I love lists

I know it seems a little cliché to write my first post back in a million years on New Year’s Eve.  Oh well.  I’ve attempted a couple of posts in the last few days but they were all too involved.  I need to split some of this business up or you would be reading for about 10 hours!

Naturally, I have no idea where to start.  So, I’ll do a list.  I never realized how much I love lists until I started writing this blog.  Here we go:

1. I’m currently hanging out in my own place!  Yay!  I somehow got a sweet deal in an incredibly tough rental market in my home town.  I’m not kidding – it’s nuts.  Lack of availability means rent is large and in charge for so many places.  Not to mention, many places are run through renting agencies which require you to make three times your rent on a monthly basis.  Hahahahaha (this is a crazed laugh, can you tell??).  Again, I thank my lucky stars that a) I’m persistent and b) that things worked in my favor.

2. I also got an amazing deal on a set of furniture!  I love it when a plan comes together!

Simon-cat has claimed this chair for his very own. I put a blanket over it as to limit cat hair transfer. Today is the first day I’ve sat in it – no wonder he loves it!

3. My house is right next door to my dad’s house so I was able to bootleg enough internet for my LuLaRoe business but other than that, I didn’t have access for THREE WEEKS due to connectivity problems.  I watched Twilight, Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter over and over again.

4. LuLaRoe.  Since my job search has not been fruitful, LuLaRoe is my source of income.  Being my own boss and having my own business is both neato and terrifying!  As a new consultant, it takes time to build a customer base, inventory, along with revamping my business plan over and over again.  This results in waking up to panic attacks in the middle of the night!  HOWEVER, I have already met some fun people and am looking forward to continuing this journey.  Not to mention, I am enjoying this business a lot!  Although a job would be helpful!  Just keeping it truthful here.

in this case the stress is real!

5. More LuLaRoe.  I love the clothes!  My sister had to tell me “stop shopping your inventory!”  Haha, seriously though, so many treasures!  Not to mention, when women (those are my current customers) try the clothes on the delight in their eyes is fantastic.  One woman swore off dresses many moons ago.  She put on the Carly dress and LOVED it!  First dress in forever and she bought it 10 minutes after trying it on and looking in the mirror.  It’s an amazing feeling to be a part of these moments.

6. I was doing well in the fitness realm in August, September and the first two weeks of October.  I was walking about every other day and even running!  My bum knee was responding in a positive way!  Then life took over and my routine fell by the wayside.  I will say, I ran a Turkey Trot with my sister and I was able to run a heck of a lot more of it than I thought I could.  That being said, the aforementioned anxiety and work load has led to some additional weight loss while no longer sticking to the walking/running.  I’ll get in the zone with LuLaRoe and forget to eat.  For the record, I don’t forget to eat.  Ever.  I always thought this was a silly phrase and perhaps a fake phenomenon.  Nope.  It does happen.  I’ve reached my goal weight, although I think I need to reinvigorate my walking/running since forgetting to eat isn’t the healthiest weight loss method nor one that I can count on to keep the pounds off.  I mean, I’m starting to remember to eat (a positive thing for sure).

sister dear and I taking a running break for a picture!

7. Overhauling my life has been more complicated than I ever would’ve imagined.  There will be posts on this all on their own.  While I knew it would be a tough and interesting transition, this information was processed in the practical/logical part of my brain, rather than the emotional-feely part of the brain/heart/spiritual side.  Like I said, more posts to come on this since I do enjoy processing.  Also, it was ABSOLUTELY the right choice!

I love this quote

8. Happy New Year!  I don’t make New Year resolutions anymore.  Some of the items or goals I mentioned above are things I’ve already been working on and need to get more assertive in making them a reality.  I recognize many people see it as a fresh start but I consider to be this marker.  So, I have another month and 3 days to my “new year” and I’m going to continue to work on my goals and work through the transitions.

how can I fail when I have dairy on my side?! (p.s. Buzzfeed lists are the best – they do love to put together lists of unfortunate mistakes while adding some comentary)

Off to take photos of new inventory!  My blog page is getting more traffic than my LuLaRoe page and it’s reminded me how much I love to write!  Happy New Year everyone!


running realizations

Yesterday I had a good run.  I was sitting on the couch after a long day of work.  I didn’t want to go running.  I was grouchy.  My hand hurt.  I was tired (actually not super tired but enough so I used it as an excuse).  And then there was just this, “I don’t want to get off of the couch” feeling.  But I used these excuses the day before so I needed to buck up, buttercup.

