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!

April Recap

Hi, hey, hello!

How’s it going? Can you believe today is the last day of April? Me either!

Month Recap: April 2017

Workouts: There were several long runs and a few other workouts this month.

26 mile long run

Easy run w/ 10 X 1:00 pickups

2 mi. WU, 12 X 400 (ish) hill repeats (1:37, 1:35, 1:35, 1:34, 1:37, 1:37, 1:39, 1:39, 1:37, 1:36, 1:37, 1:38), 2 mi. CD

24 mile long run

2 mi. WU, 8 mile AT tempo (7:02, 6:53, 7:05, 7:04, 6:44, 6:40, 6:42, 6:44), 2 mi. CD

16 mile long run w/ fast finish (7:10, 7:01, 7:00, 7:13, 7:31)

2 mi. WU, 2 X 2 mile (6:36, 6:26, 6:07, 5:50), 2 mi. CD

Favorite workout: My favorite workout was the last workout of the month (and last workout before the 50K). It was a 2 X 2 mile progression workout. We had a really nice, cool morning (which unfortunately seem to be becoming few and far between) and we had a good group at the track. I negative split each mile (which was the goal of the “progression” part) and ended up running faster than I was supposed to (which rarely happens). Goal paces were 6:50, 6:40, 6:30 and 6:20 and actual were 6:36, 6:26, 6:07, 5:50.

I ran the first two mile set slower than the Daniels and so my mission on the second set was to catch them. Having someone to chase down definitely helped my motivation. I caught up with them with about one lap to go on the last mile of the second set. As soon as I caught up to them, they kicked it up a notch and left me in their dust. Nothing like a little friendly competition to make you run a little faster!

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Races: I ran the Gulf Coast Half Marathon in Pensacola this month and I also participated in the Race the Town Scavenger Hunt yesterday in downtown Fairhope.

While I didn’t do a “formal” recap of the scavenger hunt, I want to do a little “mini” recap here because it was so much fun! I wasn’t originally planning to do this event at all, but a few girls from our old small group had a team and one of the girls wasn’t able to do it. They needed a last-minute fill in and I was happy to do it. I honestly wasn’t entirely sure what I was getting myself into.

Each team received a clue book the day before the event and there were 15 clues or “stops” scattered throughout downtown. There was a bar code at each stop that you had to scan to get your assigned challenge and once you completed the challenge you got a stamp in your clue book. We did things like push ups, squats, jumping jacks, wall sits, etc. at each stop and the race ended up being just over 2.5 miles total.

One of the challenges was to take a selfie and post it to social media. There was a team right in front of us and when I saw them stop to take a selfie, I was like “c’mon girls … they’re stopping to take a selfie, we can totally catch them.” Turns out it was part of the race! Ha.

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The event was hosted by FIT by Jessica and benefited the Fairhope Education Enrichment Foundation (FEEF), which provides educational enrichment opportunities for students who attend Fairhope schools and the Baldwin County Foster & Adoptive Parents Association which provides care and resources to local foster and adopted children and their families.

It was a great event that supported great local organizations. We had a blast and ended up as the third place team! Our prize was three months of meal plans by FIT by Jessica (includes meal plan, recipes and shopping lists). I will take any and all help with meal planning that I can get. I’m pretty excited about that!

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Favorite Race: The Gulf Coast Half Marathon was one of my favorite races this year (not just this month)!

Paces: Paces ranged from 5:50 to 9:31.

Total miles: 336!

Distances: Distances ranged from 5 miles to 26 miles.

Strength work: I stayed pretty consistent with my stretching, core and upper body weights this month.

Current book: Baby Love by Rebecca Walker.

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Nobody freak out on me here (Mom, Dad, Daniel … I’m talking to you).

Here’s a little snippet: “Beneath the promise of “having it all” were mixed messages about motherhood: a woman risked being emotionally drained and intellectually stunted, losing herself in the process of caring for another. As Walker’s entertaining and insightful memoir attests, these messages created a new kind of struggle for many young women, and the decision to have a child became fraught with ambivalence.”

