Friday, October 24, 2014

Week of Workouts

Happy Friday! How cute to think that at this time last week I had no idea the death and destruction I was about to face the next morning. (Hyperbole is one of my strengths.)

In the past 6 days I've gone to yoga 4 times and this morning I actually laced up for a run. And it was not the worst!

Wednesday morning I took the 6 a.m. flow class at Gainey. The instructor is the same for the Monday 6 a.m. class over there and we always start with "breath of fire." Will I ever make it through that warmup without feeling like an asthmatic dragon? Maybe. She talked about yesterday's solar eclipse (which I missed because I didn't have welding glasses to look with!) and a bunch of other spacey/astrological stuff. She's kind of a kook. I love her.

Yesterday our instructor (my favorite) said she was thinking about me and another guy who had been traveling out of the country while she planned up what we were doing that morning. A short flow warmup and then lots of looooong holds in Warrior B, Triangle and hip openers/glute stretches. That class is my favorite way to start my Thursdays.

This morning I contemplated just sleeping...then I contemplated just going out for a walk...then I hauled myself out of bed and set out on a run with no expectations or intentions. Scenes on my 5K route included the gross towney bar right down the street that now has a sign set out on the greenbelt train: 20% off for all runners and bikers! (Hey I just ran 5 miles, hook me up with a discounted bucket of Miller Lites!) There was also  "FUCK JOGGERS" spray painted onto the sidewalk under one of the bridges...well good morning to you, too!

All in all? It felt great to just run and no worry about hitting a time or goal or anything. Pace? 10:33, 10:14 and 10:00. 

Also, this morning I signed up for tomorrow morning's barre. I looked will be my first class since the middle of March. Save me.

I leave you with...


Tuesday, October 21, 2014


First, I want everyone to know that I drafted a post on Friday and had absolutely no time to edit it and post it (I had to work through lunch) that contained the above graphic. I absolutely couldn't let it go to waste, so there you go.

Well! Saturday morning came and went in a blaze (and I do mean a gigantic, hot, fiery sun-ball blaze) and I lived to tell about it...barely.

First things first, I did not meet my 2:20 goal. There. I knew I wasn't going to at the 5K mark. Why? Not because I wasn't prepared or didn't train enough or didn't fuel enough or didn't get enough rest. If I hadn't done any of those things, I might be disappointed. No friends, it is because the Y Race was multiple gigantic uphill loops in the side of a mountain that took off at 7:00 a.m. when it had already reached 70 degrees with zero wind. So, I guess you could say I was disappointed for a little while. But when I factored in the things that were simply out of my control...I guess I'm pretty proud to have finished that beast.

Friday night we continued the carb-load (PESTO PENNE BAKED IN A BREAD BOWL!) and went to sleep early. I woke up feeling pretty dang good. I dropped a Nuun in a water bottle and drank it throughout getting ready and eating breakfast. We got to South Mountain (emphasis on MOUNTAIN) Park in enough time to go to the bathroom and stretch before the 7:00 gun.

I have to say, the first half of the race felt pretty good. I had enough gas in the tank to take on the hills and the temperature hadn't started to factor in yet. I took water at every stop to conserve my hand-held reserves--although I realized I had forgotten to drop a Nuun in it. Rookie mistake. Remember how I said I think 10K's are my new official running time? Well I felt awesome until the turnaround halfway through!

Then. THEN. I stared back up the hill I had just happily descended and knew it was going to be a long ride on the struggle-bus to finish. I took my first walking break at mile 7 and knew I was done for. It got hot. The hills seemed steeper and longer. I trained exclusively on the Scottsdale Greenbelt and running down Shea and in neighborhoods around there. There are "hills" along those routes, but nothing like these monstrosities. 

The sun started to factor in and I started pouring water on myself. I stopped to walk through water stations and had them refill my bottle as well. I knew 2:20 was out the window and beating my previous time of 2:28 was gone too. I just had. to. finish. it.

It sucked. I was dripping from a combination of water and sweat (have you ever blinded yourself by sweating into both your eyeballs? It's amazing.) and wanted to die. I wanted to take my phone out and send AV a crying text about not making it. But I didn't. I finally, FINALLY crossed the finished line at 13.15 miles in 2:34:27. And I was just happy to have survived that sucker.

