Sunday, December 21, 2014

Napa Training Weeks 7 and 8... Going Long and Seizing the Moment

The past two weeks for me have been all about focus... trying to focus and get all my runs in during the holidays... it's hard. What I've learned is that I just need to seize the time that is mine and put on the mental blinders when distractions come my way.

Week 7
Sunday - 9 miles. Last day of "Nutcracker" for G. I got up painfully early to get my run in before heading off to the theater. Once I got outside and moving it wasn't too bad and it was nice to see the sunrise over the farm fields but, ughh, I'm NOT a morning person!

Monday - 4 miles. Got up at 4:30 am to go to work. Got my run in at the fitness center in the evening.

Tuesday - Rest.

Wednesday - Rest. I was suppose to do my pace run but was still too tired so I moved my schedule back a day. This meant I'd have to do my long run after a night shift but I just couldn't get myself out the door to do my pace run on Wednesday.

Thursday - 9 miles. This was suppose to be my pace run. I decided to play with the settings on my Garmin and had it alarm at 8:35 pace and at 8:55 pace so that I could keep tighter reins on my pace. NEVER AGAIN!!! The watch beeped at me every 30 seconds and made me crazy. It ended up just being a HUGE distraction. First 3 miles went 8:45, 8:45, and 8:51.

I don't know whether it was the distracting watch or what but after 3 miles I just didn't feel like I could keep pace AGAIN! This is stupid. I KNOW I can run 8:45 pace for longer than 3 miles but on pace days I just seem to fall apart. Rather than throw in the towel though, I decided to try and salvage the workout by alternating jogging a mile, then picking up the pace the next mile. So, jog mile 4, mile 5 - 8:36, jog mile 6, mile 7 - 8:59, jog mile 8, run next 800m in 4:10, jog next 800m to warm down. I got all 9 miles in, just not all at pace.

Friday - 19 miles. I worked Thursday night from 7 pm to Friday morning 7 am then came home and slept for 4 hours. I got up at 11:30 am so I could eat and wake myself up a bit before heading out on my long run. I figured I'd be tired but this was suppose to be a nice slow run so all I had to do was complete the distance. I didn't even bother to wear my heart rate monitor as I figured I'd be running slow and gave myself a 4 hour block to finish the run. I just ran at what I felt was a comfortable pace. The only reason I wore my Garmin was that I was trying out a new route that took me on some less traveled county roads... but the splits my Garmin started spitting out were unexpected...

I figured out right away that I was probably running too fast to keep my heart rate under 150 but I felt so good I decided to just go with it...

I wore a fuel belt and practiced fueling at 5 miles, 10 miles, and 14 miles. I wanted to practice eating on the run. First thing I tried were Clif Shot Bloks. Nope, not going to work. I had a hard time chewing and running at the same time. Went back to gels for the rest of the run. I also had a hard time drinking out of a squeeze bottle and running at the same time but I figured I wouldn't have this problem in a race.

Mile 7 I got chased by a dog.

By Mile 10 I was telling myself I really should slow down. At 13.1 miles I peeked at my watch and saw 2:04:45. After that, the run got hard and I told myself that I didn't need to push myself today. The last 2 miles were pretty tough. All things considered, I was thrilled with how this run went down. I would have never dreamed of running this fast on a long run after a night shift but the moment felt right and I seized it!

Saturday - 4 miles. I ran the Joy of Giving 5K with G to finish out the Crossroads of Indiana Race Series. G was done with "Nutcracker" and had a free Saturday. She told me that if she could dance for 4 hours she could run 3.1 miles. Ummm...yah... I've done both too and it's not the same. However, I thought it would be fun to run with my daughter so I agreed to run with her. For the record, G's never run 3 miles before...

Mile 1 - 9:25, hmmm... actually not a bad pace
Mile 2 - 11:28, G started having to walk shortly after the mile mark
Mile 3 - 11:28, she struggled through that last mile but finished

Her official time was 33:36.3. I finished right behind her in 33:37. She was pretty much a whiny train wreck after the race so I had to take her back over to her grandparents' house before going back and running a warm down before the end of year awards ceremony (which will be a different post).

Week 7 Total Miles: 45 miles
4 good days, 1 "ehh" day, 2 rest days

Week 8
Sunday - Rest. Spent the whole day at work.

