Sunday, December 25, 2016

Cowtown Marathon Training Week 2

Week 2 is in the bag! My success this week is due to my very supportive mother who thoroughly enjoyed breakfast with Joanna every morning that I stepped out her door to run. I love that woman and I love that she is so supportive of my crazy hobbies and lifestyle. She has always encouraged me to focus, do the hard stuff and REST when its time to REST.

We arrived in Florida on Saturday night. Jo and I spent a total of 10 days between the Saravias and the Ganeys. Here is how the week shook out...

After doing my long run in Lake Mary on Sunday, on Monday we headed to Disney. We walked about 22k steps from 10am when we arrived until 9pm when we left. My legs were definitely tired and I fell asleep in the car ride while my mom drove us all home... just like we used to do when we were kids.

"Wita" (grandma), Joanna and I at Disney

Miles: 4
Time: 43:19
Pace: 10:50 avg

This was supposed to be a nice and easy shake out run. Although I didn't push it hard, I did have to remind myself to take it slower. I need to take advantage of the "easy" runs and just enjoy the scenery! Easy on the easy days; hard only on the hard days.

Miles: 6
Time: 1:04:54
Pace: 10:48 avg

My brother's huskey (Mila) is staying in Lake Mary with his wife and my parents while he is deployed. That girl (the husky) has a lot of energy to burn off and this day was my turn to take her for a stroll around the neighborhood. If I was at home on my treadmill, this would have been 6miles of hills. But because I was in Lake Mary, this was a humid, 6 miles trying to keep the dog at a steady pace - overall this felt good.

Mila and I after a solid 6 miles

Miles: 5.74
Time: 1:00:22
Pace: 10:31 avg   

By the time this run came around, Brad had arrived from Texas and we drove over to his grandma's house, South of Lakeland. Joanna was down for a nap and I was out the door in the middle of the Florida afternoon. The temp wasn't awful but it did catch up to me a little near the end. Here was the workout my coach gave me:

1 mile warm up
5 x 800 @ Marathon Goal Pace w/400 recovery jog
1 mile cool down

My marathon goal pace is 4hr 45min so I should have run my half miles (800s) in 4 min and 45 seconds (abt 9:30 pace) but I ran these close to 9:50 pace. I probably should have asked my coach to clarify what a Yasso was BEFORE I did the workout. But this gives me a good excuse to run a little slower in that mid-afternoon Florida heat :)

Time: 1:28:41
Pace: 10:45

This run was originally scheduled for Sunday but on Saturday night I had a bachelorette party to attend back in Orlando. There was NO WAY that I was going to drive back on minimal sleep and expect to run 10 miles so I went ahead and did this on Saturday morning. Running on tired legs was a good reminder of my biggest challenge during this training cycle. I couldn't find my gu in my suitcase and I cut this run short at mile 8.25 as I could feel the fatigue in my legs and I didn't have the mental strength to make a 4th loop around the same small-town circle at grandma's house. I should have dug deep and finished this out. Oh well :(

Overall this week went well. I didn't have the normal work/life/kid struggle that I'm sure will come up in the next coming weeks as I try to balance training and my normal life. But dang, that Florida humidity is no joke!

Running Mama 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Cowtown Marathon Training Week 1

 "Welcome to week 1 of marathon training... with a small child".... that's what I told myself when I started this week on Monday. I could make 4 different excuses why this is not a good idea (actually, I'm sure I could come up with more than 4) but I'm only going to list the 4 that were in my mind....
  1. You are going to start training on Monday, then you'll fly to Orlando to begin vacation on Saturday (where there is tons of humidity).
  2. You are going to be busy this week "preparing" for taking 10 days off of work, how will you find time to run sleep?
  3. Brad works this week so you'll need to run, shower, get Jo ready and be out the door by 7am... how will you find the energy to do all of that?
  4. You are going to be doing some runs in Florida... and it will be hot! (did I mention the humidity)
You see that? I could find every excuse in the book as to why I shouldn't be trying to train for a marathon with a small child. Or, I can push myself to be the best version of myself (this usually happens when I am running). Plus, I found this awesome new dry shampoo that goes so well with the cold weather. So there goes the excuse of needing to spend a lot of time in the shower and styling my curly hair when its 30 degrees outside :D

Miles: 5.15
Time: 57:09
Pace: 11:06 avg

I woke up at 4am and got this in watching Fixer Upper on the iPad. I usually eat a yogurt and drink a cup of spark before my morning runs. I was in the shower by 5:45am.

