Half Marathon Training Week 12 & Race Results

As you all know, the¬†half marathon that I’ve been training for was this past Sunday and it went really well! I didn’t hit my 2:15 goal but I did run it in 2:19 which is 4 minutes faster than when I ran in 2014…three years older and 15 pounds heavier ūüôā ¬†I took the week of the race pretty easy so that I had fresh legs on Sunday. ¬†Below is a quick recap:

Monday – 1.25 mile easy run on the treadmill + 10 minutes on the bike

Tuesday – Rest

Wednesday – Rest

Thursday – 20 minutes on the bike + 5 minutes of rowing

Friday – Rest

Saturday – 3 mile shakeout run with the Oiselle team. ¬†This run was supposed to be at an easy pace but those girls are speedy so I ended up running faster than usual at a 9’56 pace with the 1st mile at 9’12! After the run Mike and I took Winnie to the Salt River to show her the water. ¬†She wasn’t too sure about it but got in waist deep and absolutely loved being outside and the new terrain. Ended the day with pizza and beer…carb load perfection!


Sunday – Race day! 13.1 miles at an average of 10’32/mile pace. ¬†Finished in just over 2 hours and 19 minutes.

Overall it was a pretty good run. ¬†I felt solid until mile 10 when I slowed down quite a bit. ¬†Miles 10 and 11 were tough physically and mentally but as soon as I saw the 12 mile marker I picked it up and finished strong. ¬†It helped knowing that Mike was waiting for me at the finish line with a bottle of water and a hug ūüôā So happy he was able to finally see me run a half marathon! He was so proud and treated me to a yummy lunch of crab legs and oysters. ¬†The Oiselle team was amazing as well. ¬†They provided motivation and support along the course and encouraged me to keep going. ¬†Like I mentioned, most of those ladies are speedy so they were all standing near the finish line cheering on the rest of us as we came by. ¬†They definitely¬†inspire me to keep training and working hard to reach my goals.

I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to sign up for the Mesa/Phx half marathon on February 25th. ¬†My calves are pretty sore so I’m going to see how the rest of the week goes before I sign up. ¬†I know one thing is for sure…I’m not going to stop running anytime soon! I’ve seen my pace pick up over the last few months and my heart rate decrease.¬† I feel like I’m just starting and still have a long way to go. ¬†I was never an athlete growing up and I feel like this is my time. ¬†This is the time to prove to myself that I am capable of so much more than I ever imagined. ¬†That I am an athlete. ¬†That I am strong.

I started day 1 of this 12 week plan running 2 miles at a 13’38/mile average¬†and ended it with 13.1 miles at a 10’32/mile average. ¬†This is a great reminder that all good things take time. ¬†You will get faster and stronger if you put in the work.

Half Marathon Training Weeks 10 & 11

This is the big week!! I run the Phoenix Women’s Half Marathon on Sunday and I cannot wait! I feel SO much more prepared this year than I did last year. If Sunday goes well I am going to run the Mesa/Phoenix¬†half on February 25th also. ¬†Week 10 was a huge week for me. ¬†My long run on Sunday¬†was the best run I’ve ever had in all my years of running. ¬†It felt effortless and enjoyable. ¬†My long run this past Saturday was awful but I’m trying not to think about it too much. ¬†You have to take the good with the bad.

Week 10

Monday (Run) – 3 miles @ 10:28/mile pace on the treadmill after work

Tuesday (Strength Train) –¬†Didn’t do…whoops

Wednesday (Rest Day)

Thursday (Run) – 3 miles @ 11:20/mile pace on treadmill after work.

Friday (Rest Day) – My sister, mom, nephew, and niece came to town…yay!!!

Saturday (Active Rest Day) Рwalked around the park and the zoo with the family and took Winnie for a walk.  Great day spent with the family showing them around Gilbert.

