Friday, August 31, 2012

15 Thing Friday

15 Thing Friday:

1. I can't get enough iced coffee lately.
Normally I don't get coffee drinks because they cost like a million dollars and I can get free (hot) coffee at my gym. Buuuut, I had to get bagels on the way to work for something on Thursday, so I HAD to get an iced coffee too. And then Friday I had a meeting in a coffee shop. So, I HAD to get an iced coffee then too. Duh.

2. I'm obsessed with Peanut Butter Puffins. I just tried them for the first time and I LOVE them. Totally get where the hype comes from and it's 100% justified. And, now I just saw on their website that they have Chocolate PB Puffins. OMG. Must find these. Now.

3. So, this was happening at my gym last night.
Are you asking yourself what exactly you're looking at? Let me explain. That's a guy, on a stair climber, with a HUGE backpack on. Why, man, why??? This was my view during my entire short pre-shinning run on the treadmill. I was going to do 2 slow miles, but when I saw this, how could I??? I mean-- this guy was BOOKING it on the stair climber with a HUGE, heavy backpack! So, I did 2.5 miles in 8:30s. 2.5 shameful miles. I was shamed into miles. Damn you backpack, guy. Or maybe thank you, backpack guy? Jury's still out.

4. Last night I got home from Spinning and watched 2 1/2 episodes of Gilmore Girls. I'm addicted. I love that fast-talking, wacky mother/daughter pair. Love them.

5. My office is a deadzone today. It's like everyone got together and decided to take today off and didn't tell me. It's SO quiet and I have no appointments or meetings all day. It's creepy. Calm before the storm? I'm worried.

6. I can't stop eating today. It's only 10:25am and I can already tell it's a HUUUUUNGRY day. Ok, let's be honest-- everyday is now a hungry day. But, man o' man-- today's it's unstoppable. CAN'T STOP EATING TODAY!

7. MAYBE, just maybe #6 is a direct result of my workouts yesterday. Yes, workoutSSSS. Plural. I was in a mood. And, I'm crazy. And, I knew I wouldn't get a lot in this weekend and the Hubs had to work late and I didn't have anything else I HAD to do and 100 other things so whatever. I worked out a lot yesterday. I'm talking a LOT. A 60-minute Signature Strength class and 2 miles run on the TM before work. 6 miles on the indoor track at lunch. And, 2 miles and a 60-minute Spinning Class after work. Add those up and they'll definitely, definitely result in #6. Anyway- I was beyond stinky and sweaty after spinning. I could legit smell myself. I guess that's to be expected when you workout twice in the same day in the same outfit. Ewww. I know. I'm gross.

8. After said workout yesterday I got a dip cone from McDonald's. A dip cone is totally the same thing as chocolate milk, right? The perfect ration of carbs, fat, and protein to be the perfect post-workout meal. Totally the same. TOTALLY. And, TOTALLY delicious. I already want another one. (See #6.)

9. I know this might make you lose all respect for me-- and I'm totally OK with that-- but I'm loving some Kelly Clarkson lately.
Love it. LOVE it. Not even a little embarrassed.

10. Fall is almost here. I can smell it in the air. College football starts this weekend. Tailgates. Leaves. Pumpkins. Hay rides. Cooler temps. Fall is my FAVORITE season and I cannnnnnot wait.

11. Last night after spinning (and a dip cone!) all I could think about for dinner was PB Puffins. I got home and almoooost poured a bowl and then discovered our milk was expired. FAIL. There may have been a small tantrum-- feet stomping and all. After I realized puffins were out, I figured the next best thing were these:
Cereal. Wontons. Totally the same. And, once again-- I AM CRAZY! But, woooowza. These were GOOOOOOD. Definitely hit the spot.

12. The Hubs and I are thinking about getting a dog. We've been keeping our eyes on local shelter website and and have emailed about a few dogs and none have worked out. Who knew it was so hard to adopt a dog?!?

13. I'm thinking of buying the Hunger Games on DVD. I've been going back and forth in my head on whether to get it or not for DAYS. How and WHY is this such a big decision? It's like $20. Why am I so torn on this? I am a FREAK.

14. I'm re-watching Felicity on Netflix Instant right now when I'm at the gym on the treadmill (the i-pad was definitely an essential purchase!). I swear I watched this series in its entirely when I was in high school (when the CW was still the WB... c'mon-- you remember!), but I do not remember ANY of this! I'm on the edge of my seat and can't turn it off. Noel! Ben! FELICITY!!!! 

15. I could not be more excited for the 3-day weekend. Hurrrrrrry up, 5pm!!!!

I'd love to take responsibility for the idea of "15 Thing Friday", but all that credit goes to this girl. Who said you had to come up with your own ideas to blog??

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Mid-Week Motivation

It's been a looooong week. And, it's only Wednesday. Ugh. My motivation is starting to slip and I'd rather sleep or just veg on the couch than run or spin or anything. I think it's time for some mid-week motivation a la Pinterest. Hey... can't hurt, right?!?!

Pinned Image

Pinned Image
Pinned Image
Pinned Image
never give up!
(I would have tried to site all these, but let's be honest... nothing on Pinterest is the original anything, so I figured it was pointless.)
So hopefully tomorrow when the alarm starts yelling at me at the insane hour of 5am, I can channel this post and remember all this motivation and get up. Here's hoping. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Do what you can with what you have where you are.


This is my motto for the day... week... month? I don't know. A while.

It's been a rough few weeks. With the move and training and the school year starting again, things have just been crazy.

Fall is here. Fall is always CRAZY busy for me. Work gets its craziest. Add to that this year, since I'm teaching my first ever official college class (you can call me professor if you want!). Weekends are starting to fill up faster than ever before. Til the marathon, I have exactly 2 weekends with nothing scheduled that will complicate my long runs.

