Journey To the Finish Line

PR's, 4 children, hopes and dreams; I'm always running after something


long run

I Have A Need for Speed (1/16-1/29)

Sooooo, I got behind and so now I’m doing this the lazy way and combining two weeks into one recap.


bucket heads

Monday – Tempo. 5 miles @7:39 with 1/2 mile cool down. We took a VERY overdue vacation and since the Charleston Half was only two days prior, I had planned to make it an easy run. But, I got going, felt ok and realized I was doing a faster pace anyway, so I just went with it. FINALLY these tempo runs are starting to feel easier (not easy, mind you, just easier).

Tuesday – run/stationary bike/abs. 2.5 miles on the beach/20 minutes stationary bike/abs. I wanted at least one sunrise run, and how could you not? Then I headed into the hotel gym and got on a wobbly stationary bike so I only rode 20 minutes and finished off with some abs.


Wednesday – cross. 30 minutes elliptical and 30 minutes weights. As much as I enjoyed the beach run, running on the slightly slanted surface (say that 3 times fast) irritated my right ankle and it was still a little sore, so I played it safe.

Thursday-  cross. 45 minutes elliptical and 15 minutes weights. Same issue.

Friday long run. 10 miles @ 8:11/mile. It was a very nice and partly scenic run but a tough one, as it was 64 degrees and humid. I took a few breaks, and even got stopped at a drawbridge which is definitely a first for me.

I’m trying to smile but I just look annoyed

Saturday easy run. 4.5 miles @ 8:44/mile. I ended up skipping my speed work for the week but wanted to try to at least get the miles, so there ya go.

Sunday – rest day

1/23/17 – 1/29/17

Monday swim. 1800 meters at an abysmally slow pace. The pool heater was broken but I was told not too terribly cold (however I was also told it would be a good time to try out a wetsuit), but I was already there so I just braved it. It wasn’t too terrible but like the last swim attempt in the freezing outside temps my fingers were numb and I needed coffee to thaw myself.

Tuesday fartlek. 6 miles @ 8:08 pace. So, am I the only one (after I laughed at fart, because I’m mature like that) that thought a fartlek just meant a tempo run? Well apparently it isn’t. It apparently literally means “speed play”, so the idea is you jog a bit, and then pick up the speed for whatever distance, jog, pick up etc. But the distance isn’t measured by a watch but a visual marker, like a mailbox or telephone pole. It actually took me a couple miles to get used to this weird back and forth, but I kinda liked it and think i’ll incorporate more of these in the future.

Wednesday speed. 5.81 miles total. 1WU/3×1600 with 400m recovery/1CD. I KILLED IT, running the fastest mile repeats I’ve ever run, at 6:43, 6:38 and 6:35! Have I mentioned I love speed work? I mean, once I’m done.

I got my fast shoes on

Thursday  cross. Tired of the bike trainer, I searched my favorite yogi (Ali Kamenova) on You Tube and did three of her HIIT workouts, with some yoga.

Friday  rest

Saturday interesting collection of runs. My plan called for another 10 miles since I shifted a run for the half, and so I decided instead I’d rather run a 5k with a ridiculously long warm up and cool down. On the plus side, I FINALLY beat a nearly 5 year old 5k PR! FINALLY! And the good news here, is that my pace indicates a 22 flat 3.1 (but courses are never exact), which according to the Run Less Run Faster book means I SHOULD (key word here) be able to run the half at my “A” goal pace, and I have 5 more weeks to nail it down.


Sunday easy-ish run. 3.5 miles @8:30 pace. It ended up being somewhat of a frustrating day  and I needed to burn off some steam, so I took Chance for about 1.5 miles and pushed the twins for the rest.

I see you, mommy

Disney Marathon Training – Week 9

I know 5 of you who read this update regularly are just waiting with bated breath for this update, so here it is:

Monday – Rest Day. Usually a cross training day, I decided to take two full days off after the Sweet Tea race to allow my legs to recover. Instead of swimming, I spent the morning at my doctors office getting asthma and allergy med (hate) refills, getting adjusted by the chiropractor and then my personal favorite: a massage. Fortunately, the massage was super relaxing. Unfortunately, it didn’t do a whole ton for my tight muscles.

