Friday, December 31, 2010

Sweatpant Land

Yesterday Brian wanted me to leave my house and I finally agreed at 5pm but I refused to change out of my sweatpants.

Thankfully I was wearing a decent pair and not my "don't wear those in public" sweatpants which are so baggy you could fit a whole other person in them.

Vacation means I wear sweatpants all the time, except when I am running. It is really going to be rough putting on normal clothes next week when I have to go back to work.

Today it was uncommonly warm outside for December! 48 degrees Fahrenheit! It took me forever to figure out what to wear so I wouldn't be too hot! There is still snow on the ground here but I think after today (and tomorrow with predicted temperature of 48F again!) it may be all gone.

Spandex, short sleeves and gloves. It was a perfect 3.25 miles although the hills were rough since I am not used to them!

And since it is the last day of 2010, I thought I would look back on my resolutions and goals I had set for 2010.

2010 Resolutions:
1. My mom gave me a five year diary for Christmas. Each day has 5 lines that can be filled with short thoughts. I want to write in it each day just like my mom has been doing since before I was born. Last year I tried to do a gratitude journal and I failed but I think this is a more manageable goal for me. COMPLETED! I wrote in my journal everyday! I found that just writing down a few things from each day was very manageable!

2. Be more patient and understanding. Enough said there. Work in Progress. I kind of forgot that I even set this resolution.

2010 Goals:
1. Build up mileage and run 1010 miles in 2010. I have wanted to run 1000 miles in a year for a while now. FAIL. I was on track to do this until I had my knee injury in September. I finished 2010 with 864.1 miles which is the most I have ever run in a year!

2. Make sure I enjoy running and that it doesn't become a chore. COMPLETED! I still love running and can't wait to see what 2011 holds!

How did your 2010 shape up?? Are you excited for 2011?? Anyone staying up until midnight tonight? I am not sure I will make it - I usually fall asleep around 10:30pm!

Happy New Years' Eve!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Why I love the Bike

Or should I say "Why I love the bike at my future Father in Laws house"

My parents have a bike in the basement. My future parents in law also have a bike in the basement.

The only difference is that the in laws have a HUGE tv in front of their bike. It is easy to bike an hour away with the crazy reality shows to watch.

Thank you google images.

I don't actually look like that. But that is the bike I use.

Since I am home again and have no TV to amuse me while I ride the bike, I tried to multitask while on the bike.

Don't try this at home: Biking and crocheting.

The yarn will get caught in the pedals and then you will have to stop to untangle it. I guess I will just stick to reading while biking OR just zoning out/daydreaming.

Tomorrow I get to run outside again!! And the temperature is going to be above 30F! We are having a heat wave!

Happy Thursday!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Too Much

These are a few of the things I have had TOO MUCH of in the past few days:

1. Candy - Being at the future In Laws has been great except for the fact that there seems to be an UNLIMITED amount of candy lying around the house.

2. Cookies and Coffee - Nothing like a mid morning snack of gingerbread cookies and coffee.

3. Running - I really haven't had any other options for working out besides running, so I ran three days in a row and now my legs HURT. Rest day required tomorrow.

Saturday (Christmas Day): 2.5 miles with Brian
Sunday: 3 speedy miles
Monday: 2.5 slow snowy miles

4. Read, Nap, Repeat - The afternoons have been filled with laziness where I lay on the couch and read my book, then fall asleep then repeat the cycle. It has been amazing! I love the holidays!

What have you had too much of this holiday?

Saturday, December 25, 2010


A few days ago Janae posted about an early Christmas present from her husband Billy! He had been secretly running for a month so that they could run together! To get the full details read her post here!

When I read the post, Brian just happened to be sitting next to me! As I screamed in delight, I quickly re-read the post out loud to Brian! I was so excited for her and asked Brian what he thought.

His response - "That's nice."

I didn't think anything of it until today when Brian said he was going running with me! It was one of my Christmas presents and it was the best one I got this year! We changed into warm running clothes and headed out around the neighborhood!

It was a pretty nippy 24F outside but it was the best Christmas run ever!

Hope everyone is having a great Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Food Coma

Today's work schedule:

7am Arrive at work

7-9am Check email, check blogs, check weather, etc

9-9:30am Group Breakfast

9:30-11:30am Actually do some work

11:30am-12:30pm Holiday Lunch (I brought homemade venison meatballs)

12:30pm-1:30pm Pass out in cube from eating too much

1:30pm-2pm Go back for seconds

2pm-4pm Actually do some work


The meatballs I made warmed up in the crock pot under my desk in the morning. Every time I came into my cube I could smell them! They were delicious along with all the other food that was brought in (that filled the whole huge conference room table). I was doing alright until I got to dessert and then I went overboard!

Tonight at the gym:
15 minute Elliptical warm up
2+ mile run on treadmill
20 minutes of weights
45 minute spin class

Take that Holiday eating!! Hopefully I will have digested all the food enough so that I don't feel sick while working out at the gym.

Did anyone see the Lunar Eclipse last night?? It was pretty cloudy here so I didn't even bother setting an alarm to wake up.

Oh and I almost forgot - Happy first day of Winter and Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sunday Funnies

I was tagged by both RIO and MARLENE to answer these questions! Thanks girls!

What are you most proud of accomplishing in 2010?

Well first there is finally convincing Brian to propose to me! Just kidding!
I think my proudest moment would be finishing the Boilermaker 15k with another PR for the 6th year in a row and also having the courage to join the local running club!

What are your running goals for 2011?

I hope to stay injury free for ALL of 2011. And to run some fun races as well as run some fun interval workouts because they are my favorite! I would love to break 1000 miles for the year too.

What is your favorite race?

I don't think I have one. If I had to choose probably the Pink Ribbon 5k I ran with my mom on Mother's Day!

