April 27th, 2014. The day of my 4th 1/2 marathon. One that I hadn't properly trained for. One that I was actually nervous for. The course was tough (I had ran this race 2 years ago - which was my very first 1/2!) My pace had sucked lately. But I knew I'd at least be able to finish. I went in with the mentally of not worrying about my time. I was just going to enjoy the atmosphere. Enjoy the race. Enjoy the crowds. Enjoy the experience. And most importantly, just enjoy a nice, long run. But then...
Before, I go any further, let's take a few steps back. Let's go through my morning. I always, always have oatmeal with a sliced banana in it before a long run. It keeps me full. It gives me the carbs I need. It fuels me and it's what works for me. The morning of Sunday's 1/2 was no different. I also added a hard boiled egg for some extra protein. If you're training for a race, whether it's a 5k or an ultra, race day is not the day to experiment with food. Eat what you've been eating throughout your training. Trust me on this one. So after fueling up, I was as ready as I was going to be...
We arrived about half an hour before the race started (after having to turn around because I had forgotten my iPod - so glad I remembered when we were only a few blocks from our house..I can't imagine running 1 mile without music nevertheless 13.1!!!) Another race day tip - give yourself plenty of time before the race. You need time to park, get to the start line, stretch, mentally prepare, etc. You don't want to feel rushed...again, trust me on this one (been there, done that!)
As we were walking from our car to the start line, I noticed that there were signs for pace leaders. I wasn't expecting this at all. So as soon as I saw these, my whole mentality changed. I wanted to do better than 'just finish.' And with a pace leader, I knew I could. So, at that moment I decided I'd stick with the 2 hour pacer. Basically, a pacer is someone that will set your pace for you so you can finish a race in a specific time. This is great if you have a time goal in mind. This is the second 1/2 I've ran with a pace leader and I LOVE it!! So with that being said, I couldn't find the 2 hour pacer right away as all 2,600 of us were at the start line waiting for the race to start. But as soon as the race started I saw them with their sign. Because of the throngs of people it took me about a mile and a half before I caught up with the pacer - I always had them in sight, though, but it took me that long to finally reach them. Once I settled in and got used to the pace the rest of the race went great. There were hills that I cussed at. There were times I didn't think I could keep up with this pace. But I did. I DID IT! Shortly after mile 11 I was feeling good enough to finish the rest on my own. I picked up my pace just a little bit and before I knew it I had crossed the finish line!! WooHoo! Another 1/2 marathon under my belt...and with a good for me time.
Besides actually running, my favorite part of a race is refueling afterwards. Hey - I LOVE food, what can I say?! Not included in this picture is a donut that I inhaled before I remembered to snap a picture! I ALWAYS get a donut after a 1/2 - it's tradition in my books :) I also decided to stay on the unhealthy route and didn't actually eat the banana. I know, I know - shame on me!!
After refueling you've gotta STRETCH! STRETCH! STRETCH! In general, I'm not a good stretcher. But after a race, even a 5k, you best believe I'll at least stretch for a few minutes. It's uber important and you'll feel better over the next couple days if you do.
And that, my friends, was my 4th 1/2 marathon. Chip time of 1:58:32 and gun time of 1:59:02, which is an average of 9:05/mile. I'll take it!!
Yup, I've got a case of the Monday blues. It tends to happen when that 4:50am alarm goes off. But I'm happy to say it usually quickly disappears once I get into the swing of things.
I am a routine girl afterall ;-)
This weekend was pretty dang good to us - busy but not overally busy...just how I like my weekends. Friday night was low key - as usual in our house. By the time Friday rolls around I'm usually too beat to do much of anything. This past Friday was no exception - I think I made it to 9:30 before zonking out on the couch...you'd think I was 61 instead of 31!!!
Saturday was just a typical day for us - we worked out in the morning, and spent the afternoon cleaning and doing things around the house. Then some friends of our friends invited us over at the last minute for dinner so we got to spend the evening with them and their super adorable kids. We had so much fun playing with these 2 munchkins. And the carb load feast of homemade mac 'n' cheese, bread, and fruit was EXACTLY what I needed for the next day's race. Nikki - I expect that dinner EVERY time before I have a big race :)
Sunday's alarm went off bright and early at 6am for my 4th half marathon. Here's me (in the pink top on the left) almost at the finish line...I'll do a full recap either tomorrow or Wednesday. I'm happy to report the race went WAY better than expected so I'm actually looking forward to doing my first race recap.
