Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Track Workout: Wk7 {Fall Race Training}

I’m not sure I’ll ever get use to running in the evenings again.  Especially not at the track.  Last night was HOT, again, though not as hot as the previous two weeks.  There was some wind on the back side of the track that felt so good but was so hard to run into.  The first half of each lap was blistering hot with no wind and the second half of each lap was pure wind resistance training.  I love the Delta breeze we experience nightly but gosh it sure is hard to run directly in to it when you’re trying to run your fastest!


Warm-up:  1.10 / 14:04 {walk/jog intervals}

6x800 {goal = 4:43}
with 400 walking RI between repeats

I started the first repeat way too fast and then slowed it way down during the second lap so I wouldn’t crash and burn with 5 more repeats to go.  The 2nd, 3rd, & 4th repeats were too fast and I was doing a lot of speeding up and slowing down instead of focusing on maintaining one pace.  So for the last two repeats I tried to stay more consistent with my pace.  With the exception of the first repeat, I still blew my goal time out of the water!  It wasn’t easy and I could feel all my leg muscles burning by the last repeat.  It felt good to be done!

  • 4:45 {9:33 pace}
  • 4:25 {8:52 pace}
  • 4:15 {8:33 pace}
  • 4:20 {8:44 pace}
  • 4:37 {9:17 pace}
  • 4:32 {9:06 pace}

Overall:  3.19 / 36:20
Took 90sec RI between repeats


My shin was achy during my warm-up but felt fine after some plyos and when I started the workout.  The SIL wasn’t feeling too good and ended up cutting her workout short.  The husband was out there with us last night, running 1200’s, so after resting for a few minutes the SIL headed home and me and the husband finished up our workouts. 

Cool down:  0.52 / 9:52

After the workout I was feeling a little burned out so I’m contemplating taking one week off from a track workout.  I don’t want to get too burned out so taking a week off from speed work might be a good idea and just doing an easy run instead.  We’ll see … I’m still thinking about it. 


I woke up this morning with tenderness in my left shin so I stayed in bed for a couple of extra hours and then finally headed to the gym at 11am.  The shin is now feeling fine.  Geez get it together already shin! 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Let’s Talk About: Participating in Races

I love participating in races.  It doesn’t matter the distance, as long as I’m properly trained, and its not because I win, although I have gotten 2nd place in my age division twice.  Its about the energy and the excitement.  Its about being apart of something bigger --- the running community.  Here in Northern California there is a very large running community that I’m proud to be a part of.  And now that fall is quickly approaching so is fall race season! 

I’ve already talked about my two big races I’m training for this fall --- the Urban Cow Half and the California International MarathonCIM is my “A” race for fall but I am “racing” the half marathon, as opposed to using it as just another training run, since I do hope to set a new PR.  However, those are not the only races I’ve got planned for the remainder of this year.
This weekend we’ll be racing in a fun run 5k that is put on by my local running store, The Running Zone.  They host 4 fun run 5k’s a year and this weekend’s is the third race for 2011.  I have also participated in the first two races this year {see HERE and HERE} and all 4 fun run 5k’s last year {see HERE for my 2010 completed races}.  If you participate in all 4 races then you receive an All-Series Participant Award and last year at the final fun run me and the husband both received the awards --- and that’s our goal again this year too!  {You can see the awards HERE}.  The fun run 5k in May {see recap HERE} holds my current 5k PR.  But I’ve been diligently working hard on speed work all summer long and I’m hoping for a new PR this weekend {and if last weeks tempo run is any indication of how race day might go then a new PR is definitely possible}!

The following weekend we’ll be running a new race distance at the Buffalo Stampede 10 Miler.  Both the husband and I decided we wanted to participate in this race this year {for the first time} so I built my training plan around it {and a few other races we knew we wanted to do}.  I’m excited to race a new distance at this event!   

The next race will be the Urban Cow Half marathon in early October.  This year is my 2nd year participating in the half marathon {2010 race recap HERE} at this event and in 2009 I participated in the 5k --- it was my first 5k where I didn’t stop to walk {race recap HERE}.  I’m really excited for this race this year because a lot of my fellow running buddies from the training group at The Running Zone are running it and this will be my SIL’s first half marathon.  And a lot of other fellow runners that I’ve met recently are running it also.  I think its going to be a great day!


The next race will be the Clarksburg Country Run 20 Miler {another new race distance}.  Last year we got burned out pretty quickly with running in the same place every weekend for our long runs so this year we are changing it up and running in new places and running at events we’ve never participated in.  When I heard about the 20 mile race distance at the Clarksburg Country Run event I knew it was a race I wanted to do so I built my training plan around it too. 


