Ready to Start Marathon Training! (with video)

 

IMG_0259Took this video after running 7.5 miles yesterday!  No more build up or base building!  Time to get started on actual marathon training!  I’m so happy to start my first speed work session on Tuesday.  Six months ago I decided to run a marathon and have been working on increasing my time in the sneakers.  Seven weeks ago I picked up the Gipis training plan for my marathon.  I chose it because it is really customized with realistic goals, which I like.  You plug in info about you and current level of fitness with your goal distance and race date.  It gives you an estimated finish time and training plan to get there.  Mine estimates I can finish in about 4 hours and 30 minutes (which was my super stretch goal) if I stick to the plan.  So far so good – I haven’t missed a single one.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!  My boys have been spoiling me all day with brunch and gifts.  🙂  Love them so much.

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Fun flashback from Timehop – today two years ago I ran my first race ever.

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Having it All vs. Doing it All

I’ve never no-showed a race.  In fact, I rarely ever no-show anything at all.  If I say I will do something, I do it.  If I say I will be somewhere, I’m there.  If I register for it, I show up and run.  Until this weekend.  A few months ago I registered for the Get in Gear 10k.  Later my husband let me know that our 8 year old would have a hockey tournament – we just didn’t know what time of day.  A couple weeks ago, in looking at my training plan realized that it called for an 8 mile run that day.  It doesn’t take a genius to realize that 6 miles is not quite 8 miles.  I decided to change my distance for Get in Gear to the half marathon.  A few days ago we found out my son had two big tournament games the day of Get in Gear (yesterday).  One at 8:15 am and another at 1:15 pm.  The race was scheduled for 9:00 am.  No way to do both.  I would be lying if I said I didn’t even consider skipping the hockey tournament.  It was extremely tempting.  I really enjoy race days, they are the best.  Sitting in a cold ice arena for hours is not always super fun.  It crossed my mind but in the end I knew I needed to be there for him.  When there’s a conflict – the Mom card trumps all.  I got my first Did Not Start (or DNS in the running world).  Kind of a bummer but I don’t regret it.  I didn’t skip it because I forgot or slept late or was feeling lazy.  I skipped it because my guy needed me.  And he did.  The first game of the tournament was a shut out, 0 to 10.  The second was another loss at 1 to 10.  He was super disapointed and I would have felt even worse if I hadn’t been there to give hugs and encouragement.

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Sometimes having it all doesn’t mean doing it all.  Sometimes the kitchen doesn’t get cleaned.  Sometimes that last minute email gets answered the next day.  Sometimes grad homework is turned in at the last minute (like this week!).  And sometimes a DNS happens.  That’s life as a parent.  We sacrifice our own wants for our kids’ well being and happiness and it’s okay (and encouraged!) to give ourselves room to do that guilt free.

But it doesn’t have to be a total sacrifice.  I skipped the race and am very glad I did.  I gave up the half marathon but didn’t give up my training.  It would have been easy to just say ‘oh well, that’s that, wasn’t meant to be’.  But I still had those 8 miles on my training 8 mile trail trainingplan so I cranked out them out on some trials.  (This trail stuff is growing on me although we ran into several harmless but startling snakes which I didn’t appreciate.)  Had a great workout with a good friend in spite of the scheduling issues.

Sidebar: Looking for some feedback!  I have been watching YouTube videos lately for running, workout and training tips.  Playing around with the idea of doing some video blogging of my own.  Thoughts?  Good idea?  Silly idea?  Have you tried it or have any tips?  Would welcome any comments. 🙂

Sister of the Year

What a great, awesome, fantastic, amazing, super-fun long weekend!  My sister (I’ll call her Pan because I can :P) lives super far away from me on the east coast but was able to take a few days to visit me all the way out here in Minnesota this weekend as her 2014 Christmas present from her hubs (totally felt like MY present too!).  We were lamenting today as she was heading out that we wished we took more pictures or did a better job documenting her time here.  We just generally spent the weekend enjoying ourselves instead of hamming it up in with selfies and facebook check-ins.  Which was a LOT of fun but now I wish we’d done more hamming!  So before I forget how awesome our weekend was I’m going to save it here instead.