Monday - 10 miles.

Tuesday - 5 miles.

Wednesday - 10 miles.

Thursday - 20 miles and a story...

How often do we let distractions alter our runs? The distraction that almost bagged my long run this week was a UPS delivery... and it wasn't even MY delivery.

Tuesday, my husband was expecting a UPS delivery. It never came. He left town on business on Wednesday. I came back from running on Wednesday and found a delivery notice on our door. The package needed a signature so they were going to try and redeliver on Thursday between 10:30 am and 2:30 pm. Well, I had to leave the house by 6:30 pm to go to work. The ONLY thing I had planned as a "must do" on Thursday before going to work was to get my 20 mile run in and I was giving myself a 4 hour block to do it. If I wanted to get done before 10:30 am I'd have to start at 6:30 am. Not going to happen, especially on a day where I'm staying up all night to work the night shift. If I started my run after 2:30 pm I didn't feel like I could get done in time to get to work.

I was mad. This wasn't even really my problem but somehow I felt responsible and it just really messed with my mind. Finally I decided to just leave a note for UPS on the door saying I'd be back at noon and that they could leave the package at the door if they wanted. That was the best I could do.

It poured rain all week so I did all my runs indoors at the fitness center. I get there and realized that it's actually almost 9 am. Crap. No way am I going to be back at the house at noon either. I spent the rest of my run ruminating on what I should do.

10:30 am passed. Would UPS really even come back to my house if they tried to deliver when I wasn't home and saw the note? They could just leave another delivery notice and try again on Friday. I have the day off on Friday. I'll be sleeping all morning after my night shift but I'll be home.

11:30 am. Should I just run 10 miles and go home and see if UPS came by, and if not, wait for the delivery. No no no! This is not my problem. If it comes down to it they will try to redeliver tomorrow. I will regret it if I cut this run short. Hal Higdon says the long runs are the most important runs in the training program. Bag anything else but not the long run.

Noon. OK, still running here on the track. This is MY run. It's suppose to be my long slow relaxing run. Physically I feel really good. Mentally I'm just mad about having to worry about this whole delivery issue. Nothing I can do about it now. It's after twelve o'clock. UPS has either come or not. This is MY run. MY RUN.

I got all 20 miles done. I ran slower than I did the week before but I didn't feel tired at all at the end of my run like I did the week before. Most of all though, I was proud of myself for finishing the run and not letting the UPS distraction alter my plans.

1:00 pm. I got home and my note was still on the door. Nothing else. No package. No redelivery notice. I was so worried about this delivery that I actually put off getting in the shower. I was going to wait until 2:30 pm. If they weren't here by then, I'd get in the shower.

2:00 pm. UPS finally shows up... then they piddle around in my driveway for 10 minutes because THEY CAN'T FIND THE PACKAGE!! Somehow they misplaced it between Wednesday and Thursday. They want to know if they can bring it to me later...

So, moral to the story - don't let distractions alter your running plans! I would have been really mad at myself had I cut my run short because UPS didn't even get here until after I finished my run. And really, had they come while I was running, they would have tried to deliver it again the next day and I would have been home so it really was not a problem. I just need to stop blowing little distractions into big distractions and STAY FOCUSED!

Friday - Rest. I kept thinking all this week that if I got my long run in and my night shift over with, I'd have the whole weekend to relax and get all my Christmas stuff done. I woke up after sleeping all morning with a cough, fever, and body aches. Ughh! Now I'm really glad I decided to do my long run before my night shift rather than after it like I did last week otherwise it wouldn't have happened.

And then more serious stuff... my father-in-law went to have a diagnostic heart catheterization Friday morning. He had had what he thought was a chest cold he couldn't shake and no known history of any heart problems. His procedure was at 9 am. I woke up at 11 am to see how it had gone and found out he was being transferred to another hospital for open heart surgery. Totally not what anyone in our family had expected. Surgery is scheduled for Monday. Needless to say this has disrupted all of our holiday plans as most everyone has been at the hospital. Another reminder to seize the moment while you can cause you never know what will happen tomorrow.

Saturday - Unplanned rest day. There was 5 miles on the schedule but I still felt bad and decided to listen to my body rather than the numbers on the training schedule. Went to see my father-in-law and tried to finish up everything for Christmas.