So, at 7:20 pm, I got up, changed and went for it.  I have reversed my normal route, which has two really tough hills.  My hand has been hurting when running as I haven’t been wearing my ace bandage when I go.  Finally, I clued in this was a bad idea since all of the jostling wasn’t doing me any favors.  Thankfully, the less amount of hand pain offset the pain in my lungs and legs!

I also wore my new shoes outside for the first time.  At first they felt a little off in the heel area but soon they were comfortable.  I definitely can feel the higher heel drop as my piriformis acted up a bit.  I concentrated on landing mid-foot and this will need to be more of a focus.  Considering I will be wearing these for the 25k on Saturday (I don’t have a choice, the Hokas are causing blisters and my other shoes are shot), it should be interesting.

The funny part is, there were times when I was keeping some good time.  My phone would show my current pace and it would be 10:07.  I swear, lifting my knees and turning my feet over faster has completely changed my running.  HOWEVER, I don’t have the endurance/fitness to keep up with this!  I had to walk a couple of times and/or stop and catch my breath.  My overall pace was about 11:15 including these breaks.  The nice part is knowing I can hit these numbers again.  For a long time I just figured I had lost all speed and couldn’t physically do it anymore.  Realizing I simply wasn’t picking up my feet is a major boost.  Endurance and fitness can be earned the more effort I put into it.

wahoo – run fast!

Yesterday was also a moment of truth.  I did 5.75 miles.  I couldn’t get the last .25 as I got a work call otherwise I would have finished 6.  This run made me realize Saturday is going to be painful.  I’ve been fooling myself into thinking 15 miles was totally doable.  While I still believe I can finish it, I’ve adjusted my goals to comply with my current running fitness.  Here is my plan:

1.  Enjoy the run.  Last time I did this race I put SO MUCH pressure on myself and set some very unrealistic goals.  At the end I was crying because I missed the mark and was incredibly disappointed in myself.  I don’t want to repeat this.  I made sure to enjoy my Dopey experience and plan on repeating this mindset.  I’m also wearing my Minnie polka dot skirt for funsies.

Minnie mouse skirt and zen-y attitude... I'm ready
Minnie mouse skirt and zen-y attitude… I’m ready

2.  Embrace the pain – physically and mentally.  I’m preparing for it.  I have a mantra.  There isn’t anything I can do about it now so accepting it is the first step – in my opinion.  My legs will hurt and I will want to give up – I refuse to.

3.  Not go out too fast!  I’ve noticed on my last few training runs I have shot out of the cannon and then wanted to crawl through the rest of the miles.  I’m a huge fan of negative splits (aren’t we all??) so I need to keep my mind and body focused on slow and steady.

this illustrates what happens to a “T”

4.  The first three miles always suck for me.  It’s one of the reasons I’m not a huge fan of 5k’s.  It takes me this long to warm up and typically it dampens my spirit.  Thoughts like, “is this going to be how the rest of the run will be?!” bombard my brain.  Despite knowing things will get better it’s hard to get my head on track and my spirit sinks a bit.  Again, accepting this and relaxing.

5.  Realistic goals. A) Finish. B) Under 3:30.  C) Under 3:15.  D) Under 3 hrs.  I’ve decided to wear my garmin but not have it show pace.  I will keep it on regular watch mode so I can track my progress but not get caught up in the numbers.

Ha!  This is a bit of a long post.  Clearly there are some things on my mind.  I focused on running today because it’s been an up and down week and I don’t like moaning and groaning too much on here.  Or at least I don’t want to today!  Hope you enjoy your Wednesday!

there’s a marathon afoot

There is a marathon happening outside my front door this morning.

I am wildly jealous of the runners!

Meanwhile, I am working.  Not my first choice.  Today is the Kalamazoo full, Borgess 1/2 and this year there are both  10k and 5k options as well.  It’s fantastic!  I really wanted to at least do the 10k or 1/2 but work commitments trumped.

