Monthly Archives: January 2012

BodyPump and Long Runs DO NOT MIX

At least not for me…I am SORE. And it’s already been two days since I did that.

I had a work event all day on Saturday and was on the go for 12 hours (including the drive there and back), so I saved my workouts for Sunday. Normally I like to do my run on Saturday so all I have to worry about on Sunday is BodyPump. It’s good to keep those things separate. However, this weekend I decided to do my normal Sunday BodyPump class at 2:15 followed by my 8 miler at 3:45 so I could fit everything in.

The new release of BodyPump is killer but I really like it. The music is good and the tracks have really made me feel the burn in new ways. The shoulder track is probably my favorite because the music is so darn weird. The lunge track HURTS and my legs were burning when I left the class. I should have known throwing 8 miles into the mix would be painful.

But I sucked it up and did it anyway. All things considered it was a great run, even though my fingers got a little frozen by the end. But I am STILL sore. Maybe I should learn to stretch…

I seriously hope this is putting me on a path to a sub-2 half marathon. I felt strong throughout the run and think I could have gone quite a bit faster. However I am NOT risking injury!!

After all this pumping and running I took Monday off since I could barely walk. My inner thighs were particularly mean. Today I did a nice and easy 5 miler to try and shake things out a bit.

I don’t think I could have run that first mile any faster. My legs were like lead!! Happy to get those miles in though..

As I was running I came across a major pet peeve of mine. FOUR women were walking side by side on the path in Bryan Park…they were taking up the ENTIRE thing! There was really no way for me to get around them without running off the path. They were so into their conversation that I don’t think they heard me coming. I even tried intentionally running on leaves and clearing my throat. I’m pretty sure I freaked them out as I ran past on the edge of the path. I hope they didn’t get hit by any bikers.

Path ladies.

They are kind of hard to see in that photo, but I had to document the moment. I decided to take a picture pretty far away so I wouldn’t completely freak them out if they turned around. Share the road!


Tomorrow’s supposed to be 70 and sunny. I’m crossing my fingers for the chance to run outside again! Let’s just hope my aching muscles can handle it…


Running Remix

This week I attempted to mix up my runs a bit. I REALLY want to run a sub-2 hour half in March, so speedwork and hills are on the agenda. Look at me…I sound like I know what I’m talking about. Ha.

Anyhizzle. Since I am the WORST morning person ever, I must reserve my runs for the evening. And thanks to mother nature/daylight savings, it’s usually dark by the time I want to run. So I take my booty to the gym most days. While the treadmill isn’t idea for speed and hills, I feel like I’m getting the job done. At a very minimum, I’m not running flat or steady, so it’s more than I did during past half marathon trainings.

Tuesday I planned my day around my run (an easy 4 miler). I saw that the weather was supposed to be ridiculously beautiful (sunny and highs of 65) so I told my boss I was going into work an hour early so I could leave an hour early. It was glorious to walk out at 4pm and see the sun still shining.

Look! A (blurry) tank top in January!

I whacked 4 miles out and it was SO NICE. And I was SO FAST. Nothin’ like a little sunshine and endorphins to make a girl happy as a clam.

Wednesday I jumped on the treadmill and attempted some speedwork. Thankfully I have a husband who used to run D1 track/cross country, so he told me what to do. I warmed up for 1 mile then ran .25 (400m) at a “fast” pace for me (8:20) then .15 at an “easy” pace for me (10:00). I repeated this process until I had finished 8 of the fast bits. This is called an 8×400 apparently. I covered 4 miles, including the warm up.

Thursday I went to BodyPump (the new release is killer…I especially love the shoulder track. The music is so weird) and then attempted a hill workout on the treadmill. I did a 5 minute easy warm up then set my pace at a steady 9:20 and upped the elevation every 2 minutes. After two minutes I’d take it back down to flat and run at the same speed for 2 minutes. Then I’d up the elevation for two minutes and repeat. I did this until I was done with 3 miles. I increased the elevation every other 2 minutes(that’s confusing, I know), so I ran at a 3.0 then a 3.5 then 4.0, etc all the way through 5.0.

All in all, an excellent running week! I’ve got 8 on the docket for the weekend…BRING IT.


Soup’s On!

For the past few weeks I’ve been wanting to try out a crock pot soup. It seems easy enough…throw some veggies, quinoa, and veggie broth into the pot and let it simmer for 6 hours.

I finally tried last night. The results were kind of blah, but it looked oh so pretty.

Here’s my recipe:

Throw into a crock pot…

  • 1 box of veggie broth
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • Frozen broccoli (as much or as little as you want)
  • Frozen tri-colored peppers (as much or as little as you want)
  • 1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 sweet potato (cubed)
  • salt and pepper
  • hot pepper flakes

Then cook on low for 6-ish hours. I ended up adding in the broth over time, as it seemed the quinoa was sucking up all the liquid. I ended up just using the whole box of broth plus a little water to make it more soupy.

BEFORE. So pretty.

I kept tasting the concoction along the way, and it just didn’t have much flavor. I thought the broth would make it tasty and flavorful, but it pretty much tasted like bland veggies.

