Tuesday, June 27, 2017

You Won't Get No Dessert 'Till You Clean Off Your Plate, So Eat It

Try Two New Recipes This Week
Recipe #1

Last night I made Skillet Chicken and Broccoli Tot Pie from Skinnytaste. I'm going to let you in on a little secret, I loathe cooking. I hate cutting things up, I hate multiple step recipes, I hate sweating vegetables. The list goes on and on.

Thankfully, I have a husband who LIKES cooking. He did a lot of the prep for this, which explains why the vegetables look all neat. My husband has honestly said to me, "I can't watch you chop things, I don't want to witness you cutting off a finger." It's not that I'm bad at it, exactly. It's that I have no technique and no desire to develop one.

He chops, I cook it. It saves us hospital bills time and arguments.

It was a cool evening last night, which meant turning the oven on wasn't going to overheat our entire house.  While the oven preheated I cooked the veggies in our cast iron skillet. Another secret, I am a delicate flower have weak wrists and honestly, cannot lift the cast iron skillet so my husband has to do it for me.
The recipe was easy to follow, as most of hers are. Once the onions were translucent, I added flour then chicken stock. Cooked that for a bit and added the rest of the ingredients (chicken, broccoli, herbs). Once that was cooked down, I added the broccoli tots on top and into the oven it went.
It came out looking like this:
This was marked down as four servings, which made it easy to divvy up. I took my quarter of the "pie" and gave my husband his.
I am a big fan of using small plates. It really does trick your brain into thinking you are eating more. Not that I needed it. I finished this off and was pleasantly full. Next time, I might add a salad with this, just to have a fresher element.

It tasted delicious, a lot like a chicken pot pie. My only complaint is the Green Giant Broccoli Tots are hella expensive. I'll keep an eye out for sales, but might not make this again until I can find them cheaper. My husband really liked it. My kids did not eat it, but that's because I started cooking it late, not because they didn't like it.

Overall, I would absolutely make this again and recommend it. Especially if you have a coupon for the broccoli tots!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Smoke on the Water

I woke up this morning to go swimming and checked the temp before I got ready. It was not warm. I waffled. In fact, I actually laid back down in my bed and pulled the covers up. Not today, I thought. Today is not my day to swim. 

I pulled the covers up to my chin.

And then...

Perhaps it was knowing I have a friend who busts her ass on the tennis court in ridiculous heat and humidity. And another one who gets home from work and kills her strength workouts. And yet another one, who attempts new workouts all the time, even though she is afraid she will trip or flat out not be able to do it, but still she tries. And yet another friend who walks for miles because she can't run due to an injury, yet she gets out and moves. And another friend who runs before sunrise in the Michigan heat AND the Michigan cold.

If these awesome women can do it, my sneaky little brain said, then by god, Meg, your lazy ass can get out of bed and swim.

I'm glad I have inspirational friends, but man, I would have liked to sleep in a little bit more today. Y'all are screwing with my rest!

In case you think I am kidding about the temps:
What kind of a-hole gets up at 5:45 to swim OUTDOORS in those temps?!?

This one, I guess.

We had a busy weekend, which is why I was overtired and not ready for swimming or getting my kids ready for daycare this morning. A hectic Monday morning for sure!

Over the weekend I ran in the annual city race to support our local fireworks. This was the first year the boys ran the mile race. One of them took a fall a quarter mile in, so we walked the rest of the mile, but they had fun.

Here they are, with their cousin, stretching before the run:
Gotta stay limber!

The 5K was fun. I finished in 38 minutes. For not training for speed at all, and walking a mile before the race, I was happy with it.

I was off by a week, so this week I officially start my half marathon training. I think I'll be on the treadmill a lot for this one, gotta love training for a fall run during the summer! Since I once ran 17 miles on the treadmill, this will be nothing!
Hope you had an awesome weekend. Let's kick this last week of June's butt!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Down on the Corner, Out in the Street

Week Three
Weekly weigh-in: -1.2 pounds
Pounds to go: 54.4


I had to skip swimming this morning because my husband started work early. It is hard to not hold it against him, which sounds dumb, but the man hasn't started early in over a month and now that I have shit to do he starts early. Sigh. Timing is a beast.

Good news, I lost weight this week. I wish it were more, which sounds terrible to say. I wanted to average two pounds a week, which seems completely doable. I just need to get down and really focus. I can do this!

