Monday, March 20, 2017

And If The Elevator Tries to Bring You Down

I am a running machine.

I did all my runs this week. I even had time for some cross training (yeah spin class) and some weights.

I managed to do six on the treadmill even though it was SOOOOO BOOOOORING.

What? You don't use hockey tape and a gift bag to block the time and distance on your treadmill?
After a week of successful training, I am feeling good.

Of course, I say all this knowing I have a twenty mile run on Sunday.

That's right, folks, Mama's about to hit the twenties.

Jaysus.

Let me give you a couple of comparisons so everyone can collectively freak out with me.

Distance from my house to work: 17.2 miles
Distance from my house to my mom's house: 25.9 miles
Length of Manhattan: 13.4 miles
Length of Lake Shore Dr in Chicago: 21.1 miles
Distance from Florida to Cuba: 110 miles
Distance from Key Largo to Key West: 97.2 miles
Length of the Grand Canyon: 277 miles

I am running almost the distance from my house to my mom's, well over the length of Manhattan, further than my daily commute, further than the entirety of Lake Shore Dr, 1/5 the distance of the Florida Keys...and almost 1/5 the distance from Florida to Cuba.

Jaysus.

It's cool. I can do this. No big deal.

Right???

This is my second to last long run. After this, I run 23 in mid-April and then I begin my taper.

Is it really April next month? What the hell happened to March?!?!

One last thing, I can't help but share my delicious breakfast from yesterday. Avocado toast with poached eggs. YUM!


Friday, March 10, 2017

I Can't Drive 55

Trust the training.

Can you all repeat it with me?

TRUST THE DAMN TRAINING, MEG!

Because I just did the math and the marathon is in 55 days.

That's not that long.

That's really short.

Holy crap.

I'm not freaking out, you are!

It doesn't help that this is a step back week. After the 17 miles last week, I only do a long run of 5 miles this week. ONLY. HA! You know you're marathon training when five miles sounds like nothing.

I have got to focus on my cross training. I did weights on Wednesday and feel pretty good about it. Arms and legs and 15 minutes on my stair stepper in five minute intervals. I am ashamed to admit how long it has been since I have lifted a weight. Ah, well. Get back into it, that's all I can do.

Trust the training. Trust the cross training.

Trust that you will have friends spread out through the course to get you over the finish line.

Monday, March 6, 2017

And All of the Ghouls Come Out to Play

My thoughts while running 17 miles yesterday:

One foot in front of the other. One foot in front of the other.

One foot in front of the other. One foot in front of the other.

Oooh look, a pretty sunrise.

Hamilton really does make running a lot easier.

Oh no, sad part. Choking up while running is not easy.

Potty break! (Hugs to the boys. No, Mama cannot get you a fruit bar right now, I am literally running in the door to pee and filling up my water bottle. Love you. See you in a little while!)

Wow, not even halfway there, huh?

Oh no, Hamilton ended! I need you, Lin-Manuel!
 
OK, just put Hamilton back on again.

Nope, it doesn't have the same effect and my legs are like lead and this run is never, ever going to end.

Another musical? SOMETHING TO DISTRACT MY BRAIN!!

Three miles left. Three miles. That's a 5K. You can run a 5K in your sleep.

Switch to the running playlist and hope some good songs distract.

Praise Jesus, Florence + the Machine "Shake It Out" just lifted my spirits. Let's keep this up, running playlist.

Longest two miles ever.

Longest 1.5 miles ever.

One mile to go. You got this!

Is that the house? Oh my god, it's the house. I'm not crying, you are!!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

And the Saints Go Marching In

In like a lion out like a lamb, right?

We had unseasonably warm weather in February and all of a sudden March was all "don't get too comfy, suckers!" and we had snow and wind and cold last night and into this morning. Happy almost spring!