The following weekend will be the final fun run in the 2011 series for the 5k’s held by The Running Zone where we’ll receive our All-Series Participant Awards.  The final fun run 5k is on a Sunday this year and we will have run a long training run for the marathon the day before so I’ll be mostly likely walking this final 5k but I still wouldn’t miss it!


Then on Thanksgiving morning we’ll be running the 10k distance at the Run to Feed the Hungry.  We first participated in this race back in 2007 and its become a Thanksgiving tradition that we cherish.  Last year {race recap HERE} was the first time we ran the 10k distance and we fell in love with the course {mainly because when the 10k runners cut away from the 5k runners/walkers it becomes much less crowded} so we’ll be doing the 10k again this year.

And, of course, in December we’ll be running the California International Marathon.  This is my “A” race for the fall and everything is leading up to it.  I can’t wait :)

*        *        *

What races do you have planned for the fall?  What race are you most looking forward to?  Obviously CIM is super important to me and the race I’m most looking forward to but I’m really excited about all the races!  There is one more race we are contemplating doing but it would mean some rearranging of our training schedule for CIM so we are not sure if we are going to do it or not {Lake Natoma Four Bridges Half Marathon}.

Fall Race Training: Wk6

This was a great training week.  I had a rough night at the track on Tuesday but a great tempo run on Thursday where I ran my fastest time for a 5k distance ever!  My 14 mile long run was great and I finished strong with a kick to the finish.  My shin progressively got better all week and I’m starting to notice some muscle definition returning to my arms from the NROLFW workouts.  The Core + Glute exercises continue to prove effective since I have not had any piriformis pain since I started doing them. 

This week is a step back week and I’m looking forward to a 5k race on Saturday where I hope to set a new PR.

Wk6:  08.22.11 – 08.28.11

Monday 08.22 ~ NROLFW + cardio

Cross Train

  • Elliptical:  15min {1.18 miles} + 35min {2.75 miles}
  • Stationary Bike:  32min {6.07 miles}

NROLFW, Stage 1 – B2 {22min}

  • Deadlifts = 3x15 {30lbs}
  • Dumbbell shoulder press = 2x15 {2x8lbs}
  • Wide grip lat pulldown = 2x14 {40lbs}
  • Lunges = 2x16 {2x12lbs}
  • Swiss ball crunches = 2x15

Walk with Lucy 

  • 2.06 / 40:58

Core Exercises {15:00}

  • 3x30sec plank
  • 3x20sec side plank, each side
  • 3x60sec pelvic bridge

Glute Exercises {17:00}

  • 3x10 chair squats
  • 3x10 clam shells, each leg
  • 3x10 door knob assisted deep squat

Tuesday 08.23 ~ Run 4x1200 speedwork @ track

Run ~ 4x1200 @ 7:25 with 400 RI

Track Workout:  Wk6 {Fall Race Training}

*I passed the 100 mile mark for the month during this workout --- my highest mileage month EVER :)

  • Overall:  3.84 / 44:29
  • Splits:  7:06 {9:28 pace}, 7:02 {9:25 pace}, 7:24 {9:54 pace}, 7:18 {9:44 pace}
  • Warm-up:  1.07 / 15:20
  • Cool down:  1.33 / 26:23

Wednesday 08.24 ~ NROLFW + cardio

Cross Train

  • Elliptical:  15min {1.19 miles} + 25min {2.0 miles}
  • Stationary Bike:  24min {4.27 miles}

NROLFW, Stage 1 – A3 {19min}

  • squats = 2x12 {20lbs on barbell}
  • pushups = 2x12
  • seated row = 2x12 @ 40lbs
  • step-ups = 2x1 each leg with 2 10lb dumbbells
  • prone jackknife = 2x10

Walk with Lucy 

  • 2.07 / 42:17

Thursday 08.25 ~ Run 3 tempo miles

Run ~ 3 tempo miles
1 @ easy pace {12:10} + 2 @ short tempo pace {10:35}

Tempo Run:  Wk6 {Fall Race Training}

Also known as my fastest 5k time EVER

  • Overall:  3.10 / 30:25 / 9:48 avg
  • Splits:  10:31, 9:39, 9:26, last 0.10 = 0:47 {7:53 pace}
  • Warm-up:  1.03 / 15:58
  • Cool down:  1.06 / 20:53

Core + Glute Exercises {40min}

  • 3x30sec plank
  • 3x30sec side plank, each side
  • 3x60sec pelvic bridge
  • 3x10 chair squats
  • 3x10 clam shells, each leg
  • 3x10 door knob assisted deep squat

Friday 08.26 ~ NROLFW + cardio

Cross Train

  • Elliptical:  15min {1.20 miles} + 35min {2.97 miles}

NROLFW, Stage 1 – B3 {18min}

  • Deadlifts = 2x12 w/30lb dumbbells
  • Dumbbell shoulder press = 2x12 w/8lb dumbbells
  • Wide grip lat pulldown = 2x12 w/50lbs
  • Lunges = 2x20 w/15lb dumbbells
  • Swiss ball crunches = 2x15