I've been crushing my workouts. Food has been about an 80%. We had some holidays, Father's Day especially, and ended up with snacks in the house. We don't usually have stuff I like, the boys eat snacks that don't appeal to me. But, after hosting people on Sunday, we ended up with chips and snack mix. I was grazing on them on Sunday and finally on Monday I just tossed them in the garbage. My husband doesn't eat them and I didn't want the temptation. 

Last night my sister hosted a wine and cheese gathering at her house. We had a friend in from out of town, so I was over there. I snacked, maybe more than normal, but tried to keep it heavy on the vegetables. Between early morning swimming and walking on my lunch, by the time I got home and got the boys in bed I was wiped. I needed to run last night, first day of half marathon training, but my body laughed at me. So, I brushed my teeth and collapsed into bed just after nine. I think there's going to be an adjustment period with these earlier wake up calls.

Goals for this week:
  • Lap swimming any day I can
  • Follow half marathon training plan
  • Weights three times 
  • Make two new to me healthy meals

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

You'll Never Say Hello to You

I was so nervous about starting this organized swim thing that I woke up an hour before my alarm and tossed and turned until finally I gave in and got up.

I wasn't prepped for it to be cool this morning. I had to dig out a sweatshirt from my winter clothes bin. I wore that and some sweatpants capris over my swimsuit and drove to the pool. It seemed silly to drive, I live about a half mile away, but I wasn't sure what my timing would be like after the swim. On normal days, I need to leave my house by 7:15 to make it to work on time and the swim ended at 7.
The swim started yesterday, but I had to take my new dog to the vet, so I wasn't able to make it. I felt like everyone knew each other and I was getting that super nervous "what the hell am I doing here?!?" kind of feeling. Someone jumped in and started setting up the lanes, more people showed up (about thirty in all) and people got into the pool. I still had no clue what to do, saw no sign of a coach anywhere. As an introvert, this was the part I dreaded most. It's why I don't usually try new things, especially organized group events. I hate not KNOWING. People were setting down their water bottles at the end of lanes and I could see they all had lanes picked out. At first, I thought it was just people swimming with their friends, but then I recognized an order to the madness. Faster swimmers started in Lane 1, then the lanes got progressively slower until Lane 8.

 I ended up in what my mom and I lovingly call the Turtle Lane (aka Lane 8). This isn't meant to be mean AT ALL, but I could tell there were swimmers there who were SWIMMERS and there to do sprints and drills, etc. Shoot, when I was in prime swim team shape I was never that fast. So, I stuck to the slow lane and I am super glad I did. 

Once we were swimming I felt much more comfortable. The coach was very nice and he adjusted workouts for our lane which was great. I never felt like I couldn't do anything. I ended up with a solid swim, more than I would have done if I were swimming laps on my own. I ended up leaving at 6:50 because I had to get home and get ready. 

I'm glad I stepped outside my comfort zone and joined. Class runs four days a week until August. I'm looking forward to getting my butt kicked for the next month and a half.

Now if someone could help me lift my coffee cup up to my lips, that would be great.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

I'll Tell You Once More Before I Get Off the Floor, Don't Bring Me Down

Week Two
Weekly weigh-in: -1.0 pounds
Pounds to go: 55.6


This was one of those times I wish I could have changed my weigh-in day. We had my trivia league finals last night, so I ate late, I had a beer, PLUS I didn't get much sleep which meant I wasn't up early enough to workout. I had hoped for a better weigh-in but I know those factors made it only so so. A loss is better than a gain.

I'm not doing myself any favors by not weighing in on my designated weigh-in day. If I weigh myself tomorrow will I have a bigger loss? Probably.

This week I have added running back into my routine. I ran a 5K on Saturday then did three miles on the treadmill yesterday. I've been walking every day, too, but I forgot how much I missed running until I started doing it again. I start half marathon training at the end of the month. Going to try the Hal Higdon plan, which is more running than I am used to for training, but it sounds doable.

I'll leave you with my sweaty--but happy--face post run last night. It was too hot for outside so I did a treadmill run.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Night Swimming Deserves a Quiet Night

It was hotter than heck this weekend. Thankfully, my city has a pool the whole family enjoys so we spent a large chunk of Saturday and Sunday hanging out there. And by hanging out I mean swimming our butts off. It was a blast.

