A Little More Each Day

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

Weekly Wrap-Up: Thanksgiving (and 18 miles!) survived!

As much as I love visiting family and all of the other stuff that goes along with Thanksgiving, it does feel a bit like something you survive, doesn’t it? Thankfully, we had smooth and easy travel (a holiday miracle!) and Oliver loved getting to see his family. It may take my stomach a little longer to recover from all of the unhealthy food and my body longer to catch up on sleep, but it was worth it.
Gingerbread men

We decorated gingerbread men at my sister’s house and started putting up holiday decorations here at our house, so it’s definitely starting to feelΒ  like Christmas. This is a time of year where we just fly from one “big thing” to another. Throwing a couple of really big runs in there as I finish up marathon training (5 1/2 weeks until the race!) definitely adds to the schedule. Thankfully I was able to shuffle my schedule around to get my 18 miler done in the midst of Thanksgiving chaos, so now I just have a 20 miler to go.Β It still sort of blows my mind that 18 and 20Β  mile runs have become part of my workout dialog!


Monday Rest day, with just some walking. I did 12 miles on Sunday and knew I had 18 miles coming Tuesday, so I took it easy Monday and just tried to stretch things out.

Tuesday 18 miles, with awful weather. I took off a couple of hours early on Tuesday so I could do my 18 miles before the Thanksgiving holiday. While you’d think a 4 day weekend would make it easier to get a long run done, it really didn’t in my case since we were traveling. Unfortunately, it was cold and rainy. Even walking across campus in the cold and rain earlier in the day made my poor hands get sore and swollen, which was definitely concerning. Stupid lupus. I spent the whole day watching the weather and trying to decide what to do. When I got home, it was drizzly but not awful so I got dressed to head outside. I opened the door, hit the sidewalk and the sky opened up. It was raining so hard you couldn’t see. Sigh. I gave up. There are definitely perks to running in the rain (especially since this could happen on race day), but it would be a safety risk to run in visibility that bad and the damp and cold would flare my lupus so much I’d be useless the rest of the week. I didn’t have time to wait for it to clear, so I headed in to change and hit the gym. I decided to commit to only listening to my audiobook, like I would on a normal long run, rather than watching a movie, to at least replicate the mental aspect of 18 miles outside. I ran 17 miles on a treadmill you guys. It’s amazing what happens when you just keep going (and when your gym has enough treadmills so no one minds you tying one up for hours). I did my run / walk intervals I’d use on the road, fueled like I wouldΒ  on the road and took the opportunity to test out the new tank I’m considering for race day assuming Florida is warm. I also maintained a pace about a minute faster than my 15 and 16 mile long runs had been, which was ego soothing. I stopped at 17 miles to go home to give Oliver hugs and kisses for bedtime. I feel like I deserve an extra medal for heading back out in the rain after than 30 minute break to get that last mile – and even more so for running it rather than just walking it to finish my miles for the day! I won’t lie – after stopping for a little time in the car, I was stiff, but I did it! Thank goodness it was dark and rainy and no one could see my shuffling. πŸ™‚

Wednesday Amazingly, I felt fine! My body has held up well to these long runs. I was only occasionally stiff if I sat for very long. Lots of walking today, with work and packing, that ended up in a pleasantly uneventful flight down to Houston. I was a naughty mom and took the opportunity to upgrade for first class for free, leaving Darrell and Oliver in coach. πŸ˜‰

Thursday My goal for today (well, my running goal – eating goals got kind of blown out of the water) was to get in my 9 miles in the afternoon. I knew the odds of getting in all 3 runs left on this week’s training schedule (4, 5, 9 miles) were slim during this trip because of family activities, but I wanted to get the 9 done if nothing else. I headed out in the afternoon to run through my sister’s suburb and was immediately reminded of why I enjoy the holidays so much in the Midwest. Houston is still green, warm and muggy!
Green Christmas

Darrell said my mother was very worried the whole time I was gone and kept asking if it was normal for me to be out alone so long. She called me around 8.5 miles and I had to promise her that I was okay and on my way back. I can’t imagine how she’d have handled me being gone for 18 miles.

