Category Archives: speed work

Let Me Shed Some Light – question and answer

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Workout

5 mile planned, turned 6.55 mile outdoor run.  hoping for a few more this evening.  fingers crossed.
 
what a beauty.  greasy haired, mascara smudged beauty.  some days I just take a ridiculous amount of pictures of myself. and make you look at them. my apologies. 
Lululemon cool racer back top. lululemon black speed skirt. Mizuno wave elixir sneaks
 
the treadmill run of yesterday left me pretty scarred. just couldn’t do it again today. I just don’t like that thing. but the hubs had a long bike ride plan for the early am, so I was leaving my run to chance. hoping by some miracle that it would fit in before 7pm tonight. because I just don’t like to run at night either.  I’m pooped by then. so high maintenance.  turns out good things happen to tired moms. I got up with little dumpling at 5. did the usual play outside routine. thank God for perfect weather. Hubs hit up the gym and I ran when he got home. and all was right with the world.  I didn’t even wear my watch. I wanted to do an easy 8ish mile pace. It ended up being more like a 7:35-40ish mile pace according to my clock checking. This is my garmin catch 22. I kind of need it to force myself to do the slower runs. but when I see the slower pace that I set out to do, it starts getting me anxious to run faster. my enjoyable easy run is no longer as enjoyable. for now, I run by feel – comfortable/easy and try to learn my pace. I felt like I was running 8ish. I need some fine tuning. better luck next time. 
 
We ran some errands early. I needed wipes and half and half. and this is what I walked out of the store with. 
 
 
no wipes. how does that happen. blah. as long as the luker doesn’t do a pooper in the next few hours, there’s no real emergency.  I also needed flatout wraps but didn’t know it. I thought I had another package in the fridge. It was a sad moment at lunch when I had to prepare it on regular bread. world class problems happening over here. 
 
 
just not the same.  Live and learn. Always keep three extra flatout packages at all times. this can never happen again. I made flatout pizzas on the grill awhile ago for the kids. loved them. so versatile.
 
We got home and did some educating.  
 
 
My Alexandra girl hates it. I have to set the timer for 10 minute increments and then she needs a break. and lots of different kinds of activities.  all she can think about are lemonade stands and horses.  she’s a mind wanderer.  Anna, on the other hand, asks me if she has to stop at ten minutes or if she can please keep doing more work. show off.  so different. Luke is a lost cause right now. I’ll figure something out for him at some point. 
 
I’ve gotten a bunch of emails with questions from you cool cats out there. and because there were mulitples of similar questions and because I’m having an issue sitting down and responding to each email individually (I can’t imagine where big girl gets her inability to sit still from), I’m going to devote the rest of this post to answering your questions. let’s go. 
 
1.  What do compression socks do for you and what kind do you wear?  

Please remember, I generally do not know what I am talking about. I pretend though.  and I do read enough to get an idea of why I do certain things like wear compression socks, but this is not based on much of anything else other than it works for me.  to answer the question – I had shin splints in the early spring. they helped a great deal with them, along with rolling, to make them feel better and support the muscles that might have been causing the shin splints. I also took a lot of time off running. I also wear them because as I have mentioned, the vascularity in my legs can be slightly painful and somewhat vomit inducing. If you ask me. I am my worst critic.  my husband would say otherwise, but he has to be nice to me.  and tell me I’m beautiful 5,287 times a day.  Kind of like emily with her suitors on the bachelorette. The compression socks help support the blood flow in my lower legs.  I also have compression shorts – that I intended to wear for recovery after my marathons. again, helping to support muscles and blood flow for quicker, less painful recovery from strenuous things.
 
I love these Pro Compression socks. They fit amazingly and do not make your legs feel like they are going to fall off. 
 
 
They come in a varity of colors and I just got an email that says you can get 40% OFF their orange marathon sock!  use coupon code SOM612 at checkout.  which brings it to like $30 for a pair.  and free shipping.  great deal. if orange is your thing, go stock up asap.  expires july 10th and inventory is limited, so get on it! The only downside for me is that it is a sock, and not a sleeve. when I run, I like to wear my own socks. I have worn them for running, and they are great.  super fabulous for after a run.  I was told they are coming out or have possibly already made a calf sleeve. for high maintenance peeps like yours truly. the compression sleeve I LOVE are the CEP brand.  perfect.  
 
 
worn in style at this race. I’ve also been known to sleep in them. because I’m sexy like that. compression sleeves. You’ll be seeing them in your next Victoria’s secret catalogue. my hubs is a lucky guy. 
 
2.  When you started running, how fast were you and how do you go about increasing your speed?

I did a post awhile back about HOW TO GET FASTER.  again, based on nothing but personal experience. which, isn’t actually true, because I had never technically done speed work or anything to get faster. so really just suggestions on what I theorized would work to help get the speed ball rolling. 
 