What is your favorite holiday guilty pleasure?

Cutout cookies! And seasonal coffees and donuts and I could go on and on....

What is your most embarrassing running moment?

Just take a look at the pictures below. I was on the 7th hurdle in my 100m hurdle race in college outdoor track and I took a miss step and fell. Brian happened to capture the whole race on his camera. It is pretty funny to look back on it now, but it was not fun at that moment! (I am the one on the right in the black and orange).

Hungry Runner Girl
Lisa's Yarns
Kim @ ilaxStudio

Anyone else have any fun embarrassing stories to share??

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Basement Bike

Driving home from work today I had an internal argument with myself.

I don't really want to go to the gym.
If I go to the gym I will want to run on the treadmill.
I ran yesterday, I should NOT run today.
I can run tomorrow morning.
I want to go home.
I don't want to sit on the elliptical for 45 minutes. BORING.
Ok I will go home and ride the bike.

I will get out my old runner's world magazines and si
t on the bike for an hour.

By the time I got to the highway exit for the gym, I had talked myself out of the gym and into riding the bike at home. This is why I get up at dark o'clock to workout.

I got home and picked out a bunch of my old RW's and went down to the basement.

I may have been a little over excited about biking in the basement even though it was pretty cold down there.

I warmed up pretty quickly and just kept going for 90 MINUTES! And now my butt is pretty sore.

I am pretty sure that bike is older than I am but it still works. Tomorrow morning I will be up early and headed to the gym to get a nice little treadmill run in!

Now I am finally watching the Biggest Loser finale! Did you watch it? What did you think?

Happy (basically Friday) Thursday Night!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Too Slushy for Snowshoes

All our snow melted over the weekend, in preparation for the snow we are going to get this week! It was 40F and so any plans for snowshoeing went out the window. Brian and I hiked instead and it was so nice to be outside. Our town has a lot of marked hiking trails which is really nice. We just need to get out and use them more often!

In some spots it was pretty slippery but thankfully I didn't fall. The hills were hard on my knee, but it wasn't too bad. Just some twinges here and there. I think we hiked about 3-4 miles but I have no idea.

After our 1 and 1/2 hour hike through the woods, we got cleaned up and went to our Holiday Christmas party! I look forward to this every year because I get to dress up! Plus I have a nice picture for our holiday Christmas cards!

Sunday I got a nice little workout in at the gym. Some people watching while on the elliptical followed by 1.25 miles on the treadmill. Then I laid on the couch for the rest of day.

Now its back to work! Happy Monday!

Friday, December 10, 2010


That is the time I woke up this morning. For the third time this week.

I am tired. I am grumpy. I am ready for Saturday when I can sleep in.

I forgot how draining waking up early to get workouts in before work can be.

This morning at the gym I ran ONE whole mile. Woohoo!

On the way to work, I stopped and got myself this candy cane chocolate donut as reward for getting my butt out of bed and getting 3 great morning workouts in! Yum!

How do you reward yourself??

Happy Friday!

“I am not a ‘good runner’ because I am me. I am a good ‘me’ because I am a runner.”
-Kristin Armstrong

Check out this Giveaway at Endurance Isn't Only Physical!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1. The last few days since we have been pounded with snow, Mom and Dad have let me park my car in the garage. This morning I walked out to the garage and typed in the code to open the door. Nothing happened. I typed in the code to the other door. Nothing happened. It was 10F/-13C (feels like 1F/-17C!) so I think the electronics in the keypad were too cold to work! I had to take my mom's car instead.

2. Wednesday run = 0.75 miles. My knee is a little tight today but nothing that a little ibuprofen can't fix! I am afraid to increase my mileage any faster than quarter miles. Does anyone follow the 10% rule? (10% of 0.75 miles is 0.075 - that may be a little too slow of an increase!)

3. 16 Days until Christmas!!!! I better get on my Christmas shopping! Have you finished your Christmas shopping???

Happy Thursday!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Mini Run

If the past few days are any indication of what winter will be like then we are in for a long, cold and snowy next few months!

The snow started falling on Saturday night and has night let up since! We are supposed to get another 3-5 inches today!

Start of the snow - Saturday night

Monday morning I decided to brave the snowy roads at 5am and go to the gym. My car was covered in about 7 inches of snow. Cleaning it off was a workout in itself.

I got to the gym safely and settled in on the elliptical. My knee felt good so after 30 minutes, I jumped on the treadmill.

4 minutes of running! I covered 0.5 miles and felt no knee pain which was amazing and even surprised me. I guess all those PT exercises really have been helping!

Today my knee doesn't hurt or ache which I take is a good sign! Just to be safe I am going to wait and run tomorrow. Don't want to rush back into running and then hurt myself again!

Anyone brave enough to get out and run in the snow?? I wish I could but for now I am sticking to the treadmill because it is
1) better for my knee and
2) safer because there is just too much snow on the roads.

Stay safe! Happy Tuesday!

Monday, December 6, 2010

The search is on

First off: BRIAN DO NOT READ THIS...if you happen to be reading my blog do NOT go any further...DON'T RUIN the Surprise ;)

**Note: I have no pictures because most bridal places don't let you take pictures until you decide to purchase a dress. What a bust.**

Saturday I had my first two appointments to try on wedding dresses! I was nervous and excited. My mom and I went to the first shop where the lady helping us explained the process and then let us pick out 6 dresses to try on. I really didn't know what style I wanted so we picked out a few different types and got started.

The first one had a few elements that I liked but it just wasn't doing anything for me. It just felt like a dress. The second one though, I walked out and looked in the mirror and I felt like a bride. And that is when my mom started crying which made me start crying. That dress fit me perfectly and I felt amazing it in! It had all the elements that I wanted and I knew that this was the style of dress that I wanted. It had ruching on the bust and bodice and a little bling under the bust and on the hip with slight pull ups on the skirt (all terms I learned on Saturday!)

