Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Rock me like a hurricane!

Well hello there. It has been busy since I last blogged, holy cannoli! I'll try to recap all the highlights, drama, and wonderful events that took place in a clever fashion ;-) By the way, anyone else in the mood to go pick apples?
Vacation was a mixed bag. While in Sandbridge (Virgina Beach), we had an earthquake, beautiful weather, bingo, and a hurricane evacuation!!! I *did* feel the earthquake, which was quite strange! I thought my dad was shaking my chair from behind, so when I began to yell at NO ONE SHAKING MY CHAIR, I realized something else was going on.
I ran EVERY DAY on vacation! I couldn't believe it; this never happens to me. On my cross training bike ride, I decided to do a brick and ran a mile in speedy fashion (for me), so that counted as running. I did PLENTY of relaxing, and realized I could train for marathons all year long...if I was on an eternal vacation with a gorgeous beach to relax on! I did cross training Monday, 3 miles Tuesday, 6 miles Wednesday with negative splits (Again, never happens to me, but I was outrunning a nasty smelling garbage truck, so I made do...), and a 3 mile run Thursday. All in all, great vacation.
We drove home Friday, Lambeau's 2nd birthday!!! Mr. Miller woke up at 3:45am and said, "I'm awake, let's just get on the road." Cool, just an 1hr 15 min before we were supposed to wake up...but hey, it was bringing me closer to napping in my own bed with my OWN PILLOW! (I forgot mine and will never. do. that. again. ever.) Thus, we began our Miller Hurricane Evacuation at 4am. We made it home to NYC in a record setting 7hrs 30min, and promptly entered chaos. Bread was flying off the shelves and they couldn't keep the water stocked. Cool. Mass panic because of Irene. We got a few essentials, and ended the night with celebrating my Lambeau Loo's 2nd birthday! And, double bonus, Packers preseason game...with a last second win! Woohoo! The weekend included a rainy brunch, watching movies, napping, magazines, books, going out with friends Saturday night (Shhh don't tell me mom! It was safe I promise!), and NO. RUNNING. Until Monday...
Enter PERFECT WEATHER. Holy cow. Where have you been all my life?! It was 60ish and barely there humid, sunny, felt crisp like a football Sunday! So, after Irene bid us farewell, I did a 1/2 marathon on Monday; I prefer to call it the "1st Annual Hurricane Irene Half Marathon", but hey, the medals didn't arrive in time. I ran from Queens into Manhattan, around Central Park and finished strong there. Wowzers. It was the best. Time FLEW by, I never really got bored, and my stomach was the best it has ever been with fueling. I could have kept going, which was SHOCKING to me. I had assumed that I would have difficulty mentally with this distance without hundreds of people cheering me on, but I did it without an issue. Makes the next couple of weekends (10 miles this weekend, followed by 15 miles then 16 miles!) seem less daunting, as they are never before run distances by this little girl. I'll write my next post on my fueling regimen that I'm trying to put together to prepare for the big 'ol marathon looming so close, yet so far away.

School begins next Tuesday, September 6. Eek! Time to be a teacher again.

More Miller High Life on its way. I have so many fabulous pictures from vacation, I'll post some more soon. I know you're waiting with bated breath.

67 days until the ING NYC Marathon!

...ladies and gentlemen, we have entered the 60's!!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Vacation 12 with Coach Jen

Long Run Intro: So I lined up all my things for my 12 miler on vacation. This involves a lot of planning. A lot of packing. A lot of FRETTING! The fretting had to do with high humidity, tired from driving, and past long runs that had not gone well on vacations past.

