A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Weight Loss Wednesday: Planner as weight loss tool

No weigh in this Wednesday, as I’m on the road and hopefully flying home to Omaha from North Carolina today. Aside from big hair thanks to humidity and a blister from walking too much in heels this morning, it has been a great trip.

As I was working on some things in the hotel room last night, I was struck by the fact that despite my two iPhones (one for work, one personal), iPad and Windows Surface tablet/laptop, I still bring my big old school planner with me pretty much everywhere I go. Not only does it help me keep track of a lot of work and personal tasks, I also find it key in helping me manage my weight, my fitness and my other healthy lifestyle goals.

There's just something I love about putting pen to paper when I'm planning.

There’s just something I love about putting pen to paper when I’m planning.

Here are just a few of the ways I find it helpful:

  • I have a meal plan row in my planner (7 rows for each day of the week, that I got to customize). I love being able to see what’s going on that day and jot down the meal that works best with my time limitations or the kind of workout I’m going to do. It also helps when I’m making a shopping list, to have the meals planned out and know what I need at what point during the week.
I like having entries for all of the balls I have to juggle: work, family, personal, meal plans, workouts, etc.

I like having entries for all of the balls I have to juggle: work, family, personal, meal plans, workouts, etc. It’s emptier than usual this week because I’m traveling.

  • I also have a workout row, so I can make note of what is on the training plan and be sure I can fit it into the rest of my day. Having this in the same place as all of my other responsibilities makes it easier to plan for how early I need to get up or what I may need to move around to get it all done.Β  Scheduling my workouts just like I schedule meetings for work or doctors appointments helps keep me accountable.
  • Every month starts with a blank page for notes and that’s actually where I keep my goals for the month listed, along with any big projects I need to tackle. As I’m looking at that page all the time to be sure I don’t lose track of those big work projects, it also helps to remind me constantly of my other goals. In particular, seeing the “deep breathing exercise” goal for this month has made me stop and do the breathing every time I flip to that page, which has helped me to do that several times a day (I’m constantly in my planner).
  • There’s also a “month at a glance” big calendar at the beginning of each month, which I’ve used as a place to track my sticker chart when I’m working on a new habit (yes, I use stickers just like O). I have a little pocket in the back of the planner where I keep my stickers handy. πŸ™‚

I think giving my health and fitness goals equal page space with all of my other responsibilities helps me to remember that I have those commitments and responsibilities to keep to myself and that’s just as important as the commitments I make to other people. Also the act of writing rather than typing something into a calendar somehow makes it stick more for me, so I find I’m much more likely to keep those things I’ve written in the planner in the forefront of my mind rather than the things I just type into the phone.

Do you use an old school planner? Do you use it to help keep your fitness and weight goals on track? Share any tips you may have for keeping those things on your radar in the midst of our busy lives!


Tuesdays on the Run: I won’t run without . . .

I actually got to make this decision this morning, as I stood in my hotel room, not quite awake, trying to decide what I need to take downstairs with me for my run (nailed it! 4 X 1 mile strength intervals – only a little ache in the knee every once in a while). Treadmill runs are of course different from outdoor runs and both are different from races, so I found myself wondering what all runs, regardless of setting, had in common.

  • My shoes: I never intentionally head out for a run without my running shoes. I put a lot of miles on my feet and my joints and I know if I don’t take care of them, I’ll get hurt – possibly seriously. I always have two pairs available, so I can rotate them and also so I have a back up pair in case one gets too wet or muddy.
When I travel for work, my running shoes are actually the first thing in my suitcase. Talk about a lifestyle change!

When I travel for work, my running shoes are actually the first thing in my suitcase. Talk about a lifestyle change!

  • My phone: My phone serves lots of purposes. It can track my time and my mileage (although I don’t always use that option). I keep my workouts stored on my calendar in the phone and in a Google spreadsheet on the phone. It has mapping ability to help me when I get lost (happens more often than you’d think!). It holds my podcasts and music. It takes pictures of random things I see along the way for the blog. Most importantly, it helps keep me safe. I can call for help. I have my health info in the Emergency section in case something happens and I’m found unresponsive. It has the Road IDΒ  app so my husband can track where I’m running. I literally never run without it.
I think I could make myself run without my headphones in a pinch, but it would be tough. I do really like to have something other than myself to listen to.

I think I could make myself run without my headphones in a pinch, but it would be tough. I do really like to have something other than myself to listen to.

