Crossroads of My Life

Well, I am getting dangerously close to the crossroads of my life.  With my inservice presentation tomorrow, Boston only one week away now and boards 16 days from now each moment in my mind is fairly unstable.  I can go from feeling totally normal like any other day, to getting so nervous I feel like I may throw up.  Earlier this week I actually did make myself throw up (sorry for the details) getting so freaked out.

I finally feel like I have mellowed myself out after a successful weekend studying, winding down my training and spending some time doing yoga to settle my mind (and any linger aches in my body).  I even did some baking today to really be true to myself.

I found this on pinterest last night, (late at night) while I was trying to calm my mind before going to bed.  I felt like it is so true of my life now, and always really.

Run It OffIn other news, my GPS thought I needed a confidence boost during my 6 mile tempo run yesterday.IMG_1220Not only am I going to run Boston next week, I’m going to win and set a world record apparently!  As much as I want to believe you Garmin, I am going to have to call your bluff!  I have no idea really what happened with that and it worked perfectly fine today so who knows!  I just really hope that doesn’t happen during the race.  Oh well, if it does, I’ll just run it off!

Also I found a new yoga for runners routine that I really really like done by Lululemon.  It throws in strength and yoga into one to make sure you are getting it all in, in only 30 minutes!!  Really hits all the good areas and made me feel really refreshed!

Workout Recap:

Strength: resting up for race day (some in the yoga routine)

Yoga: 39 minutes (2 sessions) + 18 minutes I am going to do after this post (another Lulu sequence)

Running: 35.27 miles

This week will be all about nutrition, hydration and gentle (very gentle) yoga!  Please bear with me the next two and a half weeks until boards.  I will do my best to be consistent, especially with the race coming up!!    Thank you all for the love and support through this crazy time in my life!

Trying to be Smart and other tidbits

Today’s training assignment was 8xhills with 3 downhill. I have grown to not despise these work outs as much and was actually looking forward to this last hill work out before Boston(well, last official, every day running in Atlanta is a hill work out). However, I had a discussion with myself during the warm up about the fact that my hip flexor is still nagging me a little bit. On one shoulder sat: “If you just do this last one really hard you will feel so good and be so ready for this race,” on my other shoulder sat: “This run is not going to make one shred of difference in how you run in Boston, unless you push it too hard and really make your hip flexor mad, then it will make a huge difference and not in the I-am-going-to-nail-this-race kind of way.” So I decided to opt for Hill Pickups rather than Hill Intervals. I still pushed them hard, but I didn’t make the goal to see how fast I could possibly do it without landing on my tail like I usually do.

Now to catch up:

1.  After being forced to drink water infused with strawberries and blueberries during my long run Saturday (rough life right) I decided that I needed an infuser pitcher to help me hydrate the next two weeks. It has been amazing and I have definitely increased my water intake (and my frequency of potty breaks).

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2.  My dad and step mom gave Casey and I their time share for one week for graduation so we will be heading to Florida for a week as soon as I get out of this god-forsaken (to be explained later) place called Atlanta.  We have no solid plans about what we will do when we get there but hanging out together and relaxing will be a must and maybe a day or 2 at Disney since Casey has NEVER BEEN!!

VFMLID=57948473vaca1You will find me in that lazy river most of the week!  It is going to be the perfect decompression after the insanity that is the next three weeks.

3.  I am dealing with absolute stupidity right now!  I was not going to share this on here because its just not that fun of news but it got so ridiculous I had to at least share a little.  I bumped someones bumper in traffic about a month ago and VERY long story short I found out from my insurance company today the other party submitted a two day hospital stay claim.  These were the cars post “accident”:

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That’s right peeps, not even a scratch.  After the rigamarole these people have put me through I am glad to find out they have taken it to such an extreme because now I don’t have to be worried at all.  I have a police report, an annoyed police officer and these photographs (thank you mom for telling me to take them) to back me up.  It is a stress in my life that I don’t need at all right now, but I have a feeling it is really going to work out in my favor.  So I hope you can laugh along with me at how ridiculously out of control this has gotten and how comical it is at this point.

