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Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Tonight it became very clear to me that I have not even come close to figuring out how to not eat my emotions.  And I hate that.  Last week I saw my doctor and she gave me a new goal weight.  I was kind of excited about it - about being just 6.2 pounds away from goal.  I mean how cool is that?  So, I worked the plan like normal and tried to continue recovering from the half marathon.  I paid a lot of attention to drinking A LOT of water in order to re-hydrate and the multiple trips to the bathroom per night are proof of that!  I knew, without even stepping on the scale, that I gained because I was pretty sure that the only reason I lost last week was because I was still so dehydrated.

When I finally stepped on the scale before my meeting I was angry, frustrated and disappointed.  I gained 1.6 pounds.  When I got home I was HUNGRY and I ate/drank.  Everything was really delicious and I don't really regret going over my points.  I'm still frustrated that I am stuck at this weight.  Maybe it's my ending weight?  I'm not sure yet... I'm going to try eating more protein again since I lost weight when I really monitored how much protein I was eating per day.  Hopefully that'll either get me off this plateau ....

Any other suggestions?

Monday, April 29, 2013

Half Marathon Training Update: Week 9

Busse Woods Trail - GORGEOUS!
Can you believe that I am one week away from having run a half marathon and 6 weeks away from running another one?  There are definitely times when I don't even recognize my life anymore!

Last week was spent trying to both recover from the Oshkosh half but also figuring out how to transition into half marathon training for the 13.1 Chicago half marathon.  I definitely noticed that my legs were tired when running.  I had to stop much more frequently to rest (even for a few seconds) than I think I should but I suppose it's to be expected.  I am hoping that this week will be much better and my legs will be feeling back to normal.

I didn't really follow a training plan last week as I was trying to listen to my body but here's what I did do:
Steve & Naomi stretching

Monday:  Fat Bike Ride, 3.10 mi
Tuesday:  Rest
Wednesday:  Run, 3.20 mi @ 9:41/mi (had some watch problems... grr...)
Thursday:  Fat Bike Ride, 9.01 mi
Friday:  Run, 4 mi @ 9:49/mi
Saturday:  Group Run, 6 mi @ 10:12/mi
Sunday:  Bike Ride, 8.07 mi

Having missed the last two Team Challenge training sessions I had a lot of fun hanging out with my team mates.  It also helped that it was a gorgeous sunny day and we actually WANTED to be outside after the run.  The group had 8 miles on the plan but I wasn't definitely not feeling up to that distance so I put in 6 miles.  I am hoping to be back on the plan, as prescribed, for next weekend.

Who else was running/racing this week?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

New Goals

As much as I was trying to just be calm about my goal weight through half marathon training it was still bothering me.  I feel like I've been struggling through the last 5 pounds for MONTHS.  I know... boo hoo for me, right?  Well, I went to see my doctor to try to figure out what I should be aiming for but it turns out that it's not quite as black and white as I was hoping.  In fact, it could not be more gray.  My doctor agreed that the goal weight (based on my height) was going to be a struggle given because that weight range doesn't take some things into consideration (e.g. bone structure).  Ultimately, we decided to change my goal weight (yeah, closer!) and yet I felt let down when I left the doctor's office.

My new goal puts me 6.2 pounds away from goal but based on how much I've struggled over the past couple of months it still feels like it is so far away.  I am trying to wrap my head around how to lose another 6.2 pounds... given the struggle from the last 8 weeks it does seem impossible but I am going to give it my best shot and see what happens.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Race Recap: Oshkosh Half Marathon

Lakefront Brewing Wisconsinite
Seriously delicious!
We drove up to Oshkosh on Saturday afternoon, checked in to our hotel and grabbed a drink at the bar before meeting up with Brenda, Alex & Kristi for dinner.  For all of the races I've completed in Oshkosh we've always had our pre-race dinner at Gardina's Wine Bar and they never disappoint.  The service is top notch and the food is to die for... I shared a fig flatbread with Alex as an appetizer had a salmon/beet salad for my entree and shared a blackberry cobbler with Dan for dessert.  That was quite possibly the best pre-race meal EVER.  It was so good that I ate it before I even thought to get a photo.

