Running through the Hills

Here I sit on my couch…crying. You see Sam works overnights every other weekend and I oftentimes find myself browsing on the computer while he’s gone. Usually it’s for houses in our hometown…or puppies. Well, I’m crying because I just came across a pup at the Humane Society that looks identical to my Ruthie. It says she’s 5 years old and was just given to the Humane Society because she “no longer fits in to her families lifestyle.” Not sure how anyone could ever give away a dog. The poor thing is probably so sad and so scared. I wish I could save them all but that’s not a possibility.

Maybe Sam will let us get another dog one of these days. I think I’d want to just walk in and say…”show me your dog that’s been here the longest. We want that one.” It would be great to save another dog and give them a loving home.

Lets carry on before I start crying again. Back to running. It’s been a while since I’ve reported back on my runs but things seem to be going smoothly as of the last week and a half. Last weekend I did a lovely, HILLY, 8 mile run at my aunt and uncles in Wausau, WI. They live in a series of Mountains in the area called Rib Mountain so it’s really beautiful but HOLY HILLS. 8 miles felt like 2000 miles (OK, exaggerating). Things were actually going pretty great til about mile 5.5 when suddenly I had to go #2. I was about ready to jump behind a pile of brush when lo-and-behold, I came around a corner and there sat a lovely, blue, port-o-potty. Thank heavens because I would not have made it home otherwise.

This week I did a shorter sprint workout and a super great hill repeat workout. The shorter sprint workout was done Tuesday morning and went well. It was a bit cooler and less humid and I actually felt like I could breath outside. I always forget how sweet morning runs are. Nobody else is awake. Just you, the birds, and the rising sun. It’s also really nice to get done before work since I sit at a desk for 8 hours of the day.

Now, Tuesday night I was fortunate enough to get together with my in-laws (they rock). It was restaurant week here in the Twin Cities so we went Herbies in St. Paul for a lovely 3 course meal (and a few glasses of wine). I started off with a tasty Caesar salad (my jam lately), followed by the most amazing piece of roast chicken ever. It was moist, flavorful, and just SO FRICKEN GOOD. For dessert, I went with the lavender tart but that was gone so I had to resort to the Chocolate Butterscotch cake (boo hoo). JK. IT WAS divine. Everything about this place rocked. Highly, highly suggest this if you are in the area.

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That chicken though.

Glad Sam was driving because 2 glasses of wine now-a-days really get to me. I got home, brushed my teeth, and feel fast asleep.

The other running workout of the week came on Thursday morning. After visiting my trusty Chiropractor Dr. Andy at Well Adjusted. *Shoutout to you for keeping my ankles strong!* I headed out for what I thought would be an easy 3 mile run. About a mile in, I came down a hill and what do you know, my running friends were just about to begin hill sprints. I obviously couldn’t pass up the opportunity. It was hot, humid, and man I did not feel like doing hill repeats but with Kit and Andrea cheering me on, we got it done. 6 repeats turned into 8 which turned into 12. At the end I looked at my watch and was like shit, we just did 3 miles of hill repeats. Way better than a boring 3 mile run. Post hills I chugged about a gallon of Vietnamese coffee and washed my stinky, sweaty hair.

After a much needed rest day yesterday, I woke up bright and early today at 5:43 (thanks to my trusty alarm clock named Ruthie) and headed over to Stillwater, MN to meet my pal Katie for a run. What started out as hopes of a 10 miler turned into a 12 miler and ended as a 13 miler. See that’s the thing with Katie…we chat the entire way and before you know it, the run is done. It’s fantastic. The run we did is all uphill the first 6.5 miles and then all downhill on the second half. It’s a really nice paved trail that starts in downtown Stillwater and goes for miles and miles towards St. Paul.

Post run we obviously got breakfast at one of the best local cafes, The Oasis. I went with a tall glass of chocolate milk and pancakes…yes, I’m a child.

We kept a really nice pace considering the heat that was building. When we started we were both contemplating a nice, easy, over 9 minute mile pace so I think we were pretty happy/surprised when we kept it in the 8’s!

This coming week I really hope to dial in the nutrition (more salads, less ice cream…maybe) and get in a couple shorter sprint workouts before a nice 16-18 miler next weekend.

Cheers to a Saturday spent with friends, family, good food, and cucumber basil margaritas.

Peace, love, and running.



Running Update 7.11.17

What the heck. We’re already almost halfway through July. The weather we’re currently having is Minnesota is super great if you have a swimming pool or hose…not ideal for running. I’m trying to convince myself running in the heat is fun and is actually going to make me faster…so far it’s just made me tired, disappointed, thirsty, and ready for a cold bath.

Yes, I’ve been so hot post the last 2 runs I’ve taken cold salt baths…not even sure if this does anything for me but it feels good AF and I’m convinced it’s recovering my legs faster than no bath at all.

So lets chat all things running related happening since last week.

Last Thursday I ran some 1/4 mile repeats and it felt aight. I did these after working out and at 5:30 pm so obviously it was hot. My brain lately has been really awful at picking good times to run but sometimes you gotta squeeze it in while you can. I went home, ate some tacos, watched Big Brother, and went to bed.