Did I mention I was at work?

Alright, I need to breathe out the bitterness… Also happening this weekend is the Flying Pig Marathon.  I can’t even tell you how desperate I am to run this.  I collected pigs as a kid and these medals have flying pigs right on them!  I love the fun atmosphere and following them on facebook makes me want to run it even more (seriously, check out their website).  There is also a new run they created, the Queen Bee 1/2, which is in the fall.  Again, adorable and fun.

Now that I’ve lamented about the races I’m not running, I should probably make sure I’m ready for the ones I AM running.  Yesterday I set out for some miles and accomplished 5.  It’s funny because I kept wanting to stop.  “I’m tired.”  “My legs can’t go any further.”  “Why did I sign up for this again?!”

During this detrimental inner monologue I told myself that my brain was tired, not my legs.  Guess what?  This was true.  I could and did keep running.  I also asked myself, “do you want this race?”  I decided I did indeed want to run and finish my upcoming 25k; that I did indeed, want to keep running.  While I didn’t suddenly get a surge of power, I pep talked my brain and legs into running further.  Also, I came up with my mantra for the race:  “I’ll cross this *%$#$ finish line”.  Sorry for the profanity but I am going to need the aggression to boot scoot my booty along next weekend.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, my mental game sucks.  So, I reinstated my visualizing yesterday.  I can’t begin to express how helpful this technique is and sometimes I completely forget about it.  I imagine what it’s like to cross the finish line and the euphoria that always follows.  I also picture what the middle of the race will be like – when I want to curl up on the roadside and rock in the fetal position until someone takes pity on me quit.  While prepping myself to feel awful may not be a typical motivational practice, I need to arm myself with the weapons to defeat the negativity.  The only way I know how to do this presently is to figure out ways to encourage my feets to keep doing their thing, no matter what the rest of me is screaming.

I kind of want to make this a shirt…

I’ve got 10 miles on the docket today.  I bandaged up my feet yesterday in hopes that it would stop my Hokas from blistering my feet.  No such luck.  I was kind of surprised actually – I done bandaged them good.  What this does mean though is that I am going to need to wear my NEW shoes for the 25k.  Yet another reason my blog is called “Recipe for Disaster”… I’m going to take the newbies out tonight and the rest of the week to make sure my feet don’t catch on fire but I certainly have my concerns.  I was going to type, “it is what it is” but this doesn’t sufficiently convey my apprehension!

this does a better job…

It’s a BEAUTIFUL Sunday here.  I hope you all are having a wonderful day.  Good luck to everyone running and racing today!

need for speed

I still can’t believe I ran 10:15 minutes miles on Friday.  This is a minute and a half faster than what I was running the week before.  And no, I’m not juicing!

stay away from the juice honey boo boo!

I’m going to back up a little… as I mentioned, my calf has been really bugging me.  It has been super tight and definitely causing pain when I run.  During my run last Saturday, it was hurting so much I shifted my form to compensate.  Of course, this turned out to be a blessing in disguise!

I have no idea when or how it happened but I haven’t been picking up my feet when I run – at all.  I’ve  heavily depended on my calves for all of my running power.  It’s like I’ve just been shuffling.  Lately, when my training plan called for speed work, I just couldn’t imagine how I was going to get faster when my feet/legs couldn’t GO faster.  Then I (physically) realized the concept of turning my feet over faster and was amazed.

this was my reaction too

This realization along with actually using my quads/hamstrings to run culminated into some speed.  On Tuesday, I went for a run and I could tell I went faster than I had in FOR-E-VER.  Lately, my pace has been hovering around an average of 11:50, maybe 11:30 if I felt good.  Friday, I accidentally found a setting on my garmin where I can set the pace I want to hit and then it tells me when I am on pace or ahead/behind.  What a great feature!

not my image but when this popped up on the second hill, I *may* have called my garmin some nasty names…

I set it for 11:15 since this was going to be my first run with my garmin and using this form.  I knew I was running faster, my garmin told me so, but it didn’t say how much faster.  There were times when it said on pace and on one hill it said behind pace.  My first mile was 11:07 and I was surprised!  Two long hills dominate the first part of my route, so I was happy.  I did four miles total and my splits were 11:07, 10:15, 10:17 and 10:22.