Long Runs are the key to marathon training. Many, many people say this. People much more experienced and much smarter than me. I know how important these runs are.

Up til now, I have not had to miss a long run yet. I had to split 1 LR into 2 short runs* on the same day once. But, other than that- I've stayed faithful and followed that damn schedule. Don't believe me? Here's proof-- my marathon training long runs, week by week:
Week 1: 13.2 miles
Week 2: 11 miles
Week 3: 14 miles
Week 4: 10 miles
Week 5: 13.1 miles
Week 6: 14 miles*
Week 7: 16 miles
Week 8: 11 miles
Week 9: 16 miles
Week 10: 18.15 miles
Week 11: 19.15 miles
Week 12: 13.5 miles
Week 13: 21 miles

Told you. You doubted.

Regardless-- fall craziness is HERE.

This weekend, I won't have time to do my long run. Period. It's just not gonna happen.

And, it's just about impossible for me to get 22 miles in all after work any day. I don't get outta work til close to 6 most days. I wouldn't even get home til after 9. 9pm is my bedtime. No joke. It's just NOT GONNA HAPPEN.

So, I'm taking on a new motto: Do what you can with what you have where you are.

We can't magically create more hours in the day. We can't not live or make any other life plans just to ensure you have 3+ hours free every Saturday morning. We can't control life all the time. It's just not gonna happen.

Do what you can with what you have where you are.

Rather than beating myself up about it and bitching and moaning and feeling lesser of a runner/marathon trainee because life if getting in the way-- I choose to do what you can with what you have where you are.

Today, I'm running 22 miles. In 3 shorter runs. It's the only way I can get it in this week. Do what you can with what you have where you are. I ran 7 craaaazy sweaty miles before work, with a big smile on my face because I WAS RUNNING and how freaking awesome is it that I have legs that will carry me through all this?!?!

I ran 5 more miles at lunch. And I will (or at least that's the plan right now! Wish me luck!!) run the rest after work. 12 down. 10 to go.

And you know what? I'm OK with it. Is it perfect? No. Is it ideal? No. Is it the same as running 22 straight miles? NO. But, will it have to do this week? Yup. Am I going to get all upset and whine about how my whole plan is ruined and I'll never finish and blaaaah blaaaah blaaaaah? NOOOOO. Screw that. I choose better for myself. I choose balance. I choose doing what I can with what I have where I am... and being OK with it.

Do what you can with what you have where you are.

Long Run by the Numbers

This weekend I had few goals in mind for my long run.

Goal #1: Don't die.
Goal #2: Finish 20 miles. Even if you have to walk. Just finish.
Goal #3: DON'T DIE.

See. Simple.

I decided Friday night to help increase my chances of all 3 goals to do the following:
1. Carb load. Enter Noodles and Company. My love. My long lost love, as after I moved to the same city the Hubs lived in I no longer had immediate access to Noodles. I cried. Ok, not really. But, close. Well, they FINALLY opened one in our town!! I cheered. Really. So, Friday I treated myself to my favorite Pad Thai. Delicious.

2. Nuun.

All the bloggers love them some Nuun. I decided I should finally bite the bullet and try it. I put 1/2 a tab in both 10 oz. water bottles I carry on my long runs. Verdict? Definitely tastes a little different... but, I REALLY liked it! I REALLY, reallllly liked it when I added ice to it. Definitely better super cold. Do I think it made any significant difference? Hard to tell, but I did manage to meet all 3 of my goals, so I'll call that a firm YES. I also did notice that despite the crazy hotter temps I wasn't caked in salt all over my face, so I do think it kept me better hydrated. I'll definitely use it again, but likely just for long runs since it's kinda pricey for my cheap-ass budget.

3. Fall asleep at 9:15pm. On a Friday night. BALLER.

Saturday morning I woke up at 6:20am knowing I HAD to be out the door by 6:45 and back by 10:15am, as I had to hit the road to meet the in-laws by 11:15. I was on a tight schedule with no wiggle room.

Fueled by 2 cookies, I set out with my Nuun, Garmin, and Brooks right at 6:45am.

Mile 1: 9:42
Mile 2: 9:36

I had to stop for an emergency porta potty stop between mile 1 and 2. Not a good sign for the upcoming run.

Mile 3: 9:30
Mile 4: 9:41

When I saw 9:41 beep on my watch (yes, I watch) I immediately started mentally convincing myself that this just wasn't going to be a good run. That it was OK if it sucked. I started writing this blog post in my head telling all about how shit-tastic I did. HELLO! I was only at mile 4! And, 9:41 isn't bad! it's pretty speedy for me! WTF was I thinking? I have no idea. But, I'm glad I snapped out of it pretty quick.

Mile 5: 9:39
Mile 6: 9:25
Mile 7: 9:10
Mile 8: 9:11
Mile 9: 9:11
Mile 10: 9:13
Mile 11: 9:20
Mile 12: 9:27
Mile 13: 9:29

Honestly, miles 5-13 were a blur. Nothing noteworthy. Someone yelled at me that I rocked and keep running. That almost never happens. A beer can thrown at me? Yes. A rabid dog running full force toward me? Yes. Positive words yelled? Never! But, fun!!

I stopped after mile 13 to refill/put ice in water bottles and throw water on my face.

Mile 14: 9:21
Mile 15: 9:33
Mile 16: 9:22
Mile 17: 9:43
Mile 18: 9:36
Mile 19: 9:54

I honestly didn't even mentally note when I crossed into new PDR territory... but, mile 19 was hard. My legs started cramping and I was so, so, sooo ready to be done. I was tired of running. I wasn't enjoying it. I was over it. I wanted to shower and sit down.

