Archive | April, 2011

Three Thing Thursday

28 Apr

2 Days 2 Days 2 Days!!

Just in case you somehow missed it only TWO DAYS until I run my first half marathon! The plan is to drive to Springfield tomorrow night after work then Saturday morning we are waking up bright and early and driving to Champaign for the big race.  My lovely roomie was able to pick up our race packets so we don’t have to worry about that but sadly I won’t get to check out the expo.

I have to make this post quick, lots of packing and playlist making left to do! Today’s Three Thing Thursday is about 3 things I am concerned about..with regards to the race of course.

  1. The Weather. I actually am not too concerned about this because weather.com is telling me that its supposed to be 51-57 from the hours of 7-9am with only a 10% chance of rain.  This sounds great but it also says WIND starting at 9 am.  I went to school in Champaign for 4 years, I know about the wind..and it can be bad.  But then again I have been training in the “windy” city so hopefully it won’t be too bad.
  2. What to Wear: My sister bought us new running shorts but I am scared to wear them because you are never supposed to do anything new on race day.  I plan on buying some body glide to prevent any issues that may come with wearing new shorts.
  3. The Drive: I am not worried about getting up early because I woke up at 5 today and I will wake up at 5 tomorrow for work so waking up at 5 on Saturday will feel routine.  I AM worried about trying to hydrate and being in the car for an hour and a half.  I am also worried about how stiff my legs are going to get on the 2.5 hour drive back to Chicago after the race.
Now that I reread those I guess none of those concerns are really too terrible.  I think its going to be a great day!
What would you wear for a race that will be 51 degrees at the start? 
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Workout Wednesday

27 Apr

Sticking with the theme of the rest of this week today’s Workout Wednesday post is focusing on leg strength for runners.

Doing leg exercises as a runner can sometimes be a tricky concept because you don’t want to make your legs too sore for your running workouts but it is very important to do strength training exercises for your lower half to avoid injuries.  Some of my favorite’s are:

I would recommend doing at least five of these exercises 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps.  Add weight when you feel necessary.  Doing single leg exercises helps to build up the hip stabilizer muscles which are key for runners.
I think the best days to do leg work are either the days before a rest day or the day before an easy run.  Easy runs will help loosen up your sore legs so it is okay to strength train before that.  The only days I would NOT recommend doing leg strength exercises is the day of, or before a long run and the day of a hard speed workout.
If you run what are your favorite leg exercises and how do you fit them into your schedule? 

Surviving Lent

27 Apr

If you have been reading A Spoonful of Smash for the past few months you will remember I gave up chocolate and buying coffee for lent.  I was inspired by Julie’s post so I thought I would reflect on how that went for me.

1. Chocolate: This was by far the hardest of the two.  Before lent I was eating A LOT of chocolate, at least for me.  My roomates like to keep a candy jar stocked full of reeses in our kitchen so my candy intake has grown exponentially since living in this apartment.  Its awesome, but bad for my chocolate addiction.  It was really hard to give up chocolate simply because I always wanted something sweet at the end of the night and had nothing to eat.  I ended up making cookies to help fill the void.   I was curious to see if giving up chocolate would have any affect on my weight, nope still exactly the same! And since I am pretty content with my current weight I guess this just means I can add the chocolate back in with no worries! And trust me it is back in full force..

2. Buying Coffee: I didn’t give up drinking coffee completely because I don’t even drink it every day.  I just wanted to stop spending all my hard earned cash at Starbucks and Argo Tea.  This ended up working out pretty well because I just started making myself iced coffee drinks every night.  I think I ended up drinking more coffee during lent because I got really good at making it, now I think the coffee I make is better then the ones I buy! My coffee recipe = 1 cup coffee, 1 cup milk, 1-2 tbsp caramel machiatto creamer.  So it’s really more like a cold latte but I think its delicious.  I did cheat on this a few times and had people (aka boyfriend) buy me coffee and I bought 2 tea drinks.  Overall not that hard to give up and I am going to try and keep making my own drinks instead of wasting money at coffee shops.

My first purchased drink post lent

How did your Lenten resolutions go?

Random question: Does my subscribe button work? 

-I don’t know if my RSS subscribe button works or not and I can’t seem to figure it out.  If you are good at blogging stuff or have been able to subscribe to my blog this way please let me know!

Does Candy=Carbs?

26 Apr

That is the question of the day my friends, does candy = carbs? If you say yes I you will immediately become my bestie 🙂

Thanks to Carrie, Danielle, and Kimberley for sending me good wishes for my test run today.. It went AWESOME! I did 4 miles in a little over 34 minutes which is WAY faster then I planned on.  I think either A. my garmin messed up or B. I was too busy focusing on how IT band felt the whole time to realize I was going too fast.  Either way I am a happy camper because I didn’t have any pain what so ever.  I came home and ice my shins and IT band, can’t be too cautious.  I have been foam rolling a few times a day as well so I plan on keeping that up.