Sunday (Long Run) – 8 miles @ 10:12/mile pace!! So happy with this run. ¬†3 of the miles were under 10 minutes/mile. ¬†I’m chalking it up to having 4 rest days this week haha ūüôā

Week 11

Monday (Run) – 3.20 miles @ 10:37/mile pace on treadmill after work

Tuesday (Strength Train) – Tone It Up Booty & Abs video

Wednesday (Run) Р3 miles @ 12:46/mile pace.  SO sore from the day before!!! My legs felt like lead.

Thursday (Run) – 2.68 miles @ 10:38/mile pace on treadmill after work

Friday (Rest Day)

Saturday (Long Run) Р8.5 miles @ 11:23/mile pace.  The wind was really bad and I was going against it the whole time.  My legs were sore.  Not a fun run especially since it was my last long run before the half.  Tried not to get too discouraged.

Sunday (Yoga) – tried a new yoga studio that I found on Groupon and I loved it! It was a 75 minute Yin/Yang class and felt so good.

Although my training wasn’t as great as I had planned and I missed more runs than I should have I overall feel prepared for Sunday. ¬†When I started training I was hesitant about setting a time goal because I don’t want to get discouraged so I wrote down 2.15 but haven’t really trained at that pace. ¬†If I don’t finish in under 2 hours and 15 minutes it won’t be the end of the world it’ll just encourage me to train harder next time.

I’ll post next week to let you all know how it goes or you can follow me on Instagram @lovecookrun

Half Marathon Training Weeks 7,8, & 9

Happy 2017!! Hope the year is off to a great start for all of you. ¬†The first 16 days of the year has treated me well so far ūüôā

We’ve been busy the past few weekends with out-of-town guests so I apologize for the delayed post. ¬†I’ll get last week (week 10) up shortly. ¬†I’ve been spending less time on social media in the new year and more time taking care of myself so my posts for the next few weeks will be short and to the point.

Week 7 (Christmas Week) – didn’t do much this week besides a few walks with Winnie and some sprinting. ¬†Mike and I took Winnie on a good long walk around¬†one of the¬†beautiful parks in our city. ¬†Seriously love Gilbert and all the walking paths it has to offer.


Week 8

Monday Рshould have used the day off to get in a good long run but we woke up early to take Winnie to the vet and I was lazy the rest of the day.

Tuesday (Run) – 3 miles @ 13’07 pace

Wednesday ¬†(Strength Train) – Winnie woke us up multiple times in the middle of the night and needless to say I woke up on the “wrong” side of bed. ¬†Used a massage gift card I had received instead of going to the gym. ¬†Was so worth it!

Thursday (Rest Day)

Friday (Run) – 3.52 miles @ 11’42 pace

Saturday (Run) – 6 miles @ 11’10 pace


Week 9 – back in the swing of things!! The two weeks prior weren’t my best.

Monday (Run)- 3.15 mile run @ 10’41/mile pace

Tuesday (Strength Train) – quick but intense 15 minute Tone It Up K & K HIIT workout video before bed.

Wednesday (Run) – was supposed to run 4 miles but my left lower leg was in so much pain for some reason, both my shin and calf. ¬†Took it easy with a 2.35 mile jog @ 11’44/mile pace

Thursday (Strength Train) – Tone It Up Total Body workout video

Friday (Rest Day)

Saturday (Long Run) – 7 miles @ 10’39/mile pace

Sunday (Active Recovery) Рtwo 1 mile walks with Winnie around the neighborhood. One in the morning and one in the afternoon.  Also played mini golf with the hubs.

My mom was in town for New Year’s Weekend and we were able to show her around our new city. ¬†Mike’s brother, girlfriend, and daughter came to town as well which was fun. ¬†We had a full house but so glad to see everyone!




