Last Day Of Work

Goodafternoon! Today is my last day of work and it is almost over! I still can’t believe that after today I won’t be coming back – and that I’m moving to Michigan! I am so excited and can’t wait for the new adventures that are waiting for me.

I took Tuesday night off from running as I ran heavy miles the night before and because it was my birthday! I received so many nice messages from my family and friends.  After work, I went home and spent a little time with my mom and brother before I headed out to get my nails done.  Of course I went with a purpley-pink although I wish I would have checked out the color name since I love it so much!

After nails, my mom and I had yummy sandwiches and my favorite chocolate cake dessert from a local restaurant! The rest of the night was spent relaxing and talking – there is so much going on in our family right now and we are so blessed to have so much good news.

Last night was also an off night for me as I went bridesmaid dress shopping with my brother’s fiancée, her mom, my mom, and 2 other bridesmaids.  It was a lot of fun trying on dresses! Most of the dresses we tried on were strapless and flowy which was flattering for all 3 of us bridesmaids that were there.  We ended up going to 2 bridal salons and I believe the beautiful bride to be has narrowed it down to a few choices!

Today at work, we had a potluck to celebrate the Bills staying in Buffalo but it worked out nicely that it is also my last day! After work will be a quick happy hour to send me off followed by a birthday dinner at my parent’s house.  My birthday was Tuesday and my brothers is on Friday so we are doing a joint dinner.  I do need to get a 4 or 5 mile run in at some point to stay on top of my training!

How do you celebrate birthdays in your family? Do you workout on your birthday or do you pamper yourself?

Better After a Run

Happy Tuesday everyone! I can’t believe this is my last week of work and that my final day is Thursday…this week is already flying past.

As you know, Saturday is traditionally my long run day but with the excitement and craziness of the weekend, I had to rearrange some things.  Last night I was scheduled to run 18 miles but it got cut to 17 (1 mile won’t kill me, right!?) because it was too dark out.  Even by the time I made a turn at 13 miles it was too dark to be out there but because I am stubborn, I wouldn’t let myself finish with anything less than 16 miles.

For me, the run was perfect.  It was a very nostalgic run for me last night – the sun was setting for parts of the run while other times I was alone in the dark.  I passed my elementary school, middle school and high school as well as ran by the ice cream store that was my first job and all the soccer fields that I’ve played on.  I have to say, it was the perfect last long run in my hometown.

My late night run inspired me for today’s blog post.  As I was going about my evening, I just kept thinking, “ahh ‘blank’ is so much better after a long run!” So today, I have compiled my own personal list of things that are better after a long run!

  1. Steaming Hot Showers! Nothing feels better than washing the sweat and salt away or standing in the hot water until there is none left (sorry Mom and Dad)
  2. Hot Tea or Coffee. After my Saturday long runs, I tend to stop and grab a coffee on my way home and it instantly makes my entire body feel better.
  3. Ice Cold Water. Of course ice cold water is great on a hot day but when you are hot, sweaty and just ran, I swear that ice cold water tastes like heaven.
  4. Last night we had tacos for dinner which I ate after my run but it just didn’t hit the spot like a big breakfast would. Bring on the eggs, pancakes, bacon, French toast and waffles!
  5. Watching a Movie. When you know your toughest part of the day is over, it is a million times easier to relax and enjoy!
  6. Climbing Into Bed or the Couch. I have never sunk into a couch or bed quite like I do after a long run. Your muscles are sore, tired and achy from the hard work and instantly feel rewarded when you plop yourself down.
  7. Rolling Out. Although this always feels good, there is something special about rolling out after a long run. Your muscles are so tight and sore that you can’t help but enjoy!

I want to hear from you: What activity do you find to be better after a run?

Exhausting Weekend

Goodmorning Everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend. My family had quite the busy weekend so I am still feeling the tired today.

On Friday after my mom got out of work, my mom, dad and myself jumped in the car and drove to Michigan.  I have been working with a realtor on finding a place to live when I start my job next week so we went to view our potential options.  She sent me a huge list of properties ranging from condos and duplexes to apartment complexes.  We chose 4 to see – 2 apartment complexes, 1 condo and 1 duplex. Unfortunately, we were unable to see one property because there were bids on it to be purchased.

We arrived to the hotel around 9:30 on Friday evening after a very tense, stressful and scary drive.  While we were in Canada the weather took a turn for the worst.  It started with tons of lightning and dark clouds and ended with sheets of rain pouring down.  The visibility was so bad that other drivers were pulling off the highway to wait the storm out.  Unfortunately, this weather lasted well into Michigan as well so we were all pleased to make it to hotel safe and sound.  Dinner was the best part of the day on Friday because we ordered Jet’s Pizza which is my favorite!  We don’t have it here in New York so my family HAS to get it at least once while we are in Michigan.

