Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wind and Rain Training

I confess - I have been a little bit of a wuss about wind and rain training. I know that you are supposed to run outdoors in all types of weather so that you are ready for whatever might happen the day of the half, but inclement weather sends me down to the basement to run with the basset hounds and my Black and Yellow Pandora station. Yesterday after 11 hours at work all I could think about was getting exercise, food and sleep. I changed into my running clothes, did a quick update for work and hit the pavement. My run felt AMAZING! I kept thinking about how good my times were going to be, my legs felt good and my lungs were energized from the exertion. When I got to the end I actually thought about running an extra mile, but since its taper week I decided that rest would be important. Imagine my disappointment when I pulled out my phone to find I was a full minute slower than my average. In my defense, there were 22 mile an hour sustained winds out of the Northwest and I ran the first two miles into the wind. When I get home I enjoyed a hot shower and then Brian and I hit Red Robin for dinner with a gift certificate from our Bachelor's graduation party =) I think this is the first time we've been there since before we were married. I had the Burnin' Love chicken sandwich, fries and 2 Blue Moon's to celebrate go-live of my big project at work. When we got home we checked out a few bike and run events coming up and today Brian will get us registered for a few things. I was asleep as soon as I hit the bed. With the half 5 days a week I feel a little nervous so I'm working on my race mantra. Something along the lines of - all I have to do is finish, I'm not racing anyone, and this is what I spent 12 weeks training for!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Mow, Walk, Eat, Sleep

It's not as interesting as Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat but a good night for the most part! Today is the big go-live at the hospital so last night I had to be in bed by 7, so I could get up a little after 2 and have my butt in my desk at 3:30. I got off work yesterday and raced home to mow before the rain started. After I got done I took the boys out for an hour walk. Cache has had some really good days with his trail aggression but yesterday was a BAD day! He tried to scare a jogger, then he challenged two big white dogs, got aggressive with a Boston Terrier and was generally a big walking bully. I think we are going to have to bite the bullet and get him some EXPENSIVE professional help so that we can go on walks without all the drama. I am down to my last two runs before the half and I keep praying that the weatherman won't change the forecast for Sunday - dry with a low in the 40's and a high in the 60's. I can't ask for any better than that!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Arts and Theater Weekend

This weekend was our "relaxing weekend" before the half marathon. Friday night we went to a celebration of life for a few beers. Saturday morning I got out for my five mile run before the wind picked up. I ran from our house to Antelope Park non-stop and then Brian took me to the Kiwanis pancake and French toast feed. After I got cleaned up he took on chemical treatments at all three houses and my mom and I went to the Durham museum in Omaha to check out the 1968 exhibit. After a quick dinner at our house we went to Brian's cousin Sophia's dance recital (I can't believe she is a senior in high school!) and then stopped and rented Last Vegas on the way home. If you like a funny, clean, movie it is a total winner. Sunday morning I had plans to walk the dogs but woke up to thunderstorms. After church and lunch we went to the Church Basement Ladies - A Mighty Fortress is our basement for some much needed laughter and took the dogs for a nice long walk after dinner. It's hard to believe it is only 6 days till the half marathon. I have done 100% of my training runs, but the thought of 13.1 miles looms ahead of me with a certain amount of terror. I have to remember to run with my lungs, to not let fear get the best of me, to walk through water stations and take a Gu break every 3 miles. Hopefully it will work as well as it sounds!

Friday, April 25, 2014

I Wasn't In the Mood

Yesterday when I left work it was cloudy and windy and I wasn't in the mood for a run. I met a good friend for lunch, ran a few errands - realized my Fit Bit had died and made dinner. Even after that I was still thinking it wasn't a fun night to run and I had almost convinced myself to do it in the basement. I ultimately decided to have Brian drop me off at Shopko so that I would be forced to run home. Even getting out of the car I wasn't feeling it, but oddly, the instant my legs started to run my whole focus changed. It wasn't miserable, I ran without stopping and my iPod died the instant I crossed the street to home. I texted Brian and told him it was all gas no breaks and then stretched and went into the house. My times were excellent and I had worked up an awesome sweat. I got the dogs out of their kennels and noticed some pain in my left knee. It was pretty sore so I did ice (I had already taken ibuprofen) and then took the dogs for a walk. I iced more when I got home and it feels better for the most part. It was so odd to me that I REALLY didn't want to run until I started and by the time I got home I wasn't really ready to be done. Maybe I am becoming a runner?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Too Wet for Doggies

I got off a little later than usual yesterday, even for a Wednesday. When I walked in the door it was trying to rain again so I slipped dinner into the oven and ran downstairs to get an hour on the trainer. Brian entertained the dogs and kept an eye on things in the kitchen so we feasted on chicken, baked potatoes with hummus, Dole Power Up Greens and green peas. I was SO hungry for veggies yesterday! The rest of the evening was quiet, with nothing on television and light rain we were contained to the house so I hit the shower and went to bed early, again.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sleep It Off