Tuesday – tempo run. Goal: 1 mile easy/4 miles @ 7:50/ 1 mile easy. Whether it was the fact that I had run out of Singular (and hadn’t yet picked up the script) or just a bad weather day, my sinuses were JERKS and my run suffered. I felt off already on my warm up mile. I hit the first two miles at tempo pace, but not without stopping several times to catch my breath. I felt like I was running a 7:50 mile at a 6:50 effort. I ran the third tempo mile 20 seconds slow, said fuck it and finished the last two easy. My legs were tired, my lungs felt like bricks, and it just seemed smarter to stop while I was ahead (kinda).

Wednesday – speed work. Goal: 6×1200 in 5:10, or a 6:53 pace. 2 min/4 min rest alternating. NAILED IT! And really needed that mentally after yesterdays cruddy tempo run. Split times 5:08, 5:08, 5:08, 5:07, 5:07, 507 (not exactly in that order). We forgot a pic at the track so took one during “recovery”


Thursday – cross train. I kinda blanked on this one. I *think* I rode on the bike trainer for 35 minutes. Or I dreamed it.

Friday – rest day

Saturday – long run. 20 miles with a goal pace of 8:53. After I PR’d the half, I changed my plan (again). My book suggests that my half marathon time can get me a 3:40 marathon, so now I’m following that plan. I’ve done several 20 mile runs before, but most of them were around a 9:30 pace with the exception of the last one. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this pace goal felt doable. It didn’t mean I wasn’t tired at the end, though.


Sunday – cross train/recovery run. I took the twins out for 2 easy miles (9:55 average) to warm up my muscles before I did my 30 minutes of yoga for runners. 🙂

And just like that, we are into the double digits….

The Longest Run to Nowhere

It’s been raining in Charleston.

I mean RAINING. This probably isn’t news to anyone who watches the news – but the city has essentially been shut down and many of the cities nearby are experiencing flooding too. This is one time I’m glad we live further away and “up on higher ground” so to speak, because although we are likely going to be trapped at home for the weekend, we should be safe and dry.

This weekend was my second long run in my plan, and since its done nothing but rain (with some lightning) that means I had to get it done on the……dun dun dun.

Hamster wheel of doom.

My longest run on a treadmill so far was 8 miles. When I was training for Myrtle Beach last year and Bryan was working I split my long run into 3 segments, one of which was 8 miles on the treadmill. Even with Gilmore Girls streaming on Netflix, it was horribly mind numbing and I stopped every two miles because I was so bored. When Bryan got home I couldn’t fly out of the house quickly enough.

This time I enlisted company.

I almost hate to say it, but it really wasn’t that bad. I had anticipated a weather check every 30 seconds out of boredom, but while I did stop to stretch a couple of times, and refill water, all in all it was a pretty nice run. The company makes a HUGE difference.

But I’d really rather not do it again.

Marathon Training Recap – Week 13 (x2 or marathon training fail)

I’m totally blaming my mom brain here, but somehow, even after triple and quadruple checking, I’ve realized that I am an entire week AHEAD of where I should be in my training program. The cruddy part about it is that now I have another week to plan a long run that I hadn’t anticipated, so that kinda sucks. But, such is life.

Monday – 6 mile run at 8:03/mile. I was running on sore legs, so I did some easier speed work. One mile warm up, 3 miles with the goal to be under 8:00/mile (7:55, 7:50, 7:50) and a 2 mile cool down.

Tuesday – rest day

Wednesday – 45 minutes of yoga. Wednesday yoga’s tend to suck a little because I have to get up at 6am to do it, and I find its more difficult than I thought to stretch when I am so stiff. Sounds weird, I know, but its really easier for me when I’ve had some time to move around a little.

Thursday – 8 miles on the dreadmill at 8:33/mile, or, as I amusingly read on a random post earlier this week, Satan’s sidewalk. Both twins had a cough all week and Abby threw up Wednesday afternoon. She was completely fine after that but daycare requires 24 hours vomit free before returning so I kept them home with me and ran during nap. I had to take a break every 2 miles so I wouldn’t lose my mind. Gilmore Girls on Netflix helped too.

Friday – rest day

Saturday – Bryan is back to teaching Saturdays now that the holidays are over so I did an Inversion Sequence yoga video and took the twins for a 1.5 mile walk.