My dad called me tonight to tell me about all the carbs my sister and him were having in preparation of the race.  I ate a salad for dinner (which I never do!) so I am thinking I should have some carbs.  Easter candy = carbs right? Because I have A LOT!

Mmm jelly beans and chocolate 

Goals for the rest of the week: Eat well balanced meals, drink LOTS of water, and get at least 8 hours of sleep. I am off to cheer on my Chi-town teams, GO BULLS and GO BLACKHAWKS!

What advice would you give someone about to run their first half marathon?

What do you think I should do running wise this week? 

I have been told an easy 3-4 tomorrow then 1-2 Friday with strides.  Lots of different opinions though

Week 11 Recap

26 Apr

Yep that’s right folks, only one more week until the big half marathon! Well technically 4 days…ahh I am getting nervous.  To recap last week:

  • Sunday: 5 mile walk
  • Monday: 5 miles easy
  • Tuesday: 5 x 800’s- 5 miles total
  • Wednesday: Rest
  • Thursday: 20 minute ab video
  • Friday: 5 miles fast- IT band issues
  • Saturday: Off

Weekly Total: 15 miles

Monthly Mileage so far: 58.85

I think this is interesting because there is no way I am going to hit 90 miles this month which is what I ran last month.  I assumed the last month of training would be the biggest but between boot camp, a really sore 12 miler, and now a small injury I will probably end up around 80 miles this month.

I am about to go test out running after a 3 day hiatus so I will be back later tonight with an update. Think happy pain free thoughts 🙂

Easter Weekend

25 Apr

Welcome back to reality! I had an amazing 3 day weekend celebrating Easter with my family but now it is back to the daily grind.  Good thing I have my big race to look forward to on Saturday! Thank you to everyone who gave me great IT band advice..I am taking one more non-running day today and will test it out tomorrow.

In order to truly understand the crazyness that is smash-family holidays you must realize that I come from a VERY big family and we are all close.  We had a bridal shower and party on Saturday night which my mom counted over 80 people between the two, and Sunday there was probably at least 60 people at my Grandmas.  For the most part we are all related! I am the 3rd oldest of 29 grandchildren so it is a lot of fun.

We started Saturday off with a bridal shower for my cousin Molly.  She is the first cousin to get married so it is pretty exciting.

The beautiful bride to be

The shower was held at my house so my sisters and I did a lot to help my mom get ready and prepare.

My mom and I

My sisters and I

We had a TON of food, two different kinds of pasta salads, fruit and veggie trays, and of course cake!

It was all delicious and a really fun shower.  I can’t wait for the wedding! Saturday night we had a huge party for family and a few friends and then Sunday we got up, went to the longest mass ever, and went to my Grandmas for the day.

The massive spread of food at my Grandmas

Overall I’d say it was a very successful Easter.  I was sad to leave my family but I will be going home for my race next weekend so I will see them in less than a week!

How was your Easter Weekend? 

Do you have a big family? 

Houston We have a Problem

23 Apr

An IT band problem that is.  People I am freaking out.  There is one week until race day, the race I have been training for the past 12 weeks and then some for.  If I end up getting hurt this week..the LAST week..I will be a very angry girl.

Yesterday my sister and I set out to do our last long run, an easy 7 miler.  We were all smiles at the beginning.

We started out pretty fast, which was my goal.  If we were only doing 7 miles I wanted it to be a fast 7 miles.  Maybe mistake number 1? Around mile 2 I started feeling a tightness in my right leg at my hip/IT band area.  I stopped and briefly stretched it out but then kept on going.  Mistake number 2 is that I should have stopped and spent a significant amount of time stretching but I did not.  It continued to hurt for the rest of the run so I called it quits at mile 5.  I immediately iced the whole upper half of my leg and stretched.

It’s not so much that it hurts it just feels really tight.  I am hoping it is just a fluke from sitting in the car all day yesterday or something but it still hasn’t felt 100% all night.  I suppose we will see what tomorrow brings.

Anyone knows that the best cure for a terrible run is to go hang out with the cutest little girls in the world. My sister and I picked up our cousins and took them shopping..they had more fun with our iphones.

This one’s going to be a heart breaker.

Today we are having a bridal shower for my cousin and then a huge night before Easter party.

What are your Easter plans?

Ever had any IT band problems?

Please give me any advice!! I have a foam roller just no access to it this weekend.