Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Spending some non-quality time with the treadmill

I hate to say it but winter has hit Charlotte early this year.  I was just getting used to fall and then all of a sudden we've been hit with temperatures in the 20's and things such as flurries, sleet, freezing rain.  All of which make it much more difficult for a novice runner to head outdoors.  I don't really consider myself that experienced or even remotely "hard core."  I'm still getting used to living somewhere other than Florida where it's perfect running weather year round.  

Last thursday I was able to run outdoors and ran 5 miles.  I found myself on the treadmill at the YMCA yesterday and today, churning out the same 5 miles a lot slower pace.  Yesterday I was able to use one of the new treadmills which allows users to remain on it for a full hour.  I took a bunch of walking breaks and finished 5.1 miles in 56:09 minutes.

Today I wasn't as lucky in my treadmill selection and had to restart the treadmill after my 35 minute work out.

3.32 miles in 35 minutes + 1.81 miles in 20 minutes =  5.13 miles in 55 minutes

The forecast for the rest of the week looks rainy and cold which means I'll probably have to do a couple of more runs indoors on the treadmill.  It's crazy to think that I'm crossing my fingers for temperatures in the high 30's so that I can still run outdoors.  Maybe these are all signs for me to invest in legitimate cold weather running clothes.

Things that I've been drooling over:
Brooks Running Utopia Thermal Hoodie 
lux layerOiselle Women's long sleeve LUX Layer

Saturday, November 16, 2013

an unplanned long run

This morning I headed out to mile marker 8 of the Thunder Road Half marathon to cheer on a couple of my friends.  My original thoughts were to run for a couple of miles and head back to the car. 

But once I was out there running, and trying to be as encouraging as possible, it dawned on me that maybe I could last just a little bit longer.  After-all, my friend Shannon mentioned that miles 10-13 would be the hardest for her. 

So I pressed on, updating her when needed on her current pace (she wasn't running with a watch or anything).  At mile 11 I wished her luck and told her to keep it going.  And she did ... she finished 3 minutes faster than her original goal time of 2:15 hours.
Sometimes the best part of a race isn't so much the actual running ... it's the pacing, the cheering, and the supporting those runners around you.  Especially the ones that you're friends with :)

my mile splits:
mile 1 - 9:48
mile 2 - 9:56
mile 3 - 10:17
mile 4 - 9:23 (split off around 3.6 miles)
mile 5 - 8:28
mile 6 - 8:23

I may not have run the entire half marathon this morning, but I did sneak in my own quarter marathon. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

I wasn't trying to prove anything

I had every intention of going to the gym this morning to do my run. I dressed in capris and a tank and threw my Northface and puffy vest on only to take Mason to school.

As I sat in the car on the way to school I wavered back and forth between running on the treadmill or just running outside in the cold. I had left my gloves and headband in the car so I was more than equipped.

After dropping him off I decided to just get the run over with outside. Brrrr. Was it cold!

I finished 3.5 miles and never really gained feeling in my fingers. I wasn't trying to prove that I am some bad ass winter (err fall) runner. I just wanted to get my run done and knew driving to the gym and running on the treadmill would prolong everything.

Jess - 1
Mother Nature - 0

This was definitely the coldest weather I've run in. Fingers crossed for a few more weeks of running outdoors before even colder weather.

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Book fair trumps running

This morning I volunteered at the book fair at Mason's preschool. That meant pushing my run until after I was done at 10:30. By that time of the morning I'm dreading exercise and am ready for some food.

I forced myself outside and ran 3.15 miles. Then I walked 1/2 mile to Panera for lunch.

I highly recommend ordering the autumn squash soup. It was amazing!!

I just walked the 1/2 mile back to his school and am waiting for dismissal. Glad I was able to volunteer AND run this morning :)

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Monday, November 11, 2013

Will not run for a beet burger

Oh dear. This is one of the first burgers I have not loved in Charlotte.

