Monday, November 30, 2009

Back to Reality

Training Log
Distance: 2.29
Time: 20:26
Pace: 8:56 per mile

This morning's run was cold, rainy and windy. But, it felt good to get a short run in before they day started. I had 2 and a half days off of work last week, so it was kind of tough to get back into the swing of things this morning. It is hard to believe that in only three weeks we will be heading home for Christmas!

I'm looking forward to a cold (but clear!) 3 mile run in the morning!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Lazy Sunday

Training Log
Distance: 3.05
Time: 28:08
Pace: 9:13 per mile

Today's run was slow and steady, but one of those runs where you feel like you could run forever. I hope I have a lot of runs like that in my training, because at the end of the April I know when I'm at mile 20 of 26.2, the 6.2 remaining miles will feel like forever.

I've decided to stop posting my food log here. It has served its purpose, and I now know the usefulness of keeping a food log. I will continue to keep a log, but I just won't post it here. Plus, it will probably get embarrassing as the holidays approach and cookies, brownies, cakes, pies, etc. are flowing in abundance. I will still maintain self-control, but I want to enjoy the time with family and friends and share in the treats that are only available once a year.

Chad and I saw The Blindside this afternoon. It was a really good movie, pretty funny actually, but it wasn't the tearjerker I imagined it to be. I teared up more in one of the previews with Brendan Fraser than I did during the whole movie! But, I give it two thumbs up and do recommend it.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


Training Log
Distance: 2.29 miles
Time: 20:28
Pace: 8:56 per mile

Food Log
Breakfast: oatmeal with peanut butter and banana; coffee
Snack: small bowl of Golden Grahams
Lunch: double cheeseburger, small Diet Coke
Dinner: 1 piece grilled chicken, green beans, mashed potatoes
Dessert: 3 cookies

This morning was a cold run - 30 degrees outside with a 24 degrees wind chill! I had to break out the gloves and running tights for this one. It felt good to get back outside and to get back to running. I had so much energy after running this morning...I've missed the endorphin boost!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Hangover

Training Log
(...chest pain has improved, so I will run 2 miles tomorrow morning!)

Food Log
Breakfast: bagel with cream cheese; milk
Snack: grande non-fat latte; slice of pumpkin bread
Lunch: Taco Bell fresco bean burrito; order of nachos; cheesy gordita crunch
Dinner: hot sandwich on ciabatta: cream cheese, pesto, turkey, and tomato; Harvest Cheddar Sun Chips; unsweet iced tea

I woke up this morning still full from yesterday's afternoon meal. It has been a pretty relaxing day. I went to a few stores this morning, but tired quickly of the insane crowds and even more insane lines. I saw a girl in the mall with a crossbow on her shoulder, and that's when I knew it was time to leave.

I had Taco Bell for lunch, which was perfect food for the day after Thanksgiving. It was a nice day - cold, but sunny - so I took Emma out to the dog park to let her burn off some energy. Once we got back from the park, I read the latest issue of Better Homes and Gardens (which always makes me feel terribly inadequate) and got all of my Christmas lists together. I can't believe that in only three weeks we will be headed south for Christmas!
Trying to get all of my Christmas stuff organized

Thanksgiving Pictures pt. 1

The Turkey Whisperer
(women and children love him, turkeys fear him)

Emma says "can I have a piece, Dad?"

Thanksgiving breakfast should be chosen carefully
(oatmeal with peanut butter & banana)

The Raborn family getting the party started

Azzie is loving the appetizers

Thanksgiving Pictures pt. 2

Mingling before lunch

Carving the turkey

Getting ready to bless the meal

Some of the spread

The table

Thanksgiving Pictures pt. 3

Sarah and me, cardigan buddies

Alan, Rob, Chad and Ryan watching football


Autumn, with Lucy and a tired baby Trey

Trevor, Rob, Chad and Ryan

Me and Chad, happy to have spent such a wonderful time with friends!

Thanksgiving Pictures pt. 4

Rob and Harper

Charley, Kat and Harper

Align CenterAthan walking with Charley (praise God!)
(see for more info on Athan)

The Strebecks - Ryan, Amberly and Athan

The 4th Strebeck - Morgan, chowing down on some chocolate mousse

Jake and Chad

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Training Log
Rest (as rx'd)

Food Log

Breakfast: oatmeal with peanut butter, banana; coffee
Lunch: Thanksgiving meal...items to numerous to name!
Dinner: none - still too full from lunch

The things I am thankful for are too numerous to name, but I want to list some things that I am thankful for here (in no particular order):

My family
My mom & dad
My sisters Megan and Michelle
My niece Brittany
My grandparents Boss, Darling, and Mimi
My cousins Emily, Amy, Jason, Sara, Michael, Spencer, and Madison
My aunts Judy, Debbie, and Genie
My uncles Todd and Eddie

