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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Motivational Wednesday (because I had other stuff on my mind Monday)

There are a lot of changes going on over here at Running A Ragnar.  Well let's be real, Running A Ragnar is just a little spot on the interweb where I can talk about myself without everyone on facebook hating me.  So- let me re-phrase:  There are a lot of changes going on in the life of Katie no middle name Arruda  (yes- I am one of four siblings and the only one without a middle name).  


So far, 2014 has been insane. 
 Like non stop chaos. 

 I helped Thatcher pack up his life and move across the country.   I have been adjusting to life living alone without Thatcher's companionship (good word?) and help with the dog.  I applied to grad schools (this is like a full time job in itself- truth).  I have been out to Salt Lake City, twice.  I went out to Ohio for a work trip.  I started taking body pump classes, and even got into hot yoga.  Once the weather warmed up I started things back up in the barn getting "my" horse fit for the upcoming show season.  All while living alone in Chester, attempting to take care of myself and the critters.  Oh, and did I mention I spent January-April training for a marathon?


2014 has been a whirlwind, but in the best ways possible.  

So-  In a few days, I am going to be a marathoner (crazy, right?)  In a few more days, I am going to be moving out of my adorable little apartment in Chester, and back home with my folks for a few months (I can't comprehend the reality of this fact either..).  In a few more days I am packing up the ponies for an long weekend in Saratoga for a horse show, and then in a few more days after that, the "New Normal" of being 26 and living with your parents will set in.  Sigh.  I have also been accepted into two graduate school programs for Environmental Science (one near, and one far- and the reason for moving home and saving money).   I have also shed some of that "winter weight" thanks to some better eating habits, marathon training, body pump, and occasional yoga, and I am feeling soooo much happier in my own skin.  

I guess what I am trying to say, is I woke up this morning feeling awesome.  Like, ready to kick some ass take on the world invincible (side note: it does help that I was in bed by 9:30- amazing what sleep does for the soul).   I even woke up BEFORE my alarm, admired the "skinny look and feeling" in the mirror that you get after a night of not eating in gluttony and drinking wine, and felt motivated to do a little morning workout --something that I can NEVER motivate myself to do.   I took some of my favorite moves from body pump (a one hour class) and did a 30 minute workout while watching the news this morning.  Will share some of those moves in a post with you later.

I guess what I am trying to say there have been so many changes- but all ultimately for the better.  I feel like after this marathon and the move home, another chapter is starting up and I am so excited to see what it brings.  

Oh, and let us not forget the important stuff.  I got my bib number assignment this morning.

Oh, its really real now. Bib 1057 representing. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Marathon Training -Schedule and What I learned

Hey guys- Before I get started-- head on over to Sara's blog Loving On The Run to check out my Blogger Feature on her blog!!  Sara is the super cute super sweet runner and blogger who wrote a guest post for me a few weeks ago (Thanks Sara!)  She is also a marathoner and I have really loved reading her blog for tips tricks and inspiration.

Okay- Now.....Four days- FOUR DAYS!  Four days until my first marathon!

People keep asking me if I am nervous, if I think I am ready, and a bunch of other questions.   I wouldn't call it nervous, and I suppose I am ready, I guess above all I am just really.... intimidated.  26.2... that is a lot of miles no matter how much you train.

To calm the pre-marathon nerves I decided to go over my training schedule to remind myself I am ready.  Note:  I kind of did a more "non-traditional" marathon training schedule.  After my first attempt at training, and a few injuries, I really learned A LOT about what works for my body.  So I guess let's back track and share the 10 rules/things I learned that helped "shape" my training schedule.

I learned:
 1.  3 days of running is the perfect amount for my body-- anything more than this and shin splints and injuries start to rear their ugly head.  
2.  Cross training is key for those non running days to help prevent injury and keep "morale" high
3.  Strength training will help strengthen my "weak areas" and help me with running and horseback riding (hello upper body strength I never had)
4.  Integrating yoga with my long run (day before) REALLY helped, especially with random foot pains and cramps
5.  How to properly fuel during my runs (don't over fuel") and while other people really rely on Gu's and supplements, I sort of learned that less is more for me.
6.  Always carry water on any distance over 8 miles-  hydration makes or breaks a run.
7. The importance of stretching before and AFTER each run- especially on that tendinitis ankle. 
8.  ice ice baby -  Ice baths after a long run REALLY helped with recovery.  And icing that tendinitis ankle made sure that injury stayed away.
9.  Track my mileage (I use daily mile) -  It is such a confidence booster to see my mileage increase every week.  The first time I hit 100, then 200, and 300 for the year with my marathon.  Also a great way to track when it is time to change out your kicks. 
10.  Buy TWO pairs of your favorite sneakers.  That way when you wear out your first pair, the second are there and waiting, no need to procrastinate about hitting the shoe store and spending more $$$.

