IT’S TAPER TIME!!

…..yes, yes it is!  My long-runs are done and now I can go back to focusing on Crossfit and not have to worry about tiring my legs for the long run.  Deep down, that is what I am thinking but I know that this is the time where I need to be the most careful.  I have put in the effort, I have conquered the 20 21 miler and now it is the time where I need to give my body the proper care that it needs and the chance to recover so that come July 26th, I am ready to race strong..and smart!

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Someone please pinch me!  I am still on cloud nine… I just can’t believe I did this and I can’t believe how enjoyable it was.  I ran the first 12 miles alone on the roads and at mile 12, I entered a reservoir to do the final 8 with my mom and a member of my running team.  My running partner was just starting her run  so she was ready to get moving..and by ready to get moving, I mean she certainly set a strong pace.  There were moments where I wasn’t sure I would be able to hold the pace but I did!

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..pretty much!

She was such a great running partner and it was so nice to have someone to distract me from the miles.  Once I start running with someone, my ear buds get tucked away into my bra and I no longer can hear my lovely Nike App girl telling me my miles and my splits.  It is definitely a nice to break away from concentrating on the miles but eventually I get curious.  A couple of times I asked my mom and my running buddy what mile they were on and then calculated what mine would then be.  I must make myself look real good when I ask what mile I am on in the midst of one of the most important training runs 😉  We finished the run at my running partner’s car a little past 2o miles.  I was going to have her drive me home but I knew I had a little more left in the tank and being so close to home, I decided to finish this awesome run strong and ran home! I actually arrived at my driveway at mile 20.87. No way was I going to end there! I turned around, ran the end of my street and back just so I could hear that Nike lady say those two beautiful numbers..2-1 miles!!! She has never sounded so beautiful 😉

I had a solid 45 minutes to relax and get my stomach back to feeling OK before heading to a day full of 4th of July parties.  I tried to hydrate as much as possible prior to leaving so I wouldn’t feel dehydrated and nauseous later.  Lets just say, BBQ food, chips and lots of sitting and talking is NOT proper race recovery.  By the end of the night, my legs were screaming in pain and everything felt swollen.  I even experienced some mid-conversation hip flexor cramps…nothing like gasping for air and grabbing your hip while someone is telling some important story…

I felt a little better on Sunday morning but my right knee was in a bit of pain.  I learned from an injury last year that knee pain is often a result of tight hips, hamstrings, or quads which then tugs on the knee.  Yoga was definitely in my Sunday morning game plan along with this bowl of blended berries.

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There is nothing I needed more after a 21 miler followed by lots of 4th of July junk food than a good stretch at yoga and detoxifying fruit bowl.

During yoga, it was clear that my right knee pain was due to an extremely tight right hip.  Any position that stretched the hip flexors is where I experienced the most pain but thankfully those were the positions that loosened them up and I walked out of Yoga with a much better feeling in my knee.

Lets talk food because since being on summer vacation, I have had time to whip up some pretty delicious dinners around here..but clearly still not enough time to post more blog posts! oops.

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If you are craving pasta but do not want all the gluten or carbs…this is definitely the way to go.  I think it even tastes better than pasta!  1 serving is 1/4 of the fairly large batch and has 20 grams of carbs and 25 grams of proteins.  We are also a fan of the Black bean pasta.  We made a homemade tomato sauce with onions, mushroom and basil with some shrimp.

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It made another appearance later in the week with chicken and brussels sprouts.  This time no sauce, just sprinkled swiss cheese and nutritional yeast.  I am telling you, this pasta is the way to go.  It is so delicious just plain or you can jazz it up with various marinara sauces or avocado sauces.

Last Wednesday I came home from a farm stand with LOTS of Parsley and the last time I did that, it sat in my fridge and rotted.  This time around I knew I had to use it ASAP so the first thing that came to mind was GUACAMOLE.  I used Running on Veggies guacamole recipe that uses a cup of mashed peas.  It is perfect.  You double the volume with less that fat and more vegetables and you can’t even taste the peas.

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Guacamole is not a main course, though it should be!…so I decided to pair the guacamole with some homemade Fajitas using crockpot shredded chicken.

