The Lollipop Guild and speed work…

    

So maybe I’m a little late to the game, but I’ve been so into Pinterest lately.  I avoided it on purpose because I heard it was addictive and it is!  My fave have been pinning kids’ crafts with Jasp.  A computer activity  we both enjoy; how novel!   We’ve stretched it into a multi day good behavior reward.  First reward is picking a craft and getting the materials for it.  Phase two of the reward is time set aside to make the craft…..no easy feat on a weeknight.  This week we made lollipops and Frozen (Anna and Elsa) slime.   The lollipops turned out awesome!   I see some dental work in my future if I keep eating  them. 

I’ve been on the treadmill all week but did two good speed sessions.  The treadmill is actually better than outside for speed work.  You can’t cheat!  I did a really simple workout first:  warm up, 20 minutes at tempo pace ( I define that as faster than marathon pace but not death pace), and a cool down.  Simple, simple, and still felt like I was doing something.  Today was 800s. Those were harder, but felt so good to go to work knowing that a hard workout was done.  This 5K training stuff is kinda fun.  Once again I added mileage with a  warm up and cool down.  Since I’m solo, I add a little extra yoga in the evenings.   Today I can say I’m completely spent and readyfor my off day tomorrow.  That is the sign of a good training week!

It’s been a super busy this week too.   Two taekwondo classes and kindergarten orientation.   Jasp and I got to see his school and he got to spend time in a kinder classroom while I sat through parent orientation.   We are definitely excited to transition.  Fall should be a whole new ball game schedule wise, but bring it on!

Pancake also had a vet appointment.  The vet was very impressed she still runs at 15, but the stress of the appointment really took a lot out of her.  Nothing an extra spoonful of peanut butter couldn’t fix.  

Time for me to haul this tired butt to bed.  I’m looking forward to an outdoor run this weekend and hopefully some outdoor speed work next week!

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Recipes for runners and biblical rains…

     

Sometimes you just need a treat.  Runners tend to overindulge, and I’ve been very conscious of that as I get older and have to watch what I eat.  My general rule is limit treats to very small things, but that life is too short to never enjoy a treat.   Cookies are good…if you can manage to eat just one it won’t blow a healthy diet.  They are also easy to pack up to share with people, as I often do if I bake something.  I don’t necessarily want a week and half’s worth of cookies laying around the house.   I wanted to make something different and fun but not hard with multiple steps.  These sprinkle cookies were perfect.  They are super soft sugar cookies and really good.  They’d be great for a kid’s party or a baby shower.  I’ve never outgrown loving sprinkles.  Here’s the recipe.  

It’s been raining for two weeks straight here.  If you complain about rain in a state who’s cattle industry was destroyed by drought, people don’t treat you too kindly as they shouldn’t.   But it makes for some challenges entertaining a 5 year old who plays outside a lot, but we are dealing.  I managed some decent runs in the little spurts of dryness.   Yesterday I got in 14 with a fast finish (these suck on long runs) and it stayed dry the whole way.   Today, not so lucky.   My alarm went off to biblical sounding rains, and I stated in bed trying to wait it out and finally resolved myself to the treadmill.  I just finished 7 painful speed work miles watching the even more painful season 3 of House of Cards. It’s awful, but I am so close to finishing it.    

Coming up this week…. Lots of treadmill 5k workouts (ahhhhh!!!!!!), sprinkle cookie eating, and counting down until a 3 day weekend!

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Out of my comfort zone!

 My first baby…who’s currently my 15 year old baby.

First off, happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful moms out there.

My angel decided to sleep very poorly over Mother’s Day weekend and was up at 4:20 yesterday, and 2 am today.  I got him back to sleep after the 2 am wake up until 5:00.  The good to come out of it was he fell asleep at 7:15 tonight.  Hence the blogging….