Yesterday afternoon I ran 4 miles in 32 minutes in anticipation of a delicious, decadent dinner out. Ryan and I met our friends at the latest restaurant to open, Nan & Byron's.

I started off with a jalapeƱo margarita which was awesome! Instead of a bread basket the table is given a bowl of seasoned popcorn that was also very good and a pleasant change from the normal carb.

Ryan ordered sweet chile wings as an appetizer which were also good and Brandon ordered the smoked cheese dip with fresh chips that was devoured.

My only concern was my main meal. I opted for the beet burger thinking it would be a healthier version of my usual cheeseburger choice.

boursin cheese, arugula, red onions, avocado

I guess I should've guessed by the title that the beet would be fried. The breading was thick and oily and just not tasty. The bun used for the burger was disappointing and didn't offer the support needed for the toppings and greasy beet slices. As my side I chose the mojito fries and was blown away by the amount of salt they added.

All in all I had a great time with Ryan and our friends and loved the ambience of the new restaurant but am weary of having a meal there again. Will definitely order that margarita again though!

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

In no hurry

I'm sitting in a coffee shop waiting on my egg and cheese croissant sandwich. While in the line the cashier apologized to me about the wait ... To which I replied "it's cool I'm in no hurry." He laughed and said he doesn't hear that often enough.

I am so blessed that on Tuesdays and Thursdays I get to drop Mason off at preschool and spend 3 hours to myself. This morning I chose to run 4 miles and then reward myself with a hot coffee and sandwich.

It was a cold 4 miles and I made the rookie mistake of leaving my gloves in the car. I still haven't regained full motion in my fingers.

Next on the mommy errands list is a Goodwill drop off and a stop at the mall to return some really cute booties I bought for myself but don't necessarily need.

It's nice to slow down and not be in a hurry. Take a break for yourself today.

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Monday, November 4, 2013

Rocktoberfest Half Marathon recap

holy moley this is my 5th post so far this month!  

a little overdue but I wanted to write out my feelings from the Rocktoberfest Half Marathon that I ran on October 12th.

I definitely think that I was ready for this race; I had put in the miles and the training leading up to it.

There was just something about running a race without anyone waiting for you or cheering you on that kind of leaves you feeling meh.  I had picked this race knowing that my parents would be in town to watch Mason for me while Ryan had groomsmen things to attend to before Brandon and Lori's wedding that same night. So it wasn't much of a surprise to me that I would be alone.  

The race started off near our old neighborhood and even ran down our old street!  I tried to keep an 8:00 min/mile pace but around mile 8 (that's when the hills started really kicking) I found myself taking walking breaks.  I was super bummed since I had thoughts of running a 1:45 hour half marathon and knew that I would never hit that time with so many breaks.

I managed to finish the race in 1:51:19.  
  • 5th in my age group
  • 33rd out of 266 women
  • 123rd out of 493 runners
  • 8:30 min/mile pace
  • I missed 3rd place in my age group by 3 minutes
I'm proud of myself for running 6 minutes faster than my previous half marathon but know deep down there is a faster half marathon time out there for me.  I can honestly say I will probably NEVER run a half marathon in Charlotte again ... too hilly.  But hopefully I can run another half marathon in a cool city ... thoughts Katie? :)

Time change troubles

We can't be the only family with time change troubles. Fortunately Mason hasn't been too terrible with the hour difference. It's been mom who is a little challenged with the change.

Mason was a little off yesterday and was grouchier than normal (although I could blame this on teething too).

He finally went to bed around 7:30pm and woke up this morning at 6:45am. Sigh. I wasn't ready for that. It does help that the sun is at least out by this time now.

We struggled for things to keep us busy until gym this morning (childcare doesn't open until 9am).

Somehow we managed and I was able to drop him off without tears and ran 3.1 miles on the treadmill. Then I did a quick shoulder workout doing three exercises, 2 sets of 15 reps, using a pair of 5 pound weights of the following:
- shoulder press
- front lateral raises
- side lateral raises

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Sunday, November 3, 2013

the Pajama Run 5k recap

I wasn't planning on doing any more races this year.  This past Friday I found myself signing up for the Pajama Run 5k after briefly reading about it on Facebook.  