I’ve mentioned this a time or two, but having children is not something that I am 100% clear on (or even 50% clear on) and I have a lot of guilt about feeling this way, as there are so many people who yearn for children and struggle to have them. Throw in the fact that I am an only child and 1) my parents will not have grandchildren if we don’t have kids and 2) only children get a bad rap for being selfish and this just furthers my complex about that (as human beings we are all selfish, I get that).

The good news is that Daniel and I on the same page of ambivalence and we are still young.

Current music: I don’t typically download music to my phone, but every now and then I will hear a new song that I really like and I will buy it. This month I bought one song, “Warrior” by Demi Lovato. This song hit me like a ton of bricks when I heard it and I was immediately drawn to it. While I love an up tempo song as much as the next person, I also really love music that makes me *feel* something.

All the pain and the truth
I wear like a battle wound
So ashamed, so confused
I was broken and bruised

Now I’m a warrior
Now I’ve got thicker skin
I’m a warrior
I’m stronger than I’ve ever been
And my armor, is made of steel, you can’t get in
I’m a warrior
And you can never hurt me again

Out of the ashes, I’m burning like a fire
You can save your apologies, you’re nothing but a liar
I’ve got shame, I’ve got scars
That I will never show
I’m a survivor
In more ways than you know

Current craving: Sunshine and crisp air. It’s been overcast and overly humid (more than standard LA humidity) for several days and I’m ready for that to be gone. When it is cloudy out I am even more sleepy than normal.

Current guilty pleasure: We have a new Whit’s frozen custard location about a mile from the house, so we decided to try that out this weekend. We walked up Friday evening and got some custard. I went with the weekly flavor, which was lemon (I like anything lemon) and Daniel got an O’Henry George Whitser. We both liked it a lot and I’m pretty sure we’ll be back.

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Brookser got some leftovers …

Current drink: Currently sipping on (my second cup of) Starbucks Creme Brulee flavored coffee. It’s not my favorite, but I’m a sucker for any sort of flavored coffee.

Current food: Eggs! Daniel has been making eggs (either in scrambled or omelette form) in the mornings and I am loving it. Oh the joys of having a kitchen!

Current obsession: Stalking the weather in Colorado! It’s definitely a bit chillier than I was expecting it to be (um … it’s snowing today). It actually does look very nice towards the end of the week though.

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Current need: I need to be packing! We leave this week!

Current indulgence: I woke up this morning without an alarm and I honestly can’t remember the last time that I went to bed without setting an alarm. Of course my internal clock still woke up fairly early, but I was able to snooze it for a little bit longer.

Current bane of my existence: We have an armadillo friend that is slowly destroying our yard. We are really trying to keep our yard nice (which has not been our strong suit in the past), but this thing is making that increasingly difficult.

Please be impressed by our dipladenias that we planted this week.

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Current procrastination: At the beginning of the month, I would say that my procrastination list was at an all-time high, but thankfully I have crossed off the majority of my to do list items in the last two weeks (such a great feeling)! I took a big pile of clothes to the consignment store, renewed my car tag, filed for our homestead exemption, changed our address with the post office and took the last few items to the frame store.

Currently I am back to status-quo with a fairly standard laundry procrastination. The clothes are washed, dried and even sorted on the bed. Now if only someone would fold them and put them away!

Current confession: I changed my contacts this morning for the first time in way too long. I guess the confession would be that 1) I wear my contacts until my vision becomes “fuzzy” and 2) I don’t remember the last time that I changed contacts.

Current quote: “When God gives you a new beginning, it starts with an ending. Be thankful for closed doors. They often guide us to the right one!”

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Current excitement: Our new treadmill came yesterday! Our workout room is almost complete. We just need to hang a few more things and then we’ll be set.

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Current companion: This little goober is resting while I blog. Everyone needs to take a lesson in relaxation from Brookser.

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I hope you had a great weekend! See ya soon!

#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!

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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.

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Step 2: Catch the wave.

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Step 3: Hold on for dear life!

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Step 4: BYE mom!

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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!

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I bet those boats have some awesome stories to tell.

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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!

Extraordinarily Ordinary

Hey friends! I’m bringing you a little something different today.

I always enjoy reading “Day in the Life” posts. A couple of the bloggers that I follow did these type of posts this week and I realized that I’ve never done one myself before. It’s time to remedy that! I like seeing little glimpses into other people’s lives. There is something about seeing the ins and outs of another person’s daily life that makes me feel connected to them in a deeper way even though they are a random stranger on the internet.

