Sometimes Finding Opportunities to Run Sucks

Gooooodd Morning to you! As dreary as the post title to this post is, there is no reason that the day needs to be dreary. It is after all Monday, and who wants to start the week off with a blah.

You are probably thinking this post is going about balance, about how we need to prioritize our friends, family, work, sleep etc above our workouts. That at the end of the day living is about our relationships not our runs and making time to run comes second to that, an how it can be hard to deal with.

Well, that is all true, but that is not at all what I want to talk about today, lord knows if you want to read about finding balance (or lack there of) there are plenty of blog posts out there about it.

What I want to talk about instead is when life throws a curve ball (or 2-3 ice storms) at you. I don’t mean in the form of injuries, injuries are far more serious and take dedicated time to heal. If you want to read more, check out this post.

Last week a whoooolllleeeee lot of us had to deal with the will of Mother Nature. We dealt with two weeks of ice storms in Raleigh, which for us warm weather people render us fairly incapable of leaving our homes. This was a challenge for me

The challenge was exacerbated becuase in two weeks, I’ll be flying home to Florida to run the Gate River Run 15k, aka, one of my favorite races! The flat 9.3 mile course should be a quick race for me as long as I have been keeping up my regular running routine (Since I don’t really “train” for races).  When mother natures says, sorry Anne but neither running nor driving on the roads is going to happen four and three weeks out from the race, well, that’s a bit of a problem for my speed.

Now there was another option, my apartment complex’s treadmills. I am sorry ya’ll but my diva side is about to show itself. I cannot stand the treadmills at my apartment’s gym. I don’t know if it simply because they are cheaper than most, but even though I run most weekdays on the treadmill at my gym, I struggle on those at my apartment complex.

Talk about first world problems!

This left me in a pickle, either suck it up, or deal with close to two weeks worth of missed runs during a key time. The short of it – someday I managed a slow five miles, some days… I didn’t.  What the past two weeks helped put in perspective for me, are the choices we have in our running when the world throws an obstacle in our path.

What Are My Options?

If Plan A , running outside fails, what is Plan B? If Plan B, the gym fails, what is Plan C?

How Bad Do I want It?

Ok, maybe Plan A  is not possible, maybe Plan B is not possible finding the motivation to follow through on Plan C can be challenging. Guess what, you don’t have to do it! You can call it a rest day, heck you can call it a rest week and simply say, no thank you. That’s when you have to ask, how bad do I want to achieve my goal.

If you do not have a goal race, taking it easy may be a boost to your running, but when you have an event you are anticipating, you have to be honest yourself an ask yourself this question.

Am I Making Excuses?

While grappling with the question of how much you want your goal, at least 5 good reasons why you should not run will pop into your head. That is when you just need to be real. Are you making excuses? How does that make you feel?

If You Have An Upcoming Race – How Do I Triage My Training?

Given the decision you made, whether you made the best of your situation, modified it, or decided to rest, where does that leave you in preparation for your goal? Is it still achievable or do you need to rethink it? Do you have time to make up for your cutback?

So where does all of that leave me two weeks out from Gate? I am not sure, but I do know that it is not worth stressing over. All I can do is work hard this week, and take my race as it is.

What do you do when something gets in the way of your runs?

Are you a treadmill diva?

Five Things Friday

What. A Week. Ya’ll there was not one single day this week I did not end up working from home. Not only did we get hit with ice and snow, on one of those days, the chance of precipitation was only 20%!

Saturday and Sunday of this week, the greenways and sidewalks had still not cleared of ice from last week’s storms. As a result, I was only able to get in one run all week longer than 5 miles! Normally, that would not be an issue, but with Gate River Run only 2 weeks away – I missed a pretty crucial week! Oh well, Mother nature always wins.  And with that, it’s times for Five Things Friday!

five-things-friday

First, Chili Balsamic Chicken

Chili Balsamic Chicken

I know I posted about this dish Wednesday, but I have been enjoying this chicken on my lunch salads for the third week in a row now an am loving it! For the exact same effort as simply baking chicken breast like I used to, it is such a nice change, mmmmmmm

Second, Oh My Snow!

If you are a runner, the following bedtime routine is probably familiar – just before lights out Monday evening, I checked the hourly on the Weather Channel app (Seriously I love that thing!) – 23 at 5am, with a 20% chance of precipitation for the day.

Tuesday morning, I woke up, checked the same app just to see – SNOW ALL DAY.

snow

What! Where did that come from?!?

I headed to the gym for the first time in a week and a half due to the prior week’s ice storm an returned home to falling snow. That 20% chance of precipitation turned into 11 hours of snow!

