Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A Blue Apron Birthday

I don't know if you've noticed, but we're a little busy around here. Between marathon training, work and all the work being done on the house, there have been more than a few nights of takeout in the last few months.

Don't get me wrong, I love takeout, it's easy and tasty, but it isn't the healthiest thing we could eat.

For our birthdays, my mom bought us a few Blue Apron deliveries. We got our first box last week, and everything was really good!

Our box came with three meals and really nicely printed recipes. Everything comes in a nicely insulated box with ice packs, so even if you're not home when it gets delivered, your food will be safely waiting for you.

The first meal I decided to make was this Spiced Turkey chili.

Now, I may just be bad at meal planning and lazy about going to the store, but how nice is it to have just what you need for a recipe delivered to your house? I'll tell you, it's extremely nice. 

The other recipes in this box were pan seared steaks with spinach and lemon-butter purple potatoes, and crispy Cajun catfish with dirty rice and spicy remoulade. They all turned out really well, especially considering how limited our "kitchen" is right now. So far I have been able to make everything on the burner on the grill.

I'm really excited to get our next box - Blue Apron is a lot of fun so far! Thanks, Mom! :)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Taper Weirdness and We Have Walls!

Is it normal during the taper for your body to feel like it's forgotten how to run? I had 3 miles on the plan for today, and they felt awkward and terrible. I had to stop several times (twice to fix shoelaces) and just felt out of shape, and slow.

I was more than a little surprised when I got home and uploaded my run. With an average pace of 8:50, it's the fastest I've run in weeks.

That doesn't make any sense at all.

Buddy was a bit chilly this morning. Doesn't he look photoshopped?

We had rain last week, which put a stop to the construction for a little while. Today was back to the craziness. There was a lumber delivery, guys chipping up the garage floor and putting scaffolding up by the chimney, and guys putting walls on the second story of the addition.

Look how sad Buddy looks when Tom is outside without him.

The garage looked bad before, but this is much worse. Every construction project looks worse before it gets better.

Look how much bigger the house is getting!

They got all the walls up on the second floor today. There's going to be two new bathrooms, the master bedroom and a ridiculously large walk-in closet in there.

I can't wait!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Marathon Training Week 15

Last week was not the best for some reason. I'm just going to go ahead and blame the taper, because I don't have any other explanation.

In more exciting news: I broke 1,000 miles for the year! Last year I hit 1,000 miles in December after running every day in November. I guess I'm going to need a new goal after this marathon business is over!

Monday: Cross training. We had a bunch of construction madness going on at the house on Monday. Buddy was freaking out over all the activity, so I took him for a walk around the neighborhood. He was pretty wiped out after 2 miles.

Tuesday: 4 miles. It was stupidly humid out so I took it easy, plus that's what taper weeks are about, right? 4 miles @ 9:44 pace

Wednesday: 5 miles. I actually have "I have no memory of this run" written in my training log because I'm getting bad about writing in a timely manner. 5.06 miles @ 9:30 pace

Thursday: 4 miles. Thursday was my birthday and I was having a great time relaxing and eating (two of my favorite things), so I ended up taking a rest day. It's my birthday and I'll do what I want to!

Friday: Rest day. It was rainy and cold out, but I wanted to get my Thursday miles in - plus I like running in the rain. My shins were oddly tight/cramping, but otherwise this was a good run. 4 miles @ 9:05 pace

Saturday: 3 miles. Tom and his friend ran a Warrior Dash race in Connecticut, so driving and spectating took up most of my day. I didn't run. I'm ok with that.

The boys had fun. :)

Sunday: 8 miles. This was one of those runs you read about that happen during the taper - it makes you question your ability to run at all, let alone an entire marathon. It was fairly miserable, but I plodded along and got my miles in. 8.01 miles @ 9:37 pace

Miles this week: 21.07

This might be my last training week recap, since next week at this time I will be in full on recovery mode.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

My Marathon Training Must Haves

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Now that I've (mostly) made it through my marathon training, I thought I would share a few things that helped me make it through this training cycle.

Shoes (duh) - I used to do most of my running on trails and the treadmill. This time around I was 100% on the roads, which meant that some of my favorite shoes didn't work as well for me as they had in the past. I used to do most of my running in Brooks PureFlows, but for most of this training cycle I have run in Mizuno Wave Riders and Saucony Zealots.

I have mixed things up shoe-wise for shorter runs, but for long runs, those are my go-tos.

Calf sleeves - This is the first training cycle I have run with calf sleeves.

I love the compression and support of PRO Compression Marathon socks (and wear them for post-run recovery), but the foot part doesn't work for me when I'm running. I need more cushion. I have had problems with my calves cramping during half marathons before, so I figured these couldn't hurt. I wore them for all of my long runs and I really feel like they have helped me. It's possible that it's all in my head, but either way works for me!

Shorts - Until this summer I pretty much always ran in capris. I could do that because I had my treadmill in our air conditioned basement. I haven't used my treadmill since we moved because it's currently in the garage, which is definitely not air conditioned. Every single run has been outside, which means I had to find some shorts that worked for me. Loose shorts ride up, move around and generally drive me insane, so I ended up finding a couple of pairs from Oiselle (the Long Flyte and Vela shorts). They have perfectly respectable inseams, so I don't feel like things are exposed. They're also super comfortable and don't ride up.

Body Glide - No matter how in shape I get or how thin I am, my thighs will always touch. That's just life. Body Glide has saved me from some serious pain this summer. It's cheap, it's easy, and it makes it so you can run chafe-free for hours. Necessary.

