Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween {2010}






Saturday, October 30, 2010

My first run as a 30 year old {aka 20 epic miles}

This morning started the same as any other long run morning does. Woke up early, ate breakfast, got dressed, foam rolled & stick’d, did some dynamic stretching and out the door we went. We had 18 planned today. I could tell the minute I woke up that I did not want to run 18 miles today. I was struggling mentally with putting one foot in front of the other. Heck, I struggled just to get out the door.

Our long run loop starts at our house and loops around back by our neighborhood before heading over the freeway into the other side of town. The entire time we were on our side of the freeway I was ready to quit. My body felt as out of it as my mind did. The first three miles seemed to drag on and I continued to struggle mentally, and physically.

mile 1 = 12:25
mile 2 = 12:57
mile 3= 13:28

Right before we hit the 3 mile mark we were on the other side of the freeway which I no longer considered close enough to home to quit. I tried to focus on each interval {4:1 run/walk} instead of on how many miles were left. I kept making deals with myself that I would turn around at mile 5 or 6 or 7 but as those miles passed I was starting to feel better and getting in a “groove”.

mile 4 = 13:31
mile 5 = 13:58
mile 6 = 13:46
mile 7 = 12:42

I was never in a really good “groove” or keeping a very good pace but I wasn’t worried about my time today because I was so distracted with not evening wanting to be out there that I was trying to just focus on getting the miles in. Sometime after mile 5 or 6 I switched from a 4:1 ratio of running/walking to a 3:2 ratio and it made a big difference. The next few miles seemed to go by quickly.

mile 8 = 13:30
mile 9 = 13:41

At mile 9 I made a bold statement to the husband. I said lets do 20 instead. We were at the half way point of our planned 18 miler and adding on 2 more miles seemed like a walk in the park {I was feeling pretty good at this point, very minor aches and no major pains and the mental struggle had ended --- probably because we were so far away from home that I had no choice but to continue}. The next few miles continued to tick by quickly also.

mile 10 = 14:09
mile 11 = 13:40
mile 12 = 13:30
mile 13 = 14:00

After mile 13 I started to fall apart. My hips were very tight as was my right hamstring which was causing my knee to hurt. Surprisingly, I had ZERO shin pain during this run. Amazing. However, everything else was starting to hurt and we were about to enter unchartered territory {our longest run to date had been 16 miles}.

mile 14 = 15:20
mile 15 = 14:59
mile 16 = 14:56

The last few miles were a big struggle both physically and mentally. I was ready to be done. I needed to be done. But I was determined to finish 20 miles and that’s exactly what I did. Slowly, but surely.

mile 17 = 15:10
mile 18 = 15:47
mile 19 = 15:11
mile 20 = 18:53

20.0 / 4:45:44 / 14:17 avg pace


This run was epic. 20 miles is serious business. It was hard, and long, and tiring. I’m achy and sore. Training for this marathon {the CIM} has been a long, hard road for me. And this 20 miler is proof of that. It was hard. It took forever. But its done.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My 30th Birthday

Yesterday was my BIG birthday … the BIG 3-0

I spent the day lounging around the house on a vacation day from work.  I received beautiful flowers from my cousins, watched lots of TV with the kitties & Lucy, baked an Oreo Cheesecake, anxiously awaited hubs to get home from work, got roses, opened presents and then went out to an amazing dinner at The Melting Pot.

CIMG5137CIMG5141CIMG5144 CIMG5152CIMG5161CIMG5189CIMG5159

It was a wonderful 30th birthday.

6 weeks to CIM

Wk8 CIM Training Goals

Monday ~ 3
Tuesday ~ walk
Wednesday ~ walk
Thursday ~ 3
Friday ~ 3
Saturday ~ 18
Sunday ~ walk

Total estimated planned miles for Wk8 = 27

Wk7 CIM Training Recap

Here were my planned workouts for Wk7 of CIM Training:

Monday ~ 4, hill repeats
Tuesday ~ rest
Wednesday ~ 6
Thursday ~ rest
Friday ~ 3, easy
Saturday ~ 16
Sunday ~ rest

