Thursday, January 31, 2013

January Foodie Pen Pals Reveal

This month I received a package from blog reader Gina. Everything she sent was new to me! About half of the items were local things from Ohio, which I love!

Low Fat Grand-ola Bar from the Schlabach Amish Bakery- notice how it's just an empty package? Yep, it didn't last long. A homemade soft granola bar is right up my alley!

Pr* Bar iced brownie- I love the name- Personal Record Nutrition Bar. I haven't tried this yet but with 15 grams of protein, I'll definitely enjoy it after an upcoming long run.

Moser Roth Orange & Almond Dark European Chocolate bar- This is definitely not something I would've bought for myself because I don't typically pair fruits and chocolate, but I love almonds. The best part is that what looks like a large chocolate bar actually contains several smaller, individually wrapped chocolate bars. The perfect size for a quick treat!

Manischewitz Vegetable w/ Mushrooms Soup Mix- I love soup and I'm looking forward to making this!

Made Flavored Soft Licorice, made in Australia- this is something I'd never heard of and again, not something I ever would've bought. But it's something I can share with the whole family and again, it's the right size for a quick treat!

Locust Lane Homestyle Elderberry Jelly & Sugar Chalet Maple Mustard (both locally made)- I haven't had the chance to try these yet, but I love getting local homemade goodies!

Thank you Gina, for a wonderful box filled with local goodies that are all new to me! I really need to get better about trying the items I get before I post about them. I usually put them aside and don't even put them away in my kitchen until after I've posted. But that's whack! I'll do better next time. :)

And as always, thanks to Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean for starting and running this great program. Anyone can join in on the fun! Just click the link and look for the tab about Foodie Pen Pals.

The Lean Green Bean

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Speedwork and January recap

I'm so happy with how this month has gone. I've been consistently running twice a week (missed 1 Tuesday because Jack was sick) and haven't missed a long run. Occasionally things come up on the weekends and before I know it, it's Sunday afternoon and I haven't done my long run. I'm trying to make it more of a priority and getting it done on Saturday.

This past Saturday we were pretty busy. Jack and I had an awesome 3 hour lunch with a friend and Sidney and I had our first night out together in over 3 years! Can you believe it? Jack spent the night with some friends who have a daughter the same age. I was worried because it would be my first night away from him, but I knew he'd be fine and we were really looking forward to (and needed) a night out! He did great, falling asleep in 10 minutes and sleeping until 8:15 the next morning. Woohoo!!

Sidney and I enjoyed dinner and a comedy show and a solo breakfast at IHOP the next morning. We ended up spending the morning with Jack at our friend's house and left around 12:30. Sidney put Jack down for a nap while I did my run. My goal was to run 6 for the second week in a row and move to 7 this week. I finished with 6.6! 

Slow and steady, right? I'm always so proud of myself for running the entire distance and not stopping to walk any. If I needed to walk I definitely would. There are times I WANT to walk but I switch to a song that pumps me up or I say motivational things to keep me going. It's not easy to keep going when you want to stop. But you might find you can do amazing things if you just break past those barriers!

Last night I met a group for a 5 mile speed workout. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. We ran at a park I had never been to before that has a 1/2 mile loop. I was thinking it might get boring running the same loop for 5 miles. We did a 1 mile warm-up, then the plan was to do 5 800's with a 400 recovery. So basically run a fast half mile, recover for a quarter mile, and repeat. The first one was definitely the hardest. By the third I was feeling really good. We stopped for a water break and everyone agreed we didn't need the quarter mile recovery. I had been in the back for the first 2 but now I was leading the group and feeling strong. I even finished doing an all out sprint. I did a solo cool-down lap and all in all had a really great run! I'm always amazed at what I can do and running with others definitely pushes me. I'm glad I have this group to run with on Tuesdays!