I like to observe people, and spending almost eight hours at the pool (over the course of two days I am not insane) left me with some good people watching time. Here's what I noticed:

-Every single woman there had some sort of cellulite/jiggle going on. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM. The skinny ones, the bigger ones, EVERY LAST ONE OF THEM! I'm not pointing this out because I find anything wrong with it. It's more of a "we all have this, why are we trying to pretend otherwise?" Now I, personally, have decided to live by the rule of "my thighs jiggle gonna wear a Speedo anyway". Part of that is because my kids want me to swim with them and most tankinis don't support the girls in any way which makes me constantly a couple of strokes away from an accidental nip slip. The other part is, when I swim laps wear the Speedo and I need that kind of suit for lap swimming. Oh and because last year, after almost flashing half the pool when my kid grabbed my suit I decided I was just going to wear a one-piece and screw what anyone thought of me. I was shocked at how many women wore short bottoms or bottoms that had a skirt on them, as if the sight of our wiggly inner thighs will cause young children to run screaming in the opposite direction.

-The dudes all went without shirts. There were a few in rashguard type shirts, I am assuming for sun protection, but they were few and far between. Seriously, I saw hairy backs and big bellies and skinny chests and tattoos and every thing else. The dudes did not care. You know why? Because THE WORLD has not beat over their head that they can't show that off.

-No one cares what I look like. And if they do care, it doesn't matter because I DO NOT CARE ABOUT THEM. You know what I care about? I care about my kids having fun. I care about them listening and paying attention to the lifeguards. I care that they like when I show off how I can swim, and imitate me. I care that the lifeguard gave me a thumb's up for stopping my kid from being an asshole on the water slide.

My thighs jiggle. My belly jiggles. My arms jiggle. Who the eff cares?

Wear a Speedo. Show of your inner thighs. Go swimming. No one is looking at you, except the lifeguard and that's only to make sure you are not drowning on their watch.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

It's Going Down, I'm Yelling Timber

Week One
Weekly weigh-in: -2.0 pounds
Pounds to go: 56.6

Boom.

The first week is the easiest, right? The one where you're super dedicated and excited about things. Then maybe things go a little harder the next week so you don't bust your ass quite as much. And the week after that everyone's going out to eat and you love you some chili cheese fries, so why not indulge?

Not this time, bucko.

You. Have. Got. This.

I started walking on my lunch again. It works in two ways. First, I get the calorie burn which is nice. Second, I don't sit at my desk and think "man I am still hungry, I wonder what snacks are laying around this place?". Instead, I go for a walk and by the time I get back to my desk, my brain has caught up with my stomach and I am full.

I stopped drinking diet soda. It's been a few days and it feels weird, but so far so good. This was a personal challenge for me for June. I didn't really share it, because it was more of a "well, let's see what happens thing" than an actual goal. It helps that I don't have late night rehearsals or anything so I don't need caffeine at eight o'clock at night.

I stopped snacking in my car. Not entirely, but instead of mowing down bags of chips I bring an apple to eat on my way home from work. It holds off the EAT EVERYTHING NOW feeling when I get home and it's healthy and I enjoy the crunch.

Baby steps.

You can do this, Meg.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

I Had a Dream So Big and Loud

Wow, it took me a while to get over my post-marathon blues.

It actually took inspiration from the lovely Anna to get me going. Guess who's back, y'all?

I haven't been a complete slug for the last couple of weeks. I did stuff, I swear!

First, there was the workout from Anna's trainer. I'm a fitness/awesome friend group with her and she shared one of her interval training workouts. We all tried it, and I have to say, it was tough! I give her credit for busting ass on these.

It was nice to see one of my guys try out some of the moves.
This was a plank move. Isn't he the cutest?
Then, I graduated a step up in my weights!
This made me feel super badass! You wouldn't think those five pounds would make that much of a difference, but man, do they ever. My goal is to make it up to the 20's by the end of summer. I have never made it past the fifteen pounders. I can do this!

Third, I ran a 5K over Memorial Weekend. There was a 1/2 mile kid's race, too. So, technically, I ran a 1/2 mile, then ran a 5K. Oh, and because the race was on the course of the Detroit Grand Prix, we had to walk almost a mile to get to the starting line. Not a big deal as an adult, but I had two four year olds who kept randomly sprinting. By the time they finished their race, and I finished mine, I ended up carrying one and J. carried the other one back to the car. Now that's a workout.

