Weekend Rewind and I’ve Decided

The weekend literally kicked my butt. I’m not sure how I was able to function on Monday but – as was evident by my lack of post – it was basically a wash. Here’s why…

image4Some pool day fun with Blondie and her hubby  on Saturday afternoon.

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We brought the dogs over to have a play date with their friends Luke and Lacey and also to try to get Mila to swim around in the pool. We already know Wilson doesn’t like water, but Mila is part lab so we were hopeful that she would be a championship swimmer (like her mom…haha!).

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They were worn out, but Mila loved the pool! Her fly dog training has commenced, the hubs is excited. Have you seen those dogs that jump over the lake to try to catch the toy and see how far they get?

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That’s what he wants Mila to do. Craziness.

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And then we had a yummy cookout to end the night.

Sunday we went to the Kid Rock concert. We had such a blast, but man, Sunday concerts make for a very difficult Monday!

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Started with a little tailgate action…

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Then made our way in to the amphitheater with 50,000 of our closest friends. I love Lakewood. Concerts there are what southern summers are made for.

11722588_10101034862499518_2670523330450488069_o image4Needless to say, we had a great time! We didn’t get home until about 1 am on Monday so I was basically a zombie all day yesterday. Definitely worth it.

Epic weekend.

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I’ve decided to hold off on detailed posts on my runs or workouts until my actual marathon training starts in September. I think taking the pressure off of myself to publish or share my runs on a regular basis will help me enjoy the runs more. I don’t want to feel like I’m on a strict schedule yet since I don’t technically have a running schedule to follow. So before it becomes something that’s penciled in on my calendar every day, I’ll just be giving periodic updates on how my running is going. More details will come when I actually get into my training – hopefully this will keep running fun and enjoyable until then!

Thanks for understanding, but don’t worry – I’ll still be posting some other workouts and periodic updates!

My coach has me doing some exercises to strengthen my IT band.

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I’ve always affectionately referred to this part of my body as my “saddle bags” but apparently they are a real muscle and have a real scientific name. You’re welcome. Here are some exercises he’s had me do.

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The Clam with Leg Extension – This picture is a perfect demonstration. Except I don’t use the resistance band just yet. And Coach said to hold my supporting hand on my top hip and act like there’s a cup of coffee in there. Don’t open your legs up so much that you spill that cup of coffee because then you’r not using the right muscle. Hold for 5 seconds in each position x10 on each side. Feel the burn.

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Fire Hydrant – These were pretty familiar to me already, but Coach has me do them a little differently that I was used to. Instead of doing a lot of reps extending my leg in and out, he wants me to focus on holding my leg in both positions B and C. So I’m supposed to work up to a 30-second hold in each position. Currently, I’m at 10 seconds. Hold in each position for 10 seconds, 2x on each side.

I can definitely tell that this muscle hasn’t been worked, um, ever? I’m glad it’s finally coming out of it’s shell and I’m excited to see how it helps me in my running!

Happy Tuesday!

Was your weekend epic? What did you do?

If you could go to any concert, what would it be?

Are there any muscles you’ve started working more in your exercising or running? 

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Coach Carl, Some Ramblings, Wednesday Words of Wisdom

Welcome to Wednesday! I had my first meeting with my running coach, Coach Carl, yesterday and it was so encouraging/exciting/motivating/informative/all of the above! This first meeting was to do a running form analysis, but it was so much more than that. I don’t know why I was so nervous before I met him, but it went so well! See me, nervous: IMG_1140The Good News:

* He said there are no MAJOR things that we need to change. I just have some form issues that we can work on that will help my running economy – exactly what I wanted to hear!

* I got some amazing exercises to do before and after my runs that will help strengthen the muscles that I need to build up to improve my form.

* Coach Carl was so excited to hear that I had recently purchased a foam roller and assured me that it would help with my ankle/calf issues (apparently my pain is due to some flexibility issues in these areas, but easy to fix). IMG_1142 * This was my view during our meeting. I love Piedmont Park. Second time there in a week, my inner city girl is swooning.

The Bad Stuff:

* While there is nothing majorly wrong with my form, my posture needs some work. The madre (and pretty much anyone who has been around me, ever) would agree, I have a posture problem. Beating a dead horse here…

* I need to work on the flexibility in my ankle so that my back foot will have more power in my stride and take a lot of the pressure off my hips which get tight.

* Coach Carl was a little worried about IT band issues if we don’t strengthen my glutes. That doesn’t sound like fun. Here’s a little more on the IT band and how it affects runners and ways to avoid injury.

He also did a video analysis of me running – that was definitely eye-opening! It was incredibly insightful and I could easily see (with no professional coach training) some things I need to work on!

