Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Let's Talk Training

I haven't done one of these posts in about forever so I figured now that race day is on Sunday then now would be a good time!  Lol!  One thing that I always strive to do...and please know that I am in no way perfect at this...is to balance strength training and running.  I find that this has kept me relatively injury free for the past 16 years that I have been running.  Even as a catcher for many many years I have focused on strengthening my legs to prevent any injury to my knees, so transitioning this into running injury free it made sense.
My goal has been to get in at least 3 strength training sessions each week and 3-4 runs varying in length.  Now because I have an hour from when the gym opens to when I need to leave, this sometimes means that I am doing either a run or strength training at home.  For my half marathon training I have been following the "Own It" plan from the Train Like a Mother book.  Now I'm not certain I am going to "own" Sunday's race but I really like the intensity of the plan!  For strength training this month I have been following the workouts from my BeFit calendar (stay tuned for a giveaway next week!).  I feel like I go through waves with workouts.  I try to vary them but I am much better when I have a plan to follow.  After this race I'm planning on cutting down my miles (for a bit) and focusing more on strength and speed work.  Here is what last week looked like for me (It was my last week before tapering for this weekend's race):

Monday: 3 miles easy...Did these on the treadmill at the gym and then added in Dynamic Strength for two rounds
Tuesday: 4 miles (2 mid miles at race pace)
Wednesday: I rode the bike for 20 minutes to warm-up (actually wake up I mean) and then Cardio Extreme for 2 rounds.
Thursday: 5 mile ladder workout...I had forgotten how much I love ladder workouts!  Added bonus is that it helps make the miles fly by!
Friday: Another bike session to warm up and then Total Body Shred for 2 rounds.
Saturday: 10 miles...I met up with my friends at Marathon Sports on their "field trip" to my area to run!  I LOVE running with others especially when I have had a lot of solo long runs!  I can only talk to myself so much!
Sunday: REST....well as much as you can when you have chores and children!

Do you work in strength training into your week?  How often?  What does it look like?

I also wanted to share that I was featured on the Fit Mom Strong Mom page as today's Strong Momma!  I'm excited to be a part of this group!  They were so cute in sending me a fun good luck charm for this Sunday's race!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Monday Motivation

Many times this past week as we were driving in the car, my oldest and I talked about when she grows up (something I'd love to freeze thank you very much!).  Each time we talked I made sure to tell her that she can do whatever she wants to do.  We talked about gifts...about our own unique journey...our own path...our own mark.  I spoke with her about things I thought I was meant to do, like be a missionary to Africa....and how I was blessed to be a teacher of African refugees for many years...making a daily difference in their lives.  We all have our own unique path...our own mark!  Don't be so busy making your path look like someone else's that you don't see YOUR mark!  Forge that path and celebrate the marks you leave!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Freeze Time

While we are thawing out today from our deep freeze over the weekend, seriously it was below zero yesterday and now it's almost 50, this week we are on school break.  I don't want to fill this blog with empty content and I also don't want to spend my time off staring at a computer screen....so that being said I'll be back on Monday with some motivation for you to start your week off!  In the meantime I'll be with my people!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Friday Faves!!

The past two weeks I have had a headache that stops me in my tracks.  It comes and goes which is helping me rule out the brain tumor I was thinking (yes I always overreact!) and it seems to coincide with work...hmmmmmm....coincidence I think not!  I'm sure it is stress related...blah blah blah...this is life so on we go!  It is however painful to look at a screen too long...ugh!...so I'm making this one short and sweet!  Add that to the fact that it is the day before February break....and Valentine's Day...and I work as an elementary school teacher...yeah craziness enough to last a lifetime!!  So here are a few things I'm loving lately!

BeFit...I'm working on a campaign through FitApproach with BeFit.  We were sent a fat burner, pre-workout, and protein as well as a workout plan and videos.
I haven't started the videos yet (Sunday) but I am loving the pre-workout the most of the three!  I have used a few pre-workouts in the past and have had really strong reactions to them....one time I even went to the ER convinced I was going to come out of my skin!  However, I have tried this one a few times and I love it!!  It is just enough to help me really push myself during a workout but not so much that I feel like I'm going crazy!  Stay tuned because I'm going to be sharing some with the class!!

Saucony Mittens...Tomorrow I have my long run scheduled.  I have been a little too loose for my liking during this training round and considering my race is in 3 weeks I need to get focused!  The hiccup is that the weather is supposed to be BELOW ZERO!!!  Yes my friends there is a weather warning but I'll be out there!!!  I'm thankful I have my Saucony mittens to save the day!

I used to just wear gloves and always found that my fingers were like individually wrapped Popsicles by the end of my run.  These mittens are awesome and keep my fingers nice and toasty!!  Now to find a solution for the rest of my body!

