Thursday, December 31, 2009

3 Things Thursday: New Years Eve Edition!

Happy New Years' Eve!! I can't believe that tomorrow starts 2010!

1. I ran to the gym this morning and then went to spin class. Now my legs are dead! I probably will need a nap this afternoon so I can stay up till midnight!

2. December saw me run 58.9 miles (compared to 50.1 in November) with lots of cross training and one indoor triathlon. Hopefully January and 2010 will see more miles! This new year will be the first full year that I can totally dedicate to running!

3. This is the first New years that Brian and I will be together. Last year he was in Florida training for swimming with his college team. Hope everyone has a great time tonight and stays safe!

**Hello to all my new followers! Thanks for stopping by!!**

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Blizzard!

Although we had no snow for Christmas (only lots of rain), we now have at least a few inches with more expected later today! The temps read about 11F and I will not be going out to run in that weather today!

Sunday I was able to get in my longest run yet, 5.6 miles at 8:25 min/mile pace. Yesterday I headed out again in the early morning and had an ultra slow run because of snow covered roads and sidewalks. It was good that I went slow so that it was a recovery run from the previous day.

Since Lisa at Lisa Yarns has unveiled her latest knitting, I thought I would share the baby blanket I made for my co-worker and the scarf I crocheted.

Baby Blanket


And me caught in the act of crocheting!

I hope everyone had a great Christmas! I can't believe 2010 is 3 days away! Next I will be posting my resolutions and running goals for the coming year! Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

3 Things Thursday: Christmas Eve Edition!

1. Yesterdays run after work with my co-worker was awesome! We ran 3.25 miles and she and I just talked the whole time! It went by so quickly and I can't wait to run with her again!

2. I am at work this morning - we have to work 4 hours. There is really nothing to do though so I am just reading blogs!

3. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!! Hope everyone has a great holiday!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Good thing I ran this morning

Because I just ate way too much! We had our holiday lunch and it was so delicious! I am officially in a food coma for the rest of the afternoon. This one guy made these wonderful chocolate cookie balls! I could only eat one because I was already stuffed BUT I did sneak one for tomorrow's lunch! I confronted him and asked him for the recipe:

1 block of cream cheese (I think its about 8 ounces?)
1 package of oreos
A few Herseychocolate bars

Put oreos in food processor and blend then mix with cream cheese. Put chocolate in microwave until smooth. Form oreo paste into ball forms and dip them into chocolate, then place on wax paper and refrigerate until hard! They are absolutely amazing!!

This morning I did run and it was very cold for the Winter Misery One Mile (22F feels like 8F). I ran over into the neighborhood across the street and did 5 hills to make sure I was warmed up. As I was running up the second hill, I almost got run over by a 4 point deer. It had to be less than 4 feet from me and just ran across the street. Once I got over my shock and finished the hills I made my way to my unofficial start line.

I had mapped out a route that led me back to my apartment and just started running. I felt good most of the way. The last 100 feet were the worst as I was sucking some serious wind. I hadn't run that fast in a while. My goal was to run sub 7 minutes and I ran 6:39. My total run was 2.85 miles.

As I was about halfway through my mile I made a promise to my legs, and God too, that if I didn't fall on the icy sidewalk I would foam roll when I got home. Well I didn't fall and so I got out my new orange foam roller that I just bought 3 weeks ago and rolled away. IT HURT A LOT! My IT band on both sides was quite painful and my legs ached for most of the morning but now I feel ok!

Tonight I am meeting Kaylie for spin class with The Goddess and then tomorrow afternoon I have a running date with a girl who works at my company!!

2 more days until Christmas!! Merry Tuesday!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Its cold outside!

I have been a cold weather wimp, a morning runner fake! It has been almost two weeks since I have run outside! Saturday morning, Brian had a haircut appointment and I planned on running to the Barber's but it was really cold out (8F) and I have this nagging cold so I stayed in and rested instead.

I really feel like my mileage is slipping! I was steadily increasing my mileage but since Thanksgiving I have started to decrease again. I have been lacking in desire to get out there and run the mileage. I have become more friendly with the stair climber machine and also the Thursday night spinning class at the gym.

The Thursday night spinning class is taught by this "goddess" and she like never sweats! Last Thursday I met my friend Kaylie at the gym for the class and she worked us HARD! The whole time we are dripping with sweat and dying, she is just continuing along like its nothing! She is really awesome!

Is today reall the first day of winter, the longest day of the year!!? I can't even believe how fast time flies! Have a great week!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Lots of Stuff

First off - I went to the gym this morning to run since it was icy outside. I am running along at a comfortable pace when a girl steps onto the treadmill next to me. She increases the speed rapidly and soon she is cruising along. I can't quite see, but I think she was going faster than my 8:30 min/mile pace. As she runs she holds onto the top of the treadmill. I cast weird glances at her wondering what she is doing!! This is the second woman I have seen at the gym do this! I just don't understand! Why are you holding onto the treadmill for dear life!!!?? Just turn down the speed!!

Second - I just finished a new book and a Christmas one at that! The Christmas Tree By Julie Salamon is a super quick read with just 115 pages. It was heart warming and a lovely story! Taken from

The chief gardener at Rockefeller Center dreads Christmas because one of his responsibilities is the selection of the center's giant Christmas tree, which is not an easy job. Thus, he is thrilled one spring to have found the perfect tree so early and foresees no problem in persuading the nuns who own the property on which the tree stands to let him have it. Then he meets Sister Anthony, who came to the convent as a young orphan and made a close friend of the Norway Spruce she calls "Tree."

One last thing - It's getting cold outside! Check out this giveaway from Lisa Yarn's for a chance to win a hat and scarf!!!

Special Thank You to Tall mom for the Christmas Card! It made my day!!
Another special thank you to Lisa at Early Morning Run!! I won her holiday music giveaway and got the package this week! I brought all the CD's to work and have been listening to them while I do my mindless paper work!

Today is a super busy day! Enjoy the rest of the day!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Indoor Triathlon Race Report

Sunday morning I woke up at 6am and got my stuff together. I had my bathing suit on and then brought a small towel to dry off with during the first transition along with my shoes, water bottle and bike/run clothes. I knew going from the swim to bike would be the hardest since I would be soaking wet.