Week 8 Total Miles: 45
4 good days, 3 rest days

Drop down week coming up this week... just in time for Christmas. I'm going to need it.

Please say a little prayer that everything goes well for our family on Monday!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Thoughts on the Run

I was squeezing in a 10 mile run this morning in between baking and getting groceries before coming home to clean, cook some more, then prepare for the kids coming home from school and I was thinking that I hadn't blogged in awhile. There's been no time!

Then it occurred to me how crazy my new norm seems to be...

Several years ago when I decided I was actually going to do some running before running my spring half-marathon instead of rolling out of bed and just doing it as had been my history some years, I ran a long run of 10 miles every week for about 6 weeks. It was a HUGE deal getting that long run in every week. That was before I decided to actually follow a training plan and write a blog. Goodness how things have changed! Here I am "squeezing in" my second 10 miler of the week. Tomorrow I have a 20 miler to do before I go to work. I can remember the days when running 13.1 miles left me sore for days and now I'm going to run 20 miles and go to work. Crazy isn't it?!

I had a bajillion other thoughts to write about too... so more later.

Gotta run...

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Napa Training Week 6... Another Nutrition Lesson

Another week down and another lesson learned... or re-learned in my case. I'm either a slow learner or just hard headed. The splits on my long run tell all.

So here's the recap...

Sunday - Rest. I celebrated Thanksgiving with my side of the family and spent the whole day cooking, then eating. Family left and then we had to call in reinforcements to help finish off our wine.

Nothing went to waste...

Monday - 9 miles. I was still really sore from racing Saturday. In fact, this is the sorest I've been since running the Derby Marathon in April. Seems kind of strange since the race distances themselves weren't all that long and I only really raced the 5K. In any case, I was really sore but it was a good kind of sore rather than a hurt kind of sore. I felt better after running a couple miles.

Tuesday - 4 miles. Got up at 4:30 am and spent the whole day at work so I didn't get out for my run until 8 pm. I was dead tired, and STILL sore.

Wednesday - Rest.

Thursday - 13 miles. I got up and realized I was finally over being sore from the weekend.

Hal Higdon's original training plan calls for running a half-marathon at Week 9. Since I adapted his plan and jumped in at Week 4 (so his Week 4 was my Week 1), my Week 6 long run was suppose to be an all out half-marathon. This is also "Nutcracker" week. G performed "Nutcracker" this weekend so I had most of the week off to take her to her dress rehearsal and performances. No way was I going to be able to run a real half-marathon this week so I decided to just run 13.1 on my own and try it as a long pace run; it would equal the longest pace run of this training cycle later on.

This is where my nutrition bit me in the butt. Always before a "real" half-marathon I'm really anal about what I eat the week of, two nights before, the night before, and the morning of... plus I always drink Gatorade along the run and eat at least one gel. When I'm not really truly going for time though, I tend to get cavalier about what I do and don't eat. I guess my brain just thinks, "13.1. You can roll out of bed and run that," and I just don't think about pre-run nutrition.

Wednesday night I had a salad for dinner. I couldn't even tell you if I ate Tuesday night. Thursday morning I had a cup of coffee and a piece of apple pie (yes, I can feel everyone cringing at my diet now). Then I set out to run 13.1 miles... and it was too much trouble for me to wear a fuel belt so I winged it with no water or gels.


Goal was 8:45 pace so I spent miles 1-4 trying to slow myself down.

Mile 5 was my flattest mile and I couldn't understand why my time suddenly slowed even though I felt like I was putting forth the same effort. At one point I thought my Garmin was just doing something funky as one second it was showing an 11:30 pace and then 5 seconds later it was showing an 8:00 pace and I knew I was running about the same pace. In reality though I was really slowing down. It was roughly just under 45 minutes into my run and I should have been fueling but didn't have anything to fuel with.

I tried putting forth more effort in Mile 6 and got my time down a bit but then realized I wasn't going to be able to hold my pace. I had more hills coming up and 7 more miles to go. I could either see how long I could hang on to an all out effort and risk blowing up before the run was over or just slow my pace and finish the run. I decided to slow my pace and just finish. I did reserve enough gas in the tank to pick up my last mile.