My husband Chad

Chad's family
My mother-in-law Suzy and father-in-law David
My sister-in-law Payton and her husband Jay
Chad's grandmother Mae

All of our wonderful friends

My precious dog Emma

My salvation

An able mind & body

A great job that I love

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Training Log
Rest (as rx'd)

Food Log
Breakfast: 1 chocolate iced donut, banana, coffee
Lunch: Campbell's Health Select tequila lime chicken & rice soup, 1/2 cheese quesadilla
Snack: small chocolate chip cookie dough Blizzard
Dinner: grilled chicken "zalad" from Zaxby's with ranch, unsweet iced tea
Dessert: 2 "mint-swirled" chocolate chip Tollhouse cookies

Today at noon, my Thanksgiving break officially began. I'm off this afternoon, tomorrow and Friday. While I am really sad that we are away from both of our families this year, I am excited that we will get to share Thanksgiving dinner and spend the afternoon with our friends.

Chad is smoking a turkey and two "boston butts" for the meal. Next to Jesus, me, his family and Emma, the man loves barbecue. I will be making my Paula Deen inspired twice-baked potato casserole, and a peanut butter pie.

I'll hopefully have a post up tomorrow or Friday with pictures from our Thanksgiving celebration!
post tomorrow evening with pictures

Nike+ Product Reviews

This fall, I purchased two Nike+ running products. In my fall training, I have been able to go farther and faster than I once thought possible during my weekly base training runs. I think it is largely in part to these two products below.

I'm not being paid or compensated in any way, I just wanted to put out this review of the great running products I've been using this fall!

Nike Lunarglide+
I first read about the Lunarglides in the Runner's World fall 2009 shoe guide. Runner's World seemed to be pretty keen on them, and I saw ads with Kara Goucher and Serena Williams sporting them. I've actually never been a big fan of Nike running shoes in the past, but I knew that I wanted to get a Nike+ SportBand, and to make it work you pretty much have to have Nike+ shoes. So, the starts aligned and all signs seemed to point to the Lunarglides for me. I went to my local running store in late August, but they didn't have the Lunarglides. I also wanted to check out the Lunaracers, but they only had the men's version. I was pretty disappointed with their selection, so I went back across town to Dick's Sporting Goods. They had the Lunarglides in stock and in my size, so after trying them on and walking around a little bit, I decided they were the shoes for me and headed to the cash register.

The first thing I noticed about the Lunarglides is how light they are. I've been wearing Mizuno Wave Creations for the past few years and they weigh about 13oz. The Wave Creations are great stability shoes and they've gotten me through several miles, but it was just time to upgrade to a lighter shoe. Every thing about the shoe seems minimilistic, but they still provide a ton of support and cushioning. One thing I always take into account when buying shoes is how they will work with my high arches. The Lunarglides work just fine - providing plenty of support for my arches.

I've really only experienced two negative things with the shoes. One, I have gotten blisters on the inside of my foot, just down from my big toe. But, I only get these blisters (or aggrivate the existing blisters) when I am wearing my really thin Under Armour socks. As long as I wear a thicker sock, blisters aren't an issue.

The other downside is that the standard laces they come with do not stay tied. I could easily upgrade the laces, but for now I've just been double knotting the laces to ensure that they don't come untied during a run. I hate stopping to tie my shoe during the middle of a run! But, the double knotting has worked so far.

Overall, I give the Lunarglides a 4.5 out of 5 stars!
(I am just making this rating system up - taking mainly comfort and durability into account.)

Nike+ SportBand

My interest was piqued in the SportBand when I found out that it is only $60. I bought my SportBand from Dick's Sporting Goods, as well. The SportBand is fairly basic, in that it only caclulates four things: distance, pace, time, and calories. When not being used to track run stats, it functions as a digital watch.

There are several "pros" to the SportBand:
  • Much cheaper than a Garmin or Suunto watch
  • Slim, lightweight and comfortable design
  • Has helped me with my training immensely
  • Allows me to go "off-route" - I don't have to plan out specific routes before a run, and I can make spur of the moment variations on my standard routes while tracking my mileage as I go
  • If I choose to deviate from one of my standard routes, I can go for mileage now, not just time
  • Tracks mileage more accurately than a car or
  • Holds a pretty good battery charge - I usually can go 5 days or so before I have to charge it
  • The SportBand has really helped me with my training, having my "stats" so easily accessible pushes me farther and faster in my training
But there are also some "cons":
  • No back lighting, so if you run in the dark, you have to be under a street light to check stats
  • The NikePlus software and the Nike+ website are fairly unreliable and clunky
  • The SportBand can only can be used with Nike+ shoes (unless you alter other shoes)
  • Can only be used for running
I think the pros definitely outweigh the cons, as it is a $60 watch. For $60, I feel like it is pretty sophisticated. I could complain about it not being able to track swimming or biking, but let's be is a $60 watch. There are reasons that the Garmins and Suuntos are in the $300 to $400 range. I don't need all of that stuff, so the SportBand is a great item for me. It provides a lot more info than a plain digital watch can, and for not that much more money.

