Monday, March 26, 2012

Last week before taper

Last week, I had my biggest mileage week before my taper began! What perfect timing, the extra time will give me more time to pack up and move.  But I would MUCH rather be running then putting boxes away.

This past week:
Monday: lift, 7 miles easy
Tuesday: 9 miles, abs
Wednesday: lift, 11 miles (Yasso 800s)
Thursday: 9 mile hilly run - got to run with Kate!!!
Friday: 6 miles easy
Saturday: 22 miles with Leslie and Moira at the Montour Trail - av. pace 7:55, last 7 miles closer to marathon pace 7:40 - 7:10
Sunday: 8 miles with Dad, easy - very sore

Last night, Jordan suddenly got very sick.  He has a fever, sore throat, and stomach bug. He called off work and I decided to as well because he looked so miserable and we really needed to get a lot done in the house. I had a ridiculously productive day cleaning and packing. My fingernails are disgusting from all the cleaning products and my hands are dry and cracking. It wasn't very smart to pack away my cleaning gloves, but that is the story of my life right now. Everything I want is all packed up. My nail clippers are also packed away, and most of my nails are missing big chunks and falling off!  This is why I never get my nails done, I ruin them immediately.
The doggie seatbelt harness
Since I am such a wonderful dog mother, I packed a travel bag for the pups today and also did a test run of how they would be riding down to Georgia. I got each dog a safety rider harness that allows them to sit safely on the seats while buckled in with the regular seatbelt. Their leashes also attach to it, which will make it easy when we take them out for potty breaks. However, some people think it is very ridiculous my dogs have seatbelts! But they are so cute in the back together!

all pooped out from watching me clean
Moving truck is coming tomorrow and we will be packing everything up! I have a feeling I will be very, very sore.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Yasso 800s

Yesterday after working at the chilcare until 4 I headed over to North Park lake to try a marathon workout I read about awhile ago. It was 78 degrees and gorgeous. It made me smile to see so many other runners, bikers and walkers out enjoying the March heat wave. Totally different atmosphere then what it is like out there in the winter!
I will miss running around this lake

I read about this workout in Runner's World a few years ago but never tried it until now. The workout is Yasso 800s, developed by a runner/writer for Runner's World, Bart Yasso.

The workout is simple, but tough. If you are aiming to run a 4-hour marathon, your goal pace for the 800s are 4 minutes even. Your rest is the same as the goal time, so a nice, long 4 minute rest between 800s. The goal is to eventually work up to 10 of these 800s at your goal pace about two weeks before your marathon.
I decided to give it a try, using my ambitious marathon goal time of 3:10 to set the pace for the workout. I decided to start with 8x800 at 3:10, with 3:10 rest. I was definitely nervous for this workout, since my strengths are in longer workouts and I need to work on shorter, faster intervals. I decided to do it around the lake because it would prevent boredom that would probably occur on the track, and the rolling hills would be more accurate for the Boston course.

This workout was tough because it forced me to run at a fast (for me) pace at 6:20. There were 8 intervals, so it times it seemed never ending. Each repeat felt hard, and I really had to think positively and tell myself I could do all 8 to get through it. My legs were still heavy from my 20 miler on Sunday.  Since it was hot, I promised myself I could stop at the ice cold water fountain after repeat four and that really helped.  Water tastes ridiculously good when it is hot out.

The workout totaled 11 miles with the warmup and cool down and the interval times were as follows:
3:06, 3:10, 3:08, 3:09, 3:10, 3:10, 3:08, 3:09

I am curious to see if this really can help predict your marathon time. I would certainly be happy if it was accurate! I plan to do all 10 on the track when we are in Georgia and I will keep you posted!

Have you ever done a race predicting workout like this before?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Quarter Century

25 years ago, my twin brother and I were born!  No one has ever accused us of looking alike, or even acting alike.  We took this picture this past October at his apartment in Old Town Alexandria while I was in town for the Marine Corps Marathon.  He is one of the reasons I ran that race three times in a row!!!

Dad- March 20th, 1987

Mom - March 20th, 1987

Being a twin means people love to buy you ridiculously cute matching outfits and take your picture in them.

Mr. and Mrs. Claus
Holy babies
Chris looks so sophisticated in his bow tie

Both terrified
Poor guy
 I started my birthday by going out for a 9 mile run around my house, stopping at my mom's for a glass of water.  It was 55 and sunny out, a gorgeous morning for a run.  I picked up a coffee and lunch at Panera, tidied up around here, and am now sitting outside on our patio waiting for Jordan's flight to get in.  He was in Georiga for top-secret business and should be landing at 4:30, with enough time to take me to the Cheesecake factory for a Pomegranate Mojito and dinner.

Although preparations for the move are definitely distracting me a little bit, it has been a great day so far and the sunshine in Pittsburgh makes it 10x better.  I can't wait to eat outside tonight, eating inside when it's so nice out is like a crime.  For Jordan's sake, I hope I have learned a thing or two about eating dessert when the cheesecake comes!