I don’t know how fast I was when I started running. I didn’t wear a watch of any sort and I didn’t ever think about time. I ran my first marathon without a clue about pacing and didn’t pay attention to pacing in training. I took so many breaks from running between having kids.  I didn’t really get into running on any consistent basis until after I had my son in 2010. For reference – I ran my first race in fall of 2008 – 3:37 marathon, about 8:17 pace.  I pushed it really hard in that race and I hurt more than I have ever hurt after. I also had IT band issues in that one.  I ran this past fall marathon in 3:11 with the worst ITband pain I’d ever had, leg buckling debilitating, leading me to believe I was strong enough and in shape enough to run closer to sub 3:05-3:10 had I zero knee pain.  I’ll find out this fall. I work hard when I’m training for something. Speed and strength comes from a huge variety of different workouts and mental gusto – slow runs are just as important as fast runs – also depending on what kind of speed you are training for. short distance speed or long distance speed and endurance. the mental game is equally if not more important in your ability to run fast. and strong. believe. and try. and keep trying. and keep working. and keep consistent. 
 
3.  You mentioned that you have hashimotos hypothyroid – I’ve read that gluten should be eliminated, do you have any experience or suggestions with diet/food intake?

I talked a little bit about this in THIS POST – part of a marathon recap. Hashimotos is a super annoying, very inconvenient, autoimmune hypothyroid (under active) condition. mine is regulated with synthroid, but always changing and completely unpredictable.  My body does not like my thyroid gland and does not think it is necessary. but it is very necessary and effects a lot of very necessary functions, one being metabolism and many other hormonal feedback systems. I have read a lot about it and am always left confused and wondering what the next thing is that I should add or eliminate from my diet. I have also read about the gluten connection with autoimmune thyroid problems, but do not know enough about it to make any diet changes. I do not experience any gluten issues, and have not even explored that. yet. I have also read that going gluten free when there is no intolerance to it can be equally harmful. Like anything, I think balance is key. I think our society is pretty easily influenced and when something is said to be “good” for you, we go crazy overloading on that good thing.  then it all of a sudden becomes bad because we’ve “overdosed” on it. Then if something is said to possibly be bad for some people with an allergy, like gluten, we go overboard and eliminate it – which could also be harmful. there are people that can not tolerate it. but it’s not the entire population. everything in moderation for me. all about my comfort with certain things.  and balance.
 
I am NOT a dietician, nutritionist, or anything remotely associated with knowing anything about nutrition for the general public. I know what works for me. doing my best to eat minimally processed, no white sugar, whole foods, cleaner eating always leaves me feeling best. and I know I feel better and my body can function better when I’m putting food into it that it knows what to do with it.  I know I don’t handle dairy very well. I also stay away from soy products, simply because I have read about soy and effects on thyroid.  probably from dr. google or some totally reliable source like that. enough proof for me. THAT’S JUST ME. I have been told by doctors and read in Jackie Warner’s book that tap water can interfere with thyroid function because of certain minerals in it and the fluoride they oput in it. so it is best to drink filtered water. 
 
4.  I can’t seem to get past running 3 or so miles. I just want to stop after that. How do you learn to run longer?

Even after all of the long runs and countless miles I’ve put in over the past couple years, there are runs where the first 3 miles are just torturous. depending on the day, I just don’t want to go further. then, I get passed 3, and I could go for a long time. It takes your body a good couple miles to warmup. and if you are just not having an on day, it can be hard to ever get passed that first chunk of warmup miles. here are some tricks I’ve thought of, that can be useful for any distance:
 
Tell yourself to just go to the next street light, mailbox or landmark. When you get there, do it again. and keep doing it. It takes your mind off the running and gives you something to run to, rather than a mile mark in your mind. 

Think in terms of time instead of miles. Instead of saying I’m going to run 5 miles, say I’m going to run for 30 minutes. Then 35 minutes the next time. then 40 minutes. pretty soon, you will be running further and further and thinking about time, not miles

Don’t put pressure on yourself to run farther at every run. Plan out your runs. have a shorter run, a comfortable run and a longer than you are used to run. one that is harder to achieve. this way, you won’t come home from every run feeling like you’ve failed because you couldn’t get over the hump of 3 miles, or whatever distance you are stuck on.

Give the run a purpose. a run will fly by if you do a progression run, a tempo run, a fartlek or speedplay.  You won’t be thinking about distance, but about shorter time intervals and paces. 

Take a walk break of a set time while you are in the process of trying to make your runs longer and build endurance 

Music. I don’t run with music, but some people swear by it to get through a run. 

Run with a buddy, a spouse, a pet. some good company can keep a run from nosediving before its over. or start by yourself and have someone meet up with you when you know it’s going to get hard

Make sure you are fueled properly. if you haven’t eaten anything in 6 hours and you want to go out and do any run – its probably going to be very tough – physically and mentally. 

Likewise – hydrate!! make sure you have been drinking water. I am the queen of hydrating. I always have a full bottle of something with me to sip on or guzzle down. depending on my mood. 

Be nice to yourself. positive can do affirmations go a long way

There were more questions, and I obviously have a lot more of know it all, when I don’t really know it all answers. however, as does usually happen with these little blog posts of mine – this is becoming a marathon distance post and I must end it before I really start talking out of my bum. and before I start getting lactic acid buildup and need to start fueling.  we’ll finish it up in another post. so exciting.
 
Feel free to add anything to my answers in the comments!
 