Overall, I give the SportBand 4 out of 5 stars!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Training Log
Rest day, as rx'd

Food Log
Breakfast: oatmeal with peanut butter, raisins, dry roasted peanuts
Lunch: Pizza Hut buffet...4 pieces of pizza, 4 cinnamon sticks, salad w/ tomatoes and mushrooms, unsweet iced tea (apparently resting makes you hungry)
Dinner: grilled steak, cous cous, salad, 1 piece Texas toast, 2% chocolate milk
Dessert: 1 serving cappuccino chip frozen yogurt

I got my hair cut last night, and I learned all about the benefits of conditioner. My hair is super thin and straight as a board, and every time I've used conditioner in the past it just makes my hair that much more limp. However, my eyes have now been opened to the benefits of conditioner. Apparently, when you use shampoo, your hair follicles open up so that the shampoo can clean out all of the accumulated gunk. If you don't use conditioner, those follicles stay open and get damaged and accumulate even more gunk. But, if you use conditioner, the follicles close and are prepared for any impending straightening or onslaught of products.

The girl who cut my hair said that I was pretty much killing my hair by only using shampoo, and then straightening it everyday. My hair has enough trouble on its own - I certainly don't want to add to its demise. So, the first item on my grocery list is now conditioner. I''ll use Chad's shampoo/conditioner combo until I can get my own!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mystery Diagnosis: Solved

Training Log
Scheduled rest day

Food Log
Breakfast: oatmeal with peanut butter & banana
Snack: banana
Lunch: turkey and cheddar Lunchables, 20oz Diet Coke
Dinner: grilled chicken "zalad" from Zaxbys, milk

This morning, my chest pain was still with me. I thought it would go away over the weekend with Pepcid AC and a non-inflammatory diet, but alas, it actually only got worse over the weekend. When I woke up yesterday, the pain was the worse it had been in the 5 days. So I decided to go to the doctor to get a diagnosis. Even if it was just heartburn, I wanted to have the peace of mind that any other more serious afflictions had been ruled out.

So, I went to the doctor and he diagnosed me with chest wall inflammation, or chest wall pain. He said that it could be caused by a sudden increase in activity, or a blow to the chest. While I haven't received any hard blows to the chest lately, I have ramped up my running mileage and swimming time in the past few weeks. The doctor said that could be enough to do it. And, over the weekend I followed my running schedule like normal, getting a 5k PR on Saturday and running a little under 8 miles on Sunday. Under the guise that I was suffering from heart burn, I didn't want to alter my daily schedule. But, since it was actually chest wall pain - sticking to my running schedule was the one thing from day to day that was actually making it worse.

So, I'm really glad to know it is nothing serious like a blood clot or anything. I left with a prescription for an anti-inflammatory and to rest from running and swimming for a few days. The rest part kind of sucks, because I was really getting into a good groove with my running and my mileage. My plan is to take this week off, and then get in 2 miles on Friday or Saturday and then go from there, slowly building the mileage back up.

And yes, I did have a Lunachables for lunch today.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Training Log
Distance: 7.6 miles
Time: 1 hour, 8 minutes
Average pace: 8:56 per mile

Food Log
Pre-run: whole wheat toast with peanut butter, Gatorade/water mix
Breakfast/Brunch: McDonalds hot cakes (3), sausage patty, hash browns (2), 8oz. 2% milk
Snack: tall nonfat latte
Dinner: spaghetti with whole wheat toast

This morning we got together with several of our friends for breakfast at McDonald's. Our friends Adam and Dru, and son Israel, were in town this weekend for a wedding shower, and we were lucky to get to see them and spend time with them last night and this morning. Adam and Dru are one of the first couples we became friends with when we moved to Kentucky 3 years ago. They moved to Missouri this summer, so it was great to get to see them again this weekend.

I'd like to give a shout out to Rob for organizing the breakfast - it was a really great idea!

Here are some pictures from the morning-

(from l-r) Adam, Amberly, Morgan, Athan, Ryan and Jake

Rob, Adam, Kat

(from l-r) Rob's head, me, Dru with Israel, Athan, Ryan, Jake

Dru and Kat, with baby Harper
(such Scandinavian features in this picture!)

Morgan and Harper

The gals: Dru, Me, Amberly, Morgan, Kat & Harper

The guys: Rob, Athan, Ryan, Jake, Adam, Israel, Chad

Turkey Strut 5k pictures

Here are some pictures from the Turkey Strut 5K -

I am making a ghastly face here, but I was trying to tell Chad and Sarah
that the guy in the blue Titleist hat (#6038) is the Mayor!
I must really enunciate my "m"s!