The Year of Love, Loss, and Change

As I look back at 2016 it brings up so many emotions. ¬†This year was a year of love, loss, and change. ¬†2016 was by far the best year of my life yet the scariest with more change than I could have imagined. ¬†It was a year of highs and lows and went something along the lines of this…began with my bachelorette party (high) followed by not completing a half marathon I had set out to accomplish (low) followed by our wedding (high) and so on and so forth.

They say that your first year of marriage is the toughest and if that’s the case then I think we’re set for the long haul. ¬†A VERY quick recap of 2016…got married, Mike’s grandfather passed away, moved (within CA), moved again (to Arizona), my step-fatherpassed away, got a new job, bought a house (which meant moving yet again), adopted a puppy…goodness I’m pooped!¬†Getting married, moving to a new state away from all your family and friends, and purchasing a home are more than enough changes and decisions for one year. ¬†Throw in 5 or 6 other weddings, losing two very special people in our lives, getting a new job, and a puppy and I’d say our year was¬†maxed out.

So much change within 9 months really takes a toll on your body and your mind! There’s been moments that I thought I was literally losing my mind, which obviously wasn’t the case. ¬†My mental focus was not nearly as strong this year and I didn’t accomplish some of my goals I had set out to accomplish but overall it was a very successful and incredibly memorable year. ¬†We never could have imagined what 2016 had in store for us but it definitely made our relationship even stronger and proved that we can handle anything life throws at us. ¬†As awesome as 2016 was I am looking forward to a hopefully mellow 2017 which will allow me to focus more time on my health both physically and mentally. ¬†I’m ready to enjoy the simplicity of life and embrace moments of doing nothing.

‚ÄúAs we come to the end of another year, don‚Äôt look back in regret or anger or disappointment. Instead, take the time to give yourself credit for all you‚Äôve accomplished and use the rest to motivate you, to help you grow, to help you strive forward.‚ÄĚ -Devon Yanko

As we close out the last few days of 2016 I have a mixture of emotions. ¬†I don’t want this year to end because it was so good to me yet I’m hopeful that 2017 will bring as much joy and less loss. ¬†This year more than ever I’m reminded that everything happens for a reason and life always ends up the way it’s meant to. ¬†Embrace change yet enjoy the stillness.

Happy Almost New Year!

Half Marathon Training Week 6

We’ve hit the halfway point! ¬†6 weeks into my training and my pace is getting better but¬†my weekly mileage isn’t as high as I would like. ¬†It feels weird not running as much as I normally would when I train but I don’t feel burnt out so I think I’m doing something right ūüôā

Monday (Strength Train) – went with an oldie but goodie! Jillian Michaels Body Revolution¬†workout 1. ¬†This is a great 30 minute DVD that’s perfect for when you don’t feel like driving to the gym.

Tuesday (Run) Р3.15 miles @ 11:09/mile average pace.  This was a great 5AM run around our neighborhood.  Sucked it up and went out in the cold and survived thanks to gloves and ear warmers.

Wednesday (Rest)

Thursday (Strength Train) – Jillian Michaels Body Revolution workout 2

Friday (Run) – My stomach wasn’t feeling the greatest and I didn’t have much energy but I was SO tired of sitting so I ran a slow 1.35 miles @ 12:27 pace

Saturday (Long Run) – 5.11 miles @ 10:58/mile average pace.

Sunday (Rest)

Weekly Mileage – 9.61

On a side note, Winnie is doing great ūüôā Her brat puppy personality is starting to come out but she’s so cute we can’t stay mad at her for long. ¬†She’s completely potty trained which is awesome! She likes to test me by chewing on our new couch to see if I’m paying attention and take off with my pj’s every once in awhile. ¬†Overall she’s been an awesome pup and we love her so much ‚̧


Half Marathon Training Week 5

Happy Sunday! Hope you’ve had a great weekend. ¬†We got a puppy yesterday!!! Gilbert (our city) was having an adoption event at one of the local parks and we found the sweetest little pup…it was love at first sight. ¬†Her name is Winnie and she’s 3 1/2 months old. ¬†She’s a Cattle Dog mix, definitely has some lab in her. ¬†I can’t wait until she gets a little bigger and can start running with me! She’ll be the perfect running partner. ¬†Right now all she wants to do is lay on the sidewalk and eat her leash ūüôā

This week I¬†did pretty good and stuck to most of my training schedule. ¬†Didn’t strength train at all so I’ll try to be better about that next week.

