Everyday I’m Hustlin’

Hey guys! Happy Monday!

I hope you had a great weekend. Week #3 of training for the First Light Marathon is in the books and here’s how it went down …

Monday: 7.25 miles (8:36 pace)

Started the week off by doing a loop with the Daniels and adding on a little extra at the end. Irma was making her way into Florida and we had a little wind, but nothing too bad. The bay was crazy low (a lot of water was sucked out into the Gulf).

Tuesday AM: 2 mi. WU, 6 X 1 mile (6:24, 6:18, 6:20, 6:23, 6:22, 6:21), 2 mi. CD 

My schedule called for 6 mile repeats at LT (lactate threshold) tempo pace Tuesday morning. I was oddly excited for this workout. I guess that’s a good example of how taking a little time off from training can rejuvenate your desire to train. I’ve done these repeats at tempo pace before, as opposed to at V02 max pace (which is what likely typically think of when you think about mile repeats), and so I knew that the workout would be tough but doable.

The cooler weather was still hanging around Tuesday morning and while we did have a little bit of wind (remnants from Irma), the conditions were pretty much ideal. We (the Daniels and I) did the workout on the track. While it would’ve definitely been possible to do this one on the road, I’ve gotten to where I would just prefer being on the track. You don’t have to worry about silly things like dodging cars and cracks in the sidewalk.

Our goal range for the repeats was 6:20 to 6:30 (so probably a little slower than 10K pace and a little faster than half marathon pace). We pretty much stuck together for the first 4 repeats. My Daniel led the workout (mainly just because he doesn’t like running directly behind anyone) and Young Daniel and I just hung on behind him. The Daniels stopped after 4 repeats (my Daniel is entering the TAPER phase of his training and Young Daniel had to get to leave to get to work). I did the last two on my own, which was a mental feat in and of itself and the paces stayed pretty consistent. Woo!

Tuesday PM: 3 miles (8:34 pace)

I did an easy 3 mile shakeout run Tuesday evening after work before attending a child protection certification class for Girls on the Run.

Wednesday: 6.5 miles (8:45 pace)

Thursday morning I did a loop with the Daniels and Cody. I followed that up with a 1.5 mile trot with Mr. Brookser.


Thursday: 8 miles (8:37 pace)

Thursday morning I hit up the treadmill, listened to some podcasts and got the miles done. Thursday is typically another workout day, but since I was doing a race Saturday, I only had one major workout this week. I went to my first Girls on the Run practice Thursday afternoon and it was a blast! We have 12 precious girls (3rd, 4th & 5th graders) and they are hilarious. I think the coaches are having just as much fun as the girls.

Friday AM: 8 miles (8:57 pace)

I ran easy with the Daniels Friday morning and followed that up with another 1.5 mile jaunt with Brooks. He’s become quite the little runner dog.

Friday PM: 5 miles (10:19 pace)

I got to run with Jessica again this week on Friday afternoon! Woo! We did 5 miles and it poured rain on us for about 4 of the 5 miles. We looked like drowned rats when we got back to the house, but we had a blast. Running in the rain is actually really enjoyable IMO (that is, of course, as long as it isn’t lightening). For a few moments, all of your cares are washed away and in general, you just feel super hard core!

Saturday: Jubilee Race for Life 5K

Feel free to check out the race recap linked above if you’d like and if not, no hard feelings.

Sunday: 11.75 miles (8:14 pace)

I finished up the week with a medium long run with the Warehouse crew. Since I had raced the day before, I didn’t specifically have a long run this week. I figured I would just show up and run with whoever ran the shortest distance, which turned out to be just shy of 12 miles. Everyone is in the thick of marathon and/or ultra training at the moment!

I ended the week with 70 miles and 75 minutes of strength work. I also got plenty of good rest and a sports chiro adjustment. It was a good week and I’m ready to tackle the next one!

Jubilee Race for Life 5K

This morning I ran the Jubilee Race for Life 5K. The race takes place less than a mile from our house and so I really just couldn’t pass it up. This wasn’t a goal race per say, but more of just a chance to get out there and race (which I love!) and to get a gauge for where I am at this point in the marathon training cycle so that we have a good baseline to work from going forward.

With the race being so close to home, I was [theoretically] able to sleep in. I say theoretically because my internal alarm clock didn’t get the memo. Regular alarm was set for 5:45 a.m., but internal alarm was still set for 4:30 a.m. Toots. I had plenty of time to piddle around the house, have coffee, etc. before I headed up to the race. It’s actually quite nice to have some extra time to just “be” before having to rush off and do things every now and then.

