It’s a FLOOD!

At this point, I’m waiting for Noah to show up.  And when he does show up, I hope he has room in his arc for me!  The rain here is nuts.  Last week it rained Wednesday-Saturday.  There was no let up at all. In fact, Saturday we got 3.75 inches of rain and there were a lot of flash flood alerts and roads under water.  We have a basement, but we installed a new sump pump last year and that thing worked like a champ fortunately for us!

I was relegated into a gym for most of the week, but that’s fine for me, bad for baby girl.  On Wednesday last week it was pouring when I woke up.  I tried to let Maris out before I went to the gym.  She stepped one paw into the grass and hightailed it back into the house.  I couldn’t get her outside for anything.  So she held it until I got back and it had slowed enough that she could tolerate going outside then.  The next morning, radar looked clear, but unfortunately for us, it wasn’t.  We were a little over 1.5 miles from the house and the rain started.  And it didn’t let up.  I even put my phone in a poo bag (I always carry two with me just in case) and shoved it into my waistband so it would survive (it did).  Maris. Was. Pissed.  She was also filthy, and I had to give her a bath.  As i scrubbed rain water and road grit off her, I was met with this sad, puppy look that said, “Why do you hate me so much.?”  Noted, baby girl.  Momma will try better next time.

What’s crazy is that it’s literally raining every Wednesday.  Today marks at least the 4th Wednesday in a row of rain.  There’s no need to try and think about what day it is when I wake up anymore.  I hear the rain and am now programmed to automatically think: Must be Wednesday.

Our little city is situation on the Ohio River and after all the rain we received and as well as the cities east of us, our river is cresting at the highest number since 1997.  In 1997, our river hit 47.5.’  On Wednesday it will crest at 46.9.’  The 1997 flood is ranked 7th on the list of historic crests dating back into the 1800’s.  This flood will sit in the 8th spot.

However, yesterday, it was a beautiful, beautiful, day in our water-logged city.  There weren’t any clouds, a nice easy breeze, and the high hit the mid-60’s.  It was utter perfection.  I planned on a two-a-day run one night at the beginning of the month to hit my monthly goals (more on that next week), and I was gifted with one miraculous evening to get this run done.

My office is really close to our waterfront and downtown.  Sunday, Chris and I stopped at a few places along the river to look at the flooding, but we didn’t take any pictures.  This run took me a little longer than planned, but I got a lot of pictures to look at this insane flooding.  I lived downtown from 2011-2017 and never saw the river this high.  It was nuts.

This is our beautiful river front.  We have a walking path that stretches nearly 6.5 miles in length (so right under 13 miles if you go out and back).  Our waterfront plaza (in the left upper corner) is a boat launch, and also has bleachers for us to view boat races (and 4th of July Fireworks).  The plaza has also been updated to keep the flood waters at bay since the 1997 flood.

Below are images of water front taken from what would be the entrance and exit of the plaza.

These stairs normally take you from walking path down to the water front.  Not only are a few stairs under water, but all of the bleachers are under water too.


Note sure if you can tell, but this measuring stick shows our river at 47′


At the end of last year, our casino came onto land, but before we had a river boat casino.  The image on the left is what the area by the river boat dock normally looks like.  The image on the right shows how flooded that area is.

Another “before and after” photo.  The small area that’s kind of circular in the bottom left is a patio around the casino grounds.  The photo on the right shows that area is all flooded.

Lastly is this image that shows the walking path and the access road down to the old river boat.  You can see our city is putting up a retaining wall (the metal poles) in even that the river does flood.  However, there’s no wall in front of this road.  I’m not an engineer, but it kind of seems like this isn’t going to work if the wall just stops and the river can go around it.  The flood waters coming up the ramp will totally not be stopped by this retaining wall…


And that’s what happened in my neck of the woods recently! I feel like pretty soon I’m going to have to take up either kayaking or swimming!

How’s the weather been in your area?


Too Busy to Blog, but Still Getting My Run On!

