The Romagnolo Family

The Romagnolo Family

Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Road To My First Half Marathon: Proper Preparation

Today I ran 14 miles.  Wait, let me say that again…today I ran 14 miles!  Woo-hoo!  That is so unreal to me.  It’s crazy to me.  It’s been a long week.  School started this past Monday and ALL the ladies in the Romagnolo house are EXHAUSTED!

Even though I kept up with my training throughout the summer, I still wasn’t as active as when I am at school.  I did a lot of moving this week!  Getting up super early before it got too hot was not on my list of “wants” for the weekend.  I did it though and now I know that I can for sure do a half marathon.  I have one more long run that I should do before my half, but I’ll probably only do about 11 to 12 miles.  Until then, I’ll keep doing my weekly runs, working on hills and speed, and then I am running the Tour des Fleurs 10k on September 17th. 
I learned and was reminded of a few things from this morning’s run.  Sorry if some of this is TMI…J
  1. Nutrition is EVERYTHING, especially the night before a run.  Those 3 slices of pizza that I had the night before were NOT a good idea. 
  2. Wake up early enough the morning of a run to have a cup of coffee and to let the coffee work its magic (if you know what I mean).

Somewhere around miles 6 – 9 I started feeling uncomfortable.  I was fine when I had to walk (I do Galloway’s run-walk-run), but running was starting to hurt.  I was ready to quit at mile 9.  I pushed through.  Finally around mile 12 I had to stop and use the restroom.  I was ready to quit there too.  I went ahead and ran the last two even though the soreness was starting to kick in.  I did it though.  I finished!  I also tried to run most of the race course that I’ll have for the Plano Balloon Festival.  
The route for my race.
The route that I ran today.

Now I’ll have a good idea of what to expect in 29 days.  If you ever get a chance to run your race route pre-race, give it a try.  I know that it will mentally prep me for my race. 
I tried running in my new Sparkle Skirt today.  I absolutely loved it!!  

I’ll be wearing that outfit for the Plano Balloon Festival 5K.  I already warned my friend that I’m running with.  J  I also remembered my salt pills today.  I took one pre-run and then one mid-way through.  I also wore a sweat band (thank you Color Run) today.  I might have looked dorky, but it kept the sweat out of my eyes.  J

Another thing that I did new this time around, was use the app Road ID.

This app sends eCrumbs to up to 5 people.  The eCrumbs tell the 5 people that I chose that I am going out for a run.  If I stop moving for 5 minutes or more, it will alert them that I haven’t moved.  It also allows them to track my progress.  When I am done, I can send them another eCrumb to tell them that I have finished.  I have chosen 3 people to be on my list.  I checked with all 3 today and they all said that it worked and that they were able to track me.  Being a single woman and a single mama, I thought that this would be something great for me to use.  This is great for any runner, biker, etc.  During my long runs it is still a little dark out at first, so this helps me to be and feel safer.  It is important for us to be safe out there. 

A special shout out goes to my sweet and very good friends, Judi and Meredith.  Thank you for letting the girls have a sleepover so that this mama could get her training in.  I am so grateful for my support system.

Well, I’m almost there folks.  Stayed tuned for more updates.  J

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Keeping It Simple

The first day of school is right around the corner and with that comes a very busy fall.  3 of the 4 half marathons that I am signed up for are this semester, I have a sweet friend’s wedding to head to 

My sweet friend, Alyssa, the bride-to-be

and this one is a surprise for the girls…their BIG Christmas gift will be to go back to Disney and visit Poppy, Nana, Aunt Cathy, Uncle Von & Cousin Reeny.  All of this means that I’ll be cracking down even more than usual on my budget.  One of the ways that I plan to do this is to cut down on my grocery budget.  Last week I asked several friends for ideas on cheap meals.  These are some options that I’ve come up with:

Chili & Rice
Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken (2 ingredients y’all!)
Breakfast for Dinner
Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup (this was a hit last night)
Bird’s Eye Protein Blends with canned Chicken
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Baked Ziti
Hot Dogs
and you can’t forget…Mac n Cheese

My next step was to figure out what to do for lunch for the girls.  I can eat leftovers or drink my Shakeology.  What was I going to do for the girls?  My good ole friend, Pinterest came to the rescue.  I found this pin that had TONS of ideas.  Here is the plan for the girl’s lunches.

Pizza Bites
Hot Dogs
Nutella Sandwiches
Tortilla Rolls with lunchmeat and cheese
Nachos (tortilla chips, shredded cheese & black beans)
Mini Pancakes

Mandarin Oranges

Yogurt Tubes (frozen)
Apple Sauce
Graham Crackers
Pirate Booty
Nutella with Breadsticks
Pancake Muffins
Homemade Cookies

I started “practicing” the lunches with the girls this week.  So far, so good (it is only day 2 though).  What are some cheap and quick dinners or lunches that you do?  I’ll keep you posted on how it all works out.

