May Recap

Hey-o! How’s it going?

Can you believe that it is already June?! I really can’t. May flew by. I feel like I probably say that a lot, but this one felt exceptionally fast. May 2017 was definitely an exciting, fun-filled month! Daniel and I went to Colorado, I ran my first 50K, I went to the beach with my mom and got several good beach runs in.

Month Recap: May 2017

Shameless self-timer photo to follow …

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Workouts: The majority of the month was spent tapering and recovering from the 50K. I only did two workouts this month and both were last week.

2 mi. WU, 15 X 1:00 hard with 1:00 recovery, 2 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 4 mile progression tempo (6:28, 6:17, 6:07, 5:54), 2 mi. CD

Favorite workout: My favorite workout this month was almost identical to my favorite workout last month. Last month it was a 2 X 2 mile progression workout and this month it was the 4 mile progression workout. On both occasions we happened to have really nice, cool mornings and we also had good groups at the track. I negative split each mile of both workouts and ran faster than I was supposed to (which rarely happens).

The moral of the story is that 1) cool weather is the best, 2) running with friends is the best and 3) starting races and speed workouts a little bit conservative with a goal of negative splitting is by far the best way to race and do workouts. There you have it folks … my secrets for achieving your best run.

Races: In May I ran the Greenland Trail 50K and a virtual half marathon.

Favorite Race: I really enjoyed the Greenland Trail 50K and all of the challenges that came with it!

Paces: My paces usually vary a good bit anyway (I’m all about keeping those easy days easy and working hard when the time comes), but this month the paces really varied! They ranged from 5:54 to 15:57. To be fair, the 15:57 was mile 27 of the 50K and it is highly likely that I did not actually run very much during that mile. My slowest mile outside of the race was 9:57 (which was my first run back from the 50K).

Total miles: 260

Distances: Distances ranged from 2.5 miles to 31 miles. Lots of variation here too! Haha.

Strength work: I slacked off of my stretching, core and upper body weights a little bit at the beginning of the month, but somewhat redeemed myself by going to two OTF classes and a hot yoga class later in the month.

Current book blog: I’m changing this category up a little for now. I read a lot more blogs than books and I love finding new running blogs to read. Some of my current favorites are (in no particular order):

Current music: Instead of music while running, I have really started getting into podcasts lately. I know that I am late to this party (as per usual (I’m definitely not an early adopter of things)). I really enjoy listening to the Ali on the Run Show by Ali Feller and I’ll Have Another by Lindsey Hein. Both of these are these are about running (because … duh!) and both of these ladies do a great job hosting their shows and I feel like I am right there running and talking with them. A lot of the guests are other bloggers that I read or used to read and I really enjoy hearing them talk and getting a glimpse into a slightly different side of their personalities.

Current craving: Something salty!

Current guilty pleasure: Sonic! It’s that time of year where all I really want after a hot, sweaty run is a ginormous drink from Sonic.

Current drink: This Bai Cocofusion beverage caught my attention at the gas station and I decided to give it a try. I really liked it!

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Current food: May was most definitely the month of the mudbug! I think we went to four crawfish boils in May. I am in the camp that thinks crawfish are too much work for not enough meat and so I only eat the sides (things like sausage, potatoes, corn, bell peppers, mushrooms, etc.), but man are those things good! The spicier the better!

The best thing about crawfish boils is definitely the time with friends! Little Miss Sassy Pants wanted me to pick one up (at least I think that’s why she kept sticking my hand into the bucket of live crawfish), but when I did, she wasn’t too sure!

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While we are talking about food, I feel like I should let the internet know that I also BAKED this month. I made 5 ingredient flourless banana bread (it was made with oatmeal) and it was delicious! Daniel really like it too.

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Current obsession: I am straight obsessed with this CamelBak Chute .75L water bottle. I fill it up twice during the day (usually with some Nuun) and I know for sure that I am getting at least 64 oz. of water per day. I drink more than just that, but this is a very easy way to make sure that I at least get the minimum amount in.

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Current need: I need a new cellular device. I’m having major issues with ringing vs. silent mode, speaker volume and notifications. In the meantime, I am just harder than usual to get in touch with (and I’m okay with that).

Current indulgence: Lululemon. Enough said.

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Current bane of my existence: During the month of May I had a literal pain in my neck on multiple occasions. I woke up super stiff several times and couldn’t really move my neck from side to side and I also pinched a nerve in my neck and in my shoulder. I don’t know what in the world is going on with all that (probably has something to do with my horrible posture while sitting at my computer), but it wasn’t fun. 

