What I Wore {post 67}

It's the end of February! Holla!  I can't even believe it. I am so ready for Spring.  Lots of fun on tap for this coming weekend - running, racing and visiting.   

Cream Sweater & Turquoise Pants

This was a dreary, cold Winter day and I wanted to channel Spring.  I wore my cream blousey sweater and turquoise pants/jeans.  It was a fun outfit.

Black Sheath Dress & Cream Jacket

I had a client meeting but didn't want to want to wear a suit.  So I paired my favorite black sheath (Banana Republic outlet) with a cream jacket from Banana.  It was professional and fine.   I appreciate the opportunity to avoid the whole suit thing with a dress and jacket.  :)

Emerald Pants, White Shirt, Navy Cardigan

I wore this before the Austin Half, so I was focused on wearing flats instead of heels.  I wore my emerald green pants from Banana Republic outlet (that I believe cost $7), my white Ella Moss tee that is years old (and getting a little long in the tooth if I am being honest) with my Gap outlet navy cardigan that I snagged for $5.  I wore a brown leather belt and leopard flats, too.  And I got photobombed. 

Have a great weekend! 

See you swoon,

Swoon-Worthy Eats: Easy Tortellini & Basil Soup and New Orleans Shrimp & Pasta

This time of year with the cold air and snow and ice makes me crave comfort food.  I thought I'd share two of my favorite recipes for you.   These are both in heavy rotation now on Lenten Fridays.  Enjoy! Mangia!

Easy Tortellini & Basil Soup

This is one of my favorite soups. It's so so easy and so yummy.


Minced garlic, four buds or the equivalent from a jar (I use more)
4 cups chicken broth
1 9 oz package cheese tortellini or mini ravioli
Salt and pepper to taste
1 14 oz can of stewed tomatoes (stick a knife in the can and cut them up before using) or diced tomatoes
1/2 bunch of fresh spinach, washed and stemmed (I use several handfuls of baby spinach)
6 fresh basil leaves, rolled and sliced 
Parmesan cheese


1.  sautee garlic in a splash of olive oil, about 2 minutes

2.  Stir in broth and tortellini, bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer until tortellini are just tender, about 5 minutes

3.  After the tortellini is tender, stir tomatoes, spinach and basil into soup. Simmer 2 minutes

4.  Serve when the spinach is still bright green. Add parmesan in each bowl. Enjoy the warm, yummy and fragrant goodness!

New Orleans Pasta & Shrimp

Gird your loins because this recipe is garlicky.  Very.  It's soooooooo good.  And pretty easy.  


1 1/2 lbs shrimp (pre-cooked)
4 TBSP olive oil
3 or 4 garlic cloves - minced
3/4 tsp salt
2 TBSP butter
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp black pepper
4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
box of long noodles (linguini, spaghetti, whatever you like)
crusty bread


1. toss shrimp with 2 TBSP oil, the garlic and 1/2 tsp. salt and let marinate for 15 minutes

2.  start pasta water

3.  heat butter, 2 TBSP olive oil, chili powder, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce and 1 1/4 tsp salt over low heat, stirring until butter is melted.  Add shrimp and heat through

4.  remove shrimp from heat and add lemon juice

5.   combine hot pasta and shrimp.

Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmm.  Got any recipes that are good for Winter? If you know anything about me, you know I love food.  So share!  I also love kittens and sparkles.  

See you swoon,

2015 Training Recap: Weeks 7-8 & Bonus! Austin Half Playlist!

Two weeks of training in two very different climates.  Week 7 was all about easy tapering before my Austin Half Marathon, with a handful of workouts in super warm, super sunny Texas.  Week 8 was back at it here at home in the cold, the snow, the ice and the wind.  Winter please go away.  

Week 7 (Feb. 9-Feb. 15):  3:55:54 hours

Swim: 0 hours/0 yards
Bike: 30 minutes (trainer)
Run: 3:25:54 hours/23 miles


Monday:  rest day
Tuesday:  easy bike
Wednesday:  speedwork (treadmill)
Thursday:  rest day
Friday:  easy 3 mile run
Saturday:  walk/run
Sunday:  Austin Half Marathon

There's not much to say about week 7 - it was a lot of rest in anticipation of a hard race on Sunday.  Lots of rest, lots of easy runs and bikes.  Even my speedwork on Wednesday wasn't bad and was pretty short.  The best were my workouts in Texas.  My Friday easy 3 mile run was in 65 degree sun. I was kinda happy and took this Gloaty McGloaterson picture for my friends in PA who were freezing in sub-zero temps.  