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Easiest meal right here!  Just chicken, salsa, bone broth, carrots, onions and parsley..set the crockpot for a few hours and boom..delicious shredded chicken.

I am currently finishing up this blog post with a nice coffee in my hand overlooking Cayuga Lake in Ithaca.  It is not time to fish a bit and then hit some wineries.  I planned on getting in a nice run around the lake today but my legs are recovering from yesterday morning’s Crossfit WOD…

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This was definitely one of those workouts where you are just fighting to hang on.  The humidity certainly didn’t help..I think I am still trying to catch my breath 24 hours later.  Despite the pain and exhaustion, after 26 minutes of work, I made the Crossfit Board for fastest time!  My 12 mile run around Ithaca will be postponed until tomorrow so I can tackle the hills with rested legs 🙂

Summer Vacation is Finally Here…for a few hours

Tuesday at noon was my official start to summer! WooHooo!…but of course, Wednesday at 8am was my official start of a summer statistics class.  It only meets 5 times over the course of the summer so I can’t complain…especially because 1.) I get bored so easily over the summer and 2.) I LOVE STATISTICS

image..and 3.) I love the juice bar at UMass and my brand new colorful pens and notebook 🙂

Before I get into all this summer vacation talk and the things I have planned aside from number crunching, I have to start off by saying I AM ONLY ONE HARD TRAINING RUN AWAY FROM BEING MARATHON READY!  I conquered the 18 miler last Saturday…by myself! image I am not going to lie, I was freaking out Friday evening because I couldn’t recruit anyone to run that final few/6 miles with me.  I really/obsessively questioned whether I could tackle the run by myself.  My boyfriend mapped out a new route that was the perfect distance, 12 miles through surrounding neighborhoods and then the final 6 miles in a beautiful and FLAT reservoir less than a mile from our house…also serves as a good meeting place if I had someone to run with.  I tried not to talk about my nerves and uncertainty too much because I know that non-runners are not a huge fan of listening to anything involving running let alone running a crazy 18 miles.  We drove the route the night before to make sure I had my roads correct, I put out water at mile 9 miles and was all set to conquer the run…unfortunately alone.  I woke up early Saturday morning to ensure that would I beat the heat.  Boy was I nervous.  I don’t know what it is about long runs that makes me anxious.  My theory is that ‘the long run’ is not just a normal run.  You (or maybe it’s just me!) have to mentally prepare for it. I have to pump myself up for it.  It is not one of those runs where you just get out there and just crank out a few miles.  You have to train your mind to not focus on the time, not focus on how many miles left, not focus on pace and to solely focus on taking in the world around you.  I think my nerves kick in because so much effort goes into preparing for the long run..the mental aspect, the water placement, the GU, the weather…and then there’s the thought of ‘after ALL this preparation, what if I can’t do it or my legs just feel terrible’.  There are days when I am rested yet my legs still feel horrible and then there are other days where I already worked out and yet my legs feel great.  It seems like I can never control how my legs are going to feel and that uncontrollable piece is scary especially when your about to conquer lots of miles.  I guess when you put so much effort into preparing for something, it’s natural to be nervous.  Nervous that the plan that is prepped and set in place could potentially fall through.  And the craziest part of all, is most of the time, it all works out..yet I still always get those nerves.  And even if it happened to not be my day for a long run, there are plenty of other days to try again! Thankfully last Saturday was my day and I had a great run at a solid pace 🙂

My legs were surprisingly not too sore on Sunday so I was able to get in a good yoga session and Crossfit workout.  As for Monday, I wasn’t sore but certainly not ready to take on the 100 burpees that they had on the agenda. No thank you!  I did a nice evening shake out run and a bike ride instead. By Thursday, my legs were definitely ready to rest up and thankfully my Compex muscle stimulation came in the mail just when I needed it the most! image I did not hesitate to use it! I hooked it right up to my hamstrings and let it do its thing! It certainly worked its magic because my legs felt great for Saturday’s (yesterday’s) 15 miler! image It is crazy that ‘scaling back’ this week means a 15 mile run.  A month ago 15 miles would have been my longest run in history and now it doesn’t seem so long.  It could of been because my wonderful mom jumped in and ran the last 5 miles with me to take my mind off that last leg!