This was about the 4k mark...almost done!
And, I really need to do something about my heel strikes.

Coming down the finisher's chute, glad to have PR'd, yet trying not to puke.

My #1 fan Chad

Coming back to the table after accepting my AG award - a little turkey trophy!

Celebratory breakfast - blueberry bagel with cream cheese!

and a steaming mug of hot chocolate!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Turkey Strut 5k race report

Training Log
Distance: 3.16 miles
Time: 24:29 (a 25 second PR!)
Average Pace: 7:44/minute

Food Log
Pre-run: bowl of Golden Grahams with a banana, small cup of coffee, water
Post-run: a clementine orange, blueberry bagel with cream cheese, hot chocolate
Lunch: 6 in turkey on wheat with american cheese, tomato, pickle, black olive, 1 snickerdoodle cookie, 1 bag cheetos, 20 oz. cherry Coke
Dinner: hamburger with cheese, tomato, chips & dip, corn, brownie with vanilla ice cream

The Turkey Strut 5k this morning was a great race for me. It is probably the last 5k I'll do this fall/winter, so it was nice to end the fall "racing" season on a good note!

At 8:00am, I drove to the registration area to pick up my shirt and number. I was pleasantly surprised with the shirt - it is a gray long sleeve number, with a simple design on the front (a turkey running) and it fits really well. I have a ton of race shirts, but very few fall into the category of cool design + good fit. After picking that up, I drove back home and did some last minute bathroom things, changed into my running stuff and then ran back to the site for a warm-up before the race. The route I normally take to the City/County park takes me 2 miles, but on my run I found a shortcut that took only a little over 1 mile, so that was a pretty good warm-up.

The weather was absolutely perfect - it was a clear and sunny day, with no wind, and it was somewhere in the low 40's when the race began. Chad and my friend Sarah and her baby Cora came out to cheer me on, which was so fun! We decided not to bring Emma at the last minute, because the ground was covered in dew, and since she is so low to the ground, we were afraid she would get wet and freeze out in the low temperatures. To make it up to her, I took her for a long walk at the park once we got home!

It is hard to say how many people were at the race, but I would say somewhere between 50-60, so it was a pretty small race. The course is hilly, but surprisingly fast. At the start, you run out of the park area and take an immediate downhill into a neighborhood. The course then takes you around and back through the neighborhood, combining a series of uphills and downhills. My strength definitley comes going up hills - I love going up hills! I put my head down, increase my leg turnover and really churn up them. But, I really need to work on my downhills, because I just haven't figured out how to best use them to my advantage. I have long legs, so I should be able to glide down them, but I haven't quite figured out how to do that yet.

From the beginning, I could tell that I was the 5th woman overall. My goal was to pass two of them, to get 3rd. There was a lady right behind me almost the entire race, and she really pushed me to go faster. I know I would not have set a PR if she hadn't been breathing down my neck! Eventually, we both passed two girls who dropped back to walk. But then the lady behind me passed me, so she was in 3rd and I was in 4th. This was around the 3k mark and I was really running out of steam. My goal at that point was to not let any one else pass me, and try as hard as I could to pass her in the final stretch.

I never did pass her, so I came in as 4th woman overall. It sucked to be so close to getting in the top 3, but I was still very proud of my PR and my overall placement! I was able to get 1st in my age group as well. After the race, I thanked the lady for pushing me so hard - I told her I got a 25 second PR because of her! She told me that I was really pushing her, too and she didn't think she would be able to pass me. That made me feel good that it worked out that way - we were both able to push each other to do better than we thought we each could do.

Running 5 days per week has really helped. I know I would have been slower in this race had it not been for my recent weeks of training. This race also solidified my decision to really start incorporating speed work into my training. I know it will make the difference for me in these smaller races, and will help with my overall marathon training.

I have some good pictures from the race that I'll put up in my next post!

Friday, November 20, 2009


Training Log
Rest day

Food Log
Breakfast: oatmeal with banana, peanut butter; water
Lunch: Thanksgiving lunch at work (items too numerous to name)
Snack: brownie
Dinner: "Turkey Combo" from Chilis: half turkey sandwich, with baked potato soup, chips and salsa, a few fries, iced tea, split a "molten lava cake" with Chad

I took a rest day this morning. I was supposed to run 3 miles, and I wanted to run 3 miles, but I felt it best to rest my legs, as they've been pretty sore the past few days. I have a 5k race in the morning that I am hoping to PR in, so I figured the extra rest might help. I'm planning to run 3 on Monday morning, my usual rest day for the week. I'm having to rearrange my schedule a little next week, due to Thanksgiving. I normally swim on Thursday mornings, but since the pool will be closed this Thursday, I'll move my swim to Tuesday, and my run to Thursday. I'm thinking (hoping) that being flexible with my schedule, especially during the couple of months of base training, will help me to avoid getting burnt out.

