Saturday Morning Motivation

Good morning!!!  Hope that everyone is up and at it this morning.  Unfortunately, a Friday night concert and a Saturday morning long run don’t necessarily mix, but we’ll see how my run goes this morning.  I’m not expecting it to be stellar, but crazier things have happened.  I just feel tired.

The 7 Bridges Marathon just posted this on their Facebook page and I thought it was so true.  Running is at times more mental than it is physical. We run until we reach the end.  Relentless forward progress.

Go be awesome! 🙂

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Running and Racing Memories

For just over six years now, I have been running and racing. Through running, I’ve met some of my best friends, lost other friendships and gained a better understanding of who I am and who I want to be. I really don’t think anything else I could have ever started doing years ago would have allowed me to do and see all I have other than running.

I got to thinking about all my favorite running and racing memories and some made me laugh, others made me a bit embarrassed, and others frustrated me! Regardless of how it makes me feel, there was no way I would change a thing about it.  Here is a short list of some of my memorable running and racing stories. memorieslogo

What you find on a run?

For a while, it seemed like we were always finding things that didn’t quite belong on the routes we run on. We have seen a cucumber, condoms, a package of meat, a guy passed out, etc.  The one that made us all go ew….a half eaten deer leg?! No deer. Just the leg. That one freaked us out a bit but it did give us something to ponder for a mile or two making up our version of how it got there.ew

When nature calls

I was trying to juggle a family dinner and getting in a run so unfortunately, my dinner was happening right before I was meeting my friend, Christie to run. I thought I would be fine running so soon after eating. Boy was I wrong!! About halfway into our run, my tummy was not feeling good at all. I had to go, go. There was a gas station about 1/2 mile from where we were but with each step, I knew I was not going to make it there. I took off for the near by area. Not ideal but the alternative was far worse. Christie was dying laughing at me as I scurried from one tree to the next trying to find a discreet place. I had broke out into a dang cold sweat. I finally found a secluded place to go, tucked behind a huge tree.  Not my finest moment at all!! To this day, we crack up every time we run near that area.tree-800-234x300

That race! 

By now, you all are probably sick of hearing about Kiawah aka my worst marathon ever. I learned a lot from that race but I never share anything else other than how bad it went during the race. If it wasn’t for Kiawah,  I would have never met Cara. She was friends with Katie and Nathan and they invited her to come on the trip. It was her first time being around all of us on a trip and I’m sure she was trying to figure us out, just like we were trying to figure her out. It didn’t take long and by the time we all got home, it was like she was part of our group all along!! Christine was there too on her own trip with friends and it was also one of the first times we got to all hang out. Kiawah was a huge turning point for our two running groups. We all started hanging out a lot more after that trip!11949437_10206107332536989_8990555650156000488_n

And finally…

The Year of the 12athon

One of our running friends created this amazing virtual race series just for 2012.  It was called the 12athon and runners earned points by running 12 miles on the 12th of each month.  We could earn additional points for adding fun elements to our runs.  There were also fun challenge runs too!  I spent the better part of 2012 running in costumes, consuming hard boiled eggs after each mile, running 12 miles on a .25 or less track, etc.  It was a load of fun!!  546031_3568054154689_220894912_n

This Week’s One Word Prompt: Memorymemoryquote

What is your favorite running or racing memory?  Have you ever seen anything weird on a run?

One Word Prompt is hosted by Lisa of The Golden Spoons and  Janine of Confessions of a Mommyholic. Head over to these ladies and see what other bloggers’ are posting!

Go be awesome! 🙂

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Weekly Rundown

This week has been quite a week!  There have been some running highs and then some moments that left me feeling beaten up.  weeklyrundownlogoMonday -at start: 88 degrees and 46% humidity

I met up with Amy in the evening to get in a few miles.  She had some speed work to do so I just went to be out there with her.  We ran a one mile warm-up then she went on to do her 800’s.  I was feeling really good and was picking up pace for the next .5 mile in and started tagging along with her for the rest of them.   We absolutely rocked those 800’s I ran mine as a progression and started at 8:00 pace for the first one and ended up with 7:24 for the last one.  We walked in between for each recovery.  We finished up with a cool down.  4.35 miles @10:18 pacemonday817

