Friday, August 31, 2012

Hurricane Isaac Can Suck It!

For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you already know that this last week has been a bit of a bitch. Living in the New Orleans area, we were right in the direct path of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Isaac. We decided to stay and not evacuate since we are about 40 miles north of New Orleans, on high ground, and had a 5500 watt generator and 3 A/C window units (and plenty of beer). Loading up a 10 month old and driving for 8 to 9 hours to Texas or Georgia was NOT my idea of a picnic.

Isaac came and wreaked some major havoc in various forms:
  • He dumped an ass-load of water on us. For those of you unfamiliar with the term "ass-load" it means 8+ inches of water in 24 hours. It rained and rained and rained and rained....
  • We had sustained winds in the 70 mph range. This equaled lots of downed trees and tree limbs.
  • We lost power, but luckily for only about 36 hours (Cleco and all of the electrical response teams are BADASS!)
  • I stress ate and drank for a weight gain of 2 lbs. (Doh!)
  • I have not run since Sunday's long run (Double DOH!!!)
Now luckily this week in my training plan was supposed to be a step down week anyway. My long run this week is only supposed to be 5 miles. After Sunday's 15 miles my hip has been acting up. I'm thinking the rest was probably good for me, but I still have the antsy "I haven't run in days" stress going on. I was determined to go out today for an easy 3 or 4, but today's stress of clean-up, job response and Baby Z's crawl-a-thon just wore me out. So, I decided to drink a beer instead. :) Yeah...bad...I know.

Training has been going well though.  I've been killing my long runs. I've run several 9's and 10's and even pushed my 10 miler to 15 on Sunday. I was helping a friend get to 45 miles. That's right....FORTY-FIVE miles of running. If you don't follow @KerrieAnnFrey you SHOULD. She is just so awesome and inspiring and I want to be like her when I grow up. That's me on the left in the blue. Kerri is the bad-ass on the right. My hip's been a bit cranky since that run. I've been stretching and rolling it. Hoping it cooperates for tomorrow's 6 miles.

In good news, lookie what I found at the grocery store!!! You know what this means...Fall is here! Fall is here! Well...almost. After my first Starbucks pumpkin spice latte (#PSL) then I consider Fall officially here. I figured a six-pack of this was appropriate seeing as we are experiencing a true, blue moon tonight.

That's all I have for now.

Today I love: How a hurricane makes you appreciate the basic essentials we take for granted.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Jazz Half Marathon training week #1

Holy crap where did the summer go!!?? I've been lounging and hitting the pool and drinking daiquiris in the bag (Have you SEEN these things??? They are AWE-SOME!) and letting summer just cruise on by, knowing that fall half marathon training was creeping up fast. Now I was running...but not "RUNNING".  I've mainly just been doing some maintenance stuff (read: sitting on my butt or schlogging through a run). I woke up on Sunday and thought I'd better check on a training plan for the upcoming Jazz Half Marathon. I realized then that it's 13 weeks away! 13 WEEKS PEOPLE!! That's not much time!! ACK!

This is the first half marathon, post-pregnancy, that I plan to RUN - not fun-run - I mean, really balls-out train for and run. I have set a pretty lofty time goal for myself. Not so lofty for my pre-Baby Z-self, but lofty for my fat-butt-out-of-shape-still-have-some-baby-weight-left self. I'm both excited and nervous about this race. I have all of the self-doubt issues creeping into my head, but I'm going in with the attitude of try your hardest and enjoy the outcome (but I really want to kick-ass).

