Random Thoughts about a Crazy World, Crazy Love, the Mom Squad, the Miles and Track Tuesday

Thirteen years ago, I was teaching at an elementary school is a migrant community.   After the Columbine shooting, my school district put lockdown drills into place.  We practiced those drills along with fire drills and tornado drills.

Sometime after that, the lockdown drill became a reality when a person ran through our school’s soccer field wielding a gun and shots were fired. We (the teachers) had to turn off our lights and hide with our students in our classrooms. We had to be brave for our students. We had to protect them and these students came from horrible homes and probably saw this type of thing regularly. School was their safe place, but not that day.

As an educator, I can’t even imagine how the teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School felt that fateful Friday last week. I can’t even imagine what went through their minds as they tried to be brave and protect their students who thought school was their safe place. As parent, I just want to hold my babies and never let go.

God bless the teachers, the survivors and the families as they deal with their loss. Hopefully, schools can be safe places again and maybe the powers that be will make common sense gun control as common place as lockdowns.

Also thirteen years ago, I married my best friend.  It’s been a crazy, mad wild ride but I wouldn’t change one day of it, especially since my husband still has a few surprises up his sleeve.  He bought me this mirror from IKEA that I’d been eyeing for the longest time and wrote a message on it that says, “Denise, Happy Anniversary. You are beautiful and I love you. xxxx ♥ ♥”

His present is…er…um….on backorder.  Yep, that’s it!

Speaking of surprises, my husband pulled a doozy on me yesterday.  He high jacked my email and contacted Joe of 10 News to ask if he would to announce our anniversary on the air during our Moms Squad segment.  Watch it here and check out my totally surprised expression at the end.

On the subject of the Mom Squad, Joe has asked Marisa, Jenny and me to be his regular team every week, so we are officially The Mom Squad, which of course means we need our own coffee mugs since we’re part talk show television.  Plus, if I was holding a coffee mug, it would keep me from speaking with my hands.  Here’s last week segment.

I’m really struggling mentally with my marathon training.  I’m just so tired lately and as a result, my training is suffering.  Then, the Holiday Half didn’t go so well, but at least I beat my time from 3 years ago which shouldn’t been hard to do since I was pregnant then.  (More about the Holiday Half tomorrow!)

I had a really tough time recovering after the half marathon.  On Sunday I woke up with this horrible Charlie horse in my thigh I know it’s a direct result from not fueling properly after the race.  Other than a few beers, I didn’t drink any of my usual recovery drinks such as chocolate milk or coconut and I didn’t eat for hours after the race. Stupid move, I know and I definitely paid for it in the middle of the night.

Since my Mondays are Mom Squad days, I’ve also had to readjust my whole marathon training schedule.  But given the whole Charlie horse episode, I also decided against speedwork last week and just went for an easy 3 mile run.

3.1 miles
Time 31:25
Ave Pace 10:08
Max Pace 8:08

And that was the last time I ran last week, except for my 20 miler on Saturday.  Again, not my proudest marathon training moment, but it happens.  Last week was a really tough week for me emotionally and my training suffered.  I honestly considered postponing my 20 miler until the following week, but my running partners talked me into it.  Sometimes peer pressure does have its benefits.

So, I ran I went into my 20 miler with only 3 miles recorded that week and I was dreading it.  I feared the worst and I warned my running partners that I would be all piss and vinegar and cussing up a storm.

After 5 miles, I had this weird pain in the top of my foot, like my shoelaces were too tight.  I tried to loosen them but things still hurt.  Overall it wasn’t my best, but we finished just under 4 hours and I could walk afterwards.  20 miles in the books!  And even with all those weird foot pains, I found the energy to do a 5-10-15-20 dance with my running partners.

20 miles
Time 3:56: 35
Ave Pace 11:50
Max Pace 8:07

Today, I decided against speedwork but elected to do a 4 mile tempo run.  I even threw some sprints in at the end.

4.25 miles
Time 40:46
Ave Pace 9:36
Max Pace 6:47 (0.25 sprint – 7:33)

According to variety of plans I’m following to make up my hybrid plan, this week is a step-back week to 12.  I like the sound of that distance.

What’s you running plans for the week?  Got some sprints to share?  What other work-outs are you doing?

I am excited to announce a new Track Tuesday co-host!  Meghan of runMeganrun will be joining me on the track for weekly speedwork.  The “rules” are still the same, so link up and play along with us.

To join our Track Tuesday linky party, do your speed work (at least 4 quarter mile sprints) on Tuesday or any day you that works best for you, blog about your times and remember to add our cool Track Tuesday button to your post.  Then, link up your post at either runMeganrun or Run DMT to share Track Tuesday Speed Work Sessions.  To show support for our other virtual running partners on the Track Tuesday Team, be sure to visit the other blogs listed in the linky party.  Give them a virtual high-five and leave some comment love too.

 

*Also linking up at*

Stacy

Denise Mestanza-Taylor+

Random Thoughts about a Purple Run, Pretty Muddy, peerFit, Planks and Track Tuesday

This Thursday, my Suncoast Strider family and I will run a purple 10K for the Wear Purple Virtual Run to Cure Epilepsy.  I am so grateful for the Suncoast Strider’s support for this cause and my niece, Meghan.  The support and kindness from strangers moved my SIL, Kirsten, to tears. Expect a full race recap soon!