The only problem: The price.

This dress is similar to the one I love!

It was a lot more than I wanted to pay for a dress that I would only wear once. Plus add on top of that the cost of alterations (hem and bustle) and then a veil plus jewelry!

I tried on the rest of the dresses we selected, one of which was very close to the second dress that we loved but I kept thinking about that one dress and so at the end we tried it on again. It was gorgeous but I knew we wouldn't be ordering it that day because we had just started looking at dresses (plus the price).

The second place I just didn't feel comfortable in. I tried on a lot of dresses - a bunch by Maggie Sottero including the one pictured below, but they were all really heavy and too extravagant for me. I got lost in all the embellishments and ruffles. They were beautiful but just not right. We ended up leaving there and I was still thinking about the dress from the other shop.

I feel like I have a good start on deciding on a dress...if only they weren't so expensive!

After dress shopping, I met up with Brian and we went and started our wedding registry! I think Brian was more excited about this than me! We wandered the aisles and picked out things that we liked which was hard because we don't even know where we will be living once we get married! I even let Brian register for a PS3 even though I am pretty sure that no one will buy it for us!

It sure was a busy day filled with all things wedding - Sunday I took a nap while watching football I was so exhausted! Who knew that dress shopping was so much work!

The weekend went way too fast! How was yours? Happy Monday!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Happy December! Now it is officially time to get out the Christmas lights and start shopping! This morning I started by decorating my office with a poinsettia! It definitely adds a little something to my otherwise bland desk.

I also received this cute little catalog in the mail the other day. I just love the Christmas charms Tiffany & Co. came out with this year...if only they weren't insanely expensive. This reminds me it is time to start making my Christmas list!

In the style of Lacey, I decided I would make some goals for December to help me stay on track with my stretching and lifting.

December Goals:

1. Stair Climber for 30 minutes - Previously this hurt too much with my knee and honestly I have been afraid to try it again. Once I am pain free I hope I can try it again.
2. Start running again by Christmas - This really all depends on my PT and since I have another appointment tomorrow I am hoping for some good news! I am still on a running hiatus and I am feeling good.
3. Lift 2x a week - I have been doing this and I want to continue. I can already see the difference.
4. Stretch every day - I already do this as well and I can actually touch my toes now! Only took me two months of consistently stretching but it is worth it!

And as I type this, a co-worker just informed me that it is snowing outside. If I look back to my post from this EXACT day last year, it snowed as well! It really is December!

Have a great Wednesday!

Monday, November 29, 2010

One Hour

I hope every had a great weekend or long Thanksgiving weekend! I certainly did! In order to make sure that I could stuff my face with mashed potatoes and pie I made sure to get in some exercise.

Last Wednesday I went to the PT for more ultrasound and strengthening. My knee felt stiff from the spin class the night before. After finishing the PT session, my therapist put me on the treadmill. I ran for a few seconds and felt great, then the knee pain kicked right in. I decided right then and there I would be on a running hiatus until at least December and/or I could cross train on the elliptical without any pain.

Over the next four days I rode the bike in the basement of my parents house and also hit the gym when it was open.

Thursday: 1 hr bike
Friday: 1 hr bike
Saturday: 1 hr elliptical
Sunday: 1 hr elliptical

There was something about completing one hour of exercise whether it be on the bike or elliptical. At times it was boring and I often looked at the clock, but other times I just zoned out or read my book. After completing a WHOLE HOUR of exercise I felt great, energized and ready for the day! Plus seeing how many calories I had burned felt good too!

I think it is the same for running - going out for an hour or hitting the treadmill for an hour just feels good! There is a sense of accomplishment when you know that you have run for an hour. I know that not being able to run for an hour is one of the things I miss the most!

And with the added rest and no pressure to run, my knee is starting to feel better. I have been doing my PT exercises consistently and have found that stretching my quad and working on strengthening my hamstring/glutes muscles brings the most relief.

This morning I didn't quite get up early enough to fit in an hour on the elliptical at the gym and still make it work on time, but I did manage 45 minutes!

Happy Monday!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1. Although I would have loved to run a Turkey Trot, I stuck to the bike in the basement and pedaled hard for an hour to get my exercise in. I alternated between riding hard for a minute and then recovering and reading my book for a minute. It really made the time pass quickly!

2. Now I am watching the Macy's Thanksgiving parade - I got to see the Rockettes and the Buzz Lightyear Balloon!

3. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Hope you have a great day with your families!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My socks

Since I cannot seem to win any giveaway for compression socks, I broke down and bought myself a pair.

I happen to have a gift card for one of the two local running stores so I went in and asked to see their selection of socks. They happen to have two types of compressions socks, neither brands that I had really heard of. After a good 20 minutes of trying to decide which socks to buy, I chose the pair that came in black so I could easily wear them to work!

I really have no idea if these will work or help, but I like to think so and maybe just by thinking they will help, then they actually will! At least they make my legs feel good! Plus the quicker my leg heals, the quicker I can get back to running and racking up those Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge Points!

Speaking of my knee, my physical therapist said that I need to stay off the road for now (or maybe forever). He said that the camber of the road will put more stress on my hamstring and will make the healing process take longer. Well I certainly do not want that, so I am sticking to the elliptical, spin class, and yoga. He really seems to be against road running but I really have no where else to run and I can only take so much treadmilling. Tomorrow I go back for another therapy appointment where I hope he will look at my running stride just to make sure I haven't been favoring one leg.

Happy Tuesday and hope you get out there and enjoy your run - then make sure to post about how awesome your run was so I read about it and live vicariously through you all!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1. Today I scheduled my first appointment to go and try on wedding dresses...Ekkkkk!! On December 4th, my mom and I will be making the rounds to all the bridal shops in town in hopes of finding the perfect dress! I guess I better start getting ideas of what type of dress I want!

