Sunday, April 13, 2014

Still Learning to Run

I just ran my last "long run" until Boston.

I do not feel prepared, but I do feel confident I will finish.

I feel I have learned so much in the past 2 weeks on mental toughness.

Since getting back from China I have struggled tremendously. There are a few things I have learned.

  • What YOU do to your body determines what your body will do for YOU!
    • You treat it like crap, it is going to give you crap.
  • The way you tackle your workout is a direction flection on what YOU will get out of your workout
    • You tackle it with a horrible attitude, it is going to give you a horrible performance!
  • You can't expect 100% if you haven't given 100%
    • You must give it your all in order to show your all.

The trip to China was out of my control. There were foods and drinks consumed that I definitely should have had more will power on - but then again, I was 2 weeks into a new job and felt I needed to go with the flow.

The air quality was poor. It made me feel sick to my stomach after an hour of running in it. The treadmill was in a hot humid gym. I really don't know how else I could have fixed my training situation. 

If I had maintained a very strict diet, then I don't think my training would have gone to pieces when I got back. Not only did my body feel sluggish from the travel and diet, I also lost fitness. Once I got home I moved to my new neighborhood where I was surprised and found only hills to run on. Trying to get fitness back and only having hills to train on was basically a lose/lose situation for me.

Now, I realize I can't change how it all went - I chose my path and now I have to still walk down it until I get to the fork that I create to walk down the right path. I am currently very far into that progress and that fork is so close I can taste it!

The hills are going to make me a beast. In a sick way I have turned my thoughts to enjoy the hills because I know what is going to come out of it in the end. It sucks, it hurts, my heart races, it makes me want to throw up -- but I am doing it -- even if I have to walk... and I have no shame in walking right now.

Boston is a week away and I am not ready. There is no cheating a marathon. You can't cram in the training like you can for a test, you can't cut corners, you can't lie and you can't steal. It shows 100% what you put in -- pure honesty.

I'm going to run it. I am going to smile. It is going to hurt, but it is going to be fun. Boston is a privilege.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Clearwater Halfathon


This weekend the Tampa Bay area had two big running events going on. The St. Pete Beach Classic - 5K, 10K & Half Marathon and the Clearwater Running festival - 5K, 5 Miler, 1/2 Marathon & Marathon.

I knew all of this going into the weekend, but since I need to start racking up my miles on my long runs because of Boston fast approaching, I decided that it would be best to just run long and sit out of these great races.

As I sat at home yesterday morning catching up on Facebook, I started having race envy. Everyone was talking about the race they did that morning and blah blah blah... all of this news started making my mind think crazy thoughts.... the Clearwater Running festival was the next day... I should just run it.

J and I had our leg workout to do on Saturday afternoon. I still hadn't decided if I was actually going to run the 1/2 or not. So I went through with the leg workout.

5 x 4 Med Ball Slams
5 x 5 30lb Jammers
5 x 5 65-70 lb Cleans
3 x 5/5/5 Pulls
5 x 5 45-50-50-55-55lb Goblet Squats
4 Farmers Walks
25 Box Jumps

When we got home I started looking at FB again, and finally made the decision that I was getting up and running the 1/2. I quickly started downing water and scarfing down rice to help carb my body up!


Alarm went off at 5am. Started getting ready. Had the usual - Coffee n Toast.

J decided he would go with and take the cheerleaders (Riley n Major).

I wasn't too concerned with getting to the race very early since J was going to be there. I figured worst case, he could drop me at the start and then go park. Luckily when we got there we found parking pretty fast. I was able to run to go register, then go back to the car to drop everything off and get to the starting line with time to spare. Running to and from registration was a great warm up!

My legs were feeling a little sore from the workout yesterday, but it wasn't scaring me. I just wanted to run the race!

The first mile is directly up a massive bridge.

On tired legs, that is a monster. Surprisingly I was feeling good, so it didn't bother me too much. I was just happy to be there! As we started approaching the beach I realized that I was probably going to be feeling strong the entire race, but I didn't want to get too out of control. I didn't want to go crazy and then be injured/burnt out/exhausted for days afterwards.

As Mile 3 came along, the Sand Key Bridge was the next monster on the course.

