Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My longest run ever in the books.

And I feel awesome about it. Thank you so much for all of your advice and encouragement on yesterday's post!  So here I am ready to break down this awesome run for ya!

Bam.  One of my friend who is a seasoned runner (multiple marathons, etc.) recommended an awesome trail off the Raleigh Greenway that is super flat and long.  I sort of fell in love with it.  It's through the woods, so it is fairly cool/shaded.  I got a little confused from his directions as to where to start, but it worked out perfectly.

As visible by the map, I started on the left side of the lake and ran up through those trails.  I couldn't figure out what to do when the Bent Creek Trail I took came to a dead end.  I decided to turn around and run around the remainder of the lake.  It worked perfectly because it looped me back around to my car around mile 4.

At the pit stop I drank some water and fueled up with a Chocolate Agave #9.  I think I'll do the same on my next long run there (unless I have a SPI belt of some sort on the next round).  Honestly, on mile 7 I thought I might just quit at 8.  I didn't do 8 last weekend.  I had to keep pushing though.  Obviously, 8 and 9 were the hardest and slowest miles.  I kept checking my Garmin and was just ready to be done.  Once I finally pushed through though, I have never felt so proud of myself.  Even on the treadmill today, I was envisioning that feeling of crossing the finish line at the half.  After the toughness of the 9 miles, it is tough to imagine adding another 4.1 to that, but I'm confident I can do it.  My pace was pretty crazy and all over the place, and I'm definitely not fast, but I didn't walk at all. 

I treated myself to Gatorade and an ice bath (that's right, I'm hardcore).  Give me your post-race recovery techniques!

I don't have a long run this weekend since I'll be running the Carrboro 10k in Carrboro, NC.  I have to admit I am definitely not excited about getting up early on a Saturday (which honestly is the only reason I don't do more races).  Literally my first thought every morning is how many days I have until Saturday when I can sleep in again.  Since I didn't get to do my summer 10k, I really want to finish this race.  I'm really hoping that D will come and support/cheer me on at the race.  How do you get your significant others/family to understand how big of a deal races are?  After next weekend, I have a 10 miler and 12 miler.  Bring it on!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

It's Tricky to rock a rhyme, to rock a rhyme that's right on time.

It's also tricky to run a "long run."  Now long runs are supposed to be run slow and used to build your endurance.  I had my first long, LONG run on the docket two weekends ago.  8 miles.  Now that weekend we were out of town for a wedding.  I knew 8 miles was not even going to happen then.  I decided to postpone it to the following Monday.

I had a doctor's appointment that Monday, so I took the entire day off from work.  The temperature has been declining here in NC, so I decided to make my run happen outside.  I had planned to get up early and run but decided I would head to the park after my doctor's appointment.  The office is close to Umstead State Park. After my appointment, I headed out to the park and off to my run.  Seriously, it was hell.  Never having been to the park before, I didn't know too much about it.  The first 2.something miles where awful.  It was on a trail through the woods and majorly hilly.  When I finally got to the flat portion of the trail, I was already exhausted.  It's a bridle trail, so it was unpaved but not mountain trails.  The trail still became pretty hilly.  I got to a point that I just could not do another hill and figured I'd take a walk break.  Walk breaks just don't work for me though.  I couldn't really start back, especially with another huge incline looming.  I only made it 6 miles.  Now I am proud of that considering it was damn hilly, scary on the trails (I have a history of twisting my ankles), no water, etc.

All of this to say, I was NOT prepared for my longest long run.  I didn't take any water on the run.  I didn't take my inhaler (which I have to utilize more often if I'm dealing with hills and/or heat).  I didn't have any mid-run fuel.  Since I'm scheduling this post, my next long run was supposed to be 9 miles on Sunday.  I ran by REI and stocked up on this...

