Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wednesday's Workout: Speed Work

It's been a LONG time since I wrote a quick post just describing my workout. :)

My training schedule had 4 miles of speed work on it today.

Yesterday, was a tough day at work. Stressful. Crazy. And I ended up working more than an hour late. I was in a bad mood leaving work, and didn't feel like doing anything when I got home.

Including eating.

So, dinner consisted of a chocolate candy bar and a banana. Bad, bad, bad!! Yet another manifestation of a lesson I still haven't learned.

I was really nervous about the speed work run, but it actually turned out much better than expected. I ate a Vanilla Bean GU and half a banana before I headed out.

And laced up my speedy shoes - the Mizuno Wave Sayonaras.

Speed Work Mizuno Wave Sayonara

I did about 12 minutes at a pretty easy pace. My calves are still pretty tight for some reason.

And then I did 1:1 intervals of a fast pace and an easy pace. I walked the 5th and 10th easy pace interval, for a little breather, and then an easy pace to finish it all out.

Miles: 4.15
Duration: 43:36
Avg Min/Mi: 10:30

Turns out that's just about my ideal marathon pace for this training cycle. Whoo hoo!!

Did you run this morning?
What's your favorite way to incorporate speed work?

Sunday, August 24, 2014

What's for Dinner? Week of 8/24

1,000 apologies for not posting a workout recap and weekly menu plan last weekend. We were extending my birthday celebrations a week, and hanging out at the pool - and I didn't get something scheduled ahead of time. Bad blogger.

Blu Pool at Bally's Las Vegas
View from our pool cabana

We bought a Groupon for the pool cabana, and had a great time hanging out all day in the shade of the cabana and the cool water of the pool.

Last Saturday, I finalized my marathon training plan, so last week was my first official week of training for RnRVegas.

Friday, August 22, 2014

5 Lessons from Running I Haven't Learned

Last weekend, I had a pretty crappy long run. I'd wanted to go for 12 miles. Or 10 would've been OK.

I made it 9. Nine long, slow miles.

During that 2+ hour run, I came to realize that after running for several years now, there are some lessons that I simply do not seem to learn. Some mistakes I continually make.

5 Lessons from Running I haven't learned

Perfect for a blog post!

5 Lessons from Running I Haven't Learned

1. Fuel up the night before.
One of the reasons last weekend's run was so tough was because of poor fueling choices on Friday. I can't even tell you how many times I've not only eaten poorly the night before a long run, but I've skipped dinner all together. Or I've stayed up too late (yes, sleep is fuel, too!). Or I've imbibed a bit too much. Or didn't drink enough water. Every time this happens, I think, I know what I did wrong, and I'll not do it next time. And I might be good for a couple weeks, but then I fall back into bad habits.

2. Choose your run time carefully.
For me, this goes hand-in-hand with the whole going-to-bed-at-a-reasonable-time-the-night-before-a-long-run thing. It's gets stinking HOT here in Vegas, and (especially in the summer) it's essential to head out for a long run early enough to avoid the hottest of the heat. I mean there are early morning's when it's already in the high 90s before 6AM, but at least the sun isn't beating down on you. Is it fall yet? Plus I tend to be more of a first thing in the morning type runner, so it's best for me if the run is the first thing I do. The more stuff I do between getting up in the morning and stepping out the door, the worse the run goes. I may be exaggerating here. Some of this is mental; some of it is physical. Most of it could be avoided with a little more preparation.

I'm a fair-skinned beauty, and I've always been susceptible to sunburn. I know this. But sometimes I still forget the sunscreen! I think it's only an hour or so. I should be fine. And then OUCH!!

4. There's always time for lubricant!
Anyone know the movie reference? I used to use good ole petroleum jelly to help prevent chafing when out on a long run, which is messy and slimy, so I would often rationalize not using it. Recently, we bought some Body Glide, which is much easier to apply, but I still sometimes forget. :( Last weekend, I thought my shorts were long enough and my thighs wouldn't chafe. I was wrong. When in doubt, lube up.