Saturday morning I was up pretty early and headed to the hotel gym.  There was a treadmill, an elliptical and some hand weights.  I hopped on the treadmill to get my miles in for the day and it definitely helped with the stress, anxiety and excitement that was building.  We saw our first property at 10 a.m. which was in a great location!

After that, my realtor drove us around the city so we could see all the sights and attractions.  Seeing the city really got me excited and I know I am going to be happy there!  After the tour, we went on to see two other properties.

Here is a breakdown of my thoughts on each place:

Option 1: I loved the location of this one – I would be in walking distance of work, bars, restaurants and shops which will definitely save on gas and parking (it’s a mess to park).  I also liked that my bedroom was on the second floor.  It had great storage space including 2 big closets in my bedroom.  Really the location was the selling point.

Option 2: This place was beautiful!  It was in a complex so the apartment was immaculate.  They completely clean the apartment prior to your arrival which is great.  This one had a washer and dryer right in the unit which is very convenient.  Also, the management team and maintenance team seem very kind and accommodating.

Option 3: Although this one had the same square footage as the others, it just felt small.  It was described as a “half studio” which really only means that they added a wall to separate the kitchen from the living and kitchen areas. This facility was not as clean and pristine as the second and the location was away from all the things I would need (including a grocery store).

In case you can’t tell from the thoughts above, I ended up choosing the first place and am currently waiting to hear if it is mine so keep your fingers crossed J

As for the rest of the weekend, yesterday, my mom and I spent most of the day at a Bridal Show with my brother, his fiancé and her mom.  It was fun to walk around and see the different vendors but the best part was the fashion show.  The dresses were so beautiful and the guys in the show were such hams! The girls were more reserved but I think the guys were trying to out-do each other on the silliness.

Last night we all just relaxed after such a whirlwind of events.  This is my last week of work before I start my new chapter!  For my running, I have surprisingly been very good about sticking to schedule despite the craziness going on.  Tonight I am going for an 18 mile run with some shorter miles coming the rest of the week until my longest run of training on Saturday (22 miles…wowza!)

How was your weekend? Did you celebrate some nice weather?

I Apologize for the Delay

Goodmorning fellow fitness fanatics! I am so sorry for the lack of posts last week but there has been quite a bit of excitement going on for my family.  As you already know, my brother and his girlfriend got engaged! But what you don’t know is that I have officially accepted a new career opportunity out in Michigan!!

I went to school in Michigan for 5 years and made friends who became family. My undergrad degree is in Advertising and Marketing Management while I also have a graduate degree in Management.  Marketing is my true passion and I am just so excited that I finally get to work in the field I love with an amazing company!

I start my new job on September 15th so this week has been full of looking for an apartment online, taking inventory of the items I have and creating lists of the items I will need.  My mom and I also hit the mall to take advantage of the great Labor Day sales and get a few more business professional items for my wardrobe.

As for my running last week, I was successful and completed all of my designated runs! They were not necessarily on the designated day but miles are miles.  As for this week, I am already off to a great start! Yesterday, I met up with Michelle for 15 miles and man was it muggy!! By the time we were finished, we had rivers running down our legs and arms (gross, I know, but it happens).

In the middle of the run, we met up with one of Michelle’s friends who ran 4 miles with us.  Jen is so kind and nice so it was a great break from our bike path run.  Michelle and I both felt good until the last bit; by that point, we were willing ourselves not to stop.  I think it had more to do with the extreme humidity and less to do with our fitness.

As for this week, I have short runs planned for the next three days (3 and 4 mile days) with my long run planned for Sunday.  This week I am back up to 18 miles! I am approaching peak week rapidly but the best part of that is knowing that taper time is right around the corner!

I hope you all had a great Labor Day holiday! Did anyone do anything fun?

Weekend Mileage and Fun Adventures

Good afternoon – I hope you all had a great weekend!  Last week was a little hectic but things have calmed down since.  On Saturday, I had my first 20 mile run of this training program and boy did it kick my butt!

We ran at Chestnut Ridge Park once again which is about a 45 minute drive my house.  Our group run starts at 7:30 so I was up at 6:30 and out the door by 6:45.  When I arrived, I noticed that the maps were for 16 mile runs and 18 mile runs so I asked our group leader for some tips on extending the distance and got a little confused.  Luckily, these 2 very nice women in our group offered me a copy of a 20 mile route they had saved from previous training programs…so nice of them!

After a quick warm up, we were on our way.  Michelle wanted to tackle the 16 mile distance while Ashley and I were going to attempt the 20 but the routes split off at about mile 8.  Ashley went with Michelle and they completed 16 but I split off and ran with the ladies who gave me the 20 mile route.  They were so nice to let me jump in with them and I had a great time talking and getting to know them better.  There is nothing that brings people together quite like tackling ridiculous mileage in an incredibly hilly location.