This Saturday is the Pretty Muddy.  I tried to find vendors to sponsor my Tampa Bay Blogger team with some Pretty Muddyfun camouflage running skirts but sadly, that didn’t happen.  Maybe next time?  *Hint…hint…to any vendors reading this post.*

Since costumes are encouraged for this event, I thought I would wear my Race for Cure ensemble.  I hated running in that tutu because it was so dang hot and I could care less if I ruin it in the mud.  To save my legs from getting torn up on the ropes, I’ll wear running capris underneath the pink tutu and a pink/black top to match. Of course, a black top may not show off all the mud like a lighter color would, but I really don’t want to ruin my other tops.

In preparation for the Pretty Muddy, my fellow runner girl bloggers and I will preview the course at the Little Everglades Ranch this Friday.  I’m really nervous about the all the mud and the obstacles, but still super excited about the event.  Plus, I finally get to meet Courtney of Journey of a Dreamer, who has been a long time Run DMT reader and coordinated so many pre-Pretty Muddy events here in Tampa.

Also, this weekend is the peerFit meetup in Hyde Park.  I’m excited about that too because it sounds like a lot of fun!  If you’re in the ‘hood on Sunday, come on by!

As for my marathon training, last week was a wasted week with Halloween and Allana’s birthday.  I only ran twice last week.  At least I got my 16 miles in and lived to tell about it and thankfully, I have not experienced any plantar fasciitis pain since I replaced my shoes.  *knock on wood*

I was also grateful that I didn’t have to run 16 miles alone. Chrissy, Maribel and Larisa ran with me in my neighborhood and I thanked them with a runner’s tailgate (a cooler full of orange slices, bananas, water, Gatorade, coconut water and chocolate milk).

Even with all the twists and turns through my neighborhood,  everyone survived with only a few complaints. lol But more importantly, it was Chrissy and Maribel’s LE and they did GREAT!  I am so proud of those girls!!!

11/4
16 miles
Time 3:00:40
Ave Pace 11:13
Max Pace 8:30

This morning, I did my usual speedwork, however, my Garmin was dead because someone (probably me) unplugged the charging station from my computer’s USB port, which totally blows.  I have no idea how I performed this morning, but I did do sprints.  You’ll just have to take my word on it.  I’m sure I rocked it. HA!

While you’re taking my word on my fitness achievements, I’m doing planks every day, three times a day and you can too by signing up here.

How about you?  Did you do sprints?  With Halloween, did you have a wasted week too?  



To join our Track Tuesday linky party, do your speed work (at least 4 quarter mile sprints) on Tuesday or any day you that works best for you, blog about your times and remember to add our cool Track Tuesday button to your post.  Then, link up your post at either Ricole Runs or Run DMT to share Track Tuesday Speed Work Sessions.  To show support for our other virtual running partners on the Track Tuesday Team, be sure to visit the other blogs listed in the linky party.  Give them a virtual high-five and leave some comment love too.

*Also linking up at*

Stacy

Denise Mestanza-Taylor+

Random Tuesday Thoughts about New Challenges, Sweating Purple and Track Tuesday

Stupid Halloween candy!   I was doing so well with the Unprocessed Challenge.  Somehow I survived most of the month avoiding candy corn and chocolate bars.  Then the stupid Halloween candy went on BOGO at my local supermarket and had two very large bags sitting my pantry.  Those fun size candy bars haunted me.

In a moment of weakness, I opened the bag and I ate a bar.  Then, I ate another.  And then, let’s just say I looked like Augustus Gloop falling into the chocolate river.  It wasn’t pretty.  Now, I only have one bag left of my BOGO deal which means I’ll need to buy more candy tonight, however, the new bag will remain sealed until tomorrow evening.  I swear.

Thankfully, that candy won’t be sitting around after Halloween because my kids and I will be participating in the Halloween Candy Buy Back program once again.  The day after Halloween, local dentists collect candy and pay kids for their candy per pound.  Some dentists give toothbrushes too.  The candy is then sent to troops overseas through Operation Gratitude.  Check the website to find a dentist near you participating in the program.  It’s such a wonderful way to give and it’s win-win situation for everyone: kids, the troops and it gets the candy out of my house!

Speaking of giving, my kids and I are participating in the 30-Day Giving Challenge for the fourth year.  Basically, every day in November, you have a task of giving a gift which can be something as simple as sending a card or elaborate as working in a soup kitchen.  If you need some ideas or inspiration, see the gifts we’ve given here and here.  This year, I made my own calendar 30 Day Giving Challenge calendar template.  Print it out and fill it gifts you’d like to give and join us in 30-Day Giving Challenge.

November is also Epilepsy Awareness Month and I found this really great virtual race via my SPA sisters.  On
November 1, you can register to Wear Purple Virtual 5K/Marathon to Cure Epilepsy but you have the entire month to accrue the miles.  The registration fee includes a custom medal engraved with the name of the person you run in support of and a seizure first aid wallet card. All proceeds after cost of medal will be donated to the Epilepsy Foundation.  I’ve registered for the marathon in honor of my niece, Meghan who has lived with epilepsy since infancy.