Good thing Coach Jen came to the rescue:My Coach has come to save the Day! Jen (Number 3 out of 6 kids, my second oldest sister) was my Designated Coach for overcoming a super long run on vacation (Super Long Run to me, longest distance since my half marathon in APRIL!). I was a bit sore, a bit tired, but I had my coach with me. I laced up and by 6:20 (Waiting for sunlight!) I was out the door. She periodically came and found me on the bike, she is not up to doing 12 miles since she is at the tail end of Tri Season.
The good, the bad, and the ugly 12 Miles: I did a 7 mile out and back, and hooked up with Coach Jen for the remaining 5 miles, an out and back on a different route. She handed me the electrolyte pills, helped fill up my water, and shooed me off to keep going. Miles 8-10 were so-so, until Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun, decided to shine down on me. UGH. It was SO hot! Mile 11 was a total head trip. Our conversation included, but was not limited to....
- "How can I run 26.2 miles when I can't complete 12?!"
- "I'm a slow poke."
- "I hate this."
- "I have to walk for a second."
- "I need to drink water."
- "I have lead legs."
- "This is so hard!"
Yup, I was a complainer complainersome, however, coach pushed me through it with some encouraging words...and tough love. SO, 12 miles done at an undisclosed pace (I'm honestly slow and steady, splits etc don't matter to me at this point.) I have to remind myself during those challenging runs: I'm a finisher.

The Aftermath was a bit sore. My knees were SO sore. I know it has to do with walking around in flip flops for the past 3-4 days, being in a car driving, all the great stuff runners need to keep their body cramped and stiff. I did some swimming to relax my legs, took a nap, then sat on the beach all. day. long. And maybe ate a donut in between :-)

She's a brick house: Today I did a 4 mile bike ride with Kate, sister 4 out of 6, and a mile run, and I felt ten times better. Hopefully my 3 mile run and yoga will help me continue to bounce back tomorrow.

Do you work out on vacation??? It's hard work!

75 days until the ING NYC Marathon!!!

...I'm a finisher.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Annnnd I'm on vacation!

I thought I would have time to update before we left, but time got away from me, and here I am, on vacation! Therefore, all my adoring fans, I'll give you a quick update in pictures! ;-)
I received my order from Hammer Nutrition the day before we left! Thank goodness, I was out of everything!!! Here is what I ordered: Apple Cinnamon Gel in packets, Espresso Gel in bulk, electrolyte pills, recoverite mix (Recovery, obviously), and not the silly band that was in the picture, and I have no idea where it came from. Here are the things I did not order, but they included for me to try:
All sorts of yummy things to try out! What a great company. They ship immediately, have FedEx tracking, give 15% off for first time customers, and load me up with tons of free samples! (Also a FABULOUS business strategy! Customer service goes a long way!)

Mr. Miller surprised me with leaving a day early, so we went to Annapolis! It's a very dog friendly town, and as you can see, Lambeau made himself king of the hotel immediately.

Mr. Miller has moves. He brought me to my FAVORITE wine bar, Crush. Atmosphere is great, happy hour is an amazing deal, and the food, well, see below.

Bruschetta perfection. Brian got crab meat and I got pesto sun dried tomato. MMMMM.

Breakfast of champions! Seriously, you had to roll me out of that diner. As you can see, NO WEIGH IN THIS WEEK! I was carb loading for my 12 miler Sunday...3 days early :-D
At our favorite dock bar Pussers. It was such a nice night. Mr. Miller started our vacation off with a fabulous start. A little cross training to loosen up my muscles today, and an EARLY 12 miler beach style to beat the heat tomorrow. I did a lot of walking the past two days, but I feel a little tight. Probably from the hours of driving and sitting in the car! Blah!

CONGRATULATIONS TO MY RUNNING PARTNER SARA! She has made the decision to do 13.1 to solidify her running DOMINANCE. So excited for you Little S! 3 mile mornings unite!

77 days until the ING NYC MARATHON!!!

...marathon training never takes a vacation!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Ugly weather = Ugly Outfit

Could I BE clashing anymore?! Haha, that was said in a Chandler voice from Friends. Yup. It's time to do some laundry, and since I only had a 3 mile run on the training schedule this morning, I took out some bright colors that didn't really work together. If you've seen my racing wear or any pictures of me running, My standard black shorts/carpis/leggings go with EVERYTHING. By separating shoes and shirts with the solid black, the clashing isn't as harsh if I, say, wore a pink tank and my Nike Limies...

Enter the Nike Mandarins. These are even BRIGHTER than the Nike Limies! I'm going to be clashing every Monday from here on in. These are my marathon finishers and I need to break them in, so my easy annual 3 mile Monday is perfect for that. You know what else was perfect? This weekend.

