Wednesday, February 29, 2012

WIAW and February miles

I'm linking up again with Jen at Peas and Crayons for another installment of What I Ate Wednesday. I did ok this week with remembering to take pictures of my food however they are all with my cell phone so the quality isn't that fabulous. And of course just like last week there are a few meals that didn't get photographed because I was just too hungry that I forgot to whip out the camera. Oops.

I was up this morning at 5:20 and headed to the gym to get my 5 mile run done. The only food I had prepped before hand were my snacks so breakfast this morning was on the fly. I didn't want to grab fast food and knew I would need more than the boiled egg whites I had planned so here's what I had...

[caption id="attachment_1092" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Clif Mojo White Chocolate Macadamia, Pink Lady apple and Grande Blonde Roast"][/caption]

Lunch today was a work outing so I didn't take a picture of that since I didn't want to explain to three men WHY I was taking a picture of my food. So, here is a picture of what I had yesterday which really should be a huge surprise since it is something I eat often but my lunch was chock full of delicious veggies.

[caption id="attachment_1093" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The "Kimert's Salad" with a Pink Lady apple and raw sugar snap peas"][/caption]

And because I didn't picture it I will at least share what I did have for lunch today. We went to a nice restaurant in town and I ordered the Lemon-Lime Chicken with baked squash and creamed spinach. I only ate half of the chicken breast (which was marinated and grilled in a lovely lemon-lime marinade) and less than a half cup of each of the sides. I have my leftovers saved for tomorrow.

My snacks today included a banana, nectarine, almonds (not pictured) and boiled egg whites. Towards the end of the day I was a little hungry and also had a small bowl (about an ounce) of raw sugar snap peas with a tiny (less than tbsp) of ranch dressing. Here is what I remembered to snap a picture of...

And because yesterday was my birthday I felt it appropriate to be honest again this week and show you the treat I indulged in. And all I can say is thank goodness my husband only bought a small cake!

I knew last night what I wanted to have for dinner tonight and was excited all day about it. I love breakfast. And by breakfast I mean REAL breakfast which to me is eggs and bacon! So, tonight my husband made eggs, bacon, ham and turkey sausage and toast! I had 2 eggs and one egg white, one small piece of ham, 2 slices of bacon and one slice of toast with strawberry jam. Sounds like a ton of food but it was low cal and full of protein! I also didn't get a picture of that because I was starving since I worked out twice today all I could think about was getting that yummy food right in my belly!

February Miles
Now that we've gotten the food out of the way I wanted to go over my mileage for February! I am not sure I ever posted January mileage (123 miles total) but decided I would start listing my monthly mileage at the end of the month before I decide on the next month's goals.
February mileage - 151 total miles! I can hardly believe this number! It's huge (for me) but I suppose that's what marathon training is for...huge mileage! I feel so good and so excited about this number. So far for the year I am at 274 miles. IF I continue on this way I will be at my goal of 1000 miles for the year again in 2012. How awesome would that be!?

Tomorrow starts a new month. Have you decided on your goals for March? Stay tuned... I plan to post February in review and March's goals tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Oh Happy Day!

Today's training plan called for a run but again...
I went off my plan. Why??
Well, it's my birthday and I even though I LOVE running I wanted to make time for me to do something else I love at the gym. I knew I wouldn't be able to go to the gym twice nor would I have time before work to squeeze in Spin class plus a run so the decision to skip my run was easy. I know I can run 4-5 miles so I don't feel like missing another little run is a huge deal.

So, my plan to ring in my 33rd year was spin class. Great decision! I loved starting my day with 15.53 hard miles on the spin bike. The instructor was great and the class was fun. Plus it was nice knowing I had been missed in class the last month or so. :D One of the older men from class stopped me last week during my run and asked where I had been and that I'd been missed. I explained to him my training schedule for the marathon and told him I was so paranoid of hurting myself in spin because that's just one of those classes I just go all out for and it's hard to scale back. He understood. When I showed up for class today both L and B said they were glad I came! So nice. They try making me feel good by saying I liven the class up when I sing to the music. DO you know how hard it is to sing and spin? That takes some true talent. haha


After spin class I went to work. Boring birthday spent at work but at least it was mildly quiet.
My husband and kids planned to take me out to dinner. We had a decent meal at O'Charley's in town before heading home for gifts and cake.

Gotta give it my husband this year. He totally outdid himself on my birthday gifts.

[caption id="attachment_1087" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Purple Sparkle skirt from Team Sparkle"][/caption]
A new purple Sparkle skirt from Team Sparkle to wear with my Team Tough Chik jersey for my first 26.2 in April. And I am happy to report that it is a size M which is a huge change from the size XL I wore when I sported the Pink Traveling Skirt by Team Sparkle back in 2010. And no, I won't be sporting my Sparkle Skirt with my jeans again I just had to try it on for picture purposes. haha

[caption id="attachment_1088" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="BIb and medal hanger"][/caption]
My awesome husband made with his own hands this wonderful medal and bib hanger. This is the best gift ever. I told him tonight that I wasn't sure he ever made anything for me (other than a meal) and I love it. Funny story, Sunday I was out at Michael's buying supplies to make a hanger of my own because I was bored. He text me to see what I was doing and I said, "at Michael's buying stuff to make a medal hanger."

Here is the next line of texting-
Him - no you're not
Me - excuse me?
Him - you heard me

Not knowing exactly how to take it I told Annabelle we should put the stuff up and just get the other stuff we came in to buy. I casually asked her if she knew something I didn't to which she replied, "I can't say a single word or Daddy will just kill me!" Ahhhh secrets! lol So, my husband text me again, "I guess it's ruined." Nope, it wasn't because Annabelle wasn't breathing a word and I let him know that. I think we were both pretty proud of her for being able to not spill the beans. I had a small clue of what might be in store for me today as far as gifts goes but I had no idea how great it would be. And now I can't wait to keep adding my bibs and medals to it!

And of course to finish off my birthday there was cake! I'm very happy to say that 33 has started off as a great year and I am a very happy runner girl.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Motivational Monday

As I was leaving the gym tonight another lady says to me, "I'm going to run fast like you one day. I wanna be just like you. You make it look so easy." I smiled, of course, and told her thank you. Then I went on to tell her that sometimes it isn't easy even if it looks that way but that I push myself beyond those easy limits so I can reach my goals. I mentioned to her that she COULD run like me and told her to just start. I mentioned Couch to 5k to her and in the next sentence she says, "Ahh but I think I need to get some weight off first."

That's when I had the opportunity to tell her my story. I started running just a few short years ago weighing 237 lbs. I ran my first 5k in barely BARELY under 49 minutes. Today I was doing a 3 mile recovery run after running 18.5 miles on Saturday as part of my current marathon training plan. I told her that to date I have lost 82 lbs. One step at a time and a little (or a lot! lol) of slow weight loss took me from a 5k to having ran 4 half marathons and on my way to crossing the finish line of my first marathon.

She congratulated me on my success and I thanked her. We walked into the locker room together and talked some more. This was my opportuniy to reach out and help someone. So, I did. I told her that anytime she wants to just go out and try to let me know. She told me how her goal is to be able to run a 5k. She said she sees me every evening I am there and admires me. She said that I motivate her.

This made me feel really good about what I have done because she sees me as the successful girl I am today not as who I was 3 years ago when I started this journey. She is who I was just a few years ago. I told her I would love to help her reach her goals and she smiled and thanked me. I encouraged her to go for it.

Sometimes the very thing that motivates us that have been at this thing for a long time is the newbies who say we motivate and inspire them. Sure, I want to do great things for me and my body but knowing that other people look to me as motivation and inspiration makes me want to work that much harder. I've said it before how knowing that others look at my progress or success makes me want to work harder and make extra sure I don't fail. I don't want to fail myself but I definitely do not want to fail others.

What I want for others is for them to also work hard and reach for the dreams and goals. If I can inspire or motivate one person to work hard and reach their goals then I have succeeded beyond what I could ever imagine.

I have hard days. I have days when my runs and workouts feel effortless. The are times, even all these years later, that I lack motivation. Today I got an extra dose of motivation to keep moving forward.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

BAMR 18.5

I love Saturday's because they're long run days. I love the long distance runs as much as I do the short distance runs. My training plan this week called for an 18 miler. My friend, M, was scheduled to run 20 miles today and I had decided that if I could hold up I too would just go for 20 since I was meeting her to run.

