Off to a Great Start

Goodmorning everyone – we are halfway through the week!

So far, I am off to a great start with my weekly goals.  I did a nice 6 mile run on Monday and last night I completed my speed workout as planned.  By the time I got home from work it was raining which I actually enjoy running in.  However, the thunder and lightning forced me to hit the gym for a treadmill run.

I kept my warm up and cool down pace relaxed but really ramped up the speed when it came time to do the 400m repeats.  I bumped the speed up to a 7:00 minute per mile pace for the sprints and then relaxed in between for recovery.  I felt strong and in control but whew was I sweaty by the end!

After my workout, I went home for dinner and it was amazing!  My mom found a recipe in one of her magazines for pasta with summer vegetables and she knew we would love it.  It was made with slow roasted tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, squash and fresh mozzarella!  We used whole wheat pasta instead of white and topped it with some additional cheese and red pepper flakes.  It was so good that I brought some for my lunch today! photo 1

The veggies were nicely cooked with a little bit of bite left to them.  I find mushy vegetables to be a little off-putting so when they are cooked through and have a slight crunch to them, it’s perfect!  Despite it being a pasta dish, it was very light.  Often times I feel heavy and weighed down after enjoying pasta so this was a nice change.

Tonight I am going to head out for my 4 mile run as soon as I get home from work and will complete Day 1 of my lift later on this evening.  My brother and his girlfriend are coming for dinner so it will be nice to spend some time with them.

How are you doing on your weekly goals so far?

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Dreary Tuesday

Good afternoon everyone!  Today is the kind of day where you just want to curl up on the couch with a big cup of tea and watch movies.  The skies this morning were dark and rainy which made it feel like its fall.  I think I have just what we all need to push through the sleepy day…

A throwback playlist!  Growing up, I loved NSYNC (let’s be real, I still do).  I had all of their CD’s and my dad even surprised me with concert tickets when I was in 3rd grade.  We sang every word to every song that night and even busted out a few music video dance moves.

Whenever I am in a funk during a run and a song from my middle school years comes on my iPod, it instantly brightens my spirit so the same must be true for rainy days…right!?

Below are some of my favorite hits growing up, I hope you enjoy!

I Want You Back – NSYNC

Toxic – Britney Spears

What a Girl Wants – Christina Aguilera

Heartbreaker – Mariah Carey

Summer Girls – LFO

No Scrubs – TLC

Wannabe – Spice Girls

Say My Name – Destiny’s Child

Liquid Dreams – O-Town

Bye, Bye, Bye – NSYNC

What songs get you moving on a dreary day!?

Manic Monday and Weekly Goals

Happy Monday! I hope you are all off to a great start of the week; I had a hectic morning but have since recovered.  I had to really rush to get ready this morning as I had an issue with my alarm but I still managed to make it to work about 10 minutes early.

Yesterday I was able to get a nice run in and ended up going 6 miles instead of the 5 I had originally planned.  My foot and ankle felt good but I still kept a relaxed pace so I wouldn’t aggravate it too much.  After the run, I went golfing with my parents – I did not play well!  I was doing all the things my dad had taught me but I had a rough day on the course.  We had a simple dinner of grilled burgers with macaroni salad before I took my mom out for frozen yogurt.  We just got a White Rabbit in our town so we went to check it out….YUM!

Tonight, I am planning to get my 6 mile run in as soon as I get home so that I can have the rest of evening free for some reading and relaxing.  I also have a phone call planned with Rachel so we can catch up on the past week.  This past weekend was her birthday so a catch-up call is necessary!

I’ve been doing some thinking about my training and I have decided to create weekly goals for myself.  These goals can be anything from drinking more water and going to bed early to adding in extra ab work.  It is important for me to listen to my body so after each week, I will create a list of goals that I want to accomplish in the upcoming week.

Below you will find my goals and weekly schedule!

Workouts for the week:

Monday: 6 miles

Tuesday: 6 miles (2 mile warm-up, 4x400m with 400m rest, 2 mile cool down)

Wednesday: 4 miles

Thursday: 6 miles

Friday: Off Day

Saturday: 18 miles

Goals for the Week:

  • Complete all runs on designated days
  • Complete all 3 strength training workouts
  • Complete 2 morning runs this week

What are your goals for the week?

A Rough Start with a Sweet Finish

Goodmorning and Happy Sunday morning! It looks like it will be another beautiful day here in the Buffalo area. I am going to attempt to get a run in (more on that in a bit), and we are going to hit the links with a round of golf. Of course, we will have our typical Sunday activities of meal planning for the week and grocery shopping. Sunday is great for a little bit of fun and a little bit of prep.

Yesterday morning, my training program had a scheduled 16 mile run and I was actually looking forward to it. Ash and I met up with the large group and were on our way at around 7:30. Things were going great – our pacing was in control, the weather was beautiful and we were both feeling good. Then at mile 11, I was watching the cars at the approaching intersection to make sure we didn’t get hit when my ankle and foot found a nice pothole left over from the winter.

I almost fell flat on my face but with some fumbling, Ashley grabbed me and we made our way to the grass. The pain wasn’t too bad but I knew something was off. I have sprained my ankles multiple times throughout the year with soccer. I thought maybe I could finish the run (it was only 5 miles, I thought). But as soon as I ran across the street, I could tell that it would be best to stop. My whole foot and ankle area felt really weak. I made my way back to the store while she ran to get the car.

I was disappointed I didn’t get to finish the run but it’s better to be safe than sorry. I know I would be way more disappointed if I caused further injury.