Apologies for my tardiness this week!  My manager, who works out of our NY office, came into town.  It was so nice to actually be able to get in his face when I needed something versus sending pings and emails and waiting!  So without further ado, my week (beginning Monday, February 12-18).

Monday: 5.12 miles slow and steady

Tuesday: 3.13 miles and then 2.0 miles of speed intervals

Wednesday: 4 miles on the track and I felt like Speedy Gonzalez

Thursday: 4.10 miles and then 3.04 miles in the evening – both runs were slow and steady

Friday: 2 miles of speed intervals

Saturday: 3.02 miles for a training run with my Ginger Bestie

Sunday: 3.12 miles where the first 2 miles felt good but the last mile I could not escape the wind

My Chow Hound was ready to go this morning despite her lack of appetite

That’s a total of 29.5 miles this week!

Since last week’s post didn’t get even get finished, let alone posted, I give you the week of February 19-25:

Monday: 8 miles.  This was my first long run since the marathon.  I finished in 1:15:26 for a 9:25 average.  I wanted this to be a little closer to 9:15, but the first 5 miles were ran with Maris and I kept our pace steady and closer to 9:30.  Over the weekend, she had a stomachache and didn’t eat (completely unlike her as she’s a Chow Hound of the Highest Order).  I didn’t plan on taking her with, but after being left at home while I ran two days in a row, she was so excited and pretty much begging to go.  I just couldn’t say no to my Princess, but knew I didn’t want her up for all 8 miles.

Tuesday: 3.30 miles at a steady, fairly easy to manage pace to recover from the day before.

Wednesday: 5 miles of a slow, low HR-rate managing pace.

Thursday: 5.34 miles, similar pace to Wednesday.  My legs began to feel like lead after a half a mile, so I took it easy again.  I’ve really gone pretty hard all month in an effort to get in all my miles and keep my run streak alive.

Friday: 2.00 miles on the treadmill.  I wanted to die!  This basically was the culmination of lead legs.  I tried for 800m intervals, but my body had other ideas.  I did one 800 in under 4 minutes and began to get horrible stomach issues.  The last 1.5 miles were literally finished out of sheer determination and slowness, but they got done.

Saturday: 3.00 miles in 25:27.  I guess my body got the message that I wasn’t going to quit because I was able to get my speed back for an 8:29 pace

Sunday: 3.16 slow miles.  I’m again proud to just get this done.  We went to breakfast at 7 a.m. and there was no way I was getting up at 5 a.m. to run and then shower.  So I suffered a bit for eating a veggie omelet, hashbrowns, and two pancakes, but I kept the streak alive!  Sunday marked 31 days in a row of running!  Woohoo!  Also, Sunday’s miles brought me within 2 miles of my 100 mile goal for February!

A Total of 29.7 miles!

My boss was in town last week, and really pampered us – I mean I completely splurged.  Wednesday night he took us out to fine restaurant and I got to enjoy ahi tuna, swordfish, and crème brûlée for dessert.  Thursday night he took us bowling.  The night before I could justify my diet because everything was good quality, but Thursday night was just bad eating at it’s finest.  We had bowling alley pizza, chips and guacamole, fried pickles, wings, breadsticks, etc.  I was a glutton.  And I think Friday’s run was a culmination of lack of sleep, my running streak hitting 28 days, and BAD nutrition.  But mind over matter prevailed and I got it done.

This week, I’m looking forward to hitting it hard Monday-Wednesday to wrap up my month with a nice, big bow.  I’m on track to hit 200 miles for the year on Wednesday.  Thursday and Friday will definitely be slower days for me – especially since I have a 7k on Saturday.

This 7k was a big-time PR breaker for me last year.  It’s a hilly, hilly, physically and mentally challenging course, and I was shocked and completely in awe of how I did last year.  Last year I broke my course PR by nearly two minutes.  In 2013, I ran this in 41:33 for a 9:34 min/mile pace.  Last year I finished in 39:38 for a 9:07 pace.  Last year’s race felt incredible.  I would love to be able to duplicate and/or beat that this year!