I met M and her friend, A, at 10:15 this morning at our local greenway. We ran there last week and decided it was flat enough with as many inclines as we liked for a long run and was long enough to get in the distance we would need. We ran pretty speedy (for me) last week and had decided if at all possible we would try to slow our pace to a 10:15 min mile from the beginning of our run. It sounded like a good plan anyway...

We arrived on time, got our gear all ready to go and M snapped this lovely pre-run picture.
[caption id="attachment_1075" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Badass Mother Runners!!!"][/caption]

I was very happy M thought to take a pic of us pre-run and even mentioned that I did bring my camera and wasn't sure how they felt about appearing on the blog but thankfully they both didn't mind. So, I stole the pic M took! ha Thanks girl!
Must say we look pretty darn great (even if it is before that killer run!).

The first 5 miles were great. We were moving at a great pace. At the cut off back to my gym I requested a quick potty break...just in case. Once we got there we all agreed this was a smart move. The next chance wouldn't come up until around mile 8-9 or so. We took the time to fuel up and potty. The first 5 mile splits are:

Mile 1 10:01
Mile 2 9:35
Mile 3 9:34
Mile 4 9:41
Mile 5 9:40

We left my gym and were on our way within a few minutes. I knew my husband was out running his long run today too and made mention that I was surprised we hadn't seen him in passing but I really wasn't sure what route he was running. I didn't see him in the gym but knew he was there as I joked to the girls about his "beater truck" in the parking lot. He'll appreciate that. haha Around mile 5.5 a guy was behind us and passed us. He/we/they all chatted it up about our long run and if we were planning to run Knoxville. Nice to meet friendly runners along the way. And just like that there was my husband running towards us. An even better site (to me)! He high fived me. We all threw our arms in the air and said, "We're winning!!" and "Yay us!!" Such fun, happy runners! Around mile 7 was a "short but ugly" little hill. One that in the past I have always taken pride in walking. haha So glad that I have become strong enough to power up it, both going and coming! We agreed to take another quick refuel/water break around mile 9 (I think) so the next few miles splits are...

Mile 6 9:26
Mile 7 9:40
Mile 8 9:55
Mile 9 10:18

We did take a brief bathroom break when we hit the next bathroom right at 10 miles. I took this time to also check my cell phone since I knew someone had text me. It was my husband. I can't remember what he text me but I remember texting him that were halfway done and he text back, "Great job." I love that he is so supportive and encouraging to me through all this crazy training.
We were all back on our way within a few minutes. We agreed to go out a little further rather than turn back there. A wise running friend once told me it's better to go out a little further and be a bit over the miles for the day than to turn around and go back risking coming up a bit short. Plus it's always hard seeing the car and running past it! Smart to move forward. Miles 10-13.1 are worth giving the splits for...

Mile 10 9:59
Mile 11 10:02
Mile 12 10:02
Mile 13.1 10:11

I started feeling a mental struggle around mile 11. I have NO idea why because I have ran 4 half marathons which means I have ran my fair share of 10+ mile runs. Sure not all of them have been great. There have been mental struggles but usually they come and go and you know at 11 miles your run is almost over. Today I knew how many miles I had before me yet. It was tough. My legs were fine, breathing was fine and pace was fine. But something was plaguing my mind. I still have NO idea what it was.
Around mile 12 though M turns to me and says, "Looks like you are going to PR the half. What was your Straw Plains time?" I looked at my Garmin and indeed, I WAS going to PR the half (13.1) of this training run! My PR at the Straw Plains half just 2 weeks ago was 2:09:31. We hit 13.1 during this run at 2:08 something. Not a PR by a lot but still something to be super proud of. And I was (am). We stopped just a little after that to high five and celebrate with a little refuel/snack/water break. I took this time to stretch out and finish up a little bit of my Honey Stinger waffle. I also drank Strawberry Nuun on this run. So, at this point I was getting close to being finished with what bit of Nuun I had in my Amphipod bottles.

I recall around mile 14 beginning to feel sick to my stomach. Not my usual stomach issues but like I was going to vomit. I have no idea if this was because I had drank so much water and Nuun or the fact that I had eaten the whole Honey Stinger waffle during this run, which is something I hadn't done before. Usually by the end of a longer run I find that I have only had half the waffle but since we were running a lot longer today and I was extra hungry I had managed to eat the whole thing by 14 miles. There was a water fountain around mile 15 so we decided to stop then and fill up our bottles. I stretched some more and got more water. We were back on our way. The girls asked if I thought about whether I was going to go in for 20 or stop at only 18. I had no idea really.

I knew I wanted to finish the 20 miles but my plan called for 18. Tough call really. I knew at that moment how I was feeling but we decided I didn't have to make the choice at that point what I needed to do. I wanted to get to 18 first before deciding. Around mile 16 things got a little quiet and once I hit 16.75 I was excited to hit another distance PR. We continued running but around mile 17 I needed a walk break so I wussed out and walked a hill. The girls were great the whole run (they've both ran marathons before..way faster than I ever plan to run one) about asking how I was feeling and if I was ok. I am very appreciative for that! A turned her music on her phone around 16-17 miles which was a huge help. Both girls carried their music to help push through those last couple of miles that become challenging. I didn't think to bring music with me so I was happy A turned hers on for us!

I won't lie and say I didn't struggle the next few miles to the finish. The girls asked again what I was thinking about doing. I knew at just over 17 miles I wanted to make it to at least 18 and consider that good enough for the day. I honestly thought I was going to be sick and just didn't want to end my run that way. I made it to 18 and really really really wanted to stop and walk back in. I considered it, even stopped my Garmin and started to walk but the girls were pulling away. At that point I said, no.. go, run it in. They rooted for me too and that felt great.

I managed to make it to the car at 18.44 but no way could I end another training run on a weird number so I decided to run circles around my little car until I hit 18.5 miles. The splits from 14-18.5 look like this...

Mile 14 10:38
Mile 15 10:02
Mile 16 10:25
Mile 17 10:30
Mile 18 10:17
Mile 18.50 10:56

18.5 miles (3:05:22) overall pace 10:02 min mile

Overall, I am pleased. I have gone back and forth all day beating myself up for feeling defeated. I've gone from being happy that my legs carried me another 18.5 miles to being frustrated with myself for not being the TOUGH CHIK I am and hanging in there another 1.5 miles. But at the end of the day I am satisfied, happy, and proud that I ran beyond the miles (again) that were scheduled on my training plan. I could have easily given up when I was struggling mentally at mile 11. I had my phone. I could have called and begged my husband to pick me up on the greenway. I could have done the same at mile 14 when my stomach was turning flips. But I didn't. And honestly if I know M and A (and even my husband) not a single one of them would have let that happen. And believe it or not I would not have let that happen.

I'm tough. I'm determined. And no matter what it takes I will NOT quit. Tough runs happen and through those tough runs TOUGH RUNNERS are made! I (and M and A are) am one...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Change of plan

I like training plans. I like having something there in black and white telling me what I should be doing on certain days. My current training plan has me running 4 days a week with one cross training day and 2 rest days. I run Tues, Weds, Thurs and Sat. I cross train on Mondays and take Friday and Sunday as rest days. This works for me.

This week's training plan was suppose to look like this:
Monday - cross train
Tuesday - 5 mile run
Wednesday - 8 mile run
Thursday - 5 mile run
Friday - rest
Saturday - 18 mile run
Sunday - rest

So far this week has actually looked like this:
Monday - BodyPump plus elliptical
Tuesday - 4 mile run (38:04)
Wednesday- BodyFlow plus elliptical
Thursday - 5 mile run (48:53)
Friday - rest

This week is the first in my training plan that I have not completed a scheduled workout. I knew Tuesday night even AFTER I packed my gym bag and got my clothes ready for the next day that I was not going to run 8 miles as scheduled on Wednesday. Something wasn't there. But I tried to convince myself before bed that I was going to get up and go for it anyway. It was on my training schedule. I had to.