Tuesday -at start: 81 degrees and 70% humidity

I met Christine, Kay and crew to get in some miles.   We had a decent run and felt pretty good despite how it felt out there.  We finished 4 miles @10:57 pace

Wednesday – at start: 84 degrees and 66% humidity

Cara, Christine and I met up to run in the evening.  We ran a route we haven’t run in a while and ended up with a really great run!  We got in 4.1 miles @ 10:47 pace.  I also got to try out my new HR monitor that is paired with my Garmin.  I’m so excited I don’t have to wear two watches now!  My avg HR was 130, max 147wed819

Thursday – at start: 88 degrees and 52% humidity

This was a two part run.  Christine joined my running/coaching group for a few miles.  We ran and walked with the group for 2.35 miles.  Avg HR 113, max 134.  We were doing 6 minutes running/3 minutes walking x 3.  The ladies were true rockstars!!  Christine and I headed out for another 2 miles together.  Along our run, we saw a huge fox running in a field.  At first we we were in awe, then sort of freaked out.  There had been sightings of a rabid fox near where we were.  We kicked into high gear!  2.01 miles@10:52 pace avg HR 136 max 149 (Funny enough, that’s the fox sprinting)

Friday – at start: 72 degrees in AC

Since I’m back at school that means I get the joy of running a mile in my classroom.  Oh indoor mile at school, how I’ve missed you?!  1 mile at 12:00 pace

Saturday – at start: 66 degrees and 94% humidity

This was the best weather we’ve had all week!!  Even though the humidity was high, we didn’t feel it.  There was a slight cool breeze.  We had a route in mind, but then ended up just wandering around for the whole 10 miles.  We had the best run!!  10 miles@11:05 pace avg HR 128, max HR 145sat822

Sunday – at start: 72 degrees and 69% humidity

What a difference a day makes!  I felt like utter crap for this whole run.  I was drenched within the first mile and was thankful that I had decided to wear my water belt.  We always know that the second long run can be tricky.  We had a few good miles in the 11, but for most of them, we just kind of felt sluggish.  Also, we ran a super hilly route for our second day.  Yesterday’s total feet gain, 295…this run? 505!? 11 miles @ 11:19 pace avg HR 130, max HR 147 sun823

Meals

I’m not even going to pretend that we felt like cooking all week.  I knew it would be tricky with me headed back to work for us to feel like cooking after some long days.  We did so great!!  I was really proud of us for sticking to our cooking plan.

  • Chipotle Glazed Pork with roasted broccoli and mashed potatoes
  • Lemony Shrimp Fettucine
  • Seared Steak with chipotle cream sauce and potato and corn hash
  • Penne Arrabiata with Italian Sausage from a local restaurant

hellofresh817How was your week? Anything that you want to share?

Are you looking back at your week too?  Head over to The Weekly Chase hosted by Molly and Mindy and see what other people are sharing about their weekly goals and accomplishments.

Go be awesome! 🙂

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Saturday Morning Motivation

Hi ya’ll!! I have been MIA the last few days and that can only mean one thing…school!! With lots of long days, Open Houses (mine and Hayden’s) and keeping up with all my workouts, I didn’t have much of a chance to get any blogging time in.

I wanted to make sure I got in a Saturday Morning send off!! So lace up, gear up and get ready for your Saturday morning run!!

Our Sole Intent was speaking to me just yesterday!! With my marathon long kind of days this week, it seemed like I was running through the last few days.  
This was the quote with this picture

…running is so much more than finish lines and medals.  It’s the day to day grind of showing up and putting one foot in front of the other.  It’s LIFE training. It’s getting uncomfortable, savoring the good miles and not-so-good miles. Victory and failure…it’s living + loving + moving.

~Our Sole Intent

Have an awesome Saturday, friends!

Go be awesome! 🙂

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Running Role Models

Every day, every where there are a women and men showing up and running their runs.  In the heat, in the cold, with busy schedules…there isn’t an obstacle that is standing in their way to do the very thing that makes us happy.  Nothing that keeps us from the thing that is so a part of us, running.

