most likely by over the 2:40'ish range that I had before. I'm not too bummed about that knowing that in November I'll do the other half and will be much better prepared (and should be faster).

Went to Zumba again. Didn't like all of the song selections last night and definitely the moves were lower key so I know I didn't get the calorie burn that I like. Oh well, you win some and lose some.

No, that's not me at all... No.... not me.... nope.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Finding your path

As mentioned before, I got off track this month with the move and all. I feel like I'm slowly getting on board again although, it some ways it feels like taking a few steps back rather than forward.

Yes, this video really did happen - it wasn't all a bad dream.
I finally got up enough courage to do some outdoor running. A couple years back I would have been ecstatic over 80 degree mornings to run in but a winter up north has ruined that for me. However, it's not as bad as my newly sissified self believes it to be either. I got back to our local greenway (which was my main running route before for longer runs) and thankfully a large portion of it is shaded.

I'm slow and whiney and have to push myself to get through the week 5 routines of my old C25K program but the first step was getting over the "it's so hot!" mental block. It actually is going to be pretty nice here this week so I hope to get in 3 more runs before the end of the week. Since I've only done interval runs over the past few weeks my next run will be a 20 minute stretch (end of week 5 on C25K). If I'm feeling plucky I'll do a full two miles rather than 20 minutes. We'll see - the 8 minute intervals today felt rather long.

I'm not going to do every single day from week 6 forward. I'll probably just do one day each from weeks 6, 7, and 8 and then get back into the longer intervals that start in week 9. If I'm doing well there I might skip some days as well but we'll just have to see how quickly I can get back to where I was - if it's still a struggle then I won't skip ahead. Before I started the other 10k training program I was at the end of week 12. I feel like once I can run a full 6 miles again I can start looking at once a week long runs that slowly increase the miles and have shorter 4-6 miles runs on the other days. I'm starting a spreadsheet to plan it out. While the middle of October feels pretty far away there really aren't too many weeks left.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Three things Thursday

Because apparently this "Three Things Thursday" is a trend in blogging - which means I may do it once.

1) Taking a three week break from running and exercising means that when you do finally run again your whole body is like, "what the heck dude!?"

2) I now live very close to fast food restaurants again and we've spent an abnormal amount of time driving around this town running errands and looking at neighborhoods we might want to buy a house in. I have not tracked my food for three weeks either which means my indulgent self thinks I should eat much more often than I really need to.

3) As of last week I hadn't gained any weight which is a miracle - I haven't checked this week but don't expect the same results.

So I'm totally off the plan for the Up & Running group and I don't really plan on trying to jump in again. I did a 30 min interval run (5 min runs and 3 min walks, repeat 3 times) and it about killed me this morning. I know I can get back to where I was pretty quickly if I stay on track but jumping 3/4th's into a 10k plan that focuses a lot of speed work feels too overwhelming to me at the moment. I can also go back to Zumba classes (which I did once last week) so I plan to incorporate that twice a week into my schedule.

But basically since moving back to Tennessee my extremely laid back, choose your own schedule life has essentially disappeared forever so I need to make adjustments. I will most likely start working again within the next month or two and there's just a lot of stuff to get done while we look at settling back into a permanent life (rather than an 11 month vacation).

My focus is on getting my diet back in order and looking at building up mileage for the half marathon in October. I have no time goals at this point (which means that I'll start obsessing about it in September) so it's just about the mileage for me right now. So the rest of this month is to getting back to a 10k distance and getting used to running in warmer weather.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The best of intentions

Stupid germs. One more day until we're back in Middle TN and settled in our town again but I have spent the whole move with a bad cold/possibly turning into bronchitis/I can't really breathe thing.

Last Thursday (6/29) was my last run. I only got in two runs last week in between the busy-ness of traveling, finalizing packing, starting the move, and the sickness hitting me.

When I ran on Thursday morning I wondered why I just felt so weary. Later that afternoon was when my throat starting hurting and then it quickly turned to coughing. It's progressively gotten worse each day.

So all of those intentions to use the hotel gyms have been thrown out the window. I can only do two of these three things at the same time: Move, Be Sick, and Exercise. I still hope to get back on board by the end of this week.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Weekly Results: 6/16-6/22

I worked out on Monday (a double workout), Wednesday, and Thursday. Rested my weary muscles on Tuesday and drove all day Friday. Then walked a thousand, non-GPS tracked miles on Saturday and Sunday. I'm still on vacation until Monday evening but we have done a lot of walking, and a bit of hiking on our trip to Montreal. But I won't have a total mileage or calories burned for this week outside of what I did on M,W,Th.

Diet:Not so bad really. Even with vacation I've been splitting portions and behaving in general. Except for our trip to the Ben & Jerry's Factory in Vermont - free samples!! But they were small portions. I haven't been tracking my food very well this week so I may be under estimating calories so we'll see.

Weight:Before we left I was down 2 lbs. We'll see where I am once we're back.

Next Week:So, another weird week for my schedule (as will the week after this too). This is our final week in Connecticut and my family will be coming to help us out so we'll be taking them around New England for a bit of sight seeing. Once again, I will prioritize my 3 Up & Running workouts but probably won't get around to doing anything else outside of walking with the family at our various outings.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Is this a test?

Yes, yes it is.

