Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Celebrating 14 Years

On this day, 14 years ago, Jason and I both said, "I do."

It was not a lavish affair. But we did it our way. We catered it for 78 people - sit down meal with salad, homemade manicotti (which I haven't made since), and of course cake for dessert, which I also decorated. I picked up my favorite cake, an Italian Cream cake from a local bakery for $13 each and adorned them with lace, pearls and white roses (hard to see the details).



My mother custom made my dress and even made all of the flower arrangements, all white silk roses which I later took to the grave of a dear friend who would have and should have been there.

My cousin officiated the ceremony on my mother's property on a hot summer evening. It was just over 100 degrees that day (but the hottest day of the year came after we were on our honeymoon at least).


We giggled during the vows. I even temporarily lost my wedding ring after we walked back down the aisle. We were worry-free.


Again, not lavish, but just right with family and friends and of course each other. Marriage is never easy, but neither is life. We've had ups and downs and we've stood by each other through it all. I am blessed.

We're celebrating this year with a trip to Boston. I'll see you all when we return!



Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tough 10-Miles and Self Doubt

Some of you may recall a brief mention of signing up for my first marathon in December - the 3 Bridges Marathon. Somehow, it seemed like a great idea at the time. Maybe it was the wine talking. And in the future Jason is never allowed to go grab my wallet for me when I'm hastily signing up for a race without fully thinking it through. New rule.


I haven't really talked much about my training or my training plan for that matter. Right now I'm not doing too much different than what I typically do with the exception of incorporating in dedicated speed work.

My weekly mileage has been hovering between 40-43 miles for quite some time. I try to always keep at least one 10-miler in my weekly running so that when I do sign up for a half (or a full), then ramping up the training isn't that big of a deal. It allows me to focus more on speed since I have the distance for the most part. In other words, 10 miles isn't normally that big of a deal for me.

So, my plan was to slowly start adding miles to my long run. It sounded like the perfect plan and was working just fine especially since we've had one of the mildest summers on record. Oh, that was until summer decided to finally show up mid-August.

With morning temps hovering at 75-80 degrees with humidity and dew points high enough to put a sauna to shame, that sort of throws a wrench into my well-laid plans. Humidity will completely zap you. Flat out, no joke, knock you on your a$$.

So my 14 miles hasn't happened yet. I hit 12 a couple of times on some random cooler Saturday mornings. But now? I can barely eke out 10 miles without crawling home. Because I will be traveling at the end of this week, I wanted to get my longer run done this morning. I thought I could do 11-12 miles. My body had other ideas about that grand plan.

The temperature was 77 degrees. I didn't even bother looking at the humidity or dew point because all you had to do was open the door to know that it was sauna-steamy out. Because I was solo, I had on a light tank, but it was all I could do to not rip that sucker off by mile 2 as it was soaked and clinging to me. I am very claustrophobic, so the tank sticking to me wasn't helping my mental state one bit.

I think what made today even worse was that there was zero breeze to help cool me down. Nothing. Not even when I made it down to the river and up on the bridge, where there's usually a wonderful breeze to enjoy. Nope. Not today. And my sunrise? Can I at least have that please?

By mile 8 I was starting to feel really off, like almost dizzy, really difficult time breathing. Which makes sense as I don't have gills. I stopped not once, but twice during those last two miles home and even contemplated calling Jason to come get my sorry butt at one point. But I'm stubborn. Really really stubborn. So I made it to the house, immediately changed into a swimsuit and jumped into the pool where I sat and sort of stewed for a few minutes.

I was annoyed with myself, with the weather, with how hard the run felt. My pace? Too fast - 8:26 average even with the struggles. It's like I just wanted to go faster and faster to get it done. I need to slow down for my longer runs and I can't figure out how to pace myself better. And that frustrates me.

Of course I started having some serious doubts about my ability to complete this full marathon. I was angry that I had signed up for it to be honest. The last few 10-milers have left me thinking that there's no way I will even be able to hit 16 miles let alone 26.2. I'm going to fail. And, I'm disappointed with myself for thinking this way. Instead of being a Negative Nelly about it, I'm going to recognize the reasons for the difficult run. I will just have to adjust my training plan in accordance to the weather.

I had hoped to very gradually ease into the high miles and allow for extra back off weeks just because I am injury prone. But right now, I also have to be realistic and flexible. I think ...

Have you had to completely re-adjust training plans? How do you get past a bad workout?

