Thursday, September 30, 2010

Woman Down

This has been me all day.  I was only awake for the times I absolutely had to be (taking and picking up the kids).  Don't know what is wrong but I have horrible body aches, nausea and a fever.  Good times.

Hopefully I'll be back soon !!  Send Chicken soup or chocolate and peanut butter. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Marathon Training Program

I promised all of you I would "unveil" my marathon training plan this week.  Well you can now stop holding your breath.  The time has come, today is the day, I'm revealing to the blog world my top secret Hal Higdon training plan. 

Several months ago George's cousin bought me a book called Run Less Run Faster by Bill Pierce, Scott Murr and Ray Moss.  It is based on the premise that less is more, running just three days a week. 

I'll be honest.  I put off reading the book (I'm probably half way through) because I wanted to read it CLOSER to when I was actually going to run a marathon.  Yada yada yada, it's now training time and I still haven't read the whole thing.  I am confident the "less is more" program works but I just haven't done enough research (i.e. reading the book) to make me confident in the training program FOR ME.  I should, however, take George's cousin Joe's word for it as he ran his last marathon in less than 4 hours and that was with the dreaded runner's stomach issues.  I know the program would be good and I will use it NEXT TIME.  You see I'm not one of those people who will be one and done.  I plan on running more than one marathon.  The first time will be to get my feet wet and see what it is all about.  The first time will be about finishing and that is all. 

I think it's important to choose a program that I feel confident in and know has worked for me in the past.  When I started training for my first 1/2 marathon in November of 2009 the furthest distance I had run was 5 miles and I had only done that a handful of times. 

I chose Hal Higdon's 1/2 marathon NOVICE Training Program.

I pretty much followed the program workout for workout.  I missed a few Saturday cross training workouts and also a few mid week workouts but overall I followed the training program.  I didn't know what to expect for my first marathon.  I just knew I wanted to finish.  I told myself if I finished in under 2:30 I'd be happy.  Hey I didn't want to set my goals too high.  ;)

I ran the Spirit of Pittsburgh 1/2 Marathon on November 1, 2009 and finished in 2:17:22 averaging a 10:29 pace. 

For my first 1/2 marathon I was "happy" with that but I knew I had it in me to do better. I quickly set my sights on the Pittsburgh 1/2 marathon coming up in May of 2010.  I bumped up my training to the Hal Higdon Intermediate Training Program.

This program is aimed at improving your half marathon.  Again, I stuck to the training program pretty closely.  Due to my work schedule and the kids’ activity schedule I missed a few Wednesday/Thursday runs and a lot of the Saturday runs.  I feel like a training program has to allow for some flexibility and I didn’t get “excited” over missing some training runs.  I never missed a long run even if it meat running in sub zero temperatures and/or 2 feet of snow. 

I had the dream of beating my first half marathon by 10 minutes with my ultimate goal of finishing in 2:07.  I wasn’t quite able to shave 10 minutes off my time but I did finish in 2:09:20 averaging 9:53 per mile.  I was really proud of that improvement and pretty proud of the race overall. 

Hal didn’t let me down.  I finished the race, I finished strong and felt totally prepared.  So I’m turning to Hal again to help me in my marathon training.  I selected the Hal Higdon Novice Marathon Training Program. 

Disclaimer:  You'll have to click the link to see the training programs I used.  You see I am pretty much computer illiterate.  You should be happy you're reading this at all.  I tried to include the actual program in the blog post and lost my post oh say five times.  So click the link and like it!  Rant over.

As you can see it is an 18 week training program with a two week taper.  I’m honestly a little scared of the taper but I have to trust the program.  I also doing my long runs on Sundays so the whole program is shifted one day.  It just works out better for my schedule that way. 

Remember my only goal is to finish this marathon.  However, Lord if you are listening, please let me beat Al Roker. 

 Training begins October 18th.  Eek!!! Wish me luck!!

What marathon or 1/2 marathon training program have you followed? 
Did you follow it exactly or allow for some flexibility?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Graphic Content Below

Today was beautiful in Ausitn.  I mean look at this.



