Category Archives: run

Sunday in the kitchen

I went to the park this morning, excited to try out my new Brooks running shoes. As I expected, they were fabulous. All the other miles I did this week were walking, today I *mostly* ran. My new shoes were definitely worth every penny.

 

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I also really liked my new water bottle. It holds 16 oz. of water plus room for ice. My iPhone fits perfectly in the zipper pocket and it’s very comfortable holding it while running. I was a hot mess when I finished my 3.11 miles. Florida humidity is no joke, even at 7am.

When I got home from the park, hubby gone to Starbucks. He likes to take Blue and Ozzie with him on the weekends, they love to go for a ride and the folks at Starbucks get a kick out of them at the drive thru. And of course they get treats from them. Much excitement for Blue and Ozzie! And bonus for me this morning, because hubby brought home a Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher for me. Oh so refreshing after a run!

 

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After some grocery shopping and breakfast, I put together our dinner, which was slow cooker chicken. This is such an easy recipe, smells wonderful while it’s cooking, and makes for good leftovers. Do you sense a theme to the meals I make? Any meal that creates lunch for hubby the next day makes me happy.

Slow Cooker Chicken

  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 6 red potatoes (medium to large)
  • 1/4 white onion
  • Bottle of fat free Italian dressing
  • Celery salt and pepper

Clean the potatoes and cut them into thirds (depending on size). Leave the skins on. Layer bottom of slow cooker with potatoes. Cut onion into small strips and put on top of potatoes. Cut chicken breasts into halves or thirds depending on size. Add whole bottle of dressing. Top with celery salt and pepper. Cover with lid and cook on low for 5 – 5 1/2 hours.

 

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I don’t normally serve any side dishes with this as it’s pretty filling itself. The dressing make the chicken very tender and juicy, it just pulls apart with your fork.

What slow cooker meals do you like?

The one where I get new shoes…

This morning, hubby and I walked the Memorial Causeway to Clearwater Beach. It is always a treat when hubby joins me for a walk. We went around 7, before it got to be about 500 degrees outside. It was a beautiful morning. The view over the bridge and causeway are always amazing to me and reminds me how lucky we are to live here.

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After our walk (5.33 miles!) and a quick stop at Starbucks, we headed home and got ready to head back out again. During our walk, we had talked about how I need to start looking at new running shoes soon. Hubby asked if I had any in mind and I told him no, that I wanted to go somewhere and have gait analysis done so I know I am buying the right shoes. With another half-marathon coming up, as well as a 10K and 5K, I wanted a nice pair of shoes to get me through. We decided to head over the Fit2Run at International Plaza. (Thank you Beth for giving me a heads up on who to talk to!)

When we got there, I was helped right away by Gary and a few questions later to see where I’m at with my running, I stepped on a nifty machine, sans shoes, that determined how the weight is distributed when I stand. I never knew this, but I have high arches. The most weight is on my heels and the balls of my feet, more so on my left foot. He then measured my feet for correct show size and looked at the shoes I wore in, which are the Saucony’s I bought in March.

A few minutes later, I was in a pair of Asics and hopping on the treadmill so Gary could video tape my awesome running skills. I ran for about 30 seconds and then we watched it in slow motion. He said that I am a “neutral runner” as my ankles don’t roll out or in on impact. He also that the shoes I am wearing now are not the right ones for that (and they are also more of a track shoe, not made for long distance). Neither were the pair of Brooks Adrenaline I had before, which I wore for the Rock N Roll Half Marathon (oops). Both had support on the inside of my feet, which I don’t need, and that was causing my shoes to wear more on the outside. It was so exciting to learn all this.

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Based on this information, Gary brought out two more pares of shoes – Saucony and Brooks. After trying all of them on, it was no surprise that I liked the Brooks the best. There is nothing like putting on a pair of shoes that fit just right. I originally tried on the blue pair, but when I learned that had pink ones, well I had to get the pink ones. Aren’t they fabulous? I can’t wait to break them in tomorrow morning!

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Thank you, Gary, for all your help and teaching me things I did not know. It was very informative and helpful!

We checked out the rest of the store and I also got a cool water bottle with a pocket for my cell phone. Again, lots of color options and I picked the pink. Do you see a pattern here?

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I also decided to sign up for the Club Fit2Run membership. For $30 a year, you get a discount on everything in the store and a 30-day wear test guarantee on all running footwear. Sadly, it does not guarantee I’ll look this good while running… Darn!

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I also picked up two books I’ve had my eye on at Barnes & Noble. You know, because I don’t think about running enough, I have to read about it too. I am just determined to be a runner. I want to be a runner. I am a runner.