Monday, August 15, 2016

The Road To My First Half Marathon: The Mental Training

Running is just as much mental as it is physical.  This past Saturday I had to give myself a major “pep talk” during my run.  You see, I want to be a fast runner like some of my running heroes.  I want to be able to run a 5K in 30 minutes or less.  My friend Angie can do that.  I want to be like Angie.  Going into my run on Saturday I was feeling a little discouraged.  So many of my women running heroes are thinner and faster than me.  I have been working since January of 2015 to get to my goal weight.  I am about 10-15 pounds away from that goal.  Seriously y’all.  I LOVE food!  Some people drink their calories.  I EAT them!!!  I also eat my emotions and my boredom.  The struggle is REAL!!!  Can I get an “Amen?”

During my run I had to remind myself just how far I’ve come.  It was only 8 months ago that I started running.  Some of my running heroes are taller than me.  Their legs are going to take them farther and faster.  I’m 5’4”.  Okay, 5’3 and ¾”.  J  My legs might not get there as fast.  I have consistently brought my 5K time down with each race that I do though.  THAT is what I need to remind myself, not who is faster or better than me.  Listening to the lies from the devil that I’m not thin enough or fast enough is counter-productive.  My focus should be to keep taking this journey one day at a time and not comparing myself to others.  During my run this past Saturday, I had to remind myself that it’s about finishing and finishing strong, not necessarily the fastest.  If I worry about who is faster than me, than I won’t enjoy this journey.  I don’t want to miss out on the fun.  I’m going to keep with my training and still strive to be better, but I’m not going to let it consume me.  I will finish and I will finish strong.  Have you heard this song from Katy Perry?  Listen to the words.  I love it! 
I might cry too!  J  These will be my “gold” medals too!

No matter what life throws you, keep pressing on.  Get back up and push forward.  Don’t just survive!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Road To My First Half Marathon Part 2

I am now 42 days away from the Plano Balloon Festival Half Marathon!  Yesterday I ran over 12 miles for the first time.  

All of this training is making a big difference.  When I got to mile 10 during my last long run, my feet were killing me.  This time I focused on gliding and not pounding my feet.  I could’ve probably made it the whole 13.1 miles, but I decided not to push it.  Not too long into mile one, I realized that I had forgotten to bring my salt capsules.  Ugh!  I was all ready drenched by the end of mile one.  It was actually a lot cooler than it had been the week before during my short run (thanks to rain from the night before and a breeze).  Since I had forgotten my salt capsules, I ended up using one of my Gatorade chews that I had with me and alternating drinking Gatorade and water.  Earlier in the week, a sweet friend had sent me some Stinger Waffles and some Sports Jelly Beans. 

I had a Stinger Waffle pre-run and the Jelly Beans around miles 7 and 8.  I’m testing all of these things out pre-race day so that I can figure out what works best for my body.  It’s a whole lot of trial and error.
I have two more long runs before race day.  In the meantime, I have also signed up for the Tour des Fleur.  This race is a 10k that runs through the Dallas Arboretum.  This will take place the weekend before the Plano Balloon Festival races.  I’ve been really focused on my eating and on my training schedule.  I think that running the hill intervals on the treadmill have helped.   During my next long run I’ll try to run as close to the full half marathon course as possible.  One of the coaches at my school has agreed to take me out on the track to do speed intervals.  I’m excited about that.  My goal for this half is to get it done in 2:30 (2 hours and 30 minutes).  I think that I’ve also brought down my time for my 5K and 10K.  I guess we’ll find out in 5 to 6 weeks.
The trick for me has been how to fuel my body for the long run days.  For example, I burned somewhere around 2,000 calories from my run yesterday.  On a normal day, MyFitnessPal has me eating around 1,650 calories a day.  I’ve been good about just hitting it or being a little under.  MyFitnessPal said that I was allowed to eat 3,700 calories yesterday.  I didn’t want to do that.  One of my friends suggested that I multiply that number by .8.  That would’ve given me about 2,900 calories that I could eat (& still stay on my weight loss track).  I still ended up being a little under just because I really wasn’t hungry.  Like I said, this whole process is trial and error.  I am still eating clean.  I’ve been able to avoid the junk because my body was “yelling” at me.  I’m glad, because I’ve been able to easily say no to cupcakes and eating out.  J I will admit that I have tasted tested some treats that I’ve been making for the girls to stick in their lunches when school starts.  I’ve documented it all though.  J
I have been enjoying this journey.  I can’t wait to see what the next few months hold.  I can’t wait to run with my friends at Disney.  Stay tuned for more…

Half way point yesterday.

2 miles to go!
1 mile to go!

The beginning of a beautiful sunrise!