Thursday, April 17, 2014

Let's Talk Marathon Training...

I have not talked about it much here, but I am running my third marathon on April 27th. I officially registered for the Memorial Marathon a week ago. I never thought I would run the full in OKC again, after the first time, and then after I tried a second time. I was back out there for the half last year, and it was pretty full of disappointment for me. So with all of our history, why not sign up to run this race again.

I know, I know, there is a lot to be said about being able to sleep in your own bed the night before a race. And yes, I do realize that logistically the location of my office being smack in the center of the race start and finish, including real bathrooms and free parking is a major win. Even with all of that I am having a some anxiety about this race. What will the weather be like? (No hail, please!). Have I trained enough? Am I really stronger mentally than I was a year ago?

Is the third time really a charm?

You might be asking yourself, with all this anxiety, why would I sign up for this race? It's a valid question.

Can I claim peer pressure? Probably not. My fabulous friend Sarah was planning on running it. I had been running strong, and thought, why let all this strong running go to waste? Instead of junk miles, how about marathon training miles? There you have it. To the non-marathoner I do realize that this probably sounds insane. To be honest for this two time marathoner, it sounds insane.

So in nine days I will be lining up for marathon number three. I am nervous and excited to see what OKC has in store for me; I do love a good story. Lots of questions, and the answers will be here soon enough.

Oh yeah, did I mention that I signed up for marathon number four today? Now that sounds insane!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Let's Talk About Food...

I haven't done a WIAW post in a while. Who am I kidding really? I have seriously been neglecting my blog most of 2014. There has been stuff going on, running and baking and family stuff.

Let's talk about the food. I think I am a pretty boring food person. I eat the same things over and over again. No wonder Carson is like that, maybe it's hereditary? 

I have rediscovered my love for avocado egg salad sandwiches. It's a great post long run food. 

We have had a couple of recent trips to Blu for their fabulous blue cheese chips. They are the best!

I have switched up my soup of the week a couple of times and went with orzo with veggies the other week. Yum!

Back to my soup of the week last week with roasted red pepper and barley. Where have red peppers been all my life? Why would anyone waste their time with green bell peppers? Red peppers are the best!

I have not neglected my family in the cookie department. Even with all the sugar cookies and cakes lately, I have still made versions of my chocolate chip cookies pretty consistently for them for the last few months. Nothing says love like homemade cookies. One of my biggest compliments lately was a friend's son who said he wanted to come with her to stop by my house because I always have cookies. Cookies with wine? Even better. 

Do beverages count as food? After a 21 mile long run I think they do. This was my ice bath beverage bar. The Svelte protein shake was so good! So chocolatey and delicious. Hot tea to warm me up while sitting in the ice and a tall glass of Nuun to rehydrate. 

Last night while the meat eaters in my house had steak I had couscous with roasted sweet potatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. I'm so glad I prepped these on Sunday. It was fast and filling. 

So there you have it. I have been eating a lot lately. Marathon training makes me hungry!

Strides of March Half Marathon...

Since it's been over a month, I should probably tell you about the half marathon I ran last month.

What could be better than a half marathon that is dirt cheap ($45!), well run, and practically down the street from your house? It's the trifecta of running, in my opinion!

We knew it was going to be a good race, when we went to packet pick up and the wonderful volunteers were more than happy to get us the size race shirt (technical!) that would fit us the best. The volunteers at packet pick up really set the tone for the event I think.

Woke up to a beautiful Sunday morning, met up with some of my favorite running peeps and we took the 15 minute drive to Draper. There was plenty of parking, though my only complaint of the day was that there were only five port-o-potties at the start of the race. While we were there in plenty of time, we missed our window and the lines were way to long by the time we got over to them. Note to self, use the bathroom as soon as you see it, especially if the line is not long.

It was a beautiful morning!

The race started right on time, and we were off on the rolling hills around the lake. While I was looking for a little half marathon redemption, I was not out to PR this race. After running strong in Tulsa, I was just looking to do the same but maybe do it a little faster this time.

