A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Happy Birthday, Momma!

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Today, my mom is celebrating one more year of being on this beautiful planet! If you are lucky enough to have my mom in your life, you already know about her wonderful qualities! In the event that you don't know my mom, allow me to tell you a little bit about what makes her awesome!

1. My mom has an infectious laugh, Okay, it's a cackle. I have been lucky enough to inherit this laugh from her.

2. My mom is determined. If you want something done, she will get it done.

3. My mom is always there for me when I call her crying. She listens to me blubber and makes me feel better.

4. My mom is FUN! She is always positive and in a good mood.

5. My mom is honest. If you want her opinion on something, she'll give it to you.



Happy Birthday to the best mom a gal could ask for! If you weren't my mom, I'm sure you would be my friend!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Training, Taper, Race Plan, and Nerves!

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Ah, the saga of taper week. Taper week messes with my mind! I ran 8 miles yesterday morning and the entire time I was hyper aware of every single niggle, pull of a muscle, and hot spot. During the 8 miles I diagnosed myself with a variety of injuries. 

Why is every part of my body injured right before my race???? I wondered. Then I realized that I am not injured. My mind is playing tricks on me. These normal running feelings occur all the time, it's just that I don't always fixate on them because they are nothing. But when a race looms in the future, every little "feeling" is THE END OF THE WORLD.

I hate it. Why do I race? It's absurd. I am trying to train my body to run at peak performance on a specified day and time. No matter how I feel that day- tired, headache, got the poops, whatever, on Saturday morning at 9am I am expecting myself to perform at a certain level. WHY? Attention? Awards? I don't know. 

Ultimately I wanted to work hard and push myself to see what I can do. I am not competing against anyone on Saturday except myself. 

What I am MOST proud of is my training. Even if I shit the bed at the race- much like I did at BDR, I have completed really hard training runs. I hit paces on the treadmill I have never reached during training before. I ran tempo runs faster than I ever have. And my body held up! I am happy for that. Now it's time to perform.

By the time you're reading this, I have zero runs until my race. I ran 5 miles this morning, and now I'm done until race day. I like to taper hard. 2-3 days rest from running is what I enjoy before I race I am trying to do well at. Those couple days are not fun, but I do it because I know it works for me!

And now for my race plan/goals. I hate putting it out there because I feel like I am jinxing myself... even though I don't believe in jinxes!

A Goal: <1:12:30 (7:15 pace)
B Goal: None.

I know it is bad to just have one pie in the sky goal, but I'd be lying if I said I'd be disappointed with anything other than my A Goal. I mean, unless we are running into the wind for several miles, I will be disappointed if I don't reach my A Goal.

My race plan is to run even splits. I trained myself during tempo runs to try to run as evenly as possible and I worked myself up to 9 miles at tempo. Lots of these tempo runs were done on tired legs, so I am secretly hoping with a proper taper, I have a bit more energy on race days and a 7:15 pace feels a little easier than it did during training runs. If I am feeling good, I will allow myself to crank it up a bit for the last 2-3 miles... but not before that. And if I can't, I will try to stick to my prescribed pace. I really just want to run the race I trained for.

I'm not sure what the weather is going to be like yet- probably anywhere between 35-45. I didn't pick out Flat Megan yet, I will probably do that on Thursday. I do keep checking out the route on the race website, but every time I do that I have to run to the bathroom. Just typing in the website address makes me have to poop!
So there ya have it, all my hopes and dreams for the Capitol 10 miler this Saturday. Thanks for listening!

Do tapers make you crazy?
Did you ever have ONLY and A Goal?

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Hot Topics!

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On Wednesday afternoon, I was watching a very old episode of Sex and the City. It was from 1998 and was titled, "The Baby Shower". This is the episode in which Carrie fears she's pregnant and the four gals travel to Connecticut to attend their friend Lainey's baby shower.

While the four main characters' views on motherhood ranged from "Hell no!" (Samantha) to "I can't wait to have a baby!" (Charlotte), they were all genuinely surprised when they heard Lainey had finally "settled down" and was having a baby.

(Can I just mention my absolute favorite part of this episode is when Samantha calls Lainey a bitch when she steals Charlotte's secret baby name... "Shayla". I love that Samantha is extremely loyal to her friends and immediately defends them.)

The secret baby name stealer!!!!

I have never gotten much backlash over my very vocal decision not to have children. And what I love about women in this day in age is that 99.99999% of us are totally happy with women making their own decision over whether to have children or not. I don't see mothers looking down at child free women over their decision and I don't look at child free women looking down on mothers. Most of us look at each other and say, "Good for you! I am glad you are happy!"

