• About Allison

    I am a 26-year-old married Michigan gal living in Sarasota, Florida. This blog is a chronicle of my journey toward a healthier lifestyle! I started running in January 2009 and began to change my eating habits in May 2009. Now, I am dedicated to training smart and eating right. Join me as I seek to balance running and eating healthy, local foods with my crazy work life and hilarious home life.

    Contact me: allisonisactive@gmail.com

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Race Announcement: Aflac Iron Girl 15k

I’m back with a race announcement!

I kind of thought that these half marathons would be the end of my race “season,” even though the season has only involved a 10k, a 5k fun run, and two half marathons.  Then, I heard about the Aflac Iron Girl in Clearwater on April 10.  The event seemed like a lot of fun, so I signed up for the 15k!

I actually signed up at the Princess Expo because I could save the Active.com fees and get an extra tech shirt, which is pretty sweet.  I’ve never run a 15k before, but a 9.3 mile distance seems perfect.  Also, having just run back-to-back half marathons, I think a 15k one month later should work out okay: I can begin with some recovery runs and just kind of maintain my currently level.

The best part?  My friend Karen, the “newbie” runner, is going to join me!  She ran her first 5k on March 6 and is training for this 15k.  I’m excited to run with her!  She’s had some shin splint troubles lately, and I hope she’s up and running (ha, ha) again soon!

Having another race on the horizon is really helping to fight off my post-race blues.  Sure, I’m bummed to be done with my half marathons, since they have been the focus of my training since September.  But, I have a fun race with Karen (and maybe Whitney and/or Sue?) to look forward to!

Thinking about trying a 15k?  If you have more time to train than we do, check out Hal Higdon’s training plans!

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WE DID IT!

I’m back from my amazing, fairy tale weekend at Disney’s Princess Half Marathon, and guess what?  We made it!!

I am at work right now and don’t have time to make a full entry – in fact, the story of the weekend may take more than one entry spread out over the week!  I’ll be back with more later tonight.  🙂

Countdown to Disney: 5 Days!

Good morning!  Despite my illness, I got up to do 4 miles with my Galloway girls this morning.  Other than being sniffly and blowing my nose on every walk interval, I felt pretty good.  Now, post-run, I’m feeling kind of tired and achey, but I know that getting up and active was the right thing to do.

I have no run stats for you because I didn’t wear my watch.  I can tell you that we did 4 miles in run 2/walk 1 intervals, but I have no idea how long it took.  😦

While the Husband is at work on this rainy Saturday, I have lots of projects to work on!  These top secret projects are all related to our Disney Princess Half Marathon trip next weekend and will be revealed in good time.  😉

Meanwhile, I’ve been thinking about taper.  Some more experienced runners keep themselves in “half marathon shape” year-round and thus don’t go into taper for a race.  Being my first half marathon, I am going through a taper period.  According to Marathoning for Mortals:

The taper is when you start backing off your mileage and intensity in preparation for the big day.  For most programs, this will be the last 3 weeks.  Those 3 weeks are emotionally difficult even if they are physically easy.

Marathoning for Mortals also talks about the effect of “Taper Madness,” which basically means you don’t want to run, but DO want to spend lots of money on new running stuff.  (This, they say, is why we have race expos!)  In all seriousness, though, Marathoning for Mortals offers some great taper tips:

  1. Spend time thoroughly packing for the race.  Bingham’s advice is to take everything; I usually settle for everything I need for the race plus a backup outfit.  (Though I did famously forget both underwear and my hydration belt for Disney’s Race for the Taste…)
  2. Don’t make any changes to what you eat.  Stick with healthy, familiar foods.  I’ve been chowing down on lots of whole grains and vegetables lately because I know those work for me.
  3. Stay hydrated during the week leading up to the race.  Lately, I’ve been committing myself to drinking my whole 32 oz. Nalgene full of water every day.  This sometimes doesn’t happen on busy days, so I’ve been making an extra effort as my race approaches.

Here are a few good online articles about taper:

I’m off to get cracking on my plans for the day, which include lots of rest, writing lesson plans, and working on Disney projects!

Weekday Short Runs

Sorry I haven’t updated this week – I’ve been focusing on running!  I actually got a short run in on Thursday in a brand new running shirt:

I am somewhat active on the Running of the Ears (ROTE) boards and was able to order a “Mouskirteers” shirt!  The Mouskirteers are basically a group of gals who love to run Disney and love to run wearing skirts.  Needless to say, I fit in pretty well.  🙂  The shirt is one of those cotton/polyester blends, so I wouldn’t wear it for long runs.  I will definitely wear it on short runs, to cheerleading practice, around the house on weekends, and at Disney World!  The back has a cute design with a girl in a skirt running past Cinderella’s castle – which I will be doing in two short weeks!!!

Thursday Run Stats:

  • Distance:  2.4 miles
  • Time:  30 minutes
  • Run 2/walk 1

Plans for Disney are in full swing!  I am just waiting for our 10 day window so I can use Disney’s online check-in service to check in to our resort and start watching the weather forecast for race day!  I went to Fleet Feet today and bought enough orange GU Chomps to get me through tomorrow’s long run and both half marathons.