Rochelle, Sarah and I settled into a comfortably hard pace. We chatted along, talked to a few other runners and the miles just ticked off. Before we knew it we were at the turn around. I loved the out and back course, and the route support was fantastic. They had water at about every mile or so and the volunteers did all they could to get it to everyone that wanted it. It was nice to cheer on the other runners after the turn around, and the guy that were pulling up the rear gave us a good laugh.

At the half my official split was 57:06. At about mile 10 we picked up the pace a little. Sarah and Ro headed off and I pulled out my iPod at mile 11 and pushed it to the finish line. The rolling hills were tough on the way back, but the downhill to the finish was a nice reward for the had work. I didn't look at my watch the entire race, and crossed the finish line in 1:52:37, well beyond my expectations for the day. It was not a PR, but it's my fastest and strongest half since I PR'd at Cowtown two years ago.

We didn't get pictures at the start, but we had plenty at the finish line.

Carrie, Sarah, me and Ro

My three speedy friends all finished top three in their age groups. I was fourth, and they had me in the right age group so no unexpected trophy for me like at the Sooner State Games. They were able to pick up their winnings quickly and we headed off to brunch.

I cannot say enough about how fantastic this race was. I almost hate to tell everyone how fantastic it was because I love the small local races and when word gets out this race will definitely get bigger. Well organized, fabulous volunteers, and plenty of food and water at the finish line. We will definitely be back next year.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Seriously, There Was a Trail Race…

I think the statute of limitations is about to run out on my January trail race. I have been thinking about this recap for weeks, but it seems like most of my free time has been occupied by sugar cookies or sleep lately. We will have to talk about the sugar cookies later.

First, let’s talk about my first race of 2014! I use the term race loosely here because there was definitely no racing going on. I think I have mentioned before that I am not an outdoors person, although there is evidence to the contrary the last five years or so. I’m not going to lie, I was glad to be doing this particular race in the winter where I wouldn’t have to worry about running into any unfriendly critters out on the trail.

About 24 hours after I decided to sign up for the Sooner State Games Trail Race, Sarah, Rochelle, Anne and I headed out to Draper for our first official (read: they gave us timing chips) trail race. We had no trouble picking up our bibs and had plenty of time to get some pictures.

Me, Sarah, Anne and Rochelle.
Ben & I
We had signed up for the 12 mile race. The course was a four mile loop, and the 12-milers started first. I tried to settle into a comfortable and sustainable pace and not slow anyone behind me down. The 8-milers started five minutes later and it felt like the Hunger Games when we heard their gun go off and knew that they were going to be chasing slow pokes like me down. The third gun for the 4-miles went off five minutes after that.

My speedy friends headed off and after settling in I made it through the first loop with only a stubbed toe. It turned out to be much warmer than I expected and I had to shed my long sleeve shirt and gloves in the first loop. As I started the second loop, I was wondering why I hadn’t signed up for the 8 mile race, or the 4 mile race. Oh the things your friends will convince you to do.

The best thing about this race was the water stop that was half way through the loop. My friend Julie was out there and it was so nice to see a friendly face! By the third loop I could have sworn that I was the last person out on the trail. With all the 4 and 8 milers pretty much done, there was no one ahead of me or behind me that I could see. Julie promised me that I was not last.
Julie and I
As I came to the end of the last loop, Ben was waiting and ran the rest of the way to the finish line with me. I think he wanted to make sure I was still alive. I am not going to lie, I was ready to be done. My official time was 2:21. This was the longest run, time wise, for me since the marathon last February. Oh were my legs tired. Trail running is hard.

We waited around for my three speedy friends to collect their medals for their top three finishes in their age groups. As we were getting ready to leave they called my name. Last time I checked, Rochelle and I were in the same age group, but it turned out they had my age listed as 56! Unofficially, I won the 55-59 age group. They were nice enough to let me keep the medal for winning that age group. Not bad for a 56 year old!

