Sunday, March 27, 2011

Holy Hills

In preperation for the Pittsburgh marathon, I have been doing hill work on most Thursdays (when I don't have another workout scheduled.)

Thursday after work I worked out in the AM then ran 9 miles.  I ran 5 hill repeats up Bernice Street in the North Hills.  It hurt so bad.  I have been doing hills regularly, but my legs have never felt as heavy.   The hill was half a mile long, and it took me between 4:43 - 5:03 minutes to make it up, averaging a speedy 9:29 - 10:03 pace.  It was not a confidence boosting workout and I kinda hated every minute of it.

Friday morning my legs were shot as I ran an easy 5 around my neighborhood in the dark at 9:24 pace.  Yuck.

Friday night I went to the Cheesecake Factory with Jordan's family.  I had yummy fish tacos and lots of fun.  It was a great start to the weekend.
Fish Taco, YUM

Saturday I decided my legs were in no condition to tackle my long run/workout so I went out to the park with my Dad and ran 8 minutes at 8:17 pace.  I actually felt decent, and took it as a sign that I would be ready Sunday to run harder.  The Just a Short Run race was being run and I had a couple of friends competing.  Holly and Katie ran and they both did awesome!  I wish I was running with them, but I knew that would be too much racing with the Clarion Half coming up.

Saturday was a great day - I landed my summer job!  School gets out June 9th and I probably don't go back till around Labor Day.  I definitely wanted to work, since I can only run for so many hours of the day.  I will be a nanny for 9-year old twins four days a week.  I have Tuesdays off if you want to come hang out with me!

I cleaned the house with a vengence and was full of energy.  I made hot sausage, chicken sausage, and peppers for dinner and I made sure to eat pasta.  We went to my favorite dessert place/date night destination.  YUM frozen yogurt in Wexford, right by the Village at Pine.  I am obsessed with the nonfat yogurt and bazillion toppings.  It was so crowded we had to eat in the car!  And it was 15 degrees.  I think the business is doing well.

I was so pumped when my running buddy Kate texted me to meet up early Sunday morning.  The workout was wierd, long, and hard so I was so grateful to run with her and be distracted by us talking.  I got out to the lake at 7:40, which I was very proud of.  I warmed up for about 1.18 miles (very random) and didn't stretch since I was meeting Kate at 8:15.  I ran my first 10 minute tempo interval at 6:42 pace, not too bad.  Three minutes rest, and I ran the next 10 minutes at 6:42 pace again.  It was not easy, I was breathing very hard and my legs were burning!  I wondered how I would possibly run 10 miles, then run the same pace for 15 minutes.  Ugh.  I was so excited to run the next ten miles with Kate and catch up with her.  She is running the race next weekend, too!  We ran somewhere about an average of 8:15 pace.  I was feeling very heavy legged when she left me and started my 15 minutes at tempo pace.  I ended up doing it at 6:47 pace.  Off the 6:44, but I will definitly take it.  Ouch.  Cooled down and had 18 miles done for the day by 10:15.

Dinner at Mom's tonight!  Yay for no cooking/dish washing.  Great Sunday!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Birthday Girl

This past weekend was my birthday.  Which is why I am not blogging until now.

The BEST way to start off your birthday weekend is with a sunny, fast, 22 miler.  This may be one of my most favorite runs this season.  I woke up and got out to the lake around 8am Saturday.  I was meeting a friend for part of my LONG 22 mile run.  I was planning on running at a normal pace, hopefully under 8 minute pace - feels fast to me. 

Does anyone else run really fast when they are mad about something?  I was feeling quite frustrated with something that happened the past week, and I think I needed this long run to help myself feel better.  Seriously, I will never pay money to see a therapist in my life because the long run is all the therapy I needed.  The more I can take my anger out on the pavement and tire myself out, the happier I feel and the smaller my problems seem.  To sum it up, the first half of my run was done at 7:54 pace and the last half was done at 7:32 pace.  It felt AMAZING to run that fast for my longest run and not crash at the end.  I felt pretty spectacular, especially since my anger had gone away after I finish my run.