I survived the party weekend. Wow it was fun! Pictures will come out eventually...including one bordered with the words "Homies for Life". THAT'S the kind of weekend it was!!! Switching my rest day to Saturday was a SMART decision; the Friday night wedding did me in!!! Watching the Packers game was great, and since they lost, I'll remind everyone: It's preseason. The white party was fun, Myssi always puts on a fantastic party! You know what wasn't perfect? Sunday's weather.

How gross was it on Sunday?! NON-STOP RAIN! I tried to get Lambeau puppy to use the bathroom, and it was difficult, because Lambeau puppy does NOT enjoy the rain (He literally drags me to the door and looks pathetic to garner sympathy). I ended up at the gym to cross train. I did the bike for 10 minutes, rotated doing pull ups, dips, back crunches and ab arm thrusts....then I hit the arc. The arc is CRAZY! It makes me nauseous. But I survived 24 minutes, the longest ever. I felt good leaving the gym. You know what really worked on the rainy day? Being lazy for the remainder of the day!

Good food and Mad Men Season 1. I was wallowing in a gloomy day rut with thinking of what to cook for lunch and dinner. I finally made some great decisions: Juevos Rancheros for "brunch" and Buffalo Chicken wraps for dinner. Yum. All low calorie and delicioso! Mad Men is really a good show, love the old New York City feel, especially on a gloomy rainy day. Despite a great day, you know what I kept thinking?

I hope it doesn't rain like this for the marathon. I'll probably cry uncontrollably if that is the case. I'd take snow over rain any day. I have to start praying MORE!!!

82 days until the ING NYC Marathon!!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Full weekend

This weekend is full! It all started last night when I got my hair cut...I took off 6INCHES! I like having long hair, and this is by no means short, but it's a HUGE change to me! It was getting too heavy for running and I was sick of combing out the knots at the end of running as it flowed gracefully through the wind...sigh, it will grow back! I really do like it. My stylist, Wendy, is FAB-U-LOUS.

I flipped my long run from tomorrow to today. I have a VERY full weekend. I did 7 miles at the park starting at 8:30am, what a change! 72 and sunny! COOL BREEZE in the shade?! What?! Heck yes I'll take this! Now if only we could duplicate this scenario for my 12 miler on vacation in VA Beach next weekend...the humid heat box known as Sandbridge Beach! I love these bridges. The second bridge is in the background. Behind it is Manhattan. I like to call this "The Tale of Two Bridges". I love saying good morning to Manhattan this way!
Celebrity sighting: I ran into OLIVIA, Biggest Loser winner from this past season! I knew she lived close to me, so it was only a matter of time before 6 degrees of separation took its course. She is the nicest person, and even let me take a quick pic so my sisters could drool and be jealous...we were all cheering for her and her sister this season! Go Purple! Oh, did I mention her husband is on my TWV marathon team?! It's a small world after all....

Weekend that is full: Oh. My. Gosh. We've been having semi fun outings and events, but this weekend is jam packed with some serious good times ahead. Tonight is a wedding of my coworker, YEA Vilma! She's going to be beautiful, and all us school teachers are ready to CEL-E-BRATE with her!!! Next up we have Packer's preseason game tomorrow...duh duh duh duh duh GO PACK GO! Green and Gold: These colors RUN! Hoping to KEEP the Title in Title Town! Then, later on tomorrow night, we have the event of the season: A White Party! For those of you who don't know, a white party is a summer event where everyone wears white; essentially it's to show of your tan ;-). I've been doing some extra sunning this week; bikini breakfasts on the balcony, park sunning with Lamby Loo, pool time with a great friend; it's all so magical. Sunday we have church and a Riverfest at the aforementioned park with food vendors from the neighborhood giving away delectable treats....um YES PLEASE! So there you have it, a great weekend ahead. I need a nap.

Weigh in: Down 1.2lbs this week! 6 week total: Down 7.7lbs! Rocking it ladies and gents, rocking it out. I feel so much fitter, I love eating healthily and I don't really feel deprived...except for the chocolate chip cookies I made and have resisted all week...until today, because it went so well with my coffee after 7 miles :-) I am going to have to start raising my calorie intake because my mileage is going up, so experimenting with fueling etc will be interesting! I'll keep you posted, I'm sure you're dying to know.

85 days until the ING NYC Marathon!!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Worst Case Scenario

5pm. Tuesday. 5 Miles on the training plan. Tired. Exhausted. Unmotivated.

