Weekly Workout Recap & It’s Marathon Week!

In case the title didn’t give it away, I’ve officially made it to marathon week.  In 6 days I’ll be running my second 26.2 in New Orleans.

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It’s so hard for me to wrap my head around this fact and I’m pretty sure I’m in some sort of denial.  I have zero nerves right now (they’ll probably kick in Saturday) and I haven’t even given much thought to race weekend logistics (which includes not having a clue what I’m wearing).

I have a pretty laissez faire attitude towards this race which is the exact opposite of how I was during my first marathon four months ago.  I pulled up my recap from the last week of my Marine Corps Marathon training and was amused to see such a difference in attitudes.  My nerves were pretty darn apparent in the week leading up to the MCM.

This weekend my running girls and I got together for our last long(ish) run.  I say ‘ish’ since it was only 10 miles.  Despite being cold and windy, we had a great run.  I’m so proud of us for making it to the end of training and I’m especially excited for my friend Lorena who will be rocking her first marathon – EEK!!

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Stretching post 10 mile run.
Next long run will be the 26.2. Say whaaaaat!?!?

I’m linking up with Kat from Sneakers and Fingerpaints to bring you my weekly workout roundup.

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Monday: 3 mile run, weights (biceps, triceps, deltoids), and I attempted a 15-1 WOD of jumping squats, pushups, leg raises; however, I only made it down to 10 in 12:12 which is 75 total reps each. #OUCH
Tuesday: Cycling 15.91 miles in one hour, 86 pushups
Wednesday: 7 miles tempo run, kettlebell workout
Thursday: 100 pushups, jump roped for the first time since I was a kid – hello calf pain
Friday: 4.08 miles, 120 pushups
Saturday: 10 mile run, yoga
Sunday: 130 pushups

Whew.  Even though I had reduced running miles, I actually feel pretty proud of my workouts last week.  I tried a few new things (WODs and jump roping) that I’m excited to work into my regular routine.  I’m also pretty darn pleased on the pushup front.  I did a total of 511 pushups last week!!

It’s been really nice to have support from the ladies behind the #nogirlypushup challenge. I made it to week 6 day 1 of the 100 Pushup program – the final week.  If you remember from the 100 pushup fail post this was the furthest day I got to before quitting.  I’m feeling really good so far and am looking forward to completing the program.

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As far as my workouts go this week, I’m really going to take it easy.  I’m going to finish out the pushup challenge but I’m not going to do any weights workouts or anything else that would tax my muscles.  I want to make sure to be as fresh as possible for next Sunday.  So here’s hoping I stick with that plan.

Question:  Do you do anything special during race week?

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Weekly Workout Recap

Why, hello, Monday.  I see we meet again.  I’m feeling fresh and ready to tackle whatever this week may throw my way.

This weekend was particularly hard to say goodbye to.  It was filled with fun, food, and of course a bit of running.  Saturday was my last long run which means I’m officially tapering now.  I had 20 miles on tap so I woke up early to meet my running girls.  It was a bit chilly but it warmed up quickly and turned into a gorgeous morning.  The run felt seamless and I was able to talk one of my running girls into going an extra mile with me.  So 20 miles turned into 21.  BOOM!

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And because I’m masochistic, I have to share this photo fail with you.  How many fingers do I hold up to make 21? Luckily, I figured it out on take 2 (see above picture).

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I have a bad habit of adding miles to my runs.  I don’t do it often, but there are just some runs where I don’t want to stop.  I adore those runs because it reminds me why I run in the first place.

After the run, I showered and then met my stepsister for some carbo re-loading.  I was in a sweet mood and ended up getting some fat free peanut butter frozen yogurt and topping it with peanut butter chips and crushed oreos.  Not clean at all, but life too short to not treat yourself occasionally.  Also, I might be slightly addicted to peanut butter…

Peanut Butter froyo, will you marry me?

Peanut Butter froyo, will you marry me?

Sunday, the hubs and I went for a pre Suber Bowl stroll on the beach.  It was such a lovely day; Spring is definitely on its way to South Mississippi.  Then we came home and I made some eats for the big game.

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Steak and caramelized onion pizza on garlic rosemary crust from the farmer’s market. mmmm-mmmm!

So how did I do on my workouts last week?  Linking up with Kat from Sneakers and Fingerpaints to bring you my workout recap.

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Monday: 4 mile run with 4 strides, kettlebell workout, 12 pushups.

Tuesday: (AM) yoga – Sun Salutations, (PM) 7 miles of Yassos at 3:54, 45 pushups.

Wednesday: 15.29 miles of cycling, kettlebell workout.

Thursday: 6 mile run, 50 pushups.

