Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Is this safe?

To be fair, the dog was wearing goggles and was harnessed to the bike.   I just thought it was so weird.   The kids got a kick out of it though.  

What have I been up to?  Lots of this....

I'm still pretty sore from the 16 miler on Sunday night.   I managed a quick 3 yesterday for our Fleet Feet pub run (Free beer after...of course) and my legs felt pretty good but I am blessed with a cold right now so my breathing was crap.  

Tonight I have 8 miles on the schedule.   Lucky for me, the weather is warming up accordingly and  I'm destined to either throw up or hack up a lung while I'm out there.   Thank you summer cold.  

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My Upcoming Race Schedule

While I'm in the middle of marathon training, it's easy to forget the other races on my schedule.   A while back I signed up for the Fox Cities Marathon (I'm doing the half).  I keep forgetting this is even happening.   13.1 for me is still a challenge so I need to remember that I have less than 3 weeks until I'm toeing the start line.   It will only be my second half marathon so I really am still not sure what to expect of it.   I am going into it as a training run so honestly I don't really know if I will PR (nor do I expect to).   My previous half marathon time was 2:11 and that averages out to right at a 10:00 minute mile.  This whole summer, I have barely kept that pace on longer runs.   The humidity has been killing me and I don't expect it to cool down that much before this race considering the AC is on right now and we are expected to get back into the 90's this week.

Several other bloggers are also doing this race, either the full or half marathon so it should be a fun time regardless.   Bonus!

Next up is my full marathon.   By the middle of October it better be cooler or I might have to do some serious harm to someone.   I still have the mentality of just finishing it.   Lish and I both agree to just do it, have some fun with it and finish.   We don't want to set ourselves up for a melt down when we see we aren't hitting goals we may have had in mind.   The only thing that worries me is that it's on a trail that isn't paved.    I have bad luck with unpaved trails.  It will be interesting to say the least. 

Right after the full marathon I also signed up for the Tyranena Beer Run.   Any guesses on why I signed up for that?  It's a half marathon and from what I hear, it's pretty hilly.   I'm hoping I'm recovered enough to get through it without wanting to shoot my head off.   I am sure to enjoy the brews and provided food after.  

I am not officially signed up for any other races but I still would love to get in another 5k since my last 5k was last December.    I would hope that I have improved some since that time.    I was told this week that I should be faster than I am.    I'm so damn tall that you would think my stride would be long but it's been pretty typical of me all my life not to put forth my best effort when it comes to sports.   I used to hear it all the time growing up, the potential I have but I don't put it all out there.   If someone would like to explain to me why I'm such a wuss, that would be great.   I just chalk it up to me not being a "natural runner."  I'm always envious of people who start running and instantly are doing 8-9 minute miles with little effort. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Can I really do it?

This past week was hard on me.   Between Mike starting school, him working his regular full time job and me working my two jobs, I found it incredibly hard to get my scheduled runs in.    I need to figure all of this out because right now is not the time to be skipping runs.   I managed a whole 4 miles during the week.   I had planned the long midweek run but then I forgot Mike had to start school and had no way to get it done.   If it counts for anything, I did dance and Lish's wedding on Friday and so that has to count for something, right?  

I have however managed to stay on track with all of my long runs.   Yesterday was no exception.   Unfortunately my long run partner is up north celebrating her new marriage so I had to set out and do 16 miles all by myself.    As luck would have it, it was very humid yesterday as well.

I left the house around 6pm and knew that I wouldn't be back until after dark so for the first time since last winter, I packed my pepper spray.    I also packed two Honey Stinger waffles, Endurolytes, and cash to buy cold water from a gas station around mile 10.  

I started off doing a loop around the area I live in.   It went easily and surprisingly I was breathing just fine.   I did start slow though and kept my pace pretty slow the entire run.   Had I worn a heart monitor I doubt my heart rate would have went over 170 at any time other than hills.    Once I went around the city and ventured more out into the country.   There is a great trail out there that I love running because you get a really nice cool breeze that feels amazing.  

Cool fog going over the trail.

