Training Update: Back to the Daily Grind (and a Good Routine)

The past couple of weeks have been jam packed with going back to work after the Christmas break, fun stuff (Chris’ band had a show last week), and, of course, blogging! It’s been busy, but when I look back on busiest of times, I see that they are always the most productive.

So, let’s get started, shall we?:

Week of December 28 (Week 9):

4.0 mi. | 40 min. tempo | 3.0 mi. | 10K race

For the week after an indulgent holiday, my runs this week felt surprisingly great. I really enjoyed the tempo run, especially. I always do these on the treadmill, and I finally am learning to enjoy the treadmill. I feel like my pace has gotten much more consistent since regularly resorting to the treadmill. And tempo runs seem to go so fast! I skipped the 10K, thinking I would make it up the next week, but it got away from me with a busy first week back at work. Still, 7/8 runs is an improvement from my last update! 

Total mileage: 11 mi.

 

Week of January 4 (Week 10):

4.5 mi. | 8 x 400 m. | 4.0 3.0 mi. pace | 9.0 mi.

Again, all of my runs felt fantastic this past week (I have to hand it to the weather, which has also been on point). I messed up my schedule and accidentally ran 3 miles one day instead of 4, but that’s no big deal.

To top it off, I ran my easy 9 miler in under 11 minute mile splits. GREAT FEELING, you guys. I have never run 11 minute miles longer than a 5 mile run, or at least not that I can remember. If I can keep that pace for the Hot Chocolate 15K, let alone the half marathon, I will feel AWESOME about that. I would be clocking in under 2 hours and 24 minutes!
Total mileage:  20.5 mi.

 
After celebrating Christmas with my parents (check out my 60 lb. lap dog with my dad… she is one spoiled grand-dog), we spent a quiet week at home, other than a couple of work days. New Year Eve was spent with Cards Against Humanity and a friend of ours, and then we binge-watched Making a Murderer to begin 2016. 

 
We also returned to 24 Diner for a New Year’s Day date. They are home to the best waffles ever. AND we saw “Joy.” I have to say it’s one of my new favorite movies. That story made me want to get up off my butt and make things happen.

In other news, work has been crazy busy since I got back from the break, but it’s always busy at the beginning of the year, with trade show season in full swing, and trying to get everything organized for a successful year. I’m getting back in a good routine, and finding a good balance with all the things in my life, though. I am really excited for 2016!

That said, I’m looking forward to this year with all of you. It’s going to be a good one.

Cheers to the New Year, y’all!

Training Update: Ho, Ho, Hustling!

Howdy Folks! Since I’m training for two races right now (those of you who follow me on social media saw that I’m racing the Hot Chocolate 15K in Dallas on Feb. 6), I thought it would be effective just to do a week by week (ish) update on my workouts. I am hoping to run more frequent races in 2016 and I think it will be easier to keep an ongoing log of my workouts on the blog, rather than a log for each specific race.

If you’ll recall my training schedule for earlier this summer, that’s what I’m working my way through right now. I plan to switch the 15k race in Week 12 for the 12 miler in Week 14, since that week is the week of the Hot Chocolate 15K (and a week before the Austin Half). By the way, if you register for the Hot Chocolate 5K or 15K with the code BibRaveDAL, you’ll receive a complimentary head warmer! There is actual chocolate on the course, so it’s my kind of race.

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This past week was none other than Christmas, so I actually only ran one of my scheduled runs due to a hectic travel schedule and poor weather when I wasn’t traveling. That’s why this recaps the past two weeks of my training. I was 4 for 8 on making my training runs, and I really was trying to get them all in. Why are the holidays so dang busy?!

So, here’s the recap:

Week of December 14 (Week 7 on the old calendar):

3.5 mi. | 35 min. tempo | 3.0 mi. | 7.0 mi.

All workouts got done except my tempo run… Felt like a good week, and I ran my 7 miler in under an hour and 20 minutes, which I felt good about since I started very slow. Part of my motivation was getting all my gift wrapping finished (who else has been there?). I even ran a 9’41” mile – I think that is one of my fastest to date!

Total mileage: 13.5 mi.

Week of December 21 (Week 8):

4.0 mi. | 7 x 400 m. | 3.0 mi. pace | 8.0 mi.

Well, at least I finished the 8 miler (slowly, but surely). I got it out of the way first, knowing that I would be traveling a lot, but I was kinda disappointed in how it went due to some knee soreness I was having. For some reason, whenever I switch back from leggings to shorts, I have issues. The leggings I have aren’t compression grade, but I do think that running tights make me alter my gait in some form or fashion and offer slight stabilization for my knees. Other than that, quite frankly, I think this blog is already doing its job! After the knee issues, I was planning to take an extra rest day, but not 3. It adds up and I feel pretty convicted.

Total mileage: 8.0 mi.

Where were we traveling, you ask? Well, we visited San Antonio for Christmas with my Grandparents, and we also went to my parents’ house near Houston on Christmas Day. We even got to walk down the Riverwalk and see some of the sights around town, including the Menger Hotel, where we took this picture in front of their tree.

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All in all, the holidays were fantastic, but the ho-ho-ho’s and hustle and bustle have left me like this:

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Christmas is my favorite holiday, but this year was just crazy! I’m looking forward to having a few more travel-free days to rest up for the new year. It’s going to be a great one!

How do you stay on track during the holidays, and how did you celebrate this year?

Cheers!

