disney 1/2 training: 10 miles

So it appears I took a little break from blogging this week. While many people were off and on an extended holiday, I was back at work on Tuesday and ended up having a very busy week. I was also coming down off a massive sugar high… getting a filling… and doing random time-sucking activities such as Pinterest and being around to let the furnace guy in to check out why our furnace was all of a sudden not quite working so great. I kept feeling a day behind at work, thinking it was the day prior each day so I was fairly unprepared for Friday to get here! I luckily (for relaxing purposes) have a three day weekend again, but then only two days of work and we’re off to FLORIDA for the Disney marathon! I really can’t believe it’s less than a week away…

This morning on my training plan was a 10 mile run. My first double digits! Sister decided to go 11 miles to finish out 2011, but I’ve decided I was definitely not ready for that. Plus, Sister also got a Garmin for Christmas and we ran together on Monday – my Nike+ on my iPod was around 10% off, meaning I was running 10% too little. I re-calibrated it so hopefully it’s a little closer to the actual distance and I really did go 10 miles today! Definitely feels like I did…

My weekly running this week was rough. I think a combination of my crappy sugar-filled diet over the weekend did not help matters, and I’ve been having this weird pulled muscle pain/knot under my right shoulder blade that will not go away. Needless to say, I did not have high expectations for this run. Running 10% more than I was used to on a 10 mile run that I’ve never run after two of the worst runs I have had all training long. Sounds like I’m ready for next week, huh?

Anyways, after not expecting much I didn’t end up doing too terrible. My shoulder was sore/tight through most of the run but it did seem marginally better post-run, so that’s a good sign that it’s not aggravated by it (I think it’s actually from a day-long coughing fit I had last week and has nothing to do with running). I decided to run out 3 1/2 miles and then come back and run another 3 mile loop. I would avoid some rolling hills this way and be fairly close to home at a few points if I needed to stop back for anything. I left at 9:15am and the weather was really sunny and in the 40’s – at least closer to Florida weather than it could have been! Overall my run went much better than Thursday’s 5 mile and finished with a 10:47 average – definitely not a speed demon, but as long as I can cross the start and finish line next week I’ll be happy!

I know I’ve already said it, but I can’t believe my first 1/2 marathon is a week away! Pretty sure I’m going to be a ball of nerves Friday night/Saturday morning, but being able to put on my finisher’s shirt and wear my Donald Duck medal will be worth it! One other thing… tomorrow is 2012?! Where did 2011 go? Yikes.

Happy New Years!

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disney 1/2 training: 9 miles

I hope you guys don’t mind a brief break from the 12 days of cookies. We will resume tomorrow, but I wanted to keep up with my running recaps! Today on my half marathon training plan was a 10k – 6.2 miles. Well, I have been enjoying my long runs lately and my legs haven’t been real tired, so I thought that I would benefit more from another longer run to help with my confidence. I decided this on Tuesday, so I had plenty of time to chicken out if I wanted ;). Plus, if the weather turns to crap one of the next two weekends, I won’t be out a long run and thus feel incredibly unprepared for 13.1. The forecast was in the 20’s (definitely an improvement from 11° last week!), so it seemed like a good thing.

Well, I woke up this morning at 7am to our first accumulating snowfall of the season – seriously?! Luckily it was like a 1/4 of an inch (if that), so just enough to make it look like a coating of powder. It was in the 20’s, just like it was supposed to be and at least there wasn’t any hidden ice anywhere! In the morning I had my coffee (with my FAVORITE Mint Chocolate Coconut Milk – not sure what I’m going to do without it!), as well as two rice cakes with PB2. I sat around for a bit and then headed out at 8:39am (what would I do without Nike+? I had zero idea what time I left without looking). I tried to wear more clothing than last week’s freezing run, and ended up a little too over prepared with too many layers… oh well, maybe one day I’ll learn haha.

