Recovery Week

This week I did some yoga, went on a few short runs and some walks.  My two walks were my favorite “workouts” of the week!

Friday I walked the bridge with two of my girl friends from PT school.  We caught up on ridiculous patient stories and other life events and follow it up with a shared bottle of wine.  We went right around sun set and I got some gorgeous pictures.

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Saturday I went with my friend JK for a walk (because there are no hills in Charleston so you can’t call it a hike) in the woods with our pups.  It was so awesome to just let the two girls off leash and have them run around like crazy while we walked and chatted and enjoyed the beautiful afternoon.

The trail was on an old plantation, this was from 1859!

The trail was on an old plantation, this was from 1859!

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Luckily we did not see any

Luckily we did not see any

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I had such a wonderful weekend recovering and spending a lot of time outside!!  Sometimes going for a walk is just what you need.

Taking Care of Me

Yesterday I indulged in all the things I should be doing for myself every post race zero week.

First stop, The Foot Store in Mount Pleasant to get new kicks!

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I was so due for new sneakers at this point.  I didn’t particularly care for these either.  I made an attempt to go a little lighter weight and now I know for sure it just isn’t for me.  So I said good bye to the Brooks Pure Cadence…

After watching my gait and measuring my feet the super helpful man working with me determined what I had been pretty sure I knew.  I am an over supinator.  That is super rare.  Most people are over pronators (the exact opposite).  I had noticed at work one day I felt like I was walking on the outside of my feet.  I thought it was just something I did when I was working with patients being fidgety, but apparently I do it all the time.  Luckily he spotted it, got me in a wider shoe and put a lateral wedge in the heel to try any prevent me from walking/running with this gait pattern.

I ended up back in Asics in the Gel Nimbus 16.  I have been in Brooks my past few pairs but I feel great about this return.

A little bright but atleast they won't look so dirty

A little bright but at least they won’t look so dirty

After checking this off the list I headed to get a massage.  It was perfectly painful.  Not only did she nearly bring me to tears working on my quads but she worked out a disaster in my upper back I didn’t even know existed.  I have never gotten a massage in the few days following a marathon but those days are now over.  Ironically my leg soreness is gone but now my upper back and shoulders feel like they ran a marathon of their own!

Tomorrow (according to Hal Higdon) I am cleared to run again finally.  Only 2-3 miles but I’m excited to take the new wheels for a spin!!

What are your post race week staples?

Raleigh City of Oaks Marathon

Well after another long weekend of traveling I have another marathon in the books.

Saturday morning I got up and made our every Saturday pancake breakfast, had a cup of coffee, packed up and headed over to pick up Mary Ann.  We hit the road around 11:45, had a very uneventful drive (thankfully) to Raleigh, making it to the expo around 3:30.

The expo was less than exciting so we were in and out in about 15 minutes, claiming our shirts, chips and bibs.  We headed over to the hotel to check in and relax a little bit before trying to find some dinner.  Luckily our hotel was right next to the mall and since neither of us were familiar with the area we took a gamble that it would have some Italian food.  This mall ended up being one of the most ridiculous malls I have ever been to.  There were about 30 restaurants to choose from and the directory signs were touch screen and interactive.  So ridiculous.

After dinner we headed to Gap to get Mary Ann some new tights for the race due to the insanely unpredictable weather for the weekend.

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Once we got back to the hotel, we put in a good stretch session and headed to bed early.  We both slept great and thanks to the perfectly placed time change woke up pretty well rested.  We dressed in many layers, stuffed a bagel in and scavenged for coffee on the way to the race.

IMG_0092The sign couldn’t have been more appropriate.

Once we finally made it to the start line on NC State’s campus I decided on one final wardrobe change (actually in favor of less clothes which I never do).  We made a final drop off at the car, hit the potty and headed to the start.

We ran the first 11 miles just under pace, feeling great, mentally in a great spot.  The miles flew by through downtown Raleigh; it was beautiful though a little windy but nothing that made me uncomfortable.  My plan in marathons is always to stay right on pace from miles 10-20 then kick in with whatever I have left for the final 10k.  In mile 11 I told Mary Ann my philosophy, we agreed to go with it, then immediately started running downhill.  This part of the race was on a Greenway where we would go out and back, hence any major downhills were going to become major up hills, in the >20 miles.  By mile 16 my calves were trashed from running down hill and already dreading the future waiting for us in a few short miles.