The birthday weekend was very fun.  I have pictures to put up, but not with me...I am at the Panera in Tarentum waiting to go to a work event this evening.  Saturday, I was pretty wiped out from the rest of my run.  I met my dad for coffee at Borders, then spent the day doing laundry.  woohoo.  That night, Jordan and I got takeout and watched a movie so I could rest my legs.  The birthday morning was spent in the best way possible: running with Penny and Jordan at North Park.  It was an interval workout for them, since 7 miles would be a little long for them both and they needed walk breaks.  My legs were heavy!  We had a delicious Panera breakfast and went up to the mall to make some birthday gift exchanges.  Jordan got me some really cute clothes and a Pandora charm for my birthday, sadly, some of the clothing did not fit right.  The rest of the day we spent at his mom's house celebrating both my birthday and his brother Alex's birthday.  They had tons of delicious food (as usual!) and made some excellent drinks.  I had a great time!  On the way home, we stopped and visited with my parents and I got more clothes and some new candles.  YES!  We went home to cuddle with our corg, the perfect way to end the birthday weekend. 

Monday was back to reality!  I ran 6 miles at 8:32 pace in the AM around home, in the dark.  Tuesday came and I lifted in the morning and did a 12 mile workout that afternoon.  It was tough.  I had 8 5.5 minute repeats at tempo (6:44) with 30 seconds rest.  Does anyone know how short 30 seconds rest is???  It was a good workout.  My splits were between 6:38 pace and 6:46 pace so I was happy and relieved that it went ok.  I immediatly chugged some chocolate milk and drove to my hair appointment, wearing spandex.  I know I am odd.

This morning I did an easy 5 miles on the treadmill while watching Desperate Housewives.  I was extremely sore!  Hopefully I will be ready for the hills tomorrow. 

New Vibram Five Fingers Bikila Silver/Verde Ladies 37
I might buy the vibram five fingers with some birthday money....still thinking about it!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Weekday Running

Hooray for daylight savings time!

Tomorrow is my birthday, and the day after is the day we acquired Penny (my birthday gift!).  A picture to mark the occasion:

This week went by very quickly and I did not blog as much as I would like!

Wednesday morning, I got up extra early to lift at the gym.  After school, I headed to North Hills High school to do another run there.  It is so convenient because I pass right by it on my way home from work.  It is the most time efficient.  I ran basically the same loop as I did on Monday, but one mile longer, to total nine miles at 8:21 pace.  I was feeling upset about something, and boy did I feel better after a run in the sunshine.  Jordan was working late that night, so my twin came over with Panera, which did a great job of making me feel better, too!

Thursday I had a work training until 6pm at the library right next to the track I run at.  The training was from 4-6, but the instructor was 40 minutes late in starting.  It was awful because it was so sunny out and I could just hear the track calling my name.  It was 65 degrees!  I was so excited to escape and get in a 7 mile hill workout.  I felt like it was summer, being to run until 7:30 and the sun still shining away.  It was awesome and put me in such a good mood.  I did 5 hill repeats that were .40 mile long.  They were...
2:53 (7:36 pace)
2:52 (7:35 pace)
2:52 (7:32 pace) must have stopped a little late
2:49 (7:25)
2:47 (7:18)
I hope these hills get me ready for the hills in the Pittsburgh marathon.....

Friday I woke up early and ran 5 miles at 8:32 pace around my neighborhood before work.  It was great to wear shorts so early in the morning and in the dark!

 Let the birthday weekend festivities begin!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

That Hurt. Two months until the Marathon.

Running sometimes has to hurt.  Today was one of those days.
face of pain.

 I was a little unsure about today's workout, and I guess it was not so unreasonable that I was.  I had to do 12 miles total, with a 15-20 minute run at tempo (6:44-6:51, but hoping 6:44) 3 minutes easy, 15-20 minutes at tempo again, 3 minutes easy, 10 minutes at tempo.

