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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Twin Spin Tuesday.

I really need to remember to go to bed earlier on Monday nights, because Tuesday mornings come way too quickly.  I woke up at 4:45 so I would have time to get dressed, pack my gym back and eat some breakfast before arriving at the gym in time for a 6am spin class.

After the first hour of spinning, I got on a treadmill for 20 minutes of walking/running, then got busy doing my strength training.  Today my focus was chest and biceps, which are actually my favorite muscle groups to work on.  Something about doing bench press and bicep curls makes me feel strong.  I spent about 45 minutes in the weight room, then had just enough time to eat a banana and drink a protein shake before the start of spin class numero dos.

In honor of the on-going Olympics, I though I'd share with you one of my favorite quotes from olympian Kara Goucher's book, Running for Women:

Isn't it funny how universal some things are?  I don't think you could get much more fit than Kara, yet she still has some body image issues.  I really believe that the key to being content with our physical state comes with not comparing ourselves to everyone around us.  I know, way easier said than done.  But I like the idea, as Kara says, that women who run (or walk or workout in any capacity on a regular basis) look powerful, strong and healthy, regardless of how their body conforms to society's idea of "perfection".  Just something to think about...

Now don't forget to watch the women's Olympic marathon on August 5th - Go Team USA!!

*(Oh, and also don't forget to check out my new Facebook page for this blog.  Just click on the Facebook badge over there on the left, which will take you to the page where you can 'like' it to receive daily updates.)

Monday, July 30, 2012

It really is a new day!

My friend Holly was feeling too sick with a cough to run with me this morning, so I went it alone.  I even allowed myself to sleep in a little before heading out into the heat of the day.  As my husband slept, I snuck out of bed around 7:30 and got my running clothes on before I had time to change my mind.  I did a 9 mile loop and had a pretty decent run, although still feeling a twinge in my hamstring.  When I got home, I did Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred DVD as my leg and core strength training for today.

And now I have a funny story about what it takes to be a mom training for a marathon.  This evening I went to town to go to the gym for a spinning class.  I also needed to stop at the grocery store on my way home to pick up a few things.  Normally when I need to run errands after going to the gym, I bring a change of clothes and shower and change before leaving.  Tonight though, I knew my stop at the store would be quick and I really just wanted to hurry home right after class to be with my family and not spend too much time fussing around.  Of course, after an hour of spinning (with my favorite, the toughest instructor Misty - yay!) I was literally soaked with sweat.  Besides the fact that at 7pm it was still around 100 degrees outside, it's impossible not to get completely drenched  in one of Misty's classes.

As I left the gym, I dried myself as much as possible with my towel, but as I entered Winco I suddenly felt super self-conscious about my wet and sweaty appearance (and probably aroma)!  I quickly pushed my cart through the store, grabbing the things I needed, trying to avoid eye contact with anyone and hoping not to see anyone I knew.  Just as I was approaching the checkout, a lady walking past me turned to the person she was with and said, "That's just gross!"  It was obvious she was referring to sweaty ol' me.  Hahaha!  I really was laughing to myself, as I thought about the fact that this poor woman wearing pajama bottoms and missing a couple of front teeth, clearly had never been to one of Misty's spinning classes!  ;)

Seriously, as moms we get spit-up on, puked on, peed on, messy hands wiped on, and sometimes we get really sweaty trying to fit in a workout while still having to run errands and do things to keep a household functioning.  So, I wear my sweaty clothes and face proudly - I earned every glistening drop.  (Although, next time I might bring a change of clothes no matter what, just in case.) ☺

New Facebook page!!

I have created a Facebook page linked to this blog, in an effort to build up my readership and hopefully make things a little more fun and exciting around here!  I would LOVE it if all you that follow this blog would go to Facebook and 'like' the new page:


And then feel free to share the page with all of your friends, especially the ones you know are interested in this kind of stuff.

This should be a different way for you all to keep track of new blog posts and fun things coming up, like giveaways, race re-caps, new finds relating to running and fitness and things like that.  I would love to hear suggestions from any of you with regards to what you like to see on this blog and what posts you find the most interesting.

As you will see on the new Facebook page, I will be doing my first giveaway when I reach 1000 miles run for the year, and as of today I am at 935 miles!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Reflections and summer baking!

The past couple of days I have been in one of my "funks", even though things have (up until recently) been going along pretty smoothly with my training and with life.  As I posted several days ago, we have had some minor disappointments within our family, and I think that combined with some really annoying and painful stuff going on with my left hamstring left me feeling blue.  After my "weird" run on Friday, I wasn't too sure about running on Saturday.  My schedule had me doing a 12 miler, but since I did that 12 mile run with Holly on Monday, I was going to substitute a shorter run.  When I woke up on Saturday, I was still having quite a bit of pain in my leg.  So instead of running, I just went to the park and walked about 4 miles, then came back home and did Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, level 3.

