May 9, 2011

The Finish Line


Race day has come and gone and I’m proud to say that 13.1 miles is behind us!  Eric crossed the finish line and can officially call himself a half-marathoner!  No training can prepare you for running that kind of distance with 29,999 other runners (thanks to a really terrible corral at the start, we pretty much dodged people for 13.1 miles) or trying to get your stride back after having to wait 15 minutes for a bathroom 5 miles in, but we made it.  We’re both sore, but Eric’s mentioned a couple of times that he’ll take on another half in his future!  I have LOVED our weekend long runs together, so that is music to my ears.  I know every step after mile 8 was rough, so I am beyond proud of that kid!

Eric's ready to run!
As for me, I learned a couple of things.  1)  It was fun to run a race and not worry about my time.  I got to enjoy the (sometimes terrible) bands and people watch the whole time.  It was fantastic and I wasn’t worried about checking my watch every few minutes.  In fact, I forgot to stop my watch at the finish line!  2)  I was reminded why I am so hesitant to take on a full marathon again:  my stomach sucks!  I’m not worried about my legs during 26.2, but I am worried about my stomach.  I just don’t think it’s made for that kind of distance.  The half marathon is tough enough, but the cramping and worrying about a strict diet before long runs and the race might be too much for me.  I’ve never had any probably during either full marathon that I’ve run, but I have had some miserable training runs.  I love the challenge, but I’m just not sure it’s worth it – 13.1 might be my distance after all.  
My friend Sarah made this fabulous sign  


After a weekend of eating non-stop, I’m back on the Weight Watchers train today.  I’ve lost 16.2 pounds and my ultimate goal weight is within reach!    

Let me leave you with a couple of recipes I’ve tried of the last few days with great success.   Three are WW friendly – the other is just delish!

From my girl Gina (whom I’ve never actually met or corresponded with – but she’s my hero) over at skinnytaste.com I tried scones and deviled eggs (both awesome!).

Strawberry Scones:  I made 10 scones instead of 8 and they worked out to 3 points apiece.

Deviled Eggs:  I love, love, love deviled eggs.  Unfortunately, my hard boiling skills really suck and someone needs to teach me how to do them perfectly.  They weren’t pretty, but they were tasty. 

Two others that were winners…

Turkey Sausage Quiche:  I’ve made this a few times, but we made this for Eric’s mom for Mother’s Day yesterday.  This is 7 points per slice (cut into 8 slices) and prefect with a side of strawberries!  Target grocery had chicken sausage, but not turkey sausage (odd), so I made it with chicken this time around and it was great!

Key Lime Cupcakes:  I didn’t calculate the points, nor do I want to!  I really don’t want to calculate the points in the extra key lime frosting that we dipped graham crackers in.  Whatever…I ran 13.1 miles on Saturday!

May 5, 2011

It's almost race day!

In October 2009, I ran the Marine Corp marathon in Washington, D.C.  Two months prior to that, I had gone on a date with this guy named Eric and we really hit it off.  My marathon training defined our infant relationship.  From scheduling dates around training runs to Eric making me the most amazing crab cakes after a 20 miler, our dating life revolved around my 26.2 miles.  So much so that Eric couldn't miss the race and he surprised me by flying to D.C. to watch me run!  It's easily the most romantic thing anyone has ever done for me (he set the bar pretty high for himself). 

Somehow, despite our excellent planning, Eric missed me along the ENTIRE race course.  The runner tracking was delayed and the D.C. Metro was overwhelmed with people that had the same plan we did.  Thanks to a small miracle, I found Eric not long after I crossed the finish line.  We were exhilarated and disappointed at the same time, but in the end, it didn't really matter.  I made it and I knew I had Eric's support.  After the race I remember him telling me, "you know, I feel really inspired to become a runner."

Well, babe, I'm happy to tell you that you ARE a runner and on Saturday, you're going to run 13.1 miles!!

I'm getting very excited for Saturday.  Eric's followed our training plan to a T and he's more than ready.  His mom will be in town to cheer him on with a big group of our friends. Now, we just need the rain to hold off and we should have a fabulous race day!  If you want to follow our progress on Saturday, check out the Twitter account we've set up (you don't have to have a Twitter account to access it) at twitter.com/coles13point1.

Apr 11, 2011

A Taste of Summer

Spring fever has arrived at my house!  Over the weekend, the temps got into the 80s and I was in heaven.  Today, it's chilly and rainy. 