Don’t forget to get your COMPRESSION SOCKS, use code SOM612 at checkout for the best deal ever on some super cool orange marathon socks.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Long Runs and Trail Races

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**Note- this was written on Sunday and not published until today. read as if you were still gloriously enjoying your Sunday afternoon instead of in the trenches of a work week/stay at home mom week with all kids home on summer break – it will be more enjoyable that way

Workouts

Let’s start with Saturday’s long run – my longest run since I’ve returned to running after the April marathons and a lot of time off before that from shin splints. This was my 5th week back, and I am just starting to incorporate a little speed to test out my legs and start to give them a feel for faster.  My mileage has increased over the past five weeks and my longer run on Saturday got me to 50 miles for last week. yippee. happy week.
 
Saturday – 14 miles. I don’t know the time. I ran 6 alone and 8 with a friend. I know the 8 friendly miles were about exactly 8 minute miles. The solo miles were closer to 7:30. Perfect 14 miles.
 
Sunday – 6 miles. confession, I partnered up with garmin for this one. I just felt the need.  I had no real intentions of speed. I often don’t know what the run will hold these days until I start running, which is kind of nice – soon enough they will all be planned out. the gps didn’t kick in for about 3/10 of a mile, but the timer started right away so my time was accurate but my distance was off. Blah blah blah. Feet start moving and this turned into a let’s make this a marathon goal pace run, because that sounds like a fun thing to do on fathers day. which turned into, let’s just run and see how it goes. it went pretty well. I get all mathematical with pace figuring sometimes, and judging by my scientific calculations, the first 1.3 miles were about 7:20 pace.  truly ground breaking stuff here.  the average pace was about 6:37.  the last 4 were- 6:30, 6:16, 6:32, 6:17, then a 3/4 mile jog to make 6.  happy with that too. getting a feel for speed again. 
 
Saturday had all sorts of family shenanigans going on. It’s just what we do when the weather’s nice and the hubs and I are feeling like letting our children have an utterly enjoyable childhood. homemade slip ‘n slide. 
 
 
 
There’s nothing like throwing your children down a tarp of running water at lightning speed.  contesting who could get the farthest distance off the tarp and into the middle of the yard.  pure fun. for parent and child alike. 
 
We did some driveway bike riding with our best buds. 
 
 
biking is so much more fun with friends. They go everywhere luke goes.  boy needs some friends.  riding this little bike is our favorite past time. 5:30 am, Luke and froggy’s are riding the bike
 
Most importantly, Shelby is not living in a paper cup anymore. we didn’t want to get reported for animal cruelty so we got her (or him, I’m still not sure) a proper home. 
 
I don’t know how, but my daughters unconditional love for this hermit crab has rubbed off on me and I have grown fondly attached to Shelby.  adorable little thing.
 
Fathers day started with a family trip up to Massachusetts.  the Hubs ran a trail half marathon.  it was actually 13.5 miles to be exact. we piled in the car with lots of snacks and went to cheer on our favorite daddy.  I usually get slightly insanely jealous of other people running races when I am not. I didn’t really get jealous of this one. maybe just a little bit after, but not before. 3,000 feet in elevation gain in the first 3 miles. frightening. you can have this one all to yourself hubs. I would much rather fish Luke out of a nearby stream. 
 
Mt. Grey lock in Mass.  you get to go straight up that mountain over yonder. real fun.  lady in the middle of the field was doing some serious warmups. I hope she didn’t injure herself before she even got going. 

Kidings and I, and hubs’ friend drove to the 7.5 mile mark to wait for him to come through. this was rough and tough trail running. down and dirty. I surely would have dislocated some thing had I attempted this. I am better at spectating these things for now.  The kids and I did just fine.  we found a log and claimed it. ticks and all. this is the wild outdoors.
 
 
we packed plenty of food and hung out.  because food always makes kids happy and pleasant.  you would think 4 lbs of grapes, 2 lbs of strawberries, bananas, pb&j sandwiches, crackers and what not would last awhile…they didn’t.  these kids can plow through some produce in no time. 
 
 
I don’t know what they are looking at, but Luke is missing out on something spectacular. 
 
Hubs finished in 2:23.  fantastic. he loves the trail running. love may actually be a strong word for his feelings about trail running. if he has to run, he would prefer trails.  
 
It’s good that we run differently. It’s hard enough sometimes that we both run. I will do an ultra trail run in the next two years.  But for now, I like the road and he likes the trails. and it keeps us nicely balanced.  and I don’t have to make him feel badly about beating him on all the trail runs.
 
I got in touch with my inner chef and prepared a lovely fathers day dinner. the requested first course was nachos with avocado. done.  yum. 
 
 
The picture of health. you’ve got to just enjoy food like this sometimes. all in moderation and not all the time. hubs definitely worked for it after that trail run. 
 
 
 
Followed by beef tenderloin on the grill, sweet potatoes and corn on the cob. dee – lish.  
 
 
I don’t really sit down to eat most nights. I hover. and get water refills and second helpings and cut up food and take memorable photographs that will never get printed and usually end up finishing off whatever is not eaten. so healthy. 
 
I hope everyone had a great fathers day and happy races if that’s what you did this weekend. 
 
Don’t forget to check out the GIVEAWAY
 
Tell me about your weekend??

