Thursday, March 27, 2014

A goat on a table.

This week has been quite nice.  It's Spring Break at the school I work at, but I took my break early, so I am working this week.  The school is empty save for the maintenance, dining, and cleaning staff.  It's quite relaxing!  I'm glad I'll have human interaction at work again next week though...

Let me recap, through pictures, some things that have been going on outside of running:

Saturday afternoon
Drew randomly initiated a game, via text, where we send each other pictures of dogs that look like us.  I mean why not?  I sent him this adorable puppy, because he is blonde and often very, very tired:

He sent me this, and that was the end of the game:

Saturday night
Sierra and I took a jaunt to the city for some marrrrrrrgaritas!  We live on the train line so it's really easy to go into Philly for the evening without having to drive.  The only downside is the train stops running at midnight.  Most nights this is fine though because I like my sleep!!

I told Sierra to pose with the sunset.
Yes and yes!

We ran into our lovely friend Brooke!!!!  Ah I just love this girl.  Good times had by all!

On my walk with the dogs on Sunday we saw a goat on a table.  Goats be like, "May we help you?"

I found this, sent it to Drew, story of our lives.  Not my fault he's a slow eater!!! :)

It snowed again, how bout that?  I had a relaxing evening.  I went to Chipotle to hang out with Travis and Braden before I was hungry.  So when I came home to make dinner I had Mexican food on the brain.  I topped sweet potato with black beans, roasted Brussels sprouts (not Mexican I know), jalapeno, cheese, and sour cream.  HOLY YUM!

Not cool, Spring, not cool.
 I have become the master of building roaring fires!!  I spent the rest of the evening cozied up watching the snow and Jeopardy :)

1. What's something random that happened to you lately?

2. Is it still cold where you live?

Goodbye shoes :(

This post is actually going to be mostly about running!  Imagine that.

Latest Workouts:
Saturday: 7 miles around town.  Glorious, shorts weather, overcast, mid morning, the bomb.
Sunday: Hour walk with those doggies, plus a long foam roll session.
Monday: Favorite spin class, lots of foam rolling/stretching, and core work.
Tuesday: 6 miles before work.  IT band = ouch.
Wednesday: Instead of the 50 minute run I had on the schedule, I took an extra cross-train day because of my IT band.  30 minutes of spinning (on my own), plus stretching, core, and - you guessed it - foam rolling.

So if you can see the theme from my latest workouts, I have been very tight in the IT band/glute/hamstring area.  I think this is coming from my recent increase in mileage, coupled with my relaxed approach to dynamic warm-up/post run stretching lately (i.e. it doesn't happen).   Beginning Sunday, after my long walk, I noticed I was hurting, so I embraced my old friend: the foam roller!!  I swear by this thing.  However, foam rolling is a blessing and curse: do it too much, and you could injure a muscle/tendon that otherwise may have healed.  I may have been foam rolling too frequently these past few days, but it's helped me so far.  I already feel worlds better! It just hurts so good...

Check out this "Owner's Manual" of the foam roller.  It's very comprehensive, and can speak much better than I can.  I generally use the roller for my quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes, and lower back. 

As I was considering why I was all of a sudden so tight, I realized, "HELLO - I need new shoes!"  Duh.  It's about that time.  I replace my shoes every 6 months, and this works well for me.  Around the 6 month mark is usually when I start to feel injured suddenly - tight IT band, sore calves, etc., and new shoes fix all my problems!  I have not yet gotten to the place of rotating multiple pairs of shoes at once, although I would like to look into that.  

I am an extreme over-pronator (my ankles collapse inward when I run), and I have sky-high arches.  The man who fit my ski boots called them the Lincoln Tunnel...So I need lots of support in my shoes - I always add heal lifts and an extra arch support.  Yeah it's a mess.  For this reason, I am terrified of switching shoe models.  I am a firm believer in sticking with what works for you, and just getting the upgraded model of the same shoe.  Mizunos have been my go-tos for a few years now.  This time last year I was in the Wave Nirvana and I switched to the Wave Inspire 9.  It was a BIG "step" for me :)  I absolutely love love love these shoes though.  