We had two days of amazing weather and I felt like I needed to squeeze as much summer as possible into those two days.  I managed to get a sunburn, grill out, there was a little yard work completed (not by me), the dog got a good walk and Eric and I went for a long run (8 miles!  I'm beyond proud of that kid.).  For a weekend with very little on the agenda, it was perfect.  I cannot remember feeling more satisfied with the way I spent my weekend than I did at about 9:00 Sunday evening. 

Of course, there is so much more that I love about summer.  This little taste made me anxious for patio sitting, going to the pool, catching a baseball game, passing the most beautiful field of wild flowers on Sunday morning going to church (it's breathtaking!), bike rides, cold beer on a hot day, beach vacations.  I think this list could go on forever. 

Apr 5, 2011

No lie

Today's Skinny Taste post gave a shout out to Better'n Peanut Butter.  Since I totally trust Gina and her suggestions (and I happened to polish off the Skippy in the pantry this morning), I picked some up at the store.  Let me tell you, that stuff is NO JOKE!  No false advertising whatsoever.  Seriously, go out and buy it.  In fact, you can figure out where to find it near you here.

For you Weight Watcher folks, it's 2 points for 2T - so half the points of reduced fat PB (2 points for 1T)!

Apr 1, 2011

Friday Wrap-up

I have so many different thoughts running through my head today and could easily break this into about 5 posts, but there just isn't time for that.  So, here's a Friday wrap-up for you.....


Last night, in my kitchen...
Gina over at skinnytaste.com just might be my new hero.  She has the best recipe ideas and lists of all the Weight Watcher Points Plus values for everything she makes.  Last night, I made this and it was amazing!  It will become a staple at our house (I didn't have mozzarella, so I made it with blue cheese - fantastic!).  I'm also obsessed with her recipe for Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili and Cloud Cookies

(P.S.:  I may just need need to start a monthly Cookbook Challenge like the fabulously corny LB over at A Step in the Journey.)

This weekend...
Eric and I are headed to Galesburg, IL to hang out with my mom for a couple of days.  Normally these trips revolve around eating at my favorite places from growing up - which includes eating a super cheesy soup, nachos, completely unhealthy spaghetti and so much more.  For some reason, I'm really not interested in all of that this trip and I'm looking forward to planning my weekend around our 7 mile long run at the lake instead.  There will, however, be a sweet reward.  Happy Joe's Taco Pizza!  I was beyond excited to find they now post nutritional information on their website and my all-time favorite "food from home" is only 6 points per slice.  If you're ever near one of those locations, you need to try it.  It's amazing!

And finally....Go Bulldogs!!!
I'm very bummed that we'll be missing all of the basketball excitement in Indy this weekend- but we will definitely be cheering on Butler in the Final Four!  Last year, we were fortunate enough to get to go to the NCAA Championship Game, only to watch a heartbreaking loss for the hometown team.  There is so much buzz around Indy and Bulter's repeat visit to the Final Four - it's been fun to follow.  To share a little of the Butler spirit with you, check on this story from the Indy Star about the city of Connersville, IN rallying support to send forward Matt Howard's family (mom, dad and 8 siblings) to Houston.  Also, if you're on Twitter, I highly recommend following Bulter's mascot, ButlerBlue2


Have a fantastic weekend! 

Mar 28, 2011

Time to give back

For the first time that I can remember, I seem to be questioning how I spend my time.  I'm finding myself watching terrible TV (I think this feeling was sparked with the return of Real Housewives of Orange County - I feel a little shame admitting that I've watched every season), getting antsy and just needing to fill a void a little bit.  I've always had a full plate, but now I'm finding it about 75% full.  Don't get me wrong, I love that I'm not stressed out and overloaded, but, well, I've only got one life.  I need to make the most of it. 

I've also recognized that for the first time in my life I'm not giving back in any way.  Sure, I put money in the collection plate at church every week and I volunteer every once in awhile, but I don't feel like I'm really doing that much for the greater good.  I didn't realize how much I valued my work with philanthropic events when I lived in Atlanta and how much I feel like that same opportunity hasn't presented itself here in Indy. 

So, I need your suggestions.  Have you had a regular, on-going volunteer experience that you've loved?  I'd love to find something that is 4-5 hours per month and preferably on weeknights. 

I feel like that was kind of heavy.  I'll work on something less heavy later this week!