Sunday – 12 miles @8:27/mile. I ran with a group. Well, kinda. 4 of them ran about 10-15 seconds per mile faster than myself and my neighbor, who told ourselves we were shooting for 8:45/mile. Clearly that didn’t happen. It was a nice run though and after those couple long runs while sick/while recovering from being sick it was nice to have one that didn’t totally kick my butt.

Total Miles: 26

It was after I got home and reviewed my plan that I realized I’m an entire week ahead of schedule. So, my 20 mile run is actually in two weeks and not next week like I thought. This leaves next week a totally blank slate, so I thought I’d shoot for 16. I would have gone back out and just done 4 more miles today but I pushed the pace thinking I only had to do 12 and as a result am, well, tired.

Running friends out there, if you were in my situation, what would you run next week?

So, for real this time, 5 weeks to go.  #marathontrainingfail

Marathon 3

Just in case any of you readers began to think I had lost a bit of my crazy runner brain, rest assured, I have not.

I took it easy over the summer. I ran less, biked more and swam more. As the weather began to get cooler though, the desire to run becomes greater. As a general rule I hate the cold, but winter is my favorite time of the year to run. This winter so far has been kind to me, speed wise, and most importantly, my back/hip seem to be holding up.

So today marks the beginning of my unofficial training. I’m giving my back a couple more long runs before I click register, but I’m shooting for marathon number 3 on February 14 (yes Valentines Day) in Myrtle Beach. I’m jumping in a few weeks into the training program, but since I just ran a half a couple weeks ago I feel like I have enough of a base to do so. I’m loosely following Hal Higdeons Novice 2 plan again. I’m training for this one on only 3 runs a week, so I’m following the long runs,  doing one pace/speedwork run and one longer midweek run.

Today, I completed week 8. Week 8’s long run is 15 miles, and this was literally my longest run in a year – my last 15 mile run was in early December of 2013, just a few weeks before I injured myself, so I was a little nervous.

I stopped 4 times to quickly hydrate and stretch, and did notice some hamstring tightness and periodic tingling (for lack of a better description, particularly when I’d go up or down the sidewalk) in my left leg the last 5 miles. The tingling concerns me a bit, but I see the chiropractor and get fitted for orthotics Monday so I’m hoping both of these things will help.

Pace wise, though, at 8:45, I totally nailed it!

Miles hung out with my while I stretched
Miles hung out with my while I stretched

10 weeks to go! Bring on the weekly recaps and (hopefully) another marathon under my belt.

A Milestone of Sorts

I’ve been a little frustrated lately. I didn’t go into detail, but did mention that after my last 5k, I had some issues with my joint again. I’d been able to decrease chiropractic visits to twice a month but have been “stuck” there since (the goal is to continue to decrease). In fact, the last couple visits he has mentioned that my range of motion actually seems worse. Given that I’m doing my stretches and have increased cross training, I started to feel at a loss. For several weeks after I’d notice slight tightness in my pyriformis after every run. It was something  I could stretch out afterwards but still kept me nervous enough to keep my milage fairly low.

Every once in awhile I need a good long run. I know it sounds crazy, but there is something almost refreshing and cleansing about it. I’ve worked through countless numbers of issues on runs: personal ones, marriage related, professionally, mentally, you name it. That isn’t to say I haven’t relieved some frustrations on my bike.  If you’re a runner though, you’ll get it. There is just something about a good long run.

My chiropractor has suggested swim workouts several times and so I finally gave it a whirl. I did my very first swim Thursday and found it to be more enjoyable than I expected. Friday was a full day at work followed by a wedding that evening and I remember cursing myself for not waking up early enough to workout because I knew we’d be out late. 6am runs are the only way to (kinda) beat the humidity  and that alarm would go off all too soon.

Unexpectedly I woke up on my own Saturday morning at 615 and couldn’t go back to sleep, so I did what any crazy runner would do – I laced up my shoes and took off. I had no expectations for this run, honestly. With less than 6 hours of sleep and a couple glasses of wine the night before, I figured I’d just run with it (pun intended).

Maybe it was the swim the couple days before, maybe it was the sheer lack of expectation, maybe it was just luck but I felt great. So great in fact that I pushed another mile past my current longest distance and completed 7 miles (with a few walk breaks) without any muscle tightness.

And it was just what I needed.


Running With the Handicapped (5 Weeks to Half)

So, remember this picture?