2. Today, I also went back to my PT. He confirmed what I thought, in more technical terms, that my hamstring tendon most likely is inflamed. He did some ultrasound on the area that has been hurting, then showed me some stretches and some strengthening exercises. I go back next week for more ultrasound and to look at my running form to make sure everything is ok.

3. The Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge starts this weekend! Whose ready??

Happy Thursday (almost Friday!)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Switching Teams

We all have a brand of running shoe that we love. For me, that has been asics. I have worn that type of shoe since before college. I don't even know how or why I started wearing them. It may have been that I saw a teammate wearing a pretty pair and wanted some of my own. Currently I wear the 2150s.

When I bought this pair at the specialty running store back in the summer, they told me to go up a 1/2 size because my right foot is slightly longer than my left. So now my left foot has to suffer in a bigger pair of shoes because of my right foot! And of course I am currently having left leg pain** - I don't want to blame the shoes but that pretty much is the only big change.

Over the weekend I had a coupon for the sporting goods store so I went and picked up a pair of Brooks (Ghost 3)! Of course I am suspicious of these new shoes and how they will treat my feet, but I think it may be worth a try. I walked around the house in the shoes ALL day Sunday and they felt amazing (but don't all new shoes feel amazing??)

I think I am going to give these shoes a try and if it works out I may never go back to asics! Any thoughts? Who wears the asics and who wears the Brooks?? Let me know which one you like best!

**Even though I am not a PT, I have done tons of research and I think I may have found the answer for my pain. In the picture below, I have circled the area where I feel pain. After googling like crazy, the pain seems to be caused from inflammation of those tendons and/or bursitis.
I guess that means more stretching for me and not much running until it heals up and I don't have any more pain. It is just too bad that when I went to the PT 5 weeks ago, he wasn't able to diagnosis it. Uggg I hate injuries!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Say Yes to Pumpkin

No big surprise but my left leg is still bothering me. I don't know what else I can do. I stretch, foam roll, repeat. After my 4 miler Saturday, I went out to dinner. When I got up I could barely move my left leg. It eventually worked itself out so that I had full range of motion back, but it was painful there for a while.

Today I went to the gym and although the treadmill looked very enticing, I stayed away and went for the elliptical for 45 minutes. Pretty much the most boring time of my life, where I almost feel back to sleep.

Yesterday instead of running, I made food. It is that time of year for Pumpkin so I made these dessert squares that taste very much like pumpkin pie!

Pumpkin Dessert Squares

1 1/2 cups Bisquick
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped Pecans

1 cup sugar
1 can (15oz) pumpkin
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
3 eggs

1 cup Bisquick
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
3.4 cup chopped pecans

1. Heat Oven to 350F. Directions say to spray 13x9 inch pan with cooking spray, but I used a 11x7 and it turned out ok. In medium bowl mix Base ingredients, using a fork to mix in butter until mixture is crumbly. With floured fingers, press mixture into bottom of pan and bake for 10 minutes.

2. In large bowl beat Filling ingredients with wire whisk until smooth and set aside. In medium bowl, mix Topping ingredients until mixture is crumbly, then add pecans.

3. Pour filling over hot partially baked base then sprinkle topping over filling. Bake 50-55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 30 minutes before cutting into squares. Store in frig.

Delicious! I brought a big piece for my lunch today! Do you like pumpkin?? Have a great Monday!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sunny Saturday

Mornings like this were meant for running. Clear skies, a beautiful sun and crisp clean air. I started out later than usual to enjoy the warmer temperature!

I did a 2 mile out and back and when I got back, this little cat was waiting for me! She was enjoying the sunshine too!

4 miles really did a number on my legs so I spent some much needed time stretching, foam rolling and doing PT exercises. My left leg (the one that hurts) feels so tight all the time!

Now its time to enjoy the rest of the afternoon and finish my latest project - a baby blanket for a friend who just had twins (my mom is making the other blanket!)

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dark and Easy

After a over month "vacation" from running group practices, I headed back last night. I was nervous because a) it was dark outside and b) I was worried about my knee.

The workout:

Easy 20 minute tempo (~2.4 miles)
1x 600m, 400m, 400m (2:49, 1:45, 1:40)
cool down (~1.5 miles)

The tempo portion started slow and then we picked up the pace. Winter running really is unique because you can feel your body get warm. As we ran I could feel the warmth slowly seep into my fingers and legs. Street lights were few and far between which made seeing the uneven sidewalk cement in front of me difficult, but thankfully I didn't fall. The guy in front of me did though, twice. The tempo run was over before I knew it and then we went into the intervals.

We weren't able to do the intervals on the track because the football team was practicing so we ran on the sidewalk. Not exactly your most ideal spot to do intervals but we made it work. I had no idea what pace we were running, I just followed the group and hoped that my legs would keep up. And they did. Which I was really happy about. I know I have lost some speed but it doesn't really feel like that much.

After a quick cool down, where my knee/IT band started screaming towards the end, I headed home. I reached my mileage limit for the night of 4.7 miles but I felt pretty good. Today though I am sore and my legs feel like lead. There will definitely be some inconspicuous stretching done in my cube today. Maybe even some icing too.

I will leave you will one picture that I managed to obtain from the Brightroom photography website from the half marathon in September! This is at mile 11ish and I actually don't look as bad as I was feeling at that exact moment! Have a great day!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Alarm Clock Fail

As if it isn't tough enough getting up early to workout, add in some alarm clock malfunctions.

I have an iPhone 4 and use the alarm clock function that came with it. I set my alarm for 4:42am last Monday. The alarm went off at 3:42 am. I was completely confused (and tired for most of the day). Tuesday morning, the alarm was set for 5:45am and went off at 4:45am. Now I was upset because the alarm was going off ONE HOUR before it was supposed to.