After the race, I took a nice long nap...it was pure heaven. I finally peeled myself off the couch and we were off to grocery shop. As I mentioned here I gave the hubs a date a month as part of his Christmas gift. Unfortunately, we didn't do March's in March so on Sunday we did March's date and April's. April's date was game night and we had SO much fun!! On Saturday, our friends had bought Super Mario Bros for their Wii and we had played that for a while there, so we followed suit so we could play it for date night. I LOVED that game growing up and I still love it!! I think it's going to be my new addiction (thank goodness I don't know how to turn the Wii on myself other I'd probably do nothing but play Mario Bros allll night....every night!!) We also played Charades from an app the hubs downloaded to my iPad. I guess Ellen plays it on her show so that's where he got the idea from (when he's watched the Ellen Show I dunno...LOL) It was a blast!!!!!! Our March date was to go to Target and we had a half an hour to buy the other person something for $5. This was SO hard!!!! I got the hubs a new pillow and some Easter candy that was on sale. He did good (as usual!) and got me some crazy straws, a pair of tweezers that I can keep in my get-ready area (because I'm constantly stealing the ones from the bathroom!), a pair of socks, and a votive candle that smells AMAZING!!!!!!! It was so much fun and we thoroughly enjoyed our dates!
And what better way to end the weekend than by face timing with your nephew....how can you not love this face?!?!? <3
What did ya'll do this weekend?
Happy Friday ya'll! It's been a long week and I'm sure glad the weekend is basically here! AND I can't believe it's the last Friday of April - where does the time go?!?!
OK enough rambling Renee...here we go - 5 on Friday
ONE ~ First & foremost, this little dude was born on April 23rd and the hubs and I couldn't be more excited. Being an auntie is my most favorite thing in the world (after being a wife of course!) My sister did an amazing job and we all couldn't be more excited that Connor is finally here!! <3 I'm a little biased, of course, but he's gotta be one of the cutest babies ever!!!
TWO ~ Speaking of being a wife, there's no one else I'd rather be a wife to than this crazy man. He makes me laugh every.single.day because he's just plain ol' goofy and silly (even at 6:45 in the morning!!) And that face - oh that face with those eyes and that smile get me every.single.time. Yup, I'm damn lucky and I know it <3
THREE ~ During our week off last week, we finally got this project completed. We had been holding off on doing it for a while. Mostly because I couldn't decide if we should just do a simple gallery like this or if I wanted to do floating shelves to display pictures (like picture #2 below from Pinterest). We decided that since our living room is fairly small, we wanted to keep things clean, simple, and organized. And so something like this worked out best for our situation. I guess I'll just need to do the shelving somewhere else in the house :)
FOUR ~ I've hit rock bottom. Today is day 1 of clean eating. I'm at the point to where I have to. I've been eating like absolute crap since the challenge ended and I feel like it. I don't have the energy I used to. My stomach is always off. I don't recover from long runs like I used to. So I've had enough and I'm back at it. I'm saying it here in hopes ya'll will help keep me accountable. It's a lot tougher to stay strict when there isn't something like a challenge holding you accountable for things. But, I'm hoping to be able to stay on track and get back to it. I also just finished reading Erin's post for today and it couldn't have come at a better time. I'm definitely in and I think it'll really help me stay on track (for the month of May at least!) Wish me luck!!!!!!!
FIVE ~ I've got my 4th half marathon on Sunday!! I haven't exactly been training for it, so I'm going into it with the mindset of just enjoying the run and atmosphere and not worrying at all about my time. I'll do an update on how things went next week!!
Happy Friday ya'll and have a fantastic weekend!!!
Listen to your body.
I've had to deal with headaches and migraines for as long as I can remember. At this point in my life, I usually can push through the pain - it's almost like I'm 'used to' headaches and the associated pain. And when a migraine comes on, I can still usually push through (with the help of some meds and my bed buddy!) - go on with my day - and just deal with it. Same with being sick. I'm that girl that just doesn't stop just because I've got a little cold (or bronchitis or sinus infection!) I still go to work. I still work out. I still get things done. That's just how I am. But yesterday...yesterday, this was not the case.