The Tri started at 7am with heats of 10-12 people going off every 20 minutes. I was set to start at 7:40 in lane 7 of the pool. I got to the YMCA just after the first heat started. Each person had a score card that followed them throughout the tri and was used to record laps and distances for each portion.

As soon as the second heat had cleared the pool we were allowed to get in. I was in the same lane with a boy who looked like he swam for a local college. On the other side of me was a teenage girl who I knew swam. I did a few laps to warm up and then we set to go.

As soon as the horn sounded to start, the girl and guy on either side of me took off! It was hard not to start out fast with everyone around you swimming fast but I forced myself to slow down after the first lap. My legs were burning by the 5th lap but I just kept going. I could see the clock as I swam so I knew how long it was taking me to swim down and back in the pool.

I settled into a good rhythm and just kept going. There was once or twice where the college kid in my lane almost hit me! He may have been a swimmer but he did not know how to stay on his side of the lane! With just under 2 minutes to go I was determined to get in two more laps and so I picked up the pace. I came in with time to spare (6 seconds) and jumped right out of the pool. The guy who was keeping track of my laps yelled the number out to me and I scampered off to the locker room to change.

In the locker room I changed out of my bathing suit and tried to dry off as quickly as possible. I had some trouble getting my clothes on but somehow made it out to the bikes with 2 minutes left in the 5 minute transition time. I had totally forgotten that I would need to change the bike seat height and also strap my shoes in. I barely got one sneaker in when it was time to start.

About 30 seconds in the one shoe that was strapped in came out and I lost some momentum getting it back in the strap and then started peddling again. The guy who had swam next to me was also next to me on the bike. He was rocking the bike and I was trying to stay with him.

The bike had to be my least favorite part. My shoe ended up coming out of the strap again with about 9 minutes left so I just put it on top of the peddle and kept going. The seats were uncomfortable and I just wanted this part to be over because my legs were so tired. The best part of the bikes was that the YMCA people had pulled out the spinning bikes and put them right near the enterance so that we had a good crowd cheering us on and some good music playing!

When the bike was finally over, I grabbed my water and headed up the stairs to the treadmills. They had reserved a full row of treadmills for us to run on and of course the super fast college kid was once again next to me.

This was the easiest transition because I didn't have to change at all and just waited for the run to begin. When the 15 minutes began I cranked up the treadmill to a 7:30 min/mile pace and just set in. I wanted to get comfortable and so I stayed at that pace for about 0.5 miles. Then I just kept increasing it every few tens of a mile. My goal was to get in 2 miles in the 15 minutes.

I hit the one mile mark a little before 8 minutes. At this point I was at about a 7:13 min/mile pace. I felt good, my legs weren't tired and I slowly increased to 7:06 min/mile and then 6:58 min/mile. They had TV's on and I just zoned out and focused on them. When I run on the treadmill I focus on reading the captions to get my mind off the pain of running and it worked well this time too.

The guy who was keeping track of my distance for this part was so nice. He kept encouraging me and telling me I was doing great! When I finished he said to me "That was great Joanna, very impressive!" I could not beleive he had said that to me and it really made my day!

My IT band didn't really bother me too much which was nice. With about 2 minutes left I seriously thought I was going to throw up. I just kept moving my legs and I hit the 2 mile mark with about 20 seconds to spare. The college kid next to me was running SUPER fast and ran 2.9 miles in the 15 minutes!

Once it was finished I jumped on a elliptical to cool down. I think that was the best choice because the next day I was not sore at all. I really enjoyed doing the indoor tri. I know that my college sponsers one in March and I will consider doing it. As for outdoor tris - I don't see any in my future...

Final Stats:
Swim - 36 laps - 900 Yards in 15 minutes
Bike - 7.3 miles in 15 minutes
Run - 2.05 miles in 15 minutes
2nd place in age group
23rd overall out of 97 (men and women)

The girl who came in ahead of me for my age group beat me in the bike by 0.4 of a mile but I beat her in the run by 0.04 and we tied in the swim. The points were based on a percentage with the highest person getting 100 pts. I didn't really think it was fair because the men and women were all together and so my points were based on how far the men went.

I did enjoy doing this tri but I did not like having to rush from one event to another. It was a good experience and maybe I will do one again but I know that my favorite and my strength is running! I went to this alone so I don't have any pictures although there was this one guy who kept walking around and taking pictures but I have no idea if they were going to post them for people to see.

Yesterday I did yoga with kaylie and it kicked my butt. Today I hope to get some strength training in and cardio at the gym. This week I am just taking it easy as I woke up with a sore throat this morning.

Thanks for reading!! Happy Tuesday!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Whirlwind weekend

Here is the weekend in Pictures! First up: making gingerbread cookies Friday night!

Saturday morning I went back to my collage and saw the 1st track meet of the season. I saw a lot of my former teammates and I really do miss having the team to run with but honestly I do not miss the stress of competing! Then Saturday night was my company holiday party! The place was decorated fabulously with these amazing centerpieces on the tables! The food was amazing and Brian and I had a wonderful time!

Sunday morning I was up bright at early at 6am to compete in the tri! I survived and it went well! Full Tri-race-report tomorrow! Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Make it a double

After months of being jealous of all you other runners, I got in a double workout yesterday!

Thursday am = 4.5 mile run (on the treadmill - 1st of the season)
Thursday pm = 45 min spin class

Since this was my first spin class I took it easy but really enjoyed it and hopefully I will be able to go back next week!

I have some fun plans for the weekend, beginning with some Christmas shopping tonight. Tomorrow is the first track meet for my college track team and I will be making an appearance. Then Saturday night I have my company Christmas party! I found this awesome red dress from JCPenney (thanks for all the advice!) and it was only $50!

Then Sunday is the big day with the Tri. I don't any goals in mind - just want to have fun and not have my IT band hurt like it has been recently...

Happy Friday!!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Each day Christmas gets closer and closer and my list of things to accomplish gets longer and longer!

