Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Time for Training

So, as you know, I talked Elizabeth into running the A1A half marathon with me, and that means we're officially training! We're actually a few weeks into it, but I wanted us to have our flow underway before I wrote too much about it.
Want to run in gorgeous February weather along the beach with me and Elizabeth and Kristina?! Don't forget you can get a 15% discount by using ALI at checkout!
We put together a plan that I think will work for a first time half-marathoner; it's the running plan I used when I finally trained properly for a half. We run four miles three times during the week, always including the bridge. (We don't do special speed work or repeats; we just make sure our four miles includes the bridge twice.) Our long run is always done easy on a flat route. Then, we fit cross-training into our schedule a couple times a week and give ourselves a rest day.
Someone asked about our bridge's specs. It's about .9 miles from end-to-end and the elevation is +16 feet.
We're both in the honeymoon phase of feeling really excited and ready to totally nail this plan.

Ask me how I feel in a few more weeks.

After capping my runs at 10 miles (and usually going 8 or 9), seeing 13-15 mile runs on my calendar is a bit daunting. The first few long runs haven't been mentally easy; a big part of me hasn't been motivated to run that far, and I've had to rearrange my mindset so I can be mentally ready for running long again!
Yes, this. If I'm being honest, while mentally running long has been daunting, but physically it hasn't been that difficult. Yet.
I guess this means my year of short distance is mostly over. Still, I think I've successfully rekindled my appreciation for 5ks and plan to run them more often; this half doesn't have to change everything!

Anyway, we have our plan totally mapped out. We've planned a 15-miler because Elizabeth really wants to "beat" her brother's longest distance (a half) and 15 sounds like a "good distance" to her. That means it will be the farthest I've ever run during half training; I'm interested to see the results.
We sketched out our long runs one day during lunch. Elizabeth said her students' reactions to the mileage were hilarious.
We don't have any time goals, although I think realistically we could come in around 2:20 without much trouble; we plan to run the entire race together and just have fun. It's hard to race and talk, so chances are we'll keep a nice, conservative pace...

Then again, seeing Elizabeth's paces lately, we may gun for a PR. Who knows! I know I'm "helping" her train for her first half, but really I'm just helping her run through her boredom. She's more than capable of running a half without my guidance! I'm just along for the ride.

Are you training for anything right now?
Do you like to create your own training plans?
Have you ever mentored/trained a running buddy in a distance that's new to them?


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Weekly Workouts 11/21-11/27

Monday: Because of our aborted long run on Sunday, we used Monday to run our usual 4 miles on the bridge. I felt much better and the run went well. I'm not sure why I felt so sluggish on Sunday, but luckily whatever it was passed.
Tuesday: I created an upper body circuit that absolutely killed us. It looks easy enough, but my arms (specifically my triceps) were still sore four days later!
My left arm literally buckled and I face-planted during my last round of shoulder-taps.
Wednesday: We didn't have work, so we made up the missed long run. 11 miles at a 10:26 pace. This is Elizabeth's longest run to date and it went really well! I felt strong; a little ready to be done toward the end, but we didn't need to walk or slow our pace.
I don't know why the quality of this photo is so awful. Maybe my camera lens was sweaty?
We walked once at 6.2 miles (I ate a Gu) and once at 7.5 (water/bathroom). Otherwise we just kept it moving!

Thursday: Thanksgiving! I rested and ate a whole bunch of food.
Three pies, cupcakes, carrot cake...In our house, we only eat dinner so we can have dessert.
Friday: 4 miles. In my parents' neighborhood there's one decent hill so I made sure to incorporate it into my run twice, in lieu of the bridge. Elizabeth sent me her splits and they were insane. She's getting fast! I think I may be slowing her down these days!
Saturday: Stretching, planks, rolling...just an easy recovery day.
Charlie got in on my workout, too.
I was also the guest Instagrammer on Skirt Sports on Saturday, so that was really fun! If you didn't get to see my posts, you can still go on their account and catch up.

Sunday: Unplanned rest day. I was supposed to run 9 miles but visiting friends, traveling home, doing laundry, and grocery shopping had to be prioritized.

Total mileage: 19

Considering the mid-week long run and the fact that this was a holiday week, I feel pretty good about my workouts!

Did you have a good week and a good holiday?


