Thursday, February 28, 2013

February Recap: Kind of a big deal

Before getting into the details of it, I have to stop and celebrate the big picture! I give you this:
February was my highest mileage month in 21 months. Twenty-one months! Since Cleveland 2011! 

Some details:
# runs: 13
# other workouts: 1
total miles: 65.4
thing that helped the most: hands down, the RW 2-hour half-marathon training schedule, as published a few years ago and clipped from the issue
thing that got in the way: being sick. From Friday afternoon until really yesterday mid-day, I was out of commission. I forced myself to go to work for a bit on Monday because I had a guest speaker coming in. Otherwise, I was useless. This wiped out last week's long run, Monday's easy run, and yesterday's speed work. 
current need: new running pants. Not tights, pants. Happily, I am finally working on this. (thanks again, Red!) 
bane of my existence: nothing really
current excitement: I am still absolutely loving my Brooks winter running jacket. It's awesome. Also, how to put this gently (NSFD: Not Safe for Dudes)....I have finally freed up a lot of time, rid myself of one machine, and we are slowly regaining freezer space. Bittersweet, and absurdly liberating. 
favorite run of the month: no question, my 9 miler. I was a little intimidated by it going in, and it turned out to be really enjoyable, not to mention empowering!! Of course, my run/yoga/bake event was also a lot of fun. I loved the pictures you shared!

March promises to be another big month, as I complete the training cycle for my April 6 half, the Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

What Makes Runners Different

You've all heard it: "You're running how far? You're CRAZY! I could never do that!" This conversation is so common that it doesn't merit mention anymore. But the exchange I had with a cashier at the grocery store this morning does.

For the past 24 hours, our region has been bracing for a supposedly huge winter storm. Most schools were closed today, even one area university (not mine), and there's been a run on grocery stores. The storm was scheduled to move in sometime late this morning and linger into tomorrow. So, like any sensible runner, I dropped my older son off at school this morning, then headed to the store to stock up on snow day snacks before heading home to get my run in.

At the store, I collected my stockpile of goodies (to which I later added hot chocolate and marshmallows):

Just as I was wrapping up the check-out process, the cashier said, "Try not to slip and slide on the roads out there!" I turned and looked out the front window of the store, then looked at him, "It's 30 degrees outside and dry as a bone. I'm going running."
Cashier: "In this weather!?!"
Me: "I've attended picnics* in worse weather."
To which I received a slightly horrified, disbelieving stare that clearly communicated, "this lady is out of her dang mind."

And you know what? I went home. I changed into running clothes. I ran, and it was great. Cold, not a strong wind, quiet, easy. A perfect 4 miles. 

And then I came home, changed again, worked for 20 minutes while the snow and ice started, then went back and picked up my son from school. I wasn't going to risk being on the roads with him after the ice & snow had accumulated for several hours. What do you think I am, crazy? ;)

* and by "picnic" I clearly mean "tailgate", the attendance of which, and the football game itself, rendered both fans and players "badasses" and "loyal", not "crazy people". Double standards, people. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Joanna's Loves Tri Report

Happy Monday everyone! Coming to you in today's Mondays in Love installment is a recap of my virtual triathlon: Run, Yoga, Bake. I had an absolute blast organizing, participating in, and reading your recaps of this event.

As for me, my Run, Yoga, Bake came in the form of some EZ miles Friday followed by a 9 miler on Saturday, yogahour with a friend later Saturday, and baking pepperoni rolls (a WV staple) on Sunday morning.

wow was I sore on Sunday!

Not everyone who participated submitted pictures, which is fine! But some of the pictures y'all sent in had me cracking up. 

Shelley is up first with, in her words, "a nice mid-one-hour-of-yoga plow shot (a phrase which made [her fiance] giggle)". Nice! But all joking aside, this chick has fairly recently taken up running, which she also sent a picture of. It warms my heart to see her finding joy in it!