2015 Holiday Gift Guide – For the Furball

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I will receive a small amount of monetary compensation if you end up purchasing something from one of the links. All opinions are my own.

If you’re an animal lover like I am, you understand how important it is to include your pet in all possible activities. With my puppy, I couldn’t imagine leaving her out of our Christmas festivities! I can’t wait to watch her rip up the paper on her gifts (as long as she doesn’t eat it, of course).

Puppy HGG FTR_Final

So, here are the gifts Daisy will be getting under the tree this year.

  1. Chaco Dog Collar and Leash ($15, $20)
    Cute and durable? What could be better. This set is perfect for runners because the leash is adjustable, and you can clip it around your waist while you’re running.
  2. Kong Wubba ($7.49-$13.99)
    I love Kong toys. Daisy is a strong chewer and they seem to last far longer than the others. The Wubba has a built-in squeaker and will also work well for tug and fetch because of the ball and tail, so it’s almost like 3 toys in one.
  3. Best Hikes with Dogs Book ($17.95)
    What could your dog use more of? Quality time with you, of course! And what could we all use more of? Exercise! Give your pup the gift of a great bonding experience and give yourself a good cross training workout.
  4. Ruffwear Front Range Dog Harness ($39.95)
    I’ve heard wonderful things about Ruffwear products, and when I have looked at them in the store, everything I have heard has been accurate. This harness will stand up to the test of time. Another great feature is that it can be attached to the leash at the front or back, so if you’re training your dog not to pull, you have options. Another thing I love about this harness is that it’s the same price, whether your dog is a teacup or a giant.
  5. Soggy Doggy Super Shammy ($19.99)
    Whether or not you buy this for Christmas, this is something every dog owner needs. Sometimes, getting your pup wet when they go outside for a bathroom break is unavoidable. This product makes it simple to prevent your dog from “shaking it out” and getting water everywhere in your house. It soaks up water like crazy.
  6. Hear Doggy Ultrasonic Squeaker Toy ($12.99)
    Like having a dog, but you also like peace and quite from time to time? Well, this make it possible for you to enjoy your Netflix binge, while keeping your puppy occupied. They even have tougher fabric for strong chewers (and it definitely lasts longer than most plush toys).
  7. Home Verve Ultimate Foldable Bowls ($22.99)
    You don’t have to use these for your pet, but I would! These make traveling or camping so much easier. Metal bowls can take up so much space, and they aren’t practical if your dog gets thirsty in the car or after a run.
  8. Barkbox Subscription ($29 – $19, depending on how many months you buy)
    It’s okay to spoil your dog. If you already spend this amount of money on your furry friend each month, why not have it delivered to your door? Plus, Barkbox gives back to pups in need, donating a portion of their profits to charity, so it’s a win-win.
  9. Digesteeze Rawhides ($19.99)
    Rawhides get a bad rap, and for some of them, rightfully so. However, Daisy goes crazy for them. These dissolve and do not break off into tiny pieces like some of the brands we have tried. We still supervise her at all times when she uses them, and we don’t let her eat one in a sitting, but they are great if you are responsible with them.
  10. Brindle Memory Foam Dog Bed ($79 – $159)
    Don’t let yourself be shocked by the sticker price, you can get these wonderful memory foam beds with a washable cover for much less on Amazon. They come in so many different colors to fit with your decor, and the sizes are also perfect for crates.

 

What are your favorite products to spoil your pooch/running buddy with?

Cheers!

 

P.S. Last-minute shopper? With Amazon Prime you can get these gifts in time for Christmas if you order today! Check it out here: Amazon Prime (One Year Membership)

Meet Daisy, My Future Running Buddy!

Say “hello” to my big little furry friend! Chris and I recently adopted a dog, who we named Daisy Flores! If you have known me in real life for any length of time, you probably know how much I love dogs and how much I’ve wanted a pup of my own for basically forever, so this is a big freaking deal.


Long story short, Chris and I talked for a long time one random Thursday (about 2 weeks after the marathon) and finally decided we could get a dog. We searched for a week or so, which was both stressful, exciting and emotional, and found Daisy at the local Humane Society. She is perfect for our family in every way. She’ll be treated for heartworms over the course of the next 3 months and we are praying everything goes well/she is cured after treatment, so she can finally be my running buddy.

Daisy on her freedom ride:

A few fun facts about Daisy:
– She is an Aussie mix (we think).
– She has a lot of hair!
– She loves to snuggle with both furniture and humans and would let me rub her belly for hours if she could.
– She likes to give hugs – she’s not a jumper except when I come home from work, when she basically lightly jumps up on me and stays there as if giving me a hug.
– She is already crate and potty trained (thank God).
– She loves to chase squirrels.
– She doesn’t whine or bark; she just grunts, kind of like a pig, only cuter.
– She HATES baths and wet surfaces.
– She is the cutest dog ever to us because she is ours.

“What are you looking at?” Daisy after getting fixed.

My 55 lb. child dog being her snuggly self:

Searching for and adjusting to having a dog has been killer on my exercise and blog regimen, but I am finally getting back on track this week, now that we are in a new routine. Since the marathon, I’ve only run 4.5 miles total and worked out 3 times. I actually ran 2 of those miles last night (and boy, were they tough). These pictures basically sum up my life.

Pre-Daisy Rug:

 

Post-Daisy Rug (after vacuuming two days prior!):

I’m excited that we’ve adjusted to the new normal and am looking forward to sharing the other running/active-related posts I’ve been working on soon.

Cheers to puppies and the fun that comes with them!