I immediately chugged 3 cold water bottles and ate half a banana, part of a blueberry oat bar and part of an apple. We came home and AV made gourmet breakfast burritos while I showered before passing out for a few hours. I woke up and felt like a new person. And then I completely annihilated the eggplant parm at Il Capo.

Sunday night I started to feel a little defeated/upset about how everything shook out this weekend. The early mornings of running before the sun came up, pushing myself to more diligently follow my training plan than last year, money spent on new shoes, etc. all seemed "for nothing." But I talked it out with AV and if I HADN'T done those things, then maybe I could be upset. But I really did do everything I could and as someone who doesn't run very naturally, who picked easily one of the hardest races in the area to tackle, I'm OK with it. I'm actually pretty proud of it.

Sunday afternoon I forced myself to the 2:45 afternoon "power" class and it was painful/necessary/amazing. I had Monday off for comp time from working the weekend before and took a 75 minute flow class at the Gainey location that also helped stretch me out. I also rewarded myself by finally drinking the kool-aid yesterday and am really excited to continue my practice more in-depth for a while. But I don't hate the idea of running and I know I will always have that to fall back on as a workout. So I can officially say I'm OK with not hitting 2:20, because I gained more out of it than a finishing time.

...As an aside, AV ran the 5K in 28 minutes. WHAT!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Talking It Out

I knew the entire month of October was going to be crazyville, and it's staying true to that:

-Last weekend of September: Trip to Austin
-First weekend of October: Trip to KC
-Last weekend: work Saturday and Sunday for Tour de Scottsdale
-This weekend: RACE
-Next weekend: work Saturday for SpoooooOoOoOooooOooOky Carnival: Pirate Edition (I wish I had a peg leg)

So, the light at the tunnel is in sight, but I have to finish 13.1 miles to get there.

Saturday's 11 miler brought a mix of emotions. I am officially the weirdo who kind of likes setting out before the sun rises to spend a few hours running. Not that I do it fast or with any grace, but I do it. It's a nice time before the weekend really begins. I felt a little sluggish in the beginning. My first 4 miles clocked in at the 11:00+ mark which made me mad. (More mad at myself--perhaps I shouldn't have pushed myself to a fast-for-me 4 miles the morning before: 4.16 miles at a 10:07/mi pace) The ensuing few miles were an up and down roller coaster of times. I felt pretty OK with everything until the very end. Mile 10.5 came with a ton of bricks hitting me in the face. I have solace in the fact that I'll have more fuel on me for the race on Saturday and that I'll know to eat more before I set off.

I ended 11 miles by running in a circle around my gate box because I just didn't want to go any further away. I'm sure I looked deranged. 11 miles in 2:01:16 for a 11:01 min/mi pace.

Now, here's where I have to have a come to Jesus conversation with myself. I will need a 20 seconds/mile pace to hit my goal on Saturday. Can I do it? I've had some amazing long-"ish" runs where I've gone faster than that. I'm not going to be doing any sort of physical activity the day before the race and I'm making friends with the foam roller this week.But, 20 seconds is kind of a lot. If I'm being honest with myself, I know it's going to be close, and I'm erring on the side of "Welp, I'm probably not going to hit sub-2:20." There are all kinds of factors. All my long runs have started out bright and early. The race doesn't start until 7:00 a.m., putting me at finishing after 9:00 a.m. When I was working the Tour on Sunday I noted the brightness/temp around 9:30 and it was WARM. That doesn't bode well.

But weirder things have happened. I think the greatest achievement of this training season is that I don't hate running like last year. Don't get me wrong: I am READY to do a week straight of yoga and nothing else after this weekend. But the idea of continuing to run and keep myself in better running shape doesn't make me want to die like it did before. But I think any future races will aim for the 10K mark. That seems much more sustainable for my life and abilities.

In other news...