Today I just rested.  We went to church this morning, then this afternoon I spent baking.  I also spent a little time trolling blogs, and came across a great article over at HungryRunnerGirl.  Janae's post titled "The Hard/Easy Rule" really struck a chord with me today.  I too, have a tendency to over-do things when it comes to training hard.  Granted, training hard for me may not mean the same thing that it means to her, or any other runner or athlete, but I know how it can be to not want to ever take it "easy".  Whether it means taking an extra rest day now and again or adjusting my schedule to accommodate the times when I'm feeling especially worn out or sore; I am more likely to just train through those times.  So in a sense, the past few days have actually been good for me.  Last week I did 5 spinning classes, weight training on 5 days for a total of about 4.5 hours for the week, and I ran 28 miles.  I think taking a couple of low-key days,  resting more, eating more, sleeping more, stressing about working out less - has really been good for me.  I just hope that by tomorrow,  my niggling hamstring will allow me to enjoy a good run with Holly.

Anyway, the other day my husband brought in about 10 yellow summer squash from our garden.  I roasted and pureed them, and this afternoon I baked the most delicious muffins using the squash puree!  Here is the recipe:

Squash Muffins
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. ground flax
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup squash puree* (any kind of squash, inc. pumpkin!)
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
crumb topping, mix ingredients together to form little crumbly balls:
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup whole grain oats or quick oats
2 Tblspn. butter or margarine
1/4 cup brown sugar

*To make the puree, I cut the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, place them face down on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray and bake in a 425 degree oven for 1 hour.  When cooled, I scoop the pulp of the squash out with a large spoon and use a food processor to make puree, adding water as needed.

In a small bowl, combine dry ingredients.  In a large bowl, combine sugar, squash puree, vanilla, milk, oil and egg, mixing well.  Stir in dry ingredients, just until moistened.  (Over-mixing will make the muffins tough.)  Fill greased or paper lined muffin tin cups, about 2/3 full, then sprinkle with crumb topping.  Bake at 350 for 16-18 minutes.  Makes a dozen muffins.

Today I tripled the batch.  What was left after my kids and husband devoured their portions, we shared with friends and neighbors! :)

Friday, July 27, 2012

That's life.

This has been kind of a weird week.  It started off pretty good, with that awesome 12 miler I ran with Chris and my friend Holly.  But things have kind of gone downhill from there.  Not just with my running and workouts, but just life in general.  A week of disappointments, some minor, some a little more than that.

Yesterday was one of the lowest points this week.  I did make it to the gym in the morning with Chris and we spent 45 minutes in the weight room before going to spin class.  We had a substitute, an instructor who doesn't normally teach spin, and it showed.  The class was pretty blah, but I was still able to get in a good burn.  I just didn't come away from the class feeling uplifted or motivated like I usually do.  Then the rest of the day just went more sour, as other "life" stuff crumbled around us a bit.

Anyway, despite how crummy I felt going to bed last night, I was determined to wake up this morning and make the most of today.  I wasn't scheduled to run, but I decided that a good run was just what I needed to make me feel better.  I felt good waking up, no soreness or aches in my body.  So I put on my running gear and headed out, planning on doing the 9 mile loop.  As soon as I started to run, I could feel a tug in my left hamstring.  It just kept pulling tighter and tighter.  I have learned to just run through the pain, but it really is getting old.  I would love to figure out what to do about it.  Okay, so I just figured I'd go slowly - a mile is a mile, no matter how long it takes to cover, so I just wanted to keep my feet moving.  At around 3 or 4 miles, I started having really bad stomach cramps.  I tried to run through them, but I couldn't and had to take a couple of walking breaks.  Then the cramps worsened and I knew I needed to get to a bathroom.  Of course, this was the one day I chose to run (almost) "naked", leaving my phone, tissues, etc. at home instead of carrying them in my belt.  I just wanted to run unencumbered, instead I was caught unprepared and in dire straights.

I decided at that point to turn around and head back home instead of following the loop around.  That would save me a couple of miles and a little bit of time.  With still over 3 miles until I reached home, I got desperate.  And now for a little TMI:  I have only ducked off the side of the road once - ever - and that was on a long run and I was very far from any bathrooms and really had no choice.  Now I was in a predicament that I didn't want to be in.  I found some big rocks in an area away from the road and any houses.  I had to climb through thorn-ridden, hip high weeds and shrubs to get to a private, hidden spot.  Once I had "relieved" myself, I felt a little bit better.  I was able to climb back to the road and after a couple minutes of walking to regain my senses, I started to run again, the skin on my legs and ankles now burning with scratches from the thorns and thistles. :(  Apparently Heavenly Father felt I was in need of a lesson in humility.

