Aug 31, 2011

Purple Face

Took to the treadmill for speed work this morning. The trail I usually run on is still a hot moss from the hurricane. It felt pretty good. BUT my face matched my new shoes -- purple.

1.0 mile @ 6.7mph warm up (8:57 min/mile)
.50 mile @ 8.5mph (7:03 min/mile)
.25 mile @ 6.5mph  (9:13 min/mile)
.50 mile @ 8.5mph
.25 mile @ 6.5mph
.50 mile @ 8.5mph
.25 mile @ 6.5mph
.50 mile @ 8.5mph
.25 mile @ 6.5mph
.50 mile @ 7.0mph cool down (8:34 min/mile)
.50 mile @ 6.5mph cool down (9:13 min/mile)

Total: 5 miles

Aug 29, 2011

Week 6 Recap

This was one of those weeks that if I wasn't on a training schedule I probably wouldn't have seen double digits for total mileage. It was rough. I just felt lazy and completely unmotivated. I find it pretty incredible how motivation can come and go so easily. BUT it's Monday and it's day 1 of week 7 and I feel ready to tackle the day. Sometimes I think you just need those kind of days or weeks to make you appreciate and cultivate your motivation.

The good:
  • I met my mileage goals for the week!
  • I got out the damn door 5 times
  • I was able to sneak in my long run before the hurricane rolled through
  • More pancakes with peanut butter and jelly. Also, Omelets (my new obsession)

When you only have 4 eggs and can't make 2, 3 egg omelets - you make one 4 egg omelet and share. THAT is love.

The bad:
  • I did no cross-training. It was a struggle enough to get out the door and run so I'm just thankful I did that!
  • The 10k I was planning on running Sunday was cancelled :( thanks to hurricane Irene
  • I also failed to get any quality (speed/tempo) work in because my schedule got jacked up mid week with the the race being cancelled. 
The ugly:
  • I ate like I ran A LOT more than I did. The hungry marathon monster is starting to make her appearance. It probably didn't help that I had cereal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner a few times this week.

Monday - Rest
Tuesday - 4 EZ
Wednesday - 4 EZ
Thursday - 4 EZ
Friday - Rest
Saturday -  12 long
Sunday -  4 EZ

Total: 28 Miles

Goals for Week 7:
  • 30 miles (long run 16 miles!)
  • Run 4 days
  • Cross-train 2 days
  • Strength training 2 -3 x
  • Less cereal, more balanced meals

Aug 27, 2011

Out With The Old

I'm talking hydration. 

The old:
Amphipod RunLite 4

I bought this hydration belt back in 2009 when I was training for the NYC Marathon. It has worked pretty well for me over the last couple of years but I never really loved it. I never wear more than two bottles at once because I feel like it really weighs me down. This puts me at a max of 16 ounces per run. Needless to say that doesn't cut it on long run days and/or if the sun is shining. The belt also never really fits right. It rides up. A lot. Lastly, I can't count how many times I've dropped a bottle while trying to get it back on the belt and had to stop and turn around. Also, I feel that I look like batman when I wear it. 

The final straw came last weekend after my 14 miler. I carried the usual 2 bottles with half Gatorade and half water. I refilled my bottles with water at the local Starbucks, which happens to be exactly 7 miles from where I start.  It was an incredibly sunny day. I plowed through the last two bottles and ended up chugging gatorade and water when I got home because I was so dehydrated (STRUGGLES). I also experienced lower leg cramps for the first time in my running career (MORE STRUGGLES). I spent the rest of the day grumpy and trying to catch up on hydration. 

I've been doing some research about alternative hydration options for about a month. I hate handhelds, so any variation of those were out of the question. I've had my eye on some hydration backpacks for a while now. They can get expensive and there are a lot of different options so I wanted to make sure it was going to be perfect and worth the investment. I did a bunch of research and kept coming across raving reviews for the Nathan Intensity Hydration Vest. Reviews I found particularly helpful can be found here and here.  SO, I made the plunge on Friday...

The New:
Nathan Intensity Race Vest

The bladder holds up to 2 liters! This morning I filled it with 16 oz lemon-lime Gatorade and 16oz water. I figured this would be more than enough for 12 miles. It's super easy to use.

Excuse the photo. It was early. I was tired. Yet, I was also super excited to test it out. There are 3 different spots you can adjust the width and fit so it took a little while to get it just right. It's perfect.

