“At first an ordeal and then an accomplishment, the daily run becomes a staple, like bread, or wine, a fine marriage, or air. It is also a free pass to friendship.”
~ Benjamin Cheever, Strides

Thursday, August 30, 2012

It's all about the shirt

So, I've been extremely frustrated by my recent plateau weight wise.  I've been hovering around 160-162 for a while now.  In fact, I recently told my husband that it was time to break up with the scale for a few weeks.

Today, it's all about the shirt.

I was trying to decide what I would wear for my trip to the zoo with Avery and Laurie today.  I thought, what the heck, and tried on a shirt that I bought over two years ago.  I bought this shirt when I saw the musical Wicked in July 2010.  It was one of those shirts that runs small.  I absolutely loved it though, and was planning to lose weight, so I bought it anyway.

At the time, I couldn't even really wear it at home in private, that's how small it was.  Then, I got pregnant and gained a ton of weight while pregnant....most of you know this story by now.

Today.  The shirt fit.  It fit, it fit, it fit.  Not a "if I use my knees to stretch it out fit," It FIT.
It fits!
Yes, I still have a lot more work I want to do - both in regards to weight loss and physical goals I want to meet: climbing a mountain, running a marathon, running Goofy, running an Ultra....getting faster.

But, today, it's all about the shirt.

And the shirt freaking fits.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ice Baths for Dummies

Since I was paced a half marathon and then tacked on 3 extra miles this past Sunday, I thought to myself, perhaps it's time to suck it up and take an ice bath.   My standing joke with my training buddies has been "the closest I will ever get to an ice bath is if I fall in a snow bank during winter training."
Hahaha!  That's not a bath mommy!
I told my friends post-race that I intended to try an ice bath and they were full of lots of very helpful advice.
  • Start the bath water slightly warmer than ice cold, so that it's not such a shock to the system.  Then have your husband dump in the ice once you are sitting in it.
  • Start small.  As in - use a small bag of ice or whatever ice is in the icemaker in the freezer
  • Go in fully clothed.
  • Wear something warm on top - a sweatshirt or something.
  • Only fill the tub to just over your legs, or waist height.
  • Bring your kindle.
  • Bring a hot drink.

Despite all this helpful advice, I still managed to screw it up.  HA!  I took the start-the-bath-water-slightly-warmer-than-ice-cold advice a bit too far.  The bath water was more not-warm than it was cold.  The ice from the bag of ice melted so quickly...
It's melting...it's melting!
...that I made my husband go down to the ice-maker and get all that ice to add to the bath too.  And yes, I made him take another ice bath picture after the new ice was added.  I'm special that way.
Homemade ice is the best!
Mistake #2.  I did not account for the size of my tub when making ice purchasing decisions.  When I got home, Avery was napping, so using the smaller second bathroom tub was not really a good idea.  (It shares a wall with Avery's room.)   My master bathroom tub is big enough for probably me and all my training buddies to take an ice bath together. (That would be a whole DIFFERENT kind of blog).  Nonetheless, when I bought my ice, I stuck with the smaller ice bag based on the sound advice I was given of starting small.

The two mistakes together (starting temperature and quantity of ice), made for an ice bath that was cold when the ice was put in...and only sort of cold afterwards.

I didn't do the hot beverage, and didn't need to because of my earlier mistakes.  I did do the warm top - and that advice was the BEST ever!  And, not coincidentally, the one that I didn't screw up.  My clearance rack REI hoodie worked fabulously.

I also used a kitchen timer to make sure I stayed in for the right amount of time.  Even though my "ice" bath wasn't super cold, I stayed in for the full 15 minutes, I figured it wouldn't hurt.  And yes, having my kindle helped pass the time.

What what I do differently next time?
  • Keep in mind the size of my tub!  Buy 2 of the LARGE bags of ice.
That's it actually.  I would buy a lot more ice, so that I could still start with the tub water at a not-warm, but not freezing temperature.  I liked that, it wasn't bad getting into the tub to start with.  And, I actually liked it when the ice was added to that, the cold felt good.  My theory is that the ice melting so quickly wouldn't be an issue with a higher quantity of ice.  Or maybe I'm just deluding myself?