I’m still in shock.  My legs were fatigued yesterday in that “whoa, I put in a good work out” kind of way.  My plan was to run a few miles but an upset tummy restricted any bouncy behavior.  But as I tweeted, my spirit is renewed!  I wasn’t sure I would see these speeds again, despite my running coach telling me it was possible.  It’s weird because I figured I could do it but I didn’t know how.  Nor did I really believe it.  Now I have hope and evidence!

There is a month to my 25k and a month and a half until my next half marathon.  One of the reasons my legs are as tired is because my quads are not as strong as they need to be – why would they?  I’ve barely been using them!  I don’t know what to expect from these next two races.  I have some goals naturally but I’m going to keep them at bay and focus on training.  OH!  And no calf pain on Friday’s run!

“It may not be fast and it may not be pretty but it’s going in the right direction”                         – Eric Simonson

long run tips from a lazy runner

Here’s the deal… I’m not one of those folks who LOVES exercise.  I don’t thrive off of the idea of it and I don’t come home from work or greet the day with a loud, “Wahooo!  I get to work out today!”.  In fact, if you were to invite me to some kind of boot camp class or a movie, I would choose the latter, every.single.time.  I would rather go-go-gadget the remote, or coffee than my Hokas.

This should indicate just how much I actually like running.  I get up on my own accord and run some miles.  Yep, plural.  Weird.  That being said, the long run isn’t easy for me – the impending miles seem a bit overwhelming to be honest.  So here are my tips to get through, you know, just in case you are a lazy runner like me.

1.  Get off of the couch.  Yes, this is one of the hardest steps.  Then procrastinate a bit more before getting ready.  Yesterday I tried out a new hairstyle.  Look at the Health and Fitness pinterest page for some motivation or read a running blog to get all jazzed.  Then I really have to get off of the couch.

oh man, I would kill this guy but it looks fairly effective

2.  Wear comfortable underwear (or dress for success, whatever this means for you).  I’m not one of the commando runners and proper undies is very important for me.  Uncomfortable ones will make me cut short a run every time.  I could continue but I’ll leave it at that.  The rest of the outfit should be comfortable and make you feel confident.  I have this jacket from Costco that was cheap and fits so well!  It’s super cute and locks and loads my upper half.  Oh and it has lots of pockets!  Yesterday, I wore a shirt from a race I didn’t run.  Shaming can be a helpful motivator as well.

3.  A good playlist.  This is probably obvious but a good one can really amp me up.  There are certain songs which basically keep me running even when I don’t want to.  There are other songs that remind me of people in my life and I end up thinking about them as I run.  Sometimes I leave the tunes behind but this is typically on the shorter runs.  It’s kind of like bribery by music.

4.  Plan your route.  On a long run a few months ago I thought out a route that I swore would be 19 miles round trip.  Planning out a 19 mile route is actually tougher than I anticipated and not even half way through I was very discouraged because the miles weren’t adding up.  It was like running through quicksand without making any progress.  And it broke my spirit.  When I plan it out, at least I don’t have any misconceptions of how many miles I am running.  Reality seems to help… well, sort of.  I can be in denial that I am running X miles but then not have my soul crushed when my garmin registers 3 when it feels like 10.

5.  Visualize.  When I am starting to hurt I think of past races where I surpassed my own expectations.  I make sure to stick with recent races.  Or I think about how I will feel at the finish line of my next race.  This is what I did with Dopey and I was surprised by the effectiveness.  Plus it got me excited to get to the finish line.

you can insert any race there!

6.  Create a mantra.  Some people will do things like, “kill the hill” or something along these lines.  Mine?  I say, “focus on form, not on pace”.  Sometimes “pace” turns to “pain” – it just depends on which mile I am running.  I know, it doesn’t seem like something that shoots my motivation through the roof but it has a good beat and keeps me focused.  I don’t think a mantra has to make a tiger roar – it has to get me through the miles.

this is more like what my mantra makes me feel like

7.  Rest day.  Tell yourself you only have 2 more runs until it’s a rest day!  Or at least a cross training day.  I never count the days, as in 2 more days until a rest day since this makes it seem very far away.  Counting the actual runs makes it seem much closer!

