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

 

on the bandwagon

Let’s talk about nutrition today, shall we? Everybody and their mother has an opinion about nutrition. It’s overwhelming and frankly it can be quite annoying when people push their beliefs on you, especially when there is no scientific basis.

Here is my motto that I am sharing ((not pushing)) with you. You are what you eat. Eat crap and you feel like crap. Eat naturally and you feel your best. And then there are people who eat fast food for every meal, feel amazing and live well into their nineties. That’s what we call an anomaly, folks.

I also like to tell myself if it wasn’t food 200 years ago, then it’s not food now. Put down the deep-fried twinkie. If you know me, then you know I love licorice. Were Twizzlers around in the 1800s?

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A couple of years ago, I use to give Lu a hard time for jumping on the Paleo bandwagon. Eat like a caveman? Who would want to do that when we have modern agriculture? You’re telling me a caveman would have turned town a cheese danish? I don’t think so. Plus the life expectancy of a caveman was probably around 30-something, and I’m looking to live three times that. It’s not a caveman’s life for me…

Or could it be? Here is the unexpected twist in this story. Lu and I are going Paleo. Yep, the hater has turned into the hated. As much as I dislike restricting certain things in my diet, I love the concept of eating food from the earth. Nothing processed. Ok, only a little something processed. We are making an addendum to include oatmeal and quinoa because this girl can’t go without either. Perhaps I should have said we are going Paleo-ish. Any true Paleo people out there will immediately call us frauds for adding a couple of grains into the diet. Haters gonna hate.

I don’t usually set limits on my eats (Oh, except for here and here… I’m a serial offender). But why not give this a try? It can’t hurt.

For those who don’t know, the Paleo diet consists of fish, meat, eggs, vegetables, fruit, fungi, roots, and nuts, and excludes grains, legumes, diary products, refined salt, refined sugar, and processed oils. I hardly eat red meat so it’ll be chicken and pork for me.

You may be asking if there is a motive behind this madness. Or you likely don’t care. I’ve mentioned a couple times on this blog that I want to follow an eating plan during marathon training this year and the Paleo-ish diet is what I’ve selected. I’m not guaranteeing perfection from now until October but my plan is to stick with it as much as possible and see how I feel. I like how Paleo focuses on protein intake because that is what I am usually lacking and what my muscles need to recover. Don’t worry, I will still be able to carb load before long runs with the quinoa and oatmeal. And I’ll still take sugar fuel on long runs because running twenty miles without some pick-me-up is just downright wrong.

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Anybody out there following a Paleo-ish diet? Anybody want to jump on the bandwagon with me?! There are some hardcore advocates of this thing. What are you guys up to today? I’m purchasing a new pair of Pure Flow 2s later and I’m excited to see how they compare to the original Pure Flows. Hope you all have a great Thursday. Make it a good one.

xo, lw

 

for the love of tennis

Wimbledon. The prestigious Wimbledon. It’s sprinkled with polo shirt-wearing, tea-drinking, pinky-finger-lifting proper folk. It’s a place where commoners and royals commingle for the love of tennis. It’s a place I want to be.

But these days, Wimbledon has turned into crazy town. Who’s watching with me?

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Nadal. Tsonga. Sharapova. Azarenka. All defeated. But the biggest upset of all was definitely my boy Roger losing in the second round to basically a tennis nobody. Fed hadn’t failed to reach a major tournament quarterfinal since Roland Garros in 2003. That’s a decade of advancing to at least the quarter finals… also known as world domination. Let’s take a moment of silence for this tennis player extraordinaire, Roger Federer. The man has won 17 grand-slam titles and has been the Wimbledon champ seven times. As usual, he was a gracious loser but he did admit this was a tough loss, “Got to get over this one. Some haven’t hurt this much, that’s for sure,” Federer said earlier today. I’m truly sad he’s out. Since we can no longer cheer on the Federer express, I’ll pull for Novak Djokovic, who is a stellar athlete. Winning this title should be a cakewalk for him now.

I love tennis. Tennis was my sport growing up. Here are some throwback pictures from my high school days. We were state champs. No big deal.

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I played in some tennis leagues in college. I met my husband at a tennis clinic. It’s a great sport and has had an impact in my life (dramatic much?). Who plays tennis? Who’s watching Wimbledon? What’s your favorite grand-slam to watch? Hope you guys made this Wednesday a good one!

xo, lw

Marathon Training: Week 2 review

Time for the first (of what will become weekly) marathon training update! Woop woop.

But before we get to the running recap, I have a confession. Please don’t judge me. I skipped a run last week. Let me explain… It’s hard for me to run more than three miles on a work day. I leave for work at 7am and get home from work in between 8:30 and 9:00pm.  After spending most of the day on my feet and moving patients, I usually have close to no energy when I get home. Excuses, excuses. I’m working on it! One of the things I’m considering is doing two runs on days I’m off work. I welcome your tips and advice.

I also switched my rest day. I did increase Wednesday’s scheduled five miles to seven miles in anticipation that I might skip a run… I know myself too well.

Now to the recap. I am trying to push myself with speed on the shorter runs. I did June 18th’s run on the treadmill because it was rainy in Chicago. Sometimes I feel like I can push my speed harder on the treadmill than when I’m outside. Anybody with me on this one? Overall, I was satisfied with last week except for the obvious disappointment.

