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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Just call me the PE teacher

After feeling exhausted for two days, I finally feel more like my normal self today. Which is especially good because this morning I began this new adventure:

The PE teacher at my girls' school had a baby yesterday, so I'll be her sub for the next six weeks. I've known this was coming for the past month or so, but the PE teacher wanted to teach until she went into labor, so I didn't know exactly when I would begin. The question was answered when her water broke during her last class yesterday.

So today was my first day! Which means I haven't run yet today. But it's on the schedule for tonight, and it's a priority after I took yesterday off because I was so tired.

I think my girls night last night helped reenergize me. This salad most definitely helped:

When a bunch of girls get together with instructions to bring salad toppings so we can make our own salad bar, this is what happens:

Add this group of ladies...

...and the night was pretty much perfect.

I'm off to get in my run! Happy Friday Eve!


What was your favorite thing about PE in elementary school?

Do you like cottage cheese on your salads? It is one of my favorite toppings!



Wednesday, August 27, 2014

One run at a time

Sometimes you have to slow things down. That's what I did for yesterday's six mile run.

However, I'm not sure I could have sped things up if I had wanted to. I have been feeling especially exhausted lately. Not just when I am running though. All. The. Time. And I can't put my finger on the reason why. I actually spent a good part of my run analyzing what could be the cause and ruled out almost everything. So I'll just keep moving forward, taking it one day at a time, one run at a time.

Speaking of runs, here are my workouts from last week:

  • Sunday - rest
  • Monday - 6 mile easy run; 20 minute HIIT workout; core workout
  • Tuesday - 7 mile run with 3 tempo miles; upper body strength
  • Wednesday - 5 mile easy run; 30 minutes cycling; core workout
  • Thursday - upper body strength
  • Friday - 20 mile run
  • Saturday - 4 mile recovery run; upper body & core strength

What do you think about during your runs?

Because there's no mention of food in this post, tell me what you had for dinner!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Strength in the exhaustion of a long run

I love this advice. I think it applies to long runs just as much as races. Friday I ran 20 miles. It was my longest run since April. Because this marathon training cycle has been so short, I debated how long to make my longest run. After last week, I decided I needed at least one 20 miler under my belt. I like to have a 20 mile and one 22+ mile run before my marathons, but that wasn't an option this time. And I don't typically jump from 12 to 16 to 20 miles for my long runs over a period of three weeks, but this time everything had to be different.

So I spent Thursday prepping for my long run. I needed to do it Friday while my girls were in school because the hubs had to work Saturday. Thursday I tried to take it a little easier, ate my usual pre-long run meals (oatmeal for breakfast, sandwich for lunch, pasta for dinner), focused on hydrating, and tried (but failed) to get to bed early.

After I dropped my girls off at school Friday morning, I met Janae to run my first five and her last five of an 18 miler. Those miles flew by and were by far the best of the 20.

After we split up and Janae headed home, I ran back to my car and refilled my water bottle. Then I did another out and back to finish the last nine miles. The final four were tough. I stopped at a 7-Eleven and filled my bottle with Powerade because I was soaking in sweat and could feel the salt coating my face. I drank the entire bottle during that last four miles. When I finished, it was in the low 80s with hardly a cloud in the sky.
Even though I spent the last four miles seriously trying to decide if I should drop down to the half for my race next month, I drove home thinking about how I love the way I feel after a long run. And I decided I would love to run an 18 or 20 miler every month. There's a different sense of accomplishment after running 20 miles. There's a combination of satisfaction and joy I feel after a long run. There is strength in the exhaustion of a long run.

There's also a little less guilt when I chow down on a bucket of kettle corn at the movies the next night.

What do you eat the day before a long run?

What is your favorite movie treat?

Friday, August 22, 2014

I got flowers from Bouqs! And ate a grilled cheese.

I went to lunch with a friend today. And I had this, which was more delicious than it looks. Swiss cheese, ham, dill pickles, special sauce, grilled to warm yummy gooey perfection. I called it carb loading for my long run.

I came home from lunch and had to wander around the house to find this little guy:

We used to find him asleep on Princess Grace's bed all the time, but now that she has her own room, she has a different bed that is higher off the ground, so I think he's afraid to jump up without being able to see what he's doing. (For those of you new to the blog, Rowdy doesn't have eyes. We had to have them removed several years ago after he developed cataracts and glaucoma and slowly went blind.)

So since he couldn't get on her bed, he found her blanket on the floor, which wasn't even in her room. What you can't see is that there were several other blankets on the floor, but they were all Ellie's. He is clearly very attached to the Princess, who he sleeps with every night.