This Tuesday on the Run is all about honoring our running role models!  I’m a super lucky girl to be surrounded by a huge group of runners.  I can’t just pick one or two of my friends who are my role models, I just couldn’t pick! Every one I run with has a different reason for being out there and a different way that they are special to me. role models

For all those new momma runners, I couldn’t even imagine the thought of trying to add in running with a new baby.  Keep in mind, I wasn’t even running yet when Hayden was born.  I didn’t find it again until she was 6.   I admire the fact that your love and care for your baby but included the love and care for yourself.  You’ve embraced becoming a new mom and your running has become finding you again.  Enjoy both journeys, the motherhood one and your new running momma one.  They are both special.

For all the momma runners, there is a bond that we share.  It’s true.  I understand you and you understand me.  You get that we juggle everything and that every time we step out the door, we have to overcome the guilt of leaving our mom job to do our running job.  We find ways to get in quick runs around family schedules, we try our best not to disrupt life too much, but we also know that part of being a great mom is taking care of ourselves too.   We toe the line all the time but because our families realize how important this is to us, we feel just a bit better about it.

For all the beginning runners, this is hard.  Those of us who have been running for a while, forget what it’s like sometimes to start running.  There is no ease, there is no runner’s high, there is only thoughts of wanting to stop, how long until I can walk or stop, why is there a hill?!, I’m so slow, etc.   There is no joy when you first start running.  What I admire is that you do it anyways.  That you still lace up, head out and run because the prospect of what running can be and what running can do is far greater than the need to stop.  Your heart beats out your head every time.

To all of us mid-pack and back of the pack runners, we can sometimes feel like the forgotten children of running.  There is always that one race that by the time we finish, everything is gone…no food, no water, no cheering crowd at the end, and the post race party is all but done.  But, we don’t do this for those things (ok, maybe the post race beer…). We do this to prove that we can do it for ourselves.  We’re doing this because it’s part of us.  No matter what the time on that clock says, it doesn’t define us.  That number doesn’t tell you how much heart, dedication and love we have for running.

To my own running family, all of you, your support and dedication to running is amazing.  I love that we always have someone in our group to run with if and showing up on Saturdays and Sundays to run, we are all out there together in our smaller groups clicking off miles.  I love that we love each other.  We want to see everyone do their best and have their best runs or races.  I want to be a better runner and friend because you’ve shown me how to be a better runner and friend.  It’s through the strength of our whole group that makes us all strong.

and finally,

To Cara and Christine, my sisters in running.  I loved running before, but I really love running now.  You both bring so much to my life, outside and inside of running, that I’m forever grateful.  I love that you both show up every day.

With in her mix matched running clothes (although this summer, she somehow started matching?!), her YEM socks in the winter, and her stinky camo visor (may it rest in peace now),  Cara makes me find joy in running.  Your ability to just be in the moment when running makes me want to do the same.  You don’t take this all too seriously and I’ve learned a great deal from you.  I’ve chilled out in running and life (a bit) and I’m happier for it.

Christine is the yin to Cara’s yang for me.

Christine is a quiet thinker.   While Cara and I are usually off the chain, Christine keeps us grounded and realistic with where we are and what we’re doing.  If I’m struggling with a run, I want Christine next to me.  She’s not going to get worked up about it, she’ll keep us moving, and we’ll finish.  She’s the powerhouse in our little group.   Christine is unstoppable.  She’s taught be how to brush myself off and stand stronger for it.  I’ve learned to be stronger from her.  thesegirls

Who is your running role model?  Is it someone close to you?  What makes him/her your role model?

For all things fitness and fun:

Go be awesome! 🙂

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Weekly Rundown

Another great week of marathon training!  After last week’s back down, I felt refreshed and renewed for this week’s longer distances and the weather cooperated more or less.

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Fitness

Monday – at start: 72 degrees, foggy and 88% humidity

I had an early morning run planned and ended up being able to run with my sister, Lisa and my friend, Kristen, and her sweet daughter.  We had a great run and looped through the local parks.  It was such a treat!!  We ran 4.01 miles.   I met Christie for Body Pump in the afternoon.  It was a great class and was on the more difficult side, which I love.  I like feeling like I gave it my all at the end of class.

