Saturday, February 27, 2016

Double Digits

I keep having runs where I drag my feet getting out the door, and for the first mile or so, and then I suddenly feel better and end up having a really good (and fast!) run. It's weird. I guess it's better than being excited to run and having a sluggish run.

Check out this 5 miler from Friday:


I can't believe there's a mile that starts with a 7 in there!

My Saturday started off extra early this morning. 


Some of my weekend running buddies decided to meet up for 3 miles before the regular Saturday 7 miles that we run. I had a 10 miler on my training plan this weekend anyway, and 10 miles with friends always goes faster than 10 solo miles.


It was a brisk 17 degrees out when I left the house, though it warmed up to a toasty 23 by the time I parked the car, tied my shoes and hit the trails. Three of us ran 3 early miles and went back to the parking lot to meet up with the rest of the group.

I kept having to remind myself that we had already run a few miles, because some miles felt tougher than they normally would have. We had to run a bit past our cars to hit 10 miles, but we weren't about to come up short after waking up early to run. I'm happy with the 9:28 pace we managed to maintain.

Plus it's nice to have a recent double digit run. I think the last time I hit 10 miles was on Thanksgiving.

I drove home and waffled up some cinnamon rolls (because we don't have an oven).


Post-long-run breakfast lunch of champions.



What's your run this weekend?

Do you have a go-to post-long-run meal?

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Apparently, I'm Awesome

Speed work seems to be paying off!

I had a tempo run on the schedule for Tuesday, and I was not feeling it until over a mile in. Once I got going, I started to feel better, and ended up having a strong run.

Look what a warm up mile can do for you:


As a side note: my brief moment of tank top weather is over. It was snowing in my face on Tuesday and absolutely pouring this afternoon.


I had 3 easy miles on the plan for today, and it seemed like the rain was letting up, so I hit the road.


The rain did not let up. There were a couple of good downpours while I was running, but you can really only get soaking wet once, and then it doesn't matter so much.

You would think that drivers would use a bit of common sense (pouring rain = water on the road = maybe slow down as you drive by a runner), but only one car actually slowed down as they passed me.

Thanks neighbors.

We do have one nice neighbor who informed me that I'm awesome as I ran by her in the rain. I'll take it.

I hit up my yoga mat and reintroduced my legs to the foam roller after I got home.


I did not miss the foam roller, in case you were wondering. 

On a happier (than foam rolling) note: I have definitely noticed an increase in flexibility since I started doing yoga consistently at the beginning of the year. It's pretty cool. 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Tank Top Weather

Well, ok, so it isn't actually tank top weather yet. But compared to the weather we've been having, it felt really warm! I made it about 3 miles into my 5 miler before I took off my half-zip sweatshirt and ran the rest of the way in my tank top. Pretty exciting!


Granted, once summer rolls around I will probably be whining for cooler weather.


I had a really productive morning today, rather than my usual not-productive-at-all mornings. I did some bookkeeping for work that I've been ignoring for a few days, tackled the dishes and didn't even procrastinate on the way out the door to run. It was pretty wild.

I tracked down Buddy's other bed (he has several). He's been hanging out in the empty living room because there's sun in there in the afternoon.


Only sunshine (or food) will cause Buddy to be in a room by himself.

Tom was over at our neighbor's house for a bit before dinner. I sent him this when I started contemplating snacking on pretty much everything in the kitchen:


He came home and grilled burgers, because he's the best.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

I Need More Sleep

I debated turning off my alarm last night. We stayed up later than I intended, and the thought of waking up early so I could go run didn't sound very fun.


When it did go off this morning, I hit snooze, and tried to come up with an excuse to go back to sleep. Tom convinced me to get up, and I made the drive to meet up with my weekend running group.

Of course, I'm so glad I did.

The weather was really nice after last weekend's sub-zero temperatures. The sun was out and it was in the 40s for most of our run. And as an added bonus, I felt really good for the entire 7 miles!

My GPS lost me at some point, because it only came up with 6.5 miles. I've run those trails enough to  know that's not quite right.


I'm really good at getting less sleep on the weekends than I do during the week. I stay up later and then wake up around the same time as I usually do. It's not the best system.

Do you get more sleep during the week or on the weekend?

Any exciting plans for your Sunday?

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Seen On My Run and a House Update

I hate speed work.

