Monday, November 24, 2014

Monday's Musings

Hello....I would love to say that I have a million awesome interesting things to tell you about my weekend for Tara's Weekend Update...but, then I would be lying and I don't want to do that to you ;)

Because I had a miraculously lazy weekend...prepare yourself for a case of Monday Randomness.....


I seriously CANNOT get enough The Blacklist. If you haven't watched this show you are definitely missing out! We spent most of our weekend partaking in a Netflix binge-fest. I would say we watched close to 11 episodes...no wonder I had such weird dreams last night :)


After my marathon I took a much needed break to let my body heal and recover properly. I had initially planned on 2 weeks of "easy" mileage and then getting back into 20-25 mile weeks to get me through winter and prepare for my spring half-marathons. Unfortunately, my body (and mind) had other ideas :) It has taken me a few more weeks than I planned...but I think I am finally back in the swing of things. I had originally made a goal to run 100 miles in November....but as you can see above, I will most likely not reach that....unless I run 50 miles this week...and that is NOT going to happen :)


Me weekend "long" run was amazing! Not only was it close to 60 degrees, but I felt great the whole time and could have kept going...I am trying to build back up my mileage slowly to avoid injury...so I made myself stop at 8 :)


This morning I got up bright and early and ran a practice 5k. I am running my final race of 2014 in 2 weeks and I wanted to see where I was at speed wise so I could decide if I was going to run the Santa Dash 5k for fun or to "race" Even after this morning's run I am still undecided on what I will do. Marathon training and my weeks of "recovery" sure have done a number on my speed. This morning's run was a little less than 2 minutes away from a PR which seems close and isn't terrible...but it was brutal. The fact that I didn't throw up was a win. I guess what I am saying is that it will be a game time decision :)


While I was recovering hardly running at all, I took it upon myself to eat as terribly as possible. I justified it by saying "I earned" it....but truth is...I'm not a dog and fast food isn't a "treat" or something that I earn. About 2 weeks ago I decided to get my act together and I started logging my calories in My Fitness Pal. I also decided to pay less attention to calories and more to my macros. 

Let me tell you...I think after 2 weeks I have a little bit better of an idea of how to get all my required protein/fat/carbs...but it's definitely not easy. I struggle with getting enough protein...at the end of the day I am usually short 15-20 grams and I am struggling to find low-carb, low-fat options to increase my protein intake. Any suggestions are definitely welcome!!


As my New Year's Resolution to run a race each month comes to a close I find myself wanting to sign up for ALLTHERACES in 2015. I almost want to do this resolution again...but I know that's silly...and my bank account will have none of it, so I am going to have to find other options :) 


Since I have been counting my macros meal-planning has become a necessary evil. I have a love/hate relationship with it. I LOOOOVE having everything ready to go during the week....but I hate making a grocery list, shopping, and preparing. I need a personal chef! Turkey burgers are definitely my new favorite...not only are the loaded with protein, but they are delicious and SO easy to prepare!


I hate...I repeat HATE deer. I have what some would call an irrational fear of deer...I however, think it's perfectly rational. These dangerous creatures are unpredictable. If they will run into the side of a car who is to say they won't run into me??? I am seeing them everywhere on my go-to trail. I'm thinking I might have to relocate for the fall/winter.


I am officially registered for the Heartland 39.3 series this spring! I will be running 3 half-marathons in 5 weeks! I ran it last year and had a blast! This year my goal is to be more consistent with my finish times and obviously to be faster :) I am reading Hanson's Half Marathon Method right now and deciding if it is the right training plan for my lofty goals. It looks pretty intense...but I am thinking it might be my best approach :)

Alright, I am imagining you are more than done with my randomness...there are a million other things bouncing around in my brain this morning (I blame my pre-workout) but I will spare you....for today :) 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Longview Half and Too Much Vodka

I rarely drink...I spent most of 2014 training for races, so my Friday and Saturday nights were often spent going to bed early and waking up feeling like a human being.

This weekend...I more than made up for all of those nights I didn't go out this year. Oh boy...The morning after, I was reminded as to why I never minded being the sober one when we would go out. 

Waking up Sunday morning was a less than pleasant experience...I may or may not have said "I'm never drinking again" and here I am 4 days later and I still feel the same way. Recovering from a late night out in my 30's  is very different from when I was 21.

 
 Also note...Partying in your old college town and acting like a college student is a bad idea. 

I had planned on linking up with Tara over at Running N' Reading again this week and having a "Weekend Update" ready on Monday...but let's just say this old lady was in bed by 7:45 on Sunday night and then I think I might have made it to 8:15 Monday night. I'll say it one more time....Never.Drinking.Again!