Love my new tank from Target

Love my new tank from Target

Tuesday – at start: 79 degrees, post storm and  65% humidity

Christine and I met up with our friend, Kay’s running group.  I had to run 4.22 miles to hit 900 miles for the year!  We had a decent run despite the heat and humidity.  900 miles 2

Wednesday – at start: 84 degrees, 37% humidity

The weather was amazing for our evening run!  Christine and I met to run a local trail at Hamilton Lakes.  We ran 4.11 miles @10:33 pace.  We even saw our friend, Nathan out there who was finishing up his run.  wedrun

Thursday -at start: 66 degrees, 83% humidity

I was supposed to meet Christie in the morning, but totally overslept.  I guess I needed it?!  So I ran a quick 4 miler by myself around my neighborhood.  I usually take one day and it run it as a speed workout so this morning was the day.  I got in 4.15 miles @9:28 pace.  I ran it as a 3 mile progression run (Fast, faster, fastest) with a one mile faster.  I nailed it!!  I ran 10:21 the first mile, followed by 9:40 for my faster mile and finished with 8:19 for my fastest mile.  My last mile was back at 9:33.  I was so pleased with how that one went.

thursdayrunaugThursday afternoon: at start: 84 degrees, 37% humidity

I got an additional 2.25 miles in with my coaching group!  These ladies are doing amazing.  We ran 5 minutes and walked 3  x 3.

Friday – One mile rest day!!  I so needed it!

Saturday -at start: 70 degrees, 83% humidity

A few of us met to run in the morning.  Christine and I had 9 miles for our first long run of the weekend.  We broke it up into 2 smaller loops.  The 5 of us all ran together for the first 5 miles.  Kristen headed home to finish her miles back to her house.  The rest of us headed back another mile to our cars to grab water and finish with our second loop of 3 miles.   This was a hilly, hilly route.  I had no one to blame but myself; I mapped it. We gained 400+ feet over the 9 miles?!  It was rough and by the last two miles, we were done.  We finished the 9 miles @11:02.  Avg HR 124

Saturday Night – My family and Keith and Christine volunteered for a local afternoon 5K, the Retro Run.  We were in charge of the first water stop and 3 turns along the course.  We had a great time cheering on the runners for a steamy race!  We were drenched just standing out there; couldn’t imagine actually running it!  retrorunvolunteer

Sunday -at start: 68 degrees, 94% humidity

Long run part two.  A bigger group of us all met to run.  Everyone broke up into smaller groups to run different loops.  We had a huge range of miles between us all.  I had 10 miles to run.  We ran them in smaller loops again today.  We called it 2 2’s and 2 3’s coming back to the car each time for water.  It works well for us to do that for our second day run.  Mentally, I’m able to break the miles down easier that way.  Christine, Cara and I ran our first 2 miler then refueled and were about a mile into our first 3 and our friend, Amy caught up to us.  The four of us ran together back to the cars.  We had 5 miles down, 5 more to go!  Amy and I hung together for the next 5 miles.  We found a great pace and just ticked off the miles.  I finished 10 miles @ 10:37 pace overall with an avg HR 129.  I was stoked!  sundayrunaug

Total weekly miles: 38.87

2015 Year to Date Miles: 930.64 on my way to 1500

Meal Plan

Good food was every where this week!!  We had some great meals from Hello Fresh and we had one girls’ day lunch this week which was such a treat!

  • Peach and Prosciutto Flatbread
  • Layered Vegetarian Enchiladas
  • An awesome Bento Box (sushi, tempura veggies, Hibachi chicken, fried rice and salad)
  • Lemongrass Chicken skewers
  • Za’Tar Pita Burgers with zucchini fries

hellofreshaug10

How was your week? Anything that you want to share?

Are you looking back at your week too?  Head over to The Weekly Chase hosted by Molly and Mindy and see what other people are sharing about their weekly goals and accomplishments.

Go be awesome! 🙂

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Weekly Fitness and Meal Plan

It’s Sunday and for this Sunday that means too things: planning out my week and school tomorrow!! Eeek!! Last day of summer vacation!

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Week 7 of Marathon Training
Fitness

Monday – I’ll most likely go back to making Mondays one mile days due to time. I’m hoping to leave school in time to make it to BodyPump in the afternoon.

Tuesday – 4 miles

Wednesday – 4 miles

Thursday – Today will be tricky. I have my open house, Hayden’s Open House and coaching. I’m not sure how I’ll juggle all that but it’ll sort itself out. Going for at least a mile to keep my streak up!

Friday – one mile (maybe more if needed)

Saturday – 10 miles

Sunday – 11 miles. Hitting double digits now for both days on the weekend.