I also came home from lunch to this box at my front door. And inside were these:

This is the Hot Lava bouquet. It is my first Bouqs delivery, but won't be my last. The flowers from Bouqs are cut the day they are ordered and delivered 2-4 days later. They have the most incredible selection of so many beautiful bouquets that are only $40 with shipping included. Or you can double the size of the bouquet for just $10 more! And the ordering process is so simple. And everyone loves flowers. It's a no brainer. Order flowers from Bouqs.

And now I'm off to put that grilled cheese to good use with my long run. Happy Friday everyone!

What is your favorite flower? My favorite are tulips, but I also love roses.

What are your favorite grilled cheese additions?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Runfies and the grumpies

I won't be taking one of these today. It's a rest day. I'm still trying to decide if I should do some upper body strength or just rest completely. Maybe even take a nap? Such hard decisions we sometimes face in life...

This was my breakfast yesterday. Oatmeal with blueberries and honey, topped with granola. I was starving when I got home from dropping my girls off at a school and couldn't imagine running when I was that hungry. So I ate breakfast and then ran.

Usually I just have a banana before I run and, more often than not, a smoothie after my run. But that wasn't going to cut it yesterday. Luckily it was a rainy, overcast morning, so I waited a little while for my food to digest before I headed out the door, and it wasn't too hot when I finally got out there.

And this was my lunch. I am trying to eat more filling things for lunch so I don't get so famished between lunch and dinner. This was two eggs scrambled with spinach and mushrooms, topped with avocado and salsa. I could eat this every day.

Last night my girls couldn't fall asleep because of the thunderstorm happening outside their windows. So we read about what makes thunder and lightening HERE, looked at some cool pictures of lightening online, and then they snuggled up together to watch the light show in the sky.

Yes, it was obvious this morning that they didn't fall asleep until after 9 pm, but some memories are worth the morning grumpies.

Are you a morning person or a night person? As long as I get my 8+ hours of sleep, I can be either.

What is your favorite way to eat eggs?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Take it easy and shake it off

I ran five easy miles this morning. I have learned how important easy runs are as I've gone through different training plans and cycles. I know my long run in a few days will be better because I took it easier today. And I know my body will ultimately be stronger because it is not constantly trying to recover from every run because every run is hard. I don't believe in junk miles though. I would have been better off skipping this run if it didn't have a purpose.

I found this diagram that shows all the reasons you should do some easy runs and why easy running is beneficial:


This article explains better than I can how to make your easy runs count so they aren't just junk miles.

And this article talks more specifically about what makes miles "junk" miles.

After my easy run, I got on YouTube to pull up a core workout and got sidetracked by this video:



It just made me happy, so I figured it might make you smile too. And I am adding this song to my running playlist ASAP.


Do you like easy runs?

Taylor Swift: love her or hate her?


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I'm one of THOSE runners

It was a good morning.

First, I woke up to rain. I LOVE to run in the rain. And summer rain is the best! It was supposed to be seven easy miles, but I threw in a few faster miles because when you are happy, you can run faster. So run happy!


Second, Princess Grace asked me to cut a tag off her shirt this morning. As she handed it to me, she said, "Or you can just break it off with your runner strength." Tell me that wouldn't make you smile.


And third, on the way to school, we saw someone running and Princess Grace said proudly, "Mom, you're one of those runners that runs even in the pouring run, aren't you?"

Yes. Yes I am.



And that makes for a very happy Tuesday.




Do you like to run in the rain?

Do you consider it fall as soon as school starts or not until it is officially autumn on September 23?


Monday, August 18, 2014

Long run exceptions and comfort a chip

I ran my longest run since the Boston Marathon (April 21, aka the last time I ran before I finally stopped running on my stress fracture) on Saturday. I ran 16 miles of the Big Cottonwood marathon course with Janae. If you know me, you know I'm a very solitary runner. But there are some exceptions. And Janae is most definitely one of them.

My little support crew kept us hydrated with several water stops along the way, which were also great photo ops. And they had chocolate milk for us when we finished.

This course is one of my favorite places to run. Saturday it did not disappoint. I was really glad we ran the new section of the course. The course has changed quite a bit from last year and will almost feel like a different race because of the changes. Saturday really helped prepare me mentally for an out and back stretch that is new this year.

