Tag Archives: half marathon training

It’s Starting to Feel Like Christmas

18 Sep

While you have been out hunting for honeycrisp apples to hit the shelves of your local market (to win my $5 Starbucks giftcard of course!), I have been hunting for pumpkin.

I did not really need to go to the grocery store this weekend.  I have plenty of food, but there were two things missing that I felt I had to have. We all have staples, and one of my staples is bananas.  I eat one EVERYDAY, usually at breakfast.

We were out of bananas, so I visited my local Target yesterday for just these two items… and floss and toothpaste.  It is always an accomplishment when I get out of Target with only the things that I need.

Of course I put my pumpkin to use as soon as possible, by making pumpkin pancake roll ups.

I referenced 3 recipes before settling.  And, turns out I must have picked the wrong one.  The pancakes themselves were not good.  I tried to make them better by adding a little nut butter and banana, but they were genuinely just ok.

Kind of a disappointment after waiting for pumpkin for so long!

Yesterday I ran 8 miles.

You read that right EIGHT!

I wanted to go farther but my heart rate shot up right at 8, even when I slowed to a jog.  So, I stopped to walk.  I was disappointed because I will have to wait 2 weeks to go farther because I have the Heels and Hills and Him 10k next Sunday. But, after running 8 miles Saturday, I definitely feel ready to run 6.2 miles!

I received two packages in the mail this week that make me feel more ready to continue on my half-marathon training journey.  I’m starting to feel like it’s Christmas around here. But, I am paying for my own gifts, so nevermind.

Thursday night I got this small box and busted it open quickly!

Compressions socks!  I actually put them on right away and wore them until bed.

(You’ll have to forgive the grandma slippers and the cat butt in the background. It was late and I was tired!)

Compression socks are like hugs for your calves!

I plan to wear these any time my legs feel tired and after my long run on Saturdays.

These socks are snug on your calves, compressing inward to increase blood circulation and speeding recovery time. My sister is 6 months pregnant and wears a pair all day at school, since she is on her feet, to avoid ankle and foot swelling.

This very morning I got another package.  Well, it came yesterday, but the mail was checked today.

Finally, I will be running and cycling safer by wearing a RoadID every time I go out, whether alone or with someone.

This little bracelet will give first responders key information about me, like the fact that I have no known allergies, my emergency contact numbers, and that I am an organ donor!

And, for me the mantra “Some can’t.  You can.”  That is only part of my mantra though.  I would have needed another bracelet to write the whole thing.

“Some can’t.  You can.  Some won’t.  You will.  Some don’t.  You do.”  This is what I tell myself when I am ready to quit and it helps me keep going. And going, I keep.

Happy Sunday!  I am off to get ready for church!


Do you have a mantra?  If so, what is it?



4 Sep

Every time I take a night off from blogging I think, “What if they all forget about me because I did not post tonight?  What if they assume I just died and never come back to read again?  What if they think I am a flake and that they can’t count on me, so it’s not even worth reading?”

Then I remember that people probably did not even notice that I took a night off.  I’m not saying that people don’t care, just that it is not THAT big of a deal!  I enjoyed my Saturday of no blogging. It always makes me look forward to writing again!  I love blogging.  I love living more. 🙂

As usual, Saturday = long run

I generally sleep at Chrisina’s house if I am going to run or bike in the morning, but I decided to stay home on Friday night.

Little did I know that I would be awoken an hour after I went to sleep and that I would not be able to fall back asleep for 2 hours.  That sounds a little familiar. I run better if I sleep well, and I did not sleep well.

When I started my run I immediately felt that something was off.  My feet felt heavy.  I did not have to reign myself in from taking off too fast.  I had 0 energy.

I made it through the first 2.5 miles of dragging myself along when a major case of stomach cramps hit.  I felt like my stomach was in a knot. That sounds a little familiar.

It immediately occurred to me that I did try eating something new before I ran… mistake.

I started to throw a little tantrum in my head… what a waste of a beautiful morning!

Then I remembered that I forgot my phone at home, so I was going to have to suck it up, because I was 3 miles from home. There was no way to call anyone. I  had to get back, and I had to do it myself.

So, I ran when I could and I walked when I could run no longer.  I finished the 6 mile loop. I literally had no choice.

Since my run had already been shot, I tried to make use of the time and quiet by doing some thinking.