So the final workout of week 1 of my new spiffy 10k plan by (Up and Running) was a 1 km speed test - see how fast you can run 1 km. But only after running for like 40 minutes before hand... And trying to squeeze it in before you leave on vacation but it was raining all morning so you have to do it at 1 pm when the sun is beating down upon you and you think you may just die even though it's only like 76 out there...

Yes, I whine - what else is new?

We were advised to do the test on a track or other flat piece of road - since there are no flat pieces of road around us I went to the track at UCONN which was not all that nice. Considering how nice a school it is and that both the men's and women's basketball teams won the national championships this year you would think it would also have a nice track field. But it doesn't. MTSU has a much nicer one - who would have thought?

Anyway, I digress (what else is new). I used my 30 minute warm up to find my way onto the field and ran around it a few times while sweating profusely.

Towards the end of my warm up a couple of people joined me on the track (which before only had some maintenance workers on it). One was a lovely girl in her young 20's (I assume) with a gorgeous athletic figure who warmed up by "jogging slowly" around the track - except they could have passed me twice in a lap with their slow warm up. :) I tried not to think too much about it knowing I can't compare myself to an actual track person who probably weighs 120. I just hoped she thought kind thoughts towards me. She was doing 200 meter sprints by the time I was doing my 1 km test. I made myself laugh by telling myself I was finally catching up to her when she would finish a sprint and walk slowly to cool down.
In the end, my 1 km test gave me a pace of 5:50 which translates to a 9:23 per mile pace (if I could actually run a full mile at that speed). I was very pleased with that pace since I was so worn out and hot. And my stomach was giving me back my lunch in the form of indigestion. I don't recommend eating a black bean burger before a hot run.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

I've had this EXACT thought

Whenever I start to feel sluggish on a run I think about the food I ate within the last 24 hours. It goes something like this:

Also, I've changed my hate relationship with the wind into a love relationship. Twenty mile per hour wind gusts feel much nicer on a 75 degree (F) day than a 40 degree day. Shocking, I know.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Weekly Results: 6/9-6/15

A good week for running and mileage. Three days of the old C2-10K runs, two days of shorter interval runs, one day of walking, and one day of the new 10k training plan. My speeds were decent this week but the weather was also much cooler so that always helps. Total mileage was 30.2 miles and calories burned were 5329. There was no cross training as far as doing my videos but the new training plan has various exercises in it that will work my muscles differently than just running.

Meh. Some days I started off well and then ended poorly.

Weight Loss:
On Friday, after my run, I was down 1.5 lbs but the weekend wasn't good diet wise and I haven't weighed myself again yet. If you ignore it, it's not really happening....

**Edit - eventually weighed myself and kept the 1.5 loss so that's 31 lbs lost total now. My goal was to be at 35 lbs lost by the end of this month. Not sure I'll get there.

Next Week:
I have my new plan now. The first week are some drills with speed work and other various interval training (I'll talk about it more in other posts). I have some commitments with the kids' schools (this is their last week) and we're traveling at the end of the week so besides the 10k training plan with Up & Running I probably will just be doing some walks or having "rest" days. "Rest" meaning "I'm busy with other things so I'll make myself feel better by calling it a rest day."

Sunday, June 15, 2014


So day one of the new 10k training plan. I chose to start it on Sunday rather than my normal Mondays since I knew I had some other obligations on Monday that might risk not doing the workout at all.

This first day had a warm up run, some skipping exercises, and then progression runs (start slow, end faster). I felt a bit skeptical of the skipping - I knew it was a good exercise but I also knew I might feel silly doing it, in public.

The warm up run was fine, nothing special. I went to some soccer fields that are fairly close to where we live. Thankfully only one part of the fields were in use so I was able to use the other part without a crowd watching me.

How I felt while skipping:
How I probably looked to others:

It was fine - definitely got my heart rate up much higher than my normal even paced running. Switching to the progression runs afterwards were much harder. Kind of like bricks in triathlon training where you go from the bike to running and your legs are like, "what the heck are you doing?!?" But they got back into the groove and I finished things up.

All in all, I got over 5 miles in and burned about 900 calories. So it was a good workout. Any skeptical thoughts I had beforehand can now be answered thusly:

Friday, June 13, 2014

Only a slight exaggeration

So this happened at the end of my run today:


Thankfully, the puddle wasn't that deep but still...

Rain, rain, rain, rain, rain - it does nothing but rain in New England. Don't get me wrong - I still love the cool, cloudy days. And since neither our condo nor the kids' schools have AC I'd rather it be in the 60's and rainy than sunny and in the 80's. But I am beginning to feel a little like this:

I've had good runs this week though, in spite of the rain. I went ahead and started week 12 of the C2-10K plan (on my Zen Lab app). The new plan with Up & Running doesn't actually begin until next week. Week 12 isn't that much different than week 11 - it's just 3 segments of 18 min runs with a 1 min walk instead of 17 min runs. I might be able to finish week 12 on Sunday depending on the weather (it's supposed to warm up again so if it's too warm I'll just do shorter intervals).

Today I burned myself out around mile 3 so that I had to take a longer walking break in the middle of the segments but I did add extra minutes of running to the end (ran 21 minutes instead of 18). I knew I was going faster because of my initial splits (mile 2 was 11:12 and 3 was 10:40) but it didn't necessarily feel faster while I was running. At least at first...

Whoa there Speedy Gonzales.