Worst Case Scenario.

Let's back up to Sunday.

I was visiting my parents in CT with Mr. Miller and Lambeau puppy. I had gotten SO MUCH REST, a great 10 miler, my dad's 60th birthday celebration, yahoo! It was fun. However, I have a bad habit/calling card: I always leave SOMETHING behind. The things I've left behind include: wallet, keys, phone charger, books, papers, etc. Yup. I'm a bit Type A in some respects, but TOTALLY not in many others. So, guess what I left this time? Think hard.

My. Entire. Bag.

Yup. My lovely Vera Bradley duffle bag with all things essential:
- Running Shoes
- Garmin
- Garmin Charger
- Vitamins
- Make-up
- Favorite clothes

So. Worst Case Scenario style.

Which leads up to the return of my NC Blue Nikes that served me well for my 13.1 NYC Half Marathon in April. I wore them yesterday for an easy 3 miles...on the treadmill. Now I don't mind old tready, but you couldn't pay me enough to run 3 miles yesterday. Part of the problem was that I was forced to do an afternoon run because I was waiting for the cable guy FOR-E-VER.

Worst Case Scenario, a slow 3 miles completed. Reward: Starbucks iced coffee.

Enter today: I had an extra day to work for summer school today, and since we saw my FAVORITE MOVIE Airplane in Bryant Park last night, I was, you know, tired. I snoozed. Again. And again. Ok, afternoon run it is. In the NC Blue's. Ugh. I got home and was starving, and I knew a Hammer gel wouldn't cut it. I ate lunch, and resorted to a nap. A nice 2 hour nap. And I couldn't get moving after that. Messy house, 5 miles on the training plan, and I couldn't move from my bed with a snuggley puppy. Finally, FINALLY, I got moving. I dedicated 1 hour to house cleaning, and then one hour to the gym (Still now Garmin...)

Now Enter torrential downpour. Yup. I was 2/10 mile from the gym and WOOOSH rain like Noah's flood DRENCHED me. I was sopping. I considered turning around. Ugh. Haven't missed a training run in 5 weeks minus my stomach bug. Ok. 5 miles it is.

If Destiny's Child hadn't been playing, I would not have made it through. Survivor. Say My Name. Run 5 miles.

And then, at long last, I hit my mark. 5 miles. I couldn't clean off the tready fast enough. I walked home feeling proud that I fought through, but still tired.

Ever have one of those weeks? Where it's worst case scenario over and over again? Maybe the return of my Limey Nikes will change my scenario. They should arrive via mail tomorrow.

Thanks mom and dad for always sending my calling card back to me :-D

88 days until the ING NYC Marathon. Oh billy.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Weird weather weekend

This picture was taken a week ago in Astoria from my balcony. I FINALLY caught the lightening after many attempts failed. This is what Connecticut has looked like since yesterday afternoon, there goes sitting by the pool for the weekend!!!

It has been a weird weather weekend. I got here on Thursday to sun and humidity. I decided to try to do my 10 miler on Friday because Mr. Miller wouldn't arrive until Friday night. I had a tight schedule Friday morning, so I dutifully set my alarm for 5:00am. Well, beep beep beep.


Can't run like that. Yes it's the suburbs, but I don't have pepper spray (Gotta get on that) and a lengthy run means I would be weaker to fight off an assailant...is it weird I think this way?! Plus I get dizzy in the dark.

Reset to 5:20am. Beep beep beep.


Now we've reached the point of cutting it too close between finishing my run and making my morning appointment. Epic fail. The sun rose at 5:50am that day, I feel like that's wicked late.

Saturday morning redo:

6:00am: Beep beep beep.

The sun had risen. Good to go.

Great 10 mile run. I did a 5 mile out and back. I tried to avoid hills on my return, which I did...except for one HUGE hill I forgot about. As I climbed it during mile 6, it made complete sense why the ING Hartford Marathon team I had semi-run with for a mile or so (Sidewalks are meant to be shared!) turned off right before the hill. It was a killer. Mile 7 was super rough (I believe the hill from mile 6 was almost 1/2 a mile long...), but miles 8-10 were domination/adrenaline/wanting pumpkin pancakes with my fresh picked blueberries.