Everything was going according to plan and I felt good.   At 10 miles I went to the gas station and bought cold water and off I went to finish up the run.   At this point it was dark out and I was sort of in the middle of no where.   I missed my running partner and the security I feel running with her.    Then just like that I notice a man walking on the trail ahead of me.   He was in his 20's and sort of walking slowly.   Not like he was out for a good walk on the trail.   I grabbed my pepper spray and as much as I didn't want to, I slowed to his slow pace.   I didn't want to pass him.   I didn't want him at my back.    I walked quietly and just stayed behind him, hoping he wouldn't see me.   Just as he was going to cross the street, he turned around randomly and I actually thought he was going to turn around and come back the way I was.   Thankfully he didn't though and he crossed the street and kept going on the path.    This made me make the decision to abort the trail and find another way home.   It was too dark on the trail and I just didn't feel safe.   It all worked out but that slow walking really ruined my mojo.   I never felt like I had it after that.  

The last few miles were rough.   My legs were sore and I just wanted to be in the security of my home again.   Finally I made it home with a new PR on distance.  

Today I am still sore so I'm hoping to get out for a bike ride so loosen up my legs a bit.     The weather is nice so it should be a good ride.  

Do you run by yourself at night or early morning when the sun isn't out? 

Do you carry pepper spray? 

Monday, August 20, 2012

The truth about thighs...

If you're a woman, I imagine at one time or another you noticed that there is some fat on your thigh that no matter what you do,  doesn't quite go away.   I know there are some athletic women out there that have such amazing bodies that they don't have it but I'd feel safe in saying 98% of women do have it. 

I'm not here to tell you how to get rid of it.  

I'm here to tell you how to hide it. 

If you blog, this is essential information that you NEED to know.

It's all about the angle.   I'm sure you can think of other bloggers out there that always have their body a certain way in picture or always take pictures from a certain angle.   It doesn't take long to recognize what they are trying to do.'re not fooling anyone...honestly.  

Yesterday I took a picture of myself to show everyone my amazing fashion skills.   Here she is:

LOOK AT THOSE THIGHS.  They aren't perfect.   They aren't huge by any means but they aren't very flattering either. 

Here's a close up so you really get the point.

Everyone likes a close up.  It makes them feel better about themselves.  

Now listen up.   All you need to do to make your thighs look thinner is every so gently stick your butt out.   Bend a little bit at the waist.  


Notice the space between the thighs.   Instantly slimming.  

From this point forward I will only take pictures of myself with my ass sticking out in the back where no one can see it.  

Lets be serious here though.   We are women (sorry men).   Be real with yourself.   Why do so many people only post the flattering pictures of themselves?  Post all the pictures!  Don't pose yourself at your best angle.    Show yourself at all angles with a real body.    I think people are going to love the curves a lot more than they would a picture of you with a "perfect inner thigh".   It shows that even with hard work, most bodies still will not have the six pack.   They will still have love handles.   They may not be able to get to what others are able to achieve.    It doesn't mean you should be any less proud of what you do.  

Perfection is boring.  

Saturday, August 18, 2012

How to make new runner friends.

Today I decided to do my long run with Lish.   Usually we do Sunday but she's got a lot going on this weekend and coming week (Getting married!!!!) so she needed to do it today.    Our texts went something like this:
Me:  Wanna do 15 on Sunday night with me?

Lish:  I have to do my long run on Saturday. 

Me:  Oh okay.  

Like 20 minutes later.....

Me:  So what time were you thinking of doing your long run on Saturday?  I was thinking maybe I could only drink one beer on Friday night and then I might be up to running on Saturday morning. 

Lish:  6:30am

Me:  On snap!

After several more texts we decided to meet up with the Fleet Feet of the Fox Valley crew and do our long run with least part of it.    They were going to be doing 7 and we had to get 15 done so we started our run with them and then once they were done, refilled our water and off we went.   First though.   Here's my tip on meeting new running people.

That's a really weak thumbs up....