The first day of November will definitely be busy one around here.  Besides, accruing miles for a virtual epilepsy marathon, celebrating my oldest daughter’s 11th birthday and dropping off candy at the dentist, I’m also kicking off a new fitness challenge.  It’s been a while (a few months at least) since I hosted a fitness challenge and I need to do something to survive the holidays.

Starting November 1, I’m kicking the candy to the curb and focusing on the core this month with planks.  So, join me this Thursday as we kick off a fitness challenge called “Thanks for Planks!”  Stop by here on Thursday to learn all the details of the challenge.

And that’s about it.  Phew.  And I thought October was a busy month!

And now for the runs.  I ran 6 miles last Thursday then rested on Friday for the race The Living Dead Challenge the next day.  (Details tomorrow!)

6.2 miles
Time 1:01:02
Ave Pace 9:51
Max Pace 6:44

Since I ran in two races two days in a row (5K Saturday night/ half marathon Sunday morning), I rested Monday and I decided to skip the speedwork today.  I did run 4 miles though.

4 miles
Time 40:28
Ave Pace 10:07
Max Pace 7:56

What about you?  Did you speedwork today or did you skip on the sprints?  What challenges are you facing in the next coming month?



To join our Track Tuesday linky party, do your speed work (at least 4 quarter mile sprints) on Tuesday or any day you that works best for you, blog about your times and remember to add our cool Track Tuesday button to your post.  Then, link up your post at either Ricole Runs or Run DMT to share Track Tuesday Speed Work Sessions.  To show support for our other virtual running partners on the Track Tuesday Team, be sure to visit the other blogs listed in the linky party.  Give them a virtual high-five and leave some comment love too.

*Also linking up at*

Stacy

Denise Mestanza-Taylor+

Random Thoughts about Television and Track Tuesday (Speedwork Wednesday)

I hoped this week would be my quieter, calmer week, but that was just a pipedream.  The girls had Monday off which through threw the rest of the week for me.  Instead of spending Monday piddling about doing chores, I spent it entertaining them and working on school projects.

Since I chaperoned a field trip on Tuesday, there was no catching up yesterday.  And now, Little Lion Man came down with some nasty cold with a fever.  Today, I’m playing catch up on my housework and blogging, which is why my Track Tuesday post is now a Speedwork Wednesday post.  Oh well.  Such is the life of a mom on the run.

Esme and I made our television debut yesterday.  If you missed it, you can watch me make a fool out of myself test out the Shed Pal  at WTSP.com.  My husband said the producer really caught my personality.  Next time, I need to remember to sit up straight, suck in my gut and get a manicure.

Speaking of television, I am still obsessed with Once Upon a Time.  This show is even better in the second season now that magic has made it to the real world.   My girls love it too and we each have our own predictions about each character and storyline.  Although with it airing on Sunday night at bedtime, they typically have to wait until Friday night to watch it.  Since there was no school on Monday, they were so excited to watch it in real time.

Have you watched any episodes of Guys with Kids?  The one-liners are seriously laugh out loud and the style of the show reminds me of the programming we watched back in the 80s.  Jimmy Fallon even announces at the beginning of each episode, “Guys with Kids is filmed before a live studio audience”.  When is the last time you heard that before a show?!

Rather than a throwback to the 80s, I prefer to call  it “a Disney Show for grown-ups” because it’s as silly as any of the kids’ shows on Disney today, like Good Luck Charile.  Either way, it’s nice to have a show that finds humor in everyday life without falling back on the same old jokes.

Speaking of new jokes, I’m also watching Go On and The New Normal, but the comedy on those shows is anything but normal.  Both are also laugh out loud funny and occasionally, a bit tearful too.

The weather has been gorgeous in the early morning, almost cold.  Although it doesn’t take long to warm up when you’re running!

Due to camping and a late night Halloween party, I took a few days off from running this weekend, but I did manage to fit in my 12 miles before the our camping trip on Friday.  Not my best run, but at least I did it.

12 miles
Time 2:14:55
Ave Pace 11:15
Max Pace 8:50

Monday, I squeezed in 4 miles.

4 miles
Time 40:10
Ave Pace 10:03
Max Pace 8:05

Yesterday, I rocked some speedwork!  I shaved ten seconds off my sprints from last week!  I got my mojo on thanks to the cooler weather!

1 mile
9:29

Lap 1 – 0.25
Time 1:47
Ave Pace 7:37

Lap 2 – 0.25
Time 1:46
Ave Pace 7:13

Lap 3 – 0.25
Time 1:52
Ave Pace 7:31

Lap 4 – 0.25
Time 1:51
Ave Pace 7:28

1.1   mile
Time 10:13
Ave Pace 9:18

So how did your runs, speedwork and work-outs go this week?  Link up and tell me all about it.



To join our Track Tuesday linky party, do your speed work (at least 4 quarter mile sprints) on Tuesday or any day you that works best for you, blog about your times and remember to add our cool Track Tuesday button to your post.  Then, link up your post at either Ricole Runs or Run DMT to share Track Tuesday Speed Work Sessions.  To show support for our other virtual running partners on the Track Tuesday Team, be sure to visit the other blogs listed in the linky party.  Give them a virtual high-five and leave some comment love too.