We left the house a little before 7 a.m. (me on foot and Daniel on bike) and headed to the race start so that I could get registered and run the course as a warm up. This is a small, local race that is VERY well organized and VERY well executed. I highly recommend it to anyone local. I registered, got my number and shirt (a fun neon orange tech tee) and headed out to get my warm up in. The volunteers were working on getting all of the water stations set up and getting the roads closed as we were out on the warm up loop. One of the volunteers asked if I was “just out sampling the course,” which we thought was so funny! Yep! Just getting a little sample of what’s to come.

It was incredibly warm and humid! We’ve had some really nice fall temperatures already this season, but apparently it was NOT here to stay. The temperature and dew point were both exactly 76 at the start (i.e., 100% humidity). It was ROUGH! I entered the temperature and dew point into my pace calculator before I left the house (#nerdalert) and knew I was likely going to be looking at a 6 – 8 percent adjustment. I’m so glad that I checked this before the race, because my time definitely reflects the rough conditions and I probably would’ve been a little disappointed if I hadn’t done my research. Knowledge is power I suppose!

I didn’t have any specific time goals going into this one (thank goodness). Based on recent races and workouts, I figured that I should be able to run fairly close to 6:00 pace in good conditions. Seeing as how the conditions were far from ideal, I decided to keep a goal range of 6:15 to 6:20 in the back of mind. I honestly tried not to look at the pace too much mid-race and really focused on running by feel.

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The race took off precisely at 8 a.m. I found myself in the top 5 or so pretty much immediately. I knew that it was going to be a small race and I was prepared to work by myself. The first half mile had 8 turns, which can be a little tricky. I mean, I don’t think there could possibly be any more turns in a half mile segment. Haha. I got a fun little surprise at one of the early turns … my mom was there! Daniel also rode his bike all over the course and saw me 4 or 5 times. I’m super thankful for my people!

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The course was an out and back and after we got past the last turn at the half mile mark, the course was straight as an arrow (flat to downhill) until we got to the turnaround. I came through the first mile in 6:14 and had moved into the second overall runner. I was pleased with the split and thought to myself that I might even be able to negative split the course (how cute) since I had run smart for the first mile.

I tried to use the gradual downhill of the first half of the second mile to my advantage and just focused on the guy in front of me. I didn’t think that I would catch him, but having a rabbit to chase is always nice. Once we got to the turnaround, I was expecting things to get a little tough. I was pleasantly surprised that I actually got a big boost from seeing the other runners (I love out and back courses for this exact reason). We were all encouraging each other and before I even realized it, I had made it back up the hill! My split for the second mile was 6:11.

Things got a little dicey during the last mile. I knew that my place was pretty much solidified and I tried to keep the effort consistent, but that didn’t really work out for me. We have to reweave back through the 8 turns from mile 1 and the last three tenths or so of the race was uphill. I didn’t specifically feel like we were running downhill at the very beginning of the race, but apparently we were (gotta love it when that happens). That last little bit of incline got to me and my effort level dropped off. My split for the third mile was 6:36.

I finished in 19:29. Time wise, definitely not my best, but effort wise, I was pleased.

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One of our precious little Girls on the Run girls was at the race and she did SO WELL. I thought she might need some encouragement at the end of the race so I ran back to find her, but as it turns out, she was just fine. Her finishing kick was amazing and I was really impressed with how she raced! After she finished, Daniel and I headed out for a short cool down. I thought about running the course again, but decided against that. I was really craving a diet coke (it happens), so we ran to the nearest gas station and got a drink before heading back to the race finish to enjoy the carbonation and wait on the awards.

The overall male and female winners got gift certificates for a pair of shoes from Running Wild. A runner can never have too many shoes. Fact. The age group winners got very unique, homemade awards, which is always a nice touch. There was also music, door prizes and Chick Fil A to be enjoyed after the race. We stayed for a while (because of said door prizes) and chatted with friends, new and old (in terms of how long we’ve known them, not because of their ages :)).

Daniel left the race a little bit before I did (Game Day was on … I can’t compete with that). I came home to find he and Brooksy chillaxin in the hammock watching Game Day. So sweet ❤

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If you are local, you need to do this race next year! It’s always the third weekend in September. This morning was really fun, despite the sogginess of the air. Side note: I have yet to get a brush through my hair (it’s 5:30 p.m. at this point). I think I’ll just wait and deal with that mess tomorrow.

I hope you’ve had a good Saturday! Talk to you soon!

Run the World (GIRLS)!

Hi! I survived the second week of marathon training. Woo! Here’s how it went down.

Monday (Labor Day): 8 miles (8:23 pace)

Rebecca and I met Monday morning for an easy 8 miles. It was so nice to have a long weekend!

