Month: March 2015

Gearing up for Boston, and some kick butt meatballs

You know what race day means?… it means it’s time to find me a super awesome race day outfit!!  Of course, I don’t “really” need a new outfit, but I had to laugh because it seemed like I’ve been racing in the same shirt for the last two years.  It has a great fit, but it’s also a shirt from another race and I’d like to have something new, since it will be my birthday and all 🙂

I’ve always heard about the deals over at TJ Maxx for fitness gear, so I took a trip over here.  I was very pleased with what I found!  In the end, I picked the two items on the right – pink tank and orange shirt.  I wear orange running shoes and the color matches my Boston jacket perfectly!  So far they are my top choices for race day.

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I had 8 miles on my schedule for today… it was windy out… and it was noon by the time I finally got around to running, so I just hit the treadmill.  I realized I finally recorded over 3,000 miles of my own on the treadmill.  Yeah me!  I did my entire run downhill, at quite a speedy pace, so my run was done in almost an hour.  That rocks!

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To give you an idea, this is why I really need to work on uphill, and more importantly, downhill training…  this is an elevation chart of the Boston course (courtesy of my hubby).  536 ft in elevation gain, and 979 ft in elevation loss!!

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And this is what my from the other day looked like.  73 ft gain, 80 ft loss. Yep, flat as a pancake.

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Here is what I have on tap for this week.  It’s a good break in my training schedule because it’s Spring Break for the kids.  I don’t have to pack lunches, or get up super early for the bus stop, and I’m taking a few days off to do fun stuff with them!

  • Mon – 6 miles hills
  • Tues – Rest
  • Weds – 8 miles w/ 5 x 1/2 mile 5K pace
  • Thurs – 5 miles
  • Fri – Rest (??  this seems quite odd.  I’ll probably still run a few miles in the AM just because)
  • Sat – 18 mile long run with our running club.   Will see friends.  Will get free GU.  Score!
  • Sun – Rest (again??)
  • Total miles = 37 miles. Maybe.

My mileage seems super low this week.  Might be the start of the taper.  Might be an error in my transfer of old training plans to my calendar this time around.  Hmmmm.  I’ll have to check with my coach when he’s done watching the season finale of The Walking Dead!  🙂

In closing, I will leave you with this picture of what I made for dinner tonight.  I know it looks kinda gross, but it just didn’t photograph well.  I guess that’s why bloggers usually put some fresh parsley on the top to dress it up!  I was as lot of work, but it was really really good.

Swedish meatballs, from Damn Delicious blog —>  recipe here

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Q:  Are you a Walking Dead, zombie fan?

A:  Nope.  That’s why I’m using my computer right now 🙂

Q: Big Sunday dinners – do you enjoy making a time consuming meal every now and then?

A: I do, I love to eat!

Q: Sport fans – how is your March Madness bracket doing??

A: Mine was busted early on, but my son’s team is in the final four!

 

 

The late long run

I had to stall a bit for my long run on Friday.  I needed to go for the run at 11am instead of 8:30am, to simulate Boston starting time. Zoe kept me company and made me stay right where I was for a few hours.

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I kept in mind what my coach (aka Alan!) told me before I went out for my long run – “Don’t go too fast.  At this point running too fast will do nothing but potentially cause problems.”  So that’s just what I did.  I put a program on my watch to keep my speed down for the first 10 miles, then take it a little faster for the next 8, and finish with 2 faster, stronger miles. I was getting nervous about the wind, the chill and my starting time.  On the way out the door I even grabbed my fleece vest.  I was glad to have on my fleece tights one more time, and the vest was a very welcome addition to my outfit.

Fuel for the long run!

Fuel for the long run!  May have been samples from that water stop last week…

It was a bit windy out so I plotted my course based on the winds.  For the first 8 miles I ran around some neighborhoods I have not run through. My watch kept telling me to “slow down”.  Much better than seeing “speed up”!  Then I thought I better head into the wood because I was looking forward to doing some more exploring today.  I got to the woods at mile 13.  When I figured out the math, I calculated that I needed to turn back at mile 14 to hit 20.  But I just wasn’t believeing that.  It seemed like my car was closer in the other direction.

