Race Envy

Good Monday morning to you! I hope you had a terrific weekend! I’ve been getting race envy from seeing so many people on Twitter and Instagram racing these past couple weekends! I have the thirst for another half marathon, but I know I have to be patient as winter is not the best time to run a half marathon. Next spring though, for sure!

Even though I don’t have any major races coming up, I did sign hubby and myself up for the Turkey Trot Thanksgiving morning. I’ve never participated in one before so I’m really excited! It’s a 5 mile run which won’t be a problem since I’ve continued to run after the half marathon in September. In fact, I ran 5 miles on Saturday and it felt great!

NovrunWho was a #WeekendWorkoutWarrior with me this weekend?? I received my Road ID in the mail this week and remembered to wear it for my run. I know my hubby will feel better if I have ID on me.  I ran in the morning on Saturday and then headed to the gym for Group Core. It really kicked my butt on Saturday, more than usual, but in a good way!

2013-11-02 07.22.56I got back into eating a banana with peanut butter before my run. Since September, I definitely have relaxed on running higher mileage. However, since I joined Run Eat Repeat’s Pile on the Miles, I find myself thinking about running more often again. Plus, a half marathon in May isn’t that far away, right?

Something else that will help keep this Energizer bunny going? A TREADMILL! After a botched Craigslist deal, we decided to bite the bullet and buy new. We were all set to purchase one from Sears, when I thought about checking out Dick’s Sporting Goods. They ended up having a better deal with lots of extras! We purchased the Epic A30T treadmill and I know I’m going to love it. It comes with a year of iFit, but I have yet to set that part up. My plan is to get a couple miles in before work most days, especially if I’m not planning a workout later in the day, and do a longer run on Saturday or Sunday. I definitely have been getting the “sitting blues” lately. On Friday, I couldn’t shake this sadness and couldn’t pinpoint why I was feeling that way. I believe it was because I sat and did paperwork most of the day without any exercise. It kinda drives me nuts. So, another reason I am ecstatic we have a treadmill of our very own now.

EpictreadmillSunday morning I ran a little over 2 miles on the treadmill and then headed to the gym for Group Centergy. I am conquering that bird pose, slowly but surely!

2013-11-03 07.07.43We put the treadmill in our unfinished basement. It’s near a window, so it doesn’t feel too closed in. However, as you’ll notice, the walls are bare cement. I am going to add inspirational quotes to the walls with chalk to keep me motivated!

I need your help! What inspirational quote(s) should I add?

My favorite is “Every mile earned, never given.”

Pile on the Miles Update: 7/40 miles 

Have a great week! Do something today your future self will thank you for!

Be social & follow grab your kicks!

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Liebster Award & 2nd Anniversary!

Before I started blogging, I religiously read many blogs. I have been inspired and owe much of my dedication to making changes in my life as a result of reading some great blogs. I also love discovering new bloggers and learning more about them! I was nominated for the Liebster Award from two fellow bloggers, Chris at Mavrocat Strength and Hilary at Getting Through Life. Thanks, guys! This award is just for fun and a great way to get to know other bloggers better.

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Here’s how it works:

  1. Link back to the person who nominated you.
  2. Answer the 10 questions given to you by your nominator.
  3. Pick 10 bloggers, each with under 200 subscribers, to be nominated for the award.
  4. Come up with 10 questions for your nominees to answer.
  5. Go to their blogs and notify your nominees.

My answers to Hilary’s questions:

1. What is your favorite book or book series, and why?

I am a speech language pathologist (SLP),  currently working in an elementary school. Before I switched to working in the schools, I was an SLP in a skilled nursing facility. At the SNF, I worked primarily with adults with brain injuries, strokes, Alzheimers, dementia, and voice/swallowing disorders. I am fascinated by neurology, even though it is challenging. {I’m getting to my favorite book here :)} I recently read Jan’s Story by Barry Peterson, which detailed Barry’s struggle caring for his wife who is diagnosed with Alzheimers. It was intriguing to hear the caregiver’s perspective of the disease, as I have learned primarily of the medical side. It was also interesting to read of the progression of (global deterioration scale) stages from the perspective of Jan’s husband. The true story tugged at my heart strings and made me think of what I would do if I were in Barry’s place.

2. Why did you begin blogging?
I began blogging to keep myself accountable for my work outs and to blog about things I care about. I read many blogs before I started blogging and I thought of many topics I would like to talk about. I also love reading and connecting with others who have the same goals. It really does make a difference! We’re here to support each other.

