Friday, March 21, 2014

Still alive...

I'm still around! I'm still streaking, but I just haven't been online much lately. I've been really busy with work and slightly overwhelmed with stuff at home. 

The half marathon I was training for went ok. I PR'd, (2:08:53) but there was a terrible headwind at the turn around point that I wasn't expecting and it literally sucked the life right out of me. I had a little bit of a "post race depression" because of it the last few days and I haven't wanted to run at all. I did anyway, of course, but I am also dealing with a cranky left shin and foot. Sad face. I'm taking it easy this week. Hopefully the little mental break from being online will help. 

I'm just tired.

But I'll be back...

... Soon!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Days 88-94 (Feb 23-March 1): 25.5 miles

Day 88 (Sunday Feb 23):

8.0 miles. 1:24:00. 10:30 pace.

I was supposed to do 10.  This run sucked so bad.  I took a mental break after 6 miles and I didn't get hit restart fast enough so the treadmill cleared the workout.  So... the time is actually a guess based on the speed I had been running.  My hands felt like icicles and NO WAY was I going to do 2 more miles.  I'm pretty sure my body was tired from the 40 miles last week.

Day 89 (Monday Feb 24):

1.0 mile. 8:49 pace.

I was so crabby today the last thing I wanted to do was run.  I was supposed to do 5 miles.

Day 90 (Tuesday Feb 25):

3.5 miles. 33:32. 9:35 pace.

I was feeling really good on this day and was really enjoying the run (finally) but the basketball game my daughters were at ended early and I had to quit to go and pick them up.  I think I was scheduled to do 6 speedy miles.

Day 91 (Wednesday Feb 26):

4.0 miles. 37:54. 9:29 pace.

I was still feeling good today so I did some more speedy miles at tempo pace.

Day 92 (Thursday Feb 27):

3.0 miles. 31:01. 10:20 pace.

I was scheduled to do 5 or 6 miles on this day but Callie, my eldest daughter, came downstairs just after 2 miles and asked if I could help her with her homework.  Finished out the mile I was in and went upstairs to do my mom duty.

Day 93 (Friday Feb 28):

1.0 mile. 10:31 pace

Busy busy evening.  I took Mercedes to the skating show in town.  She made it until intermission and then said she was tired and wanted to go home.  Of course, once we got home she didn't want to sleep...

Skating show selfie!

Day 94 (Saturday March 1):

5.0 miles. 53:10. 10:38 pace.

I made a typo on my instagram picture for this day.  I put 6 miles when I really ran five.  I must have been thinking that there's now 6 miles on those shoes?  I don't know... multitasking mommy brain I guess.

Weekly mileage total: 25.5 miles.  I'm not going to lie when I say that I'm a little disappointed with that number but I've just been either really busy or really tired so I'm trying not to get too hard on myself!

Days 85-87 (Feb 20-22): 17.75 miles

Day 85 (Thursday, Feb 20):

6.0 miles. 1:03:51. 10:39 pace.

Unfortunately I don't recall anything about this run.  :(

Day 86 (Friday, Feb 21): 

5.0 miles. 52:37. 10:31 pace.

 Drawing a blank on this one too....

Day 87 (Saturday, Feb 22):

6.75 miles. 1:10:56. 10:31 pace.

I DO remember this one.  I struggled through the first five miles because I was really on a time crunch to get done before Karl got home from work at 6pm.  He had decided earlier in the day that he wanted to do his long run today instead of Sunday like scheduled.  6 pm rolled around and I knew he was upstairs waiting and so my anxiety got the best of me.  I stopped at 5 miles and let him get his run done and then hopped back on later for the last 1.75 miles.  Why make it 6.75 miles for the day?  Because that what I needed to run in order to hit 40 miles for the week!!!

Weekly recap:

Sunday: 10 miles (10:36)
Monday: 5 miles (10:42)
Tuesday: 6 miles (9:33)
Wednesday: 1.29 miles. (9:54) *outside!
Thursday: 6 miles (10:39)
Friday: 5 miles (10:31)
Saturday: 6.75 miles (10:31)

Total: 40.04 miles!  My highest ever!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

That darn menstrual cycle....

I've been really busy at work and have been feeling pretty tired and stressed when I'm not at work so the blogging has kind of fallen by the wayside.  I haven't even felt like running and when I am running, it's been just a mental struggle to get through each mile. 

Since I have been doing this for 90 days now (WOW!!!), I have started to notice a pattern.  The week before I get my little monthly visitor, I am exhausted and not really in the mood to do much of anything, let alone run.  I also get insomnia, which confounds the exhaustion problem. 

I did a little bit of googling and found out that this is completely normal:

"The hardest time for women to run fast is about a week before menstruation begins (a week after ovulation). That’s when levels of the key hormone progesterone peak, inducing a much-higher-than-normal breathing rate during exercise. The excess ventilation tends to make running feel more difficult." (Source)

So... since I should be expecting my period at the end of this week, I have just decided to "go with the flow" (you like that little pun there... lol) with what my body is feeling. I'm not going to punish myself with the extra miles that I'm scheduled to run but go the distance that my body "feels" like running that day until the cycle starts all over again.

Struggling to run miles that my body just doesn't want to run, simply because it's written down on a sheet of paper is so demoralizing and plain old, NOT FUN.

Running is supposed to be fun.

I'll be back later with a recap of the last few days' run stats.  But for now, enjoy this little blog post about "How to Run with the Flow of Your Menstrual Cycle." She says it all so much better than I can!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Days 79-84 (Feb 14-19): 29.29 miles

I got a little behind again since I stopped using the blogger app on my phone.  When you add pictures in the app, the picture quality goes way down so I prefer to do it when I get to work.  It's been a little bit busier here with it being tax season at all and it's been KILLING me not to update here as often as I had been.  I've been toying around with the idea of just doing one weekly run post update and then filling in other days with other stuff that's running related like I see other bloggers doing.  I have one post started with just new gear I've purchased this month that will go up at the end of February.  I also have some review posts started.

Do you guys have a preference?  Do you prefer a daily run update or multiple days in one post?  No preference?  For me, as a blog reader, it kind of depends on the author.

Day 79 (Friday, Feb 14):

6.0 miles. 1:02:44. 10:27 pace.

I honestly don't recall anything about this run.  That's how utterly uneventful it was.

Day 80 (Saturday, Feb 15):

1.0 mile. 9:12 pace.

The day started off with this lovely work of art:

We were meeting Karl's parents in the parking lot of a grocery store that seriously has the best donuts for like a 500 mile radius.  They were sold out of the one that I wanted (a cookies and cream long john filled with buttercream frosting) so I settled on this dog bone filled with whipped frosting.  Amazing.

We shopped around a bit and found a treadmill at Sears that is pretty much just a step down from the one that I have picked out online.  So, we got to see the size of it and stand on it (no running though... they took all of the safety keys) and Karl was completely sold on it.  So... looks like I'll be ordering a new treadmill here shortly!

We hit up Olive Garden and I ordered the Tour of Italy.  It comes with lasagna, fettucine alfredo, and chicken parmigiana.  I pretty much got it because I couldn't decide between my regular (alfredo) and lasagna.  I was disappointed in all but the lasagna.  I didn't get enough alfredo on my fettucine and the parmesan crust on the chicken was a just ... eh... but the lasagna was delish!!!

We got home and just watched Olympics for a few hours and I finally dragged myself off of the couch to go run one mile, even though I was scheduled to run 5.  I just wasn't in the mood.

