My Best Run Yet

8-mi-neg-splitThis morning’s run was probably my best run yet!

It wasn’t my fastest or my farthest, but it was definitely my strongest.

I stuck to Coach Pam’s training plan closely, although I was a tad aggressive.

The plan was to run 8 miles with negative splits according to the following pacing:

1 mile @ 10:00 min/mi
1 mile @ 9:50 min/mi
1 mile @ 9:45 min/mi
1 mile @ 9:40 min/mi
1 mile @ 9:30 min/mi
1 mile @ 9:15 min/mi
1 mile @ 9:00 min/mi
1 mile @ 8:50 min/mi

The deal was that I could do any of the intervals faster than she prescribed, but I couldn’t do any interval slower than what she prescribed.

Here is how the run went:


So, I was able to beat the time Pam laid out for me on each interval.

But what I am so freaking excited about is that this was the FIRST run ever when I finished and felt like I could have kept going for A LOT longer!  My legs felt great, my head was clear, I just FELT like a RUNNER!!!

I know like I know like I know that I will be ready for the half marathon next month!  Heck, I feel ready for it right now!

I am super excited about my running right now – don’t know if you could tell or not! 😉

Recipe: Spicy Chicken-Broccoli Rice Bowl

2014-01-20 001 2014-01-20 003


This “recipe” – and I use the term loosely, because it’s more of a method than an actual recipe – is quickly becoming my go-to lunch favorite.

It is super-quick, super-easy, and super-delicious.  It is also an AWESOME way to use up leftovers, which appeals to my more frugal nature, since you can throw pretty much any veggie or meat in the pan.

Today, I made a spicy chicken-broccoli brown rice bowl and, boy howdy, is it good!!! 🙂

Spicy Chicken-Broccoli Rice Bowl


  • 2 tsp EVOO
  • 1/2 tsp chili oil
  • 1/4 cup sliced red onion
  • 4 white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 5 oz. cooked chicken breast, diced
  • 1 cup broccoli florets (mine were frozen but I thawed them out first)
  • 1 tbsp chopped nuts (peanuts are good, but all I had were almonds – also quite delicious)
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  • Braggs Aminos to taste


Heat EVOO and chili oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.

Add onions, garlic, ginger, and mushrooms and saute until onions are translucent and mushrooms are cooked through.  Add chicken, broccoli, and nuts and stir fry until everything is hot.

Put rice in a bowl, spritz with a couple of pumps of Braggs Aminos, top with chicken/veggie mix, and spritz with a few more pumps of Braggs.

Enjoy!!  Makes 1 large serving, but it could easily feed 2 people for lunch.

One Month To Go…

princessOnly 33 days until the Disney Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL.

This will be my first half-marathon.  I registered for it back in August, I think ( it was as soon as registration opened at any rate) and I am so excited to just run already!!

This past Fall was littered with lots of niggly physical issues – mostly tendonitis – that kept running on the back burner for about a month and a half.

On November 1st I hired a coach to help me lay out a responsible training program that would get me to the finish line healthy, strong, and meeting my own silly self-imposed time goals (I want to finish in under 2 hours).

My biggest challenge is PATIENCE!  I have never been a patient person, I am not a particularly patient Mom, and I am definitely not a patient runner…

BUT, with Coach Pam’s help, I AM getting better, faster, stronger, and leaner.

I have dropped about 6 pounds (on the scale) since I started working with Pam, and I know I have gained quite a bit of muscle at the same time.  At this point, I am the smallest I have been since 1999 – how crazy is that?

