Saturday, February 27, 2016

Running update

Here is a quick update of my runs this week and what my weekend has looked like so far.
I did not stretch enough this week for sure. I found some friction burns with week after my long run. I don't think the outfit I wore on Wednesday helped either.
On Wednesday I ran my 3 interval miles at 11:20 min/mile or 5.3 miles per hour. It went pretty well and I was able to finish before running to the restroom. I had been having issues since after my long run on Monday. It may have also been the sprout sandwich as I mentioned in an earlier post. Other than the bathroom issue my run went fine.
Yesterday was my day off and I took time to clean a bit and run a few errands. I even managed to vote early. I ran 10 long windy, hot miles around the lake. I only took one bottle of water with me and only had 6 gatorade chews as fuel. The bottle of water had sucralose in it though. Blech. The wind was from the south and slowed me down for sure.I did my best and did keep very close to the 12:15 min/miles I was supposed to. I finished in under 2 hours which is good. I got home and ate a bite, and got cleaned up. I ran a few errands and then met some colleagues to send one of them off who is moving away. :(
Today was a nice day if a little breezy. My DH and I got groceries in the morning. I then decided to go get a new pair of shoes. I decided on the Hoka  Odyssey shoes. They feel a bit more springy in the forefoot than the Cliftons. I will see how they do on my long run tom. We went to the zoo in the afternoon and  I got tired out after a few hours. There are quite a few hills. We headed home, and picked up a pizza. My DH dropped me off at TJmaxx so I could look for some new sports bras. I found a champion and under armor heat gear bra. I am not sure about the stitching on either but I am hoping they will be better than the bras I have been using. I have some serious chaff burns going on my chest and I am hoping this helps. If not I might be breaking out the body glide sooner than I thought.
I am also excited be cause I signed up for another race! I am going to do my first of two 20 miles runs as a race. Specifically I will be running the A2A (Arbuckles2Ardmore) Race for Mercy race. They are awesome and have a 20 mile run for those training for a marathon. I am so thankful I found this. I will be able to train for my fuel and water stops for the marathon. The OKC marathon has fewer stops (about every 2 miles) compared to Ardmore but it will still be good training to run through them. I still haven't ruled out the possibility of running with a bottle of water. I have been enjoying only running with my flipbelt on and carrying a bottle of water on my longer runs. I will keep trying this and see how it goes.
Wish me luck on my 13 tom.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

17 afternoon miles

Oh the tale I have to tell about this weekends long run. I had been off the schedule this week as I went out on Thursday evening. I instead ran after work on Friday and did 8 miles. I rested on Saturday but helped my husband lay floor in our living room. Well Sunday I tried to go out for a run around the lake but the wind and my back deterred me.I was going to try to run on the treadmill but after a mile quit. I instead rested and stretched a lot. I felt as I didn't know if I would even conquer more than 15 miles. I made the decision to take Monday afternoon off after finishing a project at work and try for 17 miles. 
Well Monday morning rolled around and well it was a Monday. I went out for lunch at a sandwich shop and tried a sandwich with sprouts. As I was finishing up work my back started hurting a bit on my way out I discovered Aunt Flo was making an appearance. I decided I didn't care, dealt with the situation and headed out for my run. 
I am not going to lie, the run sucked. I had to use my flip belt as I had forgotten the bottles for my water belt. I was carrying about 12 oz of water for the whole run and was very thirsty by the time I finished. I ran from work to almost home. About 2/3 of the way through the run I felt the urge to use the restroom. This was an emergency urge with no where to go and nothing to wipe with. I instead kept going. I finished up and waited for my ride (who was late). Note to those picking up a runner, if they are giving you there location 2 miles out after a long run figure out where they will be finishing yourself and be there with hugs and water when they are done. I progressively got colder as the sun went down and because I wasn't running. My DH finally showed up with a warm car and cold gatorade. I had the gatorade gone before we were at the light to go home. When I got home my stomach was a mess but I inhaled dinner. The rest of the night was spent resting and then in the bathroom. I am pretty sure the combination of bad sprouts plus gu did not serve my body well.  Note to everyone, do not try anything new on a long run. Note to myself, don't trust sprouts ever again.

