A Little Too Ambitious and an Awesome Run!

Well ,I guess I was being a little too ambitious when I thought it would be a great idea to start a blog during one of the busiest times of my life! When I first started this blog a little over a month ago, I had every intention to post at least 4 times a week and I did pretty good the first few weeks, but reality is starting to sink in.  If you’ve read my About Me section, you know that I’m currently training for my first full marathon and planning my wedding (2 weeks apart), all while working full-time. I know for some people this probably wouldn’t be a big deal, but for me, this is a lot to take on all at once! I do know that I will be glad I started the blog during this time so that I can look back at one of the most exciting times of my life.  I wish I had more time and energy to post daily, but for now, I will be posting as much as I can, and hopefully after November 2nd (our wedding day!) I can resume a normal and consistent blogging schedule!

I wanted to talk to you guys about my long run on Saturday! My training schedule called for 19 miles. This run was on my mind all week long. I checked the weather forecast for Saturday at least twice a day throughout the week, and prayed that the weather would cooperate with me.  I was soo happy to see that the high temperature was only supposed to be 68 degrees.

With only 5 weeks until the marathon and only two long runs left on my training schedule, I decided to treat Saturday morning as if it was the morning of the marathon.  For all of my previous long runs throughout my training, I’ve been starting my mornings with a cup of coffee and a Luna bar.  I started to notice after about an hour or so into my runs I would get HUNGRY, which instantly makes me cranky, and then I’m tempted to just run home and stuff my face. Luckily, I have enough self control that this actually never happened!  When I saw that Luna bars only have about 170 calories or so, I decided I should probably eat something a little more substantial if I was going to be running for more than 2 hours.  So on Saturday I decided to replace my usual Luna bar with a bagel and a tiny bit of butter.  Turns out, this was a great decision! I didn’t feel hungry once during my run.

I started my run a little bit before 8:00, and from the very beginning, I felt great.  My hands were numb from the cold for the first half hour or so, but I think the cold temperature forced me to run a little faster than I normally would have.  There were TONS of other people on the trail as well, which gave me some motivation.  I also think that the new music I downloaded helped to keep me going.  However, at mile 13, I got sick of listening to music and ran the last 6 miles in silence.

I had one CLIF ShotBlok at miles 6.5, 11, and had my last one at around mile 16.  Once I got to mile 13, my legs got REALLY tired.  I felt great otherwise, so I tried to think about other things to keep my mind off my hurting legs.   Each mile ticked away pretty quick, and by the time I got to mile 18 I was ecstatic! I picked up my pace a little bit, and when I saw my GPS reach 19.00, I was sooo happy.  I was happy to be finished, happy with my time, and just happy about everything! This was by far the best run I have had in weeks, and it was just what I needed to get me excited about my marathon again.

I was a little nervous going into this run because I have been straying from my training schedule a little bit.  As I mentioned in this post, I have been feeling like I’m on the verge of runner’s burnout, and that my weekly runs have been becoming more of a chore.  I decided the best way to deal with this was to tweak my training schedule a little, and if there are days that I don’t feel like running, I don’t.  I never want to dread a run.  I’m so happy I listened to my body, and my 19 miler proved that you must do this to be a successful runner.

I can’t believe I only have one more long (20 miles) run left!

Are you training for a race?

Do you ever adjust your training schedule?

What I’ve Been Up To & Another 13.1 PR!

Happy Monday! I’ve been MIA for a few days, but for good reason!

This weekend I had my second bridal shower and also celebrated my bachelorette party!

My weekend started Thursday night when one of my best friends, Jordan, arrived from North Carolina.  She arrived around 10:30, we chatted for an hour or so, and then went to bed because we had 13.1 miles planned for Friday morning! Jordan is my “long distance” running buddy, and she has been my encouragement throughout my marathon training.  I was a little nervous for this run because I haven’t ran with someone in over a year, crazy huh!?

Friday morning we woke up, talked over coffee, had something small to eat, and then got ready to head out for our run.  Before we started, Jordan asked me if I had any goals, and we decided we wanted to finish in under 2 hours. As you may or may not know, I recently ran 13.1 miles in under 2 hours, so I had my heart set on beating my previous PR. We ran the first couple miles a little faster than I had wanted to (under 9 minute miles), and I knew we needed to slow down a tiny bit if I wanted to finish the run strong.  Luckily, Jordan and I are very similar runners so it was easy for both of us to keep the same pace as each other.  I warned Jordan that I probably wouldn’t be talking very much during the run, but we actually ended up talking a lot more than I expected! It was sooo nice to have Jordan with me during this run to push me and for encouragement.

We ran 3.11 miles in 1:59:37! We were pretty proud of ourselves, and rewarded ourselves with a trip to Panera for a cold smoothie Smile

Saturday morning we had a 6:30 am wake up call so we could shower and get ready to head to Toledo (2 hour drive) for my shower and bachelorette party! I was soo excited to see my friends and family that I don’t get to see very often.