Total estimated planned miles for Wk7 = 29


Here are my actual workouts for Wk7 of CIM Training:

Monday ~ 0.40 walk with Lucy
Tuesday ~ rest
Wednesday ~ 3.36
Thursday ~ rest
Friday ~ rest
Saturday ~ 16.64 {16.0 / 3:26:37 / 12:54 avg}
Sunday ~ rest

Total miles for Wk7 = 20.4

Monday, October 25, 2010

Meal Plan Monday {Oct 25}

Wow, has it really been a week since I last posted?!?  Nothing too excited happened last week.  Last Sunday night we went to see Robin Williams do stand up in Downtown Sacramento {for date night} and the work week that followed was pretty uneventful.  I had a crappy run on Wednesday followed by an okay and mostly dry long run of 16 miles on Saturday.  We spent the weekend looking at new sliding glass doors {we need to replace ours ASAP} and paint chips.  We are hoping to get our door replaced in the next couple of weeks and we are trying to decide what room we want to paint during our upcoming vacation {Thanksgiving week}.  This week is going to be much more eventful considering its my 30th birthday tomorrow!  I’m only working today, Thursday & Friday and I’m pretty excited for my little mid-week vacation :)

This weeks menu …

Monday ~ No-Roll Mexican Rice Enchilada’s

Tuesday ~ 30th birthday dinner at The Melting Pot

Wednesday ~ Spaghetti with semi-homemade marinara sauce

Thursday ~ Honeymoon Risotto

Friday ~ leftovers of spaghetti with semi-homemade marinara sauce 


  • Pre-run breakfast ~ Bagel
  • Post run lunch ~ Refried Black Bean Burritos
  • Dinner ~ Turkey Burgers


  • Breakfast ~ Egg Sammies on English Muffins
  • Dinner ~ Homemade Pizza with no rise crust

On Tuesday I will also be making my birthday “cake” ~ I’m going to make Oreo Cheesecake {this will be my first cheesecake ever and I’m pretty excited}.  On Sunday afternoon, weather permitting, we plan to take a trip up to Apple Hill :)

*Don’t forget to check out the links … you never know what you might discover!  There are some GREAT food blogs & recipe websites out there :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Meal Plan Monday {Oct 18}

We had a family birthday dinner last week for my brother-in-law on Tuesday, ended up having take-out pizza after a late run on Wednesday and went out to eat last night for Date Night before seeing Robin Williams do stand up LIVE!  So … we’ve got a few meals that are rolling over to this week from last week. 

I LOVE cooking soups in the fall/winter and freezing the leftovers to use for quick lunches on the weekends.  Two weeks ago I made this soup and last week this one.  Both were amazing!  We had leftovers of the of the Harvest Creamy Corn “Choup” yesterday and we are looking forward to leftovers of the Tomato Orzo Soup next weekend! 

I am also really enjoying have Pizza Night on Saturday’s lately.  Since we do our long CIM training runs on Saturday mornings we have found that pizza is the best to have for dinner after long runs & races because after running that many miles sometimes its hard to fill back up!  I’m still experimenting with what crust I like to use and have been using a different one each week.  I’m going to start including the link to the crust I use each week.  Hopefully I’ll find THE crust of my dreams eventually … until then, I’m enjoying having lots of options to choose from.  If you have a favorite crust recipe … please do share :)

This weeks menu …

Monday ~ Mediterranean Chicken Packets

Tuesday ~ Chilaquiles Casserole

Wednesday ~ leftover casserole

Thursday ~ Red Chile Chicken and Rice with Black Beans

Friday ~ Spaghetti with semi-homemade marinara sauce


  • Pre-run breakfast ~ bagel
  • Post-run breakfast ~ Egg Sandwiches on English Muffins
  • Lunch ~ Kidney Bean Tacos
  • Dinner ~ Homemade Pizza with No Rise Crust


*Don’t forget to check out the links … you never know what you might discover!  There are some GREAT food blogs & recipe websites out there :)

7 weeks to CIM

Wk7 CIM Training Goals

Monday ~ 4, hill repeats
Tuesday ~ rest
Wednesday ~ 6
Thursday ~ rest
Friday ~ 3, easy
Saturday ~ 16
Sunday ~ rest