3. If you could live anywhere other than your current location, where would it be?I’m happy with living in WI, as I appreciate each season {even you, Mr. Winter}. However, if I could live anywhere it would probably be Florida or California. Someplace warm, by the ocean, and beautiful.

4. Did you have a favorite childhood pet?
I desperately wanted a dog as a child, however, my parents said losing their first dog was too difficult and they didn’t think I would take care of a dog. Therefore, I got the next best thing! A guinea pig! My first guinea pig was named Cinnamon and he lived a whole 3 years. He died from constipation (I had no idea you were supposed to feed guinea pigs timothy hay) one Thanksgiving. I hated cleaning his cage, but I was happy to have a pet.

5. What never fails to make you laugh?
My husband and I have many silly sayings we like to say to each other that most people would not understand. He can always make me laugh no matter what. We also like to repeat lines from some of our favorite shows like Friends, Happy Endings (which was cancelled, sadly), and New Girl (i.e., This is worth three bowls of sweet, sweet meth).

6. Do you have a favorite holiday family tradition?
My favorite family tradition as a child was going to church on Christmas eve and singing Silent Night by candlelight. My hubby and I are still working on developing some of our own family traditions.

7. Do you have any special talents?
Not that I’m aware of.

8. What is your favorite quote or bible verse?
My favorite quote is a running quote, “Every mile earned, never given,” because it really speaks to the dedication and passion runners have. Oh, and “Abs are made in the kitchen.” Reminds me to try to live by the 80/20 rule. Or 50/50….

9. What is your favorite App to use on your phone?
Admittedly, this is kind of lame- but Twitter! I recently discovered Twitter as an avenue to connect with other bloggers. I {obviously} had heard of Twitter, but never understood how it was unique. Now I love it! I’m still getting the hang of hashtagging, but I’m getting better! Facebook just seems sort of boring now.

10. What would you choose as your ‘last meal’?
My mom’s lasagna! She made the best lasagna. I’ll have to search for her recipe, but I’m not sure if she wrote it down. It was so good and something I always looked forward to when I would come home from college.

My nominations in no particular order!

Kristen at Medium Roast

Sara at Loving on the Run

Karen at Runner Girl Eats

Kim at Racing Bananas

Desi at A Northern Girl

Ashley at Chocolate Medals

Jess at Run Jess Run

It’s difficult for new blogs (such as my own) to get their name out there and, likewise, I’ve discovered it’s difficult to find new blogs to read too! The best way to find new blogs is to follow others with similar interests on Twitter and click on links from comments on more popular blogs. If anyone has suggestions of some great new bloggers, let me know!

On a side note- today is our 2nd wedding anniversary! I’m such a lucky lady to have married this guy 2 years ago today. 🙂

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What can I say, we’re a pretty hardcore couple.

Have a wonderful Tuesday! Feel free to answer any of Hilary’s questions above!

Intuitive Running

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Fall is upon us, bringing with it those sought after cooler running temperatures. We’re having warmer than average temperatures for fall in WI so far, but as most Wisconsinites know, that could change by the drop of a hat.

Sunday was a picture perfect fall day. Temperatures were in the 60s with a cool breeze. As I was running and inevitably thinking, I thought about how great it felt to run. I left the house, telling my husband that I was planning to go about 3 miles. As I ran though, I just felt it. That “runners high” hit me and I could compare it best to feeling like I was flying. As I thought about how far to go, I let my body be my guide. It wasn’t about a “certain number of miles.” I was concentrated on pushing myself beyond that comfortable running point.

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This got me thinking…why do we apply intuitive eating to our lives, but not intuitive running? Why not let our bodies be our guide for how many miles we do?

I have completed two half marathons, three 10ks, and one 5k, so I understand that training plans give a guide to prepare us for race day. I don’t feel I would’ve been as readily prepared for the half marathons without having a general plan. However, I often focused too much on the number of miles I needed to get in for the day/week, rather than focusing on how my body felt.

Intuition, or rather lack there of, during my half marathon training may have prepared me for race day even more. I didn’t fully listen to my body during training. I focused on the number of miles needed and that was that. I didn’t allow myself to account for the individuality of racing. We’re all different. We all have different bodies that respond to running and food differently. Therefore, just because it says to run 11 miles on the schedule, doesn’t mean it’s best. How can we then, follow training guides without putting our individual spin on them?