I decided I would beat my phone at its own game and set the alarm for 6:45 am and it appropriately woke me up at 5:45am on Wednesday morning.

Saturday morning I was at the gym, running on the treadmill, trying to read the captions on the TV. I was reading CNN and saw they were talking about the iPhone and then read they were talking about the alarm problems. Apple hoped that this would be cleared up after the daylight savings time on Sunday.

Sunday morning, I didn't set an alarm and enjoyed sleeping in.

Monday I set my alarm for 5am to get up and run. 5:09 am rolled around I sat straight up in bed and realized I was late. I jumped into my running clothes and ran out the door. By then time I got back and showered my alarm was going off at 6am. So now my alarm goes off an hour later than its supposed to rather than an hour earlier.

Apparently I have to delete all my old alarms and make brand new ones. Hopefully tomorrow morning I can wake up at the right time! To read more go HERE.

Thank goodness I woke up in time to head out for an easy 3 miles. With the clock change my body thought it was 6am instead of 5am. It was still super dark outside, even with daylight savings time, and I wore my headlamp! This was the first outdoor run that I have felt great the whole time with barely any knee pain. It feels good to be back to "almost" full strength.

3 miles in 24:22 (8:07 pace)

Hope you aren't having any alarm problems! Have a great Monday!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

MR by Numbers

Idea stolen from Marlene!
MR = Morning Run

Time the alarm went off: 5:00am

Time I left the house: 5:14am

Temperature: 30F/-1C feels like 24F/-4C

Sunrise: 7:45am

Distance: 3 miles

Time/Pace: 24:12/8:03

Number of Layers: 3 (plus gloves and ear covers!)

Number of cars passed: 10 (those bright lights really are blinding!)

Other sights: Crescent moon, bright stars and complete quiet

Are you a morning runner? Then check out Fitness Junky's awesome giveaway!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween!

This weekend Brian and I drove home to his parents house for the weekend. Friday night we went to a Halloween party where I was a gumball machine and Brian was a quarter! Walking around with our costumes was quite difficult at times!

Saturday morning I went out for a easy run - my first outdoor run in a while! The air was crisp but felt good and my legs enjoyed the flat route.

2 miles in 15:39

With all the Halloween candy I consumed on Sunday, I needed to get to the gym this morning! I walked out to my car and there was snow and ice on it! At the gym I did a short 10 minute warm up on the elliptical, I ran for 3 miles on the treadmill, then jumped back on the elliptical for 15 minutes.

3 miles in 23:53

I can't believe that it is November! The months just keep flying by! Have a great Monday!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tuesday Double

I wish I could say that I did a double run yesterday but sadly I only did a double gym workout.

Morning workout:
10 minute warm up on the elliptical
2 mile treadmill run
20 minutes seated elliptical (my new favorite XT machine!)

Afternoon workout:
15 minute seated elliptical warm up
30 minutes of weights/stretching

After the gym, I met up with my best friend and maid of honor, Kaylie. She is getting married in July 2011 and I am her maid of honor! We went to a Inspiration Board Color Workshop put on by a local Wedding events coordinator company! The place was decorated with all kinds of wedding inspiration. They even had actual bouquets made up, along with centerpieces so you could get ideas to use for your own wedding!

It was a great way to spend a Tuesday night! How did you spend your Tuesday?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Serious XT

I didn't post about this last week because honestly I forgot to take pictures and had to wait until a few were posted that I could borrow!

Last Saturday (10/16/10) was my college basketball reunion game. Every year in October, most of my old teammates make the trip back to our college to play a few games of basketball! At first it wasn't pretty since we all haven't played since last year but once we got warmed up, it was a pretty good game. We played against the current team and almost beat them! Not bad for some alumnae - guess we still got game!

I probably should not have played with my bum knee, but I couldn't resist! Towards the end of the game, my knee started to feel worse so I benched myself and cheered from the sidelines!

Now onto this past weekend! I decided that Sunday would be a good day to go to the gym for some more cross training. I warmed up on the elliptical for 10 minutes and was feeling so good with no pain that I thought I would give running a try. I walked first to get my legs ready and then ran for 12 whole minutes!! I made it 1.5 miles and felt great the whole time. I kept the momentum going by jumping on the seated elliptical for 20 minutes. I had never used this machine before but actually found it less boring than the regular elliptical.

So things are looking up and I am happy to report that my pain has decreased but not gone away altogether. Progress may be slow, but at least I am seeing progress!

Happy Monday and rock those runs!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A slow process

On one hand, I am not a patient person. A slow recovery is not easy for me because I just want things to be fixed quickly so I can get back to what I was doing.

On the other, I know that this process is slow. Recovery takes time, muscles need to be stretched and strengthened.

Currently my day goes a little like this:

I wake up with my knee feeling not exactly normal but not really painful either. I stretch to relieve the aching and take some ibuprofen. Then I go to work where I stretch inconspicuously at my desk, at my meetings and in the bathroom. After work I go to the gym where I stretch again then get on the elliptical to "warm up". Then I get off, my knee feels tight so I walk on the treadmill for a bit to loosen it back up. I try to run but usually there is lingering pain and I only make it half a mile. Then I stretch again and ice for the rest of the night.

But every morning I feel like I am starting over again from the beginning. Although the good news is that I can finally shift and push in the clutch on my car without pain. So I guess I am getting better...but its s-l-o-w!

I have one odd symptom that I have noticed. When I sit on the floor to ice, with my legs straight out in front of me, after about 20 minutes, my left foot starts to fall asleep (left foot = leg/knee that hurts). I can't help but think this is all related.

So I continue to stretch (which seems to help the most) and test out the knee looking for any small sign that it is getting better.

Hopefully next week I will have better news! Have a great Thursday!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Yay for Friday!