Friday – Sunday Know how I said I doubted I’d get all three runs in? That definitely turned out to be true. The 4 and 5 mile runs never happened. I have been really good this cycle about the long weekend runs, but definitely less diligent with the weekday runs! However, I did loads of walking and other activities that definitely count as workouts.

I’m grateful for safe travels and as much as I made some not-great food choices over Thanksgiving, my NSV is evident in the amount of not-worth-it foods I left on my plate. I love my family, but they’re definitely a binge trigger for me so not eating all-the-things is a big win.

This week, I’m on call so I’ve built it into my training plan as a do-what-you-can week. I was at work for 13 hours yesterday and worked more at home, so workouts get tough in these weeks. My goal is 10,000 steps a day and 10 flights of stairs a day, even if I can’t get in runs. There’s also no excuse not to fit in at least a little strength training and yoga in the mornings as well before I enter the last stretch of marathon training. I have two weeks left of marathon training (12 miles, 20 miles) before taper, crazy as that seems!

While I probably won’t get a lot of workout time this week, there’s no excuse for not getting back on a better diet track now that Thanksgiving is behind us. I have a bunch of holiday parties this month, but I find it easier to stay on track through a bunch of parties so long as I have my normal home diet in between. Getting back on track will be enough of a goal during this busy week!

Thanks as always to Holly and Tricia for hosting our link-up!

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Did you have a good holiday weekend? Anyone else still feel a little hungover from Thanksgiving food?






Tuesdays on the Run: Good Life Halfsy Recap

This week’s Tuesdays on the Run is all about Black Friday shopping codes and discounts and I confess, I’ll be reading and absorbing more than contributing to that topic. Instead, I thought I’d take advantage of the chance to give you a recap of the last of my run of half marathons this fall: the Good Life Halfsy in Lincoln. Thanks as always to Patty, Erika and Marcia for hosting the link up. Be sure to check it out for deals!
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I registered for the Halfsy because it was the same weekend as I was scheduled for a 15 mile run and I was a little nervous about my first real marathon training run. I figured running a new-to-me race would be a nice distraction from “holy cow I’m running 15 miles!” nerves. The race was in Lincoln, which is about 45 minutes from where I live, and offered packet pick up the morning of the race, which is always a perk. I drove out early (tip: Allow an extra 15 minutes or so to get to races because you never know when you’ll run into traffic from all of the other racers as you get near the race start!) and picked up my stuff about an hour before race time. I then headed out into the neighborhoods near the starting line to get in a couple of miles before the race start.

This was a point to point course that started at a local high school and finished downtown. The course is billed as “fast” because the overall course is net downhill. That’s technically true, but it’s Nebraska, so there were still some hills. The worst of them were in the first half of the race and we had lots of nice flat stretches too, so it wasn’t too bad. This was also a very walker and slow runner friendly race, with lots of people stretched along the back of the pack.

Course entertainment was just that . . . entertaining – and odd. This race is sponsored by Pink Gorilla Events, which run a few of our more party-like races in this neck of the woods. There was the requisite Pink Gorilla at the start, as well as bands, random costumed cheering squads, dragons and loads of little kids out passing out high fives. All in all, I enjoyed the distractions along the course.
Fun course entertainment
The course wound through some Lincoln neighborhoods as well as a couple of nice park sections. I enjoyed a little run around a lake, as well as long stretch along a waterway and park downtown. I don’t visit Lincoln often and found myself enjoying this little tour more than I remember enjoying the Lincoln Half Marathon back in the spring.

Of course, “mostly flat” is never entirely flat and this ended with a killer bridge at the end! The bonus is that is the feeling of a flying, fast finish as you come down off of the bridge and into the finishing party zone. The drawback: getting up that bridge to begin with.

Bridge at the finish

There were plenty of drinks and snacks at the finish, which I always appreciate, and I have my first ever functional medal: A beer opener!
New medal
There was also apparently beer somewhere in the finishing area but as I had a) a bus ride back to the starting line and b) a hour of driving still ahead of me, I immediately headed out after I was finished.