The Pajama Run 

The race helps raise awareness and funds for cancer below the waist.

Ryan and Mason went with me to the race on Saturday morning.  It didn't start until 8am which was a nice later start compared to most other races.  It was pretty chilly out, with temperatures in the low 50's.  

I wore my pink Pro Compression socks, Nike tempo shorts, and a Nike long sleeve dry fit shirt. 

The local middle school's track team was running the race and all of the kids lined up in the front of the pack to start the race.  It took about 1/2 mile to get around them and finally get into a groove.  The day was foggy and I couldn't see the runners too far ahead of me so I basically ran by myself after the first mile. 

Nearing mile 2 I caught up to a female runner who looked my age and ran past her.  I totally kicked it into gear during the last 1/2 mile and had a strong finish.

Official time was 22:21 minutes.  1st place in my age group (30-34) and 4th overall female.  

Whoa.  It still feels weird to write those words ... my last PR was 23:05.  I shaved over 30 seconds off my previous best time.  It was so great to have such a strong run after my disappointment from the half marathon a few weeks ago (I still have that recap to write).  

I loved everything about this race.  The race company, Start 2 Finish, did such a great job with the entire process.  The timing chips were attached to the bibs so once you picked up your bib you were all set for the upcoming race.  Once you were done with the race you could check your time at their timing tent, complete with 2 monitors and printers to print your time.  The prize was super useful, a blue coffee mug and $10 gift certificate to the Charlotte Running Company.

Is there a sub 22 minute 5k in my future?  Maybe next year ... 

Mason's first real Halloween

Although Mason dressed up last year for Halloween, he really didn't get the whole concept of wearing costumes and eating candy.  He was only 7 months old and caught a glimpse of the holiday before it was time for bed.

This year was a lot different.  I don't think Mason fully grasps the concept of Halloween but he was way more excited about trick or treating and collecting candy.  
 During the day he wore his skeleton tshirt to school since costumes were not allowed.
 I'm so glad that it "warmed" up on Halloween so that Mason's shirt and shorts costume worked out.  He dressed up as Charlie Brown for those of you who don't see a resemblance.
 The costume was pretty easy and inexpensive ... yellow tshirt, black shorts, yellow socks, and brown shoes.  Actually finding those brown shoes was tough, but I'm hoping he'll get some use out of them in the upcoming months.

 We found Mason trying to eat through the candy wrappers.  This was definitely the first time he had any candy and I'm pretty sure he's a fan.
 Once he got the hang of it he was off running down the street.  He loved going up to each house and just standing in front of the people waiting for his candy.  I can't wait until next year when he actually says "trick or treat" and "thank you."
 I didn't get many pictures with my little Charlie Brown since mom is usually the photographer.  But he did look cute with dad in the above picture.


Nineteen months

Oops ... another late Mason monthly update.  Not much has changed during the past month so at least I'm not holding out on anything exciting to tell y'all.

Oh Mason, you make it so difficult to photograph you.  He must be the most active toddler ever. He rarely stops moving, and when he does pause it's for mere seconds.  
 It's funny how much darker his hair looks. He still doesn't have much but thankfully it has been growing in.
 Honey is his constant companion and can be found following him around throughout the house.  Poor dog is always so tired by the end of the day.
 Mason is such a goofball, there is no other way of saying it.  He's always laughing and making me laugh as well.

  • latest way of getting him to eat vegetables - frozen peas.  he eats them by the hand full
  • still loves eating bananas every morning.  it's the first thing he asks for when he gets downstairs
  • not very verbal but has been doing much better at communicating through sign language
  • still loves pre-school and going to his Little Gym class
  • bedtime has gotten a little later; he usually falls asleep by 8 but is in bed around 7:30pm
  • took his first trip to the zoo and loved it.  looking forward to using our annual passes
  • no new teeth but has been working on those 4 incisors