Racing?  did anyone ‘bump’ into Kara Goucher at the half marathon championships??

Grilling?  

Slip ‘n Sliding???

Healthy or not so healthy eating? 
 
 
 
 
 

Run Wrap Up

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Workout – cross training day.  killer stairmaster workout.  45 minutes speed intervals.  I actually tried not holding on to the handles the entire time.  it is killer.  it was also killer because it was 90 degrees today and 1167% humidity.  that’s right.  hot.  I was going to throw in a sexy little post workout ab ripper photo, but when I went to take it, my I feel completely bloated feelings were confirmed.  no need to post scary things like that.  so I give you a picture of my super sexy, sleek, un-bloated stairmaster.  she’s a beauty.

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I’m tired.  just gonna get that out there in the open.  I’m not sure exactly why, because I got to sleep in this morning until 6am.  by 6:15am we were doing this…

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and shortly thereafter, that progressed to this

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I am not one to dash the hopes of a little boy who wants to ‘go pee pee on the potty mama, peeeeaaaasse!!!’  no sir.  not me.  whether it be in the bathroom or on the front step for all to see, I let the boy do his thing.  and that continued for most of the day.  aside from a trip to the grocery store and other tuesday things.

and that has left me tired.  the boy thought otherwise of taking a nap today.  leaving his room rearranged and me even more tired.  no, I would not like some cheese with my whine, I try to limit dairy, but thanks for asking.  let me continue….the crazy pollen is making my head miserable and now making my body feel achy.  my arm kind of just hurts constantly.  that’s a little exhausting.  we topped off the stellar day in the highschool auditorium with tons of little ballerinas dress rehearsing for the big show on saturday.

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naturally Luke sat like a darling little child and watched the whole thing hopped every row, ran up and down the aisles and screamed his bloody head off.  I’m tired.  and it was 90 degrees today.

I’m recruiting more little self talks lately about being in the moment and really cherishing my little cherubs and the crazy that they bring.  all the time.  and the love that they bring.  all the time.  it’s hitting me that my two baby girls are going to be gone all day at school next fall.  just like that.  and I don’t know how or when that happened.  because I swore it was just yesterday that I was sending my Alexandra girl to her first day of preschool.  cliche.  but true.  the days are long right now, but the years seem to have flown.  so I’m trying to say ‘yes’ to them more and less ‘not right now, in a minute’.  sometimes it’s easy.  sometimes it’s not.

So.  the objective of this post was to chat about information in regards to something that might enlighten you about running, fitness, health, or anything remotely related.  that’s not going to happen.  not in any coherent manner anyway. because I’m tired, as I mentioned.  all I can do right now it talk about me.  and my running.  and hope that you don’t get more stupid as a result.  or wonder why you are still reading this ‘running’ blog.  my running seems interesting enough.  probably just as interesting as looking at my wedding pictures.  don’t worry.  I won’t take it that far.  back to running.  I get out and run and am happy to be out.  yes, I get anxious about my speed.  when will it be time to get back into speedwork and speed training and tempo runs.  and yes, I get anxious about how much endurance I’ve lost.  but I think about what I have now.  I have healthy legs.  I have a bum arm.  awesome.  I have strength.  I have the knowledge of what I can do.  I have the ability to grow.  and learn.  and I keep learning more about running and myself.  good stuff.

so I decided to do a little speed test on my Sunday 7 miler, just to see.  I was running 5:30-40’s for mile repeats back at the track in March.  that seems so far off right now, but I know it’s in me and I will find it again.  so I had no expecations with this run, it was to bring on the challenge a little bit with the pace, but keep it short and sweet with the faster pace.

It looked like: 10 minutes fast, 3 minutes jog, 10 minutes fast, 3 minutes jog…and then just run a slow comfortable pace back home.  I did an out and back.  I don’t know why, but I didn’t warm up.  I went right into the 10 minutes fast.  I never learn.  I miss those injuries I guess.  anyway, I was pretty happy with it.  I didn’t push it all out and my 10 minutes fast were right at 6:30 and my jogs were between 7:30-8.  and looking back at the pace, for the last few miles of the run, I progressed from 8:20 mile to sub 7.  and it was about 88 degrees.  it was not my best run ever, but it didn’t have to be.  I used to get in a constant competition where each run had to get better and better.  not so my friendly friends.  each run has a purpose.  I ran in my brooks pureflow for this one.  love them.

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Monday’s 10 mile was a perfectly pieced together run.  I ran with my baby boy in the jogger for 2 miles, to the coffee shop and back.  I then ran 3.6 with my neighbor, who was jogging by and I tagged along.  I don’t know that she will ever run with me again.  I think I stress people out.  they think I want to be going faster and they are never going fast enough, when in reality – like I mentioned, most of my speed is lost somewhere back in the month of March, so all is A OK with a slower pace!  and then to complete the run, I did a 4.6 mile out and back.  another hot run.  which I think is great training.  10.2 miles total.  in this snazzy outfit.

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I’m not sure how many good running decisions I make.  wearing all black on an 88 degree run in the sun day.

and my mizuno precisions.  great sneaks.