Our weekend is pretty busy: besides tomorrow’s long run, I did lots of baking (bread is my new thing) and shopping today.  Found a cute, cheap dress at Target, which never happens to me because of my busty body shape.  Tomorrow after my run we are potentially going to the Sarasota Parade of Homes because I like to look at houses.

Tonight is going to involve baked potatoes, asparagus, and tomato soup for dinner, wine, and a movie with the Husband.  Have a great Saturday night, everyone!

Home Stretch

This Sunday, I drew up a detailed training plan for the next four weeks.  With the Disney Princess Half Marathon less than three weeks away (YAY!) and the Sarasota Half a week after that, I’m really going to try to stick with the plan.  It includes:

  • One more long run – 10 miles on Sunday
  • Two short runs during each week
  • One day of cross training each week
  • Lots of rest, especially between the races

I’m also trying to get lots of rest and eat well – now is not the time to get sick!

I hit the road for a weekday run today – it was easy to fit in since I was off work today.  🙂

Run Stats:

  • Distance: 3.15 miles
  • Time:  37:30
  • Run 2/walk 1

After my run, I did some serious stretching for about 15 minutes.  I did some usual running stretches, lots of hip stretches (my right hip is still sore), and a few moves from Perfect Post-Run Yoga.

On my run, I ran into Mackenzie, one of the owners of Fleet Feet Sarasota, who was out for a walk, and I also ran into Pat, the other owner, when I ran past Fleet Feet.  I saw lots of friendly faces of people from around my neighborhood and runners I know from Fleet Feet.  That’s why I like living in Sarasota!

My day off was very busy with chores around the house (cleaning, laundry, groceries), so I am planning to relax and watch the Winter Olympics tonight, which is pretty much what I did all day yesterday.  Is anyone else loving the Olympics?  The Husband and I are watching it nonstop!  I like figure skating the best, and the Husband has been trying to watch all the luge and skiing events.

Three Weeks Left!

Brrr!  We’re in the middle of another cold snap in West Florida.  It was about 45 degrees and very windy when I left for my 4 mile run this morning, so I bundled up:

I wore my running shoes with SmartWool socks, a tech shirt, a half-zip, a long-sleeve tech shirt, a hat, and an ear band.  The wind actually died down during my run so I ended up being a little warm, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Run Stats:

  • Distance: 4 miles
  • Time: 52 minutes
  • Run 2/walk 1

After my run (while I soaked in the tub with some Burt’s Bees therapeutic bath salts) I started re-reading Marathoning for Mortals by John “The Penguin” Bingham and Jenny Hadfield.  I first read this book over the summer when I was considering training for a half marathon and wanted more information, and it really inspired me to start. I wanted to post these few lines on here because I think they really summarize my attitude toward training:

“The most difficult part of the training program is getting to the starting line.  You much confront so many obstacles.  There are so many places for things to go wrong, so many times when you can give up and quit, that, if you are there when the gun goes off, you are already a different person than when you took your first training run.”

That chapter goes on to say that millions of other people have thought about walking or running in a long-distance race, but they are dreaming it while we are really doing it.  The authors write that getting through the training is a huge part of going the proverbial distance, and I believe it!  I’ve been training for this race for over five months, and I’m ready for it!

Tremendous Twelve

Hi, everyone!  Remember how I was really lacking motivation last week?  Well, I ended up having a wonderful run on Saturday and my motivation is back!

This 12–miler was way better than the last time I ran 12 miles.  The first four miles, I was plagued by shin pain and feeling really grouchy, but I took a stretch break at our first two water stops and felt much better.  And I made sure to stretch a LOT when we got done with our run – I sat at Fleet Feet for about 15 minutes stretching and drinking an After Glow recover drink that Pat made for me.  (I’ve never had a recover drink before, but it tasted pretty good and I felt good all day, so maybe it helped!)

Run Stats:

  • Distance: 12 miles
  • Time: 2:29
  • Run 2/Walk 1
  • Fuel:  Package of GU Chomps (orange) after one hour and another half package after two hours

I have a great picture of my running girls (Whitney and Sue) and me at the halfway point in our run, but it’s on my phone!  I am unclear on how to get phone pictures onto my computer because I am not that high tech.

After my run, stretch, recovery drink, and a bagel, I drove up to Treasure Island (near St. Petersburg, Florida) to spend the day with my friend from college, Bristen, who was visiting her parents’ condo.

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We found a store that made “wine freezes,” which are basically frozen drinks made with wine.  So, we had to try the pina colada flavor (we split it) and it was so tasty!  I had a mixed drink with lunch, too.  When you run 12 miles, you deserve a mixed drink with lunch!  Even though it wasn’t good weather so we couldn’t hit the beach, I had fun catching up with Bristen!  Our friend Kristen is getting married this summer, so I’m really looking forward to seeing lots of my college friends and sorority sisters in July.

I feel surprisingly good today – much better than the day after my last 12–miler – and even though my blisters were bad after the run, they are healing nicely today!  It’s been a chore day around the house; so far, I have been to Target and Publix, folded laundry, and washed the sheets.  I still need to dust and clean the bathroom as well.

I hope everyone else’s weekend runs were as wonderful as mine was!