I felt slow the entire run and like I was working hard, and I didn’t have any sense of what pace I was running until the end. I think part of why it seemed like I was working so hard was that I was pretty sweaty and couldn’t easily shed any layers. My gloves were off, but it’s so annoying to carry them with you the entire way! I took a few shorter walking breaks throughout the run, but took a longer one at the 4 1/2 mile mark to take my Chocolate Clif Shot – I absolutely LOVE these things! I bought 7 of them at the store last night and they probably thought I was crazy.

After that point I felt loads more energized and the last half went much quicker, even though I was fairly consistent pace wise throughout. I really didn’t think I was going an average of 10:09 per mile… my iPod must need some calibration or the snow was helping me slide along or something. I think I also do better taking short walking breaks, because it makes me feel like I can go faster during the running portion since I know walking is there as an option whenever I end up needing it.

Once I got home, Sister was in a very pissy mood and I made her sign up for a full marathon. It’s amazing what I can talk people into. I should have been a lawyer. One of the best things about running 9 miles is the fact I burned roughly 1,059 calories. Definitely had some room for extra cookies today, but my appetite has been weird. I’ve felt really full all day and haven’t really had that much to eat compared to normal – not sure if it’s the running (abs hurting), or all the sugar from this week finally catching up to me! Oh well, my appetite will probably be back with a vengeance tomorrow and there will be no stopping me from devouring our new cookie creations :). Just have to be sure to snap some pictures first!

disney 1/2 training: 8 miles

It’s official. I have now run 8 miles. At one time. Last week did take me to somewhat of a new level at 7 miles, but I think I have (once) run that distance in the past. 8 miles? Never. So today was the day. And nothing like a 10′ day to get my butt in gear!

I recently found Runner’s World What to Wear for Runners guide to help with what you should wear depending on the temperature, wind and weather conditions. It was 10′, 7mph wind, sunny and I like to feel “in-between”. It said I should wear a winter hat, running tights, a long-sleeve shirt, a jacket, gloves and sunglasses. Well, I was already wearing earmuffs, running pants, a t-shirt, a pullover jacket and gloves, so I figured I would just stick with that. Turns out I should have switched my t-shirt for a long-sleeve shirt… guess I know better now! Could have gone for some warmer gloves as well!

So how’d it go? Besides absolutely FREEZING, it went well! I think the colder air made me zone out more and run faster to try to warm up… which never happened. I ran straight the first four miles, took a short walking break to eat a Clif Shot Energy Gel. I got a chocolate one this time and it was sooo good. Just like brownie batter! I took a few sips of water at this point too to wash down the gel and then started running again. I walked a couple more times just to stretch out my legs a little bit but kept it at a good pace the rest of the time. Even though I was still feeling good when my mileage was up, I was glad I could go into a heated house away from the wind! I also managed to somehow lose yet another headband on my run, although this time I didn’t notice it until I was home so it’s probably gone for good! Unless I stumble upon it next week haha. Good think I don’t get nice headbands, like those from Lululemon because then I would get real angry if I lost it on a random road;). Maybe the grip would help… hmm. Anywhere, here are my splits, averaging 10:12 a mile – even faster than last week!

When I got home my water had turned to ICE! I will definitely be getting a Nathan water bottle holder the next time I see one to help with my freezing hands and water bottles during my runs! Can’t believe there are only 4 weeks until Disney! Next week I have a 10k, 9 and 10 miles the weeks after and then 13.1! It’s coming so soon! And what’s the best way to spend the day after running 8 miles? Baking Christmas cookies, of course!

disney 1/2 training: 5 miles



I successfully made it through week 3 of my Disney 1/2 marathon training plan.  I had 3 1/2 mile runs on Monday and Thursday, and today I had a 5 mile run. Following last week’s not-too-successful 10k, decided to just go a comfortable pace and not push myself.  Since this is my first 1/2, I know that time should not be a goal at all, but my competitive nature is not wanting to accept that fact.  Plus, Sister now wants to run with me (poor choice on her part), but it will help me motivationally and will hopefully lighten me up during the race to enjoy it and be able to get some during the race photo ops with the various Disney characters that will be cheering us on!