Monday –¬†Started to feel¬†like I was getting sick so I used an extra rest day

Tuesday – 3.2 mile run @ 11’00/mile pace

Wednesday – 3 mile run @ 11’00/mile pace

Thursday – no excuses, just lazy

Friday – Rest day

Saturday – 6k run at the adoption event. ¬†Did much better than I expected (10’46/mile average). ¬†After the run I walked 1.64 miles down the street. ¬†So all together got in 5.37 miles.


Sunday – Active rest day. ¬†We’re going to try to take Winnie on a little walk and see how she does. ¬†I have a feeling we’re not going to get very far.

Hope you enjoy the rest of your Sunday and have a great week! I think I’ll finally do some Christmas shopping ūüôā


Half Marathon Training Weeks 2,3, & 4

Sorry for not posting my training for the past two weeks I was a little preoccupied with our new house!! Yep, we bought a home and I couldn’t be happier ūüôā ¬†I honestly never thought I’d own a home…it’s so surreal.

Weeks 2 and 3 were pretty much nonexistent as far as training goes. ¬†If you’ve ever moved you know that it’s exhausting and a workout on its own!!

Week 2 recap:

Monday – Grumpy & tired haha. ¬†Didn’t run although I should have cause it would’ve made me feel better.

Tuesday (2.5 miles @ easy pace) – Duration Drill on the treadmill (Women’s Running Mag). ¬†Kept my pace the same the whole time and increased the time spent running followed by a fast walk. ¬†Example: 1 min @ 5.0, 1 min @4.0, 2 min @ 5.0, 2 min @ 4.0, and so on.

Wednesday – Did our final walkthrough on our house after work. ¬†Too excited to go to the gym (excuses, excuses) ūüôā

Thursday – Celebrated signing our closing docs with a yummy steak dinner and drinks.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday РMoved into our new house!!! Got in plenty of steps and a great upper body workout haha.  No gym required.

Week 3 recap:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday – If I wasn’t at work I was working on the house. ¬†A new home is A LOT of work!!

Thursday – Thanksgiving! Drove to CA to spend the day with family

Friday – Spent the day with friends in CA

Saturday – Drove home from CA

Sunday –¬†House, House, House…alllll day. Signed up for a new gym membership knowing that I needed to jump back into the swing of things Monday.

I definitely could¬†have made time for more running but I don’t feel bad or guilty about it. ¬†Spending this time getting our home together was important to me.

Week 4 recap:

Monday – up at 5AM and off to the gym! Was able to get in 2 miles @ 12’10/mile average. ¬†Not the best but better than nothing.

Tuesday – Strength train at home in the morning

Wednesday – Went to the gym after work with Mike and ran 2.94 miles @ 11’40/mile average pace.

Thursday – Rest day

Friday – 2.5 miles @ 11’19/mile pace at the gym in the morning

Saturday – 5.83 miles @ 11’55/mile pace. ¬†Ended the day with 20,000+ steps!

Sunday –¬†Active Recovery. ¬†I’ll go for a nice long walk today ūüôā

Here’s a few pics of the new home:

Half Marathon Training Week 1

If you read my last post¬†you know that I’ll be running the Phoenix Women’s Half Marathon on January 29th and that this week was my 1st week of training. ¬†You also know that I was supposed to run a half last February and didn’t. ¬†Due to that I knew I needed to make some changes this time around so that I not only stick to my training but also enjoy it. ¬†I decided to go with a 12 week training plan instead of 10¬†weeks so that I could gradually increase my mileage without getting burnt out.