8.  Walk breaks.  I used to think walk breaks were the worst!  I felt as though I failed.  Now, I’ve learned to recognize the benefit of walk breaks.  I read an article that talked about how walk breaks also build endurance so I started to be okay with them.  I still like it better when I can run the whole route but you know, I don’t feel like a failure anymore.

great advice!

9.  Stick to downhills.  At least as much as possible.  Yesterday I started my route backwards so I climbed the toughest hill first and then the rest of the run was a bit better.  It’s fairly hilly around me anyway but I didn’t incorporate some of the more beastly ones.  I was too tired from Saturday when I didn’t follow my own advice.

10.  Work off your circadian rhythm.  On weekends I love to sleep in a bit, drink coffee, hang out on the couch and catch up on whatever is on the telly.  I like running in the afternoon/evenings much better.  Careful about waiting too long – this can lead to, “I’ll do it tomorrow”.  Trust me.

because I’ve gotten dumber since graduating, I thought it was a “cicada rhythm”. I’m slightly ashamed.

11.  Tweet.  Not when you are done – before!  And ask for encouragement.  Our twitter friends come through with “you can do it!” and the cheers help me out.  Then tweet when you are finished.  You/I deserve the accolades.  Also, I always imagine cars driving past me thinking one of the following:  “Go runner girl go!” – this is from a fellow runner.  “Wow, I wish I could do this too” – this is from someone who wants to run.  “What an idiot!” – this is from someone has some respect but doesn’t understand running.  Chances are no one is thinking anything but I like to pretend I have cheerleaders everywhere.

12. Take the phone.  This way, you won’t feel rushed to get back for an important call or possibly miss that text you’re hoping comes through from that certain someone.  Taking your phone alleviates this (not that he texted anyway but this is more of a personal issue!).  Oh and for safety.

oh man, isn’t this the truth?!

13.  Be proud.  Yay!  We did it!  I’m not sure if long runs are harder for lazy runners or not but I know it takes quite the effort to get up and go.  You know how people say, once you are out there you are fine?  Nope.  I can be out there and cut it short.  Or how about, just get dressed and then you don’t have any excuses.  Nope.  I’ve been half way dressed and decided not to go.  Completing the miles is always a big deal for me.  It doesn’t come naturally and I push hard to accomplish each mile.  Then there is that endorphin rush when I am finished (most of the time) and then I’m all jacked to do it again next time.  This running thing is quite strange.

I am excellent with excuses.  So, I have to be very diligent when it comes to long runs because I can think of TONS of thing to do other than hit the pavement.  Like take a nap.  Since I want the end result, a sub-2 half marathon time, be in better shape and some kick ass leg muscles, I need to do the work.  So annoying.  I wish that once you have run a marathon or a 1/2 that your body could always do it.  You know, like riding a bike.  Then all you would have to do is some extra speed training.  Maybe in another universe…

this really is the truth
this really is the truth

“lazy, lazy, lazy, lazy, lazy, lazy jane.

She wants a drink of water so she waits and waits and waits for it to rain.”  For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Shel Silverstein, the poem “Lazy Jane” is his (it’s in Where the Sidewalk Ends).  I’ve had it memorized since third grade.  Impressed with my skills?!

you shouldn’t be… I was too lazy to look up the poem and thought I had it memorized correctly. I definitely missed a few “lazys” along with some “waits”. Classic me.

Yesterday I said I was going for a run.  Well, I didn’t.  I feel a bit guilty about this considering I know there are others out there who WISH they could be out running but can’t for some reason or another.  But I didn’t want to.  And I was feeling lazy.  I didn’t want to  get all sweaty.  I was productive around my apt and then sat around for a while.  Then I was productive again and by that time the running motivation left me.