Feels Like: 79°

Although I appreciate a beautiful day, I really can't stand running without a cloud in the sky.  I never thought I'd be praying for clouds but the blaring sun takes it toll and I can not stand running on the treadmill (read:  will do anything in any condition to avoid running on the treadmill). 

I know people thought Tracey and I were crazy when we were out in -4 degree temperatures this winter training but I almost think that is better.  We were never cold!  I swear to you we weren't!  Plus there was something about being out there when there was 2 feet of snow on the ground that made you feel hard core!
Anyway, I ran outside and it was hot.  There was sweat (a lot of it), there was blood, and there were tears.  Ok I didn't cry but it sounded better.
Mile 1:  11:34
Mile 2:  11:20
Mile 3:  10:51
Mile 4:  10:42
Total:  44:32
Average:  11:07

What I see about this run is progress!!!!  Not progress comparatively speaking with previous runs but progress as I added each mile.  In case you couldn't tell, my body was built more for endurance rather than speed.  I warm up slow but then I feel like I can keep on going "forever".  Let's hope that equates to going and going and going for 26.2 miles.

As any runner knows your feet take such a toll with running.  I went to salon a couple of weeks ago and had my piggies done.  I chose OPI Midnight in Moscow.  What can I say I was embracing fall. 

Anyway, while there the girl went to town scrubbing my feet.  She explained she wasn't going to charge me extra like other salons to really get off all that dead skin.  I didn't have the heart to tell her, and knew in my heart she wouldn't understand, that I WANTED those calluses.  I had earned them and they were protecting me.  I should have spoken up because look what I wound up with today... BEWARE NOT FOR THE FOOT SQUEAMISH.  Graphic content below.

Ouch!! The only other time this happened is when I needed new shoes.  I wear Saucony Progrid Ride 2 shoes and mine don't have too many miles on them.   I got them brand new shortly before the Pittsburgh Marathon last May.  During that race my one toenail rubbed one of my little piggies raw.  There was blood all over my one shoe.  It also rained that day for the entire race. 

At the end my shoes were bloody and wet.  I figured I'd just let them dry and they'd be okay.  The blood would serve as a battle scar.  Um no.  They dried and they smelled like... well like someone ran in them in the rain for 13 miles.  So I washed them in the washing machine and allowed them to air dry.  I'm pretty sure using detergent and a washing machine is a major NO NO and I'm afraid I've ruined my babies.

No I don't untie my shoes before I take them off (GASP)!!

For Someone who loves to run I sure do complain a lot.  I realize this but you'll come to enjoy it I assure you.  I just keep reminding myself why I am doing this.  Not the victory at the end of the finish line, not to calm my mind and lift my spirit. 

Look what's in the candy dish. 

What do you think?  Is it the shoes or some other problem causing my blisters?  Help!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Easy Street

Today I taught Ella how to make a meatball.  Not that I'm particularly qualified to do so but she doesn't know the difference.  Shhhh nobody tell her. 

Today's other events included PT and the MD.  I've lost a little bit on my measurements today.  My shoulder went from 160 degrees to 148 degrees.  I did improve on external rotation to 60 degrees (up from 55).  When I saw the doctor he said, "don't be concerned, you always lose over the weekend." (when you're not going to PT).  So I'm not going to worry.  He also said, "you look good" and "you won't be needing another manipulation".  Um hello I didn't even know that was an option.  I'm definitely glad I won't need any further manipulating.

During my run this evening I started thinking.  I was thinking about how hard running has become for me and how much fitness I have lost over 8 or so weeks.  It's almost like starting all over again.  I've always been a relatively "thin" person.  I ate what I wanted when I wanted and barley exercised.  I exercised if I felt like it, but most times I didn't feel like it.  After turning 33 and having 3 kids all of those habits added up to being almost 160 lbs.  On my 5' 4.5" frame that was too heavy and I was unhealthy.   Just as important or perhaps more importantly, I didn't feel good about myself. 

