Monday, August 26, 2013

Chicago Marathon Training Recap - Week 12


5 miles (treadmill); didn't feel like running before work, preferred having 2 cups of coffee and enjoying the news.  So it was HOT here today, and will be all week, so I headed to the gym.
Followed the run up with 100 weighted (10lbs) of butterfly sit-ups
Then came home and mowed the yard (front only).  The back will get done tomorrow since I needed gas and didn't feel like getting any :)

Rest day (from running)
100 weighted (10lbs) butterfly sit-ups
100 weighted (10lbs) butterfly sit-ups 
Mowed the back yard (Gawd that thing kills me)

So so so so tired when I got up this morning.  The alarm went off before 5, but I just couldn't drag myself out of bed until around 5:15
I thought long and hard about just bailing, and in a way I kinda did since instead of doing 7 miles before work, I only did 3.
Womp womp
Sad panda

Oh wellz.

And it's supposed to quite hot today (100!!  Whaaat?)

But as of yesterday, this happened! (and I did 45min on it after work to round out the day).

Treadmill in my basement finally!!!
I've been on the hunt for a while now for a newer model, low hours, fully loaded, excellent priced (used) treadmill for the basement (with Winter coming and all, and now knowing how many days I have to run inside due to ice, snow and below zero wind chill!)

And I finally found one!  No more going to the gym in the cold either which sometimes can be just as brutal just getting to and from the car!

I am super pumped!  Plus now I can go cancel my membership which puts $33 a month back in my pocket!

Obviously I am more prepared for this Winter, knowing what to expect, and equipped to handle it (clothes/shoes/YakTrak), but there are those days where no matter what, without 14 layers of everything and running in snowshoes, you just HAVE to run inside.  At least I do.

Was supposed to do 4 miles with E, but she texted beforehand and wasn't feeling great.  Boooooooooooooooo for feeling bad!  Sometimes it is nice to have someone along.

Rest! Rest! Rest! (not like the 'resting' I did on Tuesday :)

18 miles today

Up before 4am and on the road, (literally) before 5am.  PreRun was a cup of coffee and 1 slice of Dave's Killer Bread (post on this at a later day), with a smidge of The Bees Knees peanut butter (Peanut Butter and Co)
Near perfect conditions: 60 deg, no wind, no humidity.  While I do like it when its overcast on longer runs, I have to say, its better when its not.  As I said, no humidity.  One of the best parts of living here definitely!

I wanted to get that early start in because I knew it would heat up quickly once it got close to 7:30 or so and with no cloud cover, I would be baking in that sun.
I also love that its darker longer in the mornings and its after 6 before the sun starts coming up over the horizon.  I absolutely love this small town in the wee hours of running, with blinking lights instead of red, and nary a car or truck sans maybe the early morning farmer heading to the fields.  I seriously just run down the middle of the streets like I own the place.  :)

Taken on the run:  Lots of Nuun, 1 PB Gu, 4 SCaps, and 5 Gatorade chews.

2 more super long runs, then its taper! taper! taper!


Looks like we are finally going to have some true Summer weather this coming week, so it will be morning runs before work.  WAY too hot and I'm not ready to be admonished to the 'new' treadmill just yet.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Things I Am Loving Right Now: Nuun Hydration, Lululemon Shake and Break Shorts, Peanut Butter and Co, and Quaker POPPED! Rice Chips

Nuun!  And especially the Cherry Limeade Flavor  Photo Credit:  Me
 I pound this stuff so much its like its my job.  Especially on Fridays.  LOTS AND LOTS OF NUUN ACTION.  Its all I drink now.  Sugar free and not that crap sugary "sports" drink everyone still thinks is good for them (and full of crap calories too).  I quit that long before Chicago Marathon 2011 and been completely water water water during training and any distance race since.  Until I found Nuun.  I needed more to replace the salt loss, plus its just darn good! 

They are 'caffeine infused' but its not like your all jittery.  Not even a little bit. 
Until I finally finished researching Nuun, its product(s) etc.  I've tried several flavors and have pretty much settled on the Cherry LimeAde and the TriBerry.  Doesn't hurt that I get it for 50% through work either since I go through the stuff like crazy.

It adds flavor, but not overwhelming so.  And again, SO much better for you than either sports drinks or those stupid chemical bombs called drops like Crystal Light or Mio.  Blargh.

The new style of Lululemon short(s)  Photo Credit:  Me  Photo App: A Beautiful Mess
 I ended up buying this new style of short (just out last week) ONLY because of the print.  That print in the Speed Shorts that I have been wearing for a few years now literally sold out within minutes both in stores and online.