The race was the Run Detroit Grand Prix 5000. It was a good race except. OK, this is weird. I stayed to the back because I hadn't really trained for speed for a 5K, you know? I felt great the whole time, but at the halfway point there was a folded up table, some sleeves of cups, and about ten gallon jugs of water. No people, though. I want to say this was because they NEVER had the station manned, but there were also no cups scattered around which means the station was manned at some point, and the people left. There were at least a hundred people left on the course when I hit the spot. I stopped and helped a man who was with his maybe ten or eleven year old son. We set up the table, put out cups, filled them up. I stayed for about five minutes to keep the water coming, then left him to finish the run because I had the kiddos waiting. That was a HUGE complaint. Don't advertise a walker friendly 5K (pace requirement was a 19 minute mile) and then leave the effing water table unmanned for the slow people. EFF THAT!

Sigh. Enough. I will vent my spleen to the race director via email soon enough. Until then, pictures!
This was all on the walk to the starting line
The boys loved their capes!
This week I tried a new recipe. It was Damn Delicious' imitation PF Chang's chicken lettuce wraps. Recipe found here. Sadly, I forgot the damn lettuce because of a shitty day at work (including a cracked tooth) so I ended up just having it with riced cauliflower and a side of carrots for color.
They were yummy and super easy to make. I hate cooking and I hate complicated recipes so if I say they were easy to make, then trust me, they were easy.

And now it is June 1st. I'm doing a summer challenge that is weight loss and activity related. I have to stop the upward swing of the scale somehow.

Happy June!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Then What?

I spent almost six months training for my marathon.

Now it's over.

What happens next? I really let my eating and weight loss fall to the side while I was training. I had a difficult time getting in calories after long runs, and restricting them and my carbs was making me feel like garbage so I just ate what I felt like eating. I didn't gain weight, which is good. On the other hand, I haven't lost weight since March. So that sucks.

I want to work on my weights again. I love those darn things. I'm going out for a run this evening just to run and not to train for anything which is weird. I'll run what I feel like running at the pace I feel like moving. I have my eye on signing up for the morning swim offered at our city pool (which opens Memorial Day weekend). I miss swimming and this one has a set workout made up by a swim coach from one of our local colleges.

And I'm going to sign up for the Detroit Women's Half Marathon in September. I have run either the 5K or the half marathon in that race for the past five years, as long as the race has been a round, so I'll start training for that one in the next couple of weeks.

For the first time in four years I am not going to be doing a summer musical. It's weird, but at the same time a little bit of a relief. I  love being on stage, but the rehearsals for this last show I was in, plus the emotional gut punch (I was M'Lynn in Steel Magnolias) left me drained. A few months off will be good for me and the guys.

I'm looking forward to a good summer with my family and friends!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Flying Pig Marathon 2017 - Back of the Pack Recap

Before I signed up for The Pig I did my research. I wanted to do a marathon that was back of the pack friendly. The course limit for the full for the Flying Pig is seven hours, which is great. After I found that out, I started to look for blog posts from people about the marathon.

Most of the stuff I found was written by either faster people or about the half marathon. I found a couple that seemed to be closer to my pace and I read what I could.

This post is for anyone who does what I do and next year, when they are looking for a marathon, does a little google search to see what the course was like for those of us who don't finish marathons under four hours.

A lot happened over the weekend that was un-marathon related (yes I did that, shut your mouth) but this is just about the actual race.

Packet Pick-up
I got into Cincinnati at around 5PM Friday. After checking into the hotel, my friend and I walked over to the expo center which was across the street from the hotel. The expo was HUGE. We had plans to check it out the next day, so on Friday I just got my bib and my shirt and we left. Packet pick-up was super easy.
Pros: Very, very, very well organized.
Cons: Look, I love a tech shirt as much as the next person, but the 5Kers (and maybe the 10K I don't know) got t-shirts instead of tech shirts and they were awesome. It was like a souvenir concert t-shirt. I was very jealous of that. I love to wear cotton race shirts, especially cute ones, after the fact. I rarely wear race tech shirts because they never fit me right.

 Expo
We went to the expo on Saturday after the 5K. We still had someone who needed to pick up their bib for the marathon on Sunday. The expo was gigantic, like I said. Not really my thing. I did end up with a coffee mug of the race. You know what I really wanted? A 26.2 sticker for the back of my car. You know what they had? ALL MAGNETS. Hmmm...
If you are into giant expos and shopping, then this is for you. If not, you can still pass through the expo quickly to get your packet, etc, so you can be in and out without a fuss.

Race Prep
The night before the race I laid out all my equipment to make sure I had everything.
Pictured: Shoes, shirt, capris, socks, sunscreen, water bottle, fuel, Flip Belt, and awesome Run Detroit hat because gotta represent my city!