Current procrastination: I had very good intentions of trying to (at least loosely) follow the Fit by Jessica meal plans that we got at the scavenger hunt race in April. I am over two weeks behind this point and the only thing I have made from the meal plans is the banana bread that I mentioned above and some chia pudding that I added oatmeal to and turned into overnight oats (both of which turned out great!). I just struggle with making myself take time each day to cook things. Sigh.

Current confession: Sometimes I have to make the same mistake twice in order to truly learn from it.

Current quote: This isn’t really a famous quote or anything, but I’m digging the saying of “better an oops than a what if.” We all make mistakes and sometimes having just having the courage to try something new and take a risk is better than staying in a stagnant, comfortable place and never knowing what could’ve been. I’m trying to give myself grace for my “oopsies” this month.

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Current excitement: Well y’all, it’s Friday afternoon! I guess that counts as excitement enough for the time being.

Current companion: Basically this section is just an opportunity for me to show you the latest [adorable] picture of our little booger each month. We haven’t been letting him sit on our new couch (poor guy) and so he just sits at our feet and stares at us. Bless it.

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Sharing time: Give me a current confession or obsession!

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!

March Recap

APRIL IS *almost* HERE! Can I get a hallelujah?

It’s time for another month-end recap. As a side note, I just realized that these little recaps are kind of similar to the monthly updates that moms do for their kids. At 31 years and 7 months, here are some things that I like, things that I dislike and things that I did this month. Enjoy! Haha.

Recap: March 2017

Workouts: March was full of workouts! As I listed these out, I was surprised that it was so many. As a comparison, last year during March I did one workout. One! I am pleasantly surprised that I still seem to have some motivation and energy this year. Usually tax season sucks the life those things right out of me.

1.5 mi. WU, 4 X 800 (3:05, 3:06, 3:01, 3:01), 4 X 400 (1:28, 1:28, 1:29, 1:26), 2 X 200 (0:39, 0:39), 1 mi. CD

Easy run w/ 10 X 1:00 pickups (8 miles @ 7:41 avg.)

2 mi. WU, 10 mi. brisk pace run (7:01 avg.)

2 mi. WU, 3 mi. tempo (6:38, 6:32, 6:30), 1 mi. recovery, 4 X 400 (1:36, 1:35, 1:37, 1:36), 2 mi. CD

22 mile long run

1 mi. WU, 3 X 3 mi. (6:59, 6:48, 6:55), (6:54, 6:48, 6:39), (6:54, 7:17, 7:31), 1 mi. CD

Moderate pace run w/ last 3 up-tempo (6:42, 6:38, 6:40)

23 mile long run (broken up into two runs)

1 mi. WU, 3 miles (6:27, 6:20, 6:18), 2 miles (6:16, 6:10), 1 mile (6:09), 1 mi. CD

Favorite workout: I really enjoyed the brisk pace run this month. It was challenging, but doable and was definitely a confidence boosting workout.

Races: I did two races in March. I think I’ve done two races each month so far this year and I’m still going strong on the 1 half marathon per month thing. I’ve got my April one planned, but after that I’m going to need to get to work on the schedule. I ran the Seaside School Half Marathon and the Spring Fever Chase 10K in March.

Favorite Race: My favorite race this month was, hands down, Spring Fever!

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Paces: Ranged from 6:09 to 10:27. I guess it’s possible that I ran at least one mile faster than 6:09 during Spring Fever, but since I ran without my watch … we will never really know. I’ll have to admit that even though I didn’t have my own data to analyze after the race, I was able to kind of piece together what I did based on other runner’s splits on Strava. I was behind several people through mile 3 that averaged 6:15 for the first three miles and then I averaged 6:15 overall, so I know that I picked it up the second half. I finally got a nice little negative split! Woo hoo!

My 10:27 mile was with Brooks (our dog). We have been running a mile and a half or so a few times a week. Our new yard isn’t quite as conducive to fetching (his absolute favorite method of play), so we have added a few short runs. He could definitely run a faster pace if there weren’t so many distractions. All of his doggie friends leave him lots of pee-mail to check each morning.

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We were getting some sun in the picture above after a quick run. As it turns out, laying out isn’t our favorite. We only lasted about 10 minutes. I like the idea of laying out, but actually doing it isn’t fun (in my opinion).

Total miles: 323. Gotta love ultra marathon training!