AFTER. Looks like soup.

Next time I might add a bouillon cube or two, or at least figure out how to make it taste a little more like SOMETHING. I also ended up cooking some corn muffins but totally forgot to line the muffin pan. I used a silicon pan but they still stuck. We ended up just eating the tops of the muffins. Cooking fail #2.

This soup may taste like nothing but I think it’s got some potential. And now I have 3 giant Tupperwares full of the stuff…

Brian thinks I should try out for the show, “Worst Cooks in America”. I think I have a good shot!!

7 Mile Redemption

After a less than stellar performance at the gym on Friday, I was determined to kick some butt on Saturday.

It was rainy, cold and generally miserable, but I pushed myself out the door.

Seriously, thank goodness for this run. I really needed it to boost my confidence! I felt good the entire time and am really happy with my splits.

When I saw that I was averaging a 9:14 overall pace at mile 6, I knew if I stepped it up in the last mile I could break 9:10. A little motivation was all it took to get me through that last mile super quickly. I’m SO HAPPY. And I’m even HAPPIER that I did the run on Saturday and not today. It’s so much grosser out today…

I did manage to wind up with some nasty hat hair though. It was like a nest after the run.

Legit afraid of combing this out...

Oh and another totally weird thing happened on this run. I was running on the road (in a quiet neighborhood) and I saw a person walking on the sidewalk up ahead of me. I am generally paranoid about EVERYONE when I run, so I kept a close eye on him as I approached. As I got about 20 feet away from the guy, he completely wiped out. Totally fell into a puddle. I immediately stopped to ask if he was OK and he was definitely flustered. He looked to be a teenager and probably just stepped on the slippery sidewalk in the wrong way. I felt bad for him because he had no idea I was there until it was too late. I think I embarrassed him. But thank goodness he was OK; it was a pretty bad fall!

And now I’m off to eat some (hopefully) delicious soup. I am trying my hand at crock pot cookery. Full report tomorrow.

Why Can’t I Kick My Own Butt?

It’s Friday. I went to the gym after work…seriously, who am I?

That’s cool and all, but it was actually a total failure. There’s just something about the treadmill that totally demotivates me lately. I wanted to get in a 3 mile hill workout but ended up just doing 2.1 miles of straight UPHILL. Apparently that’s not the best way of going about hills and I had to couldn’t stop myself from throwing in the towel a mile early. Boo.

Then I moved on to a few machines with the intention of getting in some solid strength training instead. I got through chest reps and some lat exercises and then threw in the towel again. So not feeling it tonight.

As I was leaving the gym I realized something. I am completely incapable of kicking my own butt. I need a plan, a coach, a team, a class…SOMETHING to tell me what to do. That’s why BodyPump works for me. It’s an hour of planned and coached strength training with no need for me to think about what to do next. And that’s why the training team got me through two half marathons and a PR. Eureka!

I seriously can’t believe I haven’t thought about this sooner. I need to stick to classes and a solid running training plan and I’ll be A-OK.

Lightbulb moments are the best…

I'm figuring this running ish OUT!!!


Back on the Yoga Bandwagon

I had this weird urge to go to yoga tonight. And who am I to fight urges? Especially when they relate to working out (I usually DREAD working out, but never regret it).

So I packed up my yoga mat and headed to my local gym for a 7pm basic class. It was very simple, but felt really good. My body feels a lot more relaxed and stretched out. I can’t even remember the last time I did yoga but I remember it being a lot harder. I think all the BodyPumping has made me stronger!

I usually take Wednesdays as rest days, but I’m thinking yoga might be just what the doctor ordered.

Speaking of doctor’s, my stomach has been acting all kinds of crazy. Lately I haven’t been able to digest veggies. Like, total TMI, but they aren’t really breaking down if ya know what I mean. I did a little Googling and I might not be chewing enough. Weird. Let’s hope it’s just that and not my stomach flat out rejecting veggies.

And now I leave you with my creepy namaste…

Race Bummer and Race Win

I’ve been mentally planning to run a half marathon the weekend of March 17th for a long time now. I felt great after the half in November, and knew I needed a race to keep me motivated and running through the winter.

However, what I did NOT consider was the fact that races have this little thing call CAPACITY. And, lo and behold, the race I had my eye on is completely sold out. No Shamrock Half for me. Major bummer. When I first saw this on the race website I figured I could just run the Rock and Roll USA Half in DC instead, but it turns out that race is on the 17th – a Saturday – and I have a work event to attend. Major bummer number 2.

I’ve been training for a half on March 18th but wasn’t actually signed up for anything. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb!

What’s a girl to do?

Turn to Running In the USA and find a freaking race on March 18th!!!

And that’s just what I did. And boy did I find a good one (at least I hope so). In fact, I think this race might be BETTER for me than both the Shamrock and the USA race. Behold…

I'm doing the HALF.

I know absolutely nothing about this race except for the fact that it happens on March 18th in Cary, NC. And why is this race a better option for me than the other two? My parents just closed on a new condo in Raleigh, NC that is about 15 minutes from the start of this race. No hotel rooms to pay for and no outrageous Rock and Roll prices to pay for entry. And my family will get to cheer me on. Win. Win. Win.

