Life Lessons in Cooking, Dance and Forts

My life has been a little different lately with training in full swing!  I am not going to lie, we have been living the fend for yourself lifestyle with dinner this past week.  I will help the boys make stuff and always feed my little lady the same thing I have.  <–mostly because she likes to be like me.  Last night was no exception.  When back from the gym I made some protein pancakes for me.  While eating I could smell something else cooking.  J decided to make pancakes for the first time ever!!  It was interesting!!

Making a mess and proud of it!
His first two looked a little different.  He said they tasted good so that is what counts!
He hadn’t quite figured out to just pour in one spot!!
Back to the part about me going to the gym.  A friend of mine and I went to our very first Zumba class.  I have heard of Zumba and have watched short clips of it but never really knew what it was.  So, after 45 minutes of trying to learn their routines it was over.  I have mixed feelings on it.  Since the “dances” are routines it took me time to try to learn them.  I was a fast learner and stayed with them most of the time but, I did screw up things here and there…hey, it’s ok…I am a newb!!!  I made sure that I kept moving and kept up with them throughout the class.  I didn’t find it as fun as what I would have thought it could be.  I think part of this is trying to learn the routines and not being able to just move.  Also, I didn’t find that I got a really good workout from it.  The room was very warm so I did sweat but I was not out of breath!  Is this from me having good cardio from running miles and miles?  Or did I just fail completely at the class?  There were times we would do squats and such but it still didn’t make me work hard.  I felt like I didn’t really get much out of it.  I also figure I will try it again and see if maybe it was just not knowing what I was doing 100% that made me not get what I think I should have out of this. 
After my Zumba warm up, I ran!!  Shocker right???  I was supposed to run 3 miles but cut it down to 2, it was getting late (for me anyway) and the outside of my left foot has been a little tender lately.  I can feel the tendon all the way up my leg is just really tight so I am trying to roll it out and ice it as much as possible.  It had been feeling really good but I started to feel it a little and didn’t want to push it too much.  I was happy with my little 2 miles though….9:15 pace and felt GREAT.  I actually noticed I kept getting closer to the front of the treadmill since I was naturally speeding up.  I love feeling good while running!!! 
And one last random thing for you…my kids wanted to build a fort.  I got yelled at when I turned the lights on so this is the best pic I could get!
They had about 6 blankets and a few chairs/end tables.
Do you remember learning to cook?
Have you done Zumba? Pros/Cons?
Did you build blanket forts when you were little? 
Did you know you can find me on Facebook??  Check me out here!


A party and relationship building

My mothers birthday was this weekend.  We ate pizza and the kids had a blast signing her 3 different versions of happy birthday.
Great pre-long run fuel!!  So good!!
Part of my family
Apparently my sister forgot how to smile!
Seriously, what is that?
Saturdays run went well.  D rode bike while I ran.  At one point he asked me “did your training plan call for 7 hilly miles?”.  No bud, no it did not.  Between the hills and the wind I think my workout was a success!!  I struggled to keep pace after the first big hill at miles 2-3 followed by another hill almost immediately.  You can see my pace slow where these hills were!  They were good for my soul though.  I went off effort level and ignored the Garmin AGAIN!  Turned out well for me! 
I remember my first 10k being slower than that!  Yay for improvements!!
Mile 1:  9:43
Mile 2: 10:00
Mile 3:  9:54
Mile 4: 10:03
Mile 5:  9:27
Mile 6:  9:37
Mile 7:  9:53
KK likes to do her dolls hair, she is actually getting quite good at it.  She loves when they are twins!
She cracks me up!  I love this girl!
We signed up for a new gym membership on Sunday, it is nice my hubs can actually work out with me now.  I got in a 1 mile run on Sunday and another mile on the elliptical along with some lower body strength training.
Monday I ran at the gym, 4 miles in the books!  The treadmill and I are getting along better but we are not bff’s just yet.
9:44 average
Which leaves me at yesterday.  I did a mile warm up at 9:22 pace and then worked on my upper body.  I was starving when we finally got home, so I made one of my favorites.
Last Week
Turkey burger, roasted broccoli and salad!
Sunday: Foam Roll done
Monday: 4 miles done
Tuesday: Rest Cardio Circuit class
Wednesday: 3 miles rest
Thursday: Strength Training  4 miles, 2 outdoor, 2 inside
Friday: 4 miles rest…my mama’s birthday got in the way!!  🙂
Saturday: 7 miles done–hilly
Total:18 miles  15 miles, short on mileage but runs felt great.
This week:
Sunday: Foam Roll done, plus 1 mile ‘mill
Monday: 4 miles done
Tuesday: Rest 1 mile
Wednesday: 3 miles
Thursday: Strength Training
Friday: 5 miles
Saturday: 10 miles   
Total: 23 miles
Do you get together with your fam for birthdays?