Apparently - I'm treating ice baths like one of my chemistry experiments...
I do miss these days!
I promise, I did not pull out a lab notebook and take notes as to volume of bath water, temperature and quantity of ice...but now I am tempted to measure the temp of the water.  What ice bath temperature is ideal?  Oops.  My nerd is showing!
Somebody else will laugh at this - I just know it.

Have you ever taken an ice bath?

Any advice to add to or change from what I was given or did?

Are you like me in that I only change one variable at a time?  HA!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Emerald City 2012 Recap

Race: Emerald City Quarter/Half Marathon
Distance:  13.1 miles
Date:  August 26, 2012, 7am start
Finish time:  2:51:06*
What sets this race apart:  One of the first big races in Columbus area to feature the quarter marathon as it's main race distance.

*Ran this race as part of the pace team. My goal time was 2:50
It's all about the bling! Gorgeous medal.  Same medal for both half and quarter finishers
The Emerald City Race will always have a special place in my heart.  This was my first ever race - I ran the quarter marathon during it's inaugural year in 2010.  I actually had to walk a bit back then because I was still so new to running.

This year, I ran this race as part of the "World Famous MIT Pace Team."  It's kind of fun to get emails addressed to "World Famous pacers."  :D   Pacers typically get assigned based on preferences, but are expected to pace a time much slower than your best time.  The idea is that the goal time should be an easy pace for you.  My assigned time was a 2:50 finish.  I was assigned to pace with an experienced pacer so that she could help us hit the splits.
The pace team pre-race
I had a lot of fun pacing this race!  I talked most of the time - I know, you're all shocked!  I actually had people tell me post-race that hearing "Mandy" coming up behind them was motivating.  HA!   I did lose most of the people running with my pace sign (and my fellow pacer) somewhere after mile 10.  They all fell back a bit.  
Coming around the corner towards the finish line.
Some of the volunteers joined me because pacers shouldn't finish alone.
I finished 13.24 miles in 2:51:06.  I missed the goal by a minute!  How did I go wrong?  I didn't allow for enough time per mile for the extra distance most people (myself included) run on a course.  I will do better next time!   I now know that I need to pace at a 5 sec per mile faster pace to allow for that extra distance.  Lesson learned!

What I love about the race?

  • The course - it's not all a road race.  At least half of the race is on paved trails through wooded areas and Glacier Ridge Metro Park.
  • It's a smaller field, with a different atmosphere.
  • All the cute young cheerleader groups that cheer us on!
  • The post race food and clean port-o-potties.  M3S Sports has this part of races down to a science.  Post race food: chocolate milk, water, bagels, apples and bananas.  GU was provided around mile 9.  I stopped to pee around mile 6, the potty was clean, and there was actually a fully stocked sanitizing foam in the potty!

What is NOT my favorite about this race?

  • The section where we run on a boardwalk.
  • The lack of big crowds - I do like the extra umph you can get from lots of adoring fans.
  • Smaller field.  (I know I listed this in both section).  I ran miles 10-13 mostly by myself.  At the quarter marathon turn-off, a large portion of the group following our pace banner turned for the quarter distance.  I need people to listen to me blabber!  HA!
  • The sport drink.  I've begun taking salt pills and drinking water (instead of sports drinks) at these races because GU Brew is the new Gatorade - and my stomach hates it.
The weather started cool, because sunrise was at 6:55am.  Pretty awesome to see the sunrise as the race started!  It got pretty warm by the end of the race.  This brings to me to the other thing M3S sports did right - in the finish chute, first you were handed a cold bottle of water, next station was ice cold wet clothes to help cool you down.  Then, you exited for the food and a massage/stretch station.  Afterwards, you could cross the the parking lot to BW's for free food and beverages.

Of course, I didn't stay to enjoy all those things.  I snapped a quick photo with my husband.  Mark ran the quarter marathon in under an hour!  He went and enjoyed the free food and decided to wait for me to finish (pretty easy to guess my finish time since I was a pacer - ha!).
And yes, he got the same medal for half the distance.  :)
Then - I topped off my fuel belt bottles and ran backwards on the course.  I stopped to GU because it'd been several miles since my last one, and then ran out to the first water stop.  I ran back, and stopped to walk once I hit 3 extra miles.  I did the extra 3 miles in 32:40, including stopping time.  A bit faster than I should be doing any portion of my 16 mile long run, but that's okay.