Saturday 08.27 ~ REST


  • 5.05 in 1:42:46 with Lucy

Sunday 08.28 ~ Run 14 miles {HMP+30}

Run ~ 14 miles @ HMP+30 {12:08}

Long Run:  Wk6 {Fall Race Training}

  • Overall:  14.0 / 2:39:31 / 11:23 avg
  • Splits:  11:46, 11:39, 11:39, 11:37, 11:36, 11:30, 11:24, 11:28, 11:23, 11:19, 11:14, 11:26, 11:50, 9:34
  • Warm-up:  1.08 / 19:15
  • Cool down:  1.32 / 25:03


Total Miles = 37.01
{Walking the dog = 9.18 + Running = 27.83}

Daily Mile Stats:
Total Time = 13hrs, 50mins
Calories Burned = 5501

Weight Watchers Activity Points Earned = 72

Monday, August 29, 2011

Long Run: Wk6 {Fall Race Training}

Yesterday’s long run started and ended at our house.  We ran near home this week because we hosted a get-together at our house yesterday afternoon and needed to be home by a certain time to get ready.  We ended up starting a little later than we planned but since we didn’t have to factor in driving time it all worked out just fine.

We started with a walk/jog warm-up and then found a parking lot to do some plyos in before getting started.

Warm-up:  1.08 / 19:15



We basically ran from freeway to freeway.  We live near Hwy 99 and we ran out to Interstate 5 and back.  Its a nice big loop, mostly flat, with two big “hills” {read:  overpasses}.  The temps were cool when we got started and the sun was at our back for the first half, after it came up.  I ate a Powerbar Gel {tangerine} at 25min into the run {45min since we started if you include warm-up time} and 4 Gu Chomps {strawberry} at 1hr15min, 3 Clif Shot Bloks {cranrazz} at 2hrs, and 1 package of Welch’s Fruit Snacks during the cool down.

image Potty break #1

OF COURSE I had to go potty almost immediately and we found a port-o-potty on a construction site at about 1.5 miles into the run.  We started out nice and slow and keep the pace comfortable, yet we blew away my estimated goal average pace of HMP+30 {12:08}.  We ran the first half a few minutes slower than the second half.  We were facing the sun on the way back but running on a heavily shaded sidewalk area so it wasn’t that bad. 

  • Mile 1 – 11:46
  • Mile 2 – 11:39
  • Mile 3 – 11:39
  • Mile 4 – 11:37
  • Mile 5 – 11:36
  • Mile 6 – 11:30
  • Mile 7 – 11:24

First 7 miles = 1:21:11

The first “hill” {overpass}

Halfway done!

Potty break #2

  • Mile 8 = 11:28
  • Mile 9 – 11:23
  • Mile 10 – 11:19
  • Mile 11 – 11:14
  • Mile 12 – 11:26
  • Mile 13 – 11:50
  • Mile 14 = 9:24

Last 7 miles = 1:18:14

imageThe second “hill” {overpass}

One of my goals for my next half marathon {Oct 2nd, Urban Cow Half} is to run it in under 2hrs 30mins so as we approached the half marathon split on this run and I realized I was going to beat that time I started to slow it down and take more walk breaks.  I don’t want to beat my race goal time on a training run then not be able to do it on race day

Half Marathon split = 2:31:xx










The last mile we ran fartleks and the last 0.10 I told the husband to run fast and I would try to catch him.  I didn’t catch him but I did get down to a 6:xx pace for a second or two --- LOL. 










Overall:  14.0 / 2:39:31 / 11:23 avg










I felt great, overall, on this run.  I like that we’ve been mixing up our long runs between flat courses and hilly courses.  Although I was soooo sick of running this big loop since we ran here A LOT last year during marathon training it was nice to start/finish at home without any drive time.  We also ran the loop backwards today --- the opposite way that we use to run it last year --- so that was a nice change also and I actually enjoy it better going the way we ran yesterday.  I had some shin achiness when we started but felt fine the rest of the run.  It was a big confidence boost to know I ran “easy” for the whole run and still would have beat my half marathon goal time, if I wouldn’t have purposely slowed down.  And running the fartleks for the last mile was energizing and rewarding to know that even after all those miles I still had some energy left and could finish strong with a kick to the finish

image 14 miles DONE :)

Cool down:  1.32 / 25:03

This week is a step back week --- we’ll be running a 5k race next weekend.  I’m really looking forward to this race and hoping to PR after all the hard work I’ve been doing and time I’ve dedicated to speed training.  We are also running a race the following weekendFall race season is upon us! Woohoo.  The next few weeks are going to fly by and then it will be half marathon race day :)

image Post long run ice bath!

