Half Marathon Training: Weeks 13 and 14

Two weeks left!  I’m excited for the race to get here, and excited to sleep in on a Saturday once training is over.  Oops… did I just say that out loud?

Tuesday of week 13 I used the Johnson and Johnson 7 Minute Workout app to get in a quick sweat session.  It may be only 7 minutes, but it sure gets your heart pumping!

7Minutes

Wednesday was the usual group run, but it was a little tough this week.  It had rained all day Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday so it was pretty humid.  My lungs were feeling it, and my legs were pretty tired too.  We got through six miles though, and it wasn’t a too awful pace.

Thursday after work before dinner, I decided to go for a walk.  No destination, just around a few blocks.  It was full of pretty fall leaves! Love it.

leaves

Saturday morning I was prepared to run 12 miles, but when I got there it had been changed to 11.  Woo hoo!  We were on track to run 13 miles for our longest run before the taper, which seemed a bit much to me, so I was fine with the drop to do 11 two weeks in a row and then 12 as the longest.  The weather was a little nuts.  I had eventually decided on a t-shirt, which I ended up regretting when it started raining.  Blech.  The last few miles were ROUGH.  Which was later explained by final pace: 10:03! WHAT?! I do NOT run that fast, especially for that far! Except for the fact that I did!  I got a little teary at the accomplishment, but sssshhhhh.

11take2

I then rewarded myself with this kind of afternoon:

fb11Sunday evening I did a little at home arm work out.  I did this Sexy Shoulder Workout from Erin over at The Almond Eater.  The squat / overhead press?  Love.  Fits in with my squat challenge slash operation-fix-the-knee-pain.  It adds some new variety to squats, and works shoulders.  Excellent.

Going into week 14, we’re getting down to crunch time.  There’s been a few weeks where I’ve only gotten in two runs, rather than the three I would prefer.  This is due to a combination of 1) being a bum, and 2) blisters and knee pain.   More like using the blisters and knee pain to rationalize being a bum.  Running with the group on Wednesdays has been longer runs during the week than I’m used to; my body wasn’t doing well with running 6/7/8 miles on a Wednesday and then 10+ on Saturday.  That wasn’t enough recovery time, so I decided to do similar mileage this week, but spacing it out to three runs rather than two.

I was sitting at my desk on Monday being impressed with the superstar pace from Saturday’s long run.  The thought jumped into my head that if I’ve gotten so much faster recently, that maybe I could break my 5K PR.  If I can run 11 miles at just over a 10 minute pace, maybe I could beat the 5K at a 9:20 pace.  I set it two years ago, and it was kind of a freak accident.  I talked briefly about it here.  Well, I don’t have any 5Ks coming up due to no-free-weekends-ever, so I decided that I’d try to break it after work.  Nothing like 4 hours of preparation.  Anywho, Monday at work kinda sucked, so I was grouchy when I set off on the trail, and busted out an 8:34 mile. WOAH too fast, though that’s probably a 1 mile record.  So the next mile was about a 9:51 trying to recover.  I was doing math and figured out what I would need to hold my pace at to get under 28:59 for my 5K.  Well I ran, and it hurt, but I did it!  Yeah, I know it’s unofficial, but I’m not too concerned, I just wanted to know if I could do it! Next time, I’ll go for more even splits!

5kPR

Tuesday was a weights day at the gym with the boyfriend.  Productivity + my favorite person?  Not a bad evening.  Judging by the pain (in a good way) in my arms the next day, we had a pretty good work out too.

Wednesday I did my second 5K of the week.  I tried a new route, got creeped out in the woods, went back the way I came instead of completing my planned circle… I need to stop watching so much TV.  Still got in the three miles, even if the Garmin map looks like I am crazy.

I took Thursday and Friday off in preparation of Saturday’s final long run before the taper (YAY! Taper).  Got to give my knees and blisters a rest before 12 miles!  Saturday’s run ended up being pretty warm out.  I wasn’t properly hydrated, and I didn’t sleep very well the night before so it was a bit rough.  My knees ended up being OK, but my hips were killing me.  I just can’t win.  Regardless, finished!  It’s taper time!

12MInstaI’ve been happy with how this training has been going, but I’ll be glad when it’s over!  I’m getting tired!

 

The Fit Dish: What Has Your Past Taught You?

Hello, everyone!

My life has gone from zero to sixty in the past few week or so (which is the reason for the blog silence), but that means that this weeks The Fit Dish topic couldn’t have come at a better time!  Thanks to Jessica Joy at The Fit Switch and Jill Conyers for hosting!

This weeks topic is “What has your past taught you about living today?”

Over the past few years, I’ve made a lot of changes towards living a healthier life. The changes range from trying to concentrate on eating healthier, whole foods and making exercise an important part of my day.  These have made me feel a lot better physically, and given me a lot more confidence to pursue more fitness related goals, like my second half marathon training!