As I start getting more into the warm-ups and specific exercises Coach Carl has prescribed, I will share them with you guys and let you know how it’s going! Overall, the session definitely motivated me and made me excited about continuing to improve myself as a runner and become more efficient and more prepared to complete this 26.2 miles in just a few short months. More specifically… Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 9.27.30 PM Side Note: The marathon is still open! You can register here, and there’s still plenty of time to train!

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These bananas were staring me down from the kitchen table, begging me to make some banana bread. Turns out, the recipe I used called for 4 over-ripe bananas. Coincidence? I think not. IMG_1133 Here is the recipe I used and it turned out to be delicious! Confession: I did add about 1/2 a cup of chocolate chips to my batter, so it ended up being Banana Chocolate Chip Bread. If you ask me, the chocolate chips really made the bread, in my unbiased opinion. primedayamazon-728x403 Have you heard about this? Today, Amazon is offering tons of deals to Prime members! I’ll let you know what kind of deals I score.

I was able to go meet my running coach this afternoon after work thanks to my amazing neighbor and best friend. Today, she and her hubs ran over to our house after work to let our pups out so that I could head straight to the park and not have to drive all the way home first. Love my friends!IMG_3657 IMG_7035 Mila and Wilson love when she comes to visit, and I’m grateful that she loves them just as much.

Wednesday Words of Wisdom: 865af01a7dd6d36ca3f47e94191d80ea The reason I decided to and the reason I am able to continue on this running journey is because I’m surrounded by people who tell me that I can. So much of what we accomplish in life we owe to those around us who encourage, support, and go out of their way to push us toward our dreams. We can’t do things on our own – or at least, in my experience, it’s a lot harder. Be someone worth cheering for, have goals, tell people about them, let people help, and accept encouragement.  Surround yourself with people who lift you up and push you to be better – because you are better.

And, on that note, my workout recaps:

Monday – Strength Train, 10 minutes on elliptical

Tuesday – 4 miles in 37:33

Wednesday – 4 miles in 37:03, plus some exercises Coach Carl gave me before and after my run

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Has anyone trained with a running coach before? How was it? 

Are you eyeing anything on Amazon to buy on Prime Day? 

I’m hoping they have some deals on running gear, obviously.

Who are the people in your life who motivate you the most? Make sure you thank them today!

Why I Love Morning Workouts and ASFF Recap

It’s Monday y’all, and here we go with another week! I thought I’d start off with sharing some reasons I love starting my days at 4:00am (actually my alarm is set for 4:05 so and I usually snooze one time, just being honest).

* I feel like a bad a$$ showing up at the gym way before most people even think about waking up. This gives me a little extra power and motivation to work extra hard on my runs in the morning

* The gym is basically empty this early so I get to use any equipment I want and I don’t feel pressured to get through my workout quickly so someone else can use the machine

* The two rows of treadmills are wide open so I always get my favorite treadmill right in front of the TV on ESPN

* It’s perfectly acceptable to look like you rolled out of bed and walked into the gym – AKA running clothes don’t match, socks don’t match, hair is a little, um, messy

* When you’re done with your workout, you feel so invigorated and awake that you go into your day on a high

* Research shows that working out in the morning can help you make healthier choices throughout the day and can also rev up your metabolism early so you burn calories more effectively throughout the day. See this article.

* At the end of your workday, you get to go home and relax (or start cooking and getting into your cleaning routine, if you’re me) and feel good that you’ve already completed your workout

* You have time at the end of the day, if you want, to get in a little extra exercise. For us, we enjoy taking the dogs for a walk at night after dinner, and I also enjoy doing my Yoga for Runners videos at night too

If you’re not a morning person, just try getting up one or two mornings a week and doing some kind of exercise. There are plenty of things you can do at home to get your metabolism going that don’t require any gym equipment. Check these out (click pictures for links) –  94c9e555ccbf7acb25b24f42d65f9ba8 bf7df6eb1be2e74b9a8a2f0604f2a6c5 2bb71a82b0fa7db14fd91afd9022a18aIf you can’t make it to the gym early in the morning, just give these at-home circuits a try. I guarantee you’ll finish them feeling energized, happy, and ready to start your day!

My 5.5 mile run yesterday was done outside in the heat and humidity. As I continue to train for my marathon in January of next year, I’m trying to make a conscious effort to do some of my long runs outside. My race is  in Florida so even though it takes place in the middle of winter, in Florida you really never know what kind of weather you’re going to get. Here’s why I’m still training outside in the dead heat of Georgia summers:

Sweat It!

Prepping for a hot race day can help you run better in any weather. Alex Hutchinson  FRIDAY, JUNE 19, 2015, 3:52 PM

You made it through a winter of hard training to prepare for a late spring or early summer race. The risk? Temps soaring on race day. Fortunately, there are ways to prepare for heat, even on short notice.  Full article here.

