Wednesday, March 31, 2010

19- proud of this one!

I decided to blog now rather than this evening because I have a few minutes between work/running and coffee date/swim class.  And, when I get home at 9pm tonite, I'm just going to want to shove some dinner in my mouth and hit the sack because I have an even earlier work day tomorrow (Pasty day = 5am start to shift, rather than 6am)  I'm actually excited because I've never worked a Thursday (usually a long teaching day for me) so it should be fun for a change!  I'm trying to see the bright side of my work this week.....

PSA: Spring is nice because there is finally no more ice in Michigan.  Spring sucks because the wind is SO INTENSE in Michigan.

That PSA was the undercurrent of my run.  Actually, as the title states, I'm pretty proud of today's run.  I got out of work at 1pm, and felt fortunate.  Some of the people in the pastry kitchen were just coming into work and said they were jealous that I was leaving because it was such a beautiful day!  That is the good part about working these early shifts = still lots of the day left (when I don't have to go teach!)  With that in mind, I was very phyched for this run.  The sun was out and I felt like it was 'play time' after a day at work.  After a quick change in my car, I set out on a new route into the farmland vs. the city like I usually do from the bakery.  After the first 1/2 mile I could tell it wasn't good.  The wind was SO STRONG, and my legs always feel sluggish from being on my feet for 7-8 hours.  I kept thinking about marathonmadien and her 20 miler because I can only imagine how tough she had it!  The good news (or so I told myself) was that I was headed against it for the first quarter of the run.  Sooo, I just told myself that today was an easy day and I should just pack it in and chill out, run 9 min miles or whatever.  Of course, no looking at the Garmin!  I also didn't realize (or didn't think about) the fact that farm country = hilly.  The course felt uphill more than downhill, which I realize wasn't possible considering I started and ended in the same place!  I tried to just stride it out when I could and enjoy the run.  There was zero shade and it was full on sun and probably in the 60s.  Let me tell you - I LOVE the heat.  It felt great.  I can handle the heat better than most people (and suck at handling the cold) so it was great to run in the heat of the day. 

Why am I proud?  Because after a couple of days of *meh* runs (ie not horrible, but not great) this one was GOOD.  I knew I had to be almost back to the bakery, so I looked at my watch right when it clicked to 8 miles- Mile 8 = 7:21!!!  I had no idea.  With that, I pushed the last mile, and ended up finishing 9 miles at a 7:26 min/mile pace!  But for me, it is more about my splits because I'm so bad at keeping it even and I knew the first half was so uphill/windy.  Splits:

7:13 - somehow I always start fast!?!
last mile cooldown (untimed)

This was the best part of the run for me- how close the miles were, despite the conditions.  (ha, those splits are really close for me!)  It is proving to me that my body can lock into a pace and keep it.  The last mile was tough, but the others I spent zero time looking at my Garmin or thinking about pace other than "jeez this wind sucks, just keep moving forward!"  Now, if only I could keep that pace for 26.2 miles rather than just 10 miles.....

Oh well.  It is nice when a run surprises you, especially after a few runs that have felt just 'ok' or bad.  I'm off to reset my body via swim class!  It's my last one :(  Tomorrow I probably won't get in a triple workout because of my early work schedule.  Who knows what's on tap all I know is I LOVE THIS WEATHER! :)

Hope it is warm and sunny where you are! :)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

20- my favorite parts of every day, living like a professional runner, and TRIPLE TUESDAY (light addition)

So my title pretty much sums up all that I want to talk about in today's post, so I'll get to it:

1) My favorite parts of the day:
I was thinking about times during the day that I cherish, each and every day, and I've come to the conclusion that there are three points in the day I love:
              a) Taking a hot shower after a run and swim at the Y.  Something about the scalding hot water, and
                  rubbing choline out of my eyes that I love.  So refreshing and relaxing, and I always feel
              b) Eating egg whites + spinach with a cup of coffee (my every day b-fast) while playing around
                  online in my sweats before work, but post workout.  Satisfying and some 'me time.'  I love
                  getting back in comfy clothes post-workout, even if I have to change again right away for work!
              c) Evening, post run preferably.  TV time, internet time, or the like.  Knowing that I get to sleep
                  soon (which as y'all probably know, i love!)

2) Living like a professional runner
Today, since I had the day off from both jobs, I like to think I had a day like I would if I was a professional runner.  I woke up early, got in a run and swim (easy, shakeouts), came home and had b-fast as mentioned above, and promptly took an hour nap.  Got up and went about my day, then did another (harder) workout at 6pm.  If only every day could be like this!  Nap = heavenly.  I always want to crawl back into bed post-swim, but instead must rush off to work.  Today = amazing, not having to!

3) Triple Tuesday - diet version
Today was a triple Tuesday.  I say 'diet' because everything was pretty light.  Only in Michigan can you have to run in full on winter gear (22 degrees during my 7am run) in the morning, and a T-shirt and shorts (55 degrees at 6pm) in the same day!  This morning was a quick 5 mile easy shakeout at 7:45min/mile pace, then a good, longish swim.  Tonite, I met up with a couple guys to do 1/2 mile repeats.  I was pretty much on my own because my normal training bud is nursing a sore hammy and wasn't there, and the other guys were slower/injured.  We had to meet on this shady dirt/sand track that had tons of divets in it, because the high school tracks were busy tonite.  I cranked out 8 repeats at an unknown pace, as we went 'watchless.'  I felt just like Cassidy in "Once a Runner" so 'zen-like!' It was actually freeing, but I know the repeats were slower than last week.  The effort was there though, which is what counts.  A 12 mile day + swimming = good enough in my book!

Ok, I gotta run.  Lots to pack up for tomorrow! 10 hour day at the bakery begins at 6am, plus meeting a friend for coffee, + running (of course), + last swim class ;( = lots of bags and gear to pack for being gone from my apartment 5:30am-9pm!  I'm off!

Monday, March 29, 2010

21- swimming at 3pm = priceless

Good evening!

Today was a busy, but productive day in my world!  Worked a 7 hour shift at the bakery, went for a run, went for a swim, did about 1000 errands, and organized more of my apartment.  Feels good.

As usual, I though of about 1,000,001 things I wanted to talk about on the blog when I was running/going through my day today, but by this time of night, my mind isn't totally functional!  Today's run was *ok*.  Two things I hate are 1) running after work and 2) running in the wind.  Unfortunately, today held both of them.  I did an 8 mile loop from the bakery and it is all downhill on the way out and all uphill on the way back.  The wind was in my face the whole first half, hense negating the downhill love.  Boo.  Plus, I was freezing.  Although I didn't feel as 'springy' as yesterday, I still held at a 7:39min/mile pace which I was surprised by (remember I don't look at the Garmin during the run!)  The best part of today was my swim.  After Friday-Sunday without one, it felt sooooo good.  My whole body feel like it stretches and resets in the water- such a great feeling.  And, such a treat to go at 3pm when it is bright in the pool area, not crowded, and most of the other swimmers are over the age of 70, so I get to feel speedy! ;)

In other news, I also turned in my keys at my old apartment, so I'm officially out of there!  Good feeling.  Moving forward is good.  I can't wait to get more organized here and start decorating!

Tomorrow - day off from work! (Working M, W, Th, F, Sat this week)  I'm going to try to get in triple workouts because I don't know if I can Thursday when I work 5:30am-1:30pm.  Of course, some sleeping in and/or a nap will certainly be involved......

Have a great night! :)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

22- the workweek begins!

Well, the weekend was nice while it lasted, but now I'm back home and ready to start my workweek.  I'm on break from teaching, so it will be a 40 hour week at the bakery which I am kind of pumped about.  All the shifts are early (blah) but I only have to go to one job per day which is nice and I live about 10 minutes from the bakery vs. 45 minutes from where I teach.  So hopefully the week will be open for unpacking more, errands/catching up on life, and LOTs of running and swimming ;)

Speaking of which, today's run up north was amazing!  I ran the first 2 miles with my mom and pop and then they turned back for their 4 miler as I kept going on my loop around the nearby 'twin' lake of the lake we live on.  When we started out running it just felt SO GOOD.  Just to run.  I commented something to my parents about how cool it is just to step out your door and GO.  And let your body just do its thing.  I love that I've been running my whole life and it is so natural for my body.  Like breathing.  Sure, all runs don't feel great all the time, but for the most part, running just feels so right.  I don't think my parents' understood.  My mom was freezing and my dad wasn't talking- not a good sign, lol.  Once they turned back my body just WENT.  I feel into the 7:30 min/mile pace and kept it fairly naturally for the next 7 miles.  I don't know how to describe it other than I just felt springy and 'light on my feet' (which is unusual as I'm not a tiny 5' 90# runner, rather I'm 5'9").  Running just felt good, in my body and in my soul.  I'm happy with how well my legs recovered from Friday and looking forward to the training week ahead.  Ok, I better stop with all my corny gushing!  Overall, satisfying run with the first 2 miles of warmup, then the last 7 averaging 7:32, with the last mile uphill at 7:20.  Happy. 

