A little swim

I just woke up to this:


Does it make anyone else happy to wake up and see the moon?  And the clear sky means an outdoor run!

Yesterday I had to hit the treadmill for 5 easy miles, so I figured I might as well drive a little further and go to the other gym which has…a pool!  That’s right, I swam.  I hate swimming, and I swam.  FAR (for me).  I did 1500, but broken up into 50s and 100s.  Swimming is so weird for me, while I’m doing it it feels so much harder than running but five seconds after I’m done, I don’t feel like I got a workout at all.  Even when I’m doing a recovery run and it feels super easy, I finish and feel awesome.  I’m not sure if it’s psychological or if it has something to do with working in water.


And being Friday, we decided it was pizza day.  I considered saving it for Sunday when I’m running longer but decided a swim is farther out of my comfort zone than a long run so I should eat it if I wanted to 😉


Terrible photo.  I took it in the dark and while the pizza was sitting on my lap 6 inches from my phone.  Oops.  I always start eating the pizza before I remember.  I don’t have the same problems with restraint with my healthier meals I guess. 


Today is a short and easy 4 miles in what looks like it’s going to be beautiful sunshine!  And Insanity plyo, which my legs are strangely craving.  My arms aren’t as sore as I thought they would be, I did 75 pushups yesterday and thought they would kill today but only a little around the shoulder.  I guess I should add another set when I do them tomorrow 🙂  I’m very much reevaluating my ability to get to 100 in a row but I’m going to leave it out there as my goal.  I may not get it but I’d rather strive for a big number and get as close as I can. 


Which exercises make you the most sore? Plyo for me, sore somewhere every time.  I love it.

When is your birthday? I’ve got birthdays on the brain!  My good friend had one yesterday, my sister-in-law in a couple days, and me in one week


What a beautiful day

I hope you thought of the Chris Cagle song with that title.  No?  Yesterday was such a beautiful day.  Sunny and so much warmer than it’s been lately!  I was super pumped to run in shorts and a tshirt for the first time in forever and ever.  I probably shouldn’t have taken my pasty skin out in the sunlight without some sort of warning for anyone who happened to see me, I might blind them.


I took the advice of most of you guys and went out planning to split the difference and run 10 miles.  It felt great but my usual loop is 6 miles and I poorly designed my 10 mile run so I hit 10 and was still 1.25 miles from home so I reached 11.25 but I like round numbers in my mileage so obviously I ran in circles on the soccer field until it reached 12.  Clearly, I wasn’t so great at following either plan, and once I hit 12 the temptation to go the full 14 was overwhelming but I was already home so I called it a day.  At least it was a decent length long run, and so much more enjoyable than the 2 hours I spent biking as my “long run” last week.  Thou shalt not take running for granted!


Dinner was whole wheat pasta with pesto sauce, which does NOT look pretty when photographed.


So yummy though. 


Oh, and I read about this awesome thing the Canadians have going on at the Olympics.  I need one. 


Today is a rest day but I’m not going to take a full rest day because I took a couple for the broken toe so I will either do short and sweet 4 miles or go to the pool for some aquajogging.  I’m not sure why I’m tempted to hit the pool but it sounds oddly appealing today despite the long-ish drive to and from the pool.  Insanity also kicks back up today so I’m prepared to be experiencing major upper body soreness tomorrow from all the push-ups.  Is it weird that I’m excited for that?  I get far too restless when I take time off my normal schedule apparently.


What are you most looking forward to this week?

How far was your long run yesterday?

A puppy obstacle course

Yesterday was a rest day from running. I did a REALLY easy 30 minute spin on the bike (mostly because my legs were tight, let’s be real…I’d rather have slept in) and then did Insanity plyo workout after.  Well, did most of it. She likes being in the middle of things:


First, she tried to bring me all those toys that are behind her.  Then, I was in the middle of the “power squats” sequence and she comes and sits directly under my legs.  She was definitely being an indoor dog yesterday and Joe wasn’t feeling well and in bed so she was super attached to me all day.

I forgot to take a picture of Slider because he is most definitely an outdoor-loving dog no matter the weather.  But I found this old one in my email last week and it’s certainly relevant to all the east coast/midwest snow craziness. 