Amazing how much emptier the finish line was after those bonus 3 miles.  I still searched out a bagel and a banana.  Then, I went to BW's, but all the free food was gone.  I stayed anyway, and ate a lot of hot wings with friends to "refuel."

I was so jazzed after I got home and attempted my first water ice bath, that I wouldn't shut up.  (I'll post about the bath experiment separately).  My husband is so lucky to get to hear endless recaps of my runs!  I know he treasures every single second.

I really enjoyed pacing the race - what a different way to do a race.  It was a lot of fun meeting other runners as we were pacing and helping them reach their goals.  I'll definitely pace again!

Have you ever gone back out for extra miles after a race?  Did you notice a big difference in the post-race festivities as well?

Would you ever pace a race?

Do you ever do the same race year after year?  This was my 3rd year doing Emerald City.

Do you ever bore your friends and family with endless recaps of your long runs?  Please tell me I'm not alone!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Not tapering - taper madness

This morning, I did not meet up with my running group for a 16 mile run.  I got up, ate breakfast, and laid back down until the kid woke up.  

I didn't go to meet my group because I'm pacing a half marathon tomorrow.  And running 3 bonus miles after the race just for fun.

Fridays are my normal rest days, so I didn't run yesterday either.  Avery and I went to the zoo.
Mommy - we didn't have to go to the zoo for me to push the stroller - I'll push it anywhere.
By 10am this morning, anything anyone did was extremely annoying.  

In an effort to curb the madness, I suggested we get out of the house and do something.  But, Ohio is having record breaking heat, again.  To get me out of the house, we went to the mall.  Where my husband thought pushing the stroller meant you had to walk the pace of a freaking snail.  I finally snatched the stroller to force the speed issue.

I think I might finally understand what everyone means when they say the phrase "taper madness".  Not that I am currently in taper mode in any way shape or form.  
Taper madness makes me eat the paper in the race packets.
Apparently, two days of no running for Mandy is bad for the whole family.  Once my husband realized what my issue was, he found the whole thing funny.

Which, of course, I found irritating.

In addition, today, I ate my weight in Krispy Kreme donuts.  That was another brilliant "let's get crazy Mandy out of the house" outing.  I'd intended to buy ONE donut.  My husband thought we needed a dozen.  Of course, he can resist sugary confections in the house, and I cannot.  I believe I ate 5 donuts today.  Donuts make a healthy lunch, right?
I'm not sure I really weighed the two options...
Other weirdness - tomorrow I'm running/pacing a half marathon.  And yet, it seems like no big deal, just business as usual.  I'm also racing a half marathon next weekend.  The Rock N Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon.

Again, no taper plans, no nerves, not even really thinking about my plan other than the fact that I intend to race it.  The only thing I am thinking about it is - whether or not I will run a few easy miles before and after the race, since 18 is on my schedule.

When did half marathons become no big deal???  Is it because I'm training for a full marathon now? Because I signed up for the Goofy?  Because I read too many blogs where people are training for Ultras?  LOL.  

I'm sure my nerves will appear just before the race like any other race....in the meantime, every time I see the Rock N Roll posts on Facebook about "only 8 days left" and stuff....I think to myself - really?  Shouldn't I be nervous about making my time goals or something?  I admit, the lack of obsession about next week's half marathon does make me feel kind of cool.

I'm sure I'll get a nice rude awakening next weekend!  LOL!

In other news, my story will be featured in Laura's Purposeful Running series this week on her blog Mommy, Run Fast.  I love her site and felt pretty awesome when she asked me to write it!  Stop by and check it out!

Have you ever experienced not-tapering taper madness?  How many days off did it take to set in?  I'm thinking that two might be extreme.

Have you ever not felt that nervous about a big race a week out?

Would you run a few easy miles before or after a race to round out the 18 - or let racing the half be enough?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Training and Blogger's Block?