I had to get to afternoon party but I certainly did not skip on a post-long run ice bath in my neighbors pool, a nice oatmeal cereal with fruit and nuts, and a quick stim session. image image

Next up…the 20 miler.  Nothing like kicking off the 4th of July with a light run 😉

Before I end this post, I have to show you all another accomplishment that went down this week…

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 I successfully managed to create homemade spring rolls!  I used Brown Rice paper (soaked in warm water) and filled them with sliced cucumbers, carrots, romaine lettuce, avocado, kelp noodles, shrimp and a drizzle of homemade peanut sauce.  I could use a bit more work on my rolling skills but all in all, they came out great…and half the price of what I would pay at a sushi restaurant.

ONE MORE THING…my Timehop app reminded me that exactly 3 years ago I ran my first half marathon!

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Wow. It is crazy to think about how much has changed/happened over these past 3 years.  I have grown in so many ways.  In those 3 years, I ran 14 more half marathons, earned my Masters Degree, started my teaching career,  started Crossfit and am now training/3 weeks away from my first marathon…oh and met an incredibly amazing person that puts a smile on my face everyday 🙂

That Evening Race Struggle and a NEW Long Run Record

Happy Tuesday!

I ended Thursday’s post about my road trip after work to New Hampshire for a 6:30 5k race.  The Hollis Fast 5k. Well fast for others, not so much for me.. When I told co-workers that I had to leave work a bit early because I had a “race in New Hampshire” on a Thursday evening, they looked at me like I was crazy.  And when I proceeded to say to tell them it was only a 5k, the judgement got stronger.  But I can’t disagree because IT IS CRAZY!  It was a USATF certified race so my running team was competing.  It is rare, very rare, that I would be down for traveling an hour and a half on a Thursday evening to race a 5k but when you have a great team that is committed to racing and the success of the team, along with a great car load of people to ride up with, it is worth it.  However, just because it was worth it, doesn’t mean it was easy.  It was pretty darn hard to muster to up the energy to just get my legs moving once we arrived let alone race!  I was waiting for adrenaline to kick in, but it wasn’t happening.  I was definitely nervous when I got to the start line.  I don’t know if it was because I knew my time mattered tremendously because I was racing for a team…or because there were so many tiny, fast runners  decked out in uniforms surrounding me which was quite intimidating..or because I knew that in minutes I would have to go full speed for 3 miles and my legs were not in the mood to do that.  I
think it was a mix of all three of those reasons but despite the nerves, as soon as that gun went off, I took off down the road…way too fast.  My first mile was a 5:43 and since my average mile time was 6:21, that only means one thing…

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.. I definitely started out too fast and hit a wall.  It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t entirely enjoyable, but it was over fast!  Though I didn’t have a PR, many of my teammates raced a PR!!

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The face says it all…don’t make me move fast, I just don’t wannnaa!

I also mentioned in my last post how I couldn’t stop smiling over my new long run record of 14.24 miles.  Well I have stopped smiling over that because I have something EVEN better…

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On Sunday I tackled 16 miles! I can’t believe I did it!  I am beyond proud of myself because this type of mileage is something I have feared for a long time and each week I am proving to myself that it can be done!  I have heard from many people that the key to surviving the long run is having a running buddy.  Well unfortunately, I do not have a running buddy for a couple of reasons.  I haven’t really ever wanted one.  Part of my love for running is the ability to just be alone, listen to music and just drift off into my own little world.  Of course there are those runs that are miserable and the only thing running through my mind is the seconds/miles remaining…but for the most part, my runs are usually peaceful and is my time where I can think through things and jam out to some great tunes.  I also have no interest in wasting the little breath I have on talking.  The thought of trying to hold a conversation with someone while gasping for air does not sound appealing, but is also my biggest problem. I don’t know how to slow down!  That being said, though I like my alone time during my runs, as the miles are creeping up, I am starting to realize that I do not need 16 miles worth of alone time.  I have been contemplating the idea of recruiting someone/people to run certain legs of my long run with me so that I can get my alone time in but can also have someone to distract me from those negative thoughts that start to arise around mile 13.  A couple of members from my Crossfit box told me that their club team was planning on a 6 mile run around a local reservoir on Sunday morning at 8:30.  THAT’S PERFECT! I can have 10 miles to myself and then jump in to group run to help me slow down my pace and motivate me through the final 6 miles.  It all sounded great but I wasn’t sure if it would all pan out the way I had vision in my head.