Then, unfortunatly it was time to head home.  Located my car at the airport where I parked it, and my parents' and I each forked off on respective freeways.  It was weird coming home to my new place- still not quite 'home' yet.  However, once I jump in my bed it will be all good!   Speaking of which, I better be off and setting my alarm for 4:45am.  Good times.

Hope everyone starts their weeks off amazingly! :)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

23- just what I needed

Today was great- just what I needed!  I got to do all of my favorite things including a) sleeping in b) being up north c) running and d) not having to prep/work.  Twas just what I needed!

After a nice, restful sleep in my cloud-bed, coffee and chilling made for a nice morning.  We drove into a nearby town so my parents could furniture shop, and I took the opportunity to go for a recovery run in a new place!  I've actually raced a 5K in this town before, and it has a nice trail that stretches along a lake.  The run was nice- my legs felt better at the end than the beginning which is always the point of a recovery run after a LR day.  I did wake up feeling a bit sore from yesterday's hills so I was OK with hitting a 8:09min/mile pace on today's run.  We did sommore errands while we were out and came home to a late lunch.  The afternoon was filled with spring cleaning and chilling out.  And here I am!  Soooo nice not to have to work today.  I appreciate it more than ever lately!

Tomorrow is a half day here, then driving back downstate where my car is, and finishing the drive back to my place, while my parents go back to theirs.  And Monday starts my 40 hour workweek at the bakery.  Good times.

I'm actually feeling pretty good/positive about my training.  Today is 8 weeks until my "peak" marathon at Bayshore.  Although Boston is in 3 weeks, I'm really happy about my decision to make it a training run and keep it low pressure.  I really feel like I will be ready and peaking in 8 weeks and don't feel stressed at all about Boston because I have no expectations and have taken the urgency out of it.  I'm hoping that my runs keep progressing as they have and am going to do my best to make sure that this happens.  I just feel good knowing that I actually have TIME.  Bayshore, I'm coming for ya!

Ok, I hope everyone is having a good weekend.  I certainly am! :)

Friday, March 26, 2010

24- Long Run with Pops!

Today was all about my Pops!  I'm so proud of him- 15.2 miles on his big 5-2!  It was his longest run ever, and I am so proud of him- what an honor to be part of that.  Let me back up....

The morning began in the pre-dawn hours at 5am.  I had to get up and on the road to meet my parents to go up north!  We met at 7:30am, dumped my car (ie parked it at the airport) and continued as one for the drive.  The car was packed with all our food and such for the weekend + the cat who actually had to make the trip because his cat sitter (ie me!) was coming too.  After chatting for a bit, a coffee stop, and me promptly passing out with a fleece blanket over my face- we were there!  Unfortunately it was FREEZING.  Snow flurries and 20 degrees!  Although not ideal (ie driving/getting up early/lunch time), we set off for our run at 12 noon.  Up north = hilly.  Hillier than my town and MUCH hillier than my parents.  We were bundled to the max too, cuz of the chilly temps.  That wasn't cool.  I hate wearing lots of clothes!

Honestly, the miles went by pretty fast and I was surprised at how easy is was for my dad and how conversational we were.  The route was a big loop, which was nice too because I hadn't run it since the summer.  For me, I was pleased at how great my legs felt after a decently hard week of running + swimming.  I tried to let my dad set the pace because honestly, I didn't really care.  We finished at about a 9 min/mile pace which I was so happy with for my dad- he is in such good shape!  I am so happy/blessed to be able to run with my dad! 

I continued on for a few more miles afterward, and about an 8:30pace.  I ended up running 19 miles- I hate the number 20!  Nature was calling at this point + I was hungry as it was almost 3pm, and I hadn't eaten since a yogurt for b-fast at 9am in the car!  I was happy with how comfortable the run felt overall.  I realize the pace was slower than usual, but still 19 miles is 19 miles!

The rest of the day was spent preparing and eating foods + presents.  Now we are just chilling out with the limited TV selection of up north and I am trying to keep my eyes from closing.  The best part is that it is only FRIDAY and I have my long run done for the weekend.  I really love the LR, but I hate always having to push it to Sunday because of my work schedule.  I'm looking forward to a weekend of shorter runs + random up north shopping + 2 new free-reading books + NO WORK!  Andddd, the best part of all- 2 days to sleep in!  If you guys 'know' me, you know this is what I crave after my early wakeups all week long!  Speaking of which......

Have a great Friday Night! :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

25- On break!

Ok, this is going to be SHORT tonite because I am too tired to think and put together sentences, plus I need to clean up and pack up for UP NORTH tomorrow!

Triple Thursday = double Thursday today, which I'm OK with after Triple Tuesday.  I woke up sore from all of the kicking drills my swim instructor put me through last night.  Knowing that I'm doing my long run tomorrow, I decided to just swim this morning, then run with my running group tonite.  Good decision.  Kept the run easy tonite because my run bud is fighting a hamstring pull from our killer track workout Tuesday night.  I love running with him though because our conversations revolve so much around running, and we can talk or not talk and its not awkward.  Good run.  Good times.

Ok, really that's all I've got.  I'm on break from teaching now for 13 days, which is exciting.  I am meeting my Mom and Dad in the middle of the state at 6:30am tomorrow morning and we are driving up north for the weekend.  Tomorrow is my dad's b-day so we have a long run planned.  Annnd, I'm not bringing ANY prep work with me, so I can simply enjoy the weekend, work free!

I'm off!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

26- cold pool = sleepy

Yikes, the pool was so cold tonite at swim class that now I am super sleepy!

Basically, today was an almost exact replica of last Wednesday.  I live further from the bakery now, so it was a 4:30am alarm this morning.  Bakery until 12, teaching till 4:30- then play time!  I got off the freeway at the same 'random' spot as last week (although it was less random because I had done it once before!)  Parked in Karl's Cabin parking lot and did a quick change and was off on my 7 mile loop (just like last week = all I have time for before swim class.)  I wasn't expecting much and gave my legs complete license to go slow because M, T, Th, and F are all pretty intense days for me this week workout-wise.  I was really happy with how good my legs felt when I got up this morning/throughout my 12 hour workday.  Didn't feel like I ran hard last night at all! :)  Once I got going on my loop, they just wanted to GO.  So I let them.  I enjoyed the rolling hills, dirt roads, and horse (and alpaca!?) farms even more than last week.  Like always, avoided looking at my Garmin, because I didn't want any pace pressure today.  Finished a 'frisky' 7 miles at 7:38min/mile pace.  Only regret is that I didn't have time to go further!

Then, I got in the car and continued on to swim class.  It was awesome because for the second week in a row, I was the only one who showed up for my class!  Sooo it was basically a private lesson!  The pool was so chilly but my effort swimming quickly warmed me up!

Tomorrow is my last day teaching before break! :)  So happy.  My only wish is that the day wasn't so long.  I love me 'Triple Thursday' but I wish I didn't have to get up so early to get it all in!

Ok, my eyes are literally closing- I'm off to bed! :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

27- Triple Tuesday? and conquering my fear of speed work!

Oh, man.  Today was a good running day in the land of Tmart!  Throughout this training period, my speed work has been less than ideal.  I've thrown in some tempo on the treadmill, and done good hill work, but serious, on the track, gasping for air, balls to the walls speedwork has been lacking.  Until today.

The guys I run with on Thursday night have been running 800 repeats the last few Tuesday nights, and finally I could join them!  Buttt, the day is just not complete without running first thing.  And, I wanted to get yesterday's pseudo-long run off my legs.  So, I was up and at it at 5:30am this morning.  I didn't want to run in the dark, so I hit up the Y, knowing that I could swim there too and save time.  I took it easy/fast with 5 miles on the treadmill, then workout #2 was a refreshing, but slightly intense swim.  I left feeling satisfied and refreshed (and more ready for a nap than the workday ahead!)