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

My First Skirt

How's this for something a little different for today's Tuesdays on the Run link up? About a month ago it was my turn to share my "first skirt" story on Skirt Sports's blog. It was a fun experience to write for a different blog and to contribute to the Skirt community.

If you're interested in reading my post about getting my first skirt, click below!
Click here to read the full story!
Looking back on this experience, I realized that wearing my running skirts will always be a connection to my mom and my first marathon. It's funny how even the simplest material things can evoke so many memories and emotions, and take on more than just their physical meaning.

(By the way, if you want to treat yourself, Skirt Sports is having their 70% off sale right now, and as always you can use ABK20 on regularly priced items for a 20% discount, too. I wish I lived somewhere colder because their Toasty collection looks amazing.)
Tell me about a simple gift you've received that's taken on more meaning for you.


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Weekly Workouts 11/14-11/20

Monday: Rest. I should have done some core work but I was just...lazy. (Later in the week I started to feel really run down. Maybe this laziness was a sign I'm developing a little cold.)

Tuesday: 5am run over the bridge (4 miles)! We had our first volleyball game this evening so I had to get my run in early. Very solid paces. I'm enjoying this cooler weather that's finally come our way!
During this run I needed to take a walk break or two because my stomach was upset for some reason. I ended up feeling sick throughout most of the day. I'm not sure why I got sick, but it happened again on Sunday's run.

Wednesday: Volleyball practice and 4 miles over the bridge again.
Thursday: Rest and our second volleyball game!

Friday: Another morning run (4 miles, bridge) as I had plans in the evening. Getting up at 4:25am isn't too bad once you're moving, but it takes a lot of willpower! Our splits on Friday were INSANE.
Saturday: Rest. I was supposed to do a core workout but I didn't feel great...I went out and saw Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them instead.

Sunday: I woke up before my alarm feeling congested and kind of gross. I texted Elizabeth to postpone our long run (11 miles) and we tried to go at 4pm. I had to call it quits early on. My stomach rebelled, my head and lungs felt congested...just not good.
We're planning to try again on Wednesday morning because we don't have work.

Total Mileage: 14 miles.

This week didn't go as planned in a lot of ways, but I am really proud of us for getting two morning weekday runs in and for those amazing splits! Consistent bridge running is paying off already!


Friday, November 18, 2016

Friday 5!

Today I'm linking up with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy to share five things that make morning running awesome.
Elizabeth and I had to do two weekday runs in the morning this week due to volleyball and other evening plans, so we were up at 4:30 and running by 5am on Tuesday and Friday this week. It made me remember why morning runs (besides our long runs) are sometimes just what I need!

1. Paces. We are pressed for time in the morning so we're less likely to dawdle. Plus, studies show that most runners run faster in the dark.
I did not know we had this in us...bridge included!
2. Open evenings. When you run in the morning, the rest of the day is totally open. I like knowing I can come home and nap or take my time making dinner, etc, because I don't have to get dressed and go back out to run at 6pm.

3. Weather. It's been in the low 60s in the mornings, which has been really nice for running of course!
I could get used to this.
4. Sustained energy. When I run in the morning, that energy and adrenaline seems to last throughout the rest of the day. I just feel better and more alert over all after a morning run.

5. Bragging rights. There's nothing quite like watching someone's face when they hear you woke up at 4:30 to get your run in.
I don't mean to brag, but...
I'm not going to be a morning runner all the time because I do value my extra hour of sleep on some mornings, but mixing it up this week reminded me of the benefits. I think I'll try to work morning runs into our schedule once in awhile as we continue training for A1A.

Do you like morning or evening runs better? Or do you prefer to mix it up?


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Bonita Springs Film Festival

My multi-talented husband often takes video when he's out paddling. When he heard the theme for the Bonita Springs Film Festival's short film contest was Bonita beaches, he knew he had to enter. His film was chosen as one of the top 20!
So, a couple weeks ago we had an excuse to get all dressed up, walk the red carpet, drink champagne, and watch those films on the big screen. I left volleyball practice a bit early, changed at his ceramics studio (which is now on Etsy!) and off we went to the festival.
Not bad for a 20-minute primp after a full day of work and volleyball practice!
It was a fun event. There were hors d'oeuvres passed around, complimentary champagne, fruit, and cheese plates. I wasn't sure if the festival was truly "black tie" but Matt wanted to wear his suit so I agreed to match him.
We fancy.
The screening lasted about 3 hours. We watched a reel that showed a snippet of every film entered into the festival, and then we watched all 20 finalists in full. It was so cool to see Matt on a real movie screen!
Excitedly awaiting the start!
There he is, 20 feet tall!
His film did not win - there were some really talented filmmakers in the mix! - but it was really a special experience. He's debating entering next year. He's not as inspired by the theme (historic Bonita) but I think he has a taste for fame.
Of course we voted for his but some of the other films were seriously great!
Here's his movie if you're interested. It's about 5 minutes long and features him and his race team surfing in the waves churned up by Hurricane Hermine.
Have you ever entered into a film festival?
When's the last time you got dressed to the nines?