*Also linking up at*

Stacy

Denise Mestanza-Taylor+

Random Thoughts about Compression Socks, Chocolate Milk and Track Tuesday

I’ve been feeling some soreness in my shins and Achilles, which could be a sign that more stretching is necessary.  Although soreness has me thinking about purchasing a pair of compression socks.  Runner’s World gave a run down on some different brands and their targeted purpose.  I thought I was supposed to wear them while running, but from what my running friends have informed me is that you wear them on your rest days.

Do you wear compression socks?  Do you wear them while running or do you wear them on resting non-running days?  Do you notice a difference in your recovery?

Speaking of recovery, I started drinking chocolate milk after my runs again.  I had completely forgotten about chocolate milk as a recovery drink until Chrissy and I visiting a local Cuban cafe for a pit stop (and a clean restroom) after our long runs.  I would order a café con leche, but Chrissy doesn’t drink coffee so she would order chocolate milk.

As I stated in a previous post, “After an intense work-out or a long distance run, your body becomes depleted of glycogens, therefore, it’s important to replenish those lost minerals with some carbs and proteins.  The potassium, magnesium and calcium found in an 8-ounce glass of chocolate milk offers a substantial amount of minerals needed to rebuild tired muscles and offer some recovery.  Water rehydrates while sports drinks replenish fluids and electrolytes, but chocolate milk rehydrates and rebuilds.”

Can you believe I forgot this?!  Unbelievable!  What woman forgets about chocolate especially chocolate that’s been deemed good for you?

Since I can’t drink protein powder due to the high cholesterol content, I haven’t been drinking muscle repairing recovery drinks.  So last week, I started drinking chocolate milk (8oz skim milk with about two Tbsp of Ovaltine) after my runs again and I really noticed a huge difference.  I felt so much better.  My leg muscles definitely thanked me with less cramping and tightness.  I felt less tightness and soreness in my heels, shins and Achilles.  Plus, it will help with my vitamin D deficiency.

One insane week of hubby traveling down and one more to go.  Last week, I wasn’t able to run as much as I wanted to thanks to hubby’s travel schedule.  Thankfully, so far this week I’ve been able to fit in a little better.  Chrissy and I also need to run 12 miles in on Friday morning before I leave for Girl Scout camp.

Chrissy and I ran 14 miles last Saturday, which was her longest ever.  She’s doing so great with her marathon training.  I’m so proud of her!

14.1 miles
Time 2:42:51
Ave Pace 11:33
Max Pace 8:09

Then, I did a slow and easy 3 mile recovery run on Sunday.

3.1 miles
Time 30:32
Ave Pace 9:51
Max Pace 8:17

Monday I ran 6 miles.

6 miles
Time 58:32
Ave Pace 9:46
Max Pace 7:07

Today is Track Tuesday.  I missed last week’s speedwork session due to DH’s traveling, but it probably was a well-deserved break.  The weather change was a welcomed break too.  Since the mornings over the past week have been cooler with little humidity, it finally feels like fall.  Though my lungs love the change weather, my legs don’t seem to care about it because the cooler weather didn’t change my speed at all.  However, I changed my usual speedwork session with a light jog between sprints so maybe that affected my overall performance.

1 mile
9:54

Lap 1 – 0.25
Time 1:56
Ave Pace 7:37

Lap 2 – 0.25
Time 1:52
Ave Pace 7:29

Lap 3 – 0.25
Time 1:57
Ave Pace 7:58

Lap 4 – 0.25
Time 1:59
Ave Pace 7:52

1.1   mile
Time 10:33
Ave Pace 9:37

So how did your runs, speedwork and work-outs go this week?  Link up and tell me all about it.



To join our Track Tuesday linky party, do your speed work (at least 4 quarter mile sprints) on Tuesday or any day you that works best for you, blog about your times and remember to add our cool Track Tuesday button to your post.  Then, link up your post at either Ricole Runs or Run DMT to share Track Tuesday Speed Work Sessions.  To show support for our other virtual running partners on the Track Tuesday Team, be sure to visit the other blogs listed in the linky party.  Give them a virtual high-five and leave some comment love too.

*Also linking up at*

Stacy

Denise Mestanza-Taylor+

Truly Random Tuesday Thoughts and Off-Track Tuesday

As I mentioned the other day, October will be batty. I have so much going on at the moment as well as trying to train for marathon number 4.  Although with my plantar fasciitis (PF) acting up again, I may be forced against my will to slow down a bit.  But for now, this week will be anything but slow.  In fact, if this RTT post seems erratic and scattered, then that’s a good reflection of how I feel right now.  So brace yourself for a RTT that’s truly random.

I recently joined the Try It Before You Buy It Team for our local news station, Channel 10.  It’s basically a 2-3 minute segment during the Tuesday noon program where people test out the As Seen On TV Products.  Since my kids are As Seen On TV junkies, they were so impressed with mom’s new job.

The producer stopped by my house yesterday for our first taping and filmed me trying out the Shed Pal.   Once I tested the product on my dog, I explained my findings and opinions with a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down”.  Other than the vlogs I shared here, I’ve never done anything like this before and I was so nervous!  The segment should air in a week or two, but once I know an exact date, I’ll post it here.

This Thursday, I’m sharing Pumpkin Snickerdoodles for 5 Minutes for Food over at 5 Minutes for Mom.  Watch for my post and please leave a comment!