Her flight was a bit delayed but she made it in more or less on schedule on Thursday.  I happened to be just getting to the airport as she got her checked baggage (super lucky, that never happens!).  Picked her up, she hadn’t had dinner yet so I fed her some left overs (sister of the year right here folks).

Friday we went grabbed some coffee at carribou, dropped my dog off at the groomer, then headed down to the city in search of some cronuts since neither of us had an opportunity to try them yet elsewhere.  Cronuts were super delicious!  Not what I was expecting but yummy.  I would say better than a croissant, but not as good as a doughnut, in my opinion.  After that we went to Panera Bread for some real food.  Pan also needed to get some productive stuff done and I needed to work on homework so we hung out there for a bit before heading back up to my suburb.  Got back to the house and caught up on a bunch of stuff – laundry, car wash, picked up the dog (See?  I’m building my case for sister of the year here).  Next we picked up the kids, took them to see the new live action Cinderella flick before finishing the day with dinner at our favorite pizza joint and some Pictionary at home.  (Hubby was at the Wild game.)

Saturday I hit the pavement with a 35 minute run in the morning.  Finally, after years of searching I found the perfect 5k loop through my neighborhood.  No busy intersections.  Virtually no overlapping and half of it is through the bike trails to get a change of scenery.  The route starts at my front door and ends at 3 miles right back at my house.  1mappicOnce everyone was up and at ’em, Pan and I ran to Target (not for the last time this weekend) for syrup and other breakfast essentials and made a big brunch with my hubby and kids.  Spent some time doing some leisure reading and hanging out then decided to go to liquor store  to grab a bottle (or three) of wine.  My 6 year old was with us and wanted to go to Target (Target run #2)  where Pan indulged him with a science kit.  In the afternoon we all went to see the Huck Fin play at the Children’s Theater.  The acting was terrific and the whole family enjoyed it.  Had some all you can eat sushi for dinner with cupcake for dessert.  Oh my goodness, so much eating but also so much fun!  Pan and I wrapped up the evening with a couple glasses of wine while working on a puzzle of Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow. (After spending over an hour trying to figure out where this nostril goes and where that chin hair goes I will never look at the man the same way again.)  One of my favorite parts of the weekend.  It was really wonderful to just relax and catch up.  I really wish we could have more time like that (love you Pan!).

Sunday we slept in before going to a nice brunch out.  Pan helped the boys make slime from the science kit.  (I let her have this as special time with my kids and didn’t intervene on their slime time. Yup, sill going for sister of the year.  :D)  Later we went to Target (Target visit #3) to pick up a present before going to the birthday party for said present.  Had a great time at the party visiting with friends.

Throughout the weekend we had been playing the who-can-pay-for-stuff fastest game.  She definitely won more than she should have.  Last night we had an arm wrestle throw down for who could pay for late night hot wings.  She WON!  Grr.  (Need to get back in the gym asap.)  We hung out, scarfed hot wings and played some card games with my hubby before we called it a night.

Today we got some coffee and swung by my favorite nail salon for some pedis.  It was great to just relax and chat.  We stopped back at the house to get her luggage, my hubby and kids then drove her to the airport.  Bummer.  Worst part of the weekend.

So there you have it.  One of the best weekends ever.  The sister of the year award definitely has to go to my sister Pan.  I couldn’t be more grateful that she took the time to come out to spend time here in Minnesota with us.  She is heading into a bunch of exciting but stressful changes and I just can’t say how much I appreciate her.  She may be my little sister but I look up to her in more ways than one.  Since we were kids: She’s into Irish dance?  I think I want to try that.  Through adulthood: She’s a runner?  I want to be a runner.  She’s getting a Ph.D?  I think maybe I’ll do that too.  I only wish we could have more cronuts, more pedis, more time for chatting and hanging out.