Christmas 2007
In January of 2008 I decided to change my life.  I joined a gym and took baby steps toward working out.  Guess what?  It wasn't easy. 

So back to tonight's run.  I'm jogging along at a moderate pace but working hard for me, for today!  These two young guys go trotting by me not exactly running at lightening speed themselves but clearly putting forth very little effort.  Watching them pulling further and further away wasn't easy. 

I hit the turnaround point on my run and I saw those two guys at the gas station.  I imagine they were getting drinks or something of the like.  I turned around knowing it wouldn't be long until they humiliated me again by essentially lapping me.  Sure enough, here they come. 

When they caught up to me (on the other side of the street) I decided I'd run just behind them trying to keep up and guess what?  I did but it wasn't easy. 

After about half a mile the guys pulled off onto a side street.  I was secretly happy, I don't think I would have been able to keep up for much longer.  Shortly after I see a girl out of the corner of my eye slowly turning on to the main street (on which I was running).  I wish I had a picture of her but picture it something like this:

She appeared confident but she appeared S.L.O.W.  It wasn't until we had run about .25 miles (she on her side of the street and me on mine) that I realized we were running at essentially the same pace.  Homer and I but she was making it look easy!  We got to the end of the main drag where I would turn off to head home and I watched her stop and grab both her knees gasping as she caught her breath.  I chuckled to myself, she just made it LOOK easy but she too was working hard.

So if you're sitting on the couch right now, whether you're a young strapping fellow (doubt I have many of those readers), you're a mother of 3 with some baby weight to lose, you're Homer Simpson, or you're a star athlete it doesn't matter.  Getting out there and doing YOUR workout for the day will most likely never be EASY!  Not doing something just because it's hard is no excuse. 

I thought back to those first days at the gym and remembered that HARD WORK and consistency are what pay off and it's not going to be EASY but I'll get there.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

X Doesn't Mark the Spot

Wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!  That's the sound of me crying.  I set out on my run today with my phone in my Nathan's hydration belt.

See that little pouch?  Well it did NOT hold my BRAND NEW Droid X.  I'm not sure how it fell out but one mile into the run I reached down to take a picture and the phone was not there. 

That's not my picture of the phone.  I should have taken one, it would have lasted longer.  I know it's my fault and really it is not a big deal in the grand scheme of things but, I'm just sick of my bad luck. 

As I said, I was one mile into my run when I realized it was gone.  I ran the mile back to the house frantically looking and I could not find it.  At that point I came in the house to tell George and ask him to come out and help me.  I ran the mile route again and nothing.  George said to drive home and he'd walk back and see if he could find it.  Boo!  Still no phone. 

Mile One:  11:09
Mile Two:  11:05 walk/run looking
Mile Three:  14:09 walk/jog REALLY looking hard
Totals:  36:57
3.02 miles
12:13 average

I couldn't muster up the desire to finish off the last two miles of my run. Three miles would have to do. 

Oh well.  I was waiting for George to "yell" at me for being so stupid.  I was primed and ready to remind him of the $17,000 worth of damage he did to my vehicle.  He never said a word though.  Darn it! 

I know he didn't wreck my car on purpose, no more than I lost my phone intentionally. 

Really I just wanted to post that picture to show the blog world that my husband ran into a pole going 10 mph.  My car is FINALLY finished and being shipped here to Texas tomorrow.  Ain't she pirty?  I can't wait to get her back! 

Before the day's excitement I did manage to make some yummy goodness. 

Easy Chocolate Pumpkin Cake with Creamy Frosting

Prepare any chocolate cake per box instructions, replacing oil, eggs and water with a can of pumpkin. I guarantee this cake will turn out very, very moist.

To prepare icing:

  • 1 cup brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup butter

  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar

  • Place the brown sugar, 1/2 cup butter, and 1/3 cup heavy cream in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil while stirring to blend until smooth. Cook until sugar is dissolved. Whisk in the confectioner's sugar, and drizzle over the cake immediately.

    I have trouble making things LOOK pretty but trust me this was really delicious.