This probably wasn’t the best life choice since the 1/2 marathon (that I mixed up the dates) is this Sunday.  And get this – it’s supposed to be in the balmy range of 6-17*.  Eww.  For the record, I hadn’t even looked at the 10 day forecast until now and I’m thinking I shouldn’t have.  Good thing I’m giving one of my friends a ride to the race or there is a chance I would skip it.  I also convinced another friend to run it so how crummy would it be if I didn’t show up?!  Amy… REMEMBER THE T-SHIRT AND MEDAL!  And the feeling of accomplishment of course – can’t forget that when I’m feeling like a human popsicle.

seriously Rose – there was totally room for both of you. It was a decent size piece of wreckage and with a bit of kicking could have supported you both! And Jack – c’mon dude, you don’t need to be a martyr!

I need to get over the aforementioned guilt though.  It was my choice and feeling guilty only makes me resent running a bit.  Like it’s something I’m obligated to do rather than something I enjoy doing.  I feel guilty about a lot of things so it’s something I need to work on… Anyway, there are miles on the agenda today and although my motivation is wavering I’m looking forward to it.  I’ve also decided to commit to Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred and some cross training.

Beginning tomorrow (hopefully in the morning!  I am going to give up my snooze button – ha!  My snooze button and I are in a long-term relationship so it’s going to be a tough break up.) I’m starting the 30 Day Shred.  Here is the current state of my arm muscle.

I didn't take a crappy pic for a "whoa is me". The heat is broken in my apt and it was all I could do to bare my arm even this much!
I didn’t take a crappy pic for a “woe is me”. The heat is broken in my apt and it was all I could do to bare my arm even this much!

Yes, I am flexing…

This is the only picture I will post of the current state of my muscles.  I think I have one muscle in my stomach and possibly another one in back – maybe.  I’ve also taken all of my measurements so I can actually feel and see some progress.  I do much better with knowing progress is happening.  During Dopey training I didn’t put any effort into strength training.  I find I undervalue it and don’t pay much mind to the positive effect it would have on my running.  I know, people are screaming about the benefits from the rooftop about the benefits but I am good with denial.

So there it is.  Running the miles tonight and Jillian tomorrow morning.  On my training plan, I also have speed work which I will be doing in the eve.  If my calculations are correct, it is going to be painful considering Jillian will have kicked my booty.  If I live to tell the tale, you will be the first to hear about it!

hmm… the first two are definite possible options!

Are you good with cross training?

Do you feel guilty when you don’t run because you simply don’t feel like it?  Or do you push your way through the feeling and go?

oh gluttony

Gluttony.  It’s one of those seven deadly sins for a reason and it sure is sneaky!  While I knew I was indulging, it didn’t dawn on me just how much until today.  Well, maybe a bit yesterday but it was Sunday so I ignored those feelings.  Monday.  Monday is the day I deal with unpleasantness.

every freakin’ week

What has my gluttonous behavior included?

Sitting on my bum a lot, LOTS of ice cream and other treats, two coffees a day, Investigation Discovery (ID), and absolutely no effort with regards to preparing meals.  Oh and my apt is pretty messy.  I’m decent at being able to tune these things out when I want to; so despite this behavior happening for the last two weeks, I didn’t allow it to penetrate my frontal lobe until today.  Another beautiful display of avoidance and denial!

All is not lost!  Since having dips in healthy routines are not a new phenomenon to me, I have come up with a plan to rectify this.

1.  Only one coffee a day.  Bummer.  This is the first day and despite my only adopting this since being back in WA during winter break, I’ve already come to depend on this heavenly caffeinated elixir – in both the morning and afternoon.  But my budget has noticed the increase in consumption as have my hips.  So you know, I’m going to drag my way through the day with water.

2.  Ice cream and treats.  Lots of treats.  My sweet tooth has been on overdrive lately!  Goodness!  My love affair with Baskin Robbins peanut butter and chocolate ice cream runs deep.  Yesterday I went to drop off my donations.  Goodwill happens to be close to BR and I really had to tap into some willpower to keep my car headed in the opposite direction.  I’ve also limited access to other treats by not purchasing them.

Weird sidenote: the grocery store was packed yesterday.  I was in line for a long time and a woman ahead of me was talking to another patron.  She was saying how her hubby is having surgery and she wanted to make sure he had lots of snacks while she was at work.  I took a gander at her goodies and suddenly I felt like, “CRAP!  I forgot to get snacks!  I need to go and get snacks!”.  Since I love me some good snacks, I had to hold firm.  I was surprised by how influenced I was by another person’s groceries.