I plugged my goal time and training preferences into the nifty Runner's World Smart Coach app. It's a little expensive for an app, but has some nice feature and chugs out a pretty nice training plan. This is what the little running dictator is telling me I need to get done this week:

Monday: 4 miles easy
Tuesday: Rest or X-train
Wednesday: 5 mile tempo (1 mile w/u, 3 miles tempo, 1 mile c/d)
Thursday: 4 miles easy
Friday: Rest or X-train
Saturday: 8 miles long run (slow and easy pace)
Sunday: Rest or X-train

Total mileage: 23 miles

I got Monday's and Wednesday's runs done. And I actually ran 6 today instead of the required 5. Yup. I'm an overachiever. But no-one seemed to inform Mother Nature that ultra high humidity is NOT preferred when Jen is training for a half marathon. These runs KICKED MY BUTT! I ran 6 last week with somewhat ease when we had a cool spell. Well, I was barely able to do 4 easy this week. Blergh. Now, I did it and I know some of what went wrong was due to fueling issues and only 5 hours of sleep (thank YOU Baby Z). Gawd, I sure hope this gets easier though. COME ON FALL WEATHER!!!!

In other news I forgot my Garmin on my 6 miler today. Not a total tragedy since I knew the route and knew where the 3 mile turnaround was, but I'm a data nerd and like to see pace, avg. pace, calories burned (so I know how many cupcakes I can eat), etc...blah, blah, and so on and so forth. It then hit me, "Hey - you have one of those smart phone thingies! There's got to be a free (emphasis on free) app that will do all of that!" Sure enough, one quick search later I found the MapMyRun app and downloaded it. And I'll be damned if that thing wasn't accurate! I DID have to turn on my GPS on my phone which I do NOT like to do (in case the Russians want to pinpoint my location and launch a missile up my rear) but it was a nice little app! All kinds of data read outs to take my mind of the life-sucking humidity. I love thee.

Today I Love: O.N.E Coconut Water - great post long(ish) run fuel.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Lent, Day 2 - no sugary sweets

Sooo...yeah.....I decided to give up sugary sweets this year for Lent. My sweet tooth had gotten WAY out of control. When I get overly tired or stressed I reach for the sugar, and with a new baby that was pretty much every day. I have lost a good portion of my pregnancy weight but those last 6 to 8 lbs (depending on what day I step on the scale) just will not come off. I'm thinking the truck-loads of candy and cupcakes I keep shoving into my pie-hole might have something to do with that.

Now I haven't gone overboard with the NO SUGAR thing. Mainly I've cut out the junk sweets: anything where the nutritional value of the food does not outweigh the sugar content (i.e., cookies, candy, cakes, cupcakes, chocolate, etc.). With this philosophy I am allowing:

  • fruits
  • low sugar yogurt (like Chobani)
  • low sugar oatmeal
  • natural peanut butter
  • sugar free creamer for my coffee (shut up...I know it has no nutritional value but at least I switched to sugar free)
Let me tell you this is MUCH harder than I had anticipated. Especially when I have these staring at me:

 OMG these jellybeans are the BEST and they only come out for Easter.


And add to it that I've been ramping up my workouts a bit so I'm rungry all of the time. And "RUNGRY JEN WANT SUGAR!!!" (in my cavewoman voice).

Day 1 I was fine until about 2:00 p.m.  The afternoon blood sugar dip hit me HARD. I wanted to reach for the sugar so badly...just one jellybean. No one will know. Problem is, I would know and I would be disappointed in myself. So, I made a huge glass of water with NUUN and had a few strawberries.  It helped. Day 2 I tried to be a little smarter and ate a bigger breakfast and drank water steadily throughout the day. That helped some but again - 2:00 p.m. BAM! the cravings hit. Again I scrounged for alternatives to combat the cravings.