Now, I can't decided which bridge is worse. The first one is long and steep, and this one is a little bit shorter but steeper. Either way, it is taxing on the body!! You watch your pace slow a solid 30 seconds.

Once over that bridge I started picking it up a little more. I knew once we hit our U turn to head back towards the finish, we would be passing people that were still heading out. This usually makes it more fun, because you get to people watch. I love seeing all the runners. For some reason the people towards the end always make me happy, I love how all different kinds of people get involved in these events. I love seeing them, smiling and saying good job.

So on the way back, we had to go over the bridges again. This time they sucked a lot more. Once I hit mile 8 I was near this guy, I was hoping to pass him, but soon realized that I was going to be running with him till the finish. Everytime I went to pass him, he would come back up next to me and vice versa. Once I settled on the fact we were going to be buddies, I was able to relax and start thinking about the finish.

We hit Clearwater beach and I had 2 miles left... headwinds were bad, but I kept my mind on the finish and the fact that this race was going way better than I had expected.

Once mile 12 came, I looked over at the guy and I said "let's do this, only 1 more mile left!" He laughed and said, "yeah and one little hill!" haha. Little hill my @$%!! I really wanted to break 1:40 but that little hill slowed me down too much. I had too many thoughts of walking at points up that little hill.

Once I hit the top (without walking) I was ecstatic, I took off and gave it everything I had left.

I crossed the finish line with 1:40:59 on the Garmin. 7:42 avg pace.

Considering the fatigued legs I will take it!!

On the way home we stopped at Wawa for Breakfast and Ice.... With all the work on these legs I knew I needed ot do an Ice bath... it's all part of the recovery. 

I guess I like to suffer sometimes :)

Some Race Pics:

Saturday, January 18, 2014

16 Miles!

The plan on Thursday was to do 4 easy miles with Justin in the morning because I was going to do my Long Run on Friday morning. We woke up, J growled and complained for about 15 minutes and then we were off...

Well that lasted about 5 steps, it was too cold for J, so he immediately ran back to bed!

I continued on. I was feeling light and speedy so my easy 4 miles turned into 5 faster miles...

After finishing I kind of regreted not forcing myself to go easy as planned, because I wanted to make sure I got my 16 in the next day.

Well, later that day a co-worker asked me to join her for a Spin Class after work. I didn't want to decline because she has been busting her ass to get in shape, but was intimated by going to a spin class solo for the first time.... so there I was less than 12 hours before my long run, sweating it out on a spin bike!!

I got home around 9, ate some noodles, ground turkey and veggies to carb up for the next morning.


I set my alarm for 5am so I could be hitting the pavement by 5:30. The plan was to do 12 miles, come home, get J and head back out for 4 miles....

Well, the leprachauns took over my alarm and it never went off!! J's went off and I panicked!!! My whole plan was thrown off.

It was going to be daylight the entire run <--- I prefer running in the dark

My planned out course was now null n void. <--- finding an 8 mile out and back route around here, that isn't boring, is difficult.

This was going to be a mentally tough long run!!

Game time decision... head to Gulf Port and go from there.

I ended up hitting Gulf Port and reaching 5 miles then headed back home. I have been wanting to explore this little town for a while now. It is very artsy and cool, right on the water. Since it was daylight I decided what a perfect opportunity!!

It was perfect!! After my tour, I decided I would go to the house, get water and GU and head out for the last 6.

I felt really good, my pace was fast! I was really shocked that everything went so well.

After I made the stop at home, I headed out 3 miles to the beach and made my final 3 back home.

For the amount of miles and work on my legs for the week, I was super happy with the run!!

After the run, I had my awesome protein recovery shake, some almonds and a hot shower. 

Then I went to the Salon and got my hair did... got a little more blonde!!

When J got home, I wanted to share my Gulf Port experience with him so we went and bar hopped. It was awesome. I seriously think this is my new favorite spot! So artsy and pretty. I had so much fun!!!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Feelin' Strong!

I don't know where the time has gone, but somehow it is already Wednesday night and I haven't blogged since Friday!!!
Quick recap...

Saturday: Traveled for work then came home and hit the gym

Sunday: Headed to Gainesville for a few hours then hit the gym

Monday: 8 Miles @ 8:12 avg --> was blessed with J's presence for 2 miles. Felt GREAT!!