I love the color of the shirt although the fit is smaller than a medium normally is, so I can’t actually wear it at this point. Boo. The Good Life Halfsy is sponsored by Bulu Box, which meant nice race swag in that we got a three month subscription to Bulu Box with our registration. We also got free photos from the race course, which is possibly my favorite race “swag.”


All in all, this race felt like a lot more fun than the Lincoln Half Marathon in the spring. I’m not sure if it is the party atmosphere Pink Gorilla tries to build or the fact that my mind is in a laid-back, finish-it kind of mode as opposed to chasing a time goal like I was back in Lincoln. Regardless of the reason, this was a fun race that I’d definitely run again.

It was also my fourth half marathon in 23 days so I get to level up in Half Fanatics. Always a fun little celebration. πŸ™‚

What do you prefer – loops or point to point races? I like the point to point in theory – until I have to ride the bus back to the start!




Weekly Wrap-Up: A lighter week

In the Hal Higdon novice marathon training plan, there’s a step back in mileage every few weeks and this was one of those lighter weeks. I’m a little entertained that a 12 mile long run is now a “light week.” πŸ™‚ Ah, the quirks of marathon training.


Monday Walking to stretch things out after a long run, plus some body weight strength training.

Tuesday Running 3 miles in the morningΒ  – it was supposed to 4 and I confess, I never made it back out to get in the last mile, but something is better than nothing.

Wednesday 8 miles total for the day: I ran a little over two miles in the morning and then got back out to finish up late Wednesday night. I have to say, that night run felt better than I’ve felt running in weeks! Free and easy, with no aches or pains or tightness. It was odd because night runs are normally much tougher for me. I think it was a) the sense of accomplishment for getting back out there and b) the Christmas lights. I love running in the dark this time of year.

Thursday Meetings before and after work, so no run, but I did get in a walk at work and strength training at night.

Friday I intended to run 5 miles, which would have been my other weekday run for this week, but just couldn’t get it done. Fail, but I did do some much needed yoga and foam rolling.

Saturday No work out at all today, even though I should have at least done some cross training. I can’t regret it too much though, because I instead spent all day with my favorite guys, snuggled together watching movies and old Batman episodes. Sometimes things are more important than workouts. πŸ™‚ I’m grateful for my glorious lazy day with my boys.

Sunday I got in twelve miles for a “short” long run and it felt great. I used the interval timer for the first time in a long time and it felt both faster and easier than a long run has in ages.
Longish run

This week, I have a dilemma. It’s Thanksgiving week and because of holiday obligations, I need to do my long run (18 miles!!) before Turkey day. The day that works in my schedule for 18 miles is tomorrow. I’ve taken the afternoon off from work to get it done. I’ve had my schedule blocked for weeks so I could get this run done. Naturally, now the forecast calls for rain. So, do I run 18 miles in the rain (40 degrees, windy) or on the treadmill? Neither choice is particularly appealing.

Which would you choose? Sadly, running on a different day isn’t an option.

Thanks as always to Holly and Tricia for hosting our link up!

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Runner’s Gift Lists!

I confess, this is always one of my favorite topics for the Tuesdays on the Run link-up: Runner’s gift lists. I love the chance to get new ideas for my own Christmas list. This year, I’m even more excited because I have a friend newly hooked on running and I want to send cool stuff to feed her new addiction. πŸ™‚ Thanks as always to Marcia, Patty and Erika for hosting our link up!

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Now that I’m in the midst of marathon training, my list includes thing to keep me entertained and things to keep me well dressed.

  • Audiobooks: For these multi-hour training runs for the marathon, I’m loving audiobooks instead of my usual podcasts or music. I’m completely sucked into the mystery I’m listening to now, which helps me get out of the house in the morning!
  • Music gift cards: For my new runner friend, I’m thinking I’ll pair the Audible gift card with an iTunes gift card as well, because I have a hunch that neither of those are things a busy working mom is going to treat herself to.
  • Socks: I don’t know about you guys, but I am always thrilled to see new socks in my gifts (or my stocking Darrell – hint to hubby since we’re only doing stockings for each other this year). Nice running socks are expensive and there’s something so lovely about slipping my toes into a new pair.
These are my favorite socks!

These are my favorite socks!

