Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2015: The Year of the Marathon

Everyone else is posting 2015 goals, so I had to jump on the bandwagon.

As I'm sure most of us are, I'm not very good at even remembering resolutions, let alone achieving them.
Plus, I like to call them goals because then it doesn't sound as cliche. I'm sure we've all heard the "parameters" we're supposed to put on goals. The "SMART" thing:


While all of this is great and helpful, I think we've all heard it one too many times. That being said, I'm not bashing New Year's Resolutions at all! I plan on this being a very big year and I want to set goals so that I can look back and be proud of what I will have accomplished. 
So here are my goals for 2015:

1. Finish the 2015 St. Jude Country Music Marathon. This is my major one and the rest will kind of be because of this goal. Heck, I've got a whole blog devoted to it! I want to finish because it will give me pride in myself and my running ability. I have never been what you consider an "athlete" but I have always wanted to be! This is a natural progression in my running "career" and something that I am ready for and ready to be able to say that I've done it!

2. Clean up my nutrition during marathon training. I am not very good at eating healthy. But because my number one goal this year is (see above) and I know that eating healthy will help get me there, this is necessary. I seem to be all or nothing when it comes to food, so during the first four months of the year (training) I'm going to try to eliminate certain "trigger" foods for me. These will include: pizza from anywhere but my own kitchen (also not frozen), ice cream (froyo and sorbet will be ok), and Cheetos. These are foods that if I start eating, I can't stop. So I just won't start! And plus, they will make wonderful rewards once I'm done with the marathon.

3. Continue to focus on strength training. I know this isn't "measurable" but I don't think it needs to be. Again, this will help me achieve goal numero uno so that will be the measure of it. 

4. (unrelated to marathon!) Continue to pay as much as possible into student loans. I'd love it if we could pay them off in 2015, but since I'm not sure that is entirely attainable, I'd like to make as big of a dent as possible! 

I put these goals here so that I can be held accountable. I give permission to anyone who reads this to call me out! And please do. Also- I may need to make more goals after the marathon considering 3/4 of them are about it. So look forward to some mid-year goals! 

And just a warning to everyone who goes to the gym regularly, this is a real occurrence that I dread:

And one more for your viewing pleasure, because this is the most accurate:

What are you goals for the new year?

What goals have you achieved this year?

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas Week and Marathon Training Wk 1

Sorry I've been MIA, I've had a very great week with family while in Chicago!

Saturday 12/20: We braved the long drive from Nashville to the Chicago area. 8.5 hours later, we were pooped out.

Sunday 12/21: We went to our home church and it was fun to see all of our old friends! We met, got engaged, and got married at this church so it's fun to come home to.

Monday 12/22: We went downtown Chicago (our family actually lives about 45 miles outside the city). We did all the Chicago Christmas things like the German market and we went to see the Macy's (still Marshall Fields in my book) windows and the tree. Of course that included a trip to the Italian Village for lunch.
Got some extra running in by re-creating the marathon poster

We also re-created this ad for fun

Tuesday: 12/23: My first day of marathon training! Woot! I ran the Fox River Trail for 3 miles. I'm not going to talk about times yet because mine still kind of suck.

Wednesday 12/24: Second day of marathon training. Same trail, different direction for 3 very tough miles. Let's just say I haven't run very regularly since September. Woops. But we got together with my side of the family for church and Christmas Eve fondue (we do that every year). We also did a gift exchange which got me some super cool wall sconces! (crap, if I'm excited about that it must mean I'm an adult) 

Thursday 12/25: Christmas! But first my third day of marathon training. I was completely drained so I just did 2 miles. But I was very proud of myself for doing it! Then we started Christmas. I'm always so excited to see if people like what I got them and I think this year was a winner! I got some pretty cool stuff too because my family is the best. I think my husband got the best gift from me though (I'm biased): Lego slippers!

Friday 12/26: We got together with the Bork side of the family for brunch. We had a fun time catching up with everyone we don't get to see very often! We also got to go test out the husband's new bowling ball. I think he likes it :)

Saturday 12/27: We braved the long drive back to Nashville with my brother and dad in tow. We learned an important key to travel though. When you don't have cruise control on your car, follow your dad who does!

Sunday 12/28: All four of us went to the Colts/Titans game (it was my dad and brother's Christmas gift). We had a really fun time even though it was cold and rainy. It  was my bro's first NFL game! It was also my first long run for marathon training. I ran 6 miles and felt fairly great about it! It was encouraging to see that even though my running fitness has gone away a little, my mental energy is still there!