I ran the rest of the way home and actually felt a lot stronger than I did on the first half of the run.  Still, not ideal.  By the time I got home I had gone a hair over 7 miles.  I have yet to have that wonderful, warm-fuzzy feeling of accomplishment from any of my workouts this week, at least since that 12 miler on Monday.  This afternoon my husband has said he'd like to go with me to a spinning class.  It is supposed to be taught by our favorite instructor, and if she is there today, this could be my chance to redeem things and bring my spirits back up to where they should be.  If not, well then who knows.  There's always tomorrow, I guess.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What should I do Wednesday.

Today was interesting, as far as my workout went.  My schedule had me doing some speed work, but after that hard and fast 12 miler on Monday, my legs weren't too sure about doing more speed work today.  I wasn't even sure I'd get out and run, my legs were so stiff and sore.  I still think a lot of my current soreness is from doing that P90X stuff!

After rolling around on the floor for a while and procrastinating my workout, at about 7:00am I finally just put on my running clothes and walked out the door, not really sure what I was going to do.  I pressed the start button on my Garmin, but kept walking for about a block before I finally forced myself to pick it up to a jog.  I ended up doing 2 miles out and back, for a total of just over 4 miles.  It took me a good mile or more before I started to feel limber and relaxed into my run.  I watched as the average pace on my Garmin went from a 14 minute mile (when I was walking), gradually down into the 11 minute mile range.  I was okay with that.  Considering I almost didn't run at all, I felt pretty good about just getting out there and running today.

When I got home it was time for a little strength training.  I put on the season finale of The Bachelorette on Hulu and got busy using my dumbells and stability ball to work on shoulders and traps for about 40 minutes.  By the time I was done with that, I was feeling even more limber, so I packed my gym bag with a towel and water bottle, said goodbye to my resting husband and kids and headed to the gym for a lunch-time spin class.

An hour and a half later I was back home, with quivering legs to carry me around the rest of the day as I did laundry, vacuumed the house and prepared for an evening cub scout pack meeting.  When we got our issue of Runner's World yesterday, my husband was quick to point out that in the article on page 31 (Personal Best, Healthy Habits), under "5 Things Runners Must Do", the number one thing is get enough sleep - something I don't do.  I have myself convinced that I am fully functioning on 5 hours or so of sleep a night, but apparently I should be getting more like 6-8 hours, more sleep the more weekly mileage increases.  Hmmm...still working on that one, as I sit here at 11pm writing on my blog, with plans to wake up at 6am for spinning and weights at the gym. :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Rough assessment.

When I woke up this morning and fell out of bed, bones creaking and muscles twinging, I considered (for a moment) skipping the gym.  At first I was thinking, "How did a 12 mile run make me so sore?"  Then I remembered that I also did that 50 minute P90X dvd - yeah, I'm pretty sure that was the cause of my decrepitude!  Oh, and maybe the evening spinning class didn't help much.

Of course, I still managed to get my butt over to the gym, where I started out with a one mile warm-up on the treadmill, followed by 30 minutes of strength training.  Today I worked on biceps and chest.  Then I did my usual spinning class.  Are there any other "spinners" out there?  Anyone know what I'm talking about when I say "gliders"?  Ouch.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday, Monday. So good to me.

Last night as my husband and I were talking about our running plans for this morning, he said he wanted to do a long run starting up at the top of Buckskin Rd. (the beginning of the marathon route, elevation of approximately 5000').  I had plans to do my usual 5-6 mile run with my friend Holly, followed by some leg and core circuits.  When I called Holly to finalize our plans, we decided that we would all run down the mountain, and Holly's husband would drive us up to the top on his way to work.  As excited as I was to run there, I knew that meant running a little over 12 miles instead of 5.  I wasn't too sure how my legs would handle it, just a day of recovery since doing that 27 miler.  You know me, though.  I'm always up for a challenge - and a great workout.

So this morning we set out around 5:45.  We were at the top and starting our descent by 6am.  It is impossible to go too slowly on the first 6-7 miles of this particular run.  It is all downhill, winding around like a snake.  Beautiful and serene.  Although I have run there several times, Chris has never run it.  He's usually the one giving us a ride up to the top.  I was so excited for him to be able to experience it.

I set my interval timer to a 4:1 run/walk ratio, but we ended up skipping a couple of the walking breaks just to take advantage of the marvelous downhill.  Chris finished his run, 12.1 miles, with an average pace of 9:49 min/mile.  Holly and I were not too far behind him, finishing with an average pace of 10:06.  I felt like my hamstrings were holding me back from staying with Chris.  He was fresh and rested and took off like crazy.  As I look at our stats from my Garmin, during the running portions in between the walk breaks we did take, we were doing 7 minute miles.  Chris was even in the 6 minute mile range most of the time.  It would be fun to see how fast he could do it if he took out the walk breaks.