Honestly, for the rest of the day I was SOOO SCARED.  I am like a guy in the sense that I don't like losing or looking slow/stupid etc.  I've mentioned that the one guy I usually run with on Thursdays is my pace/slightly faster.  I got an email saying we would be doing 10x800 repeats on the track.  Yikes!  They did 6 the first week, 8 last week, and 10 were planned for this week.  Needless to say, considering my backround of very little speedwork (due to injury/being scared!) I was freaked.  And, I didn't have the two weeks of buildup.  Yasso's here I come!

I booked it to the track from work.  It was nice out (50s and sunny) but on the warmup we could feel how windy the backstretch was.  That was fun x20.  My bud told me he wanted to hit them all under 3 minutes like last week.  I laughed.  I honestly didn't even know if I was capable of one three minute half mile!  But, fears aside, we began.  Let me tell you- THIS WORKOUT ROCKED!  It. was. intense.  But nothing that I felt like I couldn't handle.  We did a 400m rest between each one.  The backstretch sucked and my bud was drafting off of me and letting me lead!  Splits were as follows:

2:53, 2:55, 2:57, 2:55, 2:55, 2:57, 2:56, 2:53, 2:55, 2:56

Or something like that.  All I know is they were all between 2:53-2:57.  Happy.  Quads were burning a bit by the end, but mostly just from fighting the wind.  And, the three of us ended feeling so hard core.  Bad ass.  Yes.

So, in the end, I conquered my fear and proved to myself where I am at fitness wise.  Feels good.  My legs are alittle tired now, but not too bad.  Mostly I'm just hungry :) I'm at the bakery at 6am tomorrow, so I'll probably run after work, before swim class so that my legs get a bit more than 8 hours of recovery!

Hope everyone had a day filled with good runs and good times! :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

28- mid long run blah, 3 days till break!

So many things popped into my head to say in today's blog, but now my mind is mush and they are escaping me!  I guess I'll just stream-of-consciousness this one!

First: the run.
As I said yesterday, I had to be flexible with my long run this weekend and push it to today.  It was a cut back (14 miler) so I wasn't too worried.  Buttt, all was stacked against me in today's run.  I had to get up extra early before work, it was freezing and super windy, cloudy, and I picked the hilliest route ever.  I could tell right from the first mile that my legs weren't so peppy.  Literally I was running up a hill about 3 miles from the end and the wind was so loud that I couldn't even hear my Ipod.  All I could hear was the wind and my heavy breathing!  Sexy....I had to laugh it was so ridiculous and I thought "the only way I could be going slower is if I was going backward!"  I didn't dare look at my Garmin because I figured I would see my 12 min/mile pace and just start crying!  In the end, it turned out to be 14 miles at 8:25 min/mile pace, which I am ok with, all things considered.  I think the fact that I am doing more of my 'normal' runs (ie 6-10 milers) at a faster pace than before (ie 7:20-7:45min/mile pace) is making 'slow' not be quite as slow?  Atleast that is what I am hoping!

The unpacking continues too!  I got alot accomplished tonite and even mopped out my entry really good.  Much more homey looking.  I tried to vacumn down the stairs (I live in a second floor apartment with a private entrance) but the vacumn cord didn't make it to the last two stairs! (it is a super short cord because the vacumn is seriously from the '80s!)  Oh well.  Atleast most of the stairs are done!

Andd, spring break (ie Passover Break) is in 3 days for me!  I'm going up north this weekend and am sooo excited!  It won't really be a 'break' because I'm working 40 hours next week at the bakery, but atleast a repreve from teaching and driving 100 miles/day. 

Tomorrow: I GET MY NEW CAR!  Yes, lots of new things in my life right now.  I'm sad to see 'my baby' go (ie car I have had for 7 years since I was a junior in high school!) but I'm pumped about the upgrade.  Tomorrow may also be a 'triple tuesday' since I might meet up with my Thursday night group for a track workout!  Yikes - I'm scared!  I haven't done formal speed work (ie not treadmill or hill work) in quite sometime and these guys (yes, all men) are fast!  We'll see....

Ok, I'm using way too many ( )!  I best be off! :)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

29- flexibility and exploring on foot!


Today was all about flexibility- not the kind that comes with stretching that I have none of, but the kind that allows for plans to change.  It was supposed to be a cut-back long run day for me today (I was thinking 14 miles) but it will have to happen tomorrow.  I slept very long/well last night in my new bed and I refuse to wakeup early on Sunday as it is my one true day to catch up from the week.  And since this week = even more crazy than usual, I was pleased to not even move until 9:30am! :)

However, I needed to go to a car wash that was sponsered by the senior class at my school.  And, it ended in the early afternoon.  And, as I've mentioned, the school is 45 minutes away.  Sooo, I switched my 'easy' 8 miler that was on tap for tomorrow with my 14 miler of today.  Good choice so far.

And let me tell you- my new apartment is PRIME running territory.  The only downfall is the fact that all runs will end on an uphill.  Butt, what is so nice is when I turn and head in one direction out of the complex, I cross the freeway and am in the 'country' within 1 mile.  Farms, dirt roads, long stretches of cornfields- too cool.  It feels like being up-north!  It is hilly, but the hills are rolling in a 'country' way.  If I head the other direction from my apartment, I am on a main road leading into downtown within a mile!  Best of both worlds that way!  Today's 8 miler was a nice loop that encorporated a bit of both.

I was actually really pleased with today's run.  The pace vs. perceived effort ratio was very favorable and I felt light and like I was cruising the whole time.  Running the new route was really freeing and I didn't even look at my Garmin until the last mile (I hate obsessing/thinking about pace on an easy day!)  In the end I ended up running the 8 miles at a 7:19min/mile average.  Splits reflected the changing terrain (downhill, then uphill = 7:13, 6:55!!, 7:05, 7:16, 7:23, 7:45, 7:28, 7:35)  Still, not too uneven, especially for me- the queen of uneven splits!

So tomorrow I awake early to tackle the mid-long run.  The unpacking here continues, it feels like I'll never be done!  But, it is starting to feel alittle more like 'home.' 

Alright, I'm off!  I have no idea what I'm teaching tomorrow, so I'd better get on that!  Have a great week-beginning everyone! :)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

30- WHEW!

You know when you are so tired but don't realize it because you are going 100 miles an hour, and then you finally sit down and feel it all catch up to you?  Yeah, that just happened to me!

Well, its official- I am in my new place.  It was another whirlwind of a day that started with an early run and is ending very soon with my officially trying out my bed! :)  Honestly, the run seems like it took place on a different day, because the day was so crazy.  I cannot thank my parents enough (and the movers they hired!) for helping me through today!  I still have *alot* of unpacking to do, but atleast the kitchen/bath are clean and put away + clothes so it feels like a home.

Honestly, it is weird being here, at my new place.  It seems quiet, perhaps because I don't have the TV on like I usually do when I'm home (haven't got cable yet, mooching wireless right now!)  It was much more difficult/emotional leaving my old place than I imagined.  My mom really saved me by going back and helping me clean the final time and being there for moral support!  It would have been sooo much more difficult to do alone.  Now, I'm in this new place and it feels like I'm at someone elses' house!  Like it is really nice and all, but doesn't quite feel broken in or something.  Like I haven't made it my own yet.

Oh jeez, now I'm babbling and the exhaustion is talking!  I best just get my booty off to bed.  SO EXCITED to sleep in my big bed in my own place at last!  Cut-back long run tomorrow- after ALOT of sleep.

Hope all is well where you are! :)

Friday, March 19, 2010

31- moving: its a marathon, not a sprint

Whoa nelly!  Moving = craziness!  Butt, I survived day one and my old apartment is *almost* completely cleaned out after 10000 trips by my mom and I.  The day started off bring and early for me with a darkness recovery run.  I did my 'old standby' route that I've been doing for the past 2 years living here, for one last time.  So sad.  My legs were a bit sluggish, I think because I did Wednesday night run/swim, Thursday morning run/swim, Thursday night run.  Sooo, I kept the pace nice and slow.