Friday: NOTHING!!

Saturday: 21 mile LSD (long slow run) at a 10:15 pace, 55 pushups.

Sunday: 3.5 mile walk on the beach with my love.

Looking at last week’s workouts, I should be pleased but I really don’t feel like I got everything in I wanted to.  I only did yoga once and I didn’t use any of the weight machines at the gym.  I think it’s just nerves kicking in for this weekend.  It’s so strange that I’m more nervous for this 1/2 marathon then I am with my upcoming marathon.  I guess it’s because I’ve set a goal I’m not sure I can achieve.  Oh well.  I guess we’ll see on Saturday. 😉

Question:  How did you do on your workouts?  Do you ever set goals you may not be able to achieve?

Training Doesn’t Take Vacations

Can you believe that I”m running the Rock-n-Roll marathon in just 4 weeks?? AHHHH! I hope it’s just as amazing as the Marine Corps Marathon was.

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When I realized that the hubster and I were going to be on vacation during my 20 mile long run week, I immediately started trying to figure out a way to make my training plan fit my vacation schedule so I wouldn’t have to run 20 miles on my own.  During my vacation.  *face palm* Needless to say, the only thing I came up with was the realization that while I may take vacations, my training plan doesn’t.

Ouch.   So once I owned up to that fact, I came up with three options:

  1. Skip training altogether.
  2. Modify or reduce the amount of miles to run (or bike/swim etc).
  3. Suck it up Buttercup and log those workouts.

I know this is a tough one, but hopefully you were able to figure out the right option.  While #1 sounds fun, it spells d-i-s-a-s-t-e-r for whatever event you’re training for.  #2 isn’t a terrible alternative, but #3 is really the correct option.

Alright, #3 it is; you’ve decided to knock out your training runs – great! But how do you do that safely in a strange city, on unfamiliar terrain, by yourself? I’m so glad you asked!

Tips for training safely while on vacation:

Plan your route ahead of time.  USA Track and Field has an amazing tool that will help you build a course in any of the 50 states. You can look at courses in the area that others have created or you can create your own.  It’s a nifty (yes, I did just say nifty) little tool.  I encourage you to try it out even for spicing up your local runs.

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Verify the safety of the route.  If you’re staying with family, talk to them to see what they think of the route you have planned.   Not staying with family or friends? Talk to the hotel staff.   They’ll let you know if it’s safe or not.

Make yourself accountable.  Tell your family/friends where you plan on running, what time you’re going to start and an estimated finish time.  Don’t deviate from this because if something happens this could provide police with vital information.

Try not to run before the sun comes up.  Because you’re running in unfamiliar territory, it’s best to wait until the sun has come up.  If this means splitting up your runs, so be it.  This weekend, I ran 8 miles on the treadmill (bleh) before finishing the remaining 12 outside.  It wasn’t ideal, but it worked.

8 miles on a TM isn't my ideal start to a long run but it worked.

8 miles on a TM isn’t my ideal start to a long run but it worked.

Listen to your gut.  Let’s face it, we all have those unexplained hair-raising moments in life.  Don’t ignore those feelings.  If something doesn’t seem right, trust your intuition and turn around.

Bring protection.  And I’m not just talking sunscreen.  You never know when you’re going to encounter a scary dog (or person) so it’s not a bad idea to carry pepper spray with you.  Since I’m somewhat clumsy, I was concerned about running with pepper spray at first.  I just kept thinking I would end up unintentionally spraying myself.  I’m happy to report I haven’t done that yet.

I’ve heard of some women carrying a small gun with them but that just seems insanely dangerous to me.  I’m cool with the pepper spray.  I just have a simple pepper spray but Ruger make some really awesome ones complete with strobe lights and piercing alarms.

This pepper spray has a band that slips around your palm.  Perfect and it didn't bother me at all.

This pepper spray has a band that slips around your palm. Perfect and it didn’t bother me at all.

Stay unplugged.  I know that running or biking to music provides an often much needed distraction but really you don’t need to be distracted when out on your own.  You need to be aware of your surroundings able to react if necessary.  Yes, it was tough at first running 20 miles without any music but by the end of the miles, I was enjoying the sound of my feet, the pattern of my breathing and the scenery around me.

My view. <3

My view. ❤

So there you have it; my safety tips for training while on vacay.  I followed each one of those tips and enjoyed my long run tremendously.  I know, I’m the rare breed of people that really enjoys long distance running.  I finished my 20 mile run in 3:28:18 which is a 10:24 pace.

Hubby couldn't stop laughing at me when I got back to the condo.  Between my Camelbak, pepper spray and non-matching outfit, I do look a bit scary.