My finish time showed me how much progress I had made and how much potential there was if I WOULD JUST EAT RIGHT! Back in 2010 when I was training for my first marathon ever, I ran an all out effort supported half-marathon in 2:03:59 (500 Festival Mini-Marathon). So here I am, 4 years later, rolling out of bed, having pie for breakfast, and running ever so slightly faster (on a much hillier course I should add.) If I would have treated this run like the real half-marathon it was suppose to be perhaps I could have held my pace.

Live and learn. One of the points from the sports psychology lecture was to get rid of the "could have's" and "should have's" in my life. This run is done. I need to eat better. End of story.

Friday - Rest. It's opening night for "Nutcracker"!

Saturday - 4 miles. Got up early on a Saturday that I didn't have to go to work or race just to get my miles in before "Nutcracker" shows all day.

Week 6 Total Miles: 30
3 good days. 1 "ehh" day. 3 rest days.

There was an extra rest day on the schedule this week due to the real half-marathon I was suppose to be running. I thought about running another day this week since my half wasn't "real" but since it took me half the week to get over being sore from last weekend I just took advantage of my extra rest day.

Goal this coming week is to eat better!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Random Facts About Me

Confession... I got the kids off to school then meant to be productive but fell asleep on the couch... until 11am!!  ... but I feel wonderful now. I'm such a night owl it's pathetic.

No running or work today (Wednesday). Total rest day. Spent the day catching up on other things and other people's blogs and got tagged to share these facts about myself from Beth's Shut Up + Run blog. So here are my random facts...

Four names that people call me other than my real name:
1. Park (at work)
2. Mommers (a kid thing)
3. HP (friends from med school and residency)
4. Mommasita (another kid thing)

Four jobs I've held:
1. dance teacher/choreographer
2. waitress
3. telemarketer
4. sold sporting goods at Sears

Four movies I've watched more than once:
1. The Replacements
2. The Hunt for Red October
4. St. Elmo's Fire
4. Star Wars

Four books I'd recommend:
1. Into Thin Air (Jon Krakauer)
2. A Life Without Limits (Chrissie Wellington)
3. Elite Minds (Stan Beecham)
4. Wild (Cheryl Strayed)

Four places I've lived:
1. Indianapolis, IN
2. Bloomington, IN
3. Columbus, IN
4. Kalamazoo, MI

Four places I've visited:
1. Kenya (most of the country)
2. Costa Rica (most of the country)
3. Kenai, Alaska (where hubs booked a hotel that didn't exist)
4. Cozumel, Mexico (favorite place to dive)

Four things I prefer not to eat:
1. anchovies
2. rhubarb
3. worms
4. bugs

Four of my favorite foods:
1. raw oysters
2. ahi tuna
3. good chocolate
4. goat cheese

Four TV shows I watch:
1. Food Network Challenge
2. college basketball
3. ...ok, I really don't watch TV!

Four things I'm looking forward to this year:
1. My older daughter learning to drive
2. Going someplace warm for Spring Break
3. Seeing friends at the Napa Valley Marathon
4. Watching my younger daughter dance

Four things I'm always saying:
1. I'm cold
2. We're leaving in 5 minutes
3. Scoot over! (to the dog)
4. Love you, see you tonight (to the kids)

OK, your turn. If you got through this you have to share at least 4 random facts about yourself. If you have a blog tell all!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Napa Training Week 5... Do Race Miles Count Double?

I fell really short on mileage last week but I'm just glad to have survived. It was a busy week with four shifts at work, three road races, the Thanksgiving holiday, and two family gatherings. So here's how it went...

Sunday - Rest. Spent the whole day at work.

Monday - Unplanned rest day. I had 4 miles on the schedule. Plan was to run them while G danced. I spent the whole day at work then was way too tired to run in the evening.

Tuesday - 8 miles.

Wednesday - Another unplanned rest day. I had 17 on the schedule. I got dressed to run but then bagged it. My right shin was still feeling funny - not painful but just an uneasy pressure feeling when I walk. Anyway I got nervous. Plus, I had a bajillion things to do to get ready for Thanksgiving and I knew 17 miles was going to eat up 3 hours of my day and I had a race the next day.