(I know many couples struggle with infertility, and that is a whole other issue I have no business touching. When I refer to child free women, I am referring to those that are child free by choice.) 

The truth is, women are more liberated when we all support EACH OTHER.

Do you have a secret baby name?

Have you ever faced judgement or criticism for your decision on whether or not to have children?

Who is your favorite SATC character?

Monday, March 28, 2016

Weekend Wrap Up!

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We had a three day weekend due to the Easter holiday so since Thursday was my "Friday", I'm including it in this post!


My workout was an upper body lifting session, but I can't remember exactly what I did because I waited to long to type this up! You know I am a creature of habit, so picture what I do for all my other lifting sessions and that's probably what I did- minus the glute stuff, to be nice to the pain in my ass!

Work was so busy. It was beautiful outside and I just couldn't wait until 3:40 so I could go out into the beautiful sunshine!

Does your S.O. send you funny texts or emails throughout the day? Paul sometimes comes up with a zinger. I got an email with this picture attached. The text is below...

"March 24th, 2016 - Water bowl incident at 10:52am. Suspects: Christmas and/or Jelly. The water bowl was moved 3 feet away from it's normal position. This happened 8 minutes before their feeding time. An act of rebellion?

Detective Cooney: I think this was a 2 man job. Christmas and Jelly both moved the bowl off of the towel. Jelly took it from there. Notice, there wasn't a lot of water on the floor. Only a swift and agile kitty like Jelly could move the bowl 3 feet without spilling a lot of water. 

Christmas and jelly will plead their case in kitty court soon."

He is so funny!!!

After work, my friends came over for Girls Night. We are all music teachers, so we had a lot of things in common to talk about. Unfortunately, there are no pictures because I was having too much fun to take pictures!

I slept hard on Friday morning and didn't crawl out of bed until Jelly woke me up at 11. After some coffee, I geared up for my "test the waters" run. I am excited to tell you that I was able to run 5 miles with zero pain before, during, and after the run.

After my run, Paul and I went to our favorite diner for breakfast. Then we walked off the bacon with a beautiful 5 mile hike on the Appalachian Trail. We started at Boiling Springs and did an out and back. Despite being on chemo, he has been feeling really good. He's trying to incorporate exercise back into his life.

When I got home, a package had arrived!

My friend Donna sent me Bernie Sanders socks! My feet are Feelin' the Bern!!!

That evening, I had dinner and a puzzle!

Hot air balloons pair well with a turkey burger salad.

I slept hard again but managed to roll out of bed at 10. Then Paul and I headed to the Conewago Trail. The plan was for me to run 8 easy miles and him to walk 4 miles. I ended up only running 6 and walking 2 due to feeling that pain in my ass. It wasn't a pain that was unbearable to run through, I just wanted to be cautious since my race is a week away. 

I was feeling down about it, but Paul cheered me up. "It's good you stopped," he said. "Today's run isn't important but your race is important," he said. I can always count on him for support.

I will be honest, I was a little blue for the rest of the day. Paul was hanging out with a friend and I was at home alone. Normally I like alone time, but that pain in my ass had me worried and being alone just had me blue. I was craving a vanilla milkshake so that is exactly what I got. A yummy end to a yucky day.

You will notice I always wear this "outfit". It is my favorite pjs outfit. When I sleep, I take the pants and sweatshirt off and just wear the nightie.

My brother called me in the morning and I got to talk to him, so that was a nice treat! He informed me he started barefoot running, which is quite interesting. He only does it in the grass though. He says it gives him zero aches and pains. This is not something I am going to try anytime soon, but I am thrilled that it works for him!

Then instead of running like I wanted to, I had a lifting session at home.

Pull Ups- 1x4
Band Asst. Wide Grip Pull Up- 4x6
Row- 4x8x25lb, 1x10x25lb
Bicycle Crunches- 5x40
Band Asst. Neutral Grip Pull Ups- 4x8
Stability Ball Pull Ins- 5x15
Bicep Curls- 5x10x20lb
Plank w/ Row- 5x10x10lb

Easter was celebrated at my parent's house, as it is every year. They still get us Easter baskets and mine had some electrolyte jelly beans in it!

There was an egg hunt. My nieces, Ellie and Clementine rocked it in their new Easter hats!

On our way home, we stopped to visit my Grandma. She has been working on a puzzle that she just could not seem to finish. She had a couple pieces in the wrong spot, so I helped her fix it up and she insisted I finish it because she had quite enough of it. My Grandma is the person who got me into puzzles. Ever since she sent Paul and I home with a 100 piece puzzle a little over a year ago, I have been addicted! I dedicate my love of puzzles to her!


When we got home, we ate dinner, watched Survivor, and I did a puzzle (of course!). Can you think of a better way to end a long weekend I can't!