Half1

Finish Line of My First Half Marathon

But even through all of this, the hardest part for me is focusing on being attentive to remaining positive mentally.  I can tend to let one seemingly bad thing spiral my day (or week…) out of control.  Lately, I’ve been trying to focus on positivity.  The boyfriend is always reminding me that positive thoughts bring about positive results.  It’s sometimes hard to remember, but I have noticed that it really does happen!

There is going to be a lot of change coming up in my life, so it will be important to remember these lessons.  Healthy food, lots of exercise and most importantly, a positive attitude will keep me moving forward!

What lessons have you learned that keep you going forward?

Friday Five: It’s My Jam!

With my half marathon coming up, I’ve been thinking about refining my running playlist.  And then I had quite the succession of phone problems, and have now lost my the running play list.  Boooooo.

Anyway, imagine my surprise when the theme for this weeks’ Friday Five Link Up was Top 5 Running Songs.  Woo Hoo!  Thanks to the DC Trifecta, Eat Pray Run, DC, You Signed Up For What and Mar on the Run, for hosting! I’m certainly going to be checking out the other links… I need a new playlist!

Jams

Now, beware, my taste in running tunes can be a little all over the place.  You’ve been warned.

1) Chelsea Dagger – The Fratellis.  Now maybe it’s because I’m a Chicago Blackhawk’s Fan, but this song is great to run to.  I can’t help but sing along!

2) Mambo No. 5 – Lou Bega. Ha! Judging me yet?  I hope not, because this is also a way fun song to run and run-dance to.  Run-dance… is that just me?  Waiving your arms around like a crazy while running down the street, dancing to tunes only you can hear? Yeah, that’s me.  Ya know those people who say they’ll start running once they see a happy runner?  Clearly they haven’t seen me jammin’ to Lou Bega.

3) Tearin’ Up My Heart – N*Snyc. Ok… Now I’m starting to embarass myself.  Only not too much… Everyone needs a little middle school dance style running song.

4) International Love – Pitbull.  I LOVE Pitbull.  Side note: I need to get me some Fireball by Pitbull to add to this mix.  And some Enrique, preferably Bailando.  And some Pitbull and Enrique in the same song, because that’s the dream.  I so wanted to go see them when they were in Chicago.  (Get back on track, Kat, sheesh.)

5) High Life – Brad Paisley.  To round out the variety of genres, add a little country!  I love Brad Paisley; my birthday present was tickets to see him in Indy, and it was awesome.  There is also some Zac Brown Band and Keney Chesney residing in the playlist as well.

I told you my music tastes covered the spectrum of genres.  Although, writing it out pretty much cemented it.  Ah well, it’s fun to have it on shuffle.  I never know what I’m going to get, and it’s a fun surprise!

What’s your favorite running song?  I need some new music!

Half Marathon Training: Weeks 11 and 12

Less than one month left until race day!

Monday of week 11 I set off for 4 miles after work.  It was a perfect fall day.  Cool weather and crunchy leaves.

Fall Run

Wednesday for the group run, we knocked out 5.5 miles (AKA “one loop”) and then headed to a local Mexican restaurant!  Corona and enchiladas… my kind of running evening.

Corona Run

For Saturday’s long run, we got a break!  Only eight miles!  I love it when I get to the point where “only” prefaces “eight miles.”  It doesn’t happen very often.  Even though we got a mileage break, we certainly did not get a weather break.  It was cold… 39 degrees!  It was windy.  It was raining… luckily not the whole time.  And there was the occasional time where there were snow flakes instead of rain drops.  SNOW!  But we survived.  More than that… we were pretty fast!  Eight miles at a 10:13 pace.  I’ll take it!

Cold Run

To start off week 12, the boyfriend and I hit the gym for a weights session.  I’m going to keep working on these arm muscles!  *Flexing emoji*

Wednesday with my group, I wanted to do six miles.  Then I was talked into 6.5… and eventually 7.  When all was said and done we did 7.25! Tricked!  But the run felt good.

Saturday’s long run had weather in the upper 30s again.  However, there is apparently a HUGE difference between 38 and windy/rainy and 38 and sunny!  Luckily this time we had 38 and sunny.  This run also felt really good.  I didn’t want to fall into a heap until mile 9.  Nine of 11 feeling good?  I’ll take it.  Those last two miles though… whew.  We made it though.  And the pace was AWESOME.  I’m getting pretty excited.  I feel faster than I have in the past, which is a great feeling.

11Miles

I only remembered to take a picture after I already collapsed into the car 🙂

I was struggling through this whole training thing for a few weeks.  I was feeling like I was always tired, never getting to sleep in on Saturdays, fitting in these longer runs… it was bumming me out.  But looking back on these last few weeks, it’s making me feel better about it.  Seeing results is quite the motivator!