This morning I woke up to an email from Pam laying out my training program for the next 4 weeks.

tumblr_m6409bW3pa1rwcc6bo1_500Final 4 (weeks)
Notes and Details –
Week 12
Wed 22nd – 8 miles
    1 – 10:00    5- 9:30
    2 – 9:50      6 – 9:15
    3  9:45       7 – 9:00
    4  9:40       8 – 8;50
So the goal is you can go faster on any… but not slower….. on any.  🙂
Frid   24th – speed run 
1/2 mile repeats:
warm up easy 1/2 mile run
1/2 mile in 4:10, jog 1:00 min
REPEAT   same time
rest /easy jog 2 mins
run 1/2 mile in 4:00 min  jog 1:00
REPEAT   same time
rest easy jog 2 mins
run 1/2 mile in 3:55 min  jog 1:00
REPEAT  same time
cool down 1/2 mile easy – not time specific
Saturday – go out and have fun – no goal on the run
Week 13
Monday Jan 27th – 6 miles
      9:00 x2      8:50  x 2        8:40  x 2      🙂
Wed 22nd – 14 miles
    1, 2 – 10:00       9, 10 – 9:30     14  8:45
    3,4  – 9:50         11  – 9:15
    5,6     9:45        12- 9:00
    7,8     9:40        13 – 8:50
So the goal is you can go faster on any… but not slower….. on any.  🙂  Patience
Frid   24th – recovery run
You avoid looking at your watch except to start it and stop it.  On the honor system……..
listen to your body- run negative splits and keep the entire run at recovery run pace meaning you are running within your comfort level – never uncomfortable or all out.
Saturday – go out and have fun – no goal on the run
Week 14
Monday Feb 3rd  – 5 miles
      8:55 x2      8:50  x 1        8:45  x 1     8:35 x 1       🙂
Wed Feb 5th – 10 miles  This is a FUN one!!
     1, 2 –  you set the pace – has to be about the same
     3, 4    10 seconds faster – both miles the same
     5, 6    10 seconds faster than 3 and 4   both miles the same
      7,8    10 seconds faster than 5, 6   both miles the same
        9     5 to 10 seconds faster than 7 and 8
       10    5 to 10 seconds faster than 9
So the goal is the first mile sets the stage for the whole run – faster is OK, but not slower – patience
Frid   7th – 5 miles
Bring your watch but don’t worry about it!!
Easy first mile
Miles 2, 3, 4  Run hard your run splits, then jog – don’t walk – your walk splits
Mile 5 easy with true walk run intervals.
Saturday – go out and have fun – no goal on the run
Week 15
Monday Feb 10th  – 5 miles  (not a misprint – doing it again… I reserve the right to check garmin and change the goal times
      8:55 x2      8:50  x 1        8:45  x 1     8:35 x 1       🙂
Wed Feb 12 th – 8 miles  This is a FUN one!!
     1,2-  you set the pace – has to be about the same
     3,4   10 seconds faster 1,2  both the same
     5       10 seconds faster than 4
     6       10 seconds faster than 5
     7       5 to 10 seconds faster than 6
     8       5 to 10 seconds faster than 7
So the goal is the first mile sets the stage for the whole run – faster is OK, but not slower – patience
Friday   Feb 14 th – 4 miles
Negative split each mile on intuition.  🙂
Saturday – go out and have fun – no goal on the run
Week 16
Monday Feb 17th  – 4 miles  
      8:55 x1      8:50  x 1        8:45  x 1     8:35 x 1       🙂
Wed Feb 19th – 6 miles    No watch today – just go out and enjoy your run
So the goal is the first mile sets the stage for the whole run – faster is OK, but not slower – patience
Friday   Feb 21 st – 3 miles
Run slightly uncomfortable 🙂
Saturday – off
strongerAs if all her smiley faces are going to make it all better!!!
I’m going with the “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” philosophy.  SO, assuming I don’t die, I think I should be in pretty good shape for the half on 2/23.  We shall see!

Bike Fitting 101

Rightsize_imageHoly Smokes!!!  Wasn’t there a time back in the day when you stood on a box and if the bike seat came within an inch of your crotch, the bike fit?

Hmmmm, well apparently those days are gone!

When Deb and I bought our road bikes in August, 2012, we found a reputable local Trek dealer, we went in and told the salesman (who was an avid road cyclist) that we wanted a middle of the road road bike to train for a century ride.

The guy measured our inseam (I think) and told us we needed a certain size frame and that was essentially that.