Mary Ann had been hoping to qualify for Boston if possible, but if not just finish since it was her first.  We had been on pace until about 16 where I told her I was starting to feel not so stellar and she could go ahead whenever she needed to.  She agreed that finishing was the new goal.

We turned around and started heading back, every step bringing us closer to the 21st-24th miles of misery.  Once we hit the final brutal climb Mary Ann and I split up, but not enough that we were out of each other’s sight.  It is hard to run hills like that any way but what is comfortable for you so I was trying to get to the top then slow down to let her catch up for a little but after doing this a few times I got to the point that I felt like if I slowed down I would stop.  So for the remaining 4ish miles we ran together but apart, each looking for each other every few minutes.

I was counting down the end of the trail like it was the end of the race and with two miles to go it wasn’t too far off.  No more than 17 minutes left at that point I told myself, no big deal.  Eventually those minutes were over and I was able to smile through the finish and collect my medal in time to turn and cheer Mary Ann through her finish 45 seconds later!!

Please Ignore whatever is going on with my hair here!

Please ignore whatever is going on with my hair here!

I felt pretty trashed at the end so we walked around for a little, grabbing some snacks and water before heading to the car to hit the road home.

Crazy Medal

Crazy Medal

The acorn spins!

The acorn spins!

Despite this being the hardest marathon I have ever run we both had a great time and Mary Ann still wants to do another one so mission accomplished!  We went 17th and 18th female overall and 3rd and 4th in our age group.  Pretty awesome for ridiculous weather conditions and even more ridiculous hills in the worst miles of a race.

In the end, this race goes to you Mary Ann!!  I am so honored to have been there through your first.  CONGRATS!!

Big Fun Before Race Weekend

This past weekend we went to our first Clemson game.  Timing that the weekend before a marathon may not have been my best life choice but we had an absolute blast.  The weekend is best described in pictures so rather than hitting you with all the words as per usual, here come thousands and thousands of words!

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Cassie's lovely husband

Cassie’s lovely husband

Trying to get whatever ridiculous photo/video he just took back from him

Trying to get whatever ridiculous photo/video he just took back from him

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Decent seats

Pretty awesome seats

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We had such a fantastic time at the game and an overall wonderful weekend with friends (and lots of new ones at that).  Weekends like this one are what life is really about; it makes working so hard during the week worth it!

Now I am getting it together, mostly diet wise, to get ready for Raleigh on Sunday!

Darn You Nike and Your Sneaky Ways

So someone from Wells Fargo called up someone at Nike and informed them that I have financially recovered from not working for 3 months and should immediately receive their Holiday 2014 Style Guide.  Y’all, I think I want one of everything in there!

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Of course my absolute favorite thing they have to offer is the FIVE-HUNDRED DOLLAR running jacket!  Is that even real?!  My eyes almost fell out of my head when I saw the price.  However, it is pretty amazing.  In a dream world where I had a money tree in the back yard I would absolutely get it for all the super awesome features it has…

http://store.nike.com/us/en_us/pd/shield-flash-max-running-jacket/pid-1527246/pgid-10223517

Nike Shield Flash Max Women's Running Jacket

Nike Shield Flash Max Women's Running Jacket

The most important part I love about it is that you would literally be glow in the dark which is great with daylight savings time rapidly approaching.

The less expensive alternative, though still ridiculously expensive if that makes sense are the glow in the dark tights…

http://store.nike.com/us/en_us/pd/printed-reflective-running-tights/pid-1527227/pgid-1527228

Nike Printed Reflective Women's Running Tights

These along with about 34 other items scattered throughout started calling my name.  I am not sure why but winter running apparel is so much more exciting to me than summer.  I love wearing tights and a good tech pull over.  I love 30-40 degree runs (without wind).  I love those runs when there is such crispness in the air but the sun is shinning bright (or I’m always in for some light snow)!!  They are on their way my friends, just a matter of time!

