Positive Challenge | Last Day #7

A friend of mine has challenged me to list three things I’m grateful for every day for 7 days. This is the very last day of the positive challenge. Now, I’m only saying that I’ll be done posting my 3 things a day…I’m still going to be grateful.

#1 I am grateful for doctor’s that truly take the time to understand what you are asking of them.

#2 I am grateful for comfortable pillows. 

#3 I am grateful for others generosity. It shows that there IS still good in a world when much is focused elsewhere.

Now I challenge YOU to share 3 things you are grateful for every day for 7 days. You should nominate 2 people to do the same. I opted to leave this open to everyone vs. 2 people. Let’s keep the positive flow going!

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Positive Challenge | Day 5 & 6

A friend of mine has challenged me to list three things I’m grateful for every day for 7 days. I missed doing this yesterday–I just ran out of time! Today I’m including 3 things I was grateful for yesterday and then listing today’s things.

#1 I am grateful for my doggies who always wag their tail and cuddle…no matter what.

#2 I am grateful for beautiful weather. There aren’t many hot summer days left and I’m trying to hold onto every minute that’s left. 

#3 I am grateful for internet. Without it, I would not have the option to work from home when heading into the office isn’t necessary.

#1 (today) I am grateful for being able to watch TV on demand. Otherwise I would never get to see it.

#2 I am grateful for the person in front of me today at the tolls who wanted to pay it forward and cover my toll. I have my toll pass, so I didn’t take advantage of it, but it’s the thought that counts and it probably made the day of the person behind me.

#3 I’m am so very grateful for my children’s health. 

Now I challenge YOU to share 3 things you are grateful for every day for 7 days. You should nominate 2 people to do the same. I opted to leave this open to everyone vs. 2 people. Let’s keep the positive flow going!

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Positive Challenge | Day 4

A friend of mine has challenged me to list three things I’m grateful for every day for 7 days. This is my 4th day. It’s Monday…and it’s saying a lot that I can find 3 things to be grateful for on a Monday (just kidding).

#1 I am grateful for elastics since I would not have had a good hair day without one today. Monday humor. They are also handy for workouts.

#2 I am grateful for LIFE. It is truly an amazing gift and every day I have it is a great day.

#3 I am grateful for being able to see my children in the morning. Once they are grown and on their own, it will be something I miss terribly.

Now I challenge YOU to share 3 things you are grateful for every day for 7 days. You should nominate 2 people to do the same. I opted to leave this open to everyone vs. 2 people. Let’s keep the positive flow going!

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Don’t give up! Monday motivation…

Just a quick shot of Monday motivation for anyone out there trying to create change.

f0dfed5207855b50ddfd84ae3456ea2b<—It’s true! I started on my journey 2 years ago this month just by trying to run a mile. Now I run 13. Running progressed to other lifestyle changes physically and mentally.

I’m now a more fit, healthy, confident woman who set out with a simple goal that evolved as I did.

Don’t give up!

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Zooma Cape Cod Half Marathon Training | Week 11 Recap

Yeah buddy, 11 weeks down! The Zooma Cape Cod Half Marathon is sold out! I can’t even begin to explain how excited I am for this race. I want that medal. I want the scenic views…and I want a race-cation with my hubby!

b919f923a399966048f4582f782ec31bThe plan for the week was:

Sunday: 9 miles slow

Monday: 3 miles easy

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: 5 miles easy

Thursday: Hill repeats {love hills}

Friday: Rest (Funday with the kids)

Saturday: 4 miles easy

I make note a lot to include runs that I do with my run bud (RB) vs. alone. I enjoy running both with someone and without. Especially training, it is good to run with someone because it’s easier to keep a conversational pace and not set a speed record if you are talking to someone. It slows me down. I love it. Slower means less impact on the body and during training that’s a good way to stay injury free. When my run bud can’t join me (or vice versa) I head out on my own and enjoy a run which is usually faster than it should be. Listening to my playlist is great, but also encourages me to lose myself in the music and get ahead of pace. I’ve decided not to fight it so much though. If I feel good, I cruise. If I don’t, my body reminds me to slow the H down.

One thing my RB and I have in common is we are competitive. Neither one of us want to be the “one” that quits. This is helpful in motivating us to continue on when we don’t want to and pushes us. My RB’s hubby told her that she runs further and feels better when she runs with me. Running together gives us an opportunity to expel all the junk in our heads. Get out the bad and let in the good. If you don’t have an RB, find one. If you can’t find one, check out a local running store. They often have FREE group sessions where distances range from 3-5 miles and have a variety of people who join in at all paces meaning you are very likely to find someone who runs your pace.

Back to training….