How is your relationship with the ‘mill lately?

Turkey burger…with or without bun?  I always go without!

Running is a mental battle…at least for me!

The mental aspect of running has always been my downfall.  Being able to believe in myself and what I can do isn’t the easiest for me.  That being said having a successful run is always a confidence booster.  Being able to prove to myself that I am capable of a good run is important to training.  I know their will be bad days and that is ok.  I just need runs like I had yesterday to remember that I can do this!!  Hopefully more of these runs will keep coming my way now that I am starting to break the habit of watching pace on my Garmin while I run!

So far in this training cycle I have learned a lot about myself.  Most importantly though, I can hold paces for longer when I don’t watch it on my Garmin.  If you read this post, you would know that I ran good and pretty evenly paced once I stopped watching my Garmin on my long run last Saturday.  So last night I did the same thing.  I started my Garmin and only looked at it when it beeped to let me know I had hit a mile marker.
The run started at my parents house, I haven’t went for a run from there in a long time and I am glad I did.  I headed down the street and just went with the flow of it.  I headed down the road to see if I could come up with a route close to the 3 miles I was making up from a missed run on Wednesday.  One of the things I love about the town I grew up in, is that they still have brick roads!!  Not all of them are but a few scattered throughout town and I love that.
I was running…so it is blurry!
I continued my journey and decided to run past a park I use to go to when I was young.  Just before I got there, mile 1- 9:14.  Nice, I hadn’t thought I was going that fast.  I started to pay attention to the fact that it was getting darker!!  I was dressed highly inappropriate for running in the dark.  I had on black running tights and a black and grey shirt!  So I decided to start heading towards my parents and I could go finish up my 3rd mile on the indoor track across town. 
You can’t tell but it is getting dark…the street light is on!  🙂
I felt like I was going at a turtles pace for this second mile.  I felt much slower than the first and was trying to figure out why!  I wasn’t winded or tired and physically felt great!  Its only 2 miles…why would that slow me down?  I kept going and didn’t look at my pace.  As I neared my parents house I had to detour around a little so I would hit mile 2 close to their house and then I beeped.  Mile 2- 8:50!  What!?!?  This really shocked me…in a good way! 
I expected to see something closer to 10 so this really made me happy!  I just couldn’t believe it!  Maybe the little bit of hills and speed work I am doing is paying off!  Faster paces are beginning to feel a little slower and I like that!  I am really excited to know that since I stopped obsessing about watching pace it is improving.  I think mentally I don’t believe I can hold a certain pace for a specific distance so watching it was just ruining my runs.  I would put the pressure on myself and then not perform as well.  I think I am going to like this no pressure running I am doing!
I then headed to the indoor track and met up with Jade.  We started running and I was only going to do one mile but we got talking and soon enough I had ran 2 more!  I don’t know what pace we were going at all.  I didn’t time it and I didn’t’ care.  Day’s total 4 miles!
Are you addicted to watching pace/distance etc?
Favorite thing about your hometown?
Does your pace ever shock you?