Situationally, there are a couple of other must haves:

  • Sunscreen if I’m running outside (I’ve really gotten much better about this!)
  • Something to read if I’m on the treadmill. I have the Kindle app on all of my electronics (iPad, both iPhones, Surface) so I always have a way to read with me. Yes, I’ve progressed to the point where I can even read a book on the iPhone in a pinch. πŸ™‚ It really makes the time go so much faster!
  • My little clip on blinky light when it’s dark – gotta stay visible!

That’s it. I have a ton of other stuff, but I can actually make do without any of it if I have to.

  • I’ve run without a sports bra in a bind, including a memorable 7 miles on the treadmill at the gym in my normal bra when I’d forgotten a sports bra and didn’t have time to go home. Ouch! I would not recommend this, but I also wouldn’t cancel the run if I forgot it again. Ditto for socks and any of my other running clothes – lovely and definitely what I’d prefer, but I could do without them if I had to.
  • I actually did almost all of my runs in May without a Garmin and it was actually really nice! I just enjoyed myself and ran as much and as fast as I wanted. I’m definitely going to make that tech break a regular part of my year.
  • Most runs I do without my pepper spray, but I’m definitely glad I have it for when I run in certain areas (although I generally just try to avoid places where I might need it!).

I’m sure my husband is wondering why I have so much running stuff when I only have two must haves. πŸ™‚ All of that other stuff just makes life easier (and cuter).

What are your fitness “must-haves”? Thanks as always to April, Patty and Erika for hosting the Tuesdays on the Run link up! Be sure to go check out everyone else’s lists. It may give you ideas for your upcoming Christmas list. πŸ™‚



Weekly Wrap Up: Mostly great, a little not-so-great

This week, I’m back in the lovely North Carolina for a work meeting. I lived here for four years and loved it, but apparently forgot about how to manage my hair in Southern humidity. πŸ™‚ I have very LARGE hair today. Ah well. I had some really fantabulous runs this week and like I mentioned Friday, felt like my lupus meds were kicking in enough that I could cut back on my naproxen. I’m grateful that the medication is kicking in – with less naproxen, I was definitely doing better than I was earlier this summer when this all started. However, I don’t think I’m quite ready to cut back. After two days of decreased doses, I started having knee and elbow pain again. Boo. Ah well, it’s still progress and I’m back on the twice daily naproxen, with hopes that I can try to wean it again in another month or so.


Monday My favorite workout on Monday is the mile I walked with Oliver from his doctor’s office (flu shot done!) to our local hibachi restaurant, where we were meeting Darrell for dinner. I just love that my kiddo likes to be active and will tell me that “walking is good for our muscles.” I also ran 3.1 miles later that night.

It got a little tricky because there was a section without sidewalk. West Omaha is not always walking friendly.

It got a little tricky because there was a section without sidewalk. West Omaha is not always walking friendly.

Tuesday I was nervous about this run and totally rocked it! It was a “strength” run, with intervals meant to be run 10 seconds below target race pace and a very limited recovery between the intervals. I’ve done a few of these so far and did okay with the 1 mile intervals, but had to take a brief walk break in the 1.5 mile intervals (just a few seconds, but disappointing nonetheless). This time, I nailed both 2 mile chunks at 11:06 pace without any walk breaks and even better, I felt like I could have done more! With a half mile warm up, 0.25 mile recovery and 1 mile cool down, I ended up with 5.75 miles for this run.

Wednesday Rest day, but thanks to my Lovely Ladies Losing It #LLLJedis streak challenge (30 minutes of exercise a day until the premiere of new Star Wars movie), I had to get some workout in. I did “Walk It Out” on the Wii with Darrell for a little over 30 minutes, which was tougher than I was expecting since Darrell only keeps the fast songs in the system!

Thursday Tempo run and thanks to rain, I was stuck doing this on the treadmill. I haven’t done any of these tempo runs, done at race pace per Hanson’s method, on the treadmill. I’ve been using these as real race simulation, with a 3 minute run and 30 second walk pattern that has nailed my sub-11:25 target every time so far. I had to look up the treadmill settings to do this pattern and hit that time (thank goodness for Google) and hit the treadmill to try it. I’m happy to say I came in under target for each mile and again felt like I could go on longer! I suspect part of the reason these two runs went so well is the fact that the treadmill is so much easier on my knees. I did 3 tempo miles, with 0.5 mile warm up and 1 mile cool down, for 4.5 total miles.