Olympic trials...I am so excited for the marathon trials tomorrow!!!
I always love the Olympics and get wicked excited every time they roll around!  Since many of my students are from Brazil, we are going to be doing a HUGE project later in the year all about the Olympics!!  I'm psyched!  I have loved watching all the promos for the women's marathon!  It just gives me chills!!!  I can't wait to see how the race pans out!!  I am so sad to hear about Deena Kastor having to pull out of the trials due to injury!  I'm sure it is always a hard decision...heartbreaking!

What are you loving these days??  Any good cures for a headache?  I'm not a huge fan of pills.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


It's either the snow (please know that I am in no way shape or form complaining about the snow...especially after the 100 inches we got last year!) or the cold winds, but I am currently hitting a major writer's block.  I have a few things on the burner cooking that I am psyched to share with you but I want to see how they pan out first before I post.  Where does that leave me?  Well with a few ideas and not a lot of writing going on!  I decided to hop on the Keeping Mommy Sane train and do a post about what's currently happening in Fancy Nancy land!

Currently Watching...
So my DVR gets pretty full during the week since most of the shows that I watch come on after oh let's say 8pm and it's 50/50 that I fall asleep watching them!  That means I get to binge watch reality TV like Fit to Fat to Fit, Biggest Loser, and Real Housewives, but what I am totally loving lately is Girlfriend's Guide to Divorce.  Don't tell Sarah Jessica Parker but I may have found something to cure my Sex and the City itch!

Currently Loving...
Pinterest.  I go through phases with Pinterest usage.  If it is close to the girls' birthdays or a holiday my usage goes up.  Case in point this week as chickie and I scope out for the perfect Valentine for her classmates.  Boom enter Pinterest!  I suddenly look far more crafty and like I actually have my shit together!!  Just hit print and stick a ring pop on and I'm Martha Stewart!!

Current Needs...
A hair cut something fierce but not complaining because I have a plan and an appointment has been made!

Currently Excited For...
School vacation!  We don't have anything crazy planned but I love time to just have fun with the girls!  We are planning a trip to Boston and maybe a day trip here and there!

Currently Reading...
Highlights magazine!  Did you have these growing up?  I remember I used to line up all my stuffed animals and I would read to them from my Highlights!  Now my girls get the magazine and I love reading it with them and having my oldest read it to me!!  As far as adult books go I am reading Carry on Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton aka Momastery.  I saw her last summer and LOVE her!!!

Currently Annoyed By...
Clutter!  It happens every winter (thank you to my husband for reminding me of this) but our house suddenly becomes very small and cluttered.
As my husband explained it probably has more to do with the fact that we are inside the house far more and not in fact that my children are walking around the house just throwing things into the air and leaving them where they fall (although I'm not ruling that out either).  This leaves me ready and willing to throw out whatever is in front of me!  I went through my shoes the other day and put 6 pairs...yes 6 pairs in a bag to give away (see it's not just my children) and I'm a little embarrassed to say there are still 6 pairs in my closet!!

Currently Thankful For...
My family.  Yes I did just say that the clutter is driving me bonkers and that I feel like my kids are doing it just to see me lose my mind, but in all the craziness and busyness I am so thankful to have two healthy girls and a supportive husband.  We went last week to scope out a preschool for our tiny tornado and after walking out my husband and I looked at each other in disbelief that we were at a place where she was old enough to go to school!  That quote about the days being long but the years short is just so true and I feel now more than ever that I need to make sure I am giving thanks for the right nows instead of looking ahead!

Current Drink...
Coffee....big giant mugs of it!!!  However the other day while there was a blizzard raging outside I cracked open my giant Skinny Girl Margarita and enjoyed it!!  If it isn't summer it can at least taste like it!

Currently Training For...
So Hyannis Half Marathon is at the end of February.  I haven't written a lot about my training this time around mostly because it is one of those races that could go either way.  Winter on the Cape is moody at best so I am nervous about the weather, but training has been going pretty well!  I'm excited be at the race but the weather not so much!  After Hyannis I'm taking some time until my next race...my favorite hometown race Newport 10 Miler in June!

What's currently going on with you?

Monday, February 8, 2016

Monday Motivation

This past week I missed some workouts/runs that were important for me in reaching my goals.  A combination of snow and time restrictions made it difficult to get the workouts in that I needed.  It happened but I'm moving on.  I'm not throwing it all in because I missed workouts.  This week is looking like there will be even more challenges due to a blizzard today and more snow during the week, but I'm sticking to my goals and I'm getting the job done!  We all have missteps...challenges that we don't always conquer...but that doesn't mean we need to throw it all away.  Today is a new day and good choices are waiting to be made!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Runner's Reset...Lessons Learned

I was so happy to be able to be part of the Runner's Reset with Laura again this year.