Me with my best friends from college, Jordan and Amanda

Keri & I have been friends since we were in diapers Smile

I didn’t do a very good job of taking pictures during the shower, but we had sandwiches and salads, and for dessert we had delicious cupcakes!

After the shower, my bridesmaids and I met at a restaurant called Poco Piatti for appetizers and sangria!

Me with all my bridesmaids, minus one

We then headed to the nail salon for pedicures.  It has been almost a year since my last pedicure, so it was much needed! I had to warn the lady that I’m a runner and that my feet were pretty disgusting, but she did a pretty good job nonetheless!

After we were done with nails, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for night.  I got to open more fun (some inappropriate) presents.

We then headed to dinner and then went for drinks and dancing! Oh, and of course FRO YO!

Me with some of my cousins!

Me with one of my sisters and 2 of my sister-in-laws!

This whole weekend was the most fun I have had in a long time.  I feel SO blessed to have so many great people in my life.  It really stinks that everyone lives in different cities and states, but it makes the time we do get to spend together that much more special! I am even more excited for our wedding…less than 8 weeks to go, woo hoo!

Now it is back to reality. Hope everyone haves a great Monday!

What did you do this weekend?

Healthy Banana Pumpkin Muffins

Now that it is September and Labor Day has passed, I’m in full Fall mode! On Monday, I had the urge to bake and I wanted to create something of my own from scratch.  I headed to the grocery store to pick up some essentials(like pumpkin), and got to work in the kitchen.

I knew that I wanted to make some kind of muffin (I finally got a muffin tin at my bridal shower) and I wanted to make something tasty, but healthy at the same time. We had some very ripe bananas that I wanted to use up before they went bad and I figured bananas and pumpkin would make a delicious combination!

I’ve only used almond flour/meal one or two times, so I was a little nervous to try it in this recipe, but I’m happy to report that it was a success! I think these muffins are a great alternative to any granola/snack bar and definitely have a lot less ingredients.

They came out of the oven extremely moist, and I loved it!

Topped with a little bit of butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon, these are the perfect healthy treat.

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond meal/flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • .5 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3 medium ripe bananas (the browner the better)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • In a mixing bowl, mix together the dry ingredients
  • In a separate bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, bananas, eggs, vanilla, and pecans
  • Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry mixture and stir well
  • Evenly distribute the mixture into a nonstick muffin tin (or lightly grease the pan if it’s not a nonstick)
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes
  • ENJOY!

What is your favorite Fall recipe?

What is your favorite type of muffin/bread?

Do you prefer baking or cooking more?

Weekend Eats in Pictures

Does anyone else feel like the 3 day weekend went by too fast!?

I was so happy we finally had a weekend with no plans (except for football and wedding invitations)!

After my 18 miler on Saturday, I hurried up and showered and ran to the store to pick up the ingredients for my favorite Chex Mix! This is one of my favorite things to make during football season. The smell of this cooking in the oven instantly puts me in a good mood Smile My day Saturday was pretty much spent on the couch snacking on this deliciousness.

You will learn very quickly that we are big Ohio State fans over here and never miss a game during football and basketball season.

The only time I got off the couch on Saturday was for fro yo, obviously!

I had strawberries and cream fro yo  topped with cookie dough, vanilla chips, butterfinger, pecans, and sprinkles! I think I thought about this concoction for about 70% of my run. Does anyone else dream about fro yo during their long runs?

Sunday was dedicated to wedding invitations! But first, I just HAD to make a trip to Starbucks to get my beloved Pumpkin Spice Latte! I have been waiting months for this day and am so happy to have it back in my life. I got kind of sad when I went to pay and they told me my total was $4.55. I don’t remember them ever being this expensive!? I may have to get a second job if I want to have these regularly 🙂

I have been putting these off for far too long and it is such a relief to be able to send them out today.

By dinner time, I was starving. We decided to go to BJ’s Brewhouse for dinner.  When I eat at restaurants, I always end up ordering the same boring things (chicken and turkey sandwiches/wraps) so I decided I was going to branch out and try something new! I ordered the Parmesan Crusted Chicken, and it definitely tops the list of best meals I’ve had at a restaurant!

The chicken had a lemon chardonnay butter sauce that was like nothing I’ve ever tasted! On the side I had white cheddar mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli. I left the restaurant full and satisfied!

Monday I slept in (7:30!) and enjoyed coffee while watching The Today Show on the couch.  I didn’t have a run planned on my training schedule, but I really felt like moving so I decided to go for a 3 mile run. Big mistake waiting until almost 11:00, that heat is brutal!

I finished 3.01 miles in 26:50 with an average pace of 8:55 per mile

I hope you have a wonderful Tuesday!

What’s the best thing you ate this weekend?

What’s the best meal you’ve eaten at a restaurant?

18 Miles: Check!

Happy September! I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend so far.  Even though it’s Sunday, I keep telling myself it’s pretty much a second Saturday since I don’t have to work on Monday, woo hoo!

My weekend started off with an early 5:30am wake up call so I could get my 18 miler in before it got too hot outside.  When I woke up, there was a lot of thunder and lightening, so I checked the weather radar and it looked like the storm would be moving out by about 7am.  I had planned to start my run by 6:30, but didn’t end up starting until a little after 7.  About 30 minutes before I started, I ate a Luna bar.