Then it was moving time!  I met my mom at my new place at 9ish and we proceded to spend the next 4 hours loading and unloading in 3 trips with both our cars.  Luckily, it is only a 10 minute drive between the two places.  It was crazy though- total props to my mom, she was so hard-core!  She was loading/unloading/orchestrating the whole thing like the pro that she is!  After our delicious Whole Foods salads, she left at 2ish and I tried to put stuff away at the new place the best I could, but it was hard because furniture transfer isn't happening until tomorrow.  The kitchen is almost set though.  Too cool that I actually have a kitchen, rather than a 2x2 foot countertop!  The rest of the afternoon/evening I spent cleaning out an infinity of college books/papers that were marinating in the back of my closet on a bookshelf.  Ugh.  Atleast it is done and loaded in my car for transport tomorrow.

Which brings me to tomorrow- furniture day!  My dad and some guys from his company are coming up with a truck and in it will be my QUEEN SIZED BED from home.  This is huge.  Probably 99.9% of the reason I love going to my parents' house is to sleep in my bed, rather than the tiny, hard twin I have.  Well now that I have the space.....they will be reversed!  Which means good bed lots of the time!  Yaya!

Right now I'm pretty wiped though, I must say.  It was a very physical day, and I have to get up uber early again tomorrow to get any semblance of a run in before the meeting the truck/my parents at my new place.  Tomorrow night will be fun unpacking vs. tonites sad packing.  It has been alittle emotional packing up my 'first real place' that I've lived in for 2 years.  This apartment is where I 'became an adult' so to speak.  Living here is what made me finally realize that I'm OK on my own and I actually love it.  It holds alot of memories for me, and even though aspects are kind of ghetto, it also has alot of charm. 

Yikes, I'm getting all sentimental just talking about it!  I better be off.  I'm going to enjoy my last night here in my tiny bed after I eat frozen yogurt for dinner on the futon.  I have no food here, and it just seems like the right way to end my stay- doing something I have done countless times and that always brings me comfort.

*Sigh* Keep it real.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

32- TRIPLE THURSDAY strikes again!

Let me just say, I am in a ridiculously good mood because I have finally made it through today and the week and this weekend, starting tomorrow I AM MOVING!!! I signed my lease and got the keys to my new place today and it is sooo cute!  Andddd, I took Fri/Sat off from both jobs which means I have 3 DAYS to just focus on the move.  I haven't had 3 days in a row off in forever- so excited.  Tomorrow my mom is coming out to help me with the first few trips, then my dad is bringing big stuff in a trailor on Saturday.  I'm soo excited to unpack and organize.  My mom even got us Whole Foods salads for lunch tomorrow! YUM.  Its all good.

Besides work and lease-signing today, I managed to fit in my normal triple workout Thursday.  Workout #1 consisted of a 6:15am replay of last weeks hill repeats.  Only today I did 3 instead of 2.  It looked something like this:
1.2 mile wu @ 7:10 pace (apparently I was feeling frisky!)
0.7 mile hill @ 8:46 pace
downhill rest @ 8:00ish
0.7 mile hill @ 8:40 pace
downhill rest
0.7 mile hill @ 8:35 pace
downhill rest
1.6 mile cooldown @ 7:50 pace
TOTAL: 7 miles @ 8:06 pace

Overall, the hills weren't super fast, but it is a very steep hill and I would LOVE to run up heartbreak at that speed.  I'm pretty sure last year I was running 10-11 minute pace up it!  Infact, when I was running today I tried to remember what it felt like last year.  I totally couldn't.  I think I blocked it out!  Today's run was almost totally in the dark, which made me feel all the more bad ass.  Doing hill repeats before sunrise.

Workout #2 consisted of a swim immediately after.  I love how swimming makes my body feel.  Somehow I think of it as 'undoing' a run.  It was a bit tough though because it was only 12 hours or so after last nights swim class, so my arms felt it a bit!

Then work...signing lease....then Workout #3! My favorite, because its a group run and I always run with the same guy who is also training for Boston.  The weather was beautful at this point (6pm) but super-windy.  We were literally like parachutes at some points!  We kept it relaxed and conversational and the route was nice- over some dirt roads and such.  8 miles at 7:43min/mile pace.  Perfect.  The new comfortable.  It was one week ago at this very run that I started 'the new comforable' and the past week, my runs have been faster than ever.  I'm just hoping it lasts!

Overall, a 15 mile day + a swim aint too bad in my book!  Right now, I'm just basking in that satisfaction and my skin feels all warm from the sun.  So. nice.  Although I probably should get my butt off the computer and start packing.  I've barely made a dent and it all needs to go out of this apartment tomorrow!

I'm off! :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

33- long day, PSA, and other things

Oh man, today was looong and full - just like I like it!  The most comical thing was all of the stuff I took with me when I left my apartment at 5:30am this morning.  I took a pic, but my computer isn't cooperating.  Basically it was two bags of clothes (change into teaching clothes, then running clothes) my swim bag, my purse, my teaching bag, and a cooler with B-fast, lunch, and snack (more on that later).  Annnd, I just finished unpacking it all now when I got home at 8:30pm.  Like I said, looong day!

Soo, my PSA relating to my snack is this: if you bring a yogurt in a cooler for a snack and pack it away at 5am, it will not be cold at 6pm.  Infact, by this point, the cooler will have turned into a sort of oven from sitting in your car in 65 degree weather all day.  You will be hungry and have no snack between running and swimming.  You will also have wasted $1.19.  Not cool.

With that said, I want to make two points that I was thinking about today on my run.  First, it is the absolute hardest, most character building thing for me to run after my jobs.  Harder than long runs, intervals, getting up uber-early etc.  Unless it is the second run of the day or with a group (like a 'bonus') I have the hardest time running after work.  I'm not sure if it is physically because, like today, I have been on my feet for almost 12 hours by 5:30pm, or if it is just mental fatigue from the day but I have such a hard time with it!  With that said/knowing that, I still did not run at 4am this morning because running in the dark in 25 degree temps, basically in the middle of the night, sounded worse than getting to run in the lovely 65 and sunny weather of today.  With that said, I wasn't expecting much out of my run.

Which brings me to point #2.  I was thinking about my blog and although I'm pretty sure I don't have many readers, I hope I am not coming off as egotistic or anything with my posts recently about having good runs.  Honestly, I just get so pumped that I feel like I have to 'share' it.  And no one in my real life understands what it is like to drop pace or just FEEL really good on a run and progress in training.  I know many of you out there know what I am feeling/talking about, so I guess I'm just trying to put it out there to those who 'get it.'  Also, I'm in a place where I feel like I'm waiting for the shit to hit the fans so-to-speak because things have been going well, and I'm always a skeptic!

With that said, and bringing me back to point #1, I ran today.  After both jobs.  I did one of my favorite things though- what I call an "adventure run."  Here's how it works: you drive wherever you are driving (in my case, the 45 minute drive home from my teaching job) and just randomly pull off the freeway and into a gas station or whatever is there, strip down and change into running clothes in the parking lot (being as classy as possible), strap on Garmin, and RUN!  I've always liked a particular road on my drive home, so I got off at that exit.  It was total farm country!  I literally pulled into a restaurant about 1/2 mile off the freeway called "Kosy Cabin."  Lol.  The thing about adventure runs is, you don't know what you will get in terms of scenery and topography.  In my case, it was lots of dirt roads, horse farms, corn fields, rolling hills, and wind.  A nice loop though (and I got to cross the freeway twice, which y'all know I love!)  Buttt, my leggies felt stiff and I wasn't expecting much pace-wise because of the hills.  Like I've said before I NEVER look at my Garmin pace till near the end because I don't like to stress over it.  I figured with my tired legs and hills I was hitting a 9 min/mile pace.  When I was almost through the loop I heard my Garmin beep and looked down to see I had just hit mile 6, when I thought I was at mile 5!  Annd, it was 7:59 mile!  Which, I later found was the SLOWEST mile of my run.  7 miles at 7:46 pace, with very even splits!!! :)  I literally could not believe it.  This new 'comfortable' is going way better than I imagined.  (hense the 'shit hitting the fans' fear!)  I only wish that I had had time to put in sommore miles, but alas, 7pm swim class called and I was still 20 minutes away!  Today's run = beautiful = fun = confidence building.

Swim class = awesome as well.  I was the only one there, so it was essentially a private lesson.  Feels good to be getting better and getting some tips that I can use on my own swims.

