Darn you, Housewives!

July 14, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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Training Calls For: 5 miles

Miles Run So Far: 73

Days Left: 89

I almost, almost didn’t make it out of bed this morning when the alarm went off for my 5 miler.  Why?  Oh, I stayed up too late watching The Real Housewives of New Jersey.

*face palm* Somewhere along the way, during those 6 weeks I was working the early morning shift and had my afternoons free, I developed an odd interest in that show because it was always on when I ate lunch.  Is Bravo powered by anything other than Housewives, Kathy Griffin and wanna-be chefs?

When I saw that the episode where the biznass went down between Teresa and Danielle was going to be on — ooh, I couldn’t miss it.  I find that flavor of crazy so intriguing.  What has become of my moral compass? 😉 It’s okay, we all like a little trash tv now and then.

So back to this morning: I’ve heard the hardest part of a run is the part where you get out the door.  Boy, I subscribe to that idea.  I hit the snooze button once, spent about 8 minutes checking my Google Reader, made a piece of PB toast, took my sweet time eating it, considered making a cup of coffee,  stretched, and finalllllllly, laced up my shoes and left the house.


I looped around our neighborhood for two miles then trotted over to the next neighborhood for another two and finished up my victory lap back near our house.  The weather was humid but slightly cool.  I am really digging these morning runs…even if I do still end up sweating like it’s going out of style.  I was little nervous about these 5 miles — not because of the distance, but because of my ITB (iliotibial band).  Since it irritated me on Sunday (9 miles), I’ve been adopting a more proactive approach to treating the situation.  Left untreated, I could injury myself to the point of not being able to train.

Not an option.

Proactive approach to my ITB problem: constant daily stretching, rolling after longer runs, yogAHHH on rest days.  All elements in harmony should produce a nicely stretched IT band and carefree running.

Reactive approach: Run until it hurts and be forced to take days (or maybe a week) off from running.  Fall behind in Hal Higdon’s novice marathon training schedule.  Cry.  Worry.  Stress.

I think we all see the benefit in being proactive vs. reactive.  Yes? Yes.  Proactive > Reactive.

Even though I’ve been a good girl with stretching, rolling and yogAHHH, I ran with a little trepidation this morning.  Had I done enough?  Would it make a difference after just two days?  If my band started to hurt, I was going to really have to evaluate my plan.  Each mile passed and I kept checking in with my body: “does anything hurt?” Nope!


I rewarded myself with a gold star for my efforts:

Well, ish.  I know you can’t tell, but I used a star shaped cookie cutter to gut the all natural whole wheat bread for my toad in the hole breakfast.  Fancy, I know.  Too bad it didn’t work out according to plan — instead all you see if a big, eggy center.  Ah, well.  A for effort.  S for strawberries (which I ate a few).

My morning productivity levels continue to soar, which I am loving.  I took care of all sorts of things around the house, walked the monsters (which they appreciated) and high tailed it to work.

Just 15 minutes in to my work day, my stomach started to rumble.  I guess a starry-eyed toad in the hole wasn’t enough breakfast.  Dangit.  Finally, the lunch hour arrived and I met my hot-hot date (Sam) for a mid-day rendezvous.

Subway!  I don’t really count Subway as fast food, in case you’re wondering.  Subway and Chipotle.  I feel comfortable eating at an establishment that assembles my food right before my plexi-glass shielded eyes.  Yes, I’m sure technically, they are fast food restaurants, but they don’t fall into the category of freaky fast food places I avoid.  The kind that are red and yellow themed, offer kids toys relating to the latest summer flick and have ball pits.

*shudder*  I have yet to see a ball pit at a Subway.  I feel like if a restaurant is offering so much more than food, it’s probably trying to distract you from the food.

Look!  A clown!

I got one of my favorites: a BLT on 9-grain wheat with extra spinach, lettuce, tomato, red onion (love!), pickles and a light serving of the regular mayo.  Bueno.  I love that Subway serves yogurt as a healthy alternative to chips.  Double bueno.

I’m not sure what it is with my stomach, but it was like that sandwich was made of air.  An hour later, I was back to grumbling.  Luckily, I had popped into CVS during the lunch hour and picked up an emergency Clif Bar.

I’m not a big Clif Bar kind of girl — I find them lumpy and very dense…but I might just be a convert because this flavor was awesome!  Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch.  A looksie over the label tells me Clif is doing things right by this naturalist — all recognizable products.  High five!

Phew!  I slogged through the remainder of my day (darn you, Housewives!) and then made a quick trip to Tractor Supply Company.  *she thinks my tractor’s sexy…anyone? anyone?*  We don’t live on a farm, I promise, but we do buy the monsters’ food there — it is soooo much cheaper!  Every time I go, though, the “gentlemen farmers” try to carry my 44 lbs. bag of dog food.  I always tell them I can manage.  They always end up doing it anyway.  This time, the clerk actually called an associate to load it into my car for me.

