Monday, November 22, 2010

What a weekend!

Oh the fun that was had on this strange spring weekend. The weather in Cleveland was off the hook yo. It got up into the 60’s on both Saturday and Sunday and I for one refuse to think about the global warming implications! I took the day off work on Friday as well and used that time to get in a 15 mile run and clean my house top to bottom. Saturday I was able to take Harper out in the stroller for another 8 miler and then Sunday Harper and I took a hike together at the Shaker Nature Center, raked leaves and took the dogs for a 2 mile walk. There was also time for numerous errands and a playdate at the Joseph Beth book store's train table. It is supposed to snow on Friday though, so back to normal. Here are a few pics from the Nature Center.

But I don't want it to snow Mom!


Riding on logs is fun!


Here is a spit bubble for you.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Vino, Vegan Vinyasa night at LuLuLemon


A few years back Cleveland got a trial LuLuLemon store. IT was set up in a yaunchy apartment complex and was a really small room. Shortly after LuLu graced our town with its presence I scooted myself over there for the complimentary Saturday yoga. For those of you who don’t know, all LLL locations have free yoga on Saturday. How wonderful is that. Generally they rotate various teachers from local studios. It’s a great way to get people into the store to buy their beautiful overpriced goods and it’s a good way to give exposure to the local studios and their wonderful teachers. Well, I went the one time and then I never went back. It was extremely crowded and due to my long run schedule I could never make it back. Eventually they got a permanent store and LLL now resides at Eaton on Chagrin, tucked in the alley between Fleming’s steak house and Pentsky’s spices. For well over a year I have been on their email blast. They send out updates on new products and the weekend Community classes. They also have a lot of special events on Wednesday night. I have always wanted to go. But balancing my life of marathoning, mommying and working and not making my husband feel like our daughter’s full time nanny is a tough job. I have always felt that if he has to wake up early every Saturday and watch Yo Gabba Gabba in jammies with Harper while I am out running for 3 hours, that that should be it for my weekly ventures. He doesn’t make me feel that way necessarily, it’s just the way I feel. But anyway I digress, I have always wanted to attend these events and this week I couldn’t resist – Vino, Vegan, Vinyasa! It was a vinyasa class taught by Parker Bean from Cleveland yoga, who if just a great teacher and very funny, followed by vegan desserts and wine. How can I miss that?

So I met up with my friend Rebecca at 6. Class started at 6:30, but I knew from the one time I had been there before that it gets crowded and I wanted to make sure we got spots next to each other. The new location is almost as tiny as the first, yet they managed to cram 40 or 50 of us in there. You literally have no room, your mat is right on top of your neighbors and you have feet all around you. I am not a fan of feet so being this up close and personal with the feet of others really bothers me, but hey its FREE yoga. Yoga classes are stupid expensive, so I will take what I can get! Parker led an awesome class, she really kicked our butts, lots of chair poses and holding twist for what felt like forever. I honestly haven't done yoga once since August and haven't practiced regularly since last winter. So, I was pleased to know I can still do crow pose, but I still suck at Eagle. Towards the end of the workout she made us do to 100 reps of bicycle. I had just done 500 situps and 100 pushups on my lunch break, so I was having a hard time throughout the class. My muscles were zonked. The classroom got so hot, that it might as well have been a Bikram class. Sweat was literally dropping off my face and my muscles were so warm. Unfortunately heat makes stinky even stinkier. I must have a very sensitive nose b/c I was having a very hard time handling the smell in the room. I could absolutely smell the lady next to me and I had to keep turning towards my friend Rebecca and taking big gasping breathes. It’s not that this lady was horribly stinky, she just had probably been at work all day in heels and her feet stunk. I’m sure mine did too, but I couldn’t smell myself, thank god. The food afterwards was awesome. The chef Amy C runs a vegan catering company and she brought a bunch of desserts. I had a mini pumpkin chocolate cupcake and some sort of flourless chocolate cake. YUMMM.

I cannot say enough nice things about LLL. While I think their clothing is just offensively overpriced, I think what they do for the yoga community is amazing. I would love to be able to afford their clothes b/c they make some really droolworthy stuff. Eventually I will splurge for a pair of their pants b/c I am constantly told by my LLL sporting friend Ilana that their clothes really hold up well wash after wash. I guess maybe in this case you get what you pay for. I would like to start going to the free classes every Sat, but I am not sure how to get past my issues with the smells? Maybe set up my mat in the far back of the room near the door and hope there is a draft!?! Maybe rub some sort of essential oils on the front of my mat? Any suggestions?
And if you have LLL in your area, totally sign up for their email blast, they have so many fun FREE events:
Monday, November 15, 2010