A Weekend of Fun & Games

Weekends full of errands, hockey, date nights, and homework are so much fun.  But what’s more fun?  Slow relaxing weekends full of nothing.  They are like gold these days.  I was sick all last week.  Thought I was coming out of it on Wednesday only to find myself worse on Thursday.  Decided not to work out on Thursday and instead spent the extra time finishing my homework for the week.  For Friday’s exercise I just did weight lifting without pushing too hard.  Focused on a balanced full body work out since I didn’t do much the rest of the week.

wpid-wp-1424052909292.jpegSaturday was Valentine’s day.  It was also 0 degrees out with a wind chill of -25ish so all of the kids’ outdoor hockey practices and games for Saturday were cancelled.  I didn’t clean or catch up on projects around the house, I didn’t have to work on homework, I didn’t work out (nope, not at all).  I just enjoyed not being sick and not having an agenda.  I usually love being busy and having a list of things to accomplish but yesterday we all literally just did nothing.  We went to IHOP in the morning, we played video games (Sims

Got this water bottle from Target.  Love it.  Doesn't leak, holds 32 oz, easy to wash, $7.

Got this water bottle from Target this weekend. Love it. Doesn’t leak, holds 32 oz, easy to wash, $7.

4 for me!), we had Jimmy John’s for dinner, we napped.  It was amazing.  Today I got in a short run (first one in about a week), did some laundry, turned in my homework, focused on drinking extra water.  We went out for lunch, had some fun at the arcade, picked up some cupcakes.  Later in the evening we all went to our 8 year old’s hockey game followed by dinner at Pizza Ranch.

So happy for the time at home with family.  Sometimes it’s just nice to do nothing at all.  I’m now feeling fully refreshed and ready to kick butt in the gym this week! 🙂

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Smoothies

Yesterday I was sick as a dog.  Picture death warmed over.  I’ll spare you the details.  Let’s just say I was super sick.  Got some work done in the morning then spent the rest of the day trying to recuperate.  Yesterday was also Hubby’s birthday – I felt terrible that we couldn’t have the celebration he deserves.  (Sorry Honey, I will make it up to you!)

Despite still feeling nowhere near 100% today, after not working out at all yesterday I resolved to at least get myself back in gear today.  Got my gym bag ready, packed a healthy lunch and a bunch of Dayquil gel tabs.  As I’m at work on conference call #1, it starts sleeting.  Yuck.  As I’m on conference call #2 it starts snowing.  By the time I’m off conference call #2 it’s snowing… snowing hard.  Several projects and another conference call down and I realize it’s stopped snowing all together.  Yes!  Going to the gym on the lunch hour will be that much simpler.  I’ll get to the gym, get in that workout I should have yesterday, get a quick shower, post workout smoothie and back to work – easy peasy.  Popped another couple Dayquil, grabbed a few tissues and was out the door.

I would like to say I pranced to my car but it was more like a lumbering shuffle.  Turned on the car and started dusting off the snow only to discover a layer of ice.   A thick layer of ice (remember that sleet?).  So I started scraping, and scraping and scraping.  By the time I was done I was covered in sweat, dizzy and nauseous beyond belief.  At this point I felt like clearing the car was the workout.  But I wanted to get that workout darn it!  I didn’t come out to the parking lot just to dig out my car and go back inside!  I told myself I had to at least drive the short distance to the gym and scan my key tag to get my check-in for the day.  If I felt up to it by the time I got there, I’d do the workout.  If I was still feeling like crap I would reward my puny efforts with my smoothie anyway and go back to work.