So week ago Tuesday when I went online to stalk the new Lulu merch (comes out every Tuesday online), I saw these shorts.  Obviously there were no reviews since no one had them yet.  I wanted more information on them, so I used Lululemons online chat with a representative and after asking my questions I knew what to expect, was OK with it, and knew I had to size down.  That is important to remember.  If you normally wear a certain size in the Speed Short, size down for this style.

The picture leads you to believe that they might be higher waisted than the low drop on the Speed Short, but they seemed the same to me when I put them on.

They are longer, by about 1/2 inch which is fine.

The true test was to run in them, which I did this past Saturday and loved them!  Now I want the solid black pair; just haven't ordered them yet.

OMG.  LOVE.  LOVE.  LOVE.  Photo Credit:  The internet/stock image
Really, if you love peanut butter, you'll love this. Actually, if you only kind of like peanut butter, you'll love this. Wait, if right now, you said you hated peanut butter and still you tried this, you'd be an instant convert. Unless, of course, you have peanut allergies. Then forget I said anything.

They have different kinds, but unfortunately I am only able to get my hands on this and the Dark Chocolate Dreams right now here in the town I live in, but going to Cheyenne next weekend so I want to pick up a couple of different kinds that I haven't tried.  THIS one though, is soooooooooooooooooo good.  The Dark Chocolate Dreams one is OK, but I am still only on my 1st jar of it.  The Bee's Knee's, I go through that a lot faster than I should :O)

LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. these too!  Rice chips!   Phote Credit:  Me
Favorite Flavor (so far):  Cheddar
Ranch is OK; Would definitely buy them again, GREAT with the dill and greek yogurt dip I make

Still on the hunt for the Cracked Pepper and Sea Salt!

Yes they have chemicals, but hey we aren't perfect  :O)
Definitely one of my favorite 'cheats'!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Chicago Marathon Training Recap - Week 11

Up and at em early, out the door by 5:40am
Sometimes its just SO hard to get up and run before work!  I like getting up early, I always do, but I like to hang out, enjoy my coffee, check all forms of social media from overnight (I'm on FB, Twitter and Instagram), catch up by listening/watching either the local news or CNN...You get the idea.
When I run before work, its get up early enough to get out the door, run, get back, have time for a cup of coffee (or at least 1/2 cup) before having to get in the shower and get to work by around 7:30 (sometimes I don't care and get here at 8, like this morning). 
For whatever reason I only had 3 miles on my schedule today (along with a weights workout), so once again I made it a 5K.  I did my usual almost 3 mile loop but added on after a mile in by turning down a street to run 2 extra blocks so it would hopefully = 3 miles even.  Turns out it was just a wee bit more! 
45min yoga (I have Netflix streaming to my television, which has some good yoga as does Amazon Prime which I also have).  Note: Some of the Amazon Prime yoga videos are free, but also some are available for purchase for minimal $

I'm thinking about getting a 2nd Roku for downstairs living room too.  There is a lot more room down there since I use that space mainly for working out.  Only other time I have used it really was last Thanksgiving when I had 15 people over for dinner.

I do have plenty of room up on the main floor living room for yoga, but it would be nice just to have it down there.

Early to work
Late home from work
LOOOOOOOOOONG stressful day
Got those 5 miles in though! 

Up before 5 and running by 5:20
Had 7 miles to do but it came to 6.5 because a mile from home I had the angry tummy stuff start to happen and honestly I didn't even know if I was going to make it home.  But I did and well, I wasn't going to go back out to finish half a mile.  We'll call it even.  :)

Rest day

Cut back week
11 miles
One of the better, longer runs in a while.  I was up around 5:15 and out the door by 6 I guess it was?  Not exactly sure now.  I drove down to the park, parked, and off I went.
It was sooooo foggy and by the time I had finished the first loop, I was wet from it.  At times it felt like a sprinkle, but it wasn't.  Thankfully it lifted a bit after about the 3rd loop, but it hung around, keeping things cloudy which was nice.  It was in the mid to upper 50's and for whatever reason the humidity didnt seem as stifling as it was obviously high.

I didn't seem to get bored today either.  Another first.  I suppose its because I was just feeling good and just taking it loop by loop.

One thing that definitely seems to help is instead of counting forward, I count the loops backward.  Each one down and you know you are closer to that last one!  Whatever works right?

As soon as I was done, I headed straight down to the Farmers Market since I knew if I went home to shower first etc., I might end up not going.  I should have brought a cover up because with as wet as I was and the cool temps, I was cold.  But with all the rain we've had this year compared to last the crops are awesome and I really wanted some locally grown fruits and veggies!