Stress and Streaking!

I’m talking about running streaks!  Get your mind out of the gutter!

I’ve always loved running, but here lately, my desire to run has been less about my love for it and more about the need to zone out and just be.  Stress has definitely been prevalent in my life these past few weeks and running has been my escape.

What an retired gymnast does when the miles are done she has the track to herself!

The holidays are always somewhat stressful because they are so busy, but January and February definitely always win the award of most stressful for me.  This year, part of that is because we’re going to Boston in April.  As an accountant, I’m going to worry about money.  It may be all for nothing (because it usually always is) but until we’ve left for Boston and come home, I’m going to worry about us having saved enough to have a good time and do everything we want.  The other part is that it’s Financial Statement time.  I love putting together Balance Sheets, Income Statements, and I especially adore going cross-eyed while I attempting cash flows (ok, it’s not that bad, but there’s so many that it’s mind-numbing).  And then once the financial statements are approved, there are the individualized investor statements…

Of course, all of this is done after I’ve correctly booked every single cash and accrual for the current quarter (or cleaned stuff up from earlier in the year).

Running has always been my escape, but right now, getting lost in it is like paradise.  True, I’m running in sub-freezing wind chills with two-layers of clothes on instead of relaxing on a beach with an amazing Margarita made with finest anejo tequila and freshly squeezed lime juice, but the end result is the same!

She thinks Savasana is cuddle time.  Ok, really she is just spoiled and knows cuddle time is anytime she wants it!

I have to give a shout-out to one of my IG friends.  We’re both runners who happen to have the same last name.  While it’s not something crazy and unheard of, it’s still a fairly uncommon surname.  So we followed each other, traded comments, then we were messaging each other, and finally became FB friends.  In January she started a group for her runner friends so we could push each other and help each other reach 1,000 miles ran this year.

Honestly, connecting with these people and hearing their running stories has inspired me.  I took my lackluster start to the New Year and stepped it up.  I want to hit 1,000 miles ran for the year.  I want to celebrate with these people.

And then I started my run streak.  My first day, January 26, quickly turned into 7 days as I tried to stay on target to complete 85 miles in January (This is the average daily mileage for the month to stay on task to hit my goal).  Work was picking up, so February 1st, I decided to extend my streak and try to run every day in February.  So far I have been able to do just that, and I feel phenomenal!

Without further ado, I present my week to you!

Monday: yoga in the morning and 2.00 miles on the treadmill to flush my legs

Tuesday: 3.08 miles on the pavement with Maris and 2.00 miles on the treadmill in the evening

Wednesday: 5 miles on the track

Thursday: 4.05 slow miles to keep my HR low.

Friday: 1 mile in the morning and 1 mile in the evening

Saturday: 3.15 mile road race

Sunday: 2 miles in the afternoon (after mimosas and brunch).  This was mentally challenging to start, but I did it!

23.28 miles total!

What a retired gymnast does when she has the work-gym to herself and her two miles are done!

 My mileage was down compared to the previous three weeks, but I’m still on track to hit 100 miles this month.  Also, I’ve successfully ran every day this month, and as of Sunday, that’s a 17-day run streak!  I’m so excited to continue this streak and see where I end up on my running journey!

This is my first running streak too.  I’ve never thought about streaking in the past.  I’ve always been fairly scheduled, running 3-4 days a week and giving myself days off where I either walk at a fast pace or do yoga.  I’ve never thought a run streak would be healthy for my body, but I have to say I feel strong right now.  My hip is still a work-in-progress (I finally got back to the chiro last night), but I’m doing what I can – pushing it when I need too and taking it easy when my body calls for it.  I feel like at this moment, I’m doing what’s right for my body.

Not that I haven’t done this before, but I think that during a streak or heavy mileage, it’s even more important to listen to your body and let it guide you with what it’s capable of.  Anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

What’s your longest streak?  If you did it for a month (or longer) what were your keys to staying healthy and not burning out?