It felt freeing to run whatever number of miles my body was feeling on Sunday. I didn’t feel like I let myself down because I didn’t run the recommended XX number of miles. I’m not currently training for a race. Because of this, it’s taken my running to a new level. Running has {mostly} always been enjoyable, but I have found a new love and appreciation for it after running “free.”

I still wear my GPS for most runs. I still care about my mileage and speed, however, I find it doesn’t matter as much as it did when I was in training. I want to keep up my fitness and hopefully pinpoint a spring half marathon as my next goal, however, I’m enjoying just running for fun right now.

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Do you use intuitive running or are you a stickler with the training plan?

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A Goal Without a Timeline is Simply a Dream

Happy Monday! Hope everyone had a great weekend! This week is parent/teacher conferences so I am gearing up for some late nights at school ahead of me. Luckily, I was able to get some much needed rest and relaxation in this weekend!

Friday night hubby and I watched one of our favorites shows- Shark Tank! I love to see what people invent! I’m still trying to come up with some brilliant, innovative idea to get us on the show. I’ll let you know when that happens. 🙂  As we were watching the show, Robert Herjavec said this great quote.

Obviously, the runner in me was screaming, “YES!” because this completely applies to training for any kind of race. I will file this under my motivational running quotes.

Saturday was rainy and dreary here. I started my morning with BTS Group Core, which is a 30 minute class. It’s quick and dirty. Even though I’ve been attending regularly twice a week, it still makes me sore some days! I am definitely feeling it in my glutes today.

2013-10-05 09.30.32Saturday afternoon I hit the mall to do some shopping for my husband’s birthday and our anniversary (both next week, ekk!). I used to go the mall all the time as a teenager, but honestly, I couldn’t stand it. It wasn’t even the holiday season and the mall was packed. People walk way to slow for my liking. I didn’t exactly know what I was looking for too, which made it worse. I ended up heading to two stores and then high tailing it out of there. No thank you. I will stick to my smaller stores rather than the mall from now on.

One of the stores I stopped at was Target. I contemplated getting this Gaiam pressure point massager. Ever since I tried “the stick” at the Fox Cities Marathon expo, I’ve been thinking about picking on of these up. However, I already have a Trigger Point foam roller, so I’m not sure if it’s necessary. I don’t want to be collecting a bunch of exercise equipment that I think is a good idea at the time and then never use it. Although, I think I would use it, so we’ll see. My birthday is coming up….

2013-10-05 14.28.44Murphy has all but destroyed every soft, plush dog toy we’ve gotten him. I know he loves soft toys, so I decided to give it another go and picked him up a soft duck. It had less stuffing than a normal toy, but of course, it didn’t make a difference.

2013-10-05 16.38.33I’ve should have read that smiling face to mean, “I’m about to destroy this toy waa haaa haaa,” because that’s exactly what happened. All that’s left now is the “skin.” Live and learn, right.

I also picked up some fall candy, mostly to bake with. I made oatmeal cookies with the pumpkin spice M&Ms and am planning on using the pumpkin spice kisses in Janae’s Rolo cookie recipe (replacing Rolos with the kisses). The Werther’s caramel apple filled candy I’m planning on just eating. 🙂

2013-10-05 15.45.26Sunday morning I headed to Centergy class for some much needed yoga. I am in love with this class. The instructor is always challenging us to not be comfortable in poses and I really feel a difference in my strength. We do a lot of body weight strength training in the class. I’m finally able to do a standing split, flying warrior, and corpse pose (oh wait, you just lay there for that one ;)).

2013-10-06 07.58.10I had another great run to finish my Sunday off that I will recap tomorrow.

I hope everyone takes some time to invest in their physical and mental health this week. It’s so important! I give you permission to feel good about yourself!

What is your favorite inspirational quote? Anyone have “the stick” or something like it? Is it worth it?

What are you doing this week to invest in yourself?

Keep Calm and Just Run

keep calm

Finally got a good run in last night. As of lately, it’s been all work and no play for this girl. This weekend will be much needed for a little RnR. It felt SO good to run I can’t even tell you. Since March, I have been running consistently without taking more than a couple days off. We ran the Fox Cities Half Marathon on September 22nd and then the Brewers 10k on September 28. I decided to take a couple days off from running this week, which turned into a couple days off from everything. Some days, it’s hard to get home after a long day, make dinner, and then get out there (which by now means after dark). I’m a strong believer in scheduling my workouts so that it’s a non-negotiable. However, I also need to be flexible and give myself a break every now and again!