But the alarm went off...all 3 of them actually.. and all I could do was lay there. My husband tried his best to convince me to go but I said, "I just don't feel it. I'm not burnt out. I love to run. I just know that I cannot go and run 8 miles this morning." Saying the words I can't was hard. It's not something I enjoy saying. It doesn't make me proud. I told him something just didn't feel right with my body. He said to me, "If you need to rest, rest. Your body needs it, so take it." Myabe he didn't say those exact words but it's close to what he said. And he was right. I slept instead of going to the gym to run my 8 miles.

All day Wednesday I was hard on myself. I mentally beat myself up for being a loser and not sticking to the plan. I went back and forth about what exactly my plan would be since I wasn't going to run the 8 miles. Should I run? If I did run how many miles could I safely squeeze in before going home? I say safely because my mid week mid distance run isn't a speed run but one I like to run at "race pace" or a little slower but not quite as slow as my long slow distance runs. Anyway...
I was not going to run. Not even a mile. I checked the gym schedule and saw that BodyFlow was on the schedule and I could make it after work. I love Les Mills classes. I take BodyPump often (well, right now only once a week) and have had great results.

BodyFlow is described as "a fusion of yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates that will calm the mind while lengthening and strengthening the body. Stand taller, feel stronger, gain flexibility and be more aware of your mind and body." You can also read more or see video example of BodyFlow here.
It definitely sounded like something I was interested in and could use on a day like yesterday. So, my plan was to go and do some cardio (elliptical) and then make it to BodyFlow.

I actually went to BF first because there wasn't enough time to hop on the elliptical before class. The class was really great. I haven't ever really done a great deal of yoga but know a few basic moves. The same goes for Pilates. I have never done any Tai Chi but it has enough interest to me especially now that I have taken BodyFlow. The class was an hour long and started with some basic yoga moves and breathing exercises for the warm up. It then moved into some more difficult yoga and Tai Chi moves with some pilates and after a few minutes I was totally working up a decent sweat. Sweat is good. I think the raised heart rate and sweatyness lasted a bit before we started the calming aspect of class. This was my favorite part. I won't say I have been particularly stressed but was definitely stressed yesterday because I had gone off my schedule. It was still bugging me.

For the calming portion/cool down of the class the instructor turned the lights to dim. She took us through some relaxing techniques and before I knew it all that stretching and bending made me feel as though my body had turned to mush. I felt 100% better about my whole day. I no longer felt the need to berate myself for missing my 8 mile run, for going off my plan and doing something completely different. I wasn't concerned at that point about not logging the total mileage for the week that my training plan called for. I was happy and confident again.

I've been told over and over again to listen to my body and for the most part I do that. There have been times in doing that when I have still let the mental battle get me down. I'm glad that yesterday I listened to my body and ignored the "haters" within that tried to once again beat me down. Those voices become so powerful some days and try so hard to make me feel more defeated but I'm thankful that I also have the little wise voice in there that reasons with the haters. It's a great feeling knowing there is that balance.

Today I woke up feeling refreshed. The choice to rest was smart and I don't even feel guilty.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

WIAW and more

I was so busy last week that I forgot to write up my WIAW post. But I did take some pictures between then and now so I am posting a few of my favorite meals and snacks I have had over the course of the week.

[caption id="attachment_1060" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="raw veggies w/1 tbsp of lite ranch"][/caption]
Mmm snack time! I've been munching on a lot of raw veggies lately. Sometimes I get bored with the plain ol' veggies so I will add a tablespoon of lite ranch. Most of the time I don't even use the whole teablespoon but I always count it.

[caption id="attachment_1061" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="1/2 english muffin w/peanut butter"][/caption]
This is the "pre-run/workout" half breakfast I eat in the mornings I got to the gym at 5:30 or what I eat before my long runs on Saturday. I love this! It's easy on my stomach and tastes good plus keeps me full enough to make it through my workouts.

[caption id="attachment_1062" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Cuties and boiled egg whites"][/caption]
This is another snack fave. Cuties clementines have been a staple in our house all winter long. Everyone loves them and most days I find myself eating at least 2-3 of those sweet things! And for added protein I have been having boiled egg whites (and almonds) for my midafter noon snacks. I love that both options are portable.

[caption id="attachment_1063" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Baked potato topped with shredded bbq pork and raw veggies"][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_1064" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Skinny Taste Chicken Parm w/angel hair pasta"][/caption]
These are two of our favorite dinners. We use Skinny Taste a lot when we are making our menu for the week. We love so many of the recipes on that site but the chicken parm is one that everyone in our family just absolutely LOVES! I'm always glad when there are left overs because it's one of those meals that is better the next day. The baked potato with barbeque pulled pork is another fave. We cook the pork in the crockpot all day then shred it and top our potatoes with it. I added a side of raw veggies to make sure I got my veggies in for the day. Perfect little pairings.

And now for some post run treats that I love...
[caption id="attachment_1065" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Clif Mojo White Chocolate Macadamia nut "][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_1066" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Mmm TruMoo"][/caption]
I try not to munch on a ton of pure junk but those Clif Mojo bars are so good. They're almost (and that's a big almost) as great of a treat for me as a cupcake! haha I also LOVE love love TruMoo lowfat chocolate milk post run. I'm not a huge milk drinker but don't mind saving a few calories on a Saturday for a little bit of this fab treat.

I didn't post any of my lunches because I have mostly eaten the salad that I posted a while back. I love a big pile of leafy greens with grilled chicken, feta cheese, craisins and walnuts and a little drizzle of balsamic vinegarette dressing. I've kept the ingredients to make this in the fridge at my office and it's been my go to lunch almost every single day. My MFP friends are so use to seeing it in my diary that some of them have labeled it as "Kimert's salad." haha

And just because I am being honest about what I have been munching on I thought it was fair to post what we had as a Valentine's Day treat...
[caption id="attachment_1067" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Sweets from my Sweetie"][/caption]
My husband knows just how to make his way into my heart! Cupcakes. It takes quite a bit of running to burn off one of those sweet babies but it is ALWAYS worth it to me. always.

February isn't only the month of love but it's the month of birthday's for us. Yesterday we celebrated a very special 36th birthday...
[caption id="attachment_1068" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Happy Birthday to my husband!"][/caption]

And THAT is a huge bit of what I have been eating the last week. I think this long WIAW post makes up for my lack of participation last week. If you want to get in on the fun head on over to Peas and Crayons and link up!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A note about haters

Not too long ago I made reference to my thoughts (as I often do) during one of my long runs.
14.13 miles on that particular day was my longest run to date. I recall many things I was thinking during that run. I had been running most of that run alone, without any music and in the rain. One thing in particular that I made reference to how awesome my run was as well as how I was thinking "haters gonna hate." I said in this post that I was going to come back and explain that comment. I didn't come back immediately for a few reasons but don't really feel as though I need to go into a ton of details on the why other than WHY should I have to explain to anyone my thoughts when they question them? I don't have to.

For the last couple of weeks I didn't want to because what it did was give me more time to think further about how haters do hate. I feel like I haven't gained any haters in the last couple of weeks. Instead I feel like I've gained a lot of love. Not just the love of others but more love for myself. This journey (as I have said many times) is not about anyone else really but me. Sure my family and close friends are involved as my support and motivation and my husband and kids sacrifice a lot of things along the way for me BUT it really is about me. It's about me bettering myself for them and for myself...for LIFE!

When I orgininally wrote "haters gonna hate" and was questioned what it was for or who it was for I let it bother me that I was actually questioned in the manner that I was. Why? Because it was someone questioning MY own thoughts during my run. It was like someone out there was trying to tell me that the thoughts I have during MY RUNS are dumb or made up which is totally not true. I run for me. I run for my sanity. I run to clear my head. Clearing my head means a whole number of things. When I'm running I think about a lot of stuff. I think about anything from my childhood to my current day. Which brings me to what exactly "haters gonna hate" meant for me during that 14.13 mile run.

For me the haters are:
~ that girl in the mirror who once weighed 237 lbs and STILL has the nerve to look back and say, "you're ugly" or "you're fat."
~ the voice that when I feel like I can't possibly take anymore says, "You can't do this."
~ the trainer at my gym who said, "I don't think you can do it," to me in reference to a challenge going on at my gym over the holidays and my want to lose 10lbs between November and January.
~ the "friend" who constantly tries to compete with me while running.
~ the "friend" who thinks it is ok to constantly criticize my efforts towards running and weight loss.