Friday 4 miles on the treadmill because it was raining when I woke up (flash-flooding kind of rain) and we had evening plans. I also got in a mile of walking with Oliver after the run. His preschool had a family movie night, where they projected Monsters Inc on a screen in the parking lot. I picked O up at the normal time and we walked up the hill to Chipotle for dinner before walking back down for the movie. I’m so proud of how well behaved my kiddo was at the movie! Lots of kids were up and running wild through the parking lot, but he stayed with us and wasn’t disruptive at all.

Saturday I set myself up for failure on Saturday’s long run (Saturday instead of the usual Sunday because I flew to NC Sunday). Because I was going out of town Sunday and Darrell & I had plans Saturday night, I really wanted to be sure I got some quality time in with O during the day Saturday. Rather than waking up early to run 11 miles and possibly missing the chance for breakfast with O, I decided I would wait for him to get up and go to breakfast with him. Good choice in the overall scheme of life, but I knew that meant I’d be stuck running on a brightly sunny afternoon with temps in the upper 70s/low 80s. I was okay with that and decided that rather than trying to run the middle 5 miles of the 11 at race pace (my original plan), I’d just finish the miles. What I didn’t anticipate was the affect a trip to the Pumpkin Patch would have on my legs:

O was a lot more active on this year's trip and we covered A LOT of ground - 7700 steps!

O was a lot more active on this year’s trip and we covered A LOT of ground – 7700 steps!

I blame the heat, the already tired legs and the two days without my nightly naproxen for the outcome of this run. The first 5 miles went reasonably well but somewhere between mile 5 and 6, I suddenly got a sharp knee pain that actually had me limping. That has NEVER happened. I walked for a while, but it didn’t go away, so I decided to just walk home. I was limping enough that I considered calling Darrell to come get me! After about 10 minutes of walking, it was gone so like the stubborn runner I can be, I tried to run again. I was liberal with walk breaks, but got to mile 8 before it started again. Again, I walked and turned for home and again it stopped after 5-10 minutes. I decided to loop around and head home anyway, rather than pushing for 11 miles. I ultimately ended up with 10.66 miles, which was close enough for me. My knee didn’t hurt at all Saturday night, which is good. I’m hoping it was mostly the lack of the naproxen, since knee pain was one of the symptoms I started having when the other lupus things started.

This little guy barked at me the whole time I was on his block and was so teeny and cute that I had to take his picture!

This little guy barked at me the whole time I was on his block and was so teeny and cute that I had to take his picture!

Sunday I was up at 3 am for my flight. Ouch! I did discover a yummy new snack on the plane:

I'm going to look up where to get these!

I’m going to look up where to get these!

By the time I got through the airport stuff and the first afternoon session of my meeting, I had 7000+ steps when I gave up and hit my room at the end of the day. I confess: I was tempted to call that enough workout for the day, but I was supposed to do 3 miles for recovery from the long run. Given my knee pain on Saturday and how tired I was, I decided to walk the 3 miles rather than run them. I’m glad I got them in, along with some hotel room yoga, before bed.

I’ve got 3-4 miles on the plan for today and planning to try an easy run on the hotel treadmill to see how my knee feels. Fingers crossed!

One thing notably missing this week was strength training. Bad Jessica! I also haven’t been as good about foam rolling lately. I brought my Stick with me to North Carolina, so I’ll be sure to work on that more the next couple of nights since my lack of maintenance of legs may also be playing a role in my knee pain.

This week, my NSV has been how well my clothes are fitting again. I’m back down to my upper-170s range I was in at the beginning of the summer, which is good, but beyond that, I’m noticing that things that were snug earlier in the summer are fitting much better now. Yay for body composition changes!

I was very excited by how much easier this dress zipped!

I was very excited by how much easier this dress zipped!

My good deed was ordering from our baby sitter’s son’s school fundraiser flyer. I didn’t need any of that stuff, but know how hard (and annoying) it can be to round up people to participate in those things so your kid doesn’t end up empty handed.

This is the last tough week of training before taper time! I have 4 X 1 mile strength intervals tomorrow, another 3 mile tempo run and a 12 mile long run on deck. I’m also going to work on not letting the stress of networking at this meeting for poor little introverted me drive me to poor food choices on the road. πŸ™‚

weekly wrap up

I’m linking up again withΒ Tricia and Holly for their weekly wrap-up. Thanks for hosting!

