The Ironiversary

Hello! We spent our anniversary weekend in Birmingham. 6 years is the candy/iron anniversary. You are probably supposed to choose one or the other, but we kind of went with both.

It just made sense to get candy for the drive. Road trip!

img_5280

We worked on our Dave Ramsey homework on the way up. It was a thrilling car ride. Ha. It also just makes sense to work on Dave Ramsey homework and eat a payday. Am I right?

img_5281

We stayed at the Ross Bridge. We got there around 7 p.m. Friday evening, just in time to catch the bagpipe man playing right outside of our balcony.

img_5284

Saturday morning we met up with one of our Ragnar teammates, Elena, that lives in Birmingham. We did a long run with her training group. I was blown away by how many runners were out that morning. Hundreds! I guess I forget how much bigger Birmingham is than where we live, but it was just crazy to me. Crazy good! I loved seeing so many people out training.

According to my schedule, I needed 14 miles between 7:25 and 7:45 pace. I got exactly what I needed. The route was a little hilly (not as hilly as it could’ve been though … they took it easy on us) and the weather was a little iffy (very humid with some rain sprinkled in every now and then), but otherwise I felt great!

img_5288

Daniel ran 16 miles and then we did the usual post-run coffee hangs. We met some really nice people. I felt oddly comforted by the fact that post-run coffee is a universal running ritual.

img_5287

The rest of our Saturday was pretty typical, we just weren’t in our typical setting. We did a little bit of shopping, I took a nap and Daniel watched plenty of football. After the Alabama game, we wandered out to find some dinner. There was a restaurant less than half a mile from the hotel called The Front Porch, so we decided to walk over there to check it out.

It was a good choice! We aren’t fancy restaurant people and this was the right up our alley. We Daniel was able to watch football and we got a really good meal. Win-win.

In the spirit of eating more fish and iron-rich food (hey that goes along with the anniversary theme too!), I ordered the Power Salad with Ahi Tuna. It had a little bit of everything on it (kale, cabbage, red onion, edamame, grape tomatoes, blueberries, dried cranberries, cashews and sunflower seeds) and it was delicious!

img_5293

We ordered key lime pie for dessert and were surprised to see it served in a mason jar. I think it was a bigger serving than if it had just been a slice. Mason jars are so trendy these days.

img_5294

I got a really pretty picture of the hotel all lit up at night on our way back.

img_5295

Sunday morning we went on a short run to explore the area around the hotel, since we hadn’t run there Saturday morning. We found some neat trails and hills. We found lots of hills!

img_5296

img_5303

We had a 10:30 tee time (that sounds so fancy). Neither one of us had played golf in years. Daniel played in middle school and I played every now and then growing up. I was hoping that we might get some beginners luck working in our favor. Golf can be a super frustrating sport (especially if you aren’t any good at it). We hit a few shots from the driving range before deciding that “this is as good as it’s gonna get” and heading out to tackle the actual course.

img_5310

Speaking of the course, it was tough. Lots of hills, water and sand traps (basically a beginner/non-experienced golfer’s nightmare). When we rented the clubs, the guy in the pro shop made sure to let us know that we would need to buy an extra 12 pack of balls because we were definitely going to need them. Ha.

img_5313

After our first drive, we made the executive decision to play best ball. There were big groups playing in front of and behind us and we really didn’t want to hold anyone up with our lack of skillz. I am so glad that we played this way! We would both hit a shot and then we would just use whichever shot was the best, pick up the other ball and go from there.

We actually made a pretty good team. We used 90% of my drives (I have one club that I can hit well and the rest of my game is no good) and 90% of Daniel’s approach shots and putts. Every now and then one of us would hit a good shot outside of our usual strength and so we’d use that one, but for the most part it was pretty predictable.

img_5314

The course was beautiful! We actually scored fairly well (in my opinion). We shot 45 on a par 36. It’s not great, but it is certainly not horrible either. We actually returned the entire pack of extra balls because we didn’t use any of them. Hashtag winning.

img_5311

We decided that playing best ball helped us to avoid the IRONY of splitting up on our iron anniversary trip. Not that it was a competition by any means, but when you put two highly competitive people in a competitive environment, things happen. We avoided those things!

Thanks for reading. I’m sure that wasn’t the most interesting post ever, but I know that one day (when I am old and gray and have probably lost my marbles), I’ll want to look back and see how we spent our time together. Anyone have a good anniversary story to share?