I say to those haters:
~ Look how far you've come. You've lost over 80 lbs and gained a heck of a lot of fitness over the last 3 years. You are beautiful and fit and should embrace that.
~ You CAN do this. Look back at where you were when you crossed that finish line in 2009 and look at the girl who crossed a finish line 2 weeks ago!
~ I did do it! And then some...
~ Stop competing with me. I'm my own competition. Every time I lace up my shoes is a new competition with myself.
~ You can be successful too. You have to want it. Don't criticize me for making myself better. Step back and look at yourself to see where YOU can make changes for the better.

So much of my "haters gonna hate" came from within me.. my own head/voice. My haters was less about other people and more about me. There was a brief moment, after I was questioned about my comment, that haters became other people but I let that go because I know the real hate and doubt was the old me battling the new me and who I am becoming. I've said it a lot and will say it again.. this journey isn't all ups. There are so many downs that only those closest to me see or hear about. It's a daily struggle to accept who I am, who I have become and who I will be. So, if you have ever been a hater in someone's life I encourage you to step back and before judging them, think about where they may have come from. Everyone has a story. Everyone has a beginning. Before you hate on someone OR yourself think about that. Be encouraging, motivational, and positive. We gain so much more by helping others and ourselves than we do cutting them down or being negative. It's not always easy to forget the haters but I am slowly learning to let go. I'm learning to surround myself with the positive and weed out the negative which has made for a much happier me.

I also want to share this with you. A close friend, who also knows my story and what I have gone through to get where I am shared this link with me today and I thought it was perfect timing. I didn't read it right away. Instead I read it after I wrote my post but thought it was perfect and worth the share. Natalie Jill - Haters Gonna Hate

Someone else gets it. (insert confident smile) Be blessed friends!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Motivational Monday

I had not planned to be off work today because I can never remember from one year to the next what holidays my office takes off. Turns out President's Day is one of those off days. Score! Only I am not enjoying a day alone doing everything a girl can dream of. Nope. I am home with a sick kiddo. Double ear infections for my little dude. I should be totally motivated to get lots done around the house. Laundry, dishes, finish putting up groceries. Sigh. So far I have done the grocery shopping, paid a bill, breakfast and am considering lunch. It's after noon already and with 2 hours until we have to pick up big sister I am already feeling like my day is shot! Yikes.

Today's plan:
~Laundry (as much as I can possibly get done)
~Unload and put away dishes in dish washer
~Put dishes from sink in dishwasher
~ Finish putting away groceries
I think I can accomplish all of that before picking up Big Sis from school.

Then the plan is BodyPump and a little elliptical action at the gym! I'm still feeling really well after Saturday's 16 miler but my training plan calls for cross training and not running today. I love BodyPump and I enjoy doing a little cross training to break up all the running. What's on YOUR plan for today??

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Marathon training

For those of you that don't know I am currently training to run my first full marathon. That's 26.2 miles for any readers that may not also be runners. I can't really tell you what week of training I am in since this was kind of a last minute decision.

Let me explain. See I made the decision late in the fall of 2011 that I was going to run a marathon in 2012. My plan was to PR the race that was my first half marathon in 2011, the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon. But somewhere early this year (yes, I realize it is only Feb) my friend says to me, "Are you sure you don't want to run that as a full?" yes, I am sure. So, I made the decision to run the Atlanta Marathon in October of this year.

Then I started the training plan thinking that I would just repeat each week a couple of times to see how I felt and by the fall I would be more than ready to tackle the marathon. But once I started adding more miles to my week and my weekly long runs became longer I changed my mind. With a little encouragement from friends I decided that I wasn't going to wait. Why wait? Why train through the hot, humid East TN summer for a marathon when I could train through the rest of winter and early spring? It wasn't a tough decision at all.

The week I ran 14 miles I felt great and more confident that each week I could reach the next mileage goal. After last week's half marathon in the freezing temps, crazy wind and snow I felt even better. I had PR'd by 9 minutes from my last half marathon and 19 minutes better than my first. I was on cloud 9.. I still am! This week the training plan called for 16 miles.

I admit that my emotions regarding the run were up and down all week. I went from being confident to doubtful to excited to nervous and everything in between. My friend, Terri, was out of town running a 50 mile trail ultramarathon, the group training run wasn't quite the distance I needed and I wasn't familiar with the area/trail they were running so I wasn't sure about going over for that, and the thought of running 16 miles solo was intimidating! Thankfully I have many fabulous running friends that I have met through the blog, Daily Mile and the local track club! One of these great running friends had an 18 mile training run of her own and we had talked about getting together to run. SCORE! She and I made plans to get together on my local greenway to run.

I was still nervous. Friday night I had spent 2 hours standing at a Girl Scout cookie booth with the troop I am leader of, my monthly visitor had arrived and that seems to always wreak havoc on my running and stomach! Lucky me. I had never ran with M before and kept worrying about slowing her down. Thankfully we discussed pace before we met up. We decided to run at a 10:15 pace for our long run. Or let me say that was our goal! Seems I have a slight problem these days with running slow at least to start. My legs get going and I feel good and for whatever reason I guess I'm in the groove and sometimes no matter how hard I try I cannot scale back. We plan to work on that next week though! I know I can't carry that pace an entire 26.2 miles!

So, Saturday morning the plan was for me to go and get in a couple of miles before M arrived at our destination. I had another 2 hours cookie booth planned for 1pm. Yay! I was running late and managed to only get in one mile before M arrived. We were on our way within a few minutes of her getting there.

It was a beautiful day. The weather was perfect. Sunshine and I believe it was around 45 degrees, give or take a few. M told me beforehand that she would chat my ear off. I was only slightly worried about this as I am usually never very chatty when I run. Terri and my husband have gotten use to my "uh huh, yeah, ok, right" answers when we run together. I'm not sure I told M this before but I did tell her I would do my best to be chatty back. Turns out we had a lot to talk about! This is huge for me because in the past I can only remember being able to reply with one word answers because I was almost always out of breath. I longed for the day when I could run and talk at a decent pace.

My Garmin connect and RunKeeper give a bit different info off my Garmin but I completed 16.69 miles yesterday in 2:49:31. Taking the info from RunKeper the splits for miles 1-4 are like so:
Mile 1: 10:03
Mile 2: 9:35
Mile 3: 9:40
Mile 4: 9:48

We decided to stop off at my gym to use the bathroom before we got too far down the trail. It was about another 6 miles or so before the next restroom and we decided to stop sooner rather than later. I was glad for this short potty break. We also took the time to drink a bit of water and have a "snack." I think the timing was pretty good for both of us especially since we at a pace a bit faster than we had planned.
The next few miles went by well. We basically just chatted and ran which was really nice. M and I only met officially recently after talking through the blog, MFP and DM for a while. We "met" in passing too on a training run a few weeks ago and chatted a bit after the run but hadn't gotten a chance to really talk and get to know each other better before Saturday's run. I enjoyed it a lot.

The splits for miles 5 through 8 are:
Mile 5: 9:47
Mile 6: 9:17
Mile 7: 10:17
Mile 8: 10:36
We stopped again around mile 8-8.5 because I needed a brief potty break again. I was worried even with having taken a couple of Immodiums that my stomach may decide to give me fits. This is something I am just honest with myself and my fellow awesome running buddies because like I told M, "it just happens and I've learned to keep it real and joke about it so it doesn't kill me!" haha Thankfully most of my running buddies understand!
The route we were taking took us to a loop that would give us 10 miles which would cut off the first couple of miles of our run since we wouldn't have to retrace our steps the first few miles. We knew we would be a little over the miles I needed to cover but close enough once we got to the car that it wasn't going to be too far that M had to go to finish her 18.