That about sums it up! We were busy, but very happy. Now it's time to get back into the routine and delve further into marathon training. 

PS-someone should really count how many times I say "marathon training" in the next few months. It's going to be pretty high.

Hope y'all had a great Christmas week!

Friday, December 19, 2014

2014: The Year of the Half

Before I outline all of my New Year's goals, I want to take a second and look at what I have done in 2014. I forget that part of the deal sometimes. Here are my proud accomplishments of 2014:

1. Finishing 2 half marathons. Country Music Half Marathon on April 26, 2014 and the Women's Running Series Half Marathon on September 27, 2014. I dropped my PR by 8 minutes between the two races.

2. Starting a blog! I've always had lots of thoughts and I'm always real good about sharing them. Plus, I can ramble about running stuff and no one gets annoyed! I'm proud of this because it has helped me to not only pay attention to what I'm doing and how I can change, but I've been blessed to meet people who are encouraging and improving me! 

3. Got a dog. I never really thought I'd be getting a dog until we had kids because I'm not a self proclaimed "dog person". But we found Wrigley and I think he's pretty cool. Still not a "dog person", but I guess I can be a Wrigley person! 

4. Celebrated our one year anniversary in July with a trip to Gatlinburg, TN. I love my husband so much and am blessed by him daily. (On a side note, it'll be 9 years in January since he asked me out)

I think it was pretty good year! Looking forward to the new year and new challenges that are waiting for me! 

What were your highlights from 2014?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


So I successfully dragged myself to the gym and did my strength session. However, I was more than mildly annoyed when the Hip Hop Cycle still did not have our normal instructor back. I love the girl who filled in, but I was more than ready for zoning out and gettin' my swag on. I actually have to think when someone else is leading with a different routine.

That led me to thinking about how many "health" habits I am stuck in.

1. At the Cycle class, I have to have the same bike every time, have to have it set up at least 10 minutes before class and I want the same instructor. I'd even like it if the same people were on either side of me too.
2. When I do strength stuff, I have to use the same machines every time. Even though my gym has three sets of machines, I use the same ones every time because the other ones "feel weird".
3. When I run on a treadmill, I would like the same one every time. I'd like to have a TV show that I like on, or else I have to have Netflix or Hulu. I have to have water and chapstick.
4. When I go out to eat, I have to get a salad or else I feel like I have cheated. Even if what I got was healthier than a salad.
5. I like to go to the gym at the same time everyday because the same people are there. After work at around 5 and on weekends early in the morning.

I think I just self-diagnosed myself with health OCD. I'm kind of ok with it. I have gotten much better with my actual running. I still obsessively stick to a training schedule, but I'm more willing to run in less than ideal weather and with less than ideal energy than I used to be. I should probably work on flexibility in my life...

What health habits are you stuck in? 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Music City (no running)

Before getting to the actual post, I've seen this on several other blogs and have taken advantage of it myself. ProCompression has their Grab Bag deal where you can get three marathon socks for $65. On top of that, if you use coupon code "2014" you get 42% off. Therefore, you can get three marathon socks for $37. Here's the link: http://procompression.com/marathon-GB3/ just thought I'd pass it along!

Rachel Runs Music City was not running Music City, but I was enjoying it yesterday! We found free tickets to the American Country Countdown Awards because they needed "filler". So here's some highlights:

Here's the husband and I before the show. We started out several rows back from the stage, but I worked my way up to about two rows out. We were a lot closer than any of the pictures look which is really cool. 
Carrie Underwood opened the show and she was spectacular! I mean that woman is seriously preggers and she was belting it! Fantastic.
Luke Bryan. His teeth are sooooo white. Oh, and he sings good too.
Florida Georgia Line. Better pic of them later ;)
Miranda Lambert. I have to admit that I haven't always been her biggest fan, but she has been growing on me! (Not literally, she's tiny)
So, um, this happened. Florida Georgia Line did a bit from the audience. Right behind us. So I took a creepy pic.
This was the performance honoring Reba. Miranda, Reba, and Kelly Clarkson on one stage. So much country estrogen!
All the celebrities sat a couple rows behind us. You can see their heads in this shot.
Brett Eldredge "Beat of the Music"
Lady Antebellum
Kenny Chesney

Jason Aldean. He killed it!
And finally, Hank Williams Jr closed out the show

I can't claim to be a huge country music fan, but this was a very fun night! It was very down-to-earth and real. 
I know this isn't what you'd expect from a running blog, but I'm a runner and I went so deal with it. And speaking of running, I didn't do that yesterday. Sorry blog readers. But I am going to hip hop cycle and a strength session tonight on very tired legs after standing for two+ hours. So that's gotta count for something right? :)

Monday, December 15, 2014

2014 Running in Review

I've seen several blogs doing this, so I'm jumping the bandwagon!