But after 3 miles my legs said no more. After a 3-4 minute walking break I started jogging again for the final segment but I thought I was going way slow (it was like jogging in molasses). My 4th mile split was 13:18 (which included the walking break) but my 5th was 11:05 so I must have sped up again but didn't really realize it mentally.

The circle is the longer walking break.

From what I can see for the first week of the new plan, there will be speed work involved. Which doesn't necessarily excite me since it pushes me out of my comfort zone but I know it is necessary so I'm trying to keep a positive outlook. My weekly mileage will go down for a couple of weeks but I think I'll be able to get it back up in July.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

3 Months Later...

So this past month hasn't been as stellar weight loss wise - only about 8 lbs lost. I've kept up with my exercise so we all know the culprit is diet plus my body is getting used to the exercise so it's just not burning as much as it did at first. I knew I would get to a slower point eventually though I had hoped I could get another 15 lbs down before it happened. But I'm still going in the right direction so I won't dwell too much on it except to remind myself not to snack as much.

Running has definitely improved. Both distance, time, and endurance. I've logged 147.69 miles over the past month (between both walking and running). I can run about 5 miles now - though I technically haven't done it straight through. My current C2-10K plan gets me about 5.25 miles with the warm up and cool down. But theoretically I know I could run 5 miles if I needed to. Like if Zombies were chasing me or something. Although, I hope they're slow zombies...

But I have sped up in general. My 5k results show that as well as a couple of other good runs. It's still slow in comparison to most people who run everyday but I am improving and that's all I really focus on.

While I have done some cross training I'm still not doing enough. I have no excuses - I'm just not doing the work.

Next month:
This will be the hardest month for me to do things. We move back down to Tennessee in a couple of weeks and the kids will soon be on summer break. My easy, peasy non-working schedule where I had from 8-3:30 to do anything I wanted will disappear - possibly forever since I am looking at working again. I do have plans to stay active but I know it will be harder.

The new 10k training plan will go through the next month (it's an 8 week plan) and that will be the most helpful with keeping me on track as I'll be accountable to a coach and group. Once we're in TN I'll have access to gym equipment again which I do hope will improve my cross training. But I'll also be dealing with heat and humidity so that will take a bit to get used to again.

The diet will be the hardest as we travel and transition from one house to another. So we'll just see how that turns out.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Why did I ever complain?

Now that it's June I get so happy to see a gray and cloudy day with an occasional chance of rain. Back in April this made me madder than a wet hen.

Monday's run was the final day for week 11 of C2-10k (3 segments of 17 min runs and 1 min walks). It had rained through most of the morning so it was closer to lunch time before I finally got out but it was still overcast and in the 60's - so lovely running weather.

I did NOT make the mistake of overdressing and I decided to run my normal course in reverse so that I hit the main hills at the beginning rather than the end. It was a brilliant run. Not as fast as last week's run but still in the 11's for my splits and my energy level stayed at a normal range.

Also, this past weekend I went ahead a signed up for another 1/2 marathon in October (so now I have one in October and one in November). The one in October is the same one I've done twice before. We'll just see if I properly train this year. The last time I ran it, in 2011, I was better conditioned because of my triathlon training but I hadn't done any real training for runs over 6 miles. I still finished the course without too much difficulty but I know it's within my grasp to get under 2:30 for a half if I put in the right kind of mileage leading up to the race. The 10K training is a good intermediate training to get me through the hottest months of the year and to work on increasing my speed and then I'll still have about 2 months to add on the extra mileage. So it's all realistic if I can just stay motivated.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Weekly Results 6/2-6/8

6 out of 7 days but everything was more low key this week. I had one great day of running (Wednesday) but otherwise everything else felt ho-hum. C2-10K runs on 3 days, walks on 2 days, and a shorter interval run 1 day - nothing on Saturday. Only one day of cross training. Total mileage: 25.74. Total calories burned 4610. I didn't finish week 11 of the C2-10K because the weekend was really warm. I had planned to just walk on Saturday evening but forgot about it once we had dinner and were in relaxation mode. On Sunday I could have finished week 11 but I went with shorter intervals since the weather was so hot.

Ha ha ha. Diet? Who's on a diet?

I've had far too many indulgences lately. To the point where I need to put myself on strict restrictions again to curb the impulse eating/snacking.

Only half a pound lost at my lowest weight this past week. It's bounced up and down with my diet indulgences.

Next week:
So by the end of this week I'll be starting the new 10k training plan with Up & Running. I won't get to know much about it until Thursday. I will finish week 11 of the older C2-10K plan but haven't decided if I'll try any of week 12 before the new plan starts. I may just stick with shorter intervals for now. The weather is supposed to stay nice for this week so I won't have as many issues with warmer temps.

All, in all, I'm glad I have a new plan coming up because I need more motivation to take the next step. My mental energy is drained right now and the heat makes it easy for me to come up with excuses to not push as hard. I don't think June will be my best month but I will keep plugging along.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Note to self...

Hey dumbass!

It's June now - stop wearing your jacket when you go for runs. I don't care if it does feel chilly in your house and the wind is blowing like crazy. You'll get too hot if you wear it.

Oh, you choose to wear it anyway? Well, don't blame me when you feel like puking on the side of the road after your last big hill.