I'm on Day 3 today and I'm starting to learn a few things already:
  • My blood sugar dips and my cravings spike about the same time every day - 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Knowing this helps me prepare for these times a little better. I'm trying to incorporate a healthy snack right before these times. My favorites are raw almonds, fruit, string cheese, yogurt, light popcorn or laughing cow cheese.
  • I find I eat less of a healthy snack as opposed to a sugary snack. A couple of strawberries or a few almonds will do the trick where as I will mindlessly eat cookies or candy. The little "you need to stop eating!" dude in my head just seems to take a siesta when I start chomping on the sugar.
  • I need to eat a better breakfast. I usually just grab a Luna bar and some coffee. Nope...not gonna work. A breakfast bar just does not cut it. I need protein in my breakfast to help me last through the day.
I will be curious to see if my sugar hiatus will make a difference on the scale. I plan to weigh in after 7 days to see. Stay tuned, I will report back on it. *fingers crossed*

What are some of your favorite healthy snacks? How do you monitor your sugar intake?

Today I LOVE: rainy, stay-in-your-pajamas-and-read-a-good-book-days.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Upcoming Races

I'm getting super excited...I mean "pee my pants" excited about two upcoming races. I signed the entire Z family up for the 2012 Amedisys Mardi Gras Mambo in Baton Rouge. It's a 10K that's super stroller friendly. It will be our first race as a family. I cannot wait to strap the little guy into the jogging stroller and take off. He loves being in the jogging stroller and I'm anxious to see how he does in a race setting. I'm hoping for gorgeous weather (no rain please!).

I'm also looking forward to the race bling...RACE BLING!!! It's been so long since I've seen or touched or caressed race bling. Oh race I've missed you.

The other race Mr Z and I are doing is the Rock N Roll New Orleans Half Marathon. I still remember when this was the Mardi Gras Marathon and Half Marathon - before Rock 'n' Roll bastardized it and jacked the prices way up. I still struggle and try to call it the Mardi Gras race. Luckily I got in on a great deal and I'm getting to run this puppy for $35. Whoohoo!

What I'm most excited about is meeting up with all of the great runners that I chat with via social media. It is so great to put a face with the twitter handle and meet these people in real life, warts and all. I'm working with Claim Your Journey to organize a MASSIVE tweetup at his booth. Stay tuned for details. In the meantime swing by his site and check out his posts. He is a purveyor of all things running in Louisiana, has great posts on just general running info and is a super nice person ta boot!

Now should I rock the tutu for both races??

Today I Love: Race BLING!!!!

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Negativity is a disease.

I believe that. Negativity spreads like a virus. It infests and infects our lives and the people around us. It can eat you up inside if you dwell on it. I am a firm believer in the power of positivity and positive thinking. That is why I'm starting Selfbrag Sunday (#selfbragsunday). Every Sunday on here and Twitter I'm going to post something positive about myself or something I did that week. And I encourage everyone else to do the same. Put your positivity out there and feel good about yourself!

Today's #selfbragsunday topic is:  Name one part of your body that you love.

I love my calves. I have nice, muscular calves. They are strong. They make me strong. I can see all of my running and walking workouts in my calves. I think they are one of my nicest features.

(Not my calves)

What is your favorite body part and why?

Today I am thankful for: Nautical stripes - they scream spring to me and make me happy.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Scenes from a long run

Picture post from my last long run.

 It was a gorgeous day to be out for a run.

 I had the BEST running companion ever. He lasted about halfway and then conked out.

Rockin' my Newtons. I am seriously in love with these shoes.

 Stopping at the turnaround for a re-fuel and a stretch.

Not a good picture but there's a great little wooden bridge that I cross. It's always picturesque.

The Tunnel.  This goes underneath a major four-lane road.

 I always love seeing the tunnel because it means I'm only a half mile away from being DONE!

