Race Recaps You Should Read

There’s nothing more inspiring than reading a race recap. Whether the racer ran a new PR or ran for fun, recaps are entertaining and always make me want to lace up my shoes and head out the door. Since fall racing season is in full swing, the blogosphere has been full of recaps of all sorts of races. Here are some of my favorites recently:

Rachel ran her first-ever 5k a couple of weeks ago. The girl runs wicked-fast half-marathons but had never tried the short and terrible 5k. Spoiler alert: she killed it.

Laura ran the Great Pumpkin Haul, which is exactly what it sounds like: she carried a 33-pound pumpkin through an obstacle course. She’s studly and the race sounds like a blast.

Christy ran the Shoes and Brews half-marathon. Sounds like the awards and swag were mediocre, but Christy ran a great race, especially for having raced several times recently!

Heather has been racing like a crazy person, but that’s a link to her recap of her tenth marathon. Ten! She’s awesome like that.

And speaking of marathons, Brooke just ran Rock ‘n Roll Denver, which is one of my favorite races ever. She met every one of her goals and ran like a rock star!

Amy ran the half at Rock ‘n Roll. She had a friend in town, and they ran for fun and wore costumes. Sounds like a great time!

I hope you’re as inspired by these recaps as I was! Now, go run!

Did I miss a race recap you’d like to share? Post the link!

What’s your favorite race of all time?

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Weekly Workouts 10/20-10/26

Oh look, I went another full week without a blog post. Whoops. Between gate duty at a basketball game (yes, basketball already), parent-teacher conferences, and preparing for (and attending) a professional development conference, blogging got put on the back burner this week. It happens. Often.

I wasn’t blogging, but I was running and stuff. Mostly on the treadmill, thanks to the after-work commitments and morning darkness, but treadmill running beats no running (or dangerous running). Here’s how it went:

Monday:
7 miles of treadmill fartleks — 3 minutes at 5k pace, 3 minutes off, six times, plus warm-up and cool-down

Tuesday:
5 miles easy, plus the Runner 360 strength workout. It’s from Build Your Running Body (which I promise I’ll review when I blog regularly),  but it’s also here. It’s tough. I did it three times and was dripping sweat.

Wedneday:
8.1 easy miles, my first outdoor run of the week. It got dark fast, but I loved it while it was light!

Yay! Crunchy leaves!
Yay! Crunchy leaves!

Thursday:
6 miles of “hill” repeats on the treadmill, then some quick core work

Friday: 
AM: 7 easy miles, then two rounds of Runner 360.  I intended for this to be my only run of the day, but…

PM: We got out of the conference at 4:30. I was meeting my boss at 5:30 to debrief and make some plans from what we’d learned. The sun was shining, and I’d been sitting all day, so I ran 4 glorious miles. It was a great choice, especially since i knew I wouldn’t have time for a long run Saturday.

Saturday:
5 easy miles. I left the hotel at sunrise:
photo 3 (4)
and 5 was all I had time for if I wanted to shower and eat before the conference started back up.. We were in Loveland, so I was treated with views of the mountains on the whole run.
photo 2 (7)
It did not suck.

When the conference finished, J surprised me by picking me up, and we went to meet our newest nephew, who was born Friday.
photo 4 (2)

Sunday:
Sundays are usually my rest days, but my legs were crazy-stiff after sitting in a conference and then a car all of Saturday. I went for a slow 3.5-mile run, then did 15 minutes of yoga. I felt much better.

Total: 45.6 miles. Yes, I ran eight times this week. That means that this coming week, I’ll need to be extra in-tune with my body and take an extra rest day or cross train if I need to. The last thing I need right now is an injury.

Well, friends, it’s my bedtime, so I’m not going to proofread this post. Please don’t tell my students. Have a great week!

What’s the most interesting/exciting thing that happened to you last week? For me, it was definitely meeting my nephew!

Weekly Workouts and I Think I Made a Decision

Well, here we are at Sunday night again already. How does this always happen so quickly? This was a nice weekend, though; we had a teacher work day on Friday, which meant the weekend actually felt weekendy instead of grade-y. And the weather was beautiful, which made it even better.