 
I am going to go ahead and blame the copious amounts of alcohol that I consumed on the Longview Half marathon that I ran on Saturday. I signed up for this race back in August...when I was complaining about the heat. I couldn't wait for a nice fall half-marathon and I thought it would be a good way to keep myself on track after my marathon. Also...the shirts (long sleeve, half-zips) were cute. Yep...you caught me...I signed up for this race only for the half-zip and the awesome medal...I'm THAT girl :) 

 

Well...present me is kicking past me in the behind for signing up for this race. Not only am I still struggling with the desire to run much more than 5 or 6 miles...but the Polar Vortex has reared its ugly head here in Kansas and it is showing NO mercy. We are talking January/February type weather...BOO!! 

I did not...I repeat did NOT want to run this race. I seriously contemplated my first DNS and signing up for a virtual run (and running it on the treadmill) to get my November race in. However, at packet pick-up I got my hands on that sweet half-zip and I knew I wanted to be able to wear it...and there was no way I would wear it without running the race...so, that left me no choice. Running in Hoth would be happening.


This race was definitely not my best....my worst actually...but I survived and I get to wear my half-zip ;) All in all I would say the race was just okay. The course was pretty boring. Long stretches of highway (minus the few miles by the lake- BRR!!!) and pretty hilly.

 The parking situation wasn't great...AJ's brother ended up signing up for the race last minute and all they had were VIP registrations...so luckily he had VIP parking. Except...AJ ended up leaving to get a drink and kill some time while he waited and then couldn't get back in to the parking lot. He had to park almost a mile away and walk back to meet us at the finish line...which then meant that Brian and I had to walk back to the car after the race. Walking a mile in the cold after barely surviving 13.1 miles? No thanks...


While I had a PR for my slowest half-marathon, AJ's brother set an actual PR! He is seriously a running machine...and Saturday is no exception. He finished in 1:28:13, got 2nd place in his age group, and 9th overall. WHAT??? Hopefully I will be as cool as he is someday...probably not...but at least I get to say I know him :) 

So, during the race I wanted to quit...at mile 2, mile 4, mile 6, mile 7, 8 , 9 , 10 , 11, 12, and even mile 13...so I kept promising myself that if I finished that I would reward myself with all the beverages that night ;) So...like I said before...it's the Longview Half Marathons fault that I felt so terrible Sunday morning (and Monday and Tuesday)


While I keep complaining about how terrible I felt AFTER a night out...I have to say that it was definitely worth it. A night out with these ladies is definitely good for the soul and a night out in your old college town? Bad for the liver :)


Happy Hour in a college town is dangerous...My tab was seriously $8.50 :) 


This is when things went downhill...Fireball shots. Seriously, when I say I rarely drink...I mean it. So believe me when I say I NEVER take shots. This was my first (and last) shot of Fireball...yikes!

Don't worry...it's Wednesday now and I am feeling almost human again :)


Monday, November 10, 2014

Weekend Update

 Since marathon training has ended I have been doing a lot of this


And a lot of this....
 

I definitely haven't hated all the extra time I have had lately. I finally got caught up on all my favorite shows and I am even getting close to finishing the book I have been reading since August (pathetic right)

On top of all of that I finally have a social life again! I've really missed going out on the weekends and spending time with friends.


And now that I have a social life I can finally participate in one of my favorite blogger's link-ups! Tara over at Running 'N' Reading hosts a "Weekend Update" every Monday where you can share what you did over the weekend.

I have wanted to participate since she started it...but you see...during training my weekends looked a lot like this...


Now my weekends look like this!!!



I mean...we went to dinner and then came home to have some wine and work on a puzzle...so I guess my weekends still aren't THAT cool :) 


But seriously, I forgot how much fun putting together a puzzle was!! I also had no idea that my competitive side would also come out during this activity. AJ and I ended up staying up until around 1:30 because we HAD to finish the puzzle! 2 bottles of wine later...success :)


Gracie was over it...it was WAY past her bed time and she had no qualms about letting us know she was annoyed :)


As if our Friday night of "puzzling" didn't let you know that we were really cool...Saturday morning we went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond to buy new pillows. Pretty sure we tested out EVERY pillow in that place. After that exhilarating experience we decided to get switch things up and go to the grocery store instead of waiting until Sunday like we usually do so that we wouldn't have to leave the house at all on Sunday (yep...official cool status)


Saturday night we got cooler okay? We headed to dinner at 75th Street Brewery and I had this incredible drink. Not sure what it is called anymore...it had Ginger Beer and Vodka in it...that's all you need to know :)


After dinner we headed to Westport to celebrate Vanessa's birthday at "Off Key" karaoke bar. Brian rented out a private room with our own personal karaoke set-up! Seriously...BEST.IDEA.EVER!


