Tag Archives: The Help

Midweek with a Movie Review

How is it Thursday? This week is FLYING by. I last posted on Tuesday and really wanted to get back into the swing of any everyday post, but not happening. The good news is that we’ve made it over the mid-week hump and I’ve actually managed to get some running in.

Tuesday – no running to speak of. I’m pretty sure that was the day I attempted to run in the morning before work (a plan my husband laughs at whenever he hears it), but of course I just hit snooze instead. Seriously people – how do you do it? Unless I am meeting someone, I just can NOT seem to get up and run. It could have to do with the fact that a morning run for me means running at 5:45 a.m., which to my mind is CRAZY early. If I could run at 6:30, things might look a little different. But because of my work schedule, it has to be that early. ARGH!

So seriously – tell me your early morning running tricks. I think next time I may try sleeping in my running clothes. I believe this might instill a more pronounced sense of guilt if I’ve worn the clothes and done all the prep, only to hit the snooze five times. We’ll see how that works out for me. Other tips?

So because  I did not get my lazy arse up on Tuesday morning (or Wednesday), I decided to squeeze my run in before our book club meeting Wednesday evening. I fueled up with a decent lunch and then ate an early dinner of leftovers from Tuesday night.

Brown rice, chicken, grape tomatoes, mushrooms and carrots with low sodium soy sauce. It made for decent pre-run fuel on Wednesday afternoon as well.

After work I begrudgingly hit the gym treadmill for four quick miles before book club. An outside run would have been ideal, but not realistic given my time constraints.

Run done – feeling better, I headed to our book club meeting which happened to at a movie theater this time around (we usually meet at a restaurant that coincides with our book theme) to see The Help. I actually read The Help awhile ago and you can check out my book review here.

I will say upfront that I RARELY like a movie even half as much as the book. So I was a little surprised when halfway through the movie, I found myself enjoying it. Don’t get me wrong, I still liked the book better. But the movie did not make me want to scream insults or get up and leave. And before you say it sounds like I really didn’t like it. I truly did. I just won’t ever give a movie as much credit as a book, no matter how well-scripted and acted it is. The movie reel in my mind that goes along with the book is always 10 times better.   

Anyway…it was good. I love Emma Stone (like in a serious girl crush kind of way) and I think I’ve seen just about every move she’s been in. I do need to see the other new one she is in with Steve Carrell and Ryan Gosling though – it’s on my list.

To summarize this travesty of a movie review, I will finish by saying it’s a good movie, I thoroughly enjoyed it, thought the acting was great and I recommend it.

So now it’s Thursday evening and it’s time for what I hope will be a delightful run in exceptionally tolerable weather, a delicious dinner (there may be corn-on-the-cob on the menu), perhaps reading a bit of The Hunger Games (just started it, sooooo good), and then if I’m being completely honest…probably some Jersey Shore. 🙂 Have a great night all!


Excellent 18 Miles & Race Recap

Good morning all. Sorry for my brief hiatus, but this weekend was pretty busy and tiring. But good at the same time! How was your weekend? I have minimal photos to share from the weekend – apparently snapping pics was not my priority.

Friday night was low-key – the Hubby and I ordered pizza and watched Inglourious Basterds. Gotta say – not a fan of this movie. Has anyone else seen it – did you like it? Maybe I just didn’t get it, but I wasn’t impressed.

Saturday was busy with laundry and cleaning and then visiting with my old boss, who just had a baby. The baby, Julia, was the cutest thing ever. She is a little peanut.

Saturday night I made a nice pre-race dinner of chicken with rice.

I ate a big mound of rice. One of my fastest runs lately was fueled by rice, rather than pasta – so I figured I’d give it another shot. What carb do you prefer to fuel with?

Sunday morning I was up early – about 8:00 a.m., but the Colon Cancer 15k Challenge wasn’t scheduled to start until 11:15 – holy late! I am used to my long runs always starting at 8 a.m., so it was hard for me to sit around and wait. I tried to make sure I didn’t eat too early. I had my usual English muffin with peanut butter and banana, two big glasses of water and a granola bar. Finally around 10:30 a.m., I headed out to meet Liz and Katherine for a slow jog over to the start.  