There's no stopping now!

Just a quick turn off the trail…

When I got into the woods I was enticed by the peaceful scenery!  Isn’t there a dozen fairy tales (or horror movies?) that start like that?  It really was super pretty and the trails were soft for my feet.  Ahhh!

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I wandered down a few trails and surprised myself by not getting lost.  Bonus!  I’m surprised at how many miles I have run around my town and never really gone into the woods much at all.  That will have to change.

I was happy that my paces were just where they needed to be – giving me a negative split for the run!  Booyah! But of course I didn’t do that running math quite right and ended up a bit over 21 miles for me run.  The funny part was that my Garmin program ended right at 21.  Ended.  I looked down and it had stopped tracking my distance.  Well poo on that!  I was still at least a quarter of a mile from my car, with sore legs, so I just walked the rest of the way 🙂  It’s all good.

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My last run over 3 hours before Boston.  Now just hoping the real Spring weather happens soon!!

Q: Your favorite drink during the day?

A: I am strictly a water drinker.  I think I drank 3 gallons a day when I had that sore throat this week!!

Q: Do you prefer salty snacks or sweets?

A: I try not to buy a lot of salty snacks… because I wouldn’t stop eating them!  But I do keep a stash of chocolate chips in my freezer and I grab a small handful every day!

One more time Thursday

Mother Nature is giving it one last try around here.  I thought it looked like a beautiful snow globe from my window.  No matter that runners were wearing shorts outside yesterday (not me, but I did brave the “cold” 50 degrees with some capris!), now it’s at least 20 degrees colder.

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Some more awesomeness  was happening around my house today… I did a superb job on my strides today!  At the last minute I looked up my last paces at strides (thanks to that search field on my blog!) and I decided to crank it up a bit.  First round was a pace of 7:30 and for each fast sprint I went up .2 on the treadmill speed.  That had me finishing at a pace of  6:15!  Pretty darn great for me!  I wasn’t sure my little legs were going to keep up with it.  But those runs are fun because the sprint distance is only a tenth of a mile, so it’s very do-able to sprint so fast.  Big feeling of accomplishment.  We’ll see tomorrow if it was a good idea because I did get a little bit of sore legs sitting around at work in the afternoon.

I think my month of workouts is filling out quite nice!

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And of course the bestest thing happening around my house tonight is that it’s “pizza and beer carb loading date night”.  Time to catch up with my honey and fuel up for that last 20 miler that I’m running tomorrow.  That will be my 4th 20 mile run I’ve done on this training cycle.  I’m taking it easy, and going to do some wandering in the woods.  Making sure I remember that it’s a privilege 1) to be able to run 2) to have a day off to run, and 3) to be heading to Boston soon 🙂  Counting my blessings.

Oh, and being so thankful I kicked that sore throat to the curb.  I think the Snickers bar did the trick!

Q: Favorite pizza toppings?

A: Bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms, pepperoni are some of my favorites.

Q: Is the snow all gone where you live (if it’s winter!)?

Q: What fitness gadget do you wish would show up for free at your house??

Things that go squish in the night

Last night as I was getting ready for bed I had a great multitasking idea… I could do some PT exercises while I brush my teeth.  I could get a few monster walks done while my 2 minutes counted down on my electric toothbrush (love that thing!).  I like to think I can accomplish many a thing while doing other things.  It doesn’t always work out, but I sure like to think I can!

So I started doing some walks around the bathroom. But pretty soon the timer went off.  No problem, I’ll just head down to give the kids a kiss before I go to bed.  Going down the hall worked out very well because it’s a long hall.  When I got to my son’s room, I noticed the only thing you could hear in the dark of night was my PT stretchy band going “squish squish” while I monster walked over to him.  Sure enough, that was the only thing he could hear too while he slept because he sat up in bed and with a groggy voice said “Mom???  Are you doing monster walks??”.  LOL, busted.  You know you’re dedicated to PT exercises when your kids can identify them in the dark while they are asleep!!

