Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The past week and thinking of next year

Greetings from the Arctic Circle! Well, not really, but the temps this past week have been frigid. A string of below zero temps or just barely above zero temps have led to a lot of treadmill running. I did manage a glorious 6 miler outside on a day that was 17 degrees. It was slippery, but the fresh air felt amazing. I sure hope Santa brings me a pair of Yaktrax for Christmas. I have done a few speed workouts and felt really strong in them. I have not had a really long run in the last week and I am feeling like these legs need some more miles on them. I am hoping to get some miles in over Christmas break because my amazingly fabulous sister will be in town. She sent me a text message saying she needs to get a 10 miler and 16 miler done while she is in town. She is training for the LA marathon and I know she is going to do great in it!. Some pictures of my training this week:

One of the things I have been thinking about this week is my goals for the up coming year. I have some ideas and I am excited to share them with you in a future post. I definitely realize that I need to have goals and a plan for those goals otherwise I feel a bit lost. That is actually how I have felt the last month with my training. I haven't nailed down any concrete goals to train for yet, so I have been a little unsure of what I should be doing. I have decided that for the rest of the year I am going to have fun with my running, and just enjoy it. Hope you are all staying warm!

What do you want for Christmas?

What are your goals for 2014?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Weekend running recap!

Hello everyone reading this! I thought I would give you the low down on my weekend and running. Hopefully, it will brighten your Monday. Since it was -13 degrees out on Saturday morning, this is what happened:
Yep, 10 miles on the treadmill. That may be the farthest I have ever done on a treadmill. Because my legs felt so good on Friday before Spin Class, which was great cross training (more on that in another post), I decided I wanted to get a 10 mile run in. My plan was to start out slow and see what my legs would do. I told my self if I have to run the whole thing slow that is okay, but if I feel like I can push the pace I will. I just want to feel good and strong through the run. I started slow at about an 8:30min/mile pace and worked my way down to 7;30min/mile pace. Essentially, I did a progression run. A progression run is where you get progressively faster during the run. It's a great way to train your body to finish strong in races. It was a great way to start out our Saturday.

We took the kiddos to visit Santa at the fire station in the town over for us. It is such a cute event that the fire department does every year. They have Santa come in and then the kids can plan in the fire trucks. Not sure which our kids liked better. Families can also bring a toy to be donated to families in need. Plus, there is cookies and milk after, what could be better. We finished the day up by putting up the Christmas tree and decorations.
Sunday started out by going to church, to the grocery store, lunch, laundry, a visit from a old babysitter, and dinner. Lastly, a easy 7 miles on the treadmill. I hope you all had a great weekend!

How was your weekend? 

What are you looking forward to this week?

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Taking a "rest"

After Monday's mentally tough workout I decided to give my legs some much needed "rest." Of course, in my world right now rest means a least a mile of running. The week looked like this:
Tues: 3 miles on the treadmill
Wed.: 1.16 miles on the treadmill
 Thursday: 5 miles on the treadmill at the gym before work
Friday: 1 mile on the track at the gym, and SPIN CLASS!
I bet you are seeing a pattern, lots of treadmill miles. The temps have been quit cold this week or snowy, so I kept it inside. I also have let my self have 2 light days followed by the 5 mile run. I could tell that those 2 rest days this week were needed. My legs finally felt "springy" on Friday before Spin Class.

This got me thinking about the importance of a rest day. Runner's World has a great article on the importance of rest days here. Basically, what a rest day does is it allows your muscles to adapt to the work that you have done previously and improve. I could definitely feel a difference after my rest days. It also allows you to replenish glycogen stores, it prevents injuries, and also prevents mental burn out. Wow, talk about a gut check. It's no wonder why I felt burnt out on Monday and why it was mentally tough for me. The previous week had been a lot of workouts where I pushed myself and now after those rest days I feel refreshed. Then I started to worry that my running streak was leaving me over trained but the article did mention this:

"So is a little running on a rest day okay for mere mortals? It can be. As long as you keep the volume and intensity very light, you can still get the recovery benefits. (The same goes for cross-training on a rest day: Keep it relaxed.)"