Tuesday: 2.75 mi. WU, 15 X 1:00 on/1:00 off, 1 mi. CD 

Tuesday was definitely a Monday. I woke up with a really sore neck. I feel like the frequency of these random neck cricks has gotten much higher recently. I don’t know specifically what causes it other than the typical suspects of sleeping funny, straining to look at a computer all day and general stress. Regardless, it’s kind of debilitating in the moment. I had a workout on tap for Tuesday morning and I definitely thought about postponing it, but that would’ve basically meant rearranging the entire rest of the week of workouts and I decided to just suck it up and go for it.

Daniel took a rest day (he biked 40 miles and ran 5 miles on Monday), but thankfully Young Daniel and Cody came over to run with me. Cody ran the first three miles with us and then headed back so that he could get to work and Young Daniel and I were on our own for the 15 X 1:00 repeats with a 1:00 rest in between each pickup. I programmed the intervals into my watch and so it counted down the minutes on and the minutes off for us, which is nice. The minutes on were supposed to be HARD. Coach gave me a goal range of 5:30 to 5:45 for these.

Our average paces for the minutes on were 6:29, 6:35, 6:20, 5:41, 5:47, 5:55, 5:57, 5:45, 6:12, 5:51, 6:04, 5:57, 6:18, 5:49 and 5:43. We were a little over goal range and not super consistent, but I know without a doubt that we put in sufficient effort to reap the benefits from this workout.

As a semi-random side note: I was legit late to work Tuesday morning because I couldn’t brush my hair out. My hair tends to be a good barometer of the humidity and Tuesday it must’ve been out of control. Even after two rounds of conditioner, I was dealing with a massive, stubborn, tangled web of lies hair. I spent an extra 10 or 15 minutes trying to brush it out before realizing that it just wasn’t going happen. Thank goodness for the top knot!

I was able to get worked in to see my sports chiropractor Tuesday afternoon. He fixed my neck and also stretched out my hips, quads, hamstrings, etc. while I was there. I’ve not had any significant issues (knock on wood), but I am planning to see him fairly regularly during this training cycle to make sure that I stay as healthy as possible (I think the term for this is “prehab” :)). Prehab and 10 minutes of strength work per day … getting that #extrasalt in (the Salty Running coined term to describe all of the little things that we know we *should* do, but rarely make time for).

Wednesday: 5 miles (8:54 pace) 

Phew. My legs felt sore and heavy Wednesday morning. I was definitely feeling the effects from the quicker running on Tuesday and probably also from the chiro adjustment (I’m always the most sore the day after an adjustment). I did a loop with the Daniels and we were all moving a little slower than normal.

Thursday: 10 miles (7:55 pace) + 5 miles (8:23 pace)

Thursday morning the schedule called for 10 miles with 8 miles at an easy pace and 2 miles at a “brisk” pace. This run was similar to one I did last week, except for last week it was 5 easy and 5 brisk, which made this week’s 2 brisk miles seem like nothing more doable. Waking up to temperatures in the SIXTIES also made the run seem more doable as well! Oh my goodness … it was heavenly!

We (the Daniels and I) did the workout on the same 10 mile route from last week and picked it up during miles 8 (6:53) and 9 (6:42), which gave us one mile to cool down a bit at the very end. The two brisk miles felt really smooth and fairly effortless, which I guess is good because eventually I will need to be able to do 24 more miles at that pace (insert wide eye emoji). It sounds a tad intimidating for sure, but that’s the whole point of having a training cycle … we gotta put in the work to chase those big goals!

Thursday evening Rebecca and I met with one of the local running groups and did an easy 5 miles. We had both done 10 miles with some faster paced stuff that morning, so we just wanted to get in a few easy miles to shake out our legs. An added bonus was that it just so happened to be #tbt and it was the anniversary of our annual photo with Savannah! She will be 3 tomorrow! Time flies.

Friday: 5 miles (8:39 pace) + 5 miles (WITH JESSICA)

I ran an easy 5 miles with Young Daniel Friday morning. I got to work and got the best text message ever! Jessica wanted to run (Baby Olivia is just over a month old). She’s been running a few miles on her treadmill, but was ready to test the waters with an outdoor run. I wasn’t planning to run again, but I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity. I was so excited to see her! We got in five miles and lots of laughs. She is a rockstar.

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Saturday: 15 miles (7:49 pace)

Saturday’s long run was a little longer and a little faster than last week’s run. The weather was much nicer this week, but still … it’s fun to be able to tangibly see the progress. We eased into the pace over the first two miles and then picked it up a little bit. I averaged 7:40 for the last 13 miles, which I am super happy with.