Evening has come after 17 miles
I was very happy to have finished my 17 miles. I am looking forward to my 20 miler. If I can do that I can run the marathon. I only have to do it once right? 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Tuesday evening speed work

On Tuesday night I had a speed workout scheduled. I decided to run during the day as I had a busy evening planned. I took a long lunch and ran my 7x800 m speed work with 400m rest periods. I was only supposed to run at 11:15 pace. I decided to push it and ran at the fastest 9:55 pace. I was pretty happy with the run as it was windy and I kept going during my running intervals. I have to say I did walk during my quarter of a mile recovery periods but tried to pick up the pace when I approached the running interval again. I need to incorporate hill work again. I think I will start doing this on my tempo runs.

My next run is a tempo run scheduled for tom. but I don't think I will be completing it. The run is supposed to be 8 miles and I will have to do this before or after work. Since the run is going to be longer, about 1.45 hours, I need to think about when it will get dark etc. Also I have been dealing with the possibility of being laid off and should know by tomorrow. This could mean I can run on Friday whenever I want. The stress of the situation has been really bothering me but I have been trying to not let it affect my running. I hope to be back to my normal routine on Monday if I get good news tomorrow. I can then focus more on my running. I don't want to think about what I will do if I am not back to my normal routine. I will deal with that bridge when I get to it. As my blog says, Life is a box of chocolates, You never know which one you will get, but it is what you do with what you get that makes all the difference.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Review of the Water Keepers Series Books 1-3

Brief Summary: The water keeper Series by Christie Anderson follows Sadie James and her learning the secrets of her past including her mysterious protector Rayne, who is more than he seems. 

Long Review: I am an avid reader of young adult series. This is one of my favorites so far but can be frustrating at times.
In Deep Blue Secret, Sadie is a typical teenage Southern California girl finishing up high school. Her happy mother Lena and her have been on their own since Sadie's father left before she was born. On a trip to the beach she falls and hits her head ending up in the ocean but is saved by a mysterious stranger. Later she is on her way home from her best friends house and is in a tragic car accident. The mysterious stranger is at her bedside when she wakes up and she demands answers. His name is Rayne and he gave her something called "Healing Water" in order to heal her wounds. She is attracted to Rayne but learns it is just due to the effects of her treatment. This treatment also makes a birthmark she has change color. After the first dose of healing water she has several episodes due to lack of healing water. A hardened criminal Voss Hastings and his son Ash, who is the former best friend to Rayne, kidnap Sadie to try to get to her father. Rayne comes to the day and saves her. 
In Rouge Wave, Sadie and Rayne are playing the part of a young teenage couple due to the fact that Rayne needs to stay near her to administer the water and protect her from harm. Sadie is having a hard time knowing their relationship isn't real but due to the effects of the healing water. Ash and his father Voss again target Sadie and her mother. This time Sadie's father makes an appearance to save both Lena and Sadie's lives. 
In Ambrosia Shore, Rayne races back to where he is from to save Sadie's life. Rayne is able to save Sadie but not without breaking the law. Rayne takes Sadie to his home after she is healed and she receives a gift from Rayne's grandmother.  Rayne is taken into custody and Sadie decides to testify to the authorities on his behalf. The authorities give her the opportunity to return home. On the trip she has an experience that changes her but she doesn't tell anyone yet. Her father is still at her home with her mother, whom Sadie finds in a dire state when she returns. Sadie is able to heal her broken heart. Meanwhile Rayne is in jail awaiting trial with his former best friend Ash and trying to repair their relationship. Sadie has a choice to make and needs Rayne's input. Her father returns to help Rayne get out of the mess he is in and is successful. Sadie has a choice to make whether to stay in SoCal or travel to where Rayne and her father live forever. With her mother's acceptance they decide to go. The book concludes with an omniscient tone as Sadie is discovered to be a prophet by enemies of her fathers. 
The books are very well written. There are a few times I had to remind myself Sadie is only 18 and doesn't have the foresight to tell anyone about the strange occurrences happening in her life quicker. I have felt more could have been done sooner if someone would have just known what was happening. As a protector Rayne seems to have limited knowledge about what is happening to Sadie even though it seems it has been predicted in the past. Unfortunately and fortunately the series is not over but the next book has yet to be released. I look forward to reading and reviewing the newest books. 