Once we were back at our house, Chris drove down to the store and picked up some chocolate milk for all of us, while Holly and I got started on our circuits.  Today we used one of the P90X dvd's, called leg and core synergy, or something along those lines.  I've never done any of the P90X videos - that's some tough stuff!!  It was 50 minutes of non-stop strength combined with cardio and plyometrics moves, all while focusing on stabilizing the core.  No doubt I will be sore tomorrow. :)

Tonight....evening spin class!! Yay.  Spinning makes me happy.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

"Ultra" marathon??? :)

Here I hold my trusty Garmin in my sweaty hand.  They say anything over the marathon distance of 26.2 miles is an ultra-marathon, so I suppose technically that's what I accomplished today...hahaha! :)

Before my run.

Obviously I didn't have the greatest overall pace on this run.  That 12:42 is over a minute per mile slower than my average pace on the Ogden Marathon a couple of months ago.  I started out my run this morning at 5:15, knowing that as soon as the sun was up and over the mountains, I would have some serious heat to contend with.  Boy, did I underestimate how it would make me feel.  I felt really good for the first half of my run.  There was actually a cool breeze and I was moving along well, doing my 4:1 run/walk ratio and averaging an 11:20-something pace.  I started fueling at 10 miles, using Clif Shot Bloks as my fuel of choice.

As I approached the 14 mile mark, Chris caught up with me as he was getting off from working the overnight shift.  He was headed home, but was going to place a water bottle for me at around mile 19 so I could refill my hydration belt.  Seeing him for a few minutes was a nice distraction and kept me motivated for the next few miles.  Once I had passed my turning point and was headed back towards home, I was really starting to feel the heat.  From about mile 17 on, I had no shade.  I mean none.  Zilch.  The sun was pretty much directly over head, temps around 85 plus, and I felt like my skin was melting.  My lips were dry, my head was starting to ache and I was getting cramps in my muscles.  I tried to savor the water I had until I reached the bottle Chris had placed for me.  When I finally got to it, I was tempted to pour it all over my head!  I refilled my bottles and even carried the extra bottle in my hand for about a mile so I could drink from it and save what was in my belt for further down the line.  Once I was tired of lugging the big 1 liter bottle with me, I ditched it on the side of the road and knew I had to make my 16 ounces last until the end of my run - another 7 miles or so.

I was honestly starting to get concerned that I was starting to experience some heat exhaustion, so with only a couple of miles left and my water almost gone, I started to extend my walking breaks.  Running was becoming too hard, with no shade or breeze to cool me down even a little.  I would run for a minute or two, then walk until I could mentally force myself to run again.

By the time I got back home, my body was throbbing all over and I was seriously light-headed, but I sent one of my kids upstairs to start filling the tub with ice cold water.  After pouring myself a big cup of Coke Zero, I wobbled up to soak in the ice bath, which I'm sure is what saved me from feeling any worse.  Once I knew my core body temperature was down, I got out, fixed a protein smoothie and laid down on the bed with a fan blowing on me.

After my run. :)

Despite feeling so toasted, I actually enjoyed myself,  knowing I was seriously challenging my body and testing my physical and mental limits.  I kept thinking of Dean Karnazes and all the other ultra runners who recently did the Badwater in Death Valley, CA.  Sheesh, if they can go 130 miles or whatever it is, in blistering 120+ degrees, then I can certainly do 27 miles!  It did make me realize, however, that if race day (being only 6 weeks away) is anywhere near as hot, I will need to be mentally and emotionally prepared that I will most likely not have a PR there.

By late afternoon I was feeling much better.  I showered and got ready so my husband and I could go on a date and enjoy some time together.  I didn't even feel guilty about eating at Buffalo Wild Wings.  Has anyone else noticed that they now put a calorie count next to all of the items on their menu?  I love that.  No surprises and the ability to make smarter choices while still enjoying some delicious food.  Nice.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


I think that's what I will start calling it, anyway.  I spend over 3 hours at the gym on Thursday morning and I love every minute of it.  Chris is working the night shift right now and usually gets home around 2am, so I leave the house at about 5:30 before he or any of the kids are even awake.  I get there just in time for the 6am spin class, which is always a great jump-start to my long workout.  After the first spinning class, I get on a treadmill for a little running.  Today I did 2 miles in just over 20 minutes.  When I finished with that, I started my strength training.  Today I worked on triceps and back, mostly using dumbbells, but also doing tri-downs and lat-pulls on the machines.  Finally, I topped it all off with another tough spin class.  Today the instructor had us do a 20 minute "climb" in the middle of the hour long class.  That means we were pedaling with a high resistance on the wheel, as if climbing a hill, the whole time.  Once again I could have filled a bucket with my sweat.