The weather this morning was perfect for running.  It was a little chilly, but I was fine in pants and a long sleeved shirt.  I also found my new favorite running tool for winter – ear muffs!  I got a pair of 180’s last year and never really wore them, but now they have found their use!  I put them on with a regular headband, and around mile 3 I was able to easily remove them once my ears were warm.  They easily wound around my wrist and I didn’t have to try to re-put on my regular headband while running like I would have with any sort of hat or regular winter headband.  Although I must say that I am quite excited to be able to run in tank tops in less than ONE WEEK (Hawaii, I am definitely in need of a break from work, sun + warmth!).

Running definitely seemed easier this week from last, but that was to be expected.  My legs are definitely tired and beginning today I am cutting back on the amount of Insanity I’m doing.  During the first couple weeks of training I figured it would be fine to do additional Insanity exercise throughout the week, but that time has passed!  Insanity will now only be done during my cross training days on Sunday and Wednesday, and possibly the abs on Tuesday depending what Strength + Stretch I feel like doing.  Hopefully this helps my leg fatigue and makes me want to go further since it’s only up from here on out!

So, nothing spectacular with the run, but it’s one more down!  The next two will be in Hawaii so we will see how I do in a different climate than I’m used to, but regardless, I will be running in paradise!

In other news, I bought a new digital camera today and found a new appreciation for Amazon.  Sister and I went to Target, where I purchased a new Canon point and shoot for vacation.  I figured I would get a pretty good deal there and I have their debit card which means I get 5% off every purchase.  Well, I settled for my 2nd choice camera to save some money and an 8G memory card.  I (luckily) came home and went on Amazon, found my 1st choice camera and got an 8G memory card and saved $70!  Although $40 of the savings is from signing up for their credit card, but seriously, $30 less for the camera and memory card when I got a camera that was $20 more than the first one I got?  Can’t wait to get it so I can bring it with me on vacation – Amazon even offered me another month free of prime membership so I got FREE 2 day shipping.  Man, I love deals!

My new camera! A Canon PowerShot ELPH 100 HS

Happy Saturday!

happy halloween!

This was the first year in many that I have dressed up – and at least it was for a good reason ;).  I am still sore from my run on Saturday – I managed a 3 1/2 mile run per my training plan, and I am so glad it was not any more than that!  I took them nice and slow and hoped for my legs to loosen up a bit, and I think it might have worked a bit?  We’ll see how the day progresses!

Crosby dresses up for Halloween each and every year, he just loves it, can’t you tell?

This year he chose to be a cow.  Actually I am pretty sure he was not really fond of us for making him dress up and wear a hat (how can you be a cow without horns?!).  This cute ensemble came from Target.

So adorable.

Yesterday, we baked up a Rustic Kitchen gluten free pizza crust in the shape of a pumpkin.  We picked up the dough at Willy Street Coop in Madison on Saturday and were very happy with the results!  It was delicious, thick crust and was not crumbly at all.  It was a little difficult to roll out – I don’t think I used enough water on my hands to avoid sticking, but it still turned out surprisingly pumpkin-shaped.  Talk about talent!

Topped with marinara on half and oil on the other, Smart Chicken sweet Italian chicken and daiya mozzarella shreds.  Can’t get much better than that, my friends!

Can’t believe another month has flown by, Happy Halloween!

pre-gaming: haunted hustle

There’s quite a bit of preparation involved with races.  Especially when they’re out of town, which happen to be my favorite races to be in since you get to travel and see a different place while you’re running!  I don’t remember exactly when Sister and I decided to participate in the Summit Credit Union Haunted Hustle Ghost Tour, but I know I’ve been excited ever since.  I mean a race where you get to dress up?  Who wouldn’t be excited to run that?  Plus, it’s great a great way to help prepare for my half marathon.

We made the trek to Middleton, WI late yesterday afternoon once I got home from work.  Food is always a top priority for us, especially when we need the fuel!  We didn’t go quite as crazy as we did for the Bellin, but we still brought plenty to satisfy our needs the night before, morning of, and after the race.