    How can I be mad about breaking my shoulder, breaking my wrist, having surgery, a wrecked car, having surgery #2, moving half way across the country, having another surgery with one more planned or a silly little phone?  Hahaha  One thing all this has taught me is that the little things really don't matter and life is really all about licking the spoon? 

    Saturday, September 25, 2010

    Veggie and Fruit Loot

    Everyone slept in this morning until about 8:30.  I guess that night swim was a really good idea.  Guess what we'll be doing again tonight? 

    Part Deux
    Since I was up and moving the kids George begged me to make pumpkin pancakes.  If you've never made them they're really quite easy.  All I do is add about 1/4 of a can of pumpkin to a regular batch of pancakes and add pumpkin pie spice too.  I don't know how much.  I'm not much of a measuring type of girl (unless I don't know what I'm doing).  Oh wait, then I must be a measuring type of girl... one palmful then! 

    They turned out great as usual.  If you like pumpkin this is definitely the way to go.  If you don't then you're just weird (Hi Maria). 

    We had a soccer game and a hockey game today as per the usual Saturday routine.  I intended to go to a farmer's market in between games.  Psyched to come home with beautiful fruits and veggies to feed my family we headed over with $14 cash and hope and dreams.

    Do you detect a single fruit or vegetable among these stands?  Ok well you can't really see so I'll tell you.  NO!  Since when does a farmer's market mean homemade jewelry and water filters?  I wanted honeycrisp apples damn it! 

    Defeated I did what any good woman would do.  I ate!  We headed to Jason's Deli and when we pulled in I saw this little delight. 

    Ok maybe it wasn't EXACTLY what I was looking for but it turned out to be pretty awesome.  I'd describe it as a mini whole foods.  Everything I bought today was grown at least in the US.  I bought as local as I could and I got it all for less than I took in to the non farmers farmers market. 

    Doesn't it just look pretty?

    Those grapes were $0.69 per pound.  The whole thing cost less than $2.  STHU!

    What did I do with my loot?  I made veggie pizza.  Leave me alone.  They're my veggies and I can do with them what I like.  I'm not a rabbit, I'm an American and I like ranch.  There I said it!  Hey I'm still eating veggies! 

    Ok there were chips and burgers too! Now judge! 

    Truth be told it was all for George because I know he was missing his friends today all tailgating at Penn State.  Truth be told so was I!

    Love you Laura.. I know you're watching over us!
    I miss you friends!  All of you! 

    Do you live close to friends and family or far away?  How do you deal with it if you live far away?

    Friday, September 24, 2010

    Something About Nothing

    I'll be honest.  NOTHING exciting happened today.  Do you really want to hear about more PT appointments, running here and there to get this and that kid, and a mediocre dinner?  I didn't think so. 

    I will tell you about a few good things that went on today but first things first. 

    I'm going to be posting my daily workouts just to hold myself accountable.  I am also going to keep track of my shoulder "measurements" and improvements.  Feel free to skip ahead if you don't give a $@#%.

    PT: 1 hour stretch and strengthen shoulder
    Rowing Machine:   15 minutes 2200 meters.  I've never done this before and it is HARD!
    1/2 hour stretch and strengthen shoulder at gym
    Elliptical:  15:12 1.72 miles

    Shoulder:  160 degrees (started at less than 90 degrees)
    External rotation:  55 degrees (started at -10 degrees)

    Admittedly not my best workout day but I am REALLY sore and trying to focus on not losing any motion in my shoulder.  There are only so many hours in the day people!  

    So, things I liked about today:

    Target will now give you $0.05 for every reusable bag you use in their store. Even if you are just purchasing them.

    SWYPE... You MUST get this in your life.  Nuff said.  I texted just so I could swype. 

    Ikea now has "childcare" for while the parental units are shopping

    and my kids were dying to get in

    Night Swim
    I'm currently in the process of reading Run Like a Mother:  How to Get Moving-- and Not Lose Your Family, Job, and Sanity compliments of my friend Tracey.  Thanks Trace!