I was looking through some photos the other night on Facebook of myself from 2010

My first 5k in February 2010. I walked the entire race, and felt like I'd been hit by a truck after.

3 Weeks in Europe in July. Very tired feet all of the time.

Trip to Lubbock in September.  

I could not help but feel shocked as I looked at the pictures.  I had 0 perspective of my actual size when I was 215 pounds.  I had 0 perspective of what that weight did to my self esteem and wellbeing – emotional, physical, social.

As I viewed the pictures I experienced a lot of varied emotions… sadness, regret, pride, embarrassment…

And I realized, I needed to forgive myself.

For missed opportunities. For wasted time.  For poor decisions.

I realized how much disappointment I felt toward myself for allowing myself to be overweight and stay overweight for so long.

The picture from Lubbock was taken only a week before I returned to Nebraska and changed EVERYTHING about the way I eat.

Today I am the same person, but I live in a totally new way.

I walk run in a new way.  I speak in a new way.  I think in a new way.  I cook in a new way.  I approach life in a new way.

One year later. Now, that is better...

Not for a single second would I tell you that it has been easy.

But, I would tell you all day, every day, that it has been worth it.

 I can continue to change… and change is worth the effort.

I genuinely believe that you, too, can change your life.

That is an idea that I want to become very familiar.

So, as I ran.  I began to forgive myself.  I can do nothing about the past. I choose how I will live today.  And though my run wasn’t that great, I can say it was still productive. I made progress, in a very worthy way.


Change is not immediate, it is the sum total of many decisions made over time.  


A Little Backwards, A Lot Hot

28 Aug

Friday night was very relaxing, as all I did was have dinner with Clare at Kalachandji’s and then go back to my sister’s house to hang out.  I stay at her house most Friday nights because I like running in her neighborhood.  I have measured routes and it is well lit for those before-the-sun-would-dare-raise-it’s-head runs. But the guest room was occupied, so I slept on the couch.  Luckily it is a really comfortable couch.

Iron Jess and his brother left the house at 3am to head to Hotter Than Hell, a 100 mile bike ride, with 2 of their other brothers and  their dad.  They were super quiet in the kitchen, but I still woke up.  I could not fall back asleep until 4:30, so my 5:30 alarm was greeted with my pointer finger turning it off and a grunt.

I ended up waking up at 6:30 and headed out on a 6 mile run.

I felt incredible the first couple miles, and then it started to get hotter as the sun rose.  I walked 3 times, for about a minute each time. In the end I still covered over 6 miles.

It still amazes me that I can run that far! I may not be fast, but I will get it done!

Lunch looked a little something like this…

Well, I started lunch with frozen yogurt with Christina.  We have our priorities. Then we met Michele and Leila for fajitas.

The three of us shared these fajitas from On the Border.  I was actually really impressed that they have vegetable fajitas on their menu. We ordered chicken, so the meat eaters could eat meat.  They had 3 vegetable options that came with the meat, and I chose the one that included squash and zucchini, red pepper, and onion.  I asked the waiter to put the meat beside the vegetables, and he obliged. Thanks waiter!

Happy vegetarian!  Guacamole, black beans, vegetables, and salsa on a very fresh tortilla.  I had one fajita with some chips and salsa.  I ate the chips slowly and intentionally.

By the end of lunch the lack of sleep + sugar caught up to me and I was ready to crash hard, so I skipped the trip to Target and went home for a 45 minute nap.

After my nap I made myself appear presentable enough to sit outside for hours and sweat… in other words, I put on clothes… and packed my cooler for a Ranger’s game.

We are having a drought in Texas, but you wouldn’t know it from their grass (or the grass in my front yard).  This was my first game of the season. Sad but true.  I used to frequent the ballpark all throughout the summer.  Life is busy these days!

There was good company.

Lots of sun.

Zero wind, as you can tell by the flags.

And lots of real food in my cooler. The last of the Whole Foods jalapeno hummus, chickpeas (redundant), red pepper, carrots, and tomotos (that may as well be candy).

To combat the heat, I brought a bowl of watermelon. This is what summer is about – baseball and watermelon.

The Ranger’s lost.

School starts Monday morning after my final Body Pump in who knows how long.

Do you like going to outdoor sporting events?  

Do you pack your own food or try to find something to eat at the stadium?  I will be honest, I can not handle paying that much for mediocre food. even when I was a meat eater I took my own food.

