The Odd Couple

We had an adventure last night. The Halloween costume expedition… Destination: Red Light . Red light is one of the coolest second-hand clothing shops in Portland! For those Boston-ians, think the Garment District on steroids! The possibilities were endless!

Arriving at the store, we both had our sights preset on 80’s rocker chick costumes.  Jess was going to be Joan Jett and I- Madonna.  The clothing we found was so cool that we found ourselves re-inspired.  We both ended up straying from our previous ideas and dove into opposite directions.

Jess will be the sweet, magnifying-glass holding, crime fighter, Nancy Drew.  I, on the other hand, will be the very dirty and glitter fanatic Ke$ha.  Very excited about our hot new ensembles, we did the Spartacus “Burn Fat Faster Than Ever” workout this morning.

It consisted of two rotations of : Goblet squats, Single-arm dumbbell swings, Split jumps, Dumbbell side lunge and touch, Dumbbell lunge and rotation, Mountain climbers, T-pushups, Dumbbell rows, Pushup-position rows, and Dumbbell push presses for one minute each.  We did some core exercises before stretching.  For myself, I’m planning to run a couple miles later today before we go out DANCING tonight! It is Halloween weekend after all….

During the circuit training, I wanted to curl up and die!  Thank God for endorphins that make it all worth while. “No Pain; No Gain,” right?  I have a fairly legitimate feeling that I wont be able to walk tomorrow.  Sitting and standing will be difficult after so many squats and lunges.  My poor butt.

For more information on the Spartacus Workouts read: Womens Health: Spartacus Workouts for Women

Tomorrow is the long run day for both of us.  Jess is planning on seven miles tomorrow, while I’m looking to do six.  Just another day of training fun:)

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Strugglin’

Lexi:

My progress has been more on the struggling side of things.  A couple weeks ago I was babysitting my two  half siblings aged four and six years old.  The only exercise of that week consisted of chasing the kids around the house and engaging in the occasional game of tag.  During the week of  BEST BIRTH CONTROL EVER, my little brother had a terrible cough.  Too afraid to sleep alone, my brother slept next to me that week and repeatedly hacked/sneezed in my face.  Good thing he’s cute!

Needless to say, I came down with a wicked flu for several days.  I couldn’t run.  Circumstances had taken me out of the race for a whole two weeks.  All the stamina I had built up crumbled  as I slept for days.  Feeling a bit better,  I find myself struggling to keep up.  Everything hurts! WAH! Is is weird that my calves hurt?…not my shins, but my calves!

This running thing is a lot harder for me than I would care to admit.  You see- I fancy myself a bad ass who can conquer anything.  Tho, I am learning that the goal of this race for me isn’t so much about running.  I hate running.  I’ve always hated running. To me this race is about finishing. It’s about focusing my energy to accomplishing something I never thought I would.  So I’ve decided to stop worrying about  my pace and how much better my friends are at running.  I’m the tortoise.  I accept that I am “slow and steady”.  My motto is:

I actually run to this song.

Appropriate for the holiday half! I find this cartoon to be inspirational 😉

Drop It Like It’s Hot.

To the bird I encountered on my run last Thursday:

Thank you. Though I did not know it at the time, your splatter of poop upon my head was, in fact, good luck. In that same week, I aced a Biology exam and ran my fastest 5k (more on that in a moment). Perhaps this new PR was due in part to the actual fecal matter on my head, and the urgency in which I wanted to remove it from its terribly inappropriate location. As much as I hated you at that point and time, I am now able to laugh about it. Again, thank you.

It’s been over a week since I’ve written, and it’s about time I pick up the frequency here. Lexi, help me out!

Two quotes running through my head this week:

In doing anything, the first step is the most difficult.

You can do anything but not everything.

I enjoy running, but every day feels like my first day; trying to convince myself to put on the running shoes and get outside!

I’ve a lot on my plate. I work full time in a dental office, I go to school full time in the evenings, try to have some semblance of a social life, take care of my 4-legged child and now I’m training for the half (7 1/2 weeks!). It makes me tired just thinking about it. Adding this training to my routine has been a little overwhelming. My biggest fix? Lists. Sticky notes. Writing on my hand. I have to make lists of things to accomplish during my day. In trying to accomplish so much, I’ve had to realize something: It is perfectly okay to not complete everything on that list.

