Wednesday, September 19, 2012

You Lucky Dog

**Soon I will get back to a running post.  In the meantime, I have a post about a cause that is near and dear to my heart to tide ya over ;-) **

It goes without saying that I love my dog.  Every post has had some mention of Maddux.  A little over a year ago I got him from a wonderful organization.  Lucky Dog Animal Rescue was the perfect choice for me when I was searching for my forever friend.  They had many great dogs to choose from and were so helpful when I was trying to decide if Maddux would be a good fit for my home.  They are truly dedicated to finding these amazing animals HOMES, not just a roof to go over their heads.

Our first family photo.

That being said, LDAR operates solely on the love of volunteers and foster parents.  They don't have a physical shelter, yet they save hundreds of lives from high kill shelters through their dedication and hard work.  They are extremely organized, and the adoption events run smoothly with each adoption coordinator knowing important information about their foster pups.

Many of us are not in the position to adopt a dog, and that's fine.  Having a dog is work!  Maddux is one of the greatest joys in my life, but not everyone is able to commit to adding another family member.  For those of you who want to help, I encourage you to vote for Lucky Dog Animal Rescue in the Chase Community Giving contest.  Maddux's mothership could win $10,000!  Today is the last day to vote and they need all the votes they can get to send them into the top 196 (I know, weird number, right?).

So, please vote.  Without LDAR I wouldn't have Maddux.  Then I wouldn't have anything to write about and the blog would be sad and have no pictures.  THANK YOU!!!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Weekend Fun

This weekend was one of the most relaxing I've had in a long time.  Saturday morning after pancakes I went downtown to buy new running shoes.  I met up with my friend and her nice boyfriend after my trip to Pacers for Starbucks and some shopping.

Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back!  I got the via packs in hopes that I can save some money with a close alternative to the real thing.  It was so nice and warm on Saturday that I opted for the frappuccino version.  It was amazing!  I can't believe it took me so long to order one!

Please be good! 

After Starbucks we headed to Loft for the 30 percent off sale.  I probably spent way too much on this dress, but I loved it!  The zipper in the back caught my eye from across the store and I knew I had to try it on.  I probably should have taken pictures from the dressing room because the experience was kind of funny.  I had on my running shoes so that the people at the running store could help me decide if they were still the right fit.  Between the shoes and the messy ponytail I had quite a few joking comments from the other ladies there.

It was amazing how drastically the weather changed from the morning to the afternoon.  There was a pretty bad storm with some tornado sightings, so I knew my outdoor run wasn't going to happen.  I opted for a treadmill run after the worst had passed and ended up doing 6 miles in 55:24.  I felt like I pushed hard, but was still able to enjoy my run.  After running a warm up mile I did a faster mile.  After that I did a couple minutes of incline between 1.5 and 2 (I normally run with it set at level 1).  The inclines didn't feel too hard, but definitely added in a little extra workout.  I finished with a strong last mile.

My nice friend came up after my run to go to a jazz festival with me.  Even though we dressed expecting some rain, it turned out to be really nice out and we enjoyed a good hour and a half of Brazilian jazz.  Although I think I like a more traditional style, the saxophonist was amazing and the percussionist was really fun and even did some break dancing!

Sunday was a very lazy day.  I invested in another Champion sports bra from target and a new running tank!  I'll have to post a picture later because I think it's actually kind of cute for a running shirt!  The way it is cut is girly and fun and it's nice and long.  No riding up here!

I had postponed the debut of my shoes because I felt like our first run together shouldn't be done on the treadmill.  I took them out for about a 4 mile spin (my Nike+ is definitely not calibrated...) around my neighborhood.  It was tough (agh hills....agh sore quads), but I powered through and my shoes felt great!  I'm really digging the green laces.

Hello, I love you.

This week I am planning on running a mile tomorrow, about 45 minutes on Wednesday, and 10 miles at some point over the weekend (outside fingers crossed!).  I stocked up on more Clif Shot Bloks and am planning on being smart about using them this time.

Happy Monday!  I hope everyone has a fantastic week!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Saturday and the World's Thickest Pancakes

The weekend is finally here!  For a short week it felt incredibly long.

I have not been on a run since the Larry Noel.  It's not exactly how I planned it.  Yes, I realize that is not ideal.  Life got in the way and honestly when it is hot and humid and I am flashing vivid memories of the race, other plans were looking a little better..

