Thursday, March 31, 2011

A beautiful day in the neighborhood

Today was a beautiful warm spring day. The dogs had fun playing outside. Here's some pics for your enjoyment.
Lilly chasing Dash as Gordies watches from a distance... those games are too childish for her. She is 6.5 you know

This feels soooo good on my back

Dash wanted to try it out too

He was enjoying it a little too much, had to block out the privates, this is a PG13 blog after all

Lilly still enjoying the grass

Gordies still watching from a safe distance

Ready to go in after a long afternoon of playing

Now they are all sleeping from all the excitement they had today.

I enjoyed the day by doing some yard work, which I think should count as cross training it's a lot of work weeding and raking. Anyway I also read my magazines while enjoying the sun, dropped off my son at grandma's house for the weekend, and went for an 8 mile run. This was the temp at the start of my run so I opted for a tank top and skirt. I was hot at the beginning but there was a breeze on my way back so it felt nice.

And of course I had to add a pic of me after my run. This put me at a total of 151 miles ran for the month of March :)
This weekend I have a long run of 13 miles. But I'm kinda looking forward to my 20 mile run next weekend, or at least mentally prepping myself for it.

P.S. Check out my new personalized favicon! It's a butterfly cause you should know by now how much I love butterflies. (I have a butterfly tattooed on the inside of my left wrist). Favicon is the icon next to your url (Orange B if you use blogger). Dion contacted me and designed it. Like it? Want one too? Check out his website at

And while we are on the topic of design what do you all think of my new blog design? Katie over at Dream Up Studios finished the design. I highly recommend her if you are wanting to change up your blog. She was awesome to work with.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Random post of the week

Do you online window shop? I do so I thought I'd show you guys a few things I am window shopping for.

But before I do that you should check out the Awesome Giveaways on my sidebar. There's some great giveaways out there! You can also check out these giveaways and more at Runner Swag created by Zoe at Run, Zoe, Run.

I have been looking for the perfect outfit for my marathon in May. Still haven't found what I want to wear. I know I'll be wearing a running skirt and a blue top (Wear Blue: Run to Remember). I have been wanting to try out a skirt from Running Skirts but I'm waiting for their spring line to come out, or maybe I can win one from Katye at Long Legs on the Loose!

I want to get these shoes I saw in Shape Magazine today Jamie Sneaker by Dr. Scholl's (they would feel awesome to wear after a long run I bet)

What do you think: Cute? or Fugly?

I showed them to Gene and he said he would buy them for me. I looked them up online and they are $60. The first thing that came out of my mouth was "60 dollars!?! I could register for a race for that price"
But I still kinda want them. I like the color shown above and the ones the girl is wearing in the add

I can totally see myself wearing these with some shorts this summer.
 I also kinda wish I had abs like Vanessa Hudgens pictured on the cover of Shape
Anyway back to my online window shopping...

I am needing some sunglasses for running so I can protect my peepers and have found these through a few giveaways hosted by some bloggers. I'm hoping I win a pair so I can own both a black pair and a pink pair :)

Hex from Ryders Eyewear

I also want this cute purse. I love Harvey's Seatbelt Bags

And this Oster Myblend Blender cause I think it's cool. Who doesn't want a individual-sized blender & stylish sport bottle in one?

Alright so that was my random post of the day. And to keep on with the randomness here's a pic of my puppy asleep on my pillow and half way under the blankets last night.

Besides being spoiled he is also jealous. I was trying to take a pic of my other two doggies Lilly & Gordies but he wanted the attention.

Ok end of randomness. I need to go run 5 miles, probably on the treadmill again since it's spring break and my son isn't feeling well to go ride his bike while I run. Hopefully he feels better soon cause the next few days the forecast calls for sun and 68 degrees!

Monday, March 28, 2011

18 miles powered by B.S.

*First, thank you guys for you're comments on my previous post about pacing. It's probably something I just need to continue to experiment with and see what works for me.

Yesterday I woke up early to make sure I had enough time to get my 18 miles in and not have to rush through them. The morning was beautiful. The grass was sparkling from the frost on it and the air was clean and refreshing. The sun was shining which felt great after the rain we had the day before.

I set out for an out and back with my fuel belt filled with water and tri-berry nuun (my new fav must have on my long runs).