When I got home I made myself some breakfast (egg whites with some cheese) and took a nice hot shower. My parents were out for their own workout with a 12 mile bike ride. When they got home, we all got ready and head out for an afternoon of disc golf! It is a great, FREE activity, especially on such a beautiful day.discgolf

My mom didn’t play because her arm is still bothering her from the break but she walked along with us. My dad and I always get silly competitive with each other and like to talk smack. I always get my butt kicked by him but yesterday I won by 2! As a reward for winning, he took us to a local bakery for cake! I have to tell you that this cake is amazing!! We got a slice of red velvet and a slice of white cake with raspberry almond filling!cake

We dug into it as soon as we got home – it’s ok to eat dessert first sometimes! Then the rest of the afternoon was spent reading “Where’d You Go Bernadette” out on the back deck. The story is starting to get interesting but is still a bit slow at times. I’ll let you know what unfolds in the next few weeks,

What fun adventures did you have this weekend?

The Perfect Run

Happy Thursday, you are officially one step closer to the weekend!  I have to tell you though, that I was a little disappointed this morning when I woke up thinking it was Friday, only to realize I have 1 more day to go.

Last night, I had what I would consider the perfect run.  I got home from work yesterday not feeling overly motivated to head out for my 6 mile run but knew I would feel better once it was over so I changed my clothes and hit the streets.  Typically, I run way too fast for shorter runs (when I say shorter, I mean anything under 10).  I tend to be right around the 8 minute per mile pace but can really ramp up the speed towards the end of the run.  It’s not that I’m trying to run that pace but I just try to let my legs dictate the pace and unfortunately, that tends to be it!

During these runs I also tend to have a lot going on in my head.  I think about how far I’ve run, how far I still need to run, what’s for dinner, what I should share with you in my blog, my ever-growing to-do list and so much more (it makes me dizzy just thinking about it).  I think that all these thoughts take their toll on my body – the more I think about, the more tense I get.

This all changed last night though – I went out and seemingly thought about NOTHING the entire time.  I put my iPod on shuffle and found myself simply enjoying the music rather than trying to think.  In fact, at one point during my run, I looked around and realized that I was already 4.5 miles in and didn’t even realize it, the miles just flew by!  My mind was totally relaxed and my body followed that trend.

I completed my 6 miles in just under 50 minutes but didn’t feel like I was straining myself.

Tonight I have a 5 mile run and my Day 2 lift to complete.  Lucky for me, my friend Christine from work is going to run and do the lift with me!  She just started training for her first half marathon that she will run in November.  I am so excited for her and can’t wait to run tonight!

What makes a run “perfect” for you?

Positive Thinking and Wishing Luck

Goodmorning and Happy Hump Day!  Once you make it through Wednesday, you are in smooth sailing for the week!

I just want to start today’s post by asking you all to wish the girls I coach a big GOOD LUCK!  In New York, all students going into 7th and 8th grade have to pass a physical fitness test before they can try-out for JV sports and today is day 1 of testing.  They have to complete a mile and a half run, a 50 yard sprint, a shuttle run, standing long jump and sit-ups.

The girls have been working hard and we have had some training sessions to prep them.  I know how badly they want to pass the test so I will be thinking of them all morning until I hear!

As for my own workouts, I already had to make adjustments this week but that is my own fault.  On Monday night, we had our end of the season party and I was being rather ambitious to think that I could get a 5 mile run in afterwards.  No big deal though; I ran 5 last night and have a 6 mile run planned for tonight.

Last night, I talked on the phone with Alyssa while we both ran so it was as if I was back with my running buddy again!  She just got home from her honeymoon and it sounds like they had an amazing time.  Tonight, I have plans to talk with Rachel and catch up from the past weekend.

Due to my adjustments, here is what my week will now look like:

Wednesday: 6 miles

Thursday: 5 miles

Friday: 4 miles

Saturday: 16 miles

Umm, can you believe that my group is already at 16 miles for long runs and 35 miles for the weekly total!? Training is building so much faster this time around!

Confidence Restored and A Look Ahead

Good afternoon everyone, it’s Monday again!  I hope you all had a great weekend and avoided the bit of rain we had here.

Saturday is my long run day each week and this week, I had a 12 mile run at a very hilly location.  As most of you know, I train through a running store and this was one of our designated runs so there was a large group of us out there that day which always helps when you start feeling tired.  As for my llamas, it was just Michelle, Cindi and I who tackled the hills.

Our meeting place for the run

Our meeting place for the run

The park that we ran at is somewhere I want to go one of these weekends just to explore.  There are hiking paths, running trails, a disc golf course and even a special something called “the eternal flame”.  I would love to get a nice trail run in, play some disc golf and take a dip in the waterfall!  This will have to be on my to-do list for the rest of the summer.

Back to the run, it was the PERFECT day for a long run.  It was mid-60s with a little bit of sun and a light breeze.  You can’t ask for better conditions.  After a quick warm-up, we were off.  The great thing about running in an organized group is that there are always other people around to help encourage you but there are also designated water stops!  Our trainers set-up water every 2 miles so you are never going long without a drink being available.

This particular run was so calm and peaceful.  Even though there were some big hills, I felt relaxed the whole time; maybe it was the pretty views or maybe it was NSYNC on my iPod.  I’m very proud of the whole group for finishing such a challenging run.  In the future, I will have two 20 mile runs at this location but after finishing the run this week, my confidence has been restored.

The view from our meeting place

The view from our meeting place

I was beginning to feel as if I was not in as good of shape as I should be but I think that was stemming from doing so much of my training on my own.  Now that I am back in the groove and will be at the group runs, I know that I will be more than ready for Chicago.

And now, a look at the upcoming week:

Monday: 5 miles

Tuesday: 6 miles and Day 1 lift

Wednesday: 4 miles

Thursday: 5 miles and Day 2 lift

Friday: Off Day

Saturday: 16 miles and Day 3 lift

Did you do anything exciting these weekend?