Yes, that is me, waist-deep in snow.  While Slider insists I throw his duck toy for him.  This was back when Virginia and the DC area got 2.5-3ft of snow a few years ago.  Probably 4 or 5 by now.  I just remember the endless driveway shoveling 😦  It required so much energy for him to jump out of the snow and stay near the top that he passed out for hours after every trip outside.  It was brilliant. 


I was too busy sitting in bed reading some of my dissertation research to do much else the rest of the day (hence no actual pictures from yesterday’s outdoor playtime) but I did spend all afternoon eager to make one of my favorite healthy dinners which I hadn’t made in a while.


Mixed veggies (scallions,broccoli, baby corn, thai chili pepper, peas), ginger marinated shrimp, and buckwheat noodles 🙂  I make an easy, spicy Asian-inspired sauce to throw on and call it a day but it is SO YUMMY.  I could actually eat it every day.  And it’s good for you…who knew? You’re all probably in shock that I actually made something healthy instead of eating pizza or tacos. 


About to run (probably on the treadmill?) 12x2min hills at 10% grade with 2 mile warm up and 2 mile cooldown.  I weirdly love hill workouts so I’m a little overeager. 


Do you like snow?  (I only like snow when I’m snowboarding or visiting someplace that is supposed to be snowy, not at home)

Favorite healthy meal?

A perfect day for risotto

As usual, Sunday was a very relaxed kind of day.  It was thankfully sunny for my early run and it is again today so I get to do my 4 mile recovery run outside today before coming back home to do the Insanity cardio power and resistance workout.  Works out nicely because even with the double workout, it takes less than 90 minutes so it’s not like it’s my whole morning. 


After my run yesterday, I showered and changed into pajamas because that’s what I do, even though it was still early.  Joe teases me because I go from pajamas to running clothes to pajamas.  I only wear real clothes if I’m going out and we just don’t do that more than once every week or two.  Usually, I’m sitting at my computer writing up my dissertation or on the couch reading endless books as part of my research.  Pajamas are the most comfortable 🙂  Yesterday, I broke in a new pair I got for Christmas.


My awesome mother-in-law sent them, she obviously knows I live in pajamas.  They’re super cute.  If you couldn’t tell, this is what they say:


Clearly you wanted to know all about my pjs.  Ok, moving on.


Because it was Sunday and I actually had the hour to spare it requires to make risotto, I made beet risotto for dinner.


Just getting started.


Starting to plump.


After adding the beets.


Finished product, my dinner 🙂


And I spent the rest of the evening reading my magazine and watching tv with my boy and my pups.



About to head out for my recovery run right now to enjoy this sun 🙂


What did you have for dinner last night?

What do your favorite pajamas look like? I like silly ones, I have cows, bunnies, turtles, etc.

Fact (not) Friday

I was going to post this Friday but then Friday was all super busy and Fact Sunday sounds ridiculous.  But I did 10 miles this morning and was obviously dehydrated because I have a post-run headache so rather than come up with something new and save this for next Friday, I’m going to post it today. 

First, though, a little roundup of the first week of Insanity: I’m skipping the cardio recovery days in the program, but doing the rest.  I like the Plyo workout the best, even if it makes my butt hurt like crazy for the next 2 days.  In general, it’s hard without being so hard that I need to take extra breaks and it’s definitely working on areas I need to improve strength-wise, so I think it’s a good fit for getting me into strength training and making me stronger before my spring races.  I’ll definitely update you all with actual statistics on how much I’ve improved when I reach the end of the 60 days.


So 5 more random facts about me!

1.  I’m known to some as a picky eater, mostly because I have certain foods I’ll never touch (hotdogs, mushrooms, formerly Chinese and burgers though now I eat those sometimes).  BUT, I’m also a relatively adventurous eater.  Some of the “unique” foods I’ve eaten are alligator, kangaroo (in Australia), bear (in Estonia), wild boar, emu, kudu (in South Africa) and ox.  I bet you’re wondering how these things taste… kangaroo stew was excellent, our kudu was prepared by an amazing chef (hi Ian, you’re the best) and was SO FREAKING GOOD, and fried alligator is awesome but also a lot like popcorn chicken.  Those were my favorites, emu is by far my least favorite and I couldn’t even finish it.


