Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summer Break Block Party & 5K recap

So Saturday night was my 5K, and I had really been looking forward to this one because 1) it was close to home, only about 20 minutes away, and 2) it was at night and I didn't have to wake up early!  Saturday I did a lot of relaxing and even took a nap.  I had an early pasta dinner since I wanted to make sure my food had plenty of time to digest before the race.  I was even able to convince J that he and Guinness should come and watch (I think telling him beer would be there helped to seal the deal, too).

About 10 minutes before we left the house, it started to rain.  I have not really run in the rain before, but I paid for the race and was ready to do so if it came down to it.  When we got there we met up with Sharon and her husband, D.  Packet pick-up was super easy, and we went to throw our goody bags into the car and put on the glow necklaces and bracelets we bought for the race.  When we started to walk back to the boys, it began to rain...NOOO!!!

 We took turns stretching while the other held the umbrella...that's good friendship :)  It stopped raining before the race started but it was HUMID!  There didn't appear to be a sensor to start our chip time, so that was a bit of a negative (in my books...I like accuracy).  There also wasn't any notification that the race was starting except for seeing all the people in front of me start to run, so we were off.  The race was a nice loop, but more hilly than I was anticipating.  I stuck to my intervals as best as I could, but did quite a bit more walking than normal. 
My cheering section
As I approached the finish line I dug deep and tried to finish strong.  By this time J and G were waiting for me and J snapped a picture as I pushed for the finish

I'm so fast it's blurry :P
My official finish time was 37:11...not my best but also not my worst.  Considering the humidity I did a pretty good job.  I wish I hadn't walked so much up the final hill but hey, what are you going to do about it now, right?  I ran over to get a water and joined J, G, and D to watch Sharon cross the finish.  She beat her previous time by about 2 minutes....go Sharon!!

Once the race was over we hurried to get out and miss all the traffic, but not before snapping a post-race photo
Still smiling!
Overall the race was pretty good but I'm not sure that I would run this race again...hard to say when it's a year from now though :)

I took a few days off and hit the trail again this afternoon.  It wasn't as hot as it has been (around 85 when I got off work) but I know it won't get much cooler for a couple of months, and I'm going to have to run races in the heat, so I need to train running in the heat to acclimate myself.  I follow a lot of blogs and the hot topic at the moment is running in the heat.  I don't care how long my run is, I always carry something to drink.  I am LOVING my Amphipod Hydraform Handheld Pocket Bottle -

It's perfect to put my keys, GU, chapstick, anything like that for my run in the zipper.  It definitely came in handy today.  I tried a new interval setting (2 min run/45 sec walk), trying to find a place where I am comfortable.  I really like the Jeff Galloway method because I feel like I don't burn myself out like I did in my first race...just need to find the right run/walk ratio for me.  Today was a 30 minute run, and I was pretty pleased with myself considering the heat.  I ran 2.66 miles in 30 minutes, which is 0.03 miles faster...woo hoo!  I'll take the small victories.

Done with my run!
 I'm still doing decent with my "Lose a Marathon" challenge.  I've not had a soda in well over a week (big feat for me!) and I'm paying more attention to what I eat and exercising more.

I have one more 30 minute run this week and a 5 mile run scheduled for this weekend.  I think I'll be waking up at around 7 a.m. to beat the heat of the day!

Hi to all my new followers!  I hope everyone has fantastic workouts this week!

Until next time,


Friday, June 22, 2012

Busy Week!

Hi readers!  ::waves::

It's been a busy week for me (hence the title of this post). 

With working 10 hour days I've been getting home late, making dinner, hanging out with the hubby and crashing.  So I apologize in advance for the length of this post.