Meal Plan Monday {Aug 29}

Woohoo, we actually stuck to our meal plan all week last week.  Hopefully we can make that happen again this week.

Yesterday I hosted a get-together at our place of a group of my old co-workers from the job I was laid off from at the end of January.  It was so much fun to sit around and chat with the people I use to spend the majority of my day with everyday.  I really miss working with this group and I’m glad we’ve remained friends.  I can’t wait to see them all again soon! 


Monday ~ Roasted Eggplant Marinara

Recipe found HERE but discovered HERE on Peanut Butter Fingers.  When I saw this post I finally knew what I was going to do with the eggplant sitting on my counter that I picked from our garden.  I’ll be omitting the ricotta cheese, as the husband is not a fan, and I’m excited to make this tonight!

Tuesday ~ Crockpot Salsa Chicken

I haven’t used the crockpot in forever and that is a shame!  Since I’ve been going to the track in the evenings on Tuesday with my SIL I thought a crockpot meal would be perfect so I don’t have to worry about cooking when I get home :)

Ingredients:  1-2 frozen boneless & skinless chicken breasts, 1 cup {or more} salsa, taco seasoning {1 packet or 1-2 tbsp homemade}, 1/4 cup sour cream, 2 tbsp cornstarch

Directions:  Mix salsa and taco seasoning in crockpot, add chicken and cook on low until chicken is cooked through, remove chicken and shred it, and add sour cream and cornstarch to sauce and cook on high while stirring briskly for a few minutes, add back the chicken back in and let stand until sauce reaches desired thickness.  I’ll be serving it with tostada shells, topped with cheese :)

Wednesday ~ leftovers

The 2nd best thing about crockpot meals --- leftovers!!!

Thursday ~ Baked Pasta

I’m not really following any specific recipe, I’m just going to boil some noodles and then mix them up with some homemade marinara sauce and pot them into a casserole dish with some cheeses and bake it up.  I can’t wait :)

Friday ~ leftovers

Saturday ~ Homemade Pizza

I’ll be attempting to use the premade pizza crust dough from Trader Joe’s again.  Last time was a disaster so hopefully things go better this time.  I always have a hard time with pizza dough.  Wish me luck, and if you have any tips, please send them my way!

Sunday ~ Veggie Burgers {from the freezer}

I made these a couple of months ago and they’ve been calling my name from the freezer for a couple of weeks. 


Last week I also made this super yummy zucchini bread {as muffins} and these chocolate mint cookie brownie bites {without the frosting}.  Both were amazing and everyone enjoyed them yesterday at the get-together. 


What’s on your menu this week?

*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 :)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Say Goodbye to the Dress

I absolutely LOVED my wedding dress.

I purchased it for just under $500 from David’s Bridal.  The accent color is “Apple”.

I loved the beaded lacey detail and the pick-up skirt.  I loved that it laced up the back and had a built in corset.

It was comfortable to wear, despite being very heavy.  It fit perfect, despite having to be significantly altered due to my weight loss.

I loved that it wasn’t “traditional”.



film strip 3 edited Photo by Debbie Brown Photography

jjw321-0142 Photo by Debbie Brown Photography

What I didn’t love was thinking about it sitting in a closet for the rest of my days.

It just seemed like a waste.

So, I decided to donate it.

I did some research and discovered Brides Against Breast Cancer.

brides against breast cancer

The sale of gowns from Brides Against Breast Cancer is fundraising for the Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation.

The Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation’s mission is “to grant wishes, including memory-making events, for metastatic breast cancer patients, while continuing to support, educate and increase resource awareness.”

I knew this was an organization I wanted to support and I decided to donate my wedding dress.

So the other day I finally pulled the dress out of the closet its been hanging in for almost two and a half years and shipped it off.


It was bittersweet.

But I’m happy to know that instead of hanging in my closet,
maybe it will be used again
and hopefully some other bride out there
will love it as much as I did.

Weight Watchers, Week 13 & 14

After 12 weeks I felt like I needed a little break from tracking points so I didn’t track my food during week 13.  I have every intention of sticking to my meal plan that week until the husband’s birthday but that didn’t happen.  Unfortunately I overindulged quite frequently during my little break and my weigh in definitely reflected that.