A few weeks ago, I posted an unedited side-by-side comparison photos taken by my two cell phone cameras: my old Droid and my new Incredible.  Even after a couple of months with the Incredible, I am still constantly amazed by the photo quality of the 8MP camera in this cell phone.  Seriously, the quality just blows me away!  The colors are so crisp and bright!  Isn’t it impressive?!

With my PF bothering me and in turn affecting my knees and my Achilles, I took a couple days off after the Race for the Cure 10K (a full recap tomorrow).  This morning I didn’t feel like speedwork but I prefer to call it “Off-Track Tuesday”.  Though my feet felt a lot better, I didn’t want to push myself.  So, I ran an easy four miles.

4 miles
Time 40:01
Ave Pace 10:00
Max Pace 8:10

Tomorrow I assist with my kids’ running club, which means I’ll run at least two miles at an easy 13 mm pace with my girls.  Then on Thursday, I’m hoping to run about 6 miles. Saturday, my marathon crew and I are planning to run about 14 miles.  I hope my feet hold up for that.

So how did you do this week?  Is your October crazy too? Link up and tell me all about it.



To join our Track Tuesday linky party, do your speed work (at least 4 quarter mile sprints) on Tuesday or any day you that works best for you, blog about your times and remember to add our cool Track Tuesday button to your post.  Then, link up your post here to share your Track Tuesday Speed Work Sessions.  To show support for our other virtual running partners on the Track Tuesday Team, be sure to visit the other blogs listed in the linky party.  Give them a virtual high-five and leave some comment love too.

*Also linking up at*

Stacy

SE_Ambassador

Denise Mestanza-Taylor+

Random Thoughts about Sweating Pink, a Cool Point and Track Tuesday

The other day, I received my Sweat Pink shirt from my SPA sisters at Fit Approach.  It’s so soft and comfy and fits perfectly.  I couldn’t wait to wear it and when I did, lots of people commented on it.

 

I almost love the shirt as much as my SPA sisters!  Between the races, their fitness achievements and healthy lifestyles, these women are so inspiring!


Last week, I mentioned how I bought two pairs of shoes and needed to test them out on the treadmill.  Well, the Asics GT-2170 won. I ran one mile in the shoes and they felt great.  Then, I tried the Nike shoes and couldn’t even run 30 seconds in them before I felt a weird pain across the toes.  So, the Nike were returned to The Running Center.

A while back, in the midst of our Florida summer heat and triathlon season, Trigger Point Performance Therapy sent me a Cool Point, the Original Hand Cooler to test and review.

“Ideal for this summer’s triathlon season, Cool Point from Trigger Point Performance Therapy could become a runner’s best friend.

Triathlons often demand peak performance, pace setting and dealing with fatigue, yet finding a balance between the three is a runner’s biggest challenge. Cool Point utilizes thermoregulation signals sent from the hand to the brain and keeps athletes feeling refreshed and performing at their best. Being durable and reusable, runners or cyclists now have the ability to control their performance and delay fatigue using Cool Point’s Stay Cool Technology. Just freeze the cooling gel and fit to your palm and see how Cool Point can take advantage of the hand being the body’s natural radiator.”

I actually used my Cool Point at the Tarpon Triathlon.  With the adjustable Velcro straps, I could fit it perfectly in the palm of my hand.

I’ve also used my Cool Point when I’ve missed my 5:00 a.m. run and found myself running a little later in the morning.  By 9:00 a.m., the Florida sun radiates some serious heat, but with the Cool Point, I combated the heat and avoided the fatigue brought on by summer sun.  Since the 90 degree temperatures are holding strong here in Florida, I’m still using my Cool Point into October.  It’s perfect for those short training runs.

Cool Point, the Original Hand Cooler is available at Trigger Point Performance Therapy for only $19.99.

As for my training runs, I ran 6 miles last Thursday and felt pretty good about my performance at Race for the Cure.  It looks like I may actually finish under an hour.

6.2 miles
Time 1:01
Ave Pace 9:52
Max Pace 7:02

On Saturday, Chrissy and I ran 13.1 miles but that was a horrible run and nothing like last week’s 12 miles.  It was hot and humid and I just couldn’t shake how tired I felt.  Thank goodness, Faith came along to finish the last 5 miles with us.

13.1 miles
Time 2:36
Ave Pace 11:17
Max Pace 7:37

On Sunday, my 7 year old woke up around 7:30 asking to ride her bike.  “Can we ride to Publix and get donuts for breakfast?”  Sure. Why not? I needed to do a recovery run anyway.  So, Emmalynn rode her bike 3.1 miles while I ran beside her.  Let’s just say she helped maintain an easy pace for me, but the run was truly a win-win (even though I passed on the donuts).  Emmalynn loved riding her bike with mom and I enjoyed my time alone with her.  Plus, I’m really enjoying the benefits of recovery runs.

3.1 miles
Time 40:21
Ave Pace 13:28
Max Pace 8:11

Monday I rested, but there was no resting today because it’s Track Tuesday, and boy it was another hot and humid morning.  UGH!  Once the weather cools, I’d like to up my quarter mile sprints to 6 quarter sprints or half mile sprints, but until then, I’m still struggling with these.  It’s obvious that the humidity is dragging me down because I couldn’t finished under 1:54 until the last sprint.