Total estimated planned miles for Wk7 = 29


Thoughts for Wk7:
I’m sticking with a run/walk routine of either 4:1 or 3:1 {depending on how I feel} and I’m taking each day, and run, as it comes. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Wk6 CIM Training Recap

Here were my planned workouts for Wk6 of CIM Training:

Monday ~ 4, hill repeats if possible
Tuesday ~ rest
Wednesday ~ 4-6
Thursday ~ rest
Friday ~ 3, easy
Saturday ~ up to 16
Sunday ~ rest

Total estimated planned miles for Wk6 = 29


Here are my actual workouts for Wk6 of CIM Training:

Monday ~ 4.07 {warm-up, hill repeats, cool down & family walk with Lucy --- hill repeats:  6:18, 6:39, 6:14, 6:10 @ 0.50 for each repeat}
Tuesday ~ rest
Wednesday ~ 4.99 {warm-up, 4.5 @ 1:00:41, cool down}
Thursday ~ rest
Friday ~ rest
Saturday ~ 16.04 {14.0 / 3:06:59 / 13:21 avg / 3:1 and 4:1 run/walk}
Sunday ~ rest

Total miles for Wk6 = 25.1


Reflections on Wk6:
~Monday’s hill repeats {read: on an overpass!} went pretty good.  The next day I started getting some slight pain in my left hip ~ but extra stretching helped that go away. 
~Wednesday’s run was awful.  We did a 4:1 walk/run but I was having some shin pain high up on my left leg near the bottom of my knee cap {new pain, awesome … } and my right knee is still bothersome most of the time.
~Thursday & Friday were both rest days and I did lots of stretching and foam rolling.  The pain in my left hip from Monday came back after Wednesday’s run and it still persistent.  Foam rolling helps, as does stretching, but I have no idea what the pain is or really how to describe it. 
~Saturday’s long run was good overall.  I picked up some generic muscle rub gel {think Icy Hot but CVS brand} on Friday night and it REALLY HELPS THE SHIN SPLINTS and the knee issue.  I applied it to both areas before the long run.  The knee gave me some problems and I had to stop and stretch it out a few times.  It no longer feels like an IT band issue but more like a pulled muscle along the back of my thigh and into the back of my knee.  Rolling it with The Stick is the best relief.  I tried a couple of different knee braces/sleeves from CVS but neither fit well so I returned them. 
~Mother Nature has finally realized that its FALL around these parts and its raining here today.  We had planned to take Lucy on a long family walk to stretch out the legs after yesterdays long run but the weather had other plans. 
~I’m still taking each run as they come.  On the long run on Saturday I started with a run/walk ratio of 4:1 and when I became fatigued and plagued with knee pain I switched to a run/walk of 3:1.  We were right on goal for a 6 hour marathon finish BUT I’d prefer to finish more around 5:30 . . . we’ll see how it goes.


Wk1 CIM Training Recap
Wk2 CIM Training Recap
Wk3 CIM Training Recap
Wk4 CIM Training Recap
Wk5 CIM Training Recap

Friday, October 15, 2010

September Miles

Previous Monthly Miles for 2010:

September’s Totals

Total miles ran/walked: 90.05

Total miles biked: 0.0

Total days of running: 20

Total races: 3 {EG Fun Run #3, Martha Stewart Fun Run, Sac Valley Aids 5k}

*new highest mileage month to date {previous was August 2010}

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Race Recap: Urban Cow Half Marathon {10.03.10}

I can’t believe this was my 2nd half marathon this year & that I’m currently training for a full marathon that will happened before the end of 2010 also.  I never thought I would run a half marathon, let alone even ever consider running a full one, and yet … here I am.

We trained all summer long for this race with our running group from our local running store.  It was a great experience, with a lot of really great people & two awesome coaches. 

The night before the race we got all our “gear” ready, ate a healthy homemade pasta dinner, drank lots of water and went to bed early.  On race morning, after a nice hot shower to wake up, we had our usual pre-race breakfast of a bagel then headed to Land Park to meet up with our running group for a group photo before the race. 

urban cow team photo
Not exactly the best photo ~ but a great group of people nonetheless.