#CurrentStatus

Hello, hello and happy (almost) weekend! I hope everyone has had a good week so far.

I’ve had mostly easy runs this week, so there isn’t really much to report on the running front. I did do a workout Thursday … the dreaded 3 X 2 mile repeat workout. This was the workout last month that kind of did me in. Looking back now, it was actually a blessing in disguise because it started the wheels turning on the whole the burnout discussion and now, just one month later, I am feeling SO MUCH BETTER.

When I saw this workout pop up on the schedule again, I didn’t dread it at all. I was excited to get out there and conquer it! I did the workout outside (woo hoo!) and was able to hit the paces, so I feel really good about this one. Below is a side by side comparison of the workout from this week and from the last time that I did it (August 17th). It went so much better this time!

This week: 1 mi. WU, 3 X 2 miles w/ 400 rec. (6:33, 6:21, 6:17, 6:21, 6:15, 6:09), 1.5 mi. CD
Last time: 2 mi. WU, 3 X 2 miles w/ 400 rec. (6:33, 6:16, 6:33, 6:46, 6:59, 7:00), 2.0 mi. CD

Now that we’ve got the running stuff out of the way, it’s time for an updated “current” things post. Let’s go!

Current book: Thanks to my friend Jill’s recommendation I ordered Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist.

untitled

Present Over Perfect is described as “a hand reaching out, pulling you free from the constant pressure to perform faster, push harder, and produce more, all while maintaining an exhausting image of perfection” and also as guiding you “away from frantic pushing and proving, and toward your essential self, the one you were created to be before you began proving and earning for your worth.”

Jill recommended this book to me after my Burnout post and I am so excited to start reading it. It sounds, for lack of a better word, perfect.

Current music: My favorite song right now is hands down “Chain Breaker” by Zach Williams. I’ve been listening to this on repeat for a week or two (that’s what I do w/ music … listen to the song over and over and over again until I can’t take it anymore and then I move on to the next obsession).

If you’re been walking the same old road for miles and miles
If you’ve been hearing the same old voice tell the same old lies
If you’re trying to fill the same old holes inside
There’s a better life, there’s a better life
If you’ve got pain, He’s a pain taker
If you feel lost, He’s a way maker
If you need freedom or saving, He’s a prison-shaking Savior
If you got chains, He’s a chain breaker

Also in the music-related category, I just purchased a Sony MP3 Player. I’ve been using a really old iPod with really old music if I ever race with headphones and it was, without a doubt, time for an upgrade. The music on the iPod is all circa 2010. Also I am excited at the idea of no cords. I really hate cords!

untitled

Side note: Do you ever race w/ music? I like to sometimes. If I am doing a half or a full marathon, I definitely do. If I am doing a shorter race, I usually don’t.

Current guilty pleasure: Chick-fil-A waffle fries. Whoa. You have to eat them when they are HOT though (i.e., in the car on the way home if you go through the drive-through). Otherwise, they’re just “meh.” Chick-fil-A seems to have become a weekly guilty pleasure for us here lately and I’m not sad about it.

013

Current drink: As we speak, I’m drinking some coffee. That’s pretty standard though, so more specifically, I am drinking a creamy buttery caramel medium roast coffee. It’s delicious.

ccb-product-shot_53f619c0-330d-4c65-9f81-ba9fa7848fcb_large

Current food: Love Grown oats! In my opinion, when it comes to food prep, the less prep time the better. These oats containers are perfect for making “overnight” oats. I add some almond milk, greek yogurt and fresh fruit to the container, mix it up and let it sit overnight. Voilà! So easy. So tasty.

019

Current obsession: Amazon Prime. I recently got a 24 pack of Quest Bars for $0.75 per bar. They are $2.50 (or more) per bar at the grocery store (#winning). They were last season’s pumpkin pie flavor, but that’s beside the point. They are still in date and perfectly acceptable. Plus pumkin = fall. If I eat these, fall will come quicker. It’s science.

Current craving: Candy corn. Same concept here. Candy corn = fall.

Current need: I need to do a better job of weekly meal planning. We talked about this a little bit at work this week because it really should go hand in hand with working on our weekly budgeting. If you plan ahead you are much less likely to blow your grocery budget because you have to stop by the store a few times a week to grab just a couple of things at a time.