Sunday, November 13, 2016

Weekly Workouts 11/7-11/13

Monday: I did this circuit, albeit modified and only twice. My legs felt a little tired from Sunday's long run, and I wanted to focus more on upper body than legs, so I modified the jumping moves and focused mostly on arms and planks.

Tuesday: 4 miles over the bridge. This run was fast because I wanted to be home in time to shower and watch election results. Needless to say, the energy flatlined quickly once results started coming in.
Wednesday: 4 miles after volleyball. This run was a lot more sluggish. I've found in the past that running while grieving is really hard for me, and I knew this run would be therapeutic but not easy, and it wasn't. It was nice to be with Elizabeth and vent our concerns out loud, though.
Thursday: Upper body at volleyball. I did quick feet with the girls during warmups, then set for them and spiked at them for about 45 minutes. My arms are still sore two days later!
This was us, except instead of just touching the floor we dropped all the way down and then pushed up. My armpits hurt!

Friday: Another 4 miles over the bridge. Steady and decent run...not much to report! We did have some interesting splits.
Neither of us are feeling good enough to take our usual runfies this week.
Saturday: Rest.

Sunday: Too tired after a girl's night out to run in the morning, Elizabeth and I met for a rare evening long run. We did 9 miles at a 10:21 pace. We both felt really good; no fatigue or aches until the very end.
This is only week two of training for this half, so I have a good feeling about February!

Total mileage: 21


Thursday, November 10, 2016

I'm Grieving, but I'm Ready to Fight

How do you write a post about this? A few of you have, and they're honest and poignant and so well-said. I feel so emotionally fragile right now that I don't think I can do the one thing I can always rely on: use my words. So I'm sorry if this is wordy and rambling and messy. This is all my head and heart could do right now.

I am devastated. Over the last few days, I've cried dozens of times. I'm a person who's interested in politics - my parents raised me to care about the state of the world and my impact on it - and because my friends know that about it, it means that my phone was blowing up and my notifications were haywire on Tuesday. I had to turn it off and sit in the dark. I'm still being tagged in political posts and sent messages of "have you seen this?!" and I just am ignoring everything right now because I can barely function as it is.

Tuesday, I fell into a restless sleep until Matt came to bed at 2:30am. I rolled over and asked, "Is it bad news?" And he whispered, "Yes." And then we just clung to each other.

Like grief, it's hitting me in waves. I'm crying as I hear kids as young as 6 and 7 coming off the buses at school, talking about how much they don't like him, that he's mean, that they're scared. Their little faces are so worried and drawn. I cry behind my sunglasses.

I check my phone midday and it's a gut-punch to see his face on my twitter, my Facebook, in texts. Volleyball takes me mind off it; I cry on the way home. I go for a run - it helps a little. I cry in the shower after.

And it needs to be said: white women were complicit in this outcome. He couldn't have won if they hadn't voted for him. A much-too-high percentage of educated white women voted for this monster, and I am ashamed. I will do better to do more next time.

And I - as a white woman whose minority status can so easily be hidden - I don't feel I have a right to be as hurt as I am. But I am not grieving for myself. It does hurt, to know that once more people will choose a man, no matter how truly vile, over an eminently qualified woman. But what hurts more is thinking of those whose lives will be undoubtedly and horrifically altered by this reality.

I think of Elizabeth, who worries for her immigrant husband and step-daughter. I think of Scott and Robby, just months ago so glad they could be legally married anywhere and adopt children in the future. I think of the few Muslim students at our school who have always stood out due to their hijab and who now may be fearful of that fact. I think of the 80% of our students who are immigrants or first-generation Americans. I think of my friends battling chronic illnesses that, thanks to Obamacare, they finally had under control and could afford to treat. I think about my friends' young children and the wasteland our world may become in their lifetime because of climate change denial. Not to mention the global threat of war and economic collapse that we're looking at if this president-elect keeps ties with Russia, flouts the UN, and treats our allies like garbage. I think of the strangers in these situations, people I've never met and never will meet, living in earnest, genuine, and justified fear because of the hatred and violence this man has sown.