I remember Deb and I adjusted our seats ourselves and then rode over 1,000 miles in 3 months training for a 125 mile cycling event.

At the end of that ride my butt was numb, my lower back was aching, my right foot was numb, but ridiculously painful…

Obviously the distance had something to do with it, but I imagine an ill-fitted bike was a player as well.

So, fast-forward a year and a half, and I decide that it’s a good idea put Ironman – Florida on my calendar in 2015.

One of the first things people who have BTDT told me was, get a professional bike fitting!!!

shapeimage_2Enter Michael Cottle at OutSpoke’N Bike Shop in Lake Mary, FL.

I met Michael at a triathlete nutrition seminar on December 30th.  We spoke briefly about his philosophy regarding bike fitting, which was considerable!  He also came highly recommended by several people whose opinions I regard very highly.

Last Friday, I took my Trek Alpha 1.2 to Michale for a fitting…

Oh my goodness!!  So many measurements… So many adjustments… So much pedaling…

bike-fit-assessment-step1dAnd EVERYTHING on my bike is wrong!!  Okay, not EVERYTHING, but lots – and not because Michael owns a bike shop and was trying to sell me stuff – I believe what he said.  I’ve known my bike is too big for me since the century ride, but what do you do?

He adjusted my seat – the height, the angle, how far forward it was positioned.

He adjusted my cleats so that my heel had more play.

There were lasers and plumb bobs and levels and t-squares and a gigantic protractor and compass involved!!

He is putting on narrower drop bars, a shorter stem, new pretty red tape (okay, that was me, not him), and new aerobars with pads that flip up when I’m not in the aero position so I can use the middle of the bar.

bike-fit-measurement-step2dTo figure all that out took 2 hours.

It will take him a few days to put mu bike back together.

Then I go back and we do the fitting all over again with the new configuration.

What I am positive about in all this bike fitting stuff is:

A.  The dude at the original bike store sold be the wrong bike!

bike-fit-adjustment-step4cB.  I will have as close to the RIGHT bike as Michael can make it when I take my bike out of his shop.

C.  I want a tri bike that Michael fits to me BEFORE I buy it!

If you are doing any serious cycling, spring for the $150+ and get a pro fit!  You won’t regret it!!

The Gluten-Free/Dairy-Free Family

GFCFIt’s one thing when you, as an individual, decide to make some changes in your diet, but it’s a whole other animal when you decide to bring your family along for the ride.

Back in August, I made the decision to remove wheat and dairy from my normal, everyday diet (free days are a different story and I can eat what I want on those days), based upon the advice and guidance of my health coach.  I don’t have celiac disease, I am not wheat intolerant, nor am I lactose intolerant – it was purely and simply a strategy that might get the scale moving again.

This was NOT a decision I made lightly.

Cheese was one of the staples of my diet… I love bread, and all things “bready”… Our days began and ended with nutrition shakes that were mixed in skim milk … and on and on.  I think we probably spent $75-100 at the market on breads, milk and cheeses – every WEEK!!!

So, this was a BIG deal for me!

quick-gfdf-gluten-free-dairy-free-school-lunch-ideas_thumb3The first week was hell – just like detoxing from coffee or sugar – headaches, digestive adjustments, irritability – WOW!  But after the first week, I felt better and what I noticed was that my body just kind of deflated – like a balloon with a slow leak.

Dairy – cheese, especially – is incredibly inflammatory and it seemed that I was carrying around a lot of “bloat.”

Deb noticed the difference as well and she climbed on the bandwagon and she had the same results – a dramatic “deflation.”

Our daughter, Nicki, came home for Christmas break and she was impressed with my results while she was away at school, so on January 2nd she too went gluten-free/dairy-free.

Our 11-year old son has now jumped on board as well.  If it’s good for us, it should be good for him too.  He is very excited about taking his nutrition and wellness to the next level starting this weekend.

So, we will see how this all plays out, but so far so good.

