Monday, October 31, 2011

First 40 mile week

Happy Monday morning!?  Not so much - I am dragging today and two cups of coffee is just not going to cut it.

The main reason I am so tired today?  Well, I hit 40 miles last week for the first time ever!

This year I have really pushed my body farther than I thought I could.  Before this year, I was stuck in a rut of 20-25 mile weeks and 80 mile months.  And then I took a look at my training and decided I needed to change things.  The way I was training was not going to allow me to become a stronger and faster runner.

So I changed my plans and each run began to have a purpose. I started running 30 miles weeks and 100+ mile months.  And slowly I got faster and stronger.

And then this week, I hit a new milestone of 40 miles in one week! It was not easy and I am definitely feeling the effects of it now but it was worth it!  It was worth it to see if I could handle it and push my body farther than I had before!

My 40 mile week

Monday - Yoga
Tuesday - 8.7 miles => 2 mile warm up, 2x (400m @ R, 800m @ I, 1600m @ T), 2.95 mile cool down
Wednesday - 3 easy miles
Thursday - 8.8 miles => 1.5 mile warm up, 2x18 min at T, 2.24 mile cool down with strides
Friday - off
Saturday - 13.7 solo miles (Longest solo run ever)
Sunday - 5.8 easy miles

It really was a process to increase my mileage from 20 to 30 and now to 40 miles per week. Since I am not training for anything I have been following a semi structured plan with a few rules that work for me:

1. Four week cycle - three weeks of increased mileage and then one cutback week.  This way I ensure that I get a rest week every once in a while.
2. Long runs - I try not to have two weeks of back to back long runs.  One week I may run 13 miles and then the next will be 8-10 miles.  Running back to back weeks with longer long runs really tears up my legs.
3. Run easy - Keeping these runs easy and slow has been a key part of my training.  Often I look forward to an easy/recovery run because I can just go out and enjoy the run.
4. Five runs per week - I have been running 5 days per week since the start of 2011 and it seems to really work for me.  Every once in a while I will have a week of 6 runs but it doesn't happen very often.
5. Streaks - I try not to run more than 4 days in a row, most times I keep my streaks at 3 days. 

AND the most important one...

6. Increase mileage not speed - As I mentioned last week, pace matters, so I only increase my paces after a race when I have had adequate rest and recovery.  When I am increasing my mileage, I maintain the same pace for tempo and long runs to ensure that I don't over work my body.

This week will definitely be a cut back week.  I need more rest after that week of running plus I have my last 5k (maybe) of 2011 this weekend.

How do you increase your weekly mileage? What is your highest mileage week? 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Hot and Addicting

So I can't take good pictures of food...yet.  I am working on it! So keep that in mind and just trust me when I say that this is the best and easiest recipe ever for a sweet potato (or even a regular potato).

I found this recipe on one of my favorite food blogs - Iowa Girl Eats - she always has great recipes that are easy and tasty! Plus she always takes photos of each step which I really need because I am totally a visual learner.

Baked Parmesan Garlic Fries  
(adapted from IGE Recipe)

1 sweet potato (you could add in a russet potato too)
1 -2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup bread crumbs (or panko bread crumbs)
salt and pepper
garlic salt

1.Wash potato and slice into 1/4 inch slices (the thinner = crispier) and soak in water for at least an hour to remove starch, the longer they soak the better.

2. Preheat oven to 450F degrees. Drain potatoes and pat dry with paper towel.  Add slices to a bowl and add in olive oil and mix together.  Season with parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, salt, pepper and garlic salt.  I used my 1/4 cup measuring cup but I did not fill it all the way with the bread crumbs or cheese since I was only making one potato.  If you have more potatoes, add in more seasonings. Mix well to ensure that seasoning is coated well onto potato slices.  Place slices on non-stick baking sheet.

3. Bake in oven for 20-30 minutes, flipping half way through, until potatoes are golden brown and cooked all the way through.  Once removed from oven, allow to cool for a few minutes so you don't burn your mouth, then enjoy!

Super Easy.  I was slightly pressed for time so I made a few changes to this recipe - First I made these after work so I didn't have time to soak them for more than 30 minutes but they still came out.  Also I was baking a pork tenderloin at the same time so I set the oven to 400F degrees and baked them for 45 minutes.  This was an easy way to use potatoes and they tasted so good!

