Tuesday, August 11, 2015

An 8 mile run!

Hello hello, once again!

I finally have some time to update about the weekend! I won't lie and say it was busy, because Saturday was not busy, apart from my run. As a matter of fact, I was super lazy for a few hours after my run because Cam was playing StarCraft with his boys. After those few hours I told him we had to go do something, and since he loves me, he obliged.

But I'm getting ahead of myself so let's back up to Friday. Right after work I met my mom and her friend for lunch at a restaurant right across the street from my office called Granite City. Since they opened I have told pretty much everyone that, "Everything on the menu is good." Well - I met my match on Friday! (Gloria, if you're reading, I miss our GC dates and clearly this happened because it's the first time I've gone without you...#sadface)

I wanted something light because Cam and I were going out again with friends for dinner and a movie that night, so I got the Bruschetta Chicken salad...and I was not a fan. The seasoning on the chicken didn't match the rest of the flavors, and the vinaigrette was a little dull. Oh well...the other 10 things I've had off the menu have been amazing, so one dud isn't exactly surprising.

Afterwards we went to the mall (because it's right next to work/restaurant) so my mom could look for curtains and curtain rods (which she found). I also decided it was time for me to look for a few new wardrobe items - to say it hasn't been a priority lately would be a mondo understatement. At this point my mom and her friend (Wendy) realized just how picky I am when it comes to shopping. Wendy kept holding things up and I would say, "No, X is wrong with it" or "It's too short" "The neckline is too high" "it has gold" "too many sequins" etc. I tried on about 15 things and left with 1. Womp womp.

I wasn't too disappointed though - for everything I didn't buy, I saved money, so there's that.

Afterwards I headed to Cam's and we left to meet our friends to see Shaun the Sheep. I know it's a kids' movie, and I don't care, it was adorable. If you didn't know, Shaun actually got his start in Wallace and Gromit: A Close Shave. And I happen to have a little Shaun who sits at my desk, so it was a good fit for a movie pick.

Like I said, super cute. And there's no dialogue in the movie. I think that says something about storytellers - to keep you engaged for 90 minutes without a character saying anything more than "hmm mmm mmm hm mhh" is quite a feat!

Dinner and a brief walk around was had after the movie, and after that Cam and I headed home. He knew I had a long run in the morning so he'd made plans that would end early so I could get to bed. I set an alarm for 6, and was asleep by 11.

I won't lie - I was nervous about the 8 miler. It's the longest distance I've done to date, and I wasn't sure how well it would go (especially since I'd never actually done 7 miles). But I needn't have worried.

I decided to do the 8 miles at a local forest preserve called Busse Woods. I picked it because I seemed to remember that one loop was somewhere close to 8 miles and the trail is really well maintained. It's a fairly common area for people to train on too, so I figured why not. I knew it'd be better than trying to figure out some kind of course that long through Cam's neighborhood!

I left Cam's house around 6:45 and got to Busse by 7:00 - like any other Saturday I wanted to train at race time, and moreover I wanted to avoid whatever heat and humidity the day had planned. Fun side note: Cam let me borrow his (precious and beloved) Jeep because along with the registration of my car came new license plates, and I hadn't switched them out yet (whoops!). So it was fun driving his V8 down fairly empty roads on the way, and even more fun on the way back to have that subwoofer in the back, haha ;)

Anyways, I was on my way running a little after 7, and set myself up for 5 min/30 sec run/walk intervals. Like with previous runs, I agreed with myself that I could drop my intervals to 4:30/1 after half the distance (4 miles) if needed. I ended up doing just that, but I only kept them like that for two or three intervals before I switched back to 5/:30 - I felt so great during Saturday's run, and dropping my intervals down just seemed unnecessary.

Here's the map (yay! I love it when I can share my actual routes...I just don't want anyone to know where I live which is why I normally don't) and my intervals:

Turns out the loop was only 7.3 miles (by my Garmin) so I had to do a short out-and-back to get the final distance to 8 miles.

Miles 5 and 6 are where I dropped my intervals.
I cannot tell you how happy I am with these times. Obviously by the end I was tired and slowing down a bit, but I feel like for my first time at this distance, these are very good times to see. Hell, I'm just happy I did all 8 miles! My friend Mo told me a few weeks ago that, "Even if you only get to 8 miles in your training, you can do the half" - so I'm holding her to that, even though I plan on doing more than that before the race!

Also of note - my heart rate. You remember how a few weeks ago I talked that awful run where my heart rate almost hit 180, with an average of 164? Well this time around the highest my heart rate got was 168, and the average was 160. No wonder this run felt so much better than some of the other ones lately! It really helps to run when it's not freaking a million degrees and 1200% humidity out!