There was lots of good stuff going on today….

It was hard to choose an orange this morning to “sacrifice” since they all looked so happy!

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I was pleased to see that I am getting one step closer to actually moving in to my desk.  They have some brackets to install this weekend, then next week I’ll actually be there!  woo!

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Another good thing today – I charted my suggested paces for Boston using a calculator (not made by me!) and I’m excited to see that they actually look doable!

boston pacing

My son’s soccer coach said the boys should start “conditioning” and they should be able to run 4 or 5 miles by the time soccer starts in a few weeks.  Uh oh, time to get the kids out running!  We ran around the neighborhood for a mile, with little or no complaining.  Bonus!

And again, I made it to the gym at lunch time!  I’m glad to see a return to normalcy around my work week 🙂

Q: Your fav, oranges or apples?

A:  I love oranges, but I don’t like messy orange eating hands.  I eat a lot of apples too!

Q: Are you a light sleeper, or like a rock?

A: Before kids I used to sleep pretty solid, but now, I wake up at the slightest sound most nights.

Q: What good stuff is happening to you these days?

 

Love notes from my lovey

I’m going to cut right to the chase tonight…  this was the highlight of my day.  While I was cuddled up in my blanket, being a sick slug and trying to get that yearbook finished, my son said he had something for me.  And he asked me to close my eyes, and he put this in my hands…

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That little guy knows the way to my heart for sure.  xoxoxo  I thought it was odd that he asked me at dinner if I could still have chocolate.  Little did I know he was brewing a plan.  So sweet 🙂

I’m not sure how I did it this morning, but I got up at 5am and followed my workout schedule – 10 miles with 4 x .75 mile repeats at 5K pace.  After I started running though I checked again to make sure I was doing the right thing.

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Dang it.  I thought that was the right rule.  Gotta keep on going.  The thing I hate about sore throats (and colds in general) is that they are always worst at night when you try to sleep.  I must have woke up a dozen times with the feeling of an anaconda wrapped around my throat, with an anaconda on fire in my throat!!  Well, I think we’ve covered how sucky my throat is feeling so we’ll move on to something different.

Here is Zoe playing with my hair as I stretched out my legs after my run.  She is so funny.  She is kind of obsessed with my hair, especially when I am watching TV.  She will jump up on top of the coach and put a hold around my head and try to bite my hair.  It doesn’t hurt – it tickles!

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When I got to work they had yet another potluck going on.  This one was a very special one because it was a surprise wedding shower for two coworkers who are getting married (to each other) in May.  The funny/sad thing was I just learned that the guy who is getting married also worked at the bank.  I’ve been sitting right next to the girl for 3 weeks now and I just learned that information.  He works on the 2nd floor, and we are on the main floor. I really need to brush up on my observation skills!

I may have had samples of the chocolate blobs with peanuts, and a super delicious cupcake.  Just maybe.

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Well that is it for now.  Gotta get to bed and hope from some healing sleep tonight.  Rest day tomorrow.  Woohoo!!

Q: Favorite candy bar?

A:  Snickers!  but perhaps you already know that.

Q: Cat attacks… frightening, or funny?

A: I was surprised to find out I have a neighbor who is really afraid of cats!  

Q: Healing treatments – do you prefer over the counter/prescription meds, or all natural??

A: I’m hoping that Snickers and a kiss will take it all away 🙂

Busting a move – 4 weeks to go!

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I dragged myself out of bed this morning.  I was already groggy from my daughter crawling in our bed at 4:51am, and I was thinking my alarm was going off at 5:10.  Ah ha!  Then I remembered today I got to “sleep in” and the alarm was set for 5:30.  Slight snooze more.  I didn’t run yesterday due to the sore throat and today it didn’t feel much better at first, but I was up so I figured I needed to get my “hills” done.  The hills were slow, but I did them.  “Just keep trying” is my new motto for running hills.  As I was running I kept reviewing my schedule this week and frowning a bit when I realized I had no time once again to go to the gym.  ughhh.  I really need to get some strength training done.

