hello there.

Well hello. It has been a while… Don’t worry it’s me, not you. It’s hard to keep up with this blog thing during the summer months because of trips, birthdays & my desire to be outside (instead of in front of the computer) as often as possible. But I’m back. For now, at least…

Let’s start with a quick recap of the last couple weeks.

Last weekend I went back to Austin, TX but this time I had the big frijol in tow. We celebrated Lu’s birthday there and hung with my college bestie. It was another fabulous long weekend in a fun city, and I came home with no less than fifty bug bites to prove it. We went to a local dive bar for some live music, hit up Barton Springs, kayaked on Lady Bird Lake, ate our way through multiple food trucks (including this one) and still managed to workout every day. I’m kind of sad to be back to reality.

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Lu noticed that our spot at Barton Springs looked like a real life version of Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte, which just so happens to be displayed in the Art Institute of Chicago.

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And there you have our Austin trip. Until next time, ATX. On to other updates…

My big bro moved to Los Angeles, and we miss him. Talk about a far move. But it’s also an exciting move for him, and I’m very happy he gets to start a fun new chapter in his life. He may just be the next big thing out there. I’ve never been to LA, and I can’t wait to go visit later this fall.

I’ve eaten my weight in sushi this summer. I love Sushi Dokku almost as much as I love Toro. The first step is admitting I have a problem. Yes, I have a sushi problem.

I joined a gym. I have finally accepted that I don’t consistently cross-train or weight lift on my own. I need classes and more options than what we have in our skimpy apartment fitness center because all I seem to consistently do on my own is run. My body needs more well-rounded activity.

Speaking of running, I’ve been going strong with marathon training. I’m not going to bore you guys with a recap of all the runs that I’ve done since we last talked but let it be known there have been some good ones, some bad ones, some skipped runs and some extra runs. Of course, I’m still having to tweak the training schedule a lil bit to fit my needs. For example, I did my long run yesterday instead of Sunday since I wasn’t about to run 16 miles in the Texas heat. Yesterday’s run: 16 miles in 02:24:44 (9:02 min/mile average). My average moving pace (pace without water stops) was 8:57 min/mile.

I want to expand on yesterday’s run… It was the best long run I have ever done. For the first time, I really made an effort to carb load and hydrate before the run. I had a bagel the night before in the Detroit airport, my usual oatmeal in the morning and a second bagel with nut butter about 2 hours before the run. I didn’t have a “hit the wall” moment, and I never really felt like I needed to stop. Whereas in the past, I would usually start dragging at about 13 or 14 miles. Added bonus – my pace was the fastest pace I’ve had for a long run yet. Call me dumb but I was honestly surprised how much carb loading and hydrating helped. In the words of the big frijol, preparation is key!

So what’s new with you guys? Hope you’re making today a good day. I’m glad to be back around these parts.

xo, lw

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Marathon training: Week 4 review

Whoa… week four of training is now over, which means I’m one sixth of the way through this thing (insert my typical “time flies” comment).  I ran all of the miles Mr Higdon told me to run. I still cannot manage to get up and run before work but I did run after work last week and that takes serious motivation. I usually want to hit the couch with a snack in hand immediately after walking in the door. The key is to go straight to my room, put on my workout clothes and leave for my run before I have time to change my mind. Here is the recap:

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All of my runs were fairly routine so I don’t really have much else to say… Except that I did try out Honey Stinger energy chews during the half marathon distance on Sunday and I loved them. They’re very easy to chew and swallow while running. Anybody use honey stinger chews? What do you use? I still haven’t tried shot bloks but I want to.

And that’s all I got for now! Hope you guys make this Tuesday a good one.

xo, lw

independence day

Alright, I realize the 4th of July was so last week but bear with me because I’m going to post about it anyway. HBD, America!! I had the day off work and was able to celebrate the good times with a couple hundred of my closest friends at North Ave beach. =) The big frijol and I hit the lakefront for a few hours with my little bro and Kelly. The weather was decent enough for me to get a killer sunburn that is just now healing… this nurse made a bad decision going sans sunscreen. Seriously, what was I thinking?! I honestly never do that. And I never will again.

After the beach, we came back to casa de bean for some steaks and drinks. Matt and Kelly even brought along their sweet little Sophie kitten for the evening. She is so darn cute. It was a true American day complete with country music and fireworks over Navy Pier. Thank you to those who gave us freedom and those who continue to protect our freedom in this great country of ours. I hope y’all had a lovely 4th, too.