Rest has always been a hard thing for me to wrap my head around. I want to keep pushing, getting things done, scratching items off a real or imagined list. Sunday after my LONG run I spent the day on the couch drinking water, watching TV and listening to the rain. When I first started training for the half marathon I read about getting extra sleep. Including increasing your sleep time by 30 minutes a day for the last 2-4 weeks of training. Because I'm not a big "sleeper" I figured it wouldn't apply to me, but as I mentioned I have been kind of a crab and once something gets under my skin it just festers and makes me all the more cranky. Yesterday I got off much earlier than expected, went home to change clothes and headed to my moms. I did a load of dishes, mowed the yard, and did another load of dishes (in all fairness she has the tiniest dish rack) and then went home to get ready for my run. I chugged plenty of water and waited for Brian to get home so that I could run over and meet him at his parents and get a ride back. After the run he got started mowing at our house and I took the dogs for an hour walk. We had leftovers for dinner (I think I might be addicted to Hot and Sour Soup) and then lazed around the house. At 8 I was chilling in the living room watching TV and Brian woke me up at 8:30 and put me to bed. I slept almost straight through and feel much better about the world today!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Zero Tolerance

It's kind of odd, my patience is drawn thin right now with a large number of things. A year ago we made the decision to leave the bell choir - the new director and I just have very different ideas on how he should direct, I feel like as the director it is his job to count, he feels like he can just swing his arms around and make weird motions to "cue" people to ring their bells. I also prefer to play music as it is written, and not improvise, and he prefers improvisation. A year later I am still completely annoyed by him. As a "true confession" every time I see him I have to resist the impulse to flip him the bird. Honestly, I continue to think that we will leave our church if they are committed to keeping him. Yesterday I worked a full day, made dinner, did laundry and walked the boys. Their behavior on walks some days is TERRIBLE, last night they were full of energy and anxiety and we had to change our route a few times because they were becoming out of control. After a full evening of getting things done at home just as we climbed into bed for the night the phone rang at 10:15 with a call from the neighborhood association so that Brian could make copies of the maps for the garage sales this weekend. Honestly, if there is an emergency and something is happening in the neighborhood and they need the treasurer or president or whatever then call in the middle of the night, but if it's about maps, or signs, or renting a dumpster - don't call after 10. Hopefully today is better and I can see the sunny side of life again....

Monday, April 21, 2014

Emotional/Mental - I Wasn't Really Ready!

Thursday after work I pulled on new running shoes and hit the trail for a four mile run. It was great during the run and I felt pretty strong. As the evening wore on, and we walked the dogs I had a little tenderness in my right foot and Friday morning my ankles were both sore. Friday I got off work early, finished cleaning house and did some food prep. After lunch with Brian I scrubbed the dogs down and took them for a walk. Roo Roo is having some skin issues and we aren't sure what the source is so we're ruling things out. I think the next step will be changing his diet. Saturday morning was my last 5k before the half at the Donate Life event. It is a great cause and they had really nice swag, but the run was disorganized with runners and walkers starting together. I had to work really hard to get through all the walkers but I ran non-stop for the entire event and stretched out good before we headed home. If I keep running I'll give this event a few more years before I go back. The park is beautiful but it needed more planning. Saturday night we had Brian's brothers, parents and grandparents over for dinner. Everyone got plenty of food and we're working our way through the leftovers. Sunday morning after the sunrise service and breakfast at church I slipped on my running shoes and clothes for my last long run before the half. I did 10 miles from church to our house with a pretty strong wind out of the south. With running Saturday and Sunday back to back I knew that I would have some fatigue. The first 3 miles were rough but I muscled through and the next 3 were easy. Brian met me at Shopko, I chugged cold water and did another Gu before the last 4 miles. Mile 7 was really good but around the end of the 8th mile I started to feel really worn down. I tried some Honey Stinger blocks and got my hands all sticky and felt so sweaty I didn't want to finish... so I walked about half a mile and then made myself run another half mile to get into the cemetery. I knew that Brian would be waiting for me and I really wanted to finish but my legs were spent so the last mile was run a little walk a lot and then I forced myself to run the last third of a mile. After the run I stretched REALLY good, hit the shower and sucked down Chinese food before camping on the couch for the rest of the day. Erik and I watched We're the Millers and Despicable Me 2 and enjoyed an afternoon together. Today he'll head back to campus and get ready for finals. I can't believe it's the end of his sophomore year in college!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Worn Out/Worn Down