I also wanted some of the homemade breads and cookies, but I didn't.  No one had any that were gluten free, but one of the vendors said they hope to get to that soon.  I sure hope so!

Hoping that I have as good of a day next week when I have 19 on the schedule.  Oy.  5 weeks to taper!  3 more loooong runs of 19, 20 and 22.

Lazed around in the morning (I so love my Sunday quiet time), then headed West to Wyoming for the day to hike/run some trails with Emily.
Cloudy and hazy when we left; actually had on a very light hoodie.  By the time we got to WY the sun was high, bright and hot.  Thank goodness I brought sunscreen!  And a handheld, but next time will bring the CamelBak for sure!

Some pics are in the previous post.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Pics (Just a few that is) From Wyoming Trail Hike Today

This hill was a BEAR:  and one of the places I fell coming back down  :)
Towards the front of the park and one of the first 'hills' we climbed; overlooking I-80

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Recent Picture: Ready for Fall!

Love my new Santa Fe/Fall colored chevron patterned dress!  Target 
online FTW!

New Hoodie!

Got this hoodie off of Etsy!  If you haven't checked out Etsy for some 
cute runner girl items, you should!  
What I especially liked is that I loved the saying but it was on a tank, and I really wanted it on the shirt you see there.  Let's face it in Nebraska its 9 months of Fall and Winter and a short 3 months of tank top wearing weather.  So I sent an email to the vendor, she immediately wrote back and said sure!  I can do that!  Great customer service and it shipped within a few days.  Came nicely wrapped in tissue along with a personal note with a bible verse on it.
The top is cut for a womans shape although the pic above doesnt really relay that so I thought I would mention it.
Just love love love her shop!
Check her out!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Chicago Marathon Training Recap - Week 10


I did NOT want to run today.  For a brief moment I thought about switching my rest days from Tues to Mon.  But then I knew that when tomorrow got here I would wish I hadn't.

I should have gotten up to run this morning, it was glorious out.  But no.  I stayed in bed.  I had a gym day today too, so that was really my reasoning.  Just do it all at the gym after work.  I was actually glad for the gym because damn it was hooooooooooooot out today!  Damn weather is so wishy washy here in the Summer.


So here is what I ended up doing:
30 min treadmill
1 mile on the elliptical Precor (the one with the moving arms too)
Then I did a HIIT:
10 rounds of:
100m sprint row
10 burpees
100m sprint

Lord.  By the 5th round I was dripping sweat and dying!  LOL

After I fiiiinally finished that I ended the workout of the day with 100 weighted (10lbs) of butterfly situps.


Lordy lordy.  To be honest I didn't know if I was actually going to get up and get 7 miles in before work.  When the alarm went off at 5am I was like 'ugh'.  How about we just put it off until this evening...and then I knew better.  It would suck much worse if I waited.  Besides I had the morning clear at work so I could get here past 8 and it would be fine.  AND the weather was awesome because a cool front came through last night (with 75mph winds thank you very much! and I lost power for about 1/2 hour).

So I got up, took my EnergyBits, and drank 1/2 cup of coffee, grabbed my water bottle full of Nuun, and I was out the door and on the road by 5:30.  It was a beautiful morning, but still my legs felt a bit sore.  At one point I thought oh just do 5.  You can do 2 tonight after work.  I had placed my water bottle on the loop that I do, and knew after 2 loops, if I headed back it would be just at 5 miles.  Another loop and it gives me 7.  I looked at my watch after 5 miles and knew I just needed to finish and be done with it!  So thats what I did. 

So glad too.  Why get up at that hour, have the luxury of time on my side and NOT finish?  That would just be dumb.  So off I went..

SO happy that I followed through on the plan.

Its been a while since I've done mid-week mileage of anything of that distance AND to get it done before work?


5K after work.  Literally 3.1 on the dot on a random route that I threw together.  I ran 2 miles, came back by the house for water, then took off again.  I will have to remember this one!
Rest day
 17 miles
Up at 4am, running by about 5:15.  I've been lucky with light winds on Saturday mornings, but this past Saturday it was quite strong.  Not tooooo strong, but coming from the South and the last thing I wanted to do was fight the wind every other mile on my loop.  So I drove over to the fairgrounds where Deadwood Trail ends, and decided to do a 2.25 loop from there running E to W.  The other good thing about this route is its off the main road of 10th and 13th where everyone and their brother sees me over and over again.  This time I was running in more of a residential area and with it being so early, I had very little traffic; none prior to 6:30.