I knew it would be difficult when I was warming up and my legs felt heavy and sore, probably from the ten-mile race Saturday.  The weather was not motivating, either.  It was 40 degrees, rainy, and overcast.  This is my LEAST favorite type of weather to run in.  I love running when it is snowing.  Snow does not get you soaking wet in minutes, and it is really pretty and fun to look at.  There is nothing good about running in the rain.  40 degrees is not cold, but when it is rainy and windy it is worse than a snowy day.

During the first set, I felt how hard this was going to be.  One mile in, I was very close to giving up on the workout and doing it some other time.  I am always tempted to do this when a run is not going my way.  I will happily run any workout, but when I have difficulty running my ideal splits, I get frustrated and think it's not going to happen.  It was a mental workout today in keeping myself from realizing how long the intervals were, and keeping myself encouraged.  Everytime I wanted to quit I tried replacing my negative thoughts by concentrating on some of my quotes, appropraite for how crappy I was feeling.

Pain is weakness leaving the body.

It hurts up to a point, then it doesn't get any worse. 

Pain is temporary, Pride is forever.

As in the race on Saturday, I actually felt a little bit better after the first two miles.  That was a nice relief, but it was still tough!  I was wiped out by the end of the last shorter repeat, and enjoyed my long cooldown around the lake.

1st segment: 15 minutes at 6:51 pace 2.19 miles
2nd segment: 15 minutes at 6:47 pace 2.22 miles
3rd segment: 10 minutes at 6:51 pace 1.47 miles

I have a feeling I will sleep good tonight and 5:20 will come far too quickly.

Anyone doing a long run Saturday?  I am and I would love some company!!! 

Tomorrow is over the hump day :) .

Monday, March 14, 2011

More Sore Two Days After

I think I made an important discovery.  It seems to me that I am not as sore the day after a race then I am two days after the race.

Sunday, I waited till later in the day to do my run from home, to help give me a little more recovery time.  Penny woke me up at 6:30 that morning so I didn't get to sleep in but wasn't really tired at all.  (I felt it today).  By the time it came for me to get my run in, it felt GREAT.  I was working around the house, so it was a welcome relief.  I was thrilled I was able to keep an 8:11 pace through the hilly neighborhoods, sad as it is, I have struggled to get under 9 minute pace some days around here.  Eeek.  My calves were a little sore, but I felt like I had a lot of energy.  I did an ab workout and some extra stretching after.

This morning, getting out of bed was ROUGH.  I am blaming it on the time change and my Iphone.  I set my alarm to go off at 5:40 so I could get to the gym and lift before school.  My Iphone was wacked up and the alarm rang out at 4:40.  I had a tough time going back to sleep for an hour, and when I did, my alarm woke me up yet again and I was out of it.  Needless to say, the lifting was skipped and pushed back to the afternoon.

At school, we learned about Leprechaun and I dyed the water in the water table green when the kids were at snack.  They are convinced that a Leprechaun went swimming in our water table, and it was so fun to talk about it all day.  Tomrorow, he will be writing the kids a note and leaving them a St. Patrick's Day beach ball.  We are also making play-do from mashed potatoes!

After school, I parked at the highschool for an 8 miler.  I was determined to stay under 8:27 pace for this easy run; two months till the Pittsburgh marathon and I thought I should be pushing myself a bit more.  Last spring, I felt like I had a really great period of training from January - mid March, then I fizzled.  Not happening again!  I was able to run about 8:20 pace for the run, but boy did my muscles burn.  On the upside, it felt good to be out since the sun was shining and it was a tropical 42 degrees.  I lifted at home while Penny kept dropping toys on me.  I had to be careful not to swing my 15lb dumbbell in her face. 

Tonight we had leftovers of the best, easiest dinner.  The recipe is not that complicated.

Chicken BBQ

4 chicken breasts
bottle of BBQ sauce
half a chopped red onion
Cook for 8 hours on low in a crockpot

That is it.  I am quite the fan.  Tonight, I put it over top of a baked potato and Jordan just ate it plain.  Last night we made sandwiches, but I think I prefer the potato method. 

