Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It's Around Here Somewhere

Exercise: 50 minutes strength circuit

I've just been dragging in the mornings lately. It could be my 4:30 am wake up time. When you have a young toddler sometimes you have to make some sacrifices. Mine is sleep, for now.

Nap time used to be my workout time but the house was becoming a pig sty. So I need the nap to do laundry, dishes, mopping, etc. Real cleaning while the little man is awake is next to impossible. So sleep is the only compromise I can make.

I'm also thinking I'm dragging due to my nutritional choices which are pretty bad these days. I think the lack of sleep may be affecting what my body is craving so it's time to figure out a plan because my situation isn't going to get better anytime soon.

First, no snacking at night. I need to just stop after dinner and just have water or tea. Making tea used to really help with nighttime cravings so I need to do that...right now! And along the same vein, I need to stay hydrated. Those are my goals for now. Which is probably enough before I get too overwhelmed.

It's time to rediscover my motivation. I know it's around here somewhere.

What motivates you?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pre-5am Wake Up Call

Exercise: 5.5 miles with 3@10k pace

I've been awake since before 5am and this is my first free moment of the day. Exhale... Today Little Man and I took an awesome field trip to Underwood Family Farms, a great little farm about 30 miles away. We saw animals, pretended to pan for gold, took plenty of train rides and climbed all over a tractor. Mommy is freaking exhausted;)

I also had a mommy playdate this afternoon that required some prep so I'm ready for bed but it's time to prep for the 3 playdates tomorrow. And hang with Music Man who just arrived home. This week is wearing me down but all I need is to get through Sunday's birthday party and we're all good.

Tomorrow is a cross training day so it's another pre 5am wake up call but hopefully I'll get a good night's rest tomorrow night before my run Thursday. I'm considering switching my long run to Thursday because of weekend festivities but I guess I'll have to see how I feel.

Rooms and flights are booked for Virginia Beach. The countdown to Vacation begins!

Have a great Wednesday!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Cross Country

Exercise: 4.5 mile run- 10 min avg pace, 25 min strength and balance training

I normally don't run Mondays but took off Sunday in favor of transplanting a few trees which was a much bigger job than I expected. I thought I was taking it easy but my chest and arms know differently, they are pretty sore today.

Saturday I did my 10 mile trail run and for the first time was able to run with a local running group called the ultra ladies. I joked with Music Man that I exercised restraint and did not introduce myself as Ultra Lauren ;) I ran about 3 miles with them but they were planning a 16 mile loop and I just wanted 10 so I went off on my own for a nice, hilly out & back. I might do the full loop with them next month... If I'm in good enough shape.

The first few miles were pretty uneventful, it was nice having people to talk to since I'm so used to running alone. When I went off on my own I enjoyed the views and the amazing weather until I was on my way back and a teenager jumped out from some bushes and made me nearly pee my pants. He apologized profusely, apparently he mistook me for one of his friends. But we were both pretty mortified.

I made it back from the run in one piece with only minor chafing from the Camelbak. I definitely need to wear it much tighter, after a few adjustments I got it pretty comfortable but maybe tighten up the arm straps a tiny bit more. The main chafing area was under the chest strap so I either need to wear a shirt with a higher neckline or get/make a cover for the straps, like this. I will look so cool.

Tomorrow I'll do some speed work, and perhaps, some hill work Thursday and probably a normal long run on Saturday. We have back to back birthday parties this weekend, one of which we are hosting, so this week might be a little weird for exercise. I will try to get some good workouts in, But I may be waking up before 5am to do them. Super yay.

Maybe I can get serious about focusing on nutrition this week. Maybe... ;) I really need to clean up my eating. I eat tons of veggies and eat well most of the time but yesterday, for instance, my salad included tons of vegetables as well as a pound of bacon and cheese, literally. It was delicious but you can't exactly call it healthy. I also have found myself imbibing too much. I'm thinking I should jump on the WIAW bandwagon or get back into food journaling at the very least.

 If you're interested in making this delicious bacon salad here's the basic recipe
I used shredded carrots instead of cauliflower and 1/2 reduced fat mayo 1/2 reduced fat sour cream

Tonight I found out we're going to Virginia Beach in June for a few days. It will be Little Man's first cross country trip and our first time in Virginia Beach. My nephew is graduating from HS. So sad how old I feel. Any recommendations for things to do, see, eat? I guess I better start taking this health thing more seriously. I'd really like to wear a bathing suit and not make people cry. 