I had a heavenly 14 miler this morning minus the 96% humidity.  But that’s how Texas rolls in the summer.   I had some treadmill thrown into my week, and overall had a couple good speed runs.  I don’t want to push too early as I still want to call this downtime, but I also want to start some faster runs……because……

I am registered for  a 5K at then end of the month.  Gulp.  I think 5K is pretty much harder than 50K.  I always say I am a lazy runner and I’d rather run easy for 4 hours than hard for 40 minutes.  And I wonder why I got so slow.  I need to wake up the few little fast twitch muscles I have so they will be there for me later when I want to run my BQ.  So for the rest of the month, I’m throwing in some 5k workouts.  My blog friend Laura has some good ones here.  So yep, I’ll be doing them.  It’s actually a good little project in between marathon sessions.  It’s also a good little project for the treadmill, as I have treadmill about every other week for the next couple months.  I am in desperate need of some more good shows. Please send any recommendations my way!

Ok…best part of Mother’s Day about to start….Game of Thrones.

 

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Recipes for Runners….

 Secret ingredient……Mmmmmm, I could eat it right from the jar.  

Lately I’ve been trying to make one new recipe each week just to branch out.  These are usually “runner friendly”…healthy, not super high fat, easy, and fairly quick.  I’ll try and start adding them to the blog when they turn out really good.  Tonight’s did.  It’s a healthier version of chicken stroganoff.  Here’ s the recipe.  http://www.rachaelrayshow.com/food/recipes/19676_slow_cook_yourself_skinny_chicken_stroganoff/

One of my coworkers told me about it and said she didn’t care for it but as she described it, I thought ” that sounds yummy to me!”  The only change I made was I took out 1/2 cup of chicken broth, and only used 1 1/2 cups instead of 2, just because I wanted it thick.  It’s not the prettiest dish, and I steamed up a bunch of green veggies on the side for the color.  Mike and I both inhaled it.  Jasper doesn’t eat, so can’t tell you if kids like it, but I would think any kid that likes cream sauces would like it….it’s flavorful but not spicy at all.    Don’t let the cashew butter freak you out.  It made it super rich and creamy.  And the best part is it makes so much there are a lot of left overs! 

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Hanson plan review…

I was pretty excited about trying the Hanson plan for my recent marathon.  It’s basically more midweek running, faster midweek running, and less emphasis on the long runs.  Here’s my take on how it worked:

I broke several rules.  The Hansons are very against the 20 mile run.  They say it’s too much for recreational runners.  I just couldn’t feel confident without one, so I did just one.

The Hansons also say not  to shuffle the days in the plan too much.  I shuffled a lot.  They take an off day mid week, and I prefer and end of the week off day.  Running throughout the week really helps keep my stress level down and early to midweek,  I’d rather run and take some rest before the weekend. 

I made my longest midweek run 9 miles, instead of 10, and make some of the mile repeats just a straight tempo run.

What I kept from the plan was upping my midweek runs in quality and miles.  I definitely felt less tired by not doing multiple 20 mile runs.  I basically added one extra run to what I used to do when you added the extra weekday miles up.  I did succeed in taking my overall pace down.  I raced a 10 miler faster than I had done in almost two years, and brought everyday pace almost 30 seconds down just by doing a little speed work .

Would I do the plan again?   Well, I can’t really say I did it this time.  I broke their main philosophical rule and did a 20 miler.  I think I will rely on their mid week schedules but continue with 1-2 20 milers.  No more though.  I like their speed sessions.  They are simple and the book gives you all the prescribed paces, and I plan to use them.   I think for most people it’s best to cut and paste from a few plans into what fits into your life and experience level. I would not recommend this plan to anyone who already feels spread thin during the week.  Running 8-9 miles before work was was no joke and required getting up even earlier which isn’t easy.  Plus you do this for weeks on end on the Hason plan.  I already ran 6 days a week, but for people who run 3-4 days a week that’s a huge jump, as the plan is adamant you need 6 days a week.

I also didn’t have a stellar race, but I don’t think it was lack of fitness, more like lack of being realistic about what I could do.   I’ll use the plan in the future and just modify some.  It’s a great book for taking your marathon to the next level and I recommend it.  

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Forging ahead…

   I love trail pictures, so symbolic of forging new paths.  Also when it’s deep into a Texas summer, a nice reminder of cooler running…..