Wednesday has been my normal run day since Maddux's dog walker comes during the day and I know that he has not been alone the entire time I'm at work.

One of my friend who I had been trying to get together with for literally months asked if I could go to Dogfish Head Alehouse and it was an easy decision.  It was great to catch up with a friend I hadn't seen in years and have my favorite beer.

On Thursday I decided to make up for my lack of activity by doing some sets of butt and thigh exercises.  I am still feeling it today!

  • Leg Lifts-1 minute each side
  • Bridge-1 minute
  • Stationary Lunges holding 5 pound weights-1 minute each side
  • Squats holding 5 pound weights-1 minute
  • Butt Kick Backs (no idea what these suckers are actually called...)-1 Minute each leg followed by pulses 1 minute each leg.
  • Leg Lifts-1 minute each side
  • Stationary Lunges holding 5 pound weights-1 minute each side
  • Squats holding 5 pound weights-1 minute
For approximately a 15 minute workout I definitely felt a good burn and it was something I could easily do at home.  Winner in my book.  Added bonus: I am trying to incorporate more butt exercises in my life to help with my IT band issues.  I heard through the grape vine it works.  So far I haven't had as many problems, but my running has been lackluster these days, so that might be it....

Friday was full of excuses.  Work had to be evacuated right when it was about time to go home and we sat out for over an hour before I finally decided to forget all the work I had waiting on my desk and just go home.  Maddux was regressing to his hulk days.  I swear we went out at least 8 times before he calmed down.  Poor guy.  I hope he's not feeling bad.  I traded my run for pajamas and episodes of My Boys on Netflix.

Me?  The Hulk?  No way...

I need a strategy to get back on my plan.  I still have a solid 4 weeks until my half marathon.  I am going to invest in some new running shoes this weekend which will hopefully be motivation in itself.  I am planning on writing down all the runs I want to do on like 17 calendars so they are constantly in my face.  I usually tend to do things that are written down.  Gotta love checklists :-)

This morning my goal is to run 6 miles.  Maddux woke me up earlier than I wanted to, and since it is gray out I am in the process of making pancakes.  I guess it's because the original recipe didn't call for any milk, but holy cow these bad boys are thick!

Pancakes or biscuits?

I ended up adding a ton of milk to make them a more pancake like consistency.  The little bite I had didn't seem like the recipe was going to be worth sharing, even though they seem to be pretty healthy (greek yogurt and no extra sugar!).

Other than that, I have no weekend plans minus my speed work tomorrow.  It's going to be a gloriously lazy weekend.  

Monday, September 3, 2012

Larry Noel 15k Race Recap

We're going to play a game called The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly for today's post because I think the race fits nicely into those buckets, plus my writing probably needs some organization help.  Here we go!

The Good: The weekend was off to a great start, which is no surprise because it is not only a weekend, but a three day weekend.  On Saturday I was feeling super productive.  I picked up my hold at the library, went to pick up some stuff at the vet, and squeezed in a run all before 12:30.  My run wasn't fabulous, but I figured it was ok because my 15k was the next day.  I vowed to take it nice and slow and not push too hard.  After my run, my nice friend and I went to The Lost Rhino Brewery.  The beers weren't my favorite, but the tour guide obviously loved his job and I had a lot of fun.  We even got to get our own beer from these huge barrels.  


Yesterday was race day! Er...evening.  My cousin and her husband and my fast friend came to run with me!  I kind of liked the late start because I was wide awake and had plenty of time to eat throughout the day without worrying about cramping up.  It was the 53rd race and was well organized.  There weren't many people there so parking was fine and it wasn't overly crowded at all.  Packet pick up was nice and smooth and I really like our race shirt.  The Labor Day fair was going on nearby so we were excited about getting to check it out afterwards.


Once we got running I loved the scenery.  It's nice to know that there are nice country roads not far out from the big city.  We got to run by cows!  The first 5k felt pretty good.  There were rolling hills, so even though the uphills were a challenge, the down hills felt really good.  There wasn't really any crowd support which made it kind of tough, but the people at the aid stations were incredibly nice and had lots of water and gatorade ready for us.  I think I would have really loved this race had it been a little later in the year.  That leads us to....