Anybody else get a little relieved when your bad run happens before race day? I confess, my other runs this week had gone well enough this week that I was actually getting a little worried at how easy things felt. I was worried I’d get lulled into lofty expectations that my body just may not be up to right now. I always prefer to get my “bad” run out of the way in training rather than race day. Nuts? Maybe πŸ™‚



Five random thoughts for Friday

I know I normally have a big round up of fabulous things I’ve read (and I promise I have a list of great things to share next week!) but this week, I’ve got sort of a scattered bunch of thoughts in my brain. It’s just one of those days, you know? You guys don’t even want to know how many typos were in the first draft of this post!

  • I have a feeling I would be horrified if I had one of those little counting clickers and kept track of how many times I thought “Does no one else have anywhere to BE this morning” on my drive in to work today. I might be just a bit of an impatient driver.
  • O had a good night last night and earned his fourth sticker for staying in bed, which means we can go to the pumpkin patch. I’m relieved because I really wanted to go to the pumpkin patch tomorrow – it’s the only weekend we have between now and November without something scheduled and I love the pumpkin patch! Note to self: Don’t tie future rewards to something I want too. πŸ™‚
Oliver would do anything for a sticker chart - I should get him to work on curing cancer or picking winning lottery numbers or something.

Oliver would do anything for a sticker chart – I should get him to work on curing cancer or picking winning lottery numbers or something.

  • I didn’t take my Alleve last night for the time in over a month and my hands aren’t too bad this morning! The lupus medication I’m taking seems to be kicking in, so I thought I’d try stepping back a bit on the NSAID (which the doctor told me I could try). My hands are a little stiff and puffy, but nothing like it was earlier this summer without the medication!
  • Speaking of the lupus, I’ve had hair loss with it so yesterday I decided to cut off all of my hair that way the hairs that fall out are shorter and less messy (totally keeping it real here today!). I got a blow out while I was there. I confess, I was tempted to skip my workout last night because I knew my tempo run would totally trash the cuteness. I did run, and had a GREAT workout so it was worth ruining the hair, but I was mightily tempted. I’m too girl-incompetent to straighten my hair myself (and too lazy) but I’m always intrigued by how much younger I look with straighter hair.
My husband says it makes feel a little like he's cheating when I come home with straightened hair.

My husband says it makes feel a little like he’s cheating when I come home with straightened hair.

  • I’m flying to North Carolina on Sunday and my flight leaves at 5:20 AM!! I’ll have to wake up at 3 am to get there in time from my house since I live out on the west side of Omaha. Ugh. The worst part is that the coffee stand may not be open that early on Sunday morning in the airport. Why do I do this to myself? Thankfully it is a work trip and just me, so there won’t be many moving parts to get going.

This weekend will be busy for us, with an 11 mile long run, a trip to the pumpkin patch and an insanely early flight. What do you have going on this weekend?

PS: Last random confession: I’m in an all day ethics conference (don’t be jealous – jk) and forgot to get a stir stick for my coffee so I just stirred my coffee with the stem from the little bunch of grapes. Definitely a first for me, but making do (just like I’m making do with decaf coffee – who runs out of real coffee at an all day ethics conference?!)


TLWH Book Club: Daughters of Distance

This month, the Taking the Long Way Home Running Book Club is highlighting a book focused on female runners and the issues unique to women as athletes, Daughters of Distance. Thanks to Wendy for hosting!TLWH Book Club

Be sure to check out Wendy’s interview with the author, Vanessa Runs, here. I found her discussion of her dog, and reducing her miles because her dog was older and couldn’t keep up with the miles, particularly touching. Family of all kinds can impact our running.Β  I also loved her last bit of advice, to ignore most of the running advice out there and just “run joyfully in your own space.”


From the beginning, it was clear that this was going to be a much more serious exploration of female athleticism than I’d encountered before. The forward begins with a story of violation that I suspect many women can identify with, in the fear and the frustration and the lack of control of our spaces that we as females deal with in ways that our males friends and partners can rarely truly understand. Throughout this book, the author discusses many of the issues that we as women struggle with when it comes to our athletic endeavors, with a focus primarily but not exclusively on running. She covers a lot of ground in this book, from views on femininity and expressing emotion, to the fairness (or lack thereof) of gender specific races and awards. She also gets into relationships and parenting and mom guilt (oh the mom guilt!).