We had group training shirts that we wore at the race ~ either green or white ~ which had these awesome cow butts on the back!  Love it :)

Pre-race self portrait

After the group photo and a warm-up we headed over to the starting line to line up.  The weather was PERFECT.  I remember last year it was sooo cold at this race {we did the 5k}.  The race started right on time so we didn’t have to stand around like a herd of “cows” for very long and it didn’t take too long to get over the timing chip mat/starting line from where we were lined up {around the 1o min/mile marker}. 

The first few miles felt good.  I actually had to use the rest room right before it was time to head over to the starting line but the lines for the port-0-potties were super long so I decided I would wait until we saw some out on the course.  Mistake #1.  I didn’t have to go badly but I was still feeling some “pressure” from needing to go regardless.  We stopped some time between the 2nd & 3rd mile but the line was taking too long so we started running again. 

1 – 11:27
2 – 11:29
3 – 11:31
4 – 12:22
5 – 11:29

We ended up finally using the restroom in Miller Park right before the 6 mile marker.  The next few miles {out of Miller Park and along the bike path} were a little rough.  Not too bad, but I was walking more than I hoped to be.  I fueled {1/2 pack of Clif Shot Bloks} between mile 5 & mile 6 and was taking in water from my Camelpak often {however, not often enough ~ mistake #2}.

6 – 14:50
7 – 11:24
8 – 11:40
9 – 12:05

The walking breaks continued for the remainder of the race.  I new I was on schedule for a PR but I also knew it wasn’t going to be as good as the times I have logged for the 13.1 distance of some of my recent CIM training runs.  But when I was running, I was keeping a good pace ~ I just couldn’t maintain it for very long. 

10 – 11:37
11 – 12:39
12 – 13:26

After mile 12 your back into Land Park and there is a huge banner 1/2 mile from the finish.  I really tried to push hard all the way to the end but I was quickly loosing that battle.  I never felt “hungry” or in need of more fuel after fueling after mile 5 and I realize now that not refueling more during the race really contributed to my lack of energy towards the end ~ mistake #4. 

13 – 14:01
0.24 – 2:43

Official results:  13.10 / 2:42:49
Garmin results: 13.23 / 2:42:49 / 12:18 avg

Overall, even though I made a few basic mistakes*, it was a great race.  And I finished with a PR.  And I’m very thankful & very lucky that I had my husband along side of me for another half marathon too!!!

finish line - urban cow Crossing the finish line ~ photo by Sportphoto

finisher photo - urban cow Finisher photo by Sportphoto

CIMG5079Post race self portrait :)

CIMG5081With the finisher medal ~ a COWBELL

CIMG5088 Post race celebratory champagne & homemade pizza!

*I actually did not feel very good the remainder of the day and also contribute that to not properly fueling during the race and not drinking enough water either.  BIG MISTAKES and I know better. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Wk5 CIM Training Recap

Here were my planned workouts for Wk5 of CIM Training:

Monday ~ rest/walk
Tuesday ~ 3
Wednesday ~ 6 
Thursday ~ 3, speed workout
Friday ~ 4
Saturday ~ 16
Sunday ~ rest/walk

Total estimated planned miles for Wk5 = 32


Here are my actual workouts completed for Wk5 of CIM Training:

Monday ~ 1.00 family walk with Lucy  
Tuesday ~ 3.41 {1.o mile warm-up walk with Lucy}
Wednesday ~ rest
Thursday ~ rest
Friday ~ rest
Saturday ~ rest
Sunday ~ 4.5 run/walk + 1.44 family walk with Lucy

Total miles for Wk5 = 10.35


Reflections on Wk5:
One word = CRAPTASTIC. 
See this post & this post. 
And pray with me that Wk6 is BETTER. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Meal Plan Monday {Oct 11}

I made a superb soup last week {seriously, click on the link and go check it out … then make it ASAP} and I’m anxiously awaiting fall to finally arrive in here in Norcal so I can make lots more soups!  I love FALL and SOUP season :)

This weeks menu …

Monday ~ Pasta with eggplant marinara {from the freezer, leftover from this recipe couple of weeks ago}