 Make sure you have crazy ass hair.   The crazier the better.   We're crazy as it is to run at all so might as well look the part too.

Wear a shirt only a runner will appreciate.   I'm sure passing cars just don' but as a runner, we know the rum comes after the run.   Speaking of....I need to get on that.

Have the nervous conversation and laughs when you get there.   Makes you look even crazier.  

Show everyone your fear of bee's by running around like a crazy person trying to avoid the one bee that is hovering around your cheek and ear.   You know what I'm talking about.   

All of these will assure a great first meeting of local runners.    They'll welcome you to the pack of awkwardness and disgustingness (snot rockets, burps, puking, sweaty crotches)  that is running.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

So this is what it is like...

I started my new job this week.   It's been going well and I think I'm going to enjoy working for the company and doing what I'll be doing.   So far I'm just learning the ropes and haven't actually been out to do my job.   I've spent a lot of time in a conference room looking at papers and talking.   It's at this point that you wish so badly that you could just be done with training and out doing your job.   You also know that two days into your real job you will wish so badly that you could go back to training.   Never fails. 

I get up nice and early to enjoy my cup of coffee before my shower and then I have to get the girls up.   Here's the crappy part.   It has given me a glimpse of what it will be like in a few weeks when Katelyn and Kenzie start school.   Kenzie is a beast.  She refuses to get up.   Then when you get her up, she's so crabby and whiny.  I am not looking forward to dealing with that every day.   Tomorrow Mike will be home so I wont have to wake them up and get them out of the house too.   I now see what it is like to be a working mother.   Granted I always worked but it was always during the hours that most people are done working and Mike was always home with the girls.   There really is a difference. 

Marathon training is still going well.   Last week was a step back week and I really needed it.   My whole mind was off of the thought of running but I still managed all of my runs except for one short run.   The long run was only 10 miles so I got that done and didn't have nearly as much pain doing so as the prior week.   This is the hill I end up doing every time on a long run.   One of these times I need to run my route backwards so I can run down the hill.  

It doesn't look as big in picture (That's what she said)

My newest love is the Honey Stinger Waffles.   They are SO good.   So far I've had the original flavor, the vanilla flavor and the strawberry flavor.   My favorite is the vanilla but I also have a chocolate waiting to be eaten during my next long run.    They don't give me any stomach issues and they are a pleasure to eat.   I feel like I'm eating a cookie!   I also bought a pack of the bites so we will see how those go in the near future.  

Yesterday after work, I took a half bushel of tomatoes and made tomato sauce to can.   It was a lot of work!   The pealing part alone took me 2 hours.   Then the sauce cooked for hours and then finally I had to can it.    I feel like the benefits outweigh the hours of work but damn I don't want to see another tomato again (too bad I still have about 10 sitting on my counter).  I wish I had more jars.   I would can a lot more veggies and fruits to keep for the winter if I could afford to! 

Random Photo of the Day:

Mike actually turned around just to get another look at this beaut.  Barbed wire bumper,  fish netting all over, a fake weapon.    I couldn't help but imagine how much more it would hurt to be hit by this car since there was REAL barbed wire on the bumper.  

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Three Things Thursday

1.  I've gone Vegan!   JK.   I tried and was successful for 2 days and then ice cream happened.    How do you turn away ice cream?   I still have some habits to break obviously.   I have been meat free for days now.   That's not hard for me though.    Pizza, Ice Cream, Gehl's Cheese is where I don't know if I can make it.  We have an endless supply of that stuff at work.  

2.  The weather has been much cooler this week and I've had two amazing runs because of it.   I finally have faith in my training and actually believe that hot weather makes running really really really hard. 
I did a 7 miler yesterday and I barely drank anything and just kept going and going without stopping and wanting to call Mike to come pick me up.    It's too bad Pandora wasn't on the same mind set as me.   She gave out at mile 3.  She's lazy I tell ya! 