Miles 9-14 are:
Mile 9: 10:07
Mile 10: 10:09
Mile 11: 10:01
Mile 12: 10:21
Mile 13: 10:52 (We had come to a part of trail the county has closed off due to draining the pond to make it safer for wildlife..or something. I haven't completely read up on this. It took me a minute to decide which way we should go! lol So this mile was slower)
Mile 14: 10:23

As smart as I am, I didn't run with enough water(Nuun) and forgot at my last bathroom stop to fill up my bottle. Around here the county shuts off the water fountains during the winter. LAME! But I get it. Luckily around mile 14 or so we came to one water fountain that was on! We both took the opportunity to drink up and have a snack again. I think I drank 2 bottles of water and filled up one to take with me. M asked several times how I was feeling on the run and I felt great. After we got to mile 15 (which was now my longest distance) she asked how I felt, "Pretty good. I mean I'm sore but that's running, right!?" And she agreed. We also agreed to again try to pull back and sow down a bit.

About mile 15 my phone buzzed, so I checked it. It was a text from my husband, "What are you doing?" haha M and I had a good laugh for a few minutes. He knew I was running but wasn't sure if I was done yet. I text back, "One more mile." I didn't check my message back from him until the car but it read, "Go get it!" Anyway, as M and I were running we joked that I should tell him I was getting a pedicure or eating bonbons and watching my shows! LOL I admit the pedicure sure sounded better than running a bazillion miles but I wouldn't feel nearly as good after the pedicure as I would after the run. That may sound crazy but for me it's totally true! I haven't had a pedicure in almost a year but my feet have logged a heck of a lot of miles. I'll take the miles any day!!

We both got quiet the last couple of miles. M said her and her friend refer to the last few miles as the "don't speak to me miles." I thought this was kind of funny but it really is almost totally true. It's like the last few miles you know you can do it but it's very much mental so there is a lot more focus on just getting there and being done. I'm not sure it makes total sense the way it's coming out but I know there are some of you that will get it. As much of a great run as it was I did want it to be done just so I could say, I did do it! I went for what I had to do.

Miles 15 and 16 plus.
Mile 15: 10:35
Mile 16: 10:38
Mile 17: 10:37 (it was actually only .69 miles)

Like I said, my Garmin and RunKeeper pull different info/splits and I'm really too lazy to plug the Garmin back in and pull from it so this is the info off RunKeeper since I was already logged in there! They're neither one far off from the other but I do notice a difference.

Overall I felt great after the run. I did some stretching in the parking lot before getting in my car. I headed to my gym for a quick shower and then off to stand for 2 hours at a cookie booth.

I was very very thankful again to have such an amazing running buddy there for me. I needed M yesterday for my 16 miler as much as she needed me and that is a great feeling. Completing another mileage milestone feels great and having M there to encourage me along the way was a huge help. I'm confident that I can succeed in the coming training weeks as well as on marathon day! I've been asked by a few friends today about how I feel? It's totally weird to not feel like I have been hit by a truck after such a long run. I ended up going to bed very early last night but woke up feeling refreshed and so far my joints and muscles aren't ready for me to call it quits! So, that I believe is success!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Five for Friday

1. TGIF! It's been a bit of a long and crazy week for me. I've had work, my training schedule, kid stuff, home stuff and a whole lotta Girl Scout related stuff which includes a bazillion and 3 boxes of cookies in my house! Fun times. I'm so thankful it is Friday. Friday is rest day for me which is always welcomed! I'm mostly resting. Well, resting from exercise. I do have a GS Cookie booth which means standing for at least 2 hours tonight. No big deal though, we got cookies to be sold!!

2. I have had some great, solid runs this week. 4 miles on Tues which ended up being my speedier run of the week (37:08), 8 miles before work on Weds (1:18:57) and another 4 miles on Thurs (38:46). I'm pleased with all my times and the distances. I think I did something (3 miles?) on Monday in addition to BodyPump class but I can't find where I logged those miles. I know so far I have logged 17 miles this week. My husband asked me last night what my plan for Friday was and then said, "Are you taking a rest day tomorrow (Friday)?" Haha I looked at him like he had 7 heads and said, "I ran a half marathon PR on Saturday and have logged 17 miles this week with a double digit long run on Saturday. YES, I am most definitely taking a rest day Friday!" He knows I am crazy and addicted to the gym and I love his support. I also love that he reminds me how important rest is.

3. Speaking of long run Saturday.. I was kind of not looking forward to my long run tomorrow. I mean I had a plan but not a true plan. Plan being the distance. NO plan meaning my husband isn't training like I am so I knew he wasn't going to run with me due to my distance. My friend, Terri is out of town getting ready to kick some major tail at a 50 mile run this weekend (GO TERRI!!). And the group run is being done on a course I am unfamiliar with and a distance that I think (can't recall) shorter than what I am needing to fit in. Never fear though!! Another friend and I are meeting tomorrow to tackle our long run together. I am now very much looking forward to tackling my longest run ever with this newish running pal.

4. I have been trying very hard lately to be as positive as I can about this whole running thing. There was a time when my head was full of nothing but doubt when it came to running. I dreaded the long runs or would go into them automatically feeling defeated before even putting one foot in front of the other. I've decided to let that go and just tell myself before I even go that YES I CAN and I WILL. I look forward to each new run even if it does mean there will be bad in it some place.

5. This week food has been ok. I won't lie and say I have done great. I have not. A couple of fast food/eat out meals and a cupcake (or two) have been on my plan but I've logged it. I've had my fair share of fruits and veggies too though so it isn't a complete wash. I find myself much more hungry right now than I have been. What I need to focus on is making sure that what I do put in front of me are healthy choices that will fuel me. I know this. Now I need to focus more on putting that back into place.

Happy Friday, friends! Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

WW - Run

NO Wordless Wednesday is complete without at least a few words..haha
Today's run was great. Wednesdays are my mid-distance run days. Today was an 8 miler which I managed ot get done in 78:57. Tomorrow is my last short run (4 miles) for the week and then a rest day Friday which I am looking forward to because Saturday's long run will be my longest to date. I'm still trying to get myself completely psyched up for that one. I'm confident I can get it done even if it means walking or crawling to make it happen.

I haven't gotten all my food pics downloaded from today so my WIAW post will be going up late this week.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Valentine

Valentine's Day isn't one of the holidays we really celebrate around our house. My husband and I have been together for 13 years, married 10 (in March) but don't really feel the need to have this Hallmark Holiday as one to celebrate our love or relationship. We both try daily to tell the other how much we care, love and need the other person in our life. Of course, we both fail sometimes too.

I get quite Grinch-like on Valentine's Day. I refuse to pay $3-$6 for a piece of cardboard with silly words inside and a goofy picture on the outside that 10 other people are also giving their significant others. It's lame. My husband knows that I feel this way and has over the last couple of years resorted to the $1 section cards because he knows this makes me happier. haha Think about it.. I'd rather spend $6 on 3 cups of coffe than a paper card. Last year he got me the $1 card and a few packs of SportsBeans.

This year he broke the rules by adding to my Willow Tree collection and not one but two $1 cards. FOR SHAME!? haha
He also brought home a box of 4 of my favorite cupcakes. Ahhhh! I did induldge in one tonight since I pushed it hard at the gym with my run. (4.06 miles in 37:08) I decided to save the rest of my Valentine's Day cupcakes for later, like Saturday after my 16 miler that is on schedule. Le sigh.

I'm getting way off track here....
I think I was talking about MY Valentine. Yes...

You know what I love about my Valentine?
~ He's crazy enough to let me talk him into this whole distance running thing. Meaning, he joins me for some of my long runs and has ran 3 half marathons with me!
~ He understands my needs for hitting them gym no less than 4 days a week and does whatever he can to help out so that is possible.
~ He believes in me and my dreams/goals, supporting me 100% every step of the way.
~ He tells me I am beautiful and knows which days I need to hear that the most.

So, to my life partner, my partner in parenting, my running buddy and my Valentine...

Happy Valentine's Day!! I hope your day was as full of as much love as mine was!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Motivational Monday

I'm posting early because I have a busy day ahead of me tomorrow.
Here are a few quotes I found thumbing through Pinterest the last week or so. I have a whole board of Running/Fitness and most of it is inspirational or motivational quotes that have helped me get through a workout or a tough day. I hope you find the same inspiration or motivation in some of these.