  • AV is signed up for the 5K on Saturday! If anything, it will give him something to do besides just wait for me. Plus, snacks after the race.
  • We finished House of Cards last night. MOAR PLZ. I heard they're filming season 3 right now. It makes me want to get into politics and secretly murder people. Next I think we will move onto OITNB.
  • Speaking of politics, this guy's write-in signs are everywhere. FIVE F'S O' FREEDOM! My Five F's of Freedom are: Fireworks, Frosting, Frangelico, Falafel, Fazoli's (I'm hungry)
  • These have been made twice and they are really glorious. Last night I followed the recipe to the letter (although halving it) and mixed in some diced green onions before cooking. I topped them with sharp white cheddar and an avocado mash. DO IT.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Mah babe's babe

Hello again!

I left off last Thursday. Yoga that morning was amazing. We did a ton of work involving back-bends and opening our spines and our instructor said something about how we'd have lots of energy throughout our day because of it. Not sure if this was just a yogacebo or what, but I was pumped! up! all! day! It was awesome. The free iced coffee they have in the mornings probably helped.

Friday morning I set out on a "long-ish" run, because I was fairly certain I wasn't going to haul my cookies out in 35° morning weather during my quick weekend trip to KC. I did pack a workout outfit, my water bottle and running shoes just in case. Shoulda saved the carry-on space! I ran 6.56 early morning miles with progressively faster splits and felt completely amazing. 1:09:29 for a 10:36 min/mi average. I want every run to be that not. (Spoiler alert to this morning: they're not.)

My boss scared me into leaving for the airport earlier than I had planned, so I headed down there around 1:30. I'm glad I did, because the entire economy parking lot was full. I was forced into the garage spaces out there, which is $2 more per day. What a ruse!

I picked up a veggie sambo and iced coffee from La Grande Orange (Sky Harbor's restaurant scene is glorious) and waited while my flight got delayed about half an hour. It didn't matter, since my flight was now arriving the same time as my WonderTwin Ashley. We bounded off our flights and went to pick up her amazing chariot:

(I got tha Hertz hook up...holla if you hear me)
We sped off to my dad's house and got there around 11:00 for baseball watching and snacks.
The next morning she left in her pimped-ride and my mom came to pick me up for the baby shower. It was a glorious afternoon of friends, snacks, a mountain of gifties and of course lots of pictures. I miss these ladies!!!!!!


 (Every gal needs a hip set of glittery Jayhawk diapies)

Afterwards we helped deliver gifties to Jo's house and hung out for a while. Can't wait to meet that Blueb!!!!!! And learn her name, but someone said "Beyonce Spears Conrad" and Jo didn't say it WASN'T that, so there is hope.
That night we went to Pizza Bella for mom's belated birthday dinner. The food was just as delicious as the Crossroads location, but you could definitely tell we were in the Johnson County location by the two tables nearby with screaming children.

Sunday we all met up at Eggtc. off the Plaza for a final group get-together and breakfast. This place was a standard before I moved, but they've expanded their menu and it's even more glorious. Their iced coffee was on point and my frittata ("Cheddar, potatoes, broccoli, mushrooms, onions and roasted red peppers. Topped with spicy salsa and basil") was DELICIOUS. AND HUGE. We all wheeled ourselves out of there.

(Blurry breakfast)

My flight back was on time and I relished the 90 degree air that hit me in the face as I walked to the parking garage. I forced myself to go to the grocery store and that night we started an epic binge:

I'm glad to have a new TV obsession because when Mad Men ends next spring I'm going to want to die.

I forced myself up for a 6:00 a.m. flow class at the Gainey Village location. I'd taken this class once before and while the instructor is a little more hippy dippy than other ones I've experienced (she's the one who starts class with "breath of fire" and talks about astrology/moon cycles/etc.), which you know I love, the class itself is right up my alley. A complete workout without feeling like I'm going to pass out and die like some more power classes can do to me.

I was not looking forward to this morning's run for some reason. I ended up sleeping in a little later than usual (alarm went off at 5:25 so that's my "later" time apparently) and was just not interested. I actually still wanted to go back inside and just hang out while I was stretching outside our gate. No idea what the problem was, but I sucked it up and ran 4 miles in 42:04 (10:31 min/mi) with progressively slower splits. 10:25, 10:28, 10:31, 10:38. Whoops. Not terrible, but not the greatest, you know?

