Team Fundraiser and Monday's 7

Saturday night my husband and I went to a TNT fundraiser.  Thomas and Katie are training for San Fran and are raising money for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  The fundraiser was a contest called the Brown Bag Event 2.0.  They had it at a beautiful river house.  It was great seeing old running friends and meeting new people.  We played games and they also had jambalaya.  It was so much fun and I believe they raised about $1500!

I owe so much to these two ladies!  Alicia (right) is the one who got me involved with TNT and VV who was one of my coaches for Marine Corp last October.  They are wonderful and amazing women who are so encouraging!!

Sunday I went to the gym and ran 5 miles and did some of the machines.  I'm beginning to really hate going to the gym.  Running outside is so much better!

Today I had a lovely 7 mile run.  It was raining (of course) for the first 3 miles and then the sun started peeking out.  It was nice to see the sun because it's been hiding all weekend!
My overall pace was 8:51 min/mile.  Total time was 1:01:57
1: 8:55
2:  8:44
3: 8:34
4:  8:50
5:  8:54
6:  9:17
7:  8:41

Tomorrow is a rest day.  Enjoy your week my friends. 
Train hard and rest well!
Leah B.


Singin in the Rain

This afternoon I went for a lovely run in the rain again.  It felt so nice and cool that I could go at 2:00 p.m. in August in southern Alabama.  What?!  During my run traffic was pretty busy and I ended up running mostly in the grass, puddles, and mud.  I was pretending I was trail running!  I was soaked with dirt and grass all over my legs and squishy shoes.  I enjoyed it though.  I even sang to myself!

I ran 6 miles in 52:11. My average pace was 8:42.
1:  8:29
2:  8:43
3:  8:54
4:  8:58
5:  8:28
6:  8:40

I hope you all are enjoying your Saturday!
Leah B.

Friday Night

It's the weekend!!!!!!!
Yesterday after working three nights, I got up and had my two cups of coffee and oatmeal with cranberries and went for a run.  It was raining and a bit and cooler than usual.  I put on a hat and ran in the rain.  It was wonderful!  My pace was 8:53 min/mile.  I only ran 4.5 miles because my husband and I had dinner plans with my brother.  It was a nice, easy, relaxing run and I very much enjoyed it! 

After dinner, we went over to our friends' house Leah and Patrick O. (the ones with the bull terriors!) and hung out with our friends there.  No matter what we do we always have fun with them!  Paul made us all dessert.  I don't know what it was called but it was good!  It was a combination of layers of crumbled pound caked drenched in coffee liqueur, vanilla pudding, whipped creme, and chocolate chips.
I have come to the realization that I have a pretty strong sweet tooth!!

On a side note, here is my little bruise 1 week later...

Pretty impressive huh??

Anyway, I'm going to sneak a run in this afternoon and then my hubby and I are going to a fundraiser tonight for Team in Training.  YAY I get to see all my old Team friends!  It should be so fun!  I'll post about it later.
What are you guys doing this weekend?  How many miles are you doing for your long run?
I hope you have having a great weekend!
Leah B.


Punched by a Bull Terrior

Saturday night we celebrated Leah O's birthday with a little party at her and her husband's house.  We had tons of fun hanging out with old friends and meeting new ones!

Leah O. and Leah B.

Leah O. and her hubby have two bull terrior dogs. I've always been terrified of animals, especially dogs. I don't know if something terrible happened to me as a child or what but I've always been this way.  I have serious anxiety problems when I see a loose dog while I'm running.  Or even if I hear one barking.  My heart races, my legs speed up, and I literally have chest pain.  Not good.  Our friends know how I feel about dogs and they graciously always keep them away.  Well, I got brave because I saw how sweet they were with everyone else and how playful they were.  So, we let them in and they ran around and we were all having a grand old time.

The two bull terrior dogs giving Jerry some loving.

When the sweet puppies gave me some love by jumping all over me, this is what happened....

Yep, I got punched with a paw.  Look closely and you can see the paw print.  This picture was taken the next day.  I know they were only playing and they weren't being aggressive but this doesn't help with my dog anxiety problem!  I'm really not afraid of these two dogs but I am terrified when I see a stray or loose dog while out running.  Seriously, how do I get over the fear of dogs while running?  Should I carry pepper spray?