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I generally choose these over the waverider 15’s lately, just because I’m a snob for the lighter weight shoe. and this one is perfect for me now – not too light and not too heavy.  i’m goldilocks the runner.

and I felt a well deserved cross training day today.  as I’m getting back into running and getting my mileage up, I’m trying not to run more than 2 days in a row.  and I think it will do my body good.  I am hoping for 40 miles this week.  and I think it’s doable.  by the end of june, I would like to be up to 50 a week and hang there for awhile to see how it feels.  I guess my marathon training will really start end of june/beginning of july.  excited.  the goal now is to keep running as stress free, happy go lucky, fun and exciting as possible.  and I think it’s going well.  that means lots of runs without the garmin. no prob.

oh, here’s something healthy I can throw in here!  My lunch…

I switched it up a bit today from my usual flatout wrap that I have everyday.  I went for an open faced sammy on sprouted grain bread with hummus, salsa, eggwhites and avocado.

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looks delish.  yes? no?  it would probably turn your stomach to actually witness the consumption.  it’s not a clean meal.  maybe if it had a top, but that would have been too much for me.  I try to eat an avocado a day.  not a whole avocado, more like a serving.  and I love that mango salsa.  this was a tasty non sandwich my friends.

get out there and run.  for fun.  for fast, or slow.  for however you are feeling today.  take the pressure off.  and you might surprise yourself with a pretty decent experience.  and have an avocado while you’re at it.  they’re healthy.  believe me.  and go do something intelligent to make up for the brain cells you may have lost as a result of reading this all over the place post.  there’s always a point.  its up to you to find it.

Hair Evolution and CARBS!!!

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Workout – the resting continues today.  surprise.  Yesterday, however, reunited me with my track.  we had a nice run.  My love for the track grows – even when I’m doing a tempo run and running lap after lap.  I did 16 laps total.  Here’s a pic of the workout – because I’m still technologically disabled, I have to take a picture of the screen.  very cool.

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You can completely ignore that first split.  I did not run a 4:48 mile (but don’t put it past me).  lies.  I was jogging to the track when my girlfriend that I was meeting drove by me – I hitched a ride and did my warm up at the track instead.  but forgot to stop the garmin in the car.  oops.  speedy.  The split 2 is the warmup, then I did the tempo miles, splits 3 – 6.  This is where I get confused.  I did 12 laps for the tempo, which I thought would be 3 miles.  But my garmin beeped that I hit a mile before I finished the fourth lap.  I think the gps was just off – but that left me with an extra little .23 at the end.  then the cooldown, 2 laps. 

My darling track, you did me good again.  I haven’t really run since Friday, and that was a measly couple miles.  Just as soon as the anxiety really starts settling in that my legs will not know what to do and will completely disintegrate when I hit the starting line from doing no significant running for 3 weeks, I have a good run.  good enough to get me through until Saturday.  A very tiny, short, little run.  but a good run.  I started out faster, like a 5:40 pace and was very comfortable.  but I wanted to keep this run more like a tempo so I forced myself to slow it down.  and I had 12 laps to do.  I was comfortable the entire time.  I didn’t feel like I was working hard.  my breathing wasn’t strained or heavy.  I had plenty of energy left at the end (pushed it for the last lap) and my legs didn’t get tired or start burning.  Big mental boost.  from a short 4 mile run.  that’s all I need.

Everything was very tight on my warmup jog, but nothing hurt during the run.  I iced and rolled and stretched last night.  My shins don’t hurt today, but my entire right leg is just a bit ‘off’.  little bit of knee pain, nothing major. I think everything is just really tight.  I’m going to continue to ice and roll and stretch.  This might not be the smartest thing, but I think I’m going to stay off my running legs tomorrow and not do the shake out run.  complete rest.  strap on my compression shorts and socks and settle in.

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Happy day for Katie, I had a hair appointment on the agenda to bring me closer to blonde.  Lets take a look at how my hair has evolved in the past 5 months.

I got a box of brown color, that was more like black and went to town…

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I’m so cool.  no worries, I was parked during my photo session.

 

Got sick of that and wanted my not natural blonde back…to the hairdresser I go…

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Now we are getting there….

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I get a partial highlight or foil, whatever you want to call it, and like to keep the bottom layers my natural color.  or something close.  I have no clue what my natural color is.  it saves time and $. 

The hairdresser is so great for not only hair color but learning fun new things from magazines like Women’s Health.  here’s what I found and I will share it with you because everyone likes to learn new things about women’s health.  don’t we now. 

(the red effect is a special effect just for you.  it’s actually the lamp behind my foiled head)

This peaked my interest because it’s about FOAM ROLLING.  I have become very intimate with my foam roller.  it works well.  there’s some 411 I didn’t know about why foam rolling is good…read on and learn why you, too, should foam roll.  get rid of those adhesions and loosen up!

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BALANCE

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I honed in on ‘prevent injuries and increase your agility and quickness’.  Start balancing!  I liked this because I actually do a lot of my strength exercises in a way that challenges my balance, or in a proprioceptively enriched environment.  big words.  That’s one thing that my brain held on to from the two weeks I actually spent studying my personal trainer certification materials.  I will work my back muscles standing on one leg in a stork stance, with my chest parallel to the floor.  Or bicep curls on a bosu trainer.  Lots of good exercises out there to improve your balance.  get to it.