Here is the workout provided by my coach:
1 mile warm up
2 minutes @ zone 3 pace - no incline
1 minute @ zone 2 pace @ 3.0 incline
1 minute @ zone 3 pace - no incline
1minute @ zone 2 pace @ 4.0 incline
Repeat the above "five minute" set 5 times through
Finish out the run to hit five miles total.

My zone 3 pace is 5.8 on the treadmill.
My zone 2 pace is 5.3 on the treadmill.

Miles: 4
Pace:  11:03 avg

Another 4am wake up, yogurt and cup of spark. This felt great.

I was scheduled to run before work but I stayed up late after I put Jo down for bed trying to get some work done before I left for vacation on Saturday. I knew it wasn't realistic to go to bed late and wake at 4am to run so I slept-in and planned on doing this at night after Jo went to bed. Then, I came home with a stomach ache from work so I just called it quits.

Miles: 3 (makeup from Friday)
Time: 32:40
Pace: 10:53

I got these miles in before Jo woke up (5am wake up) and cruised at 5.5 on the treadmill while watching TV. I'm learning to embrace the treadmill :) This was followed by breakfast with Santa at Brad's hospital! As you can tell by Jo's face... she did not enjoy the strange man with the beard... not one bit.

Miles: 10
Time: 1:53:44
Pace: 11:22 

Jo and I flew to Orlando on Saturday and arrived around 8pm. I got some rest and ran around my parents house on Sunday morning. My mom agreed to watch Joanna and feed her pancakes (I prepared the egg-free batter while I was eating breakfast myself) so I didn't feel rushed to get back to the house.  Around mile 3-4 I met up with my sister and did a run/walk - she lovingly brought me a bottle of water which I downed by mile 6. I didn't pack any gu so I definitely felt sluggish towards the end of the run. The humidity wasn't awful and there were cooler temps that kept this run feeling pretty comfortable.

This was a good first week of training. Just like I planned, a few things came up (working late, tummy ache and traveling to Florida) so I just worked with my coach to make some adjustments. Since I'll be doing some back-to-back long runs later in the plan, I'll need to try my best not to move too many of my runs around.

Running Mama Stephanie 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Cowtown Marathon

Hi friends!
Last we left off, our little family was making big moves to find a home in Austin. This is still front and center but I think it's calmed down since we found the neighborhood we want to settle down in. Now we are going through the motions with the builder to make everything official. If its God's will, we will be building a house that should be ready in summer 2017.

On the running front, last week I started marathon training for the The Cowtown Marathon! I'm rolling right into marathon training after building up my base all summer for the half I ran in October. I have been running consistently 3-4 days a week with most of my runs on the treadmill because of my parental constraints. Although, the weather in north Texas is absolutely perfect for running right now and a run while the sun is out is high on my Christmas list!

I haven't officially signed up for the race because I'm still trying to convince Brad to run the half (so I can have some company for the first 10 miles of the race). I love the cold weather for running but I don't think that's a motivating factor for him :) I hear that Cowtown is usually very chilly and has a few hills.

After taking off 9 full days of running (coincidentally this was also the time where we were hard core traveling to Austin for house hunting), my legs are feeling back to normal again! I'll try my best to post weekly updates of my training progress, this will help me stay accountable to my runs and check-in with how I'm doing. For now, I have to share a few things that will make this training cycle unique for me:

Split Long Runs - Instead of your typical long run Saturday, I asked my coach to be creative when planning my long runs. Every-other-Saturday I am able to do my long run solo & outside (when Brad is off of work). The catch is the weekends that Brad is working. Our plan is to break up my long run between two days (Friday and Saturday) so I am not stuck doing 15+ miles on the treadmill at any given time... that is just completely unrealistic for me. Friday is a mid-long run ranging from 6-8 miles and on Saturday is the remaining miles split between the treadmill and the stroller. Doing these runs back to back should help simulate the long run feel on my legs come Saturday.