Rating: 4/5

Other works by the author: Deep Blue Secret
Rouge Wave
Ambrosia Shore

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Long run 15 miles

My weekend has been going pretty good. My day off on Friday was spent gathering ingredients for a special desert for my DH. I also had some homegrown pumpkin in the freezer I needed to use up. On Saturday made pumpkin cranberry cookies, pumpkin bread (not pictured). On Sunday I made pumpkin lentil curry soup from Budget Bytes (not pictured) and had leftovers for overnight oats! I started the Samoa or Carmel-de-Lites cheesecake by Gimme Some Oven on Friday and finished on Saturday. 

Pumpkin cranberry cookies

Samoa Cheesecake
My run on Sunday went pretty well. I was a tad cold at times since the wind was blowing at about 10 mph from the North. I started from home and considered an out and back run. I decided against turning around after getting some side wind. I did have to run North for a bit and it was terrible. The route I took luckily has some hills so I got a bit of hill work in as well. Overall I am pretty happy with my time. I do wish I would have run slower as I was shooting for 13 min/mile. Not bad for my second 15 miler though. I am really loving this new program and my new garmin watch.
                                                          Long run done!! Marathon here I come, I think

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Review of Beautiful Creatures (movie)

Brief Summary: Beautiful Creatures is a 2013 movie by Warner Bros. Pictures based on the novel by Kami Garcia about young teenage love.

Long Review: I enjoyed this movie so much I decided to read the entire book series. The story takes place in a small, southern town named Gatlin. The main character is Ethan Wate and his only wish in life is to leave the town. He is a complex character dealing with a father who is a recluse after the death of his wife and Ethan's mother. The house keeper keeps the household running. Everything is set for Ethan to leave until Lena Duchannes arrives in town. Ethan and Lena find they have a connection in shared dreams since they were children. Lena reveals she is a Caster (witch) and a curse that has been placed on her family will choose her for good or evil on her birthday. 
The rest of the movie continues to lead up to the fateful day of the decision. 

I believe I watched the movie first and was so intrigued I decided to read the books. I wanted to know what happened to the characters next. I would rank this movie below the Twilight movies but still worth a watch on a rainy weekend. 

Rating: 3.5/5

Friday, February 12, 2016

5 mile Tempo run

Confession time. I skipped my run on Thursday night. Work has been stressing me out lately and I just didn't want to be there any longer to run. I came home and biked for 30 minutes instead. I got up early this morning and made my DH breakfast. I finished the dishes and headed out for my first run with my new Garmin Forerunner 15. The new plan called for a 5 mile tempo run at 12:15 min/mile. My run went surprisingly well. I did learn that I tend to run too fast and I vary my speed a lot when I run. My average speed ending up being 11:45ish and I was supposed to be running at 12:15. I have a feeling this may be why my long runs are so hard. My next run should be on Sunday in order to keep my runs spaced out properly. Next week I will be back to Tues., Thurs., and Sat. runs.
The weather is starting to be nice and I really love being outside.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Garden thoughts Year 1

