Saturday, May 25, 2013

Doggin' Maryland

While it's been a running around crazy week, it hasn't been a successful running week.  Remember how I was planning on running intervals the other day?  That didn't happen.  I felt terrible once I started going and opted for the bike instead.  I don't know what was going on, but I felt it was better to be safe than sorry.  I ended up doing a 10k on the bike and feeling absolutely miserable for the rest of the night.  Luckily after a good night's sleep I was able to tackle the rest of the week.

This week has really been all about my pup.  On Wednesday Maddux graduated from his manners class and then on Thursday we were back at the training facility for a tricks workshop.  I had so much fun with my boy and he came away learning how to wave goodbye and is able to jump through a hoola hoop.  We got the foundations for a few other tricks, too, so maybe we'll have to have some videos on the blog soon ;-)

One of my cousins came to visit this weekend and we decided to visit one of the parks from the book Doggin' Maryland that my sister got me for Christmas.  The book is really great and lists how the trails are marked (paved/unpaved, signs/unnamed, etc).  I searched through the pages and tried to find one that I would be less willing to explore by myself.  I'm all for going to new places, but I also want to be careful.  I don't want to be in a super secluded area or find myself lost on an unmarked trail.  We got a gorgeous day for an adventure and headed to Little Bennett Regional Park.  I had a great time hiking through the woods to the old schoolhouse.  Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure the swinging bridge I was so excited about is gone.  It looks like there are a lot of other things to see, so I guess it's ok.  The part of the park that the schoolhouse is near has a really wide, clear trail.  I'm not sure I would do the other trails we hiked on today by myself, but this one was right up my alley.  As much as I love the more rugged trails,  I'm all for easy paths when Mad Dog and I are on our own.

After about three hours of hiking we decided to call it a day and now I have one tired pup.  I'm really looking forward to checking out more trails from the book this summer!  

Speaking of summer, the Runner's World Summer Running Streak is starting back up again on Monday.  Last year I did it and secretly kind of loved it.  I feel like I really have no good excuse not to try again this year...Anybody else streaking this summer?!  (Haha, I know, I'm so mature.)


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Celebrating my Anniversary

Last Wednesday was a very special day.  It marked the TWO YEAR anniversary of bringing my Maddux home!

This is us on the first day I had him and on our one month anniversary.

Not much has changed.

On Sunday Lucky Dog was having their adoption event at the same exact place where I got my pup.  I felt it was symbolic and that in order to keep good doggy karma I should go volunteer and help another pup find its home.  I got to hang out with this cutie for a few hours and we even sat next to the tree where I first met the love of my life.

My newest bud, Lucky!
The rest of the weekend was pretty much spent just reading, relaxing, and eating these delicious pancakes.  

I made it to the 'mill on Sunday, but man it was tough.  I ended up running 3.25 miles, but had to take a walk break after just half a mile!  I think it was probably majority mental, but I was proud of myself for sticking it out and finishing up even when all I wanted to do was curl up on my couch with my dog and my book.  

I've been feeling the effects of the pollen the past couple days, so while I'm aiming for some intervals tonight, I'm going to try to play it by ear to see what I'm up for.  I'm debating on signing up for a fall half and want to start building up a base so I can hit the ground running (ha ha funny I know) this summer.  

Hope everybody's week is off to a great start!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Slow Motion

The past week has been a little crazy.  I was excited to head to my parents' house on Friday to spend time with my family for Mother's Day and the week went by surprisingly fast leading up to it.  I seriously have the best mom in the world and I couldn't have asked for a better weekend with the family.

This is not from this weekend, but gives you a picture of the best mom ever.
I only made it out the door to run once (the time flies when I'm with my family), but those hills kicked my butt.  It may have been from the massive blueberry pancakes I had earlier in the day, but I kept catching a cramp.  It was hard to want to be outside because it was so dreary and was misty the whole time.  I finished a slow 3.1 miles and then called it a day.  Even though my run was less than stellar, I did get a couple good walks in over the weekend.  One of the benefits of having three dogs around means that we have exercise time built into our days.  On Sunday we timed our walk on the trail around Happy Hour at Starbucks so that we could take advantage of the last day of half priced fraps!

Happy Frappies come with gangsta' names.  You can call me Linzle.