Beginning Weight {05.16.11} = 150.2
Wk1 = 147.4
Wk2 = 147.2
Wk3 = 145.8
Wk4 = 143.8
Wk5 = 141.4
Wk6 = 141.8
Wk7 = 140.4
Wk8 = 140.4
Wk9 = 140.8
Wk10 = 139.8
Wk11 = 138
Wk12 = 139.2

Week 13 {08.08.11 – 08.14.11}
I did not track points this week

Weigh-in {08.15.11} = 141.4
Week 13 Gain = 2.2
Total Weight Loss = 8.8
I earned 60 activity points
I exercised 6 out of 7 days

Week 14 {08.15.11 – 08.21.11}
Back to tracking points this week

Weigh-in {08.22.11} = 139.6
Week 14 Loss = –1.8
Total Weight Loss = 10.6
I earned 52 activity points and used all of them
I exercised 4 out of 7 days {8 hrs 32 mins}
I used all of my 49 weekly allowance points

Friday, August 26, 2011

Run Less, Run Faster --- The First 5 Weeks

After some unplanned interruptions to my running back in February I slowly returned to running, following a 10 week plan run/walk plan that slowly built me back up to 30 minutes of running.  Then I spent the next 8 weeks building up my base and slowly increasing my mileage. 

In mid-July I began a 20 week training program for the Urban Cow Half in October and the California International Marathon in December.  Its been 5+ weeks and so far, mostly good :)


Wk1 = 17.28
Wk2 = 35.94 
Wk3 = 29.39
Wk4 = 32.52
Wk5 = 29.83
Total = 144.96

# of missed runs = 1
# of days cross training = 7 
# of strength workouts = 6

The first week of training was an emotional week for me and it was also the week of my nephew’s wedding.  I actually ended up skipping all my cross training workouts that week, moved my long run to Thursday and skipped my tempo run.  I had been experiencing some groin muscle tightness in my right leg as well as sciatica/piriformis pain so in hindsight taking the week off from cross training was best. 


The second week of training went almost exactly as planned!  I only missed one workout but attended an Injury Prevention Clinic instead.  I also realized that I had been neglecting the puppy and got back to regularly taking her for walks again.  She needs her exercise too!


During the third week of training I started to incorporate the core + glute exercises I learned at the Injury Prevention Clinic.  I also moved all my runs around because we went camping for a few days.  I only had one day of cross training at the gym but I did have three great days camping at the ocean and spent lots of time walking along the shore. 


During the fourth week of training I started incorporating the workout program from The New Rules of Lifting for Women {NROLFW}.  This week was also a step back week which was good since I started getting a “new and unusual ache and soreness” in my left shin. 

image {source}

During the fifth week of training I experienced a migraine that forced me to skip two days of cross training and NROLFW workouts.  Thankfully I had a reprieve on Thursday and didn’t miss any runs!  And my shin continued to bother me.  After looking at my training long and realizing that I was over 300 miles on my shoes I ordered a new pair and broke them in during my 12 mile long run.


So far I’m really happy with the way my training is going.  Sure I’ve missed a run and a couple of cross training sessions but that’s part of life.  I believe a big part of a successful training plan is to remain flexible and adaptable.  I’m also very happy that I decided to go with an adapted Run Less Run Faster FIRST Training Plan and I’ve been pretty much consistently surpassing all my pace goals.

5wks done … 6 wks until half marathon day AND 15wks until marathon day! 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tempo Run: Wk6 {Fall Race Training}

Today’s tempo run didn’t exactly go as plannedit was much better than I could have anticipated.  And surprisingly so since I was actually not really wanting to go.  I didn’t set my alarm last night since I’ve been waking up pretty early lately with the husband.  I rolled out of bed around 6:15ish and ate half a bagel thin then meandered around the house for about an hour before heading out the door.  I mapped out a 5 mile out-and-back route yesterday on that started and ended at my house and took me up to a local trail near a creek that has some rolling hills.  We ran on this trail a lot during the summer and I really enjoy running there.  I always forget how close it is to my house and need to run there more often


Warm-up:  1.0 / 15:58

Today’s Tempo Run:
3 miles --- 1 @ easy pace {12:10} + 2 @ short tempo pace {10:35}


I’ve been doing a walk/jog warm-up for a couple of weeks now and once I was ready to start my tempo run I was feeling really good and knew my first mile was going to be faster than my “easy” pace.  I was right and so once my tempo miles started I decided to run fartlek’s --- a fast pace for 1/10th of a mile followed by a slower pace for 1/10th of a mile, repeated until the end.  About half way through I decided to extend the run to a 5k to see what my time would be.  I was running fast {for me} and eager to see how much I’ve improved since my last 5k race

  • Mile 1 – 10:31
  • Mile 2 – 9:39
  • Mile 3 – 9:26
  • Last 0.10 = 0:47 {7:53 pace}

Overall:  3.10 / 30:25 / 9:48


This was the fastest I’ve ever run a 5k distance!

I’ve got a 5k race coming up in less than two weeks and I’m hoping to set a new PR.  My most recent 5k PR is from May of this year, and that is the time my training paces are based upon.  I know I’ve been improving and now I’m eager and anxious to run the 5k and see if I can even improve upon today’s time.