Cardio and a crooked treadmill!

Tuesday was supposed to be my off day, and instead of resting like I should have I went to a class with some of the girls!  We originally were going to take part in a Piloxing class but the instructor was out sick so we did a Cardio Circuit instead!  This class was a great mix of cardio and strength training.  There were 14 stations and we did 4 sets x 20 sec reps at each station.  For the last 15 minutes of class we did core work on stability balls.  I enjoyed this class and am looking forward to doing more things like this soon!

R to L: Me, Jade, Kari (front) and Jenni!
When we were done with class Kari and I hit up the sauna for a little bit!  It was nice to just relax!!  Once I finally made it home I did the one thing that you should never do as a runner/athlete.  I took a shower, skipped dinner and went to bed!  Yep, I skipped dinner.  I was just too tired to make anything.  I wake up at 2:30am and by the time I was done in the shower and hair was dried enough to sleep in it was almost 10pm!!!  Yep, that is late enough, 4.5 hours of sleep and I just don’t get along well anymore! 
Yesterday was in a world of its own and the first day I had to just give in to not running!  This was not a choice I wanted to make so I am going to make up for that missed run today.  How this happened was just crazy!  First, when I got home it was very foggy out, since I live in the country I decided I would just run on the ‘mill so I didn’t’ have to worry about not being visible.  So, when I got on my treadmill and started my warm up I noticed it was moving with each step!  Not just a little but almost a rocking action.  My hubs moved it on Sunday and didn’t get it level.  So a not level treadmill that I can’t move and get level on my own was not working for me.  I felt unstable and not good about it so I called it quits for that idea.  I headed out to see if the fog had lifted and it was already dark!  SERIOUSLY!!  This just sucked!  It was too late to drive 25 minutes to the gym so I just said screw it!  I did make this though instead!
Best tutu pose I could get!
The girls from our running group are all participating in The Tutu Run for Girls on the Run on February 1st!  So this definitely needed to be done anyway! 
My snack yesterday was awesome too….only a runner would think that this looks appetizing.  I personally thought my poo looking almond butter tasted amazing!!
Yes, it looks like poop.
Then of course there was this.
The struggle is real!
Delivered to my office for me to babysit.  Seriously??  I am in the middle of training for a marathon and trying to be all healthy so you set 9 boxes of Thin Mints next to my desk????  Talk about testing my will power!
Have a great Thursday!!
What is your favorite class to take? I am a newb at these so I don’t know yet!! 
Have you ever done a tutu run? First for me!
Favorite girl scout cookie?  thin mints, hands down!

Running, spin and a trash talking Garmin!

Yesterday was great!  Even though when I got out of work I had to rushed around to try and get my 4 miles in before my spin class….needless to say…that just did not happen!
Buuuuuuuttttttt, I had just enough time to get in 2 miles before class and I am actually really happy with that!  I was running inside so I had to keep track of my own splits but….they were good, at least I think so! 
Mile 1: 8:38, Mile 2: 9:31 (slowed down to talk to a friend I ran into <–HA!  I didn't really run into her though just next to).  I had enough time to stretch out the legs and hips before hopping on a bike and warming up!

