Changing a Race Goal + Workout Recaps

Hi everyone!  I hope you had a great weekend.  Mine was fabulous.  I spent the weekend in a little town in Ohio on Lake Erie with my mom and sister.  Girls weekend!  We were celebrating my mom’s 60th birthday, and we did it in style if I do say so myself.  Happy Birthday, mom!

In a little less than two weeks, I’ll be lacing up my sneakers for a 25k (15.5 mile) race.  When I signed up, my goal was to run a sub 2:00 race, which comes out to 7:42/mile pace.  I knew that this was realistic for me if I trained hard and diligently.  But the truth is that I just haven’t done what I need to do in order to hit that time.  I’ve skipped speed workouts because of a mild hip flexor strain that bugs me on faster runs, I came down with vertigo which sidelined any running at all for several days, and this past weekend when I should have been running my longest distance, I skipped my long run altogether!  I don’t regret that decision, as I really wanted to focus on enjoying time with my family (and I did get five miles in with my sister), but it all adds up to making my race goal much more difficult.  Add onto that the fact that we are moving this coming weekend (the week before the race) and I think the mental stress + physical fatigue means I need to be realistic about my race, and acknowledge that you can’t hit your “A” race goal every time.  So what should I do?  Run the best race I have in me or just run for fun?  Do I go out close the pace I was originally hoping to hit and risk dying at the end?  I’m a little all over the place on this one and would love some advice from more seasoned racers!

Here’s what my week in workouts looked like:

M – Off

T – 6 mile run (4 tempo miles @7:40 pace)

W – 30 minute HIIT type circuit

Th – 6 mile progression run (a.m.) + 60 minutes kickboxing (p.m.)

F – Off

S – Off

Su – 5 easy miles

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Hope your week is off to a fantastic start.  We’re in for some warmer, sunnier weather this week.  Wish me luck on our big move this weekend!


Why We’re Moving (again).

The following post most definitely falls into the seldom used category of “random musings”.  It has very little, if anything, to do with running or fitness.  No recipes, coaching tips, or workout recaps.  Nope, instead I’m talking a little bit about why our family is moving again, less than two years after moving back to Michigan.  And less than two years after settling into what was supposed to be our “forever home”.  In some ways, it’s a really long, complicated story.  But at the heart of the matter, it’s really quite simple: it’s what we feel God is calling us to do.

When my husband was finishing graduate school in Pittsburgh, we began searching for a house to buy in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  We knew the area well, having spent several years prior living here.  And we knew this is where we wanted to raise our girls.  It’s a lovely mid-size city that has a lot to offer, including many good friends and a feeling that just says “home” to us. And we had a pretty good idea of what we were looking for in our new place, or so we thought.  We ended up buying a lovely home in a large subdivision.  And at first it was great.  We had more than enough space, we felt safe having our kids run around outside, and we got to know a few neighbors.  It was borderline idyllic, walking around every house was in good repair and all the lawns were lush and green.

But soon enough something began to tug on my husband’s heart; something that felt not quite right about having a five bedroom house and using two of them on a regular basis (our girls prefer to share a room right now, so we essentially had three guest rooms).  It took me longer to get on board, as I rather enjoy my space and feeling, for lack or a better word, comfortable.  And I absolutely hate moving.  But eventually even I had to admit that it was too much.  Quite simply, we had more than we needed.  Or truly wanted.  I mean, who really wants to clean more bathrooms than they have to?  And while some aspects of being part of a neighborhood association are nice, others are definitely a drawback.  For example, I’d like to decide when to put my Christmas decorations up and take them down, thank you very much.

So we bought another house.  It’s a good bit smaller, it’s definitely not in a large neighborhood, and it’s going to be a totally new adventure.  It’s really not too far away; no one has to change schools (well technically, if our girls attended the public school system, it would be a change, but we send them to a private school) and we’ll still attend the same church and go to the same gym and swimming lessons each week.  The new house has more land.  I feel compelled to grow things already, and we’re not even moved in yet.  Oh, and I don’t know the first thing about gardening, but that’s another matter.  It’s got more of a country vibe, as we can no longer see into our neighbor’s house from our own.  And it borders a large, presently undeveloped (but soon to be finished) township park.  My husband is excited, and as much as I dislike big changes, his enthusiasm is catching.  I still get nervous, but we’re trusting God, trying to be faithful to what we feel He’s calling us to do.  Even when it’s uncomfortable.  Here’s to new challenges, memories, and adventures!  Oh, and running routes.  Lots of new running routes.


Workout Recaps + Vertigo

Hi friends!  It’s been a crazy couple of weeks, hence the lack of posts.  Let’s start with the bad.  Last week I woke up early Monday morning with a sensation of spinning that I had never experienced.  After a long, LONG 24 hours it was diagnosed as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).  It felt as if I were on a carousel and couldn’t get off.  I couldn’t make sense of direction and my balance was completely off.  I couldn’t sit, stand, or walk without becoming dizzy.