This week is going to be another busy one, but I started it off with a run on the 'mill.  While it was pretty nice out today, I really wanted to do some intervals and I push myself so much harder when I'm doing them on the treadmill.  It's that whole if I can't make it another step I just have to crawl back to my apartment thing.  Plus I really needed some water close by.  It has been way too long since the half mile repeats have made an appearance in my life.  I laughed at one point because I felt like I was really flying and I looked over at the mirror and it looked like I was hardly moving at all!  Talk about slow motion.  Oh well.  I ended up doing 3 miles of total running.  Half a mile of warm up and cool down with 4x800 in between.  I walked for 3 minutes after each repeat which made each one significantly less painful than it would have been had I forgone the breaks.  

Hope your week is off to a great start!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

I Love Small Races

When I remembered that the small, local 5k I did last year was in May I got really excited and then got a little sad when I found it was less than a week after the Nike Women's Half Marathon.  I wasn't sure how I felt about going into a race knowing that my legs wouldn't be exactly ready to rock a 5k and didn't want to pay the fee upfront in case I woke up on Saturday hating life.

By the time Friday rolled around I was ready to run.  I had only run a mile since the race and seeing all the runners out on the gorgeous week we've been having made me really want to get out there and join them.  I went to bed early knowing that I would get up and run the next day.  I'm trying to take a more relaxed approach to running these days because I know not every race is going to be a PR.  As I say in every race recap I've written, I really love race day.  I was going to run on Saturday anyway, so why not make it a little more fun?

When I get up on race days, Mad Dog makes himself comfortable.

When I woke up Saturday morning it was a little chilly!  It was going to be about 50 degrees during the run, so I put on my favorite long sleeve shirt with my shorts (that just happened to match my green Guide 5s) and headed out the door.  One of my favorite things about small races is that you don't have to worry about registering weeks or even months before.  I parked right near the start line with no problems and walked up to the table about 30 minutes before the start and was good to go.  Back when I used to run races with my dad, this is how it always was.  We rarely registered beforehand and would show up to the race with our registration forms filled out and check in hand.

The time until the start of the race went by quickly.  It was such a gorgeous day and I was excited to be able to run in one of my favorite places (this was the race where I discovered the park that Maddux and I always go to!).  As we started the race, my pace felt a lot faster than it has been lately, but I figured that I would hold on to it as long as I could.  It was nice to know after mile 1 there were only 2 left this weekend!  My legs felt really great and it was fun being in a crowd of runners.  I was ready for the first big hill because it's on a path where I run a lot, but the second one through the neighborhood really got me.  My quads were screaming (I think they were mad that they had to work again only 6 days after a half), but eventually I made it to the top only to remember that the finish line was uphill, too.  Great.  I ended up having a pretty strong finish though and my final chip time was 28:29.  Not too shabby.  Plus I ended up being 4th in my age group which was pretty cool.  Next year I'm gunning for one of the top two spots!  The crowd at the finish line was fun and cheered for me and joked around like they had known me forever.  I'm telling you, runners are the best.

My legs are feeling a little tight today, so the plan is to take Maddux on a nice long walk and then get some time on my now beloved stationary bike in.  Zooma is right around the corner so gotta keep the quads happy!  

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Tracking Nutrition

I feel like normally I eat a decent enough diet.  I try to get a fruit or vegetable in at every meal, but I definitely eat A LOT and consume my fair share of chocolate.  Lately I've been eating a lot more pre-made meals (think frozen dinners) or something super easy like grilled cheese or cereal.  I've been so busy and haven't really had a chance to go to the grocery store so I haven't had as many fresh ingredients on hand.

Today I started tracking my diet for a class I'm taking.  I'm interested to see how it's going to impact my eating habits.  It's going to be hard seeing all the calories and sugar adding up and is probably going to be a good reality check for me.  In the past I used to use the Glamour food and workout logs.  It was hard to get a good read on my diet because I had to input a lot of what I ate on my own.  This being said, I often left out fat content, protein, sugars, etc. and only put in calories.  Eventually it got to be too much of a pain in the rear and it faded out of my life.

After talking to some other Sweat Pink Ambassadors, I decided to go with the My Fitness Pal tracking site.  So far it's been really easy to use.  Pretty much everything I ate today popped up in the options list which was nice.  It doesn't particularly like how much food I consumed today and let's me know it with angry, red font, but I think I can handle two more days of it.  From what I understand, it's just to get a read on what our personal nutrition is so that we can apply what we learn in class to it.  Who knows.

So while the food part went not so well, at least I had a decent exercise day today.  Mad Dog and I went to the park and had a nice long walk and I ran a mile on the 'mill after 6 miles on the stationary bike.  I wanted to ease back into running since my legs were so incredibly sore after my half marathon on Sunday.

This is where we spent the majority of Sunday and Monday after work.  I wasn't sure I was ever going to be able to move normally again.  

Happy (almost!!) weekend!