Finished the Month like a Beast!

I thought about doing a January recap, but I think I’ve been pretty thorough talking about my mileage the past two weeks that I will settle for this short blurb and 2017 comparison instead:

January 1-7: 8.15 miles

January 8-14: 14.12 miles

January 15-21: 23 miles

January 22-28: 27.48 miles

January 29-February 4: 28 miles

To close out January, I hit 85.98 miles for the month and totaled 136.66 miles in total.

I walk on the days I don’t run.  Even when I do run, Maris and I still walk at least 2 miles during the course of the day.

Last year I hit 157.28 miles, but my running numbers were way down, less than half of what they were this year.  So while my overall miles were down, the miles I logged were definitely a little bit better quality.

And I even got to finish the month with a little beer yoga!  Just what the doctor ordered after six straight days of running.

No beer was harmed in the taking of this photo

This past week was really pretty great for me too!

Monday: 3.12 miles

Tuesday: 6.05 miles (4.05 miles in the am and 2 miles in the treadmill in the pm)

Wednesday: 4.08 miles

Thursday: 5.01 slow miles

Friday: 1.03 miles

Saturday: 3.71 miles

Sunday 5.01 miles slow miles

Sunday marked my 10th day in a row of running!  I’ve never thought about doing a run streak, but the at the end of the month, running became my savior even more than normal, so I wanted to continue my run streak.  I had a race on Saturday – I normally give myself the day before off to rest my legs – but I wasn’t about to end my streak, so I opted for a one mile run instead! Hey, every mile counts!

Obligatory pre-race photo.  Yes, we are in the car!

The race this Saturday was the Super 6k in honor of the Super Bowl (and touchdowns actually equally six points for the football challenged).

The race started at a local park and then after a half mile, we find ourselves on a paved running path.  It’s a simple out and back.  Only, it’s anything but simple.  The path out is so much easier than path back.  I feel like it’s just this horribly, slow-moving incline on the way back.  You get a few downhills, but they aren’t really anything to help ease your energy output.  We have a lot of races at this park because the local race directors don’t have to pay for police, but it never seems to get any easier for me running this course.

Honestly, I’d rather have big, looming hills.  Even if the hills are big enough that I run halfway or three-quarters of the way up, I at least get a huge bonus on the downhill and can conserve energy like a mofo!  Oh well.  I know that I need to suck it up as I’ll probably run close to 10 races on this course this year (no exaggeration, I’ve already ran 2 courses this year alone on this course).  Here’s hoping it gets easier for me as the year progresses!

While I have plenty of work I want to do for my pace, I think my “RACE FACE” needs more help!

Anyway, the race was at 2 p.m. and it was a windy day.  The temperature was above freezing, but it just like there was a mist in the air that made the day feel even cooler coupled with the windchill.  We pre-raced in the car.  We post-raced with margaritas which was the best part of the race!  Sorry, but I was too busy slurping to take a pic!

Since it was my first 6k, I set a PR.  I don’t seem to be at the place I was at in October from a speed-perspective, but I do believe I’m hands-down much faster than I was a year ago.

This weekend will be a test with the race we are registered for.  This weekend is the Hearts on Fire 5k.  It’s hilly and fun.  I’ve ran this race every year since its inception in 2010 with the exception of one year.  Last year’s race became my PR as I finished in 28:22 for a 9:03 min/mile average.  My mile times were 8:49, 9:11, and 9:12.  My second mile should be the slowest because right before you finish the second mile you climb a huge, steep, hill.  I’ve never ran this hill in its entirety.  I always run halfway up and then walk, to conserve my energy as the rest of the race is fairly flat from this point to the finish.

But that’ll be a blog for a next week!

In closing, while my speed isn’t where it was at the end of 5k season last year, I’m still happy with my progress right now.  My first four days of February got off to a great start, and I’m ready to tackle this month with a running streak!  Woohoo!

What are your February goals?  Any cool February races you plan on attending?