I also had my friend write my manta on my arm.
I set my alarm for 5:02AM and tried to sleep. Somehow my alarm got screwed up and I didn't wake up until 5:25. We had planned to meet in the lobby with our other friends at 5:30!

Nothing like rushing around your room like crazy right before a marathon. Thankfully, everything worked out and I got to the corral with plenty of time.

The corrals were all fenced off with a very handsome man in a military uniform checking people's bibs as they entered to make sure they were racers. Once in the corral, my friends went on their way to watch our faster friend start and I waited for the corral to start.

The Race
We started about 20 minutes after the first corral. I had a fleece on because it was cold at the start, not even in the forties and there was a brisk wind coming off the river.  I didn't take any pictures during the run because my phone was tucked into my flip belt and I didn't want to deal with it. Any pictures of me were taken by my awesome friends because they are awesome. The end. Also, I was running so my exact course descriptions are also a little off. But, the basic gist of it is there.

Miles 1-4
We started out on the Ohio side and ran around until we crossed a bridge up and over into Kentucky. I have run the Detroit half marathon before and this bridge was honestly not as bad as that one. My goal was to walk up bridges and run down them, regardless of what my run/walk interval was. The first half of this race is HILLY and I didn't want to burn out my legs before it was even half over.
Because I started at the back of the pack, I was running with the half marathon walkers, which was fine. I didn't really have to dodge around anyone, and most people kept to the course requirement of no more than two people walking abreast. I kept to my 25 second run and 30 second walk when I wasn't going up hills.
We crossed one bridge in Kentucky, then crossed another bridge from Kentucky back into Ohio. That made me laugh, as we came over the second bridge I heard a woman say to the man with her, "Are you sure this one goes into Ohio? Because you said the last one didn't and you were wrong." Walk up the bridges, then run down them. Lather, rinse, repeat. I started fueling at Mile 3. And felt great. My pace was right on a 15 minute mile.

Miles 5-9
And then we started to go up hill. Again, I did my walk up the hills, keep to my run/walk on any flat parts. The climb up to this park, which was where the hill topped out, wasn't THAT bad. I expected it to be much worse. I just kept on with my plan and before I knew it we were at this lovely lookout over the city.
Freezing cold support crew
Running away from them.
At that point, we split off from the half marathoners and suddenly it was just me and like, four other people. Ah yes, the dreaded Back of the Pack. I still felt great at this point, my legs were fine, my breathing was good, I had my playlist bumping. I give the Flying Pig credit, even with the much, much smaller crowds on the road, the people manning the water stations were still cheering and screaming as if we were all the first runners they saw all day.

Miles 10-14
The course at this point wound through the neighborhoods of Cincy. It was nice to check out the houses and enjoy the scenery. Nothing too crazy. There were some hills and the sun was out in full force, but temps were in the 50's so we were still good. I passed my friends at Mile 14. They had signs and were just genuinely awesome crowd support.

 A few of them headed to the finish to see our other much faster friend finish, but two stayed behind to meet me at Mile 17, which was just a hop from Mile 14.
Seriously, best cheering sections I have seen on a race cours!
The signs made me laugh!

My fuel was good, my legs were good, I was still at my awesome 15 minute pace. This race was great!

Miles 15-20
We went through a neighborhood, Mariemont, and the crowd support was just awesome. People out cheering on their lawns, neighbors having race parties. It was so cool. Again, I was at the back of the pack, so you know they had people passing them by for hours and still they cheered. We were on a bike path for a little bit. I saw my friends again, and they promised to meet me at the finish. Everything was awesome!

Miles 20-26
At around Mile 20, we started through a less than desirable part of the city. There were other runners around me so I wasn't overly concerned, but it wasn't good viewing to distract me. There was a full blown argument between a woman and a man in front of their house that included screaming and threats. I didn't know what I should do, if I should call someone on my phone or what. I just kept running.
Then at Mile 23, disaster struck. Disaster in the form of stomach issues. You guys. It was AWFUL. I spent way too much time in a port-a-john (you're welcome for the overshare). I was close enough to the point where I thought I would have to pull myself off the course. I started to walk. And cry. You know what doesn't go well with any form of exercise? Crying. I was almost hyperventilating and thought for sure if a course official saw me they would pull me thinking I was having a heart attack.
We also started down the loneliest stretch of the course, the Columbia Parkway. It was just a long, closed road with nothing to look at, no shade, and nothing but cement for what felt like ages. So here I am, feeling like I'm gonna vomit, crying, not being able to breath, and I still have THREE MILES TO GO. Three terrible, awful miles.
Thankfully, I spotted a guy I had passed a few times throughout the course while we both ran the Galloway method. He passed me while I was stopped in the port-a-john. I caught up with him and basically said, "Hi, I'm Meg, can I walk with you?" His name was Randy and honestly, Randy, I would not have survived the rest of this race without you. We didn't really talk, but just having a human being by me was enough.
I sent a text to the support crew, who knew I was struggling based on my times that posted at each mile marker. The text was basically one f-bomb. They recognized the desperation. At Mile 25 ( I think?) there they were. My friends PLUS the one who already ran a marathon. I got a much needed boost from that. One friend kept walking with me and I passed off my water bottle to her as we approached the finish.

