Tag Archives: 4 miles!

Staying Tough, Mentally

It’s almost August – I really don’t know where July went. I suppose I spent it logging miles, nursing my little hound, and teleworking a lot.

As of August 4, I have exactly a month until my Half! I’m excited and looking forward to the challenge. The miles we’ve been logging (seven last weekend, six the weekend before, and five the weekend before that) have bolstered my confidence. Yet, I’m also scared out of my mind. 13.1 miles is a long way. I felt so accomplished last Saturday when we finished our seven mile run. As I cooled off and walked home with Hubs, both sipping our iced coffees, I realized that we will be running 6.1 MORE miles on the day of the race. Right now, that feels inconceivable.

I know I’ve come a long way during training. Where I am now, two miles, three miles, even four miles don’t seem like long runs anymore. These are no longer “stretch” workouts for me — instead they’re my evening runs. It’s what I do when I get home from work. I love that feeling and it’s so nice to see what my body can do. Around Memorial Day, I was worried about finishing a 5k. A month before that, I could have maybe run one mile (if chased). I really love the level of fitness I’m working toward. I love that I’m healthy enough to get out and sweat after a long day at work. It’s nice to know I’m pushing myself again.

I’m trying hard to stay positive and motivated. I try not to think about the mileage increases each Saturday. I just think about the next mile. However, I do catch myself sometimes thinking about Saturday’s long run in “how in the world am I gonna do that?!?!” terms. But, I get out and I do it. Having Hubs with me is super helpful and really spurs me on to keep running. I really enjoy the time we get to spend together on our runs. Even when we devolve into grunts and panted questions about which direction we’re going next, seeing him running beside me motivates me to keep going.

Have you trained for a distance race? How do you stay mentally tough during training? On race day? I’ll take all the advice I can get!!

Also, y’all, I am suffering from the worst planning mistake ever! My passionate love of college football (especially my alma mater, the University of Georgia) has collided with this race I’ve been planning for the past seven months. I failed to look at a football schedule. 😦 Georgia’s season opener, at the Georgia Dome, Saturday night prime time, on ESPN, is the night before my half. *Insert huge sigh here* I anticipate struggles sleeping anyway, so maybe it will be nice to have the tv on in the background as I try to fall asleep? Or, there’s always the chance I get sucked in, get worked up, and get little to no sleep the night before I run 13.1 miles. If that happens (and if we lose) I will be VERY, VERY cranky. All right, I’m done being melodramatic. It’s one football game, but I’m committed y’all!

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A week in numbers

0 – the number of staples in/on Buddy (yesss, staple free!)
1 – night spent on amazon.com “trading in” our old textbooks for amazon credit. (this is awesome, you should do it. ask me if you have questions!)
2 – cups of coffee consumed this morning (also see: number of pills Buddy is down to each day)
3 – runs so far this week
4 – miles run yesterday without stopping
5 – bags of dog treats for our spoiled dog (all different too, spoiled!)
6 – food trucks I anticipate eating at/sampling from this evening at TRUCKEROO!

It has been a pretty good week! Buddy “looks awesome” according to the vet and has almost completed three weeks of crate rest. He’s such a patient little dog.

I had a few good runs (including a four miler yesterday where I never once wanted to quit), enjoyed book club (book review coming soon), my old boss’ wife had  their baby on 7-11, and we got a package in the mail from my parents for Buddy (spoiled)! Tonight is Truckeroo and tomorrow is Dan and Kelly’s annual luau. So excited. Hubs and I are also aiming for a 5.5-6 mile long run tomorrow morning. Hopefully it goes as well as yesterday’s four miler!

On the not so good side, I apparently spent a lot of this week eating poorly and fooling myself into thinking I was eating well. Whoops! This morning, the scale was up and I definitely had a moment of WTF?! I mean, I’m working out more than I have in a long time. Scale, why do you betray me?! Then, I started thinking about what I had to eat this week: BGR for lunch Monday, a 7-11 day slurpee, chinese food, beer, wine, ice cream, pizza and more wine at book club, etc. Oh, my bad, those aren’t health foods?!


Oh, yeah, I guess not. That probably explains my situation this morning. So, I’ve scaled back my grand ambitions (mac and cheese, grilled cheese, poutine, empanadas, tacos, cupcakes) for the food trucks tonight and have tried to make more logical decisions. Hubs has generously offered to split poutine with me so I can still have it – I married him for reasons like this! I’m still looking forward to trying some new trucks and it’s not like I’ll never have another chance to try the grilled cheese truck or the mac and cheese truck. Delayed gratification, right?

Coming next week: more cooking, a book review, and hopefully a report of a successful long run!


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Win Some, Lose Some

Win: Ran another four miles (on the dreadmill) on Wednesday. Less nervous and more excited about this weekend’s four mile race.