Current indulgence: I got my nails done this week. I try not to go too often so that it is more like a treat when I do go. I hadn’t been since June 2nd! I figured that was long enough to wait and I that I better go ahead and go before my feet and toenails deteriorated into a complete and utter state of disrepair.

Current bane of my existence: Dave Ramsey. Just kidding! Kind of. I’m still trying to figure out how to fit my running clothes and Coffee Loft habit into my budget.

Current procrastination: Preparing my own tax return. I’m sure you’ve heard the expression that the shoemakers kids never have shoes. The same principle (those closest to a person often don’t benefit from the person’s expertise) tends to apply to our tax return as well. It’s just so easy (and super convenient) to extend your return and let’s face it, “ain’t nobody got time for that” in between January and April 15th (especially a CPA)!

Current confession: Sometimes I run red lights on purpose. So rebellious. Ha. I probably need to expound on this a little bit. I make 100% certain there are no cars coming and usually I only do this if it is like 4 a.m. and there are no other cars out anyway.

When I was really young, I remember sitting at a red light with my dad and he said, “You can’t let a red light rule your life, Kid” and then we went on our merry little way. I don’t know exactly how old I was, but I very vividly remember this and apparently it stuck. It’s just funny because I am typically a rule follower (my dad … not so much) and it’s out of character for me. I’m sure he will be so proud when he reads this!

Current quote: God did not add another day in your life because you needed it, He added it because someone out there needed you.

eb8d0bbc52f086d723e5a2734b4eb4e3

This is going to be a little random (shocking I know), but we are currently watching One Tree Hill on Netflix. We like to stay a good 10 – 15 years behind the trends. In one of the episodes that we watched this week, there is an accident and in this sort of weird super-natural way the guy is able to see what life would be like for his friends and family if he wasn’t in their lives (in the past and in the future). I know it sounds weird, but just hang with me for a minute.

The narration says, “Have you ever wondered what marks our timing? If one life can really make an impact on the world? Or if the choices we make matter? I believe they do. And I believe that one man can change many lives … for better, or worse.” I don’t know about you, but that really hit me in the feels. It was a really good reminder that we are all here for a reason and the way you treat people and the life you live does indeed make a difference.

It is easy for our lives to become a constant state of activity and stress. We get so busy that we forget to remember and celebrate, on occasion what life is really about. If you are reading this, you are alive. That isn’t something to be taken for granted. We are not guaranteed a tomorrow. Do something today (and everyday) that makes the world a better place for at least one person.

Current excitement: We are headed to Birmingham this weekend to celebrate our 6 year anniversary. Daniel likes to do the traditional anniversary gifts and year 6 is candy and/or iron (seems like an odd combination). Since Birmingham is sometimes referred to as The Iron City or The Pittsburg of the South (due to major industry growth in iron and steel production during the late 1800s), we are headed to Birmingham for the weekend and to continue with the “iron” theme, we are also playing golf on Sunday.

I’ve warned Daniel that I am an angry golfer. Patience is most definitely not one of my virtues, and I tend to get easily frustrated with the sport of golf. I haven’t played much golf anyway, but when I have it tends to get real ugly real fast. Neither of us have played during the 7 years that we have known each other (aside from hitting few balls over the bluff into the bay), so it should be interesting!

I’m hoping that he also gets me some candy corn (see above current craving). I’m sure that would help ease the pain of a rough day on the links.

Current mood: Thankful.

Tell me: What is currently going on in your life? I hope you guys have a great weekend

InsideTracker Results

Hey guys!

A couple of posts back, I mentioned that I had some blood work done for InsideTracker (ICYMI: I got my blood drawn the Friday before Labor Day).

014

What is InsideTracker?

InsideTracker is a blood biomarker analysis service. I have read several reviews about InsideTracker and I have been wanting to try it for quite a while. There are several different plans to choose from, based on how in-depth you want to get with it.

They measure biomarkers for overall health and well-being and for athletic performance. You fill out a general profile and a specific lifestyle, nutrition and fitness profile. After your blood work is analyzed, you receive personalized recommendations based on your lifestyle and your needs. An athlete’s blood work results can be very different from the general population and InsideTracker helps athletes establish personal metrics for optimal health.

Just as an example: I had blood work done by my primary care physician a few years ago and my iron level was 15.8. A “normal” range for females can be anywhere from 15 to 150 ng/mL. My doctor told me that everything was perfectly fine, when in actuality the normal range for a female endurance athlete is between 60 and 150 ng/mL and I was pretty far under that. No bueno.