Last January I ran a total of 6.35 miles between 2 runs. Nothing to write home about. I'm going to finish this January with 40.25 miles!! A big difference! I'm only running twice a week right now and being that it's cold, dark, and I can't run with Jack...I'm super proud of those 40 miles!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Staying on Track

January has been going better than expected! I've been eating better, I feel better, and I'm running when I can. It's hard for me to run during the week but I've been running most Tuesdays and I always run a longer run on the weekend.

This past Saturday I ran 6.3 miles and I plan on running another 6 this weekend. Throughout February and March I'll increase my long run by 1 mile each week which should get me ready for the half on March 16th. I desperately need new shoes. Mine still have some life left but I need a new pair to get me through all these spring races. Hopefully that purchase will happen in February!

The group I've been running with on Tuesdays decided it was too cold last night and they cancelled the run. There's a coached group (part of my running club) that meets at a local high school track but the track is open to all club members, not just members of the training group. I don't have a treadmill or a gym membership so, despite the freezing temps, I headed to the track. It was 19 degrees and the coldest run I've done since 2009! It was definitely brutal and I wish I had layered even more than I did.

Before the run:

I wore a fleece headband under the balaclava (face mask) and 2 pairs of gloves! I need to wear a longer tank top or shirt under my regular shirt. Something I can tuck in to my pants. My stomach was so cold and by the end I was numb. I didn't realize just how cold and numb I was until I got in my car and started to regain feeling in multiple places. Not fun!

The training group was running intervals. Something like 6x400 with 400 recovery. I thought I would follow this plan since I can definitely stand to do some speed work (and I miss it). I started with a one mile warm up and thought I would do 3 miles total. I ended up not really following the plan. It was so cold and I just wanted it to be over so even on the recovery laps I was giving it a good effort. I ended up running 4 1/4 (with the 1/4 being the cool down) and I'm pretty sure it was the fastest I've ever run 4 miles. I use the MapMyRun app and I know it's not completely accurate. But I last ran 4 miles on Jan. 5th and my pace was 12:42. Last night my average pace was 9:56! I finished in under 44 minutes. Crazy!

I started Ripped in 30 again, with yesterday being day 1. I will eventually write a post about the various Jillian Michaels DVD's I've done. I completed the 30 day Shred in September and Ripped in 30 in October. I loved both and believe I got results from both. I just need to find something else I can do after I finish this round so that I don't spend another 2 months not doing any kind of strength training. Running is awesome and will always be my passion. But it alone will not give me the results I'm looking for. I know that now! And doing other exercises and activities will make me a better, stronger runner which is my ultimate goal!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

New Year's Day 5K

I started the year off with a great 5K. It was at the same place as the 9K I did through the woods last month and I expected this would be a cross country run as well. I was pleasantly surprised to learn it was a road race. I don't mind running on trails through the woods and in fact I'll be doing it again this Saturday, but I love road races.

Here's my lovely race photo:

And one of me and my cutie after the race!

I finished in 34:28, which I'm happy with! Definitely not my fastest, but finishing a 5K in under 35 minutes is awesome. I've decided not to worry too much about my time this year. I have so many races coming up and my only goal is to go out, have fun, and finish them in one piece. And maybe I'll PR. Maybe not. All that matters is that I'm out there doing it and having a good time.

Last night I ran 5 miles with a group of women who meets every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday to run. Sidney wasn't working and I knew I needed a weekday run (both physically and mentally!). It was supposed to be an easy run and even though I stayed in the back with another runner, I was hurting. The most I'd run in over a month was 4 miles. 5 sounded great and definitely doable. It wasn't great while I was doing it. I ran faster than I would have if I had been by myself. And afterwards I felt amazing. I was so glad I had pushed and finished the entire 5 miles, even though there were times I wanted to quit. Hopefully I can run with them more often!

It always amazes me how quickly you can build up endurance and how quickly you can lose it. I ran 13.1 miles without stopping on November 19th and now I'm struggling to run 5. It just gives me more motivation to keep going out and getting in the miles.

So far I've run a little over 12 miles this month. Last January I only ran 6.3 miles total. And last February? I ran 0. My goal is to run more every month this year compared to the same month last year. I'm on my way to 500!