Weekly Recap: Cherry Blossom 10 miler Training (2 weeks to go!)

This week was okay. My mom was able to come down to help watch my daughter while my husband was out-of-town, so I was still able to get my workouts in. Yay!

Monday-Rest day

Tuesday- 4+ miles @ 8:30. The weather felt pretty nice at almost 40 degrees. I should’ve kept running since I was feeling so good but I try to keep my weekday runs short since the time I spend with my daughter is so limited during the week already.

IMG_5828Wednesday- 2 miles. It just felt really chilly and windy this day. This was one time that I wished I had dressed warmer. It didn’t help that I thought it would be a good idea to run in the windiest part of town. I kept getting really bad cramps too so I just cut this run short. I really hate to do that but I honestly wasn’t gaining anything from this run.

Thursday- 5+ miles @ 8:45 pace with Fleet Feet. I was so looking forward to this run all week since it was supposed to be in the 70’s and would feel like a tropical heat wave. I finally had the chance to wear my new t-shirt from the Rock’n’Roll DC half. I love it! I was little concerned cause they were calling for rain but we got pretty lucky with that. The rain held off until about the 4th mile and then we got pretty soaked. It felt nice and helped me cool off. I can handle running in the rain for a mile when it’s that warm out.

Friday-Rest day. My mom was leaving today since my husband would be returning this evening so we did some shopping and lunch before she left town. My dad had sent down some old school animal crackers for Haylie to try out. She seemed to really enjoy them.

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Saturday- 9+ miles @ 9:30 pace. It said 30 degrees but felt much cold and it was really windy again. I had actually gotten up to run at 6am but upon letting my dogs outside and discovering how cold it felt I just couldn’t do it, so I went back to bed for another 2 hours and it was amazing. I was still able to fit the run in during Haylie’s nap later. I only wore one pair of gloves so when I returned home my hands were frozen and red. I think next Christmas I will ask for a pair of hardcore running mittens! Other than the wind, I felt pretty good.

Sunday- Orange Theory. Always a nice way to start off my Sunday. Later we went to a birthday party for one of Haylie’s friends from daycare. So exciting! She loved chasing her friends around and playing. She still doesn’t know what to think of pizza but she can put away some cake!

IMG_5869  Do you have any recommendations for very warm running mittens?

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Favorite Springtime Foods!

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It’s the Friday Five with: Cynthia, Mar, and Courtney today! Today’s topic is Favorite Springtime Foods. I love Spring especially after what seemed like a long, dreary winter.

1. Corn on the cob. It’s absolutely amazing and can be seasoned anyway that your heart desires. We’ve started cooking it on the grill which is also great. Truth be told, I still prefer it boiled on the stove but the grill makes less dishes, and less dishes always wins in my book.

2. Champagne mango. We discovered these little gems a year or two ago and I don’t know how I lived without them. They are a little sweeter than regular mango and oh so good! The only thing I don’t like about eating them is have to wait for my husband to pick me up some more. I’ve even gotten over my annoyance with the very large mango seed.

They are Haylie approved!
They are Haylie approved!

3. Cherry tomatoes. Every year my husband grows a lovely garden in our yard. I take no part in this. Not because I’m lazy but because I kill plants like it’s my job. I’m really doing us both a favor by not helping since we actually want to eat the vegetables. He seems to have the best of luck with cherry tomatoes. They are so delicious that I just snack on them constantly. I just grab a handful and go. Sometimes my husband has to ask me not to eat them all if he’s planning on using some for our dinner.

4. Berries. I really love all berries. Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries. They are all great. I’m especially fond of blackberries because they remind me of picking them on my Grandma’s farm as a child. Then we would soak them in milk and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top. Good times!

5. Cucumbers. These are another of my vegetables favorites. They are great to just slice up and snack on. So fresh!

I know some of these things are more summer items but as soon as it starts to warm up and that snow melts this is what I crave! Spring makes me think of freshness.

Thinking out Loud

I’m linking up with Amanda for Thinking out Loud!

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 8.49.52 PMI’ve got a lot on my mind, as per usual. I’ll spare you all of the details. I feel like it’s been a hectic week but that’s mostly because my husband is in Austria for work. Thankfully, my mom was able to come down and help me out with my daughter. For some reason I think day care would frown upon me dropping her off at 4:30 in the morning. It turns out when my husband (aka the voice of reason) isn’t here I don’t like to sleep. I stay up way too late blogging and reading instead of sleeping. Otherwise, it’s a win-win situation. I get to spend time with my mom and Haylie gets to spend time with her Grandma. I still can’t wait for his return though. I’m very much a creature of habit.