Your results that are labeled as at-risk, needs work or optimal based on the following categories. The biomarkers used to measure each category are in parenthesis.

  • Bone & Muscle Health (Vitamin D)
  • Cognition (Vitamin B12)
  • Inflammation (White Blood Cells & High-Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein)
  • Strength & Endurance (Creatine Kinase, Cortisol & Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin)
  • Oxygen Transfer & Blood Function (Ferritin & Hemoglobin)
  • Liver Function & Toxicity (Alanine Aminotransferase)

Side note: For accuracy sake, I just wrote out the complete names of the biomarkers that were tested straight from my results. I don’t want you to think I was some sort of medical genius or something. If you need confirmation about my lack of medical knowledge, please consult with my husband. He will fill you in (and the good news is that it will only take 2 seconds, because there isn’t much knowledge there to talk about). In fact, if you are reading this, it means that I already had him proofread the post to make sure I didn’t say something silly.

This knowledge (or lack thereof) is actually one of the reasons that I was really excited about trying InsideTracker. The presentation that they put together with your results explains why each biomarker is important for athletic performance (in an easily understandable fashion) and they give you clearly defined action steps for how to make improvements based on the goals that you want to focus on.

The results come back within 5 to 7 business days and I got them in 6. Right on time! I was pretty excited to see what they said. As per usual … #nerdalert.

What did my results show?

Let’s start with the good news! None of my biomarkers were categorized as at-risk. Yay (insert happy dance)!

I was so relieved to hear this. I consider myself to be a healthy person in general, but I still sometimes worry about the potential negative effects that endurance training can have on your body. The results were a welcome form of reassurance and confirmation that physically I am doing just fine.

Disclaimer: InsideTracker did not, however, test the amount of crazy in my head. It is possible that I am walking around with a full-blown case of crazy-head (it runs in my family). We’ll save that test and those results for another day though!

So even though I didn’t have any at-risk biomarkers, I did have 3 that were classified as needing work: Vitamin D, Iron & Liver Enzymes. After seeing the categories that need work, I was able to select two goals to work on. I chose 1) prevent injury/speed recovery and 2) boost energy (sayonara nap-time).

I’m going to go through each category that needs work below.

Vitamin D is an important nutrient that helps the body absorb calcium to maintain bone strength and health. Only a few foods naturally contain vitamin D. Our bodies produce vitamin D when our skin is exposed to the sun. Inadequate calcium and vitamin D increase the risk of low bone mineral density and stress fractures (um hello, biggest fear and thing we want to avoid at all costs).

My vitamin D level was 39 ng/mL and the optimal level is 40 to 48 ng/mL, so I am not very far away from the optimal range on this one. The recommendation is to begin supplementing with 2000IU of vitamin D3 daily and to eat fatty fish at least twice per week to increase levels.

vit-d

Ferritin is a protein that stores iron, and therefore it is a good marker for the amount of iron in the body. Iron is required for the formation of the oxygen-carrying proteins hemoglobin and myoglobin, and for enzymes involved in energy production. Low iron is a common nutritional issue for anyone who regularly participates in intense exercise, such as running, and cycling. Regular, high-volume, strenuous training may impair iron absorption and transport and cause iron deficiency.

I already knew that low iron was fairly common among endurance athletes (and my iron has been low in the past), so I was already taking an iron supplement. I have been taking 130 mg of iron a day regularly for 6 months (if not longer). I was really surprised that even though I am taking iron supplements every day, my iron level was still low.

My iron level was 34 ng/mL and the optimal level is 60 to 150 ng/mL. The recommendation is to increase the intake of red meat to twice per week, to avoid drinking coffee with meals (I really only do this at breakfast, but still … bummer!) and to avoid eating legumes (beans, peas, peanuts, etc.) or whole grain cereals at the same time as iron-rich foods, because this impedes the iron absorption.

I knew that certain minerals (calcium, zinc, magnesium, copper, etc.) blocked the absorption of iron, but I didn’t know that legumes did. After learning this, I think that I am likely getting enough iron (mainly from my supplements), but I am just not absorbing it properly.

ferritin

ALT is an enzyme primarily found in the liver that helps chemical reactions occur. It plays a role in changing stored glucose into usable energy. When there is liver damage or disease, then ALT enters the blood stream. Damage to your liver can result in fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, and weight loss. Your liver has some ability to regrow after injury and damage so it’s important to take action that will help your liver repair itself.

