Friday, November 14, 2014

The First Snovember

Waking up to snow on a mid November morning is super weird. I was lame and missed out on Monday's good weather, and now we have nothing but cold in our future. Bummer.

I've never liked the cold. So it makes running outside even more difficult. I don't have a membership to a gym and I hate the treadmill, but when you're in training for a race you gotta make sacrifices. And I'll be honest, I haven't done much running this week.

After my weekend away and 11 mile long run, I didn't realize the cold was coming in so quickly. So I lollygagged around on Monday instead of logging some valuable miles.

Annie didn't seem to mind our Monday full of couch snuggling and Netflix watching. But then again she is a dog so she's pretty low maintenance. And she never complains about me re-watching my favorite shows on Netflix. Ahem....How I Met Your Mother, Scandal, Gilmore Girls, House, Criminal Minds, Vampire Diaries....Don't judge me.

Since it was bitter cold yesterday, we started setting up our Christmas window display at work. Very merry for mid-November. I'm waiting for someone to say "It's not even Thanksgiving yet," so I can give them the eye and say we are trying to win a contest for Christmas Window bragging rights.

When I got home to take Annie out, she had to sniff every single fallen leaf in her path. In the 30 degree weather. For 30 minutes. Brrrrrrr. Silly puppy.

So I made some Nutella Hot Chocolate.
 It was pretty chocolaty. In the future, I think I will cut back on the cocoa powder just use Nutella. Because let's face it, Nutella rules.

I have 12 miles on the books for Sunday, and I should get close to 3 miles in on tomorrow's run with my NoBo group. I'm using both as dress rehearsals for race day. Little secret about me: I have to teach myself how to dress for the cold weather every winter. Not kidding. The first few runs I always overdress and freeze. And then I under-dress and start running with the fear of freezing, but it usually works out for the better. You'd think I'd know better after all these years.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

My Love of the Brownie Pan

Why do they call them Brownie pans anyway? That makes them so one-sided. Like hey, I'm a Brownie Pan. I only hold gooey, delicious brownies. Full of chocolate and slightly undone centers. Warm squares of chocolatey goodness.

I've had this so called Brownie pan for a while now, and I've pretty much only made brownies in it since I got it.

But recently I had this brilliant idea to bake some BBQ chicken in it. And that turned out delicious.

And you know what else?

It was the most perfect portion size for just little ole me.

So I did something crazy. I made lasagna in my "brownie pan."

Oh, the horror it must have felt when it was full of cheesy, saucy noodley goodness instead of danity chocolate squares.

And again. Perfect portion sizes. I didn't have to eat lasagna for 65 days.

This is huge, people. And please don't tell me one of you, who is smarter than me, figured this out long ago. Shame on you for not sharing with your fellow single people or two person homes.

Total casserole game changer.

So long to my "brownie pan." And hello to my new I'm-gonna-use-this-for-everything pan. I think my next creation will be poppy seed chicken.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

One Month til Race Day

Well I guess it's actually a little less than one month until race day. Training has been going ok. Just a few nagging injuries that try to keep me down. But all in all, I feel strong.

I am definitely faster than the last time I finished a half marathon, and I'm excited to see how I do on race day.

This past weekend I went to Tennessee to spend some time outside on my grandparents' farm. My mom and I ran 11 miles around the town. And we ran out of the city limits. Seeing a city limit sign and not being at your turn-around point is humbling and mentally challenging.

Here are some scenes from my mini-vacation.

Annie loves spending time outside, and apparently she is "real" dog because she likes to carry and chew on sticks. My mission as a dog mom is complete. My dog loves sticks.

This weekend I will run my last long run before I start my taper. 12 miles. It's going to be a good dress rehearsal. Gotta figure out what clothes to wear since this Arctic Blast is starting to kick it up.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Building a Base

Building a base is hard work. Being out of the running game for over a year has put the hurt on me. So I've spent the past two weeks (and next week) building up my mileage so I can run the St. Jude's Half Marathon.

After last week's just-under-15-miles week, my hamstring and knee were bothering me. So I took Sunday off.

On Tuesday, I ran a fast 2 mile run. I forgot to take a picture of my stats since I did the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge after my run.
Here's how it went:

Distance: 2.0 miles
Time: 20:05
Average Pace: 10:09
Best Pace: 8:17
Calories: 173
Average Cadence: 174

The ice bucket challenge was the fastest cool down I've ever had. I do think my co-worker enjoyed dumping ice water on my head a little too much.

When I got to work Wednesday, we found a knot in my left calf the size of the Titanic. We each took turns trying to work it out. None of us could break it up. I now have a bruise on my calf. No pain, no gain.

Yesterday's run was super nice after the first couple of miles.

I forgot how much better it feels to run passed the 2-3 mile mark. I've always felt like I don't get warmed up and feel good until after 3 miles. It was totally true of my long run this week.

Stats for this week's long run:

Distance: 4.0 miles
Time: 46:52
Average Pace: 11:43
Best Pace: 10:46
Calories: 343
Average Cadence: 172

I had negative splits for each mile, and mile four was my fastest. I was nervous about the Titanic sized knot in my calf and my nagging hamstring/knee injury, but everything kept it together. And I can still walk today. It's the little things.

I have a date with my foam roller, and I'm going to a yoga class to help workout some of this muscle tightness. I'm looking forward to a solid recovery day.

And I think I need to take Annie to the dog park....
Since she's been perched on the side of my computer since I started this post.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Up and Running

Half marathon training is in full swing. I'm currently working on building up a nice base before I set out to start my training plan.

This week has been full of accomplishments and a couple of set backs. All good things mostly with just a hint of nervousness.

I have been battling an injury for over a year. Apparently running isn't always nice to you. You have to do other stuff with it. You can't just run, and I always just want to run. Nothing else. And I have to work on changing that.

I logged just under 15 miles this week. That's huge considering I've been good to get five or six miles in a week. I've gotten some new running swag that's made it all the sweeter.

I went for a trail run on Sunday. Conner Park to River Mountain Park. Up a .6 mile massive hill that made me rethink my decision-making skills. And then down Cantrell, which is every runner's nightmare.

It was a beautiful evening run.

I got a little beat up, but it was totally worth it. Set out to do a 3 mile trail run and ended up doing a little under 5 miles. I love it when that happens.

On Tuesday, I did a ladder speed workout with a half marathon training group from work. After a nice warm up, we did a 400, 800 1200, 1200, 800 and 400. Each one had a rest period, and it was an awesome workout. I felt strong. Only had some minor twinges of pain in my knee area.
I was under my usual 11-minute mile pace by quite a bit. My 400s and 800s were in the mid-9s, and my 1200s were right at 10:30. My last 400 was right at 8:30. 

It felt good to run fast, but the minor pains I felt in my knee and hamstring area were on my mind. Lots of soreness on Wednesday. I did a lot of foam rolling and stretching and finally felt a little more normal until I ran this morning. 

I met my running friend Denise for an easy 3 miles. 

Easy turned into terrible real quick. My two 5 mile runs earlier in the week put the hurt on my ole legs. I felt tired the entire time. My legs felt like they weighed 1,000 pounds each. We both struggled, which has never happened since we've been running together. I blamed it on Tuesday. And the fact that I was due for a tough run.

My hamstring/knee has been sore/tight/achy/bothering me again. So that's my main concern. I just want to run and healthy and feel good about it. It's really hard when I've already trained for a half before and had no problems. Thankfully, I have wonderful people around me that are helping and encouraging me to make to race day.

I can't promise I will post every day. But I will do my best to post my workouts for the week, as well as how I'm feeling about it. This space will be my training log, and I hope you follow along.