Tomorrow I hope to do another "long-ish" run like last Friday. It looks like the heavens may storm-dump on us again so I might have to do it on the treadmill. Woof. We'll see.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Austin eating (and one lonely run)

How long will it take me to fully recover from four full days of eating amazement in Austin? However long, it was worth it. I officially have a new favorite food city.

We arrived Thursday afternoon and went to lunch with Aaron's mom, sister and niece (!) who was a riot. She was a little chunkola!

After eating we set out for our apartment for the weekend. We thought we were going to stay with his aunt the whole trip, but it turns out she recently bought an apartment and has been working on making it fully furnished and updated to rent out. What a glorious surprise!

After we dropped our stuff off we went down the street for an iced coffee and hung out before heading to his sister's house in Buda, about 25 minutes away.
(Tio AV!)
I was full from my gigantic salad and airport breakfast burrito, but when we stopped by Torchy's to pick up food that night I couldn't resist an "Independent" taco ("Hand-battered and fried portobello mushroom strips with refried black beans, roasted corn, escabeche carrots, queso fresco, cilantro and avocado" COME ON!) and lots of sampling the green chile queso blanco. Ridiculous.
The next morning I was determined to get a least one work out for the trip in, so I set off in our apartment's neighborhood to try my best. The temperature was perfect (around 67°) but the humidity crept up on me! Still, it was neat to see the neighborhood wake up (tons of pups!) and run some hills for once. Splits were in at 11:10, 10:23 and 10:29 for 3.15 in 33:49. A nice little vacation workout, which sadly wouldn't happen again for the rest of the trip. Whoops.
Once I got home and we got ready, AV's aunt and uncle took us to breakfast. We stopped at this tiny little Mexican restaurant and I tried my hand a migas and breakfast potatoes. Completely stupidly delicioius. You know it's legit when nothing is in English.
After that we drove through all these little side and back streets to check out some amazing houses in the neighborhood. The architecture in the small spaces was insane. The whole thing reminded me of Lawrence on steroids. (Which you know I loved.)
A little later AV's sister and her husband came to pick us up and we headed down to Congress Street (again, Mass. St. times ten) for lunch and walking around. We had lunch at Snack Bar. Anything with "snack" in the name means I'm in love. AV and I split the black bean dip to start and I had a side of mac and cheese for my meal. A "side" because it was decievingly filling and AWESOME. (My Yelp here.)
(Dip of dreams.)
After lunch we were in desperate need of walking it off. Congress Street is awesome. The weather was perfect--sunshiney and not too hot.  So much people watching, so many tiny little shops.
(Shopping included weird anti-drug posters from India)
(We're the first people in the history of the world to pose with this, right?)

They dropped us back off after a few hours and we got ready to head BACK to Congress Street with his aunt and uncle for dinner. PIZZA! There was about a 45 minute wait so we grabbed some drinks and headed to their cute back deck that was decked out in twinkle lights, patio chairs, and ping pong tables.
The food was outstanding. (I haven't Yelped, but I'm sure I will.) We all split a Pear Gorgonzola salad and AV and I split a "Medium" (Huge.) pie with spinach, roasted red pepper, green olives, and onions. It was fantastic. The fresh spinach and green olives were the kicker for me. We had to bring home leftovers because we couldn't possibly eat more.
...buuuuuut once we got home we decided maybe we could possibly eat more. Enter the glowing sign of Gourdough's right down the street. How could we say no to dessert?
What you're looking at (thanks to photo editing, because ti was dark out on their patio and I didn't want to be the a-hole taking a flash picture of her doughnut) is their Nutty Valentine: freshly fried doughnut (almost tasted like a funnel cake) topped with Nutella, cinnamon, sugar and fresh strawberries. If you're wondering if this was out of controle, it was. I decided to pair it with more sugar: I drank a Ragtime, including "Absolute Citron & Ginger Puree With Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice & Basil. Topped With Blood Orange Soda." It was delicious, although I could have stood more ginger puree as I like to get punched in the face with ginger tasting things.
I slept the sleep of a thousand sugar-induced fever dreams that night, but it was worth it!
Saturday was Elia's birthday party (although her actual birthday was Thursday) so we headed over there after the world's most amazing breakfast tacos, conveniently just down the street from us.