Oh man, this post has gotten too long!  I'm wiped and I gotta go get all packed up to do it all over again tomorrow!  Triple Thursday, coming at ya! :)  So. Pumped.

Keep it real out there,

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

34- sun is back!

After a cloudy weekend, the sun was back out today!!!  Sooo nice!  Too bad it was still only in the 30s when I ran this morning. 

Let me just say that my run was GRAND this morning.  I came within feet of 3 deer, I saw the sun rise in the most beautiful way and I totally freestyled the route.  And I felt really good.  My body is interesting in the fact that I can pretty much tell right away what type of run it is going to be.  Like yesterday, I felt sluggish from the start and it held the whole run.  Today, within the first dark, cold half mile, I could tell I just felt 'on.'  Like I got in my pace and locked in.  I didn't even bother to look at my Garmin and just WENT.  When I finished, I figured my pace would be in the low-mid 8's per mile (because it felt fairly comfortable the whole time).  Buttt, it was great to see instead that I ran the 10 miles at a 7:42/mile pace, with all the splits pretty much within 10 seconds of that.  This was probably the best part because I tend to be inconsistant and all over the place with pacing.  Last mile = fastest = 7:36.  Just how I like it.  Not a bad way to start the day at all.

Theennn, I SWAM after work.  Ahhhh.  Seriously, it is like a treat for my body.  And, like running, I HATE looking at the clock/knowing how long I have been going.  So, I just start swimming and when I think it has been awhile I check by feeling how 'pruny' my fingers have gotten.  Seriously, I have it down to a science.  I can almost tell to the minute how long I have been in!  Today's swim was especially amazing, just because it had been a few days since I last hit up the pool.  My pull series wasn't super-strong but whatevs.  I keep swimming low pressure.

And now I'm back at mi casa, trying to pack up my life for the upcoming move.  I will probably hit the sack when it is still light out because I have bakery duty in the morning + teaching + swim class, so it will be a 14 hour day (with a run in there somewhere!)  I know lots of you out there are super busy this time of year, but we will all get through it!
Hope the sun is shining where you are!

Monday, March 15, 2010

35- *insert witty title here*

Not much to report for today.  Recovery run + strength training.  Leggies were tired.  Actually, I wasn't feeling that great.  Went to bed with a headache, and woke up with a headache and overall felt dizzy on my run.  The only way I got myself out the door is by saying I could run as slow as I wanted!  I thought at first it was dehydration because all the wind yesterday made it difficult to say how much I sweated.  I now think it was just allergies/sinus stuff.  Gotta love spring!

My legs are feeling decent now, later in the day.  Looking forward to more quality running tomorrow.  Anddd, I cleaned my parents' house so that was my other workout, lol.  Atleast it will look nice when they get home from their trip tomorrow.  I'm such a good daughter like that!

I'd love to say more, but I have to go figure out what I'm teaching tomorrow in physics!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

36- Just what I needed

The title pretty much sums up my run today.  Although I did not need the gail force winds and horizontal rain!  Another title choice could have been "I'm a trail convert." Or "fastest LR ever." Allow me to explain.

Hi, my name is Tmart and I am a trail hater.  Or atleast I thought.  I am the first to admit that I am 100% road runner.  Although I did XC in high school and a bit in college, I am not all one for "communing with nature" and all that through the woods crap.  Give me a flat, open road and let me fly!  With that said, I was anxious today for some long run redemption at a trail I tried to go on 4 weeks back.  When I got there that day, a XC SKIIER was putting on his gear so that was a fail.  Buttt, because of this and the fact that I figured my shins (that are still alittle bothersome at times) could use some cushioning, gave me the opportunity to try again. 

Sunday = my weekend so I always get 12 hours of sleep if possible to catch up from the week.  That + DST led me to leave at 11am.  I didnt' even look outside and instead just put on my shorts and light running windbreaker that I wear for pretty much every run.  Ohhhh man.  Mistake.  1/2 mile into the run I turned and began the 5 mile road route to get to the trail.  The wind was. so. strong.  Seriously.  I kept telling myself "its only 5 miles" but this was just the beginning of the run!  About 3 miles along I started bargaining with myself saying stupid stuff in my head like 'maybe i can just do a 10 miler and call is a massive cut back week!" or "maybe I should turn around, then drive the the gym and do 10 more miles on the treadmill."  Lol.  Lame.  I wanted to cry though, I really did.  People were staring in their cars as I got pelted by the horizontal rain and couldn't feel my legs.  And the cars driving by were so loud on the pavement (and the fact that this was a 5 lane road.)  Good times.

But, I made it to the trail!  And let me tell you, it was great!  It felt like a different run because I was sooo much warmer and I turned and started running west rather than north, so I was out of the wind.  The trail was soft and wet so footing wasn't great, but it was DIFFERENT.  The next 6 or 7 miles FLEW by.  I saw a person every half mile or so so it didn't feel totally sketchy.  And, I ran under the freeway where there was all this cool graffiti.  (yes, i like graffiti)  Overall, it energized me and I couldn't believe it when I was already reaching the neighboring town where the trail dropped off.  Then, all I had to do was run the roads back!  This was hillier and it was raining hard by now, but I felt so fresh still.  Much different than last week, when I basically died after 12 miles.  I looked at my Garmin for the first time 15.4 miles in.  I assessed the situation.  I had about 2.5 miles left.  I felt fresh.  Why was I saving anything/holding anything back??  So, I sped up!  I think the last three miles were 8:14, 8:02, and 8:11.  The best part was, I actually felt like I could have kept going and done a whole marathon with the same effort today.  When I was finishing, I felt so FREE and GOOD.  Just the way it should be.

Overall, 18 miles at a 8:24/mile pace.  I'm proud of that, considering how "character building" the first few miles were.  And what I meant about "fastest LR ever" wasn't my pace or anything, but how fast it flew by in my mind!  The mental fatigue of being out on the roads that long never set in and it was like I was in a time warp because the run only seemed to take an hour or so. 

And now, it is my favorite part of the week- post LR frozen yogurt dinner.  Satisfaction in a cup.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

37- once every 3 weeks, whether you need it or not...

That's right, today was a REST DAY.  Well, from running that is.  Working 8+ hours on my feet makes it still feel like I'm not a total slacker ;P

When I did get out of work (2:30pm, half an hour late...grr....) it was like a hurricane outside!  Seriously blowing winds and horizontal rain.  I couldn't hit up the gym by my parents house (which I had to drive back to) because they close at 3pm.  The Y on a Saturday at 2:30 = horrible.  Soooo, I decided just to 'go with the flow' and drive home.  I am lightyears behind on my teaching prep work, so I devoted some time to that.  For me, taking a rest day every 3 weeks is pretty standard, although I do feel the need to justify it alot as I am doing in this post.  I also want my long run tomorrow to be really quality.  The last few weeks, my longs have been *ok*, not horrible but not really confidence boosting either.  After my 'breakthrough' week and my confidence boost via pace, I really want tomorrow's run to be tough, long, and satifying.  We'll see how that goes.  It requires that I actually get some sleeps before then...

Ok, this is a big deal.  I have made a decision regarding Boston/my spring.  First, let me backtrack.  I haven't mentioned this on the blog, but I've been debating over the last few weeks whether or not to even run Boston.  After my injury, my training/plans were forced to change and I wasn't sure if I would be ready in time.  As I admitted, my milage is lower than I would like it to be right now, but I don't feel comfortable increasing more because it was hard enough going from zero miles per week injured to 50+ miles per week, the first week back.  Soooo, I've been trying to get them to be fairly quality miles most of the time.  With that said, I'm still not sure if I would be ready for Boston.  The thing about it is, the only reason why I even signed up for Boston is to run with my friend/training bud.  We trained together last winter; I ran my first Boston last April, and then ran a month later with her at Bayshore Marathon where she BQed at her first marathon.  A couple months later, when she decided to go, I agreed to go with her.  But, this winter we have hardly trained together at all.  She is finishing up school and I am in the working world (x2) so our schedules rarely work out.  Not to mention I'm a 6am or earlier runner and she is usually going to bed around that time!  And the other thing about Boston is that I don't want to feel the need to run it every year.  I don't want to get all OCD about it.  Yeah, it was fun last year and I have great memories.  But I want to make lots of great marathon memories at lots of different places.  The other thing is, my focus is different this time around.  Last year at Boston, I hadn't run since my BQ and PR almost a year prior.  Boston was all about the experience, no PR or anything was even a thought for me.  But now, almost 2 years after I set my PR, breaking it is all that is on my mind.  I know that I don't stand a chance to do it at Boston, and by running Boston hard I am eliminating my chances at doing it 5 weeks later at Bayshore (which is exactly what I did last year.)  Bayshore is a great course and I know that is where it could happen, so part of me wanted to hold out, gain the extra 5 weeks and look for a PR.  Because right now that means more to me than running another 3:33 or something at Boston.  Especially after such a disappointing fall marathon in Philly.