[GU gels, PowerBar Energy Gel, Chocolate Agave #9 Gel, Jelly Belly Sports Beans, and Cliff Shot Bloks]

I also checked REI for a good running belt to keep items like my phone (still don't have a sports arm band to fit my iPhone), inhaler, trail maps (since trails/routes in Raleigh are new to me), GUs, etc.  Those things are freaking expensive there.  No chance I'm dishing out $30 when I can likely find one for $20 MAX on amazon.  Here are a few I spotted on amazon:

[Nathan Shadow Pak $16.80:  Not sure if it will be big enough to fit everything]

This is the one I fell in love with at REI:

[Amphipod AirFlow Endurance Waistpack, $27 at REI, $24, here]

I'm going to attempt running with my water bottle in hand and possibly inhaler in my shorts pocket.

What are your favorite running belts?

Favorite mid-run fuels?

Also, I posted on the other blog about my training progress!

Edit:  I did it!  I ran 9 miles on Sunday and could not be more proud of myself!  That's a post for another time though!

Monday, September 26, 2011

It's over and I have no clue how to handle this.

Summer is over.  Friday marked the official first day of fall.  I missed giving you guys awesome summer posts about my homemade salsa, my no-tax weekend shopping finds, beach trips (including one of the best birthday weekends yet), my summer book reviews, and even missed my one year update of my 101 in 1001 list.  I'm still debating whether or not to go back and still write about some of those experiences or to just move on.  Nonetheless, I had a pretty awesome summer.  To bring summer to an official close, let's review. (Beware: Crazy photo heavy...gotta make up for lost time)


 I spent the summer making Carrie's kick-ass guac.  Our fav way to eat it was topped on steak tacos.

 While it may not look super appealing, I perfected my salsa recipe.  Ingredients are super simple and easy.

I even tried baking! Now these Strawberry Lemonade Bars certainly didn't turn out like the picture in the recipe, and I didn't have powdered sugar.  We did end up topping them with Cool Whip.  They were delish!!

D and I really loved this delicious Tortilla Crusted Fish.  I used wild-caught Cod.  It's topped with a creamy cilantro salsa.  I definitely recommend it!

Have you ever heard of Amish Friendship Bread?  You get a starter dough from a friend, let it rest for ten days, while adding some ingredients on the fifth day.  This was my first go at it.  I made a blueberry cheesecake bread.  Amazing.  Recipe and more dets to come!

Pancetta and arugula pizza from Bella Mia in Cary, NC.  I love the perks of hanging out with my beer-selling D.

This summer was seriously perfected by discovering Pelican's Snoballs in Garner, NC.  Close to our house and amazing.  My favorite was the strawberry lemonade.  They're super cheap and have tons of flavors.  I even took my family to play putt putt there while they were in town!

 More pizza on our summer trip to Topsail Beach, NC. 

Amazing sushi platter at my birthday dinner in Wilmington, NC.  Seriously, I had all the food I love for my birthday weekend.


 Our trip to Topsail Beach, NC.  Seriously, the tube is a necessity for extended time in the ocean.  Oh and margaritas.

 Putt-putt on Topsail!  Such a fun environment.

 Topsail Beach balcony view.  Perfection before a night beach walk with margaritas in hand.

Aquarium from my birthday trip to Wilmington, NC.

 Beautiful farm wedding weekend in Sparta, GA.  More pics from that to come. (Ps. I seriously need to learn to pose for pictures...scary.)


Finally read Room, which I loved.  I also finished the Hunger Games series (thanks to Meghan for getting me started), although I'm not sure I loved it as much as others.

Yep, counting this as entertainment.  I did a hard-core closet clean-out and organization session.  Well worth it.

 More summertime reading.  Best gifts ever from D for my birthday.

 Labor Day weekend, D and I discovered The Alley in Raleigh.  They have awesome bowling and beer deals.

The Flaming Lips show at the Hopscotch Music Festival in Raleigh

 House decor counts as summer entertainment.  We finally got around to hanging up D's anniversary maps.
 Running and my new Garmin 405CX! 

 Not summer beer, but prepping for fall at our new favorite beverage store...Tasty Beverage in Raleigh.

 One of my favorite summer reads.  Still need to purchase the book for my own.

 Starting at my new school.  This classroom now looks worlds better.


 One of my favorite shirts that will definitely transition to fall.  Also, my first Anthro purchase!

 Loving this oversized, flowy blouse from Target.  I purchased the black one as well.  It's been paired with shorts and heels for the summer but will transition to fall with skinnies

 Fav summer outfit.  Flowy tank + shorts.