A baby picture of Penny, since the day after my birthday (March 21st) is the anniversary of when we aquired her.

Baby Penny - Note one floppy ear
Tomorrow's workout: 12 miles total 20 minutes at tempo, 3 minutes easy, 20 minutes at tempo, 3 easy, 10 minutes at tempo...a little scared of this one.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

St. Paul's March Mad Dash

Yesterday, I ran the first March Mad Dash at North Park Lake, hosted by St. Paul's United Methodist church.  I signed up for this race because I worked at this church's childcare throughout college and really loved working there.  They had a 5k race, 5 mile, and 10 mile and I had signed up for the 10 mile because I thought it would be helpful to get ready for the Clarion Half-Marathon.

When the alarm went off at 6:30 on a Saturday I was definitely not pumped up about the race.  I took care of Penny and made myself a smaller breakfast than I had for the 20 mile race.  I was worried I would eat too much and you probably should eat more for a 20 miler than a 10 miler!  I had tea and a small bowl of cinnamon and brown sugar oatmeal.  I didn't have to leave until 7:30 for the 9 am race which was great.

I parked about a quarter mile or so away to avoid the crowds and packet pickup went very smoothly.  I did an easy 3 mile warm-up and felt pretty decent on it.  I was hoping that if I were to do a 3 mile warm up, do the 10 mile race, and at least a 2 mile cool down, I would be able to get 15 miles in for the day.  I am very good at math.

I was excited to see that my friends Jess, Moira, and Holly were running the race.  You know you are a running nerd when you know and have ran with the top four finishers!

I set myself a goal of going under 7 minutes/mile because any pace with a 6 in front of it seems fast for me.  My harder goal was to get close to 6:51 pace because if I run 6:51 pace for the Clarion Half-Marathon I will break 1:30.  That would be amazing and pretty hard to do because it would be a PR of about 3 minutes and 28 seconds.  Haha.

The race started and I found myself moving a long just fine.  However, after the first mile, I had a couple mile stretch where my legs felt very heavy and I found it hard to believe that I could replicate the 6:51 mile my Garmin recorded for the first mile.  I focused on not thinking about the 9 more miles I had left and on keeping my pace on my Garmin at 6:51.  It was good to practice this because during the Marathon I know I will encounter times like this.  Miles 2 and 3 were recorded as 6:49 and 6:51.

I somehow snapped out of my funk when I passed a few people and started to run uphill.  It shows how mental running is sometimes, because when someone passed me I immediately felt sluggish and then when I passed a few people I snapped out of it.  That is something I should start working on, not being discouraged when someone passes you.

The next two miles I felt better hanging on the heels of a girl who ended up running the 5 mile race.  I think we both felt relief when she pulled away from me with half a mile to the 5 mile mark and I didn't go with her.  I kept going through the finish line for lap two and I think she realized that was why I wasn't spiriting like crazy to stay with her on her fast last half mile! 

Official First Lap Split: 34:36.  My Garmin made me appear a little faster, with the first 5 miles splits at 6:51, 6:49, 6:51, 6:44, 6:48.

My goal for the second lap was to not get passed by anyone and negative split.  So while I was running strong, I was running the next part scared that someone was going to catch me and let's just say I don't always have the best sprinting kick.  I took a gel at mile 6 and convinced myself it was magic to make myself faster.  This is the advanced mind of a preschool teacher.  This lap, like the Spring Thaw, was very lonely.  A couple nice runners encouraged me when I ran by, and the volunteers (mostly kids) were great out there, ringing cowbells and shouting words of encouragement. 

My star cheerleader for the day was my Dad, who was out at the park for his usually Saturday morning bike ride.  Being on bike made him an excellent cheerleader because he saw me at least 8 times!  It was particularly helpful seeing him during the last half-mile stretch because the race was starting to get pretty hard and I really wanted to finish strong.  I did not want to give up with him watching! 