The rest of the week was pretty decent, too, at least workout-wise. And I’ve made a tentative decision on a spring race and training between now and then… but I’ll tell you that at the end of the post. Let me summarize my workouts first. At least I actually have pictures this time, since it’s fall and I like pretty trees.

Monday: 6 miles of fartleks and about 30 minutes of strength training at the gym.

Tuesday: 5.2 easy miles amongst the pretty trees.
photo 1 (5)

Wednesday: 6 miles easy and some strength training.
photo 2 (6)
Note to self: these shorts are too short for single-leg deadlifts. #awkward.

Thursday: 7-mile progression run on the treadmill. I had to run in the a.m. because I had a massage in the p.m.

Friday: 3.6 miles easy. I told myself I was just going to run for half an hour so I could get back to work and catch the end of the volleyball game before going to the football game (Friday night in the life of a small-town teacher). So I ran for half an hour and then did I don’t even know what, but before I knew it, it was late and the volleyball game was over. Oops. photo 3 (3)
I run by this tree every day. And every day, I take a picture because it’s pretty. So I have about 15 pictures of this tree.

Saturday: 10 miles. I intended to do 7-8, but it was gorgeous out and I was having a super time. So I just kept going. Wished I would’ve had water, though.
photo 4 (1)

Sunday: Rest. I did take a walk because it was way too gorgeous out to not.

Total: 37.8 miles

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve tentatively chosen a spring marathon: Lincoln on May 3. I needed one that I could train for terrain-wise, and since I practically live in Nebraska, this seems like a good choice. Plus the timing is decent, although it’ll be a bit rough on J: He takes a group of kids to the mountains every spring, and they get back May 1, so he’ll basically come home, do laundry, sleep, and leave again with me the next morning. But he loves me, so he said okay.

So that’s the plan for now, unless something comes up.

I’ve also decided not to do a winter race series. I keep reading things that warn that this winter will be “brutally cold,” which is my least-favorite descriptor. Obviously, if I run a marathon May 3, I’ll be training through winter, but I don’t want to be committed to a specific day, then have that day be miserable. And pay money for that misery.

Instead, I’ll follow a 12-week plan from Build Your Running Body (which I finished yesterday — review coming… sometime) that incorporates running, strength, and stretching. I needed a plan to follow more than I needed races on the calendar, so this should do just fine.

Jordan just started watching Ken Burns’ National Parks documentary (we watch it once a year because it’s fantastic), so that’s my cue to go. Have a great week, friends!

Did you get out in the beautiful weather this weekend?

Do you think it’s going to be the brutally cold winter that the Farmer’s Almanac is predicting?

Randoms

Do you ever have those nights when you can’t mentally formulate a coherent paragraph, let alone a full blog post? That’s me tonight.

Let’s be real. That’s me 90% of the time that I try to blog. But at least tonight is Thursday, which means I can link up to Amanda and pretend my disjointed thoughts are intentional.

Thinking-Out-Loud

Random thing 1: A couple of weeks ago, when I went grocery shopping, I bought some pumpkin. Because I like to eat pumpkin in all the things. The cashier looked at the several cans of pumpkin on the belt and said, “Wow, that’s a lot  of pumpkin. Getting ready for the holidays?” I just said yes because I was embarrassed to admit that it was just my pumpkin for the week.

I stole this picture from here because I didn’t actually photograph my pumpkin. Also, it was not this much.

Random thing 2: Actually, this is related to the first thing. Why do cashiers feel the need to comment on my groceries? It’s worst when I go to Sprouts. Since I live in the boonies, I have to make occasional trips to the nearest Sprouts (an hour away) to stock up on things I can’t buy here. Every time, the cashier exclaims, “That’s a lot of bread/Larabars/coconut milk/whatever!” And then I have to explain that I live here, and have to buy it when I can, blah blah. This should not bother me, I know. But seriously, why do you care what I’m buying? Just ring it up.

Random thing 3: I think I’m addicted to Ed Sheeran. I cannot stop listening to him. I bought his newest album and loved it so much I had to buy the older one, too. And now I just have them constantly on repeat.
photo
He even has a song for this post.