I’ve learned and accepted that, at times, I need to take a break from exercising. I would like to emphasize “break” and not “giving up.” I don’t need to feel bad about myself or begin to self-doubt. I used to beat myself up and feel like a failure every time I would head home instead of heading to the gym. I’ve learned over time that rest days are needed, no need to feel bad about that. Many times our bodies tell us this information to keep us going, we just have to listen!

Even though I took four days off, it felt like an eternity from what I’m used to running. My body felt good last night and I was able to push myself. Doing something physical gives me that much needed mental break from the rest of the world. It’s just me and the road. There’s really nothing better.

Oct3I look at running and going to the gym as an investment in my physical health as well as my mental health. I’m more alert, have more energy, and can think so much clearer after exercising. It just makes me feel good!

I hope everyone has a chance to hit the road this weekend, not for a road trip, but for running! Invest in yourself, your physical health, and your mental health. We’re worth it.

390608_3025366750665_1157654785_3309870_1578087018_nAre you running or exercising this weekend? Do you ever have self-doubt about exercising consistently?

Fox Cities Half Marathon Recap Part 1

There is so much to awesome running stuff to share that I am breaking up the weekend into two posts!

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Last Sunday my hubby and I ran the Fox Cities half marathon in Appleton, WI. This was our second half marathon, the first being Fox Cities half marathon ’12. It was an exciting, exhilarating experience that I will not soon forget. I had a personal best of 2:02:46 which was 52 minutes faster than last year (yep, it was that bad). What made the difference this year was figuring out the puzzle that is my digestive system. I FINALLY feel like I have control over my body and how I feel during running. Being regular has helped stave off stomach pains and the need for a restroom stop during the run. After the run my stomach felt great! I believe it was a combination of eating and hydrating properly before and during the run that led to my success.

The day before the race hubby and I picked up our packets and checked out the expo.

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Some of the notable booths included a pole dancing exercise program (pole and everything…), Bondibands headbands, Fleet Feet, Run Away Shoes, and Blue Sky Run. Blue Sky Run is a relatively new company that sells headbands, posters, jewelry, and medal hangers related to running. I love the half marathon word collage posters they put together. They will even create a personalized poster with your race/finishing time! Check out the poster I picked up at the expo here.

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I stopped at the a chiropractor booth to check the alignment of my spine. Apparently, the bones in my neck are misaligned (?). Not sure if I agree with that. I also checked out “the stick” roller which felt really good on my calves.

prerace2

The night before the race I laid out all the running gear I needed. I ate a stir fry of chicken & veggies over spinach and quinoa for dinner. I don’t believe in consuming large amounts of pasta and meatballs the night before. That just doesn’t work for me. The thought alone would slow me down on race day. I ate something I would normally eat to ensure no “surprises” on race day. Do what works for you, right?

racemorning

One of my favorite parts of race morning is the excitement from my husband. He blasts “pump up” music at 5am and it really does help wake me up and get me ready to run! The morning was a cold one is the low 40s, so I kept my jacket on as long as I could. The atmosphere was electric and corrals were packed. 5,000 fellow runners took to the roads on Sunday in either the half marathon, full marathon, or relay.

sunrise

It was an absolute beautiful morning with blasting sunshine coming over the horizon (didn’t wear my sunglasses=newbie mistake). I reminded myself frequently that I put in the training and did everything I could have done to physically and mentally prepare. The community support for this race is amazing, with people lined on almost every street. It makes a huge difference to hear someone call out your name with encouragement!

I will be recapping the actual running in an upcoming post. Stay tuned, friends! 🙂

What’s your favorite running mantra? What’s your perfect race temperature? 

Half Marathon Playlist

Happy Friday! Finally the weekend! And not just any old weekend…race weekend! Half marathon is finally {almost} here 🙂

In training for the half marathon this Sunday, a key motivator to my training over the past 5 months was new music. I used to measure my success in the number of songs I could run through and I hated running to a song that wasn’t motivating. Now, I measure my runs in miles/time, but still find that running to music I love makes a huge difference in the numbers I see on my garmin.

I love perusing other running blogs for new music. It’s something I frequently do to keep new music cycling through my playlist. As far as music service goes, I use google music. We had a free 30 day trial and then I decided to continue with it. It’s $8/month and completely worth it in my opinion. I can add pretty much any song I can think of to my playlist. My playlist automatically updates on any other device I use (i.e., my phone for running). I’m undecided whether I want to keep paying for it after the half marathon. I’m thinking yes because I would really miss the great music I’ve added. I used to buy each song from iTunes, but that gets expensive or boring if I bought a limited number of songs each month.