Last night I went to the gym and had my first of four *free* personal training sessions. It was a joke. The woman even tried to talk me out of running because "it really isn't the best thing for you". Uhhh yeah.

Who watched the Biggest Loser Finale last night? I did and there were some pretty amazing transformations! Honestly I could not believe how Tracey and Danny looked.

This morning it was snowy and sleeting but I braved the roads to the pool and got a quick swim in.

Speaking of swimming - Like the title of this post says, I do have a surprise. I happened to receive a Fleet Feet newsletter Monday morning at work. I quickly scanned through and found this:

Sunday, December 13th (7am to 12pm) - Eastside YMCA Indoor Triathlon.

The wheels in my brain started to turn and by the end of the day (with some helpful advice from Glenn) I was signed up.

NOW before you all go and tell me "I TOLD YOU SO!" I just wanted to make it clear that this does not mean I plan on doing outdoor Tris. I don't even have a bike! I just needed some sort of race and this happens to be an option.

It's a 15 minute swim, 15 minute bike, 15 minute treadmill run kind of thing and I am excited but also very nervous. So please leave your thoughts, concerns, and advice!

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Weekend Workouts!

After my missed run Thursday, I almost didn't get up Friday. I forgot to reset my alarm from 6am to 5am but somehow woke up at 5:25am and still got in a 4.35 mile run.

Then Saturday I woke up and decided to run to the track. I ran about 2.3 miles to the track, ran a few laps around and attempted to run 2x400m (legs felt like lead) then ran back home. I love destination runs!! It was my longest run since my hip problems and my IT band was quite tight after wards.

Sunday I went to the gym with Kaylie for some weight lifting! This morning my hamstrings and shoulders were quite sore but I still went swimming!

The gym that I recently signed up for is about 0.5 miles from my apartment. It is decently nice and the one near me is a women only one but there are others around town that are co-ed. I think I like not having men at the gym especially for the classes and such.

And finally Congrats to ARON on a great marathon this past weekend! If you haven't already, go and read her race report here! Happy Monday!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Three Things Thursday!

1. I was planning on waking up and running this morning. The alarm went off at 5am and I got up and went straight to the window. I looked out and thought I saw that it was pouring and so headed back into bed for another hour. In fact it was 52 degrees and sprinkling! I really should have checked the temperature and gone running since I can't workout tonight because of a work dinner. This is the first day I haven't done some sort of exercise since starting the HBBC last Monday (11/23).

2. All I want for Christmas is a pretty red Christmas dress. Where are all the good dresses at??

3. Just cause Thanksgiving is over doesn't mean I can't make "pumpkin" inspired dishes! Yesterday I found this Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe!! I can't wait to try it!

Happy Thursday!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas in the Air

The day we have all been waiting for has finally arrived! Here are the pairings for this years Christmas Card/Gift Exchange. Please be sure to contact your partner and exchange addresses to receive your gift and card!

Velma and RunkeraRun
Nicole and Aron
Mel - 2nd Chances and Morgan
Kim (Kilax) and RunningLaur
Marlene and SunsetRun
Megan and Croughwell
Mel (Tall Mom) and Runner Leana
Heather and J
RunKathyRun and Teamarcia
Lacey and Badger Girl
Bethany and MCM mama
Jamie and Christina
Shellyrm and Sam
Alisa and Lisa
Candice @ I have run and Felice
OneLittleTriGirl and Janice {Run Far}
Rio Runs and Marci
myfirst5k and Steel Springs
2 Fat 2 run 13.1 and Luis Bueno (L.B.)
5 miles 2 empty and RunninAround
UPDATED: Frayed Laces and Lauri

**Any problems please let me or Mel know!

HBBC update:
Eating 7 F/V per day = FAIL
Swimming this morning 1500 yards (30 minutes)

I have my Christmas music loaded on my iPod and now I just need to find the motivation to get started on my work!! Hope everyone has a great day!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December 1

This what what I woke up to this morning:

It was a snowy run (3.1 miles) this morning which made it slow going but it was beautiful out!! Thank goodness I signed up for the gym yesterday! Not sure how much longer I will be able to run outside every morning!

Jury Duty went well - I sat around for 4 hours and didn't get picked so I am at work today!

I went back to my college last night to watch the Women's basketball team play. They played well and won! As I sat and watched the team play, I realized I didn't really miss playing but I did feel the urge to coach! Maybe there will be coaching in my future...

And finally - November running total = 50.1 miles!

24 days till Christmas! Happy Tuesday!

Monday, November 30, 2009



Today dawned rainy and miserable and I was glad I hadn't planned on a run. Instead I hit up the pool for a quick 1300 yards!

I definitely didn't want to go back to work today and thankfully I don't...yet! I do have to report for Jury Duty though. This is my first time with JD and I am interested to see how it goes. I have packed my lunch as well as my current book and my crochet project. I hope to post pictures soon since I have been on a crochet roll making a baby blanket and scarves!

Today is the last day to sign up for the CCGE (Christmas Card Gift Exchange). I will be posting a current list of all participants later this afternoon.

Happy Monday! I can't believe tomorrow is the first day of December!!

Friday, November 27, 2009


Happy day after Thanksgiving! I woke up this morning and I wasn't even hungry for breakfast because I ate so much food yesterday!!

Yesterday morning I ran in Alisa's Virtual Turkey Trot. I set out around 7am and enjoyed a 3.25 mile run. It was supposed to be a 5k but my loop was just a little bit longer! This was the third day in a row of running for me which is something I haven't done since the early summer!

For the three days I totaled 11.5 miles and took today off but I still felt good with very little soreness! I am very thankful that I am able to run!

In HBBC news: I have been trying to eat the 7 fruits and vegetables each day and it is tough!! As I sat eating my piece of pumpkin pie, I thought to myself - I wonder if this counts as a vegetable??

I wanted to take a moment here to extend a special thank you in this time of thanksgiving to all who take the time to read my blog! I am truly grateful for all the support and comments that everyone leaves here! Thanks so much and I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Problem Solved

If perhaps there are hunters out near your parents house where you happen to be staying for Thanksgiving you may need to get creative in order to get runs in and be safe.