How do you celebrate your birthday?  For my 23rd, I ran 23 miles with my friend Leslie (then got a puppy!  Penny!)  I debated doing 25 miles this past weekend, but then decided that would not be so great for training for Boston.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Staying Positive - Pinterest

Staying positive is very important to running well and not losing your brains during a stressful change in your life.  Moving across the country, I have found, definitely qualifies as a big stressor in life!  Not only do we have to pack up an entire life here in Pittsburgh, but we have to start a new one in Georgia.  No family around, and no friends - yet!! 

One of the biggest aspects of leaving that is hard for me was actually leaving my job to move.  I thought I would be relieved to be done so I could focus on packing, but instead, I am strongly disliking being unecmployed and driving myself crazy wonderfing if I will ever get a job I love (or can at least tolerate!) in Georgia. 

I am hoping and praying to get an elementary school position teaching in the wonderful school district we will be living in .  It would be a dream to have a short commute to work and teach kindergarten, to a bunch of little ones that say y'all and call me ma'am.  I have sent in applications, and have been in touch with some of the people in charge of hiring.  Everything going well so far!

My last job was somewhat tough.  Our school was in an urban setting, which brings a different set of skills you need as a teacher.  It can be very stressful, especially if you are not used to it.  In addition, our school day was long with my commmute.  I left for work at 6:30 and was home at 5:00.  For a non-teacher, thats not such a bad schedule.  For a lawyer or doctor, that is fantastic!  But compare it to the teachers in my neighborhood here, they leave at 8 and get home at 4. 

My day wouldn't be so long if I didn't do much else in a work day.  However, I worked out two times most days - so that morning would start at 4:30 with a visit to the gym or treadmill run, then after work another run - so I wouldn't be home until close to 7:00.  Then it was time to take care of the dogs, walk them, cook dinner (if it was up to Jordan we would have Chipotle every night!) clean the kitchen, tidy the house, pack my lunch and gym bag for the next day, and hopefully spend about an hour of relaxing time with my husband.  I felt that I would not be very happy working at this hectic pace for very long.  Life is too short to spend two hours a day in the car!  I am hoping this move will give me an opportunity to find a job that balances better with marathon training, and just being happier in general!

Anyways, whenever I am feeling stressed out.... I like to pin things!  Yes, I am now obsessed with Pinterest!  I was complaining to Jordan that I was in a bad mood the other night, and he advised me to pin something.  It was so funny because it works!  Here are some of my favorite Positive Pins.  I love to read them before I go running.  Some of them are better suited for running, some of them, life in general!

royal Corgis running FAST!!!

Tell yourself this, even if you don't believe it!  It is all about playing mind games and tricking yourself into believing you feel good.

I don't run to look good, I run to kick your butt in a race. 

SO TRUE.  It is even better than happy hour.

Hope you like those quotes!!!  Do you do anything to cheer you up when you are stressed out?  Do you think it is stressful to move across the country and quit your job?  Any moving advice? 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Big Changes!!!

I have missed blogging so much these past few months!  I have kept up with reading my favorite friend's blogs during this time, but I have been very, very preoccupied with my changing life since my last post!  However, I really missed talking with and commenting on everyone's blogs and I am so happy to get back into it!

Running wise, I am still training for Boston and it has been going very well besides the few times (like this past week when I got the stomach bug and still struggle with running 1 mile two days later) I have gotten sick.

I am very excited for all the new changes in my life, but it has my mind going a million miles a minute trying to figure it all out!

Big change number 1:

I left my job teaching Kindergarten at the charter school I was working at.  My last day was last Friday and although I needed to leave the position (you will see why!), it was sad and stressful at the same time.  Sad because I will miss the great friends I worked with there, sad because I love teaching 5-year-olds, and stressful because I need to find a new job!

Big change number 2: 

We put our lovely, first home in Pittsburgh up for rent and found two fantastic people to rent it from us.

I love this house and will miss it a lot!
We put a lot of work in this house over the past two years..... renovated the kitchen, both bathrooms, painted every room, put new doors on, decorated, etc.  Jordan and his dad did all the work themselves!
gutted this whole bathroom!

I love fake granite!

Big change number 3:
We found a fantastic house I just LOVE to rent for the next few years.....  love the fenced in yard and kitchen best!
Driveway is a little scary...I may be parking on the street!

Pups can run free!!
More counter top space!!!
Lots of room for ice baths!
Big change number 4:
Jordan got a new position within his company.  He will now be an on-site engineer at a new nuclear power plant.
Jordan at work
Leading up to....
Big change number 5:
At the end of this month, we are moving our house, Penny, and Bruno to Augusta, GEORGIA!
Augusta National Golf Course - home of the Masters.  Lots and lots of golf courses here!
We will be living just outside of Augusta in a suburb called Evans.  I am thrilled to be living in the south, as it has always been my dream to pretend my life is a country music song.  I have been watching Paula Deen's cooking show, downloading lots of country songs, and have been practicing making my hair big and fluffy to prepare for the move.  I have also been packing boxes and filing out paperwork, not really as important.

Who doesn't think her hair is great??
Anyways, I hope to blog more regularly during this time to a) help me to not lose my mind during the big transition and b) keep in touch with my friends and family we are leaving behind in Pittsburgh!

What do you think of the South?  Have you ever been to/lived there?  Would you like living there?