3.  Meal prep.  Good gravy, I’ve been very lazy.  I haven’t had any motivation to cook so I’ve eaten a lot of peanut butter sandwiches because I’m five years old.  I’m not sure what else I’ve eaten because I know it’s more than that.  It’s been this weird hodge-podge of restaurant leftovers and quick eats.  Finally on Saturday and Sunday I prepped some food for the week.

4.  The ID watching and sitting on my bum go hand in hand.  I was lethargic last week and didn’t do much to combat it.  Oh sure, some running here and there but essentially I surrendered.  This week I intend on spending about one hour per night on my apt.  I’m always amazed with how much I can get accomplished in a short period of time.  Somehow I forget this though and put things off for “when I have more time”.  Hmm.  So, I will balance some HGtv, ID and DIY with some actual productive behavior – a match made in heaven.

While this wasn’t a huge descent into the dark depths of gluttony it was enough for me.  I don’t need to spend months trying to get out though and the above goals for the week will help.  Well, that is if I can stay awake long enough – great scott, I am FADING!  Hopefully a run will perk me up a bit!  I’m going to need to fit lunch work outs in again or risk the afternoon slump everyday – ugh.

afternoon coffee, I miss you already

Are you a coffee drinker?  How many cups per day?

Ever fall into a gluttonous trap?

no resolutions here – 2014 is doomed!

I spent all day traveling yesterday to get back to incredibly chilly and snowy MI.  During this time, I napped, listened to some tunes and did some thinking.  Being on a plane for over four hours with delayed flights, driving for over 2 and half hours and taking the train and a boat to get home gives you time to think.

oh yeah and I walked up 3 GIANT hills in Seattle to get to the train pulling two suitcases – brutal!

There were all kinds of ideas floating around in my head about what I wanted my resolutions to include.  Weight loss, running PRs, saving all the monies, cranking up my domestic and decorating skills, being a better daughter, sister, friend… the list went on and it was kind of overwhelming.

Today, I started watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy and came to a very important conclusion.  I’m not making any resolutions this year.

Each January I make lofty goals about how I am going to change my life in the upcoming year.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t see anything wrong with this practice.  In fact, I even accomplish a few of them.  But yesterday as I was sitting in the airport reading over all of the fb posts about how fabulous years were, all I could think about was how my year WASN’T fabulous.  This was the approximate time when I started feeling sorry for myself.

It took me another lay over to see I could think of this past year with a positive spin or a negative one.  Since I’ve been working to slow the negative thoughts down, I opted for the positive spin and it lifted my cloud of negativity.  Nevertheless, I am not sure I want to establish a check list for this year.  I think I want this year to unfold based on what is happening in my life and the direction it is going.  There is a scene in the last Harry Potter movie where Hermione says they need to create a plan.  Harry responds with, “when have any of our plans actually worked?  We plan, we get there, all hell breaks loose” – this is my life!

tru dat Harry

So, I’m going to make goals as I go along.  All of those things I mentioned above will be themes in the following days and being happy will be my main focus.  The rest will be gravy.

queen of sh*t-tastic training

My title says it all – in the past, I’ve been lousy at training for races.  I typically do some training but it may not be super consistent nor do I put in the mileage necessary.  As I’ve mentioned, my longest run before my first marathon was 15 miles.  And following a plan?  Ha!  Nope, not really.

However, one of my New Year’s resolutions was to stick to a plan.  I have realized that my definition of “following” a training plan may not be as type A as some and I’ve accepted this.  It’s about time, yeah?

Why this huge intro?  I ran 20 miles on Friday!  Wahoo!  I think I am prouder of this than my first marathon.  I did this on my own, without the promise of a medal or a Tiffany necklace, the energy of others or a finish line.  It was determination and sweat.  And I am damn proud of this!

I chose a better but still a tough course.  There were some monster hills that I had to go up at least twice.  I kind of regretted this later since the wheels came off at mile 12 and the rest of it became a lot harder.  My legs were heavy from the hill work and my calves were protesting a bit.  It probably didn’t help that I sat in my car for a Honey Stinger break at mile 11!  Nevertheless, I recognize the progress since on my 17 miler I lost traction at mile 8.

