Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday Schedule

A double-post day. But I've got to plan out the week.

Monday-Run 3 miles
Tuesday-Core training (and I have to do this! I was handling the longer runs so much better the few weeks I actually did this.)
Wednesday-Speedwork; 2-4 1-mile repeats with a 1-mile warmup and cooldown
Thursday-3 miles (during dance again, I suppose, although I do have a tball team mom meeting right after)
Friday-Core training
Saturday-10 miles...oh, yes, it's here!

This week is seriously crazy...tball practice, TAKS testing, wedding shower at work, Hang Time at church, dance, team mom meeting, Married Night Out, long run, fishing rodeo, birthday party, hubby's umpiring...whew...I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

Somewhere in there, I have to grocery shop and buy some new running shoes. It's definitely time for a new pair!

And while this would make it seem like getting my runs in won't be likely, I think it really means that I just need to make sure these runs happen all the more. I'm going to think of my 10-miler as 2 hours of peace and quiet! And the ice bath afterwards? A relaxing soak in the tub (ha, that will take some serious "mind over matter"!).

Saturday Sound-Off...on Sunday again...oops

I totally meant to post this yesterday, but then we did a rare thing...we were spontaneous :) We ended up on a double date with some friends of ours last night and had a great time!

So yesterday's run concludes my "easy" week. I ran 4.5 miles outdoors. It was a beautiful day, although I probably should have checked the temperature. I wore my long tights because when the kids and I had gotten out earlier it was jeans and a hoddie weather. But I quickly pushed down the arm warmers on my run and wished for shorts. Still, it was great weather for a run.

Right now, my sweet cousin is running her first half marathon (as is her husband, another cousin, that cousin's wife, a couple of friends from church, and a friend from college). I know she's going to rock it! And I can't wait to hear all of their stories.

It's hard to believe that in one month...yes, ONE MONTH! I'll be running my first half! Scary but exciting. Of course, I have to worry about the fundraising part now, for real. I need to raise at least $200 in the next four weeks. I've got an idea that didn't quite gel, but I think I can still make it work. Anyone wanting to run a "virtual run" next weekend (March 5) with me can go to my fundraising site and donate. Any amount would be appreciated...and then we'll all know we are out there running or walking (any distance, anywhere) for the same cause. Plus, you'll be supporting me as I run my first 10-miler. The sound of that alone scares me!

So, here's the weekly mileage report:
Weekly: 17.6 miles
YTD: 120.6 miles

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"Easy" week is up for debate

I am not so sure who decided what an "easy" week in my training plan should be, but this hasn't been an easy week for me. I ran 4 miles on Monday and another 4 today. Maybe I'm taking them a little too fast to be "easy," but it's hard to get 4 miles in before leaving at 7. I'm feeling quite a few tender spots this evening in my lower legs.

I have 3 scheduled for tomorrow evening, and then 4 miles on Saturday.

I feel like I had my best week two weeks ago and am freaking out a little bit that maybe that was the best I'll have. That's the week I ran 9 miles for my long run. I guess missing my long run this past weekend is throwing me off. I know it will be fine. I still have a month to go. Right?

Monday, February 21, 2011

New dessert

Now, I realize this is totally simple, but it's new to us. Here's what we made for dessert tonight...

I'm calling ours triple chocolate treat, but the inspiration came from Pioneer Woman's recipe for Frozen Cappuccino Cups.

Here is what I actually did:

24 Oreos crushed (this made too many and I should have used my food processor)
2 Tbps melted butter

Mix these two together and put in the bottom of 12 foil liners in the muffin tin.

Chocolate ice cream, softened (the small carton, I have no idea what size that is)
About 1/4 cup of mini chocolate chips
About 1/4 cup of the leftover crushed Oreos
A dash of cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix all of this together and layer on top of the Oreos in the muffin tin.

Top with softened Cool Whip and freeze until set. These can be put in a Ziploc after they have fully refrozen. I added a drizzle of chocolate syrup before eating.