Things I noticed during the run: Britney Spears Pandora is now my BFF. It's incredible. Every time Survivor comes on by Destiny's Child, watch out pavement. I'm doing better with keeping my pace. Stopping at a Walgreens to refill my water worked out well and took less than 60 seconds since no one is at Walgreens at 8am. A few times I went a little too fast (The aforementioned GREATEST HITS EVER pumping me up!!!) so I need to find a balance. I'm going to try doing intervals twice a week and incorporating hills into my regular runs. I read a really good article on Runners World about intervals, so I'm giving it a whirl.

Weigh in: Didn't happen this week. I came to CT on Thursday, so I weighed in Thursday morning and was exactly the same. Maybe if i weighed in on Friday it would have been different, but I had eaten out the night before, so I'm sure it made a difference. It's a new week and I'm still committed. I feel great and love feeling lighter...despite eating a bakery chocolate chip cookie and some cannoli cake for DAD'S 60th BIRTHDAY!!! I'll work hard this week and see what happens. Still, 6.5lbs down in 4 weeks is excellent.

90 days until the ING NYC MARATHON...wow.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Going the extra mile

Welcome to Hot August runners, the month that separates the girls from the Amazons.

I can't wait to do that in THESE BEAUTIES!!! MY MARATHON SHOES!!! I couldn't wait until I got home from the Post Office to open them, I ripped them open in my car. The fact that they are orange makes them even more fitting: The ING NYC Marathon is orange and gray themed, and World Vision is orange themed! Yippee! I love color coordination!

Yesterday's mid week long(ish) run (Which will turn into "Seriously, 9 miles on a Tuesday?!" run in the coming months...) almost didn't get completed appropriately. Background: The husband and I had gone to see Cool Hand Luke Monday night at Bryant Park and didn't get home until 11:30. SO LATE for me. We meandered around and finally calmed down for bed around 12am (NOT ME.) Alas, my goal this summer was to be "more fun" because I'm a McLame-o during the school year. Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled story. So I'm sleep walking/tying my running shoes at 6am Tuesday morning, and my OCD kicks in and says, "Check your schedule to make sure you're only doing 4 miles today." Uh oh. Automatic red flag that my brain memorized the training schedule and knows it's not 4 miles. I look, and to my dismay, it's 5 miles. I should have woken up 15 minutes earlier! (Tuesday is a CUT THROAT parking day at summer school!) So, I ventured out and tried my best to be quick. But I couldn't. I couldn't get it together. I didn't think about the fact that I had only gotten roughly 6 out of my normal 7-8 hours of sleep, and I tripped and almost fell again at the park...THAT woke me up. I got home at 7:10, and WHIRLWIND BOOM BANG I was out the door at 7:35 showered, carrying my bowl of oatmeal with banana and peanut butter, my coffee mug (Because a traveler mug is just not happening when I'm rushing), an ice pack on my knee and make up in my bag. I got a parking space eventually at school, but if anyone knows what alternate side in Queens is like, well, you can sense the stress of running late on one of those days.

Just writing that stressed me out all over again.

Training update: I did a good 8 mile last Saturday, and I have 10 on my plate this Saturday. Long runs are going pretty well actually, but then again, it's only 8 miles! I'll talk to you when it's 15 miles, which is more than I've ever run before! (My longest is 14 miles).

Summer school ends tomorrow, YEA! 3 weeks of relaxing, including a vacation to Virginia Beach! I'm checking out running groups to see if there's any with a Sunday long run (I have to do 12 miles on VACATION! Bring on some good eating THAT day!!!).

Eating Healthy: GOING STRONG! I've had numerous eating out occasions (Including one tonight that I'm SOOOOOO excited for! Date night with Mr. Miller!), but I have been steadfast and healthy. If Mr. Miller orders fries, I eat one or two. That's it. I don't need 12. It should be highlighted that if I could eat french fries everyday for the rest of my life, I would. Sigh. A moment on the lips forever on the hips.

Run strong this month!!! Get up early!!! Drink fluids like whoa!!!

94 days* until the ING NYC Marathon!!!

*It should be noted that I miscalculated my 100 days. I realized it two days later. Silly school teacher me. Subtracting is not my strong point. I'll just stick to checking the countdown on nyrr.org!