Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The extra REST day

Can you guess how I am feeling today??!

I woke up feeling like a. Truck ran me over!!

My uterus is yelling at me and my quads are sore, really sore. My body is achy and my mind frame, yeah the idea of going out there in the heat and running for just 3 miles wasn't happening today. I need a little more rest. I know it has a lot to do with my TOM going on, it sucks, it drains me but on top of the 23 miles Sunday, yeah well it isn't pretty.

I do have to work tonight 130-930... So I'm resting and napping before then, well as much as I can. Instead of a XT tomorrow I'm gonna get a run in, make up the 3 miles. I normally don't run I. Days I weigh in but it's what I have to do. That scale can kick rocks anyway this week, I ran 23 miles despite what it says.

Even though I feel guilty taking an extra rest day this week since I have another on Saturday because of the wedding, it's what I have to do. It doesn't make me less of a runner or less training, it makes me human and for once listening to my body!

I hope everyone has a great Tuesday

Monday, September 1, 2014

Day After

So today was a full on rest day. I mean I had nothing planned, except the fact I had to go to Walmart to get my contacts, I desperately needed new ones. I did want to clean out my closet a bit, start working on my race bib project frame thing, go get my new running shoes, but nothing seemed at all that great, besides being lazy and laying around.

I slept in until 9. I wanted to sleep in longer but James had to get up for work, so I was up too. I made myself a quick breakfast and coffee and then shuffled my way to the couch. My hunger was back for sure today and snacking was in full effect. I laid on the couch all morning, watching shows I never would before like Wahlburgers and Killer Kids. Wahlburgers was actually pretty good and darn that Killer Kids show, sucked me in. I ate some lunch and then went right back to bed and just slept until I felt I needed to get up.

I ended up taking almost a 3 hour nap. It felt amazing. I woke up with some energy, not much and then I went to Walmart to get my stuff. Am I bummed, I didn't do anything else today. Absolutely not! This is a rest day.  A true rest day. Usually my "rest days" are also work days, so for me not to have work, or anything else going on, is beautiful. I have made my way back to couch, which I am sure I will remain for the rest of the evening. Maybe a dip in the pool.

I am closing tomorrow and Wednesday and then have a travel day Thursday. Then Friday I am on a plane to NY for the whole weekend for my best friends sister's wedding. I am so excited to get away for the weekend and see my family, even if it is just for a very quick trip. I am glad I don't have much to pack, except my running shoes and dress of course. There are some things I want to do this week before I go away, get my eye brows waxed, dye my hair, etc, but today, well it is just not one of those days.

I do have to say from that run yesterday, I feel pretty good. I am a bit sore in my calves and hips. I have a chaff and scratch on my back from the fuel belt and my shoulders and arms feel sore from the water pack, but all in all, I am not bad at all. My energy and tiredness isn't even all that bad either. I felt worse when I ran 20. I am so glad though I had today off of work, I could not go in at all for sure. But something else inside me is different too from that run. I feel stronger and that feeling of bad ass is there too. I want to tell everyone I see, I ran 23 miles yesterday and I am still standing and better than ever.

Feeling like this, I can not wait to see how I am going to be feeling after the 26.2. 40 more days and we will be finding that out. Hope everyone had a nice and relaxing Labor Day.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Task Ahead of You, is Never Greater Than The Strength Within You: Me and 23 Miles

Okay so like always I am going to be open and honest about my training runs and today is no exception. I am also going to ramble and go on and on, and probably have a bunch of grammar mistakes. And this may be very long, a lot went on in these training miles. Bare with me, I am still in a little bit of a fog because this morning I ran 23 miles.

Oh in case you over looked that and missed the post title...

23 MILES!!!!

Now most training plans don't call to do 23 miles, usually nothing over 20 BUT Jeff Galloway recommends it, his training sometimes even has you doing 29 for the elite runners. I follow is training plan called "Planned to Finish". He does having us run 26 in training and then the 26 on the marathon. While, I think that is a good idea, I really do, for me it doesn't work. One because the weeks don't seem to match up with tapering and two because, I only want to experience 26.2 miles at the marathon and that is it.