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Hubby really spoiled me today, but he says I’m worth it. He knows how much I enjoy running and wants me to have the best chance at it. Thank you, honey, for a fabulous day and for showering me with new goodies. I love you oodles!

Trying to be #fitfluential

Last Saturday, something clicked in my brain and I got off my lazy butt and went walking. Yeah, it’s too hot to run, but I snuck a little bit of that in also as my walk turned into more of a run. I ran when I felt like it and walked when I needed to, and it felt great. The last mile was definitely more walking than running (thank you Florida heat and humidity), but I still did it.

That set off 5 days straight of moving, of not sitting on my butt being lazy just thinking about doing what I need to do. Doing what I should have been doing for the last couple of months. Who knows why I stop working out… All I have are excuses – busy at work, bringing work home with me, too much going on, stressed, or I just don’t want to. I cannot do that, I just can’t. I feel better when I give myself the time to do something. Walking or running for 45 minutes or so and ending up a hot sweaty mess makes me feel so good. The sweatier, the better. And if I wake up the next morning and actually notice the muscles in my legs? Well, that’s a bonus.

I was outside Saturday and Sunday, mid-morning before it got to be unbearable hot. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday I had to do the treadmill thanks to the the lovely afternoon thunderstorms we’ve had.

I did at least 3.11 miles every day for the last 5 days. Today is a rest day.

 

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I am trying to be #fitfluential. Many of the bloggers I follow, are #fitfluential and motivate me every time they post about their workouts and more. I want to be that person that motivates people. I want to reap the benefits of being active AND motivate other people at the same time.

If you visit www.fitfluential.com, you will see that they are all about the whole package. As they say, “FitFluential is the perfect combination of fitness and influence.” They focus on 4 areas of balance – Eat, Sleep, Move, Enjoy.  I. Love. This.

As I plan out the end of the year, with a half-marathon, a 10k, and a 5k in my sights, I need to stay on top of things from here on out. I need to take care of myself and keep moving. I need to focus more on eating better. #fitfluential will be my ticket to this balance!

So tell me, who wants to be #fitfluential with me?

True Confessions Tuesday

It has been a long time since I’ve done a True Confessions post, since April 10, to be exact. Which means, I have A LOT to confess to! Let’s start with these…

  • I CONFESS I have just gotten back into what I hope is a regular routine for working out. I don’t know why I let myself slip so badly. Despite the guilt I feel in not doing it, it still isn’t enough sometimes to get me moving again. I wish I could figure it out.
  • I CONFESS I need to make changes to my eating as well. Some aspects of it are good – I’m drinking a lot of water and eating a lot of fruits and veggies. My biggest downfall is portion control. I am still trying to be that person who doesn’t have to be on a “diet” or specific weight loss program. Clearly that isn’t working for me, but I am determined to somehow figure out a happy medium and make better choices.
  • I CONFESS that I am highly frustrated with myself and my lack of motivation over the last several months. I set a goal for myself to log 600 miles on dailymile running and walking for the year and I am WAY off where I should be at this point. But beating myself up over it isn’t going to help it, so I just need to keep it up and make up for lost time.
  • I CONFESS that I am not a fan of riding a bike, I really just DON’T like it. But, I have been thinking about it lately, that it may be good to add to my routine. And I’m not sure what I think will be different about it this time than in the past. I can walk for hours and not feel winded or out of shape, but if I ride a bike for 15 minutes, I’m done. And I hate that.
  • I CONFESS that I have gotten lost in my brain far too many times this past week. I get anxious at times and then I start to think things and it’s a downward spiral from there and before I know it, I’m lost in my brain. It’s the reason I wrote the letter to myself on Sunday. I have to dig myself out before I am too far gone sometimes. It’s best for my overall wellness.

 Yep, no shortage of confessions in my world today. I hope that saying these out loud (so to speak) will help keep me a little more accountable to myself.

A Letter To Myself

Dear me,

You are a wonderful person and you are stronger than you know. You take care of those you love and you do the best that you can in everything you do.

So then, why do you doubt yourself? Why do you feel like you can always do more or do better? Why do you feel so fragile? You cannot let fear and your insecurities get the best of you. You must not focus on the negatives, but rather direct that energy to all the positives in your life. Letting the negatives get the best of you only sends your fragile state of mind reeling. 

You know how good you feel when you do something for yourself, when you put yourself first. You seem to fall into the trap of not taking care of yourself when you are stressed out. There will always be something stressful going on, you have to decide how best to manage that stress and not let it get the best of you.

Yesterday, you made the decision to go for a walk and that walk turned into running. You ran when you felt like it and walked when you needed to. After not running for far too many weeks, you did pretty good despite the heat. You should not be so hard on yourself and just enjoy the moment.