Annnnnnnd then karma gave me a big ol' womp womp with a disappointing and hard-fought race on Sunday.  Still ... worth it.

Week 8 (Feb. 16-Feb. 22):  4:25:21 hours

Swim: 0 hours/0 yards
Bike: 1:15 hours (trainer)
Run: 3:10:21 hours/19.6 miles


Monday:  rest day
Tuesday:  easy bike
Wednesday:  walk/run
Thursday:  easy run
Friday:  rest day
Saturday:  walk/run biked instead
Sunday:  long run: 17 miles - did 13.25 instead ON THE TREADMILL

So, yeah, welcome home to cold.  And then snow! A snow day!  And then ice!  And cold!  And all of those things!  I was able to do a bike at home on Tuesday (snow day), which was fine.  Wednesday I had a walk/run and I was not going to do it on the treadmill.  I went to a park near the kids' school and wore my Yak Tracks.  It was a 10 minute walk with a 30 minute easy run. Contrast the above McGloaterson photo with McSnowerson.  

Still ... better than the treadmill!

I wonder what the cars passing by were thinking as I snapped these shots.  

Thursday was an easy run, which, given the time of day that I had to run and the extreme sub-arctic cold, I opted to do on the treadmill.  Friday was a rest day - woo hoo.  Saturday was supposed to be another walk/run, but I couldn't fit in a trip to the gym, so I opted for a longer bike ride instead: 45 minutes on the trainer.  Not too shabby.  

Sunday.  Did you read the all caps?  Yes.  I did 2 full hours (13.25 miles) on the em eff treadmill.  I didn't die, but I will tell you that if I had run literally one more second, I would have turned into the hulk, raised that treadmill over my head, and thrown it out the window of the gym.  And then jumped out the window and destroyed it with a baseball bat.  So, I had to do the treadmill because on Saturday we got a lot of snow.  And then rain.  Which turned the snow to slushy ice.  Sunday morning had terrible conditions, and I absolutely had to run early.  Treadmill it was.  I can't get Pollyanna about this run.  It was not fun and kind of terrible, but I did it.  I was supposed to do 17 miles, but that was not happening. Hopefully 13.25 is good enough.  

Up this week - more miles, and I really want to get in a swim.  I have the Ambler Frostbite Five Miler, which I've run (and managed to PR) every year for awhile now.  This year, coach has me running a little 11 mile warm up beforehand ... so I am not sure about a PR.  My eye is on the prize, which is the NJ State Marathon in late April and the Love Run Half in late March.  

Bonus!  Bonus!   I made a new playlist for the Austin Half Marathon and I'm going to share it with you.  I feel that the city of Austin might ask me to remove its name from the playlist because a cool music town like Austin will not want itself associated with the below, but it will kindly have to get over itself.  

The Austin Half was such a brutal race and I was so out of it, that I only remember one -- yes one -- song from that playlist for the entire 13.1 miles.  That song, my friends, was Neil Diamond's They're Coming to America.  It was around mile 6 and I remember thinking "Ok ... this is it.  This song is going to change this whole race for me. This is the moment." Sadly that did not happen.  I listened to this playlist on my treadmill long run and really enjoyed it!  It was as though I had never heard it before.  Ha.  Enjoy.  You're welcome in advance.  Comments in bold italics where needed.  