What a busy week! I am so glad it is finally Friday!

Wednesday I went and picked up my new (to me) car! The best part about this car is that is has a manual transmission! And also the all wheel drive for all the snow that we get around here!

I also went to see the physical therapist this week. I spent 2+ hours there and got a whole stretching and strengthening routine for my knee/leg. Diagnosis: Very tight lateral hips, weak glutes and quads which are pulling my knee to the side and therefore inflaming the membrane in the knee which causes the pain.

I guess that just teaches me that I DO need to stretch after my runs even though I always feel like I don't have enough time. The PT said I can gradually add running back in as long as I don't have too much pain but for right now I am sticking with the elliptical and icing the knee like crazy!

Happy Friday to everyone! Have a great weekend and rock those runs!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fact or Fiction?

October seems to be the month of marathons and once the race is finished that means taking some rest days. I have never run a marathon and live vicariously through every other blogger that trains and runs marathons. So after you finish those grueling 26.2 miles, how many days do you take off?

After I ran my first 15k race in the summer of 2005, a friend told me that I should take off the same number of days that I had just raced. That seemed like a bit much and it always perplexed me where that philosophy had come from.

So I did some researching online and found this on Hal Higdon's website:

Generally, it takes a minimum of two to three weeks for the body to recover from the strain of running 26 miles 385 yards. Return too quickly and you increase your risk of injury. Some experts suggest resting one day for every mile you run in the marathon, thus 26 days of no hard running or racing!

Has anyone else heard of this idea of resting a day for every mile raced? How many days do you rest after a race?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1. I had an appointment with my primary care doctor yesterday and she set me up with a referral back to the physical therapist I saw last year when I hurt myself. I have scheduled an appointment for next Wednesday! Since my knee wasn't getting any better by just resting, I have been doing my old PT exercises from when my right knee/hip was weak last year. The exercises seem to be helping my left knee/hip and I don't have any more pain.

2. The car that I have been driving since I was 16 has finally bit the dust. The headlights switch inside the steering column has been shorted out and now my headlights wont turn off and my bright lights are on all the time! I honestly hate shopping for cars but after having this car for 9 years I think its time for a new car (well, new to me that is)!

3. Good luck to everyone running and racing this weekend! I love that the Chicago marathon is on 10-10-10! That is just so exciting!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Choosing a Photographer

Everyone loves to see race photos of themselves. After a race you wait for days and days for the professional photos to be posted so you can see yourself pounding out the miles of the race. And you hope that you don't look funny or have a horrible expression on your face. I personally love photography, yet I really know nothing except how to use my point and shoot camera.

I have been researching wedding photographers for a solid two months. And I mean searching the internet for exactly the right person to take the photographs of Brian and I that we will treasure forever. I don't want to look funny in these pictures or have a weird expression on my face! I need a photographer to capture all the details of the wedding and to get the shoots that I will LOVE!

Photography is pretty high on my list of important things but it isn't like I can just shell out a ton of money! I needed to find a great photographer, with a package I wanted, that was within our budget and that had my date available! Easy, right??

I even made a spreadsheet listing all the photographers that I found, with prices and what packages they offered. Then I organized them based on how much I liked their pictures and how much they cost. Once I narrowed down my top four I started making calls.

Four weeks ago we met with photographer #1, who was my original top choice. He was great. And like any girl I was emotional attached within the first 5 minutes. I loved his style and ideas and it just clicked. I left there thinking that maybe I was done. But that didn't stop me from looking online for even more photographers.

I set up a meeting with Photog #2 (who didn't list her prices online - note to self that means she costs A LOT) the next week and almost fell off the couch at her studio when she showed me her high prices! She offered mostly album based packages which I did not want. My mom and I left there not knowing what to think.

Meanwhile I asked Photog #1 to send me references and he sent me an actual site with ALL the pictures from a wedding he had shot last year. This was exactly what I needed to make me feel in my gut that this was my photographer. But I was not impressed and was even more confused than before.

I continued making calls to my next favorite photographers and learned that my third and fourth choices were already booked on my date! My search started again and I continued to add photographers to my spreadsheet and rearrange who I liked the most.

I met with Photographer #3 last week. She was so nice and I loved her pictures. I left the meeting feeling like I could totally see her shooting my wedding. Once at home I looked at her references, as she too had given me a whole wedding to peruse through online. I once again didn't know what to do because I did not like any of the pictures! I didn't like the angles or the lighting. And I most certainly did not like the 100+ pictures of the couple kissing by the tree or the barn or the rock. Brian and I aren't really the type that liked to be photographed while we kiss or rather pretend we are kissing for seconds on end while the photographer takes multiple pictures.

Yesterday I met with Photographer #4. The meeting was short and sweet. We went over packages, asked a few questions and then were on our way. I once again requested that she send me a link to a photo website so I could see a full wedding she had photographed. A few hours later, I received an email and quickly opened it to find a link to a website! I was giddy with excitement and when I saw the pictures I knew in my gut THIS WAS THE PHOTOGRAPHER that I wanted!

Everyone says that they should "know" which wedding dress will be "THE ONE" and I hope to feel that, but I also know I want to feel that for my photographer; to find a person that I want to be "THE ONE" to take pictures on that special day!

Now the only thing left to do is contact her and hopefully book her for our wedding! Once we do that I will feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders because it is one less thing to worry about!

Is photography important to you? If you are married, how did you pick your photographer??

Monday, October 4, 2010

Touch your toes

I have been stretching. Every day. And I still cannot touch my toes!

I haven't been able to touch my toes since I was little! My hamstrings feel so tight and do not want to loosen! I am going to keep working on it and maybe some day I will be more flexible!

Can you touch your toes?