Do you remember how you felt when you ran your first half-marathon? You felt like you could do anything – and you can. You have the ability to accomplish anything you set your mind to. It’s the reason you signed up for another half-marathon, to feel that enormous sense of accomplishment in completing something you never thought you would do.

If you are not happy about how you feel or how you look, YOU are the only one who can do something about it, YOU are the only one who can make the right choices and change. You’ve done it before, you can do it again.

Life is too short to be stressed out about things. You cannot control everything and there is no sense in worrying about the things that you know are out of your control. Focus on YOURSELF and the rest will fall into place.

Love,

Yourself

Signed up!

I finally did it, signed up for what will be my second half-marathon. The Women’s Half Marathon will be in St. Petersburg on November 18th.

I am excited for many reasons. First, I know what to expect this time. When I did my first half, the Rock ‘N Roll, in February, I was all nerves. I went into it unsure of how it would be, could I do it, and would I have fun. Now that I know what to expect and remembering how much I loved it, I am very excited. I knew the minute I finished my first one, that even though I was extremely sore, I was definitely going to do another one.

I am also excited to try and beat my previous time. When I signed up for my first one, I guesstimated it would take me 3:30. I ended up doing it in 3:11:33. This next time, I would be a very happy girl if I could come in just under 3:00. As in 2:59:59 would be fabulous. I never claim to a fast runner and to be honest, I don’t know that I can ever run the entire time. But I’m okay with that. I will run most of it.

Another reason to be excited is that the route for this one is very similar to the last one. Going through downtown St. Petersburg and then along the water, it was very pretty.

Of course, I have to start training soon. I will have to find a way to work around the heat, whether it be early morning runs or later in the evening. I want to give this my all!

I am so excited – and proud of myself – knowing that this girl who used to hate to run and swore she would only run if she was being chased, will run a second half-marathon in the same year. Go me!!

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National Running Day 2012

Today is National Running Day. I’ve been hearing about it leading up to today and I was determined to get a run in today, even if just a mile, just to say I did it. And I did.

Earlier today at work, I went on to http://www.runningday.org/ and created my badge in honor of National Running Day. If you are friends me with on Facebook or follow me on Twitter, you may have seen it. How fun is this? I love my statement about running and boy, is it ever true.

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In honor of today, the day that runners everywhere can declare their passion for running, I thought about mine. I am what I consider to be an unlikely runner. I used to swear I would only run if I was being chased. No lie. It was not for me. Several years ago, I slowly worked my way up to running as part of a twice-a-day workout when I was strictly following WW and in the process of 30 pounds. (I am still not sure how I was able to work out twice a day!) Over time, I stopped running and went back to walking – I can’t remember why I did this, but I think even though I was running then, I didn’t love it like I do now.

Last year, I decided I wanted to be a runner. I was approaching 40, I needed to do something a little different, and with the exception of a good pair of running shoes, it’s a relatively cheap sport – I just needed the time and desire to do it. That turned into me running my first half-marathon in February. You can read about it here – I love to go back and read this post. It makes me smile. Another fun post to read is this one – I wrote it the day after.

The minute I finished my first half, I knew I would do another and I can’t wait to do the Women’s Half Marathon in St. Pete in November.

I also ran the Gasparilla 5+3K in March and really enjoyed that as well (which you can read about here. I was bitten by the racing bug.

I have not run in several weeks. But today, I was determined to get one mile in. ONE MILE. Since the weather was icky and I didn’t need any excuses, I jumped on the treadmill and ran that mile. I am not a fan of the treadmill, but if it was how I needed to get that mile in, I was fine with it. Something wonderful happened on the treadmill. I ran a mile. As in I ran the WHOLE mile, not walking for any part of it. I ran 1.0 mile in 11:24. I am damn proud of myself.

I let life get in the way too much and sometimes I find any excuse not to get out there and do it. Yes, I’m busy, and yes I bring work home, and yes, there are 10 other things I could or should be doing while I’m running, but if I got on that treadmill and ran a mile every day that would be something. There shouldn’t be any excuse not to run one mile if I can’t do more.

I never thought I would love running. It really is cheaper than therapy. I may not be fast or have the best form, but I do it. And I love it.

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Half-Marathon Training

My next – and second – half-marathon will be in November. It is my goal to do the Lady Speed Stick Women’s Half Marathon in St. Petersburg on Sunday November 18, 2012.

This course is very similar to the Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon I did on February, my first. I can still remember that day so vividly and I literally had a runner’s high for days afterwards. I laughed, cried, ran, and walked my way through those 13.1 miles, finishing in 3:11:33, a good 13+ minutes before my estimated 3:25 finish.