Butternut Squash and Sausage Pasta

I have been dying to share this recipe since I made it Wednesday night but have been super busy.  I got the inspiration from the Postrun Pasta article in Runner’s World September issue.  The “recipes” they provided pretty much just had a list of ingredients with no directions so I winged it.  I really did not expect Casey to have anything good to say about it when it was all said and done, but low and behold, he LOVED it!  As did I.  This one will definitely be part of our regular meals from now on.

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Ingredients

8 oz Bow Tie Pasta

3 Cups Butternut Squash (I buy the precut, so much easier)

2 Links of your favorite sausage (I used Turkey)

10 oz Portobello Mushrooms

1/4 cup Dried Cranberries

4 tablespoons Olive Oil

2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar

1 tablespoon Minced Garlic

Black Pepper to taste

Red Pepper Flakes to taste

Goat Cheese for topping

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Place butternut squash on cookie sheet, drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil.  Roast for 30 minutes.  Squash should still be slightly firm when removing from oven.

2.  While butternut squash is roasting, prepare pasta.

3.  In large skillet over medium heat add 1 tbsp oil and mushrooms, allow to brown 1-2 minutes.

4.  Slice sausage and add to skillet, allowing to brown.

5.  Add butternut squash and dried cranberries and drizzle with remaining olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Add black pepper and red pepper flakes.  Stir well and cover for 5 minutes.

6.  Add pasta to skillet and toss.  Cover for 2-3 minutes.

7.  Serve with goat cheese sprinkled on top to taste.

I love the combination of flavors in this.  You get a little spicy and a little sweet.  I love that it is a delicious pasta without red sauce (not that I don’t love red sauce), just something a little different.

Serve this up after your long run tomorrow (or today if you are me)!!

More Pumpkin and Domesticity

Mondays are tough and require an obligatory pumpkin spice latte to get started.

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This particular Monday I couldn’t get my butt in gear.  Normal things that take me 3 minutes to do were taking twice that and just throwing off my juju.  I never really felt like I hit my stride today, but that’s life.  Every day can’t be perfect, especially not at work.  I’m lucky to think that most of my days are pretty awesome.  I am coming to realize that is not the norm.

Once I finally plugged through my day I came home to run my final hill repeats.  My splits weren’t bad, though my first rep said I was running a 6:55 pace which I know is bologna, I was hauling butt and it was my first one and I was feeling good, so thanks Garmin for that fun error!  Other wise the reps were right around 6:00 pace or better up the bridge, can’t argue with that.

The rest of the night held me in the kitchen.  For dinner we had Mahi fish tacos.  I love tacos with all their beautiful colors and fresh ingredients.

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As if that wasn’t enough, we are having a pot luck for Therapy month tomorrow at work which meant busting out some Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip cookies for the first time this season.  I forgot how awesome they are.  I keep having to herd Casey out of the kitchen so I actually have some left to take to work.

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For what is left of the night I am praying for a fantasy football miracle of 9 more points from the 49ers kicker so I can somehow manage a win.  It is very unlikely to happen but I am remaining optimistic!

All Good Things

This was a great week for this girl.  One particular good thing will be a great thing for recharging my blog.

1.  I FINALLY got a new phone.  I can actually see the screen and more importantly take pictures.  I have music again while I run and can actually send and receive texts in real time.  It’s a Christmas miracle.

2.  I finished my last hard week of training.  20 miles in yesterday, 52 miles this week.  I didn’t feel amazing on my 20 miler but I was having a big toe issue so getting it in was a success.  I did forget to start my watch after stopping at a red light which was annoying but luckily I knew how far it was so I could just add it on when I got home.  What a silly thing to do.

I managed to do yoga before and after my run leaving me feeling really invigorated during my “shake out” run today.  So now I head in to my taper feeling pretty great and ready to take on this next race.

3.  We went to dinner last night at the Craftsman (one of our absolute favorites) and it was delicious as always.  Plus we made new friends.  We sat at the bar and ended up talking to the people on either side of us and had a blast.  When we were leaving I told Case, I have never had so much fun with people I didn’t know before.  Crazy what happens when people are just nice to each other, we all have a lot more in common than we think.