Day 81 (Sunday, Feb 16):

10.0 miles. 1:46:00. 10:36 pace.

This run was so fantastically awesome. I watched an episode of Sherlock in my darkened basement in the middle of the day.  I was really thirsty during the beginning of the run (my water drinking the day before was severely lacking) and then I started to get cold towards the end.  My hands felt like icicles.  Instead of gummy bears and gatorade I had two GUs and a bottle of orange flavored GU Brew (plus 2 20z bottles of water).  I definitely could have run longer.

I came upstairs and Karl had stopped at that grocery store again while picking up the kiddos and they had some of the cookies and cream donuts this time!

I had the biggest sugar high.   I could literally feel the sugar pump through my blood stream.  Mercedes, of course, wanted me to share.  How can I say "no" to that little bird!?

Later in the evening I heated up my Olive Garden leftovers.  I think I got 3 bites.  Mercedes stole the plate and then literally licked it clean.

Girl sure likes her Italian!  She's lucky she's so cute with all of the food stealing she's been doing!!

Day 82 (Monday, Feb 17):

5.0 miles. 53:28. 10:42 pace.

I was scheduled to do 7 miles today and I totally could have, it's just the guilty mommy brain wanted to run shorter today so I could spend a little bit more time with my babies.  Of course, they could have cared less.  Callie was too busy playing Flappy Bird and Max was showing Taylor how awesome he is playing Minecraft.  Mercedes had a princess nightgown and some play jewelry on and asked me when I came upstairs, "Want to dance with me in the living room?"  At least 1 kid out of 4 wants to hang out with me!

Day 83 (Tuesday, Feb 18):

6.0 miles. 57:16. 9:33 pace.

I was supposed to do intervals today.  I DID start them.  I started to do 6x800s.  After about 2 though, I just decided to turn it into a tempo run and change the speed up and down as I see fit like I used to do at the beginning of the streak.  It was a lot more enjoyable this way.  In fact, I could have run another mile or two and not have been completely wrecked afterwards. In essence.... I did a fartlek run today.  And yes... I needed to type that because fartlek is the coolest word ever.

Day 84 (Wednesday, Feb 19):

1.29 miles. 12:48. 9:54 pace.

As soon as I got home from work I headed out the door to run outside.  The last two days the temp had been in the mid to high 30s and we're expecting to get a snowstorm later this week before plunging back down below zero again next week.  Since I hadn't run outside in awhile it took a little bit before my watch connected to satellite (plus it was cloudy) so I bet my total distance is about 1.5 miles. It was amazing.  I mean... I really don't mind the treadmill... but spring can just hurry itself right up.

When I got home I was looking at the stats on my watch and I see that my VO2 max had been changed and thus my race predictor times have been updated.  I was flabbergasted.  For one thing... my first set of times seemed out of reach to me but I just saw it as a long term goal and thought, "maybe in a year I can come close to those times..." But now!?  Jeez...  How am I supposed to reach these times that Garmin predicts for me if as I get fitter, the bar is raised even higher!? 

I guess we'll see come race day next month how much more work I have to do, huh?  My time goal for the race changes depending on the day.  Some days I just want to beat my last time of 2:12:13, and other times I'm shooting for sub- 2:05, and sometimes I think that I can even do sub-2:00. I'm so freaking excited for this race... I wish it was this weekend! 

Well... no I don't... there'd be about a foot of snow on the roads... but you know what I mean!!!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Day 78 (Feb 13): 4.25 miles

4.25 miles. 44:43. 10:31 pace.

Here's what happened.  I had EVERY intention of running at LEAST 6 miles today.  My ghetto treadmill had other ideas for me.

Karl had started mentioning that sometimes he feels like his foot sticks to the deck.  The belt isn't slipping or anything (we fixed that issue) but he couldn't really explain what it felt like or what could possibly be happening.


It's the weirdest thing.  It's kinda like the bottom of the shoe and the belt are melting together or something.  I can't explain it.  I doubt they were really melding together but it was such an ANNOYING feeling, I just knew I wasn't going to make complete my scheduled run. I started noticing it at mile 4.10 and it just got so much worse, so quickly I BARELY made it to mile 4.25.  Like literally... barely.  I was holding onto the hand rails and everything.

Super annoyed.  I had literally JUST found my groove too.  It takes me sometimes 3.5 miles to fully warm up to the point where I'm not feeling like I'm going to drown in my own sweat or that my legs are going to fall off.  Is anyone else that way..??? Like you're super hot and wishing you had about 50 more fans on you until a certain point and then you're body's all like, "oh... ok... just kidding... I thought we were running Badwater..." and then you're all of a sudden not hot anymore?  If I'm running really long towards the end of the run I start feeling chilly... but I'm pretty sure that's a hydration issue haha.  And this phenomenon is most noticeable on the treadmill where the temp and everything is consistent.  Maybe I'm just a freaking weirdo... :)

So anyway... this ghetto treadmill of ours is dying.  Like, it's gotten its affairs in order and is transitioning into hospice care. 

I've been researching treadmills all week.  I have literally spent HOURS doing this during the slow times at work. 

In my research I found out that the treadmill that we purchased on sale for $400 is technically not meant to be run on.  It's pretty much designed for little old ladies to walk on.  It is not built for serious running to be done on it.  It is also not built for really tall dudes over 250 pounds to run on.  So... needless to say, Karl and I have literally run this thing into the ground.  The belt floats above the deck probably a half inch.  The suspension is shot and the motor gets tired and slows for a few seconds at a time if it's been running for awhile.

What's funny is that I think that I'm harder on the treadmill than Karl is.  Obviously I put more miles on it than he does but he's double my weight and yet I feel like my footsteps are WAY louder than his.

My mom has the same treadmill as we do.  I used it last Sunday to run my 10 miles, remember?  Well, when I started... the belt was flat on the deck.  When I finished, the belt was floating above the deck maybe a quarter inch.  I'm not sure if as the belt heats up it tightens itself and that causes it or if the suspension is just terrible on these cheapo machines.  I don't weigh a whole lot and I take quick little steps (my cadence is usually about 180 but it ranges from 175-200 according to my fancy Garmin watch.  See... I knew those stats would come in handy someday) so my size and form should have nothing to do with the crappiness of this treadmill.  ugh. 

We have decided on an upgrade.  Well... I have decided on an upgrade.  Karl didn't say no yet like he did to the Boston Marathon one.  (He seriously has to be the ONLY RUNNER ALIVE that doesn't think that the speed ring thingee is cool).

On Saturday we're going to go and shop around for treadmills at Sears, 2nd Wind, and Dick's.  If nothing catches our eye there then you can bet your britches I'll be ordering the one I picked out.  The website says it'll take up to 2 weeks to arrive.  Little Ghetto Horizon... you BETTER LIVE THAT LONG!!!!!

I'm not going to say which one I've picked out until it's ordered just in case I either find something on Saturday or I change my mind.  I'm a woman.  That happens.

My appetite started to come back today (well... technically yesterday since today is actually Feb 14).  Guess what I had for lunch?

Hardee's bacon cheeseburger, for the win!

I forget that Hardee's puts mayo on their burgers... so it was only ok.  The onion rings were fantastic and I love the fact that they have fountain cherry coke.

In case you haven't figured it out yet I am not a "clean" eater.  My idea of clean eating is washing your hands first. I love processed garbage.  It makes me feel like poo sometimes but it is oh so tasty.