So thats an update on me!  Hope you have had slightly less drama in your lives!!

 

Taper (and not a slender candle)

Today was the day for my final 20 miler of my Boston training cycle!  It was supposed to be tomorrow but with the impending rain, I made it today and I am so glad I did.

I started the day with a Green Protein Pancake from Julie on PBfingers.  And yes, I love almost everything she makes!  The darn thing looks really freaky and I was skeptical even while I was dumping it into the pan to cook but it was awesome.  I could barely finish it it was so filling.

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After lazing around for a bit I headed out to the farmer’s market to get some strawberries and I was so disappointed by what was there.  I strolled the whole thing in 2 minutes and headed home, strawberry-less.  After talking to the people I live with, they said that was a new one and they are really just getting started but it was a huge bummer to me.

Once I got home, I decided to quit procrastinating and get on the road.  I had done some hip focused yoga last night and hit my trusty 9 minute yoga for runners before heading out.  The run was about as perfect conditions as you can get.  Upper 50s when I left, topping out in the mid 60s.  There were lots of people out, the wind was refreshing.  Most importantly, I felt good.  I think all the stretching really helped my hip flexor, though I felt it the whole run, the really sharp pain only lasted the first mile or so and it didn’t slow me down at all.  I even was able to run negative splits, finishing in 2:52:59.  Considering the goal pace it always 8:55-9 for these runs, I was more than satisfied with that result, especially when I felt so strong and good at the end!

IMG_1185I pass this sign often when I am running and when I drive to work and I just had to snap a picture.  My other dog people out there, how true is this?!

IMG_1189After my run, I was able to get a bit of work done before the people I live with had some people over to watch the basketball games and I got TOTALLY suckered in.  It was nice to have some actual chill time though and I wouldn’t have traded it.  I will be able to get plenty done in the gross weather that is supposed to be tomorrow.

I got up and went to the bathroom at one point and saw that I got a serious sun burn today…it was barely 60 degrees!  That is crazy!!  But there you see it.  Tomorrow it will just be a tan but right now I am blow away by it.  I guess it is that time again, need to invest in some good sport sunscreen again for the season.

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Hope you are having a great weekend and that none of you are Wisconsin fans.  What a heart breaking loss, but amazing game!!

I Got Problems

I must have done something to make the running gods angry because this week things are just not going so hot.

1.  There is literally a 100% chance of rain here on Sunday.  That was the planned day for my 20 miler but I’m sorry, thats just not going to happen so I will be taking on my final 20 tomorrow instead.  I think I can handle 5 miles in the rain Sunday but I want to enjoy my 20 (well for a while anyway) thank you very much.

2. I have a concerning hip flexor issue.  So riddle me this (and I am about to get my physical therapy degree in like a month, I should be able to figure this out).  I have sharp, stabbing hip flexor pain only on my right side that only happens when I run.  I have pretty much had this since I did my speed work Tuesday.  Not when I walk, do lunges, squats, stand on my head, NOTHING except the first 1-2 miles of my run.  It dulls out after that amount of distance and by the end of my 8 miles today I didn’t notice it at all (unless I was going up a really big hill –> using my hip flexor a lot).  It is sore to stretch but that is about the only other thing that is a problem.  It even made me look like a ridiculous loser trying to run across the grocery store parking lot in the rain.  It LITERALLY stopped me from being able to run to the front door.  Worst case scenario, it keeps hurting the first few miles of my runs and I can get over it during the race as long as it doesn’t get worse.  But if anyone has had anything like this before, let me know PLEASE.  It is so weird that even my PT brain can’t figure out a solution outside of stretching and icing.

*Disclaimer: I am being the unrealistic patient right now that comes in and says “I have to run 26.2 miles in 2 weeks and I have been training at about 35-50 miles a week for the last 15 weeks and no I won’t rest, but make me better” that is completely unreasonable.

