Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Declaration of Run Dependence

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am on the waiting list for a buddy through the group, I Run 4. Until I am matched though, I have participated in my first virtual race hosted by the group and have earned my future buddy a medal.  :)

I signed up for the 10k in the Declaration of Rub Dependence and completed it on July 6. The suggested time frame was the first two weeks of July. I had planned on running it July 3 (I even bought a cute American flag tank to wear), but didn't because the weather wasn't cooperating. And I am glad that I didn't put it off any further either, I ended up having to assist another project at work and work through the following weekend with a 2.5 hour daily commute.

I went to the Macomb Orchard Trail for my 10k so I could do an out and back. The run started out great. With the sun at my back. Unfortunately, the second half didn't go so great running into the sun and I ended up doing run/walk intervals for the last two miles. My total time was 1:14. This was only the second 10k 'race' I've entered, which I actually find a little surprising. I really enjoy running this distance, and definitely need to find some future 10k races to enter.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Veggie/Herb Garden

My vegetable and herb garden for this year is complete, now we just have to wait a couple weeks for some vegetable harvesting to begin! So far, the herbs are looking great and I can begin using most of them right away. My garden is little larger than last year, we pulled out the existing flower beds along the fence and turned the entire length of our patio into a garden. My husband put down the pavers for me (I have no idea why the blue is on the larger ones, but they are left over from when Ford Field was built, so I think they're cool for that reason alone!).

And then, courtesy of Pinterest, my husband built me this awesome plant stand.

Then, to use up some of the supply of wine corks we have, I made plant identifiers out of them.

I like to keep my herbs out of the ground because most of them can quickly multiply and take over. In fact, the dill I planted this year were just seedlings that grew from last year's plant. New for this year is my attempt at growing lettuce, and I need to find something to put my individual planters on, some local wildlife has recently taken a liking to the romaine lettuce.  :(

Monday, June 9, 2014

I Run 4

Through a friend, I learned about the program, I Run 4, where runners are paired with individuals that are unable to run. The runners dedicate their runs to their coaches and interact through Facebook. As soon as I heard about it, I loved the premise of it. I have been running for fours years, and I joke around with my husband that the following quote fits me so well:

I know I'm not the fastest, nor even close to being fast. Despite that, running is my 'me' time, it gives me time to think, enjoy the scenery, and just get outside and feel alive (or indoors I suppose, when the weather doesn't cooperate). And after several years of running, I do notice myself getting restless when I'm not running regularly and after a bad day, even when I think I feel like not running, I know as soon as I start running, I will feel better and be in a better mood. I am extremely grateful that I am able to run and love that I will be able to dedicate my runs to someone that is unable to. Currently, there is ~3000 person waiting list for runners, so it will be several weeks before I am matched but I am looking forward to it. Until then, I will be participating in one of the virtual races the program is sponsoring and beginning to collect racing swag for my future buddy.  :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Weekend Warrior Race Report

Well, the race didn't go quite as well as I had hoped, but I did finish! Five days before the race, I woke up with a sore throat and some congestion. I didn't feel well at all and ended up changing my training days that week from Monday and Wednesday to Tuesday and Thursday and rested as much as possible. It didn't really help too much. My sore throat went away, but I still had a lot of sinus pressure and either a stuffy or runny nose throughout the week. My training runs weren't too bad, but were only 30 minutes long.

So, on Saturday, I got up and got ready for the race. My husband drove me to the race and we walked to the starting line and then to the finish so we knew where we would be meeting up. He took a few pictures and then quickly went back to the truck so he could get out before the races started.

I went to the start line and waited at the flag for my pace group. And waited. There were three different start times based on which race you were running. The marathoners must have started a little late, which caused us to start late. But finally, we were off. The group I was running with included 12k, 10 Mile, Half Marathon, and 25k. I thought the race started out pretty good for me. We were running into the wind for the first 4 miles and then headed south. After about 6 miles or so, I was really starting to feel it and could tell that I wasn't at 100%. My nose was constantly running, and I was repeatedly blowing it so that I could breathe a little easier. So, I made it 8 miles before I started my run/walk intervals and by then, there was a lot more walking than running.  :(  My husband was tracking me through a GPS app and I saw him at Mile 10.