Moving on...
Tonight I went for a lovely run in the beautiful Fairhope, AL.  I ran around the cute downtown area, around the parks, and along the bay.  The sun was beginning to set on the water and the sky was pastel purple, pink, and blue.  It was perfect!  I ran 5.5 miles and it was hot and even hillier than what I normally run.  And, my right leg was a bit sore from those nasty bruises.  My overall pace was 8:58 which is a little slower than usual but that's okay considering all the hills. 

On my way home I stopped by The Coffee Loft and bought some of their delicious iced coffee. 

For dinner I made Boca veggie burgers.  Oh my gosh, they are so good and good for you!  For dessert I cut up a gala apple and put cinnamon and stevia over it and baked it.  It was exactly what I needed to top off my tank.  It was so easy and delicious! 
I found the recipe at Calee and Rainie's blog, Be Well

Bye friends,
Leah B.


Run with Jerry

This afternoon my husband asks, "What time are you running?"
I say, "About 6:00."
He replies, "I'll run a couple with you."
"Really?!?!"  I'm always begging Jerry to go running with me!
"Sure, if you'll stay with me."

Of course we had some nasty pop up afternoon thunderstorms and as soon as they stopped we got ready and went for our run.  The temperature dropped and there was a nice breeze.  There were still dark clouds and lightening in the distance but we went anyway.  We run/walked 2.25 miles and he did great.  I'm so proud of my husband and was so excited that he went with me!  He says that when he is done with school, he would like to train for a half!  How awesome is that?!?

When he was finished, I went for another 3 miles.  My overall pace was 8:24.
1- 8:46
2- 8:11
3- 8:13

When I got back we were both pretty hungry for dinner.  We made a stir fry with brown rice, green and red peppers, red onion, and green beans.  We topped it off with soy sauce.  It was so easy and delicious!

And now, we relax. 
Enjoy your Sunday evening,
Leah B.


Sweaty Four

It rained, drizzled, and stormed on and off all day.  That's normal and expected for the Gulf Coast.  Lucky for me, the temperature dropped to about 80.  I thought to myself that this would be a fantastic opportunity to run outside.  What I didn't realize was how humid it was after the rain stopped!  Even though it was only 80 degrees, there was 80% humidity.  The air was so thick and hard to breath!  I ran four miles on a different course.  I love that I can run wherever I want and still know my exact mileage.  My Garmin is so much fun!  I also love that I can break down every detail and it automatically uploads it all to my computer.  It shows distance, time, average pace, average speed, max speed, calories, and ascent.  It also shows a map and graft of my run.

My overall pace was 8:36 min/mile.
1:  8:46
2:  8:42
3:  8:50
4:  8:06
Total ascent: 498 feet.  I knew my route was hilly!

By the time I got home I guzzled water and plopped down in the floor and stretched.  Sweaty doesn't quite cover how drenched I was.  Sweat was dripping off my hair, ears, chin, and nose.  Ew, gross.
This photo doesn't do it justice...

The heat, humidity, and hills better pay off!  I've been both mentally and physically preparing myself for training for Disney Marathon.  I've been working harder than ever.  I'm picking up my pace and crosstraining with core/strength workouts.  I know my training plan is going to be rough.  I start September 20.  It will be a lot tougher with a lot more miles each week.  But, I'm really excited about it! 

I will reach my goal, I will be fit, and I will have fun!

Bye friends,
Leah B.


I met Alicia when I moved to the Mobile area in Jan '09.  We became good friends and we shared a love for running.  She talked me into going to an info meeting for Team in Training which raises money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society while training for marathons.  I thought that would be a great way to increase my mileage and stay in shape while raising money for such a great cause.  So, I went to the info meeting not really knowing if I could make such a huge commitment.  After hearing all about it I knew I this was something I had to do.  I signed up for the Marine Corp Marathon in Washington, DC.  Through training with the Team, I met some amazing runners and people battling with blood cancers.  These people with cancer and those in remission are absolutely amazing and an inspiration!  Blood cancers are terrible and I was glad to play a little part in finding a cure.  It was the best experience!! 

I've been thinking a lot lately about how much I miss my running buddies and the Team.  I would really like to get involved again soon.  I should go out to some of their runs and visit everyone.  Like I've said before, it's hard for me to get up early because I work night shift!  I miss running with friends and I know it's going to be rough for me when I start doing my long runs for Disney.  Sometimes it is nice to do runs alone though. You can zone out and enjoy the peace and quiet.  I'm also excited about focusing on my pace for my upcoming marathon.