Each chapter is a mix of the author’s personal experiences, quotes from other athletes and discussion of other writings on the subject. I confess there were times where I found the chapters a little poorly organized and hard to pay attention to because there wasn’t a great narrative flow, but that may just be my busy working mom brain that needs something either to suck me in as a story or as a topic that really resonates with me. While a lot of these are topics I find academically interesting, this didn’t resonate with me as much personally because I don’t view running with the same intensity as I suspect the author and many of the people quoted do. However, there were sections that I certainly enjoyed. Michele’s story, in the science of tears, about finishing Ironman in honor of her dad had me teary as I read and experienced that finish along with her.

The chapter on competition also resonated with me, which caught me off guard as I don’t consider myself to be a competitive person. I certainly used to be competitive – maybe a little overly so. I am a lifelong overachiever but somewhere between college and graduate school, I became almost averse to competition. I didn’t want to put myself forward in any way. This is partially perfectionism, I know. Why do something if I can’t be the best at it or succeed, right? This definitely played a huge role in my avoidance of weight loss for so long – I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to do it if I tried. The author frames this as self-censorship, which really an incredibly good to way to look at this. Why are we holding ourselves back? Running has definitely helped me get over that fear a bit, to be willing to do something knowing I’m not the best at, but I need to continue working on those stretch muscles.

I also loved the introduction, when she discusses her reasons for pursuing this book and focusing on women’s athleticism. “There’s something about the scent of a woman’s athletic success that soaks through her entire universe. She will keep her kids active. She will invite friends out on the trails. She will invest time and effort into sharing her experiences within her community. An empowered woman will benefit every single relationship she touches. Instead of compartmentalizing her sport, she will allow it to infiltrate every aspect of her life. She will live better.” While I am nowhere the athlete most of the women discussed this book are, nor do I every really desire to be such, this definitely spoke to me and of my experience. I get great satisfaction from knowing that just by running, I have touched my family and my friends and people I don’t even know in real life. It is amazing the power we have.

All in all, while this is not a light or easy read, it was certainly an interesting one in many ways. If you’re interested in exploring thoughts on feminism and athleticism, this would be a good place to start. Thanks as always to Wendy for hosting book club! Be sure to check out her review, along with the link up of other reviews, here.

Next up is Confessions of an Unlikely Runner, so be sure to check it out if you’d like to join the book club link up next month! Nothing like curling up a good book and a warm cup of coffee to welcome fall, right?

Do you like to read about running or fitness? I think a lot of us read a lot of blogs or other things online, but I was curious about books. While I embrace technology in lots of ways, I still love a good book in my hands and have accumulated quite the collection of books on running in various forms (memoirs, technical guides, nutrition, etc). I’m always looking for new ones to add to my reading list so do share any recommendations!


Weight Loss Wednesday: Routines

September means back to school time and I’ve seen lots of articles in parenting magazines and online about easing everyone back into a routine. We’re currently working on re-settling O into his good nighttime routine, since he got a little out of whack with his sleeping with the stress of starting “real” school (pre-kindergarten). We’ve broken out yet another sticker chart:

Oliver would do anything for a sticker chart - I should get him to work on curing cancer or picking winning lottery numbers or something.

Oliver would do anything for a sticker chart – I should get him to work on curing cancer or picking winning lottery numbers or something.

This got me thinking about other routines we have and how they can help (or hurt) our attempts to lose or maintain weight.

-I’m always more successful with exercise when I get it done first thing in the morning. If I wait until later in the day, distractions and delays pile up, I get tired, I find a thousand excuses . . . you get the picture. If I’m going to work out in the morning, a few routines make it easier: 1) Lay out the clothes and gear I need so I don’t have to think about it; 2) Get everything ready for breakfast for me and my family the night before, so I don’t have that delaying tactic; and 3) Look at the training plan the night before so I know exactly what I’m supposed to do. I confess I sometimes take a screenshot of it so when my sleep fogged brain can’t remember what I’m doing that day, I can quickly find it on my phone.

– I tend to be routine with my food, in terms of eating the same breakfasts or lunches during the week. This helps me streamline prep in the evening for the next day, as I do a lot of breakfast prep and make lunches before we go to bed. It also means I generally have a good idea where I am in terms of calories for the day. I can make a quick decision about whether or not to have hibachi for dinner on a Monday night (coupon was expiring) based on how many calories I have for dinner without looking at the phone. I can bypass the doughnuts on the counter because I know I DON’T have calories for that. Eating the same foods frequently for breakfast and lunch lets me have variety with dinners, but not have to make so many choices otherwise. After all, the more choices I make, the more likely I am to make a less-than-good choice.