Week 11, day 2 of C2-10K (still on 17 min runs & 1 min walks - x3). So overheated even though I unzipped the jacket and rolled up the sleeves. I also was having a hard time breathing today due to allergies and exercise induced asthma. When I go in for my yearly physical in July I'll ask my Dr. about a low dose inhaler that I can use on bad allergy days.

Even though it was the same distance & route as Wednesday's run, I felt like death today and was slower - all my splits were over 12 m/m. Sunday will be my last day for week 11 and it will be even hotter so I need to make sure to hydrate better the day before and won't make the jacket mistake again. I did finally get some biking shorts so that I could run in something cooler than capris. I can't do regular running shorts because of my thigh issues. So far, so good with the bike shorts. They're spandex and the length goes down to a couple of inches above my knee so there's no chafing.

My feet on the other hand just do not like my shoes. It's the same brand (ASICS Women's GT 2170) but a newer model of what I wore before with no issues.

But these rub on my heels like crazy and almost every run/walk I have bloody socks. I haven't had any other issues though with joint pain (like I got from a shoe a few years ago) so I can deal with investing a large portion of our income to Band-Aid purchases until it's time to get a new pair of shoes.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

I'm a winner!

On a lark I entered a give away at Shauna Reid's blog (formerly known as The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl - also a great book). One of her current projects is as the Community Director of the program/website Up & Running. They offer training plans and social media forums for new and seasoned runners. She had a giveaway for the 5k or 10k program. So I entered - normally the fee (in US$ is around $97).

How pleased was I to wake up on Wednesday and see a happy little email waiting for me saying I won one of the spots?!?

The 10k training starts on June 12th. I don't expect my overall format of training to change much from what I'm doing now - I'll just be using Coach Julia's program rather than my ZenLab 10K app. It's still 3 runs a week and cross training. I'm really most looking forward to the forum aspect of the training as I like to find good running communities but it's often hard as many people are just so much further along in their progress than I am.

I'll keep with my current training until the new one starts which means I'll finish week 11 and maybe a couple days of week 12. I just did my first week 11 workout (also on Wednesday) and it was brilliant. The weather was perfect - cloudy and in the high 50's. And I chugged along like I had all the energy in the world. With the warm up and cool down walks (both 5 minutes each) I made it 5.26 miles and my splits were: Mile 1= 14:05 (this includes the walking warm-up), Mile 2= 12:08, Mile 3= 11:22, Mile 4: 10:52, and Mile 5= 10:37 (at least 30 seconds of this was my cool down walk).

The times are among my best for my current running especially considering that I've added on distance. But it was the level of effort that really amazed me - while it wasn't easy breezy it also wasn't "please just kill me so I can be done" either.
So good news and a good run for National Running Day.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Race Report from a Different View

As mentioned in my Amica 5k recap, my kids came along and did their own 1/2 mile fun run. This is the first time either had done something like this. I first planned to have my son run the full mile but we never really did train him for running a longer distance without feeling like giving up so it was better to do the shorter distance and not feel so discouraged. My daughter was a last minute entry and I was more worried about her because she hates walking with us, let alone running. But she insisted and I was happy to have her try.

My son did well and my daughter ended up just walking most of the distance with me holding her hand (there was a bit of frustration on her part). But both of them finished which was the most important thing to me. They got a little medal and super kid capes to wear.

Here are their race reports (in their own words).

A. (my daughter, age 6):
Watching mommy run in the race was awesome! I got something even awesomer from the kid’s race. A medal!! And I got a pom-pom too. And when I saw mommy running in the race she was running so fast and sweaty. It was a great day. But that’s not all. Because it was so great playing at the playground. So we got up at 5:00 a.m. But I took a nap in the car on the way back. And we got McDonald’s for lunch! The playground was awesome too because it was fun playing around while waiting for the kid’s race. Even though I cried a bit… And I got a water bottle with the medal. So today was so great, really, really, really good. But the best part was when I saw mommy running the race. She wasn’t even in last place! Everyone had a great time. I even was feeding the birds. So it was great that I got to go there. Even though I had to wake up really, really early. It was great but tiring. But the greatest part was winning the medal and the water. So that was my day. I hope some other people have the same day as me when I’m older.

S. (my son, age 8)
In the race there was one part I loved the most; the part when I had determination. So really this is how it went. I was just finishing the race up when suddenly BOOM it felt horrible. There I was keeping my pace running ahead then I slowed down. I got courage and it felt like the light side in me was flooding the dark side and WOOSH I was sprinting as fast as I could, running in front again. A quick thought came to me I have never ever run this fast in my life. But then I lost it and slowed down. I got to the last part and I knew everyone behind me was trying to get in front. I got the feeling again and I sprinted to the finish. I felt tired but happy.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

More food products I love

I mentioned in a previous post that I don't eat a whole lot of meat. I don't ever plan on being a vegetarian since I do occasionally love a nice steak (or chicken wings) but I have no problem cutting down the amount of meat in my daily diet. I'm happy to get my protein from eggs, dairy products (especially cottage cheese), and legumes.

However, I'm not a big veggie fan. There are quite a few veggies that I enjoy but a lot that I can't stand and you'll never hear me proclaim, "Ooooh I was soooo craving zucchini and spinach today!!" I'm not that person.

Many of my lunches will include a salad, or sliced bell peppers and cucumbers along with either beans, or hummus, and some type of high fiber bread product.

