Thursday, September 25, 2014

Cajun Cup Training 2014: 10k Training

Heller! Can't believe I'm going to get in three posts in September. Shoot for the Stars!

I'm onto week two of training for the Cajun Cup 10K. This race is special to me, it's where I first drank the running kool-aid and was the first race I ever trained for in 2012.  I ran the race again in 2013, however, I used it as a marathon training race and actually ran 9 miles to the start line. I know, that shit cray. I don't want to spend 6 months training for a long races this season. I injured myself that way last year. Too many miles, the wheels said no more! So I decided to bring down the miles and up the speed. I've been following Hal Higdon's Intermediate 10k plan.

I choose this plan for two reasons:

1. Speed Work (a-hem fat loss) and who doesn't want to constantly improve their speed? I know I will always want to be faster. And faster. I also know this takes time. Lots of time. Like years for some people. Enjoy the run. My constant reminder.

2. Mileage increases to an 8 mile long run week 7, with race day week 8. Meaning, after the Cajun Cup, I have four weeks to get myself back to half marathon distance for the Beach Half December 6. then upwards to my white whale, the Marathon finish. 

Last year, I had it all figured out. I had run calendars posted in three different places. I knew how I planned to transition between each race, I knew how many miles I had to run each week, even if it hurt I did it (dumbos), I had a plan. An intricate one. I had calendars dictating my run schedule and nothing was going to stop me. Except that knee injury. 

This year, I'm winging it. Listening to my body has brought me the best results to date, so that's what I'm rolling with, calendars be damned! I do have a teensy outline in my head but nothing on paper. Swearsies.

This 10K training schedule intimidated me for the same reason it excited me: speed training. Real talk, I've been doubting myself lately. Can I still run an aggressive schedule? Can I really push myself out to a 5k pace with no competition? That's where the magic lies for me on race day, competition. both with myself and the people running in real time around me. FYI: I always do my speed work on the treadmill.

Week One Speed training 35 Minute Tempo Run:
I wasn't too stressed about this tempo run, it's a routine I frequently use on indoor runs.. I'd been logging enough miles and pushing myself, so I knew I wouldn't have issues. Honestly, it wasn't very difficult. I had to force myself to bring down the speed and recover after the run "peak" , sometimes the run just feels so good (so good, so good), which is a really great thing. It means I can push much harder during the "peak" next week. When the tempo run extends to 40 minutes.

9:21 Pace

Week Two Speed Training: 8 X 400 at a 5k Pace:
A 5k is the fastest pace in your arsenal. It's the pace you run when you're not afraid of emptying the tank too early, because it's not that far to go. I can usually only push myself into the 8 minute mile range on race day. When I'm thinking, "No way Jose you ain't getting past me!"

400 meters = one lap around a standard track or 1/4 of a mile (.25). For whatever reason, the 400 meter runs intimidate me. I broke this run down into laps, increasing speed each "lap"

Lap One 6.7
Lap Two 6.8
Lap Three 6.9
Lap Four 7.0
Lap Five 7.1
Lap Six 7.2
Lap Seven 7.0 (Feeling like meh, I might die)
Lap Eight 7.3 (just kidding I can run harder)

I'm not gonna lie. It was tough. I was sick earlier in the week and this was my first work out post illness. (Fever/Achy/yearly seasonal crud). To round out the cardio to an even number (I'm OCD like that), I did a 13 minute incline walk, and then ran for two minutes. Cause I felt like it. :)

8:37 Pace

Today is four miles and some strength. As much as I love trying new things at the gym, weight lifting programs, kick boxing, circuit training, cycling etc. I just love to run. I can't get away from it, and I hope I never have to. I feel incredibly motivated heading into the fall run season, cooler weather is setting in, and the run fever hits. It's a feeling I keep chasing. I can't stop seeing that marathon finish. 

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Friday, September 19, 2014

The Gratitude Challenge

Good morning and TGIF! I'm keeping my word and blogging two days in a row. If you're friends with me on my personal Facebook, I apologize for this repeat. When I posted this one random Saturday morning, I knew I couldn't get the whole blogging thing out from under my skin. I'm sure you've seen the graitutude challenge floating across your news feeds, here's mine, condensed. With Pics. Enjoy. 