I can just imagine all sorts of possibilities! Think of vanilla sandwich cookies topped with strawberries mixed into vanilla ice cream. Or graham cracker crusts topped with chocolate ice cream with chocolate chunks and marshmallows. It's endless!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Saturday Sound Off...on Sunday

So, I just finished my "long" run for this week. It didn't go as planned. Yesterday I spent the day scrapbooking with my mom, sister, mother-in-law and husband's aunt...yay for finishing my son's baby album before he turns 4 in July! However, it made a long run impossible yesterday. And then the wind picked up and I got a headache today. I felt it let up a little and got geared up for a run. I figured a couple of miles was better than none. I felt great for the first mile, but then the heat and wind caught up with me. A week and a half ago, it was in the single digits, and today it's 80. And I wasn't smart enough to get up and run before church...of course, at that time, I was thinking I'd need a couple of hours to do 10. I ended up running 3 and walking one more.

Instead of beating myself up for not doing the full 10, I'm going to look at the positive things:
1. It's a beautiful day and I got to enjoy it.
2. I got to work on my tan (even if it now includes tan lines around a Garmin and a Road ID).
3. Recovery after 3 used to take me a long time, and now it's just a few minutes.
4. Soreness will probably be a non-issue.
5. 3 miles is better than no miles.
6. It's the beginning of an easy week.
7. It put me over 100 miles for the year so far!

So, with that being said, here are my mileage totals in the 1100km in 2011 challenge:
Weekly: 11.7 miles
YTD: 103 miles

Post your miles here!

And since I didn't get around to posting anything else this week, I probably ought to mention Wednesday's speedwork. It was a tempo run. Depending on which training plan I look at, it was for either 3 or 4. I chose a 5K. I warmed up and then started running. I hit 7 mph on the treadmill and hoped for the best. The last time I attempted that, I ran 1 mile at  7 mph, followed by 1 at 6 mph and then another at 7 mph...this time? I did all 3 at 7 mph for a time of 26:35!!! My goal has long been to break the 30-minute 5K (which I did with 29:12 a while back). But this? This rocked! Of course, my next goal is to do this in a race. We'll see...I'm not racing until after my half.

And since I'm a day late on this, I'll go ahead and plan out my week's runs. It's an easy week, according to my Runner's World Smart Coach plan. So it looks like this:
Monday-run an easy 4 or 5 miles
Tuesday-strength train
Wednesday-run an easy 4 miles
Thursday-run an easy 3 miles (maybe during daughter's dance class? Oh, but we have a dinner afterward...hmm)
Saturday-run an easy 4 miles

And there you have it.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunday Scheduling

Here's what's on the schedule for this week, at least according to my new Smart Coach plan:
Monday: 2 miles (but I'll probably do 3)
Tuesday: XT or goal is to do my strength training/core work
Wednesday: tempo run of 3 miles at 10:16 (I'll go faster) with a 1-mile warmup and cooldown
Thursday: 2 miles
Friday: rest
Saturday: long run of 10 miles...yikes! I thought that was still a few weeks away, but this new plan has it this week! I may stick to 9 another week. I just don't know.

I am thinking I can do the 2 (or 3) miles on Thursday during my daughter's dance class. She doesn't mind me running during her class, but I had so much fun watching her last week. So cute! If I don't do it then, I'll try (really, I will) to get up Friday morning and do them.

The biggest problem is I have a scrapbooking thing with my mom, sister, and mother-in-law on Saturday. It's kind of an all-day deal. I wonder if they'd notice if I disappeared for a couple of hours. Or maybe I'll get up really early and get the miles in on the treadmill. Or go late? I hate to wait until after the event because I don't want to take any more time away from the kids.

As long as I do all my runs this week, I'll end up with more than 100 miles for the year so far. How cool is that?!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Saturday Sound-Off

Today is Saturday...long run day. I guess I can quit saying that I ran "the farthest ever" since they all will be from here on out. I ran 9 miles today! Yes, 9! I was tempted to run one more just to hit the dreaded double digits. But I didn't. I only ran 8 last week, so running 9 was pushing the 10% rule already.

I ran the 9 miles in 1:40:57. I'm ok with that. Of course, I'll always wish it was faster. But I ran the first 8 miles in about a minute less than it took me last week. I was really glad to be running outside again. I ran while my hubby was at his umpire meeting and the kids were still with the family members they stayed the night with. I wanted to wait til the afternoon just to be able to enjoy the warmer weather, but I didn't want to take time away from them once they were home. It turned out fine though. Yes, it was quite chilly when I started, and I really wish I had worn my gloves and something over my ears for the first couple of miles. However, the long-sleeved Nike DriFit shirt with the thumbholes (in hot pink!) and my cheap Old Navy fleece vest were perfect and only got too warm for maybe the last mile or so...and even then, not warm enough to shed the vest.