I also took a rest day because I had terrible heart burn Thursday evening and into this morning. I actually was kind of convinced that I was having a heart attack, like I was ready for someone to get the paddles, but Chad went and got me some heartburn medicine and I felt 100% better in 15 minutes or so. I might have been a little over dramatic at times during the episode...but it was scary! I didn't take the medicine until this morning, after I had been up for a few hours. So, when I woke up to run and still had chest pains/burning in my chest, I didn't think running alone in the dark would be the best idea. So, instead I stayed home and ate oatmeal with banana and drank a ton of water.

You would think after experiencing such bad heartburn I would be careful about what I ate to day, but no not really. I kind of went off the rails today with eating, but that's ok. At work, we had a staff lunch and everyone brought in Thanksgiving type food and desserts, and the cafeteria provided turkey, dressing, brocolli casserole, corn pudding, etc. I think there is a distinction between enjoying food and fellowship with friends and celebrating a moment or a holiday, and being gluttonous. Sometimes it can be a fine line, but I really do think it is ok sometimes to enjoy the types of food you really only get to eat during some parts of the year. Besides, that is pretty much why I that I can eat what I enjoy and not beat myself up about this.

There are two reasons why I've been tracking my meals/food intake here. One, is for accountability. I would much rather write that I've eaten a 6in sub on wheat from Subway, than a double cheeseburger Mighty Kids meal from McDonald's. And, I've found my eating habits have really changed as a result. Secondly, I know that there is a correlation between nutritional intake and athletic performance. Some people defy the odds, like Ochocinco, but for the most part, serious athletes, especially those involved with endurance events like running, cycling, swimming and triathlon really are careful with what they eat. In no way am I a serious athlete, or will ever be one, but I want to be as healthy as I can. I also think it will be interesting to look back over my entire training log and be able to look at my training run times, and see how what I ate that day may have affected them. I'm hoping this will help me as I prepare for the few weeks leading up to the marathon.

So, today would not be a good example of what to eat before a race, but nonetheless I have a race tomorrow! It is a local "Turkey Strut" here in Nicholasville. The start is two miles from our house, so I'm going to run to the start as a warm up. Chad and Emma, and some of our friends are coming out to cheer me and my friend Chris (and maybe Kelly, if she's running) on during the race, so it should be a fun morning! I'll post race results and pictures (hopefully!) with tomorrow's post.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Just Keep Swimming

Training Log
AM Swim
Distance: 900 yards
Time: 28:00 minutes
  • 5 minute warm up
  • 100 yd freestyle
  • 50 yard breast stroke
  • 100 yd freestyle
  • 50 yard breast stroke
  • 100 yd freestyle
  • 50 yard breast stroke
  • 100 yd freestyle
  • 50 yard breast stroke
  • 100 yd freestyle
  • 50 yard breast stroke
  • 100 yd freestyle
  • 50 yard breast stroke
  • 2 minute cool down

Food Log
Pre-swim: whole wheat toast, orange juice
Post-swim breakfast: small apple cinnamon muffin, coffee
Lunch: leftover whole wheat gnocchi, 1 piece Texas toast, milk, 1/2 serving frozen yogurt
Dinner: 2 pieces of pizza...may or may not have been stuffed crust...may or may not have been pepperoni...

After I swam last Saturday, I accidentally left my swim cap in the locker room. When I realized later on Saturday that I didn't have the cap, I knew I might as well kiss it goodbye. There is really no such thing as a lost and found there - it is more of a free for all if anything gets left. I'm bitter, because I had a whole shower caddy thing of Bath and Body Works products stolen from my locker. Grrr. I'm still mad about that. It was actually a funny story, because I had to get a small bottle of shampoo from the front desk so that I could at least wash my hair after my workout, before going straight to work. I swam, then got into the shower and got ready to use the shampoo. It was Dove shampoo, but it was like 5 years old! I poured it into my hand and it was like a yellow acid! It burned my hand and smelled awful. I was already in the shower and I had to be able to get ready for work, so being an idiot, I put it in my hair. My head immediatley started burning and also did not smell very good. I did what I could to salvage the situation, but my hair looked pretty awful and I ended up going home from work at lunch just to take another shower.