Mile 26.2
With the disastrous last three mile walk, I ended up adding quite a bit of time to my run. Again, I was just in it to finish strong, so I'm not upset about that, other than, come on I was doing SO GOOD!! Eh, enough of that, I can't change it. I rounded the corner for the finish line and just chugged along. The rest of the group was there to cheer me on as I crossed the finish. It was brutal and I was exhausted, but my legs, bless their hearts still felt great.

Here's where being a back of packer sucks. For earlier finishers, there are awesome birds-eye photos of their finish. The photographers who took those were gone by the time I finished. Other photographers did get some of me running it in, but not many. And when I crossed the finish line, got my medal and blanket, there was one person with a camera to take a photo with my medal. She said, "They keep telling me to pack up, but I know there are people on the course, so I won't. Not yet." Thank you, lady!
Everything was getting broken down and taken apart, but I got bottled water and was directed to some food which I did not want. I walked around until I could meet up with the rest of the group.
This guy ran a marathon, and then walked back on the course a mile to cheer me on. Losing My Puppy has found herself a keeper. Which is good, because SHE is a keeper.
EVERYONE WAS AWESOME!
After the race, my stomach was still jacked up. We all rested at the hotel, then went out to dinner at Molly Malone's. I highly, highly recommend that place. It's on the Covington side and was awesome. Good food, decent service and not crowded at all.

Then we took an Uber to get ice cream, as you should.
Hot fudge sundae
My stomach was still anti-sugar at this point, so I didn't eat much of it. Boo. Then back to the hotel and sleep.

A few of us were still around on Monday, so we got breakfast at Maplewood Kitchen (I also highly recommend this place).
Goat cheese and ricotta toast

Avocado toast with pisatchios and honey
And then I drove home.

Overall
I would recommend this race to anyone. The course is challenging, but if you go into with a plan and train for it, you can do it. Without the stomach issues, this race would have been PERFECT. Very, very back of the pack friendly.
My only suggestion, should you go and want to stay in one of the race recommended hotels, DO NOT stay at the Millennium Hotel. It was terrible.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

And Then She Was Done

I did it.

I'm going to go into more details when I've had a chance to wash my dirty clothes, and clean my house, and unwind for more than five seconds, but I did it.

I followed my training plan and I finished within the course limits WITH A SMILE.

I did it.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Finally It Happened to Me

Second to last training run complete.

I feel good about this marathon. Am I going to jinx myself by saying that?

I have a pace plan that I'm going to stick to like glue. I've got my nutrition planned. My fluids and my support planned. Weather right now will be on the warm side towards the end of the run, but I will survive that!!

And then I will eat grilled cheese(s) with my wonderful friends.

If you see me running by at the marathon just yell out "Tom + Chee, Meg! Tom + mother effing Chee!".

These legs were made for hills.

You are ready for this.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Raise a Glass For Freedom

With T-Minus six days until the marathon I have two goals:

1. Drink all the water. I live on a peninsula surrounded by the largest freshwater bodies of water in the country (in the world? I should look that up). And I plan on drinking every last drop this place has to offer.

Eight of these a day. That's my goal.

2. Eat all the bananas. A banana a day keeps the cramps away! So does a Bloody Mary but I can't day drink ALL the time now can I?
The reception is terrible on this thing!
I have a few taking it nice and easy runs the schedule. Going to run once I get to Cincy on Friday, just to make sure my legs remember what to do.

And then that's it.

Then I'll run 26.2 miles.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

This Is Ground Control to Major Tom

Oh hey! This week just got away from me. I was all set to post about the 10K I did last Saturday, but then life happened and here we are on Thursday.

It still counts if I get the recap in before I do my next race, right?

I ran the Martian Marathon 10K as a training run. I had six miles on the schedule and figured it would be just as much fun to run the six on a closed course as it would be to run through my neighborhood.