  • Books: You guys know I’m a sucker for new books and new cookbooks (despite the lack of book reviews lately – I have a couple of new cookbooks to tell you about!). I’ve given the Another Mother Runner books as gifts before and am loving a couple of new cookbooks I’ve gotten this year from Shalane Flanagan (Run Fast Eat Slow) and from Runner’s World.
Both full of gorgeous pics as well! The Cooking Light Dinnertime Survival Guide and The Runners World Cookbook make great gifts.

Two old favorites that are full of gorgeous pics as well! The Cooking Light Dinnertime Survival Guide and The Runners World Cookbook make great gifts.

  • Race registration: I confess I’m a little tempted, now that my best friend is so into running, to register both of us for a race in some fun location for a racecation. πŸ™‚ I’m a DVC member, so one of the Disney races is tempting – not to mention the serious fun quotient that comes with those.

What’s on your holiday wish list this year? I have a feeling we’re going to need a little literal peace on earth as our Christmas wish, but these things are a nice distraction in the meantime.



Weekly Wrap Up: Resetting after a crazy week

I know I’m not the only one who had a chaotic week. Between the election and traveling to DC for week (wow was that bad timing!), it was rough and we’ll just leave it at that. Lack of sleep and stress meant some bad food choices, lackluster strength training and one missed run. On the bright side (and the only NSV I can think of at the moment), today is a new day.


Monday This was supposed to be a rest day but I woke up antsy thanks to the impending travel and election, so I went out for a walk anyway. One thing about getting into more serious training is that it always leaves me feeling like I need to start each day with a workout – definitely a win!

Tuesday I woke up early to run my 4 miles before my long day of travel. Good plan as I was utterly exhausted by the time I finally got settled in Bethesda for my meeting! I was flying into Reagan airport but we got diverted because there were too many VIPs trying to land. We settled at Dulles for about an hour before making the less than 10 minute flight over to Reagan. Nuts!

Wednesday I am very proud of myself for waking up to run 4 miles on the treadmill before my meeting started, despite being up until 2 am watching election results. Of course, after a few hours of sleep and a day of meetings, I couldn’t make myself head back out in the evening to get in the other 4 miles for my scheduled 8. I passed out on the bed at 8 pm and didn’t move again until 6 am. Sometimes sleep wins and that’s okay (especially with lupus!).

Thursday I may have slept through any chance to run in the morning, but that didn’t stop me from taking a walk during lunch. It was nice to head out through the trees and decompress. This meeting was packed with new information and lots of networking, so introverted little old me was drained. I flew home after the meeting finished that day and ended up getting back to my house after midnight. LONG day!


Friday A well deserved rest day, with nothing but catching up with my family. We all three have colds, so snuggling together seemed like the best recovery.

Saturday Oliver and I went on a walk and did some strength training together. We also got tons of work done around the house. I took the stairs SO many times putting up Halloween decorations! I think that might be why my knees were achy on Sunday before my run.

We also gathered up and cataloged a ton of stuff for Goodwill. My good deed this week was teaching Oliver about why we donate things instead of throwing them away and all of the different ways we can and should give back.

Sunday 16 miles! My workout week may have felt a little lackluster, with a missed 8 miler and short walks for cross training, but I was determined to get my 16 miles done in one fell swoop and I did it! I was slow – man am I feeling this extra weight! – but I kept going. I definitely have the mental strength to finish 26.2 miles and that’s a pretty amazing thing to realize! I was tired and sore at the end (and grateful to be finished) but also knew I could keep putting one foot in front of the other if I needed to. Win!

I got a knotted up muscle along my outer shins, especially on the left, which Darrell oh-so-kindly massaged for me while we were watching Once Upon a Time. I am so grateful for that man I married. πŸ™‚ I haven’t had trouble with shin splints since I first started running and I suspect the fact that I’m putting more pressure on my legs since I’ve gained weight is part of the problem. I’ve looked up some preventative exercises, in terms of stretches and strength exercises, to help things out and will check out the age of my shoes to be sure that isn’t a problem. I may also need to make the effort to drive over to the park to run most of the long runs, as it is a lot flatter there, rather than running in the hillier areas between my house and the park. Walt Disney World is fairly (although not completely) flat so training on flat surfaces might be good in general.