I want to run it once and once only.

I say this now, we'll see how I feel the days after the marathon when I am on a high ;0).

But in seriousness, I just wanted the one 26 miles for all kinds of reasons. I want to see my friends and family at the end, I want that emotion and everything, the highs and lows, the whole experience, there in that moment. So I decided the longest training mileage I will do will be 23. 23 felt like a healthy number.

20 was so hard for me, I knew I was going to have to do it at least 3 times, just so I can get over that mental block I had and I am so glad I did. It worked, it sucked really, really bad, but I got past that 20 and let me tell you, I knew I was going to finish this marathon in October, no doubt in my mind. Those 3.2 are going to be tough, especially with a hill at mile 24, but I am going to be feeding off the crowd and adrenaline on the day, so I just keep telling myself only 3.2 more to go.

Alrighty so this morning started off good. Last night for dinner, I had whole wheat pasta and turkey meatballs and a big salad. Made low calorie garlic bread and had some popcorn, dark chocolate raisins and some licorice while watching College Football. I know not the best choices in snacks, but come on, I was running 23 miles the next day and they did have carbs :0)

I got to bed around 10:30 after I used IcyHot on my legs. I was having some tightness in my left calve, but the icyhot helped a whole lot, even though the smell of the menthol made my BF sick lol. Also it makes you so relaxed, I know that is what helped me sleep.

I set my alarm for 4 and actually got up 20 minutes before and just laid there. I had all my gear laid out and ready to go, I just filled my water pack with NUUN fruit punch and water and my breakfast. I choose a Light English Muffin with PB because when I run the marathon, we are staying in a hotel and frozen waffles wont be an option, so I was thinking a bagel or English muffin, so perfect time to test it to make sure I would be okay with it.

The light English muffin was a little light, I did get hungry again pretty quick in the running, so I will go for a bagel the day of.

I had my Sharkie chews on my ride to downtown and the energy kicked in. I also took my multivitamin in a pill form, rather than my chews and I really think that helped too. I am switching back because of this, I felt a big difference. On my ride down, the classic rock station I listen too, played Bruce Springsteen, Born To Run.

Talk about a sign!!! I took it as a big one and instantly felt great.

I was the only one downtown at first and then this older lady, in her 80's for sure, pulled up and started running. I see her every time and she is such a motivation and inspiration to me. I mean if she could do it, I CAN DO IT. No complaints or excuses.

I felt really good this morning. The miles were a bit tough at first, but I know that is my body just warming up. Tears in Heaven came on right around mile 2 and it is my song to my dad and the wind picked up and I literally felt him with me. I mean I could see his face in my mind and his hug, it was amazing. I have felt little things here and there, or maybe I don't and just pretend I do, but today, today I could feel him in that song and in the air. It was like he was coaching me along. I blew a kiss to the sky and carried on. I felt him a lot in these miles, his birthday would be Friday and it would be a year from when I spread his ashes. See, these miles are made sense for me today.

I wasn't sure how I was going to do my route so much today. I knew I didn't want to go to south side and in the dark, so I knew I would have to do some loops. I sucked it up and just faced the facts and said, I wont be doing this mileage again down here again, the 23 that is, one time, lets just have fun with it. Plus I wanted to stay as close to bathrooms and water fountains as much as I could.

There was such a nice breeze for the first 3 hours, which was around 16 miles for me and then the evil sun came out and well it got hot and hot quickly. At mile 14.15 I stopped and peed and updated my Facebook haha.

I was having some leg pain for sure, my calves were so tight and my water intake was getting limited. The miles of 14-18 were kind of rough for me. I was so hot, my water was not hitting the spot. So I stopped again to use the restroom and splashed a ton of water on my face to get my body temp down a bit. And I stuck my head under the faucet and drank some water that way and filled up my pack yet again, 3rd time.

Can I say the one thing I hate about having to stop and pee or well other things is taking off my clothes. Jesus am I a sweaty mess, I mean I have to peel the clothes off of me and I am left in a puddle of sweat. It is quite gross, but well that's the course of action I am willing to take. I also stopped to stretch a bit, I never do that, but it was much needed. I was having a moment at these miles too. I even thought at one point, I could call James and he would come get me and I could go home and wallow in pain and call it a day and try again in two weeks.