 So I went to order some new ones online, no big deal.  Welllllll they completely CHANGED the shoe!  I can't find the 9s anywhere!!  This ordinarily wouldn't bother me, because shoes upgrade every year, but I've read very mixed reviews of the new 10s.  They've been overhauled.  Anyway, I'm sure I'm overreacting just a tad, ha.  I'm sure they'll be fine.  I tried a pair on yesterday.  They felt fine but it's so hard to tell in the store.  Then I just bit the bullet and ordered a pair.

They'll be here next week sometime, but I may not try them out until after the Cooper River run NEXT SATURDAY!  My current shoes will certainly hold out till then.  Then they will be laid to rest :(  (which means sitting in my closet with 3 other old pairs).

1. What's your favorite running shoe?

2. Do you have any nagging injuries/sore spots?

Saturday, March 22, 2014

One 2014 goal accomplished!!! And one that will not be...

Happy Friday!  I'm looking forward to a nice, fun, productive weekend.  Just got home from dinner with Em - good start so far :)

Latest Workouts:
Wednesday: 4 miles on the treadmill (blah) and strength
Thursday: Track workout with a local running club!!! (about 4.75 miles)
Friday: Rest

So, last night I checked off one of my 2014 Running Goals: do a run with a local club/join a club.  I'm so excited and happy that I did it.  It's perfect because this was the first track workout of the season so I didn't feel too much like the "new kid."

I was very high energy last night, and I had been planning to go all week, so when Thursday came I was rearing to go!  I am very outgoing and talkative with people I know, but it can be hard for me to break into a new group - I'm introverted at heart.  I am very bad at starting conversations - I will gladly reciprocate and have a conversation if someone asks me a question, but I RARELY walk up to people and introduce myself.  It'd bad - this really hurt me in the first few weeks of college, ha.  Luckily everyone at the track was super friendly, but also intent on getting down to business and doing their own thing.  The combination of social atmosphere and solo workout time was perfect.  During hard intervals on the track I was zoned out, but I had people to pace with and to try to keep up with.  I pushed myself harder than I would have on my own, which is the idea!

We did 4x5 minutes at our Broad Street pace (10 miles), with 2 minutes recovery in between.  Last year my Broad Street pace was 8:15, so I was planning to run about 8 minute/mile during the intervals.  Turns out I ran the first two at 7:00 min/mile, the third at 7:30, and the fourth at 7:15.  I felt good about it!  I had done a half mile warm up before.  Without the warm-up my watch (it worked!!!!!) read 3.20 miles at the end.  I turned my watch off but ended up doing probably another mile with a gentleman I was chatting with.  He was very friendly!  Like I said, I love it when people are good at making conversation, because I love to talk once I get going!   So I think I did about 4.75 miles total.  It was lovely.  I worked hard and totally "endorphinized" at the end.  I'll be going back next week for sure.  Yay!

In other exciting news...

I bought tickets for London this summer!!!  I'm going for 10 days, and might run one of Britain's largest 10ks while I'm there!!  I'm so excited that I actually have a date on the calendar.

However, my first goal of the year was to run all the races on the BMRC race pass.  One of the summer night runs is the night I leave for London, so I guess I will not be getting a perfect score on that :(  But I wasn't about to give up the perfect week to go to London for a race I didn't pay for so...

Also, if I do the 10k, I'll have done TWO destinations runs (after Cooper River), so I think that makes up for that!

1. Ever done a destination run?

2. What's a speed workout you like to do?

3. Plans for the weekend?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Thanks for nothing, Nike. Nike+ GPS hasn't been working lately.  I'm very upset about it.  Over the past year or so I've become obsessed with my stats while running.  The watch has not been picking up satellites.  On my run with Drew on Saturday I let it go the entire time and it never linked.  Same thing happened this morning.  NOT COOL.  I feel like I've been running as slow as mud (except I've been enjoying myself more - more on that below) and I wish I could see my pace to know if this is actually the case.  With Cooper River coming up I'd like to know where I stand - and if I have been running slower, why is that happening??  I just updated the software on my watch, so hopefully that will help.  Meh.  I guess I should learn to enjoy "running naked" more (without timing devices).

On to more pleasant things!