    (Amazon description) In Run Like a Mother, authors Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea offer both inspirational advice and practical strategies to help multitasking women make running part of their busy lives.
    McDowell and Shea understand the various external and internal forces in everyday life that can unintentionally keep a wife--mother--working woman from lacing up her shoes and going for a run. Because the authors are multihyphenates themselves, Run Like a Mother is driven by their own running expertise and real-world experience in ensuring that running is part of their lives.
    More than a book, Run Like a Mother is essentially a down-to-earth, encouraging conversation with the reader on all things running, with the overall goal of strengthening a woman's inner athlete.
    Of course, real achievement is a healthy mix of inspiration and perspiration, which is why the authors have grounded Run Like a Mother in a host of practical tips on shoes, training, racing, nutrition, and injuries, all designed to help women balance running with their professional and personal lives.

    More importantly I will be giving my full review of the book by the end of next week.  Mark your google calendar. You don't want to miss it!  Also I'll be unveiling my MARATHON TRAINING PLAN!  EEK!

    That's all folks! 

    Thursday, September 23, 2010

    Weights and Measures

    Dear Texas:

    This isn't the first time I have had to write you.  Remember when we talked about Elementary school starting at 7:30 am?  WTH? Yeah well it is me again and I have another problem.  Please take a look at the calendar it is September 23rd.  Fall has officially begun.  You may now act like a good little boy (?) and give me some cool, crisp air so I can wear a sweatshirt and have successful runs. 



    The above rant was brought on after my early afternoon "run".  I use the term run very loosely.  It was, in fact, a mere jog.  It was hot and I knew the run was going to be brutal but I just couldn't bear to go to the gym.  (Besides I didn't have time.)  So I did something I've never done before.  I did the unthinkable, something I never thought I would do.  I ran in nothing but a sports bra.  Yes I did wear shorts but I didn't wear a shirt.   It was liberating.   Not sure I'll ever do it again.  There were pics... don't think I can share them. 

    11:53 am
    Mile 1:  11:58
    Mile 2:  12:09
    Mile 3:   11:30
    Mile 4:  11:54
    Last .2:  2:17 (11:40 pace)
    4.2 miles
    11:52 average

    Yikes!  I say the heat definitely does NOT agree with me.  I set out to do a slow 5 miles but I didn't think it would be THAT slow.  I promised myself I would just listen to my body and not let my garmin dictate how fast I would run.  Whatever my body told me to do I would do.  Well Body, thanks for the painstakingly slow pace!  I also didn't do 5 miles because I ran out of water at 3 miles and when I was passing home at 4.2 miles well 4.2 miles seemed good enough. 

    I got home from my run shortly before 1:00 and chose eating over a shower as I had to leave to get the kids by 1:15.    Ella and Jack had their 5 year old and 3 year old check-ups respectively today.  While in the Doctor's office I leaned over and asked Nicholas if I smelled badly.  (I had washed my face, underarms, changed shirts and put on deodorant but I needed to be sure.)  He bent forward *sniff sniff* and said, "Yeah mom, you smell like chocolate."  Apparently I sweat chocolate.  I wouldn't have been surprised if he said pumpkin (I've had a few muffins) but chocolate.  Really?  At least I didn't smell terrible. 

    The beginning of the well appointments started off great.  Heart rates and blood pressure we can handle.

    By the time there was mention of shots we were in full on melt down mode.  Well Ella was, Jack was still off in fa la la la la land. 

    Saving these pictures to show future prom dates

    Ella weighed in at 36 pounds and is 3' 5" landing her in the 25th percentile for each category.  Jack E. Bear weighed in at 32 pounds at an even 3 feet.  He is also in the 25th percentile for height but 50th percentile for weight. 

    The doctor had a few suggestions for his eating habits.  I had a few suggestions for him too but I like to think of this as a family blog so we'll leave it at that. 

    How can a person just look at someone and decide they NEED to be making better food choices.  Besides they were going 40 mph how did they get a good look at me anyway? I knew I should have worn a shirt.