 In the last 1 mile lap, a toad or frog or something slimy hit my leg and it totally toad-ally freaked me out.  I thought it was the Frogalypse all over again.

1 mile
9:39

Lap 1 – 0.25
Time 1:48
Ave Pace 7:23

Lap 2 – 0.25
Time 1:56
Ave Pace 7:37

Lap 3 – 0.25
Time 1:52
Ave Pace 7:29

Lap 4 – 0.25
Time 1:54
Ave Pace 7:39

1.1   mile
Time 11:06
Ave Pace 10:07

So how did you do this week?  Link up and tell me all about it.



To join our Track Tuesday linky party, do your speed work (at least 4 quarter mile sprints) on Tuesday or any day you that works best for you, blog about your times and remember to add our cool Track Tuesday button to your post.  Then, link up your post at either Ricole Runs or Run DMT to share Track Tuesday Speed Work Sessions.  To show support for our other virtual running partners on the Track Tuesday Team, be sure to visit the other blogs listed in the linky party.  Give them a virtual high-five and leave some comment love too.

*Also linking up at*

Stacy

Denise Mestanza-Taylor+

Random Thoughts about Fall, Candy Corn, New Kicks and Track Tuesday

Last week, I broke down and bought some candy corn, because honestly, nothing says fall like striped triangle shapes full of corn syrup and Yellow 6.  But then, I ate so much of it that I got stomach pains.  See, these are the unfortunate happenings of a somewhat health-minded person when she falls off the healthy eating wagon and shovels down copious amounts of candy corn.  My body revolts with horrible pains.  So, now I must get these candy children-of-the-corn spawn OUT OF MY HOUSE especially before the start of Unprocessed Challenge next week.

Like a loving kiss from Gaia, it felt like fall on Monday, so the kids and I decorated the house for Halloween.  When the temperatures drop just a little, it actually feels like a new season and we have more to go on other than a date on the calendar telling us so.

The cooler weather makes me start to crave pumpkin.  I’m sure there is a scientific study somewhere that proves cooler weather creates a pumpkin craving and works the salivary glands into overdrive.  Starbucks and its pumpkin spice latte are not helping either.

Speaking of pumpkin and the Unprocessed Challenge…out of curiosity…Is canned pumpkin considered processed?  If I make anything during the Unprocessed Challenge, would I have to make it from a real pumpkin?  For the simple fact that I’m saying “real pumpkin” and “canned pumpkin” means I’ve probably answered my own question.  But what if I use organic canned pumpkin?  Is that acceptable?

According to the rules of the Unprocessed Challenge,

“Unprocessed food is any food that could be made by a person with reasonable skill in a home kitchen with readily available, whole-food ingredients.  It doesn’t mean that you have to be able to make the food — but that the food could be made in a home kitchen by someone who knows what they’re doing.  If it needs high-powered, industrial equipment, or could only be made in a laboratory, then it’s out.”

Man, canned pumpkin is out.  There’s one way to curb a pumpkin craving.

Last Saturday, my running partners and I did 12 miles and I was so impressed with our time. I even took photos to celebrate our achievement.

12 miles

Time 2:03:54

Ave Pace 10:20

Max Pace 8:12

Although the end results were great, getting there had its challenges.  My t-bands and knees started bothering me around mile 10.  Then around mile 11, my left heel started to bother me.  Actually, I felt a sharp pain which stopped me dead in my tracks.  It felt like my plantar fasciitis acting up again which forced me to walk a little bit.  Once again, I cursed myself for putting off buying new shoes because it was obvious my heels had enough of those old dogs.  Nonetheless, I pushed through the 12 miles and I could still walk at the end.

On Sunday, I did my first ever recovery run.  My blogger friend, Jill, mentioned recovery runs over at her blog, Fitness, Health & Happiness.  Since I woke up Sunday with sore hamstrings and feeling just generally tight overall, I decided to give a recovery run a try.  A nice slow, easy run really did help loosen everything up and I felt great.

3.1 miles

Time32:23

Ave Pace 10:27

Max Pace 7:58

I rested Monday to be ready for my weekly Track Tuesday tricks. I did my usual 4 x 0.25 sprints.  I honestly thought the cooler weather would make a little faster, but my legs thought differently.

1 mile
9:47

Lap 1 – 0.25
Time 1:47
Ave Pace 7:06

Lap 2 – 0.25
Time 1:56
Ave Pace 7:37

Lap 3 – 0.25
Time 1:52
Ave Pace 7:27

Lap 4 – 0.25
Time 1:56
Ave Pace 7:37 

1.1 mile
Time 11:02
Ave Pace 10:01

With only the last mile lap left to do, my left heel started acting up again.  No doubt about it, I need new shoes.  With all the issue I’ve had with my feet, plantar fasciitis, bunions and etc., I think I need to revaluate my shoe options.

So, this morning, I visited two different running stores to see what shoes they recommended. Both agree that I’ve moved into the ranks of a wider shoe.

Bill at The Running Center recommended Nike Zoom Structure and Asics GT 2170.  He suggested that I test them out a treadmill and bring back the one I didn’t want.  So, we’ll see how it goes tomorrow when I test out both shoes on my friend’s treadmill.  I plan to run a mile in each shoe on the treadmill and decide which shoe to keep. Stay tuned for a full follow-up report.