But onto the important part – our costumes!  Sister knew right away what she wanted to be – Elphaba from Wicked, of course.  Suits her perfectly ;).  It took me longer to decide because I really wanted to wear a tutu, but couldn’t find a pattern to make one that I liked.  Plus, I pretty  much lack all sewing skills.  I know there are simple no-sew options out there, but I just didn’t think it would be comfy enough to run in without an elastic band around the waist.

The always-wonderful Target, however, made my idea come to life!  Who knew they had elastic-banded tutus in the little girls section that would actually fit me and work perfectly with my plan!  Pretty sure the cashier at Target thought I was nuts for checking out a sparkly pink tutu and wand, but Glinda is all about pink and sparkles.

Elphaba + Glinda = the perfect Halloween costume combo.

And of course no good costume is complete without a t-shirt!  Making puffy-painted t-shirts is one of my specialties, and of course I was up to the challenge.  I’ll post the actual race info and pictures of us in our costumes tomorrow, but here’s a sneak peak!

Time to go change and get ready to go – it’s racing time!

monday in a flash

1. Week #2 half marathon training – 3 miles, 33 minutes.  Legs were TIGHT from this weekend.

2. Almost caught up with Glee episodes… only about 15 minutes left of the last one!

3. Even when I leave for work at 8:20 it is possible to still arrive at 8:30.  I love living 5 miles from work.

4. Hour and a half long meetings make the morning fly by.

5. Leaving work to go get gas is an acceptable way to spend your lunch break.

6. It’s satisfying talking to a really annoyed person who can’t find something while searching your website, only to find out they are spelling the word wrong and that’s why they’re having issues.

7. Gluten free pretzels & rice chex make a delicious afternoon pre-Insanity snack.

8. Shawn T makes my heart swoon.

9. No workout DVD has ever made me sweat so much or jump so high.

10. Chickpea tacos in blue corn tortilla shells are a fantastic post-workout dinner.  Especially followed by not-so-healthy pistachio fluff.  You mean if it’s green it doesn’t automatically make it healthy?

11. Finding a pink tutu at Target is one of the highlights of my weekend.

12. Pink tutus and beer cornbread… and turtle cookies… recipes to come soon :).

Now off to create my shirt for the Haunted Hustle on Saturday and watch Castle!

my ‘first’ long run of 1/2 marathon training

Today was officially my first ‘long’ run of marathon training.  Technically not very long, as it was 4 miles, but it’s the starting point.  It is crazy to believe that in 11 weeks I will be done with my first 1/2 marathon… well, if all goes as planned that is ;).  I didn’t have high hopes for this run as I have been out of commission for about a month, so I was pleasantly surprised when I ran it in an amazing time (for me).  Here are my splits:

I typically run in the mid-10’s, but something must have gotten in me to make my legs pick up the pace to finish in under 40 minutes.  I definitely know not to expect this very often as I wouldn’t have been able to make it at this pace for a longer period of time, but it still feels like a good accomplishment!  I even ran so fast my headband flew off around mile 1 1/2 and didn’t notice it until I was done with my run – whoops!  I was definitely breathing and working hard, but since I have done four days of Insanity – it seems a lot easier, shall I say to push myself further.  Especially when no matter how much I push myself in running I don’t think I could ever sweat as much and get my heartbeat as high as those workouts do.  Thank you, sister, for making that spontaneous purchase.

Since my foot has been feeling almost back to normal (I think there is some residual muscle loss in my left leg from favoring it for so long), I decided to run out 4 miles, and then walk the 4 miles back.  I love starting off the weekend with a great workout!  Especially when there are cookies in store for later… ;).

When I got home the plan was to have oatmeal, but since I got back close to 11am, I definitely was not in the mood for breakfast.  So, I decided to use up a rice protein powder I have had in the cupboard instead and then shower and just eat lunch.  This was the second time I had this protein powder and I made it in the same way as last time, but fortunately for you I measured and photographed to share this post-run recovery drink.  I think this might become a staple for after my runs!

Iced Mocha Protein Recovery Drink

1. Blend all of the above ingredients in a blender.  The ice helps make it nice and cool.
2. Serve over ice with a straw, if desired.
Pretty good stats on this as well with only 100 calories and 12.5g of protein.