The rest of the day has been sort of a blur.  After my gym time, I had to go grocery shopping and run a couple of other errands.  I stopped at TJMaxx and was excited to find they had a fresh supply of running shorts in stock.  I did manage to find a pair I like and they were only $7.99!  I'll probably wear them on my long run Saturday, so you can all look forward to seeing the pictures of it. ;)

I finally got home at 1pm, just in time to make some lunch for my husband before he left for work again.  Thankfully, he had already fed the kids their lunch, or I would have been bombarded by hungry birdies while trying to put the groceries away - I really hate that.  Then I had just enough time to start some laundry and clean the kitchen before starting dinner.  After dinner the kids and I headed up to the church for cleaning duty.  We spent two hours cleaning the church building with some other families from our ward (congregation), getting home at about 8:15 and just in time for the kids to shower and go to bed.  Now here it is, 10pm and I finally have a minute to sit and update this blog.  Well, actually, there's unfolded laundry strewn all over our bed, but I do have my priorities. :)

On the agenda for tomorrow: a 2 hour day hike with the cub scouts followed by a little family time at the gym pool all afternoon.  I hope to mostly rest, at least, no formal exercise except maybe some Pilates or Yoga in the morning.  I plan to have a brilliant long run on Saturday.

Oh, look at these lovely sweet peas my husband brought in from our garden today.  I love fresh food from our own backyard...

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

9.15 miles and other stuff.

The rain we had earlier in the week has helped bring the temperatures down just a bit, so instead of setting my alarm and getting up (too) early, I decided to just let my body wake up when it felt ready and then head out for my run.  Of course, I didn't really sleep in that much...I was out the door by 6:40am.  It was a beautiful morning.  I felt pretty good for most of my run, other than the usual pain in my left hamstring, which seemed to be exacerbated by some residual soreness from my leg work on Monday.  That's okay, I'm working on learning to embrace the pain I feel when I run.  I'm starting to realize that there may be no such thing as pain-free running, and I'm okay with that.

On days like today, my focus is not on going as fast as I can or worrying about whether I'm feeling strong or not.  I just wanted to enjoy my run, and I did.  I spent a lot of time lost in thought about things going on in our lives right now, which actually made the miles fly by faster.  I even saw a little mule deer fawn right off the side of the road.  Poor thing had gotten separated from it's mother.  I watched her jump a fence from about a 1/4 mile back, and by the time I reached the spot where I saw the mother deer jump, I saw the little fawn trying to figure out how to get across the road to her.  I tried to take a picture of the cute thing with my phone, but it didn't turn out very well.

After I finished just over 9 miles, I did a 45 minute Pilates/Yoga fusion video, then I did 20 minutes of strength training using hand weights, focusing on shoulders and traps.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

You spin me right round baby, right round...

Not much of a surprise here, but I enjoyed my morning spin class today, preceded by 45 minutes of strength training at the gym.  Today my focus was chest and biceps, and I love having Chris with me on the days I do those muscles groups because it means I can do bench press.  I need him to spot me; I have this huge fear of dropping the barbell on my face and knocking out all of my teeth. ;)

My legs and core are feeling a little bit sore today.  I seriously need to get a copy of that Jillian DVD so I can do it more than once a week.  It is awesome (hard)!

Despite a great morning workout, this afternoon I wasn't feeling too great and took a nap hoping to get rid of my headache.  I woke up feeling worse, but my husband was sweet enough to bring me home a Diet Coke and I combined that with a shoulder and neck rub down with some Icy Hot.  A couple of hours later and I'm feeling much better.  I even got on the treadmill for a short "walk", just to get in at least a mile.  I did 1.25 miles, and even though I probably could have run it, I opted to just walk.  Tomorrow, more running. :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

5.14 miles, Jillian, and spin.

I'm really starting to love Mondays!  My friend Holly met me at 5:30am so we could start out on our 5+ mile run.  Once again I was able to get in a nice "tempo" run, keeping a bit faster pace than I normally run for the whole 5 miles.  I'm very optimistic that doing these faster runs with Holly once a week are going to help me with my marathon pace...at least, I'm hopeful.  After our run, we did the Jillian Michaels 6 pack abs video again, like we did last week, and followed that up with 20 minutes of a core/legs Pilates video and then about 15 additional minutes of legs and core work doing circuits.

As if that wasn't a great enough workout, my husband and I hit up an evening spinning class when we went into town to pick up a few groceries.  Between the continuing and unusual humidity and the high temperatures today, I'm pretty sure I lost at least 5 pounds through sweat! ;)

As for yesterday (Sunday), I took a full rest day.  In the morning we went to church, but in the afternoon I just did this:

So, I didn't get a mile in running, walking or otherwise, but I am still going to keep on with the running streak on all of the other days.  Sometimes a little rest is just as needed as exercise.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

A muggy, buggy 12.6 mile run.

Grabbing a banana before my run this morning.  My 6 year old calls them, "Yellow Miracles". :)

 I noticed that it was still pretty dark this morning at 5:20 when I left for my run, even though it's typically starting to get light by that time.  I should have known it was overcast, but we haven't had much moisture lately, so it didn't occur to me.  I'm not used to running in humidity at all.  Whenever it's more humid than normal, I can really feel it in my lungs when I run.  Today the moisture and cloud cover was a refreshing change, although it didn't bring the temperature down much, so I was a sweaty, sticky, bug-covered mess by the time I finished my 12+ miles.  That's why I kindly included PRE-Run photos with today's post. :)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Ad-lib run.