Hubby couldn’t stop laughing at me when I got back to the condo. Between my Camelbak, pepper spray and non-matching outfit, I do look a bit scary.

Disclaimer, this totally wasn’t the post I was planning on writing.  I was originally going to yammer about my 20 miler but I like how this post turned out.  Hopefully you found it helpful.

Question:  What precautions do you take to keep yourself safe while exercising?

Kid Approved Taco Cups

Thank you all for your supportive words and prayers from Wednesday’s post.  Every one of your comments meant a lot and really touched my heart.  Continued prayers for guidance and wisdom are definitely appreciated.

Several months ago I did a guest post for Stephanie from Fit Mom in Training which included a kid approved taco recipe and some thoughts on clean eating.  I realized recently that I’ve never shared it with y’all! *Face palm*  My apologies…

A lot of people have the misconception that clean eating is complex, uses incredibly strange ingredients and is not kid friendly at all.  And while that is partially true, there are a lot of great, clean recipes out there aren’t like that at all.  Recipes that use normal ingredients and are easy to make.  Introducing clean meals to your family is a great way to help your children develop life long, healthy eating habits.  Can I get an ‘Amen’?

So here is one of those recipes; a clean eating, kid approved taco cup recipe.  Besides loving these things myself, I tested them out on my niece and nephews this summer and they loved them, too!  They are a bit messy to eat (the taco cups, not the kids) but who cares, tacos are supposed to be messy, right?

Taco Cups

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I have a 20 miler on tap for tomorrow – eek! I’m pretty nervous about it because 1.) my foot issues and 2.) I’m having to do it solo.  20 miles is a looooooooooooong way to run without any company.  I’ll have my Ipod but, for safety reasons, I really don’t like listening to when I’m by myself.  I want to be able to hear someone rushing up on me or if a car is about to hit me. Basically, I want to hear if I’m about to die – lol…  Only 5 weeks until Rock-n-Roll New Orleans; y’all wish me luck!

Questions:  What’s your favorite {healthy} go-to recipe for kids?  What do you do on solo long runs to keep yourself focused?

Weekly Workout Roundup

This was a crazy busy weekend! My aunt and uncle from Minnesota came a visited Friday and Saturday and then Saturday my niece and nephews came over.  It was totally fun chaos in our house Saturday.  Sorry no pictures, I try to respect people’s privacy and not broadcast everything to the world.  I was so sad when everybody left Saturday evening, and now I feel family-less again. Boo.

Since everyone was at my house Saturday, I shifted my long run to Sunday.  Let’s just say that it went pretty terribly.  Like painfully terrible.  I woke up Sunday with the intent to get 18 miles knocked out before church but I knew pretty quickly that that was not going to happen.  It 98% humidity and I was seriously struggling; by mile 5 I felt like I had already ran 10 miles. Then the pain started to kick in.

Between the kettlebell workouts and running around with my niece and nephews (think piggy back rides up and down the stairs) my upped and lower body muscles were horribly fatigued.  The cherry on the top was having excruciating foot pain.  I ordered new shoes last week and they came in Saturday but I didn’t have time to check them out.  People, DON’T RUN IN OLD SHOES! This includes me.  Duh, Gina.  I ran the 18 miles 3 weeks ago and felt amazing.  Oh well, bad runs make the good ones that much better, right?

So I came home, showered and grabbed my “better then sex kit” which consists of Pro Compression socks, my foam roller and the newest addition, Perform Pain Relief kit.  I joked about throwing a bottle of wine in the kit for good measure.  After a few hours, I started to feel better.

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My “Better Then Sex Kit”

For the rest of today’s post I wanted to give a workout recap. One of these days I’m actually going to start consistently posting my weekly workouts and goals.  Every week I plan on it and then something comes up or I decide I want to talk about something else.   I’m linking up with Kat from Sneakers and Fingerpaints for the weekly workout roundup.

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Here are last weeks workouts:

  • Monday – Easy paced 4 mile run.
  • Tuesday – Speedwork; 6 mile run with 4 Yassos at a 7:53 pace.
  • Wednesday – My first Kettlebell workout!
  • Thursday – 5 mile run with 3 miles at marathon pace; worked shoulders at the gym.
  • Friday – Kettebell workout.
  • Saturday – Rest
  • Sunday – 18 mile long run followed with lots of icing and stretching.

Well, there you have it.  A total of 33 miles and 3 strength workouts.  Did you notice anything missing?  How about any stretching (yoga) or cycling?  I’m asking for an injury by ignoring those two crucial things.  (What’s ironic is that I wrote those last few sentences before the terrible 18 mile run.)