I started off using the healthier dressings but I hated the taste so I usually indulge on my salads with one tbsp. of regular ranch dressing (half of the container pictured above). I use so much low/non fat stuff otherwise in my daily diet that it works out fine in the overall picture.

Nutrition count for the lunch pictured above (including string cheese and my daily vitamin)
But I get bored of eating the same thing all the time.

I used to always eat a frozen dinner (like Lean Cuisine or Smart Ones) while I was working since that was the easiest thing to take with me. But I got burned out after too many years of doing that. I tried a few within the past couple months but it's hard to find a variety I like that isn't too high in carbs or fat, and has enough protein. Also they have a ton of sodium as all packaged foods do.

So as a recent alternative I've been eating Morning Star "burger" products. It still provides the ease of a packaged product. I have had (and enjoyed) the original grillers and the spicy black bean burger. I'll eat one or two (depending on if I eat bread with it) and they are quite yummy.

Here are the nutritional stats on the black bean burgers:
1 burger patty
  • Calories: 110
  • Fat: 4
  • Sat Fat: .5
  • Cholesterol: 0
  • Sodium: 330
  • Carb: 13
  • Fiber: 4
  • Sugar: 1
  • Protein: 10
I eat it with, or without bread. If I include bread it's usually sandwich thins which are about 100 calories. Without bread, I have two patties and I'll just cut it up and dip it in ketchup or salsa/taco sauce.

They are best prepared by thawing in the microwave for one minute at 50% power and then putting in a pan on the stovetop for a few more minutes to finish warming up. If you use the microwave for the whole thing they are tough to cut and chew. You can use the pan for the whole thing but it obviously takes longer.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Weekly Results: 5/26-6/1

Did something all 7 days but one day didn't count for much since I ended it a little after 1 mile due to my bad mood. Total mileage was 26.47. I got 2 days of my C2-10K plan done (the 2nd day went a bit quicker than the first), 3 days of shorter interval running, and 1 day of that short walk. I think I only did one day of cross training this week so 4990 calories burned.

Diet:Not bad but not great either. It wasn't my focus this week and we ate out more this weekend which always means more calories.

2 lbs lost even with the diet not being too strict. However, I didn't get the loss until the end of the week. At the beginning I went up 1 lb. I was very glad when it came down 3 to give me my net loss of 2. I hope to lose 8-10 more lbs this month.

Next week:
Will finish week 10 of the C2-10K program and move on to week 11 which are 3 segments of 17 minute runs and a 1 minute walk. And back to trying to get more cross training. :) I start packing boxes this week so we'll just see how much time I have to get things done.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Amica Ironhorse 5k

All done. And it was done well.

Like always I woke up a few times in the night wondering how close to my 5:20 a.m. alarm it was (midnight and 3 am were a couple of the checks). I got everything ready the night before so I was ready with plenty of time. The kids weren't too tired/grumpy and we got out of our house around 5:55. After a quick stop at Dunkin Donuts (for the family's breakfast - mine was 2 eggo waffles; one with almond butter and the other with .25 cup worth of egg white and a sprinkle of mozzarella). And a second quick stop to get the water bottle out of the trunk for a thirsty child we were on our way towards Hartford. The directions I choose put us in the middle of the ghetto (well as ghetto as Connecticut gets) which made me worried for a moment and also ticked off at the amount of traffic lights we had to stop for. Once we got to Simsbury the traffic was backed up. There were a little over 2000 runners and the parking was filled up. We eventually found a spot that was pretty close to the 5k starting line but it was a decent walk over to where you were supposed to pick up your packets. By the time I got my stuff I had 20 minutes to wait in the port-a-pot line and then get back to the starting line. It took me over 15 minutes to get all that done but I was at the start line with no problems and put myself right at the back. My husband and kids stayed back at the playground where they had a lot of fun.

The half-marathon group started one minute before us (the 10K had started 15 minutes before that). Since I was at the back of the 5k group I did have to pass a few people at the beginning but plenty passed me too - I just couldn't always tell if they were 5k people or 1/2 people.

Mile one came up suddenly and I almost freaked out when my watch said 10 minutes. But I quickly realized that was the 1/2 marathon's first mile marker (they started further back than us). My first mile was clocked at 11:09. I was worried about that pace because I knew it would wear me out so I tried to slow down a bit. The second mile had more elevation change but it was really minor and didn't bother me too much. I got to mile 2 exactly at 23:00 (so that was slower with a 11:51 split). The last mile was mostly downhill except for one rise over a bridge. I must have been going much faster than I realized because I finished the last 1.12 mile in 11:22 (I didn't look at my watch at the 3 mile sign). Finish time was 34:22 with splits of 11:04 (so more proof that the last mile was much faster).

Post race with my kiddos.
The weather was perfect - sunny with no wind and right at 50F degrees at the start of the race. It was cool enough that I almost wore my running jacket but after my long wait in the port-a-pot line I knew I would be too hot in the jacket.  And I was quite sweaty at the end even though the majority of the race was in the shade. The views were beautiful but it seriously felt like it went by so quick - way quicker than any of my training runs.

We hung around for 2 more hours so the kids could do a fun run. That is my only complaint about the race. I wish they would have done that at the beginning so we didn't have to wait around so long. But I guess it's hard to plan the right time for that with three distances of races if all the parents want to be able to watch.