Happy Valentine's Day!  I'll be spending my evening on the ghetto treadmill while Karl takes care of the sugared up kids.  Tomorrow (Saturday) we are going to go shopping like I mentioned and are going to hit up Olive Garden.  So excited.  And we're going to be KIDLESS!!!!  Adult conversation!? Breadsticks!?  Shopping!? 

It's going to be amazing....

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Days 73-77 (Feb 8-12): 26.05 miles

Bad blogger, I am.  I'm so far behind on posts and it was starting to overwhelm me so I just decided to do it this way. 

Day 73 (Saturday, Feb 8): 

6.05 miles. 1:02:59. 10:25 pace.

I um... slightly underdressed for this run.  I did it outside, but it was still pretty windy.  I wore a pair of Under Armour ColdGear tights and my thighs were pretty numb by the time I got home.  I also wore only a lululemon long sleeved swiftly on my arms.  I had a tank underneath and a fleece vest over.  Brr.  I did it though!

Day 74 (Sunday, Feb 9):

10.0 miles. 1:47:00. 10:42 pace.

I had to do this run in chunks.  I decided to go to my mom's and use her treadmill since she was out of town and wanted me to check on her doggie.  She has steam heat at her house and whatever it is called that makes her house warm is right next to her treadmill in the basement.  After running in subszero temps the day before, I definitely felt like I was running in the seventh circle of hell.  After 3 miles I went outside (where there was something like a -17 wind chill) to cool off before going back for more.  After another 3 miles I did it again.  The last 4 miles were pure torture to finish.  I had forgotten my gummis at home and so the only "fuel" I had was a single bottle of Gatorade.  I hadn't eaten anything in over 6 hours.  I gutted it out though.  So happy to have finished.  The first double digit run since last June!!!!!

Day 75 (Monday, Feb 10):

5.0 miles. 53:48. 10:46 pace.

I didn't realize how tired and dead feeling my legs were until about 2 miles into the run.  My stubborn self willed me to finish and then I collapsed onto the couch face first mumbling something along the lines of "fuck you Hanson brothers and fuck your cumulative fatigue"

Day 76 (Tuesday, Feb 11):

1.0 mile. 10:47 pace.

I ended up having to switch my speed day with my rest day.  It was my turn to help out in the concession stand at the varsity girls basketball game tonight.  I didn't get this run in until about 9:45pm.  If it wasn't for the streak and my stubbornness, I would have just gone to bed.

Day 77 (Wednesday, Feb 12):

4.0 miles. 38:00. 9:30 pace.

I was supposed to do 5x1000m repeats tonight.  I ended up doing 3x1000m repeats.  During that 3rd interval my legs were on fire and my abs were starting to burn and I was in a hurry to try to get done so that Karl could use the treadmill (he had called it for the after work slot and I snuck down there before he got home to hopefully get my run done beforehand.  I didn't want to be running until 8 or later if I'd waited for him to be done).  So... I was really anxious and I REALLY didn't want to turn the speed down for the 4th and 5th intervals (I was running the intervals at 7mph, about an 8:34 pace or so) so after the 3rd interval recovery I set the treadmill to my tempo pace and finished the last 3/4 mile or so at that speed.  So... even though I cut the run short by about a mile and a half,  I'm still pleased with my time and effort.  I guess my legs are still tired from the weekend.

What's up next:

Tonight: Supposed to be 6 mile tempo run.  It's going to be an easy paced run.  I guarantee you that.
Friday: 6 miles easy (which I might push the pace on so I get a tempo like run in for the week)
Saturday: 5 miles easy
Sunday: 10 miles easy
Monday: 7 miles easy
Tuesday: Supposed to be 4x1200m intervals but I'm going to redo the 5x1000 or the 6x800 depending on how I'm feeling.
Wednesday: 1 mile easy.

I'm still working on the Under Armour Armour Bra review.  I'll give you a clue.  I'm sending it back.  I feel there is a serious design flaw with it which makes it not worthy of the $58 price tag.  Stay tuned......

Monday, February 10, 2014

Day 72 (2/7): 5.0 miles + Mini Bra Review

5.0 miles. 52:28. 10:30 pace.

Well, there's another chapter in the bra saga for you to enjoy.  Tonight while I was waiting for a prescription to be filled at Walmart, I found myself looking at their sports bra selection.  Since I had some time to kill, I kinda wanted to see how truly "high impact" their bras labeled such actually are.  In the past, both Target's and Walmart's idea of high impact support has been kinda laughable to me.  I grabbed a couple, including one labeled "extreme impact" and headed off to the dressing room.

The "extreme impact" one really truly surprised me.  Enough that I bought it.  Holy shiz right!?

Now, the smallest size they have, 34B is slightly too big for me in the band, but I felt it offered the same level of support as my 32C Moving Comfort Juno.  I had to do roughly the same number of bra adjustments as the Juno, if not less.  It feels really comfortable over the shoulders and back, and I feel like this could be an everyday bra as well.

Tonight I wanted to try this bra on it's own to see how it would fare.  After a mile, I did end up tossing another cheapo bra over the top of it and that combo was perfect.

My only complaint about this bra (besides the lack of sizing variety) is the straps.  In the back there are adjustable straps and they loosen too easily.  This is probably why I had to toss another bra on after awhile.  At the $13 price point, however, I have no problem sewing the straps so that the sliding adjuster is unable to move.

Since I plan on going back to Walmart and picking up the other 34B that they had in stock I feel like I can recommend this guy.  If anyone else has tried this bra out or had any other Walmart/Target sports bras surprise them, let me know!

So anyway... back to the run.  It was pretty uneventful.  Just a basic, run of the mill 5 miler. Afterwards I came upstairs and watched the Olympic Opening Ceremonies with Karl and Mercedes (Max was in his room and Callie and Taylor were at a basketball game).  Mercedes didn't last long. My little sleepy snuggle muffin kept me warm and I loved it.

I was really impressed with the opening ceremonies.  Granted, I've never watched either an opening or closing ceremony before but wow, the projections on the floor of the arena were amazing!!!

Day 71 (2/6): 4.0 miles

4.0 miles.  40:02. 10:01 avg pace.

I decided that instead of doing race pace runs on Thursdays that I would do runs that are harder than my easy days but not quite as hard as my speed days on Tuesday.  Which would mean a pace that is close to (preferably under) 10:00/mile.  Every tempo run I've attempted thus far has just been downright terrible and it was hurting my confidence and making the next couple of runs feel not so great as well. 

Today's run was a scheduled 6 miles, 5 of which were supposed to be tempo pace.

I got to 4 miles and paused the treadmill to grab some water when I heard Mercedes (my three year old) sitting at the top of the stairs whining, "Momma I want you...." I started to say just a couple more minutes, but then common sense kicked in and I remembered what was important in my life.  So, I went upstairs and we snuggled on the couch and watched The Little Mermaid. 

I had good intentions to go back downstairs after the kids went to bed and finish those last 2 miles but as the evening wore on... it became less important to me.  Plus my legs were stiffening up from immediately parking my keister on the couch.

I don't regret quitting early at all.  I feel like I still got a good workout in and singing all the songs from my favorite Disney movie with my favorite toddler was a heck of a lot more fun!

No pictures today... I'm posting this 4 days late.  Grrr.. bad blogger I am.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Day 70 (2/5): 1.0 mile + REVIEW of Clif "cookies & cream" protein bar

1.0 mile. 10:08.