5. Stretch it out.
I know that stretching is good for runners, and stretching after a long run always feels good. BUT I get distracted after a run (long or short), and I usually skip this. Unless I'm on the brink of injury, then I'm all about the stretching. But when my body is feeling good, stretching and yoga fall by the wayside. I know that making this a priority throughout all training would further help prevent injuries, but well, I guess I haven't quite gotten there yet. :)

What lessons haven't you learned from running?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

9 Yoga Poses to Start Your Day

Good morning! Well, afternoon now. Grrr.

I was recently contacted by the folks at Casper to write a post about yoga poses you can do right from your bed. For more information about their amazing mattress, click here. I did not receive any compensation or product in exchange for this post. I just really loved the idea of yoga in my bed. :)

Lately, I've been waking up with tight muscles and a sore back. Must be all that running and training I've been doing. :-)

I want to start doing more yoga in the morning, but I always seem to run out of time.

So, I'm going to try out this yoga sequence. In. My. Bed. Before even crawling out of it in the morning. :)

Morning Yoga Sequence (before getting out of bed)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

3 Things Thursday + WINNERS

Happy Thursday!! We're in the home stretch of putting this week behind us. Yay!! It's been long, and a bit crazy at work, so I'm definitely looking forward to the weekend. :)

Here's are a few things on my mind this morning.

1. Winners!

Thank you to everyone who joined me for my birthday streak! I had a great time celebrating with all of you!!

Here are the winners:
Drink Cocogo - Elisabeth
Proud Runner gift pack - Irina
Detour Smart Bars - Jenny
Bondi Band - Karen
Multi-Grip Stretch Strap - Rachel

2. Art Show

Tonight, Jeff and I are getting all dolled up to go to a friend's art show. Cocktail Dress Attire. I ordered a few new dresses on Amazon. Gotta love Prime! They are set to arrive this afternoon, so I'll get home from work, try them on, and choose which one to wear. Nothing like the last minute.

Here are my options:

I'm super excited about tonight, but I also feel like I'm coming down with something. I was so tired yesterday that I went to bed at 7:30pm, and I woke up with a sore throat. I'm going to down some Emergen-C and hope that helps stave off whatever is coming my way.

3. Yesterday's Run

I attempted a little speedwork yesterday in the form of a tempo run. It's been a long time, since I went that crazy. My first mile was 8:55. YAY!! And then I took a little walk break when I got to the Strip. It's perfect because there is a pedestrian bridge about halfway through the route. I walked up the stairs, across the bridge, and down the stairs before starting on the run again.

I really tried to push it during the run back home, but I was tired, so it was a little slower on the way back.

Oh yeah! I also got hit on by a couple of hot foreign tourists. One, in very broken English, asked if he could go footing with me for a little bit. I let him - mostly because I was running with pepper spray, if he tried anything untoward. After a minute or two, he kissed my hand, and I took off to continue my tempo run.

Bonus: My nephew and his girlfriend

Will be visiting Vegas this weekend! She just turned 21 last week, and they are coming to Vegas (with a few other people) to celebrate! We don't have any specific plans to see them, but I'm looking forward to meeting up and doing something fun! Plus, Jeff and I did get a pool cabana for Sunday, so either way, it's going to be a fun weekend!

Monday, August 11, 2014

E.T. Phone Home

Yesterday night, Jeff and I headed out for his very first half marathon - a birthday gift to me!! I had very much enjoyed training with him since the middle of June, and was very much looking forward to beginning my 38th year by helping him achieve such a fun accomplishment. :-D

Unfortunately for me, (TMI alert!) I got my period on Thursday. That meant Friday and Saturday I was battling some major cramps and an overall achy body. I was in a lot of pain, and that did not bode well for a great race.

I'm blaming all that on why I didn't prepare as much ahead of time as I'd wanted. The plan was to REST all day on Saturday before catching the 8:30PM bus headed to the Black Mailbox (now white), common gathering place of UFO sighting groups, and the start of our Full Moon Midnight Marathon and 51K.

That plan would have required me putting the finishing touches on my outfit and gathering all my race day accouterments BEFORE Saturday. But I didn't feel up to it.

Instead Saturday consisted of:

Sunday, August 10, 2014

What's for Dinner? Week of 8/10

TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY!! And I rang in my 37th birthday by toeing the line to the E.T. Full Moon Midnight Half Marathon. Full report on the race coming tomorrow, but let me just say it was TOUGH! Midnight races are hard; my body wasn't exactly cooperating, but man, did it ever feel good to cross that finish line - holding Jeff's hand high with pride. It looks us a long time, but the hours really did seem to go by quickly (as least to me).