Friday, October 1, 2010

The next step


This morning my mom and I drove down the the track so I could run on a flat surface to try and test out the knee...again. In my head I kept telling myself, what is the worst that could happen? If your knee hurts then you take more days off. Well taking days off really makes me cranky and grumpy.

So I ran a few laps for warm up and then decided to tempo run the straight-aways and jog the curves. The pain started in my knee just as I got to about 3 miles and I knew I had to stop. The pain comes on slowly and then becomes worse as I continue. It is no fun to run with knee pain.

I am debating what to do - Should I call and get an appointment with my orthopedic OR rest all next week, doing only easy cross training OR do both?? I guess resting is the best option and who knows when I will actually get an appointment in to see the doctor.

Looking back on all this, I still feel like a rookie runner. Sure I have been running for years but it was always just to train for basketball, soccer or track. This is the first time I have run for a full year. I feel like I am still learning how to train the best for my body and how to not get hurt.

It is frustrating and disappointing to not run but I know that if I take the time off now I hopefully will be able to come back and finish out the year running. And I know that the coach through my running group will definitely help me to work back up to higher mileages and help me to stay injury free!

Hope everyone has some awesome runs this weekend! Happy Friday!

Monday, September 27, 2010

A productive day

Ever have one of those productive days where you get every thing on your "To Do" list completed? Well that was my day yesterday!

Sunday, I woke up really early and met Brian at church. For the past month Brian and I have been making the rounds on all the local catholic churches. It's not like we are picky we just wanted to find a place that we both liked. Picking a church has been such a hassle and more stress than it should be. The catholic church is pretty strict with its regulations - ceremony at a certain time, no aisle runner, have to be out of the church by a certain time - the list goes on. You would think the church would make it easier for people to get married there! We are both catholic although not super involved but we have decided on a church for our wedding so we thought we should start making semi-regular visits and get to know the priest that would be marrying us.

After that I went home and decided to attempt a run. My mom dropped me off 3 miles out and I ran back home. I felt really good, kept the pace easy and enjoyed the sunshine. My knee hurt on and off during the run but nothing like I felt last week. It wasn't sore or achy afterward which made me think that the pain was all in my head.

Later that afternoon while watching football I made a homemade birthday cake for Brian! His actual birthday is not until next Saturday but he wont be here over the weekend. Some of you may remember last year when I attempted to make a homemade red velvet cake and it didn't come out exactly like I wanted. This year I made carrot cake from an old family recipe and it turned out wonderful!!

This morning I got back into my normal routine and went out for a run in the dark! My knee hurt a little but that was nothing compared to my IT band! If it isn't one thing, its another! I am heading to yoga class tonight to hopefully loosen up my muscles!

Have a great Monday!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Lazy Stretcher

There is nothing like a little knee pain to make me bring out my foam roller and stretch like crazy! I always seem to avoid stretching and strengthening when I am feeling good. In the back of my mind I know I should be doing preventative maintenance on my legs but I usually have an excuse - I will be late to work, I am too sweaty from the run, etc etc.

The knee pain, although still lingering, has gotten better. I can walk up and down the stairs without looking like an old person or a cripple. It has been weird "sleeping in" every morning and I know that my cat, who I usually let out at 5am, is really missing my early wake ups as well! Plus the moon has been brilliant this week and although I have been able to catch a glimpse of it while I drive to work, there is nothing like staring at a beautiful moon while you are running. Plus it helps to light the way and its not getting any lighter in the mornings so I need all the help I can get!

My new goal will be to continue to stretch even after I am back to running. We will see how long I can keep that up! A couple more rest days and then I think I will take the legs for a test run.

It's finally FRIDAY!! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pain in the knee

Last night I headed over to the park after work to meet up with the running group. My friend Rebecca was there so we chatted about weddings (as she is getting married in April) and running during our 2 miles trail warm up.

As we finished the warm up I could feel the pain in my knee starting but I decided to try the workout and see how I felt. Rebecca and I went off with a few others to do 2x15 minutes at tempo pace. I had forgotten my watch at home but it was one of those workouts where it really didn't matter.

The first set was pretty good. The knee pain actually went away as I ran faster! We were running on the same looped path that we had done mile repeats on a few weeks ago. I tried calculated how many laps we would be do for the 15 minutes and that helped me figure how much more time I had since I didn't have a watch.

After a quick rest, we started the second set. I tried to keep up with the girls but I couldn't. As we rounded one curve and started running up the hill my knee pain intensified. I conquered the hill, made it a few more feet and then decided I needed to stop.

The pain is centralized on the inside of my leg/knee - the exact opposite side of the knee where you would normally feel IT band pain. When I run it feels like someone is stabbing me in the knee cap - when you look down at your left knee, it hurts along the right side of the kneecap. I have this feeling that it may be the same thing that I dealt with last summer when I had weak hips and had to stop running. The weird thing is that the pain is in my left knee and last year I dealt with it in my right.

This morning it hurt to walk up and down the stairs. I am going to try my old PT exercises tonight and see how it feels. The pain is so severe and lingers even after I stop running but my knee isn't swollen! How come I always get these random pains?!

Anyone else ever dealt with this? I am hoping it will be a quick fix and I will be back to running soon but who knows.

Monday, September 20, 2010

More running, less eating

In the past week there wasn't much running, but there sure was a lot of eating!

Saturday, Brian's family held an Engagement party for Brian and I and we were spoiled with all of our favorite foods including some delicious cake!

I had a GIANT slice of this red velvet cake and it was delicious! It was so nice to have both of our families together celebrating our engagement! Now it feels even more real that Brian and I are getting married!!

This morning I dragged myself out of bed, bundled up and headed out in the 45F temps for a nice run! It felt great to get my legs moving again after resting last week. I always say this but it was really dark outside! I feel more and more like a night runner because the sun isn't even up when I finish my run. I felt a weird twinge in my left knee as I was finishing up the last mile, not sure why but hopefully it is nothing.