During the run I found myself getting a tad discouraged that the pace didn’t feel easier (translation: how am I going to run 26 miles at a 50 seconds to a minute PER MILE faster than this). I had to remind myself to run the mile I am in (and don’t worry about how I might be feeling 20 weeks from now), that this run was supposed to be at a “moderate” pace (i.e., not “easy”) and that I still have an entire training cycle to get there. Gotta love giving yourslef a mid-run pep talk! The good news is that I got through to myself (in the short-term at least … I’ll probably have to talk some more sense into my head again at some point in the near future).

Sunday: 5 miles (8:14 pace)

We slept in (until after 8!) and did a loop mid-morning. It was really nice to have at least one day of week to sleep in! I’m headed to a Girl’s on the Run training class this afternoon. Girls on the Run uses running to inspire and motivate girls, encourage lifelong health and fitness, and build confidence through accomplishment.

WE BELIEVE THAT EVERY GIRL
CAN EMBRACE WHO SHE IS,
CAN DEFINE WHO SHE WANTS TO BE,
CAN RISE TO ANY CHALLENGE,
CAN CHANGE THE WORLD.
CAN.

I absolutely adore everything that this organization stands for and I’m really excited to get involved as a local coach.

Talk to you soon!

Committed!

Hi. Hey! HELLO!

I guess we’ll go ahead and call a spade a spade. I am training for a marathon and I am really, really excited about it! I was *seriously contemplating* the idea of running the First Light Marathon in January, but I didn’t want to actually commit until after my summer training cycle was done and I had a couple of weeks to truly mull it over (so to speak). My contemplation led me to the fact that I am super excited to train, give it all I’ve got and go for that all-elusive SUB 3!

I’ve got 20 weeks to put in a lot of hard work to get there. From a bigger picture standpoint, the training cycle is going to be broken up into a 10 week fundamental phase and a 10 week specific phase. I’ll still do lots of smaller, shorter races (5Ks & 10Ks) and hopefully I will find a half to do at some point as well. Another thing that I am super excited about is that I am going to be pacing the 3:25 group at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon on December 10th! I love the idea of pacing and hopefully it’ll be a great way to get in one major long run at just about a minute over my goal marathon pace. I think I am equally excited about the marathon that I am pacing and the marathon that I am racing!

Here is what week #1 looked like …

Monday: 7 miles (8:53 pace)

I started the week off with an easy run with the Daniels (husband Daniel & Young Daniel). Things are definitely back to normal! After the run I did 20 minutes of strength work (planks, push ups, etc.) with some light stretching. My consistency with strength and stretching is less than desirable (far, far less). I know that I need to do a better job with this in order to stay strong and fend of any little pre-injury niggles that might arise. My goal is going to be to do 10 to 20 minutes of this per day.

Tuesday: 10 miles (7:44 pace)

Tuesday’s run called for 5 miles easy and 5 miles at brisk pace. The focus of the brisk run is to stay relaxed while running quickly, which helps you to run as efficiently as possible in workouts and races. Staying relaxed helps you to conserve energy, which is obviously a good thing.

I am so thankful that I had some company on this run. The Daniels did the workout with me. We got started at 5 a.m. and got the hills out-of-the-way early (i.e., during the “easy” portion of the run). We were hanging pretty consistently in the 8:45 or so range for the first four miles. I think this is fairly common for our “easy” pace runs this time of the year. We were basically going to need to drop the pace down 2 whole minutes to get to the 6:45 to 7:00 range, which was the goal range for the “brisk” portion. We ended up dropping down to 7:30 ish for the last “easy” mile so that the brisk pace wouldn’t feel like as much of a shock to the system.

Our route took us beside a cow pasture and as we ran by the cows took off running as well. Those jokers are much faster than they look and it is a major bummer to get out run by a herd of cows (whilst running briskly nonetheless). We had a good laugh about it at least and before we knew it, we only had 4 more miles to go. The miles steadily clicked off and once we settled into the pace, it didn’t seem too bad. I haven’t done much training in the marathon pace range recently and so, going into the workout, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised.

Side note: Day #2 and I didn’t do any strength work [insert facepalm here]. BUT … I redeemed myself later in the week and I *averaged* 10 minutes a day for the week, which is a huge improvement. Baby steps.

Wednesday AM: 3 miles (8:47 pace)

We woke up to lots of rain Wednesday morning. The sound of the rain on the roof was so soothing that I “accidentally” hit snooze and slept for an entire extra hour. By the time I actually got up, I only had time for 3 miles and 10 minutes of strength work, which was totally fine.