#HalfTrainingWithJeff Update

And thus concludes the half marathon training with Jeff. It's still TBD whether or not this will be our last long distance together. Two weeks ago, he said he only wanted to run 5Ks and 10Ks with me in the future, but then last night before the half marathon, he threw me for another loop by saying he wanted to run a full marathon. Let's see what he says after he wakes up this afternoon. Lol.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

New Look

Did you know that it's my birthday weekend? OF COURSE you did! I've only been talking about it since June. :) With my birthday streak and everything. Only a few more days of my streak, and I'm so happy that I've been able to stick with it for all 37 days (well, except that one day that I only did yoga. Oh, and I kind stopped the yoga around day 25 or something). It's so liberating to do a run streak. At least for me.

To continue the birthday celebrations, I decided to give myself a new look as I officially enter the late-30s. Yikes! How did that happen?!

I went blonde.

I've dyed my hair many, many times over the years, but never have I gone blonde.

It's been nearly a week, and it's been lots of fun so far. Lots of co-workers didn't even recognize me when I came into work Monday morning.

I've now been likened to Marilyn Monroe, Patricia Arquette, and Brittney Snow.

Last night, N9NE Steakhouse at the Palms had a Tweet-up just for my birthday. OK, not really, but it was a doubly good excuse to start the celebrating early. Who am I to pass up free cocktails and hors d'oeuvres?

Plus I got to meet up with the lovely Katie from @itsjustKatie on Twitter and Chase This Skirt. She made me a skirt for the E.T. Full Moon Half Marathon on Sunday, and so she hand delivered it to me at the Tweet-up. Fun!

So, is blond better? I don't know, but I'm liking it so far. :-D

Have you ever changed your hair to where people didn't even recognize you?
How do you like to celebrate your birthday?

Monday, August 4, 2014

July in Review

What? It's already August 4th? I feel like this month is going to be over in the blink of an eye! Lots of fun things coming up this month, but this post is about July.

I fully intended on posting a recap on 7/31, but all of a sudden last week was over. CRAZY!

Let's start with a few highlights from July.

I created a delicious fruit dip!

Creamy Peanut Butter Vanilla Fruit Dip |

I did a few fitness challenges (almost).

#30dayfitness Little Black Dress challenge. I made it about 20 or so days until the number of burpees was just too much.

#30dayfitness Abs challenge. I've got a few more days left, but I saw great improvements in July with this challenge!

And of course my running and yoga challenge! There's less than a week left, so you should sign up today to be entered to win some fun prizes!

My birthday streak is almost over!

I've been really good with the #ETCRunStreak part of the challenge, but I've kind of dropped off with the #ETCYogaStreak. I ought to pick that back up for the rest of the streak, BUT it's difficult to find the time with running and the abs challenge.

I created a yoga sequence for runners.

Yoga Flow for Runners

We did our first lake swim at Boulder Beach

Boulder Beach at Lake Mead

We also purchased an Inter-Agency Park Pass, so we're looking forward to many more trips to Lake Mead, Red Rock, and (hopefully) the Grand Canyon.

I became an ambassador for Cocogo! Love this stuff! You can get 40% off your order by entering ENJOYINGTHECOURSE at checkout. Can't wait to represent at my next race!!

Drink Cocogo! Real Fruit Hydration

I also got accepted as a Sweat Pink ambassador!

That's a lot of highlights! Guess it was a pretty great month. :)

Time to check in on my 2014 goals.

Individual Goals

Fitness goals - Run Faster and Train Harder
The two #30dayfitness challenges I started in July helped a LOT with the training harder. I just hope I can keep up with it once this abs challenge ends.
Running faster? Nope. Triple digit heat + streaking = No speed work.