Total miles: 32 but probably 35-36

Meal Planning

We picked some yummy dishes this week!!

  • Lemony Shrimp Linguine
  • Tex Mex Risotto
  • Seared Steak with a chipotle sauce

Thursday will probably be take out since we have a full schedule. I may grab salads from Panera on my way home. Try to keep it healthy and fresh.

What’s on your fitness plan?  How has your training been going?  Any yummy meals planned?

Check out other bloggers’ Fitness and Meal Plans every Sunday at Mommy Run Fast and Fitness, Health and Happiness.

Go be awesome! 🙂

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Saturday Morning Motivation

Good morning, y’all!! Hope your morning is as beautiful as the one we have here in NC! A little bit cooler temps the last few days have helped me feel better about running in the summer.  But, I’m pretty sure summer isn’t done with us yet.

For this morning’s motivation, I found a gem on Facebook yesterday!! It made me laugh and it’s fairly light-hearted. I’m hoping it makes you laugh too. We need a little laugh sometimes to just clear the air.


Race Addict posted it on her page and I loved it!

Have a fabulous Saturday, friends!

Go be awesome! 🙂

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Tips for Starting A Run Streak

Back when I started my run streak, I joined in with a run every day in May Challenge which I then combined with a Runners’ World Run Streak challenge where we had to run at least a mile from Memorial Day to Labor Day.  I was already running 4 days a week, so jumping up to 7 days a week didn’t seem unreasonable.  And at the time, I thought it was only until Labor Day or so I thought…

runstreaktips

I’ve had several people as me how I maintain my run streak so well.  Reflecting now on it, I realize that for me there are a few things that go into maintaining it smartly.  It really more than just running every day. If you are thinking about starting a run streak (or in the middle of one and need some suggestions on how to keep going), here are some tips!  In actuality, these could apply to any of us at any point of our running…

**I am just giving information based on my experience.  I’m not for or against starting a run streak.  It’s a personal decision for each person, just like every goal.  Run streaking is not for everyone.

Use one mile days as “rest” days Most people think that you have to run a bunch of miles daily to feel like a true run streaker.  That’s not the case at all.  In order to maintain an “official” run streak, you must run at least one mile daily.  You can break it up into smaller pieces, but by the end of a day, you have to have one mile logged.  I use my mile days as “rest” days and run them a lot slower than I run anything the rest of the week.  There are variations of streaks:  Move a mile every day (running or walking)

Listen to your bodyAlways pay attention to how you are feeling.  There are different ways you can adjust your schedule for run streaking.  When I first started, I would run my mile days at a really quick speed thinking it’s just a mile.  I learned quickly that my body was not having it.  As soon as I slowed down, I felt a lot better.  Since the goal is just to run at least a mile every day, add in more mile rest days if you are feeling tired.  Just make sure that you are running them slowly so they become a recovery run.  I’m also careful to notice any pain or weird feelings.  I’ve been fortunate to not have any thing in the 2+ years I’ve been streaking, but I’ve always said my run streak will not take me out of running.  I’d forgo the streak to stay running and injury free.  Be prepared to make that decision.

Be creativeSneaking in a one mile run can be tricky when work, vacation and life get in the way!  Look for ways to fit in a mile either in it’s entirety or by breaking it up.  Fridays for me are the toughest.  When I first started, I was leaving my mile until post work and I was having the hardest time getting them in.  If we went out to dinner or I met other teachers for happy hour, I ran a bunch of miles way too late.  I learned to run them in the mornings, around my house in my pjs.  It works and I’ve been doing it for a while.  If you need other suggestions on ways to be creative, check out a post I wrote a while back.

Set small goalsWhen I first started, my goal was to run until the end of May, 31 days.  Then I added in the Runner’s World Challenge, so my goal became to run until Labor Day, it was  around 125 days total.  I didn’t want to set a huge day goal because I thought I’d be setting myself up for failure or injury.  I also thought that by setting too high of a goal, I’d be more likely to run through aches and pains to meet that goal.  I did not want to do that!  I’m currently at day 836 and my goal is just to keep it going day by day.  A goal to get to 1,000 days would be awesome, but I have to…

Be realistic1,000 days is closing in on 3 years.  That’s a long time!   Just like anything in life, I don’t where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing by next May?!  I have an idea, but to say that I’ll still be run streaking, so much can happen.  I just don’t know.  I have to keep it real and be okay with something that might end my streak.  You can’t get hung up on hanging on to something when all the signs are telling you otherwise.  I always think I’ll know when it’s time to end my streak.  It will speak loudly to me!