Track Annoyances

The rules of the track are very simple.  Runners stay to the inside and walkers keep to the outside.  Look for a “Legend” to know the track direction (this also tells you how many laps equals one mile).  Basically, run or walk the same direction as everyone with slower traffic on the outside.  Sounds easy, right?

The track…it looks so easy…and yet…isn’t!


Oh, so very wrong!

First, the most annoying thing about the track:  At my gym, the back half of the track circles all of the cardio equipment.  While people have plenty of room to maneuver around the equipment without getting on the track, they frequently do get on the track and in the way of the walkers or runners.  When 14 laps equals one mile, please don’t tell me that you didn’t see me dizzying myself from the monotony of the circles for my workout.

Second: Direction, direction, direction!  While this one happens once in awhile, it does still happen.  When you walk up to the track and see about 4 people walking and maybe 1-2 people running and we’re all walking THE EXACT SAME WAY, then take a clue!  I can understand if you’re illiterate and don’t know the ways of the track, but you have to be a complete fool to run against the grain.

Why is this so difficult?!

Third: Don’t screw off!  Sunday over a week ago, I was on the track and Chris was on the treadmill.  Some little imbeciles (ok, they were at least college-age) decided it would be cool if they tried to walk around the track with the heavy, cinder block weights.  Each lap is 0.07 of a mile or 377 feet.  This is way longer than you imagine and the cinder blocks are heavier than you can imagine if you’re just in the gym to pass the time/look cool.  Honestly, I’m still not sure why these knuckleheads were in the gym as their workouts didn’t seem to have any rhyme or reason other than to get in the way of others and annoy all of us.

Basically these idiots couldn’t even get 100 ft into the lap before dropping the cinder blocks.  They dropped the blocks in the area that is overlooking the weights, and they had no choice to but to move forward at least another 100 ft to clear the track of the weights.  Since they couldn’t carry two blocks at a time, they moved forward one block at a time, still clearly struggling with that.  Pretty sure I ran ½ a mile before these goons got the blocks off the track and got out my way.

Fourth:  Walkers stay to the outside.  Again, you think this would be easy, but it’s not!  For the most part, those who are regulars walking the track get this concept – although there’s the “Minivan Soccer Mom” types who walk side by and forget that the track isn’t exactly a road.  Then there’s the people who randomly come upstairs to walk a lap or two after lifting weights or after a hard workout on the cardio equipment and are surprised when I pass them by.  Please look before you step onto the track, and if someone is running, please move to the outside.

Because heaven forbid people stay in their lanes!!!

Fifth:  The person dogging my steps.  Anger Train kicked into high gear on Saturday!  I was in the middle of finishing my last mile when a new person joined our little group on the track.  There was Speedy Gazelle Guy who literally looked like a gazelle and easily lapped me several times.  There were also couple of walkers intermittently spread out but doing a great job at staying on the outside.  I was doing my easy run and trying to keep my HR low so my pace was around an 11 min/mile.  This person started running as I passed by the her at the stairs up to the track.  She pretty much started running and caught up to me.  But she didn’t pass me.  She was on my heels for over half of a lap.  I really wanted her to just pass me, but she didn’t.  And after a full lap, my brain some “Screw it,” and I kicked it into high gear to finish the rest of my laps, 5, without giving a damn if I ruined my low-HR run!

Last week was so nice because the weather was not unbearable and Maris and were able to enjoy.  But tomorrow, is a track day for speed work.  Wish me luck!

Also, did I miss anything?  Something else annoy you on the track that I’ve yet to come up against? Probably a rage-running redhead lapping sounding like she’s about to die?!

Studying Up on that HR!

Finally, an amazing week of running!  I hate how slow this month started out for me.  I was sick the first week, it was brutally cold the second week, and at the end of the second week, snow came.  We normally receive at least one decent snow with a couple of 1-2 inch accumulations mixed in for the winter.  This snow was bad because the day before it was above freezing and raining.  As the sun went down, our highs in the 40’s dipped down to the teens, and the rain changed to freezing ice and then finally changed to snow.  Supposedly our city spent over $14,000 plowing the streets, but school was closed on Friday, January 12th and the kids didn’t go back until Monday January, 22nd.  The efficiency of the government!