SHIRT

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totally random, but I thought that purple shirt front and center was really cute.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that it’s from American Eagle and only costs an arm, instead of being Michael Kors or something and costing my firstborn child.  steals and deals.

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And now I am spending the next 48 hours carb loading.  I hate that.  I know a lot of runners love the permission a marathon gives to ‘eat anything’.  I really don’t enjoy it.  It’s really just another thing to stress me out before a race.  How much, when, am I eating the right kinds, and I getting enough???  Too much.  I’m very much a creature of habit with what I eat, and it doesn’t really include a truck load of carbohydrates.  Nevermind that I eat two bagels and I’m hungry 30 minutes later.    I eat more than I normally do in the days leading up to a marathon, but not a ton more.  I generally just replace most of my protein with carbohydrates.  

Here are some carb loading tips: (read full RW article HERE)

1. You should aim to get 4-5grams of carbs per pound of body weight

That would put me between 550-650 grams of carbs a day.  I’ve never hit that amount for any marathon.  that’s a lot of food. 

2. According to The Runner’s Body, two keys to successful carb loading are amount (as mentioned above) and timing of intake. 

It used to be thought that depleting your carbohydrate stores by not eating many carbs for a few days and then go carb heavy to fill it back up right before the race was the way to go.  Now it is suggested to continue to eat normally as you effectively deplete your stores by the pre-race training and taper activities and then consume high carb foods 2 or 3 days before while doing less training.  This will effectively ‘fill your stores’

3. Back to the RW article – at the point of carb loading 2-3 days pre-race, you should be getting 85-95% of your calories from carbs. 

“It’s important to keep in mind that you’re most likely not eating many more calories per day than you were during the thick of your training—it’s just that more of those calories are coming from carbs.”

That’s what I like to keep in mind while I’m fueling up for a race.  Replace what I usually eat with higher carb foods

4. It is common to put on a few pounds if you carb load correctly.

“If you step on the scale while you’re carbo-loading, be prepared to see a number that’s at least four pounds more than your usual weight. The extra pounds mean you get a gold star for carbo-loading properly. “With every gram of stored carbohydrate, you store an extra three grams of water,” says Katz. That means your body will be hydrated and fueled as you start the race, ensuring you cross the finish feeling strong.”

Whenever I do it, I end up losing a pound or two or staying the same.  I’m clearly doing something wrong, but I’m stuffing my face with bread and quinoa and bagels and pasta.  I’ve heard of this way of dieting called calorie cycling.  While dieting is not on my radar, I’m thinking that changing my diet while I carb load might be having that kind of effect on my body.  It seems like it kicks my metabolism into high gear.  who knows.  all speculation.  but I’m hungry.  all the time when I carb up. 

5. Suggestion of how to prepare for carb – loading and race fueling – from the same article we’ve been talking about here

Perfect Timing
What to do before race day to ensure your tank is full
6 WEEKS BEFORE: Practice loading
Two or three days prior to your longest run, start eating more carbs and less fat and
protein. “You’ll get a sense of what foods agree and disagree with your stomach,” says Katz.
1 WEEK BEFORE: Make a plan
“A plan is especially important if you’re traveling to a race,” says Ryan. Pack plenty of snacks, like sports bars, pretzels, and crackers. Check menus online and make restaurant reservations.
2 OR 3 DAYS BEFORE: Switch to carbs
From now through your race, 85 to 95 percent of your diet should be carbs. Eat after taper runs. “That is when muscles are primed to store glycogen,” says Rapoport.
NIGHT BEFORE: Don’t stuff yourself
Dinner should be relatively small but carb-heavy. Eat on the early side so you have lots of time to digest.
“You want to wake up race day hungry—not full from the night before,” says Ryan.
RACE MORNING: Have breakfast
Three hours before the start, eat 150 grams of carbs, like a bagel and yogurt or sports drink and oatmeal, says Ryan. Early race? “Get up at 3 a.m., eat, and go back to bed,” she says.

 

I had mentioned the other day about the idea of using fat as fuel.  All of this chitter chatter obviously has nothing to do with that form of fueling.  That takes time and training.  Carb loading is the most well known way to fuel for a long race, and is what I am relying on to get me through this upcoming 26.2.  yeehaw.  I am still planning on exploring the fat for fuel ideas and sharing what I find with you lovelies.  In theory, it makes sense to me and I am planning on implementing it in future training.

 

Now I have to go eat an entire chocolate cake and thirty minutes later I will consume a large cheese danish.  totally healthy and appropriate way to “load up”, wouldn’t you agree?  I kid.  It’s bagels and cereal for this girl.  and some clean eating quinoa.  good times packing it in.

 

What are your thoughts on carb loading?  Any tips?

Do you color your hair, or are you lucky enough to still be au natural?

What’s going on this weekend?  Races, long runs, vacations? 

 

Happy Thursday!!!!

Wacky Wednesday

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We went to Target for toilet paper and motrin.  that’s it.  toilet paper and motrin.  two items.  this is what you come home with when you go to Target for toilet paper and motrin.