Random thing 4: I got a massage today. It’s only the second one I’ve ever had. It will not be the last. Holy cow, my legs feel amazing. Jordan had to pretty much force me to go, because I always thought massages were weird. So… I owe him.

Random thing 5: My students have discovered I have Twitter and Instagram. So… there’s that.

And this is my brain on Thursday.

Does it bother you when cashiers comment on your purchases?

What music are you loving right now?

Weekly Workouts, 10/6-12

I usually post training (or non-training, as is the case now) recaps on Sundays, but this Sunday, I had too much to do. By the time I got everything done, my options were blog or bed. I chose sleep and I do not regret it. Adding to   my lack of bloggng motivation was that I took a grand total of one picture all week. File that under “Things That Aren’t Surprising.”

Anyway, here’s how’ last week’s workouts went:

Monday:

Easy 4-mile run and 35 minutes of strength training

Tuesday: 

7 easy miles. It was beautiful and fallish and I didn’t bring my phone, so just imagine it. Afterward, I met up with old blue-tighted friend and the gang from 8-minute abs.

Wednesday: 

I met up with my friend Jaylin for five easy miles. She’s the one who got me into this whole distance running thing. We trained for and ran our first half together, and then she had kids and stuff so she hasn’t run one since. Her second half is coming up on Sunday– Rock ‘n Roll Denver. Makes me wish I was running it again this year, especially since Amy and Brooke both are, too.

Thursday: 

I thought I was running both weekend days, so I just lifted and did a quick  spin bike workout. Every time I bike, I think I should do it more because it kicks my butt.. And then I don’t do it more, and it kicks my butt again the next time. I am a slow learner.

Friday:

5 easy miles. and some abs. I took the week’s only picture on this run, because I thought the “rainbow” in this crop sprinkler’s arc was pretty.
photo (6)

Saturday:

My school’s home cross country meet was today, and they host a citizen’s 5k first. I ran the race, clocking 20:00 even. That’s exactly what I expected, since I hadn’t done speedwork since the marathon, and marathon speedwork and 5k speedwork are quite different. But hey, I won.

I spent a substantial chunk of the rest of the day at the race. Our education association does a water booth for the meet, so I filled lots and lots of cups. I didn’t get puked on, so that was the second win of the day.

Side note: When my school’s star runner finished, I asked him how he did (I was cup-filling and missed his finish). He said, “We were just running easy since regionals is next week. I ran a 17-something.”
(image source) Oh. How slow of you.

Sunday: 

I told Jaylin that I’d meet her at 6 for a hilly long run, but I’m a crappy friend, so I bailed. I’d been fighting a cold, and I felt like extra sleep would do me more good than 11 early miles in the cold and possible rain — especially since I’m not technically training right now. It was a good choice; I woke up feeling much better. Sunday was a rest day, per usual.

Totals: 29.1 miles, a little over an hour of strength

And there you have it. I’m still debating what to do with myself next, but I’m leaning hard toward Racing Underground’s winter series. It might be fun to actually train for a 5k (the first race) and see if I can find some fast-twitch fibers in my marathoning legs. And prepping for the next two races, the 10k and half, would help me build a solid base for marathon training…once I pick a spring marathon.

I can’t come up with a good way to end this post, and I’m tired. So I’m going to take a cue from some of my freshmen and just stop writing instead of writing a conclusion.

Have you ever bailed on a friend you were supposed to run with? Did you feel like a jerk? I did. But a well-rested and healthy jerk.

Four Books

Since I didn’t post for a couple of weeks, and I posted only marathony stuff before that, it’s been a while since I’ve added to Kristen’s Ten Day You Challenge. But I’m no quitter (just a dragger-outer), so today I’m continuing with Four Books.

(Here are my other posts: ten secrets, nine loves, eight fears, seven wants, six places, five foods)

10 day you challenge

Books are my favorite things in the history of ever. Choosing just four was tough, and I already wrote about my favorite running books. Today,  I decided to discuss four books that had major impacts on me at different times in my life.