The bottom (fullest part) of the bladder sits right in the small of your back and it's surprisingly very comfortable. It didn't bounce at all and I didn't feel like it was weighing my shoulders down by any means. It stayed firmly in place and to be honest - I barely noticed it. I was concerned the front straps might rub my arms or get in the way but it was never an issue. Taking a drink is easy and keeps the whole hydration process pretty seamless. The only real downfall is that you can hear the liquid sloshing, which is tolerable considering how awesome it is otherwise.
Post 12 mile run

Excuse my sweatyness
You can tell hurricane Irene was about to roll through because it was 73 degrees this morning with 96% humidity. I made it about a mile into my run before I ran out of places to wipe the sweat off. Needless to say the pack was soaked with sweat. I hung it out to dry (on my bike rack) after I got back.

The straps are made up of a mesh type material that make them very light and breathable. I won't lie - it now STINKS from all the sweating I did today. So currently my only real concern is how I'm going to wash it.

It's got an awesome pocket/storage spot in the front. I was able to fit my hat (incase Irene showed up early) and a few tissues (I HATE snot rockets. Also, helpful when the sweat WON'T STOP pouring into your eyes). You could probably fit a few other things in there if your heart desired.

 The front pockets are also super handy. I carried a package of Clif Shot Bloks, a Clif Shot, and my ipod (woohoo no arm band!). Definitely room for a cell phone or camera too.

If I had to rate this on a scale of 1 - 10, I would give this a 14. Seriously. Awesome. If you can't get the hint - I highly recommend it.

Aug 25, 2011

VEGGIES. Also, Pancakes

I mentioned in my previous post that I spent the entire last weekend meat-free. Well, here are some pictures of my adventure. I missed a few meals and snacks but this might help you get the gist. 

All to be consumed in 4 days

New discovery. SO good. I love Amy's.

Thursday dinner. Amy's Southwestern burrito and refried beans. YUM.

Prep for Friday and Saturday dinner.

Summer Tortellini Salad. Recipe compliments of Wegmans. Highly recommend.

Pre-portioning snakcs. Nuts + sesame sticks.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Done.

Something sweet to snack on after dinner.


Veggie wraps! Goat cheese and hummus are a must.

Hummus, spinach, onion, tomato, cucumber, avocado, red pepper, green pepper, goat cheese. DELICIOUS and filling.

Veggie burger + Summer Tortellini Salad

THE best yogurt. The jelly comes separate so you can add as much (or as little) as you'd like.

I never usually use more than half. Ate this on Friday and saved it for my post 14 mile run breakfast....

Honey wheat pancakes with peanut butter and jelly + a very large glass of milk. NOTHING better in this world.

Worth every mile.

Side salad... gotta use those veggies! Paired this with an Amy's Veggie Lasagna.

Sunday Morning. 2 eggs, 1 egg white, spinach, onion, green pepper. 
At a couple points it turned out to be a bigger struggle than I imagined. I've lived on Turkey sandwiches and chicken for so long it seemed tricky to come up with new options. Overall it was such a good experience. I've never been one to LOVE my veggies but on the other hand I've never been one to CRAVE meat. It definitely made me think more about my choices. I had to ensure I was getting in enough protein and balancing everything out to function to best my ability.  I'll admit I was a little concerned being able to fuel and recover properly without meat as I train for the Philadelphia Marathon but I would definitely call it a success.

I look forward to dabbling more in the vegetarian world and less in the meat world. A few people asked me what inspired me to do this or more bluntly just asked "but why?". I don't really have a good answer. It got me outside my comfort box and into a new, tasty and exciting adventure. Perhaps an experiment in tofu is called for next. More to come! Feel free to share your favorite vegetarian recipe!!!

Aug 21, 2011

Week 5 Recap

I realize I never recapped week 4, so in brief- it happened and it totaled 22 miles with a 10 mile long run. It was uneventful and I was thankful for the down week. My goal was 25 miles but my 3 mile run on Sunday got derailed and I accepted it. Moving on.

Week 5 was pretty stellar. I had an ass kicking speed work session on Wednesday and a 14 mile long run. It has been almost a year now since I've run 14 miles. I was thinking today how only a couple of months ago I was building up my mileage again and feeling so intimidated about double digit miles that I just stuck with 6-8 miles on my "long" run. It feels SO SO SO good to be back in the groove.  When I'm going to bed at night with a million things on my mind I find peace and comfort when I think about running. It's such a good feeling.

Monday - 4 miles EZ
Tuesday - XT / elliptical 45 minutes
Wednesday - 6 miles speed work
Thursday - rest
Friday -  4 miles EZ
Saturday - 14 miles (long run)
Sunday - rest

Total: 28 miles

I can't believe I'm already moving into week 6 tomorrow. It's going to be here before I know it. Also, I signed up for the Lehigh Valley Zoo 10k!