I guess where I'm going with this ramble is this: compromise.  I don't want to leave my friend hangin out to dry and I do love Boston.  Buttt, I don't want to jeoprodize my chances at a PR at Bayshore either and change where my goals are now focused.  It is too difficult to taper, run a marathon, then get a few quality runs + rest in 5 weeks and run again.  Soooo, I've decided to TRAIN THROUGH Boston.  This may seem kind of crazy, but it makes sense to me.  It won't make for a great time at Boston, but it will meet my needs the best, I believe.  This means, I won't taper much before Boston and instead treat it like my "long run" for the week.  I won't go into it as fresh, but I will get to run it, share the experience with my friend, and then taper in the weeks afterward for a hard, quality PR effort at Bayshore.  If that doesn't work, I've got my eye on a late June marathon as well......I just really NEED a PR.  I can't really explain it.  Having "OK" marathons for the last year or so just isn't cutting it.  This is my goal.  I'm out to do it.

Anyone else done anything like this?  Good idea?  Bad idea??

In other news, day off = day to catch up on eating = good thing.

I'm off to rustle up sommore food, then bed!  LR in the morning time! :)  PS> Don't forget to spring forward! 

Friday, March 12, 2010

38- the new 'comfortable'

4 weeks ago comfortable : 9 min/mile pace as Today comfortable : 7:40min/mile pace

Ok, that was my lame attempt at an analogy!  Sorry, I'm a math/science teacher!

Moral of the story and what I was trying to say is this: I think I have broken a new barrier with my running.  The last week my runs have been getting markedly faster without me putting in too much greater effort.  Then, after yesterday's great evening I just thought- "What is stopping me from doing this all the time?"  Answer to self: NOTHING.  Sooo, after a long day at both jobs, I was driving home in rush hour to my parents' house and pulled over into a random Walgreens, stripped off my skirt, popped on my running shorts and Garmin, and took off.  Unfortunately, I somehow turned on my Ipod at 5:30am when I left my apartment, so it had no batteries.  All the more reason to run faster! 

I hit the road and felt FRESH.  I could tell my pace was faster than my normal 'recovery/easy day' pace, but it didn't feel harder, it just felt like I was opening up my stride more and focusing more.  I was in a new neighborhood (kind of sketchy actually) but I felt free and just went with the pace.   My only stipulation was that if I started off fast, I was going to keep it up!  No dying out at the end.  First mile = 7:40, second mile = 7:20, but other than that, the rest of the miles were almost dead on 7:33-35 pace.  Finished with a 7:33/mile average which is exactly 1 second per mile faster than my marathon PR pace (ha, that seems crazy right now!)  So now I have a new 'comfortable.' Not that all the rest of my runs will be at that pace but I proved to myself that it's not really all that hard if I put my mind to it.  And, running ipod-less and partner-less was something I never do and I loved it!  Listened to the traffic and cars and smelled the smells on the road and let my mind wander.  Good for the body and soul.

Then I proceded to battle the tail end of rush hour to get to the gym for some quick strength training, then home.  No food at my parents' house so I ended up melting cheese on shredded carrots.  Classy.

Question:  I've mentioned this briefly, but lately I feel like my appetite and hunger cues are really off/low for me.  Like I never get hungry.  When I think about food, it sounds OK, but it doesn't occur to me to eat or something.  This is rare for me, as a person who has always had a hearty appetite.  Today, for example, I totally didn't eat lunch just because I was rushing between jobs and didn't even think about it!  Suddenly, I was driving to the gym post-run and thought "what did I have for lunch?"  Has anyone ever experienced this?  It is so unnatural for me not to be ravenous, so I'm wondering if this is a common training thing, or something I can fix?

Ok, I'm off to bed early tonite.  4am + hour drive back to the bakery in the morn.  Good times.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

39- OMG x 3!!!

To quote my high school students...Today was "EPIC!"

Starting bright and early on the roads by 6:30 am.  It is 'triple thursday' which meant 3 workouts for me today!  I usually do some treadmill speed work as my first run of the day on Thursday, but it was much too nice for that today.  Instead, I decided to do alittle hill work.  There is a hill in my town that is very similar in dimension to heartbreak hill, so I decided to do a couple of repeats.  Sooo, I parked at the Y, ran a quick warmup to the hill, and did 2x1mile hill repeats of 'broadway' (the street name.)  The second was faster which was good and overall it felt good, although my legs were tired on my short but sweet cooldown.  Overall, the 6 miles went by much faster than the treadmill.  Annnddd, although I get tons of hills just running around town, I was glad I made time to do this specific one.  Good workout #1.

Then, it was off to the pool!  The swim was actually really tough and I wondered why until I realized it was the third swim session I had ton in about 36 hours.  By the end, my arms were tired, but totally in a good way.  My form is improving too, which is promising.  The only thing that could have made the morning workouts better is being able to crawl back into bed afterward.  But alas, work called!

Now is where 'epic' comes into play.  I was PUMPED to get out of work and meet up with my Thursday night group.  Like I mentioned before, I train with a guy who is also training for Boston.  It is so much fun to catch up with him about training and everything once a week.  The weather was breezy and storm-like but amazing because of the prospect of getting in our run before dark.  Like I mentioned before, my friend trains a bit faster than me, so it is always a good workout.  When I got there, my legs were alittle tight/tired from the morning + teaching all day, so I wasn't sure how I would do.  He said he wanted to go 8 miles, and so we set out.  Immediately we hit a HUGE headwind and spent the first 2.5 miles running straight into it.  We seriously had to laugh at how nuts it was (or else we probably would have cried!)  It was around this time that he informed me that he did a 20 miler over the weekend at 7:40 pace, proving the fact that he does train much faster than me (although his marathon PR is slower ;P So anyway, the moral of the story is- we were cruising!  Butttt, more importantly- it felt SO GOOD and SO NATURAL.  I looked down at my Garmin a few times and kept seeing 7:15, 7:22, or 7:30 pace the whole time!!!  And it was a hilly, windy route, where we were totally conversational!!  Literally, getting done with 8 miles at 7:30 pace felt easy, which was such a confidence booster, especially after the workouts this morning.  The last mile was alittle rough for him due to eating a late lunch at Rio Wraps...ha.  Buttt, we agreed that it was a great run.  Usually when I end a faster run, I am happy to be done but today I was thinking "I wonder how long I can keep up this pace?"  Really today was just like switched a gear into a whole new level of confortable pacing.  Like I know I can do this, I just have to make myself do it.  So.  Satisfying.  Maybe this training thing is working!?!

Ok, I'm rambling.  But I'm obviously pumped.  14 miles, a swim session.  Hanging out with runners.  It was a good day.

Back at the bakery at 6am tomorrow, before a day of teaching.  I'm going to 'treat' myself to sleeping in till 5am and running later.

Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

40- popping the marathon cherry

Today I had coffee with a good friend of mine who ran her first marathon a couple of weeks ago (hense my title).  She did so well 3:39:18!! It was super cute to hear her talk about it all, she said it was "the best day of her life."  I felt jealous of the fact that she got to have that 'first' experience and it made me nostalgic for my first marathon, many years ago.  Seeing it 'fresh' through her eyes reinspired me and my love for running!

In other news, good, normal run today back with the hills.  Swim class tonite too.  It was hard as we worked on kicking (my week point.)  I thought of like 10000 things to say on this blog tonite, but I'm getting old and forgetful, so nothing is coming to mind!

Tomorrow is my fav day of the week- triple Thursday!  Plus, long day of teaching.  I can't believe how fast this week is flying by!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

41- Note: Do not go to the Y to swim at 6pm

The title pretty much says it all.  My swim suffered a bit tonite because of my timing.  6pm = swim lessons = 2 lap lanes = circle swimming with 5 PEOPLE!  It actually was OK as it forced me to really pay attention, focus on my swimming, and keep up the pace so as not to get lapped.  This is tough for me as I mentioned before that swimming is really 'chill' time for me and I'm fairly slow (and OK with that.)  Before I knew it though, my stomach was growling telling me it was time to be done and head home for some dinner!