1812 Overture (Finale) (Charles Gerhardt & London Philharmonic Orchestra)  I defy you to hear this song and not pick up your pace.  I also defy you to not do the cymbals in the air at the appropriate place in the song.  
All Through the Night (Cyndi Lauper)
America (Neil Diamond)
Annie's Song (John Denver)
Apache (Sugarhill Gang)
Around the Way Girl (LL Cool J)
Baby, What a Big Surprise (Chicago)
Bad, Bad Leroy Brown (Jim Croce )
Brandy (Looking Glass)
Break My Stride (Matthew Wilder)
Can't Hold Us (Macklemore & Ryan Lewis)
Carefree Highway (Gordon Lightfoot)
Count On Me (Jefferson Starship)
Different Drum (The Stone Poneys)
Do You Hear the People Sing? (Les Misérables Original London Cast)
Double Dutch Bus (Frankie Smith) this song reminds me of roller skating as a kid. I start to shuffle when I hear it. 
Emotion (Samantha Sang)
Feels So Good  (Chuck Mangione) I LOVE THIS SONG. My sister and I grew up dancing to it. It's fun to run to.
Get Closer (Seals & Crofts)
Guilty (Duet With Barry Gibb) (Barbra Streisand)
Hello (Lionel Richie) Not a typo.  This song is really on here.  
I Can't Hold Back (Survivor)
I Got a Name (Jim Croce)
If You Could Read My Mind (Ela Wardi)
If You Leave Me Now (Chicago)
It's My Turn (Diana Ross)
Just Remember I Love You (Firefall)
Knowing Me, Knowing You (ABBA)
Let It Go (Demi Lovato)
Long Long Time (Linda Ronstadt)
More Than a Woman (Bee Gees)
One Moment In Time (Whitney Houston)
Party In the U.S.A. (Miley Cyrus)
Penny Lane (The Beatles)
Selling the Drama (Live)
Shadows of the Night (Pat Benatar )
Shake It Off (Taylor Swift)
Sloop John B (The Beach Boys)
Solitary Man (Neil Diamond)
Sundown (Gordon Lightfoot)
Take a Chance On Me (ABBA)
Talking In Your Sleep (The Romantics)
Theme from "Greatest American Hero" (Believe It or Not) (Joey Scarbury)
Truly (Lionel Richie) See above. Not a typo either.
You Are the Woman (Firefall
You Can Do It  (Ice Cube) I imagine I'm in the movie "Save the Last Dance" when it comes on. You're the Only Woman (Ambrosia)
Pretty sure that only on my playlist can Ice Cube, Lionel Richie, Barry Gibb, ABBA, Gordon Lightfoot and the 1812 Overture peacefully coexist.  

Have a great week! 

See you swoon,

What I Wore {post 66}

Hey hey happy Friday! Who's ready for another Winter weekend? I'll close out this freezing cold week with some recent outfits.  

Black Buttondown, Grey Pencil Skirt, Dalmatian Belt

I've never worn this combination before. I liked it a lot.  I also wore patterned tights, which you cannot see in the first picture (so I took a second one where you can).  I wore my patent leather Mary Janes too.  Love them. 

Vibrant Printed Silk Blouse & Coral Pencil Skirt

This shirt is one of my new favorites.  I found it at Anthropologie after Christmas and sadly it was not on sale.   But it was one of those items where I wanted it immediately and loved everything about it and did not want to risk it selling out or not being there in the future.  So I paid full price.  I wore my coral pencil skirt with it for a lovely pop of color in the middle of Winter.

Black Polka Dot Blouse, Black Skinny Pants

I had to fly to Austin this day, so I didn't want to wear heels.  I took the easy way out and wore all black, which I find is a chic and easy way to deal with a day when I don't really know what I want to wear.  This polkadot blouse is a few years old.  The pants are fitted and work with either heels or flats.

Have a great weekend! 

See you swoon,

Organizing under the Kitchen Sink

I mentioned in my 2015 home resolutions post that I wanted to organize some of my kitchen cabinets.  One of those cabinets was the one under the kitchen sink.  It wasn't bad at all.  I had a nice sized basket under there to hold cleaners and supplies.  But I knew I could do better. 

So the first step, as is always the first step with any organizing project, was to take everything out of the cabinet and line it up.  I was surprised at the amount of stuff under there!  

I like the bag holder for the inside of the door.  That works, so that stays.  I also liked the green basket for holding cleaners and supplies.  That worked as well.  But certain things, like sponges or Mr. Clean Erasers, were tough to find in that basket.  So I bought this small drawer set to hold them. And I labeled the drawers because I like labels.  Now it is very easy to find sponges, Magic Erasers and Brillo pads!  I also bought an inexpensive plastic basket for the top of that little drawer set to hold my drying mat and my gloves.

I needed a little spot to hold my dish soap and brushes and stoppers.  Lucky for me, I had picked up a set of plastic drawer organizers at TJ Maxx and wasn't otherwise using this large one.  It works perfectly to corral the "washing dishes" stuff.

I bought a clear container to hold my dishwasher tabs.  Now I can see when I need more!  This holds about a box and a half of the tabs.  By the way, I use the Finish tabs with hydrogen peroxide.  They are amazing.  