I apologize for the 2 day delay in getting this posted.  I didn't get my run in until 10:30 at night.  We bought a new belt for our el cheapo treadmill and it took him over 3 hours to replace it.  I don't think that our treadmill was meant to be taken apart.  He had to break two pieces off in order to get the deck off because the manufacturer super glued a plastic cap over where the hole for the screw was.  I don't have pictures... but just take my word for it.  It was quite a job.  I'm going to have to re-lube the deck this weekend and I'm not looking forward to it because I'll have to loosen the belt again and the tightening/centering of the belt took a good 45 minutes.  Grr.

But... We have a working treadmill for both of us now.  The last two weeks I've been the only one able to use it because I didn't need the belt tightened as much as Karl did to avoid the belt slipping.  If we were to tighten it any more, the crease in the belt would have rubbed against a the plastic motor housing and eventually would have caused the belt to split into two pieces, I'm sure of it.

Since we've gotten the belt replaced, the treadmill feels a bit more rickety... but that could be because it isn't in exactly the same place that it was before and we (stupidly) have it just on our concrete basement floor which isn't completely level.  I'm going to stop at Lowe's tonight after work to see if they still carry the rubber workout flooring.  Hopefully it won't raise the height of the treadmill too high for Karl to be able to use.  He's 6'4".  We currently have the treadmill situated between floor joists so he has some head room.  Oh the things you don't have to consider when you're short....

So... I've been in a "try new things to review" kind of mode lately.  Today since it's just a one mile post you're going to get one of those reviews.

I follow a few people on instagram that post mostly about their workouts and things related to their workouts.  A lot of people have been posting pictures of this cookies and cream flavored Quest bar.  Well... I haven't been able to find any in my town.  I think they are available at GNC though from what I gather on Instagram. I can't find a stock photo (I don't want to borrow anyone's Instagram shot) of the actual bar to use to show you just how yummy this thing looked.  It looked like cookies and cream ice cream but in a bar form if you can picture that. 

So imagine my surprise when I'm at the grocery store picking up a couple of Lara Bars when I saw that Clif had a protein bar in the cookies and cream flavor.

As soon as I got to work I wanted to try it out.

I tore off the wrapper and was a little surprised that I saw a chocolate coating.  I guess I just expected it to look exactly like the Quest bar which is mostly white.

Undeterred, I took a bite.

And that's when the REAL surprise occurred.

I was expecting this bar to taste sorta like an Oreo. This tasted like a really bad peanut butter and chocolate knock off.

I even went on Google to find a picture of what the actual Clif bar looked like because I was convinced that there was a mix up at the factory and the wrong label was but on this bar.  As it turns out... there was no mistake and this is exactly what it is supposed to look like.

I gave a bite to my mom to try (we work in the same office) and she said that she could taste the cookie and cream flavor.  I told her she could have it.

I'm sorry Clif.  I know that this flavor seems to have gotten pretty high reviews on Amazon, but when I think of something that is a cookies and cream flavor... I expect there to be a cream (a.k.a. white chocolate) flavor.  Where is that in your bar?  The cookie chunks were also few and far between.

Alrighty... I'm pretty much done hating on Clif for their "cookies and cream" flavored protein bar.

I think I'll pick up some mega stuff Oreos tonight.  At least they never let me down!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Day 69 (2/4): 6.0 miles

6.0 miles. 57:08. 9:31 pace.

oh. em. gee.  This run went fantastically well. 

In case anyone wants to replicate this workout and not have to think about it I typed it up for you to print off.  Change speeds if desired.  It won't hurt my feelings.

Warm up 1 mile: 5.6 mph
Mile 1.0-1.5: 7.0 mph
Mile 1.5-1.75: 5.6 mph
Mile 1.75-2.25: 7.0 mph
Mile 2.25-2.5: 5.6 mph
Mile 2.5-3.0: 7.0 mph
Mile 3.0-3.25: 5.6 mph
Mile 3.25-3.75: 7.0 mph
Mile 3.75-4.0: 5.6 mph
Mile 4.0-4.5: 7.0 mph
Mile 4.5-4.75: 5.6 mph
Mile 4.75-5.25: 7.0 mph
Mile 5.25-5.5: 5.6 mph
Mile 5.5-6.0: 6.5 mph

I was technically done with the workout after 5.5 miles but my OCD brain can't stand it when I don't complete whole miles while on the treadmill.  So, I ran an extra half mile at tempo pace (about 9:10/mi).  I was still feeling pretty good anyhow.

Now, don't think that I felt this workout was easy.  It wasn't.  Each interval I was literally counting down the distance to being done.  My legs burned towards the end of each.  I was just so flipping excited at having completed this workout at the speeds I did.  If I had done this at the gym I would have ran around giving everyone hugs and high fives.

I am still excited about it.  I look at the time and pace and think, "wow, I'm awesome."

To keep track of each interval I would place a gummi bear on the treadmill display ledge.  I should have lined up six gummi bears at the start and just ate one after each interval.  Next time, I guess!

To drag out the bra saga a little bit longer... I wore the 32C Moving Comfort Juno one last night.  Solo.  I tried to make a conscious effort NOT to adjust the thing.  I just tried to think about something else instead of wasting the physical and mental energy of constantly fiddling with my bra.  It worked... kinda. 

The two Armour bras by Under Armour showed up.  I ordered one more size to try and it will be here tomorrow (Feb 6).  If I end up keeping one to try on a run, expect a full review.  If not... well... you'll get a mini review on why I'm not keeping them. 

Anyone else have a fantastic run lately??

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Day 68 (2/3): 1.0 mile

1.0 mile.  10:12 pace.

I know what you're thinking.  What the heck!?  It's not Wednesday!  Wednesday's are 1 mile days.

Well... here's what happened.

I got home at my normal time.

But I was HANGRY.


I ate something small (I don't like running with a lot of food in my belly), but I was still crabby.

For the first time in almost 2 months, I just did. not. want. to. run.

Not because I was too tired or because I didn't have enough time.

It's because I was too crabby.

All I wanted to do was lay on the couch under a blanket and eat junk food while the kids destroy the place because I just didn't care.

You've had those kinds of days, right?

I even had something new to try out on my run today and even that didn't help in the motivation department.

I picked up some of those Dr. Scholl's Active insoles to replace the insoles on my Brooks Pure Flow 2's.  The shoes only have 140 miles on them but they have felt dead to me since about mile 90.  I hate running in them even though they look really cute on my feet. (Oh come on... you know that's important). I was hoping that these $20 inserts would save me from having to drop $100 on a new pair of shoes so soon.

Dr. Scholl's Active Series Insole from good ole Walmart.

I got them cut to size and walked around the house in them for a little bit.  They are a bit thicker than the original insoles, especially in the heel.  It's probably only a millimeter or two but when I'm used to a 4mm drop, it's definitely noticeable.

Because the insole is thicker, it actually made the whole shoe fit a little bit better.  It actually hugged my foot.

I thought I would absolutely hate running in them.  It felt like just a lot of shoe on my foot.

Strangely though, I didn't really mind them.

I'll let you know what I really think about them after this weekend's long run.

Day 67 (2/2): 8.0 miles

8.0 miles. 1:25:35. 10:42 pace.

This run went a lot better than I thought it would.

I only wore two sports bras this time.  A hot pink one from my daughters' bin and my size 34B Moving Comfort Juno bra.  It helped when I would adjust the pink one (that I wore under the Juno) so that the sides came up really high under my arms.  The gals do kind wrap around my side a wee bit (so most bras tend to give me armpit fat no matter what I do) so I'm wondering if the issue is more that I just need more support in that area.  I ordered an Armour Bra from Under Armour that will arrive today (2/4) that looked like it came up higher on the sides than the Juno did.  Hopefully I'll be closer to a solution here.

