"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places." Roald Dahl

Monday, July 27, 2015

Training: Week 5

This past week, things got serious! The weather was gorgeous, I was consistent, and I stuck to the plan (for the most part).  I did my first double (and a triple within 24 hours).  That will be a weekly occurrence from here on out to help me get ready for the relay.  The one tip I had was to get used to running tired and to be accustomed to running more than once a day.  

It is good advice.  The second run of the day can be soul crushing - your joints hurt, your bones are tender, and your muscles feel like they might snap.  Like any good athlete, now I'm going to do that over and over again until it doesn't affect me.  Ha! I know something is working because I was completely spent all last week - I had no energy at all and the 10 k on Saturday, that should have been great, felt more like a 15 mile race than a 6 mile race.  Hopefully the energy will come back soon! 

Re-cap of the week: 

Sunday: 4.5 miles 
Monday: 3 + 3 miles 
Tuesday: off
Wednesday: 4.5 miles 
Thursday: swim 
Friday: 3 miles 
Saturday: 6.2 miles (Big Ten 10k) 

Total: 24.2 miles

Monday, July 20, 2015

Training Week 4

This past week was a great one!  I kept up my mileage and I created a training plan for the next 8 weeks.  That's big because in a little less than 8 weeks I will be running in a 200 mile relay race.  In. the. mountains!  That's right, it is time to get serious.  I'm confident that this plan will prepare me well and I'm so excited to take my training to the next level!  

Here I am, getting serious. Ha!

Due to this training plan, I'm also switching my week format to begin on Sunday's instead of Monday's.  Details... 

Last week's workouts: 

Sunday: 5.5 miles
Monday: 1 mile 
Tuesday: 4 miles 
Wednesday: 3 miles 
Thursday: 2 mile tempo run 
Friday: off 
Saturday: 5 mile walk 

This week has already started off on a great foot!  I am committed and ready :) 

Scenes from my runs this week: 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Europe Part 4: Amsterdam

After the wedding in Breda, my entire family headed to Amsterdam and we took up almost an entire car of the eurorail on the way.  In Amsterdam we saw the sights, took a canal tour, and passed the time lounging, eating, and drinking in some amazing cafes.  The weather was beautiful, but I was a little surprised at how insanely crowded parts of the city were. 

We started the trip off with a family canal tour...

The next day it was a bit cold and rainy, but we sucked it up and headed on a long walk, visited the Reik's Museum, which is right next to the "Iamsterdam" sign.  

After the museum we wandered around the beautiful parks near the museum and took some goofy pictures.  They have quite a bit of fun stuff to explore. 

We spent most of the day wandering around the canals, checking out shops, and stopping to eat and drink along the way. It was fabulous. 

Later that night, we headed to the Sky Lounge to relax and get a drink.  It was gorgeous and so relaxing!  The bar is on the 11th floor of a hotel that overlooks the city.  It was raining, so we didn't get the full experience that we would have on the patio, but it was still pretty fabulous.

The last day we did a bit more sight seeing and then upon realizing how tired we were, we bought a few bottles of wine and sat on the edge of a canal as we drank and waved to the boats that floated by. 

 It was the perfect end to the perfect trip. 

I know this post was a bit photo-heavy and to be honest, there were so many I left out! I could have added so much more.  It was such a fun trip - I can't believe I've been home for a month already. My how time flies! 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Training Week 3

I was a wee bit better about getting my workouts in this week.  I did not get a long run in, as my training plan indicated, but I did alright.  Overall, I'm starting to feel better when I run, so that is a good sign! My legs aren't as tired, I can go for longer distances and I don't need to stop and walk at all anymore.  My average mile pace has gone from about 10:00 min/mile to around 9:30 min/mile.  My goal pace is 9:00 min/mile pace or under, so I'm getting there!!  

Here is a recap of my workouts last week: 

Monday: Off 
Tuesday: 30 minute swim
Wednesday: 3 miles + a yoga class
Thursday: 4 mile walk + weights
Friday: 2 miles 
Saturday: 5 miles + 2 mile walk
Sunday: 5.5 miles (w/tempo work) 

Total: 15.5 miles 

On Saturday, I met my sister and her family at the park before I headed out on my run.  I got to hang with my nephew and he decided he wanted to train with me for the day.  Take a look... I love this picture!

I am looking into joining a health club that has both an indoor and outdoor pool to help boost my training and give me an option for cross training/recovery days.  I tried out the rooftop option this week and while it was super fun to swim outside, it was only a 17 yard pool!  It gave me just enough space for a decent streamline, 5 strokes, and a flip.  I think it may be used strictly for kick sets or recovery days.  It will also help me with my summer tan. :)   The sunny weekend weather left me with some amazing runner tan lines that I'll need to work on.

Overall, it was a great week and I got to run in some beautiful weather!! Check out some of my pictures... Even though it started off cloudy, the sun definitely came out a few times! 

Time until Blue Ridge Relay: 10 weeks 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Fourth of July Recap

Last weekend I headed up to Wisconsin to spend some time on the water, boating and tubing with some friends.  I headed up early Friday and came back on Sunday.  Three days on the boat, lots of great conversations with old friends, some reckless tubing, and some imbibing were just what the doctor ordered. It was a relaxing and rejuvenating weekend!

The firework show was amazing!! and being in this small town for the Fourth of July was like stepping back in time.  It was such a fun, wholesome, patriotic celebration all weekend long.  There were boat parades and water shows, among other events.  I would definitely go back again and recommend it to anyone! 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Europe Part 3: Breda Wedding

The reason I went to Europe for 10 days was not just for fun, but because my twin cousins and one of my favorite people go married there!  

Stacey used to live near me in NC and she moved up to Chicago a year before my big move.  We have always been pretty close and it has been so fun getting to know her husband now that I live right down the street from them! 

Her husband is from the Netherlands, so they decided to have their wedding in his hometown.  It was so cool to be able to see a small town in Holland and to be showed around by a native.  It was also really fun and interesting to experience a wedding that was a meld of two cultures and people who spoke many different languages.   

Downtown Breda and the church where the wedding was located. 

It was so fun!  It was a perfect day and the bride looked beautiful!  Their pictures look like they should be out of a magazine.  Take a look... 

This church was absolutely gorgeous! 

The wedding party


After the wedding we headed out to the clubs - with the bride and groom - how cool is that?! 
We partied with the locals and it was a blast!