The final touch, which I admit is a little over the top, was to bring in this pretty patterned shelf paper for the bottom of the cabinet.  I didn't like the way the bottom looked, so I invested all of $5 (Walmart) for this non-adhesive shelf paper.  Now when I open up the cabinet, I instantly smile at the pretty and the organization!  

Yes!  These are the kinds of projects that take just a little time but make a world of difference, both in their functionality and in their inspiration for me to keep moving.  Next cabinet? The one above the sink ... and it's a doozie.  One word: Tupperware.

See you swoon,

Race Recap: 2015 Austin Half Marathon

I raced the 2015 Austin Half Marathon in Austin, Texas on Sunday, February 15.  It was the most challenging half marathon I have ever done - more challenging than Cesar Rodney in 2012.  Why was it challenging?

Hills.  Humidity.  Heat.

Well, it wasn't *hot*, but it was about 55 degrees at the start and warmed up even more.  I'm not used to that kind of weather.   The hills on the course were relentless, and I completely underestimated them.  They don't call it Hill Country for nothing!  And race day was very humid. Add to those conditions, I had a kind of angry belly.  Things weren't 100% right and I'm not sure why.  But the race is what it is, and I'm glad I did it and really glad I finished.  This picture of me at the finish pretty much sums up the effort.

I finished in 1:52:36, which is the slowest I've run a half marathon since 2012.  Ouch.  Still, with that time and an average 8:36/mile pace, I was in the top 7% of my age group and among women (48th of 665 and 361st of 5124, respectively) and the top 14% overall in the race (1,258 of 8,846).

My race plan was to run the first mile at 8:20, then miles 2-6 at 8:10-8:12, then miles 7-8 at 8:00 and then go by feel and either hang on or really put the hammer down and race.  Obviously, that didn't happen.

Mile 1:  8:28
Mile 2:  8:27
Mile 3:  8:19

Miles 1-3 were up a pretty steady, but not too punishing grade, hill.  Mile 1 was also really crowded.  I didn't worry much at this point about my paces being slower than the plan - I had to take the hill into account, and that definitely slowed me down.  I figured I could make up some time on the next few miles, which appeared to be all downhill.

Mile 4:  8:17
Mile 5:  7:48
Mile 6:  8:01

And I did.  I was able to let it go a bit and coast down some of the hills.  Even though I was heading down a hill, around mile 5, I just felt off - I wasn't at the top of my running game and I could feel it.  I wasn't enjoying the race.  I wasn't enjoying my music.  I was just running.  

Mile 7:  8:18
Mile 8:  8:29

Miles 7 and 8 were supposed to be fast - like 8:00 miles.  It wasn't happening.  There were some hills here (because hills were everywhere!) and I would lose steam.  I realized at this point that I wasn't going to hit the time that I really wanted unless I pushed super hard.  I had to make a decision: I could either really race and push myself to the limit or I could continue as is and treat this as another training run.  I did a sort of systems check of my body and determined that the latter was a better idea.  My stomach wasn't right, my breathing was a bit labored and my legs were not feeling very fresh or strong.  I listened to my gut (uh, kind of literally) and decided to scale back.  I thought that if I held on to mid to low 8s, I could come close to beating my current PR.  This picture was taken around mile 8 of the course.  Not a happy runner.  

Mile 9:  9:01
Mile 10: 9:04

Ba boom.  I haven't seen a 9 minute mile pace in a half marathon in a long time.  I was not happy when I did here, but I also could feel myself slowing.  There were hills again in these miles - pretty steep ones.  This is the point in the race when I took it mile by mile.  Around mile 9, I wanted to stop running and walk.  And then I turned myself into Nikki from Save the Last Dance and got all up in my own face and was like NO and turned on my resting runner bitch face ...

and refused to let myself walk.  I told myself to get to the next mile and see how I felt.  So I did.  I hit mile 10 and felt OK - not great, not awful.  I told myself just get to mile 11.  

Mile 11:  8:43
Mile 12:  8:56
Mile 13:  8:51  

Even in sparkles, I wasn't very sparkly.  I felt a little better in the last three miles - mainly because I knew it was almost over and I knew I could do anything for 2 miles.  I looked at my watch, did the math and knew hitting under, at or near my PR wasn't happening.  I also knew hitting under 1:50 wasn't happening.  I did figure out that unless something crazy happened, I would at least finish under 2:00.  