Now it is HIGHLY unlikely that anything would happen to me if I ran in the daylight but as we all know I am a morning person and a morning runner. So this morning I got up at 5 am and drove down to the pool with my dad. He went in to swim and I ran home.

It was a little over 4 miles back to the house with some m-a-j-o-r hills but I took it slow and just enjoyed the peace and quiet.


There's still time to sign up for the Christmas Card/Gift exchange HERE. The last day is November 30th and pairings will be announced on December 2nd!

Happy Tuesday!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hunting Season

Well it has been quite the weekend here. I arrived home at my parents on Friday night with Brian. Saturday morning we were both up at 6:30am as it was the FIRST day of hunting season.

Brian set out to the woods just after 7am and I settled in with my coffee. By 7:30 Brian called the house to let us (my parents and I) know that he had gotten his first deer! I didn't get to go on my run because I was helping him! It was quite exciting!

This morning I was able to head to the track. I was kind of nervous about running on the road because of all the hunters. I live in a semi suburban area but there are still woods and quite a few hunters around. I did another 3x400m repeats with 400m job recovery. I felt stronger this time and even added in a extra 200m sprint at the end!!

Hope everyone had a great weekend! And congrats to all the people who ran marathons this weekend!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Three Things Thursday

1. Have a nice little afternoon run planned for today. Going to run in the daylight for once! Should be a blast except that its now raining outside and wont stop until late tonight : (

2. One more day of work for me. We get Wednesday, Thursday and Friday off for Thanksgiving next week. So I decided to use some vacation and take off Monday and Tuesday too! This will be my first "day off" from work since I started!

3. Even though I haven't posted about it, I have been continuing to swim about 2x a week. Yesterday morning I showed up at the pool and ran into a girl I know! She went to my high school but was a few years ahead of me. Its funny how I always seem to run into people I know in the most unexpected place and at the most unexpected times!

Happy Thursday - the weekend can't come fast enough!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

It's that time of year

The holiday season is right around the corner! It is the season of giving and this year I have been thinking about ways I can give gifts that mean a lot but don't cost so much. I want to spread my feelings of happiness and joy and giving this season to all in bloggy-land so I came up with an idea (with help from Tall Mom and Running with Boys).

First Annual Christmas Card/Gift exchange

1. Maximum of $15 including shipping. Gift and card should be mailed in plenty of time to get to your Bloggy buddy's door by Christmas.

2. Please include a Christmas card and also one or two small gifts. Can be home-made, running related, something that is native to the area you live in. Try and get creative!!

3. (optional) Post on your blog the gift that you sent to your bloggy Christmas buddy!!

Here's how it works:
If you are interested, leave a comment. Bloggers will be partnered up by random drawing and pairings will be announced on Wednesday December 2nd!!

Everyone is welcomed to join in, so please invite your friends! The more the merrier!! The last day to enter is Monday November 30th!

Also check out these fun Christmas giveaways:
Check out Happy Runner's Holiday Card Giveaway
ilaxSTUDIO is having a Homemade Holiday Sweets giveaway

Looking for a fun Christmas Challenge??
Check out Run to the Finish for the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge!!

Running sidenote -

Ran this morning (Tuesday morning) and it was AMAZING! There was a meteor shower! This is the third or fourth time I have ran in the morning during a meteor shower and it still continues to take my breath away!

I saw about 5 shooting stars. I even turned off my headlamp and ran without it for a mile or so just so I could see the stars clearly! (plus it seems like everyone in the neighborhood to the right of me leaves all their lights on at night while the neighborhood to the left is completely dark! How odd!) It was awesome and such a great way to start my day!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Back to the Track

This weekend proved to be very enjoyable. Besides spending time with friends, I was able to go back to the track!!

I woke up early Sunday morning and headed over to the high school. It was sunny out and almost 50 degrees! I warmed up and then ran 3x400m with 400m jog recovery. The recovery jog proved to be a good idea so that my hips didn't tighten up.

It was GLORIOUS to be running on the track again. I wanted to do more than three 400s but to be on the safe side I restrained my self.

Hope everyone had a good weekend! Tomorrow I have some exciting news (hint: it has to do with the upcoming holiday season)!! Happy Monday!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

TIART: Favorite Race!

This week I am hosting Runners' Lounge TIART!! The topic for this week is:

What is your favorite race? Do you live for the marathons or crave a 5k? Would you rather race in the morning, afternoon, or at night? Do you like big races with tons of people and encouraging crowds or do you prefer the smaller hometown races?

I wanted to show you all some pictures from my favorite races!

For the last 5 years I have run the Boilermaker 15k in Utica, NY and I LOVE it! This was the race that made me catch the running bug and got me hooked on running!! I love this race because there are so many people and spectators!

My favorite size race has to be the 5k - I just love the face pace and how quick the 3 miles fly by! Of course I love to race in the mornings since that is when I usually train but I have been wanting to try a night race!

Although I enjoy running in bigger races, I am not a fan of the crowded race where it takes a while to get to the start! I love being able to start right up front and run at my own pace right from the start!

Well those are the races that I love, what races do you love???

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Literary Wednesday

I dragged myself out of bed this morning for my run. I had my standard 3 mile loop planned and I felt pretty good the whole way - even while running up the hill that never ends! There is this very steep hill in the housing development next to my apartment and I try to avoid it at all costs. But this morning, in my half asleep brain I thought running up that hill would be better than running up the slow incline hill for a mile. I may have a bad case of sleep running...

Anyway, on to the important stuff. This week for Literary Wednesday I have TWO books!

Over the weekend I finished Snow Angel by Jamie Carrie and I loved it. It was very well written and a quick read. It's about a young woman named Elizabeth who has gold fever in the late 1800's. She heads to Alaska in search of gold and gets caught in a snow storm. Somehow she makes it to the porch of Noah Wesley and with her last ounce of strength knocks on the door. Miraculously Noah opens the door to find Elizabeth half frozen and unconscious. Noah rescues Elizabeth and discovers a fierce yet fragile young woman who holds many secrets that not even Noah can unlock. If this quick preview sounds enticing I suggest you pick up this book!