Thursday’s wet soggy snow led to a few hours without power…. but I will say this…. my baseboards are damn clean :)

Third, The Best Surprise Ever!

Wednesday, I receive an email notification that a package was waiting for me and was confused, I had not ordered anything, was it a mistake, did engage in a little wine-induced online shopping?

Would you just look at what showed up on my doorstep!

IMG_0434[1]

Ya’ll know  I love my spiralized veggies and am a huge fan of Ali’s Inspiralized blog. I have been lusting over her cookbook which was just released this week ever since I hear she wrote one. The surprise was thanks to a thoughtful friend who knew me better than I know myself apparently!

Fourth, Links I loved

An Open Letter to JNCO Jeans

Puhhleaseeee  tell me you remember these!

The State of Blogging via Fueled by Lolz

Yup

Classic Strawberry Preserves

I wish canning did not completely intimidate me!

Finally, The Week In Fitness

Friday: off

My treadmill diva took over boooooo

Thursday: 5 miles easy @ 8:20

I got over my divaness and ran on my apartment treadmill

Wednesday: 5 miles easy @ 8:34, abs, arms

I got over my divaness and ran on my apartment treadmill

Tuesday: 7 miles total, 1 @ 8:19, 5 5 minute repeats at 7:18, 3 minutes @ 8:19, 1 mile @ 8:19, abs

This workout was far harder than I hoped it would be but I was glad to finish it even if it was hard.

Monday: Skipped

Sunday: 5 miles untimed

Saturday: 5 miles @ untimed, back and biceps

How was your weather this week?

Do you have a spiralizer?

What was the best blog post you read this week? Please share!

Chili Balsamic Chicken

I will always attest that the greatest dishes a cook creates are complete and utter surprises. Those times when you are running around your kitchen, your head stuck on a work project, your hands flying by instinct as you throw a bit of this and that together, hardly recognizing what you are doing. You pull your creation out of the oven, take a pinch, and stop in your tracks. Those thoughts about work fly out the window, all you can think, is,

“Holy crap….. this is incredible!”

IMG_0416[1]

A few weeks ago, I was going through the motions of my usual Sunday prep, Multi-tasking like crazy, prepping lunches and dinners for the week – salads, burgers, pasta, chicken….. without thinking, I doused my chicken breasts in that gift from heaven, balsamic vinegar, sprinkled on salt and pepper, and my favorite, chili powder, popped on a few lemon slices at risk of going bad, and threw in rosemary from my plant which was running over.

30 minutes later, I pulled them out of the oven, took a pinch because that’s what I do and just stopped. What I expected was flavorful yet uneventful chicken breast. What I tasted was bliss – a wonderful surprise on a chilly busy day!.

The best part of this recipe – It’s. So. Easy. I kid you not, throw the ingredients in a dish, pop in the oven, and forget about it until your timer goes off. Better yet, they can be stored in the fridge for up to four days, making for quick an delicious lunches and dinners! I’ve made this chicken three weeks in a row now and have yet to get sick of it.

Chili Balsamic Chicken                             Hands on Time: 20 minutes                                         Total Time: 3-4 hours

Ingredients:

  • 2, 4oz chicken breasts
  • 1.5 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp chili pepper
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 3-4 slices of lemon
  • 2-3 spriggs rosemary

Instructions:

Place chicken in a large ziploc, add balsamic, salt, pepper, and chili powder. Chop garlic then smash into a rough paste. Add garlic, lemon an rosemary to the bag. Seal and mix to coat chicken. Refrigerate to marinate for 2-3 hours.

Preheat oven to 350. Coat a jelly roll pan with cooking spray and pour chicken, marinade, lemon and rosemary into the pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until cooked through.

Serve warm and enjoy!

How to Run In the Ice

Good morning friends! How was your weekend? I have to say, mine was pretty darn perfect! Time with friends, fabulous food, and for the first time in a while… sunshine! The only thing not so fabulous – the remnants of last week’s ice storm were a little too present for my running tastes.

That’s what I would like to talk about today, Ice!

How to Run in the Ice

I know, I know, this post is coming a little bit late but hey, what can I say it’s definitely top of mind for many of us right now.
Last weekend I learned that I can run in what I consider to be very cold temperatures. (You Northerners feel free to laugh that I consider 15°  really cold) In fact, last weekend’s workouts and the chilly air were absolutely fabulous. I had no idea I had 14 miles inme last Monday after two fast hill runs shortly before that!