Run this morning = amazing.  For the simple reason that I felt GOOD.  My legs were frozen from the start because I had to run early when it was still chilly and I'm all about the shorts.  However, after the first mile or so I started to really feel fresh.  Almost like I was being pulled by a string?!?!  In a good way.  I decided to try to make it a sort of 'progressive' run with my pacing because I have a tendency to go out hard and die in races.  I know pacing better is smarter (my marathon PR I actually ran the second half slightly faster which is CRAZY for me to do.)  Sooo, I picked it up as the run went on.  My average pace was nothing special ~8:18/mile average, but the last 3 miles were around or sub 8 which was good and they didn't feel that hard.  I ended the run wanting more, but the whole have-to-go-to-work thing kept me from tacking on any more miles.  It was mostly satisfying in the sense that this 10 miler didn't feel that hard, and was still about 1min/mile faster than I was running a couple of weeks ago.  And I felt good about it. 

Tomorrow is great because I have a short teaching day and a morning off from the bakery! (a rarity)  I have a morning coffee date and an afternoon coffee date with two different friends, plus swim class at night.  And of course an early run to start the day off right.  Hoping for good weather and that 'fresh' feeling again!

Keep it real, home slices! :)

Monday, March 8, 2010

42 days- winter vs. fairweather runners

You can always tell winter vs. fairweather runners on the first warm days of the year.  If you are a hard-core northern runner such as myself, the SECOND the weather hits even mildly warm temps, you are running in shorts and as little on top as possible.  Literally, I wore shorts and a long sleeve the last few days.  However, "fairweather" runners (ie those who have not slogged through snow, ice, and sub-zero temps the last several monts will be outside in sweatshirts, baggy sweats, and hats!  They do not realize how great the weather is!

Seriously, today was a great day.  It is days like this when I am happy to live in Michigan because you REALLY appreciate the good weather when it finally hits.  It was so nice that I even took my Physics class outside the last 10 minutes of class and threw the football around with them (hey, football is physics, right?)  They are all 11th grade boys, so they certainly appreciated it! 

My run was good/uneventful.  Recovery day, part of my run with my mom, which was nice.  My legs were alittle sluggish, but I have a feeling they will be AOK by tomorrow.  Got in some strength training at the gym this morning too, which was nice.

Not much else to report.  Hoping this weather lasts, and it is equally as nice where you all are! :)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

43- long run, sore legs

Good evening!

Sleeping 12 hours felt sooo good last night.  I woke up feeling much better/more well rested.  This morning, I did another 17 mile run.  It went really well for the first 12 miles.  I ran straight against the wind for the first 7, then cruised for the next 5.  But, for some reason I totally hit a wall after 12.  My legs suddenly felt so tired and my whole body hurt- totally weird.  It was warm out and I was sweating alot so I'm not sure if it was that or glycogen depletion (I don't eat or drink anything on my runs) but it was depressing cuz it killed my overall pace.  The rest of the day my legs have been tired.  Much more so than my 17 miler last week.  Boo.  I'm not going to let it bother me too much because my running has been really decent this week and I'm just going to chalk it up to coming at the end of a long week.  Overall, 17 miles at 8:50 pace isn't great, but it is in the books.  I really got to work on my fueling too overall- not sure what is going on with my hunger or lack there of but I'm going to have to sort that out too.

Speaking of which, it is time for fro yo!  Sunday dinner = frozen yogurt.  Always.

Peace out- have a good start to the week!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

44- A run solves everything.

Ohhh man, what a day!  *warning, I may go off on a HUGE rant about've been warned...

I would just like to start by saying that I began today in a good mood.  The alarm went off at 4:15 am, I fed Ollie, grabbed my coffee and an orange and was off in the car.  The roads were clear, life was good.  Then I arrived at work at 5:50am and pretty much the day went downhill from there.

The SECOND I walked in, one of my coworkers informed me that there had been a "Code Red" (ie customer complaint) regarding a Roast Beef sandwich that I had prepared.  The customer claimed it was 'rare' ie not cooked, and wasn't sliced thin enough.  Mind you, I was in a rush when preparing them yesterday, but both of those claims are a matter of opinion.  It just really pissed me off, because I hate screwing stuff up and I pride myself on being really good at my job at the bakery, even if it is a job that a trained monkey can do.  So this sort of set the tone for my whole day....

Let me tangent by explaining what I do at the bakery.  It is a very big, well known bakery in SE Michigan, and I work at sort of the 'warehouse'.  There are different departments/kitchens including bread, pastry, candy, as well as a storefront.  I work in the 'Savory Kitchen' as well as the storefront.  Saturdays is the main prep day, so I generally get all the food ready for the week (soup ingredients, sandwich ingredients, pulling stuff from the freezer, etc.)  While I'm doing this waaaaay in the back of the huge warehouse, I am also 'on call' to be paged to the Bakeshop in case there is an overload of customers.  The saving grace of my Saturday shift is we do not sell hot soup like on the weekdays, and I only have to make ~30 sandwiches as opposed to 100+ on the weekdays (most of our lunch business is from surrounding businesses.)  Butttt, today there was like 100000 million special orders, so I kept having to go back to the kitchen and make more sandwiches, little by little/inefficiently which I HATE.  Plus, I had tons of prep work to do and the shop was short staffed, so my manager kept paging me to come help up front every 5 minutes so I couldn't get anything done.  Which made me cranky.  Along with the fact that it was 10:30 and I hadn't even eaten breakfast yet because I was soooo busy (besides an oragne at 5am on the way to work.)  Which in turn made me more cranky! (I need my egg whites in the morning!)  And I could totally feel myself being in a bad mood and giving bad customer service which isn't like me, but I just felt burnt out and frustrated that I couldn't get my work done and I was walking like 10000 miles from the savory kitchen to the Bakeshop all day. 

Let me also give you a mental picture of my manager.  He is a great guy that is always in a REALLY good mood and uber-sprited and everything.  Most of the time, I think this is great in the food service industry and really respect him.  But you know when you're in a bad mood the last thing you need is someone all smiley around you?  Yeah, that's how I felt.  Our vibes were clashing all day and by the end I though I would go crazy if I heard him sing (yes, sing) "We have bacon apple donuts today" to anyone who walked through the door.  It was the craziest day in the shop since the holidays because I guess spring-like weather makes everyone want to get a loaf of bread an a big ass pastry from the best shop in town or something.  For me, I just thought I was going to explode and looked out the window longing to bust out of there and run.

I didn't get my lunch until 1pm (ie 7 hours into shift) and I couldn't eat much cuz I was planning to run right after.  At 2pm I was soooo ready to get out of there!  Walked outside to a beautiful day.  50 degrees and sunny and I had packed my running stuff.  Despite the ideal conditions, I felt just plain exhausted- physically and mentally from the week.  I knew I had to run then or risk not doing it.  After changing in the car in the employee parking lot (because I'm classy like that,) I decided to be totally easy on myself.  I picked a hilly route (one of the reasons I wanted to run there vs. my parents is it is soooo much more hilly there = better Boston training).  I said "'Self' just run for 1 hour.  Pace doesn't matter, just keep putting one foot in front of the other."  And let me tell you, it was great.  The run got better and better.  I tackled the hills like a pro and felt so light in my shorts and long sleeve T.  It felt so good to sweat and have the sun out and all.  I finished the run, wanting more but I needed to get home to the cat and I've got a long run tomorrow.  I looked down at my Garmin for the first time to see I averaged an 8:14/mile pace.  This was great not because it was super-fast, but because it felt like a 9:15/mile pace and it was hilly.  I'm really happy how my pace is consistantly improving without a greater effort.  And since I've accepted that I'm not going to increase my milage, I want to really keep the quality of my miles (even on easy days) high.  Since there is only 6+ weeks till Boston, it seems stupid to try to hit my ideal (80+ miles/week now).  Instead I'm going to hold at slightly under 70/week.  We'll see how that goes.

Speaking of which, I've got a long run in the morning.  Should be a pretty flat one around here though, unless I go find some hills.  Hoping for good weather too.  It is 7:42pm and I am unashamably going to be in bed by 8:30pm.  Tomorrow is my one day weekend, and my only day to sleep in.  I am beyond excited.