I had no real plans for this run.

If you remember from Day 66, my legs were completely toast.  I barely made it 3.5 miles on a 6 mile run.

For this run... I waited until almost dark. I started feeling anxious prior... full on butterflies and everything.

I was hoping for 6 miles, but I just planned on taking it one mile at a time.

When I got to about 5.5 miles... my feet started to feel tired.  Shortly thereafter, my hips started to ache.

It wasn't painful enough for me to quit, it was just merely an annoyance.

I made it to 8 miles and then decided I had better stop.  I had a sneaking suspicion that the shoes I was wearing, my beloved Brooks Pure Flow 1, were worn out.  If it weren't for the achiness I was feeling.  I would definitely have run at least one more mile, if not 2.

I was so happy for hitting 8 miles.  I rode that endorphin high the rest of the night!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Day 66 (2/1): 3.5 miles

3.5 miles. 38:15. 10:56 pace.

So…. I was supposed to run 6 miles today.  I even thought my legs felt pretty good when I went downstairs to run.  I was wrong.  My quads are toast.  My brain didn't want to run either.

It didn't help that the sun was shining so brightly into the window above the treadmill (I really need to cover that thing up).  Earlier in the day I looked outside and was thinking with the sun shining so brightly that it must be warm enough to run outside.  Nope.  I was wrong.  It was 11 degrees… but a "feels like" temp of -5.  No thanks.  Too windy.

I've stopped checking the weather for what the forecast will be.  It's too depressing.  Never a warmup.  Always more of the same.  This winter will never end.  There will still be snow on the ground on the Fourth of July.


So anyway… back the the run.  I put on an episode of Sherlock to watch.  Not even that could hold my attention.  The nearly 11 minute pace felt really hard in that my legs just felt like dead weights and didn't want to move.  It's definitely harder for me to run at these slower paces on the treadmill because my form is different.  Outside it's easy to shuffle at a slow pace.  On the treadmill I just can't.  The slow paces make me feel like my form is exaggerated.  I feel like I 'clomp' down more too.  I don't know, I can't really explain it.

At 3.5 miles I threw in the towel.  I figured I would just go down later and finish the last 2.5 miles.  The couch was occupied so I just laid in bed for like an hour.  I damn near took a nap, and if you know anything about me… I don't do naps.  

I realize that the Hanson's say that I'm supposed to feel this way… that cumulative fatigue is beneficial come race day.  But this is a kind of fatigue that is making me dread my runs.

At least I didn't spend the 3.5 miles adjusting my bra the whole time.  Because I wore three.  Two of them belonged to my 12 year old daughter.  So um… yeah.  I still did a little bit but it wasn't as bad as it has been.

I've been craving a wrap lately like nobody's business.  So I made one yesterday for lunch:

That is quinoa, spinach, carrot, zucchini, salt, pepper, and garden vegetable cream cheese on a tortilla.  It's delish.

Last night, since I didn't go back and finish my run, I did just a wee bit of strength training to my upper body.  I managed 24 (girlie style) pushups and a 1 minute plank.  Seems I have some work to do…. 

Tomorrow's run is supposed to be 10 miles.  The thought of running this distance on a wonky treadmill in a dusty basement kind of makes me want to set myself on fire.  In all likelihood it will be another short distance day.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Day 65: 4.0 miles

4.0 miles. 42:46. 10:42 pace.

I adjusted my bra the entire duration of this run.

As I did yesterday

And the day before. 

And the day before.

And the... Well you get my point. 

It's so frustrating and a total energy suck. I can't get into the groove if I'm constantly trying to keep my bitties in line. 

My shoulders are constantly shrugging. If I loosen the straps to take pressure off my back/shoulders than my boobs start bouncing. 

And it's not like my bra is cheap. I use Moving Comfort's Juno (I'll add links when I'm on my laptop). I started with 34C last spring. I thought this bra was a godsend. Over the summer I bought one in a size 34B. The first one started to feel loose. Now the 34B is unwearable and I'm in a 32C. Now this last one is no longer working. I've had it for only 2 or 3 weeks. I do alternate the 32c and the 34b, however I now have no desire to wear either one of them ever again.  Which means I have no idea what I'm going to do tomorrow.

A couple of runs ago I tried wearing my old Lululemon tata tamer (size 34C). No dice. For one thing... It makes my boobs look pointy or something. Like it lifts and separates too much. 

Look.. I'm not going to be in a fashion show here. I just want the gals flattened and outta the way. I don't care for them to look perky while I'm running. 

The only reason I try to avoid the uniboob look is simply because I hate feeling sweaty between the jugs and underneath them. 

The last few months I've joked about just buying some ace bandages and wrapping those suckers in place.

I even found some at Walmart.

Well, I visited my ole pal Google and typed in somethig like ace bandage chest running.

It was actually RECOMMENDED by some track coaches. 

What? I gotsta try this!

Day 64: 5.0 miles

5.0 miles. 49:33. 9:55 pace.

(January 30, 2014)

I'm going to start this post with the positives of this run.

During this run, I hit 100 miles for the month of January.  Last month I squeeked out 89.6 miles.  The highest mileage month prior to this streak was around 50 miles.  Yay!!!! Go me!!!!

Nike+ appreciates my efforts.
That is probably the only positive I can come up with.

This run was downright terrible.

What was supposed to be a 5 mile tempo run turned into a complete disaster before mile 2 was even over.  I had to STOP the run and give myself a pep talk to continue TWICE.  The last half mile was so bad, I'm surprised I'm still around to tell the tale.

I felt heavy.  I felt clumsy.  I kept having to adjust my bra... and this was the one that is the smallest and fits the best.

I haven't bonked this bad on a run this short in... a long ass time-if ever.

I'm not really sure even what the problem was.  I have a couple of theories of course:

When I got home from work, there was a Papa Murphy's pizza on the stove that Karl and the littles had just made.  Of course I grabbed a couple of squares. (I don't like eating right before I run)

I wasn't as watchful about my fluid intake during the day.

Perhaps I hadn't eaten enough earlier in the day?

My monthly visitor made her presence known.

Perhaps it was a little bit of all of the above.  The funny thing about my little monthly visitor is that it kind of took me by surprise.  Normally the week before it arrives I'm a bottomless pit.  I'm hungry ALL OF THE TIME.  Last week... I had a lot of problems with my lack of appetite. 

I felt sick after this run.  Not nauseated, but my stomach really hurt.  And I was, ahem, kinda gassy.

I should be super excited for hitting that 100 mile achievement.  But the crappiness of this run has just totally overshadowed it.

I'm going to have to back off on the paces for the next few runs.  I have a sneaking suspician that I'm sticking my toes in the overtraining pool.  I've got to keep myself from falling in.

I'm more than likely going to alter my time goal for the Get Lucky half marathon.  As long as I beat my last half time of 2:12:13, I'll be a happy camper.

You need the bad runs in order to know when you're having a good run.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Day 63: 2.0 miles

2.0 miles. 21:03. 10:32 pace.

Starting February 1st I'm going to start including the date into the subject line.  Why starting in February?  Because my OCD would not like to start seeing something different in the archives in the sidebar partway through the month.  See how nice and orderly it looks over there to the right (if you're on your phone just take my word for it mmmmkay)?

I guess I could go back and add the date to every single post but....

yea I'm just too lazy for that right now.

I know I'm only supposed to do 1 slow mile on Wednesdays.  But the truth is that I had a wee bit of anxiety and anger (mostly anger) come up right before I was going to get my run in.  I was so fired up I wanted to just knock out 5-6 miles to calm myself down.