Anyway, I wanted to talk briefly about my goals. Ultimately, I would love to BQ. I don’t know if this is an achievable goal for me since I’m not exactly the fastest runner but maybe if I really focused on speed work. I’d like to achieve this goal possibly by the time I’m 40. I figure by then I will done having children and my daughter will be older. It’s also kind of an expensive goal with the race fee and travel involved. If I’m never able to run Boston, it’ll be okay. I won’t be over whelming devastated or anything but I just can’t help think of how amazing it would feel to cross that finish line. It would be quite the rush!

Really, I’m just grateful to be able to run. It’s hard not to compare yourself to others who are faster and run longer distances but there are people who would be to be able to run at all. It’s been a great journey so far. I’ve met a lot of awesome people along the way. I hope running and I have many, many more years together. I’m also grateful for the support from my family, especially my husband since he has to watch our daughter while I’m always out running. He’s been amazing. I hope one day my daughter will want to run or be into some sort of sports at least. She already runs around the house all day like a crazy person. I really would love just a little bit of her energy! 

I’m excited because next month my MRTT group is having a craft night. We are going to be making our own medal hangers. I really need a proper place to display my medals! I’m hoping to make something like this but I’m not too sure about my crafting abilities. 

  

 One last thing, I ordered my Brooks Ravennas. I’m so excited to get them! New running shoes are the best! I hope that I love them. I found this cute poem by Kelsey Sheron @ The Blonder Side of Life:

Dear Running Shoes,
Roses are red and violets are blue;
I’ve got bad knees so I need a good shoe.
You’ve taken me on so many adventures;
I know you’ll be true till I’m wearing dentures.
Along this journey I’ve learned a thing or two,
Like look out for cars and don’t step in poo.
Also that outside is always better than the gym,
You fill me with joy right to the brim!
Whether I finish in the front, middle or back of the pack,
My love for you is an unwavering fact.
You’re always there to see me through –
The happy times, and the sad and blue.
I love you, Running Shoes, despite this bad knee;
You’re my best friend; don’t ever leave me….

That is all for now. Happy Thursday!!

Anyone else have a big racing goal? Do you have any tips/programs that you recommend for speed work?

Weekly Recap: Cherry Blossom 10 miler Training

Overall, it was a pretty uneventful week. Sometimes after races I find myself thinking where do I go from here. I really do enjoy the structure that training brings to my life. I would sign up for all the races if I could but I don’t think my body or my bank account would support that. Those registration fees add up fast! Not to mention, that I feel guilty spending too much time away from my daughter and husband. This week I just went with how I felt and I’ll start focusing more on Cherry Blossom next week.

Monday- 5k @ 7:58 pace. This was a great run! I felt amazing between resting up on Sunday and the weather. I also decided to run somewhere new. It’s this shopping center with a little lake near where I live. I go there pretty frequently for shopping, eating and such but have never actually run it. I felt like a change of location was in order to celebrate this 60+ degree day. It’s also really flat whereas the city I live in has hills everywhere.

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Gotta love negative splits!
Gotta love negative splits!

Tuesday- I did my own St. Patty’s day 5k @ 8:38 pace. It was a little cooler than Monday but still felt great in the 50’s. I was so glad to be sporting a green t-shirt and shorts.

It was pretty windy so excuse the crazy hair.
It was pretty windy so excuse the crazy hair.

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Wednesday- Rest day. This entire day I felt off. I woke up feeling exhausted and it never wore off. After I picked up my daughter from daycare, I was falling asleep while sitting up playing with her on the floor. Not to worry, every time I fell asleep she would come running over yelling “eyes, eyes” and proceed to poke me in the eyelids until I opened them. There’s no sleeping on her watch!

Thursday- 5 miles @ 8:55 pace with Fleet Feet. I still wasn’t feeling like myself but really wanted to run with Fleet Feet since our Thursday night runs were canceled for at least a month straight due to the lovely weather. Luckily there were a few other people who were also recovering from Rock’n’Roll DC so we took it pretty easy. It  started to cool off again but I was still so glad to be outside!

Friday-Orange Theory and yet more snow! I thought it was supposed to be Spring now?!

