Tag Archives: training

TGIMT (Thank God It’s My Thursday) 

The best kind of workweeks are three-day workweeks. Today was my Thursday because on REAL Thursday I’m leaving for my cousin’s wedding in Iowa/my stalking mission of Bachelor Chris Soules. I’m looking around at my living room right now and realizing I need to do ALL THE THINGS before I go because a friend is coming over to house-sit and dog-sit and I don’t want her to think we live in squalor. I also just bought a dress for this event about an hour ago when hubby and I went on a binge wedding-clothes shopping mission. 

Does anyone else think that work really gets in the way of life? Because I could have had all this stuff done DAYS ago if I didn’t spend 8-10 hours a day being an employed adult. Just kidding (mostly), I VERY much appreciate being employed and earning a living. 

I missed Track Tuesday while I was out shopping tonight, which was sad, but I’m going to try and hit the gym at 4:30 tomorrow morning (I tend not to sleep when I’m stressed or before I travel). Saturday I forced myself out the door to meet my group for 8 miles at 8 am, even though my partners in crime were both booked elsewhere. I managed to find people to talk to for about 6 of the 8 miles, so while 8 miles didn’t really fly by, they were definitely not as painful as they could have been.  My average pace want as great as I would have liked, but I was able to converse the whole time, so I’m guessing I could have gone a little faster if I wanted to. Mostly I wanted to make it through. I’m supposed to do 9 this weekend (and I have a 15k next weekend), but thanks to Map My Run, I realized that 9 miles in a smal town in Iowa is REALLY hard to do. So I’m going to try and do a few laps around town, and squeeze some walks in. Not ideal, but better than nothing. 

So excited to see these people this weekend! I’ve got a recipe headed your way, hopefully tomorrow, that my hubby calls “the best thing I’ve ever made,” which is pretty high praise so get excited. 

Your turn: Any fun weekend plans?

How do you squeeze workouts in on vacation/when you’re with family/when you’re confined to a hotel gym and sharing a room with your parents?

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All That Mid-Week Jazz

You guys, my bracket be busted. The ‘Zags failed me. I knew I shouldn’t have kept it in the Northwest. We are the epitome of disappointment during critical sports moments (see the last minute of this year’s Super Bowl, for example). On the plus side, I’m no longer glued to that stupid ESPN Tournament Challenge app.

Allergy season is in full force with this early spring we’ve had, so if I forget to take one of the OTC allergy pills we load up on at Kaiser, I walk around feeling like someone is grinding my face into a pile of pollen. That being said, I slept in this weekend and missed my long run with the group. My alarm sounded, I turned it off, and fell asleep for another four hours. Want to know what’s NOT as fun as running 7 miles with a group of great ladies? Running 7 miles by yourself around a high school track on a hot afternoon. I opted for the track because sometimes, planning distance from my house is just a hassle. I ended up alternating running and walking laps until the boys (aka husband and dog) showed up with another water bottle to walk me home. My times weren’t so hot, but I got the distance in, which I’m happy with considering that I didn’t run much the two weeks prior.    I was also breaking in my new Brooks! No more Nikes for this girl.   Then, last night was hill training at our weekly track workout. We ran to the park close to the track and did four hill repeats and I was reminded of why I used to hate running. EVERY PART OF MY BODY HATES HILLS. I sucked it up, ran up that (*@($ four times, and walked down to give myself a little bit of recovery. When I got home, I rewarded myself with a big ol’ spoonful of cookies & creme cookie butter. YUM. That stuff is insane. Then this morning, when my quads and glutes were screaming, my treat was half an apple fritter. You gotta treat yo’self or you’ll go insane. I’m trying to drop a few pounds, so I’m keeping my meals super balanced and healthy, limiting mindless snacking, and letting myself have a treat every now and then.

Today is officially 17 days until my 15k, and 31 days until my first half of the year. I’m trying to stay on my A-game, because I’m pretty sure this half will be mostly harder core runners and I don’t want to look like a schlub. I’m even going to try and get in a long run next week when I’m in Iowa for a family wedding. #goals

And that’s all. I’m just rising, grinding, and working on a few new recipes for the blog that I hope to have posted soon. The time of convenience meals is over, my friends, as I try and get a better handle on my nutrition again. Tonight, instead of risotto, I modified a recipe I found for “quinoa risotto.” Quinoa has a lot of natural protein and a delicious nutty flavor, so it was truly a hearty, one pot meal with endless possible modifications. It’s definitely joining the permanent rotation of “meals that are easy and flexible and I don’t have to think about it.”

