Friday Faves+Cranky Calf

Man am I glad Friday is finally here!  Brandon comes home tomorrow afternoon after traveling for two weeks and I’m beyond excited.

jessiespano

Haha please tell me you remember that Saved By The Bell episode!

What I’m not excited about is that I have a cranky right calf.  Earlier this week, I noticed the tell-tale morning hobble after waking up, making me think I was starting to develop plantar fasciitis.  No bueno.  I could definitely run, but I figured it was best to make an appointment with my sports chiropractor to take a look and get it treated.  After seeing him Thursday morning, we discovered that while I do have a bit of mild PF, my right calf/patellar tendon is significantly tighter in comparison to my left.  My right calf has always been tighter and was the source of tendonitis while training for my first half marathon.  He decided to use Graston on my foot and dry needling on my calf.

dryneedling

Oh. My. Lanta.  For those of you that don’t know about trigger point dry needling, it involves pinpointing areas of tightness/knots in a muscle, then inserting needles in and around the area in order to create a twitch reflex.  I didn’t feel anything when he was putting the needles in, but I definitely felt when he pinpointed areas of tightness because my calf muscle would twitch and spasm like crazy!  At one point I felt it all the way down into my foot.  I was definitely tender afterwards, but my calf felt noticeably looser as the day progressed.  I’m going in for another appointment next week, but he said I can continue running as scheduled, so good news!  I’m also going to wear my compression socks, since that seemed to make a difference.

Now on to the fun stuff–my Friday faves!

1. Surprise Mail.  The other day, I got a surprise package at work from my momma.  Turns out, she saw the Steve Madden shoes in my last Friday Faves post and ordered a pair for me as a surprise!  It was so nice and thoughtful–I didn’t even know she read my blog!  This also goes to show blogging is clearly a great way to let the world know what to potentially buy for you.  


Yes I tried them on right at my desk.  Cute huh?!  Deb is the best.

2. Tropical Nuun.  I’ve been playing around with hydration options while training for my half marathon and love the tropical Nuun tabs!  I needed something other than water in my handheld for last Saturday’s 10 miler so I picked up a container of these at my local running store.  I love that the flavor isn’t sickeningly sweet and is easy on my sensitive tummy!

 3. Drewbert the Corgi.  I’m not ashamed to admit half the peeps I follow on the ‘gram are dog pages. I recently found one, Drewbert the corgi, and am obsessed.  Corgis are probably one of my top 5 fave dogs–their little legs and cute fluffy tushies are just too much.  I mean look at this little guy!

 


Hope you guys all have an amazing weekend!  I’m tackling 10-11 miles Saturday morning!

What’s on your weekend agenda?

Do you like surprises?

Favorite type of dog?

 

What I Ate Wednesday+Track Intervals

I decided to participate in my first What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW) post!  I’ve seen other bloggers, like Lisa and Meredith, share weekly WIAW posts and I always like to see what other people eat.  Because I mean lets be honest, I need to know what I’m missing out on and what I need to buy at Trader Joe’s.  I’m just keepin it real.

Anyways!  I headed out in the morning for the track at Gallaudet University (my grad school alma mater) for my speed session.  Laura wanted me to run 6x4min repeats at 5k-10k pace, with a 2 min recovery interval between each.  It was already in the mid 60’s and sunny at 6:30 so I know this would be a doozy, but I told myself to suck it up and put in the work.  

I was super annoyed because I couldn’t find the dang interval setting on my Garmin–I had the manual on my phone for reference and looked at it like three times and couldn’t figure it out, so I said screw it and decided to just pay attention to the time.  

This workout was hard.  Like, I wanted to quit after my third interval.  But I reminded myself that tough runs like these can only make me stronger.  And, I nailed my pace for each interval!  Each one was between an 8:30-8:45/mile, with the last one closer to 9:00/mile.  I was a sweaty mess after that, but I felt awesome.


I had to hurry home after since I was waiting for an electrician to come, so I made a quick cup of coffee.


Followed by chocolate protein oatmeal with dark chocolate almond butter and blackberries!


Since I had the day off and pushed through my speed workout, I decided to treat myself to a pretty amazing mid-morning snack.


A chocolate creme brûlée doughnut from District Doughnut! This baby was heaven.  I don’t even know the last time I had a doughnut, but I’m glad I saved it for something as delicious at this.

Lunch was leftover riced cauliflower mixed with Cuban style black beans, carnitas, salsa verde and avocado.


Followed by a mid-afternoon snack of a chocolate peppermint Lunar bar (best flavor) and lots of water while soaking up some vitamin D.

I also squeezed in an afternoon nap, which was money.  I wish we could have siesta time at work, I feel like everyone would be happier.

I woke up to this face after my snooze fest.  Apparently it was dinner time.