I know it is pretty much the best way to get faster, but damn, it's hard

Tuesday was supposed to be my speed work day, but it was pouring pretty much all day long, so I shifted it to Wednesday.

My training plan called for 8x400m repeats, so I set my watch (I love that it keeps track of intervals for me) and dragged myself out the door. The area around our house is decidedly not flat, and I don't like to have to drive to a track to do speed work. I run a warm up mile to the flattest part of our neighborhood and do my repeats there instead. 

It was actually a really successful speed work session: all my repeats were between 6:19 and 7:30 pace. The 6:19 was my last repeat, because I like to push the limit on my final interval. 

This is my triumphant/exhausted face before I headed off for the mile back to the house. 


Every time I run by this I think about taking a picture to show you guys:


That's not alive. There are taxidermied animals in the trees in someone's yard. Like, more than one. There's also a tiny old cemetery back between the trees and that red building. 

It's weird. 

The sheetrock guys packed up on Wednesday and the addition is really starting to look like a house!

The master bedroom:



The stairs to the attic:


The new attic space:




Now we're talking paint (like, actually going to buy it) and flooring. It's pretty exciting!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Procrastination, Yoga and Beer

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The school I teach at on Mondays is on their mid-winter break this week, so I had the day off. 

I actually planned ahead for tonight's dinner when I was at the store yesterday (which pretty much never happens). Pot roast and veggies were cooking away in the Instant Pot by 10am. That thing is seriously handy - especially with our limited kitchen and the sub-zero temperatures we've been having.

Negative wind chills just don't scream grilling weather.

Our weather is supposed to be all over the place this week. We were down to -10 this weekend (not counting the wind chill), and it's supposed to be around 53 tomorrow. It snowed this morning and is supposed to turn to rain sometime in the night.

I changed into my running gear this morning and then proceeded to sit around and play on my computer for a while. I can't just head straight out the door. That would be weird.


After about an hour of procrastination, I finally hit the road. It was not warm.


Running in the cold is tricky. I always manage to be too hot in some places, and too cold in others. I kept pulling my neck gaiter down because it would be too much, and then it would freeze, and my face would freeze, so I would pull it back up again.


I have been really good about rolling out my yoga mat lately, even after Yoga Camp ended. Seriously, I've done at least 10 minutes (usually more) of yoga every day this month. I'm convinced it is helping my running and recovery since it is a good combination of strength and stretching - two things I pretty much don't do otherwise.

I had to try this beer. I kept seeing it at the store, and I finally bought some yesterday.


This beer smells amazing, but sadly does not taste as good as it smells. It was ok, but not anything I would buy again. 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

A Frigid Weekend Wrap-up

This is a little bit of a random post, but I'm pretty sure you're used to it by now.

This used to be a window. Now the other side of that wall is the master bathroom. 


Tom made a delicious deep-dish pizza in the cast iron pan on Thursday. There were no leftovers.


It was COLD this weekend. I did a little pre-run layering strategizing on Saturday. I ended up wearing all of this except for the New Balance half-zip. I was almost too hot.


This was the weather a bit before I left the house:


It actually got colder by the time I got home. The wind was the worst part, but I'm glad I got my 8 miles in.


When I woke up today (Sunday) it was -10 degrees. That was the actual temperature, not the feels like temperature. Thank goodness it was a running rest day, because there was no way I was going outside to run.

Buddy is not a fan of the cold. He's been spending even more time than usual hiding in his cave bed.


The addition is really starting to look like a real house!

This is in our new bedroom. The doorway on the right is the hallway, the doorway on the left is the master bathroom.


This is from the other side of the room, the doorway is the same hall doorway in the picture up above.  The big opening is going to be our closet.


We can officially access the new attic space without a ladder! Tom and our neighbor put the stairs in this weekend.



And Buddy did this.


It's possible that I registered for another half marathon this weekend too. That means I have 2 half marathons and a trail 10k coming up, and there are several other races on my radar. I will probably end up with at least one more half and a full in the fall.

But then, the plan can always change!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Running on Empty

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I have been terrible about getting enough sleep this week. I keep saying I am going to go to bed early, and then time gets away from me and it just doesn't happen. I'm working on it. 

In theory.

I had a really good run yesterday! It almost didn't happen, because I was full of excuses and really didn't want to run, but I was happy after about a mile. 