Splits for this lap: 6:43, 6:50, 6:44, 6:42, 6:37
Official Second Lap Split: 34:08

Met my goal of negative splitting by 28 seconds, so that was good.  According to my Garmin I averaged 6:45 pace, but my official time was 1:08:44 at a 6:52 pace - pretty close to the 6:51 pace I wanted!  I was happy with the way I pushed through even though the first couple miles felt pretty rough.  It's weird that I am the kind of runner who hurts more in the beginning and not the end.

Visited with my Dad and some other friends after the race, and even won a second place prize!
coffee mug and $20 to Dick's = my first winnings ever!

Had a good three mile cool-down with Moira and Jess and was able to put in 16 for the day.

St. Paul's did an awesome job with this race and you could not tell it was the first year!

The rest of the day I ran errands, grocery shopped, and went over my parent's for my birthday get-together. 
To me, it was the perfect Saturday :) .

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Coming Back

Chugging vitamin water, taking zinc, vitamins, cold medicine, and glutamine seem to be working.  Wednesday, I met up with Kate at North Park to get 6 miles in.  My legs felt fresh (two days off!) and I didn't feel too sick otherwise - not 100% better but it felt great to get a nice run in.  It was a miserable, wet, rainy, cold day and we got 6 miles in at 8:05 pace.  I felt great when we were done, I was so glad to be back running.

Thursday morning I got up and lifted at the gym.  I was not sure what I was going to run that afternoon, I wanted to do a little workout, but I was racing Saturday so I didn't want to do anything too hard.  Basically, I had no plan at all and hopped out of the car after work (I ran from North Hills High school) and decided since it was raining hard and looked miserable again I would just run somewhat fast.  The route is always kinda hilly when I run from the highschool, so it definitly would be a challenge.  I usually just run easy miles instead of doing a workout or tempo.  I did 5 miles in 7:20 pace, with the first two miles being kind of slower.  I guess it shows me that most normal people do a warm-up?  Splits: 7:34, 7:34, 7:09, 7:12, 7:12.  I did a two mile cooldown and felt great that I pushed outside my comfort zone.  I think I should work on doing more of these faster paced miles during my training.

Friday morning was an easy 5 miles at 8:27 pace on the treadmill while watching season 4 of Desperate Housewives.  That day at school, we read Green Eggs and Ham.  I brought my griddle and cooked green eggs for the kids, it was really fun and a great activity for a Friday. 

After school, I stopped at Kohl's for some pre-birthday shopping.  I can't always find stuff I like at Kohl's, but I found a couple of great shirts and jewelry there.  I also don't feel bad wearing these things to work, where I might get finger paint all over myself, because the prices are really good.  One of the favorite things I bought was a light yellow ruffle shirt and yellow flower necklace that I love together.  Here is a link to my new favorite necklace:

My New Necklace

Jordan and I got takeout from the St. Teresa Fish Fry.  VERY GOOD!  We watched some TV and in usual Friday night fashion I feel asleep around 8pm for half an hour.

Ran a race this morning - will post about that later when I have the official race results!

Happy Saturday!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sick No More - Plan of Attack

I am so over getting sick every 5 weeks or so.

I did some soul searching today, trying to think of reasons as to why I get a cold more often than most people.  My findings:
1) I teach preschool.
2) I push myself hard running/lifting at least once a day.

My scientific conclusion is that I must NOT be taking the proper steps to take care of myself after exercising.  This causes my immune system to be lowered temporarily.  Throw me into a Pre-K classroom during cold season and I am ready to get sick. 

Browsing the internet, I made a game plan and a couple stops to help get myself healthy and staying that way.

1) I stopped at GNC and bought Glutamine and Zinc. Apparently, a lot of athletes take Glutamine to help them recover after a workout.  I think I need help with that.  Zinc I have taken before in college after hard workouts during the winter.  It helps your immune system, and I got it in a pill form to help get rid of my illness.
GNC Stop
Next, I stopped at Giant Eagle to get some Vitamin Water, cold medicine, and broccoli cheddar soup.  I am convinced that Vitamin water helps you kick a cold fast, or even prevent one when you start to feel under the weather.  I don't love buying them because they are not cheap, but I am starting to think they are worth it.  They even sell them in bulk at Sam's Club.