Yikes, that was a marathon of a post!  There is no one around here for me to vent to (besides little Ollie) so I guess I just put it all out in cyber space!  Even if no one reads it, it feels good to get it off my chest!

Hope everyone had good days and good runs!

Friday, March 5, 2010

45- Sun! How I've missed you!

Today was one of those days that makes you remember why you have suffered through yet another Michigan winter- the sun was out, it was 40 degrees, snow was melting....ahhhhmazing.  My run felt positively 'playful.'  I was done with both jobs for the day, had driven to my parents' house, the sun was out, and I was jumping in and around puddles.  I hit a 8:05/mile pace effortlessly, which was really nice- feeling fresh even in the afternoon (I'm a TOTAL morning runner.)  I even parked at the gym so that I could strength train post run.  The gym here is so nice in the sense that I used to get PT done there in high school, and my parents pay to workout there, but they all know me and don't make me pay!  So I can workout for free when I'm at my parents' house which is great.

The rest of my day was spent trying to sort through my whole life, basically.  My upcoming move to my new apartment in a couple of weeks has spurred my parents to get me "completely" moved out- ie requiring I go through EVERY drawer, underbed container, closet, etc in my room.  I didn't realize how much stuff I had here still and it is proving to be quite a project.  Oh well.  I know it will feel good having EVERYTHING in my new place when it is all done and I feel good giving things away to charity that are sitting unused. 

Oh!  And my NEW CAR is here!  It is soooo cute, but unfortnately I cannot yet drive it because I am still waiting on getting the title and insurance transferred into my name.  What a tease it is sitting in the garage......

Okk, well, I'm off to bed really soon.  4am wakeup tomorrow, and not to run but because I need to get back to A2 to work at the bakery by 6am and I gotta make the drive from my parents!  Ollie (the cat) better appreciate this!  It will be another afternoon, after work shift run tomorrow so I may do it in A2 before driving back to the parents.  Or, I may start driving back and pull off randomly at some city and go for a run. (I've done this several times before!)  We shall see!  I'll be so happy to be off at 2pm and have my 'weekend.'

Have a good one! :)  Hope it is warm and sunny where you are!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

46, check, check, and check!

3 workouts and one looong Thursday done!

Let's get right to the good stuff- running!  I did a lovely 6 mile workout on the treadmill bright and early this morning (well, not too early if the Y was actually open!)  Did some 1200m repeats at a tempo pace (~6:55 ish) which actually felt pretty good/not too hard.  I was soooo sweaty by the end though!  Workout number 2 consisted of trying to put on my sexy one piece bathing suit over my sweaty body in the locker room....seriously, the hardest part of the day!  Naw, my swim was good, but pretty tough, seeing as last nights swim workout had only been completed 12 hours before- my triceps were feeling it!  In a good way of course! :)

Work was crazy though!  I teach PE to the high school girls on Thursdays, which is always a 'challenge.'  Most of the students were going on this school weekend trip at the end of the day to Pittsburg, which put them all in a crazy mood all day.  Lets just say, I pitied the bus driver that I saw when I was leaving- 8 hours driving a bus full of hyper, hormonal teens- yikes!  The good news is, most of my students will not be there tomorrow, which makes my teaching day uber easy/short.

I was so pumped to run with my group tonite!  Me, my normal training guy, and another woman set off on a 8 mile road route.  It was boring, but I like chatting it up with my training bud.  The other woman doesn't normally run with us, so we tried to keep the pace slow-er (ie 8:50-9:00min/mile) so she could chat and run with us.  But it was totally weird because she kept running about 20m behind us the whole time.  Myself and my bud were getting alittle annoyed because we purposely kept the pace at her speed, and yet she seemed to not want to run with us?!  Then, about 5 miles in, she saw other members of the group, turned, and started running in the other direction and chatting it up with them!  Totally odd.  Me and my bud immediately dropped the pace to 7:40ish per mile for the remainder and chatted and laughed it up the whole time about how we must smell, or she was blinded by our white legs!  I ended the run and I 14 mile + swim day feeling uber fresh.  Training = going pretty decent lately.  (knock on wood!)

Tomorrow = double work day.  Buttttt, it looks like I should be out of teaching early, then I'm headed to my parents house to see my kitty for the weekend!  Workout will be in the afternoon.  + big bed + food (thanks mom!) + kitty time.  Sounds good to me!

Have a good one friends!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

47- busy day, good day

Good evening!

My day was crazy-busy as expected.  But in a good way.  Wakey wakey at 3:40am, and out the door running by 3:50am.  I ran a full 30 seconds/mile faster than the same route last week, setting an 'early morning' PR.  I feel the conditions allow for a seperate PR/pace category because literally my body is cosy in bed in the middle of the night one minute, and suddenly I'm up, teeth brushed, and out the door running-literally.  Quite a shock actually.  Today I was nearing the end of the run before I actually woke up!

The rest of the day went as I already descibed, so I won't bore y'all with the details.  The surprise of the night was swim class- it was TOUGH, but I felt really strong.  We did a hard workout with lots of kicking (which ironically is my really weak spot in swimming.)  My whole body feels like jello right now- ready to melt into bed......

And tomorrow I'm hoping for another "triple Thursday." I have a long teaching day tomorrow so I'll still have to get up early, although getting up at 5:30am should kind of feel like sleeping in!  Hoping for some SPEED and SWIM in the morning and then some hard-core pace running with people faster than I at running club at 6pm.  Looks like a good day on tap for me! :)

Hope all is well with you! :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

48- my week begins now

That is seriously how I feel about tonite- my week really starts now.  I work alllll day tomorrow (12 hours, both jobs) plus swim class at night, plus trying to squeeze a run in.  Thursday is another triple workout day + long day of teaching, and Friday is jobs x 2, plus running and driving to my parents' house to cat sit.  And Saturday is the normal 6am-2pm bakery shift + 1 hour commute each way from my parents'.  Yikes!

Today was good, despite this lingering intense fatigue I am having.  It feels like I am sooo tired and ready for bed by the time I get home from work at 6pm.  This morning is was totally tough to get up, despite 10 hours of sleep.  I'm still thinking it may be nutrition related/not eating enough carbs.  It sounds weird a runner not eating enough carbs, but honestly, since I'm gluten free, I rarely eat bread/pasta/oatmeal/etc because the GF types are so $$pricey.  So although I don't eat 'low carb' by any means, the majority of my diet is fruits, veggies, dairy, and meat.  Perhaps the increase in training in the last 3 weeks + the fact that both of my jobs (especially the bakery) are physical in nature is catching up to me.  Because I just want to sleeeeeeep.

Ok, that was depressing.  Onto better things!  Despite feeling like I got run over by a truck, I set out on my normal Tuesday 10 miler, putting no pressure on myself about pace.  It was tough at first, but I ended feeling really strong and my pace was a full 40sec/mile faster than last week!!!!  The conditions were better, but not perfect so I am pleased.  The weirdest thing was how cold my hands were!  I was wearing gloves, my normal jacket, and shorts (which were alittle cold in 23 degree weather), but by the end my hands were HURTING they were so cold.  I literally collapsed inside my apartment and just laid on them for a full 5 minutes until they stopped throbbing enough for me to drive to the Y.  Weerirrd.  I had a good strength session too.  Glad I was able to fit it all in before work today.

Well, I gotta run.  I'm off to this 'young adults' church group thingy.  Just another thing to add to my week, but I'm hoping it is fun!


Monday, March 1, 2010

49- a new week

Yay for having internet back!  I just called comcast and pushed a bunch of bottons on a recording and they sent a 'refresh' signal to my router.  Whatever that means, it worked! :)

Not much to report for today.  Honestly, I'm wiped out even though today was chill both work-wise and workout wise.  Only teaching today and I did a fairly easy recovery run this morning + swim.  Both felt good and my legs don't seem to be feeling yesterday's long run hardly at all.  I'm not quite sure what's going on with me but my body just continually felt worse as the day went on (ie tired/heavy)  It may be related to my appetite/eating because I've been weirdly not-hungry the past few days and didn't eat nearly as much as I usually do on a long run day/today.  I'm hoping it is not an illness of any kind because that is the last thing I need right now!

Off to drag my booty to bed for some extra sleeps!