Hilarious.  Where was said associate when I was hauling buns around the neighborhood this morning?  I could have used the help then!


Protein Pancakes.  Not just any Protein Pancakes…

BLUEBERRY!  I think God made blueberries specifically for use in pancakes.  Those little fruit orbs get all warm on the griddle and then blow up inside the pancakes like tiny fruit syrup bombs.

The only kind of bomb there should be, in my opinion. 😉

I’m debating some banana soft serve “ice cream” now…but only if I can turn it chocolatey.  Mmmm.

A Little Normalcy

July 11, 2010 at 9:08 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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Bonjour, babies!  How is everyone?  I unplugged Friday after work and took the weekend to re-charge my batteries, but I’m back now.  I’m back and I’m raring to go.  Know why?

I am NO LONGER working those crazy hours!  Yay!  I am ready for a normal schedule, a normal eating routine, a normal blogging schedule, a normal training time, a little normalcy, period.  It feels good to be back.  In fact, I liken how I feel right now to exactly how you feel after waking up from the best night’s sleep.  Ever.

Yep, that refreshing :).

So, down to the biz-nass.

Training Calls For: Cross Training 9 miles

Miles Run So Far: 65

Days Left: 92

If you’re wondering why I ran 9 miles today instead of cross training, I can only offer the explanation of celebration.  See, Friday night, I joined Sam and some friends out on the town and “celebrated” my release from early morning purgatory.  I think we all know what I mean when I say “celebrated”, there’s no need to be crass. 😉  I didn’t over-do it, I didn’t under-do it, but I definitely did do it, so running 9 miles wasn’t going to happen Saturday.

I’m okay with it and that’s all that matters.

Sam and I woke up pretty early this morning to bang out those 9 miles.  The weather hasn’t been as warm lately, but it’s still summertime in my Midwestern state, so the earlier we run, the better.  The last time I ran 9 miles was for half marathon training, so I’ll admit it:  I was a little nervous.  Before heading out the door, I ate a quick fueling breakfast of whole wheat toast and crunch all-natural PB.  No pic — that’s what I get for being so out of practice!

Miles 1-3 went well.  We stationed one car at the start and another car about 3 miles away.  The idea was to run 3, refill water bottles at the second car, run 1.5 away and back (so another 3), refill again and power the last 3 to the first car.  It was a little rough getting started again after mile 3, but not terrible.  I took a walk break at 4.5 for a little breather.  At 6, Sam wanted to power it back and I was pretty content to just lope along at a steady pace.  Not too long after we parted ways, a familiar pain appeared.

Oh, hello, ITB.  It’s been a while.  I’ve forgotten about you.

My ITB has always been something of an issue, but I haven’t had to deal with it lately.  (The ITB is the iliotibial band — it runs the outside length of your leg from your hip to your knee.  Read more about it here.)  During the half marathon, right around mile 9, my ITB started to flare up and I was in so much pain at the end, I wanted to cry.  My dad, faithfully running alongside me, was the only motivation I had to keep moving forward.

I am afraid of that ITB pain.  Skeered, in fact.

When I started to feel it, I freaked a little.  Um, in October, I don’t just have to run 9 miles, I have to run 9 miles LIKE ALMOST 3 times.  Yowza.  I managed to mix up the rest of the run by walking and running, but I definitely felt it at the end.

When you have a less than stellar run, sometimes all you can do is learn from it.  What I learned today is I really need to take better precautions with my legs.  I’m asking them to do a lot for me and I’m not doing very much for them.  Starting today, a new regimin is in place:

🙂 Stretching, daily.  No exceptions.

🙂 YogAHHH on rest days (yogAHHH helps me feel limber and I believe increases my flexibility and injury recovery)

🙂 Rolling on run days (I ❤ the foam roller and my ITB loves it, too.)

I’ll make it to the end of 26.2 painfree, I believe, if I’m smart…but it’s easy to be dumb sometimes.  I’ll be working against myself ;).

Post run, Sam and I made a less than awesome nutritional choice and hit up a donut shop in town.  He’s been talking about a McHappy’s donut for at least 3 weeks, so we finally got him one.  I got one, too. 😉

That, paired with a little McCafe coffee from McDonald’s (about the only thing I buy at McD’s anymore), was what we had McDeserved, according to Sam.  Well put, sir.

I honestly can’t remember what I ate for lunch and I can’t find it on the camera, so it’s possible I didnt….?  But that doesn’t seem like me.  Moving on…We had friends come over to watch the World Cup Finals (go Spain!) and a little smorgasboard ensued.