Wanting a change of scenery on a gorgeous Sunday long run, I decided to travel to the Windham Rail Trail. I’ve done a 10K there (last year) and have cycled with the fam there as well. It’s nice and flat and the perfect length for a 9 mile run with scenic views, plenty of shade and a flat paved surface. There are also port-a-potties – for a mid run rest stop. Awesome for summer running. The only pitfall of this run was I was perhaps a little to eager to run and didn’t warm up and my L piriformus muscle started to grumble.

Monday I ran 3 miles with my run bud. I considered running 4, but my left piriformus muscle was putting up a fight after running 9 miles the day before…and I decided to keep it at 3 miles. Ran with my RB and overall was a nice run. Also, it was a big day bc my bff called to let me know she had her baby and I was an “Aunty!” It’s a GIRL!! Of course I had to sneak in an impromptu visit to my honorary niece. I’m in LOVE.

On Tuesday I rested. I had much to do at work, my son is in the midst of tryouts and his schedule is nuts! Plus, I had to squeeze in some shopping for back-to-school and take my mother to run her errands. I can even say that this is where I started feeling my ambition coming back. I felt PUMPED for Wednesday’s 5 miler.

I laugh because I always feel pumped the night before a run and then morning comes and the allure of my pillow and snuggly blankets is tough to bypass to head out for a run. I did it though. My son had another session of tryouts so whether I ran or not, out-of-bed I had to go. I dropped him off at tryouts and met my run bud for the 5 miler. I changed up our route slightly, which is comical because we were so engrossed in our conversation we missed one of the turns and had to turn around. Must be a good run if you feel so good that you get that engrossed in a conversation you lose your self-awareness. Total distance was 5.2. Average 10:30 pace. Perfect.

On a sad note, my boy didn’t make the team. I know he tried hard and I’m proud of him. There were 13 kids cut. He gave his 100% and that’s what counts. I’m trying to find a 5K he might want to race to keep him interested in running.

Thursday was a wash out, rained after I got out of work. I wasn’t feeling so great either. I had a headache that just wouldn’t quit and I wanted to curl up with a blanket and sleep. Basically, that’s what I did too. I made it an early night and headed to bed by 8:30! Problem was I tossed and turned all night. Blah.

Friday I did hill repeats. See my post on that. With that being said, you see it did not turn out to be a rest day.

Saturday I rocked a 4.2 mile easy run. A 10:30ish pace. I felt good listening to my tunes and just wanted to cruise along…and that’s what I did and I managed to keep a slower pace. A good recovery run before long run day (Sunday).

Not too many more morning runs in my future during weekdays. Once my kids return to school (just days away), I have to take them to school. Two different schools. Two different towns. Yeah, and then get myself to work. Ha! I guess that’s what weekends are for!

Happy running!

 

 

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Positive Challenge | Day 3

A friend of mine has challenged me to list three things I’m grateful for every day for 7 days. This is my 3rd day. It’s been a long day and I’m glad I’m still able to squeeze in a few minutes to do this.

#1 I am grateful for Nuun–after a long run and post run dehydration headache. All better.

#2 I am grateful for my friends! This should really go without saying.

#3 I am grateful for SPF on a hot sunny day which would have otherwise left me blistered. The little things make a big difference.

Now I challenge YOU to share 3 things you are grateful for every day for 7 days. You should nominate 2 people to do the same. I opted to leave this open to everyone vs. 2 people. Let’s keep the positive flow going!

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Positive Challenge | Day 2

A friend of mine has challenged me to list three things I’m grateful for every day for 7 days. This is my 2nd day.

#1 I am grateful for the food I have to eat. Really good food!

#2 I am grateful for my running shoes. They keep my feet happy during runs.

#3 I am grateful for my job as it gives me freedoms beyond money.

Now I challenge YOU to share 3 things you are grateful for every day for 7 days. You should nominate 2 people to do the same. I opted to leave this open to everyone vs. 2 people. Let’s keep the positive flow going!

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Positive Challenge | Day 1

A friend of mine has challenged me to list three things I’m grateful for every day for 7 days. I don’t usually participate in these “games”. I do think it’s a neat idea and decided this time I’ll bite.

#1 I am grateful for my husband and boys who give back as much to me as I give to them.

#2 I am forever grateful for coffee. Monday’s just wouldn’t be survivable without it.

#3 I am grateful for ALONE time. Be it short, I suck up every minute I get to decompress and regroup.

Now I challenge YOU to share 3 things you are grateful for every day for 7 days. You should nominate 2 people to do the same. I opted to leave this open to everyone vs. 2 people. Let’s keep the positive flow going!

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Hill repeats…say that again?

I’m in the process of training for my 2nd half marathon (training week 11). In both training plans, hill repeats are referenced as a training option here and there. I’ve read about hill repeats before but never actually dedicated a training strictly to me running up and down a hill…over and over again. Usually my training runs include hills in the courses I run. The world is hilly (at least where I live). Hills don’t bother me. I actually like the challenge (most of the time).