Last week, my cousin Jamie nominated me for the gratitude challenge, 3 things your grateful for, for five days. I procrastinated, so I'm gonna do one better and drop them all in one post  15 things I'm most grateful for, here we go...

1. My hard working husband Nick, for his love, support, Mr. Fix-It winning attitude, and the ability to make a joke out of any situation. I love laughing with you, especially in awkward situations when it's probably more appropriate to be quiet. You are a gem. You challenge me to better person, continuously keeping me on my toes. You are my very best friend, truly a gift, and I'm a lucky to get to call you mine. I could go on for days, but you'd have a fit if I got all mushy mushy on The Facebook (or the blog- whatever).

We asked him to pick up some Champagne. He's an over achiever 
(and going to kill me for posting this pic)

2. My Mom, for all the countless times you put my needs above your own, for your selflessness, for always leading by example, for teaching me how very important it is to be able to support yourself, for my education, for that mum you bought me to put outside of my front door last fall (unfortunately, I didn't inherit your green thumb), for your generosity, your kindness, and your unconditional love. Oh and for the potty training, I can't tell you how many times that's come in handy. (I stole that last bit from a greeting card. Sue me).

3. My family, on all days. All of the little and big life lessons I've learned from each member. For all of the precious memories only we can share. No one else on Earth can sympathize with my tall people problems like you, for the all those hugs and greetings in the foyer. For the unconditional love and support. To Maw Maw for holding onto my strawberry milk Donald Duck cup all of these years, For all the holidays, birthdays, and just because days that you've made me feel loved. I truly hope I give it back to you.

4. My ride or die girl friends. You know who you are. Those special girls who help me in all tasks. From stripping wall paper out of my new bathroom, pep talking me through a long run, for all of the weekend editions of the hot mess express, for never minimizing the all important question, "What shoes do I wear with this dress?!", for cheers on race day, for your punny text messages on a basic Wednesday, for helping me clean the fridge of champagne (because Mimosas), for humoring those inevitable Lindsey Lohan moments life throws our way, I am always here for you boo.

5. My education. The ability to learn, and to put those skills into practice. I know that I've been afforded opportunities that don't come everyone's way because of it. This one is all you Mom 

6. Nacho, my big Buddha baby. You are so spoiled and I know it's all our fault. When you bark at me at 6am on the one day I get to sleep late, I rethink my sanity in having you as an inside pet. Then I see your sweet face, and how happy you are to see me, and you color my entire day. I love how happy you are just to be near us. You make me appreciate all life's little things that much more. 

Give it to me straight: How many more times will you have to leave for this "work" thing?

7. Nola, our sweet girl, you are incredibly kind and patient, honestly you don't have a choice with Nacho as your brother. I love how quiet you are in the mornings. I love that you love to cuddle with me. I love the way your butt wiggles when you run up to greet me. I love that little noise you make when you yawn. You light up my life. (It's really sick how much I love these baby dogs)

 Beware of dog: she comes for cuddles

8. For Tuesday, you are not the forgotten child. I love you too. Your quiet nature is a trait I attempt to emulate, but frequently fail. You've been side eyeing me ever since I brought home number 6 and you really thought we lost it with number 7. Sometimes I imagine what expletives you are shouting at me when you stare at me from across the pillow. Yeah gah, I see you. 

Don't mind me. Just creepin on your run gear

9. The ability to run. Running transformed my life in the most incredible way, and I don't just mean the way it's affected my body physically. I crave the continuous challenge the road presents to me. I treasure the relationships I've gained when I first set out to train for a race. I cherish the many talks I've had with Jesus out on the long run. For the extra challenging run goals, whether speed or distance, where at the end I'm physically spent but emotionally rejuvenated. I am forever grateful to have discovered this passion.

At the finish line of my first half marathon: Rock N Roll New Orleans 2012

10. I'm grateful for insurance. For health insurance, car insurance, home owners insurance. All. at. the. same. time. I really feel like I'm winning adulthood in having all of these things.

11. Football season, I'm so grateful you have arrived. I love the camaraderie on game day, I love the fashion opportunities you present. I love the shouting people who gather in my living room on Sundays. You also make it socially acceptable to day drink... again with the Mimosas....

I just love this pic. There was a football game on too

12. Travel, I'm grateful for the opportunities I've had because of it, I love going somewhere I've never been and seeing how other people live life. I value all of the lessons, experiences, and memories carved out of each trip. 