This is my handicapped face
This is my handicapped face

When I race I like to take pictures. And I like to take a good one and a silly one, usually. This was one of the silly ones I asked my running buddy to pose for after my Comeback 5k, with instructions to make a silly face. Instructions that he did not follow. No matter, I thought, its still a funny picture, and gave me an opportunity to make fun of him for not listening to directions in the first place. He shared this blog post on his Facebook, and because it was the last picture I took, it happened to be the one that popped up when I posted the blog.

A long run was planned for this morning and last night I got a text from him saying “remind me in the morning to tell you about running with the handicapped”. Ok, I thought, there must be a race coming up raising money for handicapped kids or adults. Or maybe he had an experience running with a handicapped person that he wanted to share. I’ve run the Sweat’n For A Reason race twice,  have gotten my butt kicked by a guy with prosthetic legs, and wrote about how in awe I was of his motivation in a blog post once, so I thought maybe it was an experience like that.

Little did I know, he was talking about me.

I can’t recall exactly how the story went because i was too busy laughing, but apparently they were talking to his wife’s family about all of his running, and someone said something to the effect of “I see he is running with the handicapped, too!” She apparently also asked “what is wrong with her?”.

If she only knew.

So anyway, I’m mostly sticking to the training plan I set up for myself, though last week I did not do a long run. This was partly because Bryan was unable to watch the babies and partly because I was exhausted from cruddy sleep all week. I ran 8 miles between Saturday and Sunday and counted it as a long run in my head. Then I did:

Monday: cross training – I did 30 minutes on the elliptical and some abs

Tuesday: off

Wednesday: 6 mile run outside where I was chased down by rock throwing zombies in my Zombies, Run! app (1:00:17)

Thursday: 4.2 mile speedwork run on treadmill where I was chased down by zombies in the dead city in attempt to collect electronics. (35:21)

Friday: off

Saturday: was supposed to run but since Bryan was home went for a 10 mile bike ride instead (39 minutes roughly)

Sunday: 12 mile run with my friend who runs with the handicapped (1:59:13).

This is how we do it
This is how we do it

Life With Twins – Week 13

12 weeks is about the time I feel like I ought to stop referring to the twins’ ages in weeks vs months (on a related topic – how are they almost 3 months already?). We continue to see more and more personality each week. We visited a friend with 14 month (I think) old boy/boy twins. Only one was awake so we didn’t attempt a picture together, though in all honesty it probably would have been a huge fail anyway. Bryan’s parents also came up from Florida to visit for a few days. I enjoyed having the company. They, of course, enjoyed spending time with their grand babies 🙂

My poor sister celebrated the week by discovering her newly rented apartment was flea infested and ended up spending more time cleaning and searching for a new place to live than she was able to spend setting up anything.

Merin (the friend with twins mentioned above) let us borrow this cute piano toy that Abby LOVES to kick. Perhaps we have a little musician/dancer in our midst. She continues to spit up, unsurprisingly. Miles follows behind her messiness by drooling more and blowing spit bubbles. Its soon to be permanent bib wearing by everyone (myself included) around here. I’m now getting really good at interpreting their cries. Miss Abby has a clear “pay attention to me” cry and one that I refer to as “zero to apocalypse” – meaning suddenly she has decided he is STARVINGRIGHTNOW!!!

Both babies continue to sleep in 5-7 hour stretches. Hallelujah. I can handle waking up once to feed. More that that was starting to wear on me.

Running wise I took an off week this week from a long distance as I am planning a 10 miler (!) this coming weekend. That should be interesting. I started incorporating some speed work in and have discovered, at least for the summertime, that I am starting to dislike the treadmill less than I used to. It’s good for speed work. I did two 3.5 mile runs starting with a 5 minute warm up at a 10 min/mile pace and then alternating a 7:30 min/mile for 2 min and 10 min/mile for one minute for 25 min followed by a cool down. It’s a nice challenging workout that I can keep up with (usually) while the babies nap so I can also shower before miss A begins “zero to apocalypse”. 🙂

I write that part first because I know most of you are really here for the pictures and witty tidbits (ha):