There is no toilet paper or motrin in that large pile of bags.  it’s still sitting unpurchased on the shelves at Target.  probably because I left my list sitting on my counter.  and anything I needed to get left my little brain as soon as I walked in the store and saw the section of bikini’s that I had to look at. 

Maybe I should start going to Target specifically for clothes, socks, toothbrushes, vitamins, granola bars and lots of other random crappola that I was surviving without just fine before today.  Then maybe I would come home with the toilet paper and motrin that I needed.

I did find a few things that I could not have breathed a moment longer without.  Target is good for that.  You will ALWAYS find something you absolutely needed, but didn’t know it. 

 

My new favorite rice in a bag.  and take a look at those nutrition facts and list of ingredients – totally doable for this easy to pleasy girl.  It doesn’t have 8,000 mg of sodium per serving.  I’ll take it.  and it doesn’t have a list of ingredients longer than my arm.  I’ll take another.  thank you.  and I’ll eat you for lunch. 

I also got this fun bag of “trail mix” – $2.99!!!  That’s a steal.  

sunny. and cranberry. two very pleasant words. for $2.99. how could you not bring that home with you.

Thank the good Lord I was still on a runner’s high from my treadmill jaunt this morning.  is that possible?  I think I enjoyed this mornings workout so much because I’ve taken the stress out of my training plan this week.  I really like the plan.  I like having one to follow.  but I’m learning about myself that I like it more as a guideline to give me some direction where to go.  Like, Katie, you should run this week if you want to run a marathon in a few months. Ok.  that’s a good start.  and, Katie, you should do a fast run if you want to run a faster marathon.  even better, thank you training plan.  what a great suggestion.  so I think I’m going to let it be kind of loosey goosey like that.  I’m not going to hold myself strictly to the plan.  I’m going to let it flow and let it guide.  get in the miles and do what feels right.  pretty sure I will enjoy the whole experience more that way. 

So the day went on as Wednesdays do – long and wacky because little chick #2 doesn’t have school in the afternoon, but Luke has to take a nap.  so we are stuck home from lunchtime on with everyone going stir crazy.  once he gets up, I have to start dinner.  it takes me at least 3x as long as the suggested “prep” time to actually prep the meal.  I’m slow.  all there is to it.  I don’t cut vegetables very fast.  and I have Luke trying to help me.   

This is what naptime looks like – it’s actually rearrange the room time and empty out the closet time for Luke.

the crib generally doesn't go in the middle of the room. luke needed to move things around a bit.

closet. empty. good job Luke. I've been meaning to clean that out.

meanwhile, knucklehead 2 cut her hand on a drinking glass that she broke and then knucklehead 3 stepped on a picture while cleaning out his closet during “naptime” and cut his foot on glass.  really?  TWO glass cutting accidents in ONE afternoon.  fun. 

I also got suckered into playing to play a wonderful game of memory with my girls.  whoever came up with this particular princess memory should be shot.  or just fired.  that might be more appropriate and less “angry”.  how many cards do we need here.  this game is for 3 and up.  

I think I even threw half of them out.  and I swear they move around on you once you put them back after you don’t get a match.  and then they laugh at you. because you never get a match.  there are too many. you can’t get a match.  I think it’s magic memory.  it wasn’t fun.  there is no reason to have a BIG princess Aurora card, and little princess aurora card, and a princess aurora card with her little princess friends.  princess aurora was my favorite princess, but this was too much for me to handle.  on a wednesday.  a long wednesday.  not my favorite childhood game.  by a long stretch.  tomorrow we will play candyland.  that’s my favorite.       

The girls also made some fabuloso jewelry.  that made up for the craptastic game of memory we had that was less than memorable. 

my little Anna. doing awkward hand signs just like her mother. she's 4. in case you didn't know. she wanted you to know.

All I can say is thank goodness for a good gym session this morning.  the big guy upstairs knew I needed it for today.  Thank you God for little blessings.  and big ones.  like good runs and my three healthy, happy little loves.   

How do you handle deviating from a set plan? 

Do you work better with a laid out plan, or are you more “go with the flow”, “take it as it comes” kind of person?

Did you have a favorite Disney princess?  Do you sometimes pretend you are a Disney princess?;) 

 

Back at it…for today

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I took a break from my break from running this week and did my planned workout – only because it was speedwork day.  Is it weird that I actually look forward to that run? 

Workout – gym treadmill.  flat.  2 mile warmup @ 7:30 min/mile, 4 x 1600’s @ 6:00 min/mile with 800 meter recovery jogs @ 7:30 min/mile.  8 miles total.  54 min.  This was the best workout I’ve had in probably two weeks.  I felt awesome and strong and beautiful and smart and funny like I was superwoman and I could save the world and then go run a marathon.  all at 6am.  true.  running does that.  just me?  whatever.  it was a great run.  and I was super sore from my two days of Jillian/strength training.  I like speedwork because I really feel like I’m accomplishing something towards my goal of getting faster.  It feels like hard work, and I like that. 

ran in my spiffy new pants. they stayed in place. sign of a good pair of leggings. I do have other gym shirts, that one seems to be the favorite of the week. or two..