Wednesday PM: 5 miles (8:05 pace)

Wednesday evening after work I did a loop with the Daniels and Cody. My legs felt SO HEAVY. Afternoon runs have not been my jam lately. I added in 10 more minutes of strength work to make up for my laziness Tuesday for good measure.

Thursday: 9 miles (8:01 pace)

It was raining again Thursday morning, so I took my run to the treadmill and knocked out 9 miles like it was nothing. It’s amazing to me how my legs can feel so tired one evening and so fresh the next morning. I guess that just goes to show you how important sleep and adequate rest is to our training (plus, I am just a morning person in general).

Friday: 5 miles (8:21 pace)

Speaking of rest, I slept in Friday morning and decided to try out a lunch run. In theory this seemed like such a good idea, but I guess my execution was a bit flawed. I can get home from work, play with Brooks and change into my running clothes in about 15 minutes, which gives me 30 minutes to run and then 15 more minutes to rinse off and get back to work within my typical 1 hour lunch break.

Friday, I ended up taking an hour and a half for lunch (it’s nice to have that flexibility for sure, but it’s not something that I would want to make a habit of). I got 5 miles done in 40 minutes, but the whole shower off and get back to work within 15 minutes thing definitely did not happen. I could NOT stop sweating (even after a cold shower). It was miserable. If you’ve seen the Friends, just imagine Ross trying to get his leather pants on and that was me with my jeans. Oh. Em. Gee.

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Friday PM: 5 miles (8:26 pace)

Daniel and I did a loop after work, which is always a good chance for us to talk and catch up on how our days have been.

Saturday: 13 miles (7:51 pace) 

Saturday was the first “moderate” pace long run that I’ve done in quite some time. I was actually supposed to do 14 to 15 miles at 7:30 to 7:45 pace, but for whatever reason I had it in my head that morning that it was 13 to 14 miles. I’ve been doing most of my long runs at 8:30 to 9:00 pace and I definitely had to make a mental and physical adjustment to get it under 8:00 pace. I basically didn’t think about the pace until mile 8 and then I realized that I was going to have to step it up a notch. My last 5 miles were 7:42, 7:23, 7:28, 7:32 and 7:22. I am very happy with how that went down!

I came home and ran a mile with Brooks, so I guess I technically got my 14 in for the day. He ran a 9:20 mile, which might be his fastest yet. I could tell once we got started that he wasn’t messing around. He only took one brief pause [paws] … see what I did there … to check his p-mail (the preferred method of doggie communication … they leave each other encrypted messages all over town (mainly in bushes and near fire hydrants)). Of course Brooks decides to really step it up a notch on the day that I’ve already done a tough 13 miles beforehand. Ha.

He played fetch for quite a while after his run and then he even got to go swimming! It was a good day to be a Brookser.

After all of that, we were both sufficiently worn out and so we took a nice little snooze while we waited on Daniel to get home from work. I also managed to sneak in another 20 minutes of strength training later in the day.

Sunday: 10 miles (8:31 pace)

Sunday was a good day! I met Rebecca and Lizzie in Gulf Shores to do the first half of their long run with them. Rebecca is training for another 50 miler (beast-mode) and Lizzie is training for Chicago (coming up soon), so they both needed lots of miles. I ran 10 miles with them and then biked with them for the second 10 miles. We got brunch afterwards, which is always a treat!

Overall, I am definitely pleased with how this week went. I didn’t have anything crazy as far as workouts go, but I felt good on the runs that I did. I managed to get a total of 70 minutes of strength + stretching in, which is approximately 70 minutes more than normal, so I’m definitely counting that as a victory this week.

I hope everyone has a fun, safe Labor Day! Talk to you soon!

August Recap

Hey-o! August is *almost* in the books. Of course that means that it is time to recap another month of running and randomness. We are (slowly) making our way closer to fall!

Month Recap: August 2017

The Running

Let’s just put it out there, running in August is ROUGH. I think we all feel like we should be acclimated to the heat at this point, but even if you are in great shape and are as acclimated as you can be, that likely still doesn’t mean that you will miraculously be able to run the same paces that you would in cooler, drier conditions. I know it will get better. It might take it another month or so, but it will.

Workouts: I planned my summer training schedule to end the second week of August and then I planned a couple of “down weeks,” which basically meant that I ran when I wanted to (or not!), without being tied to a training plan. In fact, my only workout of the month was this week (the last week of August).

10 miles: 5 easy (8:31) + 5 brisk (6:50)

Favorite workout: I reckon this goes to the [uncontested] 10 miler with the first 5 easy followed by the next 5 at a brisk pace. I really did enjoy this workout though (especially after 4 weeks without any workouts). We found a great 10 mile route for this run that (for the most part) allowed us to get the hills out of the way during the easy miles and that was nice and flat for the brisk miles. The Daniels (husband Daniel and Young Daniel) joined me for this workout, which made it so. much. better. I am very needy when it comes to workouts and I always prefer to have friends.