But anyway, so I lost my swim cap - a TYR nylon cap that I loved and was so comfortable. Luckily, I have the blue swim cap I got from the Lame Duck triathlon, so I just used that. It is made of a plasticky type material and I think it shrunk in the past few months. That thing was so tight on my head! It took a while to get used to it, but after a little bit it felt fine. But when I was done with me workout and took it off, it felt very freeing.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Training Log
Distance: 6.09 miles
Time: 55:14
Average Pace: 9:04

Food Log
Breakfast: bowl of Golden Grahams, small cranberry scone, 16oz. non-fat latte
Lunch: 6in turkey on wheat, with American cheese, black olives and tomatoes; Cool Ranch Doritos, 12oz 2% chocolate milk
Dinner: spaghetti with meat sauce, with a handful of chopped spinach thrown in, 2 pieces of Texas toast, milk
Dessert: one serving of cappucino chip frozen yogurt

My 6 mile run felt pretty good this morning. It was cold and rainy, but I warmed up quickly and got into a weird groove where I was moving along, but didn't feel great. I didn't feel like I could run forever - but I didn't want to quit either. After watching the Badwater documentary, it really puts things in perspective. On the course, people puked, passed out, had horrible, terrible things happen to their feet - but they kept going. And going. And going - for up to 68 hours even. Pretty much people went until they were forced to take in fluids inLinktravenously so they didn't experience organ failure. It really puts quitting into perspective!

I want to give a big "shout out" to my sister Michelle. This past spring/summer she really buckled down and incorporated a pretty rigorous workout schedule into her everyday life, and she began to really watch what she ate. Michelle trains with my sister Megan each week in personal training and "boot camp" sessions. I am so proud of her, because she has lost 45 pounds to date!! She has also improved her health immensely (heart health, diabetes risk, etc.), and is a great role model for my niece!

Here are two pictures of Michelle that I took from Facebook:

(she's on the left...(ha)...and yes that is a top hat)


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Whole Wheat Gnocchi vs. Nachos Supreme

Training Log
Distance: 3.17 miles
Time: 28:32
Average Pace: 9:00 minutes/mile

Food Log
Breakfast: oatmeal with banana & 1 tsp. peanut butter, coffee
Lunch: vegetable beef and barley soup with saltine crackers, milk
Snack: Kashi dark chocolate cherry bar
Dinner: whole wheat gnocchi with grilled chicken, spinach and marinara sauce, piece of whole wheat toast

This morning during my run I was listening to an old running playlist on my iPod. "Jesus Walks" by Kanye West came on, and it reminded me of one of my first Wilmore group runs almost three years ago. Before we would set out on for the run, we would pray together as a group. I didn't know this the first time I went, so I was all ready to run with my iPod (I normally fell right in the middle of the pack and ran alone, so I wore the iPod) and then someone was like "ok, lets pray." At this point, I already had my music going, and the iPod was located a few layers down, and I had gloves on. It would have taken a lot to fish it out and turn it off, then turn it back on and get it situated again, so I decided to just leave it playing. I'll never forget standing in a circle with people who were praying, as Kanye West was pumping through my ears and making me feel like I needed to punch someone in the throat!

Tonight I really wanted to stop at Taco Bell or McDonalds for dinner. It would have been fast, easy and oh so delicious. But, I knew that we had gnocchi, spinach and grilled chicken at home. So, I made whole wheat gnocchi with a marinara sauce that I put chopped spinach and sliced chicken in. It was so good and really filling. And I know it will be much better fuel for my run in the morning than a double decker taco would be!

After eating, I watched Running on the Sun - a documentary about the Badwater ultramarathon. All I can say is WHOA. I've read about Badwater in Dean Karnazes' book Ultramarathon Man, but watching a documentary on the race really puts it into perspective. It is a 135 mile race in Death Valley, held in July each year. To get an idea, winners normally finish the race in 27-28 HOURS. This documentary was filmed in 2002 I believe, so the times are probably a little faster now. I can imagine maybe (and that's a big maybe) one day doing a 50k trail race, but I cannot imagine doing a 135 mile race through Death Valley!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Training Log
Scheduled rest day

Food Log
Breakfast: oatmeal with banana, almonds, 1 tbsp peanut butter, coffee
Snack: 1.5oz box of raisins
Lunch: 2 chicken tacos w/ chicken, black beans, kidney beans, corn, cheese, sour cream & guacamole
Snack: 1.69oz bag of M&M's
Dinner: Chicken quesadilla with chicken, cheese, black beans, kidney beans, corn
Dessert: 2 chocolate chip cookies

I forgot to mention this in my post yesterday, but we watched a really good movie on Saturday - Saint Ralph. It was so good I watched it twice in one day - once by myself while Chad was working a wedding, and then again later that night after dinner. I've read about this film in Runner's World and on different websites, and I finally got around to putting it on the Netflix queue.

It is about a 14-year old Catholic boy who is looking for a miracle to get his mom out of a coma. As the story unfolds, he realizes that winning the Boston marathon would take a miracle, so he sets his sights on winning the Boston marathon. It is a sweet movie about faith and believing in something bigger than yourself. It is really funny, but I was also sobbing during certain parts. I give it two thumbs up!