This man, who will be our president.

This man, who has the House, Senate, and at least two seats on the Supreme Court on his side. We're looking at decades of damage in our future.

To leave this country would be to let them win, to let regressive policies and dangerous racism take root. I imagine the Jews in 1930s Germany whose neighbors hid them in their walls and beneath their floors and did what they could in the face of fascism, and I want to be that person who will put myself on the line for what is right.

I hope it never comes to that, but this tide of hatred won't be easily reversed.

So what can we do now? Donate to organizations that fight hate. Tell those in your life who may be targeted that you love them and are thinking of them. Touch base with them frequently. Don't be silent. Keep speaking up against the propaganda, the lies, the people who tell you that you must respect this man because now he is president.

I refuse to cower. This election lit a fire in me because I truly admire and respect Hillary Clinton and knew she would be the best president - not just this year, but any year. The harsh reality of her losing proves to me how much we needed her to win, and that we still have a long way to go in this country.

I am heartbroken, but in time I will rise again stronger, angrier, smarter, and ready to fight.

Organizations to consider donating to: Environmental Defense Fund, Planned Parenthood, Human Rights Campaign, and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Please, if you know organizations that will help in this fight, post them in the comments below.


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Runners' Acronyms

My friend and Sub-30 Club founder Ted Spiker wrote an article recently that I just had to participate in. Runners really have their own language, but this is something totally different!

Ted's instructions are to edit the answers to reflect your running life. My answers are below. (The links are references and various Runner's World articles for those who are interested in the acronyms' origins.)

DNS: Did Not Start—No; I've never skipped a race for any reason.
DNF: Did Not Finish—No.
DNRTAL: Did Not Remember To Apply Lube—Oy, yes. The chafing on my bra-line that lasted weeks is a testament to that.
DFL: Dead Freaking Last—Not that I know of!
FFF: Finished Freaking First—Never.
BQ: Boston Qualified—LOL...no.
DQ: Didn’t Quit—Every. Single. Day.
POPOPOP: Pancake on Pancake on Pancake on Pancake—More like WOWOW. Waffle on waffle on waffle...Or COCOCO (cupcake on cupcake on cupcake...)
LYORP: Liked Your Own Race Photo—Yes! I've been lucky enough to have a few good ones.
It's between this one (finishing my first marathon) and the one below (finishing with my marathon PR). How can you not love photos that show the joy and relief of accomplishing such a thing?!
WAMTD: Wore a Medal to Dinner—I've worn a medal to brunch/lunch after a race. But never to dinner.
BTW: Bemoaned the Weather—For sure; about 9 months out of the year, really.
SSP: Shared Shoe Photos—Oh yeah!
TBT: Threw-up By Track—Ha, luckily no!
PR: Personal Record—YES! I'm still basking in joy over my marathon PR last February and my 5k PR in October.
PB: Personal Bartie—Yes! I feel special!
With Bart before the Space Coast Marathon!
CRAP: Certifiably Ruined a Porta-Potty—Haven't we all?
LOL: Leaked On Leg—Although I've tried, I can't seem to pee while in the middle of a run.
OMG: Ordered Many GUs—I've definitely ordered a giant box of Caramel Macchiato Gu from Amazon in the past.
Here's an old picture of Archie guarding my Gu from poachers.
BFF: Blessed with Fast Feet—Some days are more blessed than others.
BRB: Blisters Rubbed Bloody—Luckily no!
WTF: Waddled Through Finish—Not quite.
IDK: Injured Damn Knee—Ugh. Yes. Strengthening my hips and glutes has really helped with that, though.
EAT: Eulogized a Toenail—Yep, and boy was I proud!
I don't think it ever fell off, but it was bruised and nasty until it grew out! Also, how great is the quality on this old photo?!
GPBAJ: Got Passed By a Joggler—Not that I know of!

I'm sure many of you can relate!

Do any of these acronyms apply to you?


Sunday, November 6, 2016

Weekly Workouts 10/31-11/6

Elizabeth and I are officially training for the A1A half - remember, you can get 15% off the race by using coupon code ALI at checkout! - so I've decided to add total weekly mileage to my workout recaps.