I REALLY had to restrain myself and stop at 2 miles.  I've got to figure out how to bottle this anger so that I can tap into it when I'm struggling through a run.

Let's take a quick second to talk about all of the haters out there... We all have some in our lives.  We know who they are.  As much as we hate having haters and wish they would just keep their damn mouths shut and leave us the eff alone...

We need them.

Well... I do anyway.

When I am at a low point in a run; when my brain is telling me to quit; I try to remember every time someone ever told me in my life "You can't."

I hate being told I can't do something.

To me, that's just a dare.

Watch me, you jealous hag.

WATCH ME SUCCEED.  I can.  I will. End of story.

Keep trying to bring me down bitches.  It just adds more fuel to my fire.
Hating on me isn't going to make you better.  Do the work.  I am.
Ok... I feel better now.

On tap for the upcoming week:

Thursday: 5 tempo (race pace) miles
Friday: 4 easy miles
Saturday: 6 easy miles
Sunday: 10 easy miles
Monday: 6 easy miles
Tuesday: Speed (6x800)
Wednesday: 1 super easy "rest" day mile.

I may end up shortening the Sunday run to 8 miles and the Monday run to 4 miles, depending on how I'm feeling.  I can't be running myself into the ground, remember.  I have a handful of people ready and waiting to tell me, "I told you so... running everyday is a terrible idea" 

I've made it NINE straight weeks so far.

Loving every minute of it.

Day 62: 8.0 miles

8.0 miles. 1:18:33. 9:49 pace.

Today (1/28/14) I had intervals.  12 of them to be exact.  Each one 1/4 mile in duration at 7mph (8:34 pace or something like that).

This was a repeat of last Tuesday's speed session.  The one that I bonked on because I started my intervals at 8mph (7:30ish pace).

I'm happy to report that I was able to complete ALL TWELVE intervals.

And then I promptly ran an extra mile.  Just because I wanted to.

Well... technically... I was SUPPOSED to run a cool down mile but I didn't do it at a cool down pace.  I did it at a moderate pace of 6.1 mph.

To recap: My 1 mile warm up was at 5.5mph (10:54 pace).  Each speed interval was at 7mph (8:34).  Each recovery interval was at 5.5-5.7 mph (10:32-10:54).  Extra "cool down" mile at 6.1mph (9:49).

Via Instagram... This is my "Holy shiz I did it!!" face.
I did use some fuel during some of the recovery periods.  I bought a bag of Haribo gummi bears after Adriana mentioned she used them on her runs.  I forgot to open the bag and fish out the green ones beforehand.  I think I only ended up eating one yucky green one though.  And no... there's no way to see what color I'm shoving into my mouth because I like to run in the dark.  I'm a freak like that.

When I came upstairs after running, I discovered that my little loves had made a fort out of the dining room table using practically every blanket we own and using all of the books from the bookshelf to keep the blankets in place.  They also had lots of random crap tossed under the table, like little squirrels stashing goods for winter.  So much for big sissies doing the baby sitting.  There was more iphone watching that younger sibling watching.  Tsk. Tsk. At least everyone was still breathing and the house wasn't aflame, right?  Beggars can't be choosers.

When I mentioned the stuff under the table to Max he says, "Mom!! We cleaned off the table for you!"

Sure as shit... inside their little hoard under the table was the pile of mail and other miscellaneous junk that accumulates on our table throughout the day.

Sigh.  Thanks, kids... someday I'll have to teach them that cleaning something doesn't mean just hiding it all under the table (or their bed).

I wish I would have had the foresight to take a picture.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Day 61: 4.0 miles

4.0 miles. 42:09. 10:32 pace.

This run was fantastically awesome.  It was as if all of the stars aligned to give me this (much needed) great run.  The odds were stacked against me.  For one thing... it's so cold outside that there's no school.  Therefore, absolutely no way am I doing today's (Monday's) run outside.  The second factor I had against me was that apparently the person who is supposed to work at Anytime Fitness today decided for whatever reason that they'd rather not.  No staff = no registering for free trial for Tara.  The third factor is that my treadmill is still "technically" out of commission.  On Sunday, my dad stopped over and he got the crease flattened enough so that it didn't rub against the plastic motor housing.  He did this by holding a rolling pin up to the back roller while the treadmill was going at a slow pace.  The crease is still there, but not as obnoxious.

I decided I was going to attempt the treadmill.  I spent a few minutes making sure the tension was right and making a few adjustments to keep the belt from moving to the side.  I kept my speed down and kept checking the belt to make sure I wasn't making the crease worse.  


BOOM!  Knocked out 4 easy miles.

I really wanted to speed up a few times but... say this with me... EASY RUNS ARE BENEFICIAL.

When it was done I felt refreshed and energetic.  Which is how I'm supposed to feel after an easy run.

As a last resort, if I found I was unable to run on my treadmill, I was simply going to run laps around my kitchen, dining room, and living room until I hit a mile.  I was going to use both the Nike+ app and my Garmin with the HRM because they both act as pedometers.  Yes, I would have been that desperate to run like a raving lunatic around my house for at mile.  I've got a streak to keep alive, don't I?  Actually maybe I should do that one night anyway when I only have a mile to do.  I'll call it "tag" and chase Max and Cede around the house thereby saving myself a visit from the men in white coats.

When I was at Target on Saturday I saw this and thought it looked good, since I like curry and all.

Golden Lentil BORING curry

I ate it for lunch. It was ok.  It definitely had a curry flavor to it, but it was a bland curry like it was watered down for old people or babies.  I would buy it again, but only if it was on sale.  Just thought you'd like to know. ;)

On Friday I let my hair down... and straightened it.  I almost always have my hair back in some sort of messy bun.  When it's not straightened it's pretty wavy (which is why I can't cut my hair short... it just poofs up and looks ridiculous) so it was hard to gauge just how long it is.  Check this out:

Long hair, don't care.
Adriana over at Laced Up With Lipstick also has some crazy long gorgeous looking dark locks.  Where am I going with this?  Well... nowhere really.  I just kinda wanted to show that I don't always look like a sweaty mess!  Plus I happened to take the selfie in front of my race bib wall and even though the pic is grainy (bad lighting in my bedroom) I like the pic.  I'm starting to embrace the selfie, haha.

Funny story about Friday.  I was at the varsity girls basketball game (Callie plays on the 7th-8th grade team and Taylor is a varsity cheerleader) and during half time the cheerleading coach does this scavenger hunt type game.  She called out, "first person to the stage with hand sanitizer gets a prize." Well the lady I was sitting next to loads her purse up with odd items just for this game and she had hand sanitizer.  She handed it to me and said "Go!" So... I went.  Out of the corner of my eye I saw a high school chica heading up to the stage.  I booked it.  She noticed I was racing her when I got close and she started sprinting.  Well... naturally, so did I.  It ended up being a dead tie and I got a little candle for my efforts (which I gave to the lady with the hand sanitizer even though she told me to keep it - we don't burn candles in our house).  I was pretty jazzed.  Normally the old people (you know... all of the people that are no longer in high school) don't sprint up to the stage and race the high school kids.

Later that evening, when we were home, Callie said that when I was running up to the stage her friends were like, "Is that ... Taylor...?" "Wow, your mom is fast." "She runs just like you!"

Bahahahahahahahaha thanks kids.  Thanks for making this "old-timer" feel good about herself.  Callie and Taylor have been known for their speed in running since... well they could run. Someday I'll be able to keep up with them.  :)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Day 60: 1.10 miles

1.10 miles.11:52. 10:44 pace.