Now we're back home and I'm back to thinking about my 10k training. Which doesn't involve any port-a-pots.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

5k pre-race thoughts

I actually haven't thought much about the race this week besides grumbling about waking up so freakin early to get to it. I'm not a morning person. At all...

We'll need to leave our place around 6 am. I guess it could be worse but that's still far too early for my brain (and digestive system).

I've previewed the course on GoogleMaps and have read through all the instructions. The elevation changes won't be a problem with my recent hill running. There are three distances racing for this race: 5k, 10k, and a half marathon. The 10K goes first and the half leaves at the same time as 5k but they split the road for the two groups. I don't know how many people are expected but I did go through last year's results and only depressed myself to see how well I might do if I had my older speeds (28:40). I could have (theoretically) gotten 2nd place in the Athena division.

Which brings me to a side rant. Why is 150+ lbs considered "Athena"? I would be so skinny if I was 150 lbs... Easily a size 4 or 6 (my height helps...) I know pro runners are super tiny but these races are mostly ran by regular people. It ruffles my feathers the wrong way.

But I don't have the speeds of old so it's no use thinking that way. I'll aim to do solid 11:30 splits which puts me at 35:44. If I go faster than that I will bonk in the last mile. So the goal? Don't bonk.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Screw the plan, accomplish a milestone. Or all's well that ends well.

Writing this on Thursday but will post on Friday - to give you all (like the 3 or 4 of you) something to read before your weekend begins.

So when I last wrote an hour or two ago I was cranky. And while I'm still cranky, let's face it I'll be cranky for 3-5 days and abnormally hungry while we're at it, I feel a bit better about life in general.

After posting I put on my running clothes and got myself ready to hit the road. After an initial malfunction of the app on my phone I chose an interval segment that was run 5, walk 3, run 8, walk 3, run 5. After I left our complex (which is a 5 minute walk in itself) I decided that I would ditch my normal run route and do something different. It would mean more hills but I was in the mood for something different. This route is usually one I save for my long walks. It can either be about 4.5 miles or 6 miles depending on if I take an extra loop within one of the nearby subdivisions. It goes by a golf course and has lovely views and one killer hill along with several other smaller hills.

The first 5 min running segment was the worst. My legs felt like lead. But surprisingly once I hit the first of the hills I felt a bit better. I hit three more hills before the end of the 8 min segment and it was really at that point that I decided I would do the longer course knowing that I would hit the killer hill right after mile 3. The last 5 minute segment found me cruising down one side of the killer hill and into the golf course area. I decided to make it a 10 minute segment since that was a nice part to run along.

picture taken on a walk last week of the road by the golf course

After the 10 minute segment that particular workout was complete so I had to decide what I would do for the rest of the way back. After walking for about 5 minutes I picked a 3 part 5 minute run, 3 minute walk interval. I could judge, distance wise, that with those intervals I would be running on the killer hill.

Back in early April when I first started this "get back into running shape adventure" I entertained thoughts/goals of being able to run up this particular hill as part of a 10k run. So while I was only doing intervals it did excite my brain a bit to try running up this hill for the first time (I've ran down it on some of my previous runs but have always walked back up).

The hill covers a little over a quarter mile and can be split into two portions because there is a side street about 3/4 of the way up. The first 3/4 is not as steep as the last 1/4 but it's still a 8-9% incline and since it lasts longer it's much more painful than the last 1/4 of the hill.

So I started on my jog up the hill - I have no idea what my pace was because my GPS app had temporarily crapped out on me. I was slow though. It got really painful towards the end of that first portion and once I hit the side street I stopped for a walking break even though I technically still had one more minute left to run. The side street is just a cul-de-sac so I walked for 4 minutes down that street and back, and then started jogging again a little bit before I hit the second portion of the hill. I did better on the second portion as I remembered to engage my glutes and thighs a bit more and it's shorter so the pain ends before it gets too bad.

Because I felt good about jogging the hill and because it wore me out I decided not to do the 6 mile option and just cut it short at 4.5 miles. I finished the last 5 minutes of running within our complex which meant a couple more hills to climb but at that point they were nothing in comparison.

So I tackled the beast of the hill for the first time which was something I hoped to accomplish before leaving here. And overall it took me about 65 minutes total and burned 955 calories so I call it good even if I didn't stick to "the plan" for this week.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

I got nothing...

So unmotivated this week. I got in the C2-10K run on Monday (three 15 min segments) and it was slower than my 10 minute segments but I completed it. Tuesday I did shorter intervals (four segments of 5 min runs) for 2 miles and a walk for 2 miles. Wednesday I went out to do the C2-10K again but got into an argument/discussion with my husband (who went along with me) and turned around and came home and ate chicken wings for lunch.

So today, I'm trying to convince myself to get back out there. It doesn't help that the scale has nudged up a pound and isn't changing at all this week (because chicken wings are surely helping that situation rectify itself). That demotivates me rather than pushes me...

It's all hormonal - I know this but knowing that doesn't help, I'm still feeling blah.

So instead of potentially not doing anything today I will not push myself to do the 15 minute segments which make my brain angry to think about. I will just go out and do shorter intervals again and know that there's always tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Weekly Results: 5/19-5/25

The rain worked out just right that I was still able to get a daily walk or run in. Except that Sunday I woke up and just didn't want to do anything. So 4 days of running and 2 days of walking for a total of 26.49 miles. I once again was good with cross training at the beginning of the week but then fizzled out so I only got 3 days in: 4865 calories burned.