I have done way more running this year than I ever have before! I'm going to do a brief recap of the races I ran and then my favorites for the year!

January: I started running again. I had run throughout college, but had gotten out of it (and gained a lot of weight). 
February: I ran the Hot Chocolate 5k. At the time, it was a huge accomplishment! I was very proud of how I did. I trained completely on the treadmill and it was a very cold race. I don't remember my time, but it really didn't matter at that point.

March: I ran the Nashville Predators Fangtastic 5k with my husband. I was deep into training for a half marathon, so this was a surprisingly easy race. It was very fun because we got hockey tickets in the goody bag. My time was 40:00. 

April: I ran the St. Jude Country Music Half Marathon in 2:58:30. My goal had been under 3 hours so I was ecstatic. It was a warm day and an extremely hilly course, but I was so excited to have completed my second half marathon.

May: This was intended to be my recovery month. However, I ran the Home Run 4 Miler which included baseball tickets in the goody bag. It was a very fun race and I felt wonderful. It even rained a little so I felt really hardcore.I also ran the Titans 5k with my husband. We got football tickets that we will be using very soon!

June: June ended up being my off month. I continued to run, but no races.
July: I ran two races in July. The first was the Music City 4th of July 10k. I ran it in 1:16:14. This one was very difficult for me. I think I put too much pressure on it because it was my first 10k ever and it was a very warm day. Later in the month, I ran the Goodlettsville Classic which was a 4 miler. This was one of my favorites. Again, I don't remember my time, but I do remember that I got first in my age group! (So what if there were only two people in my age group, it counts). 

August: I ran my second 10k this year at the "It's Just a 10k" race. I ran it in 1:15:09. This was sort of a random race I decided to do and it ended up being great! 
September: I ran the Women's Running Series Half Marathon in 2:50:12. It was a great PR run and made me realize that a half marathon is in my grasp. It no longer intimidates me like it used to. That's when I realized I'd be up for a full marathon in 2015.

October: I got to run the Chocolate 5k with my husband and my brother, Josh. It was a very not serious race and we had a grand ole time gathering chocolate. However, later that week, I sprained my ankle while lifting weights. Not a fun time. I had signed up for the Komen Race for the Cure, but my husband ended up running it for me (thanks). 

November: While continuing to recover from stupid ankle, I volunteered at the Music City Thanksgiving 4/8 Miler. Very cool experience! 
December: No races this month, but starting on the 22nd, I will officially be in marathon training. 

Favorite race this year:
St. Jude Country Music Half Marathon (that's why I signed up for double the suicide fun this year!)

Favorite Goody Bag:
Hot Chocolate 5k (Tech sweatshirt and chocolate fondue and hot chocolate afterwards) 

Favorite Expo:
St. Jude Country Music Half Marathon (Rock N Roll races have the best vendors)

Favorite Learning Experience:
Women's Running Series Half Marathon

Favorite Shoes:
I started the year in the Mizuno Wave Riders, went to the Mizuno Wave Sayonara, and finished out the year in the Brooks Ghost 7

Favorite Accessory: 
I discovered the Powerbar Performance Energy Blends this year and they are wonderful. Also-Enell Sports Bras. Nuff said there.

In summary, it's been a wonderful year and I'm excited to see where 2015 leads me. I'm hoping it leads to 26.2!

Friday, December 12, 2014

TGIF and a Special Discount for Readers!

Remember how I mentioned yesterday that Valuedoc shop on Ebay has great cheap shoes? Well they just got even cheaper for you! Here's what the owner posted:

Thank you to Rachel for recommending our eBay store to all of the readers. Anyone that mentions Rachelrunsmusiccity will get an additional 10% off of anything in our inventory. Here is an actual link to our eBay store itself where you can type in your shoe size as well as men's or women's and brands or any other search word you'd like. We decided to put a 20% off sale on all of our shoes between Black Friday and Christmas. You would get an additional 10% off of that price. We have approximately 2500 running shoes in our garage. Currently we have only about 700 of them listed so if you have any special requests let us know and we can search the inventory. http://stores.ebay.com/valuedoc/ 
Great opportunity to get some great shoes!