She was wearing a fancy first birthday outfit and we watched her open gifts while we ate lunch and a glorious pink cake.
Afterwards we set out to get Aaron a BBQ Snack before heading home to rest up. He said it was easily one of the best barbecue he's ever had. ATX protip!
That night we met up with his sister and husband again at the Alamo Drafthouse for dinner and to see The Equalizer which was good Denzel actiony fun. I'd say the alternative title could have been "How to Kill Someone 100 Different Ways in Home Depot." The Alamo in KC opened up right around the time I left, so I was excited to finally give it a try. I loved it! I'm planning a visit when we go back to KC for Christmas. I had a really surprisingly amazing Greek salad and of course AV ordered bottomless popcorn. (We couldn't even finish the first round, although I tried really hard by stress eating.)
Sunday morning we woke up and knew we were meeting Aaron's sister for lunch at Bouldin Creek, so we attempted to go light on the food for breakfast. We'd seen Soup Peddler down the street so deicded to head there for smoothies. I ordered the "Business Time," which includes "cold-brewed espresso, banana, peanut butter, raw local honey, cacao, rice milk." It was everything I've ever wanted in life. We sat out on their sunny patio and it was a perfect start to the day.
We decided to fit in one more Austin discovery and parked ourselves at Radio Coffee & Beer's patio. Of course, Aarond had to sample a single taco truck taco while we drank some amazing cold-brewed coffee.
We headed back to pack up and meet up for lunch. There's not much I can say about Bouldin Creek that hasn't already been said (Although I tried) It was basically one of my favorite places on the planet.

Our flight home was fine, although half an hour late. We watched football at the airport and finally made it on home. Thankfully, my car parked in economy parking was fine. I officially love Austin and can't wait to return for more funtimes! I just have to prepare myself for FEASTING!
Workouts this week:
Yesterday's 4.16 run was supposed to be 5, but at least it was speedy. For me. (I feel like I always have to put a "for me" at the end of statements like that. I don't want someone thinking I'm an elite racer when I'm...struggling on a 4 mile run. Right?) 4.16 in 41:13 for a 9:54 min/mi pace. Carbo loading for four days straight works!
This morning's 5 miles felt great. So great that I accidentally turned it into 5.62. Whoops! 10:29 min/mi pace. Felt strong.
Tomrrow is yoga. THANK YOU INFANT JESUS.
Friday is another run. I'll try to get a "longish" run in before work because I leave a few hours early to go back to KC for BABY BLUEB'S SHOWER!
I leave you with this:

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Quickie Update

Whoa! It's been a while. Sorry. I'm sure you were all waiting with baited breath.

Here's what's been going on:

Last Tuesday's 5 miler was amazing. All splits were negative and glorious: 10:47, 10:34, 10:29, 10:25, 10:08.

Ran Wednesday's treadmill 5K in 30:40, followed by weights. Standard.

Thursday yoga = great start to the morning, as per usual.

Friday's 5K somehow didn't turn out. I had wine Thursday night. *cough* Sowhatwhocares!

Saturday's 10 miles actually ended up feeling pretty great. I think I've figured out the Shot Blok puzzle for my long runs. I ate 9 blocks total (3 at 3 different times) dispersed throughout the run and I know when I'll add the last 3 for the actual race.

Sunday afternoon yoga was perfect. I felt strong and stretchy and yes...sweaty. I could have wrung some sweat out of my towel. Delightful!

Tuesday's 5 miles also did not happen. I'm not sure what happened that morning, but my alarm went off at 5:10 a.m. and I felt completely exhausted. I decided to listen to my body and just sleep. 

I had to make up for it this morning because my workout schedule will be a little off this week. We head to Austin, TX tomorrow morning to visit AV's family and meet his niece (whose 1st birthday is tomorrow!) early in the morning, so a workout definitely won't be happening then. I hope to squeeze in a couple runs while we're there, but I'm not looking for anything too intense. Thus, 7 miles this morning.