Training Log
Distance: 3.3 miles
Time: 28:52
Average Pace: 8:44 per mile

Food Log:
Pre-run: Whole wheat toast with strawberry jam, water
Post-run: bowl of Golden Grahams with a sliced banana, coffee
Lunch: small Baja Chicken sandwich on wheat from Quiznos, with Harvest Cheddar Sun Chips and Dr. Pepper
Snack: coffee mug of vanilla frozen yogurt
Dinner: Chicken fajita tacos with chicken, guacamole, sour cream, cheese, chips and salsa on the side

Today has been an inspiring day. My father-in-law ran the San Antonio marathon in just a little over 4:30 (4:34 I believe). He has trained for marathons before, but was always plagued with injuries like plantar fascitis that took him out of the race. He is also a cancer survivor. His main goal is to run the New York Marathon next year, but he and his running partner thought it would be a good idea to get a marathon under his belt this year, in preparation for New York. I talked to him yesterday after the race and he said that he felt a huge sense of accomplishment, but that he also felt like he had been to hell and back. That's quite a statement for a Southern Baptist pastor! But, I know he had a great time and I hope that I can run New York with him next fall. I put my lottery entry in, and I will find out in March if I get in for 2010. If I don't get in, our plan is to go to New York with Chad's mom, his sister Payton and her husband Jay to support him and cheer for him in the race. So either way, I am definitely looking forward to the first weekend in November, 2010!!

The other really inspiring thing I saw today was a segment on CBS about Matt Long, an Ironman and NYC firefighter who was hit by a bus during the NYC transit strike a few years ago. He was on his bike while he was hit, and his bike impaled him and practically gutted him like a fish. Doctors thought there was no way he would survive, but two years later he finished the New York marathon in a little over 7 hours. This summer, he completed Ironman Lake Placid. I read about his story in Runner's World and was really moved, but to see him and his family members and friends talk about all he has gone through, it was just really incredible. It really puts not running due to a sore throat, headache or back pains (anything really!) into perspective. Information on his foundation can be found at

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Training Log
Morning Run-
Distance: 8.05 miles
Time: 1 hour, 12 minutes
Average Pace: 8:56/mile

Afternoon Swim-
Distance: 1050 yards
Time: 30 minutes (5 minute warm up, 23 minute work-out, 2 minute cool down)
Average Pace: 2:11 minutes per 100 yards

Food Log
Pre-Run: whole wheat toast with strawberry jam
Breakfast: bowl of Golden Grahams, grande nonfat caramel macchiato
Snack: 2 "pigs in a blanket", 3 saltines with slices of cheddar cheese, banana with peanut butter
Lunch (post-swim): Subway 6in turkey on wheat, american cheese, tomato, black olive, pickle, 12 0z. 2% chocolate milk, 2 cookies (1 peanut butter, 1 chocolate chip)
Dinner: 1/2 order baked ziti, 1/2 breadstick, few slices of cucumber and tomato salad, 20 oz. Cherry Pepsi
Dessert: I may or may have not eaten 1/3 pound of a mix of sour gummy worms, gummy coke bottles, and Sour Patch Kids

Today was a pretty relaxing day. I started the morning out with an 8 mile run around Nicholasville. It was an absolutely beautiful morning - sunny, clear and in the 50's. After my run, I got cleaned up and headed into Lexington to the Volkswagen dealership. About a month or so ago, the radio in my car stopped working. It wouldn't power on or anything. I finally called the dealership this week, and they told me to stop by and they would reset it for me. So, I stopped by this morning and they took the radio out and then popped it back in, and it was back in working order! And, even better, they didn't even charge me anything for it. I also had to get a headlight replaced, but that only cost $20.

Once I got home, I took Emma out to Lake Mingo for a long walk. The park was practically empty, so she got to have some fun off-leash time playing and running in the wide open spaces of the park. Once we got home, Emma played in the backyard for like 4 hours. She had a fun day - she is out like a light and snoring on the couch next to me now!

Chad had to run sound for a wedding this afternoon, so I decided to go to the pool for a little while. I continued my set of 100 yards freestyle, followed by 50 yards breaststroke. My goal was to do this as many times as I could in 20 minutes. I ended up doing 7 of the 150 yard sets, with 3-5 second rests in between sets. I swam for 23 minutes, because I knew I could get the 7th set in. I hope to use this number as a guideline/baseline to judge any improvements in my swimming.

Tonight, Chad and I went to the mall to window shop and to get ideas for Christmas gifts. We spent most of our time in Williams-Sonoma - we both love that store. We will each hold up an item and be like "one day, when we have a bigger kitchen..." or "one day, when we have money to spend on this kind of stuff..." - but it is nice to dream! We had dinner in the food court at Sbarro, and got some candy from one of those candy bin places before we left. I haven't been to one of those stores in years, so it was fun to get some gummy worms and Sour Patch Kids!