I came around the bend and saw my friend and her daughter - seeing their faces gave me a huge boost to finish strong and fast.  And to do what I do best: react with an incredibly and impossibly dorky smile and wave.

And then back to business. I am looking at my watch with contempt and disdain. 

But this smile after the finish is actually real because I was so so so happy that the race was done!  And the photographer was hilarious.  

I feel a little bratty, but I'm just not thrilled with this race.  I know that's part of the sport - I'm not always going to PR, and there will be really tough races where I walk away feeling a little defeated.  I'll mope a bit and then move on.  

But my time in Austin was terrific! I stayed with my friend, her husband (who ran the full marathon) and their daughter and they were wonderful, gracious hosts.  I got to hang out with other friends in Austin as well, which was wonderful.  And ... look at this weather.

I did a training run in a tank top in the sun!  In February!

I drank beer and ate yummy food with friends at the Hula Hut outside along the water! In February! 

I went to a bar that had tons of specialty, house made donuts and got one with cream cheese filling, fruit on top and cream cheese frosting!  And then had a Texas IPA!  !!

The trip was really wonderful.  And I think I'd like to run Austin again.  Now I'm prepared for the course.  

Next up is the Ambler Frostbite Five Miler in two weeks.  And at the end of March is the Love Run half marathon.  I've done both of those races before, so I can get a real apples-to-apples comparison to past performance and see how I'm doing. 

See you swoon,

My funny Valentines

Valentines Day is tomorrow.  I'm sure you're all aware.  As is the case every single year, my blog reader has been filled hearts! and cupids! and treats! and love!  It's a little overwhelming, and if I'm being honest, in many cases feels saccharine and over the top.  Don't get me wrong - I love Valentine's Day.  I've posted about it before.  If I've learned anything over the past few years, it's that, as my dear friend Madelyn says, Love Always Wins.  

So in celebration of that day of love, I want to send a valentine to my biggest little loves of all: my babies - forever babies they will be.  

Dear Baby Littles,

Valentine's Day isn't usually a day for a love like ours - it seems to be a romantic holiday for grown-ups.  But you two have taught me more about love than anyone else in this world.  So I want to send you my own special Valentine.

Recently, I heard someone make a comment about divorce that made me think of you.  This person said something like "divorce will forever change who your children are."  At first, it was like a punch in the gut.  As much as I love you and know you, I will never, ever know what kind of toll the divorce in our family took on you.  I remember something your Daddy said to me in those final days - "they will always have each other."  And it is true.  The two of you are each other's bread to the butter, peas to the carrots.  I've done my very best to listen to you, to be open to your fears and questions and to assure you, over and over, that even if your Daddy and I are no longer married, we are, and always will be, a family ... if not in the traditional sense.  You are, and always will be, loved fiercely.  So anytime someone talks negatively about divorce and children, I immediately get a little defensive and protective. 

But this comment stuck in my craw a bit. Because I don't think it's fair.  Or, rather, I don't think it's necessarily an accurate criticism of divorce.  I think pretty much anything I can do as a parent has the potential to change who you are forever. After all, your Daddy and I are the ones who probably have the most power to shape who you are and who you will become.  So rather than focus on the fact that we are divorced, I want you to focus on the good that has come from it.  On the happiness that you see.  And on the reinforcement from me, from your Daddy, from your grandparents, and from everyone else in your family who has shown you, time and time again, that love always wins and that you are surrounded in an unyielding cocoon of love.

I hope you have learned that love is an infinite, yet amorphous, thing.  That you are loved in an intense, amazing way, but that that love may not fit a particular mold.  And that there is always room for more love in your life.  Love always wins.

I hope you know that as much as I love you (and I love you a million) and even though you both take up the center of my very strong heart, that you are not, and never will be, the absolute center of my life.  I love you. I love your lives.  I love everything about you.  But you are not, and will not be, the center of my existence.  I have passions in my life.  And you are one of them. But you are not all of them.  I want you to learn that lesson and carry it over into your own life: never, ever make your passion or the center of your life be another person.  That is no way to live.  Find yourself.  Find what you love.  Love fiercely. But love yourself.  

