Day 53 and 54 – Double down Thursday

Yesterday was a double workout day. J’s training plan finally aligned with mine so we went to 6AM power yoga together. And because the weather was so nice I decided I definitely had to run as well. So at 6PM I did the run commute thing.

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Shorts because it was 60F. A little cloudy but perfect running conditions. My route home from work is pretty nice except for one really busy intersection. As I was waiting for the lights to change I noticed that a car was being towed away after an accident. I’ve lost count of the number of collisions I’ve seen here – including a couple of car-biker accidents.

Once my light went green I started to cross. There was a car waiting to turn right but I thought he saw me (I mean my white legs are pretty blinding) as he had come to a complete stop but he started to move forward just as I was clearing the car. I don’t know if he didn’t see me or if he thought I should be running faster. I gave him my signature dirty look! Drivers around here never seem to expect pedestrians. I spent the next half mile grumbling to myself about it before finally finding my rhythm. Four easy downhill miles.

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Some daffodils have sprouted beside our house. So it definitely is spring.

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And I had to celebrate it being Thursday with a beverage, although this time I went for something other than wine. I love this stuff and it is my only soda-y drink. Plus they sell it in Costco.

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J was busy making dinner – thai noodle soup. Yum!

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I did notice on my run that my legs were feeling a little heavy. And I fell asleep on the sofa at 930 PM. So that means that today is a real rest day. Look at me, finally listening to my body!

This weekend I’ll be doing the first double digit runs of my training plan so tonight I’m just going to do my PT exercises and take it easy tonight with some healthified comfort food, a glass of wine and a couple of episodes of Scandal.

March mileage: 68.85 miles/110.8 KM

Day 45 – Back to the hills

It’s only a couple of days til my first race of the year and a little over a month to my 2nd half marathon ever. Man, this year is going SO fast.

Today I swapped out my tempo run for hill work. Lucky for me (?) I live near a ton of pretty decent hills so all I had to do was leave my house and turn right. It wasn’t a classic hill session but I ran up and down 5 pretty steep hills at about 80% effort for a total of 4.17  miles at about 9.08 min/mile pace (My garmin connector has disappeared so until my new one arrives next week I’ll be guestimating all of my paces and have no idea about elevation). It felt hard but not puke your guts speedwork hard and not nearly as awful as I remember from last summer.

March mileage: 43.6 miles/70.2 KM

Spring in Utah is pretty neat. It snowed yesterday and looked like this in the AM.

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6 hours later – the snow is completely gone and today it is sunny and in the mid 50s again. Still dark in the mornings though – which has made me a little more tired than normal this week – so I’m going to switch to an after work run tomorrow. Yay for wearing shorts!

Yesterday I made a salad for lunch for the first time in forever – green leaves, half an avocado, some tomatoes, feta and leftover salsa verde chicken. J thought it was ginormous – I thought it was pretty much perfect!

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I also believe that if I start eating salad I’ll trick the universe into thinking its summer.

Dinner was back to meatless Tuesdays. Tofu and veggie stir fry in a peanut sauce with egg noodles. I have to say that since I moved to the US I was surprised at how much peanut butter there is in everything. I was not a fan to start with (don’t hate me!) but I’m slowly coming around – especially when it’s cooked Asian style. Yum!

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Day 40 – See ya later!

I’m so excited about our first camping trip of the year! Woohoo! I love camping in southern Utah. It’s usually warm and dry (although nights will be chilly this weekend) – the opposite of any camping experience in Ireland or Scotland.

We spent last night finding and packing all our camping gear. I also prepped some  of the veggies for our meal – we are cooking group dinner on Saturday night. J is a Dutch oven master so we’re using that to rustle up some chilli. I’m going to use this homemade seasoning – it’s so good and takes 2 minutes to make. Way better than anything in the store.

I finally satisfied my chickpea/garbanzo bean craving (yes I know this is something that is not normal to crave) and had chickpea and veggie stew with some pitta, feta and almonds.

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After a couple of weeks I’ve decided that Thursday is now officially wine night. I had used some of this for cooking dinner on Wednesday so drank a glass with dinner on Thursday. Bonus: we got it last time we were in Moab. Yes they make wine in Utah – and it’s OK. Not going to win any awards but drinkable.

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Because we’re going away for the weekend I switched up my runs and did a quick 3 mile this morning – 8.38 min/mile pace. It felt pretty easy. I think going on a mini-vacation always puts me in a good mood! Got my PT exercises out of the way too and now just have a couple of hours to wait before we hit the road.

See you all on Sunday!

March total: 25.63 miles/41.2 KM

Day 33 – February is over – how did that happen?

When you start out a 12 week training plan it seems like an eternity. Three whole months – that’ll take forever to pass…………No, not really. We’re on the last day of February already. I’m almost done with week 5 of my plan and my first race of the year is two weeks away. In preparation for my 10 K race I bought my first ever pair of compression socks. The race is leprechaun themed so I had to get these.