Races: I did a 5K and a 2 mile race in August. You can check out those recaps below if you feel so inclined.

Race Recap: Crime Prevention 5K

Race Recap: Chickasabogue Park 2 Miler

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Favorite Race: I enjoyed both of the races, but I’m going to go with the Chickasabogue Park 2 miler as my favorite. I do lots of 5Ks each year, but usually only one 2 miler. I’m digging the “odd” (not literally) distances lately.

Paces: My paces ranged from 5:44 (during the 2 mile race) to 11:21 (with Brooks).

Total miles: 274

Distances: My shortest run was 3 miles (done one day on my lunch break (I really just wanted to see if that was possible)) and my longest run was 18 miles (as part 1 of the birthday run).

Strength work: I’m officially committing myself to 10 to 20 minutes of a combination of strength work and stretching per day. I said it on the internet, so surely it will happen.

The Other Stuff

This portion of the post is just your typical A to Z list of random thing I am currently …

Anticipating: I want to say fall, but I know that is just a pat answer and let’s face it, we will not be seeing any glimpses of fall here in Lower Alabama for quite some time. I’m definitely looking forward to an extra day off work with the Labor Day holiday next week, so let’s go with that.

Buying: pop sockets. Random, but I had really been wanting a pop socket for my phone and while you can likely pick one of those up pretty much anywhere, I decided to make my purchase on Amazon. I did the purchase on my phone and I guess wasn’t paying as much attention to the actual details of what I was doing. Turns out that I purchased a pack of 9 pop sockets (for $9.99) AND it shipped from China, so my order that was placed August 7th has still not been delivered. I hate to say it, but this is not the fist time that I have unknowingly placed an Amazon order from overseas. Sad. Patience is not my virtue and the waiting kills me.

Considering: that the whole pop socket debacle would’ve been better placed under the anticipating category.

Discovering: Oprah’s podcast, SuperSoul Conversations. Very insightful.

Enjoying: a cup of hot lemon water. I’ve replaced one of my morning cups of coffee with hot lemon water (I know) and I’m really enjoying it. I love all things lemon.

Feeling: very content.

Going: to hop on the treadmill here in a few minutes because it is storming big time outside.

Hoping: that this rain stops soon! At least the rain seems to have cleared out of Texas. I can’t imagine what they are going through. Definitely thinking about and praying for everyone affected by Harvey.

Inhaling: all the guacamole. If it was possible to turn into an avocado, I would’ve definitely done it by now. Oh look!


Loving: the Bitmoji app! There is seriously a Bitmoji for every emotion you could possibly experience. I could go for entire days without using words in texts.

Missing: a time when I could walk outside and not get eaten alive my mosquitoes.

Noticing: joy in the little moments. I know that I mentioned Oprah’s podcast already, but I would highly recommend checking out her episode with Sheryl Sandberg. She talks about keeping a “joy journal” and jotting down random things each day that make you happy or bring you joy. I started doing this and it’s amazing. If you are focused on finding positive things throughout the day … you find positive things throughout the day. In a world with so much negativity, we can all use a reminder to focus on the positive!

I want to share one of my joy journal moments … one morning last week I was out running with Brooks (he’s doing a mile or so a couple of days a week and I’m thinking about maybe working him up to a 5K). We were out trotting along and we passed a man out walking his dog. The guy told me that he had never seen a happier dog and that it looked like Brooks was grinning from ear to ear as we ran. Y’all. I think my heart exploded a little bit. His comment meant so much to me (and yes, I am a little obsessed with my dog).

Obsessing: perfect segue! I’m obsessed with Brooks. He has his own Instagram account now (@instabrookser). If you like puppies, you need to follow it. I’m planning to document his training. It will partially be a parody of your typical “insta runner” training and partially just serious because I am obsessed with my dog and because I take tons of pictures of him anyway.

Isn’t he the CUTEST?!

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Planning: some fall races! Woo hoo! I’ve got my eye on several local races.

Questioning: when (if ever) it will actually start to feel like fall. Perhaps by mid-October? We shall see.

Reading: lots of continuing professional education materials. I managed to wait until the last week of August to even start on my CPE hours. I have to get 40 hours by September 30th, so yeah … some major procrastination went down this year. I honestly thought to myself, well maybe I should just let my license expire and then I’ll have to find a new job in a different line of work. Ha. It was a fleeting thought. I’d kick myself if I did that (and Daniel would likely kick me out of the house).