This is a picture of some of us on July 4, 2009 after a long run.  I tried to be patriotic but I don't own a red top.  Oh well, white and blue were close enough!

This is at about 5 am right before the Marine Corp Marathon '09.  Woohoo, we were excited!  GO TEAM! 

And, here is Alicia.  I owe so much to her for all the encouragement she has given me through this wonderful running experience!  This picture was taken after the Women's Half Marathon in St. Petersburg, FL.

Do you have a running group you are involved with?  Or do you prefer to run solo? 
Leah B.


It's Raining, It's Pouring!

Because it was about 92 degrees and so humid that I couldn't hardly breath at 2:00 pm, my hubby and I decided today would be a gym day.  I really didn't want to go to the gym because I have been enjoying running with my Garmin so much!  But, I could use a flat run because every one of my runs outside are hills, hills, and more hills.
Getting ready for the gym.  Thanks for the photo Jerry!  HA!

At the gym, I ran a nice easy 5 miles at an 8:34 pace.  No hills and no speed work!  Then I did some leg and arm machines.  I'm so glad when I have a gym buddy!!    Jerry threw a 6 lb weighted ball to me on a slanted bench to work my abs and obliques.  I love this ab exercise because I think it's fun!  I think I'm ready to increase my weight to 8 or 10 lbs because it didn't feel like a challenge anymore. 
I didn't even notice that the bottom fell out of the sky while we were at the gym.  It was nice to feel the cool rain after getting so sweaty! 
Oh, and do you like my new tie-dye top?  I do! 

Post workout, I ate some Greek yogurt with honey and some Dunkin Doughnut cinnamon coffee.  For dinner, we are cooking southwestern style eggs.  I could eat breakfast foods all day long!
Official Disney Marathon training starts September 20 and I'm so excited!  I made a calendar last night and got a little clip art crazy.  It's cute though and I'm proud of it.  I am so glad that Calee is doing it with me!  Unfortunately, she lives in Tuscaloosa.  I wish she was closer.

Are you enjoying your sweaty, sticky, rainy, HOT summer days?  Who is ready for fall weather?
Leah B.


Lazy Sunday

Today has been a nice, relaxing day so far.  I've really needed a lazy day!  I woke up and drank two cups of coffee and lounged on the couch.  Then I gave my self a pedicure and painted my toes neon pink.  I figured it'll be the last time I can get away with bright pink before summer is over.  I love bright colors..especially pink!  Then, I went out to the pool for a couple hours and soaked up the sun annd read some.  It was so hot that it was almost intolerable!  It rained yesterday so the water actually was nice and cool. 
I can't believe I'm actually putting a photo of my toes on here.  I've always been embarrassed!  Oh well.  It's hard to see how neon this color really is but the water color is pretty!

My stomach started rumbling so I went inside and made a spinach salad with feta and pecans.  I added raspberry vinaigrette dressing.  I also had a nectarine...mmm so juicy and good!

Tonight I plan on doing a Pilate's abs workout.  I think my legs need a break even if that's just for one night.  Every time I tell myself that, I still end up going for an easy run.  And then that "easy" run turns faster and I end up pushing myself too hard so it isn't a break at all.  So, I need to let myself rest!  That's okay, right?  I know my runner friends deal with the same feelings too.  It is okay to rest.  I just have to keep telling myself that!
I hope you all are enjoying your Sunday afternoon!
Leah B.


Test Drive

I got up this afternoon after only sleeping 6 hours.  I only feel like I've rested when I've slept at least 8-10  hours.  That may seem like a lot to you but I know that's what I need.  Even though I was exhausted from two nights of work, I was really excited about my next run.  My new running partner was charged up and ready to go.  I finally got a chance to use my Garmin 405 for the first time!  It was about 90 degrees and very humid so the run itself was a bit rough.  It was hot and hilly and I could tell I was pushing myself to finish.  I ended up running 5 miles. 
Here's my stats:
Overall pace was 8:45 min/mile.
mile 1 8:46
mile 2 8:36
mile 3 8:38
mile 4 8:54
mile 5 8:49
It was wonderful. I feel like the possibilities are endless!  I can't wait for more!