Mar 21, 2011

Dusting off the old blog

I'm not really sure what's taken me away from the blog for well over a year, but I've decided to renew my commitment and get back to writing.  To be honest, I've become a pretty avid blog reader over the past few months and I realized I'm not giving back.  That doesn't seem totally fair, so I'm diving back in. 

So, to kick things off, some updates:

Running:  I'm officially an inspired runner again!  Since my last post, I've had a bit of a love-hate relationship with running.  The hip injury = weight gain.  Weight gain = harder to run (and, well, running shorts also become a challenge).  Harder to run =  not really enjoying running.  Since January, I've been committed to getting the extra weight off and getting back on track with running.  I still have a little ways to go, but with help from Weight Watchers and a month of boot camp, I'm well on my way.  Don't get me wrong, I've completed 2 half-marathons and 2 triathlons since last January, but they weren't my best effort and I'm glad to be back on track.

Dezzy Bean
Life:  Life is good....better than I could have ever asked for!  Eric and I officially became "roomates" last May and we've had an awesome time.  Our animals (my sweet Chase, the cat, and his now mama's girl dog, Dezzy) tolerate each other and Eric and I have become a fantastic team.  It seems God really knew what He was doing when he pulled me back to Indy!  Eric has even committed to running the Indianapolis Mini Marathon (yes, folks, 13.1 miles) with me in May.  He's well on his way to making it happen and I could not be more proud.

Chase in one of her favorite spots
I'm also about to wrap up my first year in the Junior League. I never thought I'd join, but I agreed to try it out with a couple of girlfriends.  The experience has had its ups and downs, but ultimately I've met some new people and I'm glad to be a part of something that's giving back to Indy. 

Of course, I need to give a shout out to my fantastic friends here in Indy.  I'm so blessed to have so many lifelong friends from college here in town.  We've all sprinkled in friends from other parts of our lives into our social network and there's always something going on.  Everyone should be so lucky!


Goals:  I have to confess that the marathon bug seems to have bit me.  I'm trying very hard to suppress this nasty little urge to take on the big race again, but I'm not sure I'll be successful.  I've committed to the half-marathon in May, Warrior Dash in August as also another triathlon in August.  All of these things would nicely lead into a full marathon in October.  So, we'll see.  I'll keep you posted if I make the commitment. 

That's the news here.  I'm back on the wagon.

Jan 6, 2010

Pain free!

Happy New Year! 

I'm very pleased to report that I'm starting 2010 with a pain free hip!  FINALLY!  I haven't put in crazy miles yet (I mean, it's FREEZING outside....who would?!), but my couple of miles on the treadmill have been great.  Plus, I've been doing the Biggest Loser workouts on the Wii and they're kicking my butt too.  I feel so much better already!  Sadly, the New Years Day run didn't happen.  There was just too much ice and snow on the ground in Illinois to get out on the road.  Plus, I think it got up to 3 degrees that day! 

Over the holiday I signed up for triathlon #2 for this summer.  It sounds like we'll have six people running it this year, so it should be a blast!  Mini marathon training starts in two weeks too, so there are some fun goals ahead this year.

Have a fantastic 2010!  I feel great about this year!

Nov 30, 2009

3 Thanksgivings

Over the past 8 days, I have chowed down on three Thanksgiving dinners - plus a massive amount of leftovers.  Between all the food and not being able to run, this could bse a disaster.  If you see me in the next month and I'm a looking a bit "bloated", please don't judge! 

Luckily, I can now swim and bike (for 30 minutes), but I'm really, really missing running.  Eric and I are planning on a three mile run on New Year's Day.  He's been working on building up his mileage and I'm looking forward to getting back on the road, so it will be a great start to 2010!

Nov 11, 2009

No miles until January

Well, my hip/IT band issue just won't go away.  After another doctor visit and a trip to the physical therapist, I've been told not to run until probably January.  At the moment, they won't let me even swim - just yoga and easy walks.  I'm fairly addicted to working out and I love that I can make my end-of-the-day headache go away with a little time on the treadmill - so this could be tough.  Hopefully they'll let me start swimming next week, but for now I'm going to be good. 

I'll keep you posted - but I strongly advise against getting bursitis!  It hurts and it won't go away quickly!

Oct 27, 2009

Survived!