This was Friday morning before the snow but during the ice.  We went for a 2-mile walk which allowed me to look at the roads and decide I was definitely working from home that day!  I don’t mind snow, but ice is nothing to mess around with! 

Long story short, finding my groove definitely took some time.

So this has how my month has looked:

January  1-7 – 8.15 miles

January  8-14 – 14.11 miles

January 15-23 – 23 miles

January 22-28 – 27.48 miles

This week I really hit my stride!  Monday I couldn’t get my big butt out of bed (which is now a thing for me since the beginning of the year), but it was a much deserved day off as I ran a total of 5 days last week, including even some 2-mile evening runs just because I needed to burn the stress of the day off (it’s financial statement season, BLAH!).

My goal this year is to run 1,000 miles, a goal I haven’t ever accomplished in all my years of running (mainly due to inconsistency), and I need to stay as on track as possible.  It would seriously suck if it was December and had to log something like 200 mile to get there.

Broken down, 1000 miles in a year equals 2.74 miles daily

So at the end of January, I would need to be at 84.93 miles to maintain my average daily mileage for the month.  I’m so close to this right now, I can taste it!  This speaks a lot to how much I’ve buckled down and got out there.  Come hell or high water (or snow), I’m out there (well, sometimes I’m at a gym…), but the point is, I’m getting it done!

Maris needed new winter wear!  Her coat still fits, but she was ‘Hulking’ out of her red fleece and her boots were wearing though.

During marathon training, I was pretty regimented with my running schedule.  I like to run Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, and I’ve tried to keep this schedule since training ended (obviously, my distance isn’t where it was).  However, with the weather, it’s not as easy to keep this schedule, so my running days are whenever I feel like.

Goodness, have I felt like it!  It’s almost freeing to just get up and decide if I should run that very morning!  Right now I’m keeping my morning distance at four miles, but I’m adding in some 2-mile evenings and on Sunday I even tackled my first “long run” since the marathon.  I got in a total of 8 miles.  While these miles weren’t consistent – I did 5 miles with Maris and then took Chris to the gym and finished my last 3 – I’m just glad to put eight complete miles on my legs in one day.

I also have to give a shout-out to Chris right now too.  We are going to Boston to watch my freaky-fast friend run the Boston Marathon, but we also got our acceptance to the Boston Marathon 5k on the Saturday before.  Chris really wants to PR, so he’s getting back into the habit of running.  This makes me so happy because our favorite activity is Saturday races and then brunch!

Training has begun for this crazy couple!

Another thing I want to credit with not feeling “tired” are my workouts.  This past December I upgraded my Garmin to the Vivoactive 3 that features a HR monitor in the wrist.  I’ve never used HR in the past, but did some light reading on it.  Typically my HR is around 165 bpm for my normal runs.  This completely freaked me out.  If you use the typical HR models of (220 – your age = max HR) a HR of 165, is basically running at 90% of my max HR.  My mom, a former aerobics instructor, went into crazy mode over this because your HR typically isn’t supposed to be that high for the 30-50 minutes I’m out running.

I knew I was fine because I wasn’t running any differently, so I checked out Google and talked to some of my running/fitness friends who pointed me in the right direction in my quest for more worthless knowledge.

Based on the website, I have a HR reserve of 129.  My range for fat burning is between 119.5 (50%) – 151.75 (75%) bpm.  Staying in this range will burn fat the most efficiently.  The next range, Aerobic Training, improves aerobic endurance.  My HR for this range falls between 151.75 (75%) and 164.65 (85%) bpm.  The Aerobic-Anaerobic Threshold is used for exercise to improve athletic performance and HR is 165.64 (85%) – 171.1 (90%).  The Anaerobic training range is 90% – 100% bpm, and is generally all-out. For me, this range is 171.1 – 184 bpm.