Thursday - 5 miles.
Got up at 5 am to drive down to Seymour and run the Girls Inc. Turkey Trot 8K at 7:30 am. My plan was to try and keep an 8:00 pace. I wanted to run sub-40:00. I thought I could do it as long as my leg held up...

Mile 1 - 7:54

Mile 2 - 8:00

Mile 3 - 8:08  My 5K split was 24:50. At this point I realized I was having a really good race as long as I didn't crash in the next mile and that I could make sub-40:00 if I just pushed a little harder.

Mile 4 - 7:58

last 0.97 - 7:40

Official time - 39:40.5  (7:58 pace)
Finished 1st in the Female 40-49 age group and 8th overall in the women's race

I met the rest of my family at my sister-in-law's house after the race to celebrate Thanksgiving with my husband's side of the family then left to go to work.

Friday - Rest. I worked Thursday night from 7 pm to 7 am Friday morning. Slept til about 11 am then had to do house stuff to get ready for the second Thanksgiving gathering at my house on Sunday. Went back to work at 7 pm and worked til 7 am on Saturday morning.

Saturday - 9.5 miles.
Got home from work at 7:30 am, changed into running clothes and was running out the door to drive to Columbus when I realized I still had to brine my turkey! I had made the brine on Friday. I just had to throw the turkey in except the bag of gizzards was still frozen to the inside of the turkey. Aackk!! 5 minutes and lots of hot water later I had the turkey in the stockpot and ran out the door.

I had the No Shave 5K and 10K double to run on Saturday. If you ran the Turkey Trot on Thursday and the No Shave Double on Saturday, you earned 8 bonus points for the Crossroads Race Series. I had to finish all three races to stay in first place for my age group so I showed up to run a double on no sleep. First race was at 10 am. Second race was at 11:15 am.

The course was the same course as the Pink Strong 5K that I didn't get to run. I guess it worked out to my advantage that I didn't know the course (for the first race at least!) Everyone was complaining about how hilly and awful it was...  Almost everyone was running both races so I there was some strategizing involved. I was tired. I was lucky to have clothes on. I forgot my gloves and headband. It was cold and windy. All I had to do was finish to have enough points to win the year. I decided to go out at an 8:00 pace again and see how I felt.

Mile 1 - 8:05  It's hilly, it's windy... and I'm leading my age group

Mile 2 - 8:13  The hills won't end! Every time I crest a hill there's another freakin' hill. I didn't even look at the course map before the race. I guess we ended up running several loops of the same hills. It just all looked like hills to me. My watch beeps for mile 2 and, oh hell, I'm still leading my age group. I felt awful but my competitive drive kicked in and I wanted to win.

Mile 3 - 8:07  I kept hearing footsteps behind me but they were all men. I ran most of this mile with some guy that caught up with me on every hill and I passed on every downhill, mainly because I was running all the angles I could see while he hugged the side of the road. To the man that was running with me - learn to run your angles and you'll cut at least 10 seconds off your time!

last 0.1 - 0:36.6  I felt like I was going to pass out the last quarter mile. I got outkicked by all the guys I was running with but  held my place in the women's race.

Official time - 25:01.6  (8:03 pace)
Finished 1st in the Female 40-49 age group and 3rd overall in the women's race.

I felt like death after the race. This was the toughest 5K course I've run all year. I knew I was done for the day. All I had to do was finish the 10K now... and I was starving! If I had had half a brain, I would have packed a gel or some food to eat between the two races but, like I said, I was lucky to have clothes on. I finally found a vending machine at 11 am... and all I had was a $20 bill. I went back to my car to scrounge around for change. I came up with $1.15. I needed $1.25 for a PowerAde. Oh screw it! I'll just go run my race now.

Mile 1 - 9:14 I let everyone go at the start.

Mile 2 - 9:39 It was actually interesting to watch the race develop from behind. The women's leader took off. The next three women ran in a group.

Mile 3 - 9:34  The first 1.5 miles were the hills I had just ran for the 5K. The course then went out onto some country roads. They were just as hilly plus the wind was just brutal out on the road.

Mile 4 - 10:28 Mile 4 ended on the top of a hill and I walked up the hill. My shin was hurting and I was just dead tired. Then I told myself that I had done 20 miles after being up for 44 hours at Western States so I just needed to finish this!