Well, I made it!  It wasn't easy, but I managed to survive this weekend's 26.2!  I shaved almost an hour off of my time from last year - 52 minutes to be exact!  I can only imagine what I could have done if I hadn't been injured.  Luckily, it's not nagging at me enough to train for another marathon.  I won't say that I'm permanently retired, but another race won't be happening anytime soon.  I'm far more sore today than I was last year. 

I need to give a special shout out to Eric for being so great this weekend!  I really don't know what I would have done without him!  The text message alerts for the race were delayed, so it proved impossible to find me on the course on Sunday.  In what was nothing short of a miracle, we found each other at the finish.  He was so good about taking care of me and tried so hard to find me on the course - I could not appreciate him more.  We had a great, great weekend in DC.  We were able to meet up with several of my friends - Megan from Galesburg, Rachel from FSU and Maria from Atlanta - so it was a busy one too!  It was great seeing everyone!

I'll post pictures soon.  I need to get my hands on Eric's camera tonight and then I'll get them posted.  Have a great Tuesday!

Oct 21, 2009

Could this week be any longer?

This week is DRAGGING waiting for race day to get here.  Yesterday, I got my steroid injection and my leg seems to feel better.  I have some pain in the front of my leg that I'll be icing like crazy this week.  I'll be breaking out the foam roller repeatedly too.  I'd appreciate any and all prayers that I'm able to run on Sunday!

If you're interested in following along on race day, you can receive text message or e-mail updates signing up at:  http://live.activeresult.com/msg/MSG-signup.tcl?event_id=32

Just a small warning, during the Chicago Marathon this year, the tracking seemed to work for three of the people I followed, but not two of them.  Don't be freaked out if you stop getting updates.  I'll try to update the blog before the race and let you guys know what the final decision on running is!  Stay tuned!

Oct 19, 2009

Six days to go!

There are six days until race day and I haven't run more than five miles since October 5th.  Yikes!  I'm really hoping to get in a (painful) five miles today.  The meds from the doctor seem to be helping, but don't get rid of the pain completely.  I'm pretty determined today, so I'm hoping that will get me through!  It's also BEAUTIFUL outside, so that should give me a push too.  The doctor is going to do the injections tomorrow, so I won't be able to workout for two days after that.

I'm so ready to get to DC!  A couple of weeks ago, my sweet boyfriend, Eric, surprised me and told me he'd be coming along too.  That will make the weekend even better!  The race website has a suggested spectator map that will help him to hopefully see me at 5 or 6 places along the course. That should keep my mind off my leg a little bit too - I'll be on the lookout for him throughout the race.

Oct 14, 2009

The things I do to run....

So, as I mentioned in my last post, my IT band has not been my friend lately.  Monday, I was able to get about 3 miles in on the treadmill and then had to stop.  After that, I decided it was time to see a doctor.  So I went today and my diagnosis of a strained IT band was confirmed - so that's good.  The bad news is that there really isn't anything they can do to fix it.  The doctor said I probably won't injure it anymore, it just probably won't be healed for the race.  He gave me some serious anti-inflammatory meds and wants to do a steroid injection next Tuesday.  I'm not much of a needle fan, but at least this will get me to the race. 

I'm retiring after this for quite some time.  Half-marathons, fine.  Full - no way!

Oct 12, 2009

A little breather

It's been a week since I've run.  I can't remember the last time that happened.  My IT band was killing me - to the point where it hurt to walk - so I decided I needed a break.  Tonight, I'm hoping for 4 good miles on the treadmill.  Hopefully there will be 10 miles in my future this weekend.  I had the most painful massage of my life today - so I hope it pays off.

I'm having trouble getting anything done and just want to plan my weekend in DC!  I'm so distracted!

Oct 5, 2009

Bring on the taper

It's finally here!  After 16 weeks of training and killing my poor legs, it's time to taper!  This time around, I decided to run two 20 mile long runs.  The first one was great.  The second one was fairly brutal.  My mile splits were right where I wanted them - but my legs were in some serious pain.  Even today - two days later - I'm still pretty sore.  I'm looking forward to getting in the pool later today and then probably the steam room at the gym to work them out a little bit. The combo of training and then sitting on planes every three or four days is just too much. 

Less than three weeks until marathon day!  I'm getting very excited for a few days in DC and to visit friends from FSU, Galesburg and Atlanta!  Until then - I'm trying to take it easy and get lots of sleep.  I have one more trip for work this week, and then I'm sticking close to home for a couple of weeks (in theory anyway).