Tonight my husband and I had a little date.  We decided on pizza at a place downtown.  We ordered a deluxe veggie pizza.  It was so yummy!

Hope you all are enjoying your weekend!
Leah B.


New Running Partner

After sleeping almost 12 hours, you would think that I would be fully rested and ready to go. Well, I wasn't. I woke up sore from the ab workout I did last night. My obliques were nice and sore and I don't mind that one bit. I feel like I did my body some good by working them hard! What I don't like is the way my neck and back felt. I must not have held good posture. I'm not sure though.  Do ab workouts ever make your neck/back hurt?  It is an awful feeling!

So, even though I wasn't really in the mood to sweat it all out, I got ready anyway. Just as I was dragging myself out the back door, I heard a knock at the front door. My heart jumped for joy! I knew what it had to be and I was right!!

My Garmin Forerunner 405 is here!  (Please excuse the terrible photos!)

I no longer had to drag myself anywhere...I was bouncing all over the place.  I ripped open the package and took a good look at my new running partner.  The watch is a little big on my wrist but I don't mind one bit!  It takes about 3 hours to charge so I haven't gotten a chance to play with it or run with it yet.  But, I will tell you all about it when I do!  Yay, the possibilities seem endless!

Anyway, I headed out to the gym for some hill repeats.  It was around 95 degrees and threatening to storm so I decided the treadmill would be good today.  I soon felt absolutely exhausted.  My legs were sluggish and I was fighting with the part of my mind that was telling me to just stay on a flat course.  I alternated every other half mile of hills.  I ran a total of 4.5 miles at a little slower pace than usual.  I ended up doing what I set out to do and I'm very glad!  Tomorrow will be a much needed off day.  Then I will get to run with my new running partner!

Bye friends,
Leah B.


Meet Jared

My brother, Jared has spent the last two months in Thailand for a mission trip. Since he's been back we have both been traveling out of town. I went to visit my in-laws and friends in Tennessee. Jared went to Ohio and Michigan. Finally, we are both back in town and I have my workout and fitness buddy back! Jared has always had a passion for being healthy and fit. He enjoys running short distances but he mainly loves lifting weights. I think I've sparked his interest in running a little bit more and increasing distance. I'm trying to talk him into doing the Kaiser Coastal Half Marathon at Orange Beach in November. I know he'd do great and I'd absolutely love for him to do a race with me!!
This morning Jared and I met at the gym to do some weights and some speed training on the treadmill. I ran 6 miles in 50 minutes. Instead of intervals, I increased my speed throughout my entire run. I like doing this sometimes because it increases endurance while switching up my normal routine.
After the gym, we got cleaned up and headed to the Gulf Shores for the afternoon. Weather.com says, "Dangerous heat index. Outdoor exposure should be limited."  The high was only 96 but felt like 107 degrees.  So, we decided it'd be a great beach day!

And it was a beautiful day!  The water felt and looked so nice!  There was no oil to be seen.  Just clear, blue sky and water.

When we got home we were pretty hungry and Jerry just got home from class so we made a huge breakfast for dinner.  We made scrambled eggs with red and green pepper, tomato, and a little cheese.  We also made wheat pancakes with blueberry maple syrup (my favorite!) and biscuits and gravy.  Just getting a little of everything filled up my plate!  Breakfast food is the best!
Tonight, I'm going to do some sort of abs workout.  I have a couple abs workout DVDs that my mom gave me that I want to try out.  I need a strong core and I'm committing to working hard for those abs! 
Keep working and training hard friends,
Leah B.


I ordered a Garmin!!!

I'm beyond excited!  I've been waiting for this for a long time.  I originally thought I wanted the Forerunner 110 but after looking further into it I decided it wasn't exactly what I wanted.  I read a lot about it and  it got a lot of mixed reviews.  It doesn't show current pace and that was one of the main reasons I wanted it.  The other main reason is GPS to show exact distance. 
So, I ordered the Forerunner 405 in green...
It has exactly what I want and I think it'll be great for the long haul!  It has a lot of great features I'm looking forward to trying out:  pace, time, distance, calories, heart rate, and it uploads it all to the computer so I can see exactly how I'm doing.  Also, I got it for only $210 at  http://www.heartratemonitorsusa.com/ new.  At Garmin.com it was $300!  I hope this watch meets all my expectations. 
I can't wait to share about it once I get to try it out!
Leah B.


