Sunday, January 31, 2016

Back to early mornings for the week

My sleep has gradually deteriorated ever since I stopped running in the mornings and sticking to a strict sleep schedule.  Early this week, it deteriorated to the point where I ended up with insomnia.  Took me forever to fall asleep, and then I was waking up frequently and having a hard time falling asleep again.  So I went for my typical insomnia cure : get up early to run and no naps.  It worked.  I slept 10 hours last night and it was glorious.  I got up early on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday for runs.  On Thursday I woke up a minute before my alarm.  On Friday I woke up 65 minutes before my alarm, and decided I may as well get up and use the extra time to run further. It was snowing on Friday morning, big fat flakes that looked pretty while they fell gently from the sky.  But it was also a sticky snow, and I kept getting giant snow balls building up under the heels of my shoes so that it felt like I was running in high heels.  Stomping wouldn't get ride of them, so I kept having to stop to scrape my feet along the pavement til they came off.  It was highly annoying.

Today, it was sunny and almost 50 degrees, I definitely enjoyed my hatless, gloveless, run!

This week : 
T : sweatfest 52:59 / 12 miles
W : 4.5 / 8:35
R : 6.4 / 8:32
F : 10 / 8:52
Su : 6.5 / 7:43
total miles run : 27.4
total miles bike : 12

Snow Day Adventure

I had a snow day on Monday because the roads still weren't quite clear enough for everyone to make it to school.  And I don't think our parking lot had been plowed out in time either.  Turns out Holly just happened to have the day off from work as well, and we were long overdue for a photo adventure, so we took advantage of our mutual day off!  We decided to go out to the State Forest to play around with our cameras.

We could see a bridge from the road that we wanted to get to, but there was no sign of the trail to the bridge.  It was buried under knee deep snow.  My boots almost come to my knees... After some deliberation, I decided that I would blaze a trail.  I got a good bit of snow in my boots, but it was worth it because we had fun taking photos jumping off a log we came across, and I ended up wading into a stream to take photos too.  Always fun to go in the water.  (I have the awesomest boots ever)

timing level : advanced

timing level :expert

timing level : fail
The camera was blinking and beeping and Holly asked when to jump 
and then the camera started clicking and I screamed "now!" 
And I leaped off the log, leaving a confused and entertained Holly behind.

Because who wouldn't want to stand in a stream in January 
when everything is under 18 inches of snow?

Sunday, January 24, 2016

It's A Winter Wonderland

I took yesterday off from running to dig out my car instead.

Before.  I had to shovel over a foot of snow off the walkway just to get to my car.

After about an hour : about 3/4 of the way around my car is clear.

And then a guy from across the street pitched in with another shovel, and a neighbor with a snowplow pushed most of the snow out from in front of my car.  Then I was able to pull out and back down the road so he could plow the whole parking strip. 
And then it snowed about 3 more inches. 

Today : my back feels like it's being stabbed by a bunch of knives whenever I move.  Didn't stop me from running though!  Roads are still 95% covered in snow, but I strapped my ice spikes onto my shoes and only had trouble in a few spots that had looser snow that slid under my feet.  Most places the snow was packed down well enough that my spikes worked perfectly.

This week : 
M : 4.3 miles / 7:33
3.3 miles / 7:01 (solo pub run)
T : 6.2 miles / 7:42
R : 4.3 miles / 8:05
F : 4.4 miles / 8:24
Su : 4.4 miles / 8:26
total miles : 27

There was no school on Monday because it was bitterly cold and the school ran out of heating oil.  I suspected that no one would show up to the pub run, and I knew I wouldn't want to run 6 miles in the frigid night air, so I ran a few miles earlier, and then ran a fast solo pub run.  Tuesday's run was also bitterly cold, I found that a 10k was about the most I could handle in normal running layers.  It snowed Wednesday afternoon, and the roads were a mess of slush, snow, and black ice for Thursday's run.  The winter storm hit early Friday morning, I went running around 8:30 AM in the pouring snow with several inches already on the ground.  I would have run longer, but I spent over 1/2 mile running into the wind which was blowing needle like snow straight in my face and it was unpleasant enough to make me decide to be done.

after Friday's run

it requires two shoe laces for each foot to rig on the ice spikes, 
but once they are secured to my feet, they are awesome

In other news, my car title came in the mail in the middle of the blizzard on Friday!  
So happy to be done with car payments!!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Made it to lucky #13!