Yup.  I skipped my 8 miler today.  Heading back over to the Y definitely would have taken up my whole day again.  I just… didn't feel like it was worth it. I need to feel like I had at least one day "off" this weekend.  I'm so behind on housework and laundry.  I think I'm on my last pair of clean undies.

Because of the stress of last week I didn't sleep or eat a whole lot.  My runs definitely suffered. Yesterday wasn't any better food wise.  I'm tired.  I felt stiff.  I even lost 4 pounds over the week.

I'm trying not to get too down on myself for cutting out 7 miles.  I'm trying to remind myself that sometimes, drastically shortening a run or two is a lot better than persevering when I shouldn't and having to quit running (again) due to severe injury.

I went out this morning (shocker, I know) before the wind picked up.  (currently we are under a wind chill advisory and as of 3:00pm it's -22F)

I dressed like a girlie ninja:

Running, ninja style

I got in my 1 mile run.  I actually got a little hot.  I had three shirts on.  :)  At least I know that I can run a mile outside when it's this cold:

At least there was no wind!!

Now I'm spending the rest of the day relaxing, EATING, and trying to recharge my soul.  I've got a chicken in the crockpot and a load of laundry in the washer.  Life. Is. Good.

Day 59: 6.0 miles

6.0 miles. 1:04:41. 10:47 pace.

After the pity party was over on Friday about my treadmill being out of commission, I had to strategize as to how I was going to get my runs in this weekend.  I was scheduled for 6 miles on Saturday, and 8 miles on Sunday.

There are two gyms in the next town over (about 5 miles away).  Anytime Fitness and Snap Fitness.  Anytime's website said that they were staffed on Saturdays from 10-2.  I signed up for a free trial via their website and then called the location and left a message.  I never heard back from them.  Their Facebook page listed different hours than the corporate website.  Apparently no one is there on Saturdays.

My last option (no, running outside was never an option.  too cold) was to drive 45 minutes to the YMCA I used to go to when I lived closer to it.  They offer day passes and are staffed on weekends.  So… I headed over there at about 1:15.

Holy hannah.  It was HOT in the fitness room.  I'm used to a 50 degree basement PLUS a fan.  I felt like I was running in a sauna.

I didn't mind running around other people.  It was kind of a distraction.  I watched the lady on the bike in front of me do some sort of intervals for awhile.  I watched an old dude in jeans walk on two different treadmills for a few minutes each before leaving.  I did, however, hate how brightly lit the place was.  Jeez…

After my run was over I had to wait to be able to get back to my locker.  A mom and her 3 little kids were hogging the area after getting out of the pool.  I'm too nice to say anything.

My workout clothes were so drenched with sweat that I'm sure I could have rung them out.  It was like I had taken a dip in the pool myself.

With so many people using the pool, I felt uncomfortable taking a shower afterwards. I just got dressed (in the bathroom stall… there was a little girl around 8 that kept staring at me while I was grabbing my clothes and I got weirded out and didn't want to change in front of her). When I finally got out of there I went to Target, praying that I wouldn't run into anyone I knew, being a sticky mess and all.

I didn't get home until 5.

I wish I had some pictures to post about this run.  I was too self conscious.  Plus… I actually had to start a new run because the treadmill only allows runs of 60 minutes.  Lame.

Day 58: 2.0 miles.

2.0 miles. 19:00. 9:30 pace.

(Friday January 24)
This run was run mostly outside.  At 10:00pm.  I started my run on the treadmill at about 9:30.  For some reason the belt was creased down the middle.  Not sure what I did wrong when lubing it the day before.  I figured that I would try it anyway… maybe the heat from running to cause the crease to flatten out a little bit.

After .38 mile or so… I noticed it was actually getting worse.


I rushed upstairs, threw on some warm clothes and went outside to get at LEAST a mile in (-10F wind chills, I knew I wasn't going to go far)

And then I came home and cried.


When I'm running… it's pretty much the only time I'm not thinking about my crazy hectic life.  I'm not thinking about the bills that need to be paid, or how I'm going to get all of my kids to the places they need to be.  I'm not thinking about all of the housework that I should be doing.  I'm not worried about all of the stupid little things that I shouldn't really worry about because I have no control over them.

All I'm thinking about is putting one foot in front of the other.

Or I'm imagining myself in a race.

Or running on a secluded trail.

(See why I like running in the dark?  It's easier to dissociate.)

In that moment… I felt that the one thing in my life right now that gives me peace was ripped away from me.

I eventually calmed down and came up with a plan for getting my runs in in the meantime, but man… what a day.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Day 57: 4.0 miles

4.0 miles. 39:29. 9:52 pace.

As I mentioned in Day 56, this week has been super stressful.  All day I've been just completely exhausted.  My brain was out to lunch. 

I was scheduled to do a 5 mile tempo today (plus warmup).

I was thinking... no way is that going to happen.  I'll just do my one mile and then try again tomorrow.

But obviously, I ran more than a mile.

A couple reasons for this...

I had just finished lubing up my treadmill that I thought was broken forever.

The other reason...
Brooks PureConnect 3

These shoes.

Those my friends, are the Brooks Pure Connect 3.

I was bored on Tuesday and ordered two pairs of shoes from Zappos, just to try on.  Every once in awhile... I do things like that; just order something from Zappos because it ships overnight for free so I can see what the hype is. Honestly, I had every intention on sending both pairs back.  I like buying running shoes from a running store that has a return policy if they end up not working out for you.  I likely would never send shoes back, but I like the comfort knowing that I can.

I ordered the PureConnect 3 as well as the Pure Flow 3.

The PureFlow was the shoe I was most excited about getting.  My Pure Flow 1's were my favorite shoe.  The 2's were kind of a let down so I was hoping that the 3's would be closer to the original.

I tried the Connects on first.

Oh. Em. Gee.

It was like when Cinderella tries on the glass slipper.  I even said, "ohhhhh.... yyyyeeeeeaaaaahhhhhh" once it was on my foot.  I didn't want to take it off.  I wanted to go run an ultra in those shoes right then and there.

But of course, I didn't.  You don't get the luxury of really testing out shoes that you order from Zappos because they have to be returned in new condition.

But I couldn't stop thinking about them for 24 hours.

I spent a good chunk of that time looking up reviews for the connect and trying to find pictures of them on Instagram as well as videos on YouTube.

I tried to remember how my foot felt inside of them. 

I had to have them.

I went on to order them since they are having the VIP appreciation event right now so everything is 20% off.  Who wouldn't want to save about $20 on a pair of shoes AND have the luxury of sending them back after running in them for 90 days if they just don't work out? The problem was... they were suddenly missing from their website when they had been on Tuesday.  It was like the universe was laughing at me and saying I couldn't have those shoes!

Screw you universe.

I'm taking my chances and keeping the Zappos pair. 

I love you, Pure Connect 3

I already ran in them.

And it was amazing.

Well, the shoes were amazing... the run.... kinda wasn't.

As I mentioned before... I have had a stressful week.  I haven't been eating a whole lot.  I haven't been sleeping a lot.  I was supposed to do a 5 mile tempo run (plus warm up).  During the day I had pretty much decided that I was just going to do 1 mile.  After I lubed up the treadmill, however, I got to thinking.  What if I'm sleep deprived and stressed out on race day? 

So I ran. 