I’ve been eating these before my runs for about a week now and so far they’ve been working out pretty well.  I’ve been experiencing with different flavors, and this one is definitely one of my favorites.

When I first started, it was still cloudy and not too hot or humid.  It wasn’t until about mile 6 or 7 that the clouds moved out, and the sun and heat decided they wanted to come out and they stuck around for the remainder of my run.  I’m still working on training myself to drink water and fuel during my long runs and made sure to do this by mile 4, because I was worried if I waited longer than that it would be too late.  Throughout the run, I ate 6 CLIF Shot Bloks and drank at least 30 ounces of water.

I was so happy because I was feeling really good for most of the run.  It wasn’t until mile 14 that I started to struggle a little bit.  The heat was taking everything out of me  and at this point it was all mental.  At mile 15 I may or may have not shed a couple tears (not really sure where these came from!) I ran miles 16-18 going back and forth on a .5 shaded path in hopes of cooling me down a little bit. I texted Michael to bring me more water because I was sooo thirsty and had drank all the water I brought with me.  I took my last sip of water at mile 17 and then slowly finished my last mile!

I was a sweaty mess!

Although this run was hard, I felt a lot better when I was finished than I did when I finished my 17 miler last weekend.

I finished 18 miles in 2:58:11 with these splits:

As you can see, the last 4 miles were definitely the hardest!

Week 11 of my 18 week training plan is officially complete! I will be welcoming my long run (13 miles) next weekend with open arms!

Tell me about your long run this week!

What are your favorite long run fuels?

What are you up to this weekend?

A Little Better

Happy Friday everyone!! Fridays are even better when there is a 3 day weekend following it Smile

I just wanted to do a quick post about my run this morning because I think I’m slowly starting to get out of my running rut. I was unsure if I was going to do 5 or 6 miles.  I kind of just wanted to wait and see how I felt during the first couple miles.  My legs still felt a little heavy throughout the run, but definitely not as bad as my run on Wednesday.  I pushed myself hard to keep trucking along. I finished 6 miles in 55:02. Here are my splits:

Not my best 6 mile run, but I’ll take it considering the last week I’ve had!

Now I need your opinion! My long run calls for 18 miles this weekend and I really want to do it tomorrow (Saturday) morning because that is my routine. Do you think it is a bad idea to do 18 miles the day after a 6 mile run?

What are your plans this weekend?

Do you have a long run planned?

I’m Being Tested

I really think God is testing me, both physically and mentally.  As you may already know if you’ve read my previous posts, my runs lately have been less than great. It feels like ever since my awesome half marathon PR, my runs have been going downhill (no pun intended!).

Yesterday I set out to run 9 miles and woke up feeling so confident and excited to get back into running mode after taking a few days off.  My legs were a little sore from my workout on Tuesday, but I figured once they were warmed up they would be good to go. Well, I thought wrong.  I stepped outside and was welcomed with a huge gust of wind and humidity and right away I knew this wasn’t going to be an easy run.  The first couple miles were tough as I was running right into the wind, but I just kept telling myself that it would be easier on the way back.  When I finished Mile 1, I was surprised when I saw my pace, because I felt like I was going so much faster.

Not only were the wind humidity interfering with what I thought was going to be a great run, but my legs were TIGHT.  Mainly my calves.  It felt like no matter how fast I tried to move them, they just wouldn’t go. It was weird and very frustrating! After I was a few miles in, I just told myself that this was going to be another crappy run, and to just finish without worrying about my time.  Because I was going slower than I had anticipated, I only ran 8 miles instead of the planned 9 because I need enough time to get ready for work.  I was SO happy to finally finish,but part of me felt like crying. I know this is just a test, and I need to keep at it!

I finished 8 miles in 1:18:01 with an average pace of 9:45. My goal was a 9 minute/mile average, so I was obviously a little slower than I had planned!

I feel like I have been such a debbie downer on my blog with my running issues, but it feels so good to get my frustrations out and the feedback I get from you guys really motivates me to not give up. I can’t wait to give you guys another awesome run recap… hopefully soon! I was supposed to do 5 miles this morning, but decided to let my legs relax, and I’ll do 5 or 6 tomorrow.

When I got home I was soo sweaty and took a COLD shower.  Lately, all I’ve been eating for breakfast is a big bowl of oatmeal, but yesterday all I wanted was something cold.  I didn’t have enough time to make a smoothie, so I made my first yogurt bowl!

IMG_0098

Into the bowl went a cup of vanilla greek yogurt, frozen mixed berries, a banana, and a handful of almonds.  This definitely hit the spot!

Dinner yesterday was Dashing Dish’s White Bean Chicken Chili. This is by far one of my favorite things to make in the crock-pot! It even tastes good on a 90 degree day 🙂

IMG_0100

Now let’s pray that my next post will be about my fantastic run!

How do you get yourself through a tough run?
Do you ever experience tight/heavy legs? How do you deal with them?