I’m Back!

No, I haven’t left town or gone anywhere exciting, not yet at least.

I’m back to the pavement! After several weeks away from running, trying to give my pesky knee some time to heal, and working on increasing my strength (soon-to-come: unassisted pull-up), I’ve finally been able to officially start training for the Chicago Marathon!

I’m a week and a half in, and I’m absolutely loving living by my beautiful, colorful training calendar. Obviously having not run very much the past month, I’m starting out pretty slow with low mileage, but I hope to be working both (speed and miles) up in the very near future. I also want to keep focusing on strength training and incorporate a lot of speed training!

Last night the tall man (a.k.a. husband) and I hit up the track for some speed work. We did several 100 meter sprints, a few 200 meter sprints, then we split up and I continued with an 800 hundred sprint (um, can you call that a sprint?), and my fastest ever mile run…seven minutes and twenty-one seconds.

To some, that might not seem all that fast for just one mile, but when I pressed the lap button on my pretty little Garmin and saw 7:21 flash before my eyes, I was ecstatic! After watching the Olympic track trials on television, witnessing 200 meter times in the 20 second range, and then running my own huff-and-puff-tastic 200s in 43 slow and agonizing seconds, I thought I’d lost any resemblance of speed I might have once had. However, 7:21 is at least 15 seconds off my mile PR, so I guess somewhere in these quads of mine is some super-duper-fastness waiting to get out.

I have to give credit to my precious little dog Tia. We took her to the track with us so she could get some fresh air, and after Matt was finish with his workout he took Tia off her leash to play. I was halfway around the track into the first lap of my mile when I heard some cute little footsteps chasing behind me. After nose-diving in a hole in the grass and flipping three times, little Tia eventually passed me and stayed a few steps ahead of me the rest of the mile.

What a good little pacer she is. 🙂

And what a wonderful husband this guy is…

On Sunday he woke up at 5:00am (a huge accomplishment in itself), drove us an hour to downtown Kansas City, and ran the All Star Game 5K (third race ever) in the crazy midwest heat with me. #proudwife

I think I’m turning us into a cute little family of runners! Maybe. 🙂

 

Advertisements

Made It Official

I’ve been running.

I haven’t been writing much about running, but I’ve been running. I’ve listened to my little garmin chirp as it tracked mile after mile. A delightful little sound.

One of my goals this year is to run two marathons. I signed up for the Chicago marathon that is in October, and I’ve been training for a spring marathon. However, I have been afraid to fully commit and actually register for this spring marathon because I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get in all my training miles with nursing school.

Until today. I finally made it official!

My mind was pretty made up two Fridays ago, though. I crammed my face with carbs the night before and set my alarm to go off way too early for a Friday morning. I knew I’d need extra motivation for my longest run of the training cycle (so far), so I did the only thing I thought truly appropriate…

…switched the bright pink laces, of course!

The marathon is only twenty-five (what?!) days away, and this weekend I am going to attempt my longest training run ever…22 miles.

Please send your positive running vibes to my pretty pink laces!

ang

I’ve Been Smiling A Lot

My goal for the month of December was to enjoy life and smile a lot. I must say, I do think I have been very successful achieving my goal thus far. Between laughing it up with my husband, spending time with my family, and catching up with friends, I could not have asked for a better month.

However, I have only logged a handful of miles in my old Asics, and I think they miss me. It always seems like such a great idea at night to wake up at the crack of dawn…or actually, before dawn…and get a good run in. When the morning rolls around the the idea sounds much less desirable. Much. Don’t get me wrong…I am missing hitting the pavement, too…but I’m definitely enjoying life a little bit longer in my warm bed!

And, I’ve been more than lacking in the food/cooking/eating well department. Between my peppermint bark rice crispie treats, and the cookie party I went to, I’ve eaten dessert for breakfast more times than not. I justified the rice crispie treats by reminding myself that rice crispies are cereal after all,  however it’s much harder to justify a sugar cookie.

But, sugar cookies and rice crispies make me happy, so I’m not going to worry about it! I call that a successful month!

I have big, big goals for two thousand and twelve, though, so prepare yourself. In the meantime, I’m going to live it up for the next eleven days and spend every happy moment I can before school, work, and running invade my life to the fullest. My 2012 wish list will be coming to the blog very soon, and expect to see a lot more about my running plans, my running goals, and eating and cooking well. You heard me right…cooking well. Oh, and running a sub-four hour marathon.