I had the morning all planned out before I went to bed.  If I wanted to make it to the group run by 8:30 with 10 miles already in the bag, I would have to leave the house by 7:10…making for a glorious 6:30 wake up call on Sunday morning.  My run started out fine, but I was noticing some tightness in my left calf from the race on Thursday.  The tightness was subsiding which resulted in me questioning this whole 16 miler.  I was convinced around mile 3 that this would end up just being a 6-10 miler.  Not bad, but  not what I had in mind.  But then around mile 4 my calf just slowly loosed and it all felt okay.  It was like the clouds parted and I had a burst of confidence. Dramatic, I know. I made it to the group run a little behind schedule but just in time and exactly 10 miles in!  I stopped to take a quick breather and get into their group huddle and before I knew it, I was back running and ready to tackle this final leg.  The pace was a bit slower, my music was put away and I was just enjoying the beautiful scenery of the reservoir and the conversation of the people around me. I ended up doing the final 6 miles with two older men whom I  never met before.  I still am not a huge fan of holding a conversation while running but it wasn’t horrible.  I actually think I enjoy running with people just to listen to other people’s conversations…slightly creepy but it’s interesting! Another 6 miles later, I broke off from the running group and ran home clocking a little over 16 miles! 🙂

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I write this with so much excitement and pride.  I can’t believe I am conquering mileage that I feared for so long…and it’s actually enjoyable!  I already have a 17 mile route planned out for this Sunday and maybe a partner who is willing to bike the final 6 with me! I am trying not to let my excitement get the best of me because I am well aware from past experiences that things can come up and throw a giant curve ball in your game plan.  I am doing everything I can to prevent any injuries or possible disturbances in my training by resting, taking care of my body and stretching every night.  I am incorporating yoga into my schedule in addition to running and Crossfit so that my body can remain flexible and loose despite the heavy lifting and running.  I can only hope that with proper care and nutrition, my training will continue to stay strong and I will make it to that finish line on July 26th!

Have a great rest of the week!…only one more week until summer vacation 🙂

Can’t wait to enoy more of this view..

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Longest Run to Date and a Racecation Planned

Ironic that my last post was about setting PRs and the frustration I have been experiencing with not having set a running PR in quite some time…then BOOM, without any expectations, I set a running PR.  No, no, not some outrageous race time but my LONGEST RUN EVER!!!

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Owe it to my new Brooks Launch running shoes..

Like I said in my last post, I have been focusing most of my time on Crossfit and have only been getting in super short runs later in the day if I have time.  Two weekends ago, I had a 14 miler planned but not a single bone in my body wanted to do it.  I don’t necessarily get excited for long runs but I don’t usually dread them like I was dreading that 14 miler.  Instead of forcing something that I just didn’t want to do, I ended up skipping my long run and doing yoga at my Crossfit box followed by a Sunday WOD and some extra lifting.  It was exactly what I wanted to do.  My body needed a good stretch and I was in the mood to lift and workout with people.  Being my first week of marathon training, (yup, MARATHON IS BOOKED.  Will explain later!), I felt a little guilty about bailing out on a long run this early into training but sometimes you just need to let yourself break away from the plan a bit and do what you want rather than what you feel you should do.