Tasty Tuesdays!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A weekend with Joanie - Part II

We left off on Saturday morning with the XC race.  Once everything was all set - all the races were finished, it was time to go home because later on we had a running team dinner with Joan.  I was super excited about this because I had not had a chance to get a picture with her yet.

Once we got home, I immediately took a shower to warm up and also get all the caked mud off.  We relaxed for a few hours before heading to the dinner.  Once we were there I could not wait to eat - I was so hungry.  Who knew that XC racing could cause my appetite to go crazy!

After dinner, Joan spoke to us again briefly.  She really seemed to be enjoying herself even though I could tell she also wanted to get back home.  I bet is tough to be traveling so much.

After dinner I worked up the courage to go over to her and ask for a picture.  I was so nervous but she readily agreed.  My running buddy jumped in too and you can tell from the picture we are both quite tall compared to Joan (we are both wearing flats - Joan was wearing her Nikes!)

After dinner, everything caught up with me - the long week of work and planning for the XC race, all the running, the racing, just everything.  I had planned to try and get up early to run to the nearby farmers' market but I started to have second thoughts and decided that I needed a day to sleep in.

As we were walking out the door, my coach came up to me (and my running buddy) and pulled us aside.  He said that Joan had expressed a great desire to run the next morning before she boarded her plane home.  She wanted to run on the canal path that runs through the suburbs and our coach wondered if we would like to join her.  Of course I signed myself and my running buddy right up! We were in!  My sleeping in plans went right out the window.

Sunday morning was ANOTHER early morning.  6:30am the alarm went off and I rolled out of bed.  The first thing I noticed was that the inside portion of my quads near my knees were very sore.  But that wasn't going to stop me from running with Joan Benoit!!

I enjoyed a beautiful sunrise as I ate my breakfast and got ready to go.  It was a bit chilly out and I opted to over dress instead of being cold.  I am sad to say that I gave in and wore my LONG spandex.  It's official - its getting colder out and winter is almost here :(

I made the short drive to our meeting place and waited for everyone to arrive.  Soon enough it was time to start and we headed to the canal.  The sun was shining brightly and we started out at what seemed a decent pace, but Joan quickly warmed up and I saw the pace on my garmin dropping.

The first mile was around 7:45 and we didn't slow down.  Joan was very talkative and seemed to be really enjoying herself.  The second mile ticked by in 7:21.  My legs were a bit tired but I knew I could hold on to the pace we were running.  The second mile ticked by in 7:05.  She was going FAST and I didn't know how long I could keep up with her or if it was even smart to try.  The fourth mile ticked by in 7:17.

As we headed into the fifth mile, I knew I shouldn't continue at that pace - I didn't want to hurt myself by pushing too hard, so at the 4.75 mile mark, I stopped and waited for my running partner who had decided to slow down a bit earlier.  We let Joan continue on for a little and decided to try and get a head start back.  Joan caught back up to us at about the 7.5 mile mark and just kept on going! 

First 4.75 miles with Joan - 35:14, 7:25 pace
Second 4.75 miles back - 37:32, 7:54 pace
Total - 9.5 miles, 1:12:46, 7:39 pace

My legs were dead after this run but I was so happy for the once in a lifetime chance to run with Joan.  She was truly amazing and such an inspiration! The rest of the day I spent resting on the couch with my recovery socks.  It was a good weekend!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pace Matters

Every time I run, I always make sure to record my time and distance using Dailymile and RunningAHEAD. I really enjoy using DM because I like to connect and share with other runners, but it doesn't offer the advanced statistical options that RunningAHEAD does.  I love to see a graph of my workouts, comparing pace or distance over time.

Just a few days ago I was thinking about last year when I was injured and couldn't run.  I was facing severe knee pain with no explanation as to why it came about or how to fix it.  I have often wondered what caused my pain and I think I know the answer - running TOO fast and not recovering.

Using RunningAHEAD I was able to compare my pace from last August (2010) before my injury to this August (2011).  It became clear that my pace from August 2010 was a lot faster than my pace in August 2011. 
August 2010 Paces
August 2011 Paces
This past August, I had more runs in the 8:30 min/mile range than I did in 2010.  Now of course this is just one month, but honestly I know that I was running too fast before.  Looking back at 2010, a lot of my easy 3 milers were done at 8 min pace which did not allow my legs to recovery at all.  Now I run my easy recovery runs at a goal pace of 8:40 min/mile.  Some days I am able to go faster, some days I am not.  I also know that I was running my tempo paces too fast.  I would go out for a run with my running club and when the workout would call for tempo pace, I would usually end up running my interval pace.  I wasn't using a VDOT that was close to my fitness at that time - I was going off a PR and VDOT calculation from over a year ago.