This was early in the night and Brian didn't want any pictures during his performance...don't worry as the night went on, people cared less and less about pictures :)
 

AJ was definitely in his element. I'm not sure how many different songs he "performed" but the song he sang with our waitress was definitely my favorite :)


Needless to say this birthday was a hit! 

I had originally planned on getting up early on Sunday morning to get in a 4-mile Veteran's Day trail run with the Trail Nerds...but we stayed out much later than I had anticipated the night before and when my alarm went off, I quickly hit snooze and decided that I would skip my run and go back to bed. This is yet another perk of not following a training schedule. 


However, since it was World Run Day and absolutely gorgeous outside, I knew that I would definitely be getting out for a run later in the day.


I've been in such a rut with my 3-4 mile easy paced recovery runs that I decided to switch things up a little bit. I decided I would run to the track (1 mile away) and then do some intervals. I had intentions of doing 400M repeats, but changed my mind quickly...200Ms into the first 400 to be exact :)

I decided that 8x200M repeats would have to do for now. I was really pleased with my pace. I haven't done any speed-work in over a month and I was still able to keep around a 6 minute mile pace for all 8 of my 200s.

I ended with a 1-mile cool-down run home. Even though I contemplated calling for a ride home :)


After my run I came home got cleaned up and began prepping my lunches for this week. I have been so terrible with eating lately and I decided to stop putting it off for "next week" and get my act together. Not only is prepping my lunches healthier...but it makes my mornings a lot less hectic! 

So....next weekend I am running the Longview Half and right now this is the projected forecast....


That should be fun ;) 

Good news is...that after the race I will be heading down to Pittsburg, Ks with a couple of friends to celebrate my good friend Jessica's birthday! Not only are we going to have a fun girl's weekend...but I will have more material for next week's post that proves that I do in fact have a social life :)

If you haven't already or you are visiting from the "Thankful for my Followers" giveaway you can find my giveaway HERE
Wednesday, November 5, 2014

What now?



First things first...if you are stopping by from the "Thankful for my Followers" blog hop or you haven't had a chance to enter my giveaway you can find it and the links to all the other fabulous blogs/giveaways here!

Alright, down to business :)

A lot has happened in the last few weeks....

1) I ran my first marathon (and loved it)


2) I turned 30 (eek!)


3) I reached my goal of 1,000 miles for 2014 (2 months ahead of schedule-woo!!)


and finally

4) I have really been focusing on my health and fitness....NOT!

 

After my marathon, I thought I would give myself a break. I have just spent the last 18 weeks following a strict training plan and watching what I ate and drank. I told myself that for 2 weeks after my race that I would go easy on my running, eat and drink whatever I wanted....and then by week 3 I would get back at it.

 
Well guess what...here I am half-way through week 3 and I am telling myself "I'll start next week"

I recognize this...I know where this is headed. I will do this and say this for the next few weeks or months...it's a vicious cycle really. 

 

I can be a VERY motivated person...but I can also swing to the opposite end of that. Prior to the race I wouldn't dare skip a run or workout. I would get up at 4AM to fit in a run on a busy day, I would force myself out the door in the pouring rain, and I would choose my training run over going out with friends. 


Now...this is how I feel about running and working out.

Gracie has been very lazy as well :)

However, no matter how much I have enjoyed not getting up early to run and eating/drinking whatever I darn well please, I am starting to feel the effects. I am sluggish and tired. I don't have nearly as much energy as before (it's crazy how that works) and I know I have to stop this vicious cycle NOW!! There is no waiting until next week (or the next...or the next) to get myself back into the swing of things. I need to commit and do it now. 

Problem is...I need a race or something to work toward. After the Longview Half this weekend I don't have anything planned. I am going to run a fun "Santa Run" for my December race, but I am just looking forward to enjoying this run and not "racing" it.

I think I am going to have to find a different goal outside of running a race. I am seriously contemplating joining Kosama again and getting back into their group classes and maybe participate in one of their challenges. I definitely want to scale back my weekly mileage and give my body a "run break" until early this spring when I start training for the Heartland 39.3 series. I dont' know...I just can't decide what is the best (most likely to be successful) option for me right now.

Who knows...I can always decide next week, right? ;)


Have you ever been in a fitness/running rut?
Any tips or ideas on how to get out of it?