This past Sunday, I knew I had to stick to my schedule and I felt ready to take on the long run, especially because the weather was perfect.  With almost 2 weeks of little running since my last half marathon, I had no idea what to expect.  I set a goal of 10, a reach goal of 12 and if some miracle happened, then the intended 14 that I missed last week.

imageAh yes, I still smile when I see those numbers.  How did I do that??  But seriously…I wish I knew what made this run so perfect.  My legs felt fresh despite 5 straight days of working out before going into this run, my mind was relaxed and everything just felt great. I just kept tacking on more miles because my body and legs were willing to take it and not fighting against me for once!  Once I knew I was going to hit my reach goal of 12, I went a little further for 13 and though I could feel myself starting to weaken, I was way too close to that miracle so I slowed my pace down a bit and just remained controlled.  I reminded myself that a mile is just  my quick warm up around the block before Open Gym crossfit.  I can handle that!  And sure enough, I did 🙂  This was so needed.  I needed this running boost to remind myself that I can do this!  When I look at my training plan, those high mileage runs scare me, but I just need to take it one mile at a time.  I also need to remind myself that not every run is a good run and sometimes your legs just want to give up after mile 1.  Don’t force it.  If the run isn’t there, then save it.  Wait for the moment when it is.  It may not be part of the plan, but the plan will work itself out if it’s meant to happen.

Speaking of this whole marathon training thing that I keep mentioning…

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I am making my way back to San Francisco this summer 🙂 I received this same confirmation email a year ago but only made it to the Half-marathon finish.

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San Francisco Half-Marathon 2014

Lets see how it all plays out for Round 2.  I am excited..nervous…scared…but also relaxed.  I know that the trip will be amazing regardless of what happens.  If I don’t feel marathon ready then I will just switch to the half marathon and enjoy everything that race has to offer…THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE.  And even if NO running happens, I can enjoy a wonderful vacation with a great friend in a beautiful city.

Running wasn’t the only huge accomplishment this weekend but because I haven’t had many of those in a while I will boast about that the most 😉 On Saturday, I finally reached the highest double unders amount for my Crossfit box!  This has been a goal I have been trying to reach for weeks now and I am so happy it finally happened! 102 consecutive Double Unders! 

Funny story about reaching 102. On Friday I decided to try and set a new personal best seeing as I had been at 83 for a couple of weeks and Double Unders were in Friday’s WOD.

imageI made it up to 99! A new personal best (as of Friday) and a tie for first place at my box.  I walk in on Saturday and saw I had been bumped to 2nd because a phenomenal double underer (definitely not a word..) in the later class ended up hitting the whole 100! She is actually the person I learned double unders from.  I starred at her form and just tried to mimic it…a little creepy but true..and helpful!  Since I was still on cloud nine from my 99, I did not expect to have to tackle this challenge again but being only 1 away, it had to be done.  I didn’t get it on my first try but my legs were willing to jump 102 more times 🙂  I suspect this will lead to a little Double Under competition 😉 but what better way to stay motivated and continue to better my previous score!

Lets get to the good stuff and talk food…

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Friday nights always call for burgers and a sad attempt (fail) at grilling artichokes.  When it comes to burger night, things get a little territorial so thankfully we had some chives to make sure our burgers are not mixed up 😉 I am a huge fan of the Trader Joe’s grass-fed 90% lean beef, mix in some onions and Flavor God spices and top it off with melted shredded Swiss cheese. Instead of buns I use one slice of toasted Ezekiel bread and just leave the top open and load on grilled onions, mushrooms and avocado!

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This is has been a recent post-workout favorite!  If you are a chocolate lover like me, this is right up your alley.  I mixed my Vega-Sport Chocolate Protein powder with just enough Almond Milk to make a gooey fudge.  Chop up some fruit…apples, strawberries and bananas are my top choices...and just dip/SLATHER them in chocolate.

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Lastly, after a cold and rainy 3-day field trip to Cape Cod last week, the only thing I wanted for dinner was grilled, HOT, food!  That is exactly what went down…Salmon, broccoli, brussel sprouts, chopped sweet potato fries.  Just what I needed after 3 days of cold food!

I hope everyone has a great rest of the week!  I will be road tripping it with my team tonight for a USATF 5k race in New Hampshire.

Wish us luck! 🙂

Sunny Long Run, Deck of Hell and First Fishing Trip of the Season

Happy Tuesday!