If you celebrate, what did you do on Easter Sunday?
Have you ever hiked on the AT?
What is the craziest pair of socks you own?

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Hiking with my Honey on the Appalachian Trail

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On Friday I had the day off work, and it was glorious! The weather was perfect. After my run, Paul and I went to our favorite diner right down the street. I got the usual: Coffee, orange juice, water, 2 eggs over easy, wheat bread, home fries, and bacon. I cleaned my plate before Paul was even halfway done with his Western omelette.

Then we headed to Boiling Springs to hike North on the Appalachian Trail. This is an area of the trail I used to run all the time, but I haven't been here in quite awhile. It was nice to revisit a place I used to spend so much time.

Paul has been wearing my Garmin and going on a lot of neighborhood walks during the day. He was excited to show me that he became a faster walker since the last time we hiked. (I am a really fast walker, and normally I have to slow down significantly when we hike together... which is kind of annoying. I inherited my fast walking skills from my mom!)

Well, he has gotten a lot faster (despite being on freaking chemo) and it was actually uncomfortable for me to keep up with him! I guess that's how he used to feel when I would walk too fast!

We got to walk through the horse field and the little buddies were out!

Susan, check out Paul's Colorado Pride!!

We did an out and back totaling 5 miles... and we didn't see a single snake!
Have you ever hiked on the AT? Come visit me! I will take you! :)

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Weekly Workout Recap!

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Hola! I am quite chipper right now because I am cautiously optimistic that my hamstring/glute saga has come to an end! The short story is that I ran 5 miles yesterday and nothing hurt before, during, or after. The long story is detailed in the post below! Thanks for all your comments on my post about it! I really appreciate it!

Saturday- Race pace run day! I hit my marks, but it sucked. I did 2 miles to warm up and cool down and 9 miles at race pace. This was my last race pace run before the Capitol 10 miler!

Sunday- It had been almost a week since I lifted, so I did an upper body workout at home. I did not have a lot of energy so I did a little lighter weights than normal. It's weird, two weeks ago I felt so strong, but today, I felt weak. I also did hip/glute/core work. Then I went for a leisurely 3.5 mile walk with my friend. For some reason, long runs energize me, but long walks make me so tired!

Monday- 6 mile neighborhood run. My mp3 player shit the bed right before my run, so unfortunately I had to run in silence. I have no clue what my pace was because my Garmin kept losing satellites. Nothing was working!

Tuesday- 8 mile neighborhood run. Again, I knew my Garmin was losing satellites because it said one of my miles clocked at 8:46 and I knew that was wrong. I ran until my Garmin said 8.0, then I went home and used mapped my run and confirmed I actually ran 8.25 miles.

Wednesday- My last speed session before my race!!! This treadmill workout felt good and it shouldn't have. I warmed up with 1.5 miles. I started out with an 8:34 pace but then I bumped it up to 8:00. The plan was 400s. I wasn't sure how many I was going to do or how long I was going to let myself recover in between. This is what I ended up with: 13x400 @ 6:22 pace!!!!

In between, I had 400 recovery @ 8:00 pace. When I got to 10, I didn't feel horrible, so I figured I could do two more. When I got to 12, I was still feeling strong, so I added one more for lucky number 13! I suppose if I was able to do 13 of these, maybe I wasn't going fast enough. Maybe I should have only done 10, but at a faster pace. But I seriously had no clue how I was going to feel by the end, and 6:22 is the fastest I have ever run that many 400s sooo... I guess I just never thought I'd be able to do that many!

I cooled down with 1.75 miles to make it an "even" 9.75 miles for the morning. The bad part is that after my cool down, I did some walking and my hamstring felt weird. By the time I got to work, I had a pain in my ass! I stretched a lot throughout the day and did some foam rolling. UGH. I felt great these past six weeks and now this!

Thursday- Lower body REST, thanks to the surprise pain in the ass from the day before. I'm not messing around. I stretched, foam rolled, and lifted upper body. The PITA was gone but I could feel the hammy faintly.

Friday- A run to test the waters and then a hike with Paul. I was very scared to run, so I started out easy. Every step made me nervous. I was hyper aware of every single niggle. It was no way to run. I told myself to just relax, forget about it, listen to my podcast, and if something hurt, my body would let me know. So that's what I did. As I approached mile 3, I was super excited that I felt fine. But then I thought about my speed session, and how I felt awesome until I was walking afterward. So after 3 miles, I made myself walk a quarter mile. Nothing. So I finished with 2 miles and walked another quarter mile. All good. Whew. I was cautiously optimistic. Later on, I went for a 5 mile hike with Paul. Everything was still ship shape. Let's hope it stays that way!
How were your workouts this week?