Worst pic ever!  Class was over, I had to do something! 😉
During spin I worked up a much bigger sweat than last week but still wasn’t really loving the class itself.  The workout I love love love!!!  I am going to try a spin class at another gym and see how that works out for me.  I hope its just the environment I don’t like!  45 minutes and a pint of sweat later, I was heading back to finish my 4 miles for the day! 
After my 3rd mile…Nikia’s 4th!
The first one I did, Nikia was running too so I stuck with her for a 10:40 split and then I relaxed and let my pace pick up a little.  Mile 4 ended at 8:28!!  I felt awesome too!  I wasn’t worn out or feel like I needed to lie down and not move for 30 minutes!  That means I was successful…at least to me it does!
I stretched out a little, seriously just a little, I need to get better at that.  Then headed home.  By the time I was at the house I was starving!!!!  I started making K and I turkey burgers and broccoli when BOOM!  My Garmin started talking shit!
Are you freakin’ KIDDING ME?!?!
Seriously, I just ran 4 miles did a 45 minute spin class and you are going to tell me to MOVE!  I don’t think so!!  I took it off and haven’t put it back on yet!
Today is a rest day for me so I am being a good girl and going to a Piloxing class??  Don’t know what it is or what they do so heck why not!!??  I am loving this cross training! 
I will try to do better on the pics today with this class, I kind of get into the working out part and forget that sharing is caring!
This week:
Sunday: Foam Roll
Monday: 4 miles done and 45 minutes spin
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: 3 miles race pace
Thursday: Strength Training
Friday: 4 miles
Saturday: 7 miles   
Total: 18 miles
Do you have an app/watch other health related item that talks crap to you?
Have you ever taken piloxing?
What did you have for dinner last night?

Country Music Marathon Training…the most important part!

Now that my training for RnR Nashville is in full swing I want to talk about who I am running for…the children of  St. Jude.  This is an organization that all started with Danny’s promise!!  If he could make it his life work we can make it a focus of ours.

Did you know?
  • Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.
  • Because the majority of St. Jude funding comes from people like you, St. Jude has the freedom to focus on what matters most – saving kids regardless of their financial situation. (That means your donation, no matter what the size, will help!)
  • St. Jude is working to drive the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90% by 2020.
St. Jude won’t stop until no child dies of cancer, and neither will I.  So please help me help the Children of St. Jude by going to my donation page.  Every cent helps…even a small donation of a few dollars is better than turning away and this is why.
How your donation helps:
  • Thanks to donors like you, no family ever receives a bill from St. Jude for anything, including treatment, travel, housing and food.
  • St. Jude is working to drive the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90%, by 2020. They won’t stop until no child dies from cancer.
  • Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to 80 percent since it opened 50 years ago.
Amazing isn’t it???  Could you imagine being a parent of a child at St. Jude and knowing that you were going to be taken care of both medically and financially?  What a blessing!!!!
So please go to my page and make a small donation for these children!!! 
Thank you!

Weekend Wrap-Up

Saturday, I went for a 9 mile run and it was beautiful!!!  The weather was perfect!  High 30’s, sunny and roads were clear!  Heading out I decided to do a 4.5 out and back run on a road that had a nice mixture of hills and flats. 

For my longer runs I have been trying to stay around 10:30-11 minute miles.  My first mile felt good and was in the right pace zone.  I was really struggling staying at a slower pace and started to wonder what I would run like if I just stopped watching my Garmin.  So that’s what I did.  I turned it to show only overall time and distance and ran by feel alone. 
Around mile 1 and 8
Love running this road!
I ran so that I felt comfortable and like I was going just a little too slow.  I also made sure that I walked through the “water stops”.  Which I did approximately every two miles.  This is what I am planning on doing for my marathon so this is how I am going to train.  On the way out I felt great!  When I turned around I noticed how windy it had become and had to work just a little harder.  Ok, a lot harder!  There were points where I felt like I was standing still!  But like I know I am supposed to I tried to just go with it, I didn’t fight the wind, I just ran.  By my splits, it worked out for me but man!  I was really not liking it at ALL!!
Almost done!
Not too bad!
Here are my splits.
After my run was over I took the opportunity to foam roll and treat myself to a little reward of Organic Vanilla Bean ice cream with Salted Caramel Sauce!  It was delish!! 
No it is not on the counter…I have clear glass bowls
Sunday all I did was foam roll and hang out with my family!  My training is going well so far but I have been just short on my mileage both weeks.  But not by much and I am also doing extra workouts each week for cross training so I am ok with it!
Last week:
Sunday: Foam Roll done
Monday: 3 miles done plus 45 minutes spin
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: 4 miles hills done 3.8 miles
Thursday: Strength Training  3.7 miles on indoor track
Friday: 4 miles strength training
Saturday: 9 miles   done
Total: 20 miles  19.5 miles

This week:
Sunday: Foam Roll
Monday: 4 miles
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: 3 miles race pace
Thursday: Strength Training
Friday: 4 miles
Saturday: 7 miles   
Total: 18 miles
How was your weekend?
Do you like anything on your ice cream or just plain?
Did you have a long run this weekend?