Hope your week is excellent!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Five for Friday

1. Today was supposed to be a rest day but we had a little bike ride planned that got postponed to Saturday and I wanted to move my body some so I did a bit of elliptical and core work. Felt great. And I got to watch House Hunters while doing it. Score.
2. Hamburgers were on the menu tonight and I didn't want to taint the plate with a vegetable ;) so I just grated a zucchinni into the mix and the burgers were moist and delicious. I want to point out that I wasn't trying to hide the vegetable, I would have left it out. But I figured it might add moisture. It did!
3. Tomorrow is supposed to be HOT so I'm looking forward to using my new Camelbak on the trails. I love new gear but I worry about arm chafing. Wish me luck.
4. Tonight we watched The Darkest Hour. I was the one that wanted to see it and it's pretty terrible. Looked action packed but turned out boring. I give it 4/10 mostly because I like Emile Hirsch
5. Now I'm off to bed and off to begin 50 Shades of Grey!
Sweet dreams and happy weekend!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The 90's Called

Exercise: 4.5 miles inside hill repeats. 9:55 avg pace

So the 90's called and Lisa Loeb wants her glasses back and Courtney Love wants her baby barrettes back.

Promise this is the last of the baby barrettes pics

So I noticed while trying to take a semi decent picture that I have a nasty souvenir from the Hollywood Half. 

 Right armpit chafing...eww

You're lucky I'm not posting pictures of my blood blisters and black toe nails. My feet have always been gnarly, Music Man calls them zombie feet. But now they're just wrong. And they will eat your brains.

My run today was tough. I thought I might puke and had to slow it down and lower the incline. I sweaty and gross and felt dreadful. The dude next to me actually moved to another machine. Maybe he could smell my rotting zombie feet? I took it to far, huh? But at least I finished. I feel like I've been saying that too much lately but showing up is half the battle right?

Tomorrow I'm taking a rest day, sleeping in til 6 and I'm looking forward to taking a ride with some friends that just got bikes. We're going to look like a bunch of goobs but we'll have fun doing it. I may do a little yoga and easy strength but I'm saving myself for Saturday's trails. I want to feel fresh and relaxed so I can truly enjoy myself.

Enjoy the rest of your week! Yay for almost Friday!!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mommy's Play Time

Exercise: 1 hour strength circuit...and more gardening, tis the season

I woke up this morning to 4 zits and a crop of new grey hairs. Such a rude awakening! I've been wearing a lot of baby barrettes lately, I guess I'm subconsciously trying to hold onto my youth. At the old age of 33 ;)

Today has been a whirlwind. I spent most of the afternoon preparing to host a play group for multiple ages which meant bringing out all the toys we own and cleaning every surface because there were crawling babies which we haven't had in over a year! But it's great to have everyone over because I'm forced to clean up and the house looks so nice... until 10 kiddos come and destroy it!

The kids had such a great time, for a small yard ours is pretty great.

Trampoline, ball pit, water table, slide climber, sand box, every ride on and push toy imaginable. It's probably overkill for one kid... But super rad for play dates!

I have another hill workout planned for tomorrow. I'm going to take it inside because the next few days are supposed to be pretty hot. I'll probably stick to a shorter run, just 5 miles or so so I can save my legs for a trail run on Saturday. When I told Music Man where I ran last weekend he suggested I add another 1.5-2 mile trail to a place called eagle spring (how cool is map my run???) I guess there's a majestic ocean view on this route...but look at the elevation gains! So steep. I can't wait. I swear I used to dislike hills until trail running. Now I can't get enough. It's mommy's play time!

Little Man is asleep so it's guilty pleasure time! ANTM, chocolate pretzels and maybe an adult beverage. Have a lovely rest of your evening.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Full Hour

Exercise: 7 mile run in the morning- 9:17 avg pace and a little circuit with some moms in the afternoon, the kids were a mess but I love those ladies!!!

My run this morning was a speed work run. I did a little warm up with a few miles of short intervals, a few miles of long intervals and a cool down. I normally wouldn't do 7 miles of speed but I had a full hour alone this morning so I used every second of it.

Today was grocery day so I got to spend some time with the Trader. I got all my necessities like almond milk, quinoa, spinach and beans but am looking forward to trying the Udi's bagels they carry now. I hope they rock. Against my better judgement I also got dark chocolate covered pretzel crisps and Music Man and I agree this is the best flavor combo evah!