– My weekend routine is VERY consistent too: Breakfast with O on Saturday, where we plan meals for the week together (his votes can be funny but I want him to be part of it) and then a trip to HyVee to shop for the week. Run on Saturday afternoon. Sunday, long run in the morning and meal prep for the week in the evening. And mountains and mountains of laundry all throughout πŸ™‚ It helps to have a well-established weekend routine that focuses on a lot of healthy habits, in that I don’t struggle as much with the temptations and lack of structure that weekends bring.

Using my weekend time to get ready for the busy work week is a HUGE help. I had a stay-at-home mom friend point out that her days were a lot less rushed than mine and it definitely made me smile. Getting our routine things done quickly and efficiently definitely helps free up valuable quality time so I can linger over breakfast with O or read with Darrell at night, so it is totally worth a bit of “rush” during those routine things.

We tend to read light stuff to wind down at the end of the day. There's something great about reading aloud for two book nerds.

We tend to read light stuff to wind down at the end of the day. There’s something great about reading aloud for two book nerds.

Yoga in the hallway during bath time has become a nice new routine in this training cycle. πŸ™‚ Darrell does bath time because O doesn’t trust me with the hot water (I have NO idea why), so I hang out in the hallway and get my stretch on while Darrell does the hard work of kid scrubbing amidst all of the chatting and giggling we’re all doing. Have I mentioned before that I married well?

Β – There are some routine things that I’m trying to work on as well, because they’re less helpful. Snacking at bedtime (“It’s 9 pm – I must be hungry!”) and on the way home from the work were definitely not something I needed, so I’m working on those – fairly successfully so far this month!
What routines make up your day? Are they helping or hindering your healthy lifestyle efforts?

Tuesdays on the Run: Looking to a back-to-back race

Today is registration day for the newly announced “Dark Side” Star Wars race at Walt Disney World, so good luck to all of you trying to get in! I loved my experience at the Star Wars race in Disneyland and I’m sure the WDW experience won’t disappoint. I’ve met the vacation budget for the year, so this one isn’t on my radar, sadly. However, thinking about this today did remind me that I do have another RunDisney race on my calendar: the Wine and Dine Half Marathon on November 7.

Right now, my training is focused on the Des Moines Half Marathon on October 18th and I haven’t really worried about Wine and Dine. However, with only 3 weeks and 2 weekends between those two races, I need to make a plan for training between the two. I want to be sure to allow adequate time to recover from Des Moines, since that is my “goal” race and I will definitely be pushing harder for that 13.1 miles than I will Wine and Dine. My current goal for Des Moines, which may still change, is to maintain consistent effort throughout the race and not putz out at the end like I did last time I ran this race (it got narrow, I got discouraged, I walked with less than a quarter mile to the finish!!). My current half marathon PR is 2:32:48, set at Des Moines last year. I’d love to beat that time and actually had the goal this year to run sub-2:30, but since the lupus, I’ve taken that off the table. Rather than seeing that as a bad thing, I think I’ll just view it as PRs for different phases of my life. This race, as my first post-lupus race, will set the PR for my post-lupus era and I’ll have a new target for improvement.

A perk of a hilly course was the ability to see the photographer before I got there so I could be sure a) I was smiling and b) I was running. :)

A perk of a hilly course in Papillion was the ability to see the photographer before I got there so I could be sure a) I was smiling and b) I was running. πŸ™‚


When I did the Lincoln and Papillion half marathons in May, I had a similar back to back race schedule. It was a little more compressed, with just two weeks and one weekend between the two races. I looked back at those two weeks this morning and realized I ran a whopping 3 times in the 2 weeks between those races, with my longest run 4.75 miles. My Lincoln training carried me through both half marathons without much difficulty. The key was having no real pressure or time goals for the second race. To a large extent, that’s my approach to the Wine and Dine half marathon as well. I’m looking forward to that course and who knows how long I’ll linger in the Osborne Lights since this is the last year they’ll be up at Hollywood Studios (see more on that here). Thus, I have ZERO time goal for the Wine and Dine half marathon other than finishing without being swept and getting my half marathon medal and Coast to Coast medals. However, even without a time goal, this race has a built in extra level of challenge: It starts after 10 pm. Thus, I’m going to have to figure out how to start a half marathon around my normal bedtime, fuel that day so my stomach doesn’t rebel in the middle of the night (my stomach has never done well with night runs) and oh yeah, rest well enough between the Jingle Jungle 5K and kids’ races in the morning before the race that night.