IMG_5778I did go to a fun Paris themed night at Fleet Feet. They had mini massages and paraffin wax hand treatments. Yay!

IMG_5799Saturday-3 miles. This morning didn’t go as planned in any way. I wanted to get 9 miles in but I really wasn’t feeling up to it. I talked myself into literally running an errand so I at least got a short run in. Then I spent the rest of the day hanging out with my husband and daughter.

Sunday- Some more Orange Theory and a pretty sunrise.

IMG_5816That’s about it. I hope everyone had a lovely weekend.

Did you do anything exciting for St. Patrick’s Day? Do you usually make yourself run even if you aren’t feeling 100%?

Spring Friday Favorites!

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It’s the Friday Five with: Cynthia, Mar, and Courtney today! Today’s topic is Spring! I love Spring, it’s my second favorite season. Right now it may be my favorite simply because it means that I don’t have to deal with any more snow for a while.

1. Running! I love running outside in the spring. I would take rain over ice and snow any day! On a bad Spring day, you’ll probably be good running in capris and a long sleeve t-shirt, but this week I’ve already busted out the t-shirts and shorts. It’s so much quicker to get ready for a run when you don’t have to put on layer after layer so as to not freeze your butt off. I also feel like all of those layers weigh me down. The birds are chirping……I could go on and on.

2. Playing outside- Once again I can play outside with my daughter. We can go to the park and do all sorts of fun outdoors activities that we haven’t been able to for the last few months. Even just going for a walk is lovely. Anything to not be stuck inside any longer. Can you tell that I’m not a winter fan? It’s also good for her to be able to run around and burn off some excess energy. If only she could pass that off to me!

This was taken last September. Crazy how big she's gotten since then!
This was taken last September. Crazy how big she’s gotten since then!

3. Flowers- I love seeing all the flowers and trees coming alive again. So pretty! This year I’m running the Cherry Blossom 10 miler. That weekend is predicted to be the peak. It’s going to be so pretty! I can’t wait!

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4. Easter- Always a nice holiday. Poor Haylie was sick last year but still did pretty well in the Easter basket department. I don’t think we have any family coming for visit this year like we did the previous year but it’ll still be a nice day, just the three of us.

Easter '14
Easter ’14

5. Happiness- Spring just gives me an overall sense of well-being. I feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It’s great for my mental health. It’s a literal breath of fresh air! A nice pick me up after the long, cold, dreary winter.

What do you love about Spring?

Thinking out Loud: Shoes and more!

 I’m linking up with Amanda again for Thinking out Loud! I have a few random thoughts that I’d like to put out there. Honestly, I always have random thoughts, so I’m loving this whole thinking out loud concept.

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 8.49.52 PMI don’t want to be too greedy but I’d love to get a 2nd pair of running shoes as a backup. They aren’t cheap by any means, but I feel like it may be a worthwhile investment. Especially for instances like Rock’n’Roll DC where my shoes are saturated for days. I do hold on to my previous pair for super emergencies but they are pretty much shot which is why I had to get a replacement pair to begin with. So I really prefer to not use them. I’m currently wearing Nike Structures which I’m loving so far. For the last few years I’ve been wearing Brooks Adrenaline, but honestly I hated the latest colors that they came out with for the latest Adrenaline. I spend enough time in my running shoes that I want to love everything about them.

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Since having the gait analysis done at the expo last weekend, I am considering the Brooks Ravenna for a back up shoe. It seems like it would be good for my overpronation and it’s fairly light weight. It looks on paper and even comes in a color that I like! As far as price, it’s right around what I would normally expect to pay for a good pair of shoes. They also recommended the Transcend for me, but those are bit more pricey than I prefer.

Is it sad that I can’t remember the last pair of normal shoes that I purchased?! I asked for new running shoes for Christmas and a race entry fee for my birthday. I’ve got my priorities!

I’ve tried the waffles before and wasn’t impressed with either their flavor or their ability to provide me with extra energy for my run. I stopped into Dick’s Sporting Goods on Monday and upon seeing some decided to give them another try. They are about $1.50 each. This time I tried the vanilla flavor. I really liked it and had a great run after eating it. I may have to reconsider them as a possible fueling alternative.

Is it a good idea to have more than one pair of running shoes? Anyone have experience with the Brooks Ravenna?