My training plan called for a 40 minute tempo run, and due to my procrastination, I did not have 40 minutes of daylight left. Fortunately, I had my super cool light up vest and my Knuckle lights that Tom got me for Christmas. The combo definitely made me highly visible and I had no problem seeing the road. Pretty cool!


I felt super strong on this run, and ended up with just over 5 miles at an 8:59 pace. 8:39 pace if you don't include my warm up mile.

And then there's today's run. It was only supposed to be 3 miles at an easy pace, but I had nothing left.

Apparently if I race a 10k, a 5k, and have a killer tempo run over the course of five days, it will catch up to me.

I managed 2.5 miles at a 10:22 pace.

Most of the sheetrock is up in the addition now, they started taping and mudding in the living room today.



In even more exciting news: Tom fixed our bathtub today! The shower has been draining more and more slowly for a while now. Every time anyone showered they ended up standing in several inches of water. It was getting pretty gross. Now it drains better than ever and I'm weirdly excited for my shower tomorrow! 

It's the little things. :)

Monday, February 8, 2016

Freezer 5k

I went back through my Athlinks profile on Saturday, so I'm pretty confident in saying that I haven't run a 5k since 2009.

I didn't really have a time goal going into Sunday's Freezer 5k. I decided I was just going to run it and see where I'm at right now.

The race didn't start until 10, which felt late to me, but I guess you don't have to start so early when it's only a 5k.

We got to the race around 9:15 so we had time to pick up our numbers (Tom ran too!) and find some of my weekend running friends. It's a small race, so getting our bibs was quick and easy, and we had plenty of time to warm up a bit.

Tom and I both went out a little too fast, but stayed together until a little after mile 2. It was weird to run such a short race, and when I realized there was only a mile left, I sped up. I passed a decent number of people in the last mile, and as I was reeling in my next target, he started keeping pace with me rather than let me pass him.

I told the guy he didn't seem to be in enough pain for that stage in the race, and at the mile 3 marker he said, "Come on, let's go!" We both sped up for the last tenth of a mile and even when I pulled ahead, he kept telling me to "go!" I've dubbed him my finish line buddy. He disappeared at the finish line (which is tricky in a race of a couple hundred people) so I didn't get a chance to thank him for the extra push.


I ended up being pleasantly surprised by my finish time: 25:01! It's definitely a PR for me, and I don't think I completely hate 5ks anymore. I can actually see some benefit to running a 5k from time to time.

Tom has only really been consistently running for the last month or so, but he wasn't very far behind me. Give him a few more months and he'll be beating me in the 5k!

We came home and ate a bunch of Li├Ęge waffles and sausages. I could say it was because of the Super Bowl, but really we just wanted waffles.


Please ignore the waffle crumbs all over the counter. It's a messy business.

We ended up being so full from our lunchtime waffles, that our Super Bowl dinner ended up consisting of a buffalo chicken dip that Tom made, carrots and celery, and chips and salsa. I'm not sorry.

I had a 4 miler on my training plan for today, and wow, it was slow. Apparently you can't expect to be at the top of your game the day after running a PR, even if it was just a 5k.

Did you watch the Super Bowl? 

What's your favorite game day food? Chips and guacamole. Always.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Nuun Year Dash!

We woke up to snow this morning. The weather forecast called for a dusting to an inch, but we ended up getting enough snow to cover the roads and cancel school in the area. 

Buddy made sure to warm his nose up by the fire. It's actually already noticeably warmer in the house with the new insulation, and it isn't even all in yet!


Nuun hosted a virtual race this weekend, and I signed up to run the 10k. All the official goodies arrived last week. They don't skimp on the swag!


I planned on running my race today, since we have a 5k on Sunday, so I waited for the roads to clear and hit the pavement.


I wasn't sure what kind of pace to expect since I had a cold all week (and haven't raced in a couple of months). I kept my watch on distance and just focused on running harder than I would for a regular training run. That plan seemed to work well, sometimes I get frustrated when I check my pace too often, but I felt strong and ended up being pleasantly surprised when I uploaded my run.

10k in 55:42, an 8:57 pace.


I celebrated with a double dose of watermelon Nuun with a dash of vitamin c powder, because I like it a little sour.


The insulation guys started putting up drywall today! It's hard to see because there aren't lights in the room yet, but look, walls!



The plumber is coming this weekend to get the heat hooked up in the addition, and then the rest of the drywall will get installed next week. It's exciting to see so much progress!
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