Category Archives: doin things My way

Call for Goals! Yes, you.

It is not easy to say what we want; it is hard to put ourselves out there, and really challenge what we think we’re capable of doing. I’ve been on both sides of that blurry line – self doubt and self confidence – and I can assure you it never gets easier to stay on the side of the latter.

Somewhere along the road, running became the challenge I needed to realize that a much bigger box is out there. At one of the pit-stops, every other form of physical activity got thrown into the mix (bikes, yoga, hiking, Warrior-style workouts…).

I’m not confined, I’m not unable, I’m not stuck. There is always room for improvement, and tests. There are plenty of days where I’m happy to just lace up the shoes and go – no requirements, no Type-A Garmin expectations, no training plan. But, there are just as many days where I do demand something from my legs & mind. We have a codependent relationship, and that can only grow with expectations.

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Very recently I took a lofty goal, and put it out there. After wavering in the “I don’t know about this race” limbo for at least a month, I realized what a wimp I was being. Why run a third marathon without an expectation? Why take what had been a pretty successful – albeit mostly informal, created on-the-go –training cycle and let it go, because I was “unsure”?

If we’re completely sure of what’s possible, we can do better.

“Low expectations are often a self-fulfilling prophecy. We insulate ourselves from failure, don’t try as hard, brace for the worst and often get it.”   Seth Godin

So, let’s hear it! What goal are you staring down right now?

What’s something you want, but think you can’t get – aren’t ready for it, don’t really think you can grab it, aren’t totally sure you’ll ever do it?

I got an interesting mix of responses to both my Marathon goal, and the result. As always, this is an amazingly supportive crowd – but also a curious one! I love it.

Do it NowKeep going

I’ll be honest, I was more than pleasantly surprised (understatement of the week) to race how I did, but I also told my mind there wasn’t an option. You want a 3:39 or better? Then DO IT. That’s it.


There are a lot of race weekends coming up (NYC & Philly – to name the big ones!), holidays, life changes, etc – and I know a few of you that are capable of much more than you think.

This does not have to be running, or even fitness, related at all. I just challenge you to think of what challenges you. And to put it out there, here. Don’t hesitate, not for a second.

Ready? I’ll get things started. I will qualify for Boston, 2013*.

*meaning I have to run a sub 3:35. Done.



Filed under about me, challenges, doin things My way, Goals, learning, making plans, things that make me Happy

TTT: I meant it when I said it

{ Three Things Thursday, a la Morgan }

1) My first date with Quinoa involved a sweet potato, and it did not disappoint. I wrote:

“…a fun mix of textures and flavors, plus some greens on the side!… You can’t go wrong with a plate full of veggies and healthy grains.”

As for the latter, that will always be true. I’ve since learned that this particular healthy {protein-packed} grain goes well with a lot of other things! Last night I paired the sweet potato with it again, alongside a different kind of green, and was once again pleased with how well the date went. Dinner success!

10.26.11 00710.26.11 005 In the mix: sautéed sweet potato (peeled & cubed) + carmelized red onion + cumin, ground red pepper, pepper + quinoa + a drizzle of barbecue sauce.

All together: stuffed in a pita with avocado slices.

I meant it when I said you can’t go wrong!
Quinoa & sweet potatoes are good friends.

2) I’ve had crazier weeks – and by “crazy”, I mean that I once declared myself in a state of manic-taper-mode. This time around, “it looks like we – me and my sane mind – might actually make it to Sunday, crazy-taper free!” I put there it out there, and I meant it.  We’re 3 days away, and still going strong!

How to stay sane during the taper week: RELAX. Seriously, just calm down. Chill out. You’ve put in the miles; you don’t need another Long Run. You’ve sacrificed nights out, mornings sleeping in, countless hours planning routes & runs & your bank account balance at the grocery store, running store & maybe even on iTunes purchasing a few new tunes (but then proceeding to start running without music? what? Dang.).

Now? You get to relax. Take advantage! Run easy miles; let your run-buddy take you for a speedy, hilly run; run more easy miles. Go to the expo and snatch up a bunch of freebies. Sleep in a little bit more every morning. Add a few more carbs to those meals when it’s time.

Enjoy the butterflies you get every time you think about the day to come.

3) Set a goal*; hold yourself accountable; take on a challenge.
Think optimistically.


I meant it when I said that I want that BQ.
*But, we’ll talk about that tomorrow.


Say what you mean, and mean what you say! Anything you want to put out there, and add to the list? Let’s hear it.


Filed under dinners, doin things My way, food, Goals, making plans, MCM, recipes, running, training

The Flexi-Plan

{Mystery clue-of-the-day is at the bottom!}

Last weekend, I didn’t run 16 miles. It was on the plan, and I couldn’t have cared less whether or not those miles got a check in the box.

Instead, I ran 3 miles on Saturday, only to turn around and realize that time would be much better spent with D while he was home for the weekend.

