Half Marathon Training Week Nine

If you would like to follow my other weeks of training, they can be found on my Workouts page. I break my half marathon training down by week to make it easier to follow.

Half Marathon Training Week Nine

Key Workouts:

Easy Runs: 3/3

Speedwork: 1/1 4 x 1600 with 800 jobs in between

Long Run: 1/1

Strength Training: 0/2

Total Miles: 35.14

This is my highest mileage week yet. I am still adjusting to running five days a week but felt strong through the week. The long run was supposed to be 14 miles but I felt good with doing 12. I am still coming back from two weeks of nearly no running because of being sick and have over a month until my half to get in a few 14 miles runs.

I did not do any strength or cross training this week. It is a struggle to do two workouts in a day and after four days of running, I needed a break on Friday.

One of the best benefits from this training cycle is that I know I can run a half. The focus is on what is and isn’t working to meet my time goal. I am feeling faster this time around and know the Tempo and Speedwork is helping.

Freeze Your Thorns Off Virtual 5K Race Report

With the dreaded lay-off, my racing has slowed down significantly. So a free virtual 5K was exactly in my price range. I decided to run the Freeze Your Thorns Off 5K as part of my long run on Saturday.

Right before I left the house, I asked J to take a picture of me. Now those who are regular readers know that my camera is used to taking pictures of cats but we will have to make due with the mug-shot pose below. (Yes, I am in shorts and a sleeveless shirt. It has been in the 80’s in Central Florida, so I really wasn’t freezing anything off.)

Dina Runs Freeze Your Thorns Off 5K_edited-1

I ran in one of my favorite parks, Lake Eva.


Mile Marker

Lake Eva

Trees and Water

I ended up calling it a little after 12 miles. It started to get dark, the park closes at sunset, and I was starving for dinner.

I was right on target with my long run pace. This is my second week back from two weeks of no running because of the worlds worst head cold. It feels great to get back into the groove, especially when my life has been full of upheaval lately.

Freeze Your Thorns Off 5K Garmin Summary

When I got back home, J surprised me with these.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

I had a Maple Glazed original and it was amazing.

Unemployment Is Like Training For A Race

Being unemployed is hard work.

Unemployment Sucks Funny


Waking up each day, searching through job postings, and hoping that you get at least one interview is not as easy as it seems. The rejection and the feeling of dread that you may be unemployed for the long-term is stifling. I do feel lucky that I have friends who are keeping me updated when they hear of an opening and are helping me get my resume to the right people. It helps to know that there are people out there rooting for you.

Searching for a job is a lot like training for a race, I am putting in my time and hoping that it pays off in the long run. Hoping that each small piece, like networking, will help get me to the finish line.

The most difficult part of all this is the betrayal. My former job did notify my department of the imminent elimination but I was told in a meeting that they were creating a new position for me and that they did not want me to leave. I was even sent a rough idea of the new job duties and told to hold tight for an official job opening to come. That never happened and I was told that they were unable to get the funding for the new position on the same day I was informed about the lay off.

We cannot change the past but I feel like a fool. I should have started looking when they first spoke to us but I believed that they would want to keep someone who worked there for nearly five years and had been consistently successful. I was wrong.

You Done Goofed Feel Like A Fool


Having so much more free time has allowed me to focus on some long-term projects that I had little time for previously. I am the President of the Polk County Young Democrats and really want this group to have a better social media presence. Now I have time to spend on that Twitter account and the Facebook fan page to hopefully attract more members. It is so important to me to get young people involved in politics, especially in an election year. I know spending more time working on that goal is well worth it.

I am well on my way to one of my 2012 goals of reading 100 books.

The Ghosts of Varner Creek by Michael Weems New England Witch Chronicles By Chelsea Bellingeri Review 1Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver ReviewThe Hobbit by J.R.R.Tolkien


For now, I will keep moving forward and hope that this difficult time is temporary. That everything will work out in the end.

Half Marathon Training Weeks Seven And Eight

If you would like to follow my other weeks of training, they can be found on my Workouts page. I break my half marathon training down by week to make it easier to follow.


Not much to say about week seven. I was still very sick and was only able to fit in one run.


Week eight I was finally able to get back on track. Being able to breathe again and not feeling like complete death were also nice.