This week, I’m resolving to be more proactive about my strength training and about that midweek long-ish run. The reality is, I only have a few more weeks of doing this (eek!) so I can buckle down and make it happen. I NEED to if I don’t want to have a miserable race experience in January.

Thanks as always to Holly and Tricia for hosting our link up!

weekly wrap up

What’s your weirdest flight experience? A less than 10 minute flight might be my oddest experience to date. It felt like such a waste!



Jazz Half Marathon Recap 2016

I travel a lot for my job (currently in Bethesda Maryland!) which means I get to run in a lot of different places. It definitely makes it easier to check states off of my 50 states running list. πŸ™‚ I went to New Orleans in October for a meeting and took advantage of the timing to run the Jazz Half Marathon. In addition to getting a new medal, which is always a perk, it gave me a nice way to get in that week’s long training run. Win win!

The expo for this race was very small and set up in a hotel meeting lobby. It made things very quick and easy to navigate, but it also meant that you wouldn’t have the chance to pick up any last minute things you might need. Always a concern if you travel for a race! I was out of Nuun and hoping I could pick up an extra tube at the expo, but had no such luck. Lesson learned: When you travel for a race, be sure you have all of your essentials with you. Regardless, it was great to be able to pick everything up and be out again within 5 minutes.

My biggest challenge on race day was that I nearly went to the wrong location! This was totally on me, not the race itself, but Jackson Square (which was what was stuck in my mind) and Lafayette Square are two entirely different places. Oops! I ended making it over to Lafayette Square with time to stop in the lobby of an office building for a real bathroom break (always appreciated) just before the race started. There weren’t any set starting corrals, but as the race wasn’t huge, that wasn’t a big problem. The 5K and half marathon runners were all mixed in together at the start, but the directions for the split were clear later on.

The first three miles ran through the business district, circling down by the convention center and up near the SuperDome. It was really flat, which is great, but the road was also a little tricky in places in terms of surfaces.
Sections of uneven streets


As we approached 3 miles, they had a clearly labeled split point for the 5K runners to peel off and the rest of us headed out to St. Charles Avenue for my favorite stretch of the race. I loved seeing the architecture and the Halloween decorations through the Garden District.
Garden district

Halloween decorations in the garden district

After a few miles along St. Charles, we had a nice loop through Audubon Park. While I’ve been to the zoo in New Orleans, I’d never actually been in the park. It’s lovely! It was also nice to see so many families out in the park. The Louisiana girl in me is also a sucker for Spanish moss.
Audobon park

The trip back up St. Charles Avenue was a lot less shady than it had been earlier and I was definitely tired after too many late nights (and too much alcohol), but I kept putting one foot in front of the other. One disappointing factor for the back of the pack was that the bands that were out for the first half of the race had packed up by the time we came through. I could have really used the distraction!

Bands on the course
I will say that I had a personally nice little moment at the finish line. Some one I’d passed came up near me again and a couple of blocks out from the finish, I decided that I wasn’t going to be passed. I picked it up and left her in the dust (relatively speaking of course). As slow as I’ve been running lately while I’ve focused on longer distances, it was sort of fun to pick it up for a while and see that I could still do that, even at the end of 13 miles.
Post race party

We finished the race back at Lafayette Square and it was a big party! I was pleasantly surprised by that. There was a band and tons of food options, which was nice. Somehow I missed the water in the finishing chute, which was disappointing but I think I found a new favorite: cold Diet Coke after a hot race! There were also food stations where you could get jambalaya and red beans and rice, as well as a beer stop. It was sort of fun to walk away from Lafayette Square with a medal and a beer at ten am. πŸ™‚
Jazz half marathon

There weren’t nearly as many costumes as I was expecting for a Halloween weekend race, but given the heat and humidity that was totally understandable! I definitely recommend this race as a great way to see a different, non-Bourbon street, view of New Orleans.

What’s your favorite thing to grab when you cross the finish line? (Other than your medal of course!)




Tuesdays on the Run: Looking back to the beginning of blogging

Today’s Tuesdays on the Run topic is looking back at the beginning our blogging. Coincidentally enough, my first blog post was titled “A beginning.” Not the most creative title but definitely a beginning to something that has been bigger and better than I expected! Thanks as always to Marcia, Patty and Erika for hosting our link up.