Mile 20: 9:47

Somehow my negative Nancy mindset cleared up in record speed and by the time I hit mile 20 I was SO BEYOND EXCITED to be running still. And, running kinda strong. I was amazed at myself and my body and my legs and everything around me. I kinda loved running like never before for a solid 1/2 mile. I loved every step and could have gone farther. But, no time! So, I called it at 21.

Mile 21: 9:27

Total Time: 3:19:38
Average Pace: 9:30/mile

I still cannot believe I ran that far. And, it 9:30s! WHAAAAT?!?!? And, I only stopped twice, both totally less than 4 minutes combined.

After I got home I immediately chugged a BIG glass of chocolate milk, showered and got ready to leave.

At some point when I was running I thought I could be a GENIUS and stretch while blow drying my hair. Whaaaaaat?!?!? That didn't work out so well. Mid-long run delusions at its finest.

I spent the rest of Saturday:
1. Relaxing with Matts fam (sans Matt as he was out of town visiting a friend)
2. Eating far, FAR too much delicious food
3. What's the phrase? RICE?? Well, I got the rest, ice, and compression part... But, I changed the E to a B.
Yup. The newest and best way to speed recovery is RICB. Rest, Ice, Compress, and Beer. You heard it here first.

Side note: Now that I have officially hit a "long enough long run to run a marathon" distance I am FREAKING out. Like, am I actually ready for this thing? I can't even fathom that.

Mind = Blown.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Weekly Workout Recap (8/20-8/26)- Marathon Training Week 13

"Even when you have gone as far as you can, and everything hurts, and you are staring at the specter of self-doubt, you can find a bit more strength deep inside you, if you look closely enough."
-Hal Higdon

Weekly Workout Recap (8/20-8/26)- Marathon Training Week 13:
(Reminder: My actual workouts in RED, what my plan called for in BLUE)
Monday, 8.20- 7.5 miles & 5.75 miles & 4.5 mile walk w/ the Hubs & 8-Minute Abs & 8-Minute Arms {Spinning & 5 miles}
Tuesday, 8.21- Signature Strength & 2.75 miles {Signature Strength}
Wednesday, 8.22- Spinning & 2.5 miles & 6 miles {Spinning & 5 miles}
Thursday, 8.23- Rest miles {10  miles}
Friday, 8.24- Rest {Rest}
Saturday, 8.25- 21 mile LR {20 mile LR}
Sunday, 8.26- 45 minute elliptical {45 minutes cross training}

Totals for Week 13:
45.5 Miles Run {40  Miles}
1 Spinning Classes {2 Spinning Classes}
1 Signature Strength Classes {1 Signature Strength Class}
45 Minutes on Elliptical {45 Minutes Cross Training}
4.5 Miles Walked
{None on Plan}
2 Rest Days {1 Rest Day}

Week 13 of 19. DONEZO. Can't even believe I'm getting so close to the marathon. Craaaazy.
How I Felt:

Body: Really good! After last weeks shin pain I was nervous going into Monday. I thought Sunday's long walk might come back to bite me in the ass, but I woke up Monday feeling good. Had no significant body aches or pains all week (well, til post-long run Saturday afternoon).

Mental: The idea of TWENTY miles weighed on me all week. The sound and idea of it is so daunting. But, other than that, mentally I felt strong. I was excited each workout and never completely mentally beat myself up. I think overall I was mentally the strongest I've ever been this week.

Energy Level: Pretty good. Definitely thought each morning when the stupid alarm went off "AHHH! Can't I just sleep in?!?!?" and would have loved more sleep, but once I got up and moving felt OK. Was exhausted each night by 9, but wasn't too tired during the day.
Hunger: Hunger doesn't even begin to describe how I've been feeling. It's like an out of body experience. Like, I am CONSTANTLY thinking of food and when I get to eat again. it's out of control. Completely out of control. All I can think about is running and food and food and running and then more food. All the time. FOOD.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Good Life Choice

I made a good life choice today. You don't hear these words come out of my mouth very often. Regardless of how frequently it happens-- today, I did in fact make a good life choice.

I woke up at 5am when my alarm started blaring and got right up. Just walking to the bathroom I could tell my shins were not happy. They aren't CRAZY sore like last week (bonus!), but they are clearly not 100%.

So, instead of the normal Meagan post where I now tell you I talked myself into going to the gym anyway, I'm going to instead tell you all about how I made a good life choice.

So, I'm sitting there (literally-- tmi?) and going back and forth in my head like a lunatic. A little something like this:

-I mean, they don't hurt that bad.
-But, they hurt.
-But, not as bad as last week!
-But, last week was a bad life choice, remember?
-Oh yeah. Well, you could go to the gym and just elliptical.
-Yeah, but what are the odds of that happening? I mean- let's be honest. If you go to the gym, you're gonna run. Right?
-Yeah, I guess. Buuuut- you have 4.5 more miles (+ the 20 mile LR Saturday) to get in this week to hit a 50 mile week!
-Buuuuut-- what if you make the shins WORSE? You're already terrified of the big 2-0 Saturday. Do you really wanna make it a sore-shinned 20-miler?
-No, no I do not.

Back to bed I went.


Can yo believe it?

I skipped running because something didn't feel quite right. I went back to bed. I made a GOOD LIFE CHOICE.

Did I feel guilty and did it then take a while to fall back asleep because I was beating myself up a little? Yes. I admit it. But, baby steps, people. I made the choice-- AND stuck with it! I didn't get back up 10 minutes later. I fell back asleep and woke up an hour later. And you know what? It was glorious. The extra sleep felt amazing. My shins will thank me tomorrow and during my LR Saturday.

I'm 100% happy with my choice. Crazy how this insignificant and small of a choice can make you feel like you're FINALLY starting to learn.