Hopefully you will enjoy this little glimpse into an ordinary day in my life. Besides, I think that the daily grind of ordinary days helps to prepare us for the extraordinary days!

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4:40: Hello, world!

The alarm goes off, but I promptly hit snooze. Not quite ready yet, world! After the one snooze, I was ready to at least begin the wake up process, which involves reading my devotional and a quick scroll through social media.

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I usually sleep in my running clothes (well, except for the shoes … that would be weird), so once I get myself out of bed, get my teeth brushed and put my eyes (contacts) in, I’m ready to go.

5:00 – 6:30: Let’s Run!

We usually start running between 5:00 and 5:15. Today I had a workout to do and Daniel decided to sleep in, so I hit the treadmill. The workout called for a 3 mile warm up, a 4 mile tempo with a goal range of 6:15 to 6:25 pace and a 3 mile cool down.

I like to ease into my treadmill workouts. For the warm up I start at 10:00 pace and every 2 minutes I increase the speed my 0.2 mph. Basically this turns the warm up into a little mini-progression run. My warm up miles were 9:00, 7:48, 7:18. By that point, my legs were awake and ready to go! I averaged 6:24 for the tempo miles, which was right within the goal range. I definitely had to work hard to hit that.


I cut the cool down a little bit short. I was DONE and just really ready to be off of the treadmill! Side note: I am pretty sure that is possibly one of the sweatiest runs that I’ve done. I had to wring out my socks afterwards. That doesn’t happen to me very often.

6:30 – 7:20: Randomness at Home

Lots of random tasks go down between 6:30 and 7:30. Things like post-run hydrating (I drank 20 oz. of water with 2 Nuun tablets this morning) and caffeinating, making the bed, updating my training log, playing with Brooks, checking emails, etc. Daniel always showers first (oh the joys of one bathroom apartment living) It takes me about 20 minutes to get ready for work, so as long as I am in the shower by 7:00, I’m good to go. Low maintenance #forthewin.

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I don’t know that anyone has ever told me that my curly hair specifically looks good, but I go with a “hope for the best” outlook.

7:30: Breakfast

Breakfast is not a fancy meal at our house. Let’s face it … none of our meals are really very fancy. If it can’t be prepared in the crock pot, in the microwave or on the grill, it doesn’t get prepared. Thankfully, Daniel and I are on the same page with this. We eat to live, not live to eat. We eat what I would consider to be a fairly healthy (i.e., clean) diet, but we aren’t perfect (obviously) … we definitely splurge on not so healthy options every now and then. Moderation is truly the key.

Disclaimer: I think that food is something that I will always have to be mindful and cognizant of. It is easy for me to slip into bad (i.e., disordered) habits when things get stressful or life feels out of control. Daniel does a really good job of reining me back in. I have a decent amount of nutritional knowledge, but I am by no means a professional. I am not giving nutrition advice or telling you how you should eat. I have found what works for me. Everyone has a different definition of “healthy” and different things work for different people … #findyourhealthy #comparisonisthethiefofjoy #differentstrokesfordifferentfolks.

Where were we? Ahh, yes. Breakfast.

Greek yogurt with oats and raspberries (one of my all-time favorite fruits) and a side of G2 (actually it is a Sprite zero & G2 mixture). Simple and nutritious. I also take a calcium supplement with breakfast. Daniel typically does a protein shake, a pop-tart or a stop at Chick-Fil-A.


7:45 – 8:00: Drive to Work

I had the added pleasure of stopping by Coffee Loft on my way to work this morning, because I was working at a client’s office and Coffee Loft just happened to be right on the way. It was basically a mandatory stop.

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Typically I just drive straight to our office, which is about a 15 (on a good day) to 20 minute drive. It’s not a bad commute at all and it gives me a chance to call my mom and chat for a few minutes each day.

8:00 – 10:30: Work

For any new readers or those that don’t know me well, my day job is in public accounting. I am a CPA. I have a master’s degree in tax accounting, so the majority of what I do at work revolves around taxes (preparing and reviewing tax returns, tax planning, responding to tax notices, etc.). Summer is a slow time of year for us tax folks, so I only work part-time during the summer months. Business tax returns that are extended are due September 15th, so that is the next deadline that we are working towards currently.