With this fabulous return policy, Bill gave me this fabulous hot pink Running Center tech shirt, which will coordinate quite nicely with my Race for the Cure attire.

Along with the shirt, Bill also gave me some great advice for my plantar fasciitis.  With the weather cooling down, he suggested I sit in my community pool after a long run.  The cold water would simulate an ice bath.  Good thinking!  Bill also suggested that I run in more than one pair of shoe.  He said it was good to change shoes.

After The Running Center, I stopped by Suncoast Running and Tracey fitted me in some other shoes.  She observed me running on the treadmill.  From the video playback, it was obvious that something is happening with my right foot, but “I really like the look of your left leg,” she said.

Don’t tell anyone.  They’ll all want a left leg like mine.

Tracey fitted me in the Brooks Trance 11 and Saucony Omni.   Although the new Brooks Trance has changed slightly, I still really like that shoe, however, I do need a wider fit.  So, Tracey ordered some shoes for me and I will give those a try when they come in, which I’m so excited to do.  With all these shoe trials, I feel like an investigative reporter!

Do you run in more than one pair of shoes?  Do use your shoes for different runs, like speedwork, short distances or long distances?

By the way, today is my husband’s birthday and I’m a horrible wife.  I forgot to buy him a card and I barely remembered to buy him beer and a cake.  Instead, I bought myself some running shoes because after all, that’s where my priorities are.



To join our Track Tuesday linky party, do your speed work (at least 4 quarter mile sprints) on Tuesday or any day you that works best for you, blog about your times and remember to add our cool Track Tuesday button to your post.  Then, link up your post at either Ricole Runs or Run DMT to share Track Tuesday Speed Work Sessions.  To show support for our other virtual running partners on the Track Tuesday Team, be sure to visit the other blogs listed in the linky party.  Give them a virtual high-five and leave some comment love too.

*Also linking up at*

Stacy

Denise Mestanza-Taylor+

Random Thoughts about Being Back in Black and Track Tuesday

Yesterday, my girls returned to school and it was back to our regularly scheduled programming.  Well, I tried to return to business as usual and I started off pretty good with a 5:00 a.m. wake up to run.  But somewhere along the way, I didn’t get much done.  At least I ran.

I’m blaming my lack of blogging and housework on the mimosas I sipped guzzled at our annual Boo Hoo/Woo Hoo Breakfast.  Every year on the first day of school, my friends and I meet for breakfast after we drop the kids off.  Some moms are giddy to be kids free and some are tearful.  For me, I was glad to see my girlfriends because it felt like we haven’t seen each other in ages.

This is the first year our Boo Hoo Breakfast became a Mimosa Monday and that was just lovely.  We raised our glasses to good friends, a great school year and hopefully, many more Mimosa Mondays to come.

Now that the girls are back in school, I’m back to waking up at 5:00 a.m. to run.  Holy dark night, Batman!  It’s dark out there!  During our lazy days of summer, I’ve enjoyed waking up late and chasing the sun for weeks but I forgot how dark it is in the early morning.  However, it’s even darker than normal as there are a few streetlamps out along the main boulevard.  I could barely see the road and the clowns hiding in the storm drains.

Speaking clowns and other fears… after competing in the Chaotic Coteeman, a few weeks ago, I caught the tri bug once more and really wanted to compete in another sprint this fall while the weather is still warm.  Since I waited to see how I would perform at the Coteeman (not falling off my bike or drowning), I missed the discounted early entry fees.  As luck would have it, one of my Striders friends’ husband’s business offered to sponsor a few of us and I jumped on it!  Looks like I’ll be competing in the Tarpon Springs Tri next month!

So on Wednesday to keep up with my tri training, I ran 3.1 miles and swam 40 laps. The swim took me about 20 minutes and it felt awesome.

8/15
3.1 miles
Time 30:24
Ave Pace 9:49
Max Pace 8:14

Thursday, I ran 4 miles.  Since I woke up late, I decided to run a different route, one I haven’t run in awhile.  I decided to take a scenic route around the larger lake in my neighborhood for some serenity while watching carefully for snakes and gators.  A beautiful breeze blew as the sun glistened and it felt like God was smiling. Namaste.

8/16
4 miles
Time 40:41
Ave Pace 10:11
Max Pace 8:17

Last Saturday I went for an 8 mile run.  When I woke up, I heard thunder and then it seemed to pass.  I walked outside, checked the sky and it seemed to be clear.  So, off I went.  About 5 miles into the run, the skies opened and lightning crashed.  So what does a runner do in a thunderstorm?

a)      Seek shelter.

b)      Fall into the fetal position under a tree.

c)       Pray.

d)      Keep running.

Though I was tempted to stop at my friends’ Faith and Greg’s house, I continued sloshing along in the rain.  And it sucked.  But I finished my 8 miles without being electrocuted and that’s all that matters.  My poor husband was so worried about me running in a thunderstorm that he loaded the kids up in the car to search for me.  I honestly don’t know how he missed me in the fetal position on the sidewalk.

8/18
8 miles
Time 1:25:01
Ave Pace 10:38
Max Pace 7:53

On Sunday, I rode 11 miles which wasn’t great, but at least I did it.  Biking is definitely my weakest area and the one I need to train harder.  Looks there will be another bike ride later this week.