Distances: Ranged from 3 miles to 23 miles. I took a rest day or two as well, so technically I guess the lowest distance could be zero and the 23 miler got broken up into two runs, so the highest consecutive distance was 22. Rebecca and Jessica came to the house to run the morning of the 23 and neither of them were doing more than 10 – 13 miles (but only because Rebecca was tapering for her 50K and Jessica is growing a human … otherwise, I know they would’ve totally joined me). I was planning to do the first part with them and then continue on by myself, but of course that didn’t happen.

I decided that breakfast and coffee with friends > running by myself. Call me crazy (or dedicated … I like that better), but I did get those other 10 in a little later in the day when Daniel was home to go with me. I told him that it felt like a birthday run. Birthday run days are the only days that I can recall doing double-digit runs twice in a day.

Strength work: I have been doing a decent job of stretching (what?!) and doing core after each run. I also have some 5 lb. weights that I use to do a few arm exercises, but I’m not entirely sure how much that is actually doing for me. It’s better that nothing I reckon.

Current book: I promise to read a book next month!

Current music: Daniel has got me branching out with my SiriusXM channels a little bit. He got a new car (long story) and has XM radio for the first time and so he’s been finding the good stations for us. One that we have been digging (so old school) is the 90s on 9. I’m pretty sure that when you start appreciating music of past decades more than current music, you are getting old (and I’m totally cool with that). We’ve also been listening to SiriusXM Fly which is Hip-Hop/R&B from the 90s & 00s. It is oh so fly (but also oh so uncensored … oh my).

Current craving: Time in nature. I have this odd desire to channel my inner Henry David Thoreau and experience life in the woods (translation: I just want to go camping for like a weekend or something).

Current drink: Ginger Lemonade Nuun. Y’all! This is SO GOOD. It’s my new favorite flavor, but I really like lemon-y things. As a side note, I also tried the Blackberry Citrus Vitamin enhanced Nuun flavor and did NOT like that one. I couldn’t even drink it.

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Current food: Avocado. I think I am late to this party, but I am putting avocado on everything right now. SO GOOD!

Current obsession: I am loving a good top knot! Just when I thought it was impossible to get any lazier with hair preparation … I have discovered buns. It is the easiest hairstyle ever and it’s perfect for runners!

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Current need: Top knots aside, I need do something with my hair. I let the lady talk me into that whole ombre thing last time I went (sometime in September) and I really am just not feeling it anymore. I don’t know that I was ever really feeling it, but whatevs. It’s just hair. I’m thinking maybe just some highlights would be nice.

Current indulgence: Shower sitting. This may sound ridiculous, but we have a little bench in our shower and if I have time, I like to take a few minutes to just sit and be. I didn’t sit down on it for the first two or three weeks that we lived there and I realized it was because I was constantly rushing around. It’s nice to take time (or make time) to relax a little bit! Plus I just love feeling the water wash over me. I like to think about my sins washing away. It’s a good way to start fresh each day!

Current bane of my existence: For whatever reason my skin has decided to become super sensitive lately. Lotions and sprays that I have used for a long time have started causing me to break out into a hive-like rash. I like vanilla and coconut scented things (basically I just want to smell like the beach) and now I just have to settle for being plain. Boo.

Current procrastination: I know that I’ve said, “I’ll do that after tax season,” in reference to lots of things recently … one of those things is taking pictures to get framed. Daniel pointed out that the frame place was about two blocks from our house and I could just drop them by there anytime … pretty sure I gave him a dirty look.

Current confession: This might get a little long-winded and I hate that I am even going to say this, but y’all, I *almost* lost it over a Facebook post last week. I made it through the entire election debacle without getting into it with anyone (heck, I didn’t even comment on anything election-related), but this post about sent me over the edge. My blood was boiling!

This person shared a video that said “women have a right to run without fear and that everyone has a right to feel safe in public” and the post itself said “these kinds of things irritate me because it perpetuates this idea that women are victims or easy targets. Almost 25 years of running solo and 10 years of riding my bike alone and I’ve been attacked by 1 dog. I’ve never been groped or chased. Don’t let the media keep you from doing what you love, […] don’t be scared of the boogeyman.”

The comments were along the lines of, “I feel sorry for anyone who messes with my wife” and “fear mongering, on many levels, is rampant.” I commented and simply said, “You should consider yourself very fortunate to have never dealt with sexual assault while running. It’s a very real thing that happens all too often and not just in the dark or in sketchy places. All runners need to be aware.”