Veggie tray w/ dip, fruit tray w/ dip, black bean salsa, guacamole, tomato salsa and make your own bruschetta.  Eat your heart out.  Yum.  I ate copious amounts of everything.

I was pretty stoke Spain won the game, but it made for a boring 115 minutes of tv until the one dude scored.  Guess I’m more of a basketball/football kind of spectator.

When it came time for dinner, Sam and I made honest veggies of all those leftovers by plopping them on a pizza and smothering them in cheese.

Can you tell which vegetable we DON’T agree on?  My husband’s only flaw is his lack of appreciation for the red onion.  *sigh*  I’ll convert him yet.  I have about 70 years to do it, I figure.

I followed my own mandate and rolled and stretched for about 15 minutes tonight.  It felt great and my leggies aren’t too sore.  It takes a while to make something a routine, but I’m dedicated!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to wrap up my very zen night with a little recreational reading.  Tonight, the school books are put away, the work worries are far off and I’m appreciating the peace.

Sleep tight, see you tomorrow (fo’real!)

Forgive me, Hal, for I have sinned…

November 3, 2009 at 1:07 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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10K Training Day: 32

10K Mileage so far: 36 miles

Miles this week: 3 miles


Forgive me, Hal, for I have sinned.  I have NOT followed your training program exactly as you instructed, and I am paying my penance now.

*gasps all around*

So we all know the background.  I’m training for a marathon, but first, I’m training for a 10k so that I’m in fighting shape when it comes time to really buckle down and start the m-training (approx. Dec. 7th).  Right now, I’m following the Hal Higdon 10K Novice Training Schedule.

I had to adjust the days, since the Turkey Trot is aptly named in honor of  a Thanksgiving Day run.  But this is neither here nor there.  Do you see where the schedule says such words as “Cross Train” and “Stretch and Strengthen”? These are just words to me, they have not been actions.

*more astounding gasps*

I know.  I know.  I hang my head in shame that I have not followed Hal’s advice and guidance to a “T”.

Hal Higdon

Master of the Marathon Himself

This is Hal.  Doesn’t he have trusting eyes?  I betrayed those eyes.  I bet he wouldn’t be smiling if he knew I was such a lackadaisical runner.  I think Hal is kind of like my dad — he would never get angry with me, he would just get quiet and disappointed.  This is worse.

I didn’t really do any of the cross train days or the stretching days.  And by “not really” I mean I did the first ones and that’s it.  I didn’t think they were important.  I thought they were just filler.

I was wrong.

I’m now working through a bout with iliotibial band syndrome.  What?  I know.  All these new words!  Sound it out with me (um, I had to the first time I saw it): ih-leo-tib-ee-uhl band syndrome.  I don’t know how people ran before they could Google their aches and pains to find out the proper running term.

This is your iliotibial band: iliotibialAnd I’m sure that’s just what mine looks like, too, being the finely tuned athlete that I am. *ahem* Moving on.

What I’ve learned from Google, YouTube and Runner’s World is that the iliotibial (besides being fun to type a bajillion times in a blog that no one is reading) is a band of connective tissue that runs from your hip to the outside of your knee.  When you flex your leg in a running movement, this tissue moves back and forth across the outside of your knee.  Now, let me take this moment to impress upon everyone not really reading this blog that I am not a doctor and I only got this knowledge from the interwebs.  Okay?  If this were the 1800’s, I’d be the medicinal equivalent of the shady cod liver oil dealer who promises it will cure all your ailes.

Now, where were we?  Oh yes, the band moves back and forth back and forth backandforth — thousands of times over the course of a long run.  My internet research reveals this can be problematic if: one of your legs is shorter than the other (for real?), you have under-developed quadriceps (uh-oh) or over-exertion of the band (oh boy).

I haven’t gotten out the tape measure to double check, but I’m pretty sure I’m a culprit of at least two of those — and no, I don’t actually think my legs are uneven.  Now, I’m starting to see why maybe cross training and stretching and strengthening would have been a good idea.  It probably would have help build up my quads and would have adjusted my iliotibial band to all the work I was putting it through — which for a former couch potato, was a LOT.

So now, I’m taking a couple of days off the training and am beginning to stretch daily.  I need to figure this all out before I get back into training.  The pain in my knee is starting to take away from the joy I feel when I run and I CANNOT HAVE THAT!!!  Instead of starting off a run thinking, “this feels great!”, I think to myself, “wonder how long this is going to last?”  I will be doing stretches like this:

Forgive me, Hal.  You are wiser than I am.  I know that now.  I won’t stray from your running flock again.

And now, I leave you with this quote I saw somewhere that I’ve been smiling about fora while:

“My slow running is STILL faster than sitting on the couch.”

Now go take a jog for me, since I’m on rest until Friday. 🙂


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