I definitely just changed that from Happy Monday to Happy Tuesday because my intentions for posting this yesterday fell through…

That weekend flew by but it was awesome!  My team had a night game on Friday and the team had a  beautiful turf field with music blasting.  It definitely brought back memories of my college games with such a professional and amped up atmosphere.  I will forever miss my lacrosse days.  There is nothing more special than game day and the opportunity to play your favorite sport with your best friends.  Ahh memory lane. Always sad that it’s over but forever grateful that it happened!

Enough with the sappy lines, moving on!   Saturday was an eventful and exhausting day starting with an awesome crossfit workout.  We all decided to ditch the workouts we had planned and did a workout called the “Deck of Hell”.  Our coach had a deck of cards and assigned a move to each suite. Our four movements were burpees, pull ups, med ball cleans and weighted sit-ups.  Every time a card was flipped we had to do the move as many times as the number on the card and Jokers were 200m sprints.  It didn’t sound too tough of a WOD when we started but when the face cards keep popping up meaning 11 burpees or 11 pull-ups, it became clear how the workout got it’s name!

With a great WOD done and the sun shinning, it was time to dust off the fishing poles and kayaks for our first fishing adventure of the season.  It was more of tanning session with the lack of bites BUT I did catch 3!

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The ‘Deck of Hell’ and a few fish later, we were definitely due for a big ol’ burger and nachos and that is exactly what went down after a quick nap.

After checking the weather for my long run on Sunday, I decided that an early morning wake-up was essential if I wanted to beat the heat and spare myself from a brutal run in the sun.  However, my body and phone had other plans.  My alarm never went off, which is how Sundays should be, so at 9am I flew out of bed, laced up and headed out as fast as I could. Despite the effort, I definitely did not beat the heat and probably did not hydrate as well as I should have because it was a hot one!

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Any runner can attest that stopping just short of an even mile is just not something you do.  Even if you have to run up and down your driveway until you get that even mile, you WILL do it. But unfortunately, I was way too thirsty to check where I was at.  I knew I was well past 10 miles and that was enough for me to call it quits.

The last 5 miles was spent dreaming of this…

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Yup.  There is nothing better than that feeling of being done, kicking back and chugging ice water after.  This position did not last long because I had to coach at noon, but it was glorious while it lasted.

We ended the weekend on a great note with some amazing homemade shrimp tacos!

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Picked up some peeled and deveined organic shrimp cooked with Flavor God seasoning, broiled cabbage for some crunch, and homemade paleo tortillas taken from Stupid Easy Paleo.  These new tortillas are perfect!  They cook in 2 minutes, the size can be adjusted based on the frying pan diameter and they fold without breaking!  My next plan is to buy those egg yolk circles to make small, round tortillas as buns for my homemade burgers.

Another perfect meal from the week was a big salad, grilled steak with grilled carrots, sweet potato fries and onions.

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I was debating whether I should order red compression socks for this weekend’s Boston Run to Remember Half marathon..then I saw this amazing email!

imageHoly Smokes! What a deal.

I probably do not need any more compression socks and may not even get the red color, but for $39,I am willing to test my luck.  Nothing like a good surprise to add an element of excitement to the work week.  I will keep you all posted on what my Grab Bag has!

Oh and Mei would also like to say hi to you all.  There is nothing better than coming home to this cutie after a long day!

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I definitely needed to see this face after a pretty rough day.  I also needed a little extra miles to clear my head so I set out for a slow 4 miler before dinner.  Despite the 50 pistol squats from this morning’s WOD, it wasn’t as tough as I thought it would be.

Speaking of dinner, we have a pretty classy set up for blocking the sun..

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Rumor has it, it’s not permanent but I am not sold on that 😉 Permanent or not, I’m just grateful and happy to have a delicious grilled dinner outside with a beautiful sunset.

Have a great week! Only 4 more days until a nice little racecation with my Mom 🙂

A (day late) Mother’s Day Post!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day!

I wish I could say this post is a day late because I was too busy making sure my mom had the most amazing Mother’s Day but unfortunately that is not the case.  I can say that we celebrated Mother’s Day with my mom and Grandma on Saturday night and it was so great to have everyone together.  Those two are definitely worth celebrating! They have done one heck of a job as wonderful mothers.