Friday morning at 9AM I got a really big craving for something sour and walked to the Walgreens to peruse the candy aisle. Low and behold one of my fave candies just jumped into my hand and next thing I knew I was burning the roof of my mouth on an entire bag of chewy sour Sweet Tarts. At about noon I got a stomach ache but who cares. My heart was happy with my morning decision.

I’ve also been enjoying these protein bars (I’m not usually a protein bar type gal but I’ve been in a pinch for time lately and these do the trick). My mom gave them to Sam and I and they almost (key word ALMOST) remind me of those Little Debbie peanut butter wafer snacks I used to down as a child. Anyway, these bars fill me up and hold me over until lunch. I’ve also been living on Vietnamese coffee. Especially in the heat. Nothing like a big glass of sweet, iced coffee.

All you do is brew 12 cups of extra strong coffee. Then toss in some espresso powder and 1 can of sweetened condensed milk. Stir and store in the fridge. GAH. I want some now. This coffee has kicked my cream habit but turned me on to sweetened condensed milk. Not sure which is a better option but again, I don’t care.

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Over the weekend I got to run with my fave run friends and it was glorious and awful all at the same time. I think we did about 8 miles which included some of the toughest hills you can run in MN (in my opinion). It’s such a great, challenging course and it felt good after…but during…I just wanted to toss my cookies. I was also thinking of good lines during the run to keep my mind busy and came up with this…”the neighborhood where the houses are as big as the hills.” Yes, these are the thoughts that pop into my head during training runs.

Anyway, this would have been a much better run (feeling wise) had I not stayed out until about 12:30 the night before celebrating a good friends wedding. I NEVER stay awake later than 9:30 so this was a big deal for me…and worth the “hangover” feeling the next day. SO WORTH it. One of the most fun nights in quite some time. Congrats Sam and Matt!

Now today, I just ran 4 miles at an 8 minute mile pace. That was super fun. Again, I took off around 5:30PM when it was 87 degrees and HUMID. But I’m trying to train myself to like the heat remember? I mean I actually do like the heat it just makes me feel like a slug. But the 4 miles felt pretty decent. My legs felt strong (even after Squatting yesterday), my mind got clear, and it felt good to hold a consistent pace.

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Shoutout to my husband Sam for this really good post-run picture

I plan to recover tonight with some pizza, chocolate milk, and salad. My fave TV show America’s Got Talent is on tonight so I’ll probably put me feet up, watch for a while, then crawl into bed around 9. I’m trying really hard to limit screen time before bed and get at least 7 hours of sleep and so far…on a scale of 1 to 10…I’m at about a 5. Room for improvement.

The rest of the week will consist of a sprint running workout, one more big day of squatting, a 16 mile run on Saturday (pray for us…it’s gonna be hot), and swimming…lots and lots of swimming.

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That’s my girl.

Peace, Love, and Puppies.


Running Update 7.4.17

Hello! Good Morning. Happy July 4th…Happy Birthday America. It’s going to be a fun-sunshiney-day!

It’s 8am and I am currently devouring a Starbucks Bacon Gouda breakfast sandwich and Venti Iced Americano. My go-to Starbucks order. You can shake your head at the sandwich but I LIKE CARBS OK? Plus, nourishment was needed after an amazing 5 mile trail run this morning with my good friend Katie!

Running update #1: trail running kicks ass. I always forget how much fun it is to run the trails. It’s cooler, shadier, and you get varying terrains making street running seem easier (that could be all in my head). It also seems to go by faster (that could also be all in my head).

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Morning smiles after 5 miles

The trail run today felt so good. We did a little over 5 miles in 41:53. There were uphills, downhills, obstacle roots, cornfields, and lots of trees. It felt fast and it felt SO FUCKING FUN.

Running update #2: Running in 80 degree heat at noon is the dumbest thing you can ever do to yourself. My hubby and I were at a cabin all weekend and of course right when we returned Sunday at noon, brains McGhee here (that’s me) decided to go for a run. Setting my sights on 10 miles, I shortly realized “DUH, you know you’re not supposed to run in the mid-day heat.” 10 miles quickly turned into 5. Considering the conditions, the pace hoovered around 8:30 which I was happy with. I did struggle towards the end and walked the last block though.

As soon as I got home, I chugged a Gatorade (Lime Cucumber anyone?), hopped in a salt bath, then proceeded to feel like crap the remainder of the day. On the bright side, I haven’t had to stop a run short due to explosive poops in about 3 weeks. #winning.

Running update #3: Squatting makes you faster. One thing I might love more that running…squatting. It makes you feel strong, badass, and overall better. My legs have never felt this strong before and I believe a lot of that has to do with hitting the squat rack twice weekly (right now, in 2 weeks I will probably only squat once a week). My core also feels stronger and more suited to keep me upright allowing me to use my arms more (if that’s a thing).

Yesterday I hit a new personal best in the back squat at 150 for my 5 rep max and that felt great. What didn’t feel so great? Trying an extra tall box jump, hitting the side of the box, and getting a nice bloody gash on my shin. The second dumb thing I’ve done in the past couple days.

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Bloody shins

So there you have it. How things have been going this week, how I’m feeling, hi’s, lo’s, and the in-between’s.

Cheersing you with an imaginary beergarita in hand (because 8AM is too early to have an alcoholic beverage…or is it).

Happy day!