My goal was to stay around a 9:20-30 pace for the first half of the run then speed up to around a 9 min mile for the last half.

I averaged about a 9:21 pace for the first 9 miles. This pace felt good and like I could have finished the entire 18 miles feeling good.

I speed up for the last half and my splits were:
9:20 (had to slow down cause I had to use the restroom and knew there was one coming up soon)
9:00 (stopped for a little bit to take a pic of the giraffe)

My legs started feeling fatigued at mile 15 but it's actually what I wanted to feel as weird as that might sound. I wanted to challenge my muscles and feel the fatigue they would feel towards the last few miles of a marathon. I also pushed it the last mile so I could finish strong. It was hard to give it that kick at the end but I pushed through it and imagined myself at the end of my marathon with the finish line in sight. I looked down at my garmin and saw it under an 8 min pace a few times which gave me a boost.

Finish time was 2:43:29   9:04 min/mi pace.

Overall I felt challenged, but it felt great that I could actually sustain a pace under 9 min with my legs feeling fatigued. Now could I do that for another 8.2 miles? Right now probably not. But I do think I could hold a pace somewhere between 9:00-9:30.
This week is a step back week with a long run of 13 miles. I'll take that one at an easy, comfortable pace cause I have a 20 miler the weekend after!

Here's a pic of the giraffe I saw.
There's something yummy on the tree I must eat it.
The last few miles of this run were powered by Britney Spears' new song - Till The World Ends.
Don't judge me I like to run to her music :)  I think I played it about 4 times during miles 14 and 15 when my pace sped up and again the last mile of my run. That song makes me want to dance! I think I was bobbing my head and trying not to throw my hands up in the air. But I was singing out loud a little :)

Saturday, March 26, 2011


I've been doing a lot of research lately on pacing. Specifically, what pace I should be going on my long runs. I'm currently following one of Hal Higdon's training plans who recommends running your long runs at 45-90 seconds slower than your marathon pace. I understand the reasoning behind this and have mostly followed that plan. But for last weeks 17 miler I had to run "faster" than my normal LR and averaged a 9:09 pace. This run was more like a long tempo run averaging about a 9:33 pace for the first 6 miles, speeding up to average an 8:43 pace for 7 miles and slowing down to finish the last 4 miles with a 9:16 average (yes I dissected my run, excel is awesome for that :)

This has me wondering, what pace should I be running at? I don't want to run to slow but I also don't want to run too fast risking injury and over training.

A little history:
I'm new to racing only having run a couple half marathons and one full. For my first half marathon last June (North Olympic Discovery Half Marathon) I ran by feel. I wanted to finish at about 2 hours but was using the Nike plus so wasn't constantly checking my time. I was just enjoying being out there and taking it all in. I ran at a 9:28 pace finishing in 2:03. When I was done I felt like I could have kept going. That tells me I could have ran faster, I had more to give. Even the volunteer that walks you through the finisher chute to make sure you are ok said I looked great and like I should have been running the full. But I was happy with just finishing my first half. Last October I ran my first full marathon (Portland Marathon). For this race I used the same approach and wanted to enjoy it and take everything in. For the first half I felt great, even with the pouring down rain and was running at about 9:42 pace. Around mile 16 my knee started hurting really bad. I had to stop and stretch it out and tried to keep running but it was getting more difficult as the race went on. At mile 20 I was averaging a 10:33 pace. I had to run/walk the last few miles but there was no way I was going to walk into the finish line so I sucked up the pain and ran, well more like shuffled, the last 1.2 miles and went straight into the medical tent to get my knee wrapped in ice. I finished in 4:48:22 for an average pace of 11:00 min/mile. I know I could have finished Portland somewhere before 4:15 cause the 9:42 pace I had felt great and I probably would have pushed the pace more towards the end of the race.

This training cycle I have been pushing the pace more (it's easier with the Garmin) and have felt comfortable at about an 8:40 pace for my weekly runs. I averaged an 8:25 pace for my 8 mile run on Friday. Tomorrow I have an 18 miler scheduled.  So the question comes up again...What pace should I be running at?

I still haven't decided what approach I am going to use after reading the many different ones running coaches recommend. I will see how I feel and probably start it out slow and increase the pace the last few miles.

If you all have any recommendations I'm always open for suggestions to see what works for other runners.