The good: IT WAS COOL THIS MORNING! When my alarm went off at 5:00 I saw the temp was 75° and perfect. I think I danced the first few minutes of the run.

The "uh-oh": I knew I had to be "speedy" in order to get back home with enough time to get ready for work. I became a little too enthused too early in the game and thus:

Mile 1-11:00 (not sure on the exact time, since I couldn't hear the beep over traffic)
Mile 2-10:45
Mile 3-10:25
Mile 4-10:10 (me: "crap")
Mile 5-10:50
Mile 6-10:55
Mile 7-11:38

The Ugly: I've not gotten such a TERRIBLE side stitch in my life. I think it was a combination of being to fast for my britches (get it) and needing another shot blok at the 10K point, which is usually when I take it. At least I've learned.

All in all, it felt good until the end. Now I'm STARVING!

Monday, September 15, 2014

9 Miles? Check. Hula Hoop? Check.

The weekend went by in approximately 38 seconds. Seems about right.

The forecast for Saturday morning seemed dismal. 60% humidity, mid-80's at 5:00 a.m., etc. etc. Pair that with a terrible stuffy nose on Friday night (and waking up during the night ON FIRE thinking I'd caught the flu or something. I hadn't, so who knows what that was.), and I cautiously set out for my scheduled 9 miles with no goal or or expectations. I just wanted to survive.

To be honest, I ended up feeling pretty dang good. It was the first long run I'd ever attempted with Nuun and I'm officially a disciple and fangirl. I do think I probably should have brought 9 ShotBloks rather than 6, as mile 8 felt pretty disastrous and weak, but overall this run went much better than I ever thought it would.

Not sure on my splits, but I think they were close to:

11:18 (crash and burn)

I finished 9.05 miles in 1:38:17 for a 10:52/mi pace. Was it fast enough for my 2:20 goal? No. Did it restore some of my confidence? Yes.

After brizza (obviously not my pic, but it's what I ordered and it was glorious) and nap one of the day, we set out to Sur La Table for the James Beard Taste America event that I'd RSVP'd to forever ago. We watched a cooking demo by Chris Bianco and got to sample some amazing homemade pasta, made right in front of our eyeballs.

(I spy tiny James Beard. Do you?)
(Cavatelli with Sweet 100 tomatoes, garlic, and basil. Topped with chive-mixed ricotta. This was amazing.)
I loved this presentation and what he had to say about working with locally-sourced food and cooking for other people. We also sampled some local crusty bread with olive oil made at St. Anthony's Monastery in Florence, AZ. I will now be planning a road trip up there and buying enough olive oil to last me a lifetime. It was outstanding.

After eating lunch at the ol' standby we came home and I took nap two for the day. I'm an infant.

Yesterday morning I tried to new-to-me class because I knew I wasn't going to make it to my regular 2:45 Sunday afternoon yoga. (Why, you ask? Well, the Chiefs game was actually being shown on TV here for once. Let's not talk about it.) 
I saw that the Gainey Village location of my gym was offering an 8:00 a.m. class of something called "FXP Coreflow," which I thought might be similar to a power yoga class:

"Fun, Xcessible, Portable! Meet us for the FXP CoreFlow Pilates/Yoga fusion class that will keep you challenged and motivated utilizing small props and your own body weight. The FXP CoreFlow class will provide a calorie burning, total body workout with a high energy, low impact, flowing sequence of moves set to music. The props utilized will deepen your core engagement, improve strength and coordination and increase flexibility. All levels welcome! Bring your yoga mat. Towels and small props will be provided."

It was more of a barre/core-strengthening class, which I'm fine with, but it had a huge emphasis on hula hoops! Holy crap. Have you ever hula hooped for two songs straight? I feel weirdly sore all around my waist in a way I've never felt before. To be honest, this was a great workout. It helped with my current desire to start barre classes again, which is how I know I've gotten a little bored with running. I just never really thought I'd use a hula hoop as part of a (decent) workout. The instructor was great and said they hooping for an hour can burn 600+ calories. What! I just might put this class in the ol' rotation. 

10 miles next Saturday. Already tired.