What I determined was I need a few more 13-15 milers under my belt.  However, I’ve attempted to run 20 miles at least three times so far and finally getting it done was a huge confidence boost.  I knew I could do it as soon as I hit five miles.  This was a completely different mind-set than in my past endeavors so this was progress too!

I wore my GR race shirt since I felt so good in that 1/2.  I wanted the good mojo to carry into the 20 - it worked!
I wore my GR race shirt since I felt so good in that 1/2. I wanted the good mojo to carry into the 20 – it worked!

Saturday I ran six miles and boy were my calves TIGHT!  I wanted to hit 10 more on Sunday but went to our new dinner/movie theater with a friend instead.  Priorities.

All in all, I’m happy with this past week of work outs.  I’m adding strength training this week – this isn’t a choice rather a necessity.  I want to increase overall fitness!  I’m also increasing my mileage for the week but stretching it out more – maybe two 13s this weekend?  I  have a Turkey Trot on Saturday and ideally, I will just keep running afterward.  Oh!  Those six miles I did on Saturday?  All on my treadmill!  They weren’t the easiest miles ever but there was a big rivalry football game on campus.  Last time I ran during it and was heckled more than ever.  I’m getting better with my treadmill runs!

Do you wear “good mojo” clothing when it’s going to be a tough training run or race?

a tale of two long runs

Considering I ripped off songs for my titles, I figured classic novels shouldn’t be exempt.  I will say, I hated this book.  Madame DeFarge irked me on so many levels.

I planned to do a long run on both Saturday and Sunday back on Monday (when it wasn’t even close – it sounded like such a great!).  But I knew I wanted to run on tired legs.  After the 1/2 last weekend, I took Monday off and ran on Tuesday.  I hit four miles and my legs were exhausted.  It worried me considering my legs are going to be spent by the time I have to run 26.2.  This is a sobering thought.

Just so you know – this didn’t happen.  I don’t want to hold you in suspense.  I overestimated my own abilities and motivation.

This illustrates it well.

Nevertheless, here is the tale:  I procrastinated getting started on Saturday.  I didn’t feel good all day and the good ol’ Saturday lethargy was in full swing.  I finally left at 5:15 pm and told myself I would run as long as my stomach would let me.  Thankfully, I ended up being able to hit all 10 miles I had planned on last Monday.

The run went pretty well.  I felt strong while running and didn’t even realize it until it was over that I never felt the need for a walk break.  The route I choose was ridiculously hilly, too.  I ran this route 4 or 5 years ago and while I remembered it was tough, I didn’t remember HOW tough.  Also, the sidewalk was really uneven and this didn’t do my bum ankle and arch on my right foot any favors.  I could tell I was compensating (my left knee was getting crabby) and I tried hard to hit the pavement as evenly as I could.

I didn’t bring water – bad idea.  I won’t make this mistake again.  A bug flew in my ear and stayed there for about 5 mins.  It was a perfect fall day and the 30% chance of rain never manifested itself.  I would say this counted as a dumb thing, a weird thing and a good thing.  It worked out.

I woke up fairly sore on Sunday.  While I had put on my compression socks the night before and (sort of) iced, I didn’t take an ice bath and considering the route, I should have.  My ankle/arch were really bothering me and I was concerned about running on it for 19 miles.  I finally talked myself into getting ready and was out the door at 4:15 pm.

I ran 00:08.  Then I said, “nope, this isn’t going to happen”.

I used Rocktape to tape my foot/ankle but as soon as I started running my whole body started to riot.  Wasn’t it nice of my garmin to track my failure?!  My stomach was still disagreeing with me and I could tell with the first few strides everything was off.  I decided not to push it.  Maybe this was a missed opportunity, maybe I would have hit all 19 miles with only a sucky first few… maybe.  Or maybe choosing caution was the right decision.  Who knows.

As I am planning out this week’s run schedule, I am going to be a bit more realistic.  See, I thought if I did the 10 miler first then I would HAVE to do the 19 miler since this was on my plan.  Clearly, I found an alternate path.  I am also not in peak training considering the race is still two months away and building up to these long back to backs is a much better plan!  Or am I just making myself feel better?