Treadmill Runs - Between the cold mornings in Dallas (temps in the 30-40s before the sun comes up) and those mornings that it's just Joanna and I at home... we are planning for lots of treadmill runs during the week. I'm taking suggestions for Netflix shows filled with drama and suspense!

Strength - I never really focused much on strength in my other training cycles. This time, instead of running 6 days a week - I'm running 5 and putting 1 day of focus on strength. I've been trying to focus 1 day on strength since I started back up running but I haven't been consistent every single week.

My biggest goal for this race is to finish strong. But my second goal is to finish at 4hrs and 45 minutes. I'm hoping this moderate goal will push me to train without putting a lot of pressure on me to PR. I know that I don't have the dedicated time to train and beat my marathon PR of 4:30 but I'd like to definitely finish under 5 hours. I also realize that marathon training with a child is much different than pre-parenthood and so I'm giving myself some grace that I may not be able to make every single run... because.... life.

Let's do this! By March (and my 29th birthday) I'd like to be able to call myself a Marathon Mama!



Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Life Lately...

Hi friends!
I've been MIA for a while (since days before my first half marathon as a running mama, to be precise). It's mostly because I had a great race followed by trying to recover my legs. I took a beating trying to hit my 2:15 goal (which felt absolutely amazing on race day), then I spent the next 2-4 days limping around. I've been working with my coach, seeing a massage therapist and listening to my body (even though my mind is grumpy that my body isn't running as much now a days).

I'm not sure if I mentioned it (the last several weeks have felt like a whirlwind) but I had a lot of work travel to Austin the days leading up to the race and the days right after the race. I promise, when I signed up for the race, all that travel was not planned. The lack of proper rest is probably a big reason why I haven't recovered as quickly as I was accustomed to. But lets be real, how many parents with littles are getting "real rest".. ? Then you throw endurance running into the mix and... you know where I am going with this.

Jo and I after the Colony Half Marathon last month

Besides the projects I'm working on at the office, another big project Brad and I are working on is our relocation to Austin. You heard read that right, exactly 1 year after we moved from Florida to Dallas, Texas... we are turning around and moving our circus to Austin. You don't have to tell me how crazy this all sounds (have I mentioned spring marathon lately?) but I am promising our family that this is our last move.

So Brad and I and Jo and the dogs have been spending some weekends in Austin looking for a nice neighborhood to settle down and build a house in. Since this is our LAST move for a long while, we are looking to be close enough to the city where commuting to work is bearable but far enough away to give us a "country feel". We are planning to make some big decisions before Christmas (39 days to be exact) so we are doing everything in our power to make this happen.

Jo and the dogs watching a parade in Austin a few weeks ago
I haven't given up on the idea of a spring marathon, but my health and my family come first (in this instance, putting dedicated effort to relocating our circus). Once I can get my muscles back in working order, I'll have to evaluate timing and find a new race with my coach. 

Stay tuned... big things coming! Meanwhile, I've taken on most of the cooking efforts at home and I've totally let go of the idea that my house needs to be in "tip top shape"... because nobody has time for that. Plus, now that my kid is mobile we have one more person in our home who is constantly moving things out of place :)

Giving myself grace every step along the way...


Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Colony Half Marathon

In less than 48 hours I will be running The Colony Half Marathon just North of Dallas, TX! 
Lake Lewisville, TX
I registered for my half marathon back in June and I totally failed to share that little triumph with you guys. Now that I've made it through a full cycle of building my mileage back up and training for this race... I don't feel so scared to put it out there. Isn't that human nature though? We only want to share when things are going right. But what about when things are going wrong? Or how about us sharing when we aren't confident of what we can achieve? I'm sure most of use feel too vulnerable to share during those times.

Anyways, I picked this race because I needed 3-4 months to train and it was literally the only fall race that was close to home and landed on a weekend that Brad is not working. As many of you know by now, Brad works 7-days ON and then he is OFF for 7-days. I really wanted Brad and Jo to be there during my first half marathon as a mama so I had a limited selection of races to choose from.

