Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Different Form of XT

Yesterday was an awesome day off!!! It rained for a lot of the day, which never happens here in Florida, usually it is for an hour or so. But all day was glorious.

I got some blogging done. I finished the rest of my book I was reading; Silent Run by Barbara Freethy. Good book, not great, a little drawn out, but it kept me entertained for sure. I made my favorite cookies, Hungry Girl Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Softies. Click on the link for details. I posted this recipe on September 10 last year and made them a week apart this year, how strange is that. I guess I crave around the same time of year.

Then after a nice day of just doing a little bit of nothing, I went to do my XT with Nanci. We were going to a PiYo class in Palm Harbor, taught up our friend Caitlyn. I met Caitlyn back in May when I won her giveaway for the Color Me Rad race. She and Nanci are great friends and two people I love to have in my life. I tend to gravitate towards those who inspire, motivate and are just as determine as I am. And these two ladies are just that. When Nanci told me Caitlyn was teaching the class on Wednesday nights at 6:30, I couldn't resist, especially since I was off of work.

It is a little bit of a drive for me, but I met Nanci at her house and then we drove over together, which was super nice of her. The class was awesome. I have never really done Yoga or Pilates, so I wasn't sure what to expect and considering I had just done the 20 miles on Sunday, not sure what my legs were in for. Caitlyn was an awesome instructor, she played great music and kept us going non stop. She was motivating and made modifications for those who would need it. I felt awkward at first. One thing about me, I get a bit shy in a fitness class, that's probably why I don't go to them. I tend to feel like I am being judged, but I knew I had to get out of my comfort zone and just go with it.

And I did. It helped having friends there. The moves were challenging at some parts, but man could I feel the burn, in my legs, arms and stomach. I love that burn feeling, means I am doing something right. The class was about 55 minutes and you would have never known. I really enjoyed the class and will be going back when I can on Wednesday nights.

This morning getting up I was a bit sore. My butt and quads and upper body a bit. These next couple of weeks with training and work will be a bit different. Where I normally do my long run on Sunday, then Tuesday, Thursday, Friday I usually run and XT day on Wednesday or Friday and rest on Monday and Saturday, it is all kind of changing. We have lots of different things coming up with work so I have to adjust to make sure I am taking care of my body and getting in the rest days at the right time and XT when I can and not missing any running.

Like today, I normally run before I have to close at work and rest on Saturday because I have a long run on Sunday, but today I took a rest day from all activity and will run on Saturday because on Sunday I am working all day long, 12 plus hours, so my long run wont be until Tuesday, when I am off again. Confused yet??

 I didn't want to have a rest day back to back on Saturday and Sunday. Which this morning, it came at a perfect time frame because I was really enjoying sleeping in. So tomorrow and Saturday I will get 5 and 3 miles in.

It's funny because before the training, I would just not run and then probably miss tons of days after, now I am so trained, if I don't do the run when I say, I feel guilty.

Hope you have a great Thursday!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Side Effects Include, Obsessing over Marathon Training

I am completely obsessed with marathon training! I mean everything and anything about it. Literally it is all I talk about. I have realized this a lot in the last couple of days. Anything I do or say in a single day will revolve around the fact that I am training for a marathon. I am sure it sounds crazy but I think because it is coming down to the wire, it is all that is on my mind.

As it should be.

I have been spending time, looking at other peoples times and paces through Instagram, reading blogs about others Journey to 26.2. When drive by a MARATHON gas station, I light up with just the name. If I see others running or speaking about running, I have to chime in.

My staff is probably sick and tired about all I talk about the training and the upcoming marathon. They have seen me so tired and moving around the store like a snail, complaining how my body aches or leaving to go to Starbucks just to get an extra coffee to keep me going. I bet they will be thrilled to have me done with it.

I talk to other stores, saying, "Hey did you know I am training for a marathon."

My work BFF, I talk to her all day long about it, luckily she and my boss are big running fans, so it is second nature. My poor boyfriend, our whole lives for the last 5 months have been about marathon training. He has spent many nights on the couch, so I can get a good solid nights of sleep. He snores and I hate it. He has sacrificed so many nights of us going out for a date night because the next day I have to run. But you know what it will be worth it. I asked him how I have trained during this training process and he said, well your waist got smaller and you run  a WHOLE LOT, it is all you do!!!"

And it really is, my life for the past 5 months, has been nothing but running or how to improve my running or what is going to make me run better.

Today, I went to WW and weighed in. I gain .6. Okay it probably had to do with the hot dog and beer from the Rays game we went to last night and I am okay with that. Because I ran 20 miles this past Sunday!! I mean come on, nothing can take that away. I didn't stay for the meeting because the leader that runs it on Wednesdays isn't really my style we just don't click. I had on my Color Me Rad shirt and shorts and she said your either coming from working out or going to.