NOTE:  I ran 3 days a week- sometimes two if I was having some soreness or I was sick.  BUT I did supplement my running with:  Hiking, walking, body pump, yoga, and horse back riding :)

Through the month of December I did a few 3 mile runs during the week and a 6 mile run every Friday throughout the entire month.  First week of January I started this "marathon training schedule" and these are the miles I ran ( 2 shorts during the week, long on a Friday or the weekend).  My runs varied from the track, the state forest, speed work, hill work, and a few treadmill runs.

Week 1:       3, 3, 7
Week 2:       2, 3, 8
Week 3:       4, 3, 9
Week 4:       3, 3, 10
Week 5:       5, 3, 6
Week 6:       5, 3, 12
Week 7:       3, 3, 5, 13
Week 8:       3, 5, 14
Week 9:       3, 3, 15
Week 10:     3, 5, 16
Week 11:     5, 4, ?   
Week 12:     3, 3, 18    
Week 13:     3, 3, 20   
Week 14:     3, 13       
Week 15:     3, 3, SICK
Week 16:     3, 10       
Week 17:     3, 4, RACE 26.2     (Marathon will bring me over 300 miles for the year!)

Compared to A LOT of runners- this is the complete slacker plan on running a marathon-  Minimal mileage, minimal days running, minimal effort.  BUT I know what works for my body, and what works for my schedule.  My goal was to run a marathon, not win one, and I was not willing to sign my life over to marathon training.  I missed a few runs, BUT the most important thing?  I did the distance, I got to my 20 miler, and came back on the other side INJURY FREE!

So yes-  I am ready-  I am prepared- I am trained-  and I am soooo excited ;) 

Monday, April 28, 2014

It's marathon week! 10 mile run

A little bit of rain and some colder temps here in New England, but for the most part, it was a good weekend here in Connecticut.  Friday and Saturday I was at a horse show showing Bradley in the Adult Amateur Hunters.  He was okay, I was okay, but it was a great first show to work out a few kinks after a long winter off.  

My friend Courtney had a great show and won her big classic with her horse Dave.
After the horse show, I spent Saturday cleaning, hiking, napping, and packing up the apartment to move.  Oh and fretting about the marathon that was 7 days away.

My marathon taper schedule was thrown completely off with a trip to Salt Lake City and then a terrible cold.  I took a week off running and missed one of my longer runs in my taper.  Thursday I did a little 3.5 miler with Liz but still needed a long(ish) run before the race.

So Sunday I decided I was going to run a nice and easy 10 miles as a way to sneak a little distance into my messed up taper.

I did the standard 3 mile loop by my house, and then ducked into the state forest to run on some of the access roads and trails.  After 5.5 miles I SPRINTED home for a quick bathroom break and finished the 4.5 miles.  The run (and this entire town) was very hilly so I was happy with my time, especially after my running hiatus. 

Olive was also so happy to be out there running again. 
 Really reminds me why I do it. For the both of us. 

After my run I stopped at the tent sale at my local dive shop, tried on a few wet suits, bought a few things, and headed to downtown Essex to shop around and grab a coffee. 

After being away, and confessing my love for Salt Lake City all over the blog, it was nice to remind myself the beauties of New England as well.  

Small town, USA.  Essex, Connecticut is the town I lived in for two years when Thatcher and I were renting a house together.  It was our first place together, where we learned (sort of) how to deal with eachother, where we adopted our first dog, where we took morning coffee walks downtown, where we made some "Essex friends" and spent far too much time at the Black Seal.  Essex is always going to remind me of that time<3  

After going through a few of the shops downtown, I ran into Kristen and her boyfriend Charlie.  I walked into one of Kristen's favorite stores.  As I walked through the store, in love with this and that, who walks in Kristen and Charile. I walked around with them for a bit, swung by a boat show, and picked out these adorable gifts for a jack and jill wedding shower I was going to Sunday night. 

I framed a card inside of a scrap book for the couple, bought the bride to be a little ring holder for the kitchen or bathroom, a cute little sign for their new home, and a "grooms instruction manual" for the groom to be.  I am sure they will love the gifts.

Horseshow, relaxing Saturday, 10 mile run, a dive sale, a walk downtown, shopping, and a wedding shower.  A lovely weekend before the weekend of Marathon Madness :)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Spring in the (Salt Lake) City

I am finally getting caught up with my Salt Lake City Trip.
I figured instead of stupid captions, I would just share all the beautiful pictures I took on a sunny April Monday in Salt Lake City.  