 And of course, my reward for completing a good, tough run.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Getting ready for a run

One of the big differences for me between pre and post pregnancy has been just getting ready...for anything. I have to add on about 30 minutes to an hour of my estimated "get ready" time to get this little human ready to leave the house. There is so much to pack and do and it never fails that there is usually a last minute diaper change required before walking out the door (sometimes an outfit change depending on how big the blow-out was). Just to give you a better idea, here's a break-down of getting ready to go for a run pre-pregnancy and post-pregnancy:

  • Decide to go for a run!
  • Put on running clothes
  • Head out the door
  • Start Garmin
  • Run
Post-Pregnancy (and I'm sure I'm leaving out a few steps)
  • Decide, despite a considerable lack of sleep and zombie-mom status that I should go for a run to 1. get me out of the house, 2. get me out of my pajamas and 3. it's good for me.
  • Is Baby Z in a good enough mood to last for 3 miles?
  • Go pee
  • Feed Baby Z
  • Change Baby Z
  • Make sure Baby Z has on appropriate clothing for outdoors
  • Pump so "the girls" won't be screaming while I'm running
  • Go pee again
  • Put on SUPER heavy-duty, ultra-restraining, spandex that rivals the strength of the Man of Steel sports bra
  • Put on running clothes
  • Make sure jogging stroller tires are inflated properly 
  • Put Baby Z in car carrier
  • Put car carrier in jogging stroller.
  • Triple check that carrier is latched in properly and safety straps are buckled
  • Make sure Baby Z has enough blankets, toys, pacifiers to keep him happy
  •  Go pee AGAIN
  • Head out the door
  • Start Garmin
  • Run 

But I wouldn't change it for the world. When I look down at the stroller and see him smiling up at me it just motivates me to push a little more and go a little longer. I love my little running buddy and can't wait until he does his first kids fun run.

Today I am thankful for: flavored coffee creamers

Monday, January 2, 2012

Welcome 2012 & future goals

I do not like New Year's resolutions. That's just not me. I don't think resolving to do/change/quit something one day a year is effective or healthy. I like to continually re-evaluate my priorities and goals and adjust them according to life's curve balls. Life is never static, so why should my goals be?

But since the start of a new year is time to spill your guts, I'm putting my current goals down.

Most Importantly
First and foremost I want to spend as much time as I can with this precious angel!

After 3 years of trying and over 1 year of Assisted Reproductive Therapy, I thank God everyday that he finally made his way to us. He is such a blessing. He's almost 3 months old and he has changed SO much just in this short time. I don't want to miss a second of him. He no longer looks like a newborn. He greets me with a smile and a giggle every morning and melts my heart. He is now a little person with a hilarious personality. They are babies for such a short period and I can't get this time back. He has changed my priorities from an obsessive "me" focus to more of a "whole picture" focus.

I have a good relationship with God. I talk to him daily. I thank him daily. But I don't have a good relationship with church. I've been lazy. We haven't gone much. I plan to change this.

I used to obsess over running...."When's the next race? I gotta get at least 30 miles in this week!" the point that I let other fitness fall behind and that often left me with knee issues. Instead of hitting the gym like I should I often ran through the pain or had to take weeks off of running to heal.

I lost a lot of muscle definition during and after the pregnancy.  I want to focus more time on weight training and cross training as I slowly get back into running. I need better strength, flexibility and balance. I also don't want to obsess over running races this year. With Baby Z being so young, breastfeeding him, and not having family nearby to watch him, my race obsession will have to tame down a bit. I'm going to focus on a few local races (and one big marathon) and mainly my overall fitness. I'm not so obsessed with the bling right now. He's my bling.

I do want to get a better hold on my eating habits. While pregnant I pretty much ate whatever my body was craving at the moment. I want to get back to Kind Life ways and eating more of a Kind Diet.

I plan to focus my diet around fruits, veggies, nuts & healthy grains...oh and water....LOTS of water. I'm not ready to make the total vegetarian jump yet, but I can fit in more flexitarian days each week and make better, kinder food choices.

I want to blog more. I used to blog regularly about pretty much everything. It was cathartic.  I miss it.  Even though this is a running blog I plan to just blog more about life in general: the good, the bad, the training, and the poopy diapers.

I also need to study for and take my second exam for my Certified Safety Professional designation.
This is the first of several designations I want. The better trained and certified I am, the better commodity I am. I plan on becoming a badass environmental scientist! 

Today I am thankful for: baby footed pajamas