BUT that is just your pain talking and I stopped that nasty talk. I would never give up unless I was in real, real pain. I don't know what that pain would be, but today was not that day. I was pushing through. I had noticed some friends had posted on my FB status and I looked at them in that moment. "Go Angie, You Can do It, Go Angie Go" It chocked me up, tears literally welled in my eyes and I pushed through. Those little words, were just what I needed.

For all these long runs, I have done then by myself. All the ones over 13. And that is okay, I love running by myself but these miles, just you and no talking, well it does wear a bit on you. So being able to look at my phone and see that, is just what I needed. I also ran past a guy and he gave me the biggest smile and a thumbs up. Sir, whoever you are, that little act of kindness and support will stay with me for life. That was what I needed. I run downtown so I can see that, so I can see other runners and gain support and motivation for them, even if we don't say a word to each other. I find people to chase and run beside or just fix on or pass, but those runners, they are my friends and we have never met.

A lot of things went on during those first 18-19. I came around a corner, thirsty of course and this girl was standing there with a water cooler and a sign. I thought for sure she was doing it for some training group. There a lot of group runs, so I thought she was just for them. She asked me if I would like a cold cup of water. I stared at her for a minute and asked "For Real." She smiled and handed me the cup of water.

I asked her what she was doing this for. She said, " My pastor at church says on Sundays people come when they need it the most, crave it, when they are down, so I run this area too and this is the point in my run, I need a cold cup of water the most, so I am here to help others to full fill their needs." I could have cried there but my tears were all just sweat. I told her that, thanked her and ran with the best cup of water ever. I told her I would see here when I turned around, she smiled and I know she knew she made someones day.

When I turned around at my turning point, she was no longer there. I wanted to hug her and take a picture with her, let her know she is awesome and helped me so much. But she was gone, no trace of her or anything. I wasn't running that long since then, but she was gone. Which, made me wonder, was she even really there. I know sounds crazy and cooky, but I mean things happen on these training runs, thoughts and images and all that, I guess I will never know. But that girl, she was an Angel with water for me for sure.

When I hit 20 miles, the tears started. I did it again, I got to 20 miles, hurting but I did. Sparks of energy came to me and I put on my determined face. I was going to finish. Mile 22, I started singing along to a song I was listening to. I mean crazy, I was running and singing, but I was trying to distract my brain for the pain and tiredness I was having and for how hungry I was. Hungry for cold water, powerade and a food item that was GU or chews. And Kelly Clarkson, Stronger came on, I never loved a song more then in that moment.

Then the 23 happened.

I stopped my Garmin and literally I burst into tears. I mean sobbing tears, snot coming out of my face, SOBBING. I don't know why but I couldn't stop it. I mean it was just so overwhelming. I finished the 23 miles. Despite the heat and sunburn I was having, the stomach issues, the water, the chaffing I was feeling in spots, the blisters on my feet. All of it, it was liked it bubbled up to the surface and just BAM.

I have to say it felt good to cry too. Happy tears, accomplished tears. Tears of joy and relief. I loved that cry. I wasn't crying in pain, but in satisfaction.

Training really does change it, it changes you into someone you never knew you were. I was the girl always trying to get out of gym class, or skipping the mile and here I am, training for a marathon, on my own, at my own pace, my own journey and I am really doing it.

I couldn't even do a video, I just wanted to stretch, eat and get home to James, whom I called sobbing too. I texted my favorite people and let my social network world I had done it and called my Mom. I downed my Powerade and ate my protein recovery bar, god did it taste great. I stepped inside at home and immediately started getting cold and cried some more with James, he made me my coffee and I just laid out and then got in the ice bath, which felt amazing by the way.

I have felt great today too. I wasn't too tired, usually I am so exhausted I can barely keep my eyes open, but today, something was different. I was different. I felt different. I felt like an athlete. I felt like a warrior, I felt pretty freaking bad ass.