The cold was fine. What came the next day was not.  While much of the rest of the country was covered in snow up to their roof (Boston – I have no idea how you have done it,  I have mad respect for you) we were treated to a North Carolina specialty… ice. Tuesday the precipitation set in. I say precipitation because it was a two day constant mix of snow, freezing rain, and rain.

During that kind of weather, things here shut down. That includes outdoor activities. Driving to the gym is impossible when the roads are covered in 3/4 inch of ice, and the roads, sidewalks, and greenways are coated in slick, deceiving ice.  Anyone who has experienced an ice storm knows that running or even walking outside is impossible. It doesn’t matter how dedicated you are, how long your running streak is, or how bad you want to escape your home which begins to feel a bit claustrophobic. Even walking  the dog can be risky.

The real risk (and frustrating point) comes when the ice begins to lift, the temperatures rise, and the sun shine. When you look out your door and think, “Finally! the melt is here, the roads are mine for the pounding.”

IMG_0423[1]

Proceed with caution friends! That melt is deceiving. The roads, parts of the grass, and bits of sidewalks may have melted, but if you do venture onto paths or sidewalks to attempt to run, chances are large swaths are still covered in ice. That can make your run incredibly frustrating. You so badly want to unfurl your antsy legs and just run.

Saturday morning, I woke up to the above scene. Temperatures had finally risen above freezing, the roads were mostly clear, and the greenway (I hoped) passable for my 10 mile run. I expected to encounter a few large patches of ice, but nothing I couldn’t cautiously navigate around, an pick up my run on the other side.  Well, nature had something else in mind.

So many patches of ice still covered the greenways that out of frustration and I hope some sense of self preservation, I cut my run short, turned around, and called it a day with five miles under my belt, knowing it would be the only day this week I could fit in 10 miles.

Was I annoyed? Yes. Was I going to let it ruin my day an attitude on week’s workouts? I came close. Instead, I went to my apartment gym and did this awesome workout and… had a blast!

How to run in ice is simple.

You don’t. Seriously, please do not try, your limbs will regret it. How to run in challenging conditions is simple to, do the best you can. You may not love your options, but when you take a step back (checking behind you for ice) realize the ice will melt, there is always tomorrow, or even next week. What you have is today. Use it. What can you do today to make you better. Use this opportunity to do something that scares you (um high knees – holy crap those are hard!) Turn the challenge into an opportunity!

Do you live somewhere where is ices?

How do you handle it when the weather sends you indoors?

What are some of your favorite indoor workouts?

A Chilly Five Things Friday

Brrrr

Brrrrrrrrrr I am fairly confident I can greet most of you this way! As I watch the news an type, it seems like most of America is experiencing the truly frigid chill we are in NC. With that said, I’ve got to go warm up my car, it is only 6 degrees after all! Let’s jump into Five Things Friday.

fivethingsfriday_thumb.jpg

First, No More Excuses – Am I 12 years old?

If you have been reading CCR for a while you might remember the most amazing Christmas gift I received from my brother last year (Yeah there is no way you would remember that :))

IMG_0417[1] Eric and I a re huge Ryan Hall fans an know that this will be his comeback year (we hope) so keep your eye on him and his wife Sarah at the L.A. Marathon next month! As much as I loved the gift, I have this thing about hanging thing, as in I resent it. Why in the world do I want to spend a ridiculous amount of money to frame something, I don’t want to look at some ornate frame, I want to see the picture! Sheesh!

Ok, rant over.

Bottom line, it’s much harder to talk myself out of my morning run with Ryan staring at me. Anyone want to direct me towards Shalane an Kara posters? Apparently I am 12.

Second, USATF Versus Its Critics: Who’s Off Track?

If you are a runner, I encourage you to be up to speed on the developments in our sport related to the USTAF. Over the past two years, the organization that governs an influences our sport has made questionable decision after questionable decision, to the detriment of running’s elite athletes. At a time when running is growing faster than ever, it is the time for the USTAF to lead and forge ahead, not be broiled in controversy.

Runner’s World published a wonderful article on the situation I highly encourage you to read!

Third, The Cold NEver bothered me AnyWays

Yall

This. Weather.  I grew up in Florida. After 22 years, I was done with the heat. When  I moved to North Carolina, I was alllll about a change of seasons, snow, and cold! Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing I love more than running in 30 degree weather (seriously) but the one aspect of Winter I am not a fan of…. ice! Scrapping the ice off of your windshield is one thing, but being surrounded by, and trapped by ice, unable to leave home is another! Truly, I can’t complain, compared to you poor Bostonians, our two days of ice is nothing, and even compared to the 4 or 5 days of ice last winter, this is nothing.