I also had the foresight to bring my Camelbak with me - I think I filled it about 2/3 of the way (I have the Classic, which has a 2 liter capacity) so I wouldn't have to run with the full weight. Being able to take a sip or two during every walk interval (and some gummies after the 4 mile mark) really helped throughout the whole run. It was also way easier and less awkward than carrying my Camelbak water bottle (though I still like having that option).

I'll tell you what though, there are major differences to running at a park like this than the streets of my 'hood. Mainly - cyclists and other runners. I don't normally see either when I'm out and about, but those recreational activities are what bike paths are good for. And I saw lots. Quite a few other individual runners, runners with their trainers, cyclists (some clearly training for events) and there was even an entire marathon training group out. They even had water coolers every 3 or so miles. At one point I got passed from behind by an entire group of them...perhaps not the best for one's self confidence, but I brushed it off because they were all clearly seasoned runners/marathoners. Other than that, I did my best to say "Morning" to everyone I met eyes with, and "Thank you" every time a cyclist either said "Bike back!" or "On your left!" No amount of running is an excuse for lacking manners, especially when others are trying to ensure your safety!

I took a few selfies when I was done, most notably this one of me with Cam's car:

Sorry if I look evil, the sun was in just the right spot to get into my eyes!

On the way back to Cam's house I rocked out to Depeche Mode (exceptional recovery music!) and stopped to grab an iced coffee from Starbucks. After nearly three hours of awake time (and 1,300 calories burned) I needed some caffeine!

We chilled out for most of the rest of the morning (read: I made us eggs to eat while we finished Season 3 of Orange is the New Black and then laid on the couch while Cam played video games) before I decided we needed to get up and go do something. So Cam agreed to take me to Target so I could continue my clothes search - I've had good luck there in the past and was confident I'd be able to find some new stuff this time.

And I wasn't disappointed! I ended up with three new "dresses" - I say it in quotes because I would never wear any of them to work without leggings. It would be indecent. I also got a skirt, but tried it on with some other stuff at home and decided to return it.

After Target we went to Trader Joe's and picked up some stuff for dinner, got a sushi snack for lunch, and then headed back home where I ate and fell asleep. Those long runs, man, they can wear a person out!

When I woke up it was close to dinner time, but Cam had agreed that we could take a short walk before dinner so I could finish the Road to Hogwarts challenge that I was 2 miles away from completing. We were both getting hungry though, so he suggested we do 2 miles on our bikes instead - I was sold, and we were back in no time. It ended up not mattering though because MakeYesHappen had problems syncing with Garmin all weekend, so I ended up having to manually enter my data on Monday to complete the challenge. It doesn't matter though! I got there in the end!

What's really fun is that since completing the challenge I've had at least 3 other people tell me they signed up too! Wooooot! That's what it's all about...encouraging and engaging others!

I was so happy to know the challenge was finished, and so glad that Cam and I just had a low-key night planned. We watched Get Hard - I'm not a Will Ferrell fan but that movie was so funny. Then I fell asleep on the couch while he played more StarCraft (clearly our relationship is the definition of excitement).

Now this next part is just one more reason I love Cam. I went to bed fairly early (~10) and the next morning I woke up to a text from him that he'd gone to bed at 12:30, but that 'as I snore next to you I'm subconsciously telling you I'm okay with waking up at 7:30 to get the day started.'

How adorable is that? We'd agreed to move our traditional Saturday workout to Sunday, and this was his way of saying he'd get up at 7:30 because he knew I had a lot to do after the gym. I thought that was adorable of him.

I waited until 8 to wake him up, and we eventually headed to the gym to fit all this in:

My pen died after I dropped it halfway through the workout. Oopsies.
We had heavy reps on the schedule for our core lifts (deadlifts, benchpress, and squats are our general 'core' lifts). Those 150lb deadlifts were tough, but rewarding. Cam failed in thinking I could bench 3 75-lb reps, and I had to drop the weight significantly to be able to complete the 2nd set. Afterwards he said I'll probably plateau for a few weeks because it's harder to increase the weight on upper body lifts, but eventually I'll be at 75. So I guess I'll just have to w(eight) for that and keep working towards it.

Sunday morning felt pretty perfect in the end...lifting and then Starbucks breakfast (Americano and turkey + eggwhite sandwich) with my man. It was one of those mornings that just felt so right.

I'm gonna leave it there for now...I have another post planned with the rest of the stuff I did on Sunday, but I feel like throwing it in here would just make this stupid long, so I won't!

But if you're really searching for something else to read right now, you could amuse yourself for a while with the Senator Dracula series. It's hilarious, partly mostly because of the terrible, terrible metaphors and similies that they use. But absolutely hilarious, I promise.

Read and enjoy, and I'll get back to you later!


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