Your turn:

Did you pull any April Fool’s Jokes today? Have any pulled on you? I generally dislike April Fools, not because I’m a Scrooge, but because some people don’t have a sense of humor. They either get super offended over something that was meant to be an innocent joke, or they pull a legitimately insensitive joke.

What’s the best thing you’ve cooked lately?

How do you get up a beastly hill?

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Tuesday Night Speedwork

Another Tuesday, another two mile track workout. It’s official: I NO LONGER HATE RUNNING! 

I don’t honestly have much to say except that I ran an 11:06 mile which is something that, last summer, didn’t seem achievable for me. I worked forever trying to break 12 minutes. Now I’m on the cusp of breaking 11. I’m hoping that continuing this speedwork in slightly longer stretches as I prep for my next half will help me meet my next big goal, which is breaking 3 hours on the big 13.1. 

You can see my interval laps on the graph. Love all that green!

Hubby and I are officially signed up for a 10k on the 14th so my five miler on Saturday will be a good indication of how that will go. 

Dang, maybe if I would have stuck to my training plan last time, I would have felt this good in September. 

Cheers to running!

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My First 9-Miler Down

I slept in today, the day of my nine-mile long run (it’s long for me anyways). I’ve been real bad with my sleeping habits lately. But, thanks to hubby, I set out at 10 ready to tackle the challenge, because it hadn’t gotten too hot yet.

I made it. I wasn’t fast, but I was faster than my last long run, and kept my average mile pace under 13 minutes. I also did a sufficient amount of hill work, mostly because I was looking for a park with a water fountain so I could refill my running belt bottle. Pretty sure I will be emailing my local park & rec department about the serious lack of water fountains. I FINALLY started listening to music during my runs…I don’t know why I waited so long, because it helps SO much! Plus I can lip synch and amuse passers by. I loaded a few Rock My Run mixes onto my iPhone, which I use anyways for Nike+ Running, and jammed out for almost two hours. Though I did learn that the song “Selfie” makes me want to rip my ears off.

I’m happy I forced myself out the door and did this run. I think it helped my confidence, because for some reason I just figured I would be passed out by the side of the road after 7 miles. I’ve never run that far. Less than four weeks to go until race day!

Other than trying to keep up with my training schedule (August didn’t start out as strong as I wanted), we’ve been working, gardening, and reading. Right now, I’m super into the guilty pleasure teen series “Pretty Little Liars,” by Sara Shepard. It’s like “Gossip Girl” but with more of a mystery bent to it. Don’t judge. Yesterday, we took our nephew to the Portland Children’s Museum, which was a hoot (the words that come out of that kid’s mouth!), and I think, judging by this picture, it was a successful afternoon:



We also discovered that our front yard produces The World’s Best Blackberries Ever. I’m willing to deal with the blood loss from the thorns in order to harvest them. Holy noms.

Sweet Deliciousness


And that’s life for us lately. Soaking up the last bits of a hot, wonderful summer. What’s been going on with you fine folks? Runners – what do you suggest for adding distance and/or cutting time? I’ve really just been…running. So I’m looking for some training tips!

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Training for a Half – One Month Down


I officially finished the first month of my 12 week half-marathon training, and I feel pretty great about how things are going so far. You can see from the calendar photo that I shifted around some rest days and modified things a little bit depending on how I was feeling (or how hot it was…it was really hot). But I ran 46 miles during the month of July, something I could never say before this.

I’m still doing a run/walk mix, which will most likely continue through race day, but I’m getting better at limiting walking breaks and pushing myself through running spurts. The last few couple of runs have been on the treadmill at the gym, so I experiment a little more with speed, which has helped me find a good pace. I keep surprising myself with how well I’m keeping my 12-13-ish minute/mile pace on my longer distance runs, and I hope that continues.