It was a great day, and I definitely want to do another trail race. I just love the laid back feel of the trails, and enjoyed just running to run, and not have any self-inflicted pressure to run fast or get a certain time. There was an added bonus this day of not falling on my face, the avoidance of which is what slows me down the most on the trails. I enjoyed the Draper trails.

Not a bad start to racing in 2014.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

WIAW, What Did I Take Pictures Of...

I haven't done a WIAW post in ages. I usually have trouble taking pictures of everything I eat in one day. But I do eat the same thing a lot.

I have eaten a few cookies lately, but I have bakes a ton of sugar cookies lately. Based on the number I have made I have eaten only a few. More on the cookies later, but here is one picture of some that I made last night.

I did a little post half marathon carb loading on Sunday night, mostly because spaghetti is so easy to make and I was able to talk Josh into making the garlic bread. Mush to the disappointment of the teenagers. I threw in some steamed Brussels sprouts with mine.
Tonight the family had steak for dinner so I opted for a baked sweet potato with black beans, cheese and salsa. Steamed broccoli and Brussels sprouts on the side.
This has been one of my favorite meals lately. Let's call it a BBQ ranch veggie burger wrap with cheese and lettuce. A side of baked curly fries to go with it.
I have been making a pot of soup watch week for the past few months. Makes packing my lunch extremely simple. I have taken to just starting with a good soup base and then throwing in whatever sounds good that week. I decided on this soup during our half marathon Sunday morning. Navy bean and potato. Yum! I used my immersion blender on part of ot and the beans and potatoes thickened the soup quite nicely.

So there you have it, finally a WIAW post. It's been a little crazy with all the cookie making, but I have still had some yummy eats.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Hello There...

I don't know about you, but my life has been a little crazy so fat this year. Between family, work, running and baking I feel like I never sit down anymore. Although, technically I am sitting almost the entire time I am at work, but you get the idea.

So how about a little summary that I will go into more detail on in the next few days? Okay, good. 

  • Number of weeks left until my girls are officially high schoolers? 9.5
  • Number of times the Service Engine Soon light has been texted to Josh because it has made another appearance? At least 3. 

I have been told that this is nothing to worry about.
  • Number of miles logged in 2014. 242
  • Number of miles logged in my latest pair of Brooks Ravenna 4s. 204 (I am very sad to be about 2/3 of the way through these shoes. Not sure if the 5s are for me. 

If you can believe it, I am actually stretching here, not just showing off my awesome shoes.

  • Number of races so far in 2014. 2 (Number of recaps, none so far, I will be getting to this.)
  • Number of sock cookies made in 2014. About 8 dozen, with another 2.5 dozen to make this weekend. 

I am sad I didn't make these when my girls were small. Carson loved her sock monkeys.

It's been a pretty eventful year so far. I am going to try to get better at keeping track of it all. More later!

Friday, January 24, 2014

How About a Trail Run...

I have been thinking about what my first race of 2014 would be.  I think maybe I haven't really wanted to jinx myself my actually planning a race, and when I woke up this morning I had no races scheduled.

What a difference a day makes.

I have been saying that I would like to run an actual trail race.  One with registration fees, race t-shirts, timing chips and aid stations.  Looks like I'm going to get my wish.

Tomorrow at 9 am, I will be participating in the Sooner State Games trail race.  I actually registered for this event in 2011, but I believe it got snowy/icy and we opted to run our planned long run for marathon training instead.  There is no backing out now.

What's even better is three of my favorite running peeps will be joining me on the trails, and I will get so see some of my favorite trail runners too.  It should make for a very interesting day.

Oh yeah, and did I mention that we are doing the long race?  It's only 12 miles, and I know that the "only" portion of that statement is purely subjective, but up until now, the farthest I have ever run/walked on trails is six miles.  Peer pressure from my running friends sure makes my life more interesting!

Of course, now the big question is: What do we wear?  Guess I need to work on a little carb loading and hydration.