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?

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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!

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?

Summer of Strength

Goodmorning again, I hope you all had a good start to the week!  I always find that my week is much better when I start on the right foot by getting my workout done and making healthy choices for food.  Before I get into my strength training overview, I have to be a proud coach first.

I have been training my team since the end of September and last night was our final game of the season.  In previous years, the girls did not win many games and certainly did not enjoy coming to practice.  I am proud to say that they worked their butts off this year and finished the season 6-3-3 which was a 3rd place finish!  Even better than that, they only gave up 9 goals the whole season!  I am so proud of the girls for working hard and putting in the effort to get better 🙂  They were so fun to work with!

Now on to strength training: I did not do any strength training my last marathon training cycle which was fine because I was focusing on getting my miles in and building my endurance.  This time around though, I am starting with a much stronger base and feel that this is a natural progression for me.  In college, I would lift 2-3 times per week for track and my body loved it!

I had an idea of what I needed to be doing to properly strengthen my muscles but rather than risk injury, I reached out to my track coach for help.  He made me an amazing strength endurance schedule that I know will kick my butt (in a good way).  The schedule involves 3 days of lifting per week which I will organize around my hardest runs.

For marathon training, it is important to not tire your legs with strength work before your big runs which has led me to the decision of lifting on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.  Tuesday is my workout day for running and will include hills, tempo runs, progression runs and 800m repeats; I will do my lift after this run is complete.  Thursdays are a moderate day usually resulting in 5 miles (on average).  Saturdays are the longest run of the week but a good lift afterwards will push me to where I need to be in order to gain strength.

Today will be Day 1 of lifting and the workout will consist of squats, deadlifts, planks, hip extensions and plenty of ab work.  The workout was designed to work multiple muscles in one movement so really, each exercise has full body engagement.

Day 1
Clock Squats EL
SL Deadlift w/Arm T’s EL
Plank w/Med Ball Knee Drive EL
Hip Extensions EL
MB Twisters
MB Accordions
MB Sit Ups

Tell me: what does your workout look like today?

Rural Run and Pancake Bliss

Happy Sunday everyone! I hope you are having a great weekend.  Sunday is always a great day to relax, get some errands done and prep for the week ahead which is exactly what I plan on doing.

Yesterday my family went to my cousins grad party and it was nice to visit with family.  I did however miss my long run.  I went to bed last night wanting to get up early to run but not have to set an alarm.  I have been seriously slacking on the sleep lately and can feel it affecting me.

Luckily, I fell asleep really early last night and woke up this morning feeling slightly refreshed.  By 7:45, I was hitting the road with my iPod and a bottle of water to start my 14 mile run!  By the time I hit 1 mile I was already dripping with sweat.  It was only about 70 degrees but much more humid than I thought.

This morning, I opted for what I like to call my “rural run”.  This run takes me a little bit out of town into some farm lands.  There are big open fields, some old barns and a few animals along the way.  I extended my normal route so that I could get all 14 miles in and I may have made a bad choice…I ended up running a hilly 14!ruralrun

Where I live, the roads are very flat with only a few slight inclines so when I came across some hills, my legs were not happy.  I kept on pushing but I won’t lie – today’s run was really hard!  In addition to the unfamiliar hills, I was also running alone when I typically do my long runs with my training ladies.

I am proud of myself for finishing those miles but truly had to fight for each one.  Not all miles are easy but all miles are definitely worth it.  They are especially worth it when I come home to pancakes!!  My dad made both blueberry and peanut butter chip pancakes this morning and they were heavenly.pancakes

After a much needed shower, it was time for me to eat!  I had one of each kind along with a big mug of hot tea.  There really is no better feeling than taking a long shower and having hot tea after a run.  When I was done, my dad and I went to the grocery store to stock up for the week.  My latest obsession has been lettuce wrap sandwiches so we picked up some Boston bib lettuce for that as well as watermelon, turkey and the ingredients for dinner this week.

Now that the errands are done, it is time for me to relax.  I have been reading a book called “Where’d You Go Bernadette” by Maria Semple so hope to tackle some of that this afternoon.

What have you been up to this weekend!?