After about 4 loops I guess I decided to fight the wind coming off the bluffs and run out on Deadwood, turn around and head back.  Just to get off the boring street and for something different.

Then after that I headed off E to W again but it was really starting to suck because the sun was up and running into it was killing me.  It was still cool, 60ish, but I hate the sun beating down on me unless its below 50 :)

So after 15 miles, I was getting water from my ice chest and decided to drive back to the house and finish up there.  At least I could run with some shade ever so often (S to N) and just would fight the wind coming back uphill.  It wasnt for long and I could come by the house and get water.  Did 1 mile.  Drink.  Another mile.  Done.

If ever I doubted it before I now know FOR CERTAIN that for as long as I am still here in Nebraska, this will be my last marathon I train for.  The boredom out there in beyond exhausting.  My legs are in the game, but I struggle  mostly from the boredom of it all, get discouraged, walk a time or two that I wouldnt otherwise..blah blah blah.

After this, it'll be half marathons only until ... well like I said, for as long as I am here.

I wish I could say I could drive somewhere else to run, but um, yeah.  No.  There isn't anywhere else TO run.  Sidney is literally in the middle of nowhere!

So for now, I will do the long miles on the boring boring boring same streets over and over until its time to run Chicago.

Hell if I thought I could manage training for a marathon on a treadmill I'd do that.  At least I'd have Netflix :)   But I am not one to be crazy enough to think I could do 26.2 on the roads with treadmill training.

6 weeks to taper!  I CAN DO THIS!
I had a 'maybe' to do 3 miles today depending on how I felt after yesterdays 17 but when I woke up this morning, after a somewhat broken sleep kinda night (BAD storms kept waking me up with the horrendous thunder and lightning), AND that my body felt a bit 'sore', I knew I needed the rest day after all.  Spending it doing food prep for the week, enjoying some Track and Field, and some more of Orange is the New Black!  LOVE that show and now I'm on the last episode of season 1 and I'm SAD!!!

Friday, August 9, 2013

So I Might Have Under-Estimated a Bit - Menopause and Training for a Marathon


Well as the title of this blog post suggests, I may have under-estimated the difficulty of training for a marathon while not in what I thought was still peri-menopause (turning into what I believe to be now full on menopause), or I over-estimated my ability to train as if nothing was changing.

Let me start off by saying to you now: Menopause is real ladies. Be prepared.

Certainly not every woman will have the same symptoms, the same level of discomfort, and then there are some that won't even notice a damn thing. I don't know about that last part to be honest, but its nice to dream. If the dream is only for others and not myself, so be it.

So back in Winter when I started really 'training' again for the half marathon in NYC, I am secure enough in that the difficulty I experienced getting back into that distance of running and training was due to just coming off months of an injury, a cross country move and settling into a new life. Running, for 7 months, had taken a back seat to *life*.

Then NYC happened and it didn't suck. So there was that.
Then there was Colfax (Denver) and that kinda sucked but because of the damn altitude; I was just as trained for that one as I was NYC.

Then shortly after that while training but not quite *training* for another full 26.2 miles started happening.

I know that a lot of my difficulty in motivation to get the long training runs stems from the fact that its boring as hell here for running; lets face it a town thats 6 sq ft miles doesn't give a runner a whole lot of options as to routes.

So I overcame that to some degree (not really but it makes it easier to believe everything is awesome if I write it down), and I still *seem* to struggle with endurance and certainly with the little bit of speed I had just a couple of years ago where I PR'd in the half and the full with a 2:06 on the half which isn't bad at all if I do say so myself. 

Then, and I know this might just be my brain, everything seemed to really change once 50 came and went.

For the past couple of years off BC pills, my periods were painful, but generally 28 days to the dot, with the onset of sometimes another one every 14 days to really make things awesome (peri-menopausal occurance so be prepared for that). Additionally when it came, it came with a fury and sometimes without a hint of its coming. One day you are just standing in the elevator for example, and the next thing you know you look down and you look like someone shot you and you're bleeding out. Not a joke. Real. True. Story.

Anyway as I was saying, last few years of this.
Then 50 happened in June. 2 weeks later, period came but something was different. It came, and it was gone. Like one last hurrah maybe?

It was fast. Furious. Plentiful.
For like 5 seconds.
There were no cramps. No chocolate cravings. No real fatigue.

All things I was use to leading up to *the day*.
Then, as I said, gone.

July has come and gone.
Now we are in to August and while we are a couple of weeks away, I'm wondering due to all the other things I am experiencing if we are in full blown menopause?

I'm going to go out on a limb and say "Yes".

I find myself with more 50/50 days of good vs bad as far as how I am feeling.