Have a great week everyone! DO something healthy for yourself this week, you deserve it!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Strawberry Plains Half Marathon - a recap

Winter around here has been mild. 60 degrees mild for weeks! So, I was pretty excited about running a half marathon in winter.. or East Tn's version of a mild winter. Then as this week approached the forecast changed and changed and changed some more. It got cold and snow was in the forecast. Yesterday the final time I checked the forecast it was set at 33 degrees with a chance of snow and 10-20 mph winds for our half marathon location. Woohoo, sounds exciting right!? Not for this warm weather, sun loving girl. But I had my cold weather running gear ready to go.

[caption id="attachment_1014" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Just about everything I need for a successful 13.1"][/caption]

My husband and I signed up to volunteer at this race so we had to be at the site at 7am to work race day registration. This meant setting the alarm for 5am. Yay. Not. My husband had a rough night's sleep and was up 2-3 times during the night. Guess who was up with him a couple times? Yep. I was worried about him. I was worried too that something might go wrong and we'd miss our race. But thankfully everything was fine and he woke up doing ok when the alarm went off. We snoozed a few minutes longer than we planned but had no problem making it out the door on time and to our race site at 6:45am. It wasn't snowing when we got there. We were inside a gym doing registration and as the other runners came in they were talking about the snow and wind. Oh fun!

Around 8:25 I decided I should make one last bathroom trip before getting all geared up and ready to head outside to line up with about 600 of my other fave running friends. The bathroom line was wrong and I almost decided to skip it but thankfully it moved fast. It was super nice to have warm restrooms in the gym to use on such a cold day! Anyway... My friend, Terri, was also running so we met up with her. We snapped a few pre-race pics (tradition!) before heading outside. She said had told someone earlier she was going slow since she's running an ultra (holy 50 miles batman!!!) next weekend. I joked that yeah, her slow was my fast! haha She said she knew I'd PR this race. I wasn't going for time, ya know.
[caption id="attachment_1015" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="My husband and me pre-race"][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_1016" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Terri and me pre-race"][/caption]

Most of you that have been in blog land long enough or if you're a runner then you've read all about this Virtual Run for Sherry that was happening nationwide today! I wore my bib today as did many other runners at the Strawberry Plains Half Marathon and 10k!
[caption id="attachment_1017" align="aligncenter" width="224" caption="Running for Sherry"][/caption]

Once outside I decided I didn't care how ridiculous I looked with the balaclava on my head/face. It was windy and cold. I knew I would be warm and that I had made a great choice in picking it over just my ear/head band. Not only would my ears be blocked from the wind but my head and face would be too! I'm glad my husband bought this for me a few months ago. The National Anthem was sang, the gun sounded and we were off.

When I hit the start button on my Garmin I noticed all I was getting was an overall time. Crap, I forgot about turning my Garmin on inside earlier and forgot to reset it once outside. Oops. So, I didn't have a pace or distance showing up for me, just an overall time. No big deal, there would be markers showing where we were and I could guage my pace based on that. Not having the sattelites means no other data from my run either like a map or elevation or even splits! Gah.

There was a one mile marker but I don't even remember looking down at my Garmin. I just kept running. The course was hilly but the most annoying thing between miles 1 and 3 was the uneven, broken up roadway. Dodging potholes was fun. Just before the 3 mile marker we started seeing the top runners for the 10k coming back to finish up the last few miles of their run. I love those speedy guys! Terri and I hit mile 3 and at that point I wasn't sure where my husband was because prior to the race he told me just to go run and not worry about him. So I did. When I saw the 3 mile marker I looked down at my Garmin... 28:32. NO way!! I said something along the lines of "holy freakin' crap I cannot believe that!" and so we ran. I decided slowing down and walking through the first water stop would be good since we were about to embark on a slight uphill.

Coming out of mile 3.25 and on into mile 6 was the most beautiful countryside. We had views of the mountains. We saw horses, turkeys, and of course cows (I It was a truely beautiful course and while there were hills to this point they were nothing like the hill I had heard was coming around mile 7. I looked at my Garmin at the 5 and 6 mile markers but only recall being just under a 10 minute mile pace and thinking at some point I would crap out and be sorry I was running so fast but I was also just glad to feel so great while running. At just after 6 miles there was another water stop so Terri and I decided we would actually stop a few seconds for water and a snack. She took a Gu andn I pulled out my Honey Stinger waffle. As soon as I opened it a small part of it flew off. Oops, it was frozen. THAT is how cold it was out there. I had kept it in the cabinet at home and in my pocket prior to the race. I had no clue that it being in my jacket pocket while running would make it freeze. Lesson learned!

The next few miles were pretty wild. The wind had picked up and the snow had really started coming down. We reached the hill at mile 7 and I slowed down for a brief walk break and even said at that point that I was worried about my husband since I hadn't seen him on any of the passes but I knew he was behind me and felt ok. We passed some other running friends and we all passed our "Good job, girls!" and friendly smiles. Love that! On the run up hill around the mile 8 turnaround we passed a few dogs in the road, which was rather funny. I joked that the 2 chubby basset hounds were looking for dropped food. Sadly there was none for them. We passed my husband on his way up and towards mile 8. He rooted me on, we said "I love you," and I told him, "That hill sucks donkey balls." And our ways we went...

At mile 9, Terri said, "Ok, Kim.. you're making great PR pace. I've gone this far with you but if I don't slow down I won't make it. So go one and PR this thing!" I thanked her (over and over as I have done so much lately, lol) and went on my way with a happy little brown dog by my side. I didn't feel alone, just me and my thoughts (and you know how crazy they are when I run..haha) and that little brown dog. The wind picked up and so did the snow at this point. I couldn't see well and didn't have my sunglasses which was a decision I said I kind of regretted a few times since the weather was crazy...sun one minute, snow and wind the next! I didn't see many runners once I broke off from Terri but that little brown dog was right there with me, bless his heart. He stayed with me through mile 9.75 when I slowed for a drink of water and had to catch back up to him. He was still with me even at mile 11 when I stopped for the port-o-potty and another cup of water.

At that point I looked at my Garmin and realized this race was totally going to be a PR. I think I was right at 1:50 or so. The pit stop cost me about 2 minutes but it wasn't a concern at all. I lost my little brown dog friend but kept going. Someone put the mile 12 marker in the very wrong place. I knew it when I got to it because I looked at my Garmin and saw the time. I made a mental note that while I was maintaining a steady pace there was no way at mile 11-12 I was running at an 8+ minute mile. I wish! The snow had stopped and the wind was blocked mostly by the trees. I was grateful for that and realized I had gotten a bit warm so I shed the balaclava (it wouldn't look good for pics anyway) and unzipped my jacket wishing that I hadn't pinned my bibs to it because I might have also taken it off.

I saw more volunteers and road side cheerleaders including 2 nice men who said, "Your time at the REAL mile 12 is 1:59." NICE! So, I debated slowing down and I did but only for a brief moment. At this point the sun was shining through blue skies and I was thankful for such a beautiful run. I was thankful it was almost over. I was thankful for the push I got to go after my PR. I thought maybe I could make it in 2:08 but decided at that point I didn't care and slowed down a bit more for a few minutes.

As I approached 12.5 miles I passed a few familiar faces that were there cheering. I am always thankful to hear those voices saying, "Good job. You're doing great! Almost there!" I saw a photographer who said, "Smile!" And so I did. I flashed him a big smile and gave a wave to which he replied, "Look at you!" Yes, sir... LOOK AT ME! I just ran 13 miles and I am still smiling. I use to be fat, sir, betcha didn't know that! And sir, this time last year I couldn't have ran 13.1 miles if I had dreamed it. Then I passed a girl I had been going back and forth with. I heard her RunKeeper app announce that she was at 12.67 miles and 9:49 pace. I wondered what her goal was for the day. Was she having fun, going for a PR too? Ever wonder what other runner's story is all about? I know I do. I know I am not the only one with an amazing story. I think of that often when I am running. It reminds me WHY I am running and what it took to get to where I am.

And before I knew it I had ran another .60 miles and crossed a finish line...smiling..AGAIN!
The time on my Garmin was 2:10:26 but I had issues with it at the start. The time on the clock was 2:10:45 but I knew my chip time would be different. I didn't care though. I had just set a half marathon PR on a hilly course in the wind, snow and freezing temps by 9 minutes!!! I was shaking like a leaf when they nice volunteer was trying to clip my timing chip off. She was sweet and offered me her head as a place to steady myself. I love race volunteers! I collected my medal and went inside where it was warm. The rest is pretty, water, and hanging out while waiting on my friend and husband (who both also PR'd!!) to finish.