Raleigh Weather

That being said, looking out to temperatures this morning… 1 degree…. 1 degree!?! Central North Carolina does not get that kind of weather. Today, we are matching the all time low recorded in Raleigh. Brrrrr

Fourth, Links I loved

Everything I Want My Newborn Daughter To Know via The Lean Green Bean

No I clearly do not have a daughter, but as one I will take this to heart…. except for her stance on sequins…. sequins are fabulous… always :)

What Honest Abe’s Appetite Tells Us About His Life

Mile Markers- Epiphany

I Don’t Like Running 

Finally, The Week In Fitness

Friday: off

My treadmill diva took over

Thursday: 5 miles easy @ 8:34

Wednesday: 5 miles easy @ 8:34, abs, arms

I got over my divaness and ran on my apartment treadmill

Tuesday: Off

Banished to my ice castle, but my restless legs walked 4 miles in the morning on the treadmill and 3 at lunch. I am a diva an refuse to run on my apartment treadmills because they are awful in my diva opinion/

Monday: 14 miles @ 7:50 average pace

Sunday: 5 miles easy @ 8:02 average pace, arms

Saturday: 7 miles @ 7:32 average pace

What is the coldest temperature you have ever experienced?

Who is your running/fitness hero?

Kara - I’m looking at you!

My Coldest run Yet- A Chilly Weekend

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Good Tuesday morning to you! Do tell, what is the weather like this very instant where you live? Anyways, I suppose we should back up a bit to the weekend shouldn’t we? As always (I don’t even try to make excuses anymore) I took hardly  a single picture, and it was just lovely. Picture just ain’t my thing!

Friday evening, was game night and an absolute blast! It was actually my first time ever playing Cards Against Humanity! I know, I know, how can you be a 20-something and never have played Cards Against Humanity? The answer- be super cool like me and always have to call it a night before it gets broken out. Anyhow, it was fabulous and made for a great night.

Saturday morning, after far too little sleep, I headed out into the 24 degree weather for a fun (seriously, I had a blast) 7 miles. I think I enjoyed the run so much a) because of the weather b) likely due to the weather, the 7:32 average pace felt great which made me feel good. I’ll take a good run when I can!

After that, my parents and I headed up to Virginia to spend the day with my grandparents. It was a wonderful visit an so good to see them. I am embarrassed with how little I visit my grandparents. Before moving to North Carolina, I never lived less than 8 hours from family, so visits were rare. Now that I am in the area and less than 2 hours from most of my family, I have no excuses and truly do love to see them.

That evening, I had the best Valentine’s Day thanks to the best Valentines ever….

IMG_0390[1] My parents of course! (Yes, I do pay my own bills and iron my own clothes, but man parents are awesome!)

My Dad prepared is famous Bouillabaisse and it was absolutely delicious. As was the 14  pounds of chocolate and 1 pound of froyo that followed it.

IMG_0398[1]

If Saturday morning’s run seemed cold then Sunday morning was a kick in the face. Come to think of it, that is rather what it felt like in the 15 degree air with…. 15 mph winds! I do believe that was the coldest temperature this Florida girl has ever run in! I wonder what I’ll do Thursday when it get downs to, get this, 6 degrees! (If you live in cold places, I know I am a sissy, I make no excuses.)

IMG_0393[1]

My five miles were actually a blast. Despite the cold, it was lovely outside and my double gloved/mittened hands didn’t go numb until 3 miles in.

The rest of the day was spent kidnapping my mom to knock out some much looooonnng over due chores.

I had Monday off, and not to be that girl, but when the rest of the world is working, the ay is just less fun. Raleigh was anticipating 1/4-1/2 inch of ice accumulation over Monday night, and temperatures later this week are forecasted to be just 6 an 7 degree! That is cold for this neck of the woods!

I wanted to get in a long run knowing runs the rest of the week will be spotty at best. I was aiming for 12 but the running gods were smiling and I thoroughly enjoyed 14 instead! After my run, I ran the day’s errands before the mild panic that sets in around these parts went into full swing.

IMG_0403[1]

Our mild temperatures spoil us and NC drivers tend to go a bit nuts when the threat of ice or snow looms. On that list of errands….. froyo duhhhhh. The rest of the city may have been in line for gas an groceries, but I wanted to make sure I was far more prepare than them, and the thought of a long-run day without my Menchies was just too much to bear ;)

I’m all hunkered down avoiding the icy roads. Have a warm and wonderful Tuesday!

What is the coldest weather you have ever run in?

Do you stop eating froyo/ice cream when it get cold out?

Heeeeeckkkkk no!

How was your Valentine’s Day?