So how do you figure out what your easy pace (or tempo pace) should be?  Well I use the VDOT system, which is very similar to McMillan or any other running calculator which takes a recent race distance and time and then outputs the paces you should be running for interval, tempo, long and easy runs.

Using the VDOT chart and inserting my current and recent 5k PR, it says my easy runs should be at 8:50 min/mile, while using McMillan, it says my easy runs should be at 8:13-8:43 min/mile.  The McMillan chart breaks the paces down more specifically to recovery runs, easy runs and long runs.  It is really all about personal preference.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Over the past two years when I have really been focusing on my running and trying to become faster, I have learned a lot.  I know that I need to slow down and run the pace designated for each run. It is all about staying healthy and uninjured!

What's your easy run pace? 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

How about a little mud?

Yes I ran a cross country race this weekend, but that does not mean I enjoyed it.  It was TOUGH and MUDDY, but let me start at the beginning.

After arriving at the race course on Saturday morning, I met up with the girls running the race.  We have a bunch of women who are in the open division (19-39 yrs old) but most of the fast girls were running in another XC race on Sunday so they needed some girls to take their places.  That is the only reason I ran this race - for the team.

Guess I missed the memo to wear my hot shorts instead of capris.
It was a chilly 45F at the start and I was freezing my butt off waiting for the gun to go off.  I had a goal of just trying to stay with one of the faster girls.  She is more experienced with XC races and so I thought that if I could stick with her then I would do well.

I also promised myself that I would NOT look at my garmin during the race.  I knew that would psych me out if I looked at my garmin and saw that my pace had dropped because of the mud or a hill.  I decided that I would go off of my "perceived effort" and just go as fast as I could for as long as I could.

Soon we were off and running across the open field.  And then I hit the mud and it was so hard to go fast in the squishy, muddy grass.  I was not happy already with the race and running and I wanted to be done but I still had a long way to go.

I rolled through the first mile in just over 7 minutes which was way too fast considering we had two hilly climbs in the first mile.  My legs were on fire and I was already tired.  I couldn't resist so I looked at my garmin to check my pace and was pleasantly surprised.  I pushed on and headed into the second mile and also the longest hill.

I knew that Brian was out on the course as a marshal but I had no idea where he was.  I also had no idea where the two mile marker was so I just kept pushing on.  I hit an especially muddy area and just got frustrated that I could not get solid footing on the ground.  When I finally came out of the mud soaked section, I rounded a corner and saw Brian.  I must have had an extreme death face on because he stopped mid cheer and became quiet and just clapped for me. I just wanted the race to be over.

The next section was probably the easiest with only a few muddy sections and a small hill.  I resisted the urge to look at my garmin and just pushed on.  Finally I rounded the last corner into the final straightaway to the finish.  The clock was in sight and I saw it had just ticked over into 22 minutes.  I was shocked - I thought I would finish so much slower.

My final time, unofficially by my gamin was 22:35 and I was pretty happy with that.  It was a tough, muddy course and although I hated almost every second of this race, I knew that it just made me stronger as a runner. 

After the race, I became aware of how much mud I had managed to get on myself.  Good thing I wore my old Brooks shoes!  Here is a picture of my shoes before the race:

 And this is my shoes and the back of my legs after the race:

And my shoes after the race:

Ugg I hate mud.  I don't think my old brooks will ever look the same.  Overall it was a good race - I guess I always say that post race.  Our team ended up winning the race which was an added bonus.

Official results:
Time: 22:34
Place: 28/36
Female: 7/11

Monday, October 24, 2011

A weekend with Joanie - Part 1

I have been looking forward to this weekend for quite some time.  This was the weekend that Joan Benoit Samuelson was coming to town!  A few months ago, well back in the early summer, my coach gave us some great news - that the running club had finally gotten word that Joan had said yes and would come to my town to run in the National Masters' XC race in October.

Well October came around pretty quickly and Joan came in on Thursday night and spent Friday talking to high school cross country teams from the area and then that night she spoke to my running club!  When I first saw her in person, she was so much smaller than I thought she would be, but she was super cute, humble, gracious, nice, and well spoken. 