(image source)
Anne of Green Gables. When people what ask my favorite book is, I can never answer, but if I had to choose, I’d pick this one. Or really, this one and the two after it. Growing up as an awkward redhead, I had a lot in common with Anne. And I learned a lot from her — about self-acceptance, about thinking before speaking, and even about love. And I always know when I’ve met a “kindred spirit” if they know what I’m talking about when I say “kindred spirit.”

(image source)
Atlas Shrugged. Yes, Ayn Rand had some unique and controversial philosophical ideas. But when I was a 19-year-old college sophomore who had never really thought about anything beyond my little circle of existence, Ayn Rand led me to think about money and politics and power. And those are things that everyone needs to learn to really think about and analyze. Have my views changed since then? Of course. But this book was one of the first that really led me to think philosophically and question the status quo, and that’s a good thing.


(image source)
Smashed. This one’s not quite the classic that the other two are, but it had a significant impact on me. Koren Zailckas writes about her experiences with partying and alcohol, and they are scary. I read this the summer after my junior year of college, and while I was never what anyone would call “wild,” this book made me question a lot of what I was doing (and the company I was keeping), why I was doing it, and where it would lead. I kept a copy of this book in my classroom library, and it disappeared a few years ago. I hope that’s because it impacted some other girl’s life, too.


(image source)
Lean In. When I started this book, I wasn’t sure how much of it would apply to me. I’m a teacher. I’m not exactly climbing the corporate ladder. But Sandberg’s advice is applicable to all women, and it’s changed a lot of what I do at work. I now have more confidence to speak my mind and stand up for what I believe is right and best for the kids. I think that’s a lot of why I’m now on our district leadership team. So thanks, Sheryl.

What are your top four most impactful books?

Read anything good lately that you’d recommend?

Weekly Workouts and Deciding What’s Next

I always feel a little weird posting workout recaps when I’m not training for anything… Does anyone care what I do when my workouts don’t have a race-related purpose? <– That’s a legitimate question, not rhetorical.

Well, since I don’t have any answers yet, I’ll go ahead and recap this week for you… in case you do care.

Monday: Leg workout at the gym, then 3.8 miles on the treadmill, since we were under tornado watches and stuff. I planned to go 4 miles, but the stinkiest human I’ve ever smelled got on the treadmill next to me, and I honestly could not stand to be on there for .2 more miles. Seriously. Bad. 

Tuesday: Easy 4-mile run and upper-body workout

Wednesday: 7 miles easy

Thursday: Leg workout and 4 easy miles.

Friday: I decided to bail on my upper-body workout (more on that in a minute) and just go for a run. I did stop at the gym as I passed, though, because I left my sunglasses there on Thursday. And they were gone. I am not happy. They’re my favorite, and they were a gift, so they’re way nicer than anything I’d ever buy for myself. I know it’s my fault for forgetting them, but seriously, people, don’t take stuff that is not yours.

So I left the gym, and I was mad, and I was not paying attention to my feet, apparently, because I ran .2 miles and fell on my face. Literally — I was afraid I’d have a black eye. Luckily, my face is a little tender but not bruised. My knee is not so lucky.
photo (4)I’m bad at running.

Anyway, I got up and ran another 3ish miles for a total of 4, so obviously I was not actually hurt.

Saturday: 10.1 miles. I love fall running.
photo (5)I may or may not have tried every Instagram filter on this picture until I found one that demphasized the still-red mark on my cheek from my little run-in with the sidewalk.

Sunday: Rest

Totals: 31.9 miles running, 1.5 hours strength

I learned three things this week (besides the obvious “‘pay attention to where your feet are”):

One, this weight-lifting plan is not going to work for me. I’m just not a four- to five-days-a-week, leg day/back day/chest day type of girl. I’m more of a two- to three-days-a-week, lift-everything-and-do-it-quick-so-I-can-go-run-again type of girl. So while it may be a great idea to lift more and focus more on getting strong, I just don’t like it, and I’m probably not going to stick with something I dislike… especially when the gorgeousness that is a Colorado October is just begging me to go running. So I ordered this book:

(because I didn’t win it in Christy’s giveaway). It should give me some new workouts that are designed for people more like me than like Bodybuidling.com’s typical audience.