  • Once Upon A Child is becoming my second Target because I can’t manage to go in there without spending at least $50. I go there this week to get a few sleepers and books and find that I can’t pass up the bright pink tutu.
I'm a pretty pretty princess
I’m a pretty pretty princess
  • Seriously? Those shoe shocks are the cutest things ever.
  • Because I’m a mean mom who feels I just might need ammo for future blackmail, I put Miles in it too
I'm the prettiest pretty princess
I’m the prettiest pretty princess
  • I sneakily took a picture of Bryan with the tutu on his head (that I placed there) while he napped but the dork got ahold of my phone and deleted it.
  • He is officially no fun.
  • Miss Abby makes mama happy by showing interest in music
I will be so talented I will play the piano with my feet!
I will be so talented I will play the piano with my feet!
  • You may notice the presence of both the bib around her neck AND the burp cloth behind her head. Yeah.
  • I prepare to burp Abby
What? This isn't normal?
What? This isn’t normal?
  • I think babies are in cahoots.
Pssst....hey Miles - no one has pooped yet today. I'll go up the back and you out the sides, ok?
Pssst….hey Miles – no one has pooped yet today. I’ll go up the back and you out the sides, ok?
  • Miles shares his selection of fashionable hats
Not just for keeping nipples clean
Not just for keeping nipples clean
No fair ma, I'm sleeping and you put stupid stuff on my head
No fair ma, I’m sleeping and you put stupid stuff on my head

This weeks running stats:

Longest distance:  8.3 miles

Fastest 5k: 25:45

Fastest single mile: 7:30

If you’ll excuse me, Abby is “zero to apocalypse” – ing.


Week 17- The Run That Was Hard to Stomach

Week 17 – 8 miles.

Of all of the long runs scheduled during this training, I would not have expected one of the shortest to also be the most difficult. After all, I’ve gotten through 13, 14, (15 turned to 10 because I was sick) 17, 18, 19 and conquered 20 with much more ease than planned (not to say it was easy, just easiER than I dreaded) so I went into this week, the last long run before race day, thinking “piece of cake!”

(mmm cake…) of course courtesy of Pinterest


As mentioned in yesterdays Laziness 2.0 post (one should not post while groggy on phenergan), Bryan and I went on a “Date Night” Friday night which included going out to eat and running a couple errands……. Is it just me, or do date nights get more lame as we get older? Dinner and errands! Woo hoo! Bring on the wine and fancy outfits! I’m not sure if I should feel more ashamed of the lameness of date night or the fact that I was excited about it. But I digress.

I got a couple gift cards to Applebees for Christmas and so off we went. It was busy so we sat at the bar. I had a glass of wine and ordered an under 550 calorie meal…..with a side of fries. (what? I have to offset the calories somehow). The food actually tasted quite good – it was a chicken skillet with veggies, some rice and a spicy sauce….seemed safe. (HA!)

Then off to Staples to buy a 2012 calendar and oogle over one of the new giant screened computers that’s a touch screen (I may or may not have exclaimed aloud “oooo! I want one!”) before heading over to Walmart for some groceries and good quality people watching.While we didn’t see anyone quite like this:

(people of Walmart — thanks pinterest)

we did see a women in PJ’s, and another sans bra. (ick)

We headed home. Then my stomach started to hurt. Great. Bryan, the human pharmacy, gave me a phenergan and I went to bed hoping to sleep it off.

No such luck. To spare you all the gory details, I did NOT sleep it off. I was, in fact, up multiple times enjoying the company of our master bathroom commode. (I would have written it a poem, but I didn’t feel well) While I can’t be sure it was food poisoning vs a flu bug, the timing of the whole ordeal leads me to think it was food related.

Needless to say, there was no run for me yesterday. In fact, thanks to the drowsiness side effect of phenergan, I slept. Literally. All day. So long in fact, that I wasn’t even aware that a human could sleep for that long. Aside from probably a couple hours total where I got up to go to the bathroom, eat a popsicle, drink some  juice, or blog while groggy, I slept for nearly 32 hours.

Well, there went Saturday.

I felt much better this morning, though not yet 100%. Just for fun I decided to step on the scale. While I definitely do NOT condone the food poisoning diet, I wanted to see the damage.

Yup. Down 3 pounds. (trust me, not for long)

And because of my slight overbearing obsessiveness, decided to brave the 8 mile run anyway. My stomach was less than pleased (and yet still, thankfully, remained intact), my time was horrible (it was more of a run/walk) but I did it.  And with that complete, I have officially completed my last long run before race day in a mere 7 days.

Man time flies.

Holy cow I’m done with the training!!!!

Here’s hoping my stomach is back to normal by then.


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