Hopefully this little nuisance (sharp, stabbing, awful, grizzly, mean pain) will just go away tomorrow!

On a better note, I made the recipe from the Runner’s World March issue for dinner tonight and it was amazing!

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It has been an overcast, rainy day and this stew was perfect (even though it was 70).  I just really wanted the portabella mushrooms to be honest.  But I was especially jazzed when Kroger had pre-diced proscuitto saving me that headache.  I highly, highly recommend this recipe.

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Runner’s World Bean Bourguignon

 

Happy Friday everyone!  Hope you have a great, relaxing, fun weekend!

WIAW and Poor Planning

Today I realized that my 100 push up challenge would take place on the same day as Boston if I stuck to the schedule. Not my best planning and I also probably don’t need to be pushing myself that hard in the weeks leading up to the race when I am supposed to be tapering. So that mission will be on hold until after the race but I will be resuming promptly upon race recovery! I decided that I am going to spend that time I would be doing the push up challenge doing my 9 minute yoga for runners youtube video to really give my body some love (especially because I have a left hip flexor thing going on right now that I am not happy about)!

Breakfast: Paleo Oatmeal with Bananas, peanut butter and honey (my favorite combo) I found this recipe from Julie on PBfingers who got it from Joelle at On A Pink Typewriter. It is fantastic and easy to make while I am packing my lunch in the morning. I still love regular oats, and overnight oats so it is just one more breakfast to add to the rotation!IMG_1168

Lunch:My go to Spinach Salad with blueberry craisins, strawberries, feta, blackberries and raspberry vinagrette dressing.  Top that off with a clementine and a Jello pudding pack and you have one happy girl ready to take on a full afternoon of patients, including a pool session which was really fun!

IMG_1170IMG_1171After work, I headed to Starbucks as always to study and wait out traffic.  I had a few snacks to get me through the afternoon and my run when I got home.

IMG_1176Dinner: I have really gotten in the habit of making something Monday and living off of it the rest of the week.  I had an Herb Encrusted Pork Chop, Toasted Pine Nut Couscous and Asparagus.  I did have to make the asparagus fresh tonight because I had run out of my previous veggie which happens often!

IMG_1173While I was winding down for the night I treated myself to a small bag of kettle corn and 2 mixed berry fig newtons.  They are pretty great and I don’t have to feel too guilty having a couple of those!

IMG_1174IMG_1175Hope you had a great hump day!

What are your favorite night time snacks (guilty or not so guilty pleasures)?

Short and Sweet

Someone posted this on facebook today and I so loved it and wanted to share it with you all.  This reminded me about everyone else pounding out the pavement and how beautiful watching other people run is, especially after grinding out 13.1 this afternoon after a full work day.

Happy Thursday!!

First 20 Miler in the Books

After an 8 mile run Thursday with some serious lead legs, a typical 5 mile easy loop with the push up challenge after (83 push ups, squats and reverse crunches) I had no idea how this 20 miler would go.  It was warm compared to how it has been, around 73 feels like 78.

I also finally broke down and got a new hand held water bottle.  I got mine before my first marathon in 2009 and the zipper finally broke a few weeks back.  We had logged quite a few miles together but it was time to move on.  I hit the local running store in Decatur call the Big Peach yesterday and picked up this new one.  Mine is actually the pink and purple one but I couldn’t find the picture on Amazon.

Nathan 20-ounch Quick Draw Hand Held Insulated Water Bottle (thats not a mouthful or anything); Photo from Amazon

Nathan 20-ounch Quick Draw Hand Held Insulated Water Bottle (thats not a mouthful or anything); Photo from Amazon

I can tell the company has really been working to make this better since I got mine.  There is a larger pocket that actually fits my iphone with out me squeezing it in there (hence the broken zipper) and I can fit all my gels as well.  This model also has a thumb hole that helps with grip as well as the draw string to make it tighter so I don’t have to squeeze the crap out of it the whole time I am running.  My fingers would actually be a little stiff when I was done a really long run with the old one.  If you are in the market for a new hand held bottle, I would highly recommend this bottle.  It is so well designed!!