Blogging goals
To be honest, I didn't really put in as much effort with promoting my blog in July as I did in June, and my page views dropped by about 250 - which is kind of a lot when you consider how few they are to begin with. :) Hope to be better about this in Aug! I did gain about 130 Twitter followers, so that's pretty awesome!
  • Monday Listicles? The host has been enjoying her vacation month, so I didn't write a single list in July. Maybe I'll just go rogue while she's still on vacation and do my own lists? Probably not, to be honest.
  • Tuesday's Tips? I've struggled with this one since about Feb or Mar. I think it's time to retire it.
  • Fitness Friday posts? I had some great ideas, but lacked the follow-through. :( I only linked up twice. My birthday party and the Gifts for the party.
  • What's for Dinner/Week-in-Review posts? I didn't miss a single week!

Goals with Jeff

Run a Triathlon. We haven't signed up yet, but we have decided on the Pumpkinman Triathlon at Lake Mead. This is perfect for us because it's close enough that we can drive out to Lake Mead on the weekends to swim the exact course of the race. Real training for this is going to start after the E.T. Full Moon Midnight Half Marathon that we will be running next weekend.

Read 3 books together. Nope. Not yet.

New in 2014. We're going to count our Lake Mead swim as our something New in 2014. This was our first time actually swimming in a lake. We've lounged and played. We've Scuba dived. But we've never actually tried swimming, so there you go.

New in 2014 | Enjoying the Course

Enriching Activities. No updates on this in July, but we did make some plans for what to do for the rest of year.

What was your biggest highlight from July?
How are you doing with your 2014 goals?

Sunday, August 3, 2014

What's for Dinner? Week of 8/3

Happy August!! I hope you're all enjoying the first weekend of the end of the summer. :) If you stopped by yesterday, then you already know all the reasons I love August - this year especially!

#HalfTrainingWithJeff Update

Next week at this time, Jeff and I will be in full on recovery mode. I'm hoping at a pool somewhere, though I haven't discussed that with him yet. We've kind of been enjoying tapering a bit too much, perhaps, so I hope that Jeff survives that E.T. Full Moon Midnight Half Marathon. He's pretty confident, but... is he over-confident? It will be an automatic PR for him, since it's his first half marathon, so we're definitely planning on taking it nice and easy.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Ultimate Coffee Date - August 2014

Good morning, and Happy August to you!!

I've already gone for my 1 mile run and did some yoga on the patio. There is some zucchini bread baking in the oven, so it seems like a perfect time to link up with the Ultimate Coffee Date!

If we were having coffee this morning... The Ultimate Coffee Date

If we were having coffee this morning...I'd tell you that I love August, because it's MY BIRTHDAY MONTH!! Whoo hoo. Let the celebrating begin. :) Ok. So, maybe I started celebrating on July 5th with my birthday streak. Running or Yoga or both or any combination. Or maybe not even a streak at all. YOU CAN STILL ENTER TO WIN SOME FUN PRIZES! More info on the prizes can be found here. Not very many people have joined my party, so your chances of winning are pretty good. :)

If we were having coffee this morning...I'd also tell you about how excited I am for my actual birthday weekend. I still need to firm up some plans, but the biggest, most fun event of the weekend will be running the E.T. Full Moon Midnight Half Marathon with my husband. It will be his first half. What a fun birthday present for me! Plus I'm working on a super fun costume to wear. Hopefully I can get it all pulled together with just a week to go!

If we were having coffee this morning...I'd probably ask your opinion on zero-drop shoes. Pros? Cons? Jeff has kind of become my personal shopper, and wants to get me some new running shoes. Isn't he the best? He's new to running, but has probably done more research on how to run and the best shoes than I ever have. He likes the idea of adjusting to zero drop, and I don't really have an opinion, so I'd love to hear your thoughts.

If we were having coffee this morning...I'd confess that it's been months since I've ridden my bike. Jeff and I have a 30-mile ride coming up in the beginning of Sept, and I'm a little nervous about it! Especially, since I'll be running a half marathon the very next day! I'd ask if you were going to be in CA for the Ventura Marathon weekend, because it's going to one awesome party!! :) If all goes well, we are planning on a swim and bike ride at Lake Mead tomorrow. Fingers crossed it all goes well!!

If we were having coffee this morning...I feel like I'd have more to say, but I can't seem to think of anything else right now, so I'd just sit back, enjoy my cuppa, and ask about your weekend and what else you might have planned for the rest of the summer!

Why not grab a cup of coffee, relax for awhile, and catch up with some other bloggers at the Ultimate Coffee Date?