You know the phrase you never regret a workout? Horseshit. Sometimes you can. If I had gone this morning I'm about 99.99% sure I would have run through the pain and felt 100x worse after and had CRAZY sore shins the next day or so. I would have regretted that. So, I didn't go. I skipped the workout. An unplanned rest day-- gasp!

Know what? The world didn't collapse. No one stopped breathing. My training won't go to hell. I'm still going strong. I know skipping today's run did more good than bad.

I made a good life choice. I'm learning.  

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Long Run and Dip Cone

Phew! It's already Tuesday! Well, not sure if it's ALREADY Tuesday or it's ONLY Tuesday. We'll see. Today's a busy day at work... I'm teaching a class this fall (in addition to my normal 8-5 job as a Career Counselor) and have SO MUCH prep work to do. It should be fun, though. It's kinda an intro-to-college type class where I get to teach things like time management and how to research in the library and things like that. Should be fun. But, lots of work to do right now. Since it's my first time teaching I feel like I'm a little behind and basically like I have NO IDEA what I'm doing. I'm sure it'll all come together, but the type-A of me is more than a little panicked right now.

Speaking of class.... I can't believe all the local high schools and the other BIG University in town starts school today. Crazy. Summer just flew by. The Hubs and I live very close to the other University in town, so we're basically surrounded by students, so it's been very active the past few days as students have been moving back and since they haven't had class yet, it's been party central lately. I'm OK with it... as long as I can't hear their music inside when I'm trying to sleep (I haven't) and there's no puke anywhere near my house or car (there hasn't been) and there's no stupid pranks/vandalism (there hasn't been)-- I'm cool with college kids being college kids.

Annnnnyway... it's a busy week, and it's coming right after a busy weekend. Let's recap...

Friday night the Hubs and I had dinner at home and then did our normal super-fun favorite Friday night activity: grocery shopping! How we managed to spend $100 this week is beyond me. I mean-- it's just ME AND HIM. How do we have such HUGE grocery bills? To be fair, we did have to get dish washer soap, laundry detergent, and a few other staples like that this week, but DAMN! Food is expensive! Anyway- we ended our Friday with a redbox. We're creatures of habit. I honestly can't even remember what we watched, so it couldn't have been that good or that bad.

Saturday I was up and out the door by 7:30am (got to leave a bit later than usual since we're in the middle of a fall-like cool wave). 13.5 miles. Nothing super noteworthy... except the fact that I averaged a (wait for it.....) freaking 8:54/mile pace!

SAY WHAAAAAT?!?!?! Me???? A sub 9-minute pace for 13 miles?? Woah. I'm kinda still in shock. I did have to stop a few times (2 bathroom stops, 2 water stops, 2 stoplight stops), but hey-- I'll freaking take it! It didn't even feel like I was dying or anything! I BROKE A 2:00 HALF MARATHON!!! It's freaking crazy. I'm trying not to think about it too much because I'm pretttttty sure it's a fluke and will never happen ever again. I'm so optimistic.

Anyway, after my run I got a free (woowoo! Love coupons!) iced coffee and walked the mile home. I'm loving the location of our new house. I love that I can walk out the door and run, be able to finish my run at a local coffee place, and then walk back. LOVE it. It might become a ritual. I'm sure the baristas will just loooove serving me coffee in all of my long-run sweaty glory every Saturday.

A quick shower later and the Hubs and I were off to go to an Art Fair with his parents and cousin + family. We bought 2 pieces of art that I'm obsessed with! I just got the get them framed, then I'll post them. I love them! After the Art Fair we went back to his parents and hung out, ate waaaaaay too much delicious food, and had s'more in the fire pit. PERFECT Saturday. Perfect.

Sunday the Hubs and I went for our longest (& we maintained our fastest average pace!)walk yet-- NINE miles! Wowza! Luckily, I felt fine! I think the lower Saturday LR and the post-LR cooldown walk helped with soreness, so my legs were totally fine. We walk actually flew by and we both were amazed when we were done how fast time went. Love our walks.

We went for Mexican food post-walk and then I only had on think on my mind: DIP CONE.

I was craving this like crazy. The Hubs joked that I was having a "runners craving" which he said he hopes is stronger than any future pregnancy craving might be because I really, really was craving this sucker. I even told the him before we pulled in that I would NOT be sharing, so he'd need to get himself one. Best wife ever right here. Anyway- it was SO good. Hit the spot. Sadly, I saw a billboard a few hours later with a picture of a dip cone and now I'm crazy another one. Already. DANGER.

Sunday night ended with dinner at home and some TV time. We tried a new-to-us recipe that was SOOOO good. SO good. Try it. You'll thank me. Well, I guess you'll thank, her... but, you can thank me too.

Monday was a busy day at work. I got 7.5 miles in on the TM before work and then another 5.75 on the indoor track at lunch. 13.25 miles on a Monday? I'll take it! I did 8-minute Abs and 8-minute Arms while dinner was cooking and then the Hubs and I went for a 4.5 mile walk (with a fro yo break in the middle of it!) after dinner. Excellent Monday. Great start to the week.

I woke up with sore arms today (thanks, 8-Minute Arms!) so I knew Signature Strength was going to be a struggle, but I made it through. After class I did a speeeedy 2.75 miles on the TM in 20:46. I was pretty much dying it was so fast. I had to step to the side to catch my breath a few times. My legs just weren't turning over that fast! It kicked my butt! But, since I can't go to the gym at lunch today, it was worth it.