Since I won’t be rushing the 5K (planning lots of pictures), I’m hoping that last bit won’t be a big deal, but I definitely need to practice the first two issues. My plan for training between the two races is this:

Week one – 10/19-10/25

  • Walk on the weekdays to recover from the Des Moines half marathon and run a 5K on 10/25 (already scheduled).

Week two – 10/26-11/1

  • Run 3-4 miles at 9 pm on Monday and Wednesday.
  • Run 2 miles Friday morning, followed by 7-8 miles at 10 pm Friday night. I’d prefer to do my practice night run on Saturday night, but since Saturday night is Halloween, that might not be the safest option.
  • On Sunday night, I’ll run 3-4 miles at 9 pm.
  • This will give me lots of chances to get my body used to running at night, even if they are a lot of short runs.
  • The Friday run lets me practice running twice in a day and practice fueling. On the plus side, I’ll be in my office a lot of Friday so I can practice resting too since I sit a lot some days. For food, I’ll plan on a bigger breakfast and lunch that day, with easily digestible snacks from lunch onwards with no big dinner. I’ll also practice with snacks I’m likely to have readily available in Disney, like LaraBars and plain bagels.

Week three – 11/2-11/7

  • Tuesday evening, I’ll do one more 9 pm 3 miler with some fartleks thrown in.
  • Otherwise, I’ll plan on walking the other days of the week to rest a bit before the races.

Have you run overnight races? How did you get ready?

Today’s Tuesday on the Run topic was anything goes. Be sure to check out the rest of the link up to see what everyone else is up to. Thanks as always to April, Patty and Erika for hosting!



Weekly Wrap-Up: Mentally exhausting week!

At least looking back at my calendar, I did get a little running in and loads of steps! It was a rough work week, but I knew it was coming so I’d scheduled it around it in my training schedule. I can’t believe I’m just a little over 3 weeks from race day! That means this week, I’m back to intense training time but happy knowing that I only have two more long runs and two more of those evil strength runs to go! Woo hoo!

While I didn’t get all of my workouts in that I’d planned this week thanks to work, I did move EVERY day and my NSV for the week is the bajillion stairs I took this week. (156 floors for the week, per FitBit)

I don't know that my students always enjoyed the fact that I was taking the stairs everywhere. :)

I don’t know that my students always enjoyed the fact that I was taking the stairs everywhere. πŸ™‚


Monday An easy 3 miles before my call shift started for the week – I always enjoy that last run without the extra work responsibilities!

Tuesday I knew I wouldn’t be able to get in the more substantial workouts this week, but I did want to get at least a little speed play in. I did 2.6 miles Tuesday morning with 6-7 fartlek pick ups thrown in to keep things interesting. I hadn’t done a run like this in quite a while and forgot how fun it could be!

Wednesday Thirty minutes walking

Thursday 1.5 miles of tempo running, with a total of 3 miles including the warm up and cool down

Friday Forty minutes walking

Saturday Thirty minutes of walking: I ended up at work for 6 hours on Saturday, so what daylight I ended up with was prioritized for my family over a run and I’m totally okay with that. I walked after bedtime and promised myself I’d wake up early to run Sunday morning.

I did weigh in on Saturday (I've been doing Wednesday & Saturday) and was happy to see the scale continuing its trend in the right direction.

I did weigh in on Saturday (I’ve been doing Wednesday & Saturday) and was happy to see the scale continuing its trend in the right direction.

Sunday I got up in the dark and got in a nice run before the sun came up. I’m not really sure how long I ran because my Garmin was completely without battery:

Major sad face :(

Major sad face 😦 I should have checked it before bed.

I ended up using Strava on my phone but it kept giving me an error message and saying it wasn’t able to refresh in the background, even though I know that was turned on correctly. Even though it kept cutting out, I kept running until it registered 6 miles so I know I got at least 6 miles in and got to see a lovely sunrise:

Like a vampire, this was my signal to go home since I had no hat or sunscreen.

Like a vampire, this was my signal to go home since I had no hat or sunscreen.