After dinner we went back to the hotel to get some solid hours of sleep.  Unfortunately, there were some clowns in our hotel who had decided we didn't need good sleep.  Generally the night before a race I don't sleep well anyway and end up waking up every hour or so but this was worse because there was a lot of noise which made falling back to sleep a problem.  I think I finally fell asleep around 3 am and was startled awake at 5 am.  I felt awful and dreaded even getting out of bed.  My throat was really sore, I was tired (from the lack of sleep) and I was worried that I hadn't packed the right clothing for the weather.  Regardless, I got up, put peanut butter on my bread and tried to figure out what combination of clothing I could put together that would be warm enough.  Dang, Wisconsin is cold.

Once dressed, we headed out to the start line.  Have I mentioned that I love these types of races (small town) because you can park really close to the start and you can get there about 20 minutes before the start of the race?  Perfect!  Especially on a cold April morning!  I hit the bathroom one last time and went out in search of the 2:20:00 pacer (who I'd planned to follow for at least the first half of the race).  We listened to a group of Boston Marathoners speak to the crowd, we sang the National Anthem and I thanked Dan (who ran the 5K like a champion!) for being a fabulous and supportive husband.  He left to go find the back of the crowd to line up for the 5K and then we were off.

My running pose around mile 13
The beginning of the Oshkosh race is crowded because the 5K and the Half Marathon start at the same time.  I tried to stay close to the pacer for fear of getting too far behind and getting discouraged.  The pace was great and the pacer and group I was running with seemed friendly which definitely helped.  I sort of wanted to run faster but I was afraid of wasting energy so I just stuck with the pacer.

Mile:   1-10:46
Mile:   2-10:45
Mile:   3-10:31
Mile:   4-10:35

Around mile 5 as we left the Wiowash trail I pulled ahead a little bit so that I could walk while I took my first chews and water.  My hands were really cold and it took me longer to get my chews out and open than it should have but I finally did and then I was back running.

Mile:   5-10:28
Mile:   6-10:39

I'd decided to take 2 chews every 2 miles - it was easy to remember plus it gave me something to look forward to - as in - I only have to run 2 more miles and then I get a little walk break and a snack!  I'd fallen behind the pacer after mile 7 and was trying to catch up but it seemed like I couldn't quite get there and decided to just keep on the pace I was running and try to keep them in my sights.  I saw Dan around mile 8.5 and that was a huge boost to my ego.  We traded water bottles (so I had fresh Nuun) and I told him I was tired (which I was) but I kept on running.

Mile:   7-10:24
Mile:   8-10:20

Getting closer to the finish line
As we went into mile 9ish we ran into South Park and I got a little discouraged because as I was entering the park I saw the pacer coming out of the park.  I just couldn't seem to find the energy to speed up to catch them so I just tried to keep running with only short walk breaks to take more chews and water.

Mile:   9-11:25
Mile: 10-11:37

I'd been thanking people along the course all morning.  Both volunteers, people cheering and police officers who were directing traffic.  The event is spectacularly organized and I loved all the course support.  I was walking briskly and I was trying to run as much as I could but I was slowing down.  I called Dan to tell him that I was moving slowly and I was behind the 2:20 pacer (I couldn't even see him anymore) so that he wouldn't be worried when he saw the group come in without me.  When I realized there was about 3/4 of a mile to go I started running, albeit slowly, but I was running.  I felt tired and my legs were hurting but I knew I needed to run.

New Hardware - Oh HELL YES!
As I came up to the bridge I saw a Police Officer directing traffic.  I ran towards him and asked him if I could get some knucks.  He held up his hands and gave me the much needed attitude boost that I needed.  I ran over the bridge and hopped onto the path towards the finish.  I saw Dan and stopped to pose for a picture!  It was only a split second and then I was running again.  As I made the final turn my legs started moving faster than I thought possible.  I saw Dan running towards the finish and just before I entered the finishing chute I saw Brenda, Alex and Kristi cheering for me.  I pushed hard to the finish and when I saw the clock I choked back tears, crossed my hands over my heart and proudly crossed the finish line.