10:30: Snack

My stomach started to get a little rumbly mid-morning. I always seem to be hungrier on workout mornings. Luckily I brought some snacks for just such an occasion.

The nectarine was not quite as good as I was hoping that it would be, but oh well.

10:30 – 12:00: Work

Noon: Lunch

We had an internal meeting at work today and lunch was provided. We had homemade chicken salad on croissants and it was so good! Daniel and his co-workers go out for lunch pretty much every day, but I usually try to take my lunch with me. We don’t have a lot of great lunching options nearby, so it is easier just to take it with me. I usually eat pretty quickly and keep working anyway.

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12:00 – 4:30: Work

Our meeting lasted for a pretty long time, so the afternoon flew by. I worked on a few returns after that until it was time to go. Thursday is my Friday, so leaving work on a Thursday afternoon is the best feeling!

4:30: Snack

Quest bars are my go-to afternoon snack. I love them! They have 20 grams of protein and they are very satisfying.

5:00: Let’s Run (Round 2)!

I don’t run in the evening every day by any means, but my coach has two to three double run days built-in to my schedule each week. It seems like I usually get two doubles in, but rarely get three. The evening runs are usually very easy, recovery type runs. I met Rebecca right after work and we did 4.75 miles. I ended my run at .25 that morning and I wanted to even that out. I might have some slight traces of OCD. I usually make Rebecca run around the parking lot until my watch beeps for 5 miles, so she was thankful that we didn’t have to do that this time.

She pushes the stroller and we just chat about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

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We had a good run and we hung out and chatted for a while after we got done.

6:00: Head Home

6:30 – 8:00: Randomness at Home (Round 2)

Brooksy greeted me at the door with a wet nose and puppy kisses and Daniel and I caught up on our day. He had an appointment after work with Dr. Justin (his piriformis is still being a literal pain in his butt) and after that he went out for a ride on the motorcycle and played with Brooks. I was really excited to discover that my RRCA certificate and my MPR business cards had come in the mail.

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After a shower (round 2), I worked on the blog for a while with the Tour de France on in the background. The sun went down at 7:50 and it was a really good one. The pictures do not do it justice at all. It was just like the Kenny Chesney song … a “big orange ball, sinkin’ in the water.”

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8:00: Dinner

By 8 I was getting hungry. I made myself a turkey “wrap” (turkey, cheese, pickles and spicy mustard on a flat bread) and had some chips and a sweet potato on the side.

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Daniel had peanut butter, nutella and banana sandwiches with string cheese. Like I said … low maintenance. I take an iron supplement and vitamin C with dinner. I also had a big glass of chocolate almond milk.

8:30 – 9:30: Relax and Get Ready for Bed

We spend a little bit of time watching TV each evening. Our latest Netflix series is One Tree Hill. Neither of us have seen it before and it’s been pretty good so far. I’m snacking on a dark chocolate sea salt bar. I like to have a sweet snack before bed. Daniel is snacking on some Noosa (Australian yogurt) and applesauce. I also spend some time reading blogs in the evenings before bed.

9:30: Light’s Out!

Brooks says, “I can’t take it anymore.” He must’ve had a rough doggie day. Maybe I can get him to do a guest “day in the life” post one day!? Either that or we can just go see The Secret Life of Pets. It looks so cute.

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Whew. That’s a wrap. It was a fun, busy day. I hoped you enjoyed following along.

How was your day? Did you eat anything delicious or nutritious?

The Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Dayz of Summer

Hi! We are home from a short but wonderful family beach trip.

We live less than an hour from the gulf and we headed down Thursday morning to meet Daniel’s family. His older sister, Michele, and her husband, Brett, were celebrating their 2 year anniversary. They got married at the beach 2 years ago and we got to celebrate with them and their daughter, Ava, again this time around. We were really happy to be able to join them.

Here is the whole gang!

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We got lots of baby snuggles. Here is Uncle Daniel looking like a pro …

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We got to relax on the beach. Here is Baby Ava looking like a pro …

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The view from our condo was great! We got to watch the storms roll in Thursday evening.

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We went to dinner at LuLu’s (the same place as the 5K that I did a few weeks ago). It was weird being there to eat and not to run.