TomTom Runner Cardio - I'm addicted to the data. I need to know how fast, how far, the elevation, my heart rate (with no chest strap!) and anything else my watch cares to tell me. I have gotten better about not checking my pace every three seconds, but I love having the stats to check out after my run. Plus I'm terrible at planning my runs, so I'm a big fan of running out until my watch tells me I'm halfway, and then I turn around and head home!

Road ID - Especially if you're like me and you don't usually run with your phone (I pretty much only take it on long runs), a Road ID is a great idea. Mine has my name, birth year, Tom and my mom's phone numbers, my blood type, and the fact that I don't have any known allergies. All great information to have readily available just in case. You can personalize them however you want, and there's even space to add a motivational quote if you want. I keep mine with my watch so I actually remember to wear it on my runs.

Sunscreen - You don't need me to tell you to wear sunscreen, right? I'm a fan of the spray kind for my body because I'm lazy, and I absolutely love the Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral SPF for my face. If you read the reviews, you'll see that some of the bristles fall out, and that if you don't follow the directions you can make a big mess with it. Neither of these things is a big deal to me, and I love not putting goopy sunscreen on my face. I somehow made it through summer marathon training without getting a sunburn this year - gold star for me! The only sunburn I've gotten is when I was spectating at Tom's adventure race and completely failed to put sunscreen on my legs.

Hydration Pack - I hate carrying things when I run. I will do everything in my power to not hold anything. I have a Nathan Trail Mix fuel belt that has worked alright for me in the past, but the water bottles are tiny, and I knew they weren't going to cut it for my longer runs this summer. Enter the Teton Trailrunner 2.0 - you can't escape the sloshing sound no matter how you carry your water, and there is a slight plastic taste, but this pack does the trick.

It has a small mesh pocket on the front where I keep everything from my fuel to my phone (in separate ziplock bags). It is open at the top, but I never once had anything fall out. The only thing I really wish this pack had is a place to clip my house key.

Race day is officially a week away - I can't believe it's already here!

Friday, October 2, 2015

My Computer is Dying

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I was all settled in to finish up a post this afternoon when my computer froze. Again. And the Blue Screen of Death popped up. Again.

That's the second time this week - definitely not a good sign.

So, I may be looking for a new computer pretty soon. Any suggestions?

In other news, Buddy can almost get into his new bed on his own. The opening is a tiny bit small for how tall he is (we probably should have bought the extra large size), and he can't quite figure it out. If we hold the top open for him he goes right in.

It was cold and rainy for my run today. I pulled out the capris, a long sleeve half zip and my super bright vest so cars wouldn't hit me. The speed limit in our neighborhood is 30, but people go way faster than that.

Tom went to his man club meeting (it's actually a rod and gun/hunting club, but I prefer to call it the man club) tonight, so I made myself a couple of little quesadillas for dinner. I was lazy and just mashed up some black beans, added some pepperjack cheese and threw them on the grill for a few minutes. Super simple, and pretty tasty!

I even managed to not burn them!

I'm completely in denial about how soon Steamtown is getting. I've been saying it's 3 weeks away for a while now, and it's actually a week from Sunday! Time to start race day weather stalking...

Hopefully my computer will behave itself this weekend so I can do a little blog catch up.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Excuses and It's My Birthday!

So, I have a nice little post in the works about my marathon training must haves that I started on Tuesday. Then my computer decided to give me a heart attack and I walked into the living room to see the Blue Screen of Death.

I spent the rest of the night backing up my hard drive.

And then I was completely exhausted on Wednesday and I just couldn't drag myself to the computer.

AND today is my birthday! So, rather than finish my post or write anything new and exciting for you, I'm going to sit here in my post-Chinese food coma and relax for the evening.

Please enjoy this photo of Buddy looking cute in lieu of quality content.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Marathon Training Week 14

Well, I made it through the first week of the taper, and I'm not crazy...yet! :)

My information packet came today! Race day is SO soon!

Construction is moving forward on the house again. The rest of the roof came down today, and they've started building up the walls to get ready to build the second story.

All the noise has been freaking Buddy out, so I took him for a walk around the neighborhood this afternoon. Now he's more exhausted than freaked out, so I think that's progress.

Today is Tom's birthday! Unfortunately, he spent it pulling out the old septic pipes and putting in new ones.

We're going to celebrate his triumph over the septic (and his birthday!) with whiskey and Death Star ice cubes later. We really live it up around here ;)

And here's what this week of training looked like:

Monday: Cross Training. I got in 30 minutes of yoga, but my mind was on other things so I didn't really enjoy it as much as I have been lately.

Tuesday: 5 miles. The weather is finally a little cooler, and the humidity was low for this run. It went so well! I ran by feel since I ran 20 miles two days before. 5 miles @ 8:55

Wednesday: 6 miles. I was SO tired on Wednesday, and I was pretty sure that I either had a cold or really bad allergies. Either way, I didn't run.

Thursday: 5 miles. Fairly certain it's allergies, I ran by feel and didn't push too hard. Better to take it easy and not make myself feel worse at this point. 5.05 miles @ 9:24

Friday: Rest day. I debated making up a few of my missed miles from Wednesday, but decided I was better off just taking the rest day.

Saturday: 4 mile pace run. Tom was taking a hunting class that he had to complete in order to get his hunting license, so I swapped my weekend run days. Polished off my last double digit run before race day. It wasn't fast, but I felt strong and ran ALL the hills, which I don't always do. I ended up hitting my mileage 2 miles from the house and decided to walk the rest of the way home for a cool down. I never do a coo down, I know I should, but it's boring. 12.16 miles @ 10:43

Sunday 12 miles. I didn't know how this pace run was going to go the day after a long run, but it actually went really well! I went out hoping for a 9:00 pace, but I was feeling really good and pushed the pace a bit. I was pretty happy to check my time when I got home. 4 miles @ 8:30

Miles this week: 26.21

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