Life Lately (October 20)

Hi there! It’s been nearly two months since this little blog launched, and I want to get to know you, my readers, better! The best way to get to know you better is for you to get to know me better—so let’s grab a cup of coffee and catch up on life lately!

First off, we’re celebrating our one month wedding anniversary! The past month as been the best month of my life. 

Photo Courtesy of Abbey Grim Photography
Photo Courtesy of Abbey Grim Photography

The fall weather has been absolutely beautiful lately, so we are trying to make the most of it before the snow and freezing temperatures arrive here in Northwest Indiana. We went hiking at the Dunes this weekend. Fall is my favorite season to got to the Dunes—it’s not crowded like it is in summer and the lake is simply stunning when surrounded by the fall colors on the trees. 

Hiking at the Dunes

Charlie loves the Dunes. He does not like the water at all; unlike many dogs, swimming is not Charlie’s cardio of choice. Charlie loves hiking, possibly more than he loves cheese, and he especially loves hiking in the sand. When he sees sand, he runs in circles of joy until whoever holding him is dizzy. His beagle side comes out and he gets the uncontrollable urge to dig. 

Charlie digging in the sand

It rained a ton here during the week, though, so we made the most of walks outside when we could. I ran my speed workout in 95% humidity and my tempo run in a steady downpour of rain – they don’t call it Val-pour-rain-so for nothing. Even with the rain, I still love the fall weather.

Charlie walking

I always get so excited for Halloween—not for the scary movies or haunted anything (I flat-out refuse to go to a haunted house or see some spooky movie) or even for the costumes. I honestly get excited about Halloween candy every year (and yes, I am in my mid-twenties, but you are never too old for candy). I really try to let myself only have candy at Christmas, Easter, my birthday, and Halloween. Peanut Butter M&Ms and Reese’s pumpkins are my favorite to indulge in. I buy bags for trick-or-treaters that have these in the mix but then I tell myself that I can’t give them to the kids in case they have peanut allergies. Besides candy, dressing up Charlie is also the best part of Halloween.

Charlie is Yoda

It’s three weeks until the half marathon! The past two and a half months of training have really flown by fast. This week was a harder training week, both in terms of the workouts and also because the cumulative fatigue of training really feel like it built up this week. I was going to run six days this week to hit 40 miles but I felt so sore on Friday that I chose to rest instead. There’s always this week to hit 40 miles before I start tapering. While I felt super sore later in the week, it’s because I had two major workouts early in the week that I hit the perfect paces on. 

Monday's speedwork

Monday was speed work – 8 x 4 minutes at or slightly faster than 10K effort. I averaged somewhere around a 7:30-7:40 min/mile pace for the repeats. With a 15 minute warm-up and a 10 minute cooldown, I covered 8 miles at an average pace of 8:17 min/mile – not bad considering the high humidity!

Tuesday I woke up to rain and lightning so I decided to run on the treadmill. I did 3 miles easy and finished just under 30 minutes. I mixed up the incline and added a slight hill for the last quarter of every mile. I later did some core and leg work – planks, bridges, and lunges. 

Wednesday was a tempo run – 5 miles at goal race pace plus warm-up and cool-down. I kept right around an 8:00 min/mile pace for the tempo miles and ran a total of 7 miles in 57 minutes. It rained the whole time and my hair was a complete mess by the time I finished – I spent 15 minutes trying to unknot it. 

Thursday Ryan and I went out for a half hour run but only covered 2.35 miles because we took Charlie with us and stopped at least half a dozen times for puggle potty breaks. Later I did core and leg work plus a recovery yoga video from the Runner’s World website. After a hard training week I always feel like I could spend hours just stretching in pigeon pose. 

Friday I woke up super sore and decided to skip the 5 miler on the plan. Instead I walked Charlie and did a short Pilates workout.

Saturday was a 13 mile run in tough winds and bursts of rain. I chose a hilly course to make the flat course for the race feel easier (hopefully) on race day. I marked out a 1.70 mile loop and by repeatedly climbing the same hill covered a total of 350 feet of climbing! I ran the first ten miles at an average pace of 8:49 min/mile before picking up Ryan for us to run three miles together at about a 10:00 min/mile pace. The wind made this run super hard – my muscles were quaking for a while after we finished. 


Questions of the Day:
How was your week? Did you get to enjoy the fall weather?
Did anyone race this weekend? How did it go?


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3 Responses

  1. I worked in the lab all week so I didn’t get to enjoy the awesome fall weather too much, other than viewing it from my lab window and sitting outside at Blackbird on Sunday! I’ll take what I can get. 🙂 Question: where is a good place to buy running and/or jogging shoes? Running has never been my favorite activity, mainly because I have flat arches and frustratingly weak ankles (I’ve been trying to strengthen the latter!) – I often end up with foot cramps or crying from the pain in my feet by the end. I think it would be helpful to be able to talk to someone at a store who knows their stuff and would help me find good exercise shoes.

    1. Hi, Erin! Thanks for commenting! I’m a huge fan of Blackbird this time of year also.
      Since you mentioned Blackbird, you must live in Valpo also! If you do, I highly recommend Extra Mile Fitness (on Lincolnway by Uptown Cafe) for running shoes. They test your gait and let you test run shoes so you have a pair that works well for your pronation, arch, foot size, and foot strike. They don’t carry every brand though, so I recommend also checking out Runner’s World Shoe Finder and then reading reviews of those shoes on Amazon. Like you, I have weak ankles and I found that surprisingly buying a more minimal shoe worked for me. The more padded shoes (I used to wear Nike) left me crying from pain! I’m no expert, so I can’t say this will work for everyone, but a minimal shoe plus regular calf raises and foot extensions helped me strengthen my ankles. I currently use the Merrell Bare Access Arc, but am probably switching soon to the Brooks Pure Flow which offers more support.
      Good luck on your running shoe search – let me know if you need any further recommendations! Thank you for reading!

      1. Hi Laura – I actually passed by Extra Mile Fitness the other day , which prompted the question! Thanks for the recommendations. I’ll check those things out. I don’t live in Valpo, but my fiance just moved here from PA in May. I am a VU ’11 CoE grad and am currently studying at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, but VU is my partner university for my Ph.D. dissertation research, so I’m in town often and stop by Blackbird almost weekly for a coffee and treat 😉

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