The Hubs and I have big $2 burger/fries plans tonight after work! I gotta drop my wedding ring off to get re-plated too, so I'll be wedding-ring-less for a few days... weird! Anyway-- happy Tuesday!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Weekly Workout Recap (8/13-8/19)- Marathon Training Week 12

"Running has taught me to be patient, to trust the process, that anything worth doing is worth training for and doing well. It has made me a better wife, co-worker, friend, nurse, sister, daughter, and person in general. I have more self-confidence, drive, and compassion for others than I've ever known. My life is infinitely better since I started on this journey, and I don't see it coming to an end anytime soon."
-Andi Ball

Weekly Workout Recap (8/13-8/19)- Marathon Training Week  12:
(Reminder: My actual workouts in RED, what my plan called for in BLUE)
Monday, 8.13- 90 minutes elliptical {Spinning & 5 miles}
Tuesday, 8.14- Signature Strength & 5.25 miles {Signature Strength}
Wednesday, 8.15- Spinning & 2.5 miles & 6.25 miles {Spinning & 5 miles}
Thursday, 8.16- Spinning & 2.5 miles {6  miles}
Friday, 8.17- Rest {Rest}
Saturday, 8.18- 13.5 mile LR & 1.25 mile cool down walk {13 mile LR}
Sunday, 8.19- 9 mile walk with the Hubs {90 minutes cross training}

Totals for Week 11:
30 Miles Run {29  Miles}
2 Spinning Classes {2 Spinning Classes}
1 Signature Strength Classes {1 Signature Strength Class}
90 Minutes on Elliptical {60 Minutes Cross Training}
10.25 Miles Walked
{None on Plan}
1 Rest Day {1 Rest Day}

Week 12 of 19. In the books. Done. Finished. Only SEVEN weeks to go. Crazy talk.

How I Felt:

Body: Tried to stick to 2-a-Days, but this was also a cut-back week, so while I still got pretty good time in, not as many miles. I think that helped my body feel better. My shins were crazy sore Monday and Tuesday from the LR and the hike last weekend. By Wednesday the shins were back to 100%. Or so I thought. Thursday woke up and they were screaming again. ARGH! Overall, I think it was a perfect week to be a cut-back week and did my body some good to take a step back and chill a bit.
Mental: Nothing really to note.  
Energy Level: Pretty good. Still sleeping better than I have recently, so that helps.
Hunger: WOAH. Back up to crazy levels. I mean... crazy levels. Hungry ALL. THE. TIME. Out of control hunger. Unable to be satisfied hunger. As I type this, my stomach is growling. I just ate. I literally feel like I could eat non-stop. Out of control.

Friday, August 17, 2012


Today's been pretty eventful. It's a New Student Orientation day on campus, which always means lots of new, excited students roaming all over the place. I also do 4 presentations in 5 hours, so it's a busy day.

Thankfully, today is also a rest day. A MUCH NEEDED rest day. See, yesterday I might not have made the world's greatest life choices. After waking up at 5am and feeling my left shin literally aching in pain before even standing up, I knew a morning workout was out. Then, I couldn't get away from the desk for an afternoon workout. I was OK with that. I figured it was my body telling me it needed an extra rest day. Even with compression sleeves under my dress pants all day at work, my shins (particularly my left shin) were screaming and just not happy. 

So while I told myself over and over it was OK that I took an unplanned rest day, 5pm rolled around and somehow my internal mental conversation changed to "NO! You can't take a rest day today. Your rest day is TOMORROW. You cannot take 2 rest days back to back. Not happening. Get your ass to the gym."

<Spoiler: NOT smart decision about to be made.>

So, I went to the gym.

I KNOW, I KNOW. MEAGAN! Stupid life choice! I know.

<Spoiler: Even less smart decisions about to be made.>

I told myself there was a 6pm Spinning Class I could go to. NO impact. Totally safe and fine for the shins. Uh huh. I didn't take into account that I'd get to the gym at 5:20 from work and have 40 minutes to kill before class started.

Now a SANE and SMART person would have just hung around and waited, maybe spent a few relaxing minutes in the sauna or done some stretching or foam rolling. Me? Not so smart.

Despite knowing better, despite even consciously thinking "Meagan, this isn't a great plan" I hit the treadmill. BAD PLAN, MEAGAN.

I know! I know! What was I thinking? Well, I was thinking "I know I shouldn't run. I know it's going to do more harm than good, but hello! You have a certain number of miles to get in and dammit- you have to! it's on THE PLAN. So, man up, Meagan. It'll only hurt a little. It's not big deal. You'll be fiiiiine."

This mental chat continued every step of my run. Every painful step. Sharp, intense pains flying down my left shin. I made it 2.5 miles @ 9:00/mile pace before calling it.

It was stupid. It was unneeded. It added NOTHING to my marathon training. It did nothing for me. It was STUPID.

My shins were more than screaming when I stepped off the treadmill. So, I sat around for 10 minutes, giving them some time to stop burning. I told myself if they still ached this bad in 10 minutes I'd skip spinning and just head home.

<Spoiler: I lied.>

10 minutes later and while the pain might have been SLIGHTLY less, it was still definitely there. But, I told myself "Hey, spinning's totally fine. Hello! It's SPINNING. No impact. You'll be fine. It'll be practically the same as just sitting on the couch. And, you have your compression sleeves on. You'll be fine. Man up. Go to spinning."

So, i went. Turns out, spinning's not exactly impact free. There's standing on the pedals... hello. IMPACT. Not as much as running (duh), but the constant in and out of the saddle isn't "no impact". I made it through. it definitely didn't hurt as much as running, but it wasn't a smart decision either. I should have just gone home and did some RICE-ing.

I KNOW better. I know better. I know I know better. I made a bad decision. I think I just really wanted a good sweat session. I had some pent up frustration from life-stuff and just need to sweat it out. I should have figured out a different outlet and given my body the rest it needed. I know that. Really.