Mile:  11-12:59
Mile:  12-13:48
Mile:  13-12:15

Official time:  2:28:24.40

Who else raced this weekend?  How did it feel?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Race Goals: Oshkosh Half Marathon

I started to consider running the Oshkosh Half Marathon way back in November.  Even before I'd completed the half marathon that I was training for at the time.  It seemed so far away and I'd have plenty of time to train (and I have) so that I would really feel ready.  During training I didn't even really think about goals - other than a better/stronger finish than in Las Vegas.  However, I love goals and it'll give me something to think about while I'm out there on Sunday so here we go.
Try to avoid making this face
  1. Finish stronger than Las Vegas
  2. Run happy and enjoy the race because the hard work is done so have a good time
  3. Smile for the photographers
  4. Fuel appropriately during the race so as to not need medical attention this time
  5. Don't fall down
  6. Re-hydrate appropriately after the race and then celebrate all the hard work
  7. Stay with the pace group for at least the first half of the race to prevent going out too fast
If I hang with the pace group for the whole race or run the race that I am planning on running I should run a pace of 10:30/mi.

Monday, April 15, 2013


The weather last week was really hard on my training schedule.  So.  Much.  Rain.  Not wanting to get sick I took those rainy day work outs indoors to the bike trainer.  I definitely spent more time on the trainer than I would care to do but at least I was active.  I also went out of town late last week for a family event so I was a little out of sorts with how/where to work out.  On Friday I went to a local fitness center and ran on the treadmill.  After about 42 minutes I'd paused the treadmill to take a quick break but when I went to start it back up it reset and started from the beginning.  I took it as a sign and hopped onto an elliptical for another 20 minutes.  It was alright but I definitely prefer to run outside both for the fresh air and changing scenery.  I was thrilled to wake up on Saturday morning to sun (albeit with lots of snow on the ground) and headed out for a wintery run.  I absolutely missed running with my Team Challenge teammates since they definitely make the Saturday long runs even more enjoyable!

Oshkosh Half Marathon Training Schedule
Monday:  Run, 3 miles, easy
Tuesday:  Cross train
Wednesday:  Run, 6 miles, Tempo (w/u, 4 miles @ 9:41, c/d)
Thursday:  Strength train
Friday:  Run, 3 miles, easy
Saturday:  Run, 12 miles
Sunday:  Rest

And here's how the week actually went:
Monday:  Run, 3 miles @ 9:27/mi
Tuesday:  Bike Trainer, 35 minutes, 8.45 miles
Wednesday:  Bike Trainer, 60 minutes, 13.11 miles
Thursday:  Bike Trainer, 30 minutes, 7.10 miles
Friday:  Run, 4.25 miles @ 9:50/mi; 20 minutes on elliptical
Saturday:  Run, 4.31 miles @ 9:58/mi
Sunday:  Rest

Thursday, April 11, 2013

What is success?

This week at our meeting our leader asked us how successful our week was on a scale of 1-5 (1 = not good, 5 = best) and most people responded based on what the number on the scale said.  I responded 4 - both because of what the scale said but more importantly I was pretty happy with the level of activity and that I pretty much stayed on plan.  On Sunday after doing some shopping with Jen I stopped at Trader Joe's to pick up a few things.  In my bag:  tri-tip Asada, reduced guilt pita chips, pink lady apples and hummus.  Historically I'd have gotten to the car and ripped open the bag of chips and eaten them on the way home (or I'd have purchased something else specifically so that I could eat it on the way home) but this time I was excited to tear into the bag of apples.  I thought to myself that for several months that has generally been my snack on the way home from running errands - even grocery shopping.  I'd grab a banana or apple out of the recently purchased goods.

So when Karen asked how we felt about our progress last week that was the thought I had.  Instead of reaching for the salty, crunchy snack I wanted and craved an apple.  I like this habit and don't mind having an apple or banana in my bag with me whenever I leave the house.  It makes me feel better about being able to take the edge off my hunger without throwing off my eating for the day.

Do you relate how you feel about your success with just the number on the scale or do you base it off other things?