My goals for this week:

  • Get all my training runs in.
  • Two kettlebell workouts
  • One strength training session at the gym
  • One cycling session to keep the legs loose.
  • Two yoga sessions; specifically seated hip openers to help with my tight lower body.

Also, I’ve decided to start the 100 pushup challenge again.  I have exactly 6 weeks of training left (EEK!) until the Rock-n-Roll Marathon and the 100 pushup challenge is 6 weeks long…..Perfect!

Question:  How do you track your workouts?

Marathon Plans and Vegetable Chicken Soup

Ah, Wednesday, how you tease me being the middle of the work week.  Yet, I’m still trying to get back in the swing of things from my mini-vacay with the hubs.  You gotta love extended weekends, right?  So this weekend we went a couple hours north to visit some family.  I got in a lovely 7 mile run and then Jody and went on a leisurely bike ride.  It was so pretty!

One of the gorgeous views from my run.

Since I’m still on the no sugar detox I was pretty nervous about leaving the security of my pantry; however, it turned out to be fine.   It was definitely an inconvenience but I stuck to my guns.  Saturday night we went out to swanky restaurant and there was so many yummy things on the menu that I wanted but I settled for chicken and vegetables.  Safe.  Not much processed crap goes into chicken and vegetables.

nommmmmmmm…

Before coming home we made a detour to my favorite duck pond.  I’m such a big kid at heart and love feeding the ducks/geese. It’s the little things in life that make me the happiest.

Duckzilla likes to eat clean. He says gimme more organic, whole wheat croutons now before I peck your toes off!

After the weekend fun ended I still had all of Monday to piddle around be completely productive.  It turned out to be a really rainy and fairly cold day which meant a trip to the gym to get my miles in.  After that I met my running girls for lunch at Newks so we could discuss our Rock-n-Roll marathon training plan.  This week started week 2 of training.

I printed my Marine Corps Marathon training plan which was geared to for a 4:30 finish.  My goal for Rock-n-Roll New Orleans is 4:30 or better so my running girls and I tweaked the plan just a bit.  It focuses more on speed and building up strength to get me to the starting line injury free.

I’m excited about running RnR New Orleans (NOLA) again.  I ran the 1/2 marathon last year and suffered quite a bit of marathon envy watching all the marathoners continue on as I headed towards the finish line.  Did I mention that last year RnR NOLA was my very first 1/2 marathon?

It’s crazy to me that in the period of a year I will have run 5 half marathons, 2 full marathons and countless other races.  1 1/2 years ago I was still nursing my ‘I can’t do that because I injured my knee’ mentality and letting it dictate my life.  I’m so glad I threw I can’t out of the window.  Never under estimate what you can do when you kick the ‘I can’t’ mentality.   So now less then a year later, I’m planning my second marathon and this time I will not have marathon envy, I will enjoy marathon glory! (Side note…I’m not telling you to ignore an injury.  Listen to your Dr., let yourself heal, and then keep going.  Don’t stop what you love out of fear of re-injury.)

And now the part of the post that you’ve all been patiently waiting for….the recipe. I mentioned earlier that Monday was a terribly dreary day which means one thing to me….SOUP!  I went to my pantry and fridge to see what I had to work with – looked like a chicken soup sort of day.  So I visited my favorite clean eating recipe site, The Gracious Pantry, and found a recipe that worked with what I had; I was only missing a few ingredients.

After tweaking the original recipe just a bit, this is the hearty deliciousness that happened: Clean Vegetable Chicken Soup (it would also taste great if you used beef instead of chicken).  This recipe makes a large amount so if your crockpot is on the smaller side, I’d cut the ingredients in 1/2.  I wouldn’t want you crying over spilled, err, broth.

Nothing says fall like eating soup out of a leaf shaped bowl. YUM!

Clean Vegetable Chicken Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1.5lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, thawed
  • 12oz frozen sweet corn
  • 12oz frozen sweet peas
  • 1 15oz can black beans, undrained
  • 1 15oz can kidney beans, undrained
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 large potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp dried basil
  • 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 15oz tomato sauce
  • 3.5 cups organic chicken broth

Instructions:

Place all ingredients (in the same order they are listed) into a large crockpot, set on low and run away! Ha, just kidding. Don’t run away, you still have to come back and eat it.  Instead of running away, cook on low 4-6 hours or until the chicken falls easily apart.

When making this soup, pay attention to the labels on your produce, especially the canned and frozen vegetables.  You want to get organic and make sure that there isn’t any sugar hiding out.

Don’t forget today’s the last day to enter my Vega Energizing Smoothie giveaway!

Question:  What’s your favorite type of cold day comfort food?