I totally forgot to write about this the last time I posted!  So first a back story - growing up I was very active in my local 4-H club.  I joined 4-H in 5th grade partially because my mom was the county 4-H agent, but as I got older I truly enjoyed participating in the activities, such as being elected to my Junior and Senior District Board of Directors, District Project Achievement (DPA), going to summer camp, competing in lamb shows, speech competitions, and a number of other events.  I also served four summers as a Summer 4-H Camp Counselor at both Rock Eagle 4-H Center and Wahsega 4-H Center.  I won scholarships and also was chosen as a Georgia 4-H delegate to attend National 4-H Conference in Washington, DC, my senior year of high school.  Winning the scholarships and being a delegate earned me the title "Master 4-H'er".

 In my Freight Train 5k Recap post I mentioned running into Dr. Bo Ryles, who was the State 4-H Leader for Georgia during my time spent in 4-H.  Well, he contacted me last Friday and said that I was unanimously nominated to serve on the Master 4-H Board for the year.  I feel very honored to have been nominated and chosen to serve on this board.  They are introducing the new members this weekend at State 4-H Council, but unfortunately, I cannot attend because I am running in the Summer Break Block Party 5k.  I am looking forward to working with the other members on the board during the upcoming year.

Tuesday night I was supposed to run, but my stomach was not agreeing with me, so I did some leg exercises that I found on Pinterest awhile back.  Guinness thought I was trying to play.  Wednesday night I took Guinness for a mile walk, and Thursday I went bowing with J and his plumber training class that was in town.

Walkin' through the 'hood
 This morning I got up at around 8 and did a 2 mile was ROUGH.  It should not be close to 80 degrees that early in the morning!  I just hope it's not a reflection of how I will do tomorrow night in my race.

I have enjoyed my flex time off.  I did my run, and then spent a couple of hours with my neighbor at the pool.  It was so nice just to relax.  Came home and took a nap, then met Sharon at Big Peach Running to register for our 10k!!!!  It's in July, so I hope I can be ready by then.  I haven't really given myself a goal time for this race yet.  Once I do a couple more long runs I'll have a better idea of what time I'd like to finish in.  I also bought an Amphipod water bottle and a couple of samples of Nuun.  Guinness came with me and we went to The Barker Lounge for their second birthday.  Guinness got a pupcake and even made some artwork for us -

He was not exactly loving this :)

Finished product on display!
 They also had a raffle for various prizes, including a gift basket, free day care and boarding, tickets to the Bark at the Park Atlanta Braves game, and a few others.  We won 5 days of daycare!  I have been wanting to take him back to get him used to going so he doesn't get so scared when we drop him off, so this is a perfect prize for us. 

Tomorrow night Sharon and I are running our first night race - the Summer Break Block Party.  We'll be decked out in glow necklaces and bracelets :)  I'm hoping to beat my last PR so we'll see how the temperature and humidity is at 9:00 p.m. at night.  J is coming to cheer me on (I convinced him with the beer tent).

I'm doing a pretty good job on my Lose a Marathon Challenge - I've gone a week with no soda, I've been taking my lunch and making dinner, and exercising.  Hopefully I'll have a loss to report on our weigh-in on Monday.

I hope everyone has a great weekend - look for a race recap Sunday or Monday!

Until next time,


Monday, June 18, 2012

The Start of Something Great

How was everyone's weekend?  Mine was crazy busy at times and nice and slow at others.

Thursday night I had my 30 minute run, and I was able to run 1/10th of a mile farther in the 30 minutes than previous times, so I was pleased with myself!  When I got home I grabbed my dumbbells and did some arm exercises in the garage.

Saturday morning was an unusually early one for me.  I got up and went to the local farmers market with my neighbor and bought some fresh sausage, blueberries, a patty pan squash, and a hybrid mix of zucchini and squash
J got home at 7:30 a.m. from a red-eye flight out of San Diego, so he did quite a bit of napping on Saturday.  After the farmer's market I met Sharon for our weekly run on the greenway.  It was a 3 miler for me, and Sharon added half a mile to her run so I finished a bit before her.  This was my best time yet...3 miles in 33:59.  At this pace I should be able to PR in the 5K again soon!