Temple Square full of brides taking wedding pictures, Memory Grove park with lots of runners and dogs, and a quick trip up to the Capital.  

Enjoy the beautiful pictures and soon 
the blog goes back to running and all things Marathon

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Beer Bar - Salt Lake City

Best part about traveling is the food.  No discussion there.  And thankfully I had a 13 mile run planned in SLC so there was room to splurge.  Thatcher and I loved planning out all the restaurants we were going to visit in my short trip to Salt Lake City.   Thatcher kept talking about the MOFY BAR THE MOFY BAR (Modern Family) so we stopped in for drinks after dinner Saturday night.  After Saturday, we were so impressed with the drinks and the place--we knew we had to try the food. So, for my last night in Salt Lake City, we decided to have dinner at Beer Bar.  

After doing a little bit of research on the Beer Bar (I knew it had JUST opened) I realized my timing for arriving in SLC was just a little less than perfect.  I landed on April 17th, and the famous owner of this brand new bar/restaurant was posing in the bar on April 16th.  

Who is the owner?  
Ty Burrell,  also known as Phil from Modern Family

Ty Burrell opens beer bar in ‘humble’ Salt Lake City

*Some of the facts about the Beer Bar are from the article mentioned above, but all opinions are my own.

** Because as much as I wish I could say I was paid, no one paid me to drink beer and eat sausages in SLC

*** If anyone wants to pay me to drink beer in SLC and talk about your beer on this blog,   I can be reached via email (A girl can dream... right?)

You walk into a super clean, bright, and fun restaurant.  The seating is mostly picnic/long table, or "german style" i suppose, and the bar is large with fun yellow stools. 

  "Beer Bar, a beer garden-like eatery that serves 150 beers paired up with an array of house-made bratwursts, local breads and Belgian fries. The restaurant, which has high ceilings and long tables and benches to evoke that Bavarian beer hall feel, is next door to the cocktail bar Burrell co-owns with an equally simple name, Bar X." (Page Six, Associated Press)

"“It’s a super simple menu, which is what we wanted from the beginning,” says Burrell, sporting a scruffy beard and glasses. “Basic, but well-made and local. Instead of putting the energy into a lot of elements, making sure you have fewer elements and you are taking the time to make them right.”" (Page Six, Associated Press)

The bartender was super friendly and was happy to recommend a few beers for us.  Day 1: Super busy on a Saturday night-  a really fun crowd and the place was full.  The lines were quick though and we got our beers and found a table.   I got the Dark and Stoutly (A dark and stormy, made with a stout instead of ginger beer), and Thatcher ordered a fun beer that was brewed, a mistake, and then turned into an award winning beer.  Both were delicious but my beer cocktail took the cake. 


Day 2:  It was a Monday so while the place was still busy, it was much less packed than Saturday.   We ordered two beers- I got a German style heffeweizen (the Ayinger)  while Thatcher tried some beer on tap I can't remember (great review... right?).  I LOVED my beer it was extra large and had a clovey deliciousness too it. 

 You also get a playing card to take back to your table so the waitress can bring your food over.  You order your food at the left side of the bar, and your drink at the right side of the bar.  No table service, you order your food, grab your beer, and sip away while they make you some tasty food.  Fun alternative to traditional table service. 

"For the menu, the Emmy-winning actor teamed up with Viet Pham, an up-and-coming Salt Lake City chef who was one of Food and Wine magazine’s best new chefs in 2011. Burrell met Pham when he and his wife ate at Forage, Pham’s Salt Lake City restaurant, and were blown away by Pham’s cooking. It turned out that Pham was a fan of Bar X, and the seeds for the future partnership were planted." (Page Six, Associated Press)

They had a bunch of different meat options, with different toppings, in a few different price ranges.  You then pick your sauce for your meat, pick your side, and pick a sauce for your side.

We ordered a turkey sausage and a bison sausage, with lots of fun toppings and sauces.
We also shared a large fry with a garlic aioli and a curry ketchup 

While both were good, the turkey dog was the better of the two.  The fries were AMAZING and the sauces were even better.  We also tried some of their home made mustards which were delicious. 
While the sausages didn't exceed our high expectations, they were both delicious.  And we both agreed the sauces were the best part (Aside from the beer...). 

We loved the atmosphere, the food, and duh- the booze so we will DEFINITELY be back.
I am also really excited to try BAR-X next door, co owned by Ty, and known for their outstanding drinks.