2.  I’m a HUGE soccer fan and even though I’m American, because the best soccer is European (duh), I grew up watching the EPL and Italian soccer on the weird channels and have considered myself a Liverpool fan since I was about 7 years old.  I converted my husband to the cause when we met (and lucky him, his first season as a fan saw us win the Champions League, which is the biggest deal ever).  If you ever wondered why our youngest pup, a girl, is named Stevie, it’s because we named her after this superhero:


He’s the captain of both Liverpool and England and his name is Steven Gerrard, but they call him Stevie G, which is now the name of our little girl.  Our backup name if she didn’t look like a Stevie?  Carragher.  We would have called her Carra for short.  He was a central defender for Liverpool his entire career.


3. I have an irrational fear of sharks.  What is irrational about fearing a terrifyingly large creature that can kill you, you ask?  Well, I’m so convinced they want to eat me that I don’t get in water I can’t see through…including lakes and rivers.  Yes, I know there are no sharks in lakes.  But because I’m a genius, I’ve watched every episode of River Monsters and now I know that fish want to kill me too so I’m sorry, there’s just no way I’m getting there.  Clear bodies of water as can be seen in Jamaica and Hawaii only, and very close to shore. 


4. Stevie isn’t the only dog with a name that wasn’t just pulled out of a hat of “dog-sounding” names.  Our 7 year old is Slider and I get asked all the time where that comes from.  Despite one or two guesses that he was named after the baseball pitch (ha, no, I hate baseball), a shocking number of people between 25-40 guess this correctly.  Any thoughts, fellow 80s movie lovers? 


I’ve seen this movie WAYYYYY too many times.  Love it love it love it.  Slider is the name of Iceman’s co-pilot.  He’s most famous for this scene:


Slider is our little co-pilot in life.  We were going to name our next dog Goose if it was a boy so they would be named after both co-pilots in the movie.  We’re still saving both Goose and Maverick for future pups.  Not sure Iceman is ever gunna happen 😉 


5. I love France.  I fell in love with it the first time I went at age 15 and studied abroad there in college in a tiny town in the Alps (I love Paris to death but I’m soooo not a city girl, I couldn’t have spent extended time living in one).  When it came to picking a wedding location, we knew it would be France.  We had an amazing wedding in rural France and spent 10 days there between the lead-up and the wedding before going on our honeymoon.  Best. Decision. Ever.  Here are some pictures I took in the week before the wedding:




Pet owners: Why did you choose your pet’s name?

Tell me one random fact about you!

I’ve got opinions out the wazoo

So yesterday was a bit nuts because we had a house inspection and spent WAY more time getting everything set for the inspection than the guy was actually in the house.  Oh well.  So I had to wait to run until midday but 8 miles at half marathon pace and NO insanity yesterday.  Very exciting stuff 😉 


We tried to order Chinese for dinner, actually, we DID order Chinese for dinner only to have Joe go to get it and find out it’s cash only and he didn’t have any on him.  I haven’t had Chinese food in literally a full year so I was very much craving it.  Next time 😦  But, all’s well that ends well because we decided to get burgers instead.  YUMMY!


My burger had chili, melted cheddar sauce, and jalapenos on it and because I’m a totally normal human being, I took lime Tostito chips and crushed them up and threw those on as an additional topping.  Crunchy is the best texture 🙂


Sorry for the awful flash phone photos, our room was super dark because we were watching a movie. 


My bbq pulled pork fries.  These things are so addictive.


For some reason, my 70 pound dog decided movie time was snuggle time.


It only lasted a few minutes though because this dog is far too cool for affection and prefers to demonstrate his love by following you around and “protecting” you from things like sounds and wind.  Hugs not allowed.  I usually only get them when there’s a thunderstorm. 