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I don’t know if they’ll help with my racing and/or recovery but I’ll know that I’ll look the part at least. J got a pair of calf sleeves last weekend and has been wearing them every day since. His do not have a clover on them so there’s no way they are as cool as mine!

Last night was another meatless dinner – cauliflower dal (again). This time with pita bread, sour cream and some flaked almonds. I may have a problem with portion sizes……

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This is the second time we’ve had this in the last couple of weeks. I can get serious food cravings and need to eat something every week for a month or two and after that I’ll need a break of 6 months or so. I now have an intense craving for some chickpeas/garbanzo beans so that are top of my shopping list right now. I’m guessing that my body knows what it needs?

Thursday has also turned into “the week is nearly over so you better have a glass of wine” day. Lucky for me I’m much better at controlling my alcohol intake than my food intake. Plus food tastes better when there’s wine around.

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This morning is a rest day from running. I have a short but quick run tomorrow that I am a little apprehensive about and then a medium run on Sunday (7ish miles). I headed for an early morning gym session – mostly core, a little arm work (which I do not enjoy) and some leg strengthening. I wanted to see if my pull-up from last week was a fluke so I tried again on the big girl pull up bar………and I can do one proper pull-up! And then I need to sit down. I tried for a second one about 10 mins later and did not quite make it. Still have work to do to get two in a row. I did manage 30 push ups. Not sure if I’ll get to my target of 50 but I’ll keep trying. I’m definitely feeling the benefits of all this strength training.

Day 19 – Happy Valentine’s Day!

This morning I went to the gym and did my usual strength training workout minus lunges, squats and leg-press. I came home to this.

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The way to my heart is definitely through chocolate. You can keep flowers and sappy cards I want me some chocolate. Yum! And a surprise! After all this time (8.5ish years) he still melts my heart. Aww………

I also know it’s the real deal because last night when I was making dinner he spontaneously asked if I wanted a glass of wine at the exact moment when I was thinking “My God, I need a glass of wine right now”. True love.

Dinner was sweet potato and black bean enchiladas plus all the fixins’. You might guess by now that I love avocado and jalapenos. They go with everything.

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I also like to keep my Garmin close by at all times!

Another bonus today – the new series of House of Cards is on Netflix. I loved the first season. Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright and Kate Mara – the dream team. Can’t wait to start. Have to finish The Following first though – can’t have any unfinished business.

We’re pretty lucky in SLC that our weather has been pretty warm and mild – especially compared to the East Coast which has made running outside pretty pleasant. But we did get a weird hail/thunderstorm yesterday evening and just when I was leaving to catch the bus.

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Biggest hailstones I’ve ever seen.

Today is a rest day from running and we have plans for a hike and then dinner with friends.  Enjoy your Valentine’s Day. My advice is to spend it with people that you love – whomever that may be!

Day 17 – Paying attention

Yesterday I left work at 5.20 PM and was greeted with this –

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Daylight! Spring is coming. Longer days. Wearing shorts for runs. Wearing a hat – not to keep warm but to keep the sun of your face! I can’t wait. The snow is almost gone from the ground and our high today is around 50F – I’ll take it.

Last night I finally got to fulfill my craving for green curry. Tofu is a protein to keep going with meatless dinners. My mission right now is to load as many veggies as possible into each meal – carrots, mushroom, zucchini, green pepper. I also like to finish each Asian-y dish with chopped green onions, cilantro and chopped unsalted peanuts. It was good. Craving is satisfied.

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Today started with a 3.5ish mile run at a medium pace – 8.32 min/mile. I’m surprising myself right now with my ability to get out of bed at 6. I still need at least one snooze but such a big improvement compared to last summer.

My run would have been pretty uneventful if I had actually been paying attention to where my feet where going. Right at the one mile mark I fell – for the second time this winter. This time I couldn’t blame it on a slick patch of ice just an uneven sidewalk that I have run on about a hundred times already. This time I didn’t do as much damage – a small scrape and teeny bruise on my right knee.

Which brings us to…………my right knee. Today was a check-up with the PT. She looked very confused when I told her about my new injury – right knee instead of left hip. But after she “massaged” (this definitely stretches the definition of this word) my right quad it was pretty clear to her what was wrong. Overcompensating with my dominant right leg – tight right quad – inflammation above right knee – and pulling my knee cap of track. Isn’t it amazing how the cause of an injury is usually not where your actual problem is – isn’t the human body amazing/annoying?

I’ve been prescribed foam rolling, knee icing, continuing with glute strengthening exercises. I’m OK to run (yay!) but no speed stuff and I must pay attention to keeping my knee straight. This might also prevent unwanted trips to the ground!