Tuesday ~ Chilaquiles Casserole

Wednesday ~ leftover casserole

Thursday ~ Tomato Orzo Soup with grilled cheese sandwiches

Friday ~ Spaghetti with semi-homemade marinara sauce {from the freezer, leftover from a few weeks ago}



*Don’t forget to check out the links … you never know what you might discover!  There are some GREAT food blogs & recipe websites out there :)

8 weeks to CIM

Wk6 CIM Training Goals

Monday ~ 4, hill repeats if possible
Tuesday ~ rest
Wednesday ~ 4-6
Thursday ~ rest
Friday ~ 3, easy
Saturday ~ up to 16
Sunday ~ rest

Total estimated planned miles for Wk6 = 29


Thoughts for Wk6:
Last week was not good.  I decided I need to take some time off to recover from some the shin splints and to deal with an IT band/right knee flair up.  After a few days off I did a 4.5 run/walk with a 3:1 ratio and felt good.  I’m taking extra care for my IT band & knee and hoping this week will be better.  I keep saying it … but only time will tell.  I’ll be going forward and continuing with the plan of a run/walk ratio of 3:1 and taking each day as they come. 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Run, walk, run, walk … repeat

After writing THIS post this morning we headed out to meet our running group for a 10k on 10.10.10 at 10am.  Considering my pain and issues I have been having I decided I was going to walk the first whole mile, then run up to 3 minutes and see how I felt.  If I felt good/okay then I was going to continue running with a 3:1 ratio {run 3 minutes, walk 1 minute}.  My sister-in-law showed up right before we left for the 10k with the group and she has recently started running/training again after coming back from a knee injury so we ran together. 

The first mile felt good.  When I woke up this morning my IT band & right knee were SUPER tight so I foam rolled & used The Stick before we left to meet the group and it really helped.  After the first mile we ran for 3 minutes and I felt GOOD.  NO SHIN PAINS and only slight tightness in my IT band/knee.  After 3 minutes we walked for 1 minute then repeated for the next few miles.  Around the 3.5 mile mark I decided I was done running for the day as I didn’t want to push too hard or over do it and we walked back to the store {we only did 4.5 miles total instead of the full 10k (6.2)}. 

It was AMAZING to not have any shin pain and I felt pretty good overall.  My knee is bothersome and my IT band is tight so I will definitely be using my foam roller and The Stick again today as well as lots of stretching.  And I’ll be digging out my IT stretches that I did when I was in physical therapy earlier this year to start doing those again and I’m going to make CORE WORK a BIG priority today and going forward.

Once again I am hopeful for the CIM and I think continuing with a 3:1 run/walk ratio will be the KEY TO MY SUCCESS with marathon training & completing the marathon! 

Wish me luck :)

Only time will tell

After completing the Urban Cow Half marathon {race report to come soon} I was very sore.  It was extremely surprising since I had ran 16 miles the week before and felt GREAT that same night and the days that followed.  However, this post is not about that.  This post is about the horrible 2.41 miles I ran on the Tuesday following the Urban Cow.  I started with a 1 mile warm-up walk with Lucy because I was still so sore and having some major shin pain along with some right knee/IT band issues too.  After the walk, I dropped Lucy off at home and head out.  I started slow and decided to do a walk/run combo after a few minutes of pain with every step.  The entire run was CRAPTASTIC and I came home in a lot of pain.  The next day, Wednesday, was even worse and walking was difficult.  That day I decided, after emailing back & forth with the husband while at work {my favorite time passing task}, to take a week or two off from running to see if that would help my legs.  I am discouraged and upset and depressed about these turn of events.  The CIM is only 8 weeks away.  Will I be ready?  I don’t know the answer to that question.  I do know that I will continue to do the best I can do and hope I can recover quickly and get back out there.  Only time will tell …

Thursday, October 7, 2010

9 weeks to CIM

Wk5 CIM Training Goals

Monday ~ rest/walk
Tuesday ~ 3
Wednesday ~ 6 
Thursday ~ 3, speed workout
Friday ~ 4
Saturday ~ 16
Sunday ~ rest/walk