My schedule didn't have me running today, but when I came home from morning cub scout meetings, I felt like I needed to do some kind of exercise.  I only had about 45 minutes to fit it in before we were out the door for more activities and errands, so I decided to just run on the treadmill - convenient and a good calorie burn for a short amount of time.  I did (not quite) 4 miles in 40 minutes.  I actually felt really good while I was running.  I hope that doesn't jinx me for my long run tomorrow! ;)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Double spin, running websites and the best smoothie ever!

This morning my husband had to travel a few hours away for some work-related stuff, so I had to go it alone at the gym.  I got there just as the 6am spinning class was about to begin.  I felt okay during the first class, even though I was a little tired.  When I finished with spin class #1, I moved on to a treadmill, where I did a 2 mile run in about 20 minutes.  When I finished with my run, I went on to do my strength training.  Today's muscle groups: back and triceps.  I spent 30 minutes doing alternating reps with both machines and free weights.  Finally, I went back to the spin room for spin class #2.  Joining the gym was the best decision my husband I have made in a long time. :)

Today I came across something interesting as I was scrolling through my site hits.  I saw that someone had come to my blog from another website for runners, so I went to it and saw this (click on the link to see):

  So that was pretty cool.  I'm glad to know there are people getting something from my blog.

Lastly, I don't do a lot of posts about food, even though nutrition and distance running certainly go hand-in-hand.  Just FYI, if any of you are ever interested in what I eat on a daily basis, feel free to go to my www.MyFitnessPal.com page and have a look at my food diary (my user name is PriscillaBake).  Unless we're somewhere with no internet access, I log my food and exercise on there every day.  I keep my food diary "open" so anyone can look at it.  Fair warning: some days are better than others.  I have been known to cave to the occasional treat and/or restaurant favorite.  Along those lines, I just have to share the recipe for the most heavenly smoothie I think I've had in a long time.  

Coconut Protein Smoothie:
 6 oz. Silk Coconut Milk, Vanilla or Original
1/2 frozen banana
2 Tblspns. vanilla protein powder
2 Tblspns. artificial sweetener or honey
1 container Dannon Light 'n Fit Pineapple Coconut
1/2 cup ice (more or less, depending on how thick you like it)

This amount makes enough for one big smoothie and is only around 200 calories. :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Yep, a better day.

So it turns out that a little extra sleep actually does go a long way to better health!  When I first woke up at around 6 this morning and thought about how I needed to to get up and go out for my scheduled run, my body was arguing with me, big time.  I was aching and sore all over: my legs, my arms, my sides, even the muscles around my hips were feeling sore!  I'm blaming it on that Jillian Michaels DVD we did on Monday, because I could already feel the soreness setting in within an hour of doing it, and it got progressively worse. I guess that means it's a good one and I should probably snag my own copy of "Six Week - Six Pack"!

Anyway, after checking on the kids and realizing that only one of them was awake and was just quietly watching TV, I went back to bed.  Next thing I knew it was 8:30, which is quite late for me.  Once I was up and moving around, I started to feel a little better, but I knew it was already going to be too hot outside to do my run, since my schedule called for about 3 miles of speed work.  So, since my husband was at home and had some things to do around the house, I decided to go to the gym.  I started out with speed work on a treadmill.  I did a fast walk-jog-sprint sequence until I had reached 30 minutes, which ended up being 2.75 miles.  After I finished with that, I went into the weight room where I spent another 30 minutes focusing on shoulders and traps.  Finally, I somehow found myself in the spin room waiting for the noon spin class to begin. :)  I love spinning and today's class totally made up for the lackluster performance I had yesterday morning.  My most favorite instructor (Misty) was substituting for another instructor, which totally made my day.  I love how I feel after a good spin class.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Not sure what was up.

This morning my husband and I spent some time at the gym.  We started out in the weight room for about 45 minutes, where I focused on working chest and biceps.  Then we went to spin class, where for some reason, I never really found my groove.  It was especially warm in the spinning classroom due to air conditioner issues at the gym, and even though I'm totally accustomed to sweating like a pig during spin, today it was making me feel lightheaded and dizzy.  I was even having some stomach cramps.  I was trying to make sure I drank enough water, and I gave it all I could during the hour-long class, but I felt pretty crummy afterward, instead of that awesome post-workout glow.

When we came home, I spent the afternoon trying to "recover" enough so I could at least get my mile run in for the day.  Even though I never really got much energy back, I did finally suck it up at around 9pm and just got on the treadmill and cranked out a couple of miles.  I really don't much like running that late at night because it usually means I'll have a harder time falling asleep at a decent hour.  Hopefully I'll feel better tomorrow.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Another fun-filled day!