Mile 5 - 9:00

Mile 6- 8:23 The course went back over the hilly loop again but I picked it up because I was just ready to be done.

last 0.2 - 1:46

Official time - 58:04  (9:20 pace)
Finished 3rd in the Female 40-49 age group. That was a gift.

Awards from this week
Jane, me, and Nora Jo after our Double
Week 5 Total Miles: 22.5
3 good days, 2 rest days, 2 bagged runs
So WAY short on miles this week unless my race miles count double!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Napa Training Week 4... Salvaged

Perhaps it was the snow...

We had our first real snowfall of the year last Sunday night. I had worked all day then driven to my brother's house to pick up G after he had picked her up from Nutcracker rehearsal. The snow was coming down. It was cold. All I wanted to do was sit in front of a roaring fire - which he had in his fireplace. Unfortunately, we had to leave...

All I've wanted to do all week is curl up in front of a fire with a glass of wine and a crochet project. Ahh... like that's ever going to happen!

Here is the reality of my week...

Sunday - Rest. Spent the whole day at work.

Monday - 4 miles. After a weekend at work all I wanted to do was sleep. However, I had to drive back down in the morning for a 3 hour computer training session. Plan was to run after that. It was still cold and slushy out so I ended up at the indoor track. I almost quit after two laps. My head was throbbing and my heart felt like it was beating out of my chest. My legs were tired and my feet were just slapping the ground. It was suppose to be a nice easy run but there was no easy feeling at all. I finally made it a mile and then decided I only had three more to go so I finished the run but all I wanted to do was lay down on the track. Plus, I started getting a dull throbbing pain in my right shin. Shin splints. I rarely get them but usually it's when I'm tired and my feet just slap around on the ground. I don't know if it's a cause or an effect... normally I don't make any noise when I run but when I'm tired I can hear them slap the ground.

Tuesday - 8 miles. A really cold evening run on the Monon. My car said it was 21 degrees. My phone said it was 17 degrees. I think the wind chill was in the single digits. I was wearing capri tights and worried my ankles were going to get frostbite after a mile but continued on. The run itself was fine - which was a relief after Monday's run. When I got done I realized all the skin on my legs, exposed or not, was numb. I still had two hours to kill waiting on my daughter to finish her dance class. Usually I hang out at the library. I bundled up in fleece pants, pullover, and a down jacket after my run but I couldn't warm up. All the cold blood from my extremities came back to my core and I started shivering and couldn't stop. It was ridiculous! I ended up having to go back to my car to sit with the heat and the seat heater on for half an hour so I could warm up enough to stop shaking.

Wednesday - 4 miles. Not quite as cold but really windy. I ran my county road with the heart rate monitor on. Goal was to keep the heart rate under 150. The first two miles I had the wind at my back and ran 9:39 and 9:40. Next two were into the wind and I ran 10:18 and 10:44 and still exceeded my heart rate. Plus, I had that dull nagging pain in my right shin again.

Thursday - 4.5 miles. Plan was to do my 8 mile pace run with speedy Trena. We met at her house and I let her lead the way. Mile 1 - 8:15... OK, let's slow this down! Mile 2 - 8:33... somewhere during mile 2 my right shin started hurting again. The hurt became a real pain, and then a dagger. Finally, after about 2.5 miles I told Trena we were going to have to stop. I wanted to make it to Mile 3 though. Mile 3 - 8:48. I came to a stop and then couldn't put weight on my right leg anymore. It hurt too bad to push off my leg. I had to sit down. I had a moment when I had that stab of fear that something was really wrong. Breathe... breathe... it's just a shin splint. Why the hell do I have a shin splint? I never get shin splints! Why, why, why?!!

After Trena got to watch me roll around on the ground for awhile I finally composed myself enough to stand up and try to walk/run it out. I hobbled the mile and a half back to her house then retreated home to ice my leg. Ughhh.... so much for a good pace run this week!

Friday - Unplanned rest day. I was suppose to do my long run. It was the perfect day for a long run. Cold and sunny. I went less than 200 yards and felt the pain in my right shin again so I stopped and walked back home.

Saturday - 16 miles. This was suppose to be my weekend day off from both work and running. I spent all day doing stuff with my family. By 5 pm though, hubs was gone hunting and both kids were at their own activities so I was a free woman. What to do? Try my long run again.