I still just can’t shake this. It makes my livid just thinking about how ignorant people can be. Should we have the right to feel safe? Yes. Do we live in a crazy, fallen world? Yes. Should we walk around (or run in this case) with a false sense of security? NO! The comments were possibly worse that the post itself. People were basically saying that *some* women can protect themselves and would easily be able to fend off an attack. Maybe this is true, but honestly you just never know. You don’t know what could happen or how you will respond until you have someone twice your size with a gun threatening to kill you. My main thing is that I just want everyone to be aware and to have a plan (I wrote an entire post about safety tips for runners here). Please don’t think that the “media” is making a bigger deal of this than it is. The statistics speak for themselves. Be smart people!

Current quote: From Henry David Thoreau’s Walden: I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.

Current excitement: I am excited about so many things! Did I mention that it is almost APRIL?! Only 18 more days of tax season! Plus it’s Friday. Also, I am running a marathon tomorrow! Okay, so not an official marathon, but I am going to do my longest run of the 50K training cycle (which I haven’t properly documented here) tomorrow morning. There is an actual 50K in Orange Beach that Rebecca is running and I am going to run 26 of the miles with her.

My 50K is just over a month away at this point and I am really getting excited about that. I’m really looking forward to seeing Colorado in the spring and spending some quality time in the woods (this seems to be a recurring theme). Fun fact: I ran my first marathon when I was 26 and am going to (Lord willing) do my first 31 miler when I am 31!

Your turn. Tell me something that you are excited about!

February Recap

I can’t even believe that February has come and gone. Pure craziness! It’s been a very busy, very exciting month here. Let’s talk about what’s been going on!

Recap: February 2017

Workouts: Not as many workouts this month as usual. The end of the first week of the month was a taper for Rock N Roll New Orleans and the second week was a recovery week. I also missed two workouts during the weekends that we were moving. Between work and moving I am just worn slap out. Sometimes life gets busy and training (and blogging) have to take the back seat for a little bit, but that’s totally understandable and is definitely as it should be.

2 mi. WU, 6 X 1 mile (6:11, 6:10, 6:07, 6:08, 6:05, 6:10), 1.5 mi. CD

12 mile medium long run (7:23 average)

2 mi. WU, 2 X 3 mi. ([6:42, 6:38, 6:33], [6:40, 6:34, 6:19]), 1.5 mi. CD

20 mile long run (7:50 average)

Favorite workout: I’m going to have to go with my 20 miler for this one. Rebecca and I did 20 miles last Saturday and kept it at a really respectable pace. This was my first 20 miler since July, which seems crazy! I took some time off from the long distance training (my last marathon was November of 2015) and I’m itching to get back at it …

Daniel and I are taking a trip out west in May and (of course) I found a race to do while we will be there. The trip had nothing to do with running initially, but I can’t pass up an opportunity to run on some beautiful trails and race in a state where I have never run.

More to come on that soon!

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Races: I ran 2 races this month … the Rock N Roll New Orleans Half Marathon & the Joe Cain Classic 5K.

Favorite Race: Rock N Roll New Orleans will always hold a special place in my heart, but I really just LOVED Joe Cain this year! It was so fun to do an impromptu race with no pressure.

Paces: The paces ranged from 6:04 to 10:23 this month.

Distances: Distances ranged from 4 miles (on the Alter G treadmill) to 20 miles.

Total miles: 298.10 miles

Strength work: 90 minutes of “lifting” plus some miscellaneous, undocumented (gasp … appalling … I know) ab work. I was really on a roll with adding strength training to the weekly routine, but it just got to be too much. I had too much on my plate and I had to decide what to cut. Unfortunately strength training was the first to go (I think blogging was a close second).

Current book: Uh … I think I may have read one page of a book (aside from my morning devotion) this entire month. I have also fallen behind and basically quit reading all of my usual blogs. So sad. So busy. So overwhelmed.

Current music: I’m really digging the Billy Joel station on Pandora lately. I added Paul Simon as the “variety” and I’m pretty pleased with the result.

Current guilty pleasure: Cookie dough. I am chuckling a little bit to myself right now because I only just realized that the package [literally] says “do not consume raw cookie dough.”

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Current drink: When we were at the grocery store last week, I noticed that they had mello yello zero and for some reason that just sounded incredible to me. Probably because I am tired, but who knows. We got a fridge pack of it. Maybe I can put a lemon-lime Nuun in it and call it a recovery beverage.

Current food: I’ve been really loving chicken salad lately (not a salad with chicken, but chicken salad). Pretty much every day for lunch I have a wrap with chicken salad. It’s delicious.

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Also, in the interest of full-disclosure (there is also a current confession category that perhaps this next little spiel would more accurately be categorized in, but that’s neither here nor there), I kind of freaked out when they started putting the calorie content on this chicken salad. I have been enjoying it for WEEKS and then all of a sudden … bam! 900+ calories?! Holy moly. I honestly thought I was in a really good place with my nutrition and overall outlook towards food and this really threw me for a loop.