Latest Workouts:
Saturday: 6.6 mile run with Drew.  As I mentioned before, I had a cold at the end of the week.  This run was tough on the old lungs.  I could barely breathe - I felt like I had a knife in my chest (not to be dramatic).  I had fun though because Drew was right there with me.  Poor guy must have felt like he was walking, ha.  I would have quit way earlier without him, but I just chugged along.  I listened to slow music and zoned out - it felt really nice when it was over.  
Sunday: rest
Monday: Spin class, then 10 hours later...
Tuesday: 5.5 miles before work.  I mapped the distance the night before because I had a feeling my watch wouldn't work (see above - it didn't). Again, I only have a rough idea of my pace because I didn't put the stopwatch feature on.  This was the longest I've run before work - I loved it.  I went slowly, but damn it's so nice to be out there when the world is asleep!  So good.  

Now get ready for picture deja vu - dogs and food.  Drew was here over the weekend - it was lovely.  We just drank, ate, and laid around, oh and ran.

Everyone go try Lagunitas IPA.  It's for sure one of my favorites!   Yum yum yum.  Oh and say hello to Drew's butt.  Also one of my favorites, haha. 

The glass on the right is from a race that Drew won this summer - so proud :)
Also, get a load of how different Drew and I are about eating.  My plate is on the top - I'm a mixer.  Drew's is on the bottom.  He eats a bite of one thing at a time in rotation and they never touch.  Opposites attract!

So concludes the pictures I took while Drew was here.

Today I went on a walk after work - another perk of running in the morning - endless time after work!  I was thankful for daylight savings.  It was beautiful out.

1.  Do you let all your food mix on the plate or do you keep them separate?

2.  What's your favorite drink these days?

3. Do you like the keep track of your stats while running?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Rest and rejuvination

Latest Workouts:
Wednesday: slow 4 mile run
Thursday: 3 miles plus abs
Friday: 30 minute swim

I have a 10k coming up in 3 weeks, and I feel like I have barely been running!  I decided to follow (as closely as possible) the last three weeks of this training plan.  I'm a big fan of Hal Higdon's plans because they are simple - not too technical - and effective!  I'm happy to have a plan again, I felt like I was losing motivation over the last few weeks, and I want to do well at Cooper River!

The past few days have been so nice!  After Colorado I wanted to make sure to get some pampering in.  First things first I got a mani-pedi.  I got OPI Bubble Bath on my fingers.  I saw the color on Run Eat Repeat and I HAD to have it.  I am in love, I will definitely be keeping this color for a while.  

 Please note that I am indeed wearing shorts in the above picture.  It was cloudy but perfect temperature on Wednesday.  It took a turn for the worse on Thursday but we won't talk about that...

The next day I got my hair highlighted - a lot!  I love having my hair super blonde, and I haven't had it as blonde as I wanted in a while.  I feel like a new person!!!  One of my good friends, Marguerite, did my hair.  It was so nice to catch up with her.

I also made sure to eat healthy - I went a tad overboard in Colorado.  Wednesday it was roasted sweet potato, black beans, avocado, and cheese.  Last night it was soup and roasted broccoli and peppers.  I woke up with a wicked cold and on Thursday so soup was a must.

Drew will be here any minute!!  I'm so excited to see him, it's been a month!!  Have a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Hello all!  Between two very long days of travel, I have been to Colorado and back.  It was a blast, just like I knew it would be.  I'll do this recap through pictures.  First, out of chronological order, but this is what I've been dealing with for the past 4 days - pretty tough I know. :)

My dad was home for the few days before I left.  I loved having him home!  When I came home from work on Wednesday afternoon he was in there cleaning the kitchen like he'd never left.  That's my dad for you!! (I did clean up before he got home, clearly not well enough!)

On Thursday we went out to dinner at the same restaurant that my mom, brother, and Drew went to a few weeks ago.  My dad was happy that he got to go out to a meal with us.  Thayer couldn't come so it was just Travis, Braden, my dad, and me.  Braden finds Pop Pop wildly entertaining.

I don't know what's going on here, but clearly hilarious.

I got to the airport the next day at 5:45 am for a 7:40 am flight - good thing I was early! 

The travel day was totally stress-free.  I made great time to the airport, the flight was on time, got in early, my friends were there at the exact right time to come get me and then...we hit the highway.   If any of you have ever driven from Denver airport to the mountains, you know that I-70 can be very treacherous in bad weather.  I actually was lucky enough to never get stuck on it for my entire 4 years living in Colorado, but on Friday it closed because of the snow!!!  Nooooo!!