I hope you remember forgiveness.  The two of you have shown me an incredible amount of grace and forgiveness.  There are days when I know I am not the best mom: I cry; I overreact; I lose my temper.  I have learned to take a moment and then come back and apologize to you.  To articulate, in a way that a 6 and 8 year old can understand and appreciate, that sometimes Mommies have bad days.  And that, in particular, your Mommy isn't perfect and she's sorry.  I hope when you are my age that you have children with the capacity for love and forgiveness that you two have -- and that you can feel the way I do when one of you hugs me and pats my back with your teeny tiny hands.  It reminds me that in this life with all its ups and downs, I've done something really right.  The hug from one of my amazingly compassionate children truly does make everything better.

I hope you know that nothing is hopeless.  Nothing.  That even on your darkest day, there is light if you look hard enough.  And if you cannot see it, I hope that you have people in your life to assure you that it's there.  You are my people who do that.  On the days when I really do feel bluer than blue, you make me laugh and remind me that a better day is ahead.  Tomorrow or the next day or maybe in a week.  It's there.  And in the meantime, let's have ice cream and watch Wheel of Fortune and laugh. That a good belly laugh fixes almost everything.  

I hope you remember that I am always thinking about you and wondering about you.  I don't worry - you're both incredible human beings with tremendous, unique personalities.  Both of you have more empathy, compassion and affection than I can ever dream to have myself.  But during each day or weekend when I'm not with you, I wonder what you're doing, what you're thinking, what you're feeling, what you're learning.  I will tell you that when you were born, I never imagined being apart from you.  It is the absolute hardest part about our current situation - that I am not with you every day or that I do not get to see your sweet faces every single day.

I am proud of you.  And I want you to be proud of me.  When I watch you play soccer or gymnastics or basketball or swim, my heart nearly bursts with pride out of my chest.  I see you scan the crowd for me and for my face, and I really do hope that my beaming expression shows you how proud I am.  And just like you, I want you to be proud of me.  I can't wait to tell you about my races.  When I rounded the Olympic Oval at Ironman Lake Placid, my first thought was "where are my kids and I hope they can see this."  Not because I wanted you to watch ... but I wanted you to be proud of me.  And to know that anything, absolutely anything, is possible.  

You are both quick to say "I love you" and "I need you" and "let's snuggle."  Don't ever stop.  The world will try to change that sweet, optimistic desire to love and be loved.  Don't let it.  You've rekindled that kind of love in me, and I can't thank you enough.  

So, I do hope that I have changed who you are.  I hope that your sense of love and how to love has gotten stronger in the past few years.  I hope you know that no matter what happens, no matter who comes in (or out) of our lives, that we will always have each other and that I will love you - love love love you - more than anything.  

Love always wins.


See you swoon,

Dining Room Table - more copy-catting!

Now that my dining room table is exactly the way I like it, I've been inspired to do a little more in that space and finish it off.  I haven't been crazy about the candles on the middle of my table.

They are cute, but look a little sad and forlorn on my table.  You know ... if candles could be sad.  Or forlorn.  So when I found the inspiration photo of the Ethan Allen table, I decide to keep on copying.  I loved this "modern country" dining room and drew my inspiration for my table from it.

I really liked those large vases with branches.  I actually coveted them.  But they were $125 and $180 from Ethan Allen and I thought that was crazy.  I found similar vases at Home Goods for $16 and $19.

I found the branches at Joann's.  I had a coupon and they were on sale, so they cost about $20.  They look very real in person.  Though, I had to laugh in Joann's because Big Kid came over and whispered, very dramatically, "Mom, these flowers ... they're ... all fake."  HA.  Yes they are.

I'm very happy with how it turned out!  The table has the leaf in it at all times, and it's in the same space as my living room, so it needed something substantial but not fussy.  I think this fits the bill.

There's not much left: just replace the seat fabrics on the chairs, touch up the paint on the chairs and add a nice sisal or jute rug under the table and chairs.  

See you swoon,

2015 Training Recap: Weeks 5 & 6

Monday Monday.  Another week!  I can't believe it, but the Austin Half Marathon is this coming Sunday.  I've been training hard for it, and I'm ready.  I don't really have any concrete goals, aside from beating my last best time.  And I can't wait to make a little vacation out of the race - several of my friends live in Austin, so I'll see them and have some fun.  

Here are the last two weeks' workouts.