The more I know!

Based on my data from work outs, I can probably still do some tinkering as I have pushed my HR over 184 in some of my work outs, but overall, this gives me a much better idea of where I’m at.  I could spend money and actually have this checked out by a medical professional, but that just seems tiring!

So if those are my ranges, let’s see where my running falls into range!

Last week, I ran 3.12 miles in 27:06 for an 8:41 pace and my average HR was 166.  Since this was a shorter run, I’d expect my HR to be in the Aerobic/Anaerobic Threshold.  However, on Sunday when I ran my first 5 miles of my 8 mile run, I finished in 45:39 for a 9:08 min/mile pace and my average HR was at 157 which fits in nicely into improve aerobic endurance range.

Another thing I’ve tried to do is have 1-2 runs of 4-5 miles where I’m running slowly, as in trying to keep my average pace in the fat burning zone of 50-75%.  I read another article about how adding a slow run into your repertoire with a low HR will help you conserve energy for long runs and speed work (which I still need to start).

Today I ran 4 miles in 43:45 for an average of a 10:57 min/mile.  The first two times I ran like this, I was so much more sore than normal.  Apparently at a slower pace, I use different muscles in my quads and my calves more.  It’s a little tedious always checking my Garmin for my HR, but you can order devices that will update you every minute in yours headphones.  I try to check my Garmin about every 0.2-0.25 miles.  When I see my HR is at or above 160, I walk for one minute and find my HR will dip into the 145-148 range, and then I start running again.  I was able to keep slowing my pace (I feel like a plodding along little turtle, but slow and steady wins the race) until around 2 miles when I had to take my first walking break.

For me, there might be something to running slow!  I put off my long run until Sunday, and still felt comfortable running the 8 miles.  My last 3 miles on the track were even run around an 8:45 minute pace (I forgot to record the last mile on my Garmin because I’m a fail).  I’m also a pretty competitive individual and want to see improvement or at least consistency in my work.  I know there will be good and bad days, but I hate seeing a run of five miles or less have an average pace over a 9 min/mile.  I feel like that’s the old Erin who wasn’t consistent and needed to tweak her diet. I’m not her anymore – I’m Erin 2.0 – even if being Erin 2.0 stresses me out sometimes.  With this new tip, instead of feeling the stress of running under 9 every time, I can take my time and know that this might be more beneficial to me in the long run (har har har).

Today was a perfect example of taking my time.  I started out a little fatigued.  Since this is the fifth day in a row that I’ve ran this shouldn’t have surprised me.  Anyway, after ¼ of a mile trying to motivate myself to get under my magic number of 9, I decided to stop fighting and make this run about slow and easy.  As I still plan on running 2 miles tonight and at least 3 tomorrow to my keep my monthly average miles on pace, my body needed the break!

In closing, I realize this got a little wordier and definitely nerdier than some of my blogs.  In my defense, I’m an accountant and numbers and data really intrigue me.  If you’re mathematically disinclined, but still think HR stuff might be fun to know, drop me a comment and I’d be happy to help you work out your training zones!

Happy running!

Getting Out of a Rut

Day One Run
Aubrey & I after the Day One Run 5k.  Coldest race I’ve ever ran!

This year has not gotten off to a good start, but not for my lack of trying.  On New Year’s Day, I participated in our Day One Run in town.  It was bitterly cold, but I layered up and participated.  The race organizers recognized the coldness (I’m sure they felt worse than we did since we were running), and started the race about 5 minutes early since everyone had picked up their bibs.  Thank you for this!  While not my worst 5k, definitely not my best.  The last mile was brutal.  My fingers hurt from being cold despite my two layers of gloves.  Instead of being loose in arms and hands, I was flexing and making fists with my hands trying to get warmth back in them.  I lost a lot of steam the last mile warming up my frozen digits.  But I finished and then went home to enjoy football, a Bloody Mary and an omelet before switching over to beer and pizza.  Note: We don’t party on New Year’s Eve, but we go all out on New Year’s Day.