I’m hoping this race is flat and interesting. I also hope the weather stays nice and cool…NC can be tricky sometimes. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that this is my time to shine for a SUB 2 HOUR HALF!

I celebrated my race registration with a speedy (for me) 4 miler on this lovely 63 degree afternoon. Yes, it was 32 on Sunday and 63 today. Thanks Virginia.

I felt fantastic the entire run, I think because I have a real RACE to run towards now.

Negative splits…who am I?!

Thinking about crossing the finish line makes me a very happy lady.

My BFF, Bryan (Park)

One of my favorite places to run in Richmond is Bryan Park. The back entrance is about a mile from our house, so it’s easy to get there from our front door. There are basically two loops in the park – a large and a small – and by combining these loops with the run to and from the park, I can squeeze in any number of miles.

A run to and from the park with one big loop is 4 miles. A run to and from the park with one big loop and one small loop is 5 miles.

Yesterday I had 6 miles on the docket so I ran to and from the park with two big loops and one small loop.

The park is relatively flat, but does have some nice rolling hills – a rarity in flat RVA. It’s totally paved, quiet but with just enough dog walkers/runners/bikers to feel safe, and well maintained. There are large fields often filled with soccer teams or bootcampers, as well as water fountains and picnic shelters. Living so close to the park has definitely made me realize that from here on out, we must ALWAYS live within walking/running distance from a park!



Hello pond.

This run was COLD. It was about 34ish degrees when I left the house and I definitely had to bundle up. I felt fine about 1.5 miles in, and probably could have done without the puffy warm vest. The sun was shining brightly, so as long as I was out of the shade it wasn’t too terribly cold.

Scowling and running and freezing and taking pictures. Difficult in combination.

Overall, this was a good run for me. I wasn’t that tired or sore or huffing and puffing at the end. I also managed to keep my splits relatively even. I’ve never been this consistent for so many miles. And I LOVE when my last mile is my fastest.

9:15 is apparently my sweet spot.

Now I’m off to do a little more spring winter cleaning and attempt to meal plan for the week.

Bye bye!

I scare myself sometimes…on purpose.

Last night I dressed up like a very scary zombie. And no, it’s not Halloween. BUT it was Friday the 13th. Dun dun dunnnnn.

My girlfriends and I decided it would be fun to attend a Monster Bash last night in honor of the “unlucky” day. Any excuse to get dressed up, right?

We went to TOWN. Who would have thought covering yourself in costume makeup and mixing up a batch of homemade blood would be so fun? I’m pretty sure we had more fun applying the makeup and taking a million photos than we actually had at the party.

Behold our scariness….

Just spreading the zombie love.

I’m in the back left. I think I looked more like a deranged clown than a zombie, but I was still pretty darn frightening. We made the blood with water, flour, red food coloring, cocoa powder and a little molasses. It was kind of cakey but looked so nasty. Perfect.

We're commmmming...

I didn’t realize we were so horrifying until we actually got to the bar later that night. People were STARING at us, especially since not many people were actually dressed up (maybe 25% of the crowd). It’s hard to remember you look so terrible when you feel totally normal. We ended up going to the bathroom at one point in the night and I legitimately scared myself when I looked in the mirror. No wonder people were staring.

One of my fellow zombie friends took a ton of photos on her camera, so I’ll share those as soon as they make it to Facebook. We put on quite the undead fashion show. In the meantime I’ll leave you with this gem of a couple’s photo.

Love at first bite.

Brian wore a weird wolf shirt and put the fake blood on his face. It looked like he was wearing a bloody mustache. Ewww. Totally a frame-able pic, though.

Can’t wait for the next zombie party!

Recent Runs

I totally slacked on getting in my scheduled 5 miler this past Saturday. I had a wedding to attend that day, and out of town guests staying with us, so I opted to push it to Sunday.

I ended up getting a nasty bout of IBS fun at the wedding, so my stomach felt a little off come Sunday morning. However, I forced myself to hit the pavement in an effort to stick to the schedule. I was able to use my Garmin, but now I can’t find the little updater stick thing!! Boo. I finished the run with a 9:22 or so average pace, but can’t show you the splits. Decent for me, especially with a tummy on the rocks.

Monday was BodyPump and Tuesday was my attempt at a treadmill 400 repeat run. I managed to do the fast 400s at a 7:53 pace and held on for 3 miles of repeats. I think I finished the 3 miles around 8:30 pace overall.

Yesterday was BodyPump followed by my attempt at a treadmill hill workout. Can you tell I’m trying to switch things up? I managed to increase the elevation by 2.0 every .25 miles for a solid 2 miles, then I took it down 2.o for another .25 and then for the last .75 ran flat. I kind of hated the whole hill thing, but I’m glad I did it. My pace was an average of 9:50.

Blah to hills.

I REALLY wish there was a 10k for me to run this weekend since I have 6 miles planned, but I guess I’ll have to go at it alone!

Happy Friday the 13th!!

Here's a weird dog to make you smile on this unlucky day!