Eye of the Tiger is playing on loop in my head

Okay it’s been a week since Huntington WV and now I have to get back into marathon mode. I took almost the entire week off last week! And you know what? I really didn’t enjoy. Instead I felt out of whack, lazy and chunky. I have proven to myself time and time again that I need exercise like I need air to breath. When I don’t work out for a few days I am miserable. This body needs to move people! I took the work week off but I did get out on Sat and Sun for 2 great runs. On Saturday my gal pal Michelle and I headed to Munroe Falls, near Akron, for an Ohio Outside trail race event. It was 5 miles. We had some really weird, unbelievably beautiful weather this weekend. It was sunny and clear and was just about the most perfect day ever for a trail run. There were about 120 runners and everyone got a pint glass with some goodies stuffed inside. I also got a really great gray Ohio Outside hoodie that I love. I got it b/c I signed up for the entire race series, which is 3 races. Unfortunately I signed up forever ago and have conflicts for the other 2 runs, so the November run was the only one I would make! So I basically paid $60 for a hoodie, a pint glass and 5 glorious trail miles. Even though this was a race, I wasn’t treating it like one. Michelle and I lined up in the back and just trotted along and talked for the entire 5 miles. We crossed the finish line right around 50 mins. Which really for a trail run isn’t that bad. The course was 2 loops of 2.5 miles each. The earth was nice and packed, but there were a lot of roots to keep an eye out for. I almost took a fall twice and my ankles were quite sore on Sunday from all the uneven terrain. I am extremely blessed to live in an area with so many wonderful trails. I could probably run a different trail every weekend of the year. Maybe that would be a good blogging journey!

Sunday wasn’t so nice, it was rainy and gray and Harper decided to wake up before 6am! Ugh. So, I laid around with her all morning and then at 9 we had to get out of the house b/c we were going stir crazy. We headed to Joseph Beth and met her little friend and they played in the children’s area for about an hour. I am so sad b/c this is my favorite bookstore and it’s going out of business. I love going into a bookstore and purusing the shelves. Unfortunately most people buy their books online and bookstores are going extinct. So sad. But on the plus side they are going to be having big sales soon and I am going to break the bank in that place. I swear I will buy Harper xmas presents for the next 10 years! Once I got Harper down for a nap, I headed out with Fonzie sans Garmin and ran for an hour. It was so nice not to worry about my pace and to just run. It was cold and gray, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Winter is here.

My plan for this week is to hit 40 miles and then 45 next week. Then a 2 week taper. I am also really focusing on my diet since Thanksgiving is coming up. I want to avoid sugar and see if I can melt a few more lbs before I step up to the starting line. I have been eating relatively well, but the scale is stuck. I am trying not to focus on it, but it is really depressing to know I just ran a great marathon and my weight is up almost 10 lbs since the beginning of the year, boo.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Post marathon Glow and work husbands?

Feeling good today! I have some residual soreness in my hamstrings and my knees ache a little on the stairs, but overall I do not feel like I just ran 26.2 (26.5! on my watch) miles this weekend. Good, good. So, I rested yesterday and today and I plan to run 3 tomorrow morning, 5 on Thursday, a 5 mile race on Saturday and then hopefully 6 on Sunday. Next week I am right back into my training plan. I hope to get in 40ish miles the week of the 15th and the week of the 22nd, then taper back to 25-30 the next two weeks leading up to DE. My weight is ridiculous, it has gone further up into the 130s than I am comfortable with, so I am really hoping to curb my sugar over the next 5 weeks and get the weight back below 130 for DE. That alone should help me a lot for race day.

Those of you who have read my blog for awhile know that I love a plan and looking ahead. But of course I am just as quick to change the plan that I was just preaching about. That being said, here is my plan as of today! Power 90X starts on Dec 20th and I want to follow it to the T. 6 days of P90x and hopefully 2-3 runs, not going to sweat the running. I do want to keep a weekend long run that is over an hour. P90x will be done in March and I am going to jump into marathon training for a June race in South Bend, IN. I am thinking that I will get a few 13 milers in for my long run after the new year and that I should be able to do about a 12 week marathon plan. That will hopefully hold my interest better than 16 weeks, I always get lazy somewhere in those 16 weeks. Then in the fall I am thinking Chicago. If Chicago doesn’t work out, then Marine Corps. Both of those races fill up quickly so I will be signing up for one soonish. Well, I am also entering the lottery for NYC again, you never know 2011 may be my year. I would really like to get sub 4:00 next year, but a crazy big race like NYC or Chicago is not a good place for me to do that. So, I need to think on the fall race a little bit more. If I do super well in DE, I may think I can break 4 in South Bend, but a June race could be awful weather, you just never know. All I know is I want to mark 2 more states off next year. I may do back to back ones in the fall again. I need to cram some states in before we start thinking about another baby! That is at least a year away, we want to move homes first and I need to be at my job for 2 years.