Took a little nap after taking my medicine and I feel pretty good right now.  I am sad that I have missed a few days of training, but I am trying to be positive and focus on getting better and staying better.  I am signed up for a race this Saturday, and my goal is to feel recovered enough to get a few runs in before Saturday and feel up to racing the 10miler as a good tempo run for my training.

Some other things I should probably do to avoid getting sick again:
Eat after running a hard workout.  I don't always want to eat, especially because I eat a protein bar before working out.  I am just not hungry.  I am probably going to start bringing chocolate milk for when I am done. 
Sleeping more - at least 7 hours a night!
Eat enough to stay fueled.
Any other ideas?  I need some convenient after-run snack ideas that do not involve bars or gels....

Mandatory cute corgi picture:
Baby Penny

PS: Check out the awesome book I am reading.  I am so glad to have a great book to read while I am sick!  Jodi Picoult is the best and her main character has Asperger's.  Very interetesting.
House Rules: A Novel
Read this book!   

Monday, March 7, 2011

Fun But Germy Weekend

Friday night, I set my alarm fully planning on waking up and running an 18 mile workout with my running buddy Kate.  What I didn't plan on was falling asleep sitting upright at 8:15 that night and waking up sweating and chilled.  I thought it was too good to be true that I haven't yet caught the bug sweeping through my classroom and I was right.  Saturday morning I did not feel much better.  I met Kate at North Park and was disappointed to see I was very lightheaded and weak running, not to mention it kinda hurt to breathe.  I made the decision to only run 7.5 with her, and to try my long run Sunday if I felt any better.  It was disappointing NOT to do a long run with her because she is only home so often from  school and the time flies by when I am running with her!

The rest of the day I felt miserable.  I was so tired and had a hard time getting enough energy to do things around the house. 

Penny laying in bed with me

I picked myself out of the bed and Jordan and I picked up my two brothers to go down to the waterfront.  We ate at Uno's and I had a very good multigrain pizza with hummus, spinach, feta, and vegetables.  I was impressed this was on the menu!  The boys had the monsterously thick peperoni deep dish pizza.  I had a bite of Jordan's and it was so good but very filling.  We went over to Dave and Buster's and played some games.  I am a fan of the ski ball :).
Brothers eating a 6 inch tall pizza
Jordan and I
By the end of the night, I was pretty tired.  I felt okay out, but again, felt tired all night.  Sunday morning I made the decision to try and run, but I ruled out the 18miler.  I guess it's kind of ridiculous anyways, since I ran a 20 mile race last weekend.  I ended up running an 8 miler with my Dad and Penny.  I was glad I did since I feel miserable when I don't run, and didn't want to be cranky all day.

That night, I cooked Chicken Parmesan for my family.  I am quite proud of how it turned out; pounding the chicken before cooking it really made it better.  We had pasta, caesar salad, bread, and cheesecake with berries for dessert.  The coffee was good, too: chocolate cinnamon swirl. I wish I had ran 18 miles that morning, I would be able to fit more food in my belly.
Family Photo
Chicken Parm, Pasta, Caesar Salad

Cheesecake and Berries
Very tired after the festivities

Today, I made the sad deicison to take a day off from running.  Teaching at school today, I felt pretty lightheaded whenever I was standing and teaching, and felt letargic and run down in general.  I hate not meeting my mileage goal for the week, but I guess my training has been going well and I obviously am not kicking this cold while I continue to run.  I'm hoping tomorrow I wake up feeling great and I can run the rest of the week as follows:

Tuesday: Am lifting, PM 8 with Kate
Wed: 12 mile w/o
Thursday: AM Lift, 10 miles
Friday: Easy 6
Saturday: 10 mile March Mad Dash, 15 miles total
Sunday: 10 miles

56 miles total, which is actually what I should be running this week (80% of peak mileage)

Any advice on staying healthy while being able to hug my 18 little students?  I am thinking about taking Zinc or Airborne.