I know that I can eat whatever and that I NEED calories to fuel my running, but I guess I prefer to remain somewhat blissfully unaware on certain things. I came really close to not buying the chicken salad again this week, but I bought it and I will enjoy it. I might even take a sharpie and mark out the calorie content!

Current obsession: Organizing my closet. Maybe it’s just me, but there is something very cathartic about cleaning out and organizing a closet. Just me? Okay, cool. Regardless, I was on a mission to de-clutter and organize. I got all new matching coat hangers. I have never bought coat hangers before and this was obviously not an absolutely necessary expense, but they were cheap and they make me happy, so … worth it.

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Current need: REST

Current indulgence: Taking a few minutes out of my morning to write this blog post before heading to work!

Current bane of my existence: My shoulder. For whatever reason, it has decided to start coming out of place on the regular now. It’s a tad frustrating (and painful to boot).

Current procrastination: So many things … fully cleaning out our storage unit, hanging pictures, changing my address at all of the places that has to be done, etc. My post-tax season to do list is quite lengthy!

Current confession: I am feeling very overwhelmed lately and I feel like I am not giving 100% to anything. I am usually an “all-in” type of person and I *strongly dislike* feeling like I am not doing my best. I know this about myself (self-awareness is key right) and yet somehow I can’t seem to stop it.

Current excitement: We bought a house and we are (almost) all moved in! Super fun and exciting! The moving part … not so much.

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I remember thinking how terrible moving was when we moved out of our other house and I also remember thinking that I never wanted to move again (like ever), but when we moved out of our house, we moved (what was supposed to be temporarily) into a garage apartment and that meant that we most definitely would be moving again at some point. Well … that some point came to fruition now (almost 3 years (!!!) later).

We knew the area that we wanted to be in (this was the most important factor) and we have been keeping our eyes open for new houses that became available in our price range. We were able to be fairly selective, which was really nice! After being on the lookout for 3 years, our eyes are tired and we are ready to rest them in our new home.

Current quote: Home is not a place, it’s a feeling.

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This will probably sound super cliché, but I feel like I knew from the minute that we walked into our new house and it was going to be our home. It migh’ve taken Daniel a little bit longer to get on board, but he is all in now (thank goodness)!

Our house was on the market for a little while and eventually the price dropped into our range. As soon as it did, we were on it. I called my grandmother (she is in her nineties and still works as a real estate agent … she’s incredible) and told her that we wanted to look at it. The next day we looked at it and the day after that we made an offer.

My heart lives on Mobile Bay (the sign came with the house). And yes, we are doing the whole white picket fence, living the American dream thing over here currently. Haha!

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It’s been a crazy, but incredible month!

January Recap

Well guys, January is done! You should all have your 1099s and W-2s at this point, so it’s time to get those tax returns filed. Fun times! Ha. BUT … only 2 and 1/2 more months of craziness remains! It is probably too early for a countdown.

Since we are at the end of the first month of 2017, I figured it was time for a monthly recap post. I tweaked my “monthly recap” template for 2017 to keep things a little more interesting around here. We’ll start with running (because … running … duh) and then we’ll move on to the miscellaneous randomness portion of the post. There is not much that I love more than running and miscellaneous randomness, so I’m excited to report on both of these things at the end of each month.

Here we go!

RECAP: January 2017

Workouts: 8 workouts this month. From an overview perspective, I had one week of taper for the First Light Half, followed by a week of recovery (so just one workout at the end of that week) and then two pretty solid weeks of training for Rock N Roll New Orleans with 3 workouts per week.

2 mi. WU, 4 mi. brisk (6:49, 6:45, 6:40, 6:40), 1 mi. recovery, 6 X 30 seconds (6:00, 5:56, 5:52, 5:48, 5:44, 5:40), 2 mi. CD

16 mile moderate pace LR (7:30)

2 mi. WU, 12 X 400 w/ 200 rec. (85, 87, 85, 85, 84, 85, 86, 85, 87, 86, 89, 86), 2 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 3 X 2 miles (13:00, 12:54, 12:44), 2 mi. CD

14 mile LR w/ last 5: 7:02, 6:44, 6:42, 6:45, 6:55

2 mi. WU, 4 X 800 (3:00, 3:00 2:56, 2:54), 2 X 1 mi. (5:56, 5:52), 1.5 mi. CD

15 mi. moderate pace LR (7:38)

2 mi. WU, 3 mi. tempo (6:34 avg.), 1 mi. recovery, 3 X 1:00 (5:50 – 6:00), 2 mi. CD

Favorite workout: I really enjoyed what I am going to call “the race week workout,” which has been some sort of tempo combined with some quicker pickups towards the end (to get you used to pushing hard on tired legs). My first and last workout in January are both examples of this.