Based on this it reassured me that my rest days, even though I have been running just a mile are still being effective rest and recovery days. I am definitely glad I took a couple days "off."

On another note, I do want to wish my hubby a Happy Birthday! We celebrated on Wednesday with a lunch date and some homemade cheese cake. Since no blog is complete with out some food pics, here you are:
Snickerdoodle cheesecake, yum! Click here for the recipe

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

When it get's mentally tough

We have had a bit of a heat wave this week, the highs in the 30s! I wanted to take advantage of this heat wave and get a long run in outside.
Monday: 11.31 (hilly) miles at a 7:50 min/mile pace

First run in the snow!

Bet you don't have these spectators on you run:)

I have to say I started the run excited to get some miles in, but I will admit that about a mile into the run I was ready to call it a day. I am not sure what my deal was. I think maybe I started focusing on the negative stuff. Focusing on my knee that felt sore, and my hamstring that felt sore, and I think i dressed to warm. Then came the self doubt I thought, "Hilary, you should have brought some endurance chews to help you through this run and some water. "Hilary, you should have drank more before the run." Negative, negative, negative...
Well, obviously I did make myself get going. I started to tell myself to stop focusing on this negative stuff and start thinking about the fact that you are out there running. Remember that even though this feels tough it will help strengthen my running. Look at the big picture. Not every run is going to feel great, some may feel darn right tough. Get over is and learn from it.

So what did I learn? I learned that I should have taken in more fluids before my run. I probably could have brought some fuel (food) for during my run, but I also want to go without taking in food during some of my runs so that my body learns to run without it. I also could have gone at a slower pace and truly made is a long, easy run instead of pushing the pace the whole time. I also gave me an appreciation of the runs when I feel awesome. I also learned I need to focus more on the positives.

The Positives:
  1.  I got to do 11 miles. I truly feel strong when I run 10miles or more
  2.  The temperature was great
  3. The route was a new route and was surprisingly hilly. Hills build strength
  4.  The fresh snow, made for a gorgeous run!
  5.  I managed to keep a 7:50 pace
  6.  When I got home and opened the garage door the first thing I hear is my 3 year old daughter saying "Momma, I missed you so much!" This put a smile on my face immediately.
 I had to fight for this run to keep going. I felt I had to fight physically and mentally. The marathon itself is a mental and physical battle. You have to run it smart and push yourself when you don't want to run. It takes heart, strength, and guts to push your way through it.
Running in the snow, love it or hate it?

Tell me one positive thing about your Monday.

The weekend workout recap!

  • Friday: "Rest day" 1 mile on the treadmill at 4:30AM before work.
  • Saturday: 3 easy miles on the treadmill after the kiddos were asleep
  • Sunday: 5 miles on the treadmill before work.

I definitely needed the rest day after my overly ambitious speed workout on Thanksgiving. I think jumping into so Yasso's 800s at this point in my running was a bit premature. I think I will focus on Fartleks and mile repeats for speed work until I get into my next marathon training cycle. Saturday, my plan was to see how I felt after the first mile and if I felt good to do 3 miles, and I felt great. Sunday felt great as well, started off slow and worked my way into a faster pace. very pleased with my workouts for the weekend.

Saturday morning we attended to funeral for my husbands great grandfather, Lloyd. It was sad to say good bye, but we find peace in the fact that he is dancing in heaven, watching over us. He lived to be 97 years old! He lived quite the life. He started a trucking company, which led to a butcher shop, which led to a grocery store, which led to a gas station. He had such a determination to live and he surpassed all the doctor's expectations of his life. There were many times he was in the hospital and doctor's told him that he needed to go to a nursing home. Usually, by the next day he was miraculously better and heading home. His drive for life is such an inspiration. I going to remember his drive for life during mile 20 in my next marathon to help push me through the wall.

Who inspires you to push hard during tough times?