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There you have last week’s running recap. I started week three with a bang and had a great run this morning before breakfast. Now I better get my housewife on and clean up our apartment. Have a great day you guys!

xo, lw

sometimes i make strange decisions

Well today is Sunday, which means another long run.  This week, I had 11 miles on the agenda. I would actually consider an 11 mile run to be a medium-length run so I wasn’t feeling overwhelmed. I was looking forward to getting out and enjoying the nice, sunny Chicago weather.

Then I made a strange decision.

I decided to wear my lululemon running tights and head out shortly before noon on what turned out to be one of the hottest days of the year… So by strange decision I actually mean really bad decision… It was 85 and sunny and I was the idiot in black pants.

At about mile six, just after turning around, fatigue hit. My heart was fine. My lungs were fine. My muscles were fine. But I was overheated and as dried up as Amanda Byne’s career. It was brutal. I had to stop for water at least half a dozen times. Of course I got nervous that I was drinking too much water and losing too many electrolytes. I don’t bring fuel unless I’m going over 13 miles so I really had nothing to help me at this point except my will… and my momma.

My sweet momma came along for the ride and rode her bike while I ran. It was so nice having her there. I eventually stole a sip of her gatorade. Here is a picture she snapped during our return to the city. That little black speck is me. What a gorgeous day.

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I finished the run, albeit slower than what I would have liked. 11 miles in 01:44:00 = 9:27 min/mile average. That pace is about thirty seconds slower than my goal marathon pace but I’m not beating myself up about it. That time does include many stops at various water fountains. I learned today that there is a long stretch on the lake front, just south of 35th street, that doesn’t have a water fountain for about a mile and a half. I found myself cursing the city of Chicago for overlooking that little area. But I survived. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.
Who else did a long run today? Anybody do it in pants?

It’s time for me to get a new pair of running shoes. I love Brooks Pure Flow. What color do you guys like? Black or purple?

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I’ve been hydrating like crazy since I’ve been home to avoid a dehydration headache later. I hope you guys are enjoying this weekend and these lovely summer days. Make them good.

xo, lw

summer solstice

Happy Summer Solstice to you. Summer has officially arrived in the northern hemisphere. Chicago will have 15 hours and 13 minutes of sunlight today with the sunrise at 5:16am and a sunset at 8:29pm. After today we start the slow decent into darkness, as the days get shorter and shorter… But let’s not think about that now. Let’s enjoy these long summer days and warm summer nights. It’s finally going to be in the 90s in Chicagoland this weekend. Maybe I’ll roll my windows down and cruise to some Florida Georgia Line (loving that song right now. Who’s with me?). What are you doing to enjoy summer? Who wants to celebrate by getting sushi with me?

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While we’re talking about the elements, has anyone heard of a supermoon? A supermoon is the closest full moon of the calendar year, which means it appears bigger and brighter to the little people on earth. A supermoon will rise in the night sky this weekend. Keep an eye out for this lunar wonder.

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What have I done on this summer solstice morning? I woke up and did my training run before breakfast. I’m trying to run before breakfast as often as possible because I keep finding articles online that suggest exercising on empty improves glucose tolerance. After the run, I came home and enjoyed some of this:

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Those are scrambled egg whites with a veggie sausage patty, avocado, a sprinkle of feta cheese and cholula. I also mixed up one of my greenish smoothies. Good stuff.

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What’s happening in your world today? Hope you’re making this summer day a good one!

xo, lw

congrats, grad.

Many congratulations and felicidades to my hub, the big frijol!!

He graduated with an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business this past weekend and he did it with high honors. His dedication to the program was inspiring. Lu worked so hard day in and day out. He not only worked hard on his course work, but he also held several internships, began his own start-up with peers and was involved in multiple clubs on campus. What’s even more impressive? He did it all with a smile and a good attitude. Ok you’re right, I’m quite possibly his number one fan. But all bias aside, I can honestly say not once did I hear Lu complain about his work or displace stress on others. He just went on his merry way and got stuff done. I couldn’t be more proud of him. Congrats, Lu!

Lu’s mother, father and brother traveled to Chicago to celebrate his graduation. His cousin and grandma also came from Mexico to join in the festivities. Since my immediate family all lives in Chicago, they were around to party with us as well. We had a grand old time.

Let’s take a look at some pictures from my iPhone. One day, I hope to get a real camera. Like a Nikon (hint, hint).

Before all the hoopla, Lu and I went to dinner, just the two of us, at The Pump Room to celebrate. Cheers to the graduate.

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Once folks started arriving, we got our tourist on. We walked around the city – stopped at the bean and Water Tower Place. Lu went into Lego Land because once a boy, always a boy. We took a tour of the Chicago by bus. We ate deep dish pizza. We enjoyed this city.

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photo-67The graduation ceremony itself was probably the least boring graduation ceremony I’ve been to. They had two very good speakers, Eugene Fama and JB Pritzker. I was engaged the whole time. And the 800-some name reading went by remarkably quickly, too. I got a little bit sad when it was all over… (cue nostalgia)

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After the ceremony, we went to a tasty dinner at Bistrot Margot a cute French restaurant in Old Town. Then the youngsters went out on the town until t-h-r-e-e-a-m… I am not conditioned for that kind of partying. But it was fun. I ran into my bestie, Meg.

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We had such a wonderful long weekend and as with most things in life, it all went by way too quickly. Congrats to you, Lu. Now it’s on to the next journey as a guy with an MBA from the BEST business school in the world. ;-)

xo, lw