February wasn't a complete bust for running. I missed some weekly runs because of sickness and time crunches, but got ALL of my long runs in. I use Smashrun to track my mileage. It's the free version, although I find myself debating the merits of the paid one. I logged my last run on Tuesday and got this badge:
I like that. It's true for any sort of exercise. February is a tough month. But, if you got up early in the cold and went to the gym to swim or lift weights or even just got up early in your own house and did yoga...whatever you did, you just conquered the month!

I printed out my March calendar and I have this looming ahead of me:
That is Sunday's 17 miler. I wouldn't be as nervous about it if my running partner wasn't out of town for the next few weeks. Gotta get up early, drive to where we usually run because it's great for training with sorta rolling hills. And then I have to run 17 miles. By myself.

I've got plans to listen to Hamilton because Hamilton makes my heart and feet happy. But that's only two hours long. What do I listen to after that? Any suggestions? We're looking at four hours of running here...

Four hours. Puts things in perspective when you say that. The cut off for Flying Pig is seven hours. I was talking to a friend about that and he said, "Damn, I can't imagine running for seven hours."

Oh shit, I'm going to be running for seven hours. That's almost a full day of work!

I'm going to go back and think of things in manageable little segments. I can do this. I am training properly for this one. I have practiced with my fuel and my water bottle and I will be just fine.

Right?

Monday, February 20, 2017

I Know Every Mile Would Be Worth My While

It is unseasonably warm in Michigan which scares the crap out of me for the future. I won't get into that right now, but yes, I enjoyed the warmth while simultaneously holding back panic. It was a good combo!

Sunday was long run day. I had 14 miles on the schedule, but missed both of my midweek runs last week due to illness. I was afraid I wouldn't even have it in me to get double digits on Sunday, let alone the full 14 miles. Thankfully, I ran with a friend who was able to coax an extra mile out of me. I wanted to quit at 12, but made it to 13.
Afterward, I realized I just ran a half marathon. As part a training run.

Who does that?!?!

All in all, I would say a pretty active day for me.
One of these days I'm going to do a Weekend Warrior challenge on Fitbit and just destroy some folks!

And now to keep myself from eating all the things!!

Hope you had a great weekend!


Thursday, February 9, 2017

And Our Hearts They Beat As One, No More Love on the Run

My weekend was a good one, mostly because I sought solace in retail therapy. I ended up buying a lot of stuff--stuff I needed--but still, stuff which always makes me nervous. I don't know what it is, do I somehow think I don't deserve to spend money on me? Sidetrack, sorry.

One of the important things I purchased were these puppies:
Now I am a Saucony woman. I have worn them for years. I went to Rundetroit because I had gift certificates and heard great things about them. Everything I heard was true. I had the owners undivided attention for at least a half hour. He had me try on one of each shoe when deciding between two. He watched me run and talked about my form. The Saucony I wore were for overpronating and he said that he didn't notice it, nor were my other shoes worn out, and suggested a neutral shoe. Which is how I ended up with the Brooks.

I love them. Aren't they pretty? If you live in the area, I highly recommend the store. They do a group run every Saturday at 8AM, and someday I might work me nerve up to join them.

He said the shoe would be find to break in with any distance run, so I woke up early Sunday morning and joined my friend for a 10.5 mile long run.

The shoes felt great!

I met a friend at the metropark at 7AM and the parking lot was empty, except for one other car. By the time we were done, it was this full. Most of those cars belong to runners or walkers. How cool is that?


I felt good after the run, good enough to smile for a selfie.
That's a frozen lake behind me. And a telephone pole in my head.
I'm glad I ran on Sunday, the weather was perfect, low 30's. I mean that's not really perfect, but it was great for the run and at no time was I freezing my butt off.

Got home and prepped for a Super Bowl party. I will not speak of the Super Bowl because I was in the ANYONE BUT THE CHEATING PATRIOTS fandom.