By then, my feet were bothering me again. I had taped the spots that I have the most issues, but my pinky toes are also bothering me on these long runs. Unfortunately, the last leg was headed right into the wind at the end, luckily it wasn't a very long leg, but I did finish! My official time was 2:45.


Overall, I'm so glad that I decided to do this. I'm very proud of that the fact that I did finish, although I am a little disappointed I didn't run the whole race. I've actually looked into races in the next several weeks near me so I can try again. There is one in Port Huron at the end of June that I am considering entering. This would give me another six weeks of training where I can concentrate on fully running these longer distances.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Training Update

My last update before the race - 9 days to go! And I'm still a little nervous about the race, I know that I am capable of finishing the race, but am still unsure if I'll be unable to run the whole race, I will give it my best though! For my longer runs this month, I started running at a nearby trail, the Macomb Orchard Trail, instead of trying to figure out a long enough route through the local neighborhoods. The trail is really nice and I will definitely be going back for my longer runs. It is about a 15-minute drive from my house, but since we live on a main road, I have to drive every time I go running anyway.

My step-sons had their Spring Break in April and we took them on a vacation. We arrived back home on a Friday evening, and I did my 12-mile training run the next morning. It did not go well. At all.  :(  I was so happy with myself for the previous long training run (11 miles) and was so disappointed that this one went so poorly. I did complete the 12 miles but over half of it was run/walk intervals. I'm hoping a lot of it was that I had just gotten back from vacation and because of flying and being in airports the day before. (I'm an anxious flyer and don't eat or drink much.) My last long training run was this past weekend and I did 13 miles, luckily, this one did go much better. I ran 10 straight miles and 3 miles were run/walk intervals. Unfortunately, it was the bottom of my feet that were hurting me and why I started the walking earlier than I had hoped. Even though the rest of my runs aren't nearly as long, I am going to experiment with doubling up on my socks and taping the spot that is bothering me and see how that goes. The final part of my training includes:

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Training Update

Less than two months away! And as I get further along in my training, I'm getting a tiny bit more confident.  :)  March was a bit of a crazy month in terms of my training. We spent a week in Florida and while I totally love warm weather running, it is a bit of a shock to my body going from cold weather and treadmills to running outside when it's 80 and sunny. Especially when I'm trying to increase distance too. I felt great on my 'shorter' runs and ran a few times on the Old Seven Mile Bridge (posting these photos makes me want to go back!):

The day we were flying home was my scheduled day to run 9.5 miles. I knew that wasn't going to happen, so I attempted that run earlier in the week. I don't know what I was thinking, or rather not thinking, but I didn't put any sunscreen on and even though I was running in the morning, I knew I was starting to get a sunburn, so I only made it 7 miles that day. Unfortunately, that meant two weekends of long runs at home in the cold weather, but I did get the 9.5 and 11 miles runs done.  :)  I cause myself a little anxiety before the runs because the mileage seems a little overwhelming to me, but after running 10+ miles this past weekend, I think this has really helped my confidence. So, on to April's training. Only two long runs left before the half marathon!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Training Update

A couple more weeks and I'll be halfway through my training! Eek! Training in February went well. I did stop replacing my Thursday runs with Bootcamp class though. I don't think I was getting enough mileage in and I was always sore a couple days after the class, even a little into my long Sunday runs. It seemed to make a difference once I was back to running three days a week again. I am getting a little restless to get back outside and run though. It has been a harsh winter here in Michigan. As long as it's above single digits and the wind is at a minimum, I have no issues getting bundled up in my warm running gear and running outside. But between the frigid temperatures and the snow we've gotten, I haven't run outside since January for Meg's Miles. So, on to March's training, the mileage is really starting to increase for me, the six and a half miles I ran two weeks ago is the furthest I've run... so far!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Detox Cleanse