Lose: It is hot, like face of the sun hot, here. I’m afraid the heat may take a toll on me/result in a poorer performance than I’d like to see this weekend.

Win: Book club was AWESOME last night! I love these ladies, I love cooking food for people, I love drinking wine and talking. I also love that whoever hosts has full reign over book selection. It has encouraged me to pick up books I wouldn’t have on my own.

Lose: I’ve been AWFUL about putting book reviews up here. I’ll see if I can crank one out about our most recent book club read (my pick): The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball.

Win: I ordered a wireless USB adapted to fix our laptop problem.

Lose: When the wireless adapter showed up, it either didn’t work or at least it didn’t solve the problem. I’m back to square one. If I had the money, I would just say eff it and buy a new laptop.

Win: I finally finished all but one of my library books (my bed time book) so I took my Kindle for its first commute yesterday. LOVE IT! I’m reading The Good Soldiers right now. People have hailed it as a modern day version of The Things They Carried (about the Vietnam War) which is one of my favorite books. I have high hopes for The Good Soldiers and so far have NOT been disappointed.

Lose: I still have not managed to get a job that pays me to read books in my PJs.

Win: Buddy was surprisingly well-behaved last night.

Lose: He still peed on the carpet once. So frustrated with house training him. Hubs and I are resolute that we’ll get this straightened out before he turns one in July.

In other news, my last remaining grandparent (Nana) fell in her kitchen earlier this week. She hit her head and her hip. Luckily she had no head injuries — not even a concussion. However, she did break her hip. After a day and a half on morphine, while waiting for an operating room to open up, Nana had a full hip replacement yesterday afternoon. My Aunt Pegs described her as a “happy drunk” after surgery; I am without words to describe how relieved I am that her surgery went well. She starts her long rehab process today. She is also 85. She has always been a “tough old lady” and I’m hoping she keeps her spirits up and sticks to rehab. It also makes me increbily thankful for my mobility and ease of movement. It makes me want to stay healthy throughout life in the hopes that I don’t end up at 85 stuck on the floor after a fall. Oh, and if you pray, could you send some thoughts Nana’s way? She and I would appreciate it!


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Progress & Success

It has been a busy (and wonderful) few days around here! Friday, I ran four miles (on the dreadmill) and actually really enjoyed it! I’ve decided that 26 will be the age when I embrace running and stop making excuses.

Saturday we joined the moving team known as “Team Awesome” and helped two of our friends empty their old apartment, drive from MD to VA, and unload their stuff into a new apartment — all in four hours. It may have been the most efficient move I’ve ever been a part of. And Sunday was the Louisiana State Society’s annual Crawfish boil. Every year that is a good time and this year was no different. (This year, I opted to be “healthier” and instead of all you can eat jambalaya, sausage, and beer, I brought vodka with soda water and subway. However, the copious amounts of lime tortilla chips and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies were not the best for me…)

In between all this, Hubs and I made our “savings plan” for our trips this summer. We got serious and looked at how much we’d need to enjoy ourselves. The money considerations also convinced us to DRIVE to Atlanta in August (as opposed to flying). We’ll spend $200 in gas, but save almost $200 in dog boarding and close to $600 in airfare. (How are flights SO EXPENSIVE?!) That’s definitely worth a ten hour drive and our parents can spoil their granddog a little more. I’m pleased we sat down to figure this out — it makes me feel like we can responsibly take all the trips we want to by just cutting a few corners. Hooray vacations!

Now the only thing hanging over my head is my book ADD. Now that my Kindle is covered, loaded with books, and ready to go I just wanna use ittttt! *insert whining here* The only problem? I’m still finishing Thursday’s book club book and two library books. Hopefully I can settle down to reading only a book or two at a time once I make the switch to the Kindle.

Ugh, I need to get back to work anyway. But Buddy just gassed me/made my work space inhabitable. (How does something like that come out of my SWEET little dog?!) I’m making my escape. Later y’all!


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I Love June

Why is that? Because June brings my Birthday! It’s today, in fact! 🙂 I love birthdays and 26 is not disappointing!