What did you do this weekend?


Thursday, November 28, 2013

It's turkey day! Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you all got to spend it with people you love. I got up bright (well, not bright since it was still dark out) and early to the gym at 5am. I was not the only one there either. It makes me happy that their are other people who want to get their endorphins right away in the morning like I do.

I decided that I wanted to get 6 miles in and decided that I was going to do some speed work on the treadmill. I did 6xYasso's 800s. What are Yasso's 800s? For a detailed explanation click here. Essentially you take what time you want to run at marathon in, for example I want to do a 3:20 in my next marathon, and run 800m in that amount of time in minutes. So, I did 800m in 3 minutes and 20 seconds and did 6 of them with a half mile recovery run in between. The whole workout was about 6 miles. Let me tell you it was tough when I was doing them, and I wondered if  I was going to do all of them. I am happy to say I powered through and felt so strong when I was done! Happy dance! I think I earned a my Thanksgiving dinner today.
my workout today
 On that note, I read an article in the latest issue of Runner's World Magazine. It did a break down of how many miles you have to run to work off an average thanksgiving meal. Essentially, you have to run 12.8 miles to equal the calories of a plate! Maybe instead of all the 10k and 5k runs at Thanksgiving they need to have more half marathons, just a thought.

Happy Running!

Did you do a Thanksgiving race?

What's your favorite Thanksgiving dish?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! 

I hope you are all able to enjoy a great meal with the people you love. I thought I would write about things I am thankful for. So here it is:
10 Thanksgivings
1. I am thankful for God and Jesus. For without them I would not be here and I know I can do all things because of Him.
2. I am thankful for my husband, Dan. He really is amazing. He knows me better than I know myself some times. He pushes me to be great. Plus, he's pretty hot.
3. I am thankful for our 4 beautiful children (does anyone ever say their children aren't beautiful? You never hear anyone say "my ugly children" anyway...). I feel so blessed to be there mom. I love watching them grow
4. I am thankful for our home and food on the table
5. I am thankful for two cars that run great and will continue to run great.
6. I am thankful for my ability to run and run fast.
7. I am thankful for my health. That I have remained healthy and injury free (and will continue to be as such)
8. I am thankful for my parents. they watched the kids many times so I could get a long run in.
9. I am thankful to live in America, it really is a great place.
10. I am thankful for the ability to dream big and set goals. I am excited to be pursuing my dreams!

I do have many more things to be thankful for, the list could go on and on. Wishing you all a HAPPY THANKSGIVING. I hope you eat all your favorite things and enjoy great company. If you have an extra pumpkin pie, feel free to send it my way.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Starting to like winter running

I think I may actually be liking this winter running. I know it's not officially winter, but it's cold out. Cold out equals winter in my book.
My cheering squad on my run, with cow bells and everything.
Tuesday's Workout: 4.64 miles outside. My running app said I ran a 7:60 pace. Not sure about that stat, since one would think that meant an 8:00 min/mile pace. Legs felt good and breathing wasn't as heavy as it was on the previous outdoor run.
Photo credit goes to Ilovetorun.org

Wednesday's workout: Went to the gym and the whole family tagged along. My hubby and oldest son did some running, while I did some running and a Body Pump class. It's a great class because it is all weight lifting. I love it because when it comes weightlifting I need someone to tell me what I should be doing. I think this is something I will try to get better at doing. I definitely want to increase my strength, I feel it will only help my running. Plus, my core felt weak during class, I could barely hold my plank today.