Music Man and I just started watching Biggest Loser while waiting for Mission Impossible!!!! to download from iTunes. I haven't followed this season like I did in seasons past. In the very beginning I found the contestants obnoxious and tonight just proved it. I won't spoil it for those that watch it but what a bunch of babies!

Ok, movie time!

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Last Few Days

Exercise: Saturday- 7.5 mile super hilly trails, 11:55 avg pace
               Sunday- 5k, 8;22 avg pace and an extra 3.5 miles warm up, cool down and run home
               Today- 50 mins strength and elliptical intervals

It was a fun and relaxing weekend. We had a ton of rain in our area on Friday so we really enjoyed the sunny weekend.

I was contemplating not doing a trail run Saturday because of the rain and mud but Music Man assured me it wouldn't be too bad and that I could do it. So glad he talked me into it! It was chilly to start but absolutely beautiful and the running conditions were the best ever.

The rain was just enough to make the path cushy but not muddy and every footfall was nice and soft. I also allowed myself to just cruise. I felt as though I could have run twice the distance even with the added obstacles.

You can't really tell but there is a steep drop on both sides so I had to tiptoe along the raised edge. Which I did at an 18 min/ mile pace ;) just FYI.

On my way home I passed some Star Wagons on the side of the road. I wonder what was being filmed. Movie? TV show? There are a ton of shows filmed in our area.

Later that day Little man and I went to the park then we had friends over for a great meal of lentil meatloaf, smashed potatoes and asparagus. It was awesome. No pic because we ate all of it too fast.

Sunday I had a 5k scheduled to run with my MOMS club. Only myself and the club pres were able to attend but 2 other MOMS club chapters showed up in full force. It was great to see.

I am always hoping to get that sub 25 time but was pretty sure it wasn't going to happen this time. in fact,  I figured I'd be lucky to go sub 27. I ended up finishing 26:10, 4th in my age group out of 108, 102 overall out of 1225. Top 10 percent is super awesome!! I'm going to say it here: my next 5k is in August and I'm going to crush it. So there.

My lap top is going to die so that's it for now. hope your weekend rocked and your week is even better!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Five for Friday and an Everything Cake

Exercise: 30 minute easy circuit workout

1. Fridays over in these parts have become baking days. Last week I was craving chocolate like mad and so I whipped up some chocolate frosting and decided I might as well bake a cake to go with it. It's annoying when that time of the month coincides with a race but at least there's chocolate to make everything better ;)

Cake Gremlin agrees

2. My friend Natalie made some incredible carrot-zucchini cupcakes with vanilla rum frosting for dessert last night. Soooo tasty. 

These little babies inspired me to make a cake with some bananas that needed to be used. And then I added in some other produce that had to be gone today including a zucchini, a very ripe peach and the end of a bag of shredded carrots. Basically a banana carrot cake with boozy cream cheese icing. But there's also some whole wheat flour, almond flour and the kitchen sink. 

YUM! Moist and delicious!!! Thanks Nat! BTW Nat also makes her version of a ratatouille that she calls Natatouille, ha. I'll try to wrestle this super tasty recipe from her.

3. I've been thinking about training a lot lately. I had planned to run the Pasadena full marathon in May but I just don't think it's possible. I'd need to build up my mileage so much in the next few weeks I just don't think it would be any fun. And if it's not fun I don't want to waste my precious time. My plan now is to gradually up my mileage, do more trail running and reevaluate where I am in July to see if doing the Bulldog 50k is in the cards. There's always the 25k and I have years ahead of me for long races.

4. I just sent out the invitations for Little Man's 2nd birthday party. 2 years old!!! Whoa! Music Man really wanted an easy party. We had agreed upon the theme being 'Birthday Party'. Remember when the party was the theme and you just had friends over with cake and balloons? I don't. Ha. But I appreciate the simplicity of it. But then when we were looking the the Evite designs we found a Lego brick theme one and both Music Man and I immediately decided we had to do Lego/ building brick theme. It's a natural choice since it's one of Little Man's favorite activities. 