8/19
Bike 11 miles
Time 49:25
Ave Speed 13.4
Max Speed 15.9

When rode ran yesterday in the dark, I forgot to change the setting on my Garmin back to running.  About a half mile into the run, I realized my watch was displaying speed instead of pace.  UGH!

8/20
4.68 miles
Time 48:40
Ave Pace 10:24
Max Pace 7:51

As for training harder, it’s Tuesday and time for sprints. I tried to give it my all.

8/21
1 mile
9:39


Lap 1 – 0.25
Time 1:55:71
Ave Pace 7:38


Lap 2 – 0.25
Time 1:52:88
Ave Pace 7:32


Lap 3 – 0.25
Time 1:55:10
Ave Pace 7:45


Lap 4 – 0.25
Time 1:56:82
Ave Pace 7:46


1.1   mile
Time 10:53
Ave Pace 9:53



 

To join our Track Tuesday linky party, do your speed work (at least 4 quarter mile sprints) on Tuesday or any day you that works best for you, blog about your times and remember to add our cool Track Tuesday button to your post.  Then, link up your post at either Ricole Runs or Run DMT to share Track Tuesday Speed Work Sessions.  To show support for our other virtual running partners on the Track Tuesday Team, be sure to visit the other blogs listed in the linky party.  Give them a virtual high-five and leave some comment love too.

*Also linking up at*

Stacy

Denise Mestanza-Taylor+

Random Thoughts about Back to School Shopping and Being Back on Track {Tuesday}.

The kids start school next week. I procrastinated shopping for school supplies and back to school uniforms because I wanted to save our money for our trip to NYC, but I’m really regretting that decision now.  There is hardly anything left in the stores and what is left is not the best price.  Therefore, I’ve decided to shop for what I can and buy the rest after school starts when all the remaining merchandise goes on clearance.  I’m sure my kids’ teachers will understand.

Speaking of deals, I actually scored some FREE pens from Target.  I always read about these deals online, but it never works out for me or I can never find the items.  But this one, I figured out on my own so I guess you can call me a coupon savvy mom on the run.

If you’re interested, here’s how you can score some free pens, too. At target.com you will find a ton of coupons. Under the “back to school” tab you will find an assortment of coupons for miscellaneous school supplies. There, you will find a Paper Mate coupon for $1.00. (I found it on page 3.) In the store, Target sell a pack of Paper Mate pens for $0.97, so basically Target pays you three cents. Nice! Even if you don’t like Paper Mate pens, pick up a pack for your kids’ teachers. Teachers love pens, even red ones occasionally.

It’s been so long since I’ve done any speedwork that I couldn’t even remember the last time I did speedwork.  I had to check my blog posts.  The last Track Tuesday post was July 17.

Ouch.

Then, I remembered why I didn’t do any sprints that week.  My husband was out of town for a business trip.

The following week were in NYC.

Then the following Tuesday, I was recovering from our 2 day road trip and I was buried under a pile of vacation laundry.

Last Wednesday, I was desperate for a run. Only another runner will understand that statement. Though I spent the best part of a week walking from one end on Manhattan to the other and maintained some sort of fitness level, I couldn’t wait to run again.

On that Wednesday morning run, my legs fought me and my Garmin was dead because I forgot to charge it, but all I wanted was an easy four miles in the serenity of my own suburban world.  No hordes of people hustling and bustling by, only me just trying to hustle along the path.  No cars honking only the occasional crane squawking at me as I crossed his path.

And it was lovely.
 
8/8
4 miles
Time 42:56
Ave Pace 10:44
Max Pace 8:30

Then, on Thursday I went for a run and swim to wake up those muscles and prepare them for the tri on Saturday.

8/9
3.1 miles
Time 32:02
Ave Pace 10:20
Max Pace 7:37

Friday and Sunday were rest days.  If you missed my post about the Chaotic Coteeman, you can read it here.

Monday, I did 4 easy miles.

8/13
4 miles
Time 40:35
Ave Pace 10:09
Max Pace 8:26

Today (Tuesday), I was back on track for my speedwork.  There was nothing stopping me from my sprints this week other than my lazy legs, which were still tired from the tri on Saturday.

8/14
1 mile
10:04

 
Lap 1 – 0.25
Time 1:47:32
Ave Pace 7:06

 
Lap 2 – 0.25
Time 1:50
Ave Pace 7:23

 
Lap 3 – 0.25
Time 1:54
Ave Pace 7:35

 
Lap 4 – 0.25
Time 1:53
Ave Pace 7:40

 
1.1   mile
Time 11:02
Ave Pace 10:01

How about you? Are you back on track too?



 

To join our Track Tuesday linky party, do your speed work (at least 4 quarter mile sprints) on Tuesday or any day you that works best for you, blog about your times and remember to add our cool Track Tuesday button to your post.  Then, link up your post at either Ricole Runs or Run DMT to share Track Tuesday Speed Work Sessions.  To show support for our other virtual running partners on the Track Tuesday Team, be sure to visit the other blogs listed in the linky party.  Give them a virtual high-five and leave some comment love too.

*Also linking up at*

Stacy

Denise Mestanza-Taylor+