Sweating bullets at the Sears Tower: November 2013
13. A place to call home. I am so grateful for my home. I love being here, especially with the person and furries I share it with. No matter what happens during the day, I feel at peace when I arrive on our drive. I'm grateful for the little things like covered parking and the big things like two bathrooms (Hallelujah).

14. Fabulouso. It's pretty trivial, but I seriously love the way you smell.

15. Last but certainly not least, I'm grateful for my cousin Jamie. I'm grateful to you for nominating me for this challenge, it made me realize how very many things I have to be grateful for. I'm grateful to you for your caring spirit and the way you work so hard to make sure everyone around you is happy. I look up to you and admire the way you carry yourself. If I've got even a teensy bit of your character in my genetics, I'm forever grateful. I'm grateful for the friendship we have, and the way we've grown closer over the years. Also, I'm grateful to you for driving everyone home from Flora Bama on your Birthday. I owe you

Flora Bama Selfie

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Le sigh. Am I still a blogger?

Hewwo?? Anyone out there? *Crickets*

Serves me right. Can I just take second to complain about my insanely busy, over packed schedule that has left me no time to blog?

No you can shove it because Skinny Meg is busier than five of you combined and she posts errry day.

Fine. I'm lazy when it comes to blogging, but today I want to talk. 

Preach gah!

Fantastic. My bizarre inner monologue has cost me what few readers remain (I see you)

I've got big plans for the little blog guys. On the real. Will I ever put them into practice? I hope so. But I make no promises. 

What have I been up to?

Work is #crayallday and frankly that's the way I like it. When the whole day zips on by and you feel like a productive badass lady biznitch with all you got accomplished that day. #likeaboss ... oh wait

This is what a typical day in my life looks like these days:

5:55am *five minutes before the alarm goes off* Insert Nacho barking- YOU GUYS!!! I want to come hang out with ya'll!!! Nick and I grumple and complain about whose turn it is to go let down the baby gate, freeing the baby dogs to roam the house,so we can sleep a little later. I usually win. My husband has the smarts.

6:00am Alarm goes off. Press snooze until Nick kicks me out of bed for being so annoying

6:30am Is it high carb day or low carb day? What am I gonna eat for my snack? I should've done this last night...

7:15am Out the door with an Apple and a plan to stop for a fruit and yogurt parfait *hold the granola* because I didn't plan for dis low carb day. Story of my life

7:30am At my desk. Scarfing down my fruit and yogurt parfait. No coffee no talkie, but the people don't care! Leigh Ann!!! Leigh Annn!!!! LEIGGGHH ANNN!

5:00pm Time to bounce. Down the hatch with C4 and get to da gym. (I'm gangsta now. A lot can happen in a month)

The gym has become my only *me time* Ear buds in. Crank up the treadmill. Turn off the noise and move. I crave it like a drug and I swear it's the only thing keeping me *somewhat* sane. I started officially training for the Cajun Cup this week. 10K for speed. I wanna be fast fast. 

Cajun translation: you say the same thing twice in a row to express emphasis. 
He be strong strong yeah.
I wanna run fast fast.
Oh mais, dats good good eatin
Dats a hard hard problem to have yeah

I swear I'm an educated person. Most days. Hi Mom!

 I know I need to get off the treadmill and hit the pavement, but I'm a diva and it's hot. Preach. 

You should post about that training gah. Since you're a "fitness and weight loss blogger" 
*side eye*

7:00pm Heading home or home. 
Nick, What's for dinner? 
Are wives supposed cook dinner?  You gotta chill with the high expectations bro
My poor husband. 
Well you can have broccoli and ground turkey and two tablespoons of Parmesan cheese OR roll 3rd grade style with your mac and cheese. Makes a face. I'll get a pizza.
He's actually at an all time low weight. Little shit 

Gotta clean house, gotta do laundry, gotta do the dishes, gotta answer some more emails, gotta give the baby dogs some attention,  gotta make sure my house is clean because my OCD has been through the roof. I'm fun to live with. Swearsies. Is social media still a thing?

10:00pm Why am I still awake? I gotta go to bed. Wash rinse repeat.

I'll be back...with a somewhat less spastic blog post. Even Positive Patty needs a day off sometimes.  Tomorrow. Yeah, I'll do this again tomorrow....

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