Food Photo Friday: yogurt & peaches

Today when I got up I decided I'd change it up a bit.  I told you all in one of my three things yesterday that I am going to step up my game while preparing for my marathon.  So, this morning I started off with a Pilate's DVD.  It is so different from what I'm used to.  Every movement is slow and controlled while engaging my core muscles.  Also, it stretches my legs and I really need that!
Then I had my new favorite snack:  Greek yogurt!!  It's so delicious and I was impressed with how much protein it has (double normal yogurt).  It has 15 grams of protein, 0 fat, and only 80 calories.  I added some stevia and cinnamon.  Ah, so good!

I went for a run and oh man was it hot!  I ran about 5ish miles at a slow pace.  I ended up taking a very hilly route and it kicked my butt.  It was a nice sweat session!

I bought a bunch of peaches so I decided that I would google a peach salad recipe for dinner.  I found one from Paula Deen and decided you can't go wrong with that!  So, my husband and I made a grilled peach spinach salad with olive oil, pecans, feta cheese, and dressing.  The dressing for the recipe was okay.  It was made from rice wine vinegar, dijon mustard, olive oil, and salt.  I might not add as much salt as it calls for next time.

Grilling the peaches.  I'm still nasty, sweaty, and stinky...

The finished product!  Isn't it pretty?
It really didn't need much dressing because of the juices from the peaches.  It was delicious!

Have you tried any new recipes lately?  I need more healthy vegetarian options so I'd love to hear from you!
Leah B.


3 Things Thursday: goal, weights, heat.

#1  I've decided that I will share my goal for Disney World Marathon.  I've been hesitant about telling people because I afraid I won't achieve my goal.  Anyway, I want to beat 4:00.  I'll be so happy to get 3:59:59 or faster!!  My first/only marathon I did was Marine Corp in October '09 and I finished in 4:12.  So, I think this is a good goal for me. 
#2  To help me reach my goal, I've decided to work much harder in my training.  I am doing more weights and targeting my core, back, arms, and legs.  I will do this, I WILL DO THIS!
#3  It's freaking hot outside.  We are under a heat advisory right now and I'll be super glad when it cools off.  I'm ready for pretty fall weather! 

Today, since it was so hot and I got up at 11 am, I went to the gym for a run and weights.  I ran 4.5 miles on the treadmill.  I did hill repeats and 2.5 miles were up hill.  It was rough but I LOVE HILLS!!  :)  Hills outside are always more fun than on a treadmill though.  Then I worked my legs, core, and arms. 

Question:  Do you follow a 4 or 5 month training plan for a marathon?  I did 5 for my last one but the training plan I was going to do this time is 4.  What do you recommend?
153 days until Disney!
Leah B.


Overcast & Unplugged

This afternoon I got up and got ready for a run around my neighborhood.  I ate my usual oatmeal and coffee for pre-run/breakfast.  I mashed up fresh blueberries which is my favorite!

After I watched some Oprah and lounged a bit I got ready for my run.  I've been wearing these headbands to keep my baby fine hair out of my eyes.  I really like them because they are grippy without being too tight.  However, they don't hold sweat back.  


Do you ladies wear sweat wicking headbands? Which kind??

It was overcast and thunderstorms were threatening to keep me indoors but I decided to go anyway.  I didn't even notice the weather until I walked outside but I figured a little rain would probably feel nice!  Unfortunately, it never actually rained but it was quite cooler than usual.  I didn't run with my watch or ipod.  Just me, my shoes, and the road.  I ran for about 50 mins.  The quiet was actually a really nice change!  Do you like running without music every now and then?

See you soon!
Leah B. 


Back to Life

Jerry and I got home earlier today from our road trip to Nashville.  We had so much fun!  Saturday was a fun filled day with our wonderful friends.  We went to a festival in downtown Nashville on Saturday.  Here is a pic of all four of us.  The boys love cigars!

And, me and Sarah.  I miss her so much!

Then we walked around downtown and listened to some live music.
I didn't get to run Saturday or Sunday but I just got back from a nice workout at the gym.  It is storming here and so I ran five and also did some arms, legs, and back.  I feel nice and sweaty and like I did some good to my body! 
How was your weekend?  Did you get some good workouts/runs in?
Leah B.