Hills don’t go anywhere…they wait!

Making the most out of marathon training is not always the easiest thing to do.  It takes planning, consistency, giving your all and most importantly time.  You have to have time to run, to strength train and to rest.  At this point in the year, the sun is down by 6pm.  So you can probably imagine my worry when I knew I had a hill workout to do and didn’t get home until after 4pm!
I walked through the door and started grabbing all my stuff.  Then D decided he wanted to go to, he wanted to get outside and run!  We haven’t been able to do this lately as the weather hasn’t been ideal for outdoor running here in my little corner of Indiana.  It has been warm enough but since I live where there are no sidewalks, running on the roads when they are snow covered isn’t the smartest thing.  So I have avoided it!  But lets me honest who wants to do a hill workout on the ‘mill…NOT THIS GIRL!!!! 
It was almost 5 before we were out the door but we had our lights and we had about 45 minutes until is was dark out.  My training plan called for 4 miles of hills.  Not hill repeats but a run that had lots of hill incorporated into it.  I have just the place for this near my house.  Three miles down the road there is a lake that has a perfect 5k loop going around it and hills of all sizes.  Low grade hills, steep hills, short hills and long hills.  The entire loop is hills, there are only a couple of places when you are actually running on level ground.

Ready to Go!
We started off on the south side of the lake and took off.  The roads were mostly snow covered but they don’t have much traffic around here so I wasn’t too concerned.  Plus, D and I both had our YakTrax on.
Much needed traction!
We got to a section about 3/4 of a mile in where two hills met.  So know we needed 4 miles not just 3.1 we did some repeats.  We would go down the first hill straight into running hard up the second, turn around and repeat going down the one we just went up and up the one we came down.  These were some serious hills so it hurt in a really good way!! 
D almost at the bottom of one of the hills
After we did 6 complete loops (12 total uphills) we moved on.  Every time we came to an uphill we would push harder.  We weren’t giving 100% but a hard effort.  Then we would back off to an easy pace while going downhill, I was trying to make sure my form was good.  I am trying to stop my heel strike habit.  I am not going to lie there were a couple hills that hurt so good I took a few walking steps once we were at the top!  D was making me work for it, his young legs were doing a great job of pushing me along. 
hills, hills, hills
At one point my Garmin lost signal but D’s didn’t so I lost a half mile but after checking out his we ended with this.
3.8 miles
36:01 minutes
9:28 average pace
For my first hill workout plus the road/footing conditions I am happy with this.  I know that I was pushing 7something pace going up most of the hills and slowed it way down to recover between them.  Near the end I am sure my pace dwindled though and that is OK!
On another note…Got another Ipsy bag yesterday also!
Do you like hill training?  How do you run them?
How are the road conditions where you live?
Have you tried Ipsy?

My Five

What do you do when you have a non-running day during marathon training?  For me this was a hard question to answer,  I struggle with it.  I want to run.  It feels good to run.  However, I need the rest too.  So since I can’t seem to get running out of my head ever (the addiction is real folks), I wanted to play a little game called “Who, What, When, Where and Why” Let me preface this with the fact I am always looking at anything running and that makes me happy!  So I have random thoughts like this go through my head ALL the time!!