Oh wait, did I just say that?!

ang

Merry Christmas To Me

I pulled into my driveway after work yesterday afternoon only to see one of the most exciting things ever…

…Merry Christmas to me!

As soon as I got inside I ran to the front door and picked up the package. It wasn’t a surprise what was inside because the husband and I both picked out our own presents, which just happened to be tennis shoes for the both of us, but I couldn’t wait to see the little beauties in person.

I’ve heard that a good rule of thumb is to run no more than three hundred miles per pair of running shoes. I have had my running shoes since May, and throughout marathon training, then half marathon training, and add on top of that some cross-training and just running for the fun of it…I’m sure I at least doubled that three hundred mile limit!

I stuck with the exact same style of shoe as my last pair…why change something that’s already working great! They are Asics Gel Cumulus 12s, and they feel like you are walking, or running, on clouds. The only difference is this time Asics made my shoe with pink details instead of blue. It’s like they knew me!

The only sad thing is that I’m going to put these babies back in their box and wait until after Christmas to take them for a run. When the time comes, I’ll swap out those bright white shoelaces and put in my pretty pink ones and begin training for marathon number two!

Oooohhh, I can’t wait, but for now…yay for Christmastime!!!

ang

Did I Really Do That?

I can’t believe it has been almost two whole weeks since I ran my first marathon.

I think back to that day and have to question whether or not it actually happened.

I mean, I remember running it…I remember waking up in the morning, meeting up with all my friends, and arriving at the race sight. I remember starting the race, running alongside Dean Karnazes, meeting some amazing people, seeing my friends at the transition points, and seeing all of my family along the course. I remember my sister screaming, my mom crying, my dad running, and my husband providing me with fuel and water. I remember crossing the finish line, and I remember crossing the finish line for a second time with all of my girlfriends.

I remember hugging all my family at the finish line, drenching my mom in my own sweat, and eating strawberries and blueberries after the race. I remember sitting in the grass cheering on the final runners as they neared the finish line. I remember being too sore to climb a staircase without using all four of my limbs.

But did I really do that?

If it was actually reality (although I’m still unsure at this point) then it was one of the most amazing feelings in the world. It was a feeling that I wish every person can experience at least once in their life, and it was a feeling I want to seek out again.

I’ve been scouring race sights all week trying to pick a race that fits into my work schedule, volleyball schedule, dinner club schedule, and budget. It’s not the easiest task in the world, and I’m going stir crazy not knowing the next time I will get to challenge myself. I have a few races in my sights…maybe a 10K soon…a half marathon before the end of the year, and I definitely need to find a 5K so that my hubs and I can actually finish our bet! I have my eyes set on another marathon for beginning of next year.

It has been interesting working out this week without a set schedule or training plan. I’m such a goal-oriented person and I miss having my training plan stuck to my refrigerator, but it has been kind of nice to just go with the flow this week and enjoy the magnificent weather!

My first post-marathon run was Saturday and I ran three easy miles and walked an additional mile. I was definitely nervous as I was leaving my house that my legs might have forgotten how to run, but somehow they started moving on their own!

On Tuesday I ran four miles on the treadmill (a shame, I know, since it was beautiful outside) and did some strength training. (Yay for biceps!)

On Wednesday I decided to try some Yasso 800s (don’t worry, I didn’t know what they were either until just recently). I learned about this track workout on Emily’s blog last week, and I was very intrigued! I’ve been very inspired by reading about Emily’s running (and swimming and biking) experiences on her blog, so I thought this workout must be legit! Basically you run timed, speedy 800s on a track with an un-timed cool-down 400 in between. You start by doing four 800s the first week, and then you add another 800 each week until you reach ten. Your time during your 800s should (possibly…) reflect your marathon time. For example, if you run an 800 in three minutes and forty seconds, you should be able to run a marathon in three hours and forty minutes (I really hope I’m explaining this correctly!)

Yesterday consisted of some random crosstraining, and today I set out bright (well, it wasn’t actually bright yet) and early for a nice four miler with some of the girls from the WOW running group. It was refreshing to get in another easy run with some awesome company!