Rock’n’Roll DC Half Marathon Race Recap

This is the first race of the year! Yay! I can’t believe that it’s the middle of March already. Seriously where does the time go?! I thought that this would be a fun and exciting race. I haven’t done a Rock’n’Roll event before so I wanted to try something new. Ultimately I wasn’t disappointed. It could have been a much different race had it not been raining the entire time. I knew about the rain well in advance. Since taking up running, I’ve become obsessed with the weather strictly from the stand point of I’m concerned how it will affect my run. Also my husband is a wanna-be meteorologist so he makes sure that I’m up on the latest weather forecast.

Expo/Packet Pickup:

My husband was kind enough to drive to the expo so I didn’t have to deal with the metro. What can I say, he’s a great guy! I tried to rush through it quicker than I would have liked so I didn’t make him wait for me too long but really that’s for the best. I tend to want to buy all the things will all the money that I don’t have.

IMG_5680I got there pretty much right when it opened at 10am on Friday. The convention center is really nice. I hadn’t been there before. I was able to easily get my packet and shirt then decided to walk around at least a little bit. Brooks had a Run Happy Island which I felt compelled to check out. I had a free gait analysis done which was pretty neat. I’ve had them done before but they showed me more of the science behind it. Fascinating! They had a mechanical shoe to ride instead of a mechanical bull. I also won a free t-shirt at their market place. Score! IMG_5677IMG_5681IMG_5679

How can this shirt not make you happy?!
How can this shirt not make you happy?!

After Run Happy Island, I started rushing. I went to find the pacer’s booth because I wanted to sign up to run with the 2:00 group then I was on my way. I didn’t spend any money. So proud!

The Night Before:

It was a pretty laid back night. I have an irritable stomach so I do not experiment with anything new the night before a race. I’ve discovered that for some reason frozen pizza from Wegman’s sits really well with me. It’s actually not even that bad for you compared to most other pizzas. After that I was kinda nervous just from normal pre-race jitters combined with not knowing what to expect with the rain. I was running around trying to set everything out so as to not disturb my husband and daughter in the morning.

IMG_5693Race Morning:

I got up early enough to have some coffee and read some blogs. Top priority any morning! It was already raining when I let my dogs out. I made my ritual race breakfast: PB & honey with bananas and cinnamon. It’s delicious and seems to provide me everything that I need to get started. Then I was out the door.

IMG_5694I went with Cynthia @ You Signed Up for WHAT?! who is also the leader of my MRTT group. Her dad offered to drive us and cheer us on which was amazing again so I didn’t have to metro. We got there with plenty of time to spare. It was pretty chilly and rainy so we tried to take some shelter under one of the museums after hitting the port-a-potties.

IMG_5695IMG_5696The Race:

I eventually headed over to the corrals and found my pacer. I was in corral 9 so it took a little while to get to the start line. I was pretty pumped up by that time despite the cold. I wasn’t able to take any pictures during the race since my fingers were frozen and I had my phone in a Ziploc bag.

It was a good race. I really enjoyed the music and crowd support. You did have to watch out for the occasional pot hole and road cone but otherwise I didn’t think it felt as crowded as Baltimore was. I had my first Gu around mile 5. There was a rough hill around mile 6 where I lost the pacer for a minute. I had to push hard to catch up after that hill but I managed. I had a 2nd Gu around mile 9 as I started to feel sluggish. Kevin, the pacer, helped me reach my goal! I really wanted to finish sub-2:00 but I wasn’t sure how manageable that would be given the difficulties I experienced with the snow and ice during training. The last week and a half were pretty much spent on the treadmill but I pulled it off! Heck yes! I felt pretty proud.

IMG_5699Afterward I was given chocolate milk, a bottled water and a few snacks. Then top priority was to find Cynthia and get out of the cold. Again I was so grateful that her dad drove us because I would not have wanted to sit on the metro all cold and wet. If the weather were better I would’ve loved to have hung around and enjoyed the music more.

Overall, It was a great race even with the rain. I would definitely recommend a Rock’n’Roll event. It seemed very well-organized to me. I even pulled off a half marathon PR. I’m still on a bit of a runner’s high! The best feeling, for me, is at the end of the day when I’m completely exhausted and don’t have any fight left in me. In that brief moment of time, I’m totally calm and relaxed. All is right in my little world. That’s why I run. That is one of the best feelings in the world to experience. I wish I could have that feeling every single day of my life. It’s truly wonderful. 

Anyone else have a great experience at a Rock’n’Roll event?