The best story of the day goes to the ever-lovely Kdot, who sent in this endearing entry:

Part one: Yoga
We had another installment of family yoga hour this morning (approx 45 minutes of our favorite yoga DVD).  The girls are getting pretty good at following along, and absolutely insist on using the yoga blocks as recommended, even though they are at least a good 24 inches too short for this to be beneficial. It was good to get some solid stretching in.

Part two: Running
Immediately following the yoga session, our front doorbell rang.  I opened it (in my yoga garb) to a couple of very pleasant if not somewhat scandalized Jehovah's witnesses.  Being barefoot, I propped the door open a bit and chatted with them from in the house.  The cat took this as an excellent opportunity to escape out to the yard, so I had to cut the ladies short, pull a pair of rainboots from the hall closet and sprint after said cat through the neighbor's yard and back into our own.  Since that was legitimate, honest-to-God running (witnessed by apologetic evangelists, no less) I'll go ahead and count it as the first leg of my running for the day.  My actual planned "run" was 3.65 miles on an elliptical machine at the gym.  I could have gone for the treadmill, but my knees are still wonky sometimes and I just don't have time for that this week.

Part three: Baking
Apple galette - flour, butter, apples, more butter, and a little sugar on top. Served with whipped cream.  What more could a person want?

I also heard from several of you that my Joanna's Loves Triathlon inspired you to try yoga for the first time, or to remember to take time to enjoy the things you love, or to be active while gestating a human being! Thank you all so much for sharing my loves with me and sharing your stories about the weekend. This was such a joy for me. 

For those of you who commented on the blog, FB, or by email, I'll be in touch about prizes. Hopefully there is something in the mix that you'll like!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Joanna's Loves Triathlon NOW underway!!

Just a quick post to remind you that my virtual triathlon is happening NOW! You have from today through Sunday afternoon to participate in

(I don't have a personal photo of this and I'm honestly too tired to find one online that isn't copyrighted)


See my previous two posts for details, and don't forget to email pictures to!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Joanna's Loves Triathlon Training: 1 week to go!

I have been training hard for my upcoming Joanna's Loves Triathlon, have you? If it's not on your calender yet, add it! This blogger triathlon is this coming weekend, February 15-17. Just as a teaser, I picked up the (very modest) prizes today!!

This weekend was a MAJOR milestone for me: I ran farther than I have since, wait for it....the freaking Cleveland Marathon, which was May 2011!! I did this over eight mid-paced, glorious miles. I know, I know. After 3 marathons and many HMs, 8 miles doesn't sound like much, but it means a lot to hit this distance again. So proud!! And what's better is I held my pace and didn't feel pushed by the distance. I'm feeling good about this April half that's coming up...Also, I ran as many miles last week as I did in the whole month of November. Told you I'd be back! :)

Ok, ok, I didn't actually do any yoga this past week. But I did buy a new yoga top at Target. Does that count?

If running is good stress relief, so is baking. My go-to lately has been a simple chocolate cake with fresh whipped cream and blueberries on top, sometimes with chocolate syrup (I really should have taken a picture). There are few things simpler and lovelier than fresh whipped cream. I haven't bought Cool Whip in about 4 years and I never will again. One cup of heavy whipping cream, a teaspoon of sugar, and a hand or stand mixer and you're in business. Love. 

Nitty Gritty on the Joanna's Loves Triathlon
FAQ #1: How far do I have to run?
If it's far enough for you to call it exercise, I'm good with it!

FAQ #2: How long do I have to do yoga?
I'm going to say 20 minutes, but really, the answer from #1 applies here too.

FAQ #3: Do I have to do these activities consecutively?
You have all weekend to get the three parts of the triathlon done.

Once you've completed your triathlon, post a comment on the original post and, if you'd like, send me pictures to I'll post a few pictures and will pick some prize winners from the pictures submitted on Monday morning.

Train hard, race day is just around the corner! ;)