While I may not know the next time I will be racing, I do know that these shoes aren’t ready to retire!

ang

What To Do With Those Funky Foam Sticks?!

A few weeks ago I asked you all about foam rollers. After hearing all your responses, I ultimately decided that I needed one! I made a trip to the running store in search of one.

Thirty-seven dollars. Thirty-seven dollars?!

My running shoes were already one hundred dollars, and the marathon I am signing up for in August is eighty dollars, not to mention the other various races I want to participate in this summer…this just seems like a lot of money, so why would I spend thirty-seven more dollars for something that I can make.

Yes. You read that right. I can make a foam roller. (I realize this makes me sound cheap…and I don’t really like the word cheap…so I’m going to prove that instead of me being cheap, that I am actually creative!)

Ingredients: 1/2″ by 24″ copper pipe (Lowe’s plumbing department), duct tape (Wal-Mart), 6″ funky foam craft sticks (Hobby Lobby), hot glue gun and glue sticks, and a towel (so you don’t get hot glue on your craft area.)

Step One: Start by wrapping one end of the copper pipe with duct tape to use as the handle for the foam roller.Step Two: Take a strip of funky foam and wrap it into a circle (it must be a little more than 1/2″ so that it will fit around the copper pipe). Use the hot glue gun to permanently glue the foam in place as you continue to wrap it. You will need to wrap at least 4 funky foam strips for it to be thick enough.Now you have one finished foam roll.Keep rolling funky foam strips until you have enough foam rolls to fill up the entire bar (only leaving room at the ends for the handles).

Step Three: Once you are finished creating your foam rolls, slide them onto your copper pipe.Step Four: After all your foam rolls are on the copper pipe, take the duct tape and wrap it around the other end of the copper bar to create the other handle. Make sure to wrap the handles with enough duct tape so that the foam rolls cannot slide off.And now you have a cute, finished, homemade foam roller!Step five: Roll all your muscle soreness away!

Enjoy!

ang

I Need Your Running Advice…Part Two!

I bought new running shoes a few weeks ago, and I had a lot of anxiety over the fact that they weren’t pink.

But, I had to choose comfort over cuteness for 26.2.

However

I decided to give these babies a little makeover!

Much better!

I am doing pretty good with my mini goals. I have been waking up earlier, consciously drinking more water, taking princess Tia for more walks, and sort of sticking to my training plan.

Monday I ran five miles (because I was supposed to do that on Sunday, but took a nap instead), went to yoga, and did some strength training.

Yesterday I ran a three mile tempo run. I ran .5 of a mile at 6.0 mph, .5 of a mile at 6.2 mph, .25 of a mile at 6.3, then at 6.4, then at 6.5, then at 6.6, then at 6.7, then 6.8, then 7.2, then I finished up at 6.2. Does that make sense?

Today I just finished my long run of the week…nine miles. It was a great run! Today was just supposed to be a four miler, but since I will be running a 5K race on Saturday instead of my long run, I did it today.

Now on to my new running questions!

I need help on hills!

source

So far, I’ve done the majority of my training on a treadmill, therefore I haven’t had much any hill training. The course for my first full marathon has 3 out of 5 star rating for difficulty and for hills.

Ummm, what?

Although common sense is not one of my strengths, I do realize that hill training should probably be incorporated in my training, especially since the weather is now nice enough to go outside. So, what is hill training? Do I just run routes with lots of hills? I’m pretty sure my nine miler today was FULL of hills…so does it count as hill training?

Also, what is the technique for running hills?

Or maybe I should also just ask what is the technique for any running. As I’ve said before, all of my running experience has come from conditioning for other sports, so I guess I’ve never really been taught how to run. I’m also pretty sure that I’ve come up with a funky looking running technique since I watched myself run as I past a series of reflective windows today…it’s a booty-sticking-way-out with an awkwardly-straight-back kind of look. My quads and knees haven’t felt completely normal since my half marathon, and I think I am running funny (or maybe this is normal?) to compensate for it.

You see, I need your help! Please and thank you 🙂

ang

Marathon Training Week 2 – Check!

Time flies! I can’t believe that I’ve already finished two weeks of training for my marathon! Actually, week two isn’t completely finished, but tomorrow is a rest day (a.k.a. my first time ever going to a winery!), and Sunday is a cross training day, but that will be simple (and hopefully I can talk my hubby into joining me!).