My day began bright and early, as I was up at 4:45 getting my 12 year old son up, fed and off to boy scout camp for the next 6 days!!  I hope he does okay.  He's never been away from us for that long - ever.

Once I had him taken care of, my friend Holly arrived at our house at 5:30 so she and I could take off on our 5 miler.  We actually ended up going 5.11 miles and in just 49 minutes.  That's an average pace of 9:32, which is even faster than we did it last Monday.  Fast run for me, easy run for her! :)

After our run, we came back to my house to work on some core and leg strengthening exercises.  Holly brought a Jillian video:

This video is actually a perfect combination of abs and legs.  We did level 1 today, which is 35 minutes of non-stop hard core, pun intended!  I am already sore.  When we finished the DVD, we also spent another 20 minutes or so doing a few additional leg exercise that weren't covered in the video.

In the afternoon I was actually able to get in a 45 minute nap.  That rarely happens.  The 3 youngest kids were staying cool in the downstairs living room, fan blowing on them while they played, so Chris and I laid on our bed after lunch and within a couple of minutes we were both asleep!  (He ran 15 miles this morning, so he was tired, too.)  I only woke up because I was sweating and starting to get a headache from the heat.  See, our home isn't air-conditioned, which typically isn't much of an issue, barring a few weeks (usually in August) of the summer.  But this summer has been much different.  I'm not going to complain, though, because I would much rather have to endure a little extra heat than more cold!

After a late afternoon snack, Chris and I took the kids to the gym so that they could play some basketball and go swimming.  While Chris played with them, I was able to attend a spin class.  After I finished with spinning, I joined them in the pool.  Finally, after stopping for some (late) dinner, we headed home and the kids and Chris are now asleep in our camp-trailer parked out in the driveway - it has air conditioning!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

20 mile run in the golden sunshine.

What a gorgeous day for a long run!  I was out the door this morning by 5:20am, just as the sun was coming up over the mountains.  I actually felt really good for most of the run, despite being tired this week.  My hamstrings were bothering me, but that's been pretty standard for my long runs lately.  When I finish this post I think I'll spend some time with the foam roller trying to work out the tension in them.

About 7 miles into my run, Chris drove by to check on me on his way in to work.  I had him take a picture of me, but I forgot to clean the sweat off the lens of the camera on my phone, oops! :)

So after two full weeks on my new schedule, I have to say I think things are going well and I should be in pretty decent shape for the marathon in 8 weeks.  I think that at this point, the one thing I need to work on the most is getting enough sleep.  I used to be able to fully function on about 5-6 hours of sleep.  My goal is to consistently get 6-7 instead.  I think it will help my body recover better from all the training.

I've been reading another Dean Karnazes book, Run! 26.2 stories of blisters and bliss.  I just love this guy.  He is crazy in a way that only other distance runners can really truly appreciate.  His stories are so funny and inspiring at the same time.  At the beginning of each chapter in the book, there is a quote, like this one: "When you pray, move your feet." ~ Old African Proverb

I love that quote.  I think I spend about 75% of the time when I am running alone, in some sort of "prayer" mode.  I am thinking through things and talking to Heavenly Father in my mind.  There's never a time when my thoughts are more clear.  One of the many reasons I love running.  I also think these words from Dean himself are so on the mark.  Someone had asked him once, "Doesn't running hurt?"  Dean replied, "It does if you're doing it right!"  Haha!  Then he explains, "Personally I never feel more alive than when I'm in great pain, struggling to persevere against insurmountable odds and untold adversity.  Hardship?  Suffering?  Bring it!  I've said it before and I've come to believe it: There's magic in misery."

I thought about those words today as I ran and my hamstrings were pinching so tightly.  I was thinking, hey, I'm in pain, but I can run through it.  I'm alive!  Sometimes we need to hear things like that from others to realize all the blessings we have in our own lives.

Friday, July 6, 2012

End of a long week...almost.

My muscles are sore, my body is tired, my mind is foggy.  Maybe two days of double spin classes plus a 5th class on another night, 2 days of hard 5 milers and 5 days of weight training in one week was a bit much.  Guess the remedy will be to top my week off with a 20 mile run tomorrow. :)

Yesterday my husband and I had a repeat of Tuesday: arrived at the gym at 6am for a spin class, followed with over an hour in the weight room doing strength training, followed by a second hour of spinning.  For my strength training, the muscle groups I focused on were back and triceps.  Of course, I also did a mile run on a treadmill in there somewhere.  A run a day keeps the demons away.

Today I did some more weight training.  Just some simple leg and core exercises using the five pound ankle weights and dumbbells.  First, I did 5 minutes at full speed on the exercise bike to (try and) get my body ready.  Then I did 10 minutes of weights, then back on the bike for 5, and repeated that sequence for a little over an hour.  Finally, I got on the treadmill and did just over a mile, to keep with the running streak that we have now extended until Labor Day!  Who else is in??

