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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

9 Mile Saturday and route planning

Happy Hump Day!

Getting back into the "double digits" of running can be super exciting and pretty daunting.  I try to plan my long distance runs for Saturday mornings so I usually spend my Friday nights with a decent amount of carbohydrates and a few bottles of water dreading the miles to come.  This Friday I headed to my sister and her fiances house to eat some Chinese and do some wedding planning.  Maybe not the best "pre run dinner" but it could be worst right?  I decided to turn down the wine in exchange for some water and went to bed nice and early. 

Saturday was 9 miles... my last single digit run.  Because of the severe cold windy temperatures all week, I spend Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday doing my maintenance run (5 miles) and speed workouts (3 miles) on the treadmill at the gym.  By the time Saturday rolled around... I knew there was no way in hell I was going to be able to run 9 miles on the treadmill.  

23 degrees and 15 mph winds... better bundle up!  Olive and I headed out at about 9:30 am after a bowl of Granola and vanilla soy milk, some route planning, and a serious pep talk.  

If you are like me... you dont like to run a step more than you planned for the day and you want the start and end to be your house.  To make sure I don't "over exert myself"  I use the USA Track and Field Association website (you can find it here) to map out my routes ahead of time. 

You can create any route you want and it will give you the distance.  It is a great tool for planning out your runs ahead of time, or measuring out your run on the days you forgot your Garmin.

I ran the big loop around River Road, swung by the downtown area, and then looped back to create my 9 mile run on Saturday. 

I was amazed how good my run felt on Saturday- probably because of my speed workouts on the treadmill and maybe because of my Chinese food dinner.  The first mile or two I am always a little doubtful, but when everything warmed up around mile 4, I felt great.  Olive and I were cruising around town when I noticed she was acting a little funny with her back leg.  Because of the residual ice melt on the roads and acting funny on that leg, I called Thatcher to pick her up at around mile 5.5.  I felt naked running without my companion, but I picked up speed when I didn't have to fight her every time she saw a squirrel.

I ended up running my 9 miles in just over an hour and twenty four minutes which made me VERY happy.  The route I chose was very very hilly so I was amazed I was able to keep my miles under 10 minutes (some even around 8!) When I got back I was dripping in sweat yet my skin looked purple because of the frosty windy conditions... maybe a shopping trip for some thicker running pants is in my future :)

After my run I decided to try and stay active so my muscles didn't cramp up on me.  I joined a few friends on an ice/skating hockey adventure at the local pond in town.  The boys played a little too rough and looked quite skeptical when I showed up with my figure skates with hot pink covers.  So I decided to just skate around and enjoy a beverage or two.  
Cider Boozey Heaven <3

I woke up Sunday morning feeling just a little sore.  I headed out for my 10 am riding lesson, showered, and grabbed Olive and met a friend for a Sunday afternoon hike to enjoy the sunshine and keep my legs moving.  A nice ride, a chilly hike, some good conversation and coffee, and a family dinner at my parents house brought the weekend to a close.

Friends, family, running, riding, skating, cider, and a home cooked meal you didnt have to make.....

Another good weekend :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Hair Bows to Wedding Veils

Its only January... but I know 2013 is going to be an amazing year for me. 
 Not only am I going to run 2 more half marathons and attempt a full marathon, 
but my big sister is getting ...


Her fiance Jon is a great guy who treats her like a princess... 
and what more could you ask for you big sister?  

So now in addition to my running program, riding, and everything else I do with my crazy life, I am so excited to add in wedding planning!  I am so honored and excited to be her Maid of Honor which means planning, bachelorette parties, wedding showers, engagement parties, and lots of pretty dresses.  And lots more working out.  

When they say you will learn to love your siblings as you get older... they are right.   My sister and I are 13 months apart and were never that close growing up.  While Ashley preferred make up and nail polish, I was usually outside playing wiffle ball or lost in the woods.   

Despite our differences, growing up with a sister practically your age and the same size as you had its advantages.  As a kid I always had toys and someone to play with and as a teenager, clothes shoes and makeup to steal borrow and an ID to try and steal (never got it).  

My mother apparently had no idea how to dress us and sent us out into the world looking like this.  Maybe this is where Ashley's interest in fashion design stemmed from?  Well lucky for us after we got through our awkward teenage years, we turned into two pretty young women who grew closer as the years added on.   

We got to a point where we actually chose to hang out together, from riding our horse we shared to planning trips together.  It helped that out best friends were also sisters who were very close (and live on a horse farm)

It feels like just the other day we were little kids getting into trouble and discussing how crazy our mother was (well... maybe these conversations still happen).   Now we are 25 and 26, and we traded in those oversized hair bows for wedding veils.    

Ashley is getting married at the River House in Haddam, a beautiful venue right on the CT river.  She is going for a rustic chic theme with soft pinks, beige, and greys.  