So we watched American Hustle and the funny thing is, I’ve heard mixed reviews and I quite liked it.  Not my favorite movie ever or anything, but I enjoyed watching it and thought it was interesting and acted well (duh, it had Christian Bale).  We heard AMAZING things about 12 Years a Slave and I didn’t love it.  Not that it wasn’t powerful, it was, and the acting was brilliant, but it just wasn’t as good for me as I hoped it would be and I can’t really explain that because it’s one of those intangibles.  Dallas Buyers Club is the one I thought would be overrated because it was so hyped for it’s acting and I figured it was one of those like Traffic or Mulholland Drive that all the critics would love and I’d see and be bored silly and just not “get” it, but nope, not overrated at all and Jared Leto deserves ALL THE AWARDS.   Again, not my favorite movie, but way better than I thought it would be.  Maybe I just have weird taste in movies.  Ok, sorry for all the movie talk but we are so late to this party and I have literally seen Gravity, Dallas Buyers Club, Frozen, 12 Years a Slave, and American Hustle all in the last 10 days and so I am all about the comparisons right now and all opinionated on awards season.  I should go back to not caring about anything but the dresses.  I’m more of an action movie girl anyway 😉


Today’s run: 9 for #megsmiles and Insanity plyo.  Bring on the soreness.


Have you seen any of the “Oscar Bait” movies?  What did you think?

What toppings do you like on your burger?

I love pie!

Yesterday was another steady run, short 4 miler to accompany the insanity upper body workout.  I’m excited to have a longer run today because running is truly what I love, the rest is just there to make me a better runner.  Today I won’t have to cut the run short to support a strength workout so yay.  Side note: I won’t be cutting the workouts short on strength days in the coming weeks, I just wanted to ease into the Insanity program and not overdo it so I’ll be increasing the length of my workout day runs until I am back to normal running schedule.  But they will stay easy/recovery runs or steady state runs rather than tempo or interval days, those will be in between 🙂  But somewhere between 7-9 today, I’m just going to head out on a new loop and however long it is, great. 


Last night I made pie for dinner!  We had this game mix from an organic farm: venison, quail, and partridge that I decided sounded great in the form of game pie.


Making the sauce/gravy:


I just threw in dark beer, stock, garlic, onions, carrots, thyme, butter, and lemon.  It tasted exactly as I imagined it would, so I was happy.


It’s square and misshapen.  I suck at doing the crust.


My piece 🙂  It was super delicious.  Apparently Joe thought so too because he ate the entire rest of the pie.  I have zero leftovers.  Guess I have to rethink tonight’s dinner plans…


Is recovery beer a thing? I’m declaring it so.  I bought Joe a bunch of award winning beers from around the world for Christmas and I poached one because it just sounded like the perfect accompaniment to pie.  I was right 😉  I was also a tiny bit tipsy because apparently increased running and drinking one drink a month does not lead to any kind of tolerance level.  College me would laugh at this spectacle.  Grown-up me kind of enjoys it.  Shh. 


Do you enjoy a good beer? More of a wine person? Don’t drink at all?

Favorite kind of dinner pie! Or any pie?

Advice from a pro

So about that idea to do Insanity… Don’t get me wrong, I’m sticking with it, but OUCH.  The workout itself wasn’t actually as bad as I thought it would be, perhaps because it was plyo and I’ve done plyo workouts in the past and my cardio is already pretty great from running.  So no breaks needed and I did all the moves at full speed throughout.  So I thought all was great but then I woke up this morning and oh my goodness my entire lower half is screaming.  I don’t even remember doing moves that should make my obliques and lower back muscles sore but sore they are.  And my glutes hurt SO badly.  Today’s run will be more of a concrete shuffle.  But it’s great because obviously I have a LOT of strengthening to do if some jumping and bodyweight exercises made me this sore.  So I’m really excited about the progress I’ll have made at the end of the 60 day program 🙂  In the meantime though, ouch, and hopefully I’ll be far less sore the next time.  Today though, is the upper body portion and I will probably do more pushups than I ever have in my life. 


Both dogs harassed me the entire time I was doing the workout, then proceeded to pass out afterward.  Gee, thanks 😉  She thinks she’s a person, if you couldn’t tell.


Recovery pizza was necessary obviously, but a healthier homemade version loaded with veggies instead.