Monday: Happy Halloween! We created a circuit to do at school. I had forgotten shoes and Elizabeth forgot her water so we were a bit limited in our exercises, but it ended up being a pretty good workout.
We did each exercise for 30 seconds and did the circuit 4 times.
Tuesday: 4 miles over the bridge. I've decided to use the same training plan I used the first half I really trained for and ran well. That means our weekday runs will all incorporate the bridge. It's a good way to build strength and speed without dedicated speed work.
First official run of training - done!
This run was kind of rough. I needed a walk break each time we finished our ascent, but I wasn't stressed about it because we have sixteen weeks to get strong, and I know running the bridge consistently will make it feel easy sooner rather than later.

Wednesday: 4 miles. Better! Only one walk break and much more consistent.
Thursday: Rest/volleyball. This was the night of Matt's film festival, so I didn't get a workout in.

Friday: 4 miles. This run felt awesome. We both felt very strong and ache-free. We paused at the top of the bridge on the second ascent because a motorcade was going by beneath us on the interstate! Tons of cop cars, town cars with American flags in the windows, and a big RV went by before I was able to get my phone out. A helicopter followed overhead. I think it was Tim Kaine because he was in town Saturday for a rally!
This was the best photo I could get of the motorcade.
Unfortunately, apparently bad luck with watches is just my thing now. My Garmin splits were all messed up and make no sense.
We ran 4 miles, but this turned up. 6 splits for a 4 mile run? The moving time and elevation aren't right, either. What did I do that made this turn up?
I think our last mile was quite fast and I wish I knew if the data were accurate.

Saturday: Rest.

Sunday: 7.15 miles. It's been since Sanibel that we've done a long run, so I was nervous but excited. This run means we're really training and that we completed our first week with flying colors!
Seven miles, easy 10:42 pace.
I'm not thinking about our paces at this point. We'll think about setting goals for A1A in January, but at this point I'm just happy to be training again! The run went really well - we didn't have to pause for any kind of breaks, and we just enjoyed ourselves and the run.

Total mileage: 19.

Did you have a good training week?


Thursday, November 3, 2016

I Built a Bed!

Matt's dad and Tammy bought themselves a new furniture set and offered to give us their old one. I was really excited because we don't have any matching bedroom furniture. (I should have taken a "before" photo of our bedroom but forgot. Bad blogger move!)

The only problem was that the bed frame was built for a boxspring to sit in, and with our new foam mattress, we didn't want a boxspring. We wanted a platform.

So, we made one. (We actually made a slat platform because it allows for more airflow, which is better for the mattress and for keeping cool at night.)
Matt says he doesn't like Snapchat, but he seems pretty into it here. Also, this is the most I've ever smiled while at Lowe's.
First, we assembled the frame and measured the length and width; we did some math to figure out how many slats we'd need and how long they had to be, then headed to Lowe's to pick them up. We chose yellow pine wood, which I read was sturdy and perfect for platform beds, and had them cut to size.

While Matt worked on changing out the light switch which would be hidden by the headboard (we made it a smart-switch so we don't have to reach it anymore), I laid the slats down and measured them to 3.5 inches apart. Tuft & Needle recommends 3-4 inches of space between planks, so that's what we went with.
After laying all the planks, it was time to drill! Matt made the drill holes and then I drilled in the screws.
I didn't know how to use the drill but now I'm a pro. I'm learning life skills over here!
I felt pretty dang proud once we were done! 
We lifted the mattress back on and made up the bed. All told, including dismantling the old bed frame and moving it, the trip to Lowe's etc, we spent about six hours working on it!
None of our pillowcases match. Don't judge us.
The bed is lower to the ground now, which I like, and it's super sturdy. No more sliding around on a wheeled frame! The best part is that now that our squeaky boxspring is a thing of the past, the bed is totally silent. It's a million times nicer to sleep in now!

We moved the old boxspring and frame into the guest room, so we officially have real beds in both guest rooms - no more inflatables! I feel like we're real adults!
This really wasn't a bad way to spend a Sunday. I felt accomplished and exhausted afterward...which was perfect, because I had a brand new bed to sleep in!

PS: You guys are so awesome for all your advice on getting used to my Garmin! I'm combing through the comments and trying out some new things!

Have you done any DIY projects lately?
What does your bedroom set look like?
When was the last time you got new furniture?