Sep 28, 2009

The best marathon training advice I can give

Make sure you train north of the Mason-Dixon line.  You'll thank me....

Sep 22, 2009

The Perfect Marathon Tank

I've been on the hunt for some time for the perfect running tank.  What makes the perfect running tank, you ask?  Well, here's my criteria:

1.  Pockets:  When I run I need to be able to carry my energy gels (sometimes up to 4 of them depending on the distance), Aquaphor (to use as chap stick or if something starts to chafe) and usually my car key. 
2.  Fitted, but not too fitted:  Let's be honest, I'm not the most toned individual out there.
3.  Holds its shape:  I don't want a shirt that's going to bounce around everywhere - especially if there are things in the pockets.
4.  Breathable:  I sweat, what can I say?

Over the last year, I've ordered several tanks - and returned several tanks.  For the Chicago marathon, I had a tank from Road Runner Sports, but I wrote my name on it for the race, so I look like a dork wearing it while I train.  They don't make that tank anymore, so I had to branch out. 

Well, I've finally found it.  If you're a runner and need the perfect marathon top, look no further.  Nike's Distance Long Airborne Tank is the best top I've found!  Seriously, buy it.  The other reviewers seem to love it too!

Sep 21, 2009

Me? Gluten Free?

I haven't blogged about this little topic much - mostly to spare y'all the details! However, yesterday I had a little breakthrough and I needed to share it.

During this year's training, my stomach has been a NIGHTMARE. It's usually okay for shorter runs, but anything over 10 miles can be bad. I honestly wasn't sure I was going to be able to finish my 18 miler. Well, after several discussions - and quite honestly several months of denial - I'm starting to think gluten may be the issue. I'm fairly certain I don't have celiac disease (and the test is very invasive, so I'm okay with not knowing), but have more of an intolerance.

Well, yesterday I decided to eliminate gluten from my pre-run diet. Eggs didn't sound very appetizing at 6 a.m. and I certainly didn't want to be cooking that ridiculously early, but I thought I'd try it out. Wouldn't you know - I WAS FINE!! It just might be that an english muffin was my enemy.

I'm definitely going to start trying to reduce my gluten from here on out. After yesterday, I think I'm going to feel so much better during training. I think I would feel a lot better in general if I went gluten free completely, but I don't want to throw that at my body before the marathon - so I think I'm going to commit to that in November (pre-Thanksgiving). I can't even tell you how thrilled I was yesterday to not have to make a pit stop or feel like the pain in my stomach was too much to handle during my run.

On another note - my shoes were great! Who knew that this whole time I just needed a wide shoe?! Thank you, Running Company!

Sep 17, 2009

Best Running Store in Indy!

Ok, I can't say I'm expert on the topic, but I'm pretty sure I've become a loyal customer of the best running store in Indianapolis! I actually wrote a Google review today because I was so impressed! If you're a seasoned runner or looking to get started - a trip to The Running Company is totally worth it. Luckily for me, the Broad Ripple location is very close - but there are several locations around town. Let me tell you my story...

Since my long distance running habit kicked back up again in in 2006, I've had this crazy blister that keeps popping up on the arch of my left foot. I've tried EVERYTHING to get rid of it - new socks, shoes, moleskin, bandaids, Body Glide - nothing worked. A little over a year ago, I was introduced to the Brooks Defyance and it was a dream come true! I made it 26.2 miles in Chicago without a single blister. Well, last fall Brooks made "cosmetic changes" to the shoe and now have the Defyance 2. Well, something in these changes has made the blister come back. Gross.

The big problem is that the crazy blister doesn't show up until I'm running 8 or 9+ miles - making it pretty impossible to predict if a shoe is going to be an issue. In comes The Running Company!

They have the most stellar return policy possible - wear them for two weeks and if they don't fit, we'll take them back for a refund or exchange (and you can wear them anywhere - not just on a treadmill like a lot of stores require). If you wear them up to four weeks, they'll still exchange them. How awesome is that??!! Last week, I purchased a new pair of Asics Landreth. Well, the blister popped up around mile 9 last weekend. So, I took them back - a bit worn and not looking perfect - and they honored their policy. I was so impressed! I walked out with another pair of Landreths - but this time we're going with a wide shoe - hoping the issue is that my foot is swelling the further I run and that's why this problem keeps happening. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this works - but if not, I know I can still take them back. It's a great, great feeling.