No big issues here this week. A little increase in calories at the beginning of the week but still fine considering my net daily allowance. I'm really beginning to enjoy almond milk (unsweetened vanilla flavor) as part of my daily diet. I don't have any issues with milk but skim milk is not my favorite. Sunday was also an exception on my diet. We went to the store and I just wanted a regular (meaning old habits) dinner instead of what would be better for me. So there was rice and bread along with steak kabobs and Skinny Girl Margaritas. While the calories for that day were too high (since I didn't exercise) I know it didn't undo the whole week so it's fine.

Weight Loss:
1.8 pounds. Getting close to one of my intermediary goals - I really had hoped to be halfway  (35 lbs lost) to my goal weight by the time we moved. At my current pace I will hit that goal. However, we have some travel plans and with all the mess and stress of moving I know there is the potential of hitting a bump. We'll just have to see how the next month goes.

Next Week:
C2-10K runs on Monday and Wednesday. Shorter interval runs on Tuesday and Thursday. And walks on Friday and Saturday to save up my legs for the 5k race on Sunday. I'll try to do some more Nike App workouts - they're good for me to do but I just don't look forward to them.

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Carlton Run

As I mentioned before I have now changed my C25K app for a C2-10K app and this week each run calls for 4 segments of 10 minute runs followed by 1 minute walks. I did the three days for this week on Monday, Wednesday, and today (Friday).

On Monday, I did well and finished each segment without too many issues and even jogged an extra five minutes at the end (where I had a downhill anyway). My mile splits were 13:16 (this included the 5 minute warm up walk), 12:17, 12:01, and 11:49. I was really happy with the negative splits since the second 2 segments included more rolling hills.

On Wednesday, however, things did not go as well. The main reason was the heat. Not that 65 is hot but it felt a lot warmer and the sun was beating down on me (seriously I'm going to die when we go back to TN). The first two segments were just like Monday but at the end of segment two I took a 2 minute walk instead of one minute which made segment three just a 9 minute run. And segment four was probably only a 6-7 minute run because I felt so awful.  My mile splits for this day were: 13:26, 12:03, 13:14, and 16:44.

So today, I wasn't looking forward to my run (jog, whatever). It is a lot cooler with overcast skies so that was a positive. I indulged on a bit more calories and carbs with my breakfast. But I still headed out with a grumpy outlook.

The end of my first 10 minute segment puts me around the 1.25 mile mark which is about a 25 foot drop on a hill that ends in a cul-de-sac and therefore I have to turn around and run right back UP that 25 foot incline. Since my 10 minutes were up just as I was descending the hill I thought I am going to keep running an extra minute and have my 1 minute walk as I go up the hill. It was a good choice. I still went the full 10 minutes for the next segment and I had gotten further distance wise than I did on Monday so I knew I was doing well. Segment three wasn't all that fun as I started mentally bargaining with myself on how I was going to use that extra minute of running that I gained. Would I give myself a 9 minute segment? I decided to still go the full 10 minutes on segment three and to save the extra minute for segment 4. But as I got to segment 4 and hit the last uphill WAY before the segment ended I kept going for the full 10 minutes (since I was going downhill it was way easier). I was able to negatively split again and the times were better than on Monday: 13:52, 11:53, 11:35, and 11:31.

So I felt a bit proud of myself.

Next week the plan calls for 3 segments of 15 minute runs with 1 minute walks. I probably will only do 2 days of it and wait on the 3rd day until after the 5k on the 1st. That way I can rest up my legs a bit on Thursday and Friday. I still don't know what to expect time wise for the 5k. Around 35-36 minutes is my prediction if all goes well. If it's faster than that I will be ecstatic but I don't think it will happen. And there's a good chance I will go over 36 minutes as well. So we'll just have to see.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Cross Training Spotlight - Nike Training Club App

I'll try to be coherent as I type this but I am worn out. My arms are kind of shaking and my abs hate me.

I saw the Nike Training Club app (free) mentioned on some site a few days ago and so I downloaded it to my iPhone. Basically they have several individual workouts you can download or you can go with a 30 day program that focuses on a particular goal (such as losing weight or gaining muscle). The 30 day program I picked has two days of 30-45 minute exercise sets, two days of running, and one day of yoga. I'm focusing on those exercise sets to push me to do exercises I wouldn't voluntarily choose to do. Such as burpees.

It would be fair to say that there were several minutes that I hated in this set (planks, push-ups, leg lifts - all evil). So it must be worth while... The real challenge will be making myself do the next set.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Another favorite recipe - Biggest Loser Pancakes

I love me some pancakes. We make them every Sunday and I always want to order them if we go out to breakfast. I know recipes made from scratch taste better but I usually use Bisquick. I use the Heart Healthy version which is a lot better for you than original Bisquick - the original has transfat in it.

But even the Heart Healthy version still isn't really all that good for you so this was one of the first "healthy food" recipes I pinned from Pinterest. I've seen several different pins from various websites for this but Butter with a Side of Bread is where I saw it first.

pic taken from http://www.butterwithasideofbread.com/2013/04/the-biggest-loser-pancakes.html

This only requires 5 ingredients: oatmeal, cottage cheese, egg whites, vanilla, cinnamon, and sugar (or sugar substitute). I didn't worry about adding the optional chocolate chips.