Week 5 (Jan. 26-Feb.1):  5:26:25 hours  

Swam: 1750 yards/39:22 minutes
Biked: 30 minutes (trainer)
Ran: 27.8 miles/4:16:48 hours

Monday: easy run (30 minutes)
Tuesday: walk-easy run-walk did bike instead
Wednesday: speedwork/track
Thursday: day off/swim or bike (I swam)
Friday: easy run
Saturday: swim took a rest day
Sunday: long run (13.5 miles)

Snow snow snow!  I woke up on Monday morning and it was snowy.  It was light and fluffy and the path at the park wasn't yet paved. 

I was happy (despite my expression) to get to bust out the Yak Tracks, which I keep attached to a pair of older sneakers.  I only need them a handful of times each year, so I like having a dedicated pair of snowy running shoes.  

Tuesday the kids had a delayed opening, so instead of the walk-easy run-walk combo (that I really do not enjoy at all), I rode the bike.  I cleared it with the coach first, and he said no problem.

Wednesday was supposed to be a track day for speedwork.  But the track was icy.  So I moved the workout to the treadmill.  5 1/2 miles of speedwork on that treadmill thank you very much.

Thursday was one of the "my choice" days: rest, swim or bike.  I knew that Saturday was crazy, so I opted to swim and would rest on Saturday.  Swim was pretty good.  It was 5x100 on the 2:30 and then 4x300 on the 7:30 with a 50 yard cool down.  These numbers just mean I had about 20-30 seconds between each interval.  

Friday was supposed to be an easy 40 minute run. I met my running club super early and ran with a few people.  My run ended up being more than 40 minutes (more like 50), but it was great.  Of course the weather turned into this.

Saturday - rest!

Sunday was a 13.5 mile long run: 9 miles at endurance pace, 4 miles at 8:10-8:20/mile and .5 mile recovery.  Hello I hit those paces.  I loooooooooooove long runs.  

Week 6 (Feb. 2-Feb.8):  5:16:25 hours

Swam: 1750 yards/38:17 minutes
Biked: 30:02 minutes (on trainer)
Ran: 28.2 miles/4:08:05 hours

Monday: Easy run biked instead
Tuesday: walk-super easy run-walk did an easy run from Monday instead
Wednesday: speedwork/track
Thursday: rest/swim or bike -- I rested
Friday: run with LT 
Saturday:  swim
Sunday: long run (15 miles)

Monday I got stuck at work and couldn't bear the thought of the treadmill. So I decided to do my easy 30 minute run on Tuesday and, since I hate Tuesday's walk/run/walk thing, I would do a bike on Monday instead.  I did not clear this with my coach.  But I think an easy bike is about the same as the walk/super slow run/walk thing.  At least I think so anyway.

Tuesday's run was cooold.  Freezing.  

I wore my running neon ninja outfit.  

Wednesday I got to the track early (like 5:15 am) and it was again iced over.  I was so mad.  I went to the gym and hit the treadmill again for speedwork.  The guy next to me decided to try to race me, which is a big whatever.  Only he would move his treadmill to one tick faster than mine.  But he couldn't sustain it and would have to hop off the belt and onto the sides.  This happened six times.  I was all ...

Thursday I took a rest day.  I knew I had a lot of workouts coming up.

Friday was a mix of endurance and very fast miles (3x 7:40 pace for one mile!).  It was another brutally cold day and while I would normally not hesitate to run outside in the cold (see neon ninja above), I realized that an endurance run where everything is relaxed and easy is very different from a super hard run like the one scheduled.  I had a hunch treadmill was the smarter choice, and sure enough, my coach told me to get on the treadmill.  It wasn't that bad, actually.  

Saturday was the same swim as the week before.  It was a really good swim and I felt fast.  Interesting that I was a minute faster this week than the week prior.  

Sunday - long run!  15 miles!  Kind of warmish outside!  

The most notable thing on this run, aside from how pumped I am at the 8:46 overall pace, was that I tried plain flavored Gu!

I've seen the "just plain" flavor and it's simultaneously grossed me out and piqued my curiosity.  I decided to give it a try and picked up a pack at a race expo.  The guy at the Gu table said it kind of tasted like honey.  He was kind of right.  I thought it tasted like vanilla - a more subtle version of the Vanilla Gu - with a little honey flavor.  Honey-Vanilla I think.  I actually liked it much better than Vanilla Gu, which is a bit too strong for me.  So thumbs up on the plain Gu! 

That's all for now!  I'll be sure to recap the Austin Half Marathon next week!  Have a good one :)

See you swoon,