Friday, August 22, 2014

Lifting, Living, Decorating - Move.Eat.Live.

Phew, finally made it to Friday! That means Fun for Friday around here. I've been enjoying recapping my Move.Eat.Live. moments from the week, so I thought I'd share again. And, as always, I would love to hear your Move.Eat.Live. moments as well.

Move

I've gotten in some good runs this week, including a 10-miler yesterday morning. It's supposed to be uncomfortably hot this weekend. Since I was going to be up at the crack of dawn running yesterday anyway, I thought it'd be smart to get the run done. I had wanted another 12-miler, but will gladly take the 10, especially because it was shared in good company with Amy.

I got in some good weight workouts this week as well. I love working so close to my home. This lets me get in weights easily during my lunch break. Plus, slinging some weights around can help if you're feeling stressed.


Eat

Last night I made a version of my garlicky tomato sauce (sorry, forgot to take pictures but I can assure you it was yummy). It's such a simple sauce using fresh cherry or grape tomatoes, tons of garlic, white wine and fresh basil.

But last night I wanted to thicken the sauce a bit so I added in some tomato paste as well as nutritional yeast flakes, spinach, artichokes and some tofu that I had marinated in a homemade basil vinaigrette.

Jason immediately asked what I had done different. Sometimes it turns out in your favor to revisit a tried-and-true recipe and jazz it up a bit.

Live

This week was pretty busy for both Jason and I. I didn't really get a chance to just sit outside and read, though, it was too hot for that quite honestly. But I did manage to finish some home decorating projects (which you've probably already seen me sharing and posting about).

I'm hoping to enjoy some down time this weekend. We may go to a baseball game. This is the last weekend for the Arkansas Travelers to be playing here, and wouldn't you know that it's supposed to be 100 degrees. Guess those temps will be a fantastic excuse to enjoy some pool time though right? Anyone want to join me?


What's your Move.Eat.Live for the week - or for the weekend? 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Thankful Thursday - Running, Sight-Seeing and Decorating

Tuesday Speedwork

Now that I'm on a more structured marathon plan, I've set aside Tuesdays for speedwork. I'm thankful for the company I had this week cranking out my 400s. Plus, who else is crazy enough to run up a bridge to get a sunrise picture after said speedwork?


Nice Views

The sun is sadly rising later and later so my RunRises are waning. At least I live in a city where we do have some nice views near the water. Not quite the same as a spectacular sunrise, but not too shabby to see either. One of the best parts about running is looking around and taking notice of your surroundings.


Thursday 10-Miler

I am thankful that I was able to knock out my longer run this morning. It was still warm and humid, but at least I don't have to get up at 5 am on Saturday to try to avoid this fun forecast. What happened to the Polar Vortex?



Home Decor Projects

I'm thankful that I have just enough talent (I use that word very very loosely), or maybe false sense of talent, to take on some home decor projects. I try to be thrifty, and we've picked up many things on the side of the road that I've refinished (some still need to be tackled though).

My office desk was a freebie spotted during a run. One new filing cabinet I scored for $30 bucks then repainted along with my old filing cabinet. Rather than buying a new office chair, I recovered it and made new valances to tie together the colors in the room (walls were already burgundy, desk I painted burgundy then painted cabinets a teal color). I had enough fabric leftover to recover a pillow as well.



What are you thankful for this week?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Running and Getting Crafty

I'm a bit behind on a weekend recap, so this will be more like a training lately and things I do other than running kind of post. In other words, random. Random can be good though, right? Ok, good. Glad you're with me.

This weekend started off nice and early for me. I knew it was supposed to be really warm again, and humid. Maddie decided to also assist as my early morning alarm clock. Since I was up, I headed on out the door just after 6 am to get in my long run.

It started off fairly decent, around 67 degrees with some clouds. The clouds of course ended up clearing off, but thankfully that was near the end of the run. I managed to get in 12 pretty good miles. The last mile and a half was where I was sort of just ready to be done. But, I had some nice views to get me through the miles.


I ended up hanging out on my patio reading and recovering for a bit. I mean, keeping your feet propped up on the lounge chair or in the pool counts as recovery right? My sister ended up stopping by a bit after noon and headed out to run some errands with me. Then she, Jason and I went to have a late lunch.

Later that evening, she came back over with her boyfriend for dinner. By this time I needed to be in my compression sleeves in full recovery mode. Thankfully, my sister totally understands. Her boyfriend likely thinks I'm a nut job, but that's all good. He'll have to get use do it!