Last year we finally were able to plant a real garden. We had our own house and some decent ground to work with. While we didn't get the bumper crop I was hoping we still were able to get a good amount of food for meals during the summer. 
In review we had the following growing:
Long planter: Jalapenos, cherry tomatoes, banana peppers, rosemary, peas
Small round planter: various herbs, Kale, lettuce
Gas planter: sunflowers
Wood planter boxes: Sweet and russet potatoes
Raised bed: Red lettuce, Brussel sprouts
Small wood box: Cucumbers, Zucchini
Large planter: corn, zucchini, watermelon, strawberries, onions, muskmelon, peas, yellow squash
In yard: pumpkins
Planters and raised beds

Pumpkin out of control

Tomatoes, peppers, greens, and sunflowers

Here is what I think worked and what we will work on this year. First we are going to move the strawberries to the long planter. We are going to let them take over this area as having them hanging will look pretty, at least when they are fruiting. Second, I think I am going to plant the pumpkins in a more sunny area. They got too much shade and I only had 3 pumpkins. The corn was a complete bust. Not sure if we started it too late, too much shade, or what. Corn seems like a lot of work for little pay off. Zucchini needs to be only 1, maybe 2 plants. The peas also need to be planted earlier. I might be able to get two crops this way. I am going to try using tomato cages to trellis the peas. 
As for the potatoes, I have ordered a burlap bag and hope I can get more sweet potatoes than the terrible showing last year. We only grew 1 potato and it was riddled with holes. We had success with the sack in Houston and hope it will be the same here. 
One of the big problems is lack of sun. The main part of the yard gets sun all day long, but nothing can be planted too close to the fence. There are big trees on either side of the yard and the back fence provides shade as well. We have tried cutting the neighbor trees back as much as possible. I am hoping on starting a layout soon and getting some cool weather vegetables in the ground.
I am hopeful that this year we will be able to freeze more and save for the winter months to use in soups and stews.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

FIRST 5x1200m run

After another disappointing run this weekend I decided to do some more research about marathon training plans. I found the FIRST program which I will be following for the rest of my training. I decided to pick this training plan because it already fits into the number of days a week I am already training. Second, the plan only has training to 20 miles which you complete twice. At this point I know I can probably run 20 miles and recuperate without too much down time. I am not sure that I can run 26.2 and recover in a decent amount of time. Running 26.2 only once sounds like a much better idea to me. I might change my mind after the marathon but I have to finish first to decide that. I also appreciate the long runs are run at a slower pace. I think this may be where I was doing myself more harm than good.  My pace for long runs has been too fast, especially when I started running.

After deciding what training program to follow I also made the decision to purchase a Garmin Forerunner 15 . This will help me stay on my race pace goal when training, and in the race as well. Now, my pace might seem pretty slow. Please don't laugh. My goal is to just finish and I expect my time to be terrible compared to others. I am not going to judge myself against anyone else though. I am just trying to finish. I plan on running 12 min/mile. I know, I know slow. I could probably keep 11-10 min/mile but only for about 3-6 miles. Then I would be exhausted and not able to go anymore.
All that to say I am still planning on running the marathon although I am training in a different way.

The 5x1200m went well. The plan calls for the pace to be 11:20 min/mile. I decided to run on the treadmill since I didn't have my Garmin yet. I warmed up with 400m and then rested 400m in between the sets. I think it actually went very well. I walked the rest intervals a few times as I was trying to catch up with a friend. I felt pretty good even though I was running faster than I normally do. I am hopeful this new program will help me to finish the marathon.

I am looking forward to using my new Garmin tom. for my tempo run and will report back.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Review of "Secrets of a stingy scoundrel" by Phil Villarreal

Brief Summary: Secrets of A Stingy Scoundrel by Phil Villarreal is a hilarious read about the terribly awkward and depraved methods one man would take to save a buck. 

Long Review: I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The comedic value should make you want to pick this up for yourself. While I would never put into practice any of the methods outlined in the book it is fun to read about someone else who may have. The author is sure to point out how awfully wrong some of the practices are but doesn't say he wouldn't do them. The chapters are short but funny. Great read if you are looking for entertainment and a good laugh. 