I also made it a goal of mine to spend this past weekend meat-free. I'm not really sure why but it just felt like something I've wanted to do for a long time. So I did. This was a school weekend so I was home in Syracuse from Thursday - Monday. I stopped at the grocery store when I got in to town and I stocked up on a bunch of fun things. I can't wait to share my weekend of food with you. Lots of photos.

But right now it's time for bed. Running, renewing my CPR, getting my car inspected, and FINALLY heading back to PA tomorrow. Stay tuned.


14 miles? Tackled. The hills were bitchin' and the sun was blazing. BUT I did it! AND it really wasn't that awful. The worst part was the shower after my ice bath. My calves were cramping like I've never experienced before. I fixed that with some Gatorade and a banana. Also, I had pancakes smothered in peanut butter and blueberry jelly. YUM! 

My goal was to make it comfortable - no pushing, just easy miles with minimal suffering. I wanted to try and hold a 9:15. I'm pleased with the splits.

The rest of the day my knees were pretty sore and I was pooped. I had class from noon to 10pm so that was a little bit of a struggle. I also didn't really pack enough food, which I never thought possible. I brought a whole Trader Joe's bag of food from home. Live and learn - you can never bring enough food on long run day.

Aug 18, 2011

The Best Distance


Yes, I said it. The 10k (6.2 miles) is my all time favorite distance. I can't really put my finger on why, but it has something to do with less suffering. In a 5k I feel like I run at a pace that constantly borders vomiting because I know it's going to be over in no time. The other extreme (that I've experienced) is the marathon. Don't get me wrong, this experience was incredible - and I still consider it the best day of my life - but it's just not my favorite distance.

Yesterday, I registered for the Lehigh Valley Zoo 10k! It's next Sunday, August 28th. It's only about an hour away from where I live and I'm really pretty excited about it. I've been putting off registering because, well, essentially I'm chicken. I have some pretty high expectations of myself and I never really feel like I'll be able to meet them on race day.

After yesterday's speedwork I decided to man up. I don't have that many opportunities to race before the Philadelphia Marathon so I came to the conclusion that I should take this one and run (pun intended - that was a pretty good one).  Goals to come :)

Aug 12, 2011


100 days until the Philadelphia Marathon!!!

I'll be celebrating with a 10 mile run :)

Aug 10, 2011

Week 3 Recap

Monday - Off
Tuesday - 6 miles EZ
Wednesday - 4 miles speed work
Thursday - Off
Friday - 6 miles EZ
Saturday - 30 minutes light XT (arc trainer)
Sunday  - 12 miles

Total: 28 miles

In Summation:

Speed work sucked. I nearly died.

This 12 miles was a lot more difficult than last week.

My pace was pretty much all over the place. I didn't make any stops and I'm really excited about that, but the last 3 miles were incredibly painful. My legs just plain hurt.

It was a tough week and an exhausting weekend for many reasons (school). I had to dig deep - but I did it. Thank GOODNESS week 4 is a 'down' week. I had to drag myself out the door for an easy 4 miles this morning. Sometimes getting out the door is the hardest part but I rarely ever regret doing it. Never underestimate the power of Justin Beiber a good playlist.

Things to work on - More cross training. Get back on the strength training wagon. Yoga.

Aug 2, 2011

Week 2 Recap

Long run: 12 miles
Quality run: Tempo!
Total miles: 26

 The long run
The hills aren't nearly as massive as they appear - but still tough in the long run
click to enlarge
These splits are so beautiful that I want to print them out and hang them on my wall like a piece of art
I'm not really sure what got into me in mile 8 but that's okay. I don't even know how to explain how I managed such even splits but I just ran based on effort. To say this run felt good would be an understatement. I only stopped twice - once at the turn around point and once to get a pebble out of my shoe. I felt so strong the entire time. Not once did I think about how much it sucked or how far I had to go struggle to get home. I wish I could bottle runs like these up and save them for a rainy day.

This was the first time I have run over 10 miles in at least a year. I tried preparing myself all week for it and convinced myself it was completely possible. Whether you think you can or you can't - you're right.

I took the run one mile at a time and looked forward to watching each split appear on the screen of my watch to see how I was doing. It's cheesy but I am so proud of myself and so so so excited to be back in the groove of marathon training and long runs that mean something.

Welcome, week 3. Also, August.