The rest of today I have spent expending a minimal amount of energy, which is good because I don't have much to spare.  I have been able to get a little laundry done, and even made some vegetable juice and homemade enchiladas with shredded pork that I've been slow-cooking since last night.  Dinner should be yummy!  Hopefully I will get to bed early enough tonight so I can feel good on my long run tomorrow morning!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

**Happy 4th!!**

It was another early day, starting out at 5am to get my workout in before reporting for the parade.  I began with strength training today, with the focus on shoulders and traps.  I spent 40 minutes doing non-stop reps, alternating between about 5 different exercises, all using my 5 pound hand weights, including military press, lateral raises and rows and shoulder shrugs.  Sitting here writing this post, I can feel that my shoulders and upper arms are already sore, so tomorrow should be interesting.

After finishing with the weights, I headed out for a 5 mile run.  According to my schedule, today was slotted for some speed work.  I ran hard for anywhere between a half a mile and a mile, then would take about 30 seconds or so to walk and catch my breath, then sprint again.  I did that for the whole 5 miles, even running the entire last mile at about a 8:30 pace.  My overall average pace was 10:05, and I felt it when I was done, because I was, well...done!

As soon as I finished my run, I ate a quick breakfast and fixed some pancakes for the kids, then showered and got ready to march in the parade with the cub scouts.  The parade route took us about 2 miles, but it felt a whole lot longer in the scorching sun and 90+ heat.  After the parade, we walked as a family down to the city park where all the July 4th festivities were taking place.  More heat and sweat and walking.  By the time we came home and had a late lunch, I was feeling pretty lethargic.  I laid down on my bed to rest for a few minutes, but ended up taking a nap for about an hour.  I'm sure my body needed the extra rest!

There's my boy Sam (10), second from the right, and of course, myself on the far left. :)

And Sophia, with her face-art in patriotic colors! :)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Double spin day!

I have been so impressed with my husband's gusto about working out lately!  Usually I'm the one wanting to do something more - more running, more spinning, more time in the weight room.  But lately he's been the one suggesting we add another spin class or another day at the gym, which makes it so fun for me.

So, this morning we went to the gym at 6am for spinning.  We had an instructor that I've never had before.  She had us get off the bike periodically to do push-ups.  It was another sweat-fest.  When that class finished, I got on a treadmill for my daily mile run, which was kind of slow (almost 11 minutes), but my legs were tired!  Then we still had about an hour before the next spin class started so we did strength training.  Today my focus muscle groups were chest and biceps, but I also added in just a few leg and core exercises that I couldn't do yesterday at home.  There are some really cool machines at the gym!

Finally, we headed back into the spin room for another awesome class.  As tired as I was, I still felt better the second hour than the first.  It's almost like it takes my body that long to get into a groove.  Spinning is so fun to me.  I find it to be much more intense (cardio-wise) than running, unless I'm doing speed work or something, so it feels like I'm really pushing myself every class.  I love that.  It's so addicting.  Still, nothing beats a good, looonnnggg run, so my heart says. :)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Something new...

Today was a different kind of Monday workout.  Last night my friend Holly called me and wanted to know if I would like to run a long run with her this morning.  Of course, I do love a good, long run with Holly, but I just got my schedule figured out and today's run was supposed to be an "easy" 5 miler.  When I told her about my new schedule and the addition of a couple of weight training days, she was eager to join me.  So...we went on an "easy" 5 miler this morning at 5:30am, then came back to my house where we spent almost an hour doing legs and core work with weights and the stability ball.  I can't really honestly say the 5 miles was easy, because as I've explained before, Holly is a much faster runner than me.  Even when she attempts to slow down for me, we still end up going at a faster pace than I'm used to running.  In the end, we did 5.11 miles and it only took us 49 minutes - that's an average pace of 9:43 minutes per mile.  While the run was certainly challenging for me, I did notice that it really didn't take me long to recover, which hopefully means I am continuing to get in better shape!

After my husband got home from work this afternoon, he wanted to get in some cardio, too.  So we checked the schedule at the gym and saw there was a 5:45 spinning class, so off we went!  For some reason the class seemed particularly sweaty.  I'm not sure if it's the late afternoon heat or what, but we both were completely soaked head to foot by the time we were finished.  Speaking of which, I really need to go re-fill my water bottle right now! :)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Mezamashii Run Project

Since it's Sunday and I don't have a lot to blog about, I wanted to share with you all something fun.  Mizuno recently contacted me asking me to spread the word about their Mezamashii Run Project.  If you go to this link, you can watch some really awesome videos that explain about this cool project aimed at allowing people to share their love of running with others.  Then go to: http://www.mizunousa.com/mezamashiirunproject/login and in the upper right hand corner you can "apply for an invite" and a chance to win a new pair of Mizuno running shoes!  Super cool, right?