Since Brandon is still traveling for work, I didn’t feel like cooking or making anything fancy.  So I made my favorite salad combo–mixed greens wth chicken, roasted sweet potatoes, dried cherries, cashews, and avocado!


I love simple, easy dinners.  Now time to foam roll and relax some more before my (likely rainy) 3 miles tomorrow!

What were your meals like?

Favorite salad mix-ins?

What’s your favorite kind of doughnut?

Weekend Wrap-Up+Half Marathon Training, Week 3

What a gorgeous weekend in D.C.! I heart spring weather so much.  Well, minus the pollen.  I could do without that. 

First, I want to back up really quick to Friday afternoon.  We had an awards ceremony at my staff meeting, where all of the school psychologists nominated someone from their school as recognition for being an amazing educator.  I chose a good friend of mine, but not because she’s my friend, but because she loves our students with everything, even when they’re pushing buttons.  I had some of our students write about why she’s so great, and got her to shed some tears.  That doesn’t seem like a huge deal, but she’s from New York and doesn’t cry often!  I was so happy to give her the award. 


Ok, back to the weekend!  Saturday morning, I woke up before 6:00 and prepped for my 10 mile run, which Laura wanted me to do at an easy pace.  Here’s my prep:


Cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread, almond butter, and honey.  Plus some tropical flavored Nuun and a Gu.  I decided to nix the coffee since I had tummy troubles last weekend.  My stomach definitely felt better this time without it, but I still got some pains/cramping–maybe it’s the almond butter? 

It was overcast but humid during my run, so I was glad I had Nuun with me.  I was a sweaty mess like two miles in!  I ran all my miles between a 10:00-10:40/mile pace, so nice and easy.  My legs were still a little heavy from strength training, but they relaxed as my run progressed.  And I finished before the downpour started!


My bud Andy was in the area for work Saturday morning, so we met up after my run for brunch.  I had Greek yogurt with fruit and granola, plus a side of bacon and toasted ciabatta.

I don’t eat bacon often, but I freaking love it.  Give me real bacon over turkey bacon any day!

After brunch I did a bit of house cleaning and laundry, then headed out to the Navy Yard area for drinks/dinner with some girlfriends!  I figured I earned my two glasses of wine plus tacos, plantains, and guac after my ten miler.


I love soft tacos (especially corn tortillas) over hard tacos any day.  

I passed out by 10:00 Saturday night–I’m such a granny when I don’t get my afternoon nap in!

I was up around 7:00 on Sunday but didn’t get out of bed until closer to 7:30.  My training plan called for 40 minutes of cross training but it was so nice outside that I didn’t feel like being stuck inside the gym, so I leashed up Rusty for a nice long morning walk!


He had a great time sniffing everything in sight and meeting new friends.


He’s such a little sassafras too–after we got home, he sat by the back door begging to lay in the yard.  Seriously?!  You were just outside!  

After letting him back out (I’m a sucker), I made my beloved protein oatmeal.


PS have you tried the MaraNatha dark chocolate almond spread?  It tastes like brownie batter!

I stocked up on items for lunches/dinner this week at my fave store.


And I didn’t buy any treats!!  Crazy, I know.  

I spent the rest of my Sunday enjoying some sun on the deck, napping, and taking a relaxing Epsom salt bath.

And now to recap week 3 of training!

Monday: 3 miles easy+hip strengthening and core work.

Tuesday: Speed work! 1 mile w/u, 4 miles tempo, 1/2 mile c/d.  My first tempo mile was slightly over at 9:23, but the rest were at or faster than goal pace! #crushedit. 

Wednesday: 3 miles easy.

Thursday: 5 miles easy+strength training.  Also included some hill work but still kept it at an easy pace.  

Friday: Rest day–much welcomed!

Saturday: 10 miles at an easy pace.  Foam rolled and stretched after. 

Sunday: Long morning walk with Rusty pup!

Total Weekly Mileage: 26.5 miles. 

Share your weekend highlights!

Any suggestions for the almond butter pre-run? Should I just try honey or jam? 

Friday Faves+Exciting News!

Happy Friday!

friday

For real–wine me!  I actually feel like this week went by pretty quickly, thank goodness. I’m so excited to relax tonight and do nothing.  I have 10 miles on my agenda for Saturday morning at an easy pace–the forecast is supposed to be in the 50’s, overcast, and maybe some sprinkles so it should feel pretty decent.  I’m looking forward to it!

Let’s check out some things I’m diggin for my Friday faves!