I just started reading my second book, The Various Flavors of Coffee by Anthony Capella but I can tell that it is going to be good. Since there was such a outpouring of comments after my coffee post I feel many of my viewers will like this one as well! It is all about how one cup of coffee changed one mans life forever! And that is all I am going to say!!

Doesn't that book cover just make you want to read it! I am at work enjoying my coffee! Happy Wednesday!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Cup of Coffee

Who drinks coffee in the morning? It really has become a staple of my life since entering the work force. I get up - workout - shower - eat breakfast and pack my travel mug with coffee and head to work.

For me its not about drinking the coffee to wake up. I think most of you know I have no trouble getting up in the morning. Now I may not be the most talkative person at 5am before I pound out the miles of my run but I am awake and alert.

I recently bought the "caffeine lite" coffee because I worried I might be getting addicted to coffee. But I don't even notice the difference - I just love the taste of coffee in the morning!

But how many ounces is a "cup of coffee" these days? I just looked at the bottom of my mug and it reads 16 oz.

How many "cups" of coffee do you have each morning? Is there a special flavor you just love?? Do you drink more coffee on a Monday than any other day of the week??

***I got up this morning for my run - 3 miles in the dark - I actually saw another person this morning walking their dog. It scared me for a minute until I realized that they weren't an ax murder who was going to come after me.
Happy Monday!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday morning run

This is what I looked like before my Friday morning run. (see Glenn - thats my headlamp! Sorry for the bad quality - I took these with my Mac because I loaned my camera to my mom for the week)

As you can see behind me it is DARK out at 5am but none the less I had a great 4 mile run. It even started to snow a little bit mid run! The temperature before I left said 34F degrees!!

4 miles in 32:54 (8:14 pace)

Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Three Things Thursday

1. I have been slacking on my hip PT exercises! Opps.

2. Morning vs. Evening running?? I am really seeing no difference between the two right now as it is dark at both times and cold out!

3. I heard Starbucks has a Gingerbread Latte - has anyone tried it? I was thinking of getting one tomorrow!!

It has been a busy week and I am ready for the weekend!
Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Why do I run? (and some books to read)

This post has been along time coming. I decided to post it because I read Amanda's post yesterday on reasons to run.

When you don't run for 3 months straight, you begin to ponder why you were even running in the first place. Strange thoughts would creep into my head while I drove home from a tough day at work, "Do I even miss running at all?"

At first the knee pain was so great that running was a horrible experience. And honestly I did not miss running. But once the pain faded and I still didn't have this urge to get out on the road, I wondered why didn't I miss running? It had been my favorite source of fitness for almost 5+ years, so what went wrong?

Slowly I began to remember why I love to run. It started when I came across this post by Amy and it really hit home with me. I hadn't had the same experience as her, but I understood.

A week or so later I came across this video with Kara Goucher on The Laminators Blog and it reminded me of why I love to run.

Then I saw this article on Runners World about staying in decent shape all year round. After reading it, I knew that is what I wanted to do. I wanted to just run - run for fun and enjoy every minute of it but be able to race if I felt like it.

And I know that many of you already do this but this whole summer and fall has been a transition for me. I always was preparing for some race or season and now my life is wide open with no deadlines.

So I think that the reason I love to run is because of the way I feel while running - its not totally about the racing or competition. Its about getting up when everyone is asleep and being out on the roads alone with my thoughts. Its about finding new routes and exploring new places.

I want to have fun when I run and so I am not sure that I will be following a training schedule anytime soon. When I trained for basketball in college I would just run each morning and decide the distance and pace depending on how my body felt. I would listen to my heart and just know what would be good for that day.

So....why do you run?


Switching gears now - it is Wednesday and I have been slacking on my Literary Wednesday! I was able to get to the Library on Saturday for some new books! I got caught in the 'C' area of the fiction section and grabbed four books.

Snow Angel by Jamie Carrie
The Chocolate Snowman Murders by Joanna Carl
Sarah by Orson Scott Card
The Various Flavors of Coffee by Anthony Capella

I have only started the first one so far but I thought it was fun to get books all by authors with last names starting with 'C'. I totally judge books by their covers and titles so hopefully these ones will turn out to be good!

Happy Wednesday!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Welcome November!

I need longer weekends! There is just not enough time to get everything done!

It rained Saturday so I put off my run until Sunday morning. With the daily savings I wanted to use that extra hour to my advantage. I woke up at 6:30am, got dressed and headed out the door. I ran 3.5 miles around the local neighborhoods and ended at the local grocery store. I had packed my shopping list, credit card and cell phone. I got a cart and started walking around the store. A few weird glances later I was checking out and calling Brian to pick me up!

It was barely 8am and I had groceries and my run completed! The rest of the day involved walking up and down lots of stairs helping my mom move things around the house! My knees were feeling it by the end of the day.

Monday I was still on the old time schedule and so I woke up at 4:30am (usually my alarm goes off at 5:30ish am). I couldn't fall back to sleep so I went to work. I got to work at 5:30am and I was the only one there (besides the production line people who get there at 5am). It was a long day but when I got home I still decided to go out for a short 2 mile run around 5pm. It was almost pitch dark by the time I got back and the full moon was gorgeous in the sky!

This morning I went swimming with my dad again. It was so busy and there were no lane lines in the pool which made the water very hard to swim in. I tried breathing on the opposite side I usually do and got mouthful after mouthful of water from the waves! I guess I will just have to keep practicing.

Since it is November I thought I would sum up my October!
Running: 22.6 miles
Swimming: 13,870 yards

Hope everyone is having a great week!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Fall Photos for Friday

October is almost over! I can't believe it! This Fall has been one of the best I can remember. There is a tree right outside my apartment building that is several shades of color. It is just beautiful!

I took off yesterday and today from working out because I felt I needed the rest. Tuesday I did a timed 5k run to see how it would go. I was just under 8 min/mile pace and I didn't feel like I was pushing it, just gliding along. Things are looking good for running!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Three Things Thursday!