It's been 8 long months since my last half marathon, but I finally achieved a 13+ mile run!  I planned a 9 mile loop for yesterday, but as I set out I was feeling good and thought that maybe I would be able to run a half marathon.  I decided that I would not look at my watch until I started to fatigue, and then I would see how far I had gone, and decide how much further to go.  My initial 9 mile loop had some long climbs but I was still feeling strong when I got back to town, so I kept going.  When my loop brought me towards downtown again, I was starting to get a bit tired, and I decided it was time to look at my watch so that I would know if I had gone far enough to just head home, or if I should add another neighborhood or two.  I glance at my watch showed that I was at 12.25 miles.  Tempting as it was to try for 15, I decided not to overdo it.  I got home at 13.4 miles, feeling tired, but overall good.

This week : 
M : 6.6 miles / 8:09
T : 4 miles / 6:54
W : 6.2 miles / 7:47
R : 6.2 miles / 7:53
Sa : 13.4 miles / 8:12 / 1093 ft
total miles : 36.4

There were three of us for a frigid Pub Run this week.  We all stayed together for the first two loops, then one runner headed in while the remaining two of us did a third lap.  Then the second runner headed in, and I picked up the pace for a fast last loop.  

I originally expected Tuesday to be a day off.  I had an appointment with the dentist at 4:15 to get this tooth business finished up.  (The dentist recommended another whitening treatment or two, but I really wanted to be done.  My tooth may not be perfectly white, but it's good enough for me.  I just wanted to be done.  So I told her to close it up.)  There was snow forecasted, and it was looking like it might get messy.  The dentist is a little over 30 minutes away, and I did not feel comfortable with the idea of having to drive back home if the snow got bad.  I was able to move my last class of the day earlier, and finished teaching at 2:30.  I called the dentist to let them know that I was worried about the weather and could be there by 3:15 if they could fit me in earlier.  They said ok, so I headed out.  It was starting to snow as I headed there, but the ground was pretty warm, so it wasn't really sticking.  While in the office, I could see the snow starting to accumulate, but then the sun came out.  I got my tooth all sealed up and headed home in the sunshine.  Since my appointment had been moved earlier, I got home with plenty of daylight left and decided to take advantage of it and run.  I chose to do a shorter/faster run.  It started snowing during my run, and by the last mile, the footing was getting slick.  I had a great run, and am very glad that I was able to move my appointment, because if I had kept the 4:15 appointment my drive home would have been hazardous.  At that point, I was mere days away from paying off my car, and there was no way I was going to risk crashing it!

Wednesday's run was good.  I knew my legs needed Thursday off, but it was a bit warmer out and I wanted to enjoy a hatless and gloveless run.  By the end of the run there was no doubt that I absolutely needed Friday off though.  

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Sweet Potato Cheese Ball

I'm sure it has been far too long since I made a food post.  But meals on a tight budget tend towards the unimaginative and unexciting. However, I wasn't going to let that budget get in the way of having yummy food at my annual New Year's Eve dinner party!  I made a bunch of pizzas because they are easy, cheap, and delicious.  And I decided I wanted to make a cheese ball for an appetizer, because I've never made one and it seemed like a good idea.  I turned to Google for inspiration, and found this recipe.  Of course I modified it.