Races: 2 races this month. I ran the First Light Half on January 8th & the Charity Chase 5K on January 28th. I mentioned it in my last post, but I’m still contemplating the idea of doing a half marathon each month in 2017. July and August are actually the only two months that there isn’t a half somewhere in the state of Alabama, so I think it’s doable from a travel perspective. The half is my favorite distance too, so it just makes sense … right? Right.

Favorite Race: First Light Half! I rarely order race photos (in my 10+ years of running, I think I’ve ordered race photos maybe 5 times), but I really liked this one from First Light this year. I like that the clock is prominently displayed and I LOVE that my dad is in the background (on the left side in the blue jacket).

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Paces: My paces this month ranged from 5:52 to 10:34! That’s a pretty wide range. The 5:52 mile was in one of my workouts (definitely not an everyday pace by any means) and the runs that I do with the half marathon training group that I am coaching are usually closer to the 9:30 to 10:30 range.

Total miles: 290

Distances: The distances I ran ranged from 3 miles to 16 miles this month.

Strength work: Y’all. Please be super impressed by this stat. I did 4.5 hours of strength training in January (in the form of six 45 minute sessions). WHAT?! That is a big deal from someone who formerly disregarded any and all strength training. I can now pick things up and put them down with the best of ’em.

Current book: I am still working on Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE by Phil Knight. At the rate I am going, I will likely still be working on this one until April. I’m not saying that it isn’t interesting, because it is really good so far, but I am just SO TIRED at the end of the day that I only make it through one or two pages before my eyes close and the Kindle hits me in the face (which oddly doesn’t even wake me up).

Current music: I’ve really been digging the song Just Like Fire by P!nk lately. We can get ’em running, running, running.

Current guilty pleasure: Afternoon coffee. You know it’s tax season when afternoon coffee comes back into your life. We have a fresh batch of iced coffee at the office, which is just plain irresistible sometimes.

Current drink: I placed my first official Nuun “ambassador” order and so I’m well stocked on Nuun for a ‘lil while. It will be interesting to see how long the 12 tubes will actually last me. I drink two tabs at a time and sometimes I drink two or three cups per day, so it might not last too long!

Current food: Breakfast has been the most popular meal that we have been eating out lately. My favorite breakfast meal that I’ve had recently was the Bananas Foster French Toast that I got from Brick & Spoon. It was every bit as delicious as it sounds.

Current obsession: Okay, so I’ve got two obsessions (I’m a slightly obsessive person anyway, so the fact that I only have two is probably a step in the right direction). One is Wayfair! They’ve got “Just What I Need!” Daniel and I have been browsing and saving lots of things! The second one is ChapStick (just realized that this is one of those things that what you call it is actually just a brand (like Q-Tips or Coke)). Santa put several things of “lip balm” in my stocking this year and I can’t get enough!

Current need: I need to pack for New Orleans!

Current indulgence: This is more of a “contemplated” indulgence at this point, but I am thinking about getting a standing desk converter for my computer at work. Unfortunately my computer is so heavy (#fourmonitorproblems) that the one I would need is quite expensive. I can’t decide if the cost is justified or not. I know sitting all day is not good and I really like the idea of having the option to stand, but I can also see it being one of those things that sounds way cooler than it actually is. Anyone out there have a standing desk converter? I need some feedback before I decide whether or not to splurge on this!

Current bane of my existence: My phone is about to drive me bonkers. Something is wrong with the volume settings and sometimes it rings even when I have it on silent and other times my alarm makes ZERO noise even when I have the volume on. So strange.

Current procrastination: My windshield has a huge crack in it and I have definitely been putting off getting that replaced. Did you know that you can actually get a ticket for having a cracked windshield (obstruction of view)? Daniel got a ticket for that once. For right now it is a risk I’m worth dealing with.

Current confession: I sometimes eat foods that are passed their expiration date. Daniel thinks that this is horrific and I usually don’t even think twice about it.

Current quote: In the spirit of getting prepared to be uncomfortable in New Orleans … 

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Current excitement: Rock N Roll New Orleans! It’s ALMOST HERE. I can’t wait!

Tell me something that you are currently excited about!

1 Step Back, 2 Steps Forward

Hi there! It’s hard to believe that another year has almost come and gone.