My run went beautifully.  I don’t think I have ever had that good of a 20 mile run.  I spent some time last night doing some hip opening yoga and did my yoga for runners on youtube routine that I love before heading out.  I don’t know if it made that big of a difference but that is certainly going to be part of the routine from now one.

The run was split into good thirds that helped me mentally stay tuned in.  The first 7 miles went from my house, down through Decatur and back up the Stone Mountain Trail.  The next 6 miles, I bumped off the Stone Mountain Trail to catch the Beltline to Piedmont Park and ran around there.  There were so many people on this part of the run, there almost needed to be traffic signals, haha.  It kept me so motivated to see so many people out being active.  By the time I picked the Stone Mountain Trail back up I had 7 miles to go into downtown Atlanta and then back to my house.  Having different chunks to tackle really helped keep me going the whole time.

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I am so happy to have that run go so well, it is so motivating, especially with Boston one month from yesterday!

Tonight my friend Allyson is coming over to hang out because we are volunteering for the Publix Georgia Marathon and Half Marathon tomorrow.  I ran this race last year and had a great time.  I have never volunteered for a race before because I am usually running so I am excited to finally pay it back to the running community.  And I am even more excited that Allyson is coming with me.

We are making quite a day of it actually.  Tonight we are going to hang out and have an old school sleep over and make race signs because we are stationed right by my house and she lives on the other side of Atlanta.  We are done at our posts around 9:30 (we are at miles 8-9), so we are going to go back to Folk Art where Casey and I went last week for brunch.  I have to have the peanut butter banana french toast/pancakes/waffles (I haven’t decided yet).  Then we are going to go see Divergent and maybe go to Lulu and see if they have any shorts that want me to wear them to run Boston!

Hope you are having a fabulous weekend and that your long run goes/went as well as mine did today!!

What I Ate Wednesday, When I Had No Food

I so so desperately needed to go to the grocery store today (as evidenced by the following) that I ended up going at 9:30 at night.  Not ideal, but sometimes you just have to suck it up and do it.

I had no strawberries to make oatmeal so I was back to regular old cereal for breakfast this morning.

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Lunch was a hodge podge of things (which it usually is).  I find that I am better off just eating what I can throughout the day instead of having one big thing for lunch.  We are usually doing documentation during lunch anyway so I am lucky if I have time to eat the salads I have been making.

Peach, clementine, carrots and hummus, grapes, yogurt and granola (Coffee Chocolate Chip Granola if we are going to get technical)

Peach, clementine, carrots and hummus, grapes, yogurt and granola (Coffee Chocolate Chip Granola if we are going to get technical)

By the times I was done work, finished going to Starbucks to study, ran 5 miles, did my push up challenge (to include 73 push ups, reverse crunches and 20# squats), and started “making” dinner it was after 9:00.  I pulled my last resort dinner out of the freezer (these bad boys were 5 for 7 dollars last week on sale so I had to pick some up for occasions such as this).

BBQ Chicken Pizza Lean Cuisine

BBQ Chicken Pizza Lean Cuisine

 

I was so tired and out of it the whole time I was at the store, it took me so much longer than usual.  Once I got home and put away groceries I was ready to hit the dessert, hurry up and post and now go to sleep to start the marathon all over again tomorrow.

Almond Butter

Almond Butter

More Greek Yogurt and Granola

More Greek Yogurt and Granola

 

Tomorrow my friend Carlos from my Bourbon Chase team is going to be in town so we are going to meet up for a drink and play some trivia.  It will be the perfect thing to get me through my Thursday and almost to the weekend!

Getting Close

Boston is less than 5 weeks away.  I can hardly believe that is really my life happening!!

Yesterday I got my official starting corral and wave which was just the kick in the pants I needed to bust my rear on my intervals today.