Wedding dress shopping starts in April, and bridesmaid dress shopping has already commenced.  

We are down to these two options (imagine them in a pale pink):

Will have to see which look better on.  

I am very lucky to have such a beautiful sister I can learn from, whether its how to create a smokey eye or bake a cheesecake.  This is going to be a fabulous year of running, wedding planning, celebrating, and playing dress up.  

Congratulations Ashley, August 30th can't come soon enough!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Gym, You Win

Happy Hump Day!  

I have been fighting signing up for the gym.. like a champ.  Why pay 40 bucks a month PLUS an enrollment fee to run staring at the wall, sweating my butt off, while my dog is at home destroying something.

Well this is why

Don't get me wrong, I love cold weather running.  I will take 40 degrees over 80 any day.  I went on a three mile trail run with Olive Monday at 30 degrees- that was bearable....

 But 21 degrees plus the wind chill?  And then mix in the snow/ice on the ground and un-shoveled sidewalks?  Too much for this chicky.  My goal is to train for a marathon, keep in shape and lose weight without getting hit by a car and cracking my head open on the ice. 

So I caved, opened up my wallet, and joined the Snap Fitness half a mile down the road.  The good news? Because its January and everyone's making their resolutions to lose weight, the gym was offering a great special.  $8.95 for the month, no start up/enrollment fees.  Every month after that will be $55 dollars for two people.  With no contract so I can ditch this membership when spring rolls around.  And my good friend Stacie goes there.  

How can I say no to that?

I accepted defeat, and handed over my visa in exchange for a new door key.  I made the mistake of going at 5 o'clock and tried to not look like a complete creeper while waiting for a vacant treadmill or people to remove their shit from it. 

I tried to control my rage and do some stretching and sit ups.  Finally, a treadmill freed up and I ran for it like there was a large order of fries waiting for me.  

Off I went for 50 minutes of torture  running.  I turned on netflix and changed my speed between 6 and 8 to break up the monotony and awfullness of running on a treadmilll.     

After 50 minutes of sweating, I forced a smile and an awesome bathroom picture.  I was trying to illustrate the super sexy sweat line that extended to my bra.  Did not work out so well.... probably for the best.  

Okay enough of the Gym memes.  

All in all, the gym was crowded, 800 degrees, and the treadmill stunk... but the worst part?  I will have to start wearing shorts and shaving my legs regularly again.  no more hiding under running tights and layers.   And while I am not going to the gym to pick up men (or am I?) some cute running clothes might motivate me to get there more often.  

Would love something like this to throw on and get me excited about a work out.  As Diana Vreeland says "You gotta have style.  It helps you get up in the morning".  

Or in my case.... get to the gym. 

Until then, I guess I will stick to some biking shorts and old Ragnar shirts.  

Any one have any great sites/places for cute workout clothes?

Stay warm runners! 

p.s.  This is the second gym I have signed up for that does not have a stair master. 
 Guess I will have to find another way to look ass-tastic.

Monday, January 21, 2013


          My body has decided that the key to a successful  less painful Saturday morning run is a low key Friday night.  After a few too many drinks with friends on Thursday, I needed a relaxing Friday night to re hydrate and catch up on some quality sleep.  I snuggled up next to Olive, grabbed a blanket, and opened up a good book.  At about 8:30, Olive and I were tucked into bed and we were o u t .  

If this is what getting older feels like.... I don't hate it.....

Waking up Saturday morning after about 12 hours of sleep, I felt great

 I got the coffee maker going and started on breakfast.  Two eggs, scrambled with mushroom, onions, peppers over half of an egg bagel, and half of a banana.  Paired with a cup of fresh coffee and a glass of water, I was as ready to hit the road as ever. 

It was a sunny Saturday here in New England, 45 degrees and windy.  I decided to head out the driveway and run along River Road.... aptly name for its scenic placement bordering the Connecticut River.  I haven't run 8 miles in a very long time so I thought that the scenery might help pass the time.

I am learning that running is about 80% mental and 20% physical.  Every time I hit another mile I tell myself "Okay... this is just a 7 mile run!"  At mile five I told myself "hey! this is just a silly 5k!"  It sounds odd, or I sound crazy, or both, but it seems to work for me.  

The run was gorgeous, the weather was beautiful, I ran it at about 10 minute miles (my goal for my long distance runs) and I stopped at my favorite coffee shop for a post-run treat.  Geneva Chocolate flavored coffee with some "mini-roons"

 Y  u  m  .  

After my run I continued on to the rest of my Saturday tasks.  I changed into my riding clothes and headed to the barn.  After a few hours, a few horses, and some sore legs, I went home to refuel.  I decided to make a ham "melt" with butcher smoked pork butt and a few slivers of cheese, and gave it a snug hug in my panini press.  I threw that with some carrots and some of my home made roasted garlic humus and voila- LUNCH

After seeing how easy (and cheap) it is to make hummus, I will never buy it again.  I used Martha's recipe because that jail bird knows best.  My advice? less tahini and more garlic.  