[caption id="attachment_1019" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="post race, trying to smile throught the chatter teething. I was still cold!"][/caption]

This post is a bit long and all over the place as I am sure you are used to so if you have stuck it out this long and read my recap...thank you!! I leave you with one final picture from the day.

Friday, February 10, 2012


I might be a bit on the rambly side today. I missed 3 Things Thursday yesterday even though I sat down a couple of times to write but i was exhausted and just didn't have it in me to put any thoughts (random or not) down.

I've only been to the gym 3 times this week. Monday I did cross training (6 miles- elliptical and some weights). Tuesday was a scheduled run day and the training plan called for 4 miles. I started off at a slower pace thinking I would just take it easy but decided after the first 1.5 miles to turn this workout into speed work finishing 4 miles in just over 36 minutes. I aim for 45 minutes of activity at the very least so I decided to do some rowing as well which actually felt really good! Wednesday was a run day; my training plan called for 7 miles. Right now I've been doing my workouts at night because of our "life" schedule so it's dark by the time I get to the gym. I don't run solo at night for most of the obvious reasons so this was a treadmill run. I usually don't mind the treadmill at all but after the first 6 miles of this run I was bored to death and dreading the last mile. I think mostly this had to do with the fact that I was on a TM with auto shut off at 60 minutes. I had hit 6.15 miles at 60 minutes and was frustrated when the machine slowed down. I had to wait for it to go through all it's data stuff. Hit the clear button, restart and wait again for it to be ready for me. Once I got going I was ok until 6.5 miles and just dreaded the last .50 mile. I tried to slow down, ugh, my legs didn't feel like slowing down so I tried to speed up. I eventually just told myself "do it," and finished 7 miles done 1:10.

I had planned to make my weekly mileage 33 for every week in February. Thursday should have been another 4 mile run but I decided to take 2 days rest before the half marathon on Saturday. So, my mileage this week won't hit 33 unless I decide to do something on Sunday. Sunday is usually a rest day though and Rest is good! I mostly took 2 days in a row because I want my legs to be as fresh as possible. I'm not going for time tomorrow just looking forward to running for fun, training. I'm excited to run with my husband and friends. And I am excited about adding to my (small) "bling" collection!

What I am not looking forward to all that much about race day is the current forecast. Earlier in the week it was looking great. Mid 40s, perfect running weather. Looks like we will have low 30s, snow showers (starting tonight with possible accumulation of an inch, so not much) and 10-20 mph winds. Yay! lol We will be prepared though!

When I grabbed lunch today I went ahead and ran by my favorite local cupcake shop. 2 pretty cupcakes ready to go for tomorrow. I considered taking a picture and putting up a teaser pic today but you all know that will be part of my post race recap!!!

I might haven mentioned this already but my husband and I will be volunteering before the race tomorrow at the race day registration table. I worked this last year and enjoyed it. Plus volunteering with the KTC gets you $ vouchers to use towards future race registration fees! I'm sure we can find a summer 5k to run for fun.

I feel like I have done relatively well in the eating department this week with the exception of a silly box of Runts I picked up on a whim at Walgreens one day. Today has gone well because I have ignored the screaming box of Runts! I have a slight feeling the reason for the "sugar screams" is because a visitor is on her way soon. Darn her! I'm hoping I luck up and she stays away at least until after tomorrow's run. TMI, right!? But I haven't had to do any racing with the pesky beast being here and I know it'll happen. I'd just like it to not be tomorrow.

Speaking of food... I lost my train of thought above. What I had started to say was that I think taking pics of my food and posting them here (though only one day) helped with the accountability factor. I'm not a food photographer (or photographer at all actually) so while the pics may not be great I think it may be something I try to do more often. Can't hurt to try to stay motivated.

Current weight 156. Goal weight 137? Slowly that number is moving closer to goal but it has me rethinking my goal number too. I do that quite often. I think I will be happy once I get out of the 150s and have even told myself 142 is a good number. I'm not far. Marathon training will make losing weight difficult, this much I know. But you know what? Being told I can't do something or that it's going to be hard or even (gasp) impossible is something I am willing to prove wrong. And maybe not even prove wrong but what I will do is bust my butt harder to get to my goal.

Wow. this post got long and as I previously warned... lots of rambling. If you were able to get through this long, boring post.. THANK YOU! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

What I Ate Wednesday 2/8

I am linking up with Peas and Crayons for this month's What I Ate Wednesday. So here is a little peek in pictures of what I had on my plate today.

[caption id="attachment_1001" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Breakfast"][/caption]
An english muffin w/a tablespoon of bacon crumbles and cheese. yum! The best part was that it's portable so I can eat it and drink my morning coffee on my drive to the office.

[caption id="attachment_1002" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Lunch"][/caption]
Pile of leafy greens, feta crumbles, chopped walnuts, Craisins, some apple, and grilled chicken strips with balsamic vingar dressing. I also ate the rest of the apple, which I did not take a picture of. This is one of my most favorite lunches. I ate it yesterday too. I will probably even have it tomorrow!

[caption id="attachment_1003" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Dinner"][/caption]
Egg, one slice of bacon and home made waffles! I love breakfast for dinner. We had little crockpot mishap with some chicken tonight. Thanks to my husband for trying his absolute best to have dinner ready when we all got home though! He's very good at doing dinner (and even breakfast when we aren't super rushed in the mornings). He did fabulous tonight making breakfast for dinner.

I failed to take pictures of my snacks but will tell you I had some wasabi peas, an orange, popcorn and as much as I could down of a Cliff Bar (before I went to run). I'll have to remember to take pics of my snacks before I eat them for next week's post! I hope you had a tasty day.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Toughie Tuesday - Riddle Me This?

Once a week one of my Tough Chik teammates will post a question on our Team FB page for those of us with blogs to answer on our blogs as part of the "Riddle Me This Question of the Week." While it is something that me and my Toughies are doing it doesn't mean you can't participate too. Feel free to answer the question in comments or link back and post on your blog too!

This week's question is-

What running rule are you guilty of breaking?

This one is easy for me. I found in reading a lot of the blogs of my fellow Team Tough Chik teammates that I am not alone, which made me feel kinda good. haha But my answer.... I don't stretch enough post run. I DO almost always stretch but it's quick and done. I'm most guilty after a race. I think it's the post race excitement that keeps me from doing it after a race. After a regular weekly run I do stretch for about 5 minutes. After my long runs with friends I do stretch too but only for the few minutes we spend chatting post run. I say all the time that I am going to start going to Yoga but never do. I drive home thinking about my beloved foam roller but then forget as soon as I pull in the drive way or walk in the house. I, like so many other runners, KNOW how important stretching is. And like so many others, I say I will do better. I will.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

I felt like such a

As of Friday afternoon my plan was to hit up the gym for a quick cross training session before my 7 mile long run on Saturday. I did get in 55 mins of elliptical work and logged 6 miles on Friday evening. While at dinner I decided to text my running friends to see what their Saturday long run plans were. Both of them were joining the KTC marathon training run the next morning, one was scheduled to run 16 miles and the other 18 miles. The training options were 14 and 18. Crap. I only had a 7 miler planned since I will be running a half marathon on Feb. 11th. What to do??

I text my friend and told her maybe I could just go and run and see how I felt. She encouraged me to just try the 14 mile course and do it as a training run. I don't have a time goal for the race on Saturday so I thought about it. We text back and forth a few minutes and I decided that I would ideed go for it and rather than run 7 miles I would go for 14. My wonderful husband also encouraged me to go. They all had faith in me that I could run the 14 miles. So, I was stoked. I agreed and as the night progressed the more excited I got about the next morning's run.

The forecast?? 100% chance of rain. Super duper. Seriously, I was even stoked about that. I hadn't ran in the rain prior to that and even text one of my friends that I was excited for the rain sinc I was a "rainy run virgin." Haha So, I got everything laid out Friday night and ready to go for Saturday morning. The group was meeting at Runner's Market at 8am and I really am not sure if I even thought about the course or knew what it was. It didn't matter.