This morning as I left Dallas to head to Austin it was pouring down rain. Fall rain usually is a good indicator of a cold front and I'm hoping that by the time I return tomorrow night the weather is nice and crisp. Cool weather does good for my running! It's expected to be around 50 degrees Saturday morning when we start the race. This race is only about 20-25 minutes away from home and I've heard pretty good things about it from local runners. I've also heard that it provides a gorgeous view of Lake Lewisville at sunrise.


Now I'm going to put it all out there. My coach has been asking me to think about a running goal for a while.

My goal is to run a 2:15 or better. I'll need to average 10:18 for thirteen point one miles.

I've had some really good long runs and overall I have been pretty consistent with my training plan (besides missing a few strength workouts). I'm trying to have confidence in my training and not doubt all of the effort I have put in over the last 4-5 months... but we all know that taper madness can make us somehow think the worst leading up to race day.

Wish me luck! I hope I can report next week that I'm a half-marathon-mama!


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Salsa Verde Enchiladas

It's been over two weeks since I last checked-in but I promise I'm still alive! About two weeks ago I was assigned a big project at work with lots of visibility amongst all of our laboratories. So needless to say, I've been working pretty hard at getting it off the ground. At first I was really nervous about all of the exposure I would get within my company and then I realized that exposure is what I wanted when I convinced my husband to sell our house and move to Texas while I was 7 months pregnant with our first child (talk about craziness). I wanted to grow my career and manage large projects and here I am... doing the scary stuff.

Anyways, even though I haven't posted about any real domesticated stuff lately... I have still been cooking and feeding my child everyday :) Well, let me rephrase that... I've been feeding my child everyday... I have NOT been cooking everyday. Joanna is eating everything we are eating (as long as it doesn't contain egg and its not spicy... she basically screams with her tongue sticking out if she eats anything spicy! And we don't want to learn about what type of allergic reaction she will have if we feed her eggs, so we just avoid it). 

I've still been running and getting ready for that half marathon I never officially told you guys about (next post... pinkie promise!). But I've been desperately trying to find yummy meals that are relatively healthy, don't take forever to prepare and serve well for leftovers. Because no one has time to cook everyday! If I can make these Salsa Verde Enchiladas, I promise that anyone can...

First, you have to find something to entertain the baby while you prep all of your ingredients... (Lesson #1 I learned about cooking is to get all of your stuff out on the counter so when your stovetop is over-cooking your food, you have better chances of preventing a burn if all of your ingredients are laid out, prepped/cut-up and already measured. Yeah, it only took me a lot of burning food to figure this one out!)

Then, once your salsa/chicken mixture is finished, you roll your ingredients into enchiladas... (Lesson #2 I learned while coking with children... the approximate cooking time will take 3x longer than it would have before children. Now do you understand why I'm hooked on leftovers?)

Later, you let your food cool down before serving... (Children don't have the skill of cooling off hot food in their mouths like us adults do when we are too impatient to wait for it to cool. They scream! So I basically serve my child's plate and wait 5-10 minutes until its cold.)

Lastly, you eat! I am 100% sure that she approved this meal :)

I borrowed the recipe from here but I made a few changes to it (you see how this "seasoned chef" [ha... ha... HA!] made changes to a recipe? 2 years ago I would have depended on my husband to that kinda jazz).

Here were my modifications:

  • Instead of pepper jack cheese, I used mozzarella 
  • I put cheese INSIDE of the enchiladas, not just on top
  • My "shredded chicken" was really just left-over rotisserie chicken
  • Instead of sour cream, I used Chobani NON-FAT yogurt

See my problem with doing domesticated stuff is that I often forget to take pictures. Then I realize that no one wants to read about some young-woman (am I allowed to call myself a woman now that I am approaching 30?) burning stuff in the kitchen if there are no pictures. Or, no one wants to read about her successful attempts at making high-chair decorations for their child's first birthday party if there are NO PICTURES!

By the way, I have a picture of that :)

I'm out! Enjoy those extra large pictures :) I sure did!