Funny story, when my alarm went off for me to get up and leave. I turned it off and went back to sleep. I thought, 'eh, I don't really want to get up and drive twenty minutes to just run six miles. I can do that at home.'

Then my sons both started whining...seriously, as soon as they woke up...and I said, 'you know, that race sounds really fun right now'. And I left them with their dad. Sorry, honey.

The 10K and 5K started together at 8AM.

Look at all those happy runners!

I zoomed in because it isn't super obvious, but the run started UPHILL.
Isn't that mean?
Aside from the sun, it was a perfect running day. Temps were in the high 40's at the start. I forgot my fuel belt so I wore my running jacket for the pockets. A tenth of the way into the run, I knew I would be too hot. I tied the jacket around my waist, which was fine for six miles. I wouldn't recommend it for any more than that. Nothing like having your cell phone bang against your thigh every few feet.

I don't know if it was the weather or just the fact I was so excited to have a long run that wasn't in the double digits, but I had so much fun! My music was great, the course was fun, the people around me were nice. (I am sure they hated me as I passed them all perky and cheerful like mother effing Pollyanna) I had to reign myself in a whole bunch. This was a training run, which meant SLOW THE EFF DOWN, MEG.
Oops.
The good news, I felt GREAT during the whole run. Yes, I should have gone much, much slower. But, you know, sometimes it is nice to know your legs have that in them. When slogging through 23 miles at a much slower pace and thinking "I am never going to finish 26 miles within course limits" it helps to know, well at least I can run a 10K at a decent pace.
One more six mile long run this upcoming weekend and I am officially done with my long runs for this training. Isn't that crazy?

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Slow Down, You Crazy Child

Got in another mile for my streak.

I slept through my alarm this morning which means I will be running my regularly scheduled training run after rehearsal. Just like I think "what kind of idiot runs 20 miles for fun?", I often think "what kind of idiot goes for a run at 10PM?". Such is life.

This weekend I am running in a 10K race for my training run. I have to tell myself (repeatedly) this is a training run. There is no reason, whatsoever, I should go out and run this thing fast. First, I haven't really trained for speed AT ALL. Second, I have a marathon two weeks from the race. I want my legs to be fresh as happy little daisies for that bullshit.

I have participated in this particular race in a variety of ways. I volunteered once. I ran the half marathon. This time I run the 10K. If you're local, this is the Martian Marathon series of races. I think they do a pretty good job. And the road we run on has a couple of hills. These legs were MADE for hills.

That's my mantra. Have I mentioned this at all? The friend I run with for my long runs, B, has done multiple marathons. He does the Galloway method and told me Galloway recommends coming up with a mantra for hills and a mantra to get through races. When it gets super tough, you have to visualize your mantra. For hills, I have come up with: These legs were made for hills.

As for the rest of the race, my mantra is going to be simply: YOU GOT THIS. Remember all those miles of training? YOU GOT THIS! Remember all the times you could have slept in and instead went out for a run? YOU GOT THIS! Remember the wet runs, the cold runs, the hot runs, the runs on the treadmill with two little boys dancing around you and asking you for cookies and snacks and "when are you gonna be done, Mama"? YOU GOT THIS!

I also know I want to borrow a page from Steph's book and dedicate the miles to different people. When I have that list I will share it. I'm gonna make sure the LLL Support Crew out on the course knows it, too. So if at mile 19 I am ready to cry someone can shout, "This one is for ____!"and it will--hopefully--boost my spirits.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Every Move You Make

When I was pregnant, the time leading up to delivery didn't exactly drag, but it didn't fly by. It FELT like nine months. I worked until two weeks before my delivery date. Once I was done with work, all of sudden time seemed to speed up.

We had the cribs assembled, the bedrooms ready to go, the car seats in and checked, the house stocked with diapers. We went to breastfeeding classes, and had sterilized bottles, and a breast pump, and post-maternity outfits, and bouncers, and swings all put together--we were ready! Even then, even though I knew we had prepared as much as we possibly could, I still started to panic. Because, as much as we did, we still had no effing clue what we were doing.

That's how I feel about this marathon.

I am trained. Which sounds crazy. Because if you told me a year ago I would be able to train for a marathon without missing out on precious time with my family, I would have told you you were a nut job.

I am mentally prepared.

I have my outfit picked out. I have my fuel plan all set. I have my gigantic stash of Body Glide ready to go.

I am prepared for rain. I am prepared for heat. I have a back-up outfit if it is cold.