Luckily, no serious damage was done. By the end of spinning, while my shins were still tight and sore, they weren't feeling nearly as sore as they were before spinning. I'm feeling pretty good today. I'm, again, rocking some hot compression gear today and am taking the WHOLE DAY AS A REST DAY. No "it was only 60 light minutes on the elliptical" nonsense. TOTAL and complete rest day... unless you count walking to and from the table with doughnuts on it at this morning at Orientation's Welcome event two times as exercise. I'm planning to do some more ice, compression and elevation tonight and hope tomorrow brings shins good as new so I can do my long run (only 13-14 miles! WOOWOO!) pain free. Don't worry... I PROMISE... if something doesn't feel right-- I'll stop.


Ok. So, lesson learned. Sometimes I make crappy decisions. I'm learning. Slooooowly.

In other news, yesterday was also my ADORABLE and PERFECT nephews first day of kindergarten!!!

He's SOOOO big! I feel like it was just yesterday he was only a week old and took a HUGE poop on my leg when I was changing his diaper. Yes, I just put that story on the internet for the world to see. I seriously considered putting the pic on here with it, but decided I didn't want to embarrass the poor 5-year old too much. Anyway-- he's far too big. I told him he needs to start growing down. He didn't like that. He likes being a big boy. I like him, so I guess I'll just have to deal. Anyway-- GOOD LUCK WITH KINDERGARTEN, C!!! I'm SO proud of you and love you more than the sun, and the moon, and the stars!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Velocoraptor-less 8 Mile Hike

I realize this post is about 4 days late. Hey, better late than never, right?

Anyway- let's time travel back to Sunday. The Hubs and I had talked the day before about possibly going to a local state park Sunday and doing one of our epic walks. I told him it'd depend a lot on my post-long run legs and how cooperative they would be.

So, Sunday morning I woke up and, to my surprise, while my left shin and calf were tight/sore, my legs were overall feeling pretty good. Bring on the park!

We headed to Potato Creek State Park Sunday morning. It's about 20 minutes away, but the drive flew by and we were there in no time. $5 admittance (per car, not per person) later and we were making our way through the huge park looking for the "Mountain Bike Trail". Did either of us have bikes? Nope. But, it was the longest trail (7.4 miles) and was one of the few that weren't "beginners" level. The Hubs and I wanted an adventure and a challenge! No beginners level for us! Plus, with a map that made the trail look like this (see below)-- how could we not pick this one? It's a complete wack-a-doo, random, not-a-straight-line-in-sight path. Sign us up.

We drove around the big lake and eventually found the right parking lot for the Mountain Bike Trail.

After about a .25 mile walk from the parking lot, the Hubs and I got to the start of the trail (in the map above, it's the purple circle with "0.0" marked on the bottom left).

While it was an easy walk to the trail, that's pretty much where the "easy" ended. It wasn't hard, per say... but, there were definite steady inclines and dips and just rough terrain. I wasn't really sure what to except, but this was definitely more of a hike than a walk.

My legs started screaming at about mile 3 and I knew I was in trouble. We still had over 4 miles to go and I was ready to be done. DANGER. By mile 4, I was in PAIN and, worse, my stomach was growling so loud it could have woken up a sleeping bear.

Speaking of bears, asked the Hubs about a million times if he thought there were bears in the woods and he assured me there weren't. The Hubs then told me all about the types of environments different dinosaurs lived in. How did we get to that conversation? I may or may not have asked him about a million times if there were any velocoraptors in the parts of the trail that had tall grass. Come on... you know you remember velocoraptors from Jurassic Park. Those things scared the shit out of me when I was a little kid.

The Hubs informed me all about their habitats and the climates and environments they actually lived in, as well as other nerd-alert Jurassic Park facts. I, in turn, ignored him and kept my eyes out, just in case. For the record, I didn't see any bears or velocoraptors. Lame.

We kept walking and walking... err, hiking and hiking, I mean. Around corners, over tree branches, up steep inclines, down crazy hills, around bends, through dirt and some mud (it rained the day before... remember?). I couldn't really think about anything except HOW HUNGRY I WAS. I took the lead from the Hubs and started walking so fast he joked that I could have taken the gold in Olympic Speed Walking. I just needed to get to the end. We crossed mile markers anytime our trail intersected with another trail. I thought we were soooo close to the end and then we hit mile marker 6 and I legit almost had a breakdown. I was on the verge of tears. I honestly started trying to figure out how I could get some food so I could finish the stupid trail. There was some serious pouting and cursing action. But, I sucked it up and made out way to the end.
We made it! And I didn't even have to eat any wild plants or hunt down a non-existent bear! Immediately upon getting to our car I inhaled the snack I remembered to bring with us (+1 point for Meagan!), but forgot to actually take with us on the trail (-10 points for Meagan!). It wasn't enough, though, so I made the Hubs hit a snack bar and he came back with the best cookie I've ever had in life. Ever. Ok, maybe that was just the delusional hunger talking, but man oh man, I needed that cookie.

So, lessons from Sunday's trail adventure?
1. BRING SNACKS. The day after a long run, hunger is just outta this world. Snacks are needed. Also, a 8-mile hike is a lot in and of itself! Fuel is needed. Got it.
2. Trails are FUN! Even though I was a whiny brat by the end, it was a LOT OF FUN to explore something new.
3. Trails are DIRTY. I had a rockin' dirt sock line.
4. Best post-hike meal? Pizza. Hands down.

The Hubs and I decided we'd try to find more local trails and parks and stuff to explore. Makes our epic walks (or HIKES!) even more fun and is a great way to mix it up to avoid boredom.

So, there you have it. The 8-mile hike where I didn't see any velocoraptors, almost died of hunger and would have killed a bear, had we ever saw one.


Life this week has been much less exciting than our velocoraptor-less hike. Work, gym, food. The normal. Sadly, my left shin and calf have still been crazy tight, despite icing and elevating every night.

I did get a good run in Tuesday (5.25 miles OUTSIDE! Sub 9-minute pace!) and Wednesday (2.5 miles sub-8 minute pace in the morning on the TM!!!! And, 6.25 miles at lunch on the indoor track), but woke up today in some serious pain. What's a girl to do?