I've been hearing about these detox cleanses for a while and decided to jump on the bandwagon. With traveling for work at the end of last year and then off work for two weeks over the holidays, I packed on an extra 4 or 5 pounds. And even though I've been trying to eat a lot better since the New Year and keeping to my training schedule, I've lost about a pound.  :(  Not cool, not cool. Especially with two vacations planned in the next couple months where clothing will not entail jeans and bulky sweaters! So, I know that cleanses are not meant to be a weight loss technique, although that is usually a welcome side effect. I am hoping that it will help with some of my cravings - cheese and anything salty - crackers, peanuts, etc and feeling hungry throughout the day. Then, in the case that I am able to lose a few pounds, I'm hoping that through diet and exercise, I can maintain it.
I was looking at some of the ready-made juices that you can buy, but was a little put off by the price for a first-time cleanse. I suppose the investment may make you more motivated to stay on the cleanse. Searching online, I came across Dr. Oz's 3-Day Cleanse.

Even though, there's a trade-off because of the extra work needed to prepare everything, I did like that I would by buying everything and seeing exactly what is going in each of these smoothies. So I did some research and read reviews; I needed some affirmation that the smoothies were tolerable and I wouldn't be starving for three days!
I decided to do the cleanse on a Monday - Wednesday while I'd be working. I knew I couldn't do it over a weekend with my husband not on it. So, I put my shopping list together, did all my shopping on a Saturday morning for everything I didn't already have and prepped both Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Based on tips I read from others, I did the following ahead of time. I made up nine freezer bags with everything I thought could be frozen ahead of time:

Breakfast: Raspberries, spinach (I would have added the bananas but mine weren't ripe enough yet)

Lunch: Cucumber, kale, chopped green apple, celery (I put the celery in a food processor first, 3 stalks instead of 4, and I did remove the skin and seeds from the cucumber)

Dinner: Mangoes, blueberries, kale, avocado

Then on Sunday afternoon, I mixed up Monday's breakfast and lunch smoothies and they went into the freezer. First, there are no blenders at work, second, I get up around 5:15 for work and try to get out the door as quickly as possible, and third, (possibly most important for me!), I needed to make sure I found these smoothies edible, especially the lunch smoothie, which most have agreed they like the least. And my husband wanted to try them as he's going to see how it goes for me before he decided if he's going try the cleanse. So happy to be your guinea pig, hun!  ;)  The resulting amount of smoothie seemed like quite a bit, so I didn't make the optional snack smoothie, I'm hoping the extra I have in the smaller containers will be enough. During the taste testing, I didn't think either of them tasted bad at all.

Day 1:
I'm not a tea drinker, so I wasn't sure how I would like the switch from my morning coffee to the green tea, but it wasn't bad. However, my plan to freeze my smoothies overnight was not the greatest idea. As I pulled them out of the freezer, I knew my breakfast would never thaw in time to drink, so I grabbed a spoon and packed it. So, when I got to work, my lunch smoothie went in the refrigerator and I put the two 'snack leftovers' in the freezer. My breakfast sat on my desk and just as I thought, around 8am, when I wanted to have breakfast, I was chiseling my smoothie. However, this did cause me to take a while to consume it, instead of drinking it all at once. Like others have said, I really liked the breakfast smoothie and could see myself drinking this after the cleanse is completed. For lunch, more chiseling! I still had a mostly frozen smoothie. And this was the smoothie I was most worried about, it seems everyone complains about the texture and even with using the food processor and blender, I can see what they mean. Between thawing and drinking, it took me most of the afternoon to consume it. And it wasn't even all of it. I drank the 16 oz. container, I still had 8 oz. left. I did notice I was a little tired on my way home from work. Luckily, my husband and I had nothing planned, so I made my breakfast and lunch smoothies for Day 2 and then made my dinner smoothie. And I have to confess that I did munch a little during this, just to chew on some food! I had one stalk of celery and a couple pineapple pieces. I was not sure what to expect for the dinner smoothie with the cayenne pepper, although I do like spicy food, just not super spicy. For this smoothie, I did halve the amount of pepper, but overall, I liked it. I would make and drink this again after the cleanse as well. Then, it was drinking my dinner and an episode of Dexter. Luckily, my husband was kind enough to just have a salad for dinner! And a cup with a lid was a must if I wanted to take this smoothie out of the kitchen!

