Monthly Goals Series: April 2015

Good morning!  I’ve decided to start a monthly goals series so I can keep accountable for getting my training in and keeping up good habits.

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1.  Stick with the tri plan, no excuses.  Training starts 4/6/15.  This one is a biggie and simple:  my goal is to stick with all scheduled workouts (usually 5-6 days/week).  The biggest excuse I give is basically “work is hard.”  Yes, I have a difficult job.  It’s physically and mentally draining, demanding of a ton of my time and a lot of the time I just want to come home and crash.  So, how am I going to keep up the training?  I plan to do a mix of morning and evening training, taking advantage of the longer daylight hours; have a snack at work in the afternoon so I’m not starving when I get off; rearrange the schedule as needed.

2.  Fuel like an athlete.  If I’m hungry, I’ll eat.  No “diet” foods and no garbage (except celebrating my mom’s birthday with homemade cake).  No skipping meals–a bad habit of mine when I get off at 7-8pm and have no desire to eat.  Meal prep Sundays are going to be a key player in making sure this goal sticks.

3.  Blog twice a week.  This one is kinda self-explanatory, but I really enjoy blogging and I don’t like it when I go two weeks without a post.  It’s not that I’ve run out of things to say, it’s that I don’t make time for it.  Instead of binge watching Law and Order after a ride that time would be much better spent blogging about that ride. :)

4.  Have a solid Carytown 10K.  It’s fast and flat and I’m looking to run a good race at the end of the month.  No, I’m not looking for a PR (thats later this year), but I am looking for a nice-even-feels-good-but-challenging run that has me crossing the finish line with a big smile on my face.

5.  (Not listed on the picture above) Complete the ROCK YOUR CORE Challenge hosted by a whole bunch of awesome bloggers.  Strong core = strong swim/bike/running.  Enough said.

Do you set monthly goals for yourself?

Race Report: Shamrock 8K

Good morning!

First, I’d like to wish my lab mix Delilah a happy 7th birthday!  She was a 9-month old rescue when I first got her, and she is still just as playful as she can be :)

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I’m linking up today with April, Erika and Patty for Tuesdays on the Run.  Today’s topic is “dream race,” and while I’m not exactly talking about a bucket list race I am doing my Shamrock 8K race report, which went so well I might as well have been a dream.

Pre-race, ready to run!

Pre-race, ready to run!

Two weekends ago I ventured down to Virginia Beach for the Shamrock 8K.  I was supposed to be doing the Dolphin Challenge (the 8K + half marathon) but I’ve been battling shin and IT band injuries and had to call it quits on the dolphin months ago.  I did, however, commit to running the 8K distance.

Bright and early on Saturday morning Tyler and I headed down to the oceanfront to a very chilly race start.  We walked around a bit to keep ourselves warm then made our way to the start line.  Luckily, my corral was near a parking garage, which was nice to duck into to avoid the cold wind.

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I must mention, I forgot my watch.  Normally, I would be freaking out because I wouldn’t know how close I was to the next mile, how slow (or fast) I was going.  Nope not this time.  This course’s mile markers are quite accurate and I wanted to run by feel instead of obsessing over pace and splits.  My goal during this race was to keep proper running form, a nice even pace and of course stay pain free.

And I did!

I loved ever minute of this race.  Though uneventful and nowhere near a PR, I finished with a huge smile on my face and no IT band issues.  Also, in the last half mile or so I was able to pickup the pace a bit and not feel completely destroyed.

After the race, all smiles!

After the race, all smiles!

I crossed the finish line, collected my gorgeous medal (J&A medals are always so much fun) and headed to the post race party tent where I had some Irish beef stew and warmed up a bit.

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Official time: 50 minutes, 36 seconds (10:11/mile pace)

In keeping with the this week’s theme of dream races, what would be yours?  Mine would be the Pumpkinman Half Iron-distance triathlon.  You get to celebrate with a Thanksgiving-esque dinner, and who wouldn’t want that?!  Perhaps next year if I have a healthy tri/running season this year ;)

Where Did March Go?!

Happy Monday!  Wow, I’m not sure about you but did March just fly by or what?  Here are a few things I’ve been up to lately:

1.  I’m quitting my job.  Yep, my last day at the orthopedics office is April 30th.  I really enjoy my co-workers (so this was actually a difficult, long, drawn out decision), I just don’t enjoy the job (and the crazy hours that consume all of my time and the fact that I don’t want to do nursing as a career anymore).  I have applied to go back to staffing resources and I have my 2nd interview tomorrow.  Fingers crossed I get the job so I can go back to making my own schedule and finally start the back to school process!

2.  I’ve decided to “clean up” my eating….again.  It’s similar to the 21-day sugar detox I did before, but I’m eating fruit and some grains (quinoa and rice) in order to make it a permanent habit.  Expect a post on this soon!  Properly fueled body = better athletic performance.