How is your training?  Do you have any fall races coming up?

The Fit Dish: Top 3 Healthy Living Tools

The topic for this week’s Fit Dish link up is “Top 3 Healthy Living Tools.”  Thanks to Jessica Joy at The Fit Switch for hosting!  Go check it out and #Dishthefit!

1) Love my Garmin!  This weekend Garmin and I hung out for 11 miles.  (I posted this on Instagram; are you on Instagram? I am now!) I like being able to see how far I’ve gone when I’m out for a run.  Not to mention when I get back home and plug it in it makes graphs and maps.  I love maps and graphs!  I’ve also worn it hiking, biking, boating… any where I can really, just to get the maps!

Garmin

2) I also love my Fitbit.  Apparently I’m a fan of wearable items.  Want to be Fitbit friends? Find me here!  I need to work on getting in more daily steps, though.  It’s a work in progress.  🙂  But I do love big numbers from long run days!

Fitbit

3) Another favorite has to be my water bottle.  I feel so much better when I’m drinking enough water, and I’m much more likely to drink enough water when I have a cute, water-holding side kick! This isn’t the first time this guy has made an appearance here!

waterbottle

Some other things that could made this list are my RoadID, hydration belt, flip belt, and of course all of the adorable work out clothes I can’t seem to stop buying!

What are your favorite fitness accessories?

Finding Some Balance

An “About” page has been absent from the blog… Until now!I haven’t known what to write. Even though I should have a general idea of who I am, it’s seemed daunting.
We’ll come back to that but, I’ve been feeling overwhelmed lately.  I feel like I have so much to do, but never manage to get any of it done.  I like to make lists, but what good are lists if you never cross anything off?PostIt
Does anyone else keep track of their lists like this?  I have tried about 450 different check list and note apps, only to eventually have them fall by the wayside because they don’t do everything I want.  Instead a chose to use this fancy piece of technology as a glorified post-it holder.
These post-it note lists, mental lists, and event reminder dingers on my phone (for the ones I really need to remember) have been accumulating.  Steadily.  I keep thinking that I need a break and that it’s OK to take a break sometimes.Yeah! It is! But not a permanent break!  Too long of a break leads to longer lists, more (unnecessary) stress, and if you’re me, a bad mood.  (Sorry, boyfriend).And that’s when it occurred to me.  Balance.  I know that we all need balance.  I usually think about balance when, after a perfectly crafted dinner of lean protein and veggies, I’m scooping myself a bowl of ice cream… for the third night in a row.  That’s called rationalization, not balance.  I need to learn the difference.So when I got home from work the other night, I checked off the majority of my post-it list.  And ya know what?  Four out of the five took me 15 minutes combined.  WHEW.  The last of the 5 involves going to the bank during “normal business hours.” I work during “normal business hours,” so that does involve some pre-planning.  Or some research to figure out how to do it online.  Either way, 4/5 is a win for me.

Sometimes I have to do things that I don’t want to, because they have to be done, and getting them done relieves a burden, however small.  Sometimes I have to go for a run, because I know that it will help in the long run.  Sometimes I have to eat the veggies and not the ice cream because I’ll feel better afterwards.  Balance.

This was all a long way of saying… that’s how my About page was born.  Balance.  We all need it, and I’m going to have to make a conscious effort to keep working at it.

Balance

Goals: October Update

Back at the beginning of September, I recapped how my 2014 goals were going and now I’d like to do it again!

Goals Upadate

So how was September?

1) Meal planning.  I know I am never going to be super planner, at least not now, but I’ve been doing pretty well at eating pretty delicious and healthy meals, so I check this one in the win column.

2) Vary my workouts.  I started a squat challenge to hopefully strengthen my legs and take some strain off my knees.  I haven’t been able to do the squats daily like I had hoped.  On days when my knees already hurt like on days I’ve ran, I don’t do the squats so I don’t aggravate them more.  I also headed back to they gym a few times to work on some arm strength!

3) Half Marathon Training.  This is going great! Next to the knee pain, of course.  I have worked up to a 10 mile long run with the group two weeks ago, and this past Saturday we got a reprieve with only eight miles. Woo!  Here are recaps of weeks 7 and 8, and weeks 9 and 10.  I can see my paces staying steady as the distances get longer, and sometimes even picking up.  Always good to see progress, which is great inspiration to keep going forward!

For October, I’m not looking to change much.  Meals have been pretty good lately.  Cross training isn’t too bad; I wouldn’t be upset with more, but don’t want to burn myself out during half training.  And the half training itself… going great.  Just keep on going!

I’m linking up with Jessica Joy at The Fit Switch and Nicole at The Fit Pepper for the Fit Dish!  Go check it out and #Dishthefit!

How are your goals going?