I woke up around 4am with a nasty, nasty migraine. I got out of bed - went downstairs - put my bed buddy in the microwave - and crawled back into bed hoping to fall back to asleep before my alarm went off at 4:50. If you don't know what a bed buddy is click on the picture below - it'll direct you to amazon.com and you can buy one for yourself - trust me - you won't regret it!!! Basically, you throw this bad boy in the microwave and voila! - heat relief wherever you need it!!
Anyways, I wasn't able to go back to sleep and the bed buddy didn't really help. So I got up, took some meds, and got ready for the day. The meds didn't work and I felt nauseous most of the day. But I got through the day. The second I got home, I burst into tears. It hurt. And it hurt BAD. I was upset I was still in so much pain and I didn't want to miss my Tuesday workout (I love Tuesday nights because the hubs plays basketball and it's the one night I get to go to the gym and not feel rushed and I get in a really good workout.) I didn't want to miss this workout. But the hubs convinced me to lay down on the couch with the bed buddy. I knew he was right - AND I knew I had to listen to my body for once. So that's what I did. I slept from 6 until about 9:30 - got up - crawled into bed - and slept until my alarm this morning. As much as I hate to admit it, it was the best thing I could have done for myself. Sure, I missed a great work out. Sure other things didn't get done that I needed to last night. Sure I feel like I let myself down a little bit by not pushing through the pain and getting that work out in. But I also need to learn to listen to my body and learn to do the right things for it - even if it's not what I necessarily want.
So the moral of this rambling story is to listen to your body...REALLY listen to it. Take a break. You deserve it. Be healthy. Be happy. But realize and accept that your body needs the rest as much as it needs the working out and eating healthy.
Yup ~ I'm here. Back at it. The Monday after a week off. Sure, I prefer my 7:30 alarm to the 4:50 one this morning - but so far so good. I'm sure I'll be in bed by 9 tonight - hey, that's OK. It's nice to get back into routine, back to 'normal' life (not that it's as much fun as being off but ya know...looking at the positives today!) AND it feels good to be back to blogging. It was sorta, kinda weird last week not posting regularly. Sure, I could have. But we were just so dang busy - I mean, seriously, the week FLEW by!!
I hope everyone had a fantastic Easter. I know I sure did! In fact, it was such an awesome day filled with family, festivities, and food (I ate so much food yesterday I wasn't even hungry this morning for breakfast and my scale read 3lbs more than it had when I woke up Sunday - yikes!!) that I didn't take a single picture the entire day. Can you believe it?!?!?! I know, I know #rookieblogger. At first, I was quite bummed. And then I realized it's not so bad since it meant I was too busy enjoying the day to remember to take some pictures. But I do have a few pictures that I 'stole' from some peeps - just so today's blog wasn't just me rambling on and on (because really...the pictures ARE the best part!!!) So I hope everyone had a fantastic Easter and enjoyed their weekends...AND are now ready to tackle whatever this week may bring :)
Oh, and I gotta give a special Happy 1st Birthday to this little gal...Happy, Happy Birthday sweet Madeleine!!
WOW!! This week off has FLOWN by! I can't believe it's back to work in 2 days!! I need another week off :)
ONE ~ We're home!! We spent the last couple days visiting my good friend and her family in MA!! It's so nice when we are able to go visit them and spend some quality time with them all. We always have so much fun!!!
TWO ~ While there we did so many fun things. We dyed Easter eggs, played, made cupcakes, played games, did puzzles, and just had a ton of fun!
THREE ~ Our main 'excuse' (not that we need one of course!) for taking this trip was to celebrate this little princess' 1st birthday!! Happy, Happy Birthday sweet girl!!! She loved the wrapping paper from her gifts the most...silly, silly girl! :)
FOUR ~ My newest obsession...Starbucks' vanilla soy steamer! Seriously they are soooo good - I had one yesterday and today and I'm pretty sure now I'll want one every day. They are so expensive though and I'm pretty sure I'd be able to make my own here at home so that's my goal for this week!!
FIVE ~ So I mentioned in last week's 5 on Friday that I wanted these mint sneakers. Yup, my girl Christina surprised me and got them for me for my birthday and I am OBSESSED!!! They are even cuter in person and I can't wait to rock these!! Thanks, C - you're seriously the best!!!!