Sunday, April 7, 2013


I'll be honest with you, I struggled a little bit to get through some of the training runs this week.  I remember feeling the same way towards the end of the training cycle for Vegas and I have to push through it.  Part of the problem has to do with my Crohn's which has been a little cranky lately and part of it has to do with the fact that I've been logging a ton of miles.  Go figure since I'm training to run a half marathon!  My run with Team Challenge on Saturday was probably the hardest.  We left as a group but the fast runners took off and I was running alone for the first mile.  At that point Coach B came and ran with me which I actually enjoyed.  Last season I had an awkward conversation with Coach B that I didn't want to run with her because I needed to focus on running instead of trying to maintain a conversation.  As I've gotten more comfortable with running I've also come to cherish the times that I run with others.  Even if it is only for short periods of time I finally feel like I can keep up, both with the conversation and with running.  However, as I was running on Saturday I realized exactly how completely exhausted my legs and arms felt.  Coach B told me that I needed to start to cut back (race day is now less than 2 weeks away) and I literally chose that moment to cut back and started to walk. I'm not sure that's exactly what she meant but I didn't care!  We chatted a bit more and then she went to run with a teammate and I continued on.  I covered the planned distance for training (which wasn't my original plan) by running and walking.  I thought it had been mostly walking until I looked at the data on my Garmin.  I ran ~4 miles and walked 1 mile.  Not terrible considering I'd done 8 really fast (for me) miles the day before.

Oshkosh Half Marathon Training Schedule
Monday:  Run, 3 miles
Tuesday:  Cross train
Wednesday:  Run, 6 miles, speed work (w/u, 3 x 1600 @ 9:41, c/d)
Thursday:  Strength train
Friday:  Run, 2 miles, easy
Saturday:  Run, 11 miles
Sunday:  Rest

And here's how the week actually went:
Monday:  Run, 3 miles @ 9:54
Tuesday:  Bike Trainer, 30 minutes, 7.71 miles
Wednesday:  Run, 5 miles (1 mi @ 10:33, 1 mi @ 8:45, 0.5 mi @ 10:22, 1 mi @ 8:45, 0.5 mi @ 10:07, 1 mi @ 10:07)
Thursday:  Fat bike ride, 57:22, 11.66 miles
Friday:  Run, 8 miles @ 10:11/mi
Saturday:  Run, 5.12 miles @ 11:28/mi
Sunday:  Rest

Do you start to feel run down towards the end of a training cycle?  How do you power through or do you take more rest days?

Monday, April 1, 2013


Hello sun & Lake Michigan!
Me, Naomi & Christine
Since I had another double digit long run on my Oshkosh half marathon training plan and an easy 3 mile run on plan I decided to switch up the days and do my long run on Friday and my short/easy/recovery run on Saturday with Team Challenge.  My long run went pretty well (though my knees seemed to be pretty sore after that run) with perfect weather (sun and very little wind) for a long run.  Originally I was planning two more double digit runs but after talking to Coach Barbara I am going to drop them back to let my legs rest/taper before my goal race.

On Saturday I met up with my Team Challenge group in Chicago for a five mile run on the lakefront path.  I was going to be happy if I made it 3 miles but ended up having such a great time running with Christine, Naomi and Michael that I just kept running after I hit 3 miles!  I wasn't paying attention to my Garmin except to check the distance a couple of times.  The first mile or so felt hard - my legs felt heavy and tired but once I got going running felt much easier.  Of course, the beautiful view of the lakefront path on a sunny morning as well as conversation with friends definitely provided nice distractions!

It seems so hard to believe that I am three weeks away from my goal race and that we are already five weeks into training for the 13.1 Chicago half marathon!  Though, if you want to join the team it is not too late!  Just let me know and I'd be happy to provide info...

Oshkosh Half Marathon Training Schedule
Monday:  Run, 3 miles, easy
Tuesday:  Cross train
Wednesday:  Run, 5 miles, tempo (w/u, 3 mi @ 9:43, c/d)
Thursday:  Strength train
Friday:  Run, 3 miles, easy
Saturday:  Run, 10 miles
Sunday:  Rest

And here's how the week actually went:
Monday:  Run, 3.22 miles @ 9:58/mi
Tuesday:  Bike trainer @ 45 minutes, strength train
Wednesday:  Run, 5 miles, tempo (1 mi @ 10:04, 3 mi @ 9:26, 1 mi @ 10:12)
Thursday:  Bike, 30 minutes, strength train
Friday:  Run, 10.68 miles @ 10:27/mi
Saturday:  Run, 4.48 miles @ 9:49/mi
Sunday:  Rest

Not interested in running?  How about making a donation to Team Challenge?