Yesterday was a killer!!! I worked a long shift, got home, made dinner, did laundry, went to a visitation for one of the hospital volunteers, dropped off Brian's Aunt Nancy's birthday present, rode the trainer for an hour, found the kitchen table and slipped into bed at almost 10. I am feeling worn out this morning and more than a little cranky. This weekend feels stressful already; I have done spring holidays at our house the last several years while I've juggled homework and church but juggling it with half marathon training, especially in the week leading up to my longest run feels REALLY intense. Hopefully I can get a lot done tonight and tomorrow and enjoy a peaceful and relaxing weekend!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

New Routes, Old Routes, Sore Quads

Yesterday afternoon I needed to take our new Highlander for an oil change so I slipped into my running gear, dropped it off and did a 3 mile loop combining the cemetery and the trails along 14th street. As I have mentioned a million times before I would rather run uphill than downhill. The downhill’s wear my quads out. I did pretty well on the uphill but had some problems with my legs being faster than my lungs a couple times during the route. In addition, there was a long graveside ceremony so I had to slip across the grass a few times to keep from interrupting the service. I'm never sure what to do when I come across a service in the cemetery. I like that people are using the space like a park, respecting the families who are visiting, thinking about the people who are laid to rest there and I think there is less risk that people will do harm to the cemetery if they see people there regularly. At the same time, it's hard to see someone out having a "normal" day when you burying a loved one. I generally take different paths to avoid the burial. While I could definitely use a different route, there is a part of me that loves having the cemetery close.... I wonder what other people who run in cemeteries do, and how families feel about it. After my run I hit the showers and Brian and I went out to dinner at Greenfields - and it was MEH and then we walked the dogs and did housework. Looking forward to Easter weekend!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Spring Cleaning

The best part about being done with school is free time! Unfortunately, I was spending a LOT of my free time parked on the couch with the remote. Being at Barbara's over the weekend helped rev me up to get our house clean, just in time for Easter. Yesterday after work I took the dogs for an hour walk, made dinner and met Brian at church so that he could eat, did the dishes and then took on the farm table and the desk in our living room. I won as clutter cops and the surfaces are open again! I should have done some aerobics last night but I had really limited motivation. I'm trying to convince myself that taking 17,000 steps on a Monday and wrangling the basset hounds was a good workout!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Rip and Tear

Thursday I woke up with a brighter outlook and had a pretty good day! We have officially sold the Caliber and plated the Highlander. After our deacons meeting I ran from church to 48th and Hwy 2 where we strategically left a car. When I got home I got through housework and tried to get us ready to leave for the weekend. Friday morning we finished packing, walked the dogs and headed for a race in Davenport, Iowa. It was a REALLY fun weekend. We slept at Brian's cousin Barbara's house. If you are looking to buy in Davenport speak up because Barbara's house is BEAUTIFUL! She did all the work and it's like stepping into a professionally designed space. Friday night we went to dinner at a local Italian place and I feasted on veggies, marinara and a thick topping of mozzarella cheese. After dinner we took a walk on the sky walk to nowhere and then crashed out on the air mattress. I had nightmares about getting lost on the race route so I worked hard to stay with the group! Saturday morning when we got to the race start I was feeling pretty good, stretching, drinking water, taking my GU - all the regular pre-run stuff. Within the first 45 seconds I felt a pop in my right calf but I decided to keep going and see how it did. I'm pretty sure I have a minor tear to the calf muscle. I have a small bruise and a little soreness but I was able to spend the rest of the day Saturday walking and did an hour on the trainer last night after we got home. The run Saturday was called the Bandits Race to Home and it's a 5k to support scholarships for high school students from Davenport attending an Iowa college. They raised $13,000 with Saturday's event. At the end of the race the runners cross home plate and are treated to beer and hot dogs. It was a nice route (with three bridges) and it was cool to see the Mississippi river and the pelicans while I was running. Even better - I trimmed a full minute off my time from the Diva Dash! PR indeed!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I Had a Snickers Moment

Yesterday afternoon I got cranky and stayed that way. I'm not sure what exactly was going on, I did feel better after dinner but I was overwhelmed and exhausted most of the day and evening. We have had an exceptionally busy week even for us. I worked late yesterday and then we had to get the car from the shop. Brian grilled chicken while I took care of rice, asparagus and strawberries, then we walked dogs, I rode the trainer and did Easter cards for church. We finally rolled into bed at 10:30. Are 18 hour days the new normal? All the extra workouts this week have paid off!!! I am officially down 50 pounds. I haven't lost anything since Thanksgiving, so these 2 pounds took me 5 months, but it's off and I'm hopeful that spring, extra activity and more daylight will help take off the next 50!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Sore, Slow, Hot and Tired