After my run, a shower was in order then off to an appointment, back home to pick up Guinness, and we went to a local park for the Mutts n More festival - a huge pet in the park gathering with vendors and tons of dog and cat adoptions.  We walked around a bit, bought a new leash and some treats, and went home.  I had plans to grocery shop, but J insisted I get in bed to cuddle since he hadn't been home in a week, and we all ended up taking a 3 hour nap. We went to a friend's house to celebrate a couple of birthdays and crashed at home.

Yesterday was a laid back day, which was nice.  We didn't see our dads for Father's Day, but I did call mine and chat with him for a bit.  Hopefully I'll get to see him in a couple of weeks.  We both lounged around the house for a bit, J got a hair cut and washed his car, and I finally made my grocery list and went to the store.  We got invited to some friends house for dinner so we visited with them.  I was asleep within 10 minutes of my head hitting the pillow.

Today I start my flex time week at work.  I'm working 10 hours a day for 4 days, and I'll be off of work Friday.  I also start the Marathon Weight Loss Challenge that a fellow blogger, Jess, is hosting.  Per the first email I got this morning, over 450 people have signed up to do this 13 week challenge, so if this is something you might be interested in, click on the link and check it out!  I really hope that this will give me the accountability and structure that I need to shed this weight.  I struggle more with food intake than the exercise, so having to do a weigh-in and submit my weight should make me think twice about what I'm putting into my mouth.

Tonight is a gym night for me, but if I can't make it to the gym because of work, I'll be sure to do some exercises at home.  At least J is at home to entertain Guinness while I work out.  When I try to do lunges, Guinness thinks it's play time.  Silly pup.

Until next time,


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mixing Up the Routine

Monday was my first trip back into the gym, and I must admit, it felt good.  We joined our local fitness center at one of the recreation departments in our county since it was fairly cheap ($100 for the year).  It's definitely a no frills gym, but it's got the basic equipment that you would need, with the exception of having free weights.

For the first night I decided to work my legs and back, so I did back extensions, leg press, toe raises, leg curl, and leg extension.  I also mixed in stretching and lunges with everything else.  I did 3 sets of everything and 2 rounds of it, so I felt a little sore when I was done, but it was definitely a good sore.

Tuesday was my run day, and it was a rough one.  Even though I waited until close to 8:00 p.m. to run, it was still extremely humid.  I was also reminded why I don't usually eat before going on a run - since I didn't really eat much lunch I went ahead and heated up leftover chili for dinner - BIG mistake.  I didn't get sick but felt heavy and blah for the whole run.  I definitely didn't get any faster, but at least I got out there and ran.  This is how I feel these days when I run -

Last night was to be another gym night, but I crashed early Tuesday night and didn't get my gym clothes together, so my neighbor and I took a 2.5 mile walk around the neighborhood with Guinness and then I worked my arms with some dumbbells at home.  Along the way my neighbor spotted this interesting sight -

It amazes me at how bugs can carry and hold so much more than their body weight.

Jess over at Run With Jess is doing something called the "Lose A Marathon Challenge" that Sharon and I are considering participating in.  It's 13 weeks long and the goal is to lose 26.2 pounds, which averages out to be around 2 pounds a week.  You have to send her your weigh in's and she keeps track of them while also offering tips and doing giveaways throughout the challenge.  You can also do the "Lose A Half Marathon Challenge" as well.  I think this may be a great way to help me jump start my weight loss and REALLY hold me accountable since I have to weigh in and submit it every Monday.  Head over and check it out!

Tonight is another 30 minute run, and I'm considering driving out to the greenway to get it done instead of doing it at home.  It's easier to do at home when J is out of town, but I really enjoy running on the greenway, and it should be a quick run for me.

Until next time,


Monday, June 11, 2012

"GU"d weekend

Not a super exciting week for me, hence only one blog post.  Maybe that will change this week!

Tuesday I had my 4th day of Tower of Terror training - to run 30 minutes.  I try and do these around my neighborhood so I can let the pup out and do some housework while I wait for the temperature to cool down.  I've been pretty consistent at running 2.5 miles in 30 minutes, so I need to step it up!