I still want to keep it simple but here ius what I have so far:

Activity: We have a trampoline, water table, sand box and slide/climber thing but I was also thinking of putting out a huge blanket with a big box of Mega Bloks we have so the kids can play there too. 2 year olds can't really do directed activities yet
Snacks: lego sandwiches- pbj, and jelly & cream cheese for kids
            small regular sandwiches for adults
            mango, strawberry, melon kabobs
            chips, veggies, dip, guac, hummus
            I don't want to do a bunch of candy but maybe some m&m's or lego fruit snacks
            and maybe some lego pops for fun- maybe I could do it healthier with fruit?
Decor and favors: lego plates and cups from party city or there's also these which could be cool
            I also like the lego wristbands and crayons for favors
Balloons: dot balloons

I'll let you know what we choose. So fun!!!

5. Saw Hunger Games and thought it was pretty fun. It was definitely aimed for a younger crowd but was still entertaining. I do have to say I found the book to have more depth and more suspense. There were some really cheesy moments in the movie that weren't depicted that way in the book. But it gets a thumbs up from me.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Lair

Exercise: 8 mile run- 9:50 avg pace

My run this morning was poop. I felt heavy and just plain tired the whole time. I had also planned on doing a seven mile run but realized I had to extend my route because a little cut through I was going to use was wet and super muddy. Having to up the mileage didn't help my outlook any, but at least I finished without stopping to walk.

Music Man has a few days off so after my run we both got ready and took Little Man to the zoo. It was a pretty successful trip. They have a new reptile habitat he was totally smitten with. He was basically an angel for 20 minutes straight while we were in the reptile lair. That's like 3 hours in toddler time ;)

Yesterday we took a field trip to the fire station with the MOMS club I belong to. Of course my son was more interested in the treadmill than the firemen. I should have gotten video because he was trying to run on it.

Of course he liked the fire trucks too.

It's been a nice week having Music Man home but I'm really looking forward to tomorrow. DATE NIGHT!!!! Hunger Games!!! Margaritas!!!!

I hope your Thursday is fabulous.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Valley Crest Half Marathon

Exercise: 5am strength and cardio circuit- 50 mins

Immediately after exiting the Hollywood Half Marathon expo I called Music Man and told him I was never running a big race again. I was so fed up with huge, crowded disorganized races. So he was pretty surprised when I told him I signed up for the Valley Crest half Marathon yesterday. It's a popular race but not a big one, so it doesn't count ;)

The best part is that it's super close to my house. I do my hill repeats on the trail head! It's where I hiked 3 days before giving birth.

And it's where Music Man mountain bikes daily.

The race has a decent start time of 8am which I am truly looking forward to. That way the fam can drop me off and see me finish. This wasn't really possible at the Hollywood Half.

I'm really looking forward to more trail running too. I've spent the last few years really pounding the pavement and can't wait to get back out into nature.

I'll do my first training run Saturday but it will be short because I'm running a 5k on Sunday with a few friends. I don't plan on PRing, but it should be a good time.

Hope you're having a great week.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

15 Things You Should Give Up in Order to be Happy

This article changed my outlook on today. Sometimes just seeing these things in writing can be all you need

Hollywood Half Recap

Exercise: 6.5 miles-9:13 avg pace
In all honesty, after attending the expo the day before the race I was certain the race was going to be a disaster. My experience with the expo was that the venue was WAY too small to accommodate the amount of runners racing. And the parking was beyond nightmarishly horrible. I waited over an hour to exit the parking garage and I had Little Man in tow. I thought arriving to the expo early was a good idea, apparently not. So my expectations for the race plummeted.

I hate to sound greedy but the loot bag was pretty lame for a $100 race. I expected more than prunes and vaseline ;) (I did pay extra for the tech t shirt and it is excellent. I wore it on my run this morning and it performed great. First time I've ever run in a race tee.) So I left the expo feeling unimpressed and underwhelmed.

For the race itself, I have to admit I loved it! It started at 6am and I arrived a bit after 4 and parking was perfect with an easy walk to the start. There were plenty of porta-potties, the corrals were easy to navigate and there was even a waiting area with heat lamps for runners to huddle around. I thought the 50* temp was perfect though.

The race was a wave start by corral and it was one of the quickest big race starts I've experienced so it was great. The nearly 3 mile downhill start is another story. I found it really hard not to go out too fast so I ran the first 3 miles at an average 7:55 pace which is way too fast for me. But even at that pace running down hill I felt like I was constantly putting on the brakes. When we got to the flats and the beginning of Hollywood Blvd my pace increased so this was definitely not a negative split race.