Cool down:  1.06 / 20:53

My hamstrings are still pretty sore but overall I felt great during this run.  I had NO shin pain or tenderness or achiness or anything!!! 

Happy Thursday, its a great day for a great run!

Three Things Thursday

1.  The other day when I talked about cleaning I mentioned that we’ve instated the One Minute Rule in our house.  I first heard about the One Minute Rule in the book The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin {that I am currently still reading}.  As soon as I had read about it I brought the idea to the husband and he agreed that we should begin following it.  Even though I am a Type-A Control Freak and super organized always most of the time I also tend to put little tasks off until they’ve accumulated into larger tasks so following the One Minute Rule principle has been a big help.  Instead of letting the mail pile up on the counter or table all week, I address it and shred it or file it daily.  Instead of letting shoes lie around the house, I put them away when I take them off.  Instead of letting dishes sit on the counter or in the sink, we put them directly into the dishwasher.  Instead of letting recycling pile up on the counter, we take it into the garage as soon as we are done with it.  Instead of leaving an empty toilet paper roll, we replace it immediately.  Its all these little tasks that really only take a few seconds to complete that are time savers when they are addressed as needed instead of put off.  Unfortunately the one place that has not yet seen the advantages of the One Minute Rule is my desk … it is cluttered and overflowing at all times.  I need to take some time to get it in order, which will take way longer than one minute, so that I can finally hopefully keep it that way.

one minute rule


2.  I’ve discovered that when I put Lucy in her crate and then leave out the front door she howls and barks, for who knows how long.  But if I put her in her crate and then leave through the garage door she doesn’t.  We first noticed this a few weeks ago.  On Tuesday my SIL texted me when she was on her way to my house to pick me up for our track workout so I put Lucy in the crate and went out the front door and waited outside for the SIL.  I was out there about 10 minutes and Miss Lucy was barking and howling the whole time.  So yesterday I left to go to the dentist and I put her in the crate and set up my point-and-shoot camera to record her for a few minutes.  No barking or howling, she just went to sleep.  This morning I set up the camera again and left out the front door to go running and she howled and barked away.  We really have no idea how long this has been going on but it looks like we’ll be leaving out the garage more often to keep the puppy from howling and barking while we are gone.  I feel sorry for our neighbors! 



3.  I read an article earlier this week that said that migraine suffers could benefit from taking magnesium.  So what did I do?  I went to Wal-Mart last night and picked up a bottle of magnesium supplements.  Migraines are awful and as I’ve gotten older they’ve gotten worse.  They are debilitating and thankfully my last job was flexible about me being absent when I had one --- I dread ever finding a job that isn’t since its extremely difficult for me to function normally when I’m suffering through a migraine.  I need to be lying down, usually in a dark room with an ice pack, or I’ll be throwing up.  So if taking three little magnesium pills a day {the recommended dose} will help then I’m on board.  Here’s the kicker … I can’t take it at the same time I take my calcium supplement and and it could interfere with my iron supplement.  Why-oh-why does all this have to be so difficult?  So I’ll take my iron, calcium, folic acid, and vitamin C in the mornings and the magnesium in the evenings.  Geez.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Track Workout: Wk6 {Fall Race Training}

Last night at the track was a sweat fest!  It was hot and there was no breeze, unlike last week.  I was sweating just walking over from the car!   I’ve been running in the mornings since earlier this year and it’s a big change to run in the hot afternoons with a day full of eats and drinks in my belly.  I think the next few weeks will be an adjustment period for me and with fall quickly approaching I know the temps will start to change soon too. 


Warm-up:  1.07 / 15:20

4x1200 {goal = 7:25}
with 400 walking RI between repeats

This workout was tough for me.  I felt drained and tired and was ready to quit after every single repeat.  I have super sore hamstrings from my strength workout on Monday and my legs felt like lead.  I was highly aware of every step I took and how my shin was feeling.  And did I mention it was hot?!?  It felt like a dry heat so much so that my throat was scorched by the end of the workout.

  • 7:06 {9:28 pace} <--- too fast!
  • 7:02 {9:28 pace} <--- still too fast!
  • 7:24 {9:54 pace} <--- much better!
  • 7:18 {pace 9:44} <--- thank goodness I am done!