~Always a learning runner

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Life's Been Busy!

This week I...

I finished up my miles for the Cupcake Marathon.
3/20 - 17 miles
3/21 - 5 miles
3/22 - 4.2 (plus two more for a total of 6 for the day)

Dash wanted to be in the pic to...
Dash wanted a taste of my cupcake...
Is she really going to let me have some? Yes she is! This is yummy!

On Monday I spent the evening at my grandma's house who lives about 30 min away. She turned 80 years old so I baked her a cake and we all sang happy birthday while the great grand kids stood around her.

The kids weren't ready to take the pic but she was.

My son on the far left and my nephew and niece.

The rest of this week I have been working on planning out my loves retirement reception which will be next month. He is retiring after 21 years of service.
I decided to get crafty and make my own invitations. This is what my desk area has looked like for the past few days...

The front has his picture on it and the info on the ceremony

Cut out the ceremony info cause it had my phone number on it.
 I created 3 different designs for the other side of the invite.

While I've been busy working on all that, Gene's been building a fence in our front yard so our doggies have a nice area to run around.

It should be all done tomorrow and ready for painting!
Life's been busy this week. Lots going on but the weekend is finally here which means spending time with the family and an 18 mile long run this weekend! :)

Next weekend is spring break. I'm hoping the weather will be nice so we can do some outdoor activities. I'm thinking running in the morning and bike rides in the evenings!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A windy 17 miles

Today was my scheduled LR of 17 miles. I wanted to be on the trail before 9 am but that didn't happen since I woke up at 8:35am. I didn't actually get out there till 10 am which meant I was going to have to run fast, (well faster than I wanted to do my long run) cause I had to get home before my love went to work.

Temps were not bad at about 52-55 degrees but the winds were in the 22-29 mph range!! I started walking towards the trail and wanted to turn around and get back in my car. But then I saw another runner and figured if she was out here then I should be too, no excuses!

Once I started running and warmed up a bit I felt great. My legs felt surpisingly good and ready to run. I changed up the days I run, now running Monday thru Thursday with Friday and Saturday off (those are my loves days off from work so I want to spend that time with him) and long runs on Sunday. Which means I run 5 days in a row (Sun-Thur) but I use Monday as recovery runs.

The wind was pretty strong and it was very hard to run against. I was glad when I would be in a pocket where it wasn't so bad but once I hit mile 4 there was a wide open space with nothing to block the wind. It literally felt like I was barely moving or like someone had their hand on my head and I was trying so hard to run foward but couldn't. I decided to turn around sooner so I headed back at mile 6 and I could feel the wind pushing me this time which was much better than running against. Except for at one point when the wind hit me from the side and it literally pushed me sideways I felt like my feet lifted off the ground I was going to fall!

Miles 7-13 were the fastest miles at under 9 minutes - (around 8:35 the fastest and 8:49 the slowest). I actually ran my fastest 13.1 miles ever in just under two hours and had to take a picture of it...

And this was a training run! Makes me want to register for a half marathon to see how much I can PR by. 2:03 is my fast time, which was my first half marathon in June last year.

I had to turn back towards the wind again so miles 14-16 were as follows: 9:16, 9:17, 9:01 (wind was at my back this time) and I finished off with mile 17 at 9:33 to cool down.

A little stats on my run:

Time 2:35:42
9:09 pace (about 40 seconds faster than my normal long run pace)

Night before meal:
A little bit of peppered steak and veggies with A LOT of couscous
-I'd like to thank my love for making such a fabulous dinner and always keeping my long runs in mind when he cooks!

A slice of whole wheat hunny toast with peanut butter. My new fav breakfast!

During run-
Stawberry clif shot at mile 5 and a jet blackberry gu at mile 10. I was planning on taking another gel at around mile 14 but the jet blackberry gu was gross. I didn't like it at all and it actually upset my stomach.

Post run-
Chocolate milk!
And lots of foam rolling and wearing my compression socks!

Here's a cute sign I saw at around mile 3.5 and again after I turned around.

I also took a pic of the huge mansion on the hill!

I wanted to take a picture of the giraffes I see around mile 1 as I run by the zoo but I didn't see them over the fence. But I did see a racoon. I didn't take a picture of him cause I was afraid he would attack me. He stopped to look at me as I ran by and I just kept saying don't look at him in the eyes (as if this would make him not attack me or something) I turned to look at him after I passed him and he was still staring at me so I ran a little faster haha.