The moment I finished, I knew I had to do another. I have my sights set on the Women’s Half with hopes of beating my previous time, even by just a little bit.

The trick now is to pick a training plan. From what I see, training plans vary from 12-19 weeks, perhaps longer. I like the run/walk method of Jeff Galloway as I don’t know that I can ever be a full-time runner. It is hard for me. I push myself and try my hardest, but it does not come easy for me. Honestly, while so many people finish in the 2+ hour mark (and they are all my heros), I would be happy finishing my next one in just under 3:00. As in 2:59 would make me a happy girl.

Here’s my problem… Summer is here. And summer in Florida SUCKS. It’s hot and humid. I can walk out my front door in the morning and instantly start sweating. The thought of running in it is very overwhelming. Running in the heat is so different than running in the cooler weather. I just can’t do it for long. If I do a 19-week training plan, that puts me starting mid-July (YIKES!). If I do a 12-week training plan, it’s early -September. I did not follow a training plan for my first, but if I want to set a PR, I know I need to train for this one. So… what should I do? Also, what kind of strenth training should I incorporate?

I welcome advice from runners and any input you might have. I know there are books out there, but I love to heard first-hand experience. Thanks so much!

It happens every year!

It’s happened again. Just like it does every year. I have been bitten by the sunshine bug. It happened Saturday, when I walked in the afternoon for 4 miles, in the hot Florida sun. It was hot and I sweat my butt off, but man, the sunshine felt fantastic on my shoulders. Of course I was red that night and the next day because my shoulders have not seen the sun in awhile.

So today, I got home a little early from work and what did I do? I threw on my most comfy Nike pants, my tank top, laced up my shoes, and headed out into the heat – AGAIN. I found myself craving the sunshine.

The sunshine may be what gets me through my not-being-able-to-run-in-the-heat phase. Mentally, I have a real issue with not being able to run in the heat. And before you tell me to suck it up and just do it, I can’t. I’ve tried. it just does not work out. I may try from time to time because I’m stubborn like that, but it is like trying to run while I am being strangled. That’s the best way to describe it. It’s not mental, it’s physical.

So, I have to learn to be okay with walking during the hot months. And I think my love of the sun will help me with that. My fear is that I won’t be able to start running again. But I have to remember that I didn’t run all of last year and started up again, and even did my first half-marathon. I must have faith in myself.

And, I actually walked twice today! We walked the dogs at the park this morning and while it’s not the fastest walk, I totally count the mileage. I was moving and if you’ve ever walked not one but TWO Aussies, you know that can be a workout. This morning’s mileage was 1.3 miles in 37 minutes. This afternoon, I did 3.72 miles in 1:03… See? Here’s my proof:

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Do you enjoy the sunshine? What other outdoor activities do you enjoy in the hot summer months?

Friday Fun

TGIF! Somehow I survived the week. YAY!!!

I was on the road all day and finished earlier than I thought given the distance we had to travel. So to get home around 2 was a real bonus for a Friday afternoon. When I got home, I decided to take Blue and Ozzie to the park. They LOVE the park and they love walks. I was a little concerned about the heat, but figured with the shade in the park they’d be fine. They stopped a few times to take a break so we headed home after about 30 minutes. Total distance walked: 1.37 miles in 42:41. They have to stop and smell and/or pee on everything. They are such boy dogs.

See how happy they are?!

They HAVE to walk right next to each other. I love it.

After I walked them, I decided that I was going to go back out myself and run. I’ve been complaining about the heat and wondering how I’m going to deal with it. I figured today was as good as day as any to get out there and see what happens. Worst case, I’d end up walking. Yea…. That’s exactly what happened. I ran 1:1 for the first 11 minutes and then I walked for much of the rest of the 3.11 mile route. I would run every once in awhile, but it was mostly a walk. It was just too damn hot out there and I wasn’t going to be stupid about it.

Running is not a pretty sport.

Once I realized this was turning into more of a walk than a run, I decided to take advantage of this time and take photos of the pretty sites I saw. I absolutely love our park and it just never gets old. There is always something that catches my eye while I’m there and I have to take a picture of it. Here’s what I liked today:

Pretty trees…

I saw a turtle too!

I ended up running / walking 3.11 miles in 46:51. I guess it’s not terribly bad. See, here’s my proof!

Proof!

Despite the heat, it really was fun to get out there. I love the sunshine and it felt great on my shoulders. I just have to find a way to run in the heat. This is Florida afterall and it will be hot. Oi.

Have you done anything fun today?