So what happened?  I finished the work out.  I hit a PR on my bench press of 50 lbs!  (Let’s not get too excited folks, the 2.5 lb plates were about the size of my hand – and I have small hands – but they were plates none the less.)  After that I pretty much phoned in the rest of it because I wasn’t feeling great but a half assed workout is better than none at all.  A little exercise did rejuvenate me and that post workout protein smoothie tasted all the better because of it.

Got to scrape the car again before heading back to work.

After work I had to scrape the car again.  Oh joy.

Went to my 8 year old’s hockey game.  They lost but he skated hard and played well.

Then I got to scrape the car again.  Yippee.

Home now, and the car is in the garage.  No more scraping for me today.  I think I may have earned myself another smoothie. 🙂

Channeling the Energizer Bunny

Some of you may remember those old battery commercials about the Energizer Bunny featuring the rabbit with the drum who would “Just keep going and going and going and going…”.  (I don’t watch much TV anymore – is that guy still around?)

The bunny had his pros and cons.  At face value it looks pretty darn awesome to have that much energy!  To just keep going!  (And going!) Forever!  I’ve had a week of doing my best to emulate that rabbit.  Get the kids to school (just keep going…), get to work (and going…), work all morning/workout over lunch/resume work (and going…), get the kids/make dinner/clean up/hockeyhockeyhockey/check homework (and going…), kids in bed/Ph.D. studies (and going…), chat with the hubs/pack snacks & lunch & water gallon for the next day (and going…), wake up and do it all the next day! (and going…)

I know I’m not the only one with this type of nutty crazy schedule – we’re all so busy!  It’s great to feel so productive and accomplish so many wonderful things in the day.  That said, the Energizer Bunny also seemed a little boring.  All he did was bang that dang Energizer drum all day.  I truly believe it’s so important to work as hard as you can but then also play as hard as you can.  This weekend is Superbowl Sunday.  I don’t necessarily enjoy football but I love the eating and commercials.  I truly believe that having something fun to look forward to is super important for mental health and overall well being.  So this weekend, I’m seriously looking forward to playing hard (and eating mountains of greasy food).  🙂

Until then, I’ll just keep going and going and going and going…

Back in Business

Got my groove back this week!  I’ll admit, last week was rough.  Not every week will be spot on or perfect.  What’s important is recovering and jumping back in to keep the momentum going.  That grad paper I put a million hours into last week?  Got it back today – 100%!  Making progress on the new projects at the office.  Husband was out of town the past few days so it was just the kids and I.  No hockey practice the past couple nights (weird) but we’ve been spending time on their homework and piano practicing.  My grad work for this week is about halfway done which is a comfortable place for me on a Thursday.  I was able to get an earlier start to it this week which has made all the difference.

Capture2This week I powered through 3 out of my 4 lifting sessions, 1 HIIT session with my trainer and then 5 miles on the treadmill yesterday.  Another lifting session with HIIT to follow tomorrow and will round out the week with another 5 mile run on Saturday.  Weather is forecasted to be a balmy 32 degrees on Saturday so I may be able to run outside comfortably.  Comfortable running weather in Minnesota in January is such a treat so I plan to make the most of it. 🙂

Rest is Overrated

Running twenty miles a week in November was tough.  Twenty miles a week over the holidays was almost impossible.  Turns out I actually do need serious and legitimate study time for this class I just started.  So as I was doing my weight lifting today I was trying to figure out how I can get back up to my 15-20 miles per week.  I looked back and reconsidered why I had the goal of this mileage in the first place.  The whole point was to build running back into my life on a regular basis in preparation for actual marathon training which will require 40+ miles per week.  Goals need to be realistic and I need to face the music that right now 20 miles a week, with this particular grad course also on my plate, isn’t actually realistic anymore.