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After dinner we went out for ice cream. I had to buy a sweatshirt because I was FREEZING! Does eating or drinking cold things make anyone else cold?!

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We caught a beautiful rainbow in the sky!

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Friday morning Daniel and I got up semi-early (not normal weekday early, but vacation early) to do my workout. I had a 10 mile run with 5 easy followed by 5 “brisk” (slightly slower than marathon pace) miles. Daniel’s dad rode the bike with us while we ran.

We averaged 7:42 for the entire run and averaged 7:04 for the brisk portion. The goal range was 6:50 t0 7:00 pace, so we were pretty close. I was planning to give myself a 5 – 10 second “vacation” cushion anyway, so we were spot on! Haha.

Gotta get that post-workout sweaty selfie …

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A few laps around the lazy river made us feel a ton better!

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Seriously, the lazy river is where it’s at! I could’ve floated around that thing all day. Unfortunately it gets super crowded as the day goes on, but when we finished our run we basically had it to ourselves. We “raced” around the river (Daniel won … ugh) and stood on the jets to massage our sore feet. I’m pretty sure that is what post-run recovery is supposed to look like.

Miss Ava joined us at the lazy river later that morning.

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We relaxed by the pool and I finished up the book I was reading.

Speaking of this book … I read Fast Girl: A Life Spent Running from Madness, a book about former Olympian, Suzy Favor Hamilton, and her struggle with anxiety during her running career and the mental illness that she suffered from. The book is both fascinating and disturbing. I respect her for writing this and bringing much-needed attention to mental illness in general and the pressure on athletes (at the high school, collegiate and professional levels).

According to a Runner’s World article about the book, “In the years after her retirement from professional running, Favor Hamilton, 47, says she struggled with anxiety, marital difficulties, and postpartum depression after giving birth to daughter Kylie in 2005. After coming close to suicide, she sought medical help and was placed on antidepressants. Favor Hamilton candidly discusses her intentional fall during the 1500-meter final at the 2000 Olympic Games, her brother’s suicide, how she came to be a high-end escort in Las Vegas (with the knowledge of her husband, Mark Hamilton), and being diagnosed with bipolar disorder.”

The book is traveling around my group of running friends (I think 5 or so of us have read it at this point) and it’s still got some circulating to do. I’ve been joking that it is like the sisterhood of the traveling prose.

After a nice afternoon nap (running + being out in the sun all morning will wear you out), it was time for dinner.

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We enjoyed more baby cuddles and more ice cream …

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Saturday morning I met Lizzie to run. She lives really close to where we were staying and it was wonderful to get a run in with her! We had lots to catch up on. One of those things being that crazy book! Haha. She is the one that passed it to me. Jessica … you’re up!

We didn’t have to worry too much about whether or not little Brooksy was okay or not because Dog Ranch posts pictures of all of the dogs playing and we saw that he was living it up!

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My friend Joy pointed out that he was obviously an only child. He doesn’t seem to be too concerned with sharing that pool with the other pups. He likely learned that from his mom.

It was a quick trip, but it was really nice to spend some time with Daniel’s family. We are happy to be home and cuddling with our fur baby now. Thankfully, he seems to have had a wonderful vacation himself and he also seems to be feeling much better than he was when we left.

We are all worn out! Having fun is hard work!

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I hope you are all having a great weekend! Talk to you soon!

 

On Track

Hey guys!

It’s been a stormy couple of days here on the Gulf Coast. The goods news is that it seems to have brought us a little mini-reprieve from the heat (meaning that it has been in the upper 70s at 5 a.m., instead of mid 80s). The last few weeks were pretty intense, so this week has actually been quite wonderful. We’ll take anything we can get at this point.

We are headed to the beach for a couple of days [insert happy dance], so I want to go ahead and get a quick recap in before we leave. Here is what the week has looked like so far:

Monday: Easy 8 + Easy 5
Tuesday: Track + RW group run
Wednesday: Easy 8
Thursday: Easy 8 

It’s pretty much just been easy running, except for Tuesday. Tuesday morning we hit the track for #TrackTuesday. My workout was 12 X 400 with a goal range of 82 – 84 seconds per lap (i.e., 5:28 – 5:36 per mile). I made the mistake of mentioned to my coach that there was a 2 mile race coming up in August that I wanted to “race,” and in return this fast repeat workout showed up on my schedule. Lovely.