I may not have spent the morning with my mom but I did go on a long run in preparation for the Boston Run to Remember Half Marathon that my mom and I are doing in two weeks!

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Oh it was a hot one.  I can’t complain about the warm temps just yet because I spent the winter complaining about miserable, snowy and cold runs.  Regardless of the beating sun and the need for a water stop at a local cafe, I’ll take summer heat over winter snow any day.  At least with the heat, you can wake up earlier to try and beat it.  You can’t really beat the snow, once it’s there, it’s there…especially this winter.  Overall the run went great.  My body could definitely tell that my long runs these past few weeks have been consistent 10 milers.  When I get past that 10 mile mark, everything gets tough. Last week’s 13 miler was the same, everything is enjoyable until about mile 10, then that’s when it goes from a long run to a bit of a fight.  But it eventually all gets done 🙂

I was in a bit of a rush to get to my parent’s house to give gifts to my Mom and Grandma but standing in front of the window fan with water for a solid 5 minutes was necessary.

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A post-run smoothie bowl was also just was I needed to refuel and allow my body to cool a bit.

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Thankfully, I finally stopped sweating and was able to finish 3 more pages in my racing scrapbook just in time to show my mom for Mother’s Day.

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I wanted to finish these pages because they were from our Disney Challenge and capture the amazing experience and the fun that we had together.  I love creating this scrap-book for so many reasons.  With each page, I get to relive some incredible memories.  The scrapbook was designed for just half marathons and hopefully a marathon, but the entire Disney Challenge deserved a spot in the book because it was so special.

Though I managed to finish the pages, there is no gift or day that can amount to how thankful I am to have such an incredible mother.  She is amazing is so many ways.  We certainly have had our moments – there is something about that mother-daughter relationship where you know just what to say or do to make them mad, or even worse, make them hurt.  There is no justification for it but you just need to learn from those guilt-filled moments.  And at the end of each day, I truly am blessed to have such an incredible and passionate person in my life.  She has and continues to support me in every aspect of life.  She is the reason I am who I am.  Based on her most recent half marathon times, she still has a ton of fight left in her which makes me incredibly happy because I hope to have many more race-cations.

My scrapbook still has many more pages left and I can only hope that those pages are not just me but us.

Key to Balancing a Crazy Schedule

Hi All!

I can’t even begin to tell you how terrible I feel about not posting this past month.  Who knows if anyone actually cares/noticed about my recent blogging absence but if there are people out there that like to read my posts (besides my wonderful mom!) then thank you and I am sorry!  With April vacation over with and some much-needed down time, I am back to work with a bit more energy and hopefully some extra time to blog.

Life has been crazy busy but crazy fun!  I have finally found a great balance between my teaching, my coaching and my crossfit/running!  The first couple of weeks with coaching were rough. I tried to put a smile on and not complain but exhaustion and my hectic schedule was getting the best of me.  I don’t know about any of you, but working out after a long day is just not my thing.  It is hard to have a great workout when you just don’t want to be there.  I have said it before and I will say it again, just because I love running and Crossfit, does not mean I enjoy doing it ALL the time.  It is so important to find a balance and a time where you never dread what you are doing.  That being said, I have found MY time.  I am much more of a morning person than an evening person.  I like to have dinner done, dishes done and be on couch with my favorite person…and animals by 8 pm.

imageI get the demon eyes if I don’t give them some quality cuddle time 😉

My Crossfit gym has a 6am class but I always thought it would never be possible to do a 6am class and make it to work by 7:30/7:45.  Well my friends, anything is possible if you don’t really care about how smelly you are 😉 Just kidding..kind of. The 6:30 pm class was just not working out well after long days so I decided to give the 6am a shot despite the time crunch.