We went out for lunch and I enjoyed a meal I never usually have, a meatball sub, with a side of greek potato salad and a peanut butter cookie, I shared that with James. Food and drinks taste so much better when you work really hard for them.

We went to Total Wine after, I wanted to treat myself to some beverages, I haven't really had this whole training. I am not done with training at all, but I wanted a treat, I feel I deprive myself a lot of things with food and drinks and well I want to stop that and enjoy this whole experience, reap the rewards at times. I picked up some Bud Light Fall AHHH Ritas and Skinny Girl Sweet-Rita. I love my rita drinks, probably the salt haha. Then we went to Target.

A little disappointed they didn't have all the pumpkin stuff I wanted, but I got some yogurts and some other goodies and then I needed to get home, my legs were really starting to hurt. I got home and passed out for a good 2 hour nap. Felt great. My hunger has been kind of quite too also today. I am sure it will hit me all week and tomorrow, which thankfully I am off. My night is just relaxing and the same tomorrow, no alarm set, no plans, and a recovery day for sure.

So what did I learn for 23 miles. I learned those miles make you. They can break  you down or you can learn from them, let the miles tell you a story, are some miles going to be better than others, for sure, but just know that you can do it. If I can do it, then you can do it. I am not an athlete or elite, I am a regular girl with a goal in mind and I am accomplishing it, no matter what it takes. I am determined and driven and those miles will not define who I am. Plus work your training, believe in yourself and your training, it will change you.

You will have moments of clarity and work life lessons out in those miles. Maybe once it is done you will forget some things, but it really does change you.

So here is to these sweet 23 miles, thank you for getting me here. I will never forget what you have given me.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Week 17 Completed

So another week done and over with. This week was successful. My energy was up, it was a low mileage week, which I do like every so often. And I got some variety in this week too.

Sunday:11 miles in Clearwater with Nanci and gang
Monday: 2 mile walk with my LOVE
Tuesday: 3 miles
Wednesday: 11.6 miles on the bike
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 4 miles
Saturday: Rest

18 Running Miles
13.6 XT miles

I have been sleeping much better, my hunger of course is there. Some days I could eat everything in the kitchen and other days not so much. Tomorrow embarks on another crazy run day. Tomorrow morning, or actually in like 11 hours, I will be starting my 23 mile training run.

I am not nervous or scared, I am kind of excited. I just want to run and go and get it over with it. Break that mental wall. I was going to get up at 3 like when I did 20 but I realized that was just way to early for me. I didn't feel right, it messed me all up that one hour. So on the back end of the runs, it will be a little hotter, but I will deal.

I am going to take my time. Drink lots of water, I am bringing my Sharkies, GU and Cliff Blocks to get me going. After my run, it is an ice bath and a big old brunch with James. I am hunger thinking about how hungry I am going to be. He is off tomorrow, so we get to spend the day together. Normally, I would just crash, and I am sure I will, but I want to do something with him, we don't get the same day offs together often.

Plus I am off on Monday, so I could care less if I nap super late, I am off the next day. And I am set up for success, I have little laundry to do and hardly any cleaning. I did that this week, so I could just relax. I am hoping I am up to do a little shopping on Monday, but I am not pushing it.

And you know what I am not stressing over these miles. It is only 3 more than what I have done the last time, 36 more minutes. I have been doing some carb loading today and enjoying my pasta now for dinner. Then really, really attempting to be asleep no later than 11. I got great sleep last night, so it usually carries over.

Have a great Saturday. I will post sometime tomorrow how the mileage goes.

Friday, August 29, 2014

A Film for Runners by Runners - Does this Move You? If so, please share it.

I love everything about this!!! Share this for all runners. This was just what I needed to watch before I tackle my longest run before my marathon. My heart nearly exploded with love for this. I can not wait until Spring to see the film

Friday Five: Fall Preview

I really enjoyed the Friday Five last week and I like that it is something different to post each Friday, so I am linking up with NanciMar On The Run & Eat Pray Run DC & Cynthia. I love that I saw this on Nanci's blog because I found some awesome running ladies to now follow and join in on the fun.