Being the last few weeks of peaking mileage in my training plan before my taper, I am going to implement hill repeats into my training once a week. I’m interested to see if it will impact my running in a positive way.

I’m not planning on sprinting up and down at top speed. Planning on a steady ascent, increase speed at the crest, continue running for 10 seconds, turn around and descend. I want to focus on technique not speed. Powering up a hill repeatedly is only going to suck the life out of me and I likely won’t get many repeats in.

In case you couldn't picture it

In case you couldn’t picture it

For me, the hill repeats aren’t just about getting UP them. I need to find a better way to descend. Often, I have found (especially in races) running downhill I tend to brake too much not wanting to face plant. I often feel like I’m pounding my body in an ungraceful way (like an elephant running). I need to control my fall more efficiently.

 
Keeping all that in mind, I ran my first set of hill repeats today. I tried to be controlled on my descents, but still felt like an elephant where the hill was steepest. I did 4 sets and felt pretty strong through all of them. My next training run I will probably increase to 6 sets. I paid special attention to my warm-up and cool down routine and stretching to keep my muscles loose and happy.

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Zooma Cape Cod Half Marathon Training | Week 10 Recap

I can’t believe I’m done 10 weeks of training already! I’m a little late getting to this post. Life has thrown some curveballs and I haven’t had time to blog. Plus, training is a lot of the same thing over again every week with incremental changes in mileage. Hard to make it interesting (and I probably don’t). I on the other hand get to enjoy the runs and feel the air, heart pumping, legs pounding and am further inspired by the completion of the runs.

The plan for the week was:

Sunday: Rest {post Spartan}

Monday: Rest {post Spartan}

Tuesday: 3 miles easy

Wednesday: Xtrain {upper body}

Thursday: 5 miles easy

Friday: 2 miles fast

Saturday: Rest {Triple booked with plans and squeezing in a run is not going to work}

Sunday and Monday were especially uneventful. I’d love to say that I feel great, but that would be a lie. The Spartan race on 8/9 was killer. My body is still bruised a week later and random aches and pains emerge as I run. Would I still do it all over again…hell yeah! The Spartan left me sore from top to bottom. The only thing I desired was rest and thought it would be best to do so and avoid injury down the road since my muscles were THAT tight.

Finally, I couldn’t stand the ‘rest’ anymore and Tuesday headed out with my run bud for what was going to be a 3 miler, but ended up being a 4 miler because I felt good and didn’t want to stop. The temps have been unusually cool in the morning (63*) here in NH and perfect running weather. Although I think the winter is going to come early and be a bitch this year.

 

0f9f5a9c9ec4925040aef3e585ea47e2

Wednesday I did some curls of various sorts and tricep kickbacks. I also spent extra time stretching.

Thursday, I had some explosive stress to run off. Literally, I was like a shaken bottle of soda just ready to burst. Stupid shit that happened over several days that finally brought me to want to I pound sand. So, I met with my run bud again and banged out just under 5 miles mid-afternoon. The sun was out. 70 degrees, not very August like around here and just awesome running.

The run was great for most of the distance, but about 1/4 mile from the end I hit the wall?! It truly was ridiculous that in under 5 miles my body tanked. It was awful. This particular day I rack it up to stress. I did feel mentally better after the run, but phew, it was a tough end. My run buddy was just as glad to stop. Reviewing my splits I can’t believe that the last split pace is faster than the first mile I ran…mind blown. BLOWN.

Breakdown of the run

Split
Time
Distance
Avg Pace
Summary 51:06.2 4.88 10:29
1 10:57.5 1.00 10:57
2 10:24.3 1.00 10:24
3 10:13.6 1.00 10:14
4 10:18.7 1.00 10:19
5 9:12.0 0.88 10:29

At this time, my son was still training for soccer tryouts and was trying to increase his speed to meet the “suggested” 7 min mile. I might run all the damn time, but I don’t run that fast. We had originally planned on running together at the track on Friday for 2 miles fast. Curveball. The cheerleaders were practicing on the track. Think about it. My teenage son FOCUSING on running in circles with a bunch of cheerleaders to gawk at…haha, yeah right. I decided that staying at the track was a no-go and we came back home to run around the neighborhood (choosing a mostly flat route). My boy had me running an avg 8:29 pace! A PB for me! Our M1 was 8:38 and M2 was 8:22 (holy shit!). I was so proud of him, for running his fastest pace. Hell, proud of myself for the same reason. And on the road to boot, not the flattest of flat track.

Saturday was a scheduled rest day since I knew I was not going to squeeze a run in with all the traveling and events we had planned. It was a fun day.

Heading into week 11, my concern is how difficult it has been for me to get all my miles in with all our summer obligations and random issues getting in the way. I really am running out of training weeks to get peak mileage in and need to get myself focused and locked into my training.

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