Saving: the date for the First Light Marathon!

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Thinking: that this is a good time to go for it and run another marathon. I’m giving myself until October to *fully* commit to the marathon. I know that if I do it, I need to be ALL IN (in order to reach my goals).

Using: too many brain cells to finish up this list.

Visiting: Augusta for Daniel’s HALF IRONMAN RACE in just a few short weeks.

Watching: Friends for like the hundredth time. We are having the hardest time finding a show to get into!

Xeroxing: I can not think of one thing that I need to make a copy of or that I made a copy of last month. Boo.

Yearning: to make a difference.

Zeroing: Same as last month, it’s really hard to come up with an Z word, so … zeroing means “closing out” for purposes of this post and with that, we are dunzo. Whew.

Alright … your turn! Tell me something you are anticipating or planning for the month of September.

Jogging & Jubilees

Hey friends! Long time no see!

I took a brief hiatus from specific training and thus also took a corresponding brief hiatus from weekly recap posts. My running over the last couple of weeks has been super tame (no tempos, no track and not even any pickups). It was definitely a nice break. At the end of my summer training cycle, I was more than ready for the break. I trained pretty consistently for 12 weeks over the summer and decided to take a 2 week break from workouts before jumping into anything else. After two weeks of easy runs (some refer to it as jogging) and several rest days, I am more than ready to add in a little speed. I really missed those extra endorphins!

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Here is what went down last week …

Monday: 5 miles w/ the Daniels (8:47 pace)
Tuesday: 5 miles w/ the Daniels (9:00 pace) + 1.5 miles w/ Brooks (11:21 pace)
Wednesday: 8 miles w/ the Daniels (8:38 pace) + 1.5 miles w/ Brooks (10:58 pace)
Thursday AM: 7 miles w/ the Daniels (8:37 pace) + 1.5 miles w/ Brooks (10:35 pace)
Thursday PM: 8 hilly miles w/ Rebecca (8:29 pace)
Friday: Off
Saturday: 15 miles w/ the Grinders (8:34 pace)
Sunday: 7.5 miles w/ Rebecca (8:08 pace) + 1 mile w/ Brooks (10:29 pace)

A few highlights …

I got to see some really pretty sunrises this week!

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The days are getting shorter and the mornings are darker (which I don’t love), but the silver lining is that I am done with my morning run in time to catch a glimpse of the colors of the sunrise over the bay.

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Brooks and I had so much fun getting some morning runs in this week. We take a water and fetch break during the mid-run to give him a chance to hydrate and well … to just be a dog. Fetching and swimming are his cardio activities of choice, but I’m fairly certain that he enjoys running as well. Oh … and Brooks is now on Instagram (@instabrookser)! He is going to be documenting his training online. Side note: I had some technical difficulties getting his account set up and so he took over my old, inactive account (if you don’t like seeing pictures of adorable puppies, you can just unfollow it :)).

We had a mini-jubilee this weekend! During a jubilee, there is a depletion of oxygen in parts of the bay, which causes the fish to come to the surface seeking oxygenated water. Brooks was super excited to go check it out and we saw tons of crab and a few shrimp, flounder and eels (eek!).

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Rebecca and I got in a couple of good runs this week. Our run Thursday evening was a bit of a struggle for both of us. It is just so dang hot in the afternoons. It is also just difficult to summon up the energy necessary to run in the evening sometimes (at least it is for me). Our run Sunday morning was so nice though. I think it was a little bit cooler and less humid that it has been. We both felt great!

We saw tons of people out along the bay watching the jubilee. We also stumbled across a pair of nice men’s flip-flops, an empty backpack (except for a pair of sunglasses) AND a knife on the side of the street (and all of these things were in the same place). Perhaps it’s related to the jubilee somehow … someone was just down on the bay fishing and had the knife to clean the fish … who knows. Still super-duper strange! I’m sure it’s nothing, but I called the police department to tell them what we saw just in case.

I did a podcast episode with Lindsey Hein for her show, I’ll Have Another, and it aired Friday. I talk a little bit more about my story than what I have shared on the blog. It definitely got me out of my comfort zone, but I’m totally convinced that all of the growth and most good things in life are found outside of our comfort zone. I’m also convinced that we are all stronger and can handle infinitely more than what we think we can. If you are interested in that, I think you can listen here.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week! Talk to you soon!

How do you measure a year in the life?

Hey-o! Happy Friday! We made it!

Yesterday was the end of another fiscal year for me (i.e., my birthday), so I figured that it might be fun to look back and remember what all went on during the last year. I’m using Seasons of Love as my inspiration.