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Until next year, fourth of July. Cheers to America! xo, lw

PS: Did you spot the American flag reflection in Lu’s sunglasses? Pretty cool, huh?

my garmin stats + other tidbits from today’s run

I’ve been using my Garmin for outdoor running religiously since the big frijol gave it to me for my birthday earlier this year. It revolutionized the way I track my runs and my progress. No more sitting at the computer, mapping out a route on MapMyRun.com. And heaven forbid if I veered from the planned route, I’d have to map it all over again when I got home. Tedious. Now I just strap on my watch, locate satellites (which I’ll admit can sometimes take an annoyingly long time) and hit the pavement.

Today I went onto the Garmin website to create an account and download software. I then plugged my Garmin into my computer for the first time ever (cue: angels singing). I didn’t even realize how much that thing tracks. It give me each mile split, the fastest pace I hit, elevation, calories… Information overload.

Here’s a clip of today’s 6 mile run.

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Please note today’s temperature. 66 degrees with a 10mph wind. Plus, it was drizzling the whole run. Summer weather that is not. I’m going to go ahead and say that this is one of the worst summers. We’ve only had a handful of really hot days. There have been too many days of rain and fall-like temps. Bummer! I wish I was out on the west coast feeling some of that record-setting heat. Or maybe I don’t… No, I do.

During my run, I saw a man searching for treasure with a metal detector on North Avenue beach. Good luck to him.

I was also given an opportunity for my big break into television. As I was approaching North Ave beach, I was flagged down by a couple bold men who dared to stop a girl during her workout. I kind of acted like I didn’t see them at first but once they were within an arm’s reach I couldn’t really ignore them (politely, that is) since I was running sans music. One man said, “Hey. We’re from the Today Show and we’re doing a story on holiday travel. What are your holiday travel plans?” Then I realized they had a camera and a whole setup around the corner. So, I told them my 4th of July plans… nothing. Then he said, “Ok, well can you tell us about a different holiday travel experience?” I got nothing. Stage fright. I think I muttered something like, “Uhh, nothing really sticks out. I don’t travel that much…” They looked at me like I was idiot. Then I asked if they were from the Today Show in NYC and proceeded to tell them I’m a fan before going on my way. It was a strange exchange. That could have been my national television debut. I blew it.

I’ve now run with my new sneakers, the PureFlow 2s, several times. I hate to admit this but I don’t love them as much as I love the original PureFlows. They’re still a great shoe but I wish they hadn’t made so many changes. I can’t even pinpoint what it is that I don’t love but something is different. Anybody using the PureFlows or a different Brooks shoe? What do you think?

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I picked up an overtime shift at work tomorrow so I’ll make a little extra dough before the holiday. Anyone have fun 4th of July plans? I’m hoping to BBQ and hang with family. Hope you guys have made this Tuesday a good one. Talk to ya soon!

Sending my prayers to the families of the 19 fallen firefighters in Arizona. They are heroes.

xo, lw

Marathon training: Week 3 review

Before we get to my running week review, I have a couple of things to say.

1) Can you even believe that July means 2013 is officially half over?! The days are flying past me.
2) The drama continues at Wimbledon… Serena lost! That is almost more shocking than Fed’s exit… Is the world stopping?
3) Did anybody watch the season premiere of Dexter last night? LOVE that show.
4) I took a nap from 1:30 – 4:00 today. Who am I?

Now to the running review. Those of you who suggested I do morning runs on workdays will be proud of me… somewhat proud of me. I took the first step and set my alarm for 5:20 on Friday to get up and run before work. But then I blew it by snoozing until 6:30. Maybe next time I’ll actually get out of bed. Baby steps. I did run 6 miles after work that day. All’s well that ends well.

I’m still tweaking which days I do which runs to fit my life. I did log all of the miles prescribed by Mr Higdon this week plus a couple extra. While I do have a very flexible schedule, I have come to accept I cannot do every run when he suggests it, and I’m OK with that. I am definitely following the plan more closely than I did last year. Woop. Alright, here is week three:

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I need some good cross-training ideas. How do you guys cross train?

Since most of my day today has been spent either running or sleeping, I figure it’s time to get productive. I’m going to make a quick run to the grocery store and then clean up around this place before the husband gets home. Hope you guys are having a great Monday… it’s a short work week!

xo, lw