It is crazy to me that September is two days away and Labor Day. I feel it is so early this year too. But with Labor Day comes the start of fall. Even though Fall doesn't really begin for us Floridan's until November haha, when the rest of the world is gearing down for winter. Anyway I love to pretend we are in fall weather here.

Friday Five Fall Preview

This by far is what is driving me this whole fall. It is October 12, in PA, in the heart of NEPA. And if you have ever been to that part of the country, you know how beautiful it is that time of year. The leaves are changing or already changing. The weather is crisp and I have no shame enjoying all this fall related while I am visiting for the weekend. OH AND BECAUSE IT IS MY MARATHON!! Yes, I will be completing my marathon this fall and probably will be talking about it the whole rest of fall and winter and probably the rest of my life haha.

And I mean pumpkin everything. I love Fall and with fall to me comes pumpkin. That beautiful little round, orange squash really gets me going. I search for everything and anything pumpkin to try. If pumpkin is on the menu, I am ordering it. If there is an item with pumpkin in it I am buying it. I have already enjoyed a PSL from Starbucks, a pumpkin spice latte if you aren't familiar and my favorite pumpkin beverage, a pumpkin Iced Coffee from Dunkin Donuts. In my opinion, pumpkin coffee is way better at DD than Starbucks.


I love fall candle scents. I love all kinds of candles but the scents of fall I really enjoy because there are so many different ones. I honestly am torn between Bath and Body Works and Yankee Candle. I have actually worked at both in my lifetime so I am loyal to both. I love Bath and Body Work 3 wick candles and Yankee Candle tarts. The scents have been released but I haven't gotten any yet. My favorite is to light my candles, turn my AC up a little bit and curl up with my coffee and a book. The scents really bring me back to my hometown.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Bun 3-Wick Candle - Home Fragrance - Bath & Body Works      Sweater Weather 3-Wick Candle - Home Fragrance - Bath & Body Works

Frag_Icon_172x120_applespice           Frag_Icon_172x120_pumpkinpie

Something about fall really gets me into the baking mood.  I love finding new things to bake or continuing to bake old favorites like banana bread, pumpkin muffins, and apple crisp. Plus my boyfriend loves when I get in the baking mood, his tummy will be pleased.

With fall comes the first fall holiday later on which is Halloween. I love scary movies and usually now t.v. stations start playing the classics like, Halloween, Friday the 13th, Exorist, etc. My boyfriend isn't a scary movie fan at all. But I love dimming the lights, getting a big bowl of popcorn and being scared. Oh and you have to have some Halloween candy to go with those movies, which is starting to hit the shelves now!

What are you excited most about with FALL??

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Weigh In and My perfect Day Off

Half way through the week my friends! And I'm ready for this week to be over but not because I'm over it but because Sunday is my Runday! A really, really long Runday! 23 miles on deck Sunday! And because Monday is Labor Day I'm off of work! That makes me even more excited because I plan on sleeping all day long!!  

But let's not get ahead of ourselves shall we.

Today is my day off and I have spent it like I should always spend my days off. I slept in until 9, went grocery shopping, laid out in the pool for 2 hours with my Nook. Literally I sat in the pool with my book the whole time. The water felt amazing on my legs too. I went for lunch with James to Pei Wei, he used a sick day today. 

I love Pei wei and their lighter options. He loves that place and usually I'm not in the mood for it today. Today I was all over it. I came home and then took a two and half hour nap. Felt glorious. I feel no shame when I sleep the afternoon away. Days off are made for this, especially with marathon training. I take advantage of all opportunity to get a nap in.

And then doing my XT on the bike. I have missed the bike, I didn't get it in last week. I could have done an extra run but I missed the bike and the hills workout I do. 

I could have spent my day doing the mounds of laundry we have but you know what it can wait. I need days off like these more often and always at this point haha.

Oh and today was weigh in day and you know what..???

I lost!!!  

2.8 to be exact!! It was such a confidence booster to see that go down after last week. I saw a big difference this week too, I saw it in the mirror and felt it and it showed. Even though I have kind of given up that number it was still nice to see. Let's see how it pans out next week the longer mileage!

Have a great day and we are almost done ;0)