Sweet Tomatoes

21 Feb

On Saturday after the track meet my friends Ryan and Melisa insisted that we eat at Sweet Tomatoes. I LOVE trying new things and they raved about how fresh everything is at this restaurant. Here’s a quick blurb from the website :

Let’s just say within 24 hours of being in the ground, it’s on a refrigerated truck on its way to us. Our food is made from scratch every day. Our salad bar buffet features over 50 fresh ingredients, including specialty tossed and prepared salads. In addition to salads, we serve original recipe hot pastas, hand-crafted soups, scratch-made muffins, and Focaccia breads in our hot buffet. Create. Indulge. Enjoy.  www.souplantation.com

A.maz.ing!!! I wish we had one closer as I’d be eating there 24/7 a regular visitor for lunch. YUM 🙂 After we were full we decided that we needed to find a place to walk all the food off before our long car ride home – what better place than an outdoor mall?? duh.  After getting Starbucks we wandered into the Adidas store – I got 2 new running tops, some awesome shorts (I get psyched when I find short running shorts – I hate long ones) and a new light coat. This was pretty much a perfect day… running, shopping, eating, Starbucks… people watching… random small towns are great for people watching 🙂

It was unseasonably warm here in Illinois last week which meant lots of outdoor running 🙂 Thankfully I have plenty of runner friends who also share in my excitement of getting some miles in outside. I got in 4 runs outside, 1 on the track, and zero on the treadmill!!! As you can see, I’m pumped for spring to get here – I hate running on the treadmill. Anywho I took off a couple hours early on Friday to get in 2 loops of a local 5k race course (St. Pats) with Ryan and Bernico. It was gorgeous!!! I got to wear shorts and actually took my jacket off for part of the run – I was wearing a smile the rest of the day 🙂 Sunday’s long run was another story… it was 34* with a 20 mph wind. I met up with Jess and Laura (their husbands and Ryan ran way ahead of us) and we set out for our 13 miler. We ran along a trail that is paved and goes through most of our town out into the country. What we didn’t realize is that the first 7 out were with the wind at our backs – coming back we were running right into it. I literally was almost blown over several times haha. When we got close to the cars we noticed the boys weren’t back yet so we kept going… and it just felt funny to me to stop a run at 13.57 miles so we just made it an even 14. My longest run to date!!! It felt great – although I did take a nap when I got home 🙂  ** Note ** I tried Carboom! Raspberry flavor at about mile 6.5 – I liked the Stinger Honey Gel I took last week better.

2/14      Bike  – 30 min easy (Slice)
                XT – 60 min Strong class

2/15      Run – 2.7 mi easy w/u for track workout
                Run – 12 x 400’s (90 sec pace – 3 mi)

2/16      Bike – 2 x 10 mins @ 170 HR , 10 mins easy

2/17      Run – 5.62 mi very easy (58:54) my hood

2/18      Run – 6.2 mi easy (9:15 pace) St. Pats course

2/19      Run – easy 1.5 w/u for race
                Run – 1 mile race (6:17)  Westwood Track

2/20     Run – 14 mi long (2:13:15) 9:32 pace Trail *new daily high!*

TOTALS:         Run: 34 miles    *new weekly high!!*
                               Bike :
1 hour
 1 hour


Another Tough Track Workout

16 Feb

There’s nothing like a good track workout to remind you just how far you still have to go with training… 400 number 12 is when I was reminding myself that i do this for fun 😉 I was happy though that some other running friends of mine were also able to make it to the track. We all had different workouts, but its nice to have familiar faces and we all warm up, stretch, and cool down together. Last night we were at the ISU track and it was HOT!!! My workout was 3 sets of 4 x 400 @ 90 sec with 90 sec recovery and a 5 minute break between each set. The first 6 400’s weren’t that bad but 7 through 12 were much harder. I wasn’t even wanting to take the rest because I just wanted to get them over with!! I managed to finish all 12, but it was tough and I knew it would be Ice Bath time when I got home. I also slept in my Skins recovery tights 🙂

2/14      Bike – 30 min very easy
                XT –  60 min Strong class

2/15      Run – 2 mi warm up (8:00 pace)
                Run – 3 mi (12 x 400 @ 90 sec ; 90 sec recovery)

Its supposed to warm up this week so I’m looking forward to some more outdoor running!!!! 🙂

Week Full Of Firsts

14 Feb


2/7      Run 5.5 mi  (4 x 1200, 1:00 recovery) 6:20 pace

2/8       Run 1.5  mi (10:00 pace) w/u for spinning
               Bike 60 min – 4 x 5 min @ LT (180 HR) 2:30 recovery

2/9       Run 8 mi easy (1:15)

2/10     Rest (getting fitted for my new bike in Chicago)