If you could pick one person to run/train with for a day WHO would it be? 
Deena Kastor…umm….because she is amazing!!!  I would love to be able to talk to her one on one and have her there to motivate me.  I can’t imagine how much harder I would run with a pep talk from her!!  Seriously, is just awesome!  And I am jealous of her awesomeness!  🙂

When you started running WHAT was the first “real runner” item you purchased? 
This took a couple of minutes for me to remember but, it was Body Glide!  I remember getting it and telling D…see now that I am a real runner I have to prevent chafing!!  haha!!!  The funniest part about this to me is the fact that I hardly ever use it!!  On rare occasion I will put some on but other than that it just sits there with all of my “stuff”.
WHEN was your first race?  Mine was May 24, 2014…you can read about it here.  I don’t know if I will ever have the same emotions after a race as I did this one.  EVER!
If you could race anywhere in the world WHERE would it be?
I would run The Great Wall!!  OMGracious!  Need I say more?
You started running for a reason right?  WHY? 
When I quit smoking, I didn’t want to be that person that went back to it.  So I decided I would run a half marathon.  I signed up and booked a hotel.  Now, I was invested.  I had to run or I was losing money and letting myself down.  Don’t get me wrong, I ran when I was younger too, so I knew what I was getting myself into.  But it all boils down to me not want to be “that girl”.  The one that was all ‘hey I quit’ and two weeks later going back to the same stuff.  I can honestly say that me starting to run again was one of the best decisions I have ever made!
What is your who, what, when, where and why?

Spin and cookies: A perfect combination!

First up….have you watched this????  I love love love it!!

I completed my first spin class last night!  It was awesome and now my ass hurts!!  🙂  Ok, in all seriousness it really isn’t that sore but I can tell I spent 45 minutes on a bike which my body is NOT used too at all!!  I really liked spin….a lot! I can see it becoming a new addiction!  I loved doing something that made my muscles work and my body sweat without all the pounding on my joints!  Terra the spin instructor started off having us do some climbs seated and standing, moved into standing runs and seated sprints.  We did things like this for the first 20 minutes in 45 second – 2 minute intervals.  For the second half of class we did the same thing using a higher resistance.  If I were to change anything about the class it would have been the music.  It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t very loud, and it wasn’t really ‘pump you up’ type of music.  It was more of a background noise to me.  I would have liked it to be more upbeat and really something that makes you want to work out.  I have also heard a lot of places change lighting while running the spin class…is this true?  If so that would be awesome.  This place doesn’t do that. 
I wore my HR monitor so I could see how many calories I burned during class.  I was pretty surprised at the results.  Not bad!  Total time: 43 minutes, Calories burned: 480!! 

See that sweat?  I was working hard!
When I got done with spin, it was time to run!  As much as this seemed ridiculous to some of my friends, just because I did another workout doesn’t mean I can skip any training runs.  This run was so worth it!!!  A friend of mine, Nikia, had met me at the gym for spin class and was going to run with me.  So after spin we took a short break to hydrate, both drank a PocketProtein to help refuel, and stretched out so we could stay loose for our run!  And holy moly am I glad we did!!!! 
We started off at a decent pace, at a half mile, I asked Nikia if she wanted to push the first mile!  She said lets do it.  The result of that push???  Nikia PR’d her mile time and hit 9:37!  How awesome is that?!?!  A 45 minute spin class, then a mile PR, and then 2 more miles!!!  We finished our 3 miles at 32:34, with an average of 10:51/mile. 
And we are done…I tried to get the guys in the back to smile!
When I finally got home I was starting to get a little bit hangery!  What do you do if you are hangery…you make a giant salad and a sweet potato!!!  I can’t tell you how well this hit the spot!  Belly full, happy me!!
Yummy!!  So stinkin’ good!!!
I also discovered these yesterday and I love them.
I love all things sweet potato!
And I made these cookies…pre-packaged of course, because after a workout….I am not about to bake!!!  They are now my favorite.  At 150 calories each I am going to have to spin daily!
Seriously a marshmallow stuffed cookie??  Yes, please!  I will take the whole package!
Have you taken a spin class?  What was your favorite part?
What is your favorite after workout dinner?
Do you use an HRM?