Realization #2 is that I need to clean my diet back up. I haven’t been eating terribly the past several weeks, but there have been zucchini and pumpkin breads in the teachers’ lounge,  pieces of candy from J’s classroom stash when I’m waiting for him to be ready to go home, a big spoonful or three of peanut butter while I’m cooking dinner, a bowl of cereal after dinner (even though I’m not still hungry), and, especially, stress eating the past few weeks…. all those things are starting to add up in the form of tighter pants, pimples, and a general “blah” feeling. I don’t need to do anything drastic, but I do need to rein it in and clean it up again.

The third thing I learned/realized: I need a goal for the winter. Since my marathon was so early, I need something to motivate me over the next few months, until I choose and start training for a big spring race. I’m considering Racing Underground’s winter series. I did the Yeti Chase a few years ago, and I enjoyed it (Okay, I really liked the homemade banana bread at the finish…). And while the bulk of my marathon winnings should go toward a new washer and dryer, it wouldn’t hurt to spend a little on race registration, right?

I’m not sold on that series, though. There’s also the Winter Distance Series. Or I could just pick one race at a time and not have to commit to a series. I can’t decide. Help me, readers…

What should my short-term goal be??

And to return to my earlier question… do you care about reading my weekly workout recaps when they workouts are unfocused?

 

Playing Catch-Up

Remember that time I wrote a race recap and then disappeared for two weeks without even responding to the comments on said recap? Yeah, sorry about that. (FYI: They’ve all been responded to now). The last couple of weeks have been busy with a capital B. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

Work: Last week was Homecoming week, and it was c-r-a-z-y.  I took over as student council adviser this year, which means that I was in charge of all the Homecoming activities… which meant that I was at school from 7 a.m. until about 9 p.m. every night last week. I am an old lady, and that wore me out.These are two of my students (I can use this picture on the interwebs because you can't tell who they are). Those are full-body spandex suits. Yep. Homecoming week.

These are two of my students (I can use this picture on the interwebs because you can’t tell who they are). Those are full-body spandex suits. Yep. Homecoming week.

This week, I’m desperately trying to catch up on all the grading and planning that got pushed aside last week. I have a nice little Saturday planned: run, coffee, grade, grade, grade. I’m hoping that by Monday, I’ll be all caught up and things will be a little more normal.

Running: The week after the marathon, I took five days  off, just walking with one day of elliptical. I tried to run the Thursday after the race (which was on a Sunday), and after one block, I felt like I was back at mile 24. So I took another couple of days off. Last week, my goal was just to fit in something, so I ran a little and lifted a little and was happy with that. A hint of fall colors on Saturday's run

A hint of fall colors on Saturday’s run

I decided that, since I don’t have any races coming up, I should probably focus on strength training. I started a 12-week program from bodybuilding.com. It’s four days of lifting (two upper, two lower), so I’ve been running to the gym, lifting, and running home (total of 3-4 miles) on those days. I don’t love lifting, and I’m already missing the longer runs, so I might have to find a new system… especially since this is my favorite time of year to run. photo 3 (2)

Life: What’s that? Just kidding. One of my best friends, who moved to California after college, was in Colorado for work last week. We got the old gang back together for dinner last Sunday (and were too busy talking to take a picture), and it was SO NICE.

In other news, Jordan’s birthday was this past Sunday. To celebrate, I made him chaperon a Homecoming dance on Saturday night. I’m such a nice wife. His parents took us out for dinner on Sunday, and they bought him an ice cream cake, so at least someone is nice to him.

Blogging: Great news: I finally got accepted as a FitFluential ambassador! I’m pretty stoked about it. I know Brooke did, too. Exciting stuff! Now, to actually blog/tweet/Insta regularly so they still want me….

And that’s my lately in a nutshell. Here’s hoping I’ll be around the online world more now!

What have I missed in your lives, friends? Any news/races/posts I can’t miss? I’m going to have to click a lot of “mark as read’ buttons in Feedly or I’ll never catch up, so let me know if there are any must-reads!