This is the playlist I will be running to during my half marathon this Sunday. Music tends to be very personal, so you may or may not have similar taste in music. I tend to like pop/current songs the most. Oh, and rap music. I’m that girl out there, running and singing to my favorite songs on race day. I really don’t care who hears me. When I’m “in the zone” my body and mind are focused on the race. I sometimes feel like I’m flying; body and mind being pushed by the music pumping through my earbuds. It’s such a exhilarating feeling. Just writing this is getting me pumped for that experience on Sunday!

HalfplaylistMy favorite songs are “Wake Me Up”, “Shawty Got Moves”, “We Own the Night”, and “Magic.” They are guaranteed to pump me up when running! It also helps that I know the words and can sing along. I figure that singing while running is helpful because I take deeper breaths and if I can hold a “conversation” (i.e., sing to myself) then I know I’m not pushing myself too hard. I have to remember to pace myself when I start!

Now, if you’re next to me on race day and hear me, I apologize because it more than likely will not sound good. If this bothers you, speed up or slow down because I can’t promise you I’ll care and stop singing to be nice. When you’re in the zone, you’re in the zone. 

Have a wonderful weekend! I am looking forward to recapping a great half marathon next week. Fingers crossed!

P.S. GYK got a little facelift 🙂

Your turn amigo! What are your favorite songs to run to? Do you like new music you’re unfamiliar with or oldie but goodies?

13.1 Miles of Dedication

FRIDAY! Feels like such an accomplishment to get to Friday after a week working with my speech kiddos again. Though I’m busier, exercise and eating right is definitely helping me not fall asleep at 8:30 like I used to! Yah, energy!

The half marathon I’m running is one week from Sunday (!), September 22nd. During one of my training runs for the half marathon, you might remember me mentioning Debbie. She’s the 61 year old who I had a hard time keeping up with! Debbie has run 12 half marathons and told me that she runs each mile for someone. I thought this will be a great way to make each mile memorable during the half marathon. I want to savor each step, each block, each mile. I am dedicating each mile to a close family member, friend, or someone I may or may not know.

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Mile 1…is for my husband. I never thought he would take up running with me. I am SO proud to call him mine and to have him next to me on race day. How did I get so lucky?

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Mile 2….is for the lady who left us all too soon, my mom. She was my rock, my hero, my heart. I miss her terribly, but hope she is there with me in some way on race day. Love you forever, Mom.

Mile 3…is for my Dad. I have seen changes in him in so many positive ways. He has slowed down his hectic lifestyle and better appreciates the people around him. He is stronger than I ever thought.

Mile 4…is for my brother. I hope he finds happiness and content in his life.

Mile 5…is for my grandma. She’s about to turn 88 and still drives to her cottage and back. She’s spunky and can talk your ear off (in a good way :)).

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Grandma, Me, my brother, my mom, and my dad from Christmas ’11. My mom was confused what her present was….yup, that was my mom, silly as can be.

Mile 6…is for my speech kiddos. They’re the reason I get out of bed every morning. I promised myself growing up that I would find a profession I love. Done.

Mile 7…is for the residents I used to work with as an SLP at a nursing home; those with dementia, Alzheimers, dysphagia, and stroke survivors.

Mile 8…is for those fighting ovarian cancer. Cancer sucks.

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September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness month.

Mile 9…is for those who have ever lost someone close to their hearts. I feel your pain.

The rest are for me to savor my surroundings and recognize how blessed I am to be able to run 13.1 miles. All the doubt, difficulty, pain, tears, it’s all worth it in the end. I’m about to change “I’m going to do it” to “I did it.” What’s better than that?

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Happy dance! Excuse the no make-up. We were camping!

Have a great weekend!!! 🙂

Who would you dedicate a mile to?

Here’s to…

It’s Saturday! So raise your coffee, tea, water, green monster (no? just me?), beer or wine high in the air and repeat after me!

Here’s to…running hills when you could’ve taken the flat road.

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Here’s to…doing it for ME.

Here’s to…finishing strong.

Here’s to…appreciating what our bodies and minds can accomplish.

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Here’s to…completing things we only ever dreamed about before.

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Here’s to…nourishing our bodies with healthy foods. 

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Here’s to…indulging once in a while and not feeling guilty about it.

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Here’s to…embracing ourselves and those around us for who we are.

Here’s to…doing it because I CAN not because I HAVE to.

Here’s to…ME. 

Here’s to…YOU.

Cheers! 

Your turn! Finish this sentence “Here’s to…”