I carried my water bottle with the that thing! My new dilemma, though, is that I need more water. I think it's a 20-ounce bottle, but I am at the bottom by the end of 9 miles. What will I do when I run 10 or more? I'm not worried about the race because there will be water stops and such, but I have training runs before that.

I tried a variety of fuel, just like last week. I had 3 Honey Stingers around mile 3, another 2 at mile 5 or so, and then some beans around 6.5 and again at 8 (I think...didn't pay a whole lot of attention, to be honest). I really, really liked the Stingers. I could feel when they hit without any weird "rush" feeling. The beans are good too, but they were a little chewy in the colder temperature. I tried Gu last week, but honestly didn't feel much of an effect from it. I should probably take a look at what will be offered at the half.

I did rethink my idea of no music on outside runs. I don't like to run with my iPod outside for several reasons: I like to hear the cars/dogs/people around me, I like to enjoy just being outside, I like to think and pray. But around mile 6 or so, I started questioning why I didn't have it with me. Frankly, I was getting bored. If I did have it with me, I could always turn it off. I don't know. Something to think about, I guess.

When I got back, I was feeling a few spots on my legs and thought an ice bath might be a good idea. And while it probably is/was, wow! Nothing can prepare you for that feeling.

I had read enough about ice baths that I felt like I was prepared. I wasn't. I did get the bathroom all warm and toasty. I did wear a fleece jacket. And I did have a hot drink ready...a hot vanilla, which I highly's basically hot milk with sugar and vanilla...the perfect recovery drink and warm enough to keep you warm...sort of.

I don't know if it actually helped. I'm still up and walking. I'm willing to try it again, I suppose.

So, here's the weekly mileage report:

Weekly: 18 miles (oh, if only I had pried my self out of bed Friday morning and gotten in 2 more)
YTD: 91.3

Looking forward to hitting 100 miles this week! Post your mileage!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Things that come in the mail

This week, I've had quite a few running things come in the mail, and I've got to say that makes me happy.

First, I got my World Run Day shirt in. I ran a "virtual run" on New Year's Day which signed me up for World Run Day November 6,  2011. I think it's a neat idea to host virtual runs where people all over the world can participate without having to travel to a race. I also like the idea of a day to promote running, and just being physically active in general. Check it out at World Run Day.

Then, I placed an order from Kelly's Running Warehouse after I got an email from them with a 10% and free shipping code. I've ordered from them before and liked their prices and fast shipping, so when I got this deal, I had to check out what they had. And here's what I found: 

I've looked at some over-the-ear style ear buds a lot lately, and they've all been pretty expensive. But these just use your existing buds, which you just slip into the little plastic forms. And presto! New ear buds! And for about $6! I wore them around the house for a little while and was impressed by how snug they fit. I have had a lot of trouble finding ear pieces that fit my ears well enough to endure a run. I'll give them a test run on Friday.

And then these...some new arm warmers. These are Asics, and with the discount only cost me $9. That's a lot cheaper than most places for arm warmers. I have these same ones in black, and I absolutely love them! Now I'm just happy to have them in my favorite color. With the frigid temperatures even in my garage, I may give them a test run Friday too.

I have one more package on its way. My sister reminded me of the company Running Skirts, and I had to check out their sale section. I couldn't actually see a picture of what I ordered (probably not a wise idea), but I got a purple and cheetah print running skirt for $20.11. And when I get the chance, I'll probably be ordering more from them. They have great prints on skirts and their skirts have some great features. I ordered an "athletic skirt" that has the shorts underneath. I'd really like to try out the skirt/capri combo.

Another snow day

We went to bed last night expecting the snow to come in around midnight and anticipating at least a late start this morning. I purposefully set my alarm a half hour later figuring if we had a late start, I'd need to get my run before school. I checked Facebook and the district's site when I got up and didn't see anything about late start or cancellations...but I did see a local weatherman's comment that we got lucky with the storm, so I expected the was on time...and headed for the treadmill.