Targeting the Discipline Muscle

24 Aug

“After you are finished with the warm up get ready to work hard”.  That is what Jesse said about my run this morning in an email I got from him last night.

Oh golly, gee, I just could not wait!

It was hard to roll out of bed this morning.  I mean really hard, even though I went to sleep at 10.  5am is early, no matter how you look at it, but seems even earlier when your intention is to go sweat your tail off instead of make a cup of coffee and get ready for the day.

Today’s goal was a Max Heart Rate test.  Jesse needs this information to aid in the creation of my training plan and the interpretation of the data after a workout.

When I workout I wear a Garmin FR60 watch with a heart rate monitor.  When I run, I have a foot pod on my shoe.  My bicycle has a cadence sensor or it as well that works with my watch. All of these little tools give me information about what my body is doing while I work out. It can be very interesting stuff!

I like this watch because it is not too bulky.  Some of the other Garmins are huge.  This one does everything that I need it to do.  I got it for a great price at www.holabirdsports.com .

The test went something like this…

Ramp warm up – jog at a comfy pace until 5 min, speed up .2 every 30 sec after that till 6mph, maintain at 6mph until 8:00, then walk

Begin test … (straight from Iron Jess himself)

Every 30 seconds take the speed up by .2 until you have to begin a light jog.  After that you will increase your speed by .1 every minute until you get to level 6.
Stay at level 6 for 3 minutes.  Once you have gone 3 minutes at level 6 you will begin increasing your incline by 1 every 30 seconds until you reach level 5.  If you are still going when you reach level 5 increase your speed again by .1 every 30 seconds until you have to hop onto the side of the treadmill.  Do not hold on to the treadmill unless you are stopping.  After you finish this test immediately take the treadmill back down to 0 on the incline and walk at a comfortable level.
Once you are finished with the test and recovered you can get back to an easy jog and finish out the time you have jogging at whatever speed you feel like running.
…end test.
By the time I was running at an incline of 5 at 6mph my heart rate was at 187 and I feared flying off the back of the treader.  So, I hopped off.  Could I have gone faster?  Maybe. Oh, the age old question.
I ran more, did some core work, and had a nice stretch before heading home.
Say hello to “Where the mud are the rest of my oats?” oatmeal.
There is a big difference between 1/3 c oats and 1/4 c oats.  I also did not have a banana to mash.  That may have been how I justified that dollup of sunflower butter. It was a really good bowl of oats.
1/4 c rolled oats
1/2 c unsweetened almond milk
1/4 c water
1/2 scoop Raw protein powder
1/2 T buckwheat groats
1/2 c frozen cherries
I topped it with almost a T of sunflower butter and some coconut cream (coconut flour + almond milk), with decaf and a side of running around the house like a crazy person trying to get out of the door by 7:30.
I managed to snap a picture of lunch before it was packed away in my lunch box last night.
Mini pitas, jalapeno hummus, fresh cut veggies, and some strawberries with 3 spoons of soy yogurt, a little coconut, buckwheat groats, and walnuts.
Then as I turned off the light to the kitchen and headed toward bed I remembered…. tomorrow is Wednesday and that means I need to take my dinner too.
As much of a hassle as it seems sometimes to plan and create meals ahead of time, the benefit far outweighs the cost.
1. I am guaranteed a healthy and well balanced meal.
2. I save money.  Convenient food = expense
3. I am being proactive in regard to my health and hunger.
4. I am exercising discipline and self-control, and trust me, those are muscles that need as much exercise as possible for me.
If you are not a vegetarian, but are considering becoming one… or maybe you wonder why in the world anyone would want to stop eating meat, check out Mama Pea’s post about the Benefits of Being a Vegetarian.
Warning: Do not read Peas and Thank You, unless you have an actual sense of humor.  Also, please note that Sarah is one of the funniest blogs I have ever read and reading her blog may be habit forming.  Furthermore, I will likely seem really dull after reading her blog.
You have been warned.

Sarah also has a new book out, entitled Peas and Thank You with meatless recipes and adorable stories of her very creative daughters, Gigi and Lulu. I do not own it yet, but want it. I hear that you can get it on Amazon for about $13, but I am being SUPER careful with money right now (See, I have to practice discipline in a lot of areas. ).

I Run

16 Aug

One of these days I will upload a picture again… Until then, all I have is words.