This week I broke through the tiredness and soreness.  My hips were sore for over a week from that dang race.  Mike took pity on me and worked on them a few times to break up some knots.  By about Tuesday this week, I felt pretty normal and today was my first non-slogging it out run.  I tried a hilly, brisk run and succeeded for the most part,  but weather was fantastic, which helped.

Mentally I was down for the count the last week.  We had our two big trips I’d been looking forward to all winter done, and I had post marathon blues, which are a very real thing.   We’re not talking anything serious, but when you spend months preparing for something it’s very normal to miss the anticipation and ritual of it all.   My very sweet, well meaning friend I run with in my neighborhood sent me a reminder to sign up for the Disney marathon this week as registration opened.  Don’t I wish!!  I spent about 24 hours trying to rationalize doing it and just couldn’t.   Mike said “go with your friend!  Have fun, I just don’t want to go”.  No Mike, meant no Jasper and I just couldn’t go to Disney World and leave a 5 year old at home. Talk about years of future therapy as a young adult….. Plus, it is a small fortune to go and eyes I on the prize, I want my small fortune to go to Boston.

I also gave up the idea of trying to run a qualifier this summer.  Too expensive and logistically difficult. Then to add another minor disappointment for about a day, we thought we were taking a family trip to Bend, Oregon this summer.  Mike has a work trip and thought maybe we should all go.  A quick internet research session revealed 51 miles of urban trail, voted best running town in the U.S., and best town for breweries.  I pretty much started packing…..until looking into flights to Portland I realized two tickets for Jasper and  I was the same price as an entire vacation for all three of us, and since Mike would be working the whole time it seemed like a heck of a lot of money for Jasper and I to hang out on trails and breweries.   So another strike.  And why in the heck is Portland more expensive to get to than London?

So I did what any rational runner would do.   I signed up for a fall race and started planning.  I decided my fave local fall race, the Frankenthon, is my best bet.  Weather can still be warm, but logistics are about nil.  I’ve got all summer to work on pacing.  My friend Nancy is helping me and I am very thankful.  She doesn’t do anything drastically more than I do for training, but her results smoke mine.  She knocks her qualifier out of the park in every marathon she does, so we’re going to work on some speed and some midweek longer runs together.   I’m excited and motivated and as much as I wanted to jump back into training, a patient approach is more likely to give me the results I want.

I don’t mean to sound as if I was pouting all week about a couple races.  It was a week full of some pretty serious world and local events and those make one really treasure the important things in life.  My highlight of the week was walking to the convenience store with Jaspy for a new pack of gum he’d earned.  It was a long walk, and we chatted and chatted and he asked me to stop and hugged me and said “I need to hug you because I love you, Mommy.”  I think he also was motivated by the prospects of two packs of gum, but I’ll take it.

Onward….

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High waists, redemption, and an award!

  

 Don’t ask me why I’m wearing my race number and belt so high.  I have no idea.  

The theme of the week is soreness.  My legs seem reasonably worked out, but my hips and stomach muscles are pretty tight still. I wasn’t aware I had stomach muscles, as I’ve never seen them, so I guess I now know that I do.   I also know I am not crazy and that I really was running hard since my soreness is lingering.
I confess to spending what some people may consider an excessive amount of time on marathonguide.com this week. If you are one of the uninitiated, this site lists most marathons in North America in chronological order.  So if you think a July or August marathon sounds fun, but aren’t sure where to find one, this is the site for you.  I don’t think I could turn around fast enough and run another race in a few weeks, but 8 or more week is mighty tempting.  But pretty much everything in the summer is in northern states or Canada at the peak of summer.   Airfare from Austin, TX  to a really awesome sounding race in Duluth or Fargo is about $1000.  Ouch.  I don’t know about you, but to me that seems like a lot of money, plus hotel and rental car to go somewhere for 48 hours.  So the reality is I probably have to wait until the fall for a chance at redemption and to see a “3” as the first number in my marathon finish time.  Patience is not one of my better qualities.  On the up side I have a good chunk of time to come up a full blown marathon assault plan.

The best news is my angel was chosen as best student of the cycle in taekwondo and got a special award.  So proud!

  

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