It’s also a new month (and the halfway mark on the year). So, let’s see how I did in May…
1. Create half marathon training plan.
Check! I’ve been just about on pace with my long runs, but my overall weekly distance is NOT where it should be.
2. Complete six strength training work outs (2/6)
Obviously I, once again, slacked off here. I’m finding it very hard to make time in my workout schedule of runs to strength train, but I know it’s key to a successful race and fitness program. Sigh.
3. Read six books (6/6) 
Check! I’m reading about five simultaneously right now…
4. Of those six, read two classics (1/2) [Mansfield Park] and one non-fiction (2/1) [Bossy Pants, The House on First Street] 
Okay, so I didn’t read two classics and one non-fiction. Instead I read one classic and two non-fictions. I think that counts!
5. Beat my previous 5k time during this month’s 5k.
Going into this race, I was worried about finishing. But, I actually PR’ed! My new 5k best is 34:39. Onward and upward!
6. Eat at 3 new restaurants (3/3) [Lincoln – DC, Captain Billy’s Crab House – Southern MD, Eventide – Arlington]
While I visited three new places, I only had a drink at Eventide. I’m still gonna count it though!
7. Be more consistent with blogging! Post at least 16 times this month. (4/16) 
Toot toot! Here comes the fail boat… I suck at blogging lately. I think this is because my laptop doesn’t recognize the wireless in our apt anymore. I have live writer on that computer too. Our desktop is slowly dying and takes FOREVER to load pages. The combo = very little blogging motivation.

On Deck for June:
1. Get my mileage up! (0/4)
Right now, my training plan has me running 15 miles a week in addition to my long run. I’m definitely not there and I need to work on it! I will be aiming to run 10-15 miles each week.
2. Weight train (at least once a week). (0/4)
This is totally doable. If I don’t want to weight train and run on the same day, all I have to do is get myself into the gym or in front of the TV with my kettle bell ONE TIME a week. Do it, Anna. You will thank yourself.
3. Read three books that are non-fiction or classics. (0/3)
Again, trying to keep my reading varied. Hubs got me a Kindle for my birthday and I’ve downloaded some of the free classics. Hopefully that will help!
4. Get Laptop fixed. Seriously, Anna. 
I just need to take that sucker to best buy or something and get someone to tell me why the computer knows the wireless is there but refuses to connect to the internet.
(While I’m there, I should probably buy an external hard drive to back up our failing desktop…)
5. Make a savings plan for summer fun trips.
Hubs and I are fortunate to be going away for at least a weekend in July, August, and September. Super stoked for that, but since money doesn’t grow on trees we need to figure out how we’re going to pay for all this.
6. Make four new recipes. (0/4)
I cooked up a storm last month and want to keep that going! Being in the kitchen is becoming more and more relaxing for me.

Well, that should keep me busy for a month… especially considering everything else that’s going on!
– My 26th Birthday!!!
– Awesome friends (Dan and Kelly) move into our building
– Crawfish Boil with the Louisiana State Society
– Husband in Boston for a week
– Hosting book club ladies
– 4 Mile Twilight Race (my first four miler ever!)
– Finishing one project at work and simultaneously starting another

Hold on y’all! I have a feeling it’s gonna be a good month!

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Monday Delays

My body clearly was not ready to come back to work! I tossed and turned all night — it was one of those nights of sleep where you never really feel like you fall asleep. Oh well. I woke up to lightning in the distance and the threat of rain. Boo! Rainy Mondays are rough. However, it did give me a chance to try out my new rain boots and rain coat so I guess it’s okay. Despite being super tired, I popped out the door right on time and caught my train. My train had other ideas though; I guess it was tired too. Our train system had serious delays this morning which made me half an hour late to work. Ah! I barely made it to my little coffee shop in time for the early bird discount.

Never fear though, I’ve been a machine since getting in. And, I have happy hour to look forward to tonight. Hooray!

I’m wrapping up my lunch break and made the mistake of wandering over to Amazon and eyeing some things I want. Namely – a new iPod (since mine has started acting up), a web cam (for skype!), and some new moleskine volant notebooks (thanks to re-reading my paper journals). We’ll see what happens there. Anyone have a web cam they’d recommend? We have a relatively new Dell laptop it would be operating on…

Oh! And I also signed up for two races this morning. A 5k in May that starts just down the street from me and a 4 miler in June with Blair and Mia. I feel a sign up coming on for my Half in September. I just need them to run another special so I can get my registration on the cheap(er)!

Happy Monday Y’all! Hope it’s not rainy for you today!

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Snow for the win

This post contains a great personal accomplishment and a whole lot of “failure.”

Friday was my regular day off. Tom was off to Vegas for his bachelor party. An inbound major winter storm had canceled my girl’s weekend to Annapolis. I figured the storm would keep me inside for the rest of the weekend, so I wanted to get out while I could. I woke up early enough to beat the snow, but late enough to sleep in. After suiting up in my winter weather gear, I hit the streets. Funny thing about practice runs outside – I don’t hit the wall that I do inside. I get continual bursts of energy. New songs on my ipod make me smile and my feet come off the ground higher. I get tired, my legs burn, my knees ache. But, I seem to not mind it as much outside. (Friday, my motivation was also fed by the fact that running would get me back inside and warm faster than walking would!)