Sweet Potato Cheese Ball
8 oz cream cheese
1 large sweet potato
garlic powder
mustard powder

Let the cream cheese reach room temperature.  Boil the sweet potato, and then mash it.  I used a food processor to get the lumps out of the sweet potato, then I added the cream cheese, a shake or two of mustard powder, a very generous amount of garlic powder, and about a tablespoon of honey. Once it was all blended up, I scraped it into a container and put it in the fridge.  Hours later, I scooped it out onto wax paper and molded it into a ball.  That turned out to be a good plan, I was able to form the ball by manipulating the wax paper around the cheese, and kept my hands clean.  I put the wax paper encased ball into the fridge for another couple of hours.  Then, I removed it and rolled it in crushed cashews.  

It was ridiculously tasty.  There is still some left, I'm using it as a sandwich spread. 

Happy New Year!

Adding on the miles

It feels so good to finally be running 5 days a week again, and to have my weekly mileage increasing! Monday's Pub Run was cold, with some snow and ice on the ground, but 4 of us made it out for a run anyway.  There was still some ice on the ground for Tuesday's run.  Wednesday I spent all my free daylight hours at the dentist's office, so I didn't run.  Thursday we had a 50 degree heat wave and I was feeling good, so I added a few hills to my route, and pushed the pace.  It felt really good to run hard.  Friday I chose to keep it to an easy jog.  Saturday I wanted to get a longer run in, but I wanted to keep hills to a minimum because my left quad has been sore, and hills are aggravating it.  It is hard to get mileage around here without hills, but I kept it as flat as I could.  Happily, it was my first longer run where my legs did not start protesting as soon as I got above 8 miles!  It is tempting to run today, but I think 5 days a week is probably enough right now, especially with the number of miles I got this week.  Rest days are important too...

M : AM : 4.1 miles / 8:01 pace
PM : 4.6 miles / 7:40 pace
T : 6.3 miles / 7:41 pace
R : 6.5 miles / 7:22 pace
F : 5.7 miles / 7:41 pace
Sa : 9.6 miles / 7:38 pace

total : 

 Tooth update : yesterday I ate a sandwich like a normal person for the first time since crashing my bike 6 weeks ago!  Words cannot adequately express how nice it is to be able to pick up my sandwich and bite it instead of chopping it into bite-sized pieces and eating it with a fork!  I'm not biting apples yet, but that's ok.  Chopping up my apples doesn't bother me nearly as much as chopping up my sandwiches. 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

out with the old, in with the new

Goodbye to 2015, hello to 2016.  A 30+ mile running week plus my first bike ride since face-planting pavement almost 5 weeks ago.  I'm trying to start adding some "speedwork" into my runs.  The primary purpose for that is to try to build my lungs back up.  I can't keep jogging forever, I really want to be able to race again.  I'm afraid to pound my feet too much yet, but as I learned today, I can't actually go that fast anyway because my lungs are stupid.  

On Monday, I made it about 1 minute into the Pub Run and then realized that I had forgotten to use my inhaler.  I ran the whole 4.3 miles anyway, but it was slower than usual, and my lungs were definitely struggling a lot.  I was doing ok on the flats as long as I stayed focused on breathing, but anytime I would try to talk, or anytime we went up a hill, it got really hard for me.  Still, it is nice to know that I can survive without my inhaler (and I was able to recover without it as well). 

Today, I decided to do 4x400 "sprints."  They were basically just a lung workout.  My legs thought it was a joke, but my lungs were hurting.  I had hoped to add more sprints later in the run, but my lungs were having none of that.  


Saturday was Daryn's birthday and his memorial service.  I carpooled to the service in Ohio with a couple of other people.  There ended up being 7 of us from Lewisburg who made it out there, so we all went out to dinner together afterward to celebrate Daryn with pizza and beer.  He probably would have liked for us to sing German drinking songs, but we settled for singing him Happy Birthday instead. 

Johnson Farm Photoshoot 12/20/2015

It wasn't the prettiest or warmest day that we had during December, in fact I think it was one of the coldest.  But a bunch of people came out for the photoshoot anyway, and we had a good time.

this one is definitely my favorite