1. Rock compression sleeves like there's no tomorrow.

Yes, yes I did wear compression sleeves under my dress pants to work. ALL WEEK. No, no I do not wear pants that hike up this much.

2. Embrace the elliptical.

Is it boring? Yes. Do I want to be running? Yes. Can I take much more of it? No. But, I'm hanging in there. Thank goodness for magazine with articles on Kara Groucher, my woman-crush, and i-pads.

3. Eat lots of fro-yo. What??? Fro yo hasn't been proven to help speed up the recovery of shin splints? You're talking crazy.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

WIAW: Post-Long Run HUNGER!

It's WEDNESDAY!!!! As always, here's a dose of WIAW... but, to mix it up a bit I decided to track my post-long run day (Sunday). WOAH! I ate a LOT. And, I was still hungry. ALL DAY. No joke. So, without further ado, let's do this. And, of course, thanks to the brains behind this concept.

Breakfast: Around 8:30am 
I made omlettes. Mine had about 2 egg whites and a sprinkle of goat cheese. I also had a very small (unpictured) apple that I split with the Hubs.

Snack 1 (Of many. Consider yourself warned): Around 9:30am
The Hubs and I stopped at a gas station on our way out of town to go for a hike and I knew I wouldn't make it without a snack. At 200ish calories, this seemed like a semi-good choice... I was hoping the healthy fats in the nuts would satisfy my hunger. NO GO.

Snack 2: Around 12:45pm
Hunger doesn't even begin to describe my feelings when I inhaled this. The Hubs and I went on an 8-mile hike and I remembered to bring this as a snack, but left it in the car. By mile 6.5 of the hike I was so hungry I honestly wasn't sure if I could make it the last mile and a half. I felt weak and could focus on NOTHING but the hunger. I legit almost cried when we hit mile marker 7 knowing I still had a WHOLE mile left There might not have actually been tears, but there was arm flailing and definite pouting and curse words flying. Woah. I seriously can't remember the last time I was THAT hungry. Retrospectively, I was probably being a BIG, GINORMOUS baby (poor, Hubs!). Regardless, lesson learned. BRING SNACKS. Everywhere. Especially the day after a long run. ALWAYS.

Snack 3: Around 1pm
I knew I needed more than just a measly little 90-calorie brownie, so the Hubs (being the best Hubs in the world) hit the snack bar up and came back with this delicious M&M cookie. Hit the spot. And (more importantly) held me over til we could get to lunch.

Lunch: Around 1:30pm
Hot Box Pizza. BBQ Chicken. I had like 3 (unpictured) breadsticks and 2 small pieces of this pizza. DELICIOUS. Yet, I was still hungry. Told you. ALL DAY HUNGER.

Snack... what... #4? Around 3:30pm
Air popped popcorn while icing and watching Scream 3 with the Hubs. I swear, I shared with the Hubs and did not eat all this by myself. Even though I didn't want to.

Dinner: Around 6:30pm
TJ's Chicken Lime Burger on a low-fat bun (with LOTS of BBQ sauce), small sweet potato with a spoonful of brown sugar and cinnamon, and grilled asparagus with a sprinkle of goat cheese. YUM.

Dessert: 7:45pm
Fro Yo. It was beyond needed. 1/2 SF-Vanilla, 1/2 Red Velvet fro yo with Reese PB Cups. I'm utterly obsessed and not even a little ashamed.

Snack 5 (last one, I swear!): 8:30pm
Almonds with chocolate chips. Enjoyed while watching Big Brother and filliping through a 2010 Runner's World. I promise I didn't eat ALL those almonds. Promise. But, I did eat a lot of them. Just being honest.

So, as you can see-- I ate. ALL DAY. I was an empty pit. I tried to make decent decisions, and while definitely not perfect, am completely OK with my choices. I could have (and definitely have in the past) done WAY worse, so I'll take it as a win. So, in the score of Post-Long Run Hunger versus Meagan, the score is now 1839423 to 1. Baby steps, right??? 

Monday, August 13, 2012


19.15 miles done! Freaking crazy. I honestly can't comprehend that my legs carried me through 19 miles of running. I mean... it's just craziness.

So, I carb loaded like a champ Friday 9:

Some kinda spicy shrimp pasta dish with garlic, spinach, and sun dried tomatoes. YUM. Enjoyed after my all time favorite appetizer: baked goat cheese in marinara with fresh bread. SO FREAKING GOOD. I ate WAY too much of the appetizer and only about 1/3 of my pasta.

I passed out Friday night before 10pm (I'm so cool!), after several internal panic attacks about just how long 19 miles really is. Not really sure why it seemed SO insurmountable, since less than a week before I tackled 18, but MAN! I was nervous and SO mentally shaky.

After a solid night of sleep, I woke up at 6:45am Saturday still feeling more than nervous. My mental game was just not on, but I pressed forward-- body glided everywhere, dressed, ate 1/2 an English Muffin with PB, and headed out by 7:15am.

When I walked out to this forecast I was excited about weather for the run.

Of course, that couldn't actually be accurate. I should have known better. When is the weather actually right?!?!

I wasn't even down my street before it started to drizzle. Less than 1/2 a mile into the run and it was full out raining. Not POURING, but definitely not just drizzling. It was a legit RAIN. And, while the "Partly Cloudy" ended up being "Rain", the temps were spot on, so I was actually on the chilly side while it was raining. Speaking of while it was raining... just how long did it rain on me? Oh... ya know... JUST the first SEVEN MILES.