Key Workouts:

Easy Runs: 3 for 3

Tempo Run: 0 for 1

Long Run: 1 for 1 with the caveat that I had 14 miles on the schedule but ended up doing seven in the morning ( I had a meeting and did not get up early enough to do 14) and three in the afternoon. The afternoon run was supposed to be seven but just doing the three was difficult enough. Whenever I have a long run and a meeting or somewhere to be on Saturday, I rarely get the mileage in. I need to work on spending less time drinking coffee and looking at the internet in the morning and more time getting out earlier to start running.

Strength: Jillian Michaels: No More Trouble Zones DVD

Total Miles: 22.31

During week seven, I adjusted my training plan (I’m using SmartCoach from Runner’s World) to increase my mileage. I have more time to run while looking for a job and want to focus on higher weekly mileage. My hope here is that this increase will help with my speed. The amount of time I am spending at home, it is nice to be out running. It helps clear my mind and focus on what my next step should be.

Training plans should be fluid and adaptable to life changes. It is a testament to how great the SmartCoach plan is that it is so adaptable.

Do you have a hard time getting back on track after being sick?

Ch Ch Ch Changes

There are things I am good at like taking way too many pictures of my cats.

Cute Cat On Couch

Cat with blue eyes staring

(I take so many that J said that if there is ever a nuclear holocaust and a thousand years later aliens land and begin to rebuild, that they will find my hard drive and think Tail was some kind of deity.)

There are things I am bad at like actually strength training. I plan on doing it all the time but when push comes to shove, it often gets skipped. I can tell the difference because I am losing definition and feel weaker.



So here is what I am going to do about it. Jillian Michaels No More Trouble Zones twice a week.



I have had this DVD for a while but stopped using it because it is hard and it was difficult to fit 40 minutes of strength training in. While I am in job seeking mode, I have the time to do this without it impacting my running. My challenge, to myself if I choose to accept it, is to do this DVD twice a week for the next two months.

Ever stop a workout because it felt too hard? What workouts do you tend to skip?

Should You Tell Your Kid That They’re Fat?

There is a new campaign in Georgia called Strong4Life. The campaign is using stark videos and in your face tactics to get the attention of Georgia’s parents on the obesity epidemic facing the children of their state. The site is full of statistics that would make any parent worry about the health of their children.

From their FAQ:

  • Nearly one million kids in Georgia are overweight or obese
  • 75% of parents in Georgia who have overweight or obese children  do not recognize the problem
  • Georgia’s obesity costs are estimated to be 2.4 billion per year due to the rise in this epidemic

The videos are striking and quite direct.

The arguments against these ads are that they shame kids. Do they need the ads to tell them, when often times they are teased and picked on in school? If a kid, through some miracle, was unaware of societies general perception of the obese, would telling them miraculously solve all of the problems that caused them to be overweight to begin with?


Instead of spending money pointing out that there is a problem, which is clear to anyone with two eyes and some sense, the money would be better spent fixing the issues surrounding it. Spending money teaching parents to cook healthy, fresh foods. Subsidizing fresh foods to make them more affordable. Education about what healthy eating is. The great part of the fact that this issue is impacting children, is that they are captive audience in school for ten months out of the year. This is the best opportunity to encourage movement with recess and sports programs and to teach children how to make healthy choices when it comes to food.

Do you think this ad program is helpful or hurtful?

Three Miles Never Felt So Good A Comeback Story

I have been sick for two weeks. Two weeks where my head felt like it was full of cotton balls. Two weeks where my chest burned and breathing was difficult on most days, so exercise was out. Being a bit of a sweat addict and not having the best time lately, not being able to workout has been crushing. Putting my sneakers and Garmin on today felt amazing. I love the freeing feeling of running. How it clears my mind and allows me to workout a lot of the little ideas that are always rolling around in my head. This is definitely one of those times when I really needed that.

When I came back from my run, I forced myself to actually do something productive. I think during this lay off, I need to make sure to keep a regular schedule of productivity. I made a to do list and one big item on it is to update my LinkedIn profile. It was skeletal and completely outdated. The last time I was in the job market, I used more conventional means to find it and am interested to see how effective sites like LinkedIn are.

After I felt I accomplished all I could for the day, I pulled the cookie dough I made yesterday from the refrigerator. I love to bake and used to not have much time for it. I took out my copy of The Original King Arthur Cookbook which is an amazing cookbook. The best part is it encourages modifications and gives great suggestions as to how you can easily modify the recipes. It is meant to be an evolving cookbook where people put their own spin on the recipes.