Week of Aug 13-19, 2012:
Current Weight: 160.4 (Down 0.4 lbs from previous week!)
Total Lost to date: 60.4 lbs
Chest: 39" (No Change)
Hips: 43"  (No change)

Monday: 30 min ST; 1 mile walk
Tuesday: 4 mile run, 11:43 min/avg
Wednesday: 6 mile run, 10:47 min/avg, 1 mile walk
Thursday: 4 mile run, 10:52 min/avg, ST evaluation measurements
Friday: 2.2 mile walk
Saturday: 14 mile run, 11:28 min/avg
Sunday: 4 mile recovery run, 12:00 min/avg
I am having bloggers block or something of that nature.  Avery is losing naps like crazy - and she was never a good napper to begin with.  Thus, when she does nap for an hour, the last thing I want to do is sit at the computer.  (Although - I don't really want to do the laundry or the dishes either, and I do those).  Maybe this week I will do more than one post and actually comment on all the posts I read!
No mommy, you won't.
You will chase these balls...
...after I throw them through the cat door down the basement steps.  Again.
The best part of this training week was the re-evaluation meeting with Adam.  I've been frustrated with the strength training - and apparently, so has he.  Instead of a workout, we sat down and re-discussed my goals, did all of my measurements to see where I am now, and discussed what I wanted him to do that he wasn't doing.

After tonight's workout with him - I'd say it all paid off.  Best strength workout in a long time.  I pushed more and he charted.  We were both happy.  
In other news, Avery has figured out how to remove cabinets safety locks (that only took a couple weeks) and that she can use her big truck to climb onto furniture.  She climbs into the truck, climbs out the window onto the couch...and proceeds to wrecking havoc on anything within reach.
I don't know what she means by wreck havoc - but it sounds like fun!
In other words - today was one of those days where I really wished I were a working mom.  It was one of those days where I joked about giving her away to any takers.  
Wait.  What???  You are lucky to have this awesomeness woman.
I think this attitude on my part had more to do with the whole the lack of napping on her part, and how that resulted in her crying and fussing from 1:30pm until 7:00pm.   Well, except for when she played in the dog water dish.

Hopefully, she will adjust to the one nap thing by taking a LONGER afternoon nap instead of a shorter one SOON!

This weekend, I will be running a race as part of the pace team for the first time.  I'm pacing the Emerald City Half Marathon this weekend.  I'm pacing the 2:50 finish, so it should be easy, but it's still making me a tiny bit nervous.  I don't want to mess up anyone's race!  I'll also be running an extra 3 miles post race to get in my 16 for the day.

Anyone else ever pace a race?

If you haven't, would you want to?

Anyone else have weeks where the computer has no appeal?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Training, Birthdays and Baby Swimming

Week of Aug 5-12, 2012:
Current Weight: 160.8 (Down 2.0 lbs from previous week!)
Total Lost to date: 60.0 lbs
Chest: 39" (No Change)
Hips: 43"  (No change)

Monday: ST with Adam; 6.1 mile bike ride
Tuesday: 6 mile run, 11:37 min/mile average
Wednesday: 5 mile run, 11:42 min/mile average
Thursday: 4 mile run, 10:35 min/mile average
Friday: Rest Day, Avery's birthday!
Saturday: 10 mile run, 11:34 min/mile average
Sunday: 4 mile run, 10:25 min/mile average 
I had one less strength training session this week because of family coming in town.  I also got to run with both my husband and my Dad this weekend!  It was awesome!  Both of them made the observation that I am far too comfortable on my runs, even for a long, slow run.  I was forced to admit that I have been an auto-pilot with a foot on the break for a while now.  (I enjoy running with my friends at that pace!)  

My Dad also pointed out that I have lost 15 lbs since Cap City, I'm not where I was then.  When I run comfortably without paying attention to the numbers on my Garmin, I am significantly faster and still pass the talk test.
Listen to Pops!  He's really smart, he knows to bounce me on his knee on demand!
After a heart to heart with a pace coach of another pace group, I have decided to move up to the 11:30 min pace group this Saturday and see how it feels.  I will not move up more than that in the middle of a training session, but next season, I intend to move up to the 11 min or 10:30 min pace group.  Of course, we'll see how I feel and where my weight is at at that point.  