I’ve done 400 meter repeat workouts plenty of times in the past, but I don’t ever remember having a goal pace quicker than 6:00 per mile (90 seconds per 400). I was pretty intimidated by the goal pace range that he gave me this time. I didn’t know if I would be able to hit those times or not, but I knew I had to try.

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Daniel and Jessica did the 400 workout with me and Rebecca came to the track with us, but she had a different workout to do (a workout for a 50 mile race looks quite a bit different than a workout for a 2 mile race). Even though we weren’t all running the exact same times or doing the same workout, having them out there with me was really nice because 1) you have more accountability to finish your workout when others are there with you and 2) it’s nice to have a few kind words of encouragement while you are out there working your tush off.

The workout went better than I was expecting! It took me a few repeats to find and settle into the goal range, but once I did, I was fairly consistent with the remainder of the workout. Here is what it actually looked like:

2 mi. WU, 12 X 400 (86, 86, 85, 85, 84, 83, 84, 84, 84, 85, 84, 84), 2 mi. CD

As you can see, the first four were slower than my goal range (granted not by much, but still …). I’m glad that I didn’t give up and stayed with it long enough to actually give myself a chance. Track workouts are tough mental workouts and this one was definitely a test of mental and physical strength.

I finally downloaded the FitSnap app, so that I can make pretty little pictures from my workouts. Check it out …

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Fancy, right? Haha.

I was in a weird mood Tuesday evening and I thought about not going to the group run at the store. I usually enjoy group runs, but every now and then after work I just really don’t feel like talking or being social. Tuesday was a weird day at work because we lost power for several hours and weren’t able to get much done. I’m sure that probably contributed to my weird mood.

Since Daniel was going, I decided to go ahead and go as well. I am really glad that I did because I had a great run. Isn’t that crazy? Going into it, I was not feeling it at all, but once I started running, I felt really good and I settled into a strong rhythm. I ran with Daniel and the guys, which was great because I was working kind of hard to keep up and I didn’t really have to make small talk (mostly because I couldn’t). There was a pack of about 6 or 7 of us and I kind of got lost in my own thoughts, just listening to the sound of our footsteps.

We did 6 miles at a 7:30 average, which is definitely faster than my normal “easy” pace (which ranges from 8:00 to 9:00 minutes per mile, at least in the summer). I probably shouldn’t have pushed the pace that evening after doing a workout that morning, but I felt good so I just went with it.

Luckily I had some flexibility with my schedule this week and so I gave myself two easy days to properly recover before my next workout, which will be a brisk pace run. I was supposed to do that today, but we are going to do it tomorrow instead. Hopefully it will be followed with some beach running or walking! I can’t wait.

I think Brooks must’ve known that we were going to be leaving, because he got sick Wednesday. I got a text from the lady that checks on him mid-day while I was at work yesterday and she told me that he had gotten sick and that she thought he might have gotten overheated. I decided to take him to the vet yesterday afternoon, just to make sure that he was okay. I would’ve hated to leave for a few days if he was really sick.

She said that she didn’t think we needed to take him to the vet, but I just wanted some reassurance. Yes … I am an overprotective doggie mom. Thankfully we got the A-OK from the vet. This doesn’t look like a sick puppy, does it? He loves a good car ride.

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I know he will be in good hands while we are gone and I am so glad to know that he is healthy.

Alright kids, it’s time for me to finish packing and head out. You can follow along on Instagram for vacation updates!

Born in the USA

Hello friends! Happy Sunday! I am linking up with HoHo Runs and MissSippiPiddlin for the Weekly Wrap. This weekly wrap is going to be outlined and illustrated by a random assortment of phone pics from the week that did not previously make it to the blog, but that will help us catch up on what’s been going on.

We’ve been spending our evenings watching all. the. sports. It’s awesome! The Olympic Trials, Wimbledon and now the Tour de France. So many sports, so little time.

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Brooks enjoys sitting on me cuddling with us on the couch in the evenings. I saw this quote and absolutely loved it! Yes, yes and yes!