For myself, I can tell you that I have lost 15 pounds, dropped my body fat percentage by 5 %, and am wearing a size 6 (which is the smallest ever in my adult life).  My physical endurance is at an all time high.  My brain is clearer and I am able to focus much better.

This is just anecdotal evidence based on personal experience and I’m not saying this is the perfect lifestyle for everyone, and anyone concerned about it should talk to a doctor, but I feel better than I did when I was 20 and I can do things I couldn’t do when I was 20.

May just be worth a thought…

Negative Split Run – Harder Than I Thought

Longest run to date

Longest run to date

Today’s run – brought to you by Coach Pam – was a negative split interval run.

Here was the plan:

2 miles @ 10 min/mile
2 miles @ 9:45 min/mile
2 miles @ 9:30 min/mile
2 miles @ 9:15 min/mile
2 miles @ 9:00 min/mile
2 miles @ 4 min run/30 sec walk until done.

I have to say, OH MY GAWD!!!  It was a lot harder than I thought it would be.

First, I find it hard to “go slow” (for me) right out of the gate.  I tend to go out faster than I should and as a result I burn out somewhere along the way and my pace goes to heck.

Second, I felt amazing through about mile 8 – barely even breathing hard, but miles 8 and 9 at 9 min/mile about did me in!  I ended up walking  the first full minute of the first 4 minute interval at mile 10 just to catch my breath – that interval was the weakest of the whole run.

neg-splitThird, I’m pretty sure I was hallucinating at points during the run – I swear I saw that pink elephant that Deb talks about in her presentations a couple of times along the way.

But, all-in-all, I am pretty pleased with the run – I was within my goal for pacing on every interval (except that nasty one at mile 10-11).


I am super glad I had the foresight to write the Galloway interval times on my hand – I needed to refer to those more than once.

Math is NOT my strong suit with an oxygen depleted brain!  I did the best I could.

My poor, poor Garmin.  It didn’t know what to do with me and my Galloway intervals.  It kept beeping at me all along the way to speed up or slow down to stay within my pacing bands.  LOL!

I am looking forward to Coach Pam’s feedback – I think she will be pleased for my first effort.

Thank GOD for my Rehydrate gels and my Slam shot – the only thing that got me home in one piece.

And compression socks – thank God for my compression socks.  🙂

And This Just In From the #shitjustgotreal Camp

shit-just-got-realSo, I met with Coach Pam today (yeah that’s right, Dopey Challenge, running 49.6 miles in 4 days, Ironman – that’s the one) so we could review my progress since the holidays.

She is almost as tickled as I am about my Garmin because now she can refine my training – OH BOY!!!

split-timesWe looked at my longest run to date, which was last Wednesday – 11 miles.  She pulled up my split times and said, Man, if you could just invert those splits, that would be a PERFECT run.

I think I may have mentioned that I am not a particularly patient athlete.  I tend to go out fast and hard and then just kind of settle into a slower pace somewhere in the middle.  Negative splits are NOT my norm by any stretch of the imagination.

But it looks like that’s where we’re heading.

Tomorrow is once again my longest run ever at 12 miles.  She wants me to run:

  • 2 miles at a 10 minute pace
  • 2 miles at a 9:45 min pace
  • 2 miles at a 9:30 min pace
  • 2 miles at a 9:15 min pace
  • 2 miles at a 9:00 min pace
  • 2 miles skipping an interval walk (so 4 min run/30 sec walk)

She says that my overall pace should be somewhat faster than my normal pace. She says that holding back in the beginning will make my overall run more pleasant and comfortable.  She says this type of training will help me learn to run by feel rather than running by “Garmin.”

I just have to trust her on that – it sounds like tomorrow will be hard as crap!!!

I have to believe that #shitjustgotreal!!!

Pray for me and I’ll report back when I’m finished!!

garminP.S. Can I just say how much I love, Love, LOVE my Garmin?  I just laid out the intervals for this particular workout and – boom – it uploaded to my watch and I’m all set – how freakin’ cool is that!  I am so easily amused!! 🙂