However, 15 miles may still be doable.  My lifting program is Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday.  That leaves 3 days.  15 divided by 3 is… yup, 5 miles.  So it works out perfectly if I run 5 miles on Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday each.  I’ll only have to get up early or sacrifice one evening a week (more likely) to exercise on Wednesdays.  The rest of my evenings can be devoted to this finance course for the remaining 7 weeks.  Weekends are easier to flex in a run around kids hockey practices and games.  (If it’s nice out, a run from my house to the rink is actually about 5 miles on the nose.)  Only minor down side to this plan is that leaves 0 rest/recovery days.  That said, I’ve had plenty of weeks without an official “rest” day before and have lived to tell the tale.  I think this will be fine.  This will also put me at 10 this week, and then back up to 15 starting next week which is a nice ramp up.  Once I’ve got this down I can look at increasing back up to 20 miles per week and beyond.  And if this doesn’t work… I can always re-evaluate again. 🙂  The important thing is to not throw in the towel and give up.

Measly Mileage

Type the word measly into google and here’s what you get: paltry, meager, scanty, miserable, inadequate, insufficient.  This perfectly describes my running mileage this past week.  Reviewing my mapmyrun app I put in about 5 miles.  That’s generous, let me rephrase: barely 5 miles.  5 miles on a goal of 15-20 is not so hot.  Rest assured though, I was not napping all week!

Here’s what did happen while I wasn’t running those additional 10+ miles:

  1. Started my finance class.  Put in at least 15 hours on this class this
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    Hubs watching our 8 year old’s game with our 6 year old.

    week just reading and putting together my outline.  I still have a little less than half the paper left to write later tonight/tomorrow.

  2. Started my new weight lifting routine.  Managed to get every work out in.  Had to cut the last workout of the week short because my 8 year old had a stomach flu so I couldn’t go to the gym as planned and I don’t have all of the equipment at home.  So I got in what I could and called it good.
  3. It was our first week on a new initiative at work.  Crazy busy with lots of new meetings and activity.  Definitely well over the 40 this week but am very excited about this project.
  4. I did get my 2 HIIT sessions in without issue – yay!  Felt good to meet with my trainer again.
  5. Went to 5 hockey games for my kiddos.
  6. Went to my monthly book club meeting with my girlfriends, went to my husband’s company party and we also had date night tonight at the Minnesota Wild Game.  (Yes, the fun stuff counts too!)
Date night!

Date night!

Here’s the good news.  I still have 8 months or so before the actual marathon.  5 miles is better than none and next week will be better. 🙂

Fastest Mile in a While

I wanted to get in a quick warm up before my strength routine today so I figured I would get in another mile on the treadmill to contribute to the weekly total.  I ran it in 9:08.  That is the fastest I’ve been in a long while.  My fastest mile ever was a 7:06 during the Sioux Falls half marathon this past September.  I must have been somehow magically (and briefly!) possessed by a cheetah.  I’m still not sure mapmyrun wasn’t experiencing some sort of technical glitch.  But I haven’t run anything under a 9:30 in about a month and a half.  I’m so excited to start to get some speed back!

Weight routine was good.  It took some time to figure out what to set the machines to for the assisted dip and pull up exercises but otherwise it was fun and got a good burn in.  So far the first week on the Simply Shredded has been going really well!  Today was incredibly busy at work.  One of those back to back meeting kind of days and I needed the good sweat to clear my head.  I notice I always come back sharper after working out over lunch than if I had stayed at my desk.  However, what I do not recommend is an appointment with the personal trainer for a strenuous HIIT routine the same day as weight lifting.  Let’s just say I’m glad I survived.  🙂

On another note, I’ve been excited to find some simple meal ideas that are incredibly quick with few ingredients and minimal clean up.  They’re not fancy, they’re not pretty, but they’re fast and nutritious.  Here is one but I think I’ll start a new page and keep some ideas there so I don’t forget them when in a pinch.

Turkey Cheeseburger with Peas
Calories: 405
Protein: 23, Fat: 28, Carbs: 20
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Told the hubs I would write at least 3 pages of my 9 page paper tonight.  It’s due Sunday.  I should probably get on that. 🙂