Tuesday: 7 Miles @ 8:09 avg --> no stops, fast, felt great!!! Very dewy out, my eyelashes were dripping!!

Also ran in my new shoes!!! After almost 2 hours of trying on shoes, I walked out with an empty bank account but 2 pairs of amazing running shoes... I'm ok with that trade off... I'll talk about the shoes in another post.

Wednesday: Track Attack!!!

400-800-1200-1200-800-400 Mile

Felt Fast! Felt Great!! Was told by multiple people that I was lookin fit <--- such a confidence booster, proves that whatever I am doing is PAYING OFF!!!

After work J and I hit the gym for some SWOLE time!!!

5x4 Ball Slams
50/50 Inverted Rows
20 lb Alternating Overhead DB Presses
2x20 Lat Raises
3 x 3/3/3 Pull Ups 
20-15-10-5 Scarecrows/Face pulls

(at the end of this workout J told me he saw veins poppin out my shoulders! <-- shits gettin REAL)

Have I mentioned how dreadful the gym is in January?? It is so crowded with people that have no clue what is going on. Now, I give HUGE props to all that want to make a lifestyle change and start working out, but I don't give props to the people that come in wearing Beats, texting on their cell phone, leaning on equipment, staring around and just being there so they can check in on Facebook... seriously people, when you walk in the door be ready to pump those muscles up and do some WORK!

I will elaborate in another post, but it's late and this chicka needs to get to bed to catch some recovery zzzz's!!!!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Excuse Me, Can I Borrow Your Weight?

Traveling with work throws my entire week off. I went to Dallas for one day, but I felt like I was gone for a week! Here is the week in a nutshell...


We had a cold front come in and when I hit the road running the temperature was 39* - but with the 17 MPH winds it made it feel like it was 30* <--- that is cold for this Florida Girl! I had to wear my capri's, combat jacket, gloves and head band!! The wind was brutal, but I was going 7 miles. I chose the route that would take me directly into the wind on the way out so I would have the wind at my back coming home.

Starting out I was a little weary on how I was going to feel after Monday's disastrous 8 miles. I ended up pretty happy with the run. I felt strong, my stride was feeling right and I breezed through it. For an easy run, my paces were where I wanted them to be.... (Mile 6 was heading straight into the wind, with a bridge, as I turned off the beach, hence the 8:26 pace)


Then I was off to Dallas for a day!


I was staying in a Hotel that wasn't exactly on a safe side of town, so I was subjected to the dreadmill... I don't do well on these things. By the time I hit mile 1 I want to jump off and be done for the day. I ended up getting in 5 miles. I picked up the last 2 to keep things interesting. Mile 3 I upped the speed every .25 mile then Mile 4 I upped it every .10 mile, so I ended at a pretty decent pace. I am pretty sure I was the only person on the row of treadmills that was breaking a sweat and going fast. It is alway a weird feeling when you catch people staring at you then looking at your computer screen... trying to see what I am doing... (they are probably waiting anxiously for me to get off the mill because my sweat is flying everywhere!!!)

After the 5 miles I played around in the weight room.  I started out with some pulls and ab work then decided to do some rows with dumbbells... well, the weight I wanted was missing so I searched around the gym.. I finally found them next to this guy, he wasn't using them, so I said "Excuse me, are you using these?" this is the second time this week I have asked a guy at the gym for their weights... and this was the second time I got this blank look. They just stare, so I say "I promise I will be quick" and they both ended up saying yes.... it's a very awkward moment... like they think it's weird that a Girl is lifting as much as them?? Paleease... if they said No, I would just move up a weight and do my exercise right next to them!! <--- Boys are Dumb.


I got in pretty late the night before, so I slept in a little (it's so sad that my sleep in is 6am....). I wanted today to be an "off" day because I needed to do my Long Run on Friday since I have to fly on Saturday morning. Well as I said in a previous post, even on my off days I want to run 3 miles. Even if they are slow and painful, I just want 3 miles on the books.

I think my body was uber excited to be running outside and not on the gosh forsaken dreadmill. My 3 miles ended up faster than planned. Last mile being 7:40... and body felt great. I could have run a lot further.

No weights for today, need my body to be fresh for Friday!!

Dinner was white rice with a ground beef, cabbage and tomato concoction.