But after my run I heard the good news…  Alan was taking a day off to recuperate from that very very hard training run he did yesterday (apparently those hills pretty much kicked his butt just a little too much), so if I busted a move and got to work earlier than normal, I could go to the gym at lunch time!  And that’s just what I did.  Zip!

I was pleasantly surprised to find the other location of my gym was pretty close (7 mins away) and was really nice.  Not to mention they had some really nice lighting in the locker room.  Kudos to that!

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I did feel like a bit of an outsider at the gym though because everyone seemed to be looking at me, like I was the new girl in town.  Or maybe it was because I was reading all of the instructions on the equipment since it was different than the stuff I usually use!  Hey, everyone does that one time, right?

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With only 4 more weeks to go until Boston, I am looking forward to this being my last week of pushing it hard.  I’m saying “screw you” to my cold and going to give it my all.  Here’s what’s on tap for this week:

  • Mon – 5 miles, hills  – done!
  • Tues – 10 miles, VO2 max w/ 4 x 1,200m @ 5K pace (intervals, 3/4 mile)
  • Weds – Rest!
  • Thurs – 8 miles with last 2 miles of strides (10 x 100m)
  • Fri – 20 miler!  Last one!  This actually sounds “short” now that I got that 22 miler done last week!
  • Sat – Rest!
  • Sun – 8 miles.  Might run a freebie 5K with the family this day too.
  • Total = 51 or 54

My plan for the 20 miler is to run it at 11am, which would be the starting time for my corral in Boston.   That will be the real challenge this week because my stomach will probably be crying out for lunch at 11:35am.  yikes!

I started seeing some funny stuff on Pinterest about April Fools pranks.  It’s almost time!  I love to play pranks on the kids, but they are getting wise.

Q: Runners – favorite fuel for long runs?  GU, other?

A: GU – salted caramel all the way!

Q: Any good ideas for April Fools pranks?

A: I love to make “fake” food (salty stuff that looks sweet, etc)… but I need more ideas!

 

That familiar feeling

I know when it’s coming.  It starts out as that little ominous tickle, itch, or pain in the roof of my mouth.  I know it will turn into a cold.  It started on Friday morning.  I was a little concerned for my long run, but it was fine.  Saturday morning, my throat was as little sore, but I took some Tylenol for my DOMS from the long run, and had some hot tea in the morning and it was kept at bay.  But this morning, there was no avoiding it.  I’ve got swollen glands and a sore throat!!  ugggh.  I’m not sure how that happened.  It did everything I could to avoid it – ran 3 1/2 hours in the chilly weather Friday, stood outside for almost 2 hours in the chilly weather on Saturday, AND I drank lots of water!  🙂   Guess I needed more water drinking.

It’s a good excuse for me to bond with my computer more (sorry kids, your Mom is a total dud today), get that yearbook finished, read magazines and get my inbox down from 300 unread emails to maybe just 50!  Big goals today.  Alan is gone most of the day at a training run for his 100 miler this summer, running at least 24 miles today.  Yep, he’s running 100 miles at a race.  He’s got much bigger goals than me!!

Let’s focus our energy back on Saturday… and the awesome water stop we were volunteers at!  Our town has a lot of races, and a lot of opportunities to help out.  I try to get the family involved at least once a year, but  honestly, we could do so much more!  On Saturday a race was happening on the same trail I ran Friday.  Since I promised my family we would sleep in on Saturday, I inquired about helping at a water stop around 10am, and close to our house.  No problem, they could always use our help!

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The race had 3 distances going on – 5K, 15K and 25K.  We were stationed right before mile 12, so we got to see the 25K participants.  Unfortunately something went wrong with the directions on the course and the first runners that came through were actually running the 15K and somehow got directed to us.  Bummer!  They weren’t too thrilled.  But hey, we cheered them on, and helped them out as much as we could.  “Nope, this is the 25K course.  Keep going three more miles, then you’re done!!” 🙂

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We all thought it was pretty funny that we’ve all run *many* races, but none of us had great skills at successfully handing off a cup of water to a moving person without spilling it all over!  That made us all appreciate the volunteers we’ve encountered over the years.