I said, no I just like to wear this on my day off. Where in truth I am going to work out later. The next thing out of my mouth was I am training for a marathon. She never asked or anything, I kind of blurted it out. She then looked me up and down and smiled and said, oh what kind of marathon, how many miles??

It took everything in me to not laugh. Really??? I wanted to scream a FULL, 26.2 MILES LADY!!

You know you're a runner when it really bothers you that regular people don't  know the distance of a marathon. They assume  all races are

This was me this morning. She was like wow must be a lot of work, I said yeah and my hunger is crazy, she said oh really, why is that?? YOUR A WW LEADER, that should make sense, I said because I am running like 25-40 miles a week and then extra. She just smiled.

It was the weirdest encounter I have ever had. She clearly had no clue. And my obsession with training continued.

But because of my obsession with Marathon training. I have met some amazing people in real life and through social media. I have changed my body in a way I don't think I could have any other form. I have learned I am a lot stronger and tougher than I thought I was. I have learned I love to sleep AND sleep means a big deal. I don't mind getting up at 4 and running for 5 plus hours. That sometime sneakers are the only shoes that will do. That being lazy after a run, is really okay and not feel guilty about it. That any mileage of run is a big deal and never forget that. Sometimes a mile feels just as tough as 20 and that is just the way it is.

But more importantly that training works. Having a plan and sticking to it, really does make a huge difference and it will change your life, even if you drive away others by talking about it all the time..haha


Monday, September 15, 2014

26 Days Until 26.2

26 Days Until The Steamtown Marathon!!

I was talking to a friend this morning and she asked, " How are the legs, are they used to 20 miles now.?"

I laughed because you might just think that...

But yeah they are not.

I woke up this morning sore and so tired. I mean I was yawning for a good hour after I woke up and shuffling around our apartment like a zombie. I wanted anything and everything to go right back to bed. But I had to work at 8:30, I knew it would be silly to try to change my schedule and just suffer through it. Plus, work is a little bit crazy for the next 4 weeks, that I just cant afford to be out of the business more than my two days off this week and what I schedule myself coming up.

So I grabbed my coffee and made it to work. It was tough because I never sit at my job, I stand eating, so my legs were a bit sore. But it felt good to keep them moving. I usually don't do a shake out run on this day, I take the day to rest and recover and with work today, I had to go grocery shopping after, clean our apartment, and do laundry, fitting in some time to run or walk or bike, just wasn't having it. I still managed to stay moving all day, so I count that as an active rest day for sure.

Besides my legs being sore, my body was too. My back and sides and stomach. Not sure from out I was running or carrying that water pack on my back the whole time, but just sore. I am still debating if I will carry the water pack. I have trained every long run with it and it has helped me. I fear if I don't bring it, I will psych myself out and keep second guessing if I needed it or not. I can get crazy like that. Plus if I decide to toss it, well it was only 20.00 dollars. Plus, I am hanging that bad boy up to dry after the marathon. I have many scrapes and bruises and lots of chaffing from that evil, saved my laugh so much thing.

Despite being sore, I can tell this run, my body is getting used to it. I felt pretty good all day once I got going, my energy stayed up a bit, I think a lot of it is in my head. But I am in that stage where all I can think about is what life will be like after the marathon. What it would be like to just come home from work and not be exhausted, be excited to run a little bit with no plan in place or just lay on the couch and not feel guilty about running. What it would be like again to sleep past 4:00 on a Sunday?!! Or not schedule a long run in my week and just play it by ear?!

Or what it will be like to get on the bike and not do the rolling hills and just go for it?

Who am I kidding though?? I have been training for almost 5 months now. My life is changed. I love the routine, I love having to look forward to rest days and I love having my days mapped out. I am sure after my two week rest of running, I will come up with a new plan, but it fears me a bit with what I will be like after the marathon. I can say I will not run 20 mile training runs after the marathon for a lonnnnnnnggg time, if ever again!!

But hey, let me get to the marathon first!!

And god am I so excited for that. James and I booked our flights, I have the PTO request taken, our hotel is booked and our car we are renting. We are flying into Philly on October 9 and driving to Scranton where our hotel will be. We are staying in Scranton from the 9th-13th and then the 14th we are staying a day in Philly and I want to be very tourist that day. And earn the right to eat a full Philly cheesestake haha. We have plans to visit with lots of friends, our old college and my old jobs too. I am excited for the cooler weather and just being away on vacation with James for a while. We have gone on trips together, never flew together and never this long of a trip. It will be our first official big trip together since I moved here 5 years ago. Kind of sad isn't it.