Alarm went off at 4:40am. My plan was to be out the door by 5:15.

Since I was going 15 miles alone I had to be prepared with my fluids. I picked up some BCAA powder mix earlier this week and was told I should be sipping this on runs/workouts to help keep electrolytes and endurance in check and to help with recovery. I have a hand held water bottle that slips perfectly into the back of my sportsbra, so I mixed some into my water and took it with me.

I made the usual coffee and toast... but for some reason this morning I wasn't feeling the coffee.. so just toast and water and I was off!

Starting out I felt pretty bloated and kind of heavy. Energy was there, but for some reason I felt some lingering fatigue. I kept my mind strong, changed the tunes and kept thinking of the turn around point at 7.65 ... once I got out on to Gulf I start feeling good. I kept playing a mental game... ok, at mile 4 you can stop for a second... but then I got to 3.5 and said, no at Mile 5 you can stop... then I approached 5 and said nope... mile 6... then when I got there I said, well you made it this far, just get to the turn around retard!

First stop at 7.65. I tried to have some GU, but wasn't feeling it. Threw it out. Then I was off and heading home.

I started to get really thirsty on the way back. The BCAA mix was making my mouth thick and I needed pure water. I knew there was a public beach access around mile 11 that would have a water fountain... so I kept my mind on that and muscled through it. When I finally reached it, the water was AMAZING. It was cold and made me feel so good. It was so humid on the run, I was drenched and slopping sweat everywhere. That cool water felt so good on my face and in my mouth. It was exactly what I needed to finish strong. <-- and that is exactly what I did.

The next stop was my door step. I was so excited about finishing this run feeling the way I did. A few weeks ago I ran this course with J riding his bike beside me and it was a literal shit show. I showed that course who I was this morning!!

When I got home I immediately had my recovery shake! <-- this is SO important for proper recovery!!

After work J and hit the gym for some SWOLL time!

5x4 Med Ball Slams
5x5 T-Bar Rows w/ 55lbs
3x8 1 Arm Row w/ 35-40-35 lbs
2x8 Curl n Press w/ 25 lbs
40/40 Inverted Rows
2x20 scarecrows
2x20 facepulls

Then it was PIZZA night!!!!

Monday, January 6, 2014


I am not talking about the head pounding, can't see straight, hands trembling hangover. I'm talking about a workout hangover...

I mentioned yesterday that my body was going to be feeling those leg presses and jump squats... little did I know how bad it was going to be!

I got up bright and early ready to roll. The legs were creakin' and not wanting to move, but I was going to make them whether they wanted to or not.

Coffee + Toast + the Stick on the legs = Game Time

When I got outside I realized I was in for some nasty weather. It was foggy, misty and 100% humidity. I decided yesterday that I wanted to try a new route. I typically head left out of our neighbor hood and run along the beach, but I wanted to run down to Gulfport and hit the water that way. I didn't know how far it was going to be but I was getting there.

As I was getting settled into the run I knew it was going to be difficult. I didn't care if I stopped, I just wanted the miles. This is also called "junk miles" ...

First stop was mile 2. Needed to stretch the legs and keep moving. When I got to the point where I was going to head right to get to Gulfport I was at at 3.3... I wasn't stopping till I got to the water. I finally hit the water at 4.14 - it was a park directly on the water! I stopped and stretched the legs and realized how fatigued and dehydrated I was. I was going to find a water fountain... all parks have water fountains, right??!! Well, just a quick walk towards the complex and it was like finding a gold mine! A water fountain!!!

Then I was on my way back. 2 stops later I was finally home. Soaking wet, 8 miles done and sore as heck

After work J and I went to face all the madness.. aka the gym on the first Monday of the new year for International Chest day.

15 Ball Drops
5 x 5 DB Bench Press w/ 30lb DB
4 x 10 DB Skull Crushers 2 w/ 20lb 2 w/15lb
3x8 Lateral Pushups
2x6 Cross Over Pushups
50 Dips-30 hand release Pushups

Definitely left the gym feelin' SWOLLZ

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Weekend Round Up

Shredded Saturday

I started the weekend off with a 12 Mile Run on Saturday Morning.

Long Runs have always been my favorite training day in the past, but as of lately I have been scared of them because I don't know how they are going to go.