That's all for me for this Friday's 5 on Friday - Happy Weekend ya'll and HAPPY EASTER!!!
Well, here it is Tuesday already. It's been weird not blogging since Friday. But ya know - us peeps over here are busy!
Busy doing what you ask?! Well the hubs is a teacher so this week is his spring break. And I for the first time actually got this week off too - crazy, huh???!!! Though I totally wish we were somewhere warm, soaking up the sun, drinking yummy drinks, and indulging in some fun, we've been spending the last few days getting a ton done around the house and it feels great!! The weather was gorgeous here Saturday and Sunday (today we're back to 30 degrees and snow though - yuck!) so the hubs spent those days outside getting the yard ready and all that 'manly' stuff. I spent the majority of those two days inside (booo!) spring cleaning the house. We've gotten a lot of projects done that we've been meaning too which has been great - like a gallery wall behind our couch, painting the ceilings from when our roof leaked, getting a couple new light fixtures, organizing, re-arranging, etc, etc. And we may or may not have a little road trip planned for the rest of the week :) So I hope ya'll are enjoying the week and I'll try not to be MIA the rest of the week :)
Doing my thing and linkin' up for 5 on Friday...this is not my typical 5 on Friday though. You see, I broke my iPad last night...like for good...UGH! :/
Soooo I don't have the pictures I'd taken throughout the week in anticipation for today's post. So I had to switch gears. Today's 5 on Friday are things I've been lusting over these past few weeks. I never really buy myself anything (that I don't NEED) so I created a Pinterest board to keep track of the things I'd like to eventually buy myself 'just because' (or for anyone else that might wanna buy me a lil' somethin' somethin'!) :)
1 ~ How freakin' adorbs is this sweatshirt?! It's comfy, but still so cute, and it's what the hubs calls me....soooooooooo I think it's perfect all around! You can find it here on Etsy.
2 ~ Rochester is known for it's Lilac Festival - it's one of my FAVORITE festivals...plus it's always right around my birthday!! I've always wanted a bottle of this lilac perfume they sell but have never actually gotten it. I think this year might be the year I actually splurge and get myself a bottle.
3 ~ Another Etsy find. This is me to a T - yup, this needs to be in my life.
4 ~ Love me some mint. Love me some comfy sneakers. These would be so cute with a pair of jeans and a tank top for summer...yup - size 6 please!!
5 ~ Surprise! Surprise! Another Etsy find!! I love beta fish and think this repurposed wine bottle is so dang cute. I could totally see this finding a home on our entertainment center.
I'm an Accountant. So it's no secret that I'm a total numbers girl. So this post is right up my alley. I've seen a lot of bloggers do this sort of post lately (like one of my faves Erin!) and I figured with my love of numbers it'd be silly for me not to jump on this bandwagon. So here it is - my life in numbers...
3 - number of half marathons I've ran (soon to be 4!)
1 - number of full marathons I've ran (Buffalo, NY marathon May 2013!)
19 - number of months I've been married (plus 23 days!)
9 - number of years I've been at my current job come April 18th
2 - number of full time jobs I've had
30 - number of days until my birthday (say what?! am I REALLY going to be 32?! OMG!)
3,492 - number of calories I probably consumed last Saturday (let's see...LA cinnamon bread for breakfast, tons of food at my sister's baby shower, then pizza and wings for dinner!)
6 - number of years the hubs and I have 'officially' been together
199 - number of unread emails in my inbox (clearing this out is on my to-do list for this weekend!)
0 - the number of stop lights the town I grew up in had
2 - number of colleges I applied to back in the day (SUNY Geneseo and St. John Fisher)
251.75 - number of miles I've ran so far in 2014
129 - number of times a day I use my calculator (yes, I use my calculator even to add 2 + 2...I'm totally dependent on it!)
It hit me the other day.
Last year at this time I was about 8 weeks from my first marathon. Last year at this time I was logging some crazy miles each week alongside the hubs. Last year I was doubting myself that I'd even be able to finish this race. Last year I was in the best running shape of my life. Last year the hubs and I were joking to each other that we were crazy for doing this. Last year at this time we were 'fighting' over who got the chocolate Gu gel (it tastes just like frosting!) And I miss it.