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Don’t be concerned about that huge power transformer behind me.  It just part of our lovely landscape around here!  I didn’t even think anything of it until I saw this picture.  Simply picturesque!

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The kids provided some extra cheering power when they weren’t handing out GU packs or picking up cups. Sydney said that cowbells are annoying.  Seriously, what’s a race without cowbells?!

It was fun, although quite chilly.  We were there for almost 2 hours and the temperature was around 45 degrees.  Next time we’ll dress warmer, and bring some tunes to keep the runners motivated!  We did see one surprising person – a lady running barefoot!  The entire course was a paved path, and I can only imagine how cold the pavement was.  brrrrrr!

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At night we played a Family Challenge game which involved many skills – such as being able to knock a disc off our noses only by wiggling our nose!  That was actually way harder than it looks.  Kids won.  Great job kids!

Q: Have you volunteered at a race before?  Do you do it on a regular basis?

A: The other race we help out at is during the summer, but this year I might want to race it instead.

Q: Water or Gatorade while working out?

A: I stick with just plain water.  During a race I’ll take a few sips of Gatorade, but I could do without it.

Q: Barefoot running – painful, or bliss?

22 done!

I did it!  I did it!  When I was out for my run today I thought “hey, I might as well just an extra 2 miles and get that 22 miler out of the way.”  Do you ever have a run like that?  Usually that attitude would be caused by a super easy run feeling, but in this case, it was more out of convenience.  The weather was nice, and there was no wind (bonus!!) so I just kept running.  And I’m glad I did because at my turn around point I went into the woods and saw a deer.  I feel like I have to see some wildlife to really make my run worthwhile 🙂  I kept my run slow in the first part, in hopes to negative split the last half.  I did, but just by a little.  But hey, I did it!

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The first half of my run was to the outdoor mall.  I figured that a little too short because I had to run around the mall several times to get the required mileage in.  But on a good note, it was to see all of the merchants getting ready to open up the shops!  And it was kind of like window shopping since I stared at the merchandise as I ran past.  The second half of the run went out to the park, and it was pretty.  I haven’t run that direction in a while, so that was a nice change of scenery.  I got to see chickens in someone’s back yard.  The rooster was crowing.  I thought they only did that in the early morning!

The temperatures were around 34, so decided to wear the fleece tights again.  One more time.  I know I keep saying that, but it is hard to part ways with them!  To keep my hair tidy today, I decided to go with a braid.  Looking nice after my run!

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On my run I thought a lot about a lot of things.  I starting thinking about the Boston bombings and what a crazy thing that we were actually there!  What a horrible, horrible thing.  I wonder how much my kids will remember when they talk about it in history class someday.

After my run I took another soak in my tub.  It felt so good on my cold body!  Then, it was off to my volunteer job as “Copy Mom”.  Technically I was actually filling in for the other copy mom because she needed the day off.  Being Copy Mom totally rocked today because it only took me 15 mins to make copies!  I have been stuck making copies for more than an hour before, so that was a payback for those times I stayed so long.

I worked more on the school yearbook with Zoe by my side.  I think she misses Pico too.  I have found it quite interesting that she is more “loveable” now.  She is starting to follow me around, and I don’t mind it one bit.

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After dinner we just had to go to the neighborhood ice cream shop that just opened today for the season.  Especially to celebrate me going the distance today.  Yum yum yum!

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Looking forward to a relaxing, and productive (yearbook work!) weekend!

Q: Do you ever hear roosters crowing where you live??

A: When I was growing up, a neighbor owned peacocks and they used to crow all of the time!

Q: What are your favorite ice cream toppings?

A: Peanut butter and chocolate candies 🙂

 

 

Thursday, so glad to see you!!

Oh my.  What a %##^&* busy week it’s been.  When I haven’t been posting, I’ve been reading emails that something (a computer) has been trying to hack into my WordPress account for a good 48 hours or so.  Really?  Is that necessary?

Today’s workout:  I dug through the stack of workouts in the basement to find my 8 mile w/ 1/2 mile interval sheet and ran them all faster than I did last time.  Yeah me!