Friday, November 13, 2009


Training Log
Distance: 3.37 miles
Time: 30.59
Average Pace: 9:11 per mile

Food Log
Breakfast: pear, whole wheat bagel with cream cheese, glass of orange juice
Snack: Kashi dark chocolate cherry bar, coffee
Lunch: 2 slices thin crust black olive and red onion pizza, spinach & mushroom salad
Dinner: Nachos supreme, 1 soft taco, 1 crunchy taco, glass of milk
Dessert: YoCrunch vanilla yogurt with Butterfinger pieces

My run felt pretty slow this morning, but that's ok. I think this long busy week has finally caught up with me. After being on the trainer and then eating dinner last night, I sat down on the couch to watch Community, Parks and Recreation and The Office. I was fast asleep within 5 minutes of Community. And I didn't wake up until like 9:10, when Chad woke me up and asked me if I wanted to move to the bed to go to sleep for the night.

I think I may have gotten too much sleep though, as I felt pretty groggy when I woke up at 5:00 this morning. But - I got the miles in the log book so I am happy!

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Training Log
Bike trainer
Time: 30 minutes

Food Log
Breakfast: bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios, coffee
Snack: Kashi dark chocolate cherry granola bar
Lunch: leftover spaghetti with a spinach and mushroom salad, with light ranch dressing
Snack: small piece of cake and M&M's at an office baby shower (the cake was so good!)
Dinner: 4 slices Pizza Hut thin crust pizza w/ black olives and red onions
Dessert: vanilla yogurt with granola

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Mid-week long run

Training Log
Distance: 6.01 miles
Time: 53:42
Pace: 8:56 average pace per mile

Food Log
Breakfast: Oatmeal with raisins, almonds, and 1 tbsp. peanut butter, coffee
Snack: 12oz. 2% chocolate milk
Lunch: Chinese chicken and vegetables (easy on the "brown sauce"), white rice, egg roll, 12oz bottled water
Snack: 1.5oz raisins, handful of dry roasted peanuts
Dinner: About 1/2 and order of red beans and rice, 2 small pieces of french bread, Sprite

My run this morning was really great. The weather was pretty mild, other than the gale force winds. For some portions of my runs, when I was running straight into the wind, it felt like someone had their hands on my shoulders and was pushing me backward. It reminded me of when I was a little kid and would flip through the Eastbay catalog, desperately wanting to order one of the "wind parachute" things that they sold for people wanting to increase their speed. I always thought it would be so neat to have one of those. My run today felt like I did have one of those - so much resistance! But it was fun, and I was glad to get 6 miles in during the week. The distance isn't too long, but I normally don't have the times in the morning to go more than 3-4 miles. I will have to figure something out when my marathon training kicks in and I have to do 12 mile Wednesday runs!

For dinner tonight, Chad and I went to a place called J. Gumbo's with our good friends Kat and Rob, and their little one Harper. The food was really good - they had a selection of all kinds of cajun food like gumbo, etouffe, jambalaya, red beans and rice, po-boys and stews. I went with the red beans and rice off of the "mild" menu, as I just can't take much heat. It was really good, but for some reason it left me with the worst stomach cramps and gas pangs - maybe too much rice? I had a bite of Chad's po-boy which was super spicy, and that may have been enough to do me in.


Training Log
Distance: 3.24 miles
Time: 28:38
Average Pace: 8:50 per mile

Food Log
Breakfast: oatmeal with 1/2 tbsp. peanut butter, diced Honeycrisp apple, chocolate milk
Snack: 16 oz nonfat vanilla latte
Lunch: "Mexibowl" from leftovers (I think the bean/corn mixture has finally turned)
Dessert: 4 Hershey's dark chocolate squares w/ peanut butter on top
Dinner: Spaghetti with a ground beef/marinara/chopped spinach sauce, and a spinach salad with diced celery, mushrooms, and light ranch dressing

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pictures from Inauguration

Here are some pictures from Dr. Tennent's inauguration at Asbury on Monday, November 9th. It was a beautiful and wonderful night for Asbury Seminary! I took these three pictures from the Asbury website:

Dr. Tennent addressing the crowd

The Provost, former President Kalas and special seminary guests praying over Dr. Tennent

The seminary choir ("The Singing Seminarians") singing during the ceremony

Here are some more pictures from the inauguration, courtesy of our good friend Joshua Toepper.
Josh and Chad, before the ceremony

Me and Chad

J.D. Walt, Vice President of Community Life and Dean of the Chapel with his wife, Tiffani.
J.D. is Chad's boss and mentor.