Rating: 4/5 for shear comedic value

Other works by the author: Stormin' Mormon

Monday, February 8, 2016

Long run recap

Well my long run weekend was a bit of a bust.
Still smiling after 13 miles
I set out to run 19 miles. First I was going to run at a park North of my house and complete 6+ 5k loops. Turns out the bathroom was closed for the winter so that was a bust. Lame. 
Then I went to go home and realized I was locked out of the house. DH had run some errands to get ready to make beer and I forgot to take house key. I decided to go to the lake and take a walk until he got home intending to run 19 on Sunday. Well after going to the bathroom and walking around I decided I wasn't interested in spending money on lunch, or walking around anymore so I should just run. 
I completed my first loop of 10 miles in 2 hours, which I was pretty happy with. The problem came when it was time to do my second loop. I was tired, and so, so, so super hungry. I got about 3 crappy miles in and called it quits. The wind in my face wasn't helping anything either. I just did not have my head in the game. I gave up and walked the 3 miles back to my car and headed home. 

This is the second or third weekend in a row I haven't gotten the full amount of my run in that I would like. I have consistently been completing a half since the beginning of the year. I checked into when was the deadline to switch to the half and it ends either the week of the race, or expo day if they don't sell out. 
I found a new training program this morning I am going to try. The max mileage is 20 miles and I will only be doing that twice. I think I only ever want to run 26.2 once in my life. 20 miles while long seems much more manageable. Who knows, this Friday is my day off work so I might decide to run 2 loops around the lake again and have a fab time and continue doing 20 miles every 2 weeks until the race. I am trying to be hopeful and keep my spirits up. I just have to keep training and running and I will get there, I think. 
Here is the new program I am going to be working with up until the race.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Review of "Linchpin, are you indispensable?" By Seth Godin

Brief Summary:Linchpin Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin describes how to try to make yourself an indispensable worker in your chosen career field.

Long Review: This book is hard for me to review as I don't feel I got a lot out of reading it. The book itself was easy to read. I never felt like not picking the book up and continuing. As an introvert though, the principles outlined on how to become a linchpin are not something that comes naturally to me or even something I feel like will ever put into practice in my career and life. Or maybe it is that I already do this in my work and being a perfectionist I was looking for another way to apply this where I have already succeeded. In any case this book is an easy, entertaining read that will make you consider how you are going about your chosen career and help you be a linchpin.

Rating: 2/5

Other works by the author:Links to other titles by Seth Godin including: "Tribes", "Purple Cow" and others

Friday, February 5, 2016

4 mile city run

I ran 4 miles on Thursday . The run was interesting as I decided to take a different route. I ran about a mile and a quarter North from work. This caused to have to go across traffic in a couple ways. There were lights and parking garages.  I made it through all the traffic pretty well. There was a gentleman who commented on how the lights were not working in my favor. He was walking and kept catching up to me since the lights wouldn't change.
I finished my run by running around a garden and had an interaction with a homeless individual. She asked if I knew where the community outreach center was and I had to say no. She was very nice though. She even told another gentleman how nice I was for at least acknowledging her unlike the other runner she had tried to ask. Side note here, the other runner had her music up VERY loud. I tried to say goodbye to her after finishing up my run as she was stretching and she didn't even acknowledge me. All in all it was a nice run and I got it done. 
Oh and on my way home I say the homeless woman sitting in the entrance to a construction site and she looked like she was writing in a notebook. I hope she got where she was trying to go.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Review of "The Cheapskate Nextdoor" by Jeff Yeager

Brief Summary: The Cheapskate Next Door is tale of the journey of Jeff Yeager across the US looking for the cheapskates and their advice.