We worked our way over to main area, hit up the bathrooms quickly (no lines!) and then headed to our corrals. Katherine was placed into a faster corral, one ahead of Liz and me, so she came back into ours. We talked times and tried to figure out how fast we wanted to run, but that all went out the window once the race started.

Our first mile was at a very manageable and reasonable pace, but after that things started to really pick up. Liz and I managed to stick together throughout the whole race, which is always a difficult thing. Around mile 5-6, I realized that we were still running pretty fast, with no signs of slowing. So I decided to just go with it – even though I knew my long run afterwards might be a bit painful.

We ran two of the 5-mile loops in Central Park, cutting off the very top north portion of the outerloop – a.k.a – the section with the ginormous unbearable hill. I was happy to avoid that area, but we still had to run the East Side hill (from about 72-79) twice. Not fun.

Once we entered the finish area and I saw on my Garmin that I was somewhat close to beating my PR, I pushed it full speed ahead and flew through the finish. Alas, I was a few seconds off. My PR (from the 2009 Boilermaker) was 1:17:03. My final time for this race was 1:17:15. Oh so very close! Still – I had no intention of running that fast, so I’m very happy with that time. 

After the race, I grabbed a quick drink, celebrated a bit with Liz  and then headed out to finish up the last 9 miles of my long run. And surprisingly, I felt okay. I had planned to head south from the 72nd Transverse on the East side, but decided to go north instead. Just after I made it up the huge hill at the very top of the loop it started raining. But nothing was going to deter me from finishing my 18 mile run. If I could run a fast race and keep running, then I could certainly deal with the rain.

One of the nicest things about running the rest of the 9 miles after the race was that they were just starting to clear off the water stations on the West side when I came around again, so I was able to grab a drink as I reached about mile 13-14. Very helpful.

And I did it! I managed to finish my 18 mile run after running a 15k and almost PR-ing, contending with the rain, and pushing through exhaustion.  Here are my stats from my Garmin for the whole shebang:

Mile 1 – 8:53
Mile 2 – 8:01
Mile 3 – 8:23
Mile 4 – 8:18
Mile 5 – 8:06
Mile 6 – 8:22
Mile 7 – 8:06
Mile 8 – 8:29
Mile 9 – 8:02
Mile 10 – 11:20 (finished the race, stopped for water)
Mile 11 – 8:52
Mile 12 – 9:00
Mile 13 – 9:19
Mile 14 – 9:01
Mile 15 – 8:41
Mile 16 – 9:05
Mile 17 – 8:29
Mile 18 – 9:34

Total mileage – 18 miles in 2:38:13. Average pace – 8:47

I got home just as the rain started coming down harder. I did a LOT of stretching right after and used my marathon stick. Okay – I have yet to mention my marathon stick, but I bought it awhile ago. I have a foam roller, but I bought the wrong size (too fat), so then as I was searching the web for a smaller foam roller, I stumbled upon the marathon stick.

The Stick has a website with a bunch of different stick options, but I went with the marathon stick because it’s smaller, easier to handle and I’m very petite.

According to the website, the stick provides the following benefits:

Prevent & Predict Muscle Injuries
Dramatically improve strength, flexibility and endurance
Rapidly prepare muscles for physical activity
Disperse the effects of lactic acid following activity
Accelerate muscle recovery

I use it primarily after running for “Enhanced Lactic Acid Removal.” From the site: During exercise, lactic acid can build to critical levels where optimal performance is sacrificed, Intracell Technology expedites the discharge of lactic acid from your muscles and encourages its conversion into glucose by the liver. Intracell Technology appears to be very promising in the arena of enhanced sport performance. Look for more research along these lines in the future.

Has anyone else heard of or use any of “the sticks”?

I also like it because I can roll my legs while sitting or standing. I don’t need to have space to lie on the floor, like I need with the foam roller.

After I stretched, used my marathon stick a bit and showered, I took a mini nap. When I woke up, Hubby started dinner. As my marathon training has gotten more intense, with longer runs during the week and weekend, I have been lucky that Hubby has been cooking dinner more often. Thanks Hubs!! He made a pasta dish with a meat sauce (using venison meat).

It was yummy and filled me right up. After dinner I immediately grabbed The Help to read. I had been reading it on and off all weekend and finished it last night right before I went to bed. I totally agree with everyone who has commented on this book – it was really great. I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone. But now I’m way behind on my reviews. Now I have to post reviews for both Angela’s Ashes and The Help! However, you know whenever I read a book that fast it’s a good one.