And then I woke up sick.  My throat was killing me and my nose was a leaky mess.  At the end of the week I felt better, but not well enough to run the 5k that Saturday, Resolution Run.  It was once again sub-zero temps, and I didn’t want to ruin the progress I had made getting over my sinus infection.

Not only was I sick, but I’m pretty sure I got frostnip in the thumb of right hand.  No clue why just one finger and not the others.  Frostnip is not permanently damaging like frostbite, but is one of the first warning signs that you need to get warmed up!  The Mayo Clinic describes frostnip as an irritation causing redness and a cold feeling followed by numbness.  My thumb was numb and tingly feeling for three days.  I noticed the sensation dissipated a little bit every day until Friday when it was finally gone.  I’ve always loved winter running, but after spending not even a total of 35 minutes outside in that that cold of temperatures, I realized I had to limit my exposure to extreme-cold.  Like I said, I had on two pairs of gloves and this still happened.

Day One Run Temp
Temperature on New Year’s Day for the 5k.  I’m not kidding about these subzero wind chills!

The next week carried over more of the same sub-zero temps and then finally brought ice and snow at the end of the week.  I managed 14 miles last week (which was a lot better than the 8 miles I got in the first week but still a far cry from the weekly miles I put in training for the marathon).

This week, I decided it was no longer time for excuses and hauled my rear to the gym.  I love running outside.  Outside, time seems to pass by quicker and the passing scenery doesn’t even begin to trigger my boredom.  Plus, I like to keep my princess happy and healthy by taking her with me.  I feel guilty when I go to the gym, and she has to stay cooped up in the house.  But given the ice and snow from Friday last week followed by more snow on Monday and temperatures which haven’t yet gone above freezing mean our streets and sidewalks are still a slick and slippery mess.  I’d rather give Maris a week off and go to the gym, then give her 4-6 weeks off because Mom fell and broke something.  Just because I was able to flip on a 4-inch wide balance beam doesn’t mean I was ever graceful!

treadmill minute (2)
Not my first choice but better than…

And go to the gym I have this week.  I’m so glad our gym has a track.  I’m not glad that 14 laps equals one mile, but if that’s the worst of it, I can make due.  To break up the monotony of the laps, I do 2 miles on the track, one mile on a treadmill, and then my fourth mile back on the track.

I feel like I run well on the track.  Being an accountant, I’m all about numbers, and I can keep myself busy looking at my splits.  So if I want to run an 8-minute mile, I know I need to run my 14 laps at 34 seconds a lap.  I use my stop watch app on my phone and keep track of my splits to know if I need to gas it or keep pace.  I run anywhere from an 8 min/mile (7.5 mph) to an 8:30 min/mile (7 mph).  Then I get on the treadmill and I can’t hold a pace to save my life!


Honestly, I am the world’s worst treadmill runner.  To start, I have to mess with my pace every minute.  Even running a simple 9:13 min/mile (6.5 mph) pace for one mile tests the limits of my attention span.  Boredom sets in 2 minutes into the run and by minute 3, I’m winded and feel like I’m dying.  The struggle of the treadmill is very real with me.

I don’t have ADD, but when I’m on a treadmill, I feel every person’s pain that’s ever been diagnosed with ADD.  To combat brain drain, I do 4 one-minute intervals.  I start at 6.7 mph, bump to 7.2 mph, then 7.7 mph, and then recover at 6 mph.  So I kind of turn it into a speed workout, starting slower and bumping it up to a number that’s slightly uncomfortable for me to hold for more than 1 minute.  This helps me tremendously get through my one or two miles that I relegate to the treadmill.  Obviously I do start to count the seconds running at 7.7 mph (this is a much higher speed than I’m used to), but I get it done.

treadmill minute (1)

How has the weather been in your area?  What do you do when the wind-chill dips below zero?  Does anyone else have the same treadmill issues as me?!