I am stealing "Three Things Thursday" from The Redhead and also Marlene because I think it an awesome idea!

1. Winter is right around the corner and I have been on the prowl for a good pair of boots! I found these in the Eddie Bauer catalog and I love them! Don't they look comfy?

2. I am thinking of signing up for a 5k on December 5th...I am still on the fence about this and wanted some input. I want to start doing some light speed work again but I worry about moving too quickly and hurting myself again.

3. Thursday = TIART at Runners' Lounge and this week's topic is hosted by Julia. Her questions is:

If a genie were to appear and grant you any three running wishes in the world, what would you choose? It can be anything from superhuman powers, new running inventions, race entries, shoes, you name it! What would be your three wishes??

1) Run injury free - I know we all hate injuries that keep us from running!
2) A pair of shoes that would never wear out and always look brand new!
3) Become a professional runner/athlete!

Happy Thursday and Happy Halloween!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Weekend Runs!

This past weekend I got out for two runs - One Saturday and another Sunday! This is the first time since the injury that I have done back to back runs. Usually I take a day off between to rest up. I felt pretty good though and enjoyed being outside in the nice fall weather! The leaves are so vibrant this year!

Yesterday morning I went to a new pool. The one I have been going to since the summer is a bit far for me and also costs money. This new one is in my town and is free to residents. My dad wanted to check it out too so I picked him up and we headed over. When we walked into the pool area there were no lane lines in the pool! It was ridiculous swimming there because it was so wavy! I don't know what to do now - its close by and free, but without lane lines its just a disaster! My dad is addicted to the swimming though - He went again this morning. He is rehabbing from shoulder surgery so this is really perfect! At least one of us is going to get to swim!

Hope everyone is having a good week! Its almost 60 degrees here and I am headed out for a run! Happy Tuesday!

P.S. Check out Tall Mom's great giveaway HERE! Its pretty awesome!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A day late, A dollar short

Yesterday once again turned out to be a busy day and I never got around to posting. This morning I got up and went for a 2.8 mile run. I felt good for the first half but the second half was a struggle. I felt tired and sluggish by the end. Its going to take me a while to get back my endurance!

Here are some pictures from apple picking last week! Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Rows and Rows of apple trees!


That little stake says "EMPIRE" which is my absolute favorite type of apple!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

TIART: Racing!!

I cannot believe it is already Thursday (night). Work has been kicking my butt this week but I have been getting in my runs.

Since it is still Thursday I thought I would include a little thing from TIART which is hosted by MCM Mama this week. She poised this question:

We've discussed why we run, but why do you RACE and how do you choose which races to run? Do you look for certain distances, swag, location, start time, or something else? Tell me how you decide where and when to race. Also, I'm currently on a quest to run a race in every state. Please tell me --and others about a particular race you've run that is not to be missed.

I love to race just because of the high feeling that comes with the running of the race and the finishing. The feeling of accomplishment and achievement that is felt after all the hard work and training. I miss that feeling because I haven't felt it since July. I am itching to start racing again.

My favorite race has to be the Boilermaker which I have run the last 5 years. It has to be the best 15k to run and I think everyone should run this at least once if you are ever in Utica, NY in July! This was my first "real" race and I feel in love with running because if it!


Morning Runner is back! I have my headlight and my florescent vest and I have been good to go! My headlight does slip down my forehead when I get sweaty though...anyone else have this problem??? Its been about 50 degrees in the morning this week which has been perfect! This morning I ran 2.5 miles with Brian. We ran up a few hills and I could feel my hips start to get achy and tired - otherwise no pain!! I am just slowly building up the milage. This week my grand total will be 7 miles! That seems like such a little bit compared to what everyone else is running but at least I am running now!

Thanks for reading - Tomorrow I will have some pictures from apple picking last weekend! The pie made from those apples is in the oven now! Yum - I love fall!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Just checking In

A few weeks ago Tom at Runners Lounge emailed me to let me know that I was the winner of the New Balance 910 Trail shoes! Well they arrived in the mail last week and when I opened the box I instantly fell in love! Aren't they beautiful??!! And they are GORE-TEX!! I can't wait to try them out!

On Saturday I went for a 2 mile run. It was pretty good - I just took it easy and felt great pretty much the whole time. There were some hills and they were hard! My lungs are slowly getting used to running again, I am not liking this cold weather though!

The swimming continues - even though I am back running I don't think I can give up swimming. I just like having the variety. This morning I swam 2100 yards.

And Congrats to LACEY on an awesome first marathon! Seriously girl I don't know how you do it but you are FAST!!

That's all for me now! Happy Monday!

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Weekend!

Sunday was another alphabet date, E is for Event. I know that the title is very vague but we went to a football "event"! I have been a Buffalo Bills fan since I was little and I thought that this would be a great date for Brian and I since we both love football and fall!! (sounds like a lot of 'F' words - too bad I didn't have the F date!!) So here are some pictures from the game - although the actual game was not that good, we did have incredible seats right by the end zone!! I got to see Terrell Owens up close and personal!!

On the running scene - I have been slowly inching up my mileage. For right now I am about 1.4 miles for each run. I don't want to increase my mileage too quick but my legs feel ready to go! I know they say don't increase over 10% each week but when I am only running 1 mile, 10% is not a lot at all. Any ideas or personal experiences with this??

Congrats to all the marathon finishers from this weekend! It is awesome how many people ran amazing races and had PRs!! Enjoy the runners high!! Enjoy the week and happy running!

Friday, October 9, 2009


Happy Friday to everyone!! Anyone have some fun plans for the weekend?

Tomorrow Brian and I are going to pick apples and maybe even carve a pumpkin! Sunday we have the 'E' date (which I planned) for our alphabet dates! Ill post on Monday with all the lovely details!!

I just wanted to say GOOD LUCK to all the bloggers running marathons this weekend!

Nicole, Melanie, Glenn, Jamie, and Morgan (if i missed anyone please let me know!)

Danica and Amber running a half marathons this weekend!

And to X-Country2 who is running the Market 2 Market relay!

I can't wait to read all the race reports!! Have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

TIART: Running Camp!