Perfect attire for having company over for dinner

Sunday I headed out for an easy run and took it slow. By 7:15 it was already in the low 80s so taking it slow wasn't that hard. I hung out in my pool for a short bit before taking on one of my latest home decorating projects - recovering our office chair. I've been tackling some repurposing projects for the office.

I am also making valances with this same fabric that will tie together my filing cabinets that I painted as well as my found on the side of the road and painted desk. I'm all about repurposing! I plan on sharing all the office redo projects just as soon as I get the curtains done. See, I do other things than run!



Yesterday was a much-needed break from running, but I was back at it this morning. Amy decided to join me for speed work - 6 x 400s. They were tough, and always remind me that I am not a sprinter, not at all. But I know I need to do the work, and sometimes having company during times of pain and misery can help. And as if the speed work wasn't enough, we ran up the bridge to catch the sunrise before heading back to the house. Gluttons for punishment indeed.


Runners, do you flaunt your compression gear for company? Anyone else like to think of themselves as crafty? 

Pinterest is both my friend and foe. I always think I can do some amazing projects. They don't always turn out quite as I'd like though.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Move.Eat.Live. Running, Tempeh Tacos and Relaxing Outside

Happy Friday! Dare I ask who's ready for the weekend? This week has felt longer than usual and I know that is in a large part due to some rogue dogs causing mayhem at night. But, it's Friday so let's have some fun! Here are my Move.Eat.Live. moments from the week.

Move

I had some pretty good training runs this week. Tuesday I got in 6 400s then knocked out my leg workout at lunch. Hello tired legs. I got in my upper body splits on Monday and Thursday but will admit that I am being negligent of chest workouts.

Wednesday I took it slower and easier as recovery and also because I knew Thursday would entail a speedier run with my crazy running buddy. We enjoyed 8-miles meandering through the 'hood switching up from our usual route.



Eat

Because we enjoyed the Tempeh "Fish" Tacos from last week so much, I made them again this week. I have a feeling they'll appear on the menu quite frequently. I didn't have any cherries to make the Cherry Salsa, so I just did a quick pickle on red cabbage instead.


Live

As has been fairly typical this summer, I have been trying to sit outside in the evenings and enjoy simply being in the fresh air, not watching tv, not stuck indoors. I'll either sit outside and read or work on training plans for clients. Not a bad way to unwind after work. 


What's been your Move.Eat.Live. moments of the week?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Thursday Thoughts - Different Running Routes, Slow Sunrises & Rolling

Happy Friday Eve!

It's been one of those sleepless weeks for me. The dogs are in control basically. Heath (who is blind for those who don't know), used to be terrified of knocking down a baby gate This meant we could simply prop it into place and they would stay put in the kitchen all night. Little man has gotten brave, with the exception of storms, and started busting out of the kitchen each night. That was fine, he didn't mess with the other gate leading up the stairs ... at first.

Long story short, he makes his way up nightly now and Maddie has decided she wants to follow. It took her a while to get over the idea of stepping over the fallen gate. The problem is nails on hardwood is loud, Maddie roams and roots around looking for something to get into, eat and/or destroy, they get into tiffs when she makes him move out of his bed ... and it goes on and on.

So, the dogs have taken over. And I'm wiped out, especially after getting up to run on top of the lack of sleep. Hello zombie land. This ramble is all to say that I'm doing a Thursday Thoughts round up. A bit long-winded for that announcement right? Let's blame it on the lack of sleep shall we?

1. This morning Amy came over for our weekly 8-mile run through the 'hood. Today we decided to head out and about meandering away from our typical route. Sometimes a change of scenery is really good. Along the way I saw a large, loose dog, we both stumbled and almost fell at different times (I may have a sore ankle tomorrow), she saw a worm the size of a small snake and we noticed new houses for sale.


2. The sun is coming up later and later. This makes me really sad because I know summer is quickly coming to a close. I'll miss my sunrises during winter training. Maybe I'll end up running some evenings and catching a few nice sunsets though.


3. Lots of running adds up to tight calves and glutes. This means that I need to be more disciplined again with my stretching and rolling out on my Triggerpoint Kit. I'm thinking I may also need to start investing in regular massages, which may mean playing the lottery.


What are some Thoughts for Thursday you'd like to share? Anyone want to come play dog whisperer at our home?