Atlanta Street Food Festival, see what had happened was…it was hot. Very hot. And very crowded. I think the entire metro Atlanta area decided to show up at the same time we did on Saturday afternoon to get our food truck on. We ended up waiting in line longer than we actually stayed at the festival which was disappointing. The one food truck we made it to was… IMG_6421 King Kabob. I got a chicken kabob and the hubs got a steak kabob. They had GIANT pieces of meat with peppers and mushrooms on there too. They were both served over a bed of rice and a delicious white sauce. The food was pretty delicious, we were not disappointed.

We also managed to made a stop at King of Pops. The cold popsicle was exactly what we needed to cool off in the hot sun! Confession – I had two popsicles. The first one I got was the Orange Cream which was…amazing. Then on the way out of the festival, Blondie and I stopped and got a Chocolate Sea Salt one, my favorite. 0c1332_950b57ae4b3fd18226c936a7229256fe.jpg_srz_p_140_118_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srzA few cute pics from the festival of me and the hubs and Blondie and her hubs! R&M came with us too, but we got separated from them toward the end so I didn’t get any cute pics of them (sad face). I’m so grateful for sweet friends who will venture to the city with me, even though they hate it! 1513681_10101810154373153_1742476658199592458_n 11039840_10101028262171628_5147011928601300229_n

We went to World of Beer after the festival and the boys were satisfied. If you live in Atlanta and haven’t been, definitely check it out. There are SO MANY BEERS to choose from…Blondie got this flight of local beers! image3 Needless to say, good times were had by all. Today is an active recovery day, so I have some Yoga for Runners and a long walk with the pups tonight! I’ll also squeeze in some strength training in the AM!

Do you enjoy working out at home or in the gym better? 

Did anyone else go to the Atlanta Street Food Festival? Any favorite trucks?

Steals and Deals and a Bit of Motivation

I am the bargain shopping queen. It’s very rare that I will pay full price for ANYTHING! And if I do, you know it was something I was dying over. Here are a couple steals and deals I’ve tracked down this week –

51zjY8T4LAL._SL1024_ Groupon has a deal for Refurbished Apple TV for $58.99. Are you serious right now? We don’t have cable in our master bedroom, we just get by with our Apple TV! You can stream Hulu and Netflix on there, and a lot of times Apple will offer you free movies! Do yourself a favor and snatch this deal, that’s a bargain.

There’s a great retail store called Entourage Clothing that has a couple locations in Georgia and they have adorable and affordable clothes, shoes and accessories. I’m a frequent shopper. They sent me an email that said there’s an additional 40% off their sale items with the code “SUMMERSALE”, plus if you text “ENTWEB” to 313131 you get 10% off your first order (you can immediately unsubscribe from the texts after you get the coupon code). They’ve got a lot of cute dresses and rompers I’ve got my eye on. This maxi? $25. This romper? $16. Yes.

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My run this morning – 2 miles warm up at 9:41 pace, then the last 4 miles at 9:23. I decided to push a little at the end and did an extra .2 miles (for a full 10k) at 8:44 pace.

IMG_1115I have some exciting / cool running updates to share with you guys next week, so stay tuned for more!

Our weekend plans include the Atlanta Street Food Festival (see yesterday’s post…can you tell I’m excited?!) on Saturday, then lots of errands and running around on Sunday. Hopefully the weather will be good so we can finally take the dogs to hike Kennesaw Mountain. Also…drum roll…

selflessposter-Copy-1000x600The hubs picked the movie this time, although I’m not upset about seeing Ryan Reynolds without his shirt on – I mean this movie looks really interesting (what?! haha!)! Movie review next week, I promise!

In case you need a little motivation to get you through your long run this weekend (mine is just 7 miles, not too scary)…

0d040112f3fd5cb9f93a136e8561298eAfter taking last week off I’m having to ease back in to my long runs to avoid injury. Just remember, no matter how much time you’ve taken off or no matter how long or short your run (or other exercise is), you have the power to make it great! Set a goal for yourself, then push yourself a little past that. If your long run this weekend is 3 miles, once you hit that 3 mile mark, sprint for 30 seconds (you’ll feel AMAZING). If you’re running a 10k this weekend, find a running partner at mile 1 or 2 and stick with them right until the end, and then hit your stride at the finish and pass them. It’s all about doing a little bit more than you think you can. That’s how you grow and improve. So find your goal, and then surpass it!

Happy running!

What are your weekend plans? 

Are you doing a long run this weekend?

7 miles, who’s with me?

Have any great steals and deals you want to share with the class?