I am pumped to go to the expo before the race, of course finish the race and be with my friends and family. My mom and Aunt, Uncle and Poppy will be coming down the night before, which I am hoping will settle my pre-race nerves. Having family here will mean everything to me. The only person who has ever been at a race of mine is James, this is all new to them. It gives me chills just thinking about it and well as you can assume, super emotional.

But like I said, let me just get through these next 26 days with no injury, whatever ounce of energy I have left in me and forever grateful I decided to change my life by taking on this journey!!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

My LAST 20 Mile Training Run...4 Weeks to Go...Running with friends Saved Me

Can I just say that I can not believe today was a my last real long training run. I say real long because it was 20 and next week is 10, 10 is still long but 20, oh man that number has quite a hold on me.

Yesterday I worked all day and planned to go grocery shopping right after. Well I had no time after work and really wish I did because we have no fruit or veggies in the apartment, it is killing me but I was way to tired to fight it. My legs felt really heavy yesterday at work and my feet were sore. I know it was because I was on my feet all day long and didn't sit down at work, but god they hurt.

I already went into these miles this morning a little uneasy. I set my alarm for 4:00 and felt okay getting up. I for sure was tired and my legs were hurting me a bit, especially my calves, but I was excited to get downtown to see Nanci. She was meeting me to run 14 miles this morning. It makes such a huge difference when you have someone running along with you. We had a blast this morning. At one point we looked at our watches and it was 9 miles and you would not have realized.

We got a gorgeous sunrise and it really makes it all worth it. The early wake up, the pain and the miles, I wont have moments like this a lot, so I cherish them when I can. We had a breeze off the water this morning for a lot of the miles, felt great and made me excited for the cooler weather we can be seeing very soon. I long for those days when I can just sleep in a little bit more, like till 6, so I can beat the heat.

We had a strong 14 miles, my Garmin lost signal at mile 10.56, of course, I have no clue what is going on with that darn thing, but this is the second time it has done that when I planned 20 miles. This was Nanci's longest run to date. She did awesome. I didn't do my splits with her for the whole 14 miles, it was tough for me because I am used to my beeps, but she motivates and inspires me and I felt great running a full mile and then a bit of walk. It was a great accomplishment. I was so proud of her, she did awesome with her 14!!

After leaving Nanci, I headed back to finish and hit my 20. I meet up with my friend Jacke, who told me she was heading downtown to run 2 miles this morning, hoping to see her. At my second mile, I found her and was surprised she was still out running. She hadn't ran in 3 months and was doing great. I was hitting a bit mental block, not sure what was going on, I was just tired and hurting and wanted to be done. I asked Jacke to run a bit more with me, to keep me company. And she did!!

We did 1:1's. She was doing those to ease back into running and I could use the break a bit to regain some strength. I did that for about 2 miles with her and then I went ahead at mile 4 and finished my last 2 with 2:1's. I felt better from the slow down with Jacke a bit. I finished the last 2 very strong, even though my Garmin just died again, just shut right off. I need to figure that darn thing out because I want that when I run the marathon, I will charge that thing every hour.

Jacke finished a little bit after me and I was so proud of her. She went out for 2 and finished with 6. And stayed to help me out. So nice. I am blessed to have such amazing running friends and great friends in my life. These ladies made this last 20 mile training run, much sweeter because to be honest, I might have given up. My heart wasn't there with it this morning, my mind was playing last of mind games, but I got it done, I fought through it and I am glad it is over.

It is bittersweet because I wont run these training miles again until the marathon. Crazy to see, I have done this 3 times. A 20-23-20. Wow. Again this is the girl who couldn't even run a mile. Now I will have done this 3 times with no regrets or no giving up. I am so determined to finish this marathon and get it done and with a smile on my face.

Now tapering begins a bit. 4 weeks left to go. I am starting to get everything in check, my mind, body, running and diet. Getting everything strong and determined. I will go into this marathon giving it everything I have and have done everything I could. I gave it my all, no doubt. I have learned so much about myself with this training, more than I ever thought imaginable.

Now the rest of my day has been spent in the bed, the couch and watching Football with James. We ordered pizza, and yes I enjoyed two pieces and some garlic bites. I earned this little treat for the day for sure. And it tasted delicious!!

20 miles done and now ready to take on this week and I will be doing lots of stretching, foam rolling and rest.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Reflecting after the marathon & Friday Fun

Okay so I think I am going to start each blog with a countdown left to go.


I mean we are in the time frame now. It is so crazy and almost sickening.

What the heck am I going to do after the marathon??!! How will my life be the same again??

Seriously I have been thinking about that A LOT lately. Especially with the challenge keeping myself busy, fit and reminding myself of eating habits. What will it be like to not be hungry all the time again?!?

That will be a blog all its on. But for now, I am going to enjoy the next 29 days left of training. I have loved the training, even on the days where I cant walk or stand, kind of like today. My legs are hurting.