The highway closed at about noon when we were an hour away from Vail.  The good thing was we had nothing to do that day - we weren't going to ski till the next day anyway.  We were forced to exit and spent 3 hours trying to wind our way back, hoping the line of traffic we were in was eventually going to let us back on.  We had fun because we had a lot of catching up to do, and we had bought some snacks earlier on the drive :)  

We made it to Vail finally at about 4:30 and we did some errands before heading to Briton's.  Just in time for happy hour!!  We had a lovely evening full of wine, cheese, steak, chocolate, and "How I Met Your Mother."  It reminded me of Freshman year - it was perfect.

Sunset from Briton's bedroom - she grew up a lucky girl!
The next day it was time to ski!!!  As you can see, it was a beautiful day.  There was fresh snow, and it was in the 40s all day (and the next day AND the next day).  THIS is what skiing in Colorado should look like - this is what I live for.

I don't remember why there are so many people in this picture, it was crowded that day, but wasn't this bad the whole time.
My gals.

Instagram: annadamm
For apres ski the first day we went to the Four Seasons in Vail Village.  Apparently there was a free Pabst Blue Ribbon promotional  party going on - it was so fun!  There was free food and free beer (we splurged on our own drinks though).  And there was a photo booth!

We met the head of marketing for PBR and Drew was SO jealous.  Drew's bike racing team is sponsored by PBR - and he also loves their product...

Briton had to leave us on Sunday to go back to work :(  But Emily and I carried on.  We skied another day Vail then went to Beaver Creek for the last day.  We love Beaver Creek.  We love Vail too, let's be real.  All the skiing was near perfect.  On the first day we did a lot of challenging powder runs, which I am really, really "not skilled" at.  Briton definitely pushes people to do terrain they're not totally comfortable with - that's how you get better!  It was fun but I looked ridiculous at times.  Emily and I did a lot of steep, fast groomers - those are my favorite.  We threw some mogul practice in there too - Like moguls if I'm cold and need to warm up, ha.  My favorite run at Beaver Creek as been President Ford's for a few years now: bumps at the top and fast on the bottom.  At Vail Emily and I loved Yonder: STEEP and smooth.  Overall I was happy with how my skiing skills have held up!

Emily at our last lunchtime.  She's the cutest!
On our last night, Emily and I watched "The Bachelor" finale.  I didn't watch any of the season, but heard Juan Pablo was ridiculous.  Emily and I used to watch the show in college together - it was so fun to watch with her again!  And yeah, JP is the worst - ugh.  I was sucked into the drama immediately.  I also started reading "Bossypants"by Tina Fey.  It's great so far!

I can't think of enough synonyms for: amazing, perfect, beautiful, excellent, etc. etc.  I loved seeing my college friends and returning to one of my favorite places.  We'll have to make it a yearly event.  Yesterday I left Beaver Creek at 10am Mountain time, and got home to Pennsylvania at 2am Eastern time.  LONG DAYYYY.  I'm ready for bed. 

Spring Break isn't over!  My next post will be about my post-skiing pampering.  Drew's coming in 2 days!!  

1. Do you like skiing?  Where if your favorite place to ski?

2. What's the worst luck you've had while traveling?

3. What book are you reading?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The treadmill and I are not getting along

I am usually one to say I like the treadmill, and I've been having some good workouts on it this winter.  On Monday, that all changed.  We are going through a rough patch.  

On Monday morning I went on a freezing cold walk with the doggies.  It was another snow day so I had the whole day ahead of me.  After the walk I felt good about the time I had been outside, and so I didn't feel bad about going to gym for a workout later that day.  I hadn't run since Tuesday (6 days prior), so my legs were heavy, which is never good for the treadmill.  We all know how much harder the treadmill feels than outside running anyway.  So I was on the treadmill for 20 minutes, at a 10 min/mile AVERAGE pace.  It was so pitiful, I hated every second.  I just couldn't get into it.  I was so mad at that damn treadmill.  I didn't want to be in the stuffy gym even though it was was 20 degrees outside.  It was a culmination of a terribly long winter, and all my bitter feelings were surfacing.  I stopped running, drove home, put on warm clothes, drove into town, and ran outside.  I only ran for 25 minutes and I was freezing, but it felt so good.  Who would want to be in the gym when you could run next to this?