Prior to my first 6am class, I had everything packed up for the day and in my car the night before – breakfast, lunch, after-school snack, work clothes, coaching clothes, makeup, toothbrush…everything!  I must have checked that bag over and over again.  I knew that if I forgot ONE thing, there was no cushion in my schedule to pick it up at home.  I guess you can say I didn’t sleep that much the night before. But once that alarm went off, it was go time!  I went to 6am, had a great workout, rushed into the bathroom, washed my face, changed my clothes (maybe still a bit sweaty but a little sweat on work clothes never hurt anyone), put on a little mascara on because everyone knows mascara is the difference between ‘I just rolled out of bed’ and ‘I am ready to be seen in public’…and within 15 min I was out of the gym and off to work.  I even had some time to eat my packed breakfast before the students arrived!

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I guess you could say it was a success and has been a success ever since.  I am so glad I took the risk and tried it out because it has made my busy days/evenings much less stressful.  It is so nice to know my workout is done and I can focus on work and coaching for the rest of the day.  And if I do have energy at the end of the day/it doesn’t feel like an obligation, then I can get in a nice little run with the pups as well.

Speaking of running, I haven’t done too much of that.  I jumped into a local 10k a couple of weeks ago and ended up placing 4th overall.  There were not that many people in the race so I can’t brag too much and my time was certainly not brag worthy, but a race is a race.  After the race, I took some time to reflect on why my past few races since Disney have been an exhausting and unenjoyable struggle.  I realized that I just don’t have the mileage behind me right now to expect great outcomes.  It seems like an obvious observation as I type it, but with my personality and passion for competition, I tend to jump into things even when I am not ready yet still wonder why it didn’t go in my favor.  Lately I have been focusing on Crossfit during the week and get in a long run on Sundays.  I guess I keep thinking that my Sunday long runs are enough to power me through all these races.  Not so much.

Oh well. At the moment, I am just concentrating on balancing everything.  If I can get in a great workout to start my day, get through the work day with enthusiasm and motivate my players through practices and games in the evening, then that is a success.

Despite my lack of mid-week running, my Sunday long runs have been wonderful.  I did a great 10 miler on Easter…

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And I may have refueled with a piece..or two of the Reester Bunny that I found in my car from a special someone 🙂 The only thing better than a Reese Cup is a giant Reester Bunny!

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This past weekend I had exactly 1 hour to get in a run before I had to start getting ready for a baby shower..

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and of course my lack of punctuality wins again.  It was such a great run, I did not want to stop.  I squeezed in an extra mile and decided that straightening my hair was not that important 😉  And thankfully I had a little help with the wrapping  while I was gone…

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Yup. That’s duct tape because I didn’t buy enough wrapping paper….classy.

Lets talk food.  My smoothie bowls that were in my last post continue to make constant appearances.

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I heard about adding frozen cauliflower but never tried that idea until recently.  It is brilliant.  You can’t taste it, it adds volume and thickness and you get an extra serving of vegetables on top of the tons of spinach already blended in.

Another common occurrence at night are homemade quesadillas.

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Ground turkey or crock pot chicken make for great fillings.  Add a little shredded Swiss cheese, guacamole, mushrooms, onions into a sprouted grain tortilla, throw it in the oven for a few minutes and you have a delicious Mexican inspired meal with half the calories and fat in minutes!

I had this wonderful fruit and nut bowl before one of my workouts.

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It was so simple yet so perfect!…and so is the happy little Corgi in the background.

Feels great to be back on here and I hope that I don’t have another month break after this post!  Also, congratulations to everyone who ran the Boston Marathon.  I had my eyes clued to my iPad for a solid 2 1/2 hours.  I can’t explain to people what makes watching people run for 2 1/2 hours enjoyable but I love it.  It is so inspiring and straight-up jaw-dropping to see these runners move so fast for so long.  I truly admire every individual that has ever run a marathon.  The commitment, the training, and the mental strength you need in order to complete a marathon is beyond impressive.  I signed up for the San Francisco Marathon last year but an injury held me back from the full and stuck me with the half.  I would love to go back to San Francisco this summer and tackle the marathon like I had planned a year ago.  We will see what happens 🙂 but right now I am not making a game plan – it seems whenever I make a game plan that is when things go wrong.  This time around I am just going to run when I can, slowly increase my long run mileage, maybe recruit someone to run with and see where it takes me!