On an entirely different note, I was watching last week's episode of 30Rock, love that show, and they were talking about work husbands. I don't believe that I've ever personally had one, but I can look around and identify several “couples” in my current office and knew of some at my old. Do you have a work spouse? What are your thoughts on the topic, it seems dangerous to me, but oh so common.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Healthy Huntington Marathon Race report


This past weekend I took a little 4 hour drive to Huntington West Virginia to do their marathon. My co-worker Wendy who is from WV asked if I wanted to tag along with her for the weekend. She had actually ran the race before and graduated from Marshall University. Wendy is on the 50 state quest as well, but she already had WV, so she was just there to run it for fun and help me with my pace. I was happy to have her as she is very good talker and we chatted happily for the first 22 miles and once the pain really set in, she knew I needed time alone in my head!

Overall I would give this race a C+.
A few pros:
· It’s in Nov, so I could train after summer’s hottest days were done,
· Swag – you got an awesome zip up fleece as your swag
· Small crowd- only 500 people ran the marathon (1000 in the half) so the start wasn’t too congested
· Course details - the course was very well marked and had enough porta potties and water stops.

On to the cons:

· Course - well there really isn’t much to see. The Marshall campus is nice, and there is a pretty park you run through twice, but aside from that you are just running up and down rundown city streets.
· Street Crowd - There is no crowd support to speak of and some of the areas were just downright dirty and desolate. Huntington is a small town that has seen better days. I knew this going into the race though and just wanted to do it to mark WV off my states list.

The race started at 7 am and boy was it cold. I wore some thin pants, a tank top with sports bra built in, a zip up pullover and my favorite vest along with throw away gloves and an ear band. I was dressed perfectly for the start, but by mile 18 was really wanting to ditch my vest, but it’s my fav and I wasn’t going to throw it away. You start in the street that is part of the campus and then you work your way past fast food restaurant and other city scenes. There was no timing mat at the start, so everyone had the same start time. However, Wendy and I were not very far back, we were probably 45 seconds back in the pack. It was such a small race it was humorous to see how close together the pace signs were. The crowd broke up by mile 1 and I was able to keep my pace below a 9 min mile for the first 3 miles. We hit the 5K mark a hair under 27 mins and I made the conscious decision to pull back a little. My game plan was to keep my pace consistently below 9:15 until mile 20 b/c I knew at 20 I would slow down and I was hoping for an overall pace of 9:30. I was almost able to do that, my overall pace was 9:33. I don’t think I had any miles that went over the 10 min pace. Because it was such a small race, we were able to chat with various people and we ran around the same faces the whole race. As I said there was a nice break from the streets when you ran through a park on a dirt/crushed limestone trail, but that only amounted to about 4 miles overall. You also ran along the water for about a half mile twice. Other than that it was just dirty house and at one point an old amusement park! I had to stop for the port potty at mile 10, but just to pee! I made it through this whole race without stomach issues and I cannot tell you what a big thing that is for me. Usually I am wrecked by stomach pangs and portapotty stops. After that stop I was good the whole race. I ate some sports beans, some shot blocks, a clif kids bar and one GU and it was the perfect combo. I will be repeating it at Delaware in a few weeks. I felt pretty good up until mile 16, then the doubt and pain started creeping in. I’ve been having some issues with my feet and my right leg and they really started to hurt at this point. I was just chugging along praying for mile 20. At mile 20 I always get a sense of relief, this is almost over, even though I really have like another hour to go! But something about mile 20 makes me very happy. By 20 I was hurting, but not too bad, things didn’t really get desperate for me until mile 23. Every step after 23 really hurt and it was a mental game to just get it done. I knew I could do a 5K, I knew I could push and not let my pace drop too badly. I really wish I could have dug a little deeper at the end, but I was done. You finish in the Marshall stadium and that was great, except that you have to run down a steep short hill to get onto the field and it hurt after 26 miles. Wendy and I both pretty much stopped and walked down it. Official results aren’t up yet, but my clock time was 4:11:31 and my Garmin was 4:10:55. So, somewhere in between there.