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St. Patty’s day was celebrated by one lucky child of mine getting a green rook at the chess match!  But he lost his match, so that made it all better.

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I was trying to stay “good” and eat some healthy food (kind of) and then this was opened at my house.  #nocontrol

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And at work, yet another daily potluck occurred.  How could I resist when colorful sprinkles were involved?

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We got a super heartfelt condolence card from the vet.  They are such nice people.

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In addition to trying to rid my house of those “cute” ladybug imposters,  Siri reminded me of the most important thing ever… (actually, Alan was playing around with my Siri and gave it the command)

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I spent last night playing bunco and being really bad – drinking *2* beers and eating all of the chocolate treats in sight!  Not a great combo, but I did enjoy it while it was happening.  Bunco was a great night of hanging with some awesome ladies from my neighbor.   I met 2 new people, and saw others I haven’t seen in a long time!  Here’s the money shot… (haha)

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Even after partying, I found a few minutes to get some PT time in.  Gotta work it hard until Boston!!

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Tonight, I’m looking forward to just relaxing with “pizza and beer date night” after a long work week which left me quite frazzled and longing to be permanently rooted in my own desk space next week.  I’ve heard the desktops still might not be done in the early week, but hopefully by the time I get there on Tuesday we will be all set.  I was going to report that my “temporary job relocation” at Job B had ended, but here’s the sad story…  at 4:55 I packed up my small group of personal items (lip balm, hand lotion, bag of trail mix, water cup, post-it notes, iPhone cable, blue pen, red pen & highlighter) and said good bye to my “boss”, he informed me that I was supposed to go back there for one more week!!!!!!!  uggh.  So close to super happiness at the end of my work week, and yet, so far.

Carb loading tonight!!  big 20 miler in the morning.

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Q:  Favorite vegetable?

A: I like a lot of vegetables.  Mostly the “common” ones.  My favorite are green beans!

Q:  Do any bugs “bug” you at your house?

A:  I could do without those Asian beetles, and mosquitoes in the summer!

 

Ice age and a weekly recap

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Something really cool (pun intended!) is happening around here!  All of that winter weather is breaking up literally in front of our eyes and it being washed away.  The river near our house was covered with ice and broke apart this weekend.  There was so much ice and movement that the ice was pushed from the river out into the roads and nearby land around the riverbeds.  We stopped at the river to check it out because it was simply amazing.

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The roads were completely impassable and the street signs had been knocked over by the massive force of the ice.

In the process we did get that really awesome picture of our family.  We climbed up there and a random stranger offered to take our picture and send it to us!  That’s how you know we live in a great place 🙂

Weekly recap

I finished up last week with 49.6.  Let’s just round that up to 50 miles! Here’s what is on the agenda for this week:

  • Mon – 5 miles (done!)
  • Tues – 8 miles of hills (need them!!)
  • Weds – Rest (and bunco night with the girls.  Woohoo!!)
  • Thurs – 8 miles with 1/2 mile intervals @ 5K pace (or faster)
  • Fri – long run, 20 miles.
  • Sat – REST!
  • Sun – 10 miles
  • Total mileage =  51 miles

My long run was actually supposed to be 17 miles, but I’m bumping that one up to 20 and the next week I’ll do a 22 miler.  Then, the distance will be shortening as I approach taper time!  I think that I really need to prepare myself for those last miles of the marathon.  I’ll be the first to admit anything over 18 miles is tough for me, so I want to be prepared.  Why can’t marathons be only 18 miles long??  I’d really enjoy them more if that were the case 🙂

I don’t know when the heck I’m going to get to the gym this week.  Once again my schedule is messed up with me working at a different location.  I’m going to try to lift some weights on Tues night so I can rest fully on Weds.  After that, I don’t want to get sore legs before the 20 miler, so maybe it’s just one day of weights again this week.

Q: Is anything exciting happening in your area?

A: I saw some flowers trying to poke their way out of the mulch today.  Go flowers, go!

Q:  What’s the longest distance you’re ever run?

A: A 50K.  One word – ouch.