2/11      Run 6.5 mi (HS 8 x 7.5%, 8.5mph, 20 sec – 1:00 recovery)

2/12     Rest (Picking up my new bike in Chicago)

2/13     Run 12.44 mi (1:56 – Gieson’s Hood) ***New daily high mileage***

Totals   Run – 33.5 mi  *****New Weekly High Mileage!!*****
                  Bike – 60 min

So now that I have my bike home, I’ll be putting in more hours there and also will need to fit in more cross training. This past week was just crazy busy with having to drive to Chicago 2 times. This coming weekend we are running in the Illinois USATF Open Indoor Track and Field Championships – My friend Ryan (also my coach) and I are both planning on running the mile. I just sent in my membership forms to USATF on Friday, so hopefully I’ll get my member number in time for the race. I didn’t do so well with my last indoor mile so I’m hoping I can be more competitive in this one!

Long Run Sunday

13 Feb

Today I ran my longest run EVER!!! It was unseasonably warm in Bloomington today so that meant Sunday’s long run would be ran outside. I met up with 3 other girls (Jess, Laura, and Sara) who both run and do triathlons and Jess’s husband Seth. They have a great route that is exactly 12 miles which goes out through the country and a small town and then loops back around to their house. I have to say I was a little nervous since my longest mileage prior to today was 8.. I was scheduled to put in 10 miles today, but decided an extra 2 probably wouldn’t hurt. I also took Thursday and yesterday off from running due to getting fitted and picking up my bike in Chicago so my legs felt pretty well rested. So I got up and drank a cup of coffee, ate some Raisin Bran and tried to figure out what I was going to wear. I was also stoked that I was getting to run outside and it was sunny!! I ate half a peanut butter and strawberry jelly on wheat bread on my drive over. I took a gel with me and they informed me that we’d be stashing our water bottles about 2 miles out so that we didn’t have to run the whole way with them. Even though I was still feeling awesome, I took my gel around mile 6. I’ve heard from many people that most of the time if you wait until you’re starting to get tired its too late. The whole run actually felt amazing – I had much more energy than I ever thought I would for the last 3 miles. While coming back into the subdivision one of the other girls and I kicked it up a notch through all the hills 🙂 I plan to run many more long run sundays on this course – being able to run with others is always more fun than running by yourself! After everyone finished we did some easy strides so the total mileage was actually 12.4. This also makes me much more excited to run the Illinois Half Marathon in April now that I know I can actually finish 🙂

Mile 1   –  9:51
Mile 2  –  9:18
Mile 3  –  9:22
Mile 4  –  9:29
Mile 5  –  9:31
Mile 6  –  9:29
Mile 7  –  9:24
Mile 8  –  9:15
Mile 9  –  9:12
Mile 10 – 9:08
Mile 11  – 8:25
Mile 12  – 8:20
.44         –  4:20

Total  –  1:56

I won’t normally post all my splits on long runs but this run seemed really special to me since it was my longest!!

Here’s a few pictures that I’ll add to this post because I got the new Evo Shift and it takes amazing pics 🙂

My new racing flats!!!! Adizero RC's!!

mmmm my love - shamed to say I had this 3 days last week

Gettin Fitted

9 Feb

Well I found a bike shop that has the Cannondale Slice 5 105 in my size and it turns out they have one of the best bike fitting shops in the midwest – Get a Grip Cycles in Chicago, Illinois. So….. I made an appointment to go get my fitting done and hopefully bring home a sparkly new bike!!! I go tomorrow at 5pm 🙂

Cannondale Slice 5 105

Football and Friends… and Bikes!

8 Feb

The end of last week included a day off on Friday, an indoor track meet at IWU on Saturday and an 8 mile easy run on Sunday. For the Super Bowl I went to the Gieson’s with the Case’s and Bernico’s (all runners/triathletes) – there wasn’t much game watching 🙂 We did do lots of eating and several people rode their bikes in the basement. I have been thinking about getting a bike and a trainer so that I can get up in the mornings and ride before work instead of trying to fit in riding AND running after work. So of course I got to try all of the girls’ bikes out to see which brand fits my body type best – apparently this is uber confusing and I’m not going to even try to understand it! I have freakishly long legs for someone who’s 5’2″ so that greatly limits the bikes I can choose from. So far the bike that I’m 90% sure I’m going to get is a Cannondale Slice 5 105. Its looking like the winner thus far 🙂

2/5     Run 1.5 mi (8:00 pace) w/u
             Race  1 mi (6:16)

2/6     Run 8 mi easy (1:16:0)

2/7     Run 4 x 1200 @ 3k (6:20 pace) ; 60 sec recovery (3 miles total)
             Run 2.5 (9:20) w/u and c/d

Weekly Totals   Run – 29.5  ** *new weekly high mileage!!***
Bike – 30 min

Next up is the Augustana Open in the Quad Cities where I will try to better my time in the mile 🙂

I will follow up with posts for both of the IWU track meets I participated in shortly.  I’ve been super busy!!