Last night I was sitting around reading two old issues of Runner’s World and found this gem:



This is from Lauren Fleshman, amazing 5k pro runner, and she’s talking about when she was tested for performance capacity as an outstanding youth athlete and she has accomplished more than they ever thought she would. I’ve not been tested for performance capacity or anything of the sort but I did try going out for track and field as a high school senior because I decided to stop swimming. Without getting to know anything about me, the coach threw me in the team as a 100m runner.  HA! I was terrible.  7th or 8th in every meet in the B or C races and man, I was miserable…both racing and in practices where all I did was run repeats.  I did just that one season, skipped outdoor because I thought I just hated running.  It never occurred to me to try running again until I was about 21, when I joined a friend for a run.  I ran 5 miles and it was sort of great.  I was surprised enough to keep going every day and kept loving it.  I certainly didn’t think I could be any good at it because I was SO BAD in track.  Turns out, I was meant to be a distance runner and the more I ran and the further I ran, the better I got.  I placed in a local race only a few months after starting running and surprised myself.  That coach not only made me think I was a terrible runner (and likely thought it himself), but made me hate running, and for that I am sad.  I wish I could go back in time and force him to let me run distance and see where I would be after all this time had I been running and training for distance since the age of 17 and with a real coach, but that’s not an option.  What IS an option, is to keep believing I can be better than I am now and that I’m capable of amazing things to come.  Unsolicited advice: be like Lauren Fleshman, do what you love and don’t let anyone tell you you can’t be better than your best.

A little bit of news

So yesterday was a very unplanned rest day for running, boo 😦  I have been having soreness in my posterior tibial tendon for about a week now and I thought it best to take a day completely off to help it heal.  Woke up this morning and it feels fine.  I’m going to continue with all the stretches and exercises for it but I think it should be fine, it just needed a day off.  But yesterday was also day 1 of something else…you know how I was having problems finding a way to stay motivated to strength train?  Well, enter Insanity.


I did just the Fit Test yesterday which only took a few minutes but I’m officially scared about the workouts.  I won’t be doing the “cardio recovery” ones but replacing those with easy runs.  Sunday is a rest day on the calendar and coincides with long run days.  I’ll be doing only short runs on the plyometric workout days so as to not overload my legs, but those only come 1-2x per week.  I think and hope that this will really improve my strength while it is still winter and before we get to full-on race season.  Plus it is cardio+strength combined and a lot of body weight moves so I shouldn’t be as bored…as least that’s the logic.  Wish me luck, today is plyo day and I’m going to need it.  This is a running blog so I won’t be talking much about insanity but I’ll do one recap a week where I mention the workouts I think.  Unless people are especially interested and think I should recap them along with my runs each day. 


Today: 4 easy miles followed by the 45 minutes of plyo.  My legs are going to be SORE tomorrow 🙂


So, yesterday being a rest day, we took the opportunity to go to the grocery store and pick up a bunch of things with the free hour I should’ve been running.  Obviously, I couldn’t say no to doughnuts:



But don’t worry, I balanced it out with these beauties:



I then proceeded to eat all the olives.  They were SO good.  I have half a mind to go back today and get another giant tub. 


And I have a bit of fun news!  I was asked to write a guest post for the website Literally, Darling with a selection of my favorite running music.  I listen to country on my easy runs (it keeps my pace relaxed if that makes any sense) but for any faster pace runs, I love pop and hard rock and rap, the only rule is that it has to be “bouncy.”  You’ll see what I mean if you listen to the songs, I like very upbeat songs and it’s SO hard for me to find ones I like in new music that comes out.  In fact, I’ve had the same songs on my playlist for years for the most part.  Most of my running songs are old: Britney Spears, late 90s rap, girl pop groups, etc.  I look up other running playlists and they are songs that are technically uptempo but the singing is slow, if that makes sense, like Katy Perry’s “Roar.”  So I was excited to share my silly list, even if it reveals that my taste is not only very random, but often 15 years old.  Yes, I still listen to Nelly on my ipod. 

Here is the link: http://www.literallydarling.com/blog/2014/01/13/songs-to-run-to/


Do you have any upbeat running song suggestions? I’m desperate!

Favorite kind of olive?

What is your favorite kind of music to run to? Or do you prefer silence?