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Regardless of whether or not you are a New Year’s resolutioner, we likely all approach the new year with some sort of “starting fresh” mentality. Looking back and reflecting on the previous year can be a good way to gauge your goals and plans for the upcoming year. With this post, I’m going to start by looking back and then look forward towards a few goals.

Looking back …

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I think it is fair to say that 2016 has been the most well documented year of life EVER. 2016 was my first full year of blogging (it began in June 2015, so last year was only a partial year). Sometimes I feel like I have no clue exactly what I am doing or trying to accomplish with this blog (um hello … did someone say I should start an online diary), but regardless I have discovered that I really enjoy writing and the process of writing spurs at least a smidgen of creativity in my otherwise calculated, logical brain.

As I’m sure you have gathered, running is one fairly stable topic that I always have something to share about, so the majority of the time I just write about running. One common theme that I have noticed among runners is that running brings people through some tough situations. Regardless as to “why” you run, running has a way of making you the best version of yourself and it also brings together and creates a sense of community and belonging. I hope to continue to run and write about running for many years to come!

Speaking of running, I’d like to think that 2016 was the most consistent that I have ever been with my training, but again, it’s hard to really gauge that as prior years are not quite as well documented. Trust me, they are all documented in various yearly planners, but they just aren’t quite as easily analyzed. I did over 50 workouts this year! February, March and April were my lowest months, but this is just the natural progression that my training takes each year during tax season. I view it as my “recovery” time and I don’t force myself to do workouts if I am not feeling it. September, October and December were my highest months from a workout perspective (November got booted out due to the fall).

I ran 24 races this year! Oh how I wish there had been just one more. 25 is such a better number (oh well). So yeah, lots of races! It’s no secret that I love to race. I think that in the past, I have typically averaged about 15 or so races per year (some years higher and some years lower), but this is definitely the most. What can I say … when you have a running blog, you need content. Ha!

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I intended to pick one favorite race for the year, but I really just can’t! I’m picking one race for each distance …

2 mile: Chickasabogue Park 2 Miler
5K: Hot Trot 5K
4 mile: Shark Run 4 Miler
10K: Shrimp Fest 10K
12K: Battleship 12K
15K: Double Bridge Run
10 mile: Turkey 10
Half: Rock ‘N’ Roll New Orleans
Relay: Ragnar Tennessee

I did a few odd distance races this year (2 mile, 4 mile, 12K & 15K) that I don’t do every year. I’ve done two mile and four mile races before, but this was my first time racing a 12K and a 15K, which = an automatic PR! Woo hoo! I also got a 2 mile, 4 mile and 10K PR this year as well, but again, those are distances that I don’t race as frequently. I am a little bit disappointed to not have gotten a 5K or half marathon PR, but that gives me something good to shoot for in 2017!

Ragnar TN sticks out in my mind as one of the most fun racing experiences of the year, as does the First Light relay. A lot of my favorite running memories have more to do with the people that they were shared with as opposed to the number on the clock or the placement on the podium. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good PR and a W, but sometimes (or all the time), there are more important things.

If you missed out on any part of the year and are really bored, here are my monthly recaps!

January Recap
February Recap
March Recap
April Recap
May Recap
June Recap
July Recap
August Recap
September Recap
October Recap
November Recap
December Recap

Although it may not seem like it sometimes, we actually have lives outside of running too (really … we do … I promise) and 2016 was a great year in non-running life as well!

Daniel and I have both settled into wonderful routines at work. In 2015, we both changed jobs and Daniel was finishing up school, taking boards, etc. 2016 was so much nicer! We both love our jobs and in 2016 there was no excitement (read: drama) on the career front. It was steady and stable and for that we are very thankful!

I became a “certified” coach this year, but at this point I would classify coaching as more of a hobby than a second job. I don’t know exactly where that will lead in the future … perhaps no where. Regardless, I am glad that I attended the class. Gaining knowledge is never a bad thing!

2016 was our sixth year of marriage (crazy!) and we are in a really good place (in my opinion … hopefully he feels the same :)). With no job changes, no more school and basically no big life changes, I would venture to say that 2016 was one of our best years, relationship wise. We have grown together and matured as a couple.

We made an offer on a house that we ultimately didn’t get (they decided not to sell it … ugh … who does that), but again now we have a goal for 2017. I know that when the timing is right, we will find something great. Thankfully we are in a position right now to be EXTREMELY picky with what we want and where we want it, which is a huge blessing. We also went through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University this year, which has been a total game-changer and in some ways I am even glad that the timing of buying a house was delayed a little bit so that we have more time to save.