1. Puppy Stalking.  I know it’s totally not realistic for us to get a second dog, but I can’t help but look at the local rescue sites at all the adorable dogs who need homes.  I send Brandon links to ones I think are cute, then get the usual reply of, “Honeyyyy you know we can’t get a second dog.”  Sigh.  I just want to rescue and snuggle all the little babies!!  I need to find a new pastime, clearly.

puppies

2. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate/Nut/Fig/Date Bars.  Yikes that was a mouthful.  But these delicious bars are quickly becoming my favorite afternoon snack, when I want something chocolatey but not full of sugar (they only have 5 grams!).  I also love that they’re chewier and don’t make me feel like I’m ripping my teeth out of my mouth when I bite into them.

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3. The Tudors.  I know this show was on a while ago, but I recently started getting into it while getting my Netflix on.  I watched most of the first season when it first came out but then stopped.  I’m always fascinated by that era/the Tudor dynasty, and Henry Cavill isn’t too bad to look at.  Hayyyyyy!

01_henry_cavill

4. Block Heels.  Lord knows I probably don’t need another pair of shoes (yes I am admitting this), but I’m loving the new block heel trend.  I almost never wear high heels unless it’s for a special occasion, but I usually end up taking them off halfway through the night and putting flats on because the skinny heels are hard on my tootsies and tough to walk in.  But with block heels, you have more stability and comfort while still looking cute!  I love these and think they’d be so cute with a dress or jeans!

stevemadden

P.S. did I mention my birthday is next month??  Also I’m a size 9, FYI!

Now on to some exciting news!  No I’m not pregnant, ha!  I feel like that’s what most people would guess, even though I said I’m almost certain we’re not having kids.  My exciting news is that I’m a member of the Oiselle Voleé team!  I’d been stalking them for months to see when the team would open up spots again, and once I received the link in my email to join I jumped on it.  I am beyond excited to be a part of this amazing community of runners.  Plus I already love their running gear, so this is a bonus!  I can’t wait to connect with some amazing women!

I hope you guys have a great weekend!

What’s on the weekend agenda? Any runs/races?

Favorite new item at TJ’s I need to try? 

Do you puppy/kitty stalk? Please tell me I’m not the only one!!!

Running Goals+Changing My Mindset

Happy hump day!  Even though I still have a few weeks to go before my next half marathon, I’ve started thinking about what my goals are, and in doing so have changed my mindset a little bit.  And this doesn’t apply just to my race, but running in general!

Goals+Mindset

It’s no secret that during my last half marathon, I wanted to sub 2:00 really bad.  Or at least finish in 2:00 hours.  Even though I beat my previous half marathon time and finished in 2:05:09, part of me felt defeated.

I decided to work with the awesome, encouraging, and patient Laura this training cycle to help develop a weekly training plan for me that suits my needs.  I originally wanted to work with a coach in hopes of reaching my sub 2:00 goal, but after doing some thinking I’ve decided to alter my goals a little bit.  Instead of focusing on a specific time, I want to focus on a few non time related things:

1. Make it through a training cycle uninjured.  As I thought back on it, every single half marathon I’ve trained for (which currently is just four, but still!) I’ve missed at least a week due to some sort of injury, whether it be tendonitis, pulled muscle, etc. likely due to overtraining.  This time, I want to focus on making my easy runs easy so that I have enough to give on the hard days without overdoing it.  Laura has me running at least 3-4 easy runs a week, and I love it!

2. Have a plan beforehand and stick to it.  Like I said, I wanted to sub 2:00 so bad during my last race.  But that was my only goal going into it, and I had no plan for how I was going to make that happen.  At the last minute I decided to run with the 2:00 pacers, but that was a flop since they started out way faster than I ever had during my long runs, and then I ran out of gas.  This time, I’m going to work with Laura beforehand to develop a plan based on my training runs on how to approach the race, stick to it, and run smart.

3.  Listen to my body AKA don’t be glued to my Garmin.  I have no problem admitting I’m Garmin happy and get fixated on what my pace is.  But it’s probably not a good look to be running with my head down and neck stiff staring at my watch, which is why lately I’ve been listening more to my body while running.  On easy days I make sure I’m breathing easy, and on speed work days I’m learning more what ‘moderately hard’ feels like by my breathing rather than relying on my watch.  This worked out really well for me during my tempo run yesterday, and I only looked at my Garmin when it beeped at the end of every mile.  Not only did it feel refreshing in general, but it felt so good to see that I was hitting my goal paces just by going off of effort.

Of course I still want to run a sub 2:00 half marathon–I’d be lying if I said I didn’t. Whether it happens next month or not isn’t going to make or break me.  I want to run smart and have fun–I get to run right past my Grammy’s house and see her, my mom, Brandon and our fur baby cheering me on! It doesn’t get much better than that, and I want to remember that.

Do you find yourself relying more on pace or effort during runs?

Have you ever run a race without stressing about a time goal and still achieved it?