I knew that it would be a little difficult to get my 4 mile run in over the weekend as we headed to Knoxville to see one of Jason's cousin's get married, so I chose to skip the second 30 minute run scheduled for Thursday and do my 4 miles on Friday night after work. 

I'm not one that likes to run on a full stomach - I don't mind eating a little something, but I knew if I had dinner before my run the results would not be pretty, so instead I chose to try my very first Gu Energy Gel.

The consistency was definitely a little thick, so I threw back some Gatorade along with it as I ate.  The flavor wasn't too bad, but I don't think I could eat one with a peanut butter, chocolate, or coffee flavor - I'll just stick to the fruity ones.

I got to the Greenway, as it's my favorite place to run for mileage, stretched out, and began my run.  I know to seasoned runners, 4 miles is considered a "short" run, but for someone like me who has only run a maximum of a 5K at a time, 4 miles was pretty long!  I took some Gatorade along with me and sipped on it during my walk intervals, and I think that helped me a bit.  I want to get one of these -

Amphipod handheld bottle
Nathan handheld bottle

I ran with my Nuun bottle that I got at my last race, but when it's full, it tends to leak out of the top as I run, so I need something a little more suitable for running with.  I also like that I can store my iPhone in one of them, and I can also put my car key, money, license, Gu, etc, in them as well.  It's been on my running wish list for awhile, but since I'm getting into higher mileages I may go ahead and get it for myself.

I finished my 4 miles in about 47 minutes, which wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be.  My minutes per mile creeped up about 30 seconds with each mile I ran, but I'm not letting it discourage me.  I know I will get better and they will get more consistent the more that I run.

I got home and J had dinner ready - steak, baked potatoes, and a salad...very tasty!  We went upstairs to pack for Knoxville and J had me try on the dress I wanted to wear.  What a sad realization I had when the dress no longer fit, and not in a good way.  I've been running for about 3 months now and I haven't really lost any weight, but at least I know why.  I have got to make a change in the way I eat, and I need to hit the gym a few days a week.  With it being the summer and wanting to go to the pool and getting invited to go out on our friend's boat on the lake, I am less than thrilled about being in a swimsuit, and I just am not happy with the way my body looks and how I feel in it.  Today I start making a change to that.  I brought my gym clothes so that I can get a workout in on my way home.  Adding this to my running and eating better will hopefully result in the weight loss that I want and need for myself.  J has dropped 25 pounds and I'm so very proud of it's my turn. 

What are your favorite pre-run/race fuels?  Do you have any must-have accessories while you run?  What is your workout/running routine?

Until next time,


Monday, June 4, 2012

Good Weather = Good Run!

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

As much as I hate getting up early on the weekends, I do look forward to my Saturday morning runs with Sharon.  I checked the weather on my phone and was SO excited at what I saw -

What amazing weather!!!  We got our stretch on and hit the trail.  Today was Day 3 of the Tower of Terror training, and I was to run 3 miles.  I actually felt good throughout this whole run.  I'm still working my 2:30/1:00 run/walk intervals, and even with a few seconds of walking when it was time to run, each mile was under 12:00/m

1st mile - 11:14
2nd mile - 11:30
3rd mile - 11:51
 Overall average pace - 11:30

Obviously the longer I'm going I'm slowing down a bit, plus even walking just a few seconds can really bring down my pace, so that's something I'm working on.  I finished my run in just under 36 minutes, so it took me a little longer than my last 5K, but not by much.  I stretched it out while I waited for Sharon to finish, and she also had a good run.  We chatted before heading our separate ways to continue with our weekend.

When I got home I let Guinness out and he was sniffing around a bush that we have near our sidewalk.  I could not figure out why he was so interested in it until I looked a little closer - 

There was a baby bird sitting there!  I called my neighbor over to check it out and she said it was a baby mockingbird.  We stood outside for awhile and saw the mama bird fly near with food in her mouth for the baby.  They are apparently very territorial over their young so we went inside the house and I watched the mama bird feed the baby.  It was pretty cool.