How was your weekend??

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Running Club Party

Thank you to everyone for the kind comments on my race post yesterday. I really appreciated reading each one and they made me feel better. I was actually very surprised with my time for the half and all things considered it is a good time. That is not what I had been dwelling on. It was the fact that I had problems during AND after the race. Scary problems that I really don't have an answer for or know why they happened.

But moving on from that, last night I went to the Tuesday workout for my running club (which was being held at my coach's house). We did 6+ easy miles on the trails and I felt great. Of course my legs were still a little sore and tired from the race but running with the group was exactly what I needed to get myself back into gear.

After the workout, we returned to the house and all stepped into a cold "tub" which was just a little kiddie swimming pool. My legs LOVED this and I felt so much better. Then we all gathered inside to enjoy lots of food and good company! To top it off, they had a huge delicious cake for dessert! I was in heaven!

I am not sure what the next week holds for running, but I am sure I will get out for a few fun runs! The morning temps have been dipping into the low 50s and high 40s so I think it might be time to pull out some of the warmer clothing! I hate to say it but I am going to miss summer!

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Rochester Half Marathon

Finding the words to write this post was difficult. I guess the best place to start is the beginning.

Sunday morning I woke up at 5am to get ready, eat breakfast and head off to the start line. It had been raining on and off all night but thankfully let up as I was getting ready. My parents wished me good luck and sent me off to the race...alone.

After picking up my timing chip, I headed to the start and found some friends that I knew. I was hoping to see Rebecca, a friend from my running group and I actually turned around and she was right there. We walked to the start together and waited for the race to begin.

We did a lot of weaving around people as it was quite congested and after mile 1 we settled into a good pace. It started to lightly rain as we continued on to mile 2 and 3. I felt good as we ran along. After mile three, we made a right turn and went straight up a hill. I worked to stay with Rebecca, my right hip began to ache and once we reached the top of the hill, I hoped my breathing would go back to normal. I worried that I was slowing her down and just wanted to stay with her so I would have a buddy for the race.

Halfway through mile 4 we started a long gradual incline and I just couldn't keep up. The distance between Rebecca and I started to get bigger and I just tried to keep her in sight. I knew this was going to be a long race as I hadn't even reached mile 5.

I pushed on and told myself that once I reached mile 7, I could walk. I felt extremely slow especially as more and more people began to pass me. I just kept telling myself to get to mile 7 and then I could stop.

As we came into the water stop around mile 7, I stepped off the course, ate a gel and drank from my hand held. I knew I was already half way done and saw that my time goal of 8 min/mile was slipping away.

I continued on, having moments when I felt great and then moments when I just wanted to walk. It was a constant mental struggle to keep going. I started walking through the water stops, drinking Gatorade, hoping that it would give me some energy to pick up the pace.

Miles 8 and 9 just slogged together as I tried to keep it together. Runners kept passing me and I felt like I was going so slow, I just couldn't pick up the pace. By the time I reached mile 11, I tried to tell myself that I just had 2 miles left. It didn't seem like a long way to go, but my legs were not happy. My right hip continued to ache and my knees were beginning to hurt. I was hurting in places I had never hurt before plus I was feeling the cramps in my stomach on both sides!

Reaching mile 12 felt good, but I still couldn't see the stadium where the finish line was so I had no real sense of the distance. As I continued on, a spectator said only 0.1 as I must have missed the mile 13 maker. I just kept running, hoping that I would come in at 1:52.

Rounding the turn and coming into the finish line, I heard the announcer saying my name and I didn't want to hear it. I just wanted to sit down and hide. I saw the clock and it said 1:52:XX. A volunteer gave me a medal and took off my chip. I grabbed some water and search to see if Brian had come to the race.

My legs were in a lot of pain and I tried to sit down, but my right hip cramped up so I stood back up. I grabbed a banana, more Gatorade and walked to my car. I drove myself home in a daze of disappointment and amazement that I had just run 13 horrible miles of torture.

Once I reached home, I immediately took off my soaking clothes and showered. Then I made my way to the couch to lay down. My stomach was feeling horrible and continued to get worse. I started to sweat and was extremely hot. I started to gag and then threw up the contents of my stomach.

I called Brian who had been at a bachelor party the night before and so I had told him to not try and make it to the race but was still maybe hoping that he had. He came over and thought I had a fever so he drove me to the immediate care center down the road. We waited only a few short minutes before seeing the doctor where they tested my urine, took my blood sugar, blood pressure, pulse, and temperature. Nothing seemed unusual except my high pulse and the doctor said my urine showed I was decently hydrated for just running a race.

I had begun to feel better but the doctor still gave me anti-nausea medicine and told me he thought I didn't have enough salt/sodium to absorb the water I had drank on Saturday and then during the race.

The rest of the day was a daze as the medicine made me drowsy and I ended up sleeping 12 hours straight. It all seems so far away now and completely fuzzy. The only thing that reminds me that I actually ran the race is my sore quads.

Overall it was a pretty devastating race and I was very upset at having mentally and physically quit on myself only a few miles into the race. The only thing I can assume is that I was not prepared for the race and didn't have enough experience with the longer distances. It is scary about what happened after the race and that I have had similar symptoms although less severe after the Boilermaker 15k this year.

Today (Tuesday) I am doing well. Glad to have the race behind me and looking forward to a break from running for a bit. It just seems like I need to take a step back.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, September 10, 2010


I almost forgot what today was!! In a year from now I will be getting married!!

I will then share an anniversary date with Marlene!! Today she celebrates her 5th wedding anniversary!!

Brian and I are knee deep in wedding planning!! Ok that is a lie - I am knee deep in wedding planning and I just tell Brian when to show up!! More updates to come soon - I promise!!