I took Avery swimming 3x this week.  Twice as part of a swim class before I sent an angry email and got my money back, and once at the in-laws hotel pool.  The hotel pool was the best experience.  Avery did lots of "Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpy had a great fall" - at the word "fall," I pulled her into the water.  Towards the end of the session, I dunked her under the water as well.  When she had enough though, we called it a day. 
Help!  Mommy is trying to drown me!
Considering how much birthday cake and other big meals I had with a house full of guests, I'm proud I lost 2 lbs this week.  I am a tad bummed because my Saturday morning weigh-in check was below 160, but I'll get there officially soon!  Avery's birthday was a great success.  I had to laugh because she got as many trucks as she did baby dolls!  Oh, and the big truck was a big success!
Where's the gas pedal Mommy?  Faster!
Avery is also trying to dance now, but she stops as soon as I try to videotape it.  Mostly it's just head bobs, and I am as persistent as she is thankfully.  You're welcome.
She never did really understand the whole "smash cake" thing, despite all the guests trying to give her helpful suggestions on how to get messy.  After a bit, she just cried until we took away the cake and gave her pizza.  I know, Mommy of the year, cake and pizza in one day.
You want me to do what???  Just give me the pizza already!
And finally, a sign of how far she's come in one year....
Avery at 2 weeks old
Avery at 1 year old, same bear.
How did I match up on goals last week?
The MOPS sitters are mostly in place and background checked.
I drank more water this week, but still not enough.  I'm recycling that goal this week.

This weeks goals:
1) Break the 160 lb barrier at an "official" weigh-in
2) Drink more water, at least 7 cups a day
3) Run without watching pace/holding back at least once.

What are your goals for the week?

Would you eat the smash cake after your child played with the icing or throw it away? (I decided to throw it away because we had plenty of extra cake)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Hello My Old Friend - Training Update

Week of July 30- Aug 5, 2012:
Current Weight: 162.8 (Up 0.2 lbs from previous week!)
Total Lost to date: 58.0 lbs
Chest: 39" (Up 0.5" from previous measurement)
Hips: 43"  (No change)

Monday: 1 mile sanity walk; core exercises 15 minutes
Tuesday: 4 mile recovery run, 12:17 min/mile
Wednesday: 5 mile run, 11:47 min/mile
Thursday: 5 mile run, first 3 -12:20, last 2 - 10:40
Friday: Rest day
Saturday: 14 mile LSD run, 11:56 min/mile
Sunday: 3 mile stroller recovery run, 12:19 min/mile; Core with Marie Class
Hello plateau, my old friend.  0.2 lbs is the statistical error of my scale, so I've essentially stayed the same.  I've been at this weight (or up and down from it) for several weeks now.  I'm not going to stress about it, it is what it is.  Last time I acknowledged the plateau, it left in a hurry, so I'm acknowledging it again.  ;)

This week was very run focused.  My trainer was on vacation, and although I had grand plans of attending some strength training classes at the gym, my washing machine broke and threw a big tub of water into those plans.
Sure, blame the washing machine lady.
How did I stack up on the Weekly Chase goals last week?
Goal #1:  Get strength training in at least 2x.  - I give myself a half check on this.  I did some sit-ups while playing with Avery one day, I don't think that counts as 1x.  I also did a core class that I do count.  So, half credit

Goal #2: Pick up my bike from the shop and go for a ride! - Another half check.  I picked up the bike, but didn't go for a ride.

Goal #3: Get a Rainier workout in - Total fail.  BUT, I failed intentionally.  With my new marathon focus this training season, Rainier workouts would be on Sundays...  

On Friday night, however, after doing some hard evaluations of the next few years, I registered for the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge this coming January.  For those who don't know what this is, the Goofy Challenge involves running the Disney Half Marathon on Saturday January 12th, and then running the Disney marathon on Sunday January 13th.  39.3 miles of racing in one weekend!
Mommy, how can you go to Disney without this cute little face?
This required a change in my Sunday plans.  From now on, I will be doing two runs on the weekends.  Up until the Columbus Marathon, I will run my longer run on Saturday with my training group, followed by a short to mid-length recovery run on Sunday.  After the Columbus Marathon, I will switch the two to more closely resemble the Goofy event - mid-length run on Saturday, long run on Sunday.  I will continue to run 3 other days during the week.  I intend to continue with strength training 2x a week, and will add in some biking cross training for the cardio. 