I was scared. Scared my leg was going to start hurting again. I ended up running a half mile paved loop at the old Westgrove school so that I could stop if anything got bad. I ran slow and gingerly on my leg. After about 5 miles of no pain I relaxed a little. After 10 miles I felt a lot better about things and ran less gingerly. I made 16 and everything still felt fine. Whew! What a relief. I guess I really did have just a bad shin splint on Thursday. I don't think there's any way I could have run 16 miles without pain if I had anything more serious like a stress fracture in my leg... knock on wood.

So that was my week. A couple miles short but salvaged on Saturday night.

Week 4 Total Miles: 36.5
3 good days, 2 bad days, 2 rest days

Friday, November 21, 2014

Retail Therapy

I had to bag my run today for the second day in a row...  ugly deets to follow in my weekly update. Suffice it to say for now that my right leg is not cooperating with me this week!

After throwing in the towel again I decided to just go grocery shopping. I haven't shared a good couponing post in awhile so I thought I'd just share my deals today. Most of them didn't even need coupons. As a lot of you know, I've been a couponer most of my life. It's something I do every time I shop. Most weeks I don't even think about posting, or, more often then not, the deal is over before I get a chance to post and I'd hate to say - look what I got this week, too bad you can't get it anymore...

Keys to my shopping stategy...
- scan the weekly ad
- note the sales and pull the coupons that match the sale items
- goal is to get at least a 50% discount on most items
- make a list
- get in and get out
- above all, don't bring the kids or hubs!!

First stop - MARSH

Regular price per 12-pack $4.99. Sale price $2.50.
Diet Coke 12-packs are on sale this week 4 for $10. I never pay more than $2.50 a 12-pack. I was down to my last two 12-packs so I was getting nervous (yes, I'm an addict). I figured someone would run it on sale this week for Thanksgiving. Meijer was 3 for $10, Kroger was 4 for $11 so Marsh it was. I had to do 3 separate transactions to get all these. I am hoping they will last until the next sale. Usually someone will run them 4 for $10 for the following - Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Super Bowl, Easter, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day. The longest stretch seems to be from Labor Day to Thanksgiving unless one of the drug stores runs a deal in between. You have to pretty much adhere to the expiration dates for diet sodas because they will go flat. All of these cases have Jan/Feb 2015 expirations so I should be good.
Regular price per half gallon $7.49. Sale price $4.50.
Half gallons of Blue Bell ice cream were on sale for $4.50. You can get two prints of a  $1.00 coupon from once a month. This is one of our favorite brands so I always look to see who has it on sale and then print the coupon. Coupons expire one month from the date you print them. My final price for these were $3.50 each.


Regular price per pound $3.99. Sale price $1.99.
I always stock up on butter, especially around the holidays and at fair time. This year I will be making over 40 gallons of caramel corn as gifts (I do it every year). I used to be able to find butter for $1.50 a pound but I think $1.99 is as low as it's going to go this year. I got 16 pounds to start. I will be going back for more.
I was thrilled to see that Kroger had it on sale this week. Butter will also be $1.99 a pound at Meijer the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I am working the night shift on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. That means I get off work at 7 am on Saturday morning. I am signed up for a 5K and 10K double in Columbus that starts at 10 am. I was trying to figure out how to manage getting off work, buying butter, and getting to Columbus in time for the race (yes, I will be trashed on race day!) but now I don't have to worry about the butter!
Turkey Hill 48 oz ice cream regular price $4.99. Sale price $3.00.
If you haven't figured it out by now, ice cream is sorta like milk and toilet paper at our house - a staple you don't want to run out of. There were $1.00 printables for the Turkey Hill ice cream at so my final price for these were $2.00 each.
Regular price per box $2.49. On price drop for $2.00.
This was a deal I saw while shopping last week and remembered there were insert coupons out so I pulled them (10/5/14 Smart Source) for my next grocery run. Celestial Seasonings has a coupon out for $1.00 off  per box, making the final price of these boxes $1.00 each. My family likes the tea, plus they make nice gift basket items or stocking stuffers this time of year.
All of these deals are good until at least Thanksgiving. On the advertised deals you can also get rain checks if the store is sold out. Happy shopping!