Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Busy Month

Ahh! I have been so lax. Right after getting back from Jamaica my mom came to visit for a week, I had my birthday, then the whole hurricane business and finally school started...seriously a whirlwind month.
First, husband and I had such an amazing time. We went to the same resort where we had our honeymoon so it was nostalgic and insanely relaxing. We spent almost the entire trip just laying on the beach, talking, reading, relaxing and drinking yummy cocktails interspersed with swims in the ocean or snorkeling trips. Before I left for Jamaica I had committed to my training program for the half marathon so I really didn't want to get off track. I did my long distance run right before we left but I still had 4 runs that I needed to do in Jamaica-3 three mile runs and 1 5 mile run. I am so happy to report that I met my goal! I did 3/4 of the runs, skipping one of the 3 miles because we were doing a long snorkeling trip that day. Even with the one missed run, I ran 11 miles on vacation which is 11 more miles than I have ever run before. Plus, we got back late Friday and I went for my long run of 10 miles the next morning and felt great (although I think I was sweating pure rum).  Here are some beautiful Ocho Rios sunset pics:

Anyway, once we got back I cleaned like a mad woman and then had a lovely week long visit and 26th birthday celebration with my mom. She actually left just a few days before Irene made her presence known-good timing since the airport ended up closing and tons of flights were cancelled. Irene was my first hurricane and we got pounded pretty hard but were really lucky in that we didn't lose power. I have tons of friends and professors who are still without power and many are on well water which needs electricity to pump water into the home so no water-Ick, I can't imagine how much that would suck. We ended up with some tree damage but nothing major, just took me about 3 hours to clean up on Monday. Unfortunately lots of trees were really damaged and/or uprooted in the woods behind our house, it's really sad to see.
The first day of classes at UConn were canceled on Monday so I started my Ph.D. on Tuesday! So exciting but really intimidating since everyone seems so well qualified and knowledgeable. I already have so much reading to do but it's kinda fun, especially after my year off.
Exciting news!!! I registered for the Surftown Half Marathon today!! That's right, after randomly latching onto the idea a few months ago I am at least trying for it in just two and a half weeks. I have almost completed my training program-I have my longest run this Saturday and after that I am just tapering until race day. I did find out that there is a strict 3 hour time limit which works out to a bit over a 13 minute mile average. I know I can do it-I have trained for this, ran almost 200 miles for this and I will really push myself that day. It's going to be a year of challenges: getting my Ph.D., adjusting to a new school and running a huge distance (for me)...what a way to start my 26th year.

Friday, August 5, 2011

8 Mile(s)

Sorry for the infrequent postings! I have had house guests quite a bit for the past few weeks so I keep myself busy trying to entertain them. I am actually really sad that the guests are slowing down-summer is almost over so back to school/work/whatever. It makes me so happy when people seem to have a good time here, I love showing them my favorite parks and beaches and the restaurants where I can nom nom nom into oblivion but the best part is just getting to hang out and catch up. When guests come I always make some sort of baked good-scones, muffins, cookies etc-this time I made my favorite chewy chocolate gingerbread cookies. They are so moist and full of tasty deliciousness. I could seriously eat a stack of them but luckily I gave most of them away.
Seriously make these. They are my all time favorite cookie...and needless to say, I have had my fair share of cookies.
The recipe can be found here. I like to add a bit more than 1/4 tps of salt and instead of doing so much fresh ginger, I add 1 tsp of ground ginger and 1 tsp of cinnamon. Try them, if you are a chocolate fan you won't be disappointed.
Usually when I have guests or am on vacation my workouts fall to the side but this time I have actually kept up with everything. Logan and I leave for Jamaica tomorrow so I made myself do my long run today since let's be honest- keeping up with workouts while hanging out in CT is great, running shorter distances in Jamaica is possible but running for 2+ hours on a treadmill when I could be laying out on the beach while drinking rum based cocktails? don't think so. Luckily I made myself go run 8 miles today so now I only have to do three 3 mile runs and one 5 mile run. I never would have thought that I would be saying that I "only" have to do those runs, especially while on vacation. To be honest, I will be happy if I get 2 3's and the 5 done...I'll update when I get back.
Sorry for no updates...I'm busy laying in the sun and drinking fruity drinks!
8 miles went surprisingly well today! I really love trails where I can run half the distance in one direction, it takes away the choice of quitting. I have to finish the entire distance or I am not getting back to my car. I have read that you should refuel when you run for more than an hour and I can see why. I didn't bring anything to snack on and by the end I had a pounding headache and felt gross. No surprise since my Garmin said I burned over 1000 calories! That is many banana rum smoothies! actually, it's probably not...maybe two? It sucks that burning calories is so hard when putting them on is so easy. It was a beautiful run, completely shaded and surrounding by trees, rock formations and running water (which didn't help my desperate desire to pee for the last 5 miles).
So pretty...makes it a bit easier to keep going. The path is often really soft with pine needles so it's easier on my feet.
I finished in around 1 hour and 45 minutes so it works out to around 13 minute miles. I am pretty okay with that since by the end I was really tired and feeling gross so I was barely trudging along.