Up next is Rehoboth Beach in Delaware. I am looking forward to it and really think I can run under a 4:10 for it, as long as it doesn’t get too windy.
Friday, November 5, 2010

P90X fo sho'

Well after a day of deliberation I decided to go with P90X instead of the HIM. On one hand I am sad that I won’t be marking the HIM off my bucket list, but I am mostly very happy with my decision b/c there are a long list of pros to go with it:
1. I can get up later in the morning b/c I will be working out at home and not scheduled to meet anyone
2. I can stay indoors more this winter!
3. I can sleep in on the weekends and so can Gary!
4. I will build some much needed muscles

The only cons are that I will lose some running endurance and will have to work really hard to stay motivated and make myself workout everyday. I hear Tony Horton is super annoying. I am chomping at the bit to get started, but I really can’t do it until after my Dec 11 marathon and I don’t want to start it and half ass it. I do plan to still run 2-3 days a week while doing P90X. I also hope that I’ll be able to take advantage of the free yoga classes that LuLu Lemon has on Saturdays since my schedule will be more flexible. I will have a weekend long run with friends that will just be fun. My hope is that I can commit myself to P90X from Dec 20th – March 18th and come out on the other end a much trimmer person. Then I can kick up my running and maybe even be ready for a May marathon. If I keep my long run 8-10 miles it may be do-able.
Thursday, November 4, 2010

Second thoughts

I was very stoked to try and train and do the HIM in June. It’s an accomplishment that I have always wanted. However, what I have always really wanted more than anything is to slim down. It is so frustrating to run marathons and still have a gut and muffin top. If I do the HIM I have to jump right into training after this weekends marathon and I am having second thoughts. Part of me wonders if I shouldn’t really give p90x a try. Doing P90x would allow me to sleep in on the weekends. It would allow me to just go for runs for fun with friends. It would give Gary a break from having to wake up every Sat so I can go train. I have been training for some race or another for pretty much 4 years straight. Maybe it’s time I take a step back? On one hand I think that the HIM training will help me slim down and will keep me regimented. On the other hand P90x is giving me pie in the sky dreams of switching things up and busting through a weight loss rut to lose some serious weight and come back to running in the spring at 120. What do I do? What would you do?
Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Muscles are sexy


I hope everyone had a nice Halloween. We sure did. Harper and I visited my family from in KY and it was a lot of fun. Harper had her first trick or treating experience at the Louisville zoo on Friday. It was a lot of fun to watch her “get it”. At first she was nervous and didn’t want to go up to the people handing out candy, but after 3 or 4 times, she was running full speed ahead, throwing up her bucket and getting her treat. She had an adorable unicorn costume on, it was just a lot of fun. My hometown had their trick or treat on Sat, so she got to do that as well. Sunday we drove home and she got to T&T in her own neighborhood. She’s a pro at it now.

My adventures in weight loss have not been as successful as I would like, I’d give myself a B-. My eating while I was at home was just off, just a lot of empty carbs and convenience foods. I wasn’t too bad with the candy though. However my husband did cook 2 pumpkin pies in the last week and I may have eaten pretty much a pie myself. As I mentioned in my past post a change is needed. A big giant kick in the butt change. If you know me, you know that I love a plan. I really wanted to give the P90X series a try this winter. I wanted to stop running and throw myself into it. I truly believe that it works. However, I instead proceeded to sign up for a Dec marathon and a June HIM, so I do not have the “luxury” of 3 months to give it a go. Sara has been having a great time switching it up and doing P90X and reading her blog makes me want to do it too. So, I have reached out to a few people on craigslist and plan to buy the DVDs. After my marathon is over on Sunday, I plan to take a week to just rest up and then come Nov 15, here is my plan. I do have a marathon on Dec 11, but my hope is that I will still be in shape from the Nov marathon and that adding in biking and deleting some running won’t affect my performance.

Until Dec marathon is done:
Mon: AM- swim, PM short bike
Tues: AM – short run, PM P90X
Wed: AM – P90X
Thurs: AM - run
Fri: AM - swim
Sat: AM – Long bike
Sun: AM – Long run, PM P90X

After marathon until I start following HIM training plan in Feb. Since I suck at swimming it’s going to be my top priority workout, I want to get the Sunday swim up to 3500 yards. So essentially each week I want to get in 3 swims, 2 bikes, 2 runs and 3 P90X workouts. When it’s time to start following my HIM training plan, I will just shoot for 2 P90X workouts.
Mon: Rest
Tues: AM – run, PM- P90X
Wed: AM – swim, PM - bike
Thurs: AM – run, PM –P90X
Fri: AM – swim
Sat: 2 hour biking class
Sun: Long swim, P90X yoga

About Me

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Mnowac
distance runner attempting to run a marathon in every state, vegetarian foodie, mediocre triathlete, sucky swimmer, mommy to Harper, tea lover, coffee drinker, animal saver, hubby snuggler, race addict, full time working 31 year old living in cleveland
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Marathons so far

  • Sept 2012 - Corning, NY - TBD
  • April 2012 - Louisville, KY - TBD
  • Sept 2011 - Erie PA - 4:25
  • June 2011 - South Bend IN - 5 hrs+ (it was 98 degrees!)
  • Dec 2010 - Rehoboth Beach DE - 4:26:06
  • Nov 2010 - Huntington WV - 4:11:44
  • Oct 2009 - Towpath - Cleveland area OH - 4:30:35

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