Skins RY400 Tights… my new love!!!

4 Feb

So I received the best running gear ever on the morning of our blizzard – my Skins RY400 recovery tights!!! I was skeptical at first while reading Skins’ claim that these tights were the best… but after sleeping in them after my 8 mile run, I am in love! I woke up feeling like I hadn’t ran at all the night before. Other than my Garmin, these are my favorite running gear!

Skins ry400... magical!!!


Back to my week of running – its gone pretty well. I had hill sprints on Monday night with an easy 30 minute bike warmup beforehand, an awesome 8 mile run on wednesday, and another hill sprint workout last night.

1/31      Run – HS 8 x 8% incline, 9mph for 20 sec each (2:00 recovery)
                Run – 4.5 mi  easy (42:00)
                Bike – 30 mins easy warm up

2/2        Run – 8 mi easy (1:15:00, 9:23 pace)

2/3        Run – HS 8 x 9% incline, 8.5 mph for 40 sec each (1:00 recovery)
                Run – 3.5 mi easy (9:50 pace)

** Running First***
My mileage for January was 96 miles!! This is by far more than I have ever ran in a month 🙂

A blizzard is coming….

31 Jan

Goodbye outdoor running… hello more snow! That’s what the weather channels are saying – worst snow storm in 20 years! I’m SOOOO ready for spring!

Here are my stats from last week:

1/24      Run 4 mi (37:32) outdoor 21 degrees
1/25      Track (ISU) 6 x 200 @ 33 sec, 60 sec rest
                Run 2 mi warm up, 1 mi cool down
1/26      Swim 20 mins
                Bike 60 min (20 min w/u, 3 x 5 min @ LT, 20 min cool down)
1/27      Run 4 mi (38:10) outdoor 23 degrees
1/28      OFF
1/29      Run 1 mi (9:45)
                200m (30.05) IWU Track Meet
                Run 1 mi (9:30)
1/30      Run 5 @ 49:30

Totals    Run   19 miles
                 Bike   60 min
                 Swim  20 min

This coming week starts a new stage of my training plan so I’ll be putting in more mileage and a couple different workouts.

I-Challenge Half

31 Jan

I just registered for the Illinois Marathon I-Challenge Half on April 29th – 30th in Champaign, Illinois!!!! This is a new option for the Illinois Marathon – they moved the 5k race to Friday evening making it possible for runners to participate in both the 5k and either the Half of the Full Marathon. I will be running the Half as one of my long runs for that week – I figure it would be more fun to run with a bunch of people than all by myself 🙂

Whoa Track Workout!

26 Jan

I always wonder why indoor tracks are kept so warm… I mean, most people will be running while they are there so there is no need to keep it about 70 degrees!! Regardless – that was what I got to deal with last night during my track workout. I am actually in the very early stages (meaning lots of SLOW running) of 5k training for this season so speedwork is not something that’s currently in my training plan. However, since I have a few other friends that are running at this indoor track meet I decided to get in on the fun. I am running the 200m which will be a short enough distance to where it won’t mess with my training, but still allow me to get out there and get used to competing again. Plus, the 200 m is probably my favorite distance to run 🙂

Back to last night – It went by in a blur. Since I’m doing much of my easy and long runs at 9:15 pace, I needed a workout to wake up my legs for Saturday. The workout I was given was 6 x 200 @ :33 with 1 min rest. I noticed some familiar faces at the track and jumped in with another one of the guys who was doing his warm up. Once I was done with that (and its so hot in there I was already sweating like crazy and taking off layers) I stretched for quite a while and put on my favorite running shoes – track spikes! While I was stretching the college’s long distance track team(I’m guessing) came out for practice. I hurried up and got through my first 3 200’s with minimal interference on the track. The next 3 I had to run several lanes wide to weave around the runners in the 1st-3rd lanes which was not a big deal but it resulted in my splits being between 34 and 35 seconds. I was certainly worn out though.. my legs felt like jello and I couldn’t drink enough water. After I felt like I could handle running again I did a mile cool down with one of the other guys that was there. The cool down discussion was about how hot the track was 🙂 I did notice that I felt pretty dehydrated the whole workout and I’m sure being sick all day Sunday was making it worse, but it was a huge reminder that I need to drink lots of water throughout the day. My splits went like this:

1 – 31
2 – 33
3 – 33
4 – 34
5 – 35
6 – 34

I have a bike workout tonight, easy run on Thursday, and hills on Friday. Then Saturday its Off To the Races 🙂

My pink track spikes!


Love running in these 🙂