Today is the first day of school for my girls! I miss them already. I'm not sure how summer is already over. It went by crazy fast!! They were both pretty nervous. Princess Grace couldn't fall asleep until almost 9:30 last night because she kept thinking of things that were making her more and more nervous. But she has an amazing teacher this year, so I'm confident it will be a great year for her, which she needs after a challenging 2nd grade year! Ellie Bean was full of silly energy all morning until the ride to school, during which she didn't say one word. She has her cousin and several friends in her class and a fun teacher, so once she gets over the first day of school jitters and adjusts to being there all day, I'm sure she'll do great!

And because it seems like no post is complete without some inclusion of food, here's today's food addition. I taste tested the new Lay's flavors over the weekend. I don't like mangoes but heard the Mango Salsa was really good, so I tried it with an open mind. It tastes way too much like mango and not enough like salsa for me. I couldn't even eat a second chip. The cappuccino has a very strong initial taste with a cinnamony sweet aftertaste. They were okay but not something I'd buy again. The Wasabi Ginger were good; kind of a strange flavor on a chip. And they have a pretty good kick. They were the best of the three. But my hands down favorite is:

I ate a single serving size (not the party size like in the picture, although I don't think it would be a problem tackling a bag that size) in minutes. Scott only got maybe two chips before they were gone.

These are next on my taste test to-do list!! I loved the Marshmallow Krispy Oreos they had last year but can't find them anywhere anymore. Maybe these will be a new favorite. I'll let you know once I hunt some down!

What is your favorite flavor of Oreo?
Are you a solitary runner or do you like to run with friends?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Call me crazy

Today is a cross training day because tomorrow is my long run. I always try to take the day before my long run off from running. After spending some time on the bike this morning, I threw in this workout for my core. It is short, but I could feel it working. Next time I'll probably do it twice to make it a 10 minute workout. Call me crazy!

Last night was Back to School Night. Because my girls wear uniforms, we let them wear some of their other new "school" clothes. Princess Grace broke out her #FABULOUS shirt and her cute new pink shoes, and Ellie Bean wore her fancy new shirt/scarf and a pair of jeans from Justice, which were especially awesome because Justice just started carrying clothes in a size 5 (aka teeny tiny).

Then after Back to School night, the girls taught Grandpa how to play a couple of games on his iPad.

And last but not least, I tested out the Marika Magic Capri the other day. It will be great for cycling and yoga. I am excited to add it to my cross training rotation. I won't wear it to run because it is made of primarily cotton, which isn't my favorite for running, but it will be great for lots of other things because it is super soft and comfy.

You can get 30% off the Marika Capri and anything else you purchase by using the code MM30 on between now and the end of the month!

Capris, shorts or tights to run?
What are your weekend plans?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Things I Love Thursday - GNO, Healthy Dessert & Sleepovers

Had girls night out with some of my favorites last night. Trust me, you wish you were a fly on the wall during our GNO conversations!

Yoplait Greek is the only Greek yogurt I've found that I actually like. And this flavor is sooo good. It tastes like dessert!

This makes me smile every time I get in the fridge. Princess Grace made an agenda for her sleepover the other night. But my favorite part is her drawing of the sleeping bag!

And I did this workout yesterday. After three rounds, I was dripping sweat!

Do you like Greek yogurt?
Do you ever do HIIT or circuit training workouts?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Returning to Running After a Stress Fracture 101

Coming back from a stress fracture is hard. After spending eight weeks not running at all, it was hard to hold back when I could finally run again. But it was also hard because running seemed hard. And my leg wasn't pain free, which has been frustrating after I ran in pain for three months and wanted to finally run without thinking about my leg at all! I just wanted running to be like it was before the stress fracture.

It is finally getting there, after eight weeks off and another eight weeks easing back into running regularly.

The two reasons it was so important to ease back into running post-stress fracture were 1) to make sure my stress fracture was completely healed and 2) to prevent a new injury. Just because I was running 40+ mile weeks before I had to stop running doesn't mean my body was ready to jump right back into that mileage. While my body has some memory muscle and knows what it's like to undergo that kind of stress, it wasn't ready for it. Pool running kept me in pretty good running shape, but it isn't the same without the impact you experience with actual running. Even cardiovascularly, it is different. Your body has to do different things to maintain its temperature while you are in the pool than when you are running in different temperatures.

When I started running again, this is the plan I followed:

There is a lot of helpful information with the plan that talks about the purpose for the plan and how far, how hard and how often to run, so you can change the plan according to your injury and recovery needs.