 Obsessed with this blouse

 Birthday outfit for dinner in Wilmington.

My Toms wedges for my bday from D.

In the books as an amazing summer.

Friday, September 23, 2011

I've been a lazy blogger.

I've still be taking lots of pictures with intentions of blogging.  I've had lots of blogging ideas.  I've actually been cooking and BAKING.  I can't believe it's been early September since I posted.  I can't believe I'm averaging 1-2 posts per month.  Honestly, the energy to blog has fallen to the wayside.  Here's what I have been up to though:

  • Running!  Yep, promise I'm still training for that half marathon.
  • Enjoying time with D.  He's been traveling less which keeps me busy on weekends.
  • Working and enjoying (yes, enjoying) my new teaching gig.
  • Drinking, eating, and enjoying life (ie. not worrying about losing weight)
  • Moving our friends from Boston to RALEIGH!
  • Planning our December/January vacay.
  • Enjoying cable that D just purchased for us.
  • Making new recipes and baking!
  • Dealing with some crazy family drama going on in my life now.
  • Not bringing work home on the weekends.
Seriously though, life is pretty good right now.  D is out of town through Tuesday.  I'll be scheduling posts here and on the other blog.  I'll also be guest posting for Olivia next week. Here's to hoping I get to commenting on all your wonderful blogs I've been saving for comments.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The dilemma.

So I've been seriously contemplating going vegetarian.  I've talked a lot about vegetarianism and how D and I have done "No-Meat January" for the past two years.  Last year I finished reading The Ethics of What We Eat by Peter Singer and Jim Mason.  I was really impacted by the book and for a point didn't eat any meat unless I purchased it from Whole Foods.  For whatever reason, I was most impacted by the treatment of chickens and almost never order/purchase chicken.  D rags on me a bit about this because I did start giving back into eating bacon and sausage (not always purchased from Whole Foods).  Why?  Because pigs are so much smarter than chickens, so inhumane treatment towards them is tougher.  For a bit I have been thinking more about how I don't want to waiver between sometimes thinking about inhumane treatment of animals and sometimes not.  I really want to dedicate to going one way or the other.  I am definitely seriously considering going vegetarian, or pescatarian (only eating fish as a meat). 

Why pescatarian?  Well aside from the fact that I am obsessed with sushi, I am a runner (that's right, I'm claiming the title).  I really feel like I need that additional protein in my diet as a runner.  To be honest, I'm still pretty lazy and want to have fish as an option for grilling, eating out, etc.  I may want to phase out seafood eventually, but I figure a gradual phase out of other meats will suffice for now.

I need your help!  What books can you recommend on vegetarianism?  I'm trying to do my research and fully educate myself before I make the switch.  I want to have all the information.  I'm planning to re-read The Ethics of What We Eat.  Currently I'm browsing through:

I'm not loving this book so far.  The defense is basically that eating meat will kill you.  Cox provides lots of research and studies on how people that ate meat died at an earlier age.  Right now I am reading about the history of Mad Cow Disease.  It's semi-interesting, but mainly not convincing me.  I suppose I want to know more about the treatment of animals, which is why my moral cords are telling me it's not right.  I'm just not super worried about my health from eating meat.

I haven't started this one, but I think it might be more of what I am looking for.  I've got a lot more on my Amazon wishlist that I couldn't find at my library.  What books do you recommend?!  Cookbooks?  I've got the Vegetarian Bible Cookbook on my Amazon wishlist as well.  I need recipes that are easy and don't take lots of prep (because remember, I'm lazy!).  Send your recs my way!!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Bad blogging 101.

-don't post for weeks(weeks is plural here)

This is the key rule. That's me alright. As if you really care, I have been busy with school and fitting in exercise and personal life. Aside from D, school, and running, some personal situations I've been dealing with are extremely draining. I have good blogging ideas and just never follow through. D and I usually do something after the gym or I'm just too lazy to open my computer. We're finally getting Internet this week, so I am hoping to crack open my laptop and share a bit about my life. I'm making a goal to post at least one quality blog this week (note: good goals are measurable and not unrealistic to achieve). I promise to pop my head back in soon!

-BlogPress post


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