Are you a run streaker?  Have you ever been a run streaker or thinking of starting one? 

For even more Friday fitness love hop over to:

Go be awesome! 🙂

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The Voices are Silent

About this time last year is when I was feeling beaten up, tired, and running was becoming a chore rather than something I loved to do.  I was constantly battling with feelings of defeat.  I was beating myself up on most of my runs and I started to doubt myself.  maf maf baby

I made a huge decision in regards to my running and I haven’t looked back since.  I realized that I needed to change my approach to running and find a way that running and training works for me or I was going to burn myself out.  That’s when I switched and started heart rate training (MAF Method), I gave up on doing traditional speed work (unless I felt like it) and just ran.  It was huge change, especially when I did it right in the middle of marathon training.  I went on to finish my training that way for City of Oaks Marathon and continued with it straight through to Gasparilla and Tobacco Road Marathon.

Where I started mentally and physically with at the beginning of training for City of Oaks and where I ended with Tobacco Road were like night and day.  I was back and feeling amazing!

So where am I now with it?

I’m still with it about 95% of my miles.  I wear my heart rate monitor for 5 out of my 7 days of running.  I give myself 2 days off, one on my mile “rest” day and maybe one other day when I just want to run by feel vs by heart rate.  Those days usually are my speedier days of running, but I’m not going all out either.  Conservatively fast, I call it.

What has it done for me as a runner physically?

The benefits of it have far out weighed any of the negatives.  Sure running every single run at the same HR pace can become monotonous, but luckily, I’m running with friends for most of my runs so I hardly notice it.  On days were I let it fly, I feel amazing.  I can run at higher speeds with a lower heart rate and it feels awesome!!  No yucky pucky feeling.  I’m efficiently burning fat for fuel.  I haven’t had to eat any kind of nutrition on any long runs in ages and my tummy is happy for that!  Proof that I’m burning fat?  I had a body analysis done in January and again in July.  Over the course of those 6 months, my weight stayed basically the same (gained a pound, but my July weigh-in was after a week vacation at the beach, I’ll take it!) but I gained 5lbs. of muscle, which means I had to have lost fat at some point and replaced it with muscle in order to stay the same weight.   (To be fair too, our diet also changed significantly from January to July too with the addition of Hello Fresh.  So that’s just an added bonus!)

What has it done for me mentally as a runner?

Health benefits aside, mentally it has given me so much confidence.  The voices that created negativity, doubt and fear are silent.  They don’t talk to me any more.  Once I realized that I wasn’t going to try and make every race my fastest or a PR,  those voices stopped. They were replaced with voices of joy, peace, and contentment.  And my goals?  They have reached higher than they did when I limited myself to just wanting to be faster.  Now, I love doing challenge races with crazy amounts of miles, picking ultra distances and not being scared of them and finding other ways to enjoy running without having the wear and tear of racing everything.  Thank goodness for pacing!  I run races with a real smile on my face not just the one I would muster for the camera.  I’m having a blast out there!  silencequoteThe negatives?

It takes tough skin to be a heart rate training runner.  You have to be really sure of what kind of runner you are.  Other runners sometimes don’t get it and that’s okay.  It doesn’t have to make sense to them to be right for me.  Those are the only voices that I have to silence now.  It’s easier to ignore those than an internal dialogue any day.

Where am I going now with my running?

Good question!  I’m sticking with this path for quite a bit longer through 7 Bridges Marathon and Crooked Road.  I don’t really see me deciding by next year to start changing anything too dramatically.  We already have some big back to back distance races in the works so I’ll need to maintain my endurance vs speed for those.  I’m just enjoying running too much to want to change anything!  It’s nice being content with my running.   It makes me happy.

This Week’s One Word Prompt is Silent.

How do you keep those voices of negativity and doubt silent?  Have you made any big changes in your running?

One Word Prompt is hosted by Lisa of The Golden Spoons and  Janine of Confessions of a Mommyholic. Head over to these ladies and see what other bloggers’ are posting!

Go be awesome! 🙂

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