Last year when I was training I was trying to increase my mileage while simultaneously trying to increase my speed. ¬†This combo didn’t work for me. I became frustrated and quickly lost my joy of running. ¬†This year I’m going to focus on mileage and I know my pace will get better with time. ¬†I’m also incorporating more strength training which will help¬†correct imbalances and decrease injury risk.

Below is a recap of week 1:

Monday (2 miles @ easy pace) – Incline treadmill workout (courtesy of Women’s Running Magazine). ¬†Started with a 0 incline at a 5.0 speed and increased the incline by 1% every other minute until I reached 6% incline with a 1 minute recovery walk at 4.0 between each minute of running then went in reverse. ¬†Example – 1 min 5.0 speed 0% incline, 1 min 4.0 speed 0% incline, 1 min 5.0 speed 1% incline, 1 min 4.0 speed 1% incline, 1 min 5.0 speed 2% incline, and so on until I reached 6% incline and then I went back down alternating every minute. ¬†This kept me from getting bored on the treadmill and strengthened my leg muscles. ¬†Ended with a 3 minute cool-down. ¬†Average pace 13’38/mile.

Tuesday (Strength Train) – Biceps and Shoulders

Wednesday (Rest Day) – Stayed up late watching the election and had no energy to workout

Thursday (2 miles @ easy pace) – Speed Demon treadmill workout (Women’s Running Magazine). ¬†Incline stayed at 0% and started at 5.0 speed while increasing my speed by .4 every other minute with a recovery minute in between until I reached a speed of 7.0 then went in reverse. ¬†Finished with a 3 min cool-down. ¬†Average pace 12’oo/mile.

Friday – Was supposed to strength train but didn’t…whoops!

Saturday (3.5 miles @ easy pace + strength training) – Went for a good run outside around our neighborhood. The weather was perfect and it was so nice to get off the treadmill aka dreadmill. ¬†After my run Mike and I went to the gym to work on chest and triceps. ¬†This made up for my missed strength training on Friday. ¬†Average pace 11’05/mile

Sunday (Strength Training) –¬†Legs and Buns

Overall good 1st week! Kept the mileage low and didn’t worry about my pace. ¬†Arizona doesn’t participate in the time change which means the sunrise isn’t until around 7AM and the sunsets around 5:30PM. ¬†Due to the lack of daylight I’ll be spending more time on the treadmill than I’d like. ¬†You gotta work with what you’ve got!

Looking forward to week two ūüôā

And So It Begins…Training Day

Happy Monday and Happy November! The beginning of my favorite season…Christmas season!! You better believe I’m already listening to Christmas music and anxiously waiting to decorate. ¬†Oh I love the holidays.

Today starts day 1 of Phoenix Women’s Half Marathon training.¬† I know I said I’d probably never register for a half again but I got the itch and it needed to be scratched! Also, it’s a Oiselle Vol√©e meet-up run so I couldn’t say no ūüôā ¬†I’m a little nervous about training because I am nowhere near in the shape I need to be in.¬† I’ve been running every now and then but haven’t been consistent and my speed or lack thereof shows! I have no idea what the next 12 weeks has in store for me but I know that I’m going to do my best and give it my all with no excuses.