This plan still gives my 6 months after the Goofy challenge to focus on Rainier.

This week should look a lot like the last week training wise.  I am also taking Avery to swim class Mon-Thurs, so that should be interesting!  Avery's 1st birthday is Friday, and grandparents start arriving on Wednesday!
Birthdays = cake
Grandparents = more people to play with me
This week is awesome!
Weekly Chase Goals this week

1.  Get all the MOPPETS sitters for the MOPS meetings squared away.  (Ha - didn't see a non-workout related goal coming, did ya?)

2.  Drink more water.  I actually was tracking food/fluids this week, and the big standout, I don't drink enough water.  I mostly drink water WHILE exercising.  I need to drink water at other times too!  Goal is minimum of 7 cups a day.  (This would actually be an improvement!)

Any suggestions for how to convince myself to drink more water?  I have said multiple times in the past that I need to do this, and it never happens.

What event(s) are you currently training for?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Clearly, I am an idiot

Today, I started doing some math as to when I could check things off of my running bucket list.  With some interesting results...

Today is clearly that day

"Important Information Regarding Your Registration:
This is for the 2013 Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge on Saturday, January 12, 2013 and Sunday, January 13, 2013."
Obviously, I am a complete idiot.  Any one else want to meet me in Florida?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Laundry Play Dates and Temper Tantrums

Yesterday, Avery and I had a play date with my good friend Teresa and her two boys.   The plan was, to head over there for lunch, let them all play...and then let them all take naps while Teresa and I had adult time.
Adult time?  I'm sorry, that doesn't compute.
Wednesday  - my washing machine broke.  Or maybe it just decided my running clothes were REALLY stinky.  It washed and washed that load for 5 hours before I clued in to the fact that there was a problem.  (Domestic goddess I am not).  Essentially, the washing machine would not drain the water, so it just kept going back through the wash cycles.  Lucky for me, I had the pre-planned LONG play date for the next day at a friend's house!  Teresa let me bring over some laundry to wash there!  Love her!  Who doesn't want a laundry play date?  

The washing machine repair guy fixed it this morning - a sock got sucked INTO the pump.  Lovely.
The culprit - I always knew my running socks were out to get me!
Avery's favorite toys out of the entire toy store that is Teresa's house were the metal tractor and the tool workbench.  Perhaps my fears of having to figure out how to raise a girly girl will go unrealized?  
Mom, I'm girly!  I love my purses!  Look how fast I can shake them!
The play date just proved to me that I was correct in my choice for Avery's 1st birthday present...
Do you think she would enjoy it if I left it like this?
Putting it together during nap time was a PITA.  I had to hammer these metal top hats onto the ends of each axle.  Needless to say, it was a super quiet assembly.  Maybe Avery knew I was putting together a birthday present, however, because she slept through all the loud banging.
It's pretty dang cute all assembled.  The tailgate even opens.
Earlier this week, Avery threw her first official temper tantrum.  I am so proud.  What was the tantrum about?  I have decided to enforce a "no playing in the dog's water dish" rule.  I am enforcing it by saying sternly "No," pulling her away from the dish and sitting her down a couple of feet away from the dish.  Repeat until she gets it.  For the tantrum, she threw herself back when I went to sit her down - I eased her down so that she didn't crack her head - and then she just laid on the floor and cried.  After a minute, I grabbed my phone to videotape it.  The video doesn't do it justice because she was winding down at that point.  I'm sure I will have many more opportunities.
I'm happy to report that this new approach has been mostly successful, and she has made almost no attempts at the water dish since that day.

Editor's note:  I jinxed it - she got very interested in the water when I refilled it today before posting this.  She gave up after the first no and pull away though.

Tonight, Daddy is going to a happy hour, and since I've already run for the day, we may make a sanity saving trip to Kohl's during the "witching" hour.  Avery is growing too quickly and needs bigger clothes.
That's okay Mom, when I blow raspberries in just my diaper, it's refreshing.

What do you to do for sanity other than running?

What's the most complicated thing you've ever assembled?

Are you handier than me?  Can you fix your own broken appliances?