Another thing I am working on is eating better. When I trained for the past marathon, I basically ate whatever I wanted. I was hungry all the time and probably didn't always make the best choices. I ate ALOT of ice cream. Not that I feel I am going to be 100% healthy all the time, I do want to find better snacks and meals that will fuel my body better.
This is the meal I made Tuesday night. It's a healthy chicken Parmesan.
5 Chicken breasts (we are a family of 6)
1/2 onion (chopped)
1 green pepper (chopped)
2 zucchini (sliced)
! jar marinara sauce
Italian seasoning
Parmesan cheese
Season chicken with Italian seasonings. Add some oil to a skillet, cook chicken until it is white. Add vegetables and cook until tender. Pour marinara sauce on top, and cook for 5 minutes. Lastly, top with cheese. Serve over pasta or just plan
yum! love the colors 
Well, wishing everyone out there a Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow. Since I have to work and am unable to do a Turkey day run I will be up bright and early to do a 10k on the treadmill at the gym.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Monday's Workout..."rest" day

I hope Monday treated you well. I was up at 4:30 AM to get to the gym before work. I was short on time and in need of a "rest" day. For me, since I am still in my running streak means I do at least one mile of running. So today I did one mile of running on the treadmill, followed by 10 minutes on the elliptical. I basically just went on the elliptical so I could catch up with my emails on my phone, but wanted to do something while doing that so I felt productive. HA!

I am thinking a Yoga class or Tabata is in my future this week. I will say Tabata kicks my bum. I was sore for days after and had difficulty lifting my arms without being sore. If you haven't tried Tabata check it out! In Tabata, you only do 5 exercises during the whole class. However, you do 8 reps of each exercise as hard as you can for 20 seconds with a 10 second rest in between. It is intense, but I love that I can get a tough workout in in 30 minutes.

What's your favorite cross training or workout class?

Are you a morning exerciser or evening?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Weekend Workout Recap!

Hi! I hope anyone reading this had a great weekend. I was happy to get some great workouts in this weekend. Here they are:
Friday: Hit up the gym for some cross training. 2 miles on the treadmill, 20 minutes on the elliptical, and 20 minutes on the stationary bike. Felt good to be doing something besides running
Saturday: The plan was to get up at 6ish AM and run outside. However, the temp was 8 degrees. So I went to the gym at 6:30 AM and did a hill workout on the treadmill. 50 minutes, alternated 2 minutes at a 5% incline with 3 minutes at 1%. I usually set the treadmill at a 1% incline all the time to increase the resistance so it is mote like running on the road. This ended up being 6.1 miles.
Sunday: Braved the cold for a 5 mile run outside. VERY WINDY! the first 2 miles were right into the wind. I felt like I could have leaned into the wind and it would hold me up. Did this at a 7:53min/mile. Legs felt really good, lungs were breathing a bit heavy. Not sure if it is the cold weather that my lungs are getting used to or if my effort was harder than I thought. I will definitely be keeping tabs on this.

Because a certain friend of my was teasing me about chickening out on Saturday and going to the gym instead of going outside(she had run 6.5 miles outside, she rocks!). It totally was a gut check. I knew I was making excuses to not go outside. In my defense, it was cold and dark outside. Also, I did get a killer workout on the treadmill. All those things are good excuses, but making excuses is not going to get me to where I want to be. I had wanted to do 10 miles with 4 miles at marathon pace. This may have been an ambitious workout but I wanted to see where I was at pace wise. I know the weather is outside of my control and I know there will be days where I won't get the exact workout I want in. However, I do know I need to do the important workouts outside if possible because I won't be racing on the treadmill.
 photo credit goes to The POLAR DASH Facebook page

I am glad that I did get myself outside on sunday for a run. I realized I actually enjoyed it! I do need to invest in some more winter gear, reflective gear, and a head lamp/light.
Well, until the next post!
What winter gear can you not live without?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Day 365

Thursday's workout: 10 miles completed in 81 minutes

Today was my 365th day of running at least 1 mile everyday. This time last Thanksgiving I did the Runner's World Running Streak. The premise is that you pledge to run at least 1 mile per day from Thanksgiving until New Year's. I decided to do it for a few reasons, 1) I wanted to get in shape after having baby #4 (yes, I have 4 beautiful children). 2) I knew that if I really wanted to get in shape I needed to be consistent. I knew even on my busiest day I had 8 minutes that I could get a mile in. 3) I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. So it began as a way to get in shape but it turned into so much more. Once New Year's hit, I was talking about goals and resolutions with my husband. I was debating if I should keep going with it or not.  He said "you should totally go for it". I am so thankful for his support and so thankful that I did go for it. If  you know me you know that I am kind of a "go with the flow" and I'll figure it out along the way kind of girl. Through these past 365 days I have learned that I can be disciplined! Because of this discipline, my passion for running has been reignited. I ran cross country in high school and college, and I wish I had had the drive and fire that I have now to compete and push myself. However, I don't want to focus on the past. I look forward to seeing what I can do from here on out!