Overall:  3.84 / 44:29
walked 400 in between each repeat

Thankfully my shin was feeling much better.  Mostly it just felt like all the muscles around the shin/calf were tight.  I really struggled, mentally and physically, through this workout.  The husband, who didn’t run with us but was at the track to pick me up, said that I looked “effortless and had really good form” which was surprising to hear since I felt like I was having such a bad night.  Also, I need to work on not starting out too fast because as the workout progresses I loose that steam and struggle to keep that pace.  My pace also fluctuates a lot during my repeats so I would like to work on maintaining the same pace instead of starting fast then slowing down then sprinting to the end.  Although I really do enjoy sprinting to the end; I have always had a good final kick to the finish :)

Cool down:  1.33 / 26:23

I just realized this morning when downloading my Garmin data that I surpassed the 100 mile mark for this month during last nights workout!  So far, this will be my highest mileage month to date.  Wow :)


Once I got home I took an ice bath and then we ate a very late dinner {8:30pm}.  After a nice shower I spent about a half an hour doing some additional stretching before bed.  Then I opted to sleep with my Zensah compression sleeves on.  When I woke up this morning my legs felt fresh and no shin tenderness or achiness!!!

CIMG1840 Don’t be jealous of the bright yellow color --- it was the only color they had in my size when I bought them back in 2009 :) 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Let’s Talk About: Cleaning

I was intrigued when I saw the link to this 30 Day Cleaning Schedule in the comments on a post on Healthy Tipping Point about Caitlin’s Daily Chore Calendar.  And again on her follow-up post, Your Cleaning Tips


I’m pretty good about keeping a clean home but sometimes I get lazy and then a week or two will go by without any real cleaning.  Then I’ll have to spend a whole day, or two, getting everything cleaned up again.  Its exhausting!  So I thought I’d give the 30 Day Cleaning Schedule a try. 

In addition to following the 30 Day Cleaning Schedule I am also going to continue to tackle routine daily chores.  And we’ve also started the One Minute Rule {that I learned about in the book The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin} which basically is to not procrastinate any task that takes less than a minute to complete {deal with mail as it comes in, file papers immediately, put dishes into dishwasher, hang up coats, put shoes away, etc}.

So far I’m totally loving the 30 Day Cleaning Schedule and this approach to cleaning.  I feel like I spend less time cleaning, on average, and my house is more organized and much “cleaner” in general.  Also, both the husband and I are very pleased that we started the One Minute Rule.  It really is an easy approach to small tasks. 

How do you approach household chores?  Does anyone else use the 30 Day Cleaning Schedule or do you follow some other cleaning schedule?  Have you ever heard of the One Minute Rule?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Fall Race Training: Wk5

My shin continued to be bothersome this week and then I finally got my new replacement shoes on Thursday afternoon which I broke in during my 12 mile long run on Saturday.  Unfortunately I missed a couple of days at the gym due to a migraine and I skipped two days of core + glute exercises.  However, I did nail all my runs despite my lingering shin irritation!

Wk5:  08.15.11 – 08.21.11

Monday 08.15 ~ NROLFW*, Stage 1 - A2 + cardio

Cross Train

  • Elliptical Intervals:  65min {5.59 miles}

NROLFW, Stage 1 – A2 {20min}

  • squats = 2x15 {20lbs on barbell}
  • pushups = 2x12
  • seated row = 2x15 @ 30lbs
  • step-ups = 2x15 each leg with 2 10lb dumbbells
  • prone jackknife = 1x8 + 1x10


  • 1.61 in 32:33 with Lucy and the husband

Core + Glute Exercises {35min}

  • 3x30sec plank
  • 3x30sec side plank, each side
  • 3x60sec pelvic bridge
  • 3x10 chair squats
  • 3x10 clam shells, each leg
  • 3x10 door knob assisted deep squats

Tuesday 08.16 ~ Run 8x400 speedwork @ track

Run ~ 8x400 speedwork @ 2:24 with 90sec RI

Track Workout:  Wk5 {Fall Race Training}

  • Overall:  2.41 / 31:46
  • Splits:  2:22, 2:19, 2:17, 2:14, 2:13, 2:08, 2:19, 2:06
  • Warm-up:  1.0 / 13:47
  • Cool down:  1.08 / 15:44


  • 2.05 in 39:18 with Lucy

Wednesday 08.17 ~ NROLFW*, Stage 1 - B2 + cardio REST

REST --- woke up with migraine

Thursday 08.18 ~ Run 5 miles {tempo}

Run ~ 5 tempo miles
1 @ easy {12:10} + 3 @ mid tempo {10:50} + 1 @ easy {12:10}

Tempo Run:  Wk5 {Fall Race Training}

  • Overall:  5.0 / 53:47 / 10:45 avg
  • Splits:  11:07, 10:38, 10:34, 10:24, 11:01
  • Warm-up:  1.0 / 14:31
  • Cool down:  0.17 / 3:10 {plus walk with Lucy}


  • 1.60 / 32:03 with Lucy

Friday 08.19 ~ NROLFW*, Stage 1 - B2 + cardio

REST --- the migraine returned Thursday afternoon and I woke up feeling the residue effects.  Plus, the left shin was achy --- better to rest up for Saturday’s 12 miler and hope all goes well.  I received my new shoes on Thursday evening so *fingers crossed* that the shin feels better ASAP.