However, I wasn't even done warming up before I found out through texts, the news and my husband that we were cancelled. But since I was already there, I went ahead and did my speedwork for the day. Depending on which training plan I used, I was scheduled for either a 3-mile or 4-mile tempo run. I opted for the 3. I sort of made it an interval workout though. I warmed up for a mile (walking/jogging) and then ran 1 mile at 7 mph (which the best I can tell is an 8:34 mile...wowza!), ran another at 6 mph (10:00 mile), ran another at 7 mph...8:34!, then cooled down for a last mile. Those fast miles were hard, but I'm getting there! I really think I can break the 30 minute mark for a 5K soon...but I think I'll wait til after the half to try.

I did think about how far I've come once I came back inside. There was a point when I'd come in from my run, either on the treadmill or outside, all red-faced and winded and have to sit down in the shower for fear of passing out. Now, I can come back in from 5 miles and feel good. Amazing. Progress is good!

Of course, I did just realized that yesterday was Tuesday and I didn't do my core I know what part of today's snow day plan will be. Maybe I can convince the kids that working out with me is fun...I'm pretty sure I can. :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

I'm a winner!

And no, that's not some sort of new mantra. I really did win something! I follow this blog: Running Diva Mom and I won one of her giveaways (and she has a lot!). I won a $25 gift card to this place: Pink Princess, and while it really has nothing to do with running, I'm excited to buy my sweet princess (or prince) something from there...very cute dresses and Easter clothes...and I even spotted some super hero capes I know a certain little boy would love. Just thought I'd pass along this site...check it out.

Saturday Sound-Off

It's Saturday, and after a week like this one, I needed the long run today! And for more than one reason.
1. Being snowed in for four days made me crave sunshine.
2. Being snowed in for four days with 2 children made me crave "me" time.
3. Being snowed in for four days made me bake and eat a lot more than norma.
4. Did I mention we were snowed in for four days?

So, here's my mileage totals in this 1100km in 2011 challenge:
Weekly: 18 miles
YTD: 73.3

The 8-miler was good...hard, but good. I had planned on hitting the treadmill with a movie, but the weather got up to almost 50 degrees with sunshine and little wind. The snow/ice was melting pretty good. I had to dodge a lot of slick spots and slush, jumping over puddles and up on to the curb quite a bit, so it was interesting. Still, I could not pass up the outdoors on a day like today. Made my heart smile.

Despite the crazy week, I made all my runs this week. Still need to fit in one core training session, but I can do that this evening.

So, how did you fare this week? Post your mileage here!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Hot Vanilla Drink

With this being Day 4 of being at home due to the snow and ice, I've been able to try new things (which also attests to how much time I've had to look at recipes online). It's finally not in the teens for temperatures, so the kids and I headed outside this morning for some snow fun, which gave us the perfect chance to try this: Hot Vanilla. It is so simple to make and delicious! If you don't want to click on the link for the Family Fun site, here's what you do:

Heat up 1 cup of milk and 2 tsp. sugar for each drink you want to make. Add about 1/2 tsp. vanilla per drink after it's warmed. That's the basics of the drink, but the best part is the topping. The recipe calls for making your own whipped cream, but I had Cool Whip on hand so I used that. Add about a tablespoon of chocolate syrup and a dash of cinnmon to the whipped topping before putting it on the hot vanilla. Drizzle a little more chocolate syrup and sprinkle a little cinnamon on top. It's a really "pretty" drink (if there is such a thing) and it's warm and cozy.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Trying new things 3

Three days in a row...three new things. First, brussel sprouts. Second, edamame. And third? Polenta. I used the store-bought stuff because, well, because it was an impulse purchase. I had visions of crispy outside, creamy inside rounds of the stuff. It didn't work out quite like that, but I liked it.

I just cut the tube-shaped polenta into rounds. I attempted to "fry" it in a little oil/butter mix. That was a mess and it never crisped up like I thought it would. I drained the butter and oil for the second batch, and it turned out much better! It got a little browning action going. I did not like the flavor of it by itself though, but I topped it with chili from the crockpot (and a little cheese and sour cream). It was perfect! Nice and creamy under the spicy sauce. Good stuff!

I think next time I will make the polenta myself so I can add a little salt and parmesan though.