The Bad: Holy crap.  It was so humid out.  I was dripping with sweat after the first K.  It was terrible.  I realized early on that my 3 Clif Shot Bloks I had brought along (woo running belt!) were not going to do the trick.  My shorts literally felt like they were going to fall off because they were getting so drenched.  It was just not a fun feeling.  The race was in a T shape (there was one aid station that you passed by 3 times.  It made it a lot easy to manage with only a few volunteers) and some of the stretches seemed really long.  I took my first blok right after the 5k mark.  By about mile 4.5 I was already starting to feel tired from the hills and humidity.  I imagine hell probably resembles parts of this race.  Just kidding :-)  

The course was marked out in Ks.  This wasn't my favorite and my fast friend and I realized that our math was not up to par.  I feel like I have a pretty good idea of how far a mile is and the Ks threw me off a little.  When we got to about 12k I popped my last two bloks.  By that point my stomach was HATING me.  And here we go to...

The Ugly: Even though I have no medical background, repeat experiences have led me to link my stomach issues to my extreme loss of sweat.  After my first experience with my shot bloks, I should have learned not to mess with the ratio and just used an entire pack for my longer runs.  While I didn't realize how incredibly humid it was going to be at first, I should have planned better and packed more than 3 seeing that I know how my body can be.  I was miserable.  I had to walk several times after the 10k mark because my stomach was threatening major problems.  Finally, when we got to the 14k mark I figured I may as well run hard because the faster I got to the end, the faster I could get to a bathroom.  We had a strong finish which I was really happy about, but we definitely powered walked to the bathroom afterwards.  My friends are really nice and were understanding about my needing some alone time afterwards.  After my stomach settled a little we rushed home so I could continue my good times in the privacy of my own home.  Great, right?  The joys of running.

I will cuddle on the couch with you, Mom!

So, there were no New Year's resolutions achieved.  If anyone is aware of any 15ks coming up before 2012 is over I would appreciate some ideas!  I realize that I really need to start working hard if I want to be ready for my two upcoming races.  No slacking off anymore.  I need to get out there in the heat and start making this work or I am going to continue to have miserable race experiences.  

Luckily, there is still one day left of the weekend, so I am planning on doing some fun things to end it right.  I hope everyone has a happy Labor Day!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Outside Running and Punkin' Ale

The past week every time I went to write, I realized that there was nothing really exciting to say.  I now have two weeks of work back under my belt and it is still taking some getting used to.  Waking up at 5:30 sucks.  I miss my old routine of drinking coffee until I felt like eating and then eating whenever I felt like it throughout the day.  I also really, really miss running at whatever time of the day suits me.

That said, I love my job and I'm thankful to have one.  I just wish summer would stick around a little longer or at least come back to visit from time to time.  I am secretly ready for fall.  I think it might be my favorite season.  Last week I saw the happiest tweet.

I've only been twice this week.  It's totally fine..

Punkin' Ale is back!  I can't think of a better way to end the first week of work.  My nice friend went and drank beer with me and refused to be jealous when the really old singer of the band winked at me.  He says he doesn't feel that the band member was true competition, but it's more likely that he wishes someone would come and whisk me away so he doesn't have to deal with all my craziness ;-)

Last week I ran 3 times (Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday).  It's looking like that will be my schedule again this week.  I had originally planned to run on Fridays, but I am going to have to find some motivation from somewhere because the past two it has not happened.  I think once pretty fall days come around I will be more inclined to get out there.

The good news is that I've been taking my runs outside!  Last Wednesday, Saturday, and this Wednesday I have gone on loops around my neighborhood.  They have been slow, but I haven't had to stop once!  It has been such a confidence boost to be able to just go out and run again without completely wanting to die.  Last Sunday I did 6x800s on the treadmill with a half mile warm up run and  a little over a mile of cool down.  I forgot to start my Nike+ a few times (boo) so I can't say what my times are for sure, but it felt really strong!  I'm really digging these intervals.

Tomorrow I am doing a local race (yay $25 dollar entry fees!).  Hopefully I will be able to say that I met my New Year's resolution of PR-ing in a 15k.  Tomorrow (or Monday, let's be real) you will get a full race recap.  Until then, have a happy weekend!

Like I could really go a whole post without putting a picture of my sweet baboo up.  Come on, people.