Another great article I found talks about phantom pains, which was really helpful on those runs when I had little panic attacks because my shin started to hurt:
"Sometimes, as a runner returns to the sport after taking time off from a stress fracture, phantom pains in the area of the fracture are felt. Phantom pains, often similar to the pains that a runner first experiences when a stress fracture develops, can lead a runner to believe that the stress fracture has not fully healed or that another has developed in exactly the same place.
There are a few ways to tell if the twinges of pain you are experiencing are the real thing or not.
First, does the pain remain steady or progressively get worse throughout the run?
If so, check with your doctor; if not, and the pains are sporadic and vary in intensity and location, chances are that the pains are "phantom pains" and are not a cause for worry.
Phantom pains can be caused by aforementioned calcium build up but can also be mentally induced by fear of re-injury. Think of it as post-traumatic stress fracture disorder where instead of mental flashbacks to the time of trauma, there are phantom pains."
It also talks about diet and stress fractures, calcium buildup that can cause numbness and tingling, and has this sample return to running plan:

Some of these things I've mentioned before, but in addition to gradually increasing my running, the things I have done to ensure a healthy return to running are:
This is called the Marathon Stick.
There are several lengths and options,
but I really love this one!
  • Taking a calcium supplement every day
  • Strength training and cross training to maintain muscle balance, because running uses certain muscles more than others
  • Foam rolling several times per week (I also use my Stick a lot because I feel like I can get a little deeper in some areas)
  • Listening to my body and cutting my runs short or easing back my pace when necessary
  • Exercises that strengthen the muscles in my lower leg; I try to write the alphabet in the air with my toes at least once every day, which is a great shin strengthener!
  • Icing my shin(s) after almost every run and icing any other trouble spots

What is the longest break you have taken from running?

What is your favorite way to cross train?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Life is harder when you're stupid

I started the day with a short four mile run this morning before the sun was even up. My girls had their cousins here for a sleepover, so I had to get out there before the hubs left for work and the girls all started waking up. When I got home, they were all still asleep, so I did some strength training, including this core workout that looks innocent enough but had me sweating my way through all three rounds.

And since we're talking about workouts, here is my workout summary for last week:
  • Sunday - rest
  • Monday - 5 mile run; 45 minutes cycling; core workout
  • Tuesday - 4 mile run; 30 minutes cycling
  • Wednesday - 5 mile run; total body strength workout (20 minutes)
  • Thursday - 6 mile run
  • Friday - 60 minutes cycling; upper body & core strength workouts
  • Saturday - 12.5 mile run
I found the core workout above on Pinterest. I have quite a few workouts pinned on my Fitness Board, so I decided to start giving them a try.

Here are some other random things I've pinned that I thought are worth sharing on this beautiful Tuesday:

Please. Heed this advice.

How can you not love John Wayne?!? Especially when he shared such profound, honest wisdom?!?

And this. It's like she is inside my head. If you haven't read her book Mile Markers, you should!!

Are you on Pinterest? What is your Pinterest name so I can follow you?

What is your favorite running book?

Monday, August 11, 2014

A big week in running and living it up in the PC

Last week was a big week in running for me. It marked my first 30+ mileage (32 miles!!) week and my first double digit run (12.5 miles!!) since April/my return to running after my stress fracture.

We spent the weekend in Park city so I got to do my long run on some new trails and in cooler temps. It was a perfect morning, and my team was there exactly when I needed them along the way.

This was the moment I stopped to tell the team captain/official I Have Run photographer/the hubs something and forgot to stop my watch. Although the picture is proof that I didn't forget to stop my music, since that is what I am doing. It must have been a good song since that seemed more important at the time.

Post run called for a recovery/reward swim for the girls (being so supportive is a tough job). I pampered my legs with some time in the hot tub and spent the rest of the time trying to stay awake while the girls swam.

We also did the Alpine Slide during our Park City trip. We haven't done it since the girls were tiny, so neither of them really remembered it.

Grace was a little nervous on the ski lift ride up to the top because she is tall enough that she has to go as a single rider now.
She did great though and is getting more and more brave about things like this, which is huge because she has always been an extra cautious child who has a lot of anxiety about new things.

One of the weekend highlights for me: my first bag of candy corn of the season. Scott and the girls went to a grocery store while I was running to get me some chocolate milk and saw this. Scott knows how much I LOVE it and bought me a bag. What he didn't know was that I had just looked for it a few days earlier while I was grocery shopping but they didn't have it yet. So it was an extra happy surprise!

And the highlight of the weekend for the girls: getting their new backpacks and lunch boxes. They have been anxiously awaiting our annual Park City school shopping trip so they could get these. Now that they wear uniforms to school, their backpacks have become one of their most important back-to-school items!!

Do you have any annual back-to-school traditions?
Do you like candy corn? I love candy corn, but I'm not a big fan of the little candy pumpkins that come in the candy corn fall mix.

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