There is no way in the world I could forget that I did Body Pump yesterday.  Not even if I tried.  My whole body feels it.  I am glad, because I know I got a really good workout, but I look a little robotic today.  How will I feel tomorrow when I have intervals to run?

Sometimes I am afraid to aspire. (Oh, you too?!  Glad I’m not alone.)

When I made the decision to run a marathon I was terrified to tell anyone, because I thought they would laugh at me.  I told Christina first.  Let me explain a little something about Christina… she does not know what impossible means.  It is an incredible quality.  When she encounters a problem, she will find a solution.  If there is not a solution to be found, she will make one. So I knew she would listen to me, even if what I was saying what ridiculous. But, her response was  “Sounds good.  I’m not doing it, but I know you can.  Jesse will help. ”

From there I told Jesse. I was really nervous telling him.  I thought that there was a good chance that he would tell me that it is a nice idea, but that I should not waste my time.  That was not his response at all.  He asked for data so he could work on my trianing plan.  He was immediately on board, after feeling out if I was serious about this.

Sunday, I was in Ft Worth Running Co with about a dozen other runners, and for once I did not feel out of place.  Usually at an expo for a race I would feel like I did not belong.  I felt like they were runners, but I am just a walker or a jogger.  But, not anymore.

I run.

I lace up my shoes. I strap on my heart rate monitor.  I map my route.  I sweat my butt off.  I keep going when every fiber of my being wants to stop and walk.

I run.

I choose to run.  Therefore, I am a runner. No one can tell me that I am not.

I have my sights set on 13.1 miles. (Yes, I intend to get a sticker.  No, there is no way I’ll put it on my car.) I am working on saving up the money to get signed up for White Rock and then for Cowtown.

Those may seem like distant goals.  December is months away.  February even farther. But, as with the most valuable things in life, they are not handed to you, but must be earned with blood, sweat, and tears.

Because I want to run 13.1 miles on December 4th…

I go to bed early every Friday night.

I wake up early every Saturday morning.

I drink water like it is my job.

I do not work out of Fridays.

I do core exercises and stretch often.

All week long I prepare myself for running a new distance on Saturday morning.

All week long I make sacrifices.

Every Saturday it pays off. The feeling of pressing that stop button on my watch is incredible.


Do you have a goal that seems elusive? What is your 26.2 miles? What can you do today, tomorrow, this week, this month that will bring you closer to accomplishing it?

You will never be who you want to be unless you do what you do not want to do.

So do today what you can, so that tomorrow is one step closer to where you really wan to be.

Change is the Name of the Game

10 Jul


One thing has definitely not changed,  I have been eating a lot of vegetables.  Some raw, some cooked.  As many colors as I can find!

Smoothies, stir fry, sandwiches, for dipping, roasted and raw…

I have noticed over the last few weeks how much my skin has changed (especially my face) since I have changed the way that I eat.  I used to have a couple break outs a month.  I usually had at least one blemish on my face at all times.

These days the blemishes are rare.  When I ate sugar, the weekend of my birthday, my face went ca-ra-zy!

I am using much less concealer these days!  My face feels soft and smooth and even glows a little.

And that is only ONE of the benefits of healthier eating!

I saw a girl from HS this week.  She told me that I looked like I have lost a 100 lbs. I was not offended at all!  I have lost 50, and I think what she really meant was that I’ve change a lot. And, that is a compliment I will gladly accept!

While shopping with my sister today I got a literal armful of clothes to try on, assuming that the sizes I chose would be snug.

Umm, no. I had to go back and get smaller sizes for most of them, some of them twice.  I couldn’t believe it!  I am not sure when I will get used to how much the size of my body has changed.

Last week was weird.  I just could not get in the workout groove after the Firecracker 5000 last Monday. A bike workout one day and two runs was all I was able to muster out of myself.  I am legitimately looking forward to getting back on a schedule this week.

Speaking of schedules…

When your running coach texts you and says, “I sent you an email.  Don’t be scared.  It is based on what you are capable of doing.”

Welp, I wasn’t scared to read it until he said not to be scared.  He warned me that this week would be very different than anything I had done before.  The change is intended to get my body more used to a higher volume of training.

It may seem odd, but I have been wanting more volume in my training.  I did not feel like I was doing enough.

Thank the Lord…. my transportation status changed.  I purchased a car!

I start a new class tomorrow and a new job… talk about change.

Check back tomorrow for a new recipe and menu from a dinner my friend and I cooked up this weekend!



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