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I started this blog in August 2013 after I’d reached my goal weight and as I set out to tackle the big new goal of running my first half marathon. I thought the blog would serve as a kind of diary, both for purposes of capturing my own thoughts and memories of my training and my attempt at weight maintenance and as a sort of accountability for both of those things.

I need to remind myself more often of how far I've come.

I need to remind myself more often of how far I’ve come.

Looking back now, it’s fun to see how excited I was about some of those early wins in running, when I’d surprise myself by how far and how fast I could go. It’s nice to reread those now, when I feel so slow and when double digit runs have become old hat. I’ve definitely lost some of that beginner’s joie de vivre.

10K Finish Line 9.22.13Wow was I pink at that first 10K!

I also did a lot more talking about weight maintenance back then. I’ve backed off from that a lot lately and not coincidentally, have not been so successful in weight maintenance for the last six months. Am I writing about it less because I’m backsliding or am I backsliding because I’m not writing and reflecting as consciously on it? Interesting question.

I remember at the beginning of blogging, I occasionally got a little caught up in the idea that I should be doing “more” – writing more, getting sponsored posts and getting more readers, more social media presence, etc. The problem was that I had no real interest in doing the things that get you those things. More power to the people who do! At some point, I settled into happily doing my thing in my little space, regardless of followers or commenters or what have you. It was freeing to let that nagging sense that “I should be doing more” go and just let the blog be for me. πŸ™‚

I’ve debated a lot about blogging lately, as I get busier and busier. I write less, but still write because it’s an important part of my space to reflect and to feel accountable for my training. I also love the community we’ve built, with other blogger friends, both virtual and in real life. Any time I read a comment from someone about how something I’ve said has helped them, it makes me beam. I love how we all support each other and my invisible army (aka all of you!) are with me every time I tackle something tough.

I thinking my blog has changed along with my relationship with my weight maintenance and with running, just like any other relationship changes. Like any love story, the spark of newness that jolts so much of early conversation settles into a comfort and steadiness, no matter the highs and lows. I like that. I like knowing that you guys, this space and my commitment to myself are all always here for me. Thanks so much for that!

I know we’ve got a lot going on tonight in this little country of ours. I hope whatever happens, things stay peaceful and that it happens soon enough that I can go to sleep early enough to run in the morning! Stay safe tonight and be at peace!


Weekly Wrap-Up: New long run record!

I hit every workout goal this week! That feels really good. πŸ™‚ Of course, my usual pattern is to hit every workout goal one week and then fall completely off the wagon the next week. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen this time!


Monday Lots of hilly walking for cross-training – Technically my training plan calls for rest Monday and cross training Friday, but I always feel like moving on Mondays so I may shuffle that order a bit.

Tuesday 3 miles in the morning, back on my home turf.

Wednesday 7 miles on the schedule, which I’m never going to get done before work at my current pace. I ran 3.5 in the morning and 3.5 again in the evening to get my miles in for the day. Honestly, this is what this midweek long-ish run is going to look like for the rest of training and I’m okay with it so long as I can make myself get out there again in the evening!

Thursday 4 miles in the morning! It felt like such a big accomplishment to wake up three days in a row mid-week for my runs. Getting to bed early is helping!

Friday Family strength training in the living room πŸ™‚

Saturday A lovely walk, plus a nice NSV of ignoring the pastries and going for the fruit while I was judging a poster competition on the med school campus.

Better choices

Sunday I had 15 miles on the schedule – a new long run record. I went out to Lincoln (about 45 minutes away) to run a half marathon (the Halfsy – race report coming up). Because I hadn’t done packet pick up on Saturday, I had to get to the race an hour before the start time to pick up my stuff. After dropping the t-shirt and goodies back in the car, I headed out for 1.75 miles as a warm up while I waited for the race to start. I always go a little over 13.1 miles when I run half marathons, so I figured 1.75 would get me where I needed to be to total 15 for the day. My toes had a sore spot during the run, but otherwise I felt fine with 15 total miles for the morning instead of the 13.1 I usually top out at. I felt pretty good in that last mile of the half marathon about hitting a new distance PR for the day!
New medal

The only down side to 15 miles? The overwhelming urge to nap afterwards! This was particularly problematic as I had a bit of a drive home. I was also amazingly not hungry at all for the rest of the day. Once I got home, I did some yoga to stretch out and another round of body weight strength training exercises to hit two strength sessions for the week.