I did a 1 mile warm up at 5.5 mph (10:54 pace).  I did 2 miles at tempo (race pace) at 6.5 mph (9:10 pace). The lack of proper fuel and sleep did me in after those miles.  I would have tried harder to keep it up but I started to feel a little dizzy. I slowed it down then for .75 mile at 6.0 mph (10:00 pace) and the last .25 mile back at 5.5mph.

Even though a 5 mile tempo ended up being only a 2 mile tempo I still felt very accomplished. 

On tap for tonight (Friday, Day 58), I have 4 easy miles scheduled.  I'm really hoping I can squeeze this in right before bed.  It's my night to help with admission tickets to the varsity girls basketball game so I likely won't be home before 9.  I've already cut 5 miles out of this week's training plan and I really don't want to cut out any more if I don't have to.

Saturday (Day 59) I have 6 easy miles and Sunday (Day 60!!!!) I have 8.

Hopefully my kids and anxiety allow me to get enough sleep to nail my runs this weekend!!

Day 56: 1.0 mile

I can't really even give you the time for this mile.  Because I don't know.  I'm guessing it was 10:50.

This whole week has been super duper stressful.  This one mile run occurred on Wednesday.  I'm writing this on Friday.

Things have been topsy turvy at home lately... just a lot of stuff going on.

Running was the only thing I had that was constant.  That I could rely on.

Until this Wednesday, that is.

At mile .78, my treadmill just stopped. No warning.... I think it beeped a couple of times and a message was played across the screen but my phone was covering it up so I missed the first part.

Pretty sure the last word was "belt"

Since my week was already super stressful, and I was running on about 5-6 hours of sleep for the last 3 nights, I kinda freaked out a little.

As in, near tears, howamIgoingtocontinuethisstreakifIhavenotreadmill, freakout.

I turned the treadmill off (the display was frozen) and restarted it.  It worked fine then to finish the last .22 mile of my run so I wouldn't have to break the streak (and no... running outside was not an option as the windchill was well below zero).

My mom has the same treadmill we have.  She said hers did the same thing.  After she lubed the belt and adjusted it, it worked fine.

Ah... yes.... that "LUBE BELT" display that seems to flash across the display almost every day... the one that we'd just cancel by pressing 'stop' and the speed '^' button. 

I'm sorry treadmill.  I thought it was just an automatic message that popped up every so often.  I swore I had just lubed you up and that it was fine.

I'll never do that again.

My dad stopped at the sporting goods store and picked up some lubricant for me yesterday (Thursday).  He said the guy at the store recommended the "lube-n-walk" so that's what he picked up.

OMG that thing is amazing.  I'll post pictures sometime.  So easy. 

I lubed that baby up pretty well and adjusted the belt last night (Thursday).

And then... of course... I had to test it out with a tempo run... which was my Day 57 run.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Day 55: 5.0 miles

5.0 miles. 47:38. 9:32 avg pace.

Today was interval day.  For those of you unfamiliar with what intervals are, what you do is run really fast for the specified distance, and then run slow (the recovery) for a specified distance and then repeat the specified number of times. Today's workout (after a 1-3 mile warmup) was 12x400m intervals with 400m recovery. 400m is about a quarter mile. So in this case, after warming up, you would run a quarter mile super fast, then run a quarter mile super slow, and then repeat that eleven more times for 6 miles total. 3 at the speedy pace and 3 at the recovery pace.  I hope that makes sense. If not, let me know. 

I ran a one mile warmup at 11:00 then cranked it up to 8.0 mph (7:30 pace) for a quarter mile. I started my recovery quarter mile at 6mph (10:00 pace).  I lasted 3 intervals at those speeds. 8mph is too fast for me right now. I know this because I started to lose bladder control towards the end of the third interval. Awesome huh? Hahahahahaha. I've had 4 kids. A set of twins and then two ten pound monsters. I'm actually surprised I have any bladder control at all.

Anyway... After that third interval each one got prgressively slower, ending at 7 mph, which is still speedy at about an 8:30 pace.

I think had I started somewhere between 7 and 7.5 mph I would have been able to finish all twelve intervals instead of the 8 I completed. I was just instructed to do them at 5k pace. Since I haven't ever done a timed 5k I was just guessing what speed I should do.

Next Tuesday I'm supposed to do 8x600m intervals (about .375 miles) but I'm thinking I'm going to redo the one from today, the 12x400. I'm not even sure how I would do 600m intervals on my treadmill without changing the display screen to kilometers... And I'm not even sure how I would do that. 

I guess I could figure out at which times I need to be running fast and slow ahead of time and have it written down and taped to the display... But I like to run in the dark so I wouldn't see it anyway. ;)

This is the picture I sent to Karl afterwards (he is at work):

Max (my 5 year old son) came up to me and said, " Momma... You all sweaty like a pine corn."

I'm not sure what a pine corn is but I'm thinking it's gotta be some sort of crazy awesome super hero/warrior that even Chuck Norris bows down to.

Yup. That's totally it.

I'm an awesome pine corn.

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Monday, January 20, 2014

Day 54: 3.0 miles

3.0 miles. 33:20. 11:07 pace.

Bahahahahahahahahahaha. I know I know. I was supposed to do 4 miles and usually when I say I'm going to do 4, I do 5. And I do them fast.

I did this run at 6:45 AM.

On something like 5 hours of sleep.

SO, all things considered.... I absolutely ROCKED this run.

I even matched my outfit.

I really do hate running in shorts. I'm not sure why I set these out last night. They are probably going to go into the sell pile. 

Cause I mean really.... I've got 4 kids. I've got no business wearing shorts that short.

I'm still nervous for tomorrow. I hope I make it through at least 6 of the scheduled twelve intervals.

My legs are still tired from yesterday.

Fingers crossed I survive....

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Day 53: 6.0 miles

6.0 miles. 1:05:27. 10:54 pace.

Oof. Beautiful positive splits again. I did try to run slower after awhile to keep my heart rate down, but after about the third mile, I didn't have any trouble keeping a slow pace. 

My entire body was a little sore from doing Ballet Beautiful yesterday. 

But that was ok because I love being sore.

My legs just felt really tired today.

PLUS I could feel it getting colder in the hour I was running.

Brrrrrrr...... It took me a couple hours to warm up. 

I almost took a nap too.

Tomorrow morning I get to run 4 miles.  I have something going on in the evening so it's either got to be at 6am or 9pm. I don't want to be staying up late tomorrow because I have my very first speed workout on Tuesday. 

I. Am. Nervous. For. Tuesday. 

But in an excited kind of way ;)

I officially registered for the Get Lucky half Marathon in St Paul on March 15.

Can't wait!!!!!

I have to start collecting green gear!

Day 52: 4.28 miles

4.28 miles. 44:17. 10:21 pace.

Positive splits. To be fair though, I purposely slowed down. Since the entire world was running miles for Meg Menzies, I wanted to take in the scenery of the neighborhood.

I'm surprised I was able to run this without issue. Shortly before this run I did 50 minutes of strength training a la Ballet Beautiful.

My fave workout buddy, Mercedes, joined me.

She lasted about 2 minutes.

My legs felt like jello afterwards.

Oh! I finally got my VO2 max thingy to work on my Garmin so I was able to see the race predictor.

Oh Garmin... You have so much faith in me. I laughed when I saw what you thought me capable of. The few reviews I've seen on the race predictor feature always had at least one time that was spot on or pretty close.

I can't let the Garmin down. He believes in me.  So I made the race predictor time pic my lock screen on my phone.

I'll work hard for you, oh little Garmin. Either to prove you right or prove you wrong.