This week I've conquered my training runs AND did a bit of cross training. Last night I pulled out my stair stepper, dusted it off, and spend 20 minutes doing a little bit of hill training.
As I work my way up to the longer distances, I still feel pretty good about this. I keep double checking the marathon cut off time. It is a 16 minute per mile pace cut off. I just did my 10.5 with an average 13:45 per mile pace and felt good. We'll see how that goes as I add miles.  So far so good on the training! I can do this!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Zoom Lens Feelings Just Won't Disappear

I like to call this one:

A Month in Pictures

In January I ran 40 miles. I aimed for 50, but between two vacations, and the crap weather the 40 will just have to be enough.

Good news, I only missed two training runs!

J and I went to Chicago for our official anniversary celebration. A few months ago I was able to snag tickets to Hamilton. Trust me when I tell you this, it was worth every single penny. If it goes on tour near you GO SEE IT!

You can actually order a drink called the Hamilton. And they come in nifty cups you can keep!

We had fantastic seats and even now if I close my eyes I can picture the show!

We got in to Chicago on a Friday evening, did some exploring Saturday morning, then saw the show. I know I literally just said it but GO SEE HAMILTON!.

Then we were home, and I ran and made healthy food. ZOODLES FOR THE WIN!

#headlamp selfie
 And before we knew it, it was on to our second vacation of the month. Not sure if we should have taken all of our time so early in the year.

My best friend lives in Florida so we took a family trip down to the Tampa Bay area and had a blast. Even J, who had no desire to "sit on the beach all day" had fun.

We went to Clearwater Aquarium one day. It's much more an animal hospital than an aquarium, but the boys loved it. Especially the part where they got to pet stingrays (stinger removed).
We came back to that part four or five times. The bathrooms were near it so anytime we went to the bathroom, we had to stop for a quick pet. It was really cool. According to A., stingrays feel like wet lemons.

I got two runs in, which were great. The first one got interrupted by a sudden downpour.
The second one, was lovely the entire time. I had to take a picture because FLOWERS IN JANUARY just made my day. Not to mention, I also wore SHORTS on my run!
I'm glad I was able to run because my best friend is a pastry chef. You know what that means, right?
She brought desserts to our hotel every night. Thankfully, J ate most of them. I had little tastes, but he took one for the team and finished them all off.

We had one day of terrible winds and bad weather, but even that couldn't keep our spirits down.
The highlight of the trip, aside from all the best friend time I got, was going to the Manatee Viewing Center in Apollo Beach. It's free and if you are in the area I highly recommend it. They also have a stingray petting pool. The first time we went, we could see a bunch off in the distance, then when we went down the pier part, we saw one up close.
Seriously, the majestic sea cow is my frickin' spirit animal! They are just so awesome.

On our last full day there, L took the day off and we all hung out. We went to see the manatees again. It was a cooler day, and usually the colder it is the more manatees show up (the center is on Tampa Electric property and the reason the manatees go there is because of an outtake water thing the shoots out warm water). Unfortunately, there just weren't that many there. We went to a little nature preserve to eat our picnic lunch. It wasn't much, but we followed a trail that led us to a little bay. The boys loved it, they played in the sand and water and got completely drenched. We saw some people fishing and suddenly, I saw the tell tale sign of a manatee (a swirl in the water) and a head popped up. Then more and more kept coming and frolicking and it was THE BEST! Of course the boys, all caught up in their sand, they didn't even notice. And now for your manatee overload photos of the day.
The picture doesn't do justice to just how close they were.

Popping up to breathe. The boys thought it sounded like J snoring.

What manatees? We've got mucky sand to play with and enjoy!



The little bumps are about six or seven of them just rolling over each other
It was a great way to end our trip, that's for sure. We came back to cold and snow in Michigan but when have I let that keep me down?!?

Now it's February. I have my new training calendar all set to go.
I've got some long runs planned, hopefully with some friends to keep me company. I am going to kick butt at my eating and work outs. I'm cross training with a fun spin class that beats the crap out of me.

As of today I have 95 days until my marathon. Let's do this!