Another bonus was that I am now in the best shape of my life and it's only going to get better. I am super excited about how my body has transformed this past year. It went from a thin, slightly soft body to a toned and fit body. I love that people are always surprised that I have had 4 kids!

Lastly, a bonus that has come from all this is learning that my husband has my back no matter what. He is my biggest support in this. On the days that I didn't want to run because we got home late and it was 1 AM, he would say "You know you will be mad at yourself if you don't." He won't let me be weak, and I am so thankful for that. He pushes me to better. He's pretty great.

A photo from my 10 mile run today
So what's next? I have decided to keep it going at least through the end of the year. After that I will decide if another year of run streaking is in the cards.

Anyone ever done a running streak? How long was it?

It starts with a dream...

I realize I have been neglectful of writing any posts. My goal from here on out is to post my daily workouts on my journey to the BOSTON MARATHON! I am still so excited that I qualified for this race. It has always been a dream of mine to run this race. I really want to go any run an amazingly fast race when I run Boston. I would love to run a 3:10 marathon at Boston. My PR is 3:29, which was my second marathon. My first marathon was a 4:04 back in 2008. Looking back at the race I was poorly trained, had no real training plan and my goal was to just finish it. I didn't do any speed work, just long runs. Also, t it was pouring rain, and I mean POURING rain during the majority of the marathon.This last marathon I had a plan of sorts (jumped into a 16 week plan at week 10), and it really showed my how important it is to have a training plan in order to hit your goals. Without a plan I find I kind of feel lost and without direction on what I should be doing for running. I am debating getting a running coach at some point.  So I am excited to get a few more marathons and half marathons under my belt before Boston. I feel the more experience I get in the actual marathon race the better I will come to learn my strengths as a runner. I am super excited to begin this journey and I hope all you reading this enjoy the journey with me.
Boston Marathon finish line

What training plans have you followed?

Anyone use a running coach?

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The 10 miler that was 15+

The 10 mile run that was 15+

Well, here it is...my first blog post EVER! I have decided that my first post is not going to be a introduction to me. Instead, I am going to let all you people reading this get to know me as the time goes on. Sometimes less is more. .
So, I would like to tell you my latest running adventure. I know you are just on the edge of your seat waiting to hear about it. Here is the "Story of how my 10 miler turned into a 15+ miler"

I decided to try out a new trail. I was super pumped to try this trail out. It was AMAZING! Beautiful fall colors, perfect fall running. The plan was to run out for 5 miles and turn around to make 10 miles (math is so simple). I was using my phone's running app, had just reached 7.53 miles (to be exact) and realized my key had fallen out of my pocket. What does one do in a situation like this? Whelp, I turned my rear around and started looking. Ended up finding it 1 mile from the turn around point.

Realizing I was super late getting back(this girl has stuff to take care of), got my rear in gear and booked it back to the car. I tell you, my legs were feeling it. Averaged a 7:47 min/mile for the run though, go me! What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right? (thank you Kelly Clarkson) (and now that song is in my head, awesome.)

I recently qualified for the Boston Marathon for 2015. This has been a dream of mine and total bucket list item since I was a teenager. This Blog is going to document my running journey to the Boston Marathon, along with pursuing a healthy life style and my life along the way to accomplishing my dreams. I have big dreams that I want to accomplish and I hope to document my successes and failures along the way.I hope you enjoy!
Finishing the Whistle Stop Marathon where I qualified for Boston!