Thursday = TIART and this weeks question, brought to you by Lacey is:

Imagine you are attending a week-long running camp. Where would it be? What would you do? Would there be classes? Bootcamps? Socials? I want to know all about the kinds of things that make up your ideal running-related week. No work, no obligations outside of camp,... for one week you can have it exactly your way! Tell me all about it!

Well thanks for asking because HONESTLY I would love to go to a running camp! I have been to basketball and soccer camp but never running camp!

It doesn't really matter where it is, just the fact that I can eat, sleep and live running! I read last summer about a camp that Laura went to in the Adirondacks (in NY) and it sounded so much fun. It was scheduled but also flexible with runs at all different times of the day and classes on training, nutrition, etc! Here is one of her posts about it!

So basically I guess I am saying I want to go to that camp....!! Maybe next year.


The doctor's appointment went very well today - Thanks for all your thoughtful comments! I have to continue with my exercises but pretty much I am good to go! Slow increase of mileage is in order but it looks like my hip is healed!! The doctor actually said that my right leg might be stronger than my left now! The doctor also said to watch the tendon pain in my quad/upper knee area (it seems to be getting better with each run) but if it doesn't I have to head back to the PT to work on it!

It's almost FRIDAY!!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The perfect run

Yesterday when I got home from work I immediately changed into my running clothes and headed out for a run. It was a perfect fall day and I ran for a whole mile! It was glorious! This morning I am feeling pretty good. I have been feeling some soreness above the knee near the quad but today it seems ok.

Tomorrow I have my follow up appointment with my Orthopedic doctor so I will be sure to ask him all my questions! So far things are looking good though!!


It is (Literary) Wednesday and I have been slacking on my book recommendations.

I just finished The Shack by William P. Young. It is a very thought-provoking book and may not be for everyone. If interested, here is a link to the back cover of the book.

I also just finished How I live Now by Meg Rosoff. My bff Kaylie recommended it because she read it for one of the high school English classes she teaches. It is about a 15 year old girl, Daisy, who travels to visit her cousins in England and war breaks out.

Slowly but surely I am getting back on the book reading train!

Happy Wednesday!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Nom Nom Cake!

First, I got up and ran this morning. It was dark, it was morning, it was cold (42F cold) and I loved it!

Second, its OCTOBER!!! This has to be one of my favorite months and especially this year because I have so much fun stuff planned including the next alphabet date which is the "E" date next weekend.

Third, I made Brian's cake last night and it was quite an experience! You can find the recipe that I used here from Food Network. I used a different recipe for the frosting only because I had a minor mishap with the stove! Plus this cake recipe called for 2 ounces of food coloring and I grossly underestimated how much 2 ounces actually is. So the cake turned out a little pinky but that is ok! For the first time Cake Maker it is not too bad (I wont be opening my own bakery anytime soon though).

I am so excited to eat it tonight! I hope it tastes good! Now it is off to work!! Happy Thursday!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wonderful Wednesday!

Last Sunday I started to think about my daily attitude. Overall I am a pretty positive person but sometimes I get cranky and grumpy and tired. So I thought that maybe I should try to be more positive, be a better listener, and just an overall happier person each day.

Well it seems to be working. Brian thinks it is because I am running again but I am not sure. I don't know how to explain it but things have been going better because I haven't been sweating the small stuff and I have been trying to be happy even when I have a bad day at work because I get to go home and leave work behind.

Last night I did head out for a short run. I did two laps around my apartment complex for a total of 0.75 miles. Brian joined me for the first lap then set out on his own. I made sure to stretch beforehand and felt great throughout the run.

Tonight I am making a homemade birthday cake for Brian (his bday is Friday!!) so I hope to have some pictures to share tomorrow! I am so excited! Hope everyone is having a great day! The weekend is right around the corner!

P.S. Go check out RunToTheFinish - She is on a giveaway rampage!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Opinions Needed!

So if you haven't been running for 3 months and you start again, will you feel tightness in your IT band??

I ran last night and I felt a slight tightness at the beginning of the run, then it went away. After wards I again felt the tightness in the ITB but stretched and took Ibuprofen and feel fine today. Since I have never taken this much time off before I am not sure what to expect! So all you ITB experts out there, please leave a comment!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Hip exercises and Stretches

Even though I can now start running, that doesn't mean I am off the hook for my exercises. I have nine exercises that I do every other day now. Below is the paper that my PT gave me to follow.

(starting from the left and going across, then returning to the left and going across again)

1. Trunk stability - I lay on the floor on my back with my arms on the ground for support or across my chest then lift my middle up and hold for 5 seconds then return to the floor. Repeat for 30-40 times. For added variety and more difficulty, lift up trunk, then extend each leg individually then return to the floor. Make sure that hips do not drop while preforming either type of exercise. This works not only your hips but also your glute muscles.

2. Hip/Hamstring stretch - Lay in a doorway and put your butt against the wall while raising leg up against the wall. Hold for 2-3 minutes for each leg.

3. Using a belt or stretch cord, tie around foot then hold leg up for stretch. For a hip stretch, rotate leg across the body (ie. if stretching right leg then cross over to the left side to stretch hip).

4/5. Windmill/Hip rotation - Attach one end of stretch cord to a table leg or something sturdy and other end around ankle. More shin and ankle in a windmill fashion to work hip (see picture). Do 30 reps for each side.

6. Step Downs - Using stairs, hold onto railing and step down making sure to keep back straight and knee bent over the foot. Add a book to the step at first to make the step down less dramatic. I started with about a 1 inch step down then increased to about 4 inches. Do 30 reps on each leg.

7. Standing Single Leg Twists - I attach the stretch cords to the frig then hold onto the other end. I hold my hands in front of my chest/stomach slightly out from my body. Standing on one leg, bend knee slightly and twist away from the frig for about 30 reps. I do this on each leg then switch sides. This works on your balance as well as your hip strength.

8. Lateral hip strides - If you ever played basketball this is easy to understand. Have a stretch band around your knees and then do lateral slides about 20 feet down and back for 1 full rep. This works your glutes and outside of hips. Make sure to stay low and bend knees.