It was such an honor to hear her speak - I was just amazed at her story of having knee surgery before the Olympic trials.  To hear her talk about it in person gave me goosebumps.  I can't imagine going through what she did.  Then she talked about the Olympics and she said her favorite moment during that race was running down the empty LA highway.

As she spoke she talked about how her running life has changed and how now her 5k pace is only about 10 seconds/mile faster than her marathon pace. She is still faster than me by a long shot.

The one thing that she said that really stuck out to me was,
" don't have to run a marathon to be a runner.  There is too much hype and too much pressure on the marathon.  Running should be about enjoying it."
From the mouth of the 1984 Women's Marathon olympic gold medalist.  For someone who has not run a marathon, it really was inspiring to hear her say that.  I have often felt like less than a runner because I don't have the desire to run a marathon or to run Boston. 

Time really flew by and before we knew it, it was time to go home and get some rest.  The next day was the race and a tough XC race at that.

Saturday was an early morning and  Brian and I were up before dawn to head out to the XC race.  I had volunteered to be the volunteer coordinator so I had to get down to the race site early.   I had also been persuaded by my coach to run in the open division of the XC race - talk about a very busy day.  Being over booked as usual, I bribed Brian to take my place volunteering so when we arrived he headed out on to the course to marshal and make sure all runners stayed on course. 

The open division race was first 9:30am, followed by the masters women's race at 10:30am and masters men's race at 11:30am.  Things were pretty quiet before the open race started - there weren't too many people who wanted to come out on a cold morning to run on the grass, hills and mud.

My XC race went decently well, but this post is more about Joanie so I'll post my report later on.

Joan was in the masters women's race (obviously!) and I made sure I was at the start line while Brian was out freezing on the course.  He really is the best - he gave up over half of his weekend to spend time with runners and help out at the race.

The women's masters race was amazing to watch.  Many great runners all together in one place along with Joanie.  She took off and was in the lead pack before all the runners disappeared into the trails and woods.  Not long after, she was back around and headed to the finish.  I was shocked at how fast her turnover was - she was FLYING!

She finished in 20:17, still way faster than me and she is twice my age! Seriously she is just an awesome lady!  After Joanie finished her race, I grabbed some food and headed back out on to the course to help out Brian.  I felt so bad that he was stuck out there all alone.  He was a good sport and we spent the rest of the time cheering on the men's race and spending time together.

Beautiful trail!
Yes we are having fun although its cold!

Brian - being a great course marshal
It was a great day, but the fun was not over yet!  Stay tuned for Part II!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Foodie Friday: Birthday Cake

Things have been a little bit busy around here - who knew that life would be busier post wedding?!

A weeks ago, we celebrated Brian's birthday and of course I made him a cake.  A few years ago, I started a tradition of making a cake for Brian's birthday.  That first year was a complete disaster and I messed up the ingredients so badly that the cake was not even edible.  It was my first attempt at homemade cake and a homemade red velvet cake at that!  Well, I learned my lesson and now upon request from Brian, I make his cake using a mix from a box.  Someday I will master the art of homemade cake baking!

So here it is - the beautiful birthday (from a mix) cake!  I used the last of our wedding candy (from the candy buffet) to decorate his cake.  It was quite delicious!

This weekend is going to be busy - Joan Benoit is in town to speak to my running club and run in the National XC Race here on Saturday! Can't Wait!!

Happy Friday! 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The worst time to grocery shop

It has been said before that the worst time to go shopping for food is when you're hungry.  Well, in fact I believe the worst time to go shopping is after a tough running workout.  But today it couldn't be avoided because we really needed milk.  And since I was already at the store for the milk, I decided to stock up on everything else we needed for the week.

And 45 minutes later, I left the store with 10 bags of groceries.  And I even forgot one thing on my list - canned pumpkin!  I heard it was almost out of stock in our area so I wanted to pick some up but I think I got distracted and just wanted to get home.

Tonight's running club workout was really tough.  This weekend we are hosting the National Master's XC Championship so we met at the course for practice.  As I have mentioned before, I do not like cross country but somehow my coach talked me into running in the race. 

During the workout as we were scaling hill after hill I was definitely regretting my decision but I am already signed up so there is no turning back now.  I need to just remember what my coach says - cross country training makes you stronger.