Now I’m dragging hubby to the gym so I can do my short three miles for the day. I slept in and now it’s too hot to run outside (I’m an Oregonian, what can I say?!).

Here’s to kicking off month two of training!

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One of *THOSE* days…

This morning, I did not go running. I woke up with The Cramps of Death and laid in bed on the couch, where we’ve been sleeping because our bedroom is ungodly hot, for a few extra minutes. “I’ll go tonight,” I told myself.

So here I am, with a glass of red wine, in my comfies, not running. It’s still hot, and I still have The Cramps of Death, and frankly, I would rather scavenge my pantry for chocolate chips than go put in my four miles today.

And that’s ok. It is. It may not feel ok to me right now, but I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished in the last week. If my body wants to rest mid-week, I’m going to let it. Nike+ Running informed me yesterday that I’ve run 19 miles since I started my training last Tuesday, and that’s an accomplishment for me! I’m a lifelong running hater. So I’m choosing to celebrate my personal victory rather than lament about how lame I feel right now.


This may not be a fast pace to you, but for me, this was thrilling. It was my best average mile time all week, even though it certainly didn’t feel like it when I was out there. Endurance has always been my biggest struggle when it comes to exercise, so I’m really focused on finding a sustainable pace to get me through this race. I want to minimize my speed variations and maximize my consistency.

In your training, how do you balance working on distance endurance and working on increasing speed? Does one come naturally from the other? Let me know what you think!

Back to my wine…cheers to tomorrow being Thursday (and rec softball playoffs)!

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1 Week Down, 11 More to Go

Playing with PicMonkey again...I'll get there.

Playing with PicMonkey again…I’ll get there.

Well, I’ve gone and done it. I officially signed up for my second half marathon. I needed something to get my rear in gear, exercise-wise, and a half will prove just that. Especially this half, a new race called The Bridge of the Goddesses, with a pretty small cap of 1500 participants. It was easy to blend in with the crowd during my first half-marathon, which was 10,000 people. My friend and I had been talking about signing up for a run, so when she texted me last week to tell me she had finally pulled the trigger on this one (it had the best swag bag, let’s just be real), I signed up as well and immediately found a 12-week training plan for beginning runners.

I know that 12-weeks isn’t a ton of time to train for a lengthy race, but that’s ok. I’m ok walking portions of the course. My last half was all walking (though I forced my mom to jog with me through the finish line), and my goal for this race is to run MORE than I walk. Strive for progress, not perfection, amiright?!

The training plan I am using caps weekday runs at 5 miles, which is perfect for me, since I can squeeze my runs in during the wee hours before work. Distance increases about one mile a week, and long runs are reserved for Saturdays or Sundays. Mondays and Fridays are rest days. I don’t love running, I never have, and I probably never will, so it’s one of those things that I just want to get out of the way as soon as possible. My husband had to force me out the door this morning before it started to get too hot, and I’m glad he did. It’s so hard for me to be motivated when I get home from work, or when the sun warms up and I sweat from 10 AM to 11 PM. It may not be fun first thing in the morning, but it feels GREAT to know that I’m done.  My Fuel Band is a lot happier too.

This training coincides with our veterinarian’s recommendation that our dog shed a couple of pounds, so I’ve been forcing him to go with me. He loves it for the first mile or so, then he starts to slow down, and consequently, I start to slow down too. I run him when I can, but on warm days like today, I’ve slowed down to his pace. I shave at least a minute off my mile time when he’s not with me, but I try to remind myself that he needs the exercise as much as I do, and that his legs are much shorter. I also appreciate the company, and I talk to him a lot like a personal trainer (“You can do it Ramsay! Let’s run to that stop sign!”). I think I’m really talking to MYSELF and trying to self-motivate, but it’s less weird if I”m talking to my dog in public, right?

I’m excited to share my training with you, and I’m really proud of myself for making it 4 days this week, even if I had to modify the schedule a little bit. I’m hanging the months on my fridge and writing down my total distance and pace after every run to see my progress. Apparently this is just what I needed to get me going.

There’s lots of other things going on with Team Shupe too. Stay tuned! Our garden is huge, AND we just started our first home renovation project (which we hope to finish this week). Life is good. We are happy. And I’m sitting in front of our little AC unit right no, so I FEEL good.

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