9. This one is not on the sheet - Side Planks - Do a normal side plank BUT have your knees on the ground instead of your feet. Focus on lifting your hips and hold for 15 seconds. Do 10 reps on each side.

So these are all the exercises - I thought I would share plus Lacey wanted to know!! Not sure you can see the picture I scanned in of my workout sheet. If you want more details just let me know! Hope everyone has a good rest of the weekend!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Photo Friday!

It is finally Friday! I couldn't be more excited to sleep in tomorrow! I just got back from Physical Therapy and I RAN TODAY!!! So it was only 0.5 miles but it was amazing! I have to admit it felt kind of weird and I may have had some pseudo pain above my knee but this is another step in the right direction!

I now can run 2x a week for 0.5 miles each and see how it goes. Then next week if I don't have any pain I can continue to run about 2-3x a week and increase to 0.75 miles. I already have my little route mapped out! I will be doing laps around my apartment complex!

I wanted to post one of my favorite pictures - it is from about 2 summers ago and I was babysitting for my neighbor. I would bring my camera because the little girl loved to take pictures! I think this one is so cute!

I cannot THANK YOU all enough for your support! I feel so blessed to have such a great support system not only with my family but with all my blogging friends! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

TIART and Thursday thoughts

It is Thursday. It is time for TIART. I don't think I am even awake yet.

This weeks sponsor is Kitzzy and the topic is:

I find yoga to be an excellent companion to my running to avoid
injury, improve flexibility, and help relieve sore muscles after a
hard workout or race. Tell us about your experience with yoga as it
relates to running. If you have not tried it, why not? If you have,
did it help? How often do you feature yoga in your weekly workout
regime? What are your favorite yoga poses and routines? Pass on your
recommendations for your favorite yoga DVDs, instructors, podcasts,
online resources, etc.

Well I did yoga/pilates once in my life. About 4 years ago when I was working at an internship and they offered classes at the gym in the company. It was pretty sweet and I loved it.

But I don't really do yoga, I just haven't gotten into it yet. I do however stretch. I do at least 3 hamstring and hip stretches a day and in the last two weeks I can already see a difference. I think doing yoga or stretching helps flexibility and that in turn prevents injury so it is all good! So go get your stretch or yoga on!


And now in list form, here are my random Thursday thoughts!

  • The lady next door to me has two cats. Every morning they sit in her bedroom window and watch me walk to my car. I love cats (and dogs). I also love animals that have great personalities!
  • Finally reading a book again - How I love now by Meg Rosoff. I also recommend any books by Sarah Dessen. Anyone reading any good books?
  • Does anyone else do this? I put hot chocolate mix in my coffee instead of milk. It adds a yummy chocolate taste!
  • Next Friday is Brian's 23rd Birthday! I am making him a homemade fully decorated, in "Cake Boss" style, Red Velvet cake! I will of course post pictures!
  • It is FALL!! And with fall comes all the great things like pumpkin spice lattes, apple pies, and warm sweaters!! What do you love best about fall?
And those are all my random thoughts this morning! Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Can I Run Yet??

This whole swimming thing is getting old. I want to get back to running. I can't even remember what it feels like to run.

My physical therapy has been helping so much and my PT Greg says that the next step is doing jumping exercises. If my leg/hip/knee can handle that then it can handle the stress of running!

I am very curious to see what kind of plan he has for bringing running back into my life! As soon as I know, I will share!

Since swimming really is the only thing I have right now in my life I guess I should report on it so you all know that I am trying to stay physically active! Last week I was on a mission so I did two intense workouts Monday and Wednesday.

200 yard warm up
6x50 yards on a minute then
200 yards easy
I did three sets of this then a 200 yard cool down

Brian was away for work but I sent him a text Tuesday night asking for a good workout. Well apparently there was a miss communication because I did
200 yard warm up
ladder workout - 50, 75, 100, 125...continue adding 25 yards all the way to 300 yards
200 yard cool down
That was 2325 yards

Apparently every swimmer knows that when you do a ladder it is actually 50, 75, 100, 150, 200, 250, 300 yards. Not up by 25 yard increments. Opps!

Counting laps on the track is so much easier! Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


I left my cell phone at home and I do not know anyone's numbers by heart

I forgot my coffee on the kitchen counter

My pants are too big and the belt I am wearing is not helping

BUT there is some good news:

A few weeks ago I went to return a pair of jeans to Banana Republic. Apparently BR has this RIDICULOUS return policy that after 30 days they will NOT accept any returns. So it has been 35 days since I bought said jeans (that did not fit and look horrible on me - I don't even know why I bought them) and I went in there and demanded a refund, store credit, anything at all! The pants were originally $79 and I got them on sale for $70. They finally said they would do an "un-receipted" return and I would get whatever the jeans were selling for at that time. Well I got $82 dollars returned to me and I got the check in the mail last night!

So there Banana - you should have just done what I told you to do because you just paid me $10 to return a pair of jeans!

Happy Thursday!

Monday, September 14, 2009

What the doctor said...

Friday I went to the doctors and then right next door to the physical therapist.

By the end of my three hours at the doctors my legs felt like jello! I did strength exercises for the resident doctor, then the orthopedic and then for another resident. Then I did all the same stuff with my PT, Greg. But I am on the road to recovery!

The doctor said that I have a very weak right hip which then causes my knee to not stay in place when I run. Hmm...didn't I have a right hip flexor injury 6 months ago...sadly this is all related.

So I have hamstring stretches I do 3x a day and then exercises I do 1x a day and after 4 days I already feel so much better! No more pain going down stairs, no pain while swimming.

My quads and calves are a different story - It's like they have been in hibernation for 2 months!

I go back to the PT this Friday to assess my progress and then make a plan for running. Not exactly sure when I will be able to run again but I feel like I am on the right track!

Thank you to everyone who has left comments for me - they have really helped me to stay positive! I am happy that I got "good" news and I don't have any major knee problems. In fact the doctor said my knees were in excellent shape for playing so many years of basketball - he was actually surprised at how well they had held up! So that made me smile! Happy Running!