No complaints on my end. That’s not what this is about. It’s about finding balance. 28 hours in the day would be preferable because, my idea of balance = A pound of lemon garlic brussel sprouts for dinner and a dark chocolate bar for dessert. A bird pooping on my head but going on to run my fastest 5k ever.

Progress.

In just one week, I’ve shaved just over a minute off my 5k time. My running shoes are breaking in nicely, and I still get excited every time I put them on.

My long run this week was marked with the beginnings of pain in my left shin…Ibuprofen and ice. That is all I have to say.

The rain has begun, and that has made running outside a little more challenging. I’ve finally acquired a waterproof jacket, and will soon purchase waterproof headphones. (more on this later)

Bootcamp cross-training is challenging. I cannot do a set of chair dips for the life of me. I think I was probably just born without triceps.

This weekend is a 7 mile run! This will honestly be the longest run I’ve ever been on.

Will I get  a cupcake at the end?

To The Half and Beyond.

Before I officially begin this post, I need to make a disclaimer: I’ve never written a blog before. And I’m not very good at talking about myself, nor keeping others entertained. I entertain myself very well though. Lexi has written a lovely blog before (chocoletmedown.wordpress.com). Perhaps she’ll guide me in the way of entertaining our followers…

That being said, I am ecstatic to share our progression from mediocre runners to half-marathon champs. We’re already on week 2 of our training, but I’ll catch you up on progress thus far.

October 2nd: Our first run together to organize and plan our adventure. 3 slow miles, as we’d never really run together. My enthusiasm may have been too much for Lexi…oops. I was ready to whoop some half-marathon ass! The more we were talking, the more we realized we didn’t have to stop at a half-marathon. In fact, we had exactly one year to train for the Portland Marathon. Not a bad idea. Not a bad idea at all.

October 5th: The fabulous Kate from the Portland Running Company kindly spent 2 hours with Lexi and I as we tried on over a dozen pairs of shoes. A giant thank you to them for analyzing our gait and putting us into some awesome shoes! With each pair we tried on, we did a lap around the block. I feel like I got a full workout in. -I went with the Mizuno Wave Elixir and Lexi chose another pair of Mizuno’s as well. Here’s us attempting a Vanna White to show off our new kicks:

October 8th: 10-week training has officially begun. Lexi and I unfortunately will not be running or cross-training together as much as we had anticipated. She was a badass big sister and watched her two younger siblings all this week. Her cross-training included two hours of tag and lifting children up to the sink to wash their hands…sigh. Biggest form of birth control either of us can imagine.

October 9th: Fasted 5k and new PR for me! With an average pace of 9:14/mile, I finished 3.1 miles in just under 28 minutes. It was a steady pace, and came as a surprise as my Nike Running app told me my pace and time with each mile. My tunes tonight included Lindsey Sterling, Alex Clare and some various obnoxious dubstep with >160BPM.

October 11th: Sub-50 5 mile! I can’t remember the last time I ran more than a 5k at one time. Prior to this half-marathon undertaking, I only ran to clear my head. It is a brilliant form of catharsis and a lot cheaper than therapy. Mile four tonight brought on a case of the dry heaves….Worst. Feeling. Ever. I don’t wish them upon anyone. But, I kept going. I had 5 miles to accomplish.

October 13th: 1st Annual Detroit Lake Mud Run! 6 miles in the mud. Every runner’s dream…right? The scenery was amazing. The low-lying fog, the water like glass to reflect the trees… 9 AM comes early to those of us who had to drive 2 hours to get there. We had a blast. Only muddy up to our knees though, disappointingly enough. I don’t know about Lexi, but I was anticipating being covered.

 

Here’s our cupcake finish: (perhaps too much enthusiasm?)

 

October 15th: Another PR accomplished. Fastest mile time: 8:14. And that was for my warm-up mile! Did I mention it was pouring rain the whole time? Oh, PNW, you make goals a challenge sometimes…