Before I went to bed, I did enjoy my detox bath, it was nice and relaxing.

Day 2:
I woke up feeling pretty good. I had thought about waiting until Thursday morning before weighing myself again but curiosity got the best of me. I was quite surprised to see that I lost 2.8 pounds after the first day. I know it's water weight, although, it did make sense, with the food I've been eating, I was always feeling bloated. Today, it was a bit of a struggle to drink all the tea, I was missing my coffee! But, really no trouble with the smoothies today, even the lunch one. I had frozen both again overnight and took them out when I woke up. I left both of them in my lunch bag when I got to work and this seemed to work out well. The breakfast smoothie took me a while to consume because it was still partially frozen but I had a late morning meeting and after that, my lunch smoothie was ready to drink. I found I just need to gulp it, not take small spoonfuls. Tuesdays are my running nights so when I got home, I finished the extra container I had of the breakfast smoothie, about 5 oz. and went to the gym. I was a little worried about just eating smoothies for a couple days and would I really feel it while running, but no issues whatsoever. After I got back from the gym, I made my dinner smoothie and then made a breakfast smoothie for Day 3. I still have 2 8oz. containers left of the lunch smoothies for Day 3.

Day 3:
I weighed myself again and I lost another 1.8 pounds. I was a little worried about drinking the same smoothies for three days straight, and I would be sick of them, but I really wasn't. However, I don't know what it is with the green tea, but it was a bit of a struggle to drink it. Maybe it was just that I didn't really enjoy the taste, but I feel a little sick to my stomach as I'm finishing it. I think I'll be sticking to green tea in a pill form!

Overall, I am really glad that I did the detox. I weighed myself Thursday morning and lost another pound, so a total weight loss of about 5.5 pounds. Despite what I gain back because of water weight, this experience really opened my eyes up to what I have been eating and what I should be eating. I've been looking up smoothie recipes and am planning to try some different ones and continue having them for my breakfast. They keep me feeling full and are so much better for me than the granola bars and what not I was eating. I feel better too. And they are convenient in that I can prepare them on the weekends and keep them in the freezer. I'll keep you posted in the coming weeks with how it goes.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Training Update

Three weeks into training and so far, so good. Although, this definitely wasn't the part of the training calendar I was worried about! Since I've been running further distances than what is on the schedule for January, I did up my mileage this past Sunday just so I'm not increasing it so much as I get into February:

Last week, I was in Texas for work and unfortunately, I picked up a cold, so I wasn't feeling the greatest this past week. Luckily, I wasn't congested in my chest at all, so nothing a little cold medicine doesn't temporarily fix. Outside of work and my training, I tried to take it as easy as possible so I would quickly get over it. Plus some extra doses of Vitamin C!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Day 1

Of Half Marathon Training!

I've decided to go with Jeff Galloway's half marathon training, as it is a little longer with 16 weeks of training. It also lets me be a little flexible with my training where I have some extra days to fit in fitness classes if I choose. This past fall, I signed up at a new gym because of our move and I just started checking out the different classes available, so far I've gone to bootcamp and circuit burn classes, and I like both since it adds in some resistance training that I haven't done in a while. So, here's the planned January schedule:

Of course, even for the first week, I can't just follow the plan. This Thursday evening, I plan on going to bootcamp class at the gym. Then, today I just learned of a memorial run this Saturday for Meg Menzies, Meg's Miles. Meg was struck and killed by a drunk driver yesterday morning while out for her run. It is an absolutely heart breaking story. Since I only have three miles planned for Sunday, I am planning on running both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday as part of the memorial run and Sunday as part of my regular training.

So, wish me luck, race day is 115 days away!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

I'm Signed Up

I did it, I went ahead and signed up for my first half marathon! I've been thinking about training for one for a while now, but some sort of excuse always deterred me - I don't want to train for one during the summer, I'm traveling for work, etc. So, as part of my New Year's resolution, I decided to find a local half marathon and begin training this month. I came across an inaugural race not too far from me, the Weekend Warrior, in May. Eighteen weeks away! Official training starts in 10 days!