Enchilada Mama

Saturday, October 1, 2016

September Stats/Recap

Hello fall weather! September brought nice cool weather to the Dallas area which made me feel SO AWESOME because if we were still in Florida I would be cursing how awful the weather is and how our old home couldn't fit a treadmill. So, I'd basically not be running right now if we still lived in Florida.

Always, this month we celebrated Joanna's FIRST birthday! I cannot believe we survived our first year of parenthood and all the other craziness we threw in there (I'm sure I've mentioned only 60 X's how we sold our Florida home, moved to Grandma's house, moved to Dallas and started 2 new jobs! One of which consisted of 9 traveling work trips and lots of pumped milk). Yes, I'm proud of US. Anyways, lots of family and friends came to help us celebrate our little girl's first birthday and her baptism. Brad's birthday was just 2 days after Jo's and it was really nice for him to be able to see his family (it's been a long while!).

We ate a lot of cake and surprisingly I didn't gain all my baby weight back :) Well, let's see how this month shook out!

Run 80 miles
This was 1 mile less than last month. This month I skipped 2 runs and they happened to be on Joanna's birthday weekend when all of our family was visiting. I have to get a little better staying committed to running even if everything isn't going in our "normal routine".

Bike 19 miles!
We got out on the bikes three times this month! Didn't I mention that nice fall weather currently hitting Dallas? We live about 5 miles from a park/splash pad and its so nice to ride there on the bike and let Joanna play, then ride home. It's too bad that by the time she is really walking, it might be too cool for her to play in the splash pad :( Last month I got ZERO bike miles so this number makes me really happy! We all need some cross training, right?

Steps 407,637 (13k daily average)
This is just a tad bit lower than last month. I'm sure I'm getting more steps with my Fitbit than pre-Fitbit life but it's still so hard to get moving while I am at the office. Maybe I need to be taking the stairs and parking further away?

Strength Training Two 30-minute workout videos. This could be better!

Current Reads I just bought the Whole30 book. I really want us to embark on a Whole30 challenge but the timing just isn't right between being 3 weeks away from the half-marathon and wanting to start marathon training in November. Maybe I can learn more about Whole30 and plan to take this on in March. I'd also like to start incorporating more of those yummy meals in preparation for taking this on.

Current Obsession My new 365 Happy Planner! For the last several years I have struggled to actually write in a planner and keep up with it after I buy it. A co-worker/friend of mine introduced me to this planner that is FUN and also gives you lots of space to customize and write. It's a little bulky but all of the smaller planners that I've tried I just never keep up with. This goes hand-in-hand with the book I read last month suggested by my manager, Getting Things Done by David Allen. I'm doing a much better job lately of planning ahead and ACTUALLY living in the moment.

Current Song He Is Faithful sung by Bryan & Katie Torwalt. I heard this song at church when we first started going in January and I absolutely love it. It's a great reminder of how great my God is.

Current Need I'm still itching for a new camera but I haven't put much effort into actually researching one. I've been thinking how I need to start a photo album/scrapbook for Joanna but I need to spend some time looking into this.

Current Triumph My longest run with Coach Beth! I ran 13.1 earlier this week with a 10:28 average pace. I'm ready for that half marathon!

Current Bain of My Existence Everyone's political opinion.

Current Goal Commit to the marathon. I need to seriously commit and swallow the realization that this is going to be hard work. It was hard work to train for Chicago when I was kid-free and I'm sure it's going to be more difficult now that Joanna is part of our family. I keep going back and forth - some days I have confidence that I can take on the world and other days I don't feel like I'm worthy enough to take on such a challenge. I know in my core that I can do it - train and run a marathon as a mama. But, I have to really make the commitment this month. Maybe I need to blog weekly about my progress and actually sign up for the race? My goal is to make a decision by Nov 1st.

Current Indulgence Date Night! Brad and I got a few nights out this month and I really want to keep this up. Getting some time alone has really helped us communicate to each other what we want, what is bothering us, get on the same page about plans, etc. We can also just "hang out" and dream together. I'm putting an emphasis on date night and I think our overall mojo has improved because of this.

Current Blessings My husband who loves me and supports my personal and professional dreams. He also puts up with my craziness which makes me thankful that we get to do this thing called life together.

Current Excitement My half-marathon which is 3 weeks away!

How was your September?