My ALT level was 20 U/L the optimal level is 10 to 16 U/L.  The recommendation is to consume regular or decaffeinated coffee (3 cups/day), take a probiotic supplement daily, and to reduce intake of soda, juice and other sweetened beverages.

alt

Where do I go from here?

I plan to take the following action-steps (based on the recommendations above):

  1. Add a vitamin D3 and probiotic supplement daily.
  2. Add more peanut butter, spinach and black beans to my diet.
  3. Eat fish and red meat twice per week.
  4. Drink fewer sugar-sweetened beverages and try to not drink coffee with meals.

After a couple of months of incorporating these changes, I will have my blood work redone to check my progress. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Question: When was the last time you had blood work done? Did you learn anything interesting or helpful from it?

Race Recap: Hurricane Run 5K

Hello! I’ve got a race recap to share this evening.

This morning Jessica and I ran the Hurricane Run 5K on Dauphin Island. This is one of the races in the Port City Pacers Grand Prix. I’m hoping to run all of the Grand Prix races this year.

When we were making plans this week (what time to leave, where to meet, etc.), I was thinking that it was a bummer that we were going to have to drive all the way around the bay to get Dauphin Island. It’s 50 miles by car, but as the crow flies (i.e., straight across the bay), it’s only 20 miles!

My wheels started turning and I asked my dad if he would want to go on an early morning boat adventure. Of course he did! Jessica loved the idea too. She is a self-proclaimed “ride or die” girl and she was all in. We got started just after 6 a.m. and headed to Dauphin Island.

005 Edited2.png

The yellow line is our route🙂

It was a little dark at first and the bay was a tad bit choppy, but it turned out to be a great ride. We got to see the sunrise over the water and it was beautiful out. There was even a nice cool breeze while we were riding. It’s too bad that breeze didn’t stick around once we got to the race!

We rode right by Middle Bay Light, the lighthouse in the middle of Mobile Bay. It has a really cool history (click on the link if you are into that sort of thing). We also saw lots of pelicans and several container ships.

022

It took us just about an hour to get there. We thought it would be closer to 45 minutes, but we weren’t able to go quite as fast since the bay was choppy. We got to Dauphin Island just after 7 for an 8 o’clock race start.

I had only run this race one time before (in 2010! … that seems like forever and a half ago). I remember that Daniel and I had some logistical issues getting to the race that day and ended up having to literally run from our car to get our bib and then straight to the start line because we were so late. That was not a great pre-race experience and I definitely didn’t want to repeat that this year.

Thankfully we had plenty of time today to get our bibs, go to the bathroom (twice) and get a 2 mile warm up with some striders in. We weren’t rushed at all, which definitely makes for a better overall race experience.

It was in the low 80s and super humid at the start. That’s pretty much just par for the course in lower Alabama (for at least 10 months of the year). My plan was to use this race to gauge where my fitness was (after a short break from workouts) and focus on getting more comfortable with the intensity of shorter races. I just wanted to give a strong, solid effort. I didn’t have a super specific time goal, but I was hoping for sub-19.

025

Photo cred: Marjorie Rockwell w/ Fleet Feet Sports Mobile

I settled into my pace fairly quickly and actually ended up passing all of the runners in front of me within the first mile. I came through mile 1 in 5:54.

I basically led the race from a half a mile in through the finish, which was a new experience! I was hoping to have someone to run with (I run my best when I have someone to pace and work with), but that didn’t really work out. It was fun to lead the race, but it was also hard to stay focused and not let up on the pace.

The second and third miles were 5:58 and 6:10 … so a nice little positive split, but I can live with it. I finished in 18:51, which is right where I wanted to be.

024

Less than half a mile to go!

Here’s some random pace and heart rate data (in case you like that sort of thing).

023-edited2

I’m still not entirely sure how accurate the heart rate data is …

Jessica finished in 21:20 as the third overall female! Woo hoo!

015

We got a short cool down in after the race and got our awards (medals).

We had to wait out a little storm that blew through before we could venture back across the bay. The rain cooled it off a good bit and we were even a little chilly on the ride home. The cool air was a great reminder that fall is coming! I just like to keep telling myself that anyway.