In total, I ran 29 miles this week and hit a new distance PR of 15 miles and felt pretty good about the whole week!

Something in my brain clicked into “marathon training” mode this week and I didn’t find it nearly as hard to get motivated to work out as I normally do. Definitely a win!

My good deed this week was donating a Thanksgiving dinner at my grocery store. I’m trying to be more conscious of my gratitude this month (especially amidst all of the negativity of the election) and am truly grateful that my family doesn’t have to worry about a safe home or food to eat. We’re talking a lot to Oliver about how fortunate we are and how important it is to give back.
Family tree

Speaking of O, we’ve got our first family homework assignment from kindergarten (and yes, we as parents were explicitly instructed to help with this). We’re making a family tree and I love that Oliver is including our friend-family (Darrell and my best friends are always referred to as Uncle Sam and Aunt Mildred in our house, so they’re family to O) as the roots of his family tree. Family is definitely what you make it. πŸ™‚

This week, I have 4 / 8 / 4 miles for weekday runs and then 16 miles for my long run this weekend. Cross your fingers for me – I have to fly to DC tomorrow for a meeting in Bethesda, Maryland and am crossing my fingers that things stay peaceful around the election this week. I’ll only be gone Tuesday-Thursday and the place I’m staying has a fitness center, so I should be able to get my miles in without a problem. It’s nice that this will be a quick trip!

My favorite thing about my week is the fact that my friend Mildred ran her first half marathon Saturday and had a great race. The best part, though, was the text Sunday where she said she was already thinking about her next race and wondering if that was normal. πŸ™‚ That finishing high can definitely be addictive!

How long after your first race did you register for a second one?


Winter Cross Training

I’m a day late for Tuesdays on the Run but winter cross training is very important for a Nebraska girl! Thanks as always to Erika, Marcia and Patty for hosting our link up!

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Normally, by the time November gets here, I’m already complaining about the cold. This year, things have stayed weirdly warm, weirdly late. However, before I know it, I’ll be fighting the winter weather. For my runs, I try as hard as I can to get them in outside, instead of on the treadmill.Β  However, I’ll happily stay inside where it is warm for winter cross training.

  • Gym classes: I like the yoga classes at my gym, because I feel like they push me harder than I would go at home and it’s a better workout. I also love (and miss!) Zumba at the gym. Since one of my goals for the last 10 weeks of marathon training is to be a little more serious about cross training, I’m going to work some more class time at the gym into my schedule. Currently, I have cross training on the weekend on the day opposite my long run. I’m planning to make that a session in the gym for a yoga or other class, since I should have the time (and may be able to drag Darrell along!).
  • Stationary bike: I have a stationary bike at home that I rarely use. However, with my plan to be more dedicated about cross training, I will definitely be using this on days I don’t get to the gym. Might as well work out while I watch TV!
  • Walking: While I don’t love running on a treadmill, I love walking hills on one while I read a Kindle book or watch a movie. I can also get walks in here on campus, where I know the sidewalks are well maintained and slipping is less likely. I LOVE walking in the falling snow and even though it is warm now, I know I’ll be doing that again before I know it. The trick is going to be not letting myself count all of the walking I do around campus count as my cross training workout. I really need to be more dedicated about the effort to support my marathon training.
  • Snow shoveling: In Nebraska, snow shoveling is a fact of life. I actually try to wake up early to get to the snow before Darrell gets out there with the snow blower so I can get at least a little bit of a workout. With all of the squatting and lifting that goes into shoveling snow, it definitely feels like a full body workout! I also weirdly enjoy it – I think because I can always immediately see my progress and because it’s a nice quiet time outside in the snow. As a native southerner, I’m still fascinated with snow after 7 years in the Midwest.
Such cuteness - how can I be anything but grateful for my life?