I’m going to document the next 12 weeks so that not only am I held accountable but also so that I can look back and see my progress and/or what worked and what didn’t.¬† I REALLY wish I would’ve kept a journal or blog of some sort when I was training for the half marathon in 2014 because now I can’t remember what training plan I used and how the training went.¬† I did so well that year and would love to have some sort of documentation that I could look back on besides a few Instagram posts. ¬†This time around I won’t make that mistake.
If you’ve followed me for awhile you know that in February I was supposed to run the Surf City Half Marathon and I didn’t (Confessions of a Runner).¬† I let distractions, self-doubt, excuses, wedding shenanigans, and everything else get in the way and ultimately gave up on my training.¬† Since then life has not slowed down and I’m quickly learning that it probably won’t which means I need to make time for training and have a solid plan set in place.¬† I need to remind myself that events, colds, and everyday events will happen and it’s ok if I miss a day or two but to not let that day turn into 5 days.¬† I need to remember that awesome feeling of crossing the finish line and continue to remind myself of why I signed up in the first place.
I signed up because I miss the feeling of accomplishing my goals.¬† I miss the feeling of being genuinely proud of myself and not giving up.¬† I miss feeling strong and healthy.¬† I know I shouldn’t have to run a race in order to feel these things, trust me I do, but I think this is what I need to get my groove back.¬† This is what I need to drop those pesky 15 pounds that have slowly crept up and are not coming off.¬† I need to run this half to remember why I fell in love with running in the first place. ¬†And I want to make the hubby proud and show him what his wife is made of ūüôā
My mantra during this training is “Stay Positive, Work Hard, and Make it Happen!” I saw this on Instagram the other day and it was perfect.
Follow along over the next 12 weeks and wish me luck! January 29th will be here before I know it!! I’ll be posting my workouts at the end of every week including some of my favorite meals that powered my training.

Arizona Living Part 1

Before I start I want to give a quick shout out to my amazing friends who sent me off with a stack of the sweetest little cards to open while living in Arizona. ¬†So thoughtful and I’ll cherish these little pieces of paper forever. ¬†I am still continuing to open them slowly and love each and every one. ¬†THANK YOU ladies, you’re the best and I miss you SO much!!


As much as I do miss my family and friends, I have to say…I love Arizona!!¬†Between the delicious restaurants, gorgeous scenery, abundance of lakes, and running trails galore we are definitely not bored and are soaking up all that Arizona has to offer. ¬†The heat has been an adjustment but you just figure out ways to stay cool and wake up early to get outdoor activities out of the way. ¬†We experienced our first haboob aka dust storm and quite a few thunderstorms which are pretty cool. ¬†I could live without the dust storms but monsoons are pretty rad. ¬†The sky is always different¬†and even though the leaves don’t change, you can definitely feel the change in weather.

We are currently living in Scottsdale at a friend’s rental condo until we can buy a home in Gilbert which we are praying will happen by the end of the year. ¬†Scottsdale is beautiful and has so much to offer but it’s a little fancy for us and out of our price range. ¬†While we are here we’re enjoying the food and the view! ¬†One of the best places to have cocktails and watch the sunset is Isabella’s Kitchen. ¬†The food isn’t anything special but the view makes up for it and the Mexican Mule is perfectly thirst quenching. It’s a place you have drinks at after work then head home or elsewhere for dinner.

Another gem in Grayhawk (our community) is The Morning Joint aka Mojo’s! We typically have breakfast here at least once a week and it is super yummy. ¬†Small little breakfast spot at the golf course that offers healthy options and one of the best iced coffees around. ¬†Mike and I split a breakfast burrito and just enjoy the cool morning weather. ¬†It’s close enough to walk to although I haven’t talked Mike into that just yet ūüėČ ¬†He’s warming up to it. ¬†If you are in the area you must go to Mojo’s for breakfast!


A few of our other favorite spots here in Grayhawk are The Living Room and Kale & Clover. The Living Room has an awesome happy hour and lunch specials and a super cool open air environment. ¬†It was the very first place we went to when we arrived in Scottsdale and we’ve been a few times since then. ¬†Kale & Clover has so many great healthy options and are allergy friendly. ¬† The buffalo cauliflower is surprisingly good (even Mike liked it) and the Southwest Quinoa bowl has so much flavor and is super filling. ¬†I couldn’t even finish it all.

That’s just a little sneak peek into our life here in Arizona. ¬†I’ll be back soon with a few more updates and I promise I’ll get back to health & fitness posts! Don’t worry, I’m still running and eating healthy…most of the time ūüôā