3. It’s almost April, which means it’s officially time to start triathlon training.  Like, starting a training plan official.  Since my first sprint triathlon of the season is in July and Olympic tri training starts in June, I’ve decided to just start doing a basic sprint triathlon plan (from an Athleta guide I found awhile back) to get me prepped for olympic tri training.  Did you catch all of that?  I’ll be starting on 4/6.  Stay tuned for Monday training updates starting with next Monday, which will be mostly running and cycling.

4.  I am backing out of the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler.  I love this race and DC around this time of year, but I’m just not trained for it (due to IT band issues) and I have a ton of races to look forward to this summer I don’t want to mess  up.  I have some guilt for taking a slot that someone else could’ve used, but sometimes that’s just way it goes.

What have you been up to lately?

 

 

Seattle Workouts Recap

Hello hello!  I’m back in Virginia and it’s FINALLY not snowing or below freezing!  If you follow me on Instagram, you know I spent last week in Seattle, and it was p-e-r-f-e-c-t.  This is my first of three recaps I’ll be posting this week.

I would consider this a pretty active vacation, which was just what I needed to get out of my workout rut.  Plus, Seattle is incredibly pedestrian-friendly, which was a nice change from where we live in southeastern Virginia.

Sunday: Hot Chocolate 15K <——click the link for the race recap :)

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Monday: Walking…lots of walking exploring West Seattle (about 11 miles!) + 20 min swim at the West Seattle YMCA.  At first I thought maybe the walking wasn’t going to be the best idea because of my IT band issues, but I surprisingly had zero pain once we started walking, so I went with it.  I also planked on the beach with the most amazing background.

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Tuesday: More walking around West Seattle, only about 5 miles on this day because we walked a lot on Monday and wanted to rest up for Wednesday’s hike.

Wednesday:  Hiking around Mt Rainier National Park.  This deserves its own post, but here’s a preview photo :)

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Thursday:  3 mile bike ride around the neighborhood + 50 minute Pilates class.  I found it shockingly easy to ride up and down the massive hills.

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Pilates–not so easy, but it felt great.  I’m not the biggest fan of the reformer, but the mat work was the best core workout I’ve had in a long time!

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Friday: Walking at Alki Beach and in downtown Seattle just to stretch the legs before being on the plane for 5+ hours.  We saw a rather large otter on the shore of Puget Sound which was just rolling around in the sand.  I would love to have these views on my daily walks/runs/bike rides/planks!

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Do you like active vacations, or is relaxation in order when you leave town?

Have a great day!

Race Report: Hot Chocolate 15K Seattle

Hello from Seattle!

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I’m popping in to share my Hot Chocolate 15K race experience then getting back to enjoying my vacation.  Vacation recap will be up next week :)  Enjoy my race recap!

The Expo:

My how this race has grown!  When I ran in 2013, the expo consisted of bib and hoodie pickup, maybe a couple of vendors and a Hot Chocolate 15K gear shop.  Fast forward to 2015 and wow, a pretty big expo with a lot more vendors and things to look at, but not overwhelming and crowded.

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I was most impressed with the bib pickup process:  there were no number assignments prior to pickup.  They typed in your name into a computer, it printed out your name on a sticker and then they stuck it on a bib number.  Super quick and no having to look on a giant board with the tiniest little font looking for your name and number.  Love it.

Included in the reusable “goody bag” was a nice full-zip hooded fleece.  It will be great for chilly swim days!

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Race Day:

Tyler and I arrived at the start line pretty early, just to ensure a parking spot.  With the 5K starting one hour before the 15K (and the rather large race field), we didn’t want to take any chances of not getting a good spot in the garage we chose to park in.

the huge 5K field!

the huge 5K field!

We had a lot of time to kill, so after scoping out the area we walked a little bit Uptown Espresso for some coffee, then returned to the race area.  Luckily, there was a building open near the race start (it was a food court of some sort) with restrooms and a place to sit.

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And just like that, it was time to head to the corrals.  It was a beautiful, crisp early spring day.  The sun was shining, not much of a breeze, and about 40 degrees at the start.  Perfect running weather.

just before going to the corral

just before going to the corral

The first few miles of the race took us through the downtown area, then we headed out of the city over a bridge with a view of the Olympic mountains.  I tried to capture some pictures but couldn’t quite get the mountains in.

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Now about my race:  The hills not only destroyed my pace, but once again, destroyed my left IT band (I will do a full post on this next week, going to enjoy what’s left of my vacation and not really think about it).  I made it to mile 7 before having to walk, given that I had made it up over the monster hill I was pleased.  Between miles 7 and 9 we maybe walked a total of one mile.  Before I knew it, we were back at the Space Needle, crossing the finish line.

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Time (official, as GASP! I did not wear my Garmin):  1:55:06
Pace:  12:21/mile

Then the chocolate celebration began!

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We got our medals-new for this year!

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And I thoroughly enjoyed my post race treat of hot chocolate and various goodies dipped in melted chocolate.

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Today I’m linking up with Patty, Erika and April for Tuesdays on the Run.  It just so happens the topic today is favorite post race treat.  While I enjoyed the chocolate treats after this race, my favorite post race treat is and always will be breakfast.  I love breakfast.

Have a great day!