4.  I was able to lock in coverage to take my first paid time off (PTO).  One for two weeks from now so we can go to Clemson with friends and more around Thanksgiving so we can go to Casey’s home.  Just more exciting parts of being a big girl and so glad I am fortunate enough to have people willing to work around the holidays.

I am so excited to have my phone back and be able to get back to blogging much more regularly.  Hope you had a great weekend.  Now I am out to go watch the Birds take down the Giants (knock on wood).

Great Weekend and Bloggers Block

I have finally identified my bloggers block.  I feel that a post does not exist without a picture, which isn’t true but I still feel like it is.  My phone is my primary means of picture taking and my phone is absolutely shot.  It’s an iPhone 3 people, yes, that is still a really (semi)usable thing.  The backlight works about 10% of the time, the battery lasts ~20 minutes with use and it get to about 124 degrees while not using it.  Yes I realize these are very first world problems, but they are responsible for my blogger’s block!

Weekend:

1.  Friday night was fun filled with a girls night dinner and a movie.  We went to Zia’s, a wonderful taco/mexican place and had a delicious meal before devouring an awesome move.  We saw Gone Girl and I was NOT disappointed.  The movie actually stays true to the book and the acting was a little too perfect if you ask me.  Spoiler Alert (sorta): They both play their parts so freaky and true to the characters in the book its almost insane.  Well it is insane if we are being honest about it!

2.  College football was ridiculous.  I hardly pay very much attention to college football, my big day is Sunday.  After getting my long run in and finally spending an hour cleaning out my car I sat down on the couch, without my kindle, and watched upset after upset and was actually riveted.

3.  Sunday was amazing, the weather finally feels like football and we made our first true “football food.”  We made an easy crock pot beef stew.  I love eating real stick to your bones food, especially when I am training pretty hard and not feeling too terrible about it.

Last big week:

This is my last big training week before my taper.  I had 8×800 Yasso intervals in 3:25 today and nailed them, even feeling pretty good after dreading them all day!  I have 5 easy tomorrow, 40 minute tempo Wednesday, Rest Thursday, 10 miles pace Friday, 20 miles Saturday then immediately commence taper!!  I feel energized after my hard run today going so well and ready to finish out this week hard heading into taper.

Moral of this story: This girl needs a new phone, if anyone out there has an old iPhone on AT&T, help a sister out and I will finally return to semi-regular blogging!

Happy Monday y’all!

Monday Monday

This morning when my alarm went off I felt remarkably refreshed, like my body was completely ready to get up, at 6:50, not normal.  That was pretty much where the good fortune ended today.

I popped out of bed and grabbed Scarlett’s leash for our daily walk to find it was POURING.  Why I was surprised at this point I’m not sure.  One step outside found both of us scrambling back for the porch and sending Scar on a quick scurry into the back yard to do her business and hurry inside.  I figured without our 20 minute walk I could get to work early, and potentially leave a little early.  I scarfed a pumpkin spice bagel (yes, the pumpkin is now in full force in my life) and headed out the door to get my Monday-morning-get-myself-to-work Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks.

Once I got there the morning started weirdly due to a few co-workers starting late today and a few on vacation.  It is crazy how when you work with a team having pieces missing really throws off your whole mojo.  Really made me appreciate the amazing team I work with.  The rest of the day was a perpetual reminder of the fact that I work with people and that means no predictability.  Sometimes I swear all my patients team up and agree to be difficult and try to see if I will lose my mind.  No matter, I made it through and headed out the door to go home, whooped and ready to start over tomorrow.

Upon exit, it was still raining and downtown was majorly flooded.  I immediately checked the forecast and if the weather man knows what he is talking about the sun may actually make an appearance tomorrow.  My running is a cut back this week before my final week of surge allowing me to be more flexible with my rest day.  I moved my rest day to today in favor of maybe having dry shoes for once.

After a stressful day I turned to YogaGlo.com and my mat to attempt to relax my poor flailing mind.  I can’t say it solved all my problems but I did feel a bit better and more able to let my day go to move on to tomorrow.

We made it through Monday everyone!!