Some days I feel 'normal' and some days I might feel 'eh' and then some days its just horrible feeling.

I am fatigued a lot more than ever.  Some days I have what feels like an extremely high heart rate, like a fluttering in my chest.

And by fatigued, I mean some days just that, fatigue (tired, not sleepy), but then some days the fatigue=I need to sleep right now!

And then there will be days where I have huge amounts of energy.

It's all quite exhausting and frustrating.
Thankfully I haven't yet had to deal with insomnia or hot flashes.  AND I hope I never have to! 

I am certain my diet and exercise helps tremendously with the majority and severity of my symptoms, but trying to train for a marathon during it has me all in a tizzy!

I know I will get through it, it'll be tougher than I've ever had to deal with, but still, doable.

On race day I may or may not be slower, may or may not be the same.  Who knows?  Thats any time, not just during this trying time of what I suspect as I said is full on menopause.

I am going to start assigning a number to each day:  1-10 for level of severity of symptoms.  1 being the least amount of symptoms with 10 being the worst.
I am also going to start tracking what those symptoms were specifically.

Maybe that will help me figure out a pattern.  Or not.  Either way its some insight as to what I'm going through on a day to day basis throughout the training cycle.

I know that this won't last forever, and I hope its over sooner rather than later, but in the meantime I just have to accept it for what it is.

Mother Nature vs the Chicago Marathon.
This should be interesting.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Chicago Marathon Training Recap - Week 9


Got up and out the door around 5:30am for a short 4 miler.  EXTREMELY humid and crappy.  Blech.
And by EXTREMELY I mean it was 100% at least thats what my weather app on my iPad said.  Dude thats TEXAS humidity, NOT Nebraska!  LOL!  Darn monsoon season.  (It's been humid, cloudy and rainy for 3 days now).  I'm hoping its almost over.  Last year at this time I had just moved here and it was just hot and dry.  No monsoon season up in here last year fo sho!  LOL.

Worked from home.  Didn't feel like going to the gym after work day was done (Mondays are full of people that don't do shit over the weekend so they try and make up for it on Mondays and Tuesdays).  Different city, different State, but same yahoo's in the gym early week.

So I hit the basement for some jump ropes, abs, planks, pushups with the stability ball and some overall stretching.


5 miles  


I literally was fighting off sleep at work this afternoon.  I had 6 miles to do, but honestly there was NO way that was going to happen.  I came home, laid down and passed out for 2 hours.  So strange.  So hormonal.  When I woke up I thought well I should do SOMETHING.  I'll at least go walk a couple of miles.
Well I got a mile from home and decided to go all the way to the 1.5 mile turnaround.  Then on  my way back I thought OK, feeling a bit better, lets go a little further to make almost 4 miles.  Then I started basically doing a run/walk.  I didnt have my Garmin on so I just made landmarks to run to, then walk a bit, run, walk.  Repeat.  Repeat.  Repeat.  Until I got home.

Proof positive that sometimes the process of just getting started is the hardest part.  So since tomorrow was a gym day and 4 miles, I did the 4 miles today and tomorrow we'll get those 6 done!


What a difference a day makes!  YAY!  Storm was moving in so I headed to the gym and banged out 6 miles on the treadmill.  Felt REALLY good too!
Then I did 45 min of weights/HIIT.  HIIT's consisted of either speed jacks (25) after each round of weights OR I would do 100m sprint around the track.  It basically depended on what weight exercise I was doing which one I chose.  I did 4 sets on each weights session, with a sprint of either of those after each set.  Talk about a sweaty mess by the end!  Felt GRRRRRRRRRRREAT!

Rest day! 


The craptastic weather made me decide to do this weeks cut back miles on the treadmill.  2 hours and 4 min later I was done.  Since I had to restart the TM at the gym after an hour and I didn't see the mileage, nor did I the 2nd time around...well since I had 11 miles to do, we're going to call it good and that it happened :)  I was mixing up the pace, faster sometimes, slower at other times, depending.  I was going to go for 2:15 just to end on the 1/4 hour (OCD), but I happened to check my phone and saw I had missed 2 calls from my brother and had a text message from my sister.

Never a good sign so early on a Saturday.

After I called both of them back (an uncle passed away), I stayed at the gym, did some soul crushing ab's and then decided well since the weather is so yuk yuk, if I have to be inside might as well make it productive!  So I did some weights.  My shoulders were still a bit sore from Thurs workout and even though all the running had loosened them up, I did weights.  Just because.  Like I said, stuck inside.  Make it count!

Over 3 hours of working out and I felt really great!


4 miles