Long Review: As a fellow cheapskate I enjoyed the useful tips provided in this book. While I already had put in practice most of the tips outlined in the book it is very entertaining and an easy read. The descriptions of the people and places he stayed while on his journey really pulled me to the end. The voice in which he writes was very genuine and heartwarming. The connections he made as well as the tips he gathered make the book more of a travel diary. I was surprisingly very entertained and recommend the book to anyone who may be new to being a cheapskate and want to be eased into the lifestyle. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Running update

Well Happy New Year. Yes, I think it really has been that long. I kind of feel off the blogging wagon and am going to try and remedy the situation here in the next few weeks. My life feels crazy right now as my career field is going through some trying times and my job may be up in the air. I just am not comfortable with the uncertainty of the future. I am such a planner and not having control of a situation is very hard for me. 
In any case I am still running!! yay me! I am a little behind on where I want to be with training though. The two weeks I was in OHIO over the holidays did a number on my running schedule. I did try to get my runs in but the weather did not cooperate too often. I am about two miles behind where I would like to be on my long run. I have done 15ish and wanted to be up to 17 miles. I am pretty tired these days but I think it is due to the stress of the job situation and the constant recovery from running. I am trying to change a few things in my diet. I am going to add more fats and protein to see if this will help with the fatigue. I am also going to track my calories with MyFitnessPal again. I have put on a few extra pounds as desserts look very appetizing when I know I will be running, or think I will be running the calories off later in the week on my runs. 
I have also changed up my maintenance runs during the week. I am still running the 4 miles twice a week with some extra challenges. The run on one day, usually Tuesdays, are hill days. My co-worker told me about the bridges his running group uses and I have been running there after work. Luckily this is before the majority of the running group arrives as there is about 200+ people. The few times I have been there later and they were running looked crazy! The hill runs have really helped to decrease my min/mile average and I am getting pretty good at motivating myself to the top of the hill. I am sure this will come in handy for the OKC marathon. The second run during the week, usually Thursdays, is a fartlek run. I have to admit farleks are really not that much fun. I can run at a decent clip when I really push myself but then I feel like I have to walk to recover. The point of a fartlek is to run faster than your normal pace and then recover at a comfortable pace. In my mind this should not be walking. The farlek run has also proven to be helpful as I can see based on my min/mile average that I can run faster than I thought.
My long runs are getting much more challenging. My last long run in OKC was a disaster. I was supposed to run 17 and ended up around 15. I started later in the afternoon so it would be warmer but it was very windy. I am talking 25mph sustained from the South. I got to my running location and I put on my gear and just couldn't get in the groove. My running belt wasn't fitting right and I just wasn't having it. Side not here, my emotions were getting the better of me. I didn't realize it at the time but my period was going to start in a few days and I was PMSing hard. I came home and started running on the treadmill until my DH got back from walking the dog. I had short freak out and then got back to it. I managed two laps around the neighborhood for 8 miles and then hit the treadmill for another 7ish. I was so upset at myself. Firstly, it wouldn't have taken so long if I would have just kept at it, and second of all I let my emotions get in the way. Ugh. 
I have an interesting decision to make about my running belt. I haven't worn it since the incident where it just wouldn't sit right. I have never felt very comfortable wearing it but I don't like running loops or with a water bottle in my hand. Therefore on my long runs I feel like I have to wear the belt so I can stay hydrated. I am not sure if the belt just wasn't fitting correctly because I was on my period and bloated or if I gave up too quickly. I usually take a bit before everything feels right on my long runs. I might try again this weekend and see how it goes. 
As for this weekend I have my 19 miler coming up. I am not going to promise I will do the full 19 but I am going to aim for that number. I have a good idea of the route I will take and am going to have my DH pick me up after I am done. I am hoping that the wind and temperatures will be in my favor as I could really use a long run to help me feel like this marathon is possible. Right now I am debating whether continuing for the full or scaling back to the half. I still have some time to decide but I am not sure what I want or feel like I can manage. 
I have started looking at tattoos for my post race/birthday celebration and that is helping me stay motivated. 
Until next time, see you out on the road!