My legs feel good after running a total of 41 miles this week putting me at 96 miles for March so far, surpassing Tall Mom's 93 Miles in March Challenge...yuppie!! 

I leave you with a candid shot from my St. Patty's Day 5k

Saturday, March 12, 2011

St. Patty's Day 5k

Results cause I know that's what you're all reading this for :)

Posted results
Pace 8:05
Place 3rd in my age group (out of 33)
6th in my gender (not sure out of how many)
27th overall out of 286

Garmin time:
3.14 miles
Time 24:59
Pace 7:57
Not really sure how the garmin was off from the posted results since I was right at the starting line.

And outfit...
Please note the shamrocks on the back of my socks and the house arrest bracelet/chip timer.

I'm super excited about my time and of course placing 3rd in my age group. It was a small race so lots of opportunities to place. I'm happy cause it's a 2:49 PR from my last race back in December. I wanted to stay around an 8 min pace and achieved that for the most part. I know I could have pushed myself harder but I didn't want to be stalking my garmin every 20 seconds.

Overall I loved the course cause it's one I run on regularly. The weather was in the high 30's and it was sunny which felt great to run in. The start of the race was not very organized. There was both a 5k and a 5 mile run and the announcer was even confused on which group was starting first. We were supposed to start at 10 am, finally at about 10:10 they decided it was time for the 5 mile runners to start. A few minuted later it was our turn. I started right towards the front cause I could tell a lot of the people were not there to 'race' and I didn't want to have to dodge them while trying to find my stride. Even though I started towards the front I don't know if they had us start back further than we were supposed to cause my garmin beeped before we would actually hit the mile markers.
We had to cross over two bridges which slowed me down a bit but I was only passed by one female runner the entire run. I did pass one guy I was chatting with at the start and he gave me a good job. At the end he told me he was trying to catch up to me but never could. I tried to speed up towards the end but I think it was a little to late cause all of a sudden the finish line was right in front of me. I never felt like I was on the verge of pain so I know I need to push myself harder. I waited around for them to post the printed results. We had a yummy goody bag with string cheese, bagel, carrot sticks and an apple to munch on. I chatted again with the guy from the start and another one that ran the 5 mile race in 33 minutes. They are both running the Famous Idaho Potato Half Marathon in May and were impressed I am running the full :)
The printed results listed me as 4th in my age group so I went home cause I didn't think I had placed. When I got home after lunch to see I was in 3rd I was a little bummed I totally wanted to get my award! haha

Overall it was a great course just needs a little more organized start but I would run it again.

And my love was pretty happy cause they had an award for the most supportive bf...

If you look closely you can see he is wearing his 98 Honolulu Marathon shirt :)

Here's my attempt to make a runners pose..
Instead it kinda looks like I want to punch someone.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

3 Things Thursday

1. I really, really, like REALLY want to run this...

It's on Dec 4th and it's a NIGHT run!!! How awesome is that?? They had a special price registration going on that closed today. Price for both half and full was $121. I was almost about to register for it, my love even told me to register. But I hesitated and now it's too late to get the special price and registration doesn't open up till May 31st. But I don't mind paying a few more bucks cause I'm not really a gambler anyway and I'd rather spend my extra money on races, clothes, shoes, races, etc. I think it's probably for the best I didn't register cause it will give me some time to think about it. I don't know if I want to run the half or the full. The full has a cutoff time of 4 hours 30 minutes and is capped at 5,000 runners. By the time registration opens up again I will have at least one more marathon under my belt so I can better judge what times I'm capable of running 26.2. But I'm really leaning towards running the full.

2. I'm SUPER excited for my 5k on Saturday! I'm really hoping to get an awesome time. Not sure yet on how creative I will get with my outfit. I know I will be wearing some knee high socks but don't know if I'll go with a skirt or capris yet. I had some glittery shamrocks on last year so I might go to the store and see if I can find something similar to put on my outfit again.

3. Rose over at Eat, Drink, and Be Meiri is hosting a giveaway in honor of surpassing 100 followers HERE She is the master of wearing costumes. Don't believe me? Then check out this post of her and her husband playing dress up HERE aren't they so freaking cute! Well one of the requirements is posting a pic of you in your best Halloween costume. I'm going to say last year was one of my bests. I was the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland.