Tuesday Workout:
Continuous run on trails (with 0.25 mile jog recoveries)
800m at tempo
2x1200m at interval
1x800m at tempo
4x200m strides

We were running along and everything was going great until three of us got separated from the group on the course and got lost.  We missed a turn and ended up running about a half mile extra out of the way.  Good thing the course will be marked on Saturday! 

This workout was so much harder because it was on the trails.  Every time I thought I was going fast, I would look down at my garmin and be surprised that it showed such a slower time.  I guess that is just how it works with cross country.  I am just glad the workout is done so I can relax.

What's your hardest workout?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Runners' Hair Love

My hair endures a lot of abuse.  Every morning I run, it goes up in a very tight ponytail and then if its a work day I will blow dry and/or straighten it.

I try to avoid washing it too much but when I sweat I usually end up shampooing in order to not look like a total grease ball.  My hair is pretty fine and most of the time I just don't want to bother spending the time styling it so I just let it air dry and then it looks like I just rolled out of bed (as one of my co-workers fondly said one day)!

So last week I finally got a hair cut - a good hair cut.  Previously I would just wander into any salon and tell them that I wanted my hair "trimmed" and just a straight cut.  Well 15 weeks post crappy hair cut, I would look like this...

This time I made an appointment at a salon where a friend works and had her actually style my hair.  She added a few slight layers and a bit of a face frame - nothing drastic but a bit more girly and easy to manage.  Here is how it turned out...

Perfect! Still long hair - still able to put it up in a ponytail but now I have life in my hair and an actual style! And I love it.  Now I just can't get lazy and I have to do my hair everyday!

 Now I just have to figure out some good products to use in my hair so I don't destroy it by blow drying and straightening it everyday!

Do you style your hair everyday?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Do you take Vitamins?

When I first started running track in college, I was extremely tired.  I would run in the mornings, similar to what I do now and then work all day.  When I would get home, I would eat dinner then collapse on the couch and be exhausted and ready for bed by 7:30pm.

As this went on for more than a week, I went to my doctors to have some blood drawn and tests done.  The results came back that I was in good health except for a vitamin B deficiency, probably due to my increase in mileage volume.  So I started taking a multivitamin every day and my exhaustion went away.

Fast forward 3 years and I am still taking a multivitamin along with a vitamin D supplement and vitamin C supplement and flax seed.  Do I really need to be taking all these vitamins?  If I stopped taking them would I really noticed a difference?

Yesterday my lovely husband, who is aware of my vitamin taking activities, sent me an article about a recent study done on women who take daily vitamins -> Research Finds, Vitamins may increase women's risk of dying.


Honestly I don't believe it.  I mean how can having too much vitamins cause you to die earlier? I am not a doctor, but I thought that if your body didn't need the extra vitamins, it just flushed them out of your body. 

I have been taking the multivitamin, vitamin D and C for a long time but just added the flax seed at the beginning of summer.  Within in a few weeks I noticed that my nails were stronger and my hair was a bit healthier.  Just proves that I personally do need some extra vitamins and I am not getting enough from my "healthy diet".

What do you think?  Do you believe this study?  Do you take vitamins daily?

Monday, October 10, 2011

October 5k Race Report

October is the time of 5k races in my town.  Seems like there are quite a few every weekend.  There are only a few that I look forward to every fall (when I am not injured like the last two years...)  This past Saturday was the Scarecrow 5k, which is one of my favorites because of its flat course and I signed up early this year.  In fact I signed up before the wedding AND I signed up under my married name ;)

Although Brian had not been running or training, he begged me to sign him up too and so I did.  He came along as we met up with all my running group friends and did a easy warm up on the crisp morning.  We have been having a streak of clear sunny days and I have been loving it and Saturday was no exception!  Soon after the warm up the race started and we were off.  The best part about home town races is that you get to start up close and there is no weaving or dodging slower runners. 

I enjoyed the first mile when the pace actually felt good.  There was a slight downhill and I coasted through the first mile.  I was ahead of my planned pace (planned = 6:40, actual = 6:32) and was feeling good so I thought that I would be able to at least hold this pace or negative split the race but how naive I was.

At the 1.5 mile mark we hit a dead turn around which really slowed down my momentum.  That was my least favorite part of the course.  All through the second mile I was feeling the honeymoon - I could tell that I had lost a bit of speed due to all my relaxing in the past few weeks.  My second mile was definitely not a negative split.