I got a great night's sleep but do remember having a hard time falling asleep because I was excited for the next day's run. It almost felt like I was preparing for a race! At 5am I heard the kids awake. Ugh, I still had over an hour of sleep left. At that point I was paranoid I wouldn't hear the alarm clock adn dozed off and on having this weird dream of being stuck at the top of a high rise in a broken elevator. So, by 6:30 I was up and getting myself ready to go run 14 miles in the rain.

When I arrived to Runner's Market I didn't see either of my friends but recognized another lady I know and we said hello. The "coach" that was in charge of the training run gave directions regarding the different distances for the day and at 8am on the nose we were out the door running. I was running alone which normally would be bothersome to me but for whatever reason I didn't even let the thought cross my mind. It wasn't really raining to start but was definitely wet out. I wore my rain jacket for the first 3.5 miles and was warm but because I was in such a great running groove I didn't want to stop to take it off. I'm no good and stripping while running! haha

The first 3.5 miles were uneventful. I saw many runners pass me. I passed a few runners. I saw some familiar faces (bloggers and from local races). It didn't feel at all like I was out there alone. Here are my splits for the first 3 miles.

1- 10:08
2- 10:12
3- 10:19

At around mile 3 I passed a tall, thin girl who had stopped up hill to take off her shirt. I smiled, she said she was hot, I agreed. I knew I didn't want to stop at that point because just at the top of the hill was the 3.5 mile marker and I thought that would be a great time to break since we had to wait for the street signals to change and cross the road. She caught up with me and said she wasn't from around the area and I seemed to be going her pace, could she hang with me? Sure! So, I asked how far she was going and she said 18. Awesome! I told her I was only going 14 and wasn't sure where the group was turning around but my plan was to go out 7 and come back, same route. She thought that sounded good to her and told me she was from FL and had been training there. She was struggling with the hills. I could totally relate to the hills being killer.

We chatted the next 3 miles or so and at 7 miles we took a short break to eat a snack and drink water. My splits for miles 4-7 are:
4- 10:56 (I didn't stop Mr. G at street crossings)
5- 10:40
6- 10:21
7- 10:15

When we stopped I ate half a Honey Stinger waffle and drank some water. When we started running again the, while only drizzly, started up. I wasn't sure how I felt about it because at this point I had already decided to take off my jacket and was not ready to stop again to put it back on. My goal was to keep running until the 10 mile marker before stopping for another quick snack/water break. I knew then I could refill my water and prepare mentally for going a mile longer than what had been my longest run (13.1 and I was going for 14). Miles 7-10 were uneventful. The young girl that had been running with me was now behind me. I think mostly because we were running on a sidewalk and there just wasn't much room for running 2 wide, so there wasn't much chatting. Splits for 8-10 are:

8- 10:21
9- 10:18
10- 11:01

At mile 10 I stopped at the water stop KTC had laid out and refilled my water. I didn't stop Mr. G for this but wasn't concerned with that throwing my overall time off. The goal now was to make it to 13.1 and then one more mile until the run was over. I decided to run the trail back rather than the road. The trail is a little gravely (small gravels) and much softer so I thought this was a good decision as it would be less pounding on my body. The only bad part of this decision was one small gravel in my shoe. ouch. It didn't hurt too bad and was mostly annoying but I just kept running. I can't even tell you what my train of thought was except I kept telling myself that this run was awesome, I couldn't wait to log it and, "haters gonna hate." I'll keep you thinking on that last one. haha Cruel, I know.

I didn't plan to stop again until I hit 14 miles but around mile 12 I decided to eat the last of my Honey Stinger waffle because I knew the killer hill up to mile 14 was brutal and would take every ounce of energy I had left. After a few seconds I was back at it again. Miles 11 and 12 were great.

11- 10:18
12- 10:00

I don't even know that I thought about my pace this run but just knew I wasn't racing and that I needed to go slow. Slow for a long run for me now means 10:00 to 10:30 minute miles and I was spot on. I knew I was good when I was able to talk without a problem with the young girl I met and ran with. I wish I had gotten her name, bummer. I'm sure I will see her again at another training run. These were thoughts I had during the last couple miles when we had gone our separate ways. She had to repeat the last few miles we'd just ran. She's a trooper for sure.

13- 10:11

I had to tackle the beast of a hill known as Noelton. It was a breeze coming down into the start of my. I don't recall a thing about it from my first half marathon (ran on this same course). But I knew that I wanted to try to run it. So, I started to walk just before I got to the hill. I gave myself a peptalk and decided I would as much of the hill as I could. I did. I tried hard to tackle that hill. I did run farther on it than I remember running the frist time. I DID stop and walk some of it but I DID start running it again. Mile 14 was the best even with the sucky hill.

Mile 14- 11:01

Why was that 11 minute mile the best with all those 10+ minute miles? Because mile 14.13 meant that this run was the longest run I had ever done. I recall not feeling like this run was mentally hard. The only time I felt that it was physically tough was at that last hill (Noelton). When I got back to my car I grabbed my phone to take a picture for my husband. I saw I had missed a text from him. I let him know my run was good and he said, "How do you feel?" I replied back, "Like I ran 14.13 miles!!!" To which he replied, "You are a badass."

And I am. It's exactly how I felt. My new mantra....

Go the distance.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Three Things Thursday

1. February is Fab Abs February thanks to a fellow runner/blogger/friend. She made us a swank little Google calendar and posted it for us. Daily exercises for each of the 29 (Yay Leap Year) days this month. Woohoo. The abs/core is one area I need to improve in big time. I won't have 6 pack rock hard abs by the end of the month but this is one step closer to the right direction.

2. Thursday may become "No Technology Thursday" for my runs. Tonight I ditched Mr. G (my Garmin) and the iPod for my 3 miler. I dressed at work, grabbed my mace and cell phone and out the door I went. I mapped out a 3 mile run from my office through town and the park trails. I thought this was going to be metally tough for me since I am use to music when I run solo. I wasn't too concerned about not having my Garmin since I knew what time I started and that I had 3 miles to run, I figured 30 minutes would be good. I made it the whole run with no problems, just taking in the noises (croaking frogs in January is weird) around me and felt great. Definitely something I want to try to do more!

3. I have completed an entire workout schedule for the whole month of February. This makes me really excited because I have never put all of my workouts in black and white before and stuck to it. I'm looking forward to this month and hopefully sticking with the plan. So far I am good for the last two days. I'm hoping to do this all year long and seeing how I can incorporate some of my regular workouts into my marathon training plan. I will definitely post weekly updates on training and workouts.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


First of all let me start with January stats.
Since I was in the middle of my gym's holiday challenge I don't have a start weight for Jan but my end weight is 157. I'm holding steady and am fine with that.
I logged 123 miles for January.
I joined the lovely ladies at Team Tough Chik.
I didn't set any goals for the month of January!
I started January with a 4 mile run and ended with a 3 mile run.

My birth month. I turn 33 on the 28th.
I am trying to come up with something by way of celebrating 33. Any ideas??
I was thinking maybe shooting for a weekly mileage goal of 33 miles BUT I'm not really sure I can do that with just running. It would mean a lot of running, which I don't mind but I also want to add some spin classes this month since I was sick for the last 2 weeks of January and that threw my schedule off.
I'm up for ideas if you have anything for me!
I started this month at 157 lbs.
I started this month with a 5 mile run tonight (46:43) and am calling it my tempo run because I had no intention of going so speedy.

Goals this month-
* Lose 3-5 lbs or reach 154 lbs. Doesn't sound like a lot but it's becoming harder for me to lose for some reason. So 3-5 lbs seems like a realistic goal for me.
* Participate in the remaining "What I Ate Wednesdays" for the month. I didn't participate today but will for the rest of the (short) month.
* Half marathon #4. I'm not looking to PR this one since I have not ran it before. It will be a course PR no matter my time. It's a bit of a hilly course, it will be cold (hopefully not snowing), and no music allowed. So, that said the goal is to finish and add another medal to my fabulous bling collection.
* Brave it and take some updated pics. The brave it part??? Stay tuned!!

What are your goals for February??