The Original King Arthur Cookbook

If you are not familiar with King Arthur, please check out their baking blog. It is very comprehensive plus they are extremely helpful if you have any questions or concerns about any of their recipes or products. (I swear, I am not being paid by King Arthur. I just really love them.)

Grandma Swift’s Molasses Cookies contain molasses, ginger, and cinnamon. They are soft with just a hint of sweetness. I love a spice cookie so these should go fast.

Grandma Swift's Molasses Cookies King Arthur Flour

Have you had good luck with LinkedIn?

What To Do When Life Hands You Lemons: A Lay Off Story



My department at work was eliminated and I was just told that my last day is Friday.

I am so sick with the plague (otherwise known as the head cold that could bring down civilizations) that I can barely react to this news.

I am a long-term employment type of gal and worked at my former job for four and a half years. There are lots of great memories and people who I hope to keep in touch with.

So what to do now?

Losing your job during one of the worse economic times in the past few decades is not ideal. Losing your job when your spouse is a fulltime student is even less so. So instead of curling up in the fetal position and feeling sorry for myself, I will be proactive.

This past year of working my butt off from Couch-to-5K to running a half marathon has given me the confidence to branch out. To strive for something greater. Did I love my last job and see myself doing it forever? Not really. Does this trying situation give me the opportunity to try something new? I hope so.

It is a lucky coincidence that a political junky is in need of employment during an election year in a swing state in a swing area that is bound to need paid staffers. It is also lucky that my new found interest in social media seems to be a growing industry that may have some openings in Central Florida.

Moving Forward

I need to update my resume and reach out to all of my contacts. Here is to hoping that someone in my extended network knows of an opening. Until then, I will keep my head up and keep moving forward. One foot in front of the other.

Motivational Poster Stop Waiting For Things To Happen


Have you been negatively effected by the economic downturn?

Do you know of any job openings in Central Florida? If so, please feel free to send them my way.

Why Women Need Fat: A Review



Why Woman Need Fat by William D. Lassek, M.D. and Steven J.C. Gaulin, PH.D is a diet book for people who are looking to lose weight and make long term changes in the way they eat. The book is broken down into three sections and does a great job of backing up its’ thesis of how dietary changes of the past forty years have negatively impacted us, in clear and easy to understand ways.

Part One: Why And How We Got Fatter

  • The change in the American diet over the last fifty years.
  • The differences between the American diet and those of women from other countries.
  • Ancel Keys argument that fat is the cause of heart disease which the authors disagree with.
  • The increase in use of polyunsaturated fat.
  • The 1977 Dietary Goals for the US.
  • The change in the American diet increased the consumption of Omega-6 fatty acids which increases weight.

Part Two: Why Women Need Fat

  • Why American women are heavier today than in the past
  • Omega fats being out of balance (too much Omega-6 and not enough Omega-3).
  • The importance of DHA and EPA in our diets.

Part Three: How To Achieve Your Natural Healthy Weight

  • It gives a list of different food groups the authors recommend eating.
  • Finding your natural weight. How to find out what it is and how to reach that point.

Why Women Need Fat is packed with information, especially part one where the how we got here is explained in great detail. I found the advice easy to follow and similar to what you read in other works where the focus is on eating less processed foods. The detailed arguments make it easy to understand why you should change your diet and then they give you all the tools you need to do so.

Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone looking to lose weight, in a natural and healthy way. This book is not gimmicky but a part of a long term change.

Have you read any books that changed how you eat?

For me, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of The All American Meal was really eye-opening.

If you would like to discuss, Why Women Need Fat, you can jump over to the BlogHer Book Club where there will be a month of discussions.

This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

Half Marathon Training Week Six

If you would like to follow my other weeks of training, they can be found on my Workouts page. I break my half marathon training down by week to make it easier to follow.


Not my best week. Being sick really sidelined my workouts.

Key Workouts

Easy Runs: 1 of 3

Speed Training: 0 of 1

Long Run: 0 of 1

Strength Training: Upper Body 15 minutes

Total Miles: 5

Planed Miles: 27

Not much to say about this week but I felt it was better to rest through being sick, then to push myself and make it worse.

I planned on racing this weekend but am not sure if I should in light of being sick. It is a 10K, which is a distance I love, and for a good cause.

Polk Race For The Cure

Would you race this close to coming off of a cold?

How was your training last week? Did you reach your goals?