Saturday night we were going to one of J's coworkers house for a birthday party, and I decided to make cupcakes.  J picked the recipe - Margarita Cupcakes.

I love to bake, and my favorite thing to bake are cupcakes.  They're the perfect serving size, they are way easier to bake and decorate than a cake, and there are endless flavors.  And anytime you can mix booze with baking well, you generally just can't go wrong.

J is my taste tester and I don't think he minds one bit.  Saturday I kept hearing "More tequila" from him.  There is tequila in the cake, basted on top of the cupcakes, and infused in the icing.  Unfortunately I didn't even get to taste the end product, but I overhead some people at the party say that the "tequila" cupcakes were really good.  I smiled when I heard it as I didn't know them and it always feels good to hear others, especially strangers, enjoyed something that you made.

The end result
Yesterday J's paintball team had practice (I know it may sound silly but there is a method to winning matches and tournaments).  I was going to play with some of the rec players, but very few were there and I wasn't quite ready to get out with the ranked guys and have them get mad at me for not knowing what I was doing, so I opted to watch.  J has even bought me a gun and sent it off to have it anodized (is that right honey?) and dyed pink.  

My very own paintball gun
 Maybe next time I'll have the chance to get out there and try it out.

To top off a good weekend we went out for Mexican with one of J's coworkers.

Nothing like a good sangria
I start week 2 of the Tower of Terror training and hope to add some weights in on my off days from running.  Hope to get an arm workout in tonight.

Until next time,


Friday, June 1, 2012

Good Things

Day 2 of the ToT training is done - another 30 minute run is in the books.  It's been so hot and humid in Georgia that I've been trying to wait as late as I can before I run.  It's a little harder to do that when I have a hungry husband who doesn't want to eat so late, though.  So last night I laced up and ran at 6:30 while he made us dinner. 

The run itself wasn't too bad.  I had to do a lot of walking, which pisses me off...I want to run all my intervals!!  I'm not sure if it's the weather or what, because I know I'm able to run the full time of my intervals, but it's very frustrating.  But I kept trucking.

I enjoy the convenience of running in my neighborhood because I don't have to drive anywhere - just step outside and get going.  But there are some negatives.  I have some people in my neighborhood who are only concerned about themselves.  I was running on Tuesday (forgot to mention this) and I came to the entrance of the neighborhood where there is a stop sign for cars to turn right or left (can't go straight).  I was already in the neighborhood and wanted to continue going straight, but this chick ran the stop sign and almost hit me.  I yelled "Nice stop!" to her.  I cannot run on our sidewalks because they're crooked and lean in towards the road, which is hard on my ankles and knees, so I run on the road as close to the side as I can.  There are some women in my neighborhood that will walk 3-4 people across the ENTIRE road while pushing their strollers and will barely move for a car, much less someone who is running.  I passed them on the right since that was the only opening I had.  Next time I think I'll go between then and yell "Passing on the left!" to make a point.

As soon as I walked in the house, J was coming inside with the BBQ chicken he cooked on the grill.  He also made homemade mac n cheese and baked beans and brought me a plate while I sat on the floor and iced my shins.  :)

So mad at myself!  I seem to have misplaced/lost my armband that I put my iPhone in.  The last place I remember having it was at the greenway on Saturday, and I swore I put it in my car, but it's not there.  Luckily, Karen over at Losing it is having a giveaway for one by BondiBand.  Maybe I'll get lucky and win it, but you can enter to win, too!

Tomorrow morning I'm meeting Sharon for our weekly run at the greenway.  Per the JG training I'm doing, tomorrow is a 3 mile day.  Hopefully this "cold" front that's moving through will cool the air down and not suffocate me in the morning.

For the weekend, I leave you with this final thought -

Keep rockin', ladies! (and any gents that might stumble upon here)  Enjoy your weekend, and get out there and run!

Until next time,