I am as ready as I can possibly be.

Yet, each run I do from now until the day of the marathon makes me feel that little bit of panic all over again. I am as ready as I can possibly be, but still...I have no effing clue.

Monday, April 17, 2017

And Then There Were None

I did it.

I completed all of my long runs (save one or two of the shorter long runs) for my marathon. In three weeks I'll be running the Flying Pig.

This last run wasn't that brutal. OK, it sucked, but that was because I was only able to get six miles done outdoors before the thunderstorms rolled through. I ended up doing the other 17 on the treadmill. I got some movies On Demand and just stuck it out but it was boring and I almost cried during the last mile. Only good thing, because I was on the treadmill, I had my water and my Powerade and my waffles and my jellybeans and fruit leathers all just hanging out. I was perfectly hydrated and felt good. Plus, the treadmill was easier on my knees so they didn't hurt as much.

Now, I'm done. I step back on the mileage. And I trust the taper.

Yeah, right.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

It's My Birthday Too

Yesterday, I turned 37.

There was much fanfare and to-doing up in these parts.

OK, maybe not so much. I got to hang out with family, I played Pub Trivia, it was a riot. Then I went to bed by 11. I am old.

I did do my annual Run My Age. Ha, no, not 37 miles...I am only 26.2 miles worth of crazy.
I ran 3.7 for being 37.

And my sweet little guys got me flowers. What more could a running mom ask for?

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

It's Alive!

The streak is alive and going strong. Even with a clogged ear that really wanted to be an ear infection, I still managed to get my body moving.

Not sure, where I left off on pictures, but I have been doing screen shots of my Fitbit steps when I workout. It's neat--and I am sad I have not done this before--but I just start a workout with my Fitbit and march or walk around my house until I hit a mile. I did that a few times when I got home late at night and the treadmill wasn't an option.

Friday's marching

Saturday's marching
Like I said, I was under the weather. I didn't have it in me to do my six mile training run. Nothing like a late spring cold to just make my life better and easier, right? Instead, I checked with my friend to make sure he could drive me home, and walked up to the bar where we had Pub Trivia. It ended up being about a 3.25 mile walk. It was good to get some mileage on my legs.

It helped me feel a little better to see I could walk pretty fast. My goal is to take the first half of the marathon very, very easy since that is the hilliest part of the course. Cut off time is a 7 hour marathon, and they open the course progressively at a 16 minute mile. Figure with a slow but steady pace for the first ten miles I should have enough juice left in the tank to finish strong.

Saturday I run my last long run before the marathon...TWENTY-THREE MILES! Is that insane? It seems like only a crazy person would get up at 5AM on a Saturday to run around her neighborhood for six hours.

Good thing: I will be able to eat an extra helping of cheesy potatoes on Easter Sunday.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Gonna Make You Sweat

If you put it down on paper, it is hard not to commit to it. That's how it works for me, at least.

I said I would walk a mile, or do my scheduled runs, every single day in April. Well, I didn't start until the 2nd, but that's ok.

Here's what we got:

One mile on the treadmill after rehearsal Monday night:

Three miles on the treadmill for a training run on Tuesday:
And just for shits and giggles, twenty minutes on the stair stepper after my run because HILLS:
I love that little stair stepper. Credit where credit is due, huge shout out to Runs to Get Waisted, for introducing me to the awesomeness of this little guy. It might not seem like much, but twenty minutes on this bad boy had my quads singing!

Can I call it a streak if it's only been three days? Why not, it's my life, I do what I want!

Monday, April 3, 2017

A Mile a Day

The good news: I only missed two SHORT training runs in March.

The bad news: After my 20 miler a week ago, I feel just a smidge burnt out. I lacked motivation and skipped TWO runs this week. Since I only skipped two the entire month of March, and it is only April 3rd, this is not a good thing.

To find my mojo and keep up with my training schedule so I can kick ass at the Flying Pig, I've got a month long challenge for myself.

The Challenge:

Walk or run at least one mile every single day. And I mean, consciously walk, as in go out on my lunch and walk or get on the treadmill and walk. I'm not going to count the Fitbit steps I get in throughout the day.

I'll do my training runs on training days and walk on the other days. Or maybe do an easier run if I feel up to it. No over training, just getting up and moving more than I have in a few days. Gotta get those legs in marathon shape ASAP!

I REALLY need to work on my cross training, too but when one loses her motivation for anything except for Netflix, it can be tough.

One month and four days until the marathon! No time for slacking now!

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!