I ran down through Old Town and wound up at the Waterfront as the first flakes started to fall. That was a really awesome experience. I was all at once overwhelmed by how beautiful weather is and the amazing things that I keep finding out my body can do. I turned and headed back toward my building with snow falling faster and thicker. It was really, really fun running in the snow. My total distance was 4.3 miles. My total time averaged into just over 11 minute miles — but that also includes the time I had to jog in place waiting for lights to chance. I swear, those things take so much longer when I’m out for a run.

However, since that awesome run, I haven’t laced my tennis shoes back up. The snow did come and in massive amounts. Old Town recorded right about 2 feet in a day and a half. I’ve never seen snow like that in my life before. So, instead of running, I went exploring. No tennis shoes for me and no nike+ strapped to my arm. Instead, I layered up and left in snow boots. Saturday I spent two hours walking around in the (driving) snow. Sunday, I was out for almost 3 and a half hours (part of that carrying groceries). Monday was another grocery store trip on foot. (Icy roads really deter southern girls from getting behind the wheel of their small, low to the ground, front-wheel drive cars.)

Miraculously, Tom was able to catch a flight back Monday night and only got back a day late. Shortly on his heels, the area was shut down again by ANOTHER storm that started last night and dropped another 10 and a half inches on us. Tom and I did a lap to the grocery store yesterday and helped free a stuck cabbie from a snow plow pile. (You know, I underestimated my efforts at the time — by my shoulders and arms are SUPER SORE today…) Last night we played in the snow and today we even went for a forty minute “jaunt” in our blizzard. It was a little nuts to say the least.

I have been off work since last Thursday and work was canceled for tomorrow. That’s a FULL week since I’ve been in the office. I feel like I should have logged more than one run. I’ve had the best intentions to run Monday, Tuesday and Today. Something about me just doesn’t want to go to the gym. It could be that my hours of traipsing through the snow have taken it out of me. Or, it might be the fact that I know I won’t feel that same enjoyment of running on a treadmill (and running outside is an entirely unrealistic proposition right now unless I want to go to the hospital for a break or sprain due to ice/packed snow). I really, really should run tomorrow.

However, Tom and I have a snow adventure plan and I honestly plan to let that take precedence. Running would be excellent for me. But snow like this doesn’t come around often. I intend to take full advantage of it while it’s here.

I don’t know if the By George 5k will still take place on Saturday. They emailed saying it’s up in the air. I know that if it does take place, I can run it so I’m not too worried there. It won’t be entirely pretty, but I’ll definitely finish. That has also killed my motivation to get another practice run in before the race.

So, here’s to the snow! Once it’s gone, I’ll return to my regularly scheduled runs. 🙂

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Making good habits

Someone once told me that, to make a habit stick, you need to stick with it for three weeks. Well, count me as 1.5 weeks down. Almost two weeks ago, I made my new running schedule and set new goals (time, distance, calories) for myself. I met them last week and blew them out of the water this week!

I aimed to go running three times and I did. The best part is that I had aimed to run 7 miles with one of the runs peaking around 3.5 miles. (More on the “short distance bad habit” I’ve developed in a minute.) Instead I had: 1.5, 2.88, and this morning 4.15!! Yes, that’s right folks, my longest distance to date! It was  fairly slow — I think it took me about 42:30 to run it, but I did it!

I wanted to run 3.5-4 miles two to three times before the By George! on 2/13. One down! I just decided I wasn’t really going to worry about time and would more just go for getting the distance under my belt. Lately my gym has been really crowded in the evenings and since it’s too dark to run outside (without risking limb and life) I’m limited to exactly 30 minutes on the treadmill. I don’t want other people around me suffering an acute case of treadmill rage like I have! I took advantage of the empty gym today and made that mileage happen!

My new bad habit? Running short distances. I’m THRILLED that I can run 1-2 miles now without it feeling daunting. However, when I do that, I’m not getting the proper amount of cardio. I need to keep reminding myself that I need at least 30 minutes of cardio to lose weight and burn fat. While I am thrilled that running is no longer a beast of burden, I need to stop cutting it short. Running a mile or two is fine if I’m using it for a prelude to weight lifting. But, I need to remember that I should be ensuring that I get 30+ minutes at least three times a week.

To keep myself from getting bored (and hopefully go easier on my knees), I’m taking on THE SHRED again! Oh yes, the twenty minute workout that makes me its bitch. I’m aiming to shred 3-4 times a week until the wedding. I hope to pair it with an additional twenty minutes of cardio or weight lifting. (I also have Jillian Michael’s No More Trouble Zones which I can’t wait to put into use.)

In my ideal world my weekly work out total would look like: three runs (mileage 7-10 miles), 3-4 shreds, 2-3 weight sessions. It’s easy for me to couple a short run with a shred or with weights or shred with weights. Hopefully these numbers will all equal out to four or five work outs a week. (Here’s to hoping the wedding will motivate me since it’s less than two weeks away!)

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