The flat portion had a few small inclines and plenty of water stations and it was pretty pleasant.  I had focused more on the elevation of the route rather than the map so I didn't realize I would get to run through Silver Lake and all the cute shops. That was really fun. And I tried my best to keep a conservative pace on the flat portions to save my strength for THE HILL. For the first 6 miles my pace was below 8:30 min miles but that all changed.

The course was an out and back route and unfortunately what goes down must then go up in the running world. The second half was difficult to say the least. The last 6 miles had a slowly increasing incline until the last 2 miles which was a 5% grade. Luckily we didn't have to run all the way back to the start because there was a much steeper hill on the way down.

Although my pace slowed with every mile the last half, this is what I trained for. That became my mantra as the hill became steeper and steeper. "This is what you trained for" was spewed from my lips with each achy exhalation. And when those around me started to walk I plodded along. I did not push 50 pounds of stroller 2 miles up hill during training for no reason. And I killed THE HILL. It hurt but I loved it with every bone in my body.

I finished in 2:07 which I'm pretty happy with. I keep thinking the time is too slow, I should have trained more, I should be faster. But I ran the whole thing and completed it so that's what matters right?

I was reading a lot of complaints on Facebook and although I agree with some I wanted to offer my opinion because it's my blog and I get to do that ;)

1. Water stations- I heard they ran out of cups towards the end. This was not a problem for me because I always run with hydration, just in case. But a race of this size should not run out of cups. I'm sure that will be changed for next year but maybe some of those people should also rethink their hydrating strategies... Just saying
2. THE HILL- some people want the course changed because the hill is too hard. Umm, maybe you shouldn't be running half marathons if you don't want running to be hard. Personally, I liked THE HILL. I felt hella ;) accomplished after finishing it. There are definitely some things that need work but for an inaugural race this one was pretty great.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Half Pre Cap

Exercise: soon to run 13.1!!!

I woke up at 3am after not getting to sleep until after 10. I was in bed before 9 but nerves and barking dogs had me awake too late. I tried to get back to sleep for a bit but I woke up super eager so I guess that's a good thing.

It only took 20 minutes to get ready and take care of business so I was out the door before 4am and arrived here about 15 minutes later. Driving in LA is awesome at 4am!!! And I'm so glad I got here early because there is now a line into the parking garage and I got the space closest to the exit.

I never before worried about getting a specific parking space because I rarely mind walking. But after waiting for over an hour to exit the parking garage from the expo (with a toddler) yesterday, I learned my lesson.

Now I have an hour to figure out where my corral is, use the potty, and get situated.

Here goes...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

All Kinds of Sweaty

Exercise: Sunday-8 miles 9:31 avg pace
              Monday-Rest and trying to look after a sick Little Man
              Today- 4 miles tempo 8:28 avg pace

My Friday run went a little differently than I had planned. The first little hiccup was that the Little Man was going to be joining me. This is fine on most days, even speed work days when I feel that my slower speed is just due to added resistance; but pushing 50 lbs of stroller and toddler up a steep hill multiple times seems like, well...torture.

So I changed it up a bit, which is totally fine. One thing having a toddler has taught me is to adapt to change. I'm still learning ;) So instead of 3 800 repeats I did 6 400s straight up with short walk breaks in between. It was probably for the better because it more closely mimicked the 2 mile hill in my half next week. In all honestly it wasn't the most fun I've had but I felt like a bad a$$ running up that monstrous hill.

I completed my last good run today and will do a few shake out miles Wednesday and then I'm taking 2 full rest days in preparation to race. It's been a long time since I've taken 2 rest days and haven't been sick. (Cross your fingers that I don't get sick because Little Man is!) I also plan to really focus on nutrition and proper fueling this week. I am not looking forward to it but that means easy dairy, onions, fiber, etc all week and absolutely none of those irritants Thursday or Friday.

One last thought, kinda TMI but whatevs. Any mothers out there ever dealt with night sweats? I have been having horrible issues for the past few months and I'm still a couple decades from menopause. So don't suggest that because I will cut you. I've done some research that suggests cutting out sugar, alcohol, fat and caffeine...and anything else that could give you pleasure ;) There are some other herbal remedies such as black cohosh and b vitamins. I'm doing it and we'll see if it works. Anyone have any other remedies?
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