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Sunday morning, after the airport drop-off, I headed out with my camelbak and snacks, just in case the motivation came to me at some point. I met up with Martha at Wash Park, and rounded out a little more than 8 miles. Then I decided that day would be much better spent doing things like grocery shopping, getting a haircut, lounging on the couch and reading.

Miles for the weekend: 11+. Regrets: 0.

It’s official; for the time being, I’m on the Flexi-plan. For the time being, there is just too much to think about. The legs will get those miles, it just may not always be according to the schedule.

We decided we’re okay with that, me and this attitude of mine.


In the spirit of flexi-planning, I had to skip my double-Monday routine yesterday. Between an early work morning and a late work-dinner night, it just wasn’t going to happen. Instead, I woke up at 5:30  today, and hit the road!

As it turns out, the sun is sleeping in later than me these days. It was a dark start, with a realization that Fall is quickly creeping up on us!

Today, I ran 7.1 miles of purely distracted bliss. My mind was in an entirely different place, with a million things to do and one big thing to be excited about.

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What’s that “Big” thing?

Clue #1: I’ll be doing my first 20 miler of this cycle in a different city!

Clue #2: We sold D’s car on Saturday; we’re down to one, for good reason!

{ Friends who know, I still expect you to shhh. Sorry, Epod. I’ll put wind back those sails soon!}


Filed under doin things My way, early morning, making plans, running, training

The Start of MCM

Last weekend started with a test; I had finally “rested” up, reminded my muscles what it was like to run easy and hard during the week, and had no remnant lactic acid joining the party by Friday morning.

Plan A? Successful!

This meant I had 10 miles to run, a double-digit adventure I hadn’t tested in way too long. It seems to be the distance that always seems to humble my “I’ve run it before, I can run again” ego.

Thankfully my ego learns quickly, and was completely armed to be dropped on the trail if needed. Road rash only burns for a few days.

Luckily, we both made it through:


10 miles – 1:29 (avg pace ~8:55)

Test, passed! Muscles & mind in agreement, we’re ready for this marathon-training stuff – bring on Week 1!


Given the sporadic running attitude I’ve had over the past two months, this plan was a little trickier to conjure up. Unfortunately I don’t think the Smart Coach really gets me – No, I won’t stick to a 5 run/week plan, I don’t like doing my speed-work on Wednesdays, and I’m not taking two days to “Rest / XT” before every  long run.

Geeze, don’t you know me by now, Coach?

Computer-generated training won’t cut it this time, so I’ve spent  hours (tough business, this whole “planning” thing) creating the next 16-week layout. I’ve taken the set travel days into account, and highlighted a few weekends where things may need to be swapped.

Here’s hoping none of my 20-milers will be on weekdays, after work, or before 5 a.m.! Good times.

It will all start with this, nice n’ simple (with Track days TBD, as I’ll only know those schedules the week of):


Tonight, those four miles will be checked off with the lululemon Run Group – easy pace with fun people? Not a bad tone to start off with!

Marine Corps, I like you. I think we’re going to be best buds for the next 16 weeks!


Filed under doin things My way, making plans, marathon, new things!, running, training

Approaching Another 13.1

Today marked Day 1 of yet another training cycle; it seems never-ending, and I love it that way.

Today also marks a significant turn in American history, which was a good distraction as I logged miles that seemed very insignificant.


I finally found a race that worked, timing-wise, with my goals and schedule. I have a five week training plan, with a brand new approach. After ten half-marathons, a fresh strategy is long over-due.

Rather than relying in the trusted RW Smart Coach, I created this one all on my own. Every time I create one of those plans, I follow it, but always make my own adjustments and almost never pay attention to the recommended pace. I know my body better than an online calculator, right? I also know my schedule better!

Taking into account the way my weeks already play out, this made more sense. I factored in Yoga and Ryders’ classes that I refuse to miss, and that only add to the plan as a whole – stretching and strengthening on a consistent basis? Yes, I can finally get behind that notion.

All of that being said, here’s how my month will look:

Taste of Louisville Training

Wednesdays = Lululemon Group Run (typically a very easy pace, conversational and just enjoying the company of new runners).
Sundays = “Restorative Yoga”. D joined me for this last night; it’s half an hour of poses and stretching, and half an hour of 2-3 very relaxed, resting poses. In other words, it’s amazing.

Monday, Progression Run: 5 miles? Check!

This is one of my favorite workouts; don’t push as hard as a Tempo Run, but let the legs warm up and settle into a faster pace. The goal is to aim for Race Pace by the end, without feeling like death when you get there. Today, that looked like this: 8:58, 8:06,7:43, 7:35, 7:30.

Things are off to a good start!

Have you made your own training plan before? What was your strategy?

I’ve made two for my Sister now, but had yet to really create one (from scratch) for myself. I don’t know what took me so long, and my fingers are crossed that this brings me to the starting line ready to race!


Filed under about me, doin things My way, new things!, running, Speed workouts, strength train too!, training, Yoga