How do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee.
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.
525,600 minutes. How do you measure a year in the life?
How about love? Measure in love. Seasons of love.

B-t-dubs … I used to be straight OBSESSED with this song. I’m pretty sure I listened to it on repeat until my brain exploded and I couldn’t handle it anymore. If I was going to measure a year in the life, I would definitely choose everything in the chorus above except for maybe midnights and strife, because let’s face it, I don’t see very many midnights per year and I don’t particularly care for controversy and conflict. Daylights (which I’m assuming to sunrises), sunsets, cups of coffee, miles, laughter and love seem like perfect measurements to me though. Let’s see how it stacked up!

Here are a few of my favorite daylights from the year …

Sunrises

I wish that I had more sunrise pictures to share. I love soaking in the stillness and peacefulness each morning in the moments before the sunrise and watching the sun come up as we run. Unfortunately, I don’t always have my phone at that time.

Here are a few of my favorite sunsets from the year ….

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I have a slightly embarrassing number of pictures of coffee as well, but I’ll spare you the actual details there. I’m estimating 730 cups of coffee for the year. Most days I have two cups of coffee, some days it’s three and some days it’s only one, so I think an average of two is fairly accurate.

I ran 218,845,444 inches while I was 31. Ha. In case you don’t feel like doing the math on that, it’s 3,454 miles [feel free to insert the whole “I don’t put that many miles on my car in a year” joke here]. I also ran 21 races while I was 31. Hmm … I am sensing a new goal. Run your age in races per year. Who’s with me?!

Here’s what the race breakdown looked like (in case you are curious) …

1 mile: 1, 2 mile: 1, 5K: 8, 10K: 2, 12K: 1, 10 mile: 1, Half Marathon: 6 and 50K: 1

I won 16 of the 21 races, placed 2nd in one, 3rd in 3 and didn’t place in one. The majority of the races were very small, local races, so just take that with a grain of salt. I likely wouldn’t be winning any races if I lived … well probably anywhere else. Haha.

I don’t know how to objectively measure the rest of these things, but I do know that 31 was a year filled with lots of joy, laughter and love!

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Misc 3

I won’t say that the year was without struggles by any means. We’ve had several people close to us go through some rough stuff this year, which has been hard (especially when you don’t live in the same town). I would pretty much classify my career as a hot mess at this point as well, but ehh … it is what it is. It’s just a job and it’s not my life. One thing that I’ve been thinking about recently is that our struggles don’t define us, they refine us. If you are going through something hard, just keep your head up and know that you will be a stronger, wiser and more compassionate human once you get to other side.

To wrap up this “year in the life” post, let’s talk about how I celebrated turning 32 …

If you’ve been following along for a little while, you probably know about my birthday tradition. In the last few years, I started running my age in miles to celebrate my birthday. It’s become something that I really look forward to each year (strange, I know). For 30 and 31 I did the miles on the weekend (either right before or right after my birthday), but this year I decided to make things a little more interesting (i.e., challenging) and do the miles on my actual birthday, which fell on a Thursday.

I woke up at 3:30 a.m. (well … I think I snoozed once) and was running by 4! I did the first 8.5 miles on the treadmill. Brookser kept me company. Just after 5 a.m., I hopped off of the treadmill and ran 9.5 miles outside with the Daniels. They actually did 8 of the 9.5 with me and I decided to go ahead and squeeze in another mile and half just because I had a few extra minutes and I knew that any miles I could get done in the morning would only help to make the evening run a little easier. I ended the morning with 18 miles and I’m not going to lie, running 18 miles before work was oddly satisfying (like really satisfying … I kind of loved it).

I rehydrated and fueled like a champ during the day at work. I also wore compression shorts and socks under my regular clothes [I feel like that makes for a good “you might be a runner if” moments]. No one at work knew what I was doing (or that it was my birthday for that matter), so I felt like I was carrying out a covert mission and they were none the wiser. Side note: the spy shows might have gone to my head a little bit. I also pretty regularly check for tails in my rear-view mirror as I drive around town these days.

Rebecca met me after work Thursday afternoon and did the remaining 14 miles with me. I am so thankful that she was willing to do that because I really don’t know that I would’ve done it otherwise. We didn’t get started until close to 6:30 p.m. because the weather was terrible. We’re talking storms and torrential downpours. We tried to wait it out a little bit, but it became pretty evident that we were just going to have to suck it up and run in the rain, which is exactly what we did. 14 glorious, soggy, puddle-jumping miles later and it was done. 32 miles for 32 years! Phew.

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Thanks for following along! My blogging has been sporadic (at best), but it’s still a fun, creative outlet for me.

Talk to you soon!