I have had to make some adjustments to my running schedule to accommodate the 5k's I've registered for so yesterday instead of 3 miles I ran 4. The first mile was pure torture. My left hip is still feeling a little cranky, but not near as bad as it was two weeks ago. I'm a little nervous that it's sciatica, but now that I'm running I understand the fear of advice from a medical professional to rest.... so I'm stretching, popping ibuprofen and taking in plenty of fluids. I know it won't help/cure it if that is the cause, but it distracts my brain in the interim. It's only 3 more weeks until the half marathon and then I'll rest a few days and finish training for my triathlon in June. I do more stretching post run than I do pre-run so maybe I'll add a few more hip and back stretches before to see if that helps!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Long Days - Spring Nights

Yesterday I worked a regular shift and then went to church to help with a funeral. It was a beautiful service but I was completely zapped after and Brian had a meeting at church in the evening. Usually Monday night is aerobics but since I don't have access to Ellen Barnett and I didn't think I could keep up with Jillian Michael's or Tracy Anderson I decided to take the dogs for a long walk. I had a really light dinner (fiesta lime chicken salad for 300 calories) so hopefully I was able to burn enough to work some of this fat off! I took in a LOT of sweets yesterday (a cupcake at work, followed by an oatmeal cookie and a pumpkin bar at the funeral) so the walk helped get the sugar out =) Spring allergies are in full effect in Lincoln which means itchy dogs and sleepy/sneezing humans. Hopefully we'll get some rain to settle it all down!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Rest - Run - Rest

Friday after work I got home and dove into some housework before taking the dogs on a long walk to pay the cable and gas bills. Because of trail construction we had to extend our route and ended up going a little over an hour. They were worn out and it was a beautiful spring day. My mom and Roger were out of town for the weekend so we also took care of her dogs. Saturday morning we got up early to do communion prep and then I ran home from church. 9 MILES!!!! My official time was 2 hours and 3 minutes so I had another very consistent run. The first three miles I felt a little overwhelmed and I was annoyed by the wind in my face but once I headed west and started thinking about how far I have come the last 8 weeks I felt pretty inspired to finish strong. I won't lie, there were plenty of runners who passed me on Saturday, but I finished and it was very empowering. Sunday we spent the entire morning at church and then gave the dogs baths and took them for a walk to return the Wolf of Wall Street. While I'm sure that it was true, the movie was very intense and kind of gross. I won't watch it again, and it's nothing that you can watch with kids. Overall it was a nice weekend. I feel really non-productive being out of school and it has been hard to tire my brain out and sleep. I've been having lots of funny, vivid dreams. While I will begin studying for certification very soon I am looking for something else to challenge my brain before I start a new job!

Friday, April 4, 2014

A Run and Some Gratitude

Yesterday was cold and wet - day 2 of 3 =( so I ran 3 miles in the basement - the first one with my new purple Nike's, and the second and third with my black and neon pair. My feet were a little tender this morning but I feel better now that I've been up and moving. After dinner (Cajun brats, rice, asparagus, spinach and strawberries) Brian had a Bright Lights meeting and Boy Scouts and I ran errands and wrote graduation thank you cards. We have two gifts that we don't know who the giver was, so hopefully people don't think we are rude.... If you gave us Chocolatier Blue or a bottle of white wine for graduation speak up - I would like to drop you a note!!!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day

Brian and I both have a soft spot for peanut butter and jelly. Some of our early dates were shared in the back both at Bison Witches over grilled peanut butter and strawberry jelly sandwiches. It's a family affair, and Erik loves PB&J for lunch, or a bedtime snack. Last night Brian went to Honest Abe’s Burgers and Truth to get us their peanut butter and roasted grape burger and an order of truffle fries.... SO delicious!!!! After dinner I spent an hour on the trainer with Cold Justice (my new favorite show) and my 600 pound life, which always helps me finish the workout. It rained overnight and looks like another cold day today.... won't spring ever make it to Lincoln?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

More Tuba

April Fool's Day was so busy! I was able to get off work at noon and meet Brian for lunch - and the most amazing BROWNIE cheesecake for dessert. Then we changed clothes and packed up to meet the LSE Tuba's for Happy April Tuba's Day surprises. We did 4 houses and the kids played the Oompa Loompa Song and the Storm Troopers March from Star War's. We finally got them back to school at 5:30, prepped dinner, ran 3 miles in the basement, Brian fertilized at all three houses and then we got cleaned up and went to bed. My run started a little rough last night breaking in new shoes and new running knickers and my hip was still a little sore. Today everything feels much better. It is cold and blustery again so I'm praying for spring!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Wait - Let me Take a Rest Day

Even though I laid around all afternoon Sunday, my legs were still exhausted yesterday. We took Angel (the cat) to the vet in the afternoon and are still waiting for lab results. After her appointment Brian and I feasted on leftovers and then he went to a meeting at church and I took on the grocery store and wrote all our birthday cards for April. Shortly after that I dozed off on the couch and Brian woke me up about 8:40 to go to bed. This is the second true rest day I have taken since July of 2013 and it still feels really weird. I know it is good for your body, but I really want to keep moving forward!