We had a great day. It was really neat to go to the race by boat (that was a first!) and we decided that we want to make this an annual tradition.

#BayLife

Hello! I hope you had a good Labor Day and are adjusting back to the swing of things today.

The blog lived up to its name this weekend, as we spent most of the long weekend playing on Mobile Bay and running!

Brooks and I spent some quality time on the paddle board. He is usually more interested in swimming than staying with me on the board, but he did good this weekend. I think the secret was 1) we played fetch for quite a while before we even went down to the bay to begin with, so he was already a little bit tired and 2) we didn’t take his water toy down with us, so he didn’t have to concern himself with retrieving anything.

We went about 2 miles Saturday morning. He jumped in 3 times (which means that I fell in 3 times), but that was a lot less than usual!

014

Brooks and I also went “surfing” behind the boat on the paddle board. This is so much fun and he *seems* to enjoy it too. He hasn’t told me otherwise.

Step 1: Get up using the ski rope.

025

Step 2: Catch the wave.

027

Step 3: Hold on for dear life!

029

Step 4: BYE mom!

030

We also rode out to get a better look at the shrimp boats. In case you haven’t noticed, we are a tad bit obsessed. There were lots of porpoise feeding around the boats, so that was cool to see too!

002

I bet those boats have some awesome stories to tell.

023

It seemed pretty fitting to have some boiled shrimp to celebrate the holiday.

In other news, rest week was quite a success! I was able to step back and get some clarity and a new focus on my training.

This week kicks off my new “shorter distance” (I realize that this is relative terminology) training cycle. It stated with a bang! My training schedule called for 12 X 400 with a goal range of 82 to 84 seconds per lap (5:28 to 5:36 pace). I was a little intimidated by those paces, but I told myself just to get out there and see how it felt. If I couldn’t hit it, I couldn’t hit it. No big deal.

Daniel ran several of the repeats with me, which definitely helped me (mentally and physically). He is a good pacer!

I stayed really close to the goal range. My splits were 83, 83, 83, 82, 83, 83, 85, 82, 84, 84, 84, 84. I was worn out at the end, but I’m pretty sure that means I did it right. Haha. I am pleased with the consistency and happy to have my first track workout of this new phase under my belt.

I’m running a 5K this weekend and I’ll definitely be remembering that workout during the last mile (or maybe just during the whole race)!

I hope you all have a great (short) week!

Blood, Sweat & Goals

Happy Friday friends!

I have almost survived #restweek2016! I have run less than 20 miles this week (which is not much compared to what I have been doing the last few months). It has been a really nice week and I am feeling good!

I think the burnout that I was experiencing was 90% (or more) mental and 10% (or less) physical. I decided to go ahead and take it one step further (just in case my evaluation of the situation isn’t exactly accurate) and this morning I got some blood work done with InsideTracker.

InsideTracker is a blood biomarker analysis service. I have read several reviews about InsideTracker and I have been wanting to try it for quite a while. This seemed like as good a time as any to go ahead and follow through with that. There are several different plans to choose from.

They measure the most important biomarkers for overall well-being and athletic performance. You learn how each biomarker is affecting your health and are able to pinpoint previously undetected areas for improvement. You are then provided with a personalized plan to track your progress and measure the effectiveness of your actions.

The process has been seamless so far. I signed up yesterday, scheduled my lab appointment at a local Quest Diagnostics location and got my blood drawn at 7:45 this morning. By 7:55 I was done and headed home. I should have the results in a few days and I can’t wait to see what is says. I’ll keep you posted!

014

Now that we have the physical well-being part covered, let’s talk about the mental burnout for a minute. After a little bit of self-evaluation, I came to a pretty big conclusion.

I don’t love the marathon.

Mind = Blown.

Last year I signed up for NYC only because Daniel and a few other guys that we run with were going to do it. Well, the same thing happened this year with Baton Rouge (I haven’t signed up yet, thankfully). Daniel and a few of his buddies are training for it and so I was just like “ehh, why not.” My heart was not in it (at all) and I started putting off and dreading my workouts. At this point, I’m just thankful that I realized it when I did and not a month or two from now.

Somewhere along the way, the marathon just ended up being one more thing that I thought I was “supposed to do,” and not in a this is my calling sort of way, but in a people expect me to do this sort of way. I think I started feeling this way after Rock N Roll New Orleans. I am realizing now that this was just my perception of other people’s expectations, because let’s face it … no one really cares whether I run a marathon or not.