So, three new foods in three days. And I made pretzels for the first time too. These snow days aren't so bad after all :)

Snow daze

I am so thankful for my treadmill!!! Granted, the garage is still really cold when it's 7 degrees outside, but at least it's not icy or windy. We are home for our second day of ice/snow with a third coming's already been called off. If I hadn't been able to get my run in today, I'm not sure this mommy could have handled another day stuck inside. Luckily, I didn't have to find out.

I used the "new" SmartCoach plan from Runner's World for my speedwork today. It called for 2 one-mile repeats at 9:46...well, we all know that my math skills are lacking so I just put the treadmill at 7 mph and hoped it was close. I had a half-mile warmup, recovery and cooldown bookended by a quarter mile of walking for a total of 4 miles in 44 minutes.

The biggest fear today was whether or not we'd have a rolling blackout while I was running. We've only had one this morning (around 6:30) and it didn't last terribly long (under an hour). They warned us that we could be having them for a couple of days as they try to conserve power. I was terrified that the electricity would go out as I was running and I'd fly off the back of the treadmill. Ouch. That would have hurt.

The run itself felt great. I still have a couple of tender spots on between my shins and calves on the insides of my legs, but they aren't painful. I'll put on my compression sleeves after a while, and all will be right with the world. At least until the kids wake up from their naps. Then we'll have to find some more things to keep us busy as we're stuck inside for another day.

Repurposed crayons

So, technically, they aren't "repurposed" since the purpose remains the same...they color. Still, they are a fun way to use up those bits and pieces of leftover crayons, and the kids can help for most of it. And don't start thinking I'm all creative and crafty. This idea came from my mom, who used to make these either with or for her preschool students (of which I was one).

Start with your broken, old crayons.

This is where the kids can help (and we've actually been working on this part on and off for some time). You need to peel the paper off of them and sort them into muffin tins. We used the disposable foil ones. I know you can use shaped molds as well. Check out Etsy for some really cute ones. We sorted ours by similar colors, but you can let the kids go crazy with them.

Then, put them on a larger cookie sheet for stability and put in the oven at 350 degrees. I started worrying that this was too hot and turned them down for a while, but then they weren't melting. They will be very runny, so be careful pulling them out of the oven. I didn't watch to see exactly how long they took, but I'd guess about 15 minutes or so.

Pop them out of the molds after they have cooled. This didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would.

We have two sets of them...Ryan's and Sarah Beth's.  

The kids are looking forward to coloring with them this afternoon. The cool thing about these is that they color with a swirled effect. These are really great for toddlers who can't hold the skinny crayons yet, but they're fun for all ages.

Trapped in the house = cooking

Yesterday, I attempted to make homemade pretzels. Ok, attempted isn't the right word because they were delicious! I used this recipe: Butter Soft Pretzels. I followed it pretty closely, but I did take the advice of one reviewer and started with 4 cups of flour with the intention of adding more if needed. However, it didn't need more. My dough didn't want to rise, but it worked anyway. I was really impressed with the dough...very smooth and stretchy. I was also impressed with the baking soda/water dunk before baking. It really did make a crispy crunch on the outside. I doused mine in melted butter as they came out of oven and sprinkled them with a cinnamon/sugar mix. I did one with salt, but with this dough, I'd stick with the sweet. They were really, really in, I think I ate 3 or 4 of the dozen I made.

See, don't they look tasty?

I'm sure we'll tackle another recipe right now, but first, we're going to do some crafting. I'm getting all the crafty stuff out and letting the kids play away. We'll see what they come up with :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Trying new things 2

Yesterday it was brussel, it's endamame. I'm hooked! I keep meaning to try it, and in fact, have 3 bags of it the freezer because, apparently, I remember that I want to try it every time I go to the store only to forget about it once I get home. I just boiled it in some salted water and tossed it with some kosher salt after I draiend it. It is so yummy! I've already bagged it up for snacks later in the week. Or day. It's a "snow day" so snacking is invetable. At least this one's healthy.

So, I'm thinking I'll try the polenta tomorrow. After I get to the store again, I'm going to try beets. I am not sure if I've ever eaten them, to be honest. I saw a beet slider on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives last night, and I read an article about them somewhere. Once again, I no idea what magazine or web site I'm thinking of...and honestly, I'm not even sure what the article said.