Such cuteness – how can I be anything but grateful for my life?


One day, I’d like to try out snow shoeing, which I think I can do in the parks here. Maybe I’ll put that on the post-marathon workout list!

How do you keep moving in the winter? Anybody seeing real winter yet?


Weekly Wrap-Up: New Orleans

I’m still recovering from a week in New Orleans, so this week’s wrap up is a day late. Thanks as always to Tricia and Holly for hosting our link up!

weekly wrap up

I spent most of last week in New Orleans, which meant I ate lots of delicious (but unhealthy) food and drank more than usual. I still feel thirsty after a week of too much coffee and alcohol and not enough water. It feels good to get back to normal now that I’m home, with veggies and water. Hopefully, by the end of the week I’ll feel less tired and bloated. As delicious as all of that food and drink was, it definitely highlighted how much better I feel when I eat healthier food.

Workouts for the week were pretty good. I ran on all of the days I was scheduled to run, which is a win, although there were some days I ran fewer miles than I was supposed to just because of scheduling. I walked MILES every day (and always had the sore legs to show for it) so I feel okay with shorting mileage a bit.


Monday Rest day!

Tuesday I woke up early for 3 miles, because I thought (correctly) that I’d be too tired from traveling by the time I finally got to New Orleans to put the run off until evening.

Wednesday 7 miles on the schedule, but I only ran 3. I did lots of walking (over 18,000 steps every day this trip) since my hotel was 3/4 mile away from the convention center and the convention center itself is at least half a mile long!

AM runIt was nice to watch the sun rise over the river.

Thursday Another 3 miles (treadmill this time) that should have been 4, with many miles of walking.

Friday Guess what? More miles of walking. New Orleans is really good for that.

Saturday I ran the Jazz Half Marathon for my long run this week. It was scheduled to be a ten mile long run, but I opted for the half marathon so I didn’t have to worry about where to find ten miles to run in the city. It was a much smaller crowd in the race than I was expecting, but a great course through town. I’ll have more on the race later this week, but I highly recommend using races as training runs when you’re traveling. Very convenient!

Jazz half marathon

Sunday This was cross training on the schedule, which ended up being a walk around the French Quarter for shopping after beignets, plus lots of airport walking.

I’m grateful for lots of time with old friends during this trip, which was great. I met up with one of my Lovely Ladies Losing It online friends, as well as friends from prior places I’ve trained and worked. I got to show some old friends around New Orleans, including an adventure on the trolley where our driver stopped mid-trolley ride to run into Subway for a few minutes. It was very funny, especially during those first few moments after he got off where we were wondering what he was doing and how far back we were going to roll before the trolley stopped.

My NSV this week is the fact that I never gave in to my tired legs and rode the bus. There were buses between the hotel and the convention center, but I made a commitment to walk each day to make up for the missed running miles and to balance (a bit) the rich food I ate. By the end of the trip, the bus was tempting but I got my walking in! There was actually a step challenge for this meeting, where we self-reported our steps each day into an app. I ended up in the top ten step-getters for the meeting!

All in all, it was a good trip but I’m glad to be home. My long run this week is 15 miles, which will be my longest run ever!!! That makes me feel like I’m really training for a marathon. Yikes!

Running this morning, my legs felt tight. I can definitely feel those walking miles in New Orleans and the three half marathons I’ve run in the last few weeks. Tonight, we have a family date for stretching and strength training. I have a feeling the next two months of marathon training are going to be a whole family adventure.

I’m traveling again next week (Bethesda, Maryland) so I’m glad I’ve got this week here at home with my guys. I’m afraid to step on the scale this week to see how much damage I did in New Orleans, so I’m just going to focus on healthy eating this week to get back on track before I travel again. I’m stuck in a hotel for two days of meeting in Bethesda, so the food should be less of a derailment next week.

What did you do with your leftover Halloween candy today? I had fewer trick or treaters than I expected, so I have a ton of candy. I brought it into my office to stock the candy drawer, but may instead take it to one of local shelters where they give a piece of candy to the kids with lunch each day. That seems like a better use of leftover candy than feeding graduate students. πŸ™‚