So – all in all – a great weekend! I wasn’t able to pace myself like I wanted for the race. Like others, it seems that if I’m running a race, my inclination is to race it rather than maintain a reasonable pace for training. But thankfully, I’m not hurting too bad today (knock on wood).

How was your weekend?!!

P.S. – I can’t believe that I’ve already run my 18 mile run! I have a bit of a decline in mileage this weekend (13 miles) and then next weekend is my first 20-miler! How did it come up so fast?!!

You can check out my training so far here. Have a great day all!

Finding and Keeping the Perfect Pace

Good morning – how are you on this fine Thursday? I have been a crazy person over the past two days. I’m going to skip Tuesday’s food recap altogether because it was pretty boring. I did squeeze in a decent 5-mile run after work on Tuesday night though, despite the looming rain. It was only drizzling, so I figured why not give it a shot. Running under rain sprinkles was actually surprisingly refreshing. Here were my stats from Tuesday:

Mile 1 – 8:16
Mile 2 – 7:53
Mile 3 – 8:14
Mile 4 – 7:55
Mile 5 – 8:11

Total mileage – 5 miles in 40:33

I was pretty happy with that run and my speed. My average speed overall was 8:06. If only I could keep that up for my marathon in May!

So that brings me to yesterday (Wednesday). For breakfast, I made some delicious oats in a jar with a side of light cranberry juice.

For lunch yesterday I ate at noon! That is unheard of for me – the earliest lunch ever. The reason being that I was teaching a training around 1:00 p.m. and had to travel and then set-up. So at noon I heated up some leftover stew and ate a Chobani yogurt with granola.

The training went pretty well. I have another one scheduled for Friday and that class is much bigger, so I’m more nervous about that one.

After the class I was able to come back to the office for a bit and snacked on a banana to fuel my post-work run. I’ve had to change my training schedule around a little this week, so I did my 8-mile run last night instead of a 5 miler. I didn’t feel like going to Central Park for some reason, so I ran it all on the East River promenade. Here are my stats:

Mile 1 – 9:49 (I located satellites from inside my apartment, so Garmin was a bit confused at first. It didn’t clock my first mile correctly.)
Mile 2 – 7:27 (yay for me – my first sub 7:30 minute mile since high school!)
Mile 3 – 8:32
Mile 4 – 7:40
Mile 5 – 8:58
Mile 6 – 8:19
Mile 7 – 8:37
Mile 8 – 8:18

Total mileage – 8 miles in 1:07:45. Average pace 8:27

I did two mile reps in this run, purposely trying to run at a faster speed (mile 2 and mile 4). Then from mile 6 on, I wanted to try to keep my pace around 8:20 (what I would likely need to run during the marathon in May to qualify for Boston). Obviously, that was tougher than I thought. I think I’ll use one of my upcoming “medium” runs in the near future to test my pace maintenance again and I will not run two mile reps before. I’d really like to be able to control my speed and be able to naturally feel how fast I should be going.

What about you? Are you able to tell about how fast you are running without the help of Garmin or other gadgets? Have you ever tried to maintain a certain speed? Did it work?

I’ve been thinking about strategies for the marathon a lot recently and how I’ll need to focus on staying around a certain pace, so as not to burn myself out. It sounds simple, but this run proves that it’s not going to be so easy. I’m also contemplating buying or creating a pace chart – I’ve been toying with the one on marathonguide.com.  Of course, my Garmin is wonderful, but the pace chart would just be an added back-up to help me see where I should be without having to do any math while run (I’m not too great at math to begin with).

Have you ever used a pace chart?

After my run I didn’t feel like really making anything – this has been a theme for me lately. So my dinner ended up being a black bean burger with a side of veggies with hummus and two pickles.

Instead of dipping the celery in hummus, I spread some peanut butter on it. Yum! And I needed the protein after that run. I also snacked on half of an unpictured Apple Pie Larabar right after my run and then finished the other half for dessert after dinner.

After dinner I tried to watch American Idol, but I ended up choosing to read more of my new book The Help instead. I am really liking it and I’m flying through it. I may be done with it before I get a chance to write a review of Angela’s Ashes!

Ok – that’s all folks. Have a great Thursday – moving closer to the weekend!