I did have some upset stomach during this run, so I may need to watch my food before these last two long runs. I’m not sure if it was general stress of my week or something about my meds, but I’ve noticed this on a couple of runs now and definitely want to get that right before race day! I also got in yoga with bedtime stories and strength training during the day.

I’m grateful that Darrell is such a great partner in parenting to make these tough work weeks easier for all of us. My good deed this week is volunteering to bring something to the prekindergarten bake sale. I’m open to suggestions for something bake sale friendly that’s nut free! I’m thinking some kind of pumpkin bar seems appropriate for a fall festival, don’t you? I confess, more than the baking, I dread the individual packaging that comes with bake sale goodies.

This week, I’m back on the training wagon with 6 days of runs planned, with a strength workout (2X2 miles at 11:10), a 3 mile tempo run and an 11 mile long run. Only two long runs left! Who else has a fall race looming?

weekly wrap up

I’m joining Tricia and Holly for their weekly wrap-up. Thanks for hosting!


Friday Favorites: Crazy week with no time to run . . .

. . . So naturally everything I’ve been reading while I’m in the elevator, waiting on phone calls, etc has been running related. It’s not that I haven’t run at all, but with less workouts and less intense workouts, I haven’t thought about it as much as usual in terms of fitting the workouts in and apparently my brain misses that? Who knew. Runner brains get crazy I guess. Regardless, here are some of my favorite running posts I’ve read this week:

  • How to balance marathon training and relationships (The Runner Beans): I definitely use a lot of these tips, including planning vacations around races (yay for RunDisney!) and running before anyone else is up. I also agree that family events take priority – lots of runs have been moved or cancelled because my precious family time comes first. I particularly like the bit about not talking about running all the time with your partner/family. πŸ™‚ That’s definitely a perk of having a blog to share those thoughts!
  • In defense of running solo (Women’s Running, T Rex Runner): As an introvert, I LOVE to run alone and have no real interest in running with other people unless it is a race, but sometimes get funny looks about this from other runners. Like this article points out, I also love the flexibility and control I have when I run alone: I determine the pace, the location, the length without considering anyone else. With a schedule as busy as mine, that’s HUGE.
  • Being cautious while running solo (MissSippiPiddlin): While I like to run alone, I know I’ve also got to be careful and as such, I appreciated Tricia’s take on their word of the week: cautious. I always have my phone and let my husband know where I’ll be running and how long I’ll be gone. There are certain places I run where I’m sure to carry my pepper spray and I’m always watchful of my surroundings, even in my own neighborhood. Stay safe everyone!
  • An open letter to a first time marathoner (We Run Disney): I loved Christine’s advice to her friend tackling a marathon for the first time and think it applies in a lot ways to ANY distance. Her tips on training plans, fueling and setting realistic goals for your first race are right on and the last bit about wanting to quit – GOLDEN. We all want to quit at some point. It’s totally normal. Just push through it (assuming you’re physically hurt) and you’ll be tackling that finish line before you know it. πŸ™‚
  • A simple, effective playground workout (MommyRunFast): Last but not least, as a busy runner who struggles to get strength training in, I definitely pinned this post from Laura with a workout I can do while O is playing on the playground. So I may get some funny looks from the other moms – at least I’ll get it done!

I’m working all weekend and counting the days until I’m off call and can reward myself with a BIG glass of wine:

This will be filled to the brim when I go off call Monday!

This will be filled to the brim when I go off call Monday!

Anybody have exciting plans this weekend? Do share so I can live vicariously through you!




Family photos & looking with kind eyes

We got our family photos back from the photographer yesterday and my mama heart thumped at all of the gorgeous and silly photos of my guy:


I also ADORE the photos of Darrell and Oliver together:


When I got to the photos that I was in myself, I’ll confess that I didn’t have such warm fuzzies. I saw way too many chins and too much belly and eye wrinkles. That is definitely NOT loving myself, so in the effort of practicing self love, I’m going to share these and look at them with kinder eyes. I’m going to see the love, the laughter and the gorgeous lighting.





I’ve come a long way in how I see myself but definitely have room for improvement. I need to work on getting those rose colored glasses on sooner. It’s funny – I generally HATE getting my photo taken. I actually put wedding photography on Darrell’s list in wedding planning because I hated even the idea of getting photos. In contrast, I always look forward to this photo session each year because I am so proud of my gorgeous family and because I love having this little snapshot of our lives (and of course, we love our photographer). When I see these photos of myself, I need to remember those things and view myself through that lens.

How do you feel about getting your photo taken?Β