Saturday 08.20 ~ Run 12 miles {HMP+30}

Run ~ 12 miles @ HMP+30 {12:08}

Long Run:  Wk5 {Fall Race Training}

  • Overall:  12.27 / 2:25:10 / 11:50 avg
  • Splits:  12:20, 11:02, 12:17m 12:07, 11:59, 12:37, 12:01, 11:53, 12:34, 11:18, 10:55, 11:19, last 0.27 = 2:42 {10:08 pace}
  • Warm-up:  1.0 / 17:56
  • Cool down:  0.64 / 12:45

Sunday 08.21 ~ Rest



Total Miles = 29.83
{Walking the dog = 5.26 + Running = 24.57}

Daily Mile Stats:
Total Time = 8hrs; 53mins
Calories Burned = 3710

Weight Watchers Activity Points Earned = 52

Meal Plan Monday {Aug 22}

We did much better last week with sticking to our meal plan.  Except we got take out on Wednesday when I had a migraine and a take-n-bake pizza on Saturday after running 12 miles.  Both meals were relatively cheap so that’s good but we need to drastically reduce the amount of money we spend on eating out.  Now that I’ve been unemployed for almost 7 months we are starting to have to make some big changes to our finances and eating out should be an easy item to eliminate. 


Monday ~ Sloppy José's Supper

This is one of my favorite meals and I don’t know why its been so long since its been on the meal plan!

Tuesday ~ Black Bean Mexican Pizzas

These are carried over from last week.  Super easy and sooo good. 

Wednesday ~ Pineapple Jerk Chicken

This is also another one of my favorite meals that we haven’t had in a while.  I’m excited for leftovers this week!

Thursday ~ leftovers

Friday ~ leftovers

Saturday ~ Spaghetti with homemade marinara sauce

We are still getting tons of fresh tomatoes from our garden and I’m making homemade marinara sauce and/or salsa every week.  I love fresh garden tomatoes :)

Sunday ~ Turkey Burgers

We are hosting a little BBQ get-together on Sunday afternoon for some of my old co-workers.  I’m excited to everyone that I was so use to talking to everyday.  Its been far too long …


I want to share this link to these amazing Sweet Zucchini Pancakes.  I made them for breakfast yesterday and they are sooo good.  I may never want regular pancakes again!  If you’ve got an abundance of zucchini, like I do, these pancakes are a great way to use some of it up!


What’s on your menu this week?

*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 :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

OLD vs NEW: a running shoe comparison

I replaced my running shoes lately and thought it would be fun to do a comparison between my beat up dirty OLD pair and my shiny brand spanking NEW pair. 

These are my old shoes that I used from 03.15.11 to 08.18.11 and accumulated 343.26 miles.
Mizuno Wave Rider 14’s.
IMG_6558  IMG_6561IMG_6584

It wasn’t until recently that I realized I was ready for a new pair.  I’ve had a lot of shoe issues in the 4 years that I’ve been running and this is the first pair of shoes I’ve owned that have made it this far in mileage.  Many of my previous pairs we either returned because of some issue or another they caused me or retired on lesser mileage after an injury.  When I started running in 2007 I ran in a cheap pair of shoes that I had picked up at a local sporting goods store.  It wasn’t until much later that I realized the importance of getting fitted for a proper pair of running shoes.  My first pair were Asics.  They were good shoes but I started to have problems after just a few runs.  I returned those and got my first pair of Mizuno’s, Wave Alchemy 9’s.  Those shoes got me through my first half marathon but since I had so many injuries during training for that race I decided to get re-fitted again and ended up in a pair of Brooks shoes.  Unfortunately the Brooks were not right either and I made an appointment with one of my running coaches and a co-owner of our local running store, The Running Zone, and had her re-fit me again.  That’s when I ended up in my first pair of Mizuno Wave Rider’s, the 13’s back then.  Those shoes got me through my 2nd half marathon and my first marathon.  After the marathon I went back to the Mizuno Wave Alchemy’s for a while, ended up injured again and taking a few weeks off.  Once I was ready to return to running I went back to the Wave Rider’s and I love them. 

These are my shiny new shoes.

And here is a side-by-side comparison between my OLD vs NEW shoes.



I also wear Super Feet insoles in my shoes.  I also replaced those too.
Here is a comparison between my old inserts {1 year old} and my new ones. IMG_6562IMG_6563IMG_6564IMG_6565IMG_6566IMG_6567

I broke my new shoes in yesterday during my 12 mile training run.  It was like running on little pillows of air.  But their not so shiny and brand new looking anymore.

New shoes feel sooo good :)