Thankfully, the worst of it passed pretty quickly and I am now mostly back to usual.  I still can’t lay down without becoming dizzy, so I have to sleep on a 45 degree angle, and I can’t be in small spaces or my perception is thrown off.  But I am running again, and all in all I am beyond grateful to feel this good again.  Praise God for quick healing!

Anyway, between that, closing on our new home, and beginning the first stages of moving, I’ve neglected this little space in the blog world.  My apologies!

Let’s get back on track this morning with a simple workout recap from the past seven days, shall we?

M – Off (sick)

T – Off (sick)

W – 6 mile jog (untimed)

Th – 60 minutes kickboxing

F – 4 mile shake out run with my buddies prepping to run Boston today!

S – 60 minutes kickboxing

Su – 14 miles (avg. 8:20 pace)

I’ve been training for several weeks now to run the 5/3 Riverbank Run on May 9th.  It’s the countries largest 25k race (15.5 miles) and one of the top goals for local competitive racers is to become a member of the 2:00 club.  This has been my goal in training for this race, only somehow when I had calculated the pace I would need to run long ago, I was wrong!  I figured out the actual, correct pace would be 7:43/mile yesterday and I am just not quite sure I have that in me this year!  I’m still not ruling it out, but I wish I had a few more weeks before the race.  My heart just wasn’t in this training cycle.  Does that ever happen to you?  I may have to adjust my race goal based on my slacking off the past several weeks.

Anyway, I hope that you have a fantastic start to your week.  Special shout out to my friends running Boston this morning!  You’ve got this, girls!  Run strong and stay dry (if you can)!


Gluten Free Banana Pecan Chocolate Chip Bread

Hey friends!  It’s been very overcast and rainy here the past couple of days, and weather like that always beckons me to the kitchen to start baking.  We had several bananas that were going bad, and for some reason, even though they cost next to nothing, I can’t stand to let bananas go to waste.  I wish I could tell you I was always this diligent about wasting food, but sadly my desire not to waste bananas is stronger than my need to make sure the spinach doesn’t go bad.  However, this strange compulsion resulted in a very tasty banana bread.  Sweet, but not too sweet, with a little crunch to it.  It’s better than most I’ve made.  Enjoy!

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Ingredients:

  • 3 to 4 mashed bananas
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/4 cup ground flax meal
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthem or guar gum
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine wet and dry ingredients separately, then combine together.  Spray bread pan with nonstick cooking spray and then lightly dust with flour (I used rice flour) and pour batter in.  Bake for 50 minutes to an hour, whenever the middle is done (which is always the tricky part about banana bread for me, but this one turned out perfectly).  Let cool (if you can) and devour.


Workout Recaps + Meal Planning

Hello and Happy Monday, er Wednesday!  Sorry this post is coming a couple days later than usual.  We’re on spring break this week, although we’re not actually going anywhere.  Nope, my spring beak is being spent in 50 degree rainy and cloudy weather, packing up all our stuff in preparation for our move at the end of the month.  Jealous?! I didn’t think so.  I am trying to do something fun each day with my kiddos though.  On Monday, we had a picnic at a new park.  Yesterday they got a couple of extra hours of “open gym” playtime where they take gymnastics lessons while I squeezed in 12 unbelievably windy miles.  And today, we’re meeting friends at a new indoor pool / water park area.  So I’m hoping to avoid the title of most boring spring break ever despite having to stay put.

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Here’s what last week looked like in terms of workouts:

M – Sick (still fighting a nasty cold; it’s gone now!)

T – 8 miles (avg. 8:06)

W – 3 miles + boot camp

Th – 9.5 miles (supposed to be 6 or 7 with a friend, but her planned route was a little longer than we thought – oops!)

F – Off

S – 60 minutes strength training + 60 minutes kickboxing

S – 6 miles (1 with my four year old @10:45 pace, 4 speedy miles @7:10 pace, 1 c/d mile)

Wow, looking back that is more miles than I thought I did last week, which could very well explain why yesterday’s 12 miles felt so darn hard.  Or maybe it was the wind.  Or maybe I’m just looking for excuses. 😉

Here’s the dinner plan for this week:

M – grilled salmon + rice

T – grilled chicken, cheese, and bacon sandwiches with various raw veggies + hummus

W – Crock Pot Sesame Honey Chicken

Th – Stufffed Peppers

F – Quiche

S – leftovers or wing it

I hope you’re all having a great week, maybe enjoying life in a warmer or more fun place?  Oh, and Happy belated Easter.  Here’s a fun picture of my girls from Easter Sunday. 🙂

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