Yes, I miss marathon training. A LOT! The hubs calls me crazy (he didn't enjoy the whole training as much as I did!) So with that being said, someday, someday, I will train for and finish another marathon. It might not be for 10 years. But mark my word, I WILL be a double marathoner.
Saturday was my sister's baby shower. It was such a great day and we are all ready to meet Mr. Connor!! I'll let the pictures speak for themselves...
Oh, and another highlight on Saturday? Getting to have LA cinnamon bread for breakfast...I could eat this EVERY.SINGLE.DAY...worth every calorie! Delish!!
I don't know about ya'll but I am so stinkin' happy it's Friday. Like happier than a fat kid in a candy store....happier than a seagull with a french fry...happier than...oh, you get my drift. Anywho, here I go ago...linkin' up for 5 on Friday per the usual.
ONE ~ I surprised the hubs with this shirt this week. Are you a CrossFitter? Or got someone special in your life that is? Want your own? Check out Tango Charlie Apparel here and get your own (I work with one of the owners and he also does CrossFit with the hubs...and both owners are ex-military - great, local start-up company to support!!) The hubs loves this shirt - it's super soft, GREAT quality, well priced ($20!), and they have some great, funny designs.
TWO ~ My sister's baby shower is finally tomorrow. I can't wait to recap on Monday - hopefully I'll actually remember to take some pictures. It's sure to be a great, fun-filled day!
THREE ~ Back to CrossFit...one of the hubs' friends sent me this pin via Pinterest. It just made me laugh so I just had to share with ya'll today. I may not 'get' CrossFit but I gotta admit that those that do it are bad ass and legit and I give mad props to 'em. Maybe someday I'll try my hand at it...ya never know :)
FOUR ~ I've got a half marathon planned for April 27th...and I'm really looking forward to it. This will be my 4th half and the 2nd time I've ran this specific race. It's not the easiest of courses (it has some hills and uneven terrain!) but I think it'll be a great race. I haven't officially been training (I run enough on a regular basis to always be ready for a half marathon...I may not finish with a great time, but I know I'd be at least able to finish) so I'm not worried about my time or anything - it'll just be about enjoying the course and getting a good run in and supporting a local event.
FIVE ~ Lately, I've been in the mood to bake. But since I gave up sweets for Lent, I've controlled myself (because really who wants to bake something delish and then not be able to eat any?!) So I've been pinnning a lot lately on Pinterest and can't wait to try out a few new recipes after Easter...especially this recipe for Congo bars! I mean seriously...how amazing do these look?!?! YUM!
...to never want to eat anything else ever again (ok, maybe a slight exaggeration on my part...) It's here...finally! The only recipe you'll ever need - guaranteed to be your new favorite meal. It's quick. It's easy. Your slow cooker pretty much does all the work for you. It's super healthy. AND It's absolutely delicious. What more could you want in a dinner?! So here it is - my favorite soup recipe EVER...
Stuffed Pepper Soup
original recipe can be found here
1 lb ground lean turkey (you could substitute ground beef or even ground chicken)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green pepper (or any color really), de-seeded and chopped
1-15oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1-28oz can tomato sauce or tomato puree
28 oz water (use can of tomato sauce or puree to measure)
Salt to taste
Ground black pepper to taste
Crushed red pepper (optional)
1/2 cup uncooked long grain brown rice (not instant rice)
1/8 cup brown sugar (lately I haven't been adding the brown sugar to keep it clean but without the sugar it can be acidic especially if you use tomato puree)
Brown your meat until cooked through. Drain any liquid from your ground meat. Add the meat and all other ingredients to your slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. (This is a really forgiving recipe - I made this on Monday and it was in the slow cooker for 15 hours and was still good. However, I don't recommend cooking for THAT long - the rice was a little mushy and it was starting to burn around the edges but the taste was still spot on!) If it gets a little too thick, just add some more water before serving.
I love serving this with corn bread muffins - so absolutely delish! You could also top with some shredded cheese - YUM!!! I obviously tend to make this more during the fall and winter but we've also been known to enjoy it during the warmer months as well. It really is the perfect dinner for ANY time of year!
Hey ~ I'm Renée...just your ordinary, 30-something Accountant, new mommy, wife, runner, foodie, & Pinterest addict! Welcome to my newest adventure...stay awhile...look around...and keep comin' back!