On another note, this has been a really long week for me, so I'm going to complain. Please indulge me.

I love the Hip Hop Cycle class that I go to, but the girl who normally teaches it was gone and I was not as big a fan of the sub. That put me in a bad mood. Then this morning, I woke up to the dog barking at nothing (he may be cute, but he gets darn annoying). I burned my finger on my egg. My dog stole a little bit of bacon. A button fell off my shirt. There was frost on my windshield because it is actually starting to sort of get cold in TN. I couldn't find the windshield scraper so I had to use a credit card. My fingers froze. People were stupid coming into work today and I had to dodge two accidents trying to happen.

On another completely different note, all you readers should watch my cousin Katie's volleyball match tonight. University of Illinois has made it to the Sweet Sixteen and they are playing Florida. Big game and they need all the at-home support they can get :)
(Click on ESPN 3 by Regional Semifinal: #9 Illinois vs. #8 Florida)
 TGIF. And even better yet, TGIFANSIGTGTC (Thank God It's Friday and Next Saturday I Get to Go to Chicago) ANW (and not work).

And here's a smiley face to make both me and you feel better after reading all that!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas is Coming!

Here's my run report:

I decided to give you a different view of my run so you can all be amazed at the hills I deal with. And this is a flat route. 

As you can see, my second mile was dangerously close to where I was running before Stupid Ankle. It was a very encouraging run and made me feel like I could get to where I was at some point. Still need to speed it up a bit, but still not too worried. Now for some pictures I know you all want to see, my sweaty selfie!

I'd blaming the reflective jacket for how shiny I look, but that'd be a lie. Those of you in any part of the country where it isn't 40 out in the evening when I run, I'm sincerely sorry. I do still get warm on my runs (for now) and I am thankful for living in Nashville! And you should have seen my first attempt at sweaty selfie:

I am not, in fact, attempting to wink at you. The flash just kind of blinded me. But it was funny enough to still post. Last picture from my run, I promise:

I tried to take this picture to make it look like I was still running. It just ended up making my thigh look huge. Anyway, these are my new (to me) running shoes that I was testing out. Don't worry, Blue Beauties (aka Brooks Ghost 7) are still my main shoes, but I needed something a little lighter for faster runs. Enter the Mizuno Wave Hitogami. I really liked them when I ran in them last night and I'm excited to be able to rotate shoes. The only thing that made that possible is because I found them super cheap. As I mentioned in Running on the Cheap, I have recently discovered Ebay for running gear. I got these on there for around $35. I'd like to give a shout out to the seller because they were wonderful and have lots of cheap shoes for runners. Valuedoc sold these on the cheap because they had a stain on them. Hey y'all, Christmas is coming and the runner in your life (or yourself) could surely use shoes!

And just because I can't stop putting this on him, here another picture of Santa Wrigley for you:

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Monday and Tuesday Workouts

Since I didn't post about my workouts, I thought I'd catch everyone up. Because I know y'all are going crazy trying to figure out how I burned calories the last few days :)

Here was run on Monday:

Nothing too exciting to see here. I seem to be holding steady on a pace that is well below what I want. I'm not going to worry about it yet. Last training cycle I gained quite a bit of speed throughout, and since I'm specifically doing some speed training, I'm hopeful that will happen again.

Tuesday I went to the gym for the evening. I did my day 1 strength session workout (which turned out to be legs, not arms). Then went to an hour Hip Hop Cycle class where she switched up the routine a bit, just enough to kill me. It was wonderful!

The meal planning stuff is working pretty well so far! My minestrone soup is fantastic! I love veggies and I don't think I've loved them as much as I love them in that soup. Last night's dinner was supposed to be Parmesan Basil Salmon, but because I went to watch my husband bowl after Cycle, it ended up being 4 chicken nuggets. (I know, I'm the picture of health). Tonight's dinner is a new recipe, Cola Chicken that I am really pumped to try. It looks really simple so I'm excited. I'm also going to be working on next week's meals today, so suggestions would be appreciated!