The next day I was supposed to do some speed work at the gym after work.  As I was driving toward the gym I was like, "nope."  I went home, put on warm clothes, ran to the gym (a different one) near my house, did some strength training, then ran an extended way home.  On the way home I did some speed play.  Again, I was freezing, but it beat the treadmill in every way.  Like I said, I think my hatred of the treadmill right now is a manifestation of my hatred of WINTER!  It's March and we are still in a polar vortex.  Not really, but it's damn cold.

Anyway, I know my feeling for the treadmill will return to neutral soon enough, but right now I'm trying to enjoy the frigid air in my face.  It's there, it's not going anywhere for a while, I may as well embrace it.

Speaking of embracing the cold, I'm going to COLORADO on Friday!!  Some random skiing pictures:

Tahoe (not Colorado...) with Travis and Dad - 2013
Vail with Travis and Dad - 2012
Vail with Briton  - 2009
I'm flying out Friday morning and meeting Emily and Briton.  Briton will be with us for most of the weekend, then Emily and I will soldier on for another day and a half .  I absolutely cannot wait.  Ski trips are my favorite: exercise all day, get cozy, eat marvelous food and drink wine all night, then repeat.  Perfection.

Also, my dad is in town for a few days right now.  My house is full, and so is my heart.  Miss you mom!!

1.  What's the next vacation you have planned?

2. How has winter running been for you?

Sunday, March 2, 2014


One week down without the parentals! dad is coming home for a few days next week...YES.

Latest Workouts:
This week unexpectedly turned into a cross training week...that's good right?  Injury prevention?
Wednesday: 30 minutes spin and some strength training.  It's so hard to get myself to strength train but it's so important!
Thursday: 30 minutes swimming
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Impromtu rest.  I was literally about to go on a run when Travis and Braden came over and said they were going skiing.  UM...I CHOOSE SKIING.  Because we're teaching Braden to ski, I just hung on the bunny hill with them, so it was in no way a workout, but so much fun (more on that below).
Sunday: Morning spin class.  I chose spin over a run because it just gets me out the door and on with life.

Anyway, on to the weekend recap.  My bestest friend Sierra had her birthday on Friday!  We celebrated with Em.  We went to a really fancy dinner, then a very trashy bar, ha.  It was perfection.  We all needed a night out!!

Collage for the birthday girl!  The top right is our preschool days.
The best margarita we have ever tasted! 

My first time trying oysters.  I love seafood...but no. 

Em manning the mechanical bull.
This is a screenshot from a video.  Pretty much sums it up!
So I slept in Saturday... :)  It was a beautiful day, sunny and in the 40s, so I was going to head out for a nice run at about noon, when Travis came over to grab his skis.  He and Braden were going skiing!!  There are some ski "hills" about an hour from us, so it's easy to go up on a whim.  I dropped everything and decided to go with them.  I really only did one run, and spent the rest of the time on the bunny hill watching Braden learn - it was his second time ever.  It was just too much fun to miss!

Braden's first time on a ski lift!
This is actually fake laughing.  Braden loves doing that!

My buddy :)

So we're getting more snow tonight/tomorrow.  GAHH!  I spent today getting ready for the storm.  The grocery store at 10am was out of control!!  This is the biggest supermarket in the area, and they had every register open, and the line still looked like this:

Now that I'm done all my chores, I am relaxing in my warm house, watching the Oscars red carpet.  my brother came over and made dinner.  It's a good night.

Oh I almost forgot!!  The only thing that makes March worthwhile is here - SHAMROCK SHAKE!  At 10pm on Thursday, by myself, I went and got myself one of these.  If you have never heard of a shamrock shake, which surprisingly some people have not, you are missing out.  They only come around this month so hop to! 

My exercise plan this week is to RUN.  I am skiing starting Friday, so I gotta get a few quality runs in before then! 

1. Shamrock shake - Love it or hate it?  Or never heard of it?

2. Same question, with oysters ^^?  I hope you've heard of an oyster though...

3.  Are you watching the Oscars tonight?  What was your favorite movie to come out this year?