3.  Blogging is still slow!   I know I know.   Excuses suck.   My girls have been going through something in the past week.   It started with Makenzie and then once she got better, Katelyn had it.   The truth is, they had Hand Foot and Mouth Disease.   When I told Mike that is what it was after taking Katelyn into the doctor, he replied with something along the lines of it not being a disease that even happens anymore, that there is no way, that they need to give our kids meds and that the doctor is on crack.   Then about 10 minutes later his mom called to check on the girls and when she heard what they had, she informed me that Mike's brother just got over that a month ago.   Boom.   I love it when stuff like that happens. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

How to screw up 13.1

Yesterday I went for my long run.   On the plan was a half marathon.   Unfortunately there really weren't any in the area to sign up for so I had to do a mock half marathon.   The problem with this is I didn't really take it seriously and went out and did it with little prepping and thought.   Last week I did twelve so this is only a mile more and all.  

I also want to mention that last week I had IT band pain start up at mile 11.   It scared the crap out of me so I bought a knee wrap and it must have worked because I did my long run last night with no IT band pain.   Everything else hurt, but at least it wasn't the dreaded IT band. 

So the only prepping I did was drinking some Nuun during the day and eating light, bland food.   I knew I wouldn't be able to get out and run until about 7pm on Sunday night because Mike was working but I was okay with it this weekend because the weather was glorious.   It was about 75 with barely any humidity and I was so excited to run in weather that wasn't going to make me feel like I was on a death march. 

I also bought a Nathan hydration belt.   I was always very nervous about using one because I very easily have stomach issues and the just thought of something pushing on my stomach made me want to jolt to the bathroom.    Since every run I have had this summer needed water, I got sick and tired of constantly having a water bottle in my hand.   My small one is fine but the bigger hand held I use feels so heavy and like it makes me feel like I'm running off balance.   I'm happy to report that I loved it.   When all four water bottles were full it did feel a little heavy but once it settled into place on my hips, it didn't bound around and since the waist band is wide, I didn't feel like it was putting much pressure on my stomach.  

So how did I fail my long run?   I'm happy to report that I did complete the 13.1 that was on the schedule.   I am also happy to report that my time to do it, including walk breaks, fuel breaks and any other breaks came to a pretty good time for a long run.   What I am not happy to report is that it HURT badly once I hit mile 10. 

For fuel, all I had was apple sauce.   While I actually feel like it fueled me well, I had no salt at all the entire run.  Once I got to mile ten, my muscles were so tight.   It took me a couple miles to realize it but I actually felt better running than walking.    Once I would stop to walk or wait for a traffic light, my face would show grimace because it was just that painful to stop.   At one point I stretched out my calf muscles at a red light and that was so extremely painful that I may have thrown out an F-bomb.   Thankfully this happened only the last few miles so I was able to get the miles done.   This isn't were the stupidity ends though.

When I got home, I stretched.   It felt amazing to stretch.  I made an ice bath and hopped in to help with muscle pain since I knew it wasn't going to be pretty.     I sat in there and then took a warm shower (is that defeating the purpose of my ice bath?) and got into pajamas.  I then went up to bed to watch my favorite show in the whole world "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" only to realize that my DVR didn't record it for some reason (was there not a new episode on last night?!) and throw around a few F-Bombs because my favorite part of Sunday was screwed up.   I didn't drink anything when I got home.   I didn't have any electrolytes.   I went to bed with sore legs but otherwise felt alright.  

At 5 AM I woke up with the worst throbbing headache that I've had since my last hang over.    I got up to get some Tylenol and actually thought to myself "I feel hung over!"  I then downed half a Gatorade because I'm smart like that. 

So now I am on a mission today to get some Honey Stingers (those don't make me have to run to the bathroom!) and some salt pills for my long runs.    I need to plan my fueling better than I have been now that I'm getting up there in the mileage.   

Since you made it all the way through this long post without any pictures, I have a treat for you.  