I've made them twice and like them a lot. My children do not like them. They definitely have a different texture than my normal Bisquick pancakes but they're SO much better for you and have a ton of protein per serving.

Here is the nutritional breakdown with fat free cottage cheese and regular sugar:
Batch can make up to 12 pancakes so this is for 1 serving (out of 12)
  • Calories: 56
  • Fat: 0.7
  • Sat. Fat: 0.1
  • Cholesterol: 2
  • Sodium: 96
  • Carbs: 7.4
  • Fiber: 0.8
  • Sugar: 1.9
  • Protein: 5.2
I don't feel bad about eating 3-4 servings of these unlike my regular pancakes where I can only eat 2 and then have to go run them off.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Weekly Results: 5/12-5/18

The weather worked out so that I got some type of run or walk in for all seven days. 30.45 miles logged and 5630 calories burned. Completed week 8 of C25K (3 days), ran intervals on 3 days, and walked 1 day. Strength training for 4 days: 2 days of ultimate sculpt and 2 days of abs.

Did a bit of carb loading mid-week but stayed within calorie allowances. It was more real hunger than emotional eating so I'm ok with that. Did the chia seed thing but reduced intake since it was a gastric mistake to start off with such a sudden increase in fiber.

Weight Loss:
I'll keep last week as two pounds, which by the scale is what it was. This week I was down 2 lbs by midweek but it floated back up one lb by this morning's weigh in. Sooooooo close to getting into the 2-teens. That's still way above my old weight (lowest was 175) but considering where I started two months ago it excites me. I know that clothes size wise once I get down into the low 2-teens I'll be able to wear all of my size 14 clothes and some of my more generous 12's.

**Update - after my workout this morning I weighed again and I was down a full 3 lbs from last week. So at 219.2 I am down 25 lbs and into the 2-teens. Since this reflects some water loss I know it will float up again but I always claim my lowest weight. :)

Next Week:
I looked at the Zen Labs app for a C2-10K program and if I start off on week 9 (since I just completed week 8 with the 5k and the steps are exactly the same) I would go back to intervals but much longer. Such as week 9 day 1 is run 10 min, walk 1 min (repeat 4 times). I'm confident in my ability to do that at this point so I think I'll stick with that. At some point I want to change up my weekly schedule to fit in a long run and shorter tempo runs but for now the app thing is working for me so I'll stick with it. Same plans for cross/strength training. Will try to get in two reps of the ab workout - I despise ab workouts so this will be a test of my brain over body.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Ohhhhhhh what a beautiful morning.... Nope, no it isn't.

So today we woke up and the rain was over, the sun was shining, the birds were singing, and the bugs were buzzing around again. Perfect morning for a run.

Or so I thought.

I had a lovely breakfast of oatmeal pancakes (maybe I'll post the recipe in a later post) and got out there with every intention of finishing week 8 and running another full 3 miles. I started off with no issues. Got out of our complex and decided to run a different route, since it was such a nice day and all.

Got through the first mile which involved two large hills and thought, hmmm maybe taking a different route was not the best idea. Got to 1.5 miles and started up the next large hill and my legs effectively said, "screw you" and I had to slow down to a walk until I got to the top.

Perhaps running intervals for 6 miles on Friday had something to do with my leg revolt... Perhaps...

Made myself start jogging again and did, in fact, make it up another hill and passed the two mile mark. At this point I knew I would only finish the minimum of 3 miles and not go further which I normally do. To get back home I either had to choose a long, steady incline or a short, sharp incline. I decided to do the shorter one and walk the worst part of it. Right at the top the back of my left knee started to cramp up. I tried a quick stretch which made it feel worse but since I was on a downhill I started my jog again and it was okay. I made it the rest of the way to mile 3 without further problems but I was wiped out.

Circles are the walking portions
My splits were 11:45, 12:23, and 12:40. The last .4 mile of walking to get back to our house took over 8 minutes. The stairs to get upstairs to shower and change clothes was like Mt. Everest. The nap I took afterwards helped.

When I ran intervals on Friday I was loving life and running but today....

Friday, May 16, 2014

In which I swallow several bugs.

When we first moved to Connecticut it was August and lovely. Sometimes hot but hot here was much cooler than hot in Tennessee so we enjoyed long evenings on the back deck and pretty drives around the country side.

Our part of CT is really rural and it seems like hardly anyone lives here but there are plenty of houses tucked up in the trees. And occasionally a great red barn.
But then, after a gorgeous fall, winter came and it looked like this for several months.
It didn't thaw until March - when I started this journey and was able to walk along the roads again without snow boots. It stayed cold and spring took a really long time to arrive and for the trees to come back to life. In TN that starts in March but it didn't really start here until the last couple of weeks. Now it's consistently over 60 degrees and almost all of the trees have started growing their leaves again. Once again I'm in awe of the massive amount of greenery around us. We moved to middle Tennessee from Arizona so the greenery in TN compared to AZ was amazing but now when we go back to TN we joke that it's going to look almost barren.

Foggy spring run
Of course with all of this greenery comes allergies (which means mouth breathing while running). And lots of rain. And bugs (which along with the mouth breathing comes bug inhalation). Life can't be perfect after all.