Brooks turned 5 this year! He is so grown up. Please someone tell me that golden retrievers live to be 100?! We have no immediate plans for any non-furry babies (just in case you were wondering … that will not be appearing in the goals section of this post). Daniel’s sister, Michele, gave us a niece and his sister, Leigh-Ann, will be having a baby boy any day now! Baby Ava is precious and we can’t wait to meet Baby Liam!

Looking ahead …

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One thing that is sure enough about to happen in 2017 is tax season. In an odd sort of way, I am looking forward to it. Tax season used to completely turn my life upside down, but after 9 years as a CPA (how in the world is that possible), I feel like I kind of have it down. I enjoy what I do and I tend to do well working in a structured, busy environment. Even though work will be busy, I still get to have a life outside of work. It took me several years to grasp this concept, but now that I have my life has been revolutionized. Goal: Thrive (not just survive) during tax season.

I recently started reading the book, Intuitive Eating, by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse and I can tell that it is going to be a life-changing read. I have had so many little “aha” moments already and I am only half of the way through the book. I was somewhat familiar with the concept of eating intuitively, but I didn’t realize that there was a book and basically an entire online support community out there to help you through the process. Goal: Work on becoming an intuitive eater.

Starting in January, I will be coaching a half marathon training group at Running Wild and I am really excited about that! I know this won’t come as a surprise to anyone, but I already have several races picked out too. I have three half marathons picked out so far (one in early January, one in mid February and one in early March). Goal: I want a half marathon PR in 2017!

Also in running-related goals, I’ve got my eye on the one mile and two mile state records for my age. Hopefully I will have a chance to chase those down this year as well. While I’m at it, I’d really love a nice 5K PR as well. Goal: I want ALL the PRs. Is that too vague?!

As a general goal, I hope to continue to grow and mature emotionally and spiritually during 2017.

As another general goal, I would like to travel to somewhere that I haven’t been and experience a few new things this year.

Tell me: any specific goals or things that you hope to accomplish in 2017?

December Recap

Happy New Year’s Eve! It’s time for the last monthly recap of 2016.

MONTH RECAP: December

Total running: 292

Workouts: December was one of my strongest months of training this year! I’m happy to end the year on a good note.

2 mi. WU, 8 X 800 (3:02, 3:05, 3:05, 3:03, 3:06, 3:09, 3:11, 3:19), 1 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 12 X 400 hill repeats, 2 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 3 X 2 mile (6:19, 6:20, 6:18, 6:20, 6:16, 6:18), 1.5 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 5 X 1 mile (6:11, 6:11, 6:07, 6:03, 6:00), 2 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 5 mi. LT tempo (6:22, 6:22, 6:22, 6:22, 6:18), 2 mi. CD

15 mi. moderate pace LR (7:33 avg.)

2 mi. WU, 5 X 600 (2:09, 2:10, 2:09, 2:12, 2:12), 5 X 400 (1:24, 1:27, 1:27, 1:28, 1:28), 1.5 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 5 mi. wave tempo (6:27, 6:25, 6:27, 6:25, 6:27), 2 mi. CD

Races: Only one race this month … the Baton Rouge Beach Half Marathon.

Favorite Race: By default this goes to the BRB Half. Honestly though, this was not one of my favorite races. I’m sure the fact that it was rainy and windy doesn’t help my evaluation of enjoyment factor. Weather conditions aside, I don’t think I would necessarily do this race again. There are just too many races that I really do like to re-run ones that are just “meh.”

Longest run: My longest run of the month was 15 miles. I think that will pretty much be my max distance LR for half marathon training. However, I did run 26 miles in one day this month, crewing for Rebecca’s 50 miler!

Shortest run: 3 miles.

Favorite run: My favorite run this month was the first run of the month when I was in Birmingham. It was so beautiful up there and I really enjoyed running on a few trails. A little change of scenery can do the mind and body wonders!  

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Rest days: … crickets …

Other: One of my goals for the new year is to make strength training a regular part of my weekly routine. I got a jump on that in December. I figured if I went ahead and started creating the “habit,” it might have a better chance of sticking. I went to two Body Pump classes and I really enjoyed them. Rebecca, Jessica and I also started doing group sessions with a trainer (personal training, but much cheaper :)) and we did that twice a week for the last two weeks of the month. Adding strength training into the mix has been a nice change so far. We are all really enjoying the group sessions. Gotta get ‘dem gainz.

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty excited about ringing in the New Year! I am hopeful that 2017 will be a good one!