I have never run more than 12 miles at this location so I was new to the monster hill that came around mile 12.  My new running buddies told me that they had never ran the whole thing and usually need to stop about halfway but this time we did the whole thing in one shot!  We were proud of ourselves for making it to the top.  We then tried to convince ourselves that the rest of the run was downhill or flat (yeah, totally lying to ourselves). photo (2)

By the time we reached mile 20, we were still about a mile from our ending location so we ran a bit extra before calling it quits and walking the rest of the way in.  It was a great cool down and kept my legs from tightening up.  I stretched, changed my clothes and headed for coffee (a must-have after long runs).

After I got home, I ate and took a hot shower before I relaxed for a bit.  That evening I was going out in downtown Buffalo to celebrate my brother’s engagement!!! I could not be happier for him and his wife-to-be and know they will have a life filled with love and happiness.

Sunday morning started with a great breakfast then it was home for some shopping with mom.  She is going to be working in the library this year at school so she found a few new items that will dress her wardrobe up a bit.  After that I took a little cat nap then went off to coach tryouts.  We had a total of 23 girls try out for the team this year which is nearly double the amount that came out last year!  Unfortunately, now we have to decide who is on the team and who will be practice players.

This week is will be a 38 mile week which is a little down from last week

Monday: 6 mile workout (800m repeats)

Tuesday: 4 miles

Wednesday: 8 miles

Thursday: 5 miles

Friday: Off Day

Saturday: 15 miles

I hope you all have a great week!

Relaxed Runs

Goodmorning and Happy Wednesday!  This week is going great so far – I’ve been getting my runs in, doing some core work and staying on schedule.  I have also been eating great thanks to my meal prep on Sunday evening.

As you know, on Sundays, my family (or should I say my dad) goes grocery shopping.  We wake up, have our coffee and tea at the kitchen table and come up with a game plan for the week.  This includes figuring out who is around for dinner and deciding what to eat each night.  Planning it out in advance allows us to have all the ingredients we need to make a healthy meal at home rather than ordering out (plus it saves some money for fun things).

Included in this weekly plan is my lunch.  This week, I decided I wanted to have salads as opposed to my usual sandwiches.  I just feel like a salad is much more filling and for me, more exciting.  My dad bought fresh Romaine leaves which I cut up, washed and spun.  My salads have been made using a good base of lettuce and topped with corn, black beans, cheese and an Asiago Italian dressing…soo good!  I love when a salad is crispy and fresh.

As for my runs this week, I was successful on Monday night and made it out for a 6 mile run after work.  Last night, I went out for my 7 mile run and felt pretty good.  For at least a week now, I have tried to pull back on the pacing.  When I run on my own, I tend to run too fast (7:45 – 8:00 minute pace), which sometimes leaves me feeling worn out.  However, lately I have set my iPod to play and relaxed (8:15 – 8:40 minute pace).  The past week or so I have had some of the best runs in my life!  Now I just need to stick with this relaxed mentality.

Tonight, I hope to get my 6 mile run in as soon as possible in hopes to avoid the rain.  I love the feeling of running in the rain but my hair definitely does not.  My hair isn’t overly thick but I have a ton of layers and a lot of hair that tends to become a big ball of mess when I run in the rain so I try to avoid it when possible.

I hope you all are having a great week; I would love to hear how your goals are going so far!

44 Miles and New Goals

Doesn’t it seem like the weekends always fly by too fast!? This one was no exception.  I have to report to you all that last week I kept my goal of completing all my runs on their designated day and it felt great! I unfortunately did not get any morning runs in nor did I complete all of my strength training workouts…whoops!  I will just have to set new goals this week and do better.

Wednesday evening I got a quick 4 miles in and on Thursday I completed a relaxing 6 miles.  My runs this week left me feeling strong rather than tired which just shows that I am getting stronger!  This week I am up to a 44 mile week so my body knows that peak week and race day are right around the corner.

On Saturday, we had an 18 mile run that went great!  I was feeling pretty tired and was muscling through the final miles but keeping a consistent pace helped.  The weather was absolutely perfect – mid 60’s with some clouds and a light breeze.  I was sweating by the end but it felt comfortable.  It still amazes me that I can run 18 miles – that never seemed possible before this year!

After the run on Saturday, I came home to shower before my mom and I headed out for some shopping.  I found an amazing leather jacket that I absolutely love and can’t wait to wear all fall!  Later that evening, my parents and I went to a local bar/restaurant for a going away party for a dear friend.  Sunday was very low-key for me – I cleaned out all of my drawers and donated a bunch of clothes.

Tonight, I am going to get my run in as soon as I am done with work then I’m going to watch my brother and his girlfriend play kickball.

As usual, my workouts for the week are below and I have come up with new goals for this week.

Workouts for the Week:

Monday: 6 miles

Tuesday: 7 miles with hills

Wednesday: 6 miles

Thursday: 5 miles

Friday: Off day

Saturday: 20 miles

Goals for the Week:

  • Complete all runs on designated days
  • Complete 10 minutes of core work every night
  • Complete at least 1 strength training workout

What are your goals this week?