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Our treadmill died a few weeks ago, which was a major bummer, but we actually got really lucky because the issue was only some rust on the console that was causing it not to start. P.S. You know you live in lower AL when your treadmill that is inside gets rusty from the humidity in the air. We got the treadmill in September 2011 and it had a 5 year electronics warranty (so we were within 2 months of that running out). They sent us a new console and she is back up and running!

I see plenty more workouts in our future.

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In the meantime, I decided to join the local YMCA. We’ve had a membership in the past, but usually ended up not using it very much. I enjoyed working out at the gym with my mom the last few times that I was at home and so I decided that I might enjoy that on a more regular basis. I have already used it a couple of times this week. I did the elliptical and I actually enjoyed it. I never thought I would say that about any non-running gym machine ever.

They also have several classes that I want to try out. I used to get frustrated because the classes that I wanted to go to were always not early enough for me to go and get to work on time or they started too early after work for me to make it, but now I have more flexibility to actually make it to several of the classes. I’ve also been using the aerobics room to do abs and to stretch. I’m turning over a new leaf. Maybe I’m just thinking about turning the leaf over at this point, but still … I stretched twice this week.

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I know that you are impressed with my photog skillz. Basically I was torn between, I should take a picture of this for the blog and not wanting to be “that girl” who takes a picture of everything she does. It’s a struggle I tell ya.

Rebecca and I are always trying to figure out exactly how all of the runners on Instagram get these crazy awesome pictures of themselves running all the time. It’s baffling really. Social media really magnifies the comparison trap. It’s hard not to compare yourself to other people or even to yourself at a different life stage. This seems to be a topic that Rebecca and I keep coming back to over and over again in our conversations. I saw this quote this week and I thought it was an excellent reminder.

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Don’t compare yourself to anyone else or to your old self. Do something each day that makes you a better version of your current self and roll with it. You are who you are right now and if you don’t like who you are … get to work on that. One day at a time.

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In other news, I got my new racing kit this week! I recently found out that I was selected to be a RADrabbit ambassador. All Rabbit apparel is made right here in the USA and is made by runners for runners. The RAD in RADrabbit stands for Runners and Dreamers and their slogan is “born to run free.” I’m so excited to be a part of their very first team!

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I wore my outfit at the 5K I ran yesterday and it was great. I didn’t have any issues with any of it. Super comfortable and functional. I can’t wait to try out some of the other pieces.

I am totally a hat person and I am really digging my rabbit hat. I think I’ve worn it every day since I’ve gotten it, which also means that my hair has likely been dirty at some point every day and I needed to cover it up. Case in point. Post 5K car ride home.

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I am doing my long run tomorrow and so this morning I technically could’ve slept in. I am so used to waking up before 5 a.m. that I was wide awake by 5:30 a.m. with no hopes of falling back asleep. Brooks was pretty pleased. He got to go out and play before 6 a.m. He usually has to wait on us to get home from running to get his first play session of the day in.

After I was up, I decided to take my book down to the bay with my coffee and read some. I finished up Emily Giffin’s new book First Comes Love this morning. I read the entire thing in two days! I just couldn’t put it down. I knew that was going to happen though. I get really emotionally invested in a book whenever I actually decide to read one. A holiday weekend seemed like a good time to pick it up, since I have plenty of free time to get lost in the pages.

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There was a nice breeze and it felt so nice out. I enjoyed some peaceful time outside without any distractions.

I have two more pictures to share and then I’ll be done.

First is this peach lacy halter top tank that I found, perfect for layering. I had never seen anything like it and it’s perfect for tops that are too loose or that you just want to add a different look to. I found it at Adrenaline and thought it was very clever. I’m sure it’s something that teenagers are into (and probably have been into for a while) and that a 30-year-old shouldn’t be wearing, but oh well. I’m a late adopter and since I’m not comparing myself to anyone else, I’m gonna wear my peach tank proudly. Ha.

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Second is this Moving Comfort delicate laundry bag that solves a major laundry issue. We put all of our socks in it during the week and then when we do laundry, we don’t have any mysteriously disappearing socks anymore. It’s genius! I got this at Running Wild, but I don’t know if they still have them or not. You can find similar ones on Amazon.

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Kind of a random assortment of stuff today. Tis life! I hope you are enjoying you and having a safe, fun weekend!

What are you doing tomorrow?