Boston Stuff

I am in wave 2 which goes off at 10:25.  I had no idea where to expect to start so I am glad to be so far up, especially if it is a hot day which is very possible on April 21st (or it could be snowing at the rate we are going this year).  The last corral goes off at 11:25 which is the heat of the day (how much difference will one hour really make, probably not much, but I am excited about it anyway).

I always get so worked up about my Tuesday speed work outs.  Starting on Monday I start getting anxious about it and every time when I am doing it/almost done I think to myself, “that is really not that bad, why do you worry about this for two days!”  Sometimes I am just a nut case I think.

intervals

The even numbered splits were my reps.  I had 7×800 and I do them Yasso style.  My goal is a sub 3:30 marathon so my split should be sub 3:30 each time.  I was able to stay under this for all my reps and really tried to cut some time off the last one.  I only have two more work outs of 800 reps (8×800 and 4×800 the week before the race).  Once I get to 8×800 I start my cutting back.  I can’t believe I am actually this close to the real deal, big kahuna, Boston Marathon!!

WOOOOOOO!

This is What Life Is All About

We had the most amazing (and too short of course) weekend here in Atlanta.  Casey and Scar got in late Friday night so we didn’t do much other than have some dinner and hang out for a bit.

Saturday morning, while laying in bed I decided that I was not going to spend 2 of my Casey and Scar filled hours not with them so I could go run.  I was going to just let this long run go this weekend and no one was changing my mind about it.  Once we got up and had some breakfast we headed out for a long hike in the beautiful weather.

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She wanted to jump in so bad!

She wanted to jump in so bad!

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Cool old mill along the water

Cool old mill along the water

By the end we were all pooped but it was so much fun and there it was not just a stroll on a path kind of hike.  There was some definite climbing going on.  I was unsure how Scarlett was going to do with some of the places we ended up but she just skittered right along making Case and I look slow.

One happy pup!

One happy pup!

After getting home, we showered up and headed for a well earned dinner.  We went to a place in Decatur called Leon’s Full Service and I had what was probably the top 10 greatest meals I have ever eaten.

Short ribs with whipped parsnips (and some other stuff)

Short ribs with whipped parsnips (and some other stuff)

Casey had this huge pork chop with something that resembled couscous but wasn’t quite the same which was also good (but I think I won the ordering prize this time).  After dinner we took a stroll around the downtown area of Decatur.  It had the cutest square and so many restaurants; the area was bustling with people.  We were trying to find some dessert somewhere but ended up just walking around before going and getting a red box movie (Captain Phillips, that movie stressed me out but was very good) and coming back to the house to relax for the night.

Today we lazed around all morning with the terrible weather before going to get brunch at Folk Art which was maybe one of the best brunches I have ever had.  Charleston better watch out, Atlanta is on it’s culinary heels in my book.  We got two different things and shared: chicken biscuit with sausage gravy and over easy egg and this Roasted Pork and Chili Verde thing.

Chicken Biscuit

Chicken Biscuit

After Casey demolished his half

After Casey demolished his half of the Roasted Pork thing

Unfortunately after breakfast we came back to the house, saw a few friends of his and it was already time for them to get on the road.  Every time we have to leave I think it is going to be easier and it just isn’t.  But I guess thats a good thing, if it wasn’t miserable I guess it wouldn’t mean I didn’t love them so much.

After they pulled away I decided I would get my long run in that I had planned to skip after all.  I was so bummed out a run would be the perfect thing and it was just barely misting (actually wonderful long run weather).  I had a 1:50 minute 3:1 run so the last 27:30 I was aiming to do a 7:55 pace.  I ended up pacing that part at 7:37 and running a total of 13.15 and felt really good at the end.  More importantly, I felt a lot better mentally.

Weekly Workout Summary

Running: 37.02 miles

Strength: Push Up Challenge x 3 days (with added squats and abs)

Yoga: Big Fat 0…whoops