Enter reality when I get home.  turns out I’m not superwoman, awesome or funny.  smart and beautiful stick with me wherever I am.  and I have to feed hungry children, change dirty diapers, think about what to make for dinner at 7 am, do laundry…and forget about my dreams of winning the olympic marathon.  until the next speedwork day:-)

Rewind to last night – New recipe #2 for the week courtesy of Food Network – I made for dinner last night. 

 

this is what cooking dinner with 3 kids looks like. Luke is in charge of the steaming hot pot of boiling vegetables. he'll only burn himself once. then he'll learn.

The following conversation at the dinner table tells me how good it was :

Alexandra:  “Mom, this is sooooo good.  What day is today?”

Me:  “Thank you my little love nugget, today happens to be Tuesday, why do you ask?”

Alexandra:  “You should make this dinner every single Tuesday.  every week.  every week that has a Tuesday, you should make this.  It is so good.  I’m going to eat this whole bowl”

Anna:  “Oh yeah, you should make this every Tuesday.  It is so good.  I’m going to eat this whole bowl.”

Sometimes I wonder if poor Anna ever has an original thought in her head.  I guess it’s easier to just copy the person who spoke before you anyway.  Maybe she’s on to something. 

I guess it was good.  It was a veggie pot pie – my theory is that anything is good if you wrap it in pie crust.  just a theory. 

I think this is my best food picture yet. quit while I'm ahead?

I wanted a vegetarian version, so I googled “vegetarian pot pie” – pretty creative.  the recipe I used was the first one that came up and it got good ratings.   it was pretty flavorful, and didn’t taste like your typical pot pie because it had things like fennel and parsley and chives in it.  Yum.  I would make it again.  I made my normal changes like I do to every recipe.  for some reason I always feel like I can make a recipe better so I subsitute things and omit things at my leisure.  and then wonder why it usually doesn’t turn out right.  gamble paid off last night.  turned out good.  add it to the book ‘o recipes!

We finished off the evening with a mean game of hide and seek with the kids.  my husband had the kids going.  the fun thing about playing hide and seek with a 2, 4 and 5  year old is that you can hide in front of their faces and they probably won’t find you.  the best spot he had was laying flat on Alexandra’s bed.  It took them 20 minutes to find him, and I had to help them.  In the words of my oh so dramatic 5 year old, she liked hide and seek as much as she liked dinner – “this is the best night ever!!!  we should do this every Tuesday night!!!”  ok sweetheart.  if that’s all it takes to make you happy.  pot pie and hide and seek.  pretty sure Mommy and Daddy can handle that one. 

Davey and I tried to sit and watch Biggest Loser.  I couldn’t really get into it last night.  I haven’t been watching it regularly – but I haven’t really been clicking with the contestants the past couple of seasons.  I miss the Jillian/Bob combo.  But, I do LOVE to watch the workouts they do.  geek.  and I love bob. 

More later, on Target fun and more new recipes! 

What was your favorite game to play as a kid?

Do you watch BL?  Who is your favorite contestant?  Are you into other reality TV? 

 

 

Don’t get too comfortable.

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Workout – 6 mile treadmill run, 1% incline, 41 mins.  15 minutes strength circuit

Yay!!!  We made it to Wednesday.  I got to the gym this morning at like 5:15, really didn’t want to go, but really didn’t have a choice since I took yesterday off.  I would be grumpy mcgrumpster if I didn’t do anything this morning.  to put it mildly. 

Hopped on the torture belt (aka treadmill) and started the run- at the usual 8.6 mph.  Here’s the thing – this pace has become pretty comfortable for me.  In my mind, it’s a decent pace.  Puts the mile at 6:58.  In my mind, that’s pretty good.  But, it dawned on me – I’m getting TOO comfortable with it.  One year ago this was not a comfortable pace.  And I also hated running on treadmills (more than I do now).  I just gave up running for the winter, for the most part. 

Me talking to myself during my run (totally normal to talk to yourself on the treadmill.  even more normal to sing out loud listening to your music):  If I don’t push it now, I won’t be faster one year from now.  Marathon’s are not comfortable.  Fast marathons are even LESS comfortable.  So why should my training be comfortable??? 

So, I bumped up the pace to a 6:15 min/mile and told myself to push it a little bit.  And I was TIRED this morning.  We don’t sleep a lot in my house.  Those little lovelies of mine are up early.    I want to do my fastest marathon this year.  Period.  The only way I can do that is if I run when I’m tired.  Run when I’m sluggish.  And run faster when I want to run comfortably. 

So when things get comfortable for you – push it.  Make it uncomfortable.  You’ll be surprised how good you feel after.  There is nothing easy about running 1 mile, 3 miles or 26.2 miles. 

lovely portalets in the rear. really adds something to the nice post-race family picture

 

This picture was right after my October 2011 marathon – SOOOOO uncomfortable!  I was miserable for most of that race and most of the rest of the day.  I think my stomach was trying to eat me, I had such intestinal discomfort.  I said never again will I run a marathon.  So I signed up for my next marathon the next day.  just 4 weeks later.  and beat my time by 6 mins.  victory for me.  expect more of yourself.  nuff said.   

What was your last run/workout that you pushed it a little harder?

Have you ever had a miserable “I never want to run again race”?  What was your hardest run yet?