Friday, March 4, 2011


Why I am so excited for the weekend:
1)  Dinner out with my boo tonight.
2) Jersey shore DVR tonight.
3) Running a long run with Kate tomorrow.
4) Baby brother coming home from college for break.
5) Going to to the waterfront with husband and brothers.
6) Running with Dad Sunday.
7) Making chicken parm Sunday for my family.
8) More time to cuddle with Penny!!!!
Corg in a Blanket

The past couple days, I have struggled with getting motivated to go do my workouts.  I feel like I am on the edge of getting sick, but since it's Friday and I will have the weekend to recover, I'm hoping I was just tired.  I thought of you all on here reading my blog and mocking me for skipping my run (thinking of Charlie Ban in particular) and decided to get on with my run.  Once I started, I felt fine.  That is how it usually is.

Tuesday: Really, really sore from the race!  Usually I like to run with the Hounds down at CMU, but I knew I would struggle to run a track workout.  I thought I would be recovered from the race but apparently I was not.  I came home from school very sleepy and finally motivated myself to do some sort of easier workout.  I needed to get in about 9 miles, so I decided to do a longer hill that reminded me of one of the hills in the Pittsburgh Marathon.  I warmed up for two miles in a nearby neighborhood and felt really good.  Why is it when I am not running I feel awful and have to wrap myself up in a blanket and when I run in the cold I feel great?? The hill was about .31/mile according to my Garmin and doing these intervals really made 9 miles go by MUCH faster.  I am not a fan of doing straight  mileage many days in a row, I get very bored.  The results:
2:08, 2:10, 2:09, 2:10, 2:10, 2:07, 2:10, 2:05.  The paces averaged from 6:55 - 7:10.  I have never looked at my pace on specific hill repeats before so I am not sure how to compare them, but I was happy enough to get out of the house and run.  I came back and I did my lifting in the basement.

Wednesday: VERY SLOW MORNING RUN.  Slow as in 9:21 pace.  I really couldn't believe my Garmin when it told me that, I was so slow that I had to cut off the last half mile so I could make it to work in time.  Hmmmm.  I guess these are what recovery runs are for?  Anyways, I was glad when Wednesday was done because I finished all of my parent conferences!  Yes!

Thursday: Another day where I really did not want to do my workouts!  Still pretty tired in general, but made myself go to the gym in the AM.  I felt really proud of myself after working out and was pumped to get my Panera breakfast.  After school, I had a pretty intimidating workout scheduled.  12 miles with 7 one mile repeats at tempo with only 1 measly minute of rest.  Between repeats 4 and 5 Jack Daniels was nice enough to give me five minutes rest.  I decided to move up a Vdot to push myself further, so it meant the repeats had to be ran at 6:44 pace.  Running anywhere in the sixes kind of scares me so I wasn't sure how it was going to go.  Thankfully, it was another day where I felt better when I started running.  The sun was shining so that was definitely helpful and I am always happy Thursday evenings because the weekend is just around the corner.  I did these at North Park because I thought it would be helpful to run them somewhere there were hills and downhills since the Pittsburgh marathon is definitely not flat.  My splits: 6:41, 6:41, 6:42, 6:39, 6:38, 6:36, 6:32.
I tricked my brain by telling myself I was only running four one mile repeats.  After I did the first four, I tried my best during the longer five-minute rest to convince myself I had not ran any mile repeats yet and I only had three at an easy tempo pace to do.  It worked.
This workout gave me some more confidence that I might be able to get a PR this season.  I am even starting to hope I can approach the 1:30 mark in the half marathon, even though my best was only 1:33:27 at the IKEA half marathon.  We will see - probably April 2nd at the Clarion half marathon.

This morning, I did 5 miles on the treadmill at 8:24 pace and felt pretty good despite a sore throat I woke up to.  I got to share my running vest during Show and Tell at school.
I felt like a big nerd even among preschoolers

When I posed the question, "Why do you think Miss Caitlin wears this vest?  What might she be doing?"  My (male) student replied, "So you won't get hit my a car, ran over, and smushed everywhere."
Well, he was right.