It is a beautiful day today, so I decided to take my run outside!

Unfortunately, I do not know the roads very well in my town, and I have an unreasonable fear of being hit by a car or kidnapped, so I decided to take my run down to the track at the university.

Today was my “long run” of the week…seven miles. (Today this seems like a long run…in a few weeks when I’m running anywhere from ten to twenty miles, seven will seem easy!) I was nervous going into this because I feel like I’ve lost some of my endurance since I took a little bit of time off after my half marathon, but it actually felt really good!

But let me tell you…twenty-eight laps feels like forever on a track.

Around and around and around and around…..

…..and around and around and around and around!

I was really happy with how it went. I finished seven miles just under sixty-six minutes. This was probably my best run of my marathon training so far, and I think my muscles are finally getting back to normal. I still think I need a foam roller though!I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! I’m looking forward to my weekend! I have lots of fun stuff in store that I can’t wait to share with you all!

ang

Soaps, Shoes, Swimsuits, and Baby Bottles?

It seems like I am always missing in action on the weekends. I had a busy, busy, busy weekend filled with so many fun things to do!

It all started on Friday (which was my LAST day of Basic Microbiology class! Yay!) and the first thing on my agenda was to have lunch with my awesomely talented momma! We went to a restaurant where you go through a buffet line and create your own stir-fry type entree. You pick your meats, then your veggies, fruits or other “toppings”, then you pick your sauces and seasons. Then they cook it right in front  of you…YUM! As always, when I meet with my momma, she has a new soap from her soap line, and this time it was lemonade! Double YUM!(Please ignore the messy edges…they were stuck bouncing around in my purse all weekend!) She also gave me a bayberry spice soap to give to the hubs!

After lunch I went shopping. My mom and I split ways because my mom hates shopping with me and I am the PICKIEST shopper in the world! I was on a mission for a new swimsuit (which had the possibly of being a catastrophic event) for my upcoming trip to Mexico, sunglasses, and new running shoes.

As picky as I am, I ended up finding two swimsuits! SCORE! This one is from Target and on clearance!

And this one came from American Eagle…The sunglasses are from Aerie.

Now I must say, running shoe shopping was much more stressful than swimsuit shopping. I went to a running specialty store where they watched me walk and measured my feet, then provided me with the shoes that would be best for me. When the salesmen saw what shoes I had been running in, I think he almost croaked! Maybe that explains the knee pain? After finally deciding on a pair, I was given terrifying news…

…they didn’t come in pink.

I asked them to hold the shoes for me, because I wanted to look at others stores and hopefully find a pair that I loved just as much, but that were pink. I ended up finding a pair of pink and white asics at another store and bought them. Then I kept wondering to myself if they really were as comfortable as the shoes from the first store. Oh no…I didn’t think they were…did I make the wrong decision?!?! (I’ll have to tell you about my wedding dress experience similar to this one, HA!)

So, what did I do? I put on the pink pair that I’d already bought, then I walked back into the store that had the blue asics. I took one pink shoe off and put one blue shoe on and compared. They shoe expert was right…the blue pair was so much more comfortable…they were like walking on clouds!

So I bought the blue pair and returned the pink pair. If I’m going to run 26.2 miles, I guess comfort is more important than cuteness…They are still pretty cute…they’re more of a purple than a blue, which is good in my books. Maybe I’ll just buy some pink shoe laces to spruce them up a bit 🙂

The next day I sold some appliances. HAHA! That’s what I do for part time work right now. Can you imagine that?…me?…selling washers and dryers?! I can’t either! But that’s what I do!

After work, the hubby and I headed over to our friends Casey and Seth’s house for dinner club! (I will have to tell you more about dinner club another time…it is great!) We were also celebrating that two of our dinner club friends are having little baby boys soon! Yay! To help them celebrate, all the husbands got to do something really cute…(Notice what is in all of their hands?)Too funny! I LOVE IT!

This weekend I also received some more donations for Girls on the Run, and I had my first donation from a reader! Thank you Carly CarlyBananas! I can’t tell you how thankful I am! I am so close to reaching the minimum amount that I need to raise, but as you may know, I like to smash goals! Please help me by spreading the word! Thank you so so so so so much!

How was your weekend?!

ang