Total estimated planned miles for Wk5 = 32


Thoughts for Wk5:
So far training has not gone as well as I hoped.  I’ve missed more workouts than planned and I’m still struggling with shin pain off and on {mostly off but when its there, its really there}.  I’ve had a couple of really great runs but more bad than good.  I hope to get past this little training funk that I’m in and get re-focused.  I’m hoping this is the week I can turn it all around.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wk 4 CIM Training Recap

Here were my planned workouts for Wk4 of CIM Training:

Monday ~ 6, easy
Tuesday ~ 5, speed
Wednesday ~ 4, hills
Thursday ~ 3, easy
Friday ~ rest
Saturday ~ rest
Sunday ~ Urban Cow Half Marathon, 13.1

Total estimated planned miles for Wk4 = 31.1


Here are my actual workouts completed for Wk4 of CIM Training:

Monday ~ rest
Tuesday ~ 2.29
Wednesday ~ rest
Thursday ~ 1.72
Friday ~ rest
Saturday ~ 3.0 bike ride
Sunday ~ 13.54 {Urban Cow Half + warm-up}

Total miles for Wk4 = 17.55


Reflections on Wk4:
~Tuesday’s workout with our running group was a good run, but we did a short workout because it was the week of our half marathon and it was HOT.  Think middle of July during the last week of September HOT. 
~Wednesday ended up being a rest day because we went out to dinner for date night & to celebrate being home owners for two years AND attended a fundraiser for the husband’s soccer team. 
~Thursday’s run was miserable.  It was soooo hot and I was having some pretty severe shin pains.
~Saturday we rode our bikes around town to attend the Giant Pumpkin & Harvest Festival at the park.
~Sunday’s half marathon was pretty good.  I had a good race overall and finished with a new PR.


Wk1 CIM Training Recap
Wk2 CIM Training Recap
Wk3 CIM Training Recap

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Race Recap: Sac Valley Aids 5k {09.12.10}

This was our 2nd year participating in this event.  The race course was the same as last year {starts & ends at the State Capitol building and weaves through downtown with two loops around Capital Park}. 

The weather was a lot warmer this year than it was at this race last year but it wasn’t too hot.  The race started a little late.  The husband lined up right up front as he was hoping for an age group place at this race.  I was just hoping to finish considering we ran 14+ miles the day before!  

I started strong and was keeping a really good pace.  During mile 2 the first place winner ran past me and I quickly realized that the husband would be passing me too so I slowed my pace, dug my camera out, and kept watch for him so I could get his photo as he passed by.  Once he zoomed by me I picked my pace back up and finished the last mile+ strong. 

The husband passing me before his last push to the finish!

Rounding the last corner before the finish line!

We both ended up having a good race despite the fact that the husband did not get his age group win and we ran a loooong run the day before {our farthest long run to date}. 

Our results:

Jesse:  3.14 / 35:31 / 11:18 avg {official chip time:  35:37}

{splits:  11:11, 11:46, 11:07, 1:25}

Jon:  3.14 / 21:16 / 6:46 avg {official chip time:  same}

{splits:  6:26, 7:00, 7:01, 0.48}
*finished 13th overall, 6th in his age group (30-39)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Meal Plan Monday {Oct 4}

Yesterday I ran my 2nd half marathon and set a new PR with an official time of 2:42:49 and today I took the day off work to take care of a couple of errands.  Unfortunately things did not go as planned and I ended up finally getting back home around 1pm.  However, by that time I had lost all my motivation to do chores around the house.  I think I will just enjoy the rest of my day off and take care of “chores” another day!


This weeks menu …

Monday ~ French Onion Pasta

Tuesday ~ Shredded Chicken Tacos {we didn’t end up having these last week}

Wednesday ~ Harvest Creamy Corn “Choup”

Thursday ~ Vegetarian Mexican Pizza {no chicken, just beans}

Friday ~ Spaghetti with frozen leftover eggplant marinara from when I made this recipe


  • Pre-long run breakfast ~ Bagel
  • Post long run breakfast ~ Fried Egg Sandwiches on English Muffins
  • Lunch ~ Black Bean Tacos
  • Dinner ~ Homemade Pizza