 I know that I have written a few things that I have learned from doing the reset but I wanted to put a final stamp of reflection on it.  Laura is incredibly knowledgeable and a very easy person to work with!  If you are struggling with nutrition or just feeling off...check her out!  She's great!  So here are a few of the many things I learned on this 21 day reset.

Prep is King...I knew this before the reset but it was a great reminder after the holidays and life being crazy.  I prepped my lunches and snacks for the week on Sunday.  This meant I was cooking big batches of chicken and broccoli, boiling a bunch of eggs, making a big batch of soup packed with veggies, and portioning it all out so that at the beginning of the day I could stand in front of my fridge and just fill my lunch box!  The portioning out is key for me because I have about 30 min in the morning to pack my daughter's lunch as well as my own and everyone's breakfast.  If everything is already packed and weighed then it is a 1 minute process!  I also tried to prep a few things for dinner for the week too but I wasn't always successful.  Going forward my goal is to continue this as well as add an additional prep day Thursday or Friday for the weekend so I can stay on track!

Wait it Out...My cravings come at two very distinct times of day...late afternoon when I am walking in the door from work and after the girls go to bed.  Late afternoon cravings are ALL THE FOOD cravings while the nighttime cravings are more sweets.  I found, especially with the night cravings, is that if I just would wait even just a half hour, they would either go away or it would be time for dinner...or I fell asleep!  This admittedly is a challenge for me especially for those afternoon ones and has always been a weak time for me.  I am going to practice more waiting it out and busying myself to allow the craving to pass.

Mind your Training...The biggest revelation that I had was when it came to my training and weight I was/am carrying.  As a distance runner(I still feel like a poser every time I write that!) I take 4 month or so cycles to train for a race.  I would say in the past 4-5 years (with the exception of when I was pregnant) I have been keeping myself at half marathon ready.  This has meant I am more or less always following a training plan.  Now I do this because I love the structure of a plan but also so that I can maintain the cardio base that I have built.  As a mother runner, I have a small window of time to get in my runs most of the time.  During the week I have about an hour and about 2 hours (that's pushing it) on the weekend to get in a long run.  What does that mean for me?  Lots of speed work!  What I have learned from Laura is that I may be training my body to hold onto weight especially around my middle!!!  During the reset (and I fully admit I am an absolute work in progress on this because it is changing a deep-seeded mindset) I tried easy runs, fasted runs (which most of my runs are fasted by nature), and speed work.  I also started incorporating more Omega 3s and a probiotic into my daily practice.  I will get back to you on that progress as I continue longer.  It has been hard to really mentally make myself run easy since I want to fit ALL THE MILES into NO MINUTES but I am willing to keep trying if it is going to mean a better feeling...and let's be honest to get rid of my belly!!

Have you ever changed your way of training?  Have you ever done a reset?

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

#WinterWarrior in Review

This past month of January I took the Winter Warrior Challenge with Marathon Sports.
As I have posted about before, the challenge is to run at least 1 mile outside every day for the month of January.  Now I have tried the challenge in the past but flu and blizzards have kept me from completing the challenge.  Thankfully we were all healthy this year and have had it pretty easy with the weather considering.  The biggest challenge for me this month was getting in the OUTDOOR miles.  Once I start school again and the sun disappears far earlier each day, my miles are usually confined to a treadmill except for the weekends.  I'm too afraid to run alone in the dark and sometimes the temps were far too low to have my girls out for the fun.  This meant a lot of miles during my 25 minute lunch!  I actually loved it and was feeling out of sorts yesterday morning when I wasn't carrying my bag of running gear to school!  I like getting out during my day for a dose of Vitamin D and some sweat!  I tried to be a good blogger and take as many pictures as I could....so here's a rundown of the month!!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Monday Motivation

The other day I was having a conversation with my oldest.  It was after her skating lesson...the one where she let the instructor pull her around on the ice for an hour after we had talked the whole way there that this was going to be the lesson when she was going to skate on her own.  We talked all about courage and how proud she felt last lesson when she finally was able to skate on her own.  We talked about how hard she had worked and how she just kept trying her best.  We even prayed before we got out of the car for courage.  And then as soon as she stepped out on the ice...she grabbed her hands...and began to coast.  During our talk I encouraged her to stop quitting on herself before she could be as great as she is....to stop fearing failure so much that she quits.  And all the while I was saying it, I couldn't help but think of myself...all those goals I have set for myself that are the same exact goals as last year because I never reached them.  All the times I have said, "This is the time" and fell just short of my goals or sabotaged my progress continually!  I need to stop quitting on me....I owe it to myself...and to my girls.
Don't quit on yourself before you can be great!!