Originally I was thinking I was going to do 16. When the alarm went off I was exhausted and sleeping in felt like a MUCH better idea. I didn't let those thoughts overtake my drive for getting faster - I got up and did my usual.

Toast with Peanut butter

And I was off!

I decided I was going to head to the monster bridge, cross it and see how I was feeling to decide how far I was going to go. Surprisingly I felt great! I hit the bridge, got over it (it is seriously a monster, its long and HIGH). When I hit mile 6, I was out of sidewalk and didn't know where I was going to go - so I turned around. I figured I would head back and add on if I wanted to do more than 12.

I took my first GU and first stop at mile 7 - which was at the base of the bridge on the way back.

The way back I was feeling strong and felt so happy. As I got closer to home, I decided I was going to finish the run feeling strong and only do 12. Anything further than that I knew my body was going to start getting tired and it would be forced. I want to be smart with training, not dumb.

Once I got home I had my recovery protein drink and a shower.

now later on in the day...

J and I hit the gym for an intense 20 minute work out...

8 Pull Ups
8 Box Jumps
12 Kettle ball Swings (I used 25lb dumbbells)

As many reps as possible.

This kicked our buttays. I originally thought the Pulls were going to be the worse part, but the box jumps were outta control.

We ended up doing 13 rounds. We were covered in SWEAT.

Afterwards we hit up Home Depot where I officially sent J over the edge...  little does he know, once this project is complete he will be oh so impressed!

The rest of the evening was spent watching the Eagles with a brewski in hand (actually a white wine spritzer for me :) )

Swoll Sunday

Woke up and had the usual Coffee then hit the road for an easy 3 miler. It wasn't exactly easy. Those kettle ball swings were haunting my legs for sure.

Even on my off days, I am trying to get in 3 miles. Just for shake out and recovery and most of all, over all sanity!

By 11am J and I were back in the gym!! Love gettin' my swoll on with him!

4x4 Wall Balls
3x3 Turkish Get Ups (25lb's)
5x5 Leg Press with 5 Jump Squats in between... (Leg Press had 423 Pounds!!)
10 x 1 Negative + 1 Pull ups
4 Farmers Walks (carrying 45lb plate weights in each hand)
--> these were supposed to be "rack" carries but that was a fail... I couldn't figure them out

Great workout... Love Pull ups and Love Leg days!!! <-- NOT a normal person :)

I am definitely going to be feeling that one tomorrow!!

Rest of the day will be spent grilling (or actually J will be grilling) lounging and foam rolling!!!


I can not stress enough the importance of foam rolling... if you are running, you better invest in a foam roller or prepare yourself for injuries....

Rollin those Quads
 ITB Band
 Ham Strings

 and that buttay

Seriously. GET A FOAM ROLLER!!! It hurts SO good... 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

This is my Come Back post...

I haven't been keeping up with this, so here it is. My goal for 2014 is to BLOG!

Just a quick update...

I am registered for Boston in April
I am registered for the Donna 1/2 Marathon in February
I am currently trying to join the Miami-Key West Ragnar Relay at the beginning of February

I have been struggling with running for the past 6 months that I moved to the Beach. I don't know what it is but this is what I think it is:

The Routes aren't my favorite, not motivating
The Heat, Humidity and WIND are outrageous
I have put on some boyfriend pounds... currently they are melting away

So, here is what I am doing to get around those 3.

Routes: Changing them up. Taking random turns to explore different routes. It seems to be working!
Weather: Suck it up buttercup.. it is what it is and I can't control it.... so I am just dealing with it.
Boyfriend Pounds: Justin and I have been working it in the gym 4-5 times a week on top of my running! My strength is totally shining through. Pull Ups are my Biaaaaatch!!! I have really been watching what I eat... filling up on my long lost salads I love SO much and not eating everything he eats (AKA CHOCOLATE 24/7... Nachos... Wings...) (( ok truth: I have a sweet tooth and a crazy addiction to ice cream.... ))

I am slowly starting to see a difference with the changes I've been making. I am sure most of it is mental, but I know some of it is physical. Getting a Boyfriend is great n all, but you have to find balance... you can't lose yourself in the process of losing yourself in him ;)

So here goes nothing... its Running With Penny's relaunch!!