I ended the day with an attempt at baking and a visit to Colchester to see new born baby Oliver.  I am a good cook, I can cook a mean meal, make home made pasta from scratch, you name it......... but I cannot bake if my life depended on it. 

 I tried to make some brownie bites from scratch.  After some serious concentration and accurate mixing, the batter was delicious so I poured it into lined muffin tins.  After 12 minutes they were just a little too raw.  After 5 more minutes they were burnt to a crisp. 

 I guess it is time to accept that fact that I will never be Martha's protege.  The girl with the pie cooling on the window sill?  That will never be me and I think I am finally okay with that. 

I guess I didn't need those brownies any way.

Happy Running!
<3  Katie 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

13.1 maybe 26.2

There aren't many things I can say with absolutely certainty.... 
except for this.................

 I WILL not run unless I have a race planned that I am training for: FACT 

There is only one way I will get my feet into some sneakers and onto some pavement and that is by training for a race.  If I dont have a race paid for and on the books, I really feel that I have NO need to run.    Now that it is 2013 and I am feeling all ambitious for a week or so, I decided to fill up the planner with some ambitious  races and a training schedule.  

Goal/Race 1:  My third half marathon Saturday March 23rd The Savin Rock Half Marathon in West Haven, CT.  This is the first half I ever ran and I ran it in about 2:06.  I ran my second half in 2:00:46 (much flatter- barely trained).  My goal is to run this half in less than 2 hours -without feeling like I am going to hurl up the hills.  

Big Goal/Race 2:  Run my first marathon Sunday May 26th.....The Vermont City Marathon in Burlington, Vermont.  This is a huge goal as I have never run more than 13.1  BUT I used to run this race in the relay form.  It is in beautiful Burlington, right along Lake Champlain, and absolutely wonderful.  I am only getting older... when is a better time to train for a marathon than now?

SO its January 14th how am I doing?   PRETTY DARN GOOD I would say... I have been building up 1-2 miles a week- completing a "long run" every Saturday or Sunday and completing 2-3 "maintenance runs" of 3 miles.  I also throw in a rest day or two and a few cross training days which are usually walking or horseback riding.  
I am up to 7 miles relatively pain free.  I have been doing my longer runs very slowly, and I am tempted to try out the Jeff Galloway training program.. anyone ever try it?

What is my secret?  Put it on the calendar, on the week days run at night right when I get home- reflective gear head lights tail lights- all a must 

and on the weekends, run in the morning right when I get up, before I am tempted to sit on the couch, clean, or do anything else.  

My last secret? Securing some a supportive fan base :) and a few running partners

Happy Running! 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Healthy habits

We all know that a consistent workout routine....
 is no good unless its coupled with a healthy diet.  
I have been pretty good on the running front, and OKAY on the eating front.
  I decided to dedicate a post to my eating habbits. 
 Maybe if I have to admit to it I wont be such a piggie?  
Well here it goes... 


Breakfast:  Two eggs, a slice of ham, and a handful of part skim mozzarella in a wheat wrap

Lunch:  Seafood Pho Noodle Soup

Lunch:  a gigantic grilled chicken ceasar salad- light dressing

Lunch:  Garden salad with mushrooms, peas, carrots, and cheese with lite asian dressing

Pre run Snack:  Avacado and tomato on a piece of toast with salt and pepper 

Dinner:  ground turkey burrito with lettuce, tomato, rice, and beans on a sundried tomato wrap 

Dinner:  Broiled Codfish, rice, peas and mushrooms

Dinner: Crockpot Chili with lean ground beef, onions, peppers, and beans

Dinner:  Brisket, rice, and sauteed spinach


Tall Mystic Bridge IPA

2 Bloody Maries Apres Ski 

Chili (good) with cheddar cheese and toast (bad)


Hypnotiq Long Island Iced Tea with a hot fudge brownie sundae (shared by three buzzed girls) 

Two poached eggs on an english muffin with tomato, bacon, and hollandaise sauce with a side of banana and a corned beef potato hash.  

One gigantic Pancake with bananas chocolate chips syrup and powdered sugar.  

Lessons learned?  
I drink too much high calorie booze
Sundaes make you feel less guilty when split in threes
Pancakes are only good if they are covered with chocolate chips syrup and sugar
I love breakfast- especially weekend breakfast- especially eggs benedict
I love carbs -especially rice and potatoes
And a few slip ups are okay.  Luckily the good has been outweighing the bad and the ugly :) 

I am going to try to plan out all my meals a week in advance, this should help cut the quick and easy "ugly" foods when I dont have a healthy lunch or dinner planned.

We will see how that goes....