This is the creepy look you will get from me if you piss me off.   This is also self humiliation for the sake of a blog. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Still Winning

Here's a little back story to start you off.   About two weeks ago I was driving with Mike and the girls in the van when I heard the radio say "Caller number 9 now"  I started dialing, having no actual idea of what I was actually calling to win.   Mike didn't even know I was calling, he just kept talking and driving.   I hear it ring and what do you know?  I am caller number nine.   So he tells me that I won tickets to the outdoor theater and while there they are giving away a trip for to to L.A.   Cool!   If you remember, I won a trip from this same station 2 years ago to New York City.    I figured he odds weren't in my favor but I thought it would be a fun family night regardless.

It was fun.   We had never been to the outdoor theater before and the girls were pretty excited so we ordered a pizza and camped out until the radio station needed all the people that had won to come up to see who won the prize trip to L.A. 

No one knew I was taking this picture, yet no one is looking at me.   Story of my life. 

So finally the radio station calls everyone up.   There were 24 people there to win the trip so the odds really weren't that bad.   Then they picked 10 numbers (each of us had a number) and those ten people had to stand up.  I thought they had called 10 numbers when my number wasn't called and actually said out loud "Oh shucks" and then he randomly said my number so there I was.   I had a one in ten chance of winning.   To be entirely honest, I felt like throwing up.   Before being in this position I had actually thought about if I had won and thought how hard it would be.   I start my new job in a week.   Mike's already taking vacation in the beginning of September.   Both girls start school in one month.   I'm marathon training...what if it lands on a week/weekend that I have a half marathon or my marathon.     Being that I had won a trip from them before, I knew how it worked and they simply call you up and tell you when you're leaving and where to go.   You don't have much choice in the matter.    I would have made this trip work, but it made me nervous. 

With the ten people standing up there, they did a reverse call.   They put the numbers back in the box and if they called your number, you had to sit down and you were out of the trip.   Slowly they started calling numbers.   Mine wasn't one of them....called some more numbers....mine still wasn't called.   With each number that was called, I felt like throwing up a little bit more.   My legs were weak.   I wanted to sit down but they had us standing up in front of everyone.   Finally it came down to me and one other girl.   It was either her or me.  I even said to her "This is sick" because the DJ was playing it out and making us wait to find out who it was.   I just wanted to sit down.   FINALLY he said my number, which means I didn't win the trip.   I was able to sit down, and just catch my breath again.   The coolest part is this.   I still won.  

They sent me home with the Sony Google TV!  I swear to you, just last week my status on Facebook was this:

So now I really can get rid of U-verse!  It was like it was meant to be.   I can't help but be relieved that I didn't win this trip.   Is that weird that I really didn't think it was in my best interest to win?  I  think the fact that I already won a trip makes me okay with it too.   I had my opportunity to be in disbelief over something so awesome.   Now someone else can feel how that feels.  

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Could you become Vegan?

I am stuck with this question.   I want to give up meat.   I want to give up cheese.  I want to eat a plant based diet.   The problem is, can I do it?  For as long as I can remember, meat has grossed me out.   I don't eat a lot of it and haven't for many years.   If I do, I prefer to eat chicken breasts, steaks, roasts.   All the meat that isn't ground up and processed.  

When it comes to dairy products, I don't have a problem with milk as I don't drink milk anyway.   If I do, it's simply to add to my coffee and I would have no problem trading that out with almond milk, which I always have anyway.   Cheese though....Oh sweet cheese.   I love cheese.   I live in Wisconsin after all and we are known as the cheese heads.   I am willing to give the diary free "cheese" a chance and see how it holds up to it's competitor.   If it's good enough, I might be able to do it.

The problem is, will I be able to stick to a vegan diet?  None of my friends are vegan.   No one in my family is vegan.   I love doing things socially and that involves eating out or eating at other peoples houses and that means I don't really know what ingredients will be in the food.

How do you vegans out there do it?   

This video is very enlightening.   It's not to make you feel bad about your choices.  It's all science and what science has found out about people that eat a plant based diet.    I can't help but want to try it.  The video is long....a whole 45 minutes.   Take the time to watch it though.   Like I said, it's not to make you feel bad about what you eat.   To show you the science about the super foods that are out there for us to eat.  

If you do not already, do you think you could live a vegan life style?

 Is beer okay to drink still???