Side note: I think I need to write an entire post dedicated to all of the “supposed to do” traps that I have fallen into over the years. You’d think I would learn eventually … I feel like I am at least making progress at this point. Baby steps guys.

I love running. Running does not have to mean running marathons.

I’m not saying that I will never run a marathon again, but for right now it’s not what I want to focus on. For now I am going to train for shorter distances, basically from the mile to the half marathon. 1 mile, 2 mile, 5K, 4 mile, 8K, 10K, 15K, 10 mile, half marathon … you name it, I’m game!

Even though the half marathon is only half of the distance of the marathon (hello captain obvious), I feel 10X better after a half than after a marathon. They are so much easier on your body. My favorite part of training for marathons was just that, the training, not the race itself. Even with this new focus, I still plan to get in a few long (ish) runs with friends. I LOVE camaraderie of long training runs with friends and I’m not willing to give that up completely. I just might have to join them for part of their run or something like that.

I’m going to be focusing on QUALITY > QUANTITY. I’m pretty excited about it too! Focusing on the shorter distances (up through the half marathon) over the next year or two will give me an opportunity to (hopefully) improve my times in those races.

I know that some people just like to run for fun (hey, I like doing that too!), but I also think that having goals is important. Goals give you short-term motivation and long-term vision.

Here are some concrete goals that I want to focus on:

Short-Term (current) – General: Focus on speed and shorter distances. Specific: sub 18 5k, sub 37:30 10k, sub 62 10 mile, sub 1:23 half.

Mid-Term (1 to 2 years) – General: Continue focusing on speed and shorter distances. Specific: work down to 17:30 5k, sub 37 10k, sub 60 10 mile, sub 1:20 half.

Long-Term (2+ years) – Consider running a couple of marathons and continue working on half marathon time.

Bigger picture: I want to be able to run healthily and happily my whole life. That’s really the most important goal of all!

While we are on the topic of goals … I am currently working on some non-running goals as well. As a celebration of our first “official” year at the new firm, Nathan and Sharee gave all of the staff members the DVD home study edition of Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University!

049

We will be watching the videos with our spouses and working on household budgets, etc. and we will also discuss some of the principles during our weekly staff meeting at work.

Financial Peace University (FPU) is a plan for your money. It teaches God’s ways of handling money. Through video teaching, class discussions and interactive small group activities, FPU presents biblical, practical steps to get from where you are to where you’ve dreamed you could be. This plan will show you how to get rid of debt, manage your money, spend and save wisely, and much more!

I’ve never been through the classes before, so I am really excited to get started. I know that it is going to be a challenging, yet rewarding undertaking.

Whew. Lots of good stuff today! I hope you all have a nice long weekend ahead of you!

August Recap

Hello September!

September

MONTH RECAP: August

Total running: 320 miles.

Workouts: After looking back at my training log, I realized that I skipped, cut short or otherwise modified 6 workouts (out of 8 total) this month. Hello burnout, nice to see you …

9 mi. run w/ 5 tempo mi. @ 6:36 avg. (was supposed to be 8 X 800)

16 mi. moderate pace LR (was supposed to be 20)

2 mi. WU, 3 X 2 mi. (6:33, 6:16, 6:33, 6:46, 6:59, 7:00), 2 mi. CD

12 Easy + 4 Up-Tempo (6:46, 6:55, 7:15, 7:16)

Races: Chickasabogue Park 2 Miler. I only did one race this month, but it was a good one! This race was the silver lining in an otherwise not-so-great month of training. It was fun to race a shorter distance and see the fruition of the summer training.

Favorite Race: By default, this goes to Chickasabogue Park 2 Miler, but any race that is a PR is likely to win the”favorite race” category anyway.

Longest run: 18 miles with some quality friend time!


Shortest run: 3 miles.

Favorite run: Vacation running! It was nice to mix things up a little bit when we were in Destin. The combination of a change of scenery, new (to us) routes, being at the beach and having no set schedule led to some very enjoyable runs.

Rest days: 1

Other: I got in a couple of walks (one w/ my cousin and one w/ my mom), I rode the bike while Daniel ran one day and I finally got to go skiing!


I thought it was super cool how the map turned out on Strava!


What’s next: More to come on this …

What are you looking forward to in September?

Hopefully we’ll start seeing some cooler temps and there will be some fast fall running in our future!