Going into the third mile I tried to speed up.  But it didn't work and with most 5ks my legs were starting to hurt.  I hoped I could hold onto the end and soon enough the finish line was in sight.  I knew I had a PR but I really didn't care at that point because I just wanted to finish and stop running.

Mile 1 - 6:32
Mile 2 - 6:37
Mile 3 - 6:46
Last 0.1 - 6:08 pace
Finish time: 20:40 (6:40 pace)

Once again someone managed to catch my death face at the end of a race - really need to work on that.

Walking through the finishers shoot I did not feel good.  I pulled over to the side and dry heaved.  This is the first time since my college track days when I have almost been sick and just like always it was not fun.  Thankfully the feeling passed quickly as I downed water. 

I am happy with this race and my new PR by 18 seconds! Finally breaking 21 minutes in the 5k has been a goal I had pursued for years and often thought it might not be attainable. 

Brian finished a few minutes after me (25:02) and he actually PR'd too (by +30 seconds)!  I was really proud of him and he was pretty happy with the race too! He thinks he ran so well because of his new shoes which also happen to be his favorite color!  I am not so sure about that - I think it is because he ran with one of my running group buddies and had a good pacer so he didn't go out too fast.

Another 5k race in the books - and even though it hurts really bad, this race distance is still one of my favorites! 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Real Double

Back in July and August, I talked about my fake doubles.  The times when I ran at night and then again the following morning.  After a very busy September, I finally had a free day to do whatever I wanted which included run twice. 

I love doing double workouts -  there is just something invigorating about working out twice in one day plus it helps strengthen your running, so its a win-win!

Fitting in doubles, especially for the second workout which for most people (including me) would happen after work.  When the end of the day rolls around, the last thing I want to do is workout.  The couch is always more inviting so I decided to try and fit in my double on a weekend.

My first run was at 8am - it was quiet and a cool 53F.  The sun was bright and the sky was blue.  Just a perfect fall day.

First Run -
3.55 miles/31:38/8:52 pace

After a little grocery shopping and football watching, I changed back into running clothes and set out again.  This time it was a hot 80F at 5pm but still clear and sunny!  I ran the same route as in the morning and was happy to see that my pace improved and my legs felt less lethargic and tired.

Second Run -
3.55 miles/30:06/8:29 pace

So which one is better - a real or fake double?  I think I am still on the fence.  For me a fake double is way easier to fit into my schedule, but mixing it up with a real double ever now and then is fun!

Happy Running!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Essentials for a cold and dark run

First off, let me just say that this is my favorite time of year to run.  The cooler weather, the leaves changing colors, the perfectly clear blue skies - I just LOVE it.  That being said, I will still complain when the temperature dips below a certain point.  This morning was the first taste of winter coldness and I did not like it.  It was cold, like 38F/3C cold. Like "I can see my breathe in front of my face" cold.  I am not ready for it to be this cold.  Thankfully we have some summer-like weather for the next week.  Hopefully I wont be seeing any more 30 degree weather for some time.

Two iPhone apps, Two different temperatures...hmmm?

I bundled up for my run - gloves, headband, sweatshirt.  But I refused to wear long spandex - I stuck with my capris.  I am holding out for November on the long spandex - we will see how far I really get! Besides being cold this morning, it was dark at 5am.  It has been dark in the mornings for a while, but once again I refused to bust out my headlamp.  I always wear my reflective vest when its dark but the headlamp to me just signifies cold weather and winter.

So here are a few essentials for a cold and dark morning run:

Gloves + Garmin
Spandex capris!
Reflective vest and little flashing red light.

It was a good run this morning - beautifully clear sky with all the stars.  Since I have a 5k saturday morning I took it a bit easy -> warm up + 12 min tempo + recovery +4x50m strides + cooldown = a good Thursday run!

Post run
Ready for work - how about that scarf?  Its an infinity scarf that I bought last spring - finally getting the chance to wear it - Brian makes fun of me in it, he says it looks funny! 

On another note - I officially changed my name at the social security office today!  This is just the first step of so many but at least it is a start.  And it wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be!  I would have changed it yesterday BUT I forgot the marriage certificate at home.  Opps!

And another note - I have been feeling really out of whack lately - my muscles feel tight and I have had stomach/digestive pains more often than not in the past three weeks.  It really hasn't affected my running, but I wonder if my body is finally coming down from all the commotion and excitement of the wedding.  Maybe I am just finally not stressed out any more.  Who knows.

Happy Thursday and Happy Running!