Every queen should have her own throne. I wanted to keep it after the party but it didn't really match the rest of our furniture.

Yes I know I am evil for dressing up my dog as the White Rabbit. Doesn't he look cute though? :)

My love dressed up as the Dark Mad Hatter
So go check out her blog and enter her giveaway! And post some pics of your best halloween costume cause I want to see them!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sports Bras!

I'm always on the search to find the perfect sports bra. My current fav is the Fiona from Moving Comfort

Picture from their website
 I definitely need a high impact sports bra and this style provides that for me. No bouncing and I only had chafing once but that was at the Portland Marathon when it rained the entire time so I don't think chafing could have been avoided. My favorite thing about it is the adjustable straps.
Even though this is my go-to sports bra I am wanting one that will look better under tanks now that spring/summer is fast approaching (well I'm hoping it's fast approaching it was snowing today in Boise). I was on Moving Comforts Facebook page HERE and asked if they had any recommendations. They recommended their Juno bra HERE. But after looking through their website two that peaked my interest are the Vixen HERE and the Phoebe HERE. And guess what?! Moving Comfort has the Phoebe on sale for $10!!

Picture from their website
You bet I ordered a white and black one! It's the 2010 Rock and Roll Series but they said it's the exact same style. Both the A/B and C/D sizes are on sale. I ordered a Medium C/D HERE. Two sports bras for a total of $25!! (after shipping costs).
Can't wait to receive them!! I'll be writing a review after I go on a few runs in them for anyone interested in getting them so look for that in a few weeks.

Monday, March 7, 2011

It's Official... Marathon #3

It's official....

I'm registered for the Seattle Rock & Roll Marathon!! This will be marathon number 3 for me. Even though I haven't registered for marathon #2 yet (but I will soon, just didn't want this one to sell out before I had a chance to register). My marathons will be exactly 6 weeks apart. I'm excited! I'll be running the RnR with the running group Wear Blue: Run to Remember. Here's some links you can check out if you want more info on the group. (Wear Blue: Run to Remember's Website) (Blog from the article featured in Runner's World, I'm in the group pic on this one) (Blog featuring Lisa and her beautiful children)

My marathon training is coming along great. I'm feeling a lot more confident in this training cycle. Probably cause I know a little of what to expect now. I definitely learned a lot from my first marathon but I'm no expert and am still learning the do's and dont's. For example I didn't make the best pre-long run choices this weekend. On Saturday was my cousins 22nd birthday so we went out to Kyoto Japanese Steak House. I had a little bit of everything... well a little bit of Yakisoba noodles and a lot of sushi. I drank water for most of the night except for when we went out to a local bar I had 2 cocktails. I wore some wedged boots and danced for a couple of songs with her. We got home around midnight and went straight to bed. I didn't run till later Sunday afternoon when the weather was nice so hydration wise I felt fine but I could feel the fatigue in my legs early on in the miles. I think it was probably cause of the dancing in boots :) But I was able to keep an average 9:52 pace (and that's with walking for a few min at miles 5 and 10 to take a gel/energy chews) and pushed it the last 3 miles to hold a 9:20 pace. 
Lesson learned on sushi/boots/dancing the night before a long run. But I have been focusing more on fueling a few days before my long runs not just the night before and I think it's been helping out my overall feel during a run and my recovery time too. Also the foam roller is pretty much my bff's right now.

Here's some pics from my run
The run started out cloudy

But it ended sunny and beautiful!

Had to take a picture of the duckies!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Uno, dos, tres

1. I'm totally excited cause I found a local St. Patrick's Day 5k on March 12 on the trail I've been running regularly. And I'm excited my friends in Tacoma are running one at the exact same time I will be! It will be like we are virutally running together! Time to pull out the St. Patrick's Day knee high socks!

2. I'm participating in some March Challenges. One is run 93 miles in March hosted by Tall Mom on the Run. The second one I submitted to participate in is The Cupcake Marathon Spring 2011. This is a virtual race where you run 26.2 miles over the course of 2 weeks (March 14-March 26). I love participating in challenges!

3. I won a blog makeover from DreamUp Studios. Sooo excited to work with them on a new design for my blog!
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