Mile 1: 9:37
Mile 2: 9:38
Mile 3: 9:35
Mile 4: 9:36
Mile 5: 9:28
Mile 6: 9:24
Mile 7: 9:20

Yeah, I wasn't too thrilled with the rain, but I'm pretty proud of the pace I managed to keep despite slippery surfaces and my less than stellar mental outlook. I literally spent the first few miles mentally yelling at myself for putting myself voluntarily through this. HOWEVER, I didn't, even for one second think about turning around or not doing the run. I think I realized that around mile 7 and suddenly I gave myself a HUGE pat on the back. It was like I suddenly realized I'm much more tough than I give myself credit for.

From here, I was in the game. I realized I hadn't seen anything over a 9:40 on my watch and I was determined to maintain a 9:30 pace. Even bigger? It felt good. I felt strong. I started ENJOYING the run.  

Mile 8: 9:19
Mile 9: 9:07
Mile 10: 9:28 (not really sure what happened here... stop light maybe? Or I just slowed down a bit... I'm OK with it!)
Mile 11: 9:14
Mile 12: 9:04
Mile 13: 9:00
I stopped at Mile 13 to fill my water bottles and use the bathroom. I stopped my Garmin, but watched the clock and was stopped for 3 1/2 minutes. I ate a Gu and chugged some water when I stopped here, too.

Mile 14: 9:09
Mile 15: 9:08
Mile 16: 9:08

I stopped after mile 16 to call the Hubs to ask him to get me some ice. I again stopped my Garmin, but watched the clock and was stopped for about 40 seconds. At about mile 15.5 my left calf started cramping and hurting like crazy. Not long after that same shin started aching, as well. I pushed through, but definitely slowed down those last few miles. By mile 18.5 I was in PAIN. It hurt, but not in a "OMG I TORE SOMETHING" kinda way... just in a "ARE WE DONE YET?!?!?!" kinda way. My legs were rFINISHED and eady to be DONE.

Mile 17: 9:17
Mile 18: 9:11
Mile 19: 9:12
Mile 19.15: 1:37

Average Pace = 9:20/mile         

So, I was supposed to run 19 miles, but seeing as how I'm a complete freak of nature (you know this by now, right?) I knew I wanted to do 19.15 since last weeks long run ended up being 18.15. Freak. I know.

I got home and literally chugged some chocolate milk and got straight into a 15-minute ice bath. Hurts so good. Ok, that's a lie. The freaking ice bath just HURTS. I KNOW it's for my own good, but MAN OH MAN it hurts.

When I was in the ice bath, I looked at my stats for the first time. I was AMAZED at my pace. 9:20! WHAAAT?!?! My fastest LR ever-- and my longest distance! WOAH. I was (and am!) so proud! I pushed... hard. And, it paid off. I was (an am!) PROUD of myself. PROUD of what I did. PROUD of what I put my body through. PROUD of what I'm capable of. It's a great feeling.

Post ice-bath I sticked my legs for a few minutes (not long enough), went to a friends baby's birthday party, had some friends visit (where we went on a long walk, drank some beers, and had some delicious cheese fries!), and then I passed out at 8:30pm. YUP. 8:30pm. I was SO tired. Beyond tired. I woke up at about 10 and managed to watch a little of the Olympics before calling it a night around 11pm and I slept (hard!) til 8am the next morning. My body clearly needed the sleep and I was happy to oblige.  

Confession: I think I might still be on a runner's high from Saturday and I'm a so incredibly OK with that.

Weekly Workout Recap (8/6-8/11)- Marathon Training Week 11

"There are times when you run a marathon and you wonder, Why am I doing this? But you take a drink of water, and around the next bend, you get your wind back, remember the finish line, and keep going."
-Steve Jobs

Weekly Workout Recap (8/6-8/11)- Marathon Training Week 11:
(Reminder: My actual workouts in RED, what my plan called for in BLUE)
Monday, 8.6- Spinning & 45 minutes elliptical & 4.5 mile walk with the Hubs {Spinning & 5 miles}
Tuesday, 8.7- 7 miles & 10 min. elliptical & 6.1 miles {Signature Strength}
Wednesday, 8.8- Spinning & 2.5 miles & 5.85 miles {Spinning & 5 miles}
Thursday, 8.9- Signature Strength & 2.25 miles {9 miles}
Friday, 8.20- 60 min elliptical {Rest}
Saturday, 8.11- 19 mile LR & 3 mile walk {19 mile LR}
Sunday, 8.12- 8 mile hike with the Hubs {60 minutes cross training}

Totals for Week 11:
43 Miles Run {38 Miles}
2 Spinning Classes {2 Spinning Classes}
1 Signature Strength Classes {1 Signature Strength Class}
115 Minutes on Elliptical {60 Minutes Cross Training}
7.5 Miles Walked
{None on Plan}
8 Miles Hiked {None on Plan}

0 Rest Day {1 Rest Day}

Week 11 of 19. In the books. Done. Finished.

How I Felt:

Body: Picked two-a-days back up in a big way with 5:30am & lunchtime workouts everyday Monday-Wednesday. Intense. Definitely felt it in my muscles by the end of the week. Legs tired, but not too sore, throughout the week. Saturday's LR and Sunday's hike trashed the legs and they're SCREAMING today.  
Mental: Felt good! First week in 2 weeks to get back to two-a-days. Boosts my confidence and makes me feel like I'm putting in 100% effort. It honestly wasn't even that hard to talk myself into getting up and hitting the gym at 5am because I knew I was doing my body and training good. Felt mentally weak going into the LR, but after the first few miles felt surprising great and mentally was totally in the game.
Energy Level: Soaring! Sleeping better than I have recently (maybe b/c the workouts picked back up and I'm exhausted by 9pm each night?). Feels great!
Hunger: Not as hungry as usual, minus Sunday. Sunday I had the post-long-run hunnnnnnger and it was not messing around! But, other than that, I felt pretty normal all week.