Anyway today was a XT day. I was happy about that because I know my legs needed a little less pounding but need the movement. I got 6 miles in on the bike and did some weights. Okay, back to the after the marathon, I think I will focus a lot more on weights and toning up. Running has given me a shape and helped build a lot of muscle, muscle I never knew I had, but the flab and extra weight needs a lot of toning.

After the bike, I had some time before work to just unwind a lot. It felt great to get some stuff before work. I even signed up for the Tampa Bay Turkey Trot..

I love this race! It is a 5k on Thanksgiving, there are 1,000's of runners, it is usually chilly in the morning, the area is a neighborhood, I usually run with my bests from work. It is just a great way to kick off the holiday season. Plus, by running in the morning, I don't mind enjoying a little piece of pie :0)

I also ordered from Groupon, compression socks at half off, I have been dying to get them and finally gave in with free shipping. And then I hit up Bath and Body Works to get some really good pumpkin fun. I had a great coupon, so I couldn't resist.

This is my favorite 1pp coffee combo. One cup of the Starbucks Iced Coffee concentrate, some pumps of the Sugar Free syrup and one cup of Vanilla Unsweet Almond Milk with tons of ice and 2 splenda packets. Seriously way better than anything I could buy. The Starbucks bottle serving is 8, 8 ounce servings and made to personalize how ever you like. I need to get the Torani in Sugar Free Pumpkin Spice, asap.

I love this Starbucks at home, the whole bottle is 5.00, for 8 drinks, that is an amazing deal, one drink is usually 3.00 alone. Go out and find this if you can!!

If you have tried the Starbucks to personalize, what is your favorite combo thus far??!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Running With Bricks, A Big Loss & Excited About Sunday Funday

It is Thursday but yet I feel like it is Saturday. Days off the beginning of the week really mess me all up. This whole week has thrown me for a quite a curve ball, but I am slowly getting back to things, before another week that will throw me off.

I had to open for work today, so I opted to sleep in. I tell ya, on days I work, I hate getting up early to work out and work, but I also hate coming home after work to work out, it is a lose lose for me. But I slept in and then went to Weight Watchers to weigh in.

To my very happy surprise, I lost 3.6 pounds. The week prior I weighed in and had gained 6.8, that was the week of my TOM and my 23 miles. My hormones and everything were crazy and considering the rest of the week, I attended a wedding, had ice cream for a lunch and was home in my hometown and flew, 3.6 was a nice loss. I hope this means I am doing something right. My hunger has been off the charts again lately and I am really trying to pull high protein items. So far so good.

But before typing, I did eat probably an embarassing amount of cracker chips with hummus. SOOOOO GOOD!! I just couldn't stop. But we are having dinner soon, so it will even out and I am so enjoying a glass of SkinnyGirl tonight. It is raining, James wants to play his video games in the bedroom, so I am curling up with a glass and my Nook. I need a night like this.

I ran after work and it hurt. I am not sure if it was the weather, or me, but my legs would not move at all. I was having to walk a little more, I don't know I was just off. But I made the 4 miles, completed the running week with 19, including 12 non-stop hill work and tomorrow I will do some work on the bike. I love the long run weeks and then the short run weeks, that has really been great for me.

I have to say I am super excited for Sunday. I am running 20 miles, I know crazy to say I am excited about that, but Nanci and her crew are coming to St. Pete to run 14 miles of it together. This will be Nanci's longest run ever, I am so excited to be apart of this big milestone with her and to have company for a big majority of my long run.

After my run, James is off on Sunday and we are watching football all day. I am fine with being lazy on the couch and just vegging out. I have a lot of work coming up in the next few weeks, so a day like this, I am all about. Plus I have vowed to him, to be more responsive when it comes to football this year, he loves it a lot and huge Redskins fan, so I am trying to not give him so much hassel about spending all of a Sunday watching it.

So I just want to get through 2 more days and then my Sunday Funday!!!

Hope everyone has something exciting they are looking forward too this weekend.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

5 weeks left of my journey to 26.2

Oh my god that title!!

It excites me and frightens me all at the same time!! So much stress and busy stuff going on in those 5 weeks too. I'm trying everything in my power to not have it interfer with my training at all.

BUT holy crap 5 weeks!!

Remember when it was day 1! Seems forever ago and it really it was and is. 5 more weeks to go! Insane!

It literally is the final countdown.

Today was a bad and stressful day and despite it all I got my run in

I needed this run even if I didn't want to do it and I'm so glad I did. Plus it proves even with my crazy life I will get this accomplished because me complaining and whining and laying on the couch with ice cream, which I would love to do, won't get me to that finish line. Picking myself up, shaking it out and putting on my running shoes will.

Okay now that reality sets in, I'm making dinner and resting!! 

Happy Hump Day