Monthly Archives: January 2013

WIAW-Snow Day

Tuesday-Spin Class

Wednesday-6 mi tempo run


Banana before run

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Yogurt bowl (plain greek, oats, almonds, blueberries)



Spinach + Egg white omelet, with whole wheat english muffin + swiss laughing cow cheese wedge


2 clementines


Open faced sandwich with 1/2 cup black beans, parmesan cheese and pico de gallo, with low fat cottage cheese




Tell me about your favorite eats recently!


Track, treadmill, or neighborhood

Monday-3 mi speed work @ 8:00 pace + swim class


Happy snow and ice day! What a wonderful treat to have an extra day to relax and catch up on grad school homework.


Today I did my first track workout, and I did it on the treadmill. When I first started reading Run Less, Run Faster I was a little bit intimidated by the speed work day each week. I have a good understanding of tempo runs (easy-hard miles-easy) but I haven’t done track repeats before. I still have a hard time understanding the distance of a track in relation to my planned mileage. I thought we could break it down together.

3 x 1600m (400m rest interval) 

Track: On a standard size track it would be 4 times around to reach 1600, plus 1 more time around walking/jogging as a rest interval. Then you would repeat the whole thing for a total of 3 times. Hence the 3 x 1600.

Treadmill: 1 mile at challenging pace, .25 mile recovery interval. Repeat 2 more times.

Neighborhood: Map out a 1 mile quiet route with as straight a course as possible. Run 1 mile at a challenging pace, recover for about 3 minutes (or 1/4 mile). Repeat 3 times. A garmin or GPS watch is helpful.

5 x 1000m (400m rest interval)

Track: This would require 2 1/2 laps around the track at a quick pace, followed by 1 lap of recovery. Repeat 5 times.

Treadmill: This comes out to .62 of a mile, followed by .25 recovery interval. Repeat 5 times.

Neighborhood: You will need some sort of distance calculator for this like a Garmin watch. It is confusing unless you just round up to 3/4 mile, with 1/4 mile recovery. Anyone let me know if you have a good way of doing this!

Have you ever done speed work?

What is your favorite thing to do on a snow day?



Saturday, rest

Sunday, elliptical + swim 1/4 mile

I want to to talk about failure today. This is not something I have written a lot about on the blog. It could be because it makes me a little bit uncomfortable to write with a negative or pessimistic voice. Or I don’t want to jinx myself and my goals.

The truth is sometimes we fail in life. Wow, that sentence is difficult for me to even type. Failure is part of the learning process, and helps us become better. I believe that a lot of people won’t try new things because of the risk of failure.

With marathon training starting tomorrow, and a possible lake triathlon this year, I have been thinking about failure a lot. What if I put in 16 weeks of hard work, pay for the race, travel to Cleveland and then I’m slow or my stomach is bothering me. Or what if I panic in the swim leg and drop out of the triathlon?

Both situations suck but they are possibilities. When I really think about it, I know that these are the risks you take when you race. As I become more serious about running and setting PR goals, I can feel the pressure weighing more heavily. The truth is, I’m the only one that really cares whether I hit my marathon PR. And I need to remind myself that these goals don’t define me or make me a better or worse person. Running is something I do because I love how it makes me feel and not to prove anything.

I am a pretty determined person, but I have dealt with failure before. I tried out for my college dance team twice before I made it on my third try. I felt so discouraged each time, but I knew a lot of it was my nerves during auditions. I kept going back, even after family members encouraged me not to (they didn’t like seeing me fail either). The moment I made the team, I felt so grateful. I cherished my two years on the team because it had been such a long process to even make it.

Tomorrow morning on my first speed work day I am going to run to the best of my ability. I will do this every day of training, and enjoy it.When training for a race, it’s not just about the end result, but all of the weekly mileage it took to get there. For 16 weeks, I am going to enjoy the training process. Happy running!

Do you fear failure?

What is something you have failed at?

Quick Strength Session

Thursday-20 mins weights + spin class

Friday-3 mi total, sprints

I have been seriously neglecting weight training. I don’t know how it slipped out of my life. Last winter and spring I was really into it, and would spend two 45 minute sessions a week at our old gym hitting the dumbbells. So this Thursday I went 30 minutes early to the gym to lift before spin class. This worked well and is something that I want to incorporate each week before my cross-training workout. Here is what I did this week.

6 minute series (x3)

0:00-1:00 Squats (8lb dumbbells)

1:00-1:30 Overhead press (8lb dumbbells)

1:30-2:00 Tricep kickback (8lb dumbbells)

2:00-2:30 Lunges on R side (8lb dumbbells)

2:30-3:00 Lunges on L side (8lb dumbbells)

3:00-3:30 Bicep curls (8lb dumbbells)

3:30-4:00 Hammer curls (8lb dumbbells)

4:00-5:00 Deadlifts (8lb dumbbells)

5:00-6:00 Plank

I found that after a long day of teaching, the last thing I want to do is count repetitions. I decided to just set my iphone timer and do as many as I could in the set amount of time. I was also lazy in the weight department and only used 8lb dumbbells for every exercise. I won’t be too hard on myself though, since I am just getting back into it. Winking smile

Oh yeah, have I mentioned that marathon training starts next week!?!?

Do you strength train?

What exercises are your favorites?

Snowshoes, Big Foot, and Yetis

Monday-4 mi (treadmill) + Swim class

Tuesday-Spin class

Brr! It has been a chilly week so far. My workouts have been indoors, and I have been enjoying it. I want to have a fun and relaxed workout week, because something big starts next week. Marathon training!! I have the schedule printed and ready to go.

I had a really great swim class this week! I have been enjoying all of the classes, but this was the first time that my freestyle started to feel comfortable. I am getting better! I practiced a little bit over the weekend in Traverse City too.

Let’s get to the Snowshoe race! We arrived in Traverse City late Friday, and woke up early to get to the race Saturday morning. We grabbed our packets just before the race and adjusted our snowshoes. There wasn’t any fresh snow, but the trails had enough to be able to complete the race.

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The course was different this year and it included wider sections of trail. This helped with congestion because there were so many people. I didn’t secure my snowshoes well enough and had to stop once during the race. I stayed with Melissa and we did interval running and walking. Kevin took off right away (his first time snowshoeing) and placed 3rd in his age group! Go Kev!

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After the race, we started to cool down quickly while munching on chilli and cookies at the post race party. This was an awesome race and snowshoeing is a kick-ass workout.

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We stayed the rest of the weekend in Traverse City and explored The Village at Grand Traverse Commons and the cute downtown! We had some great meals and cherry wine!




Where was your last getaway?

Have you ever tried snowshoeing?

Foam Rolling!

Thursday-3 mi

Friday-HIIT Turbofire DVD

Happy Friday! We are leaving tonight for Traverse City and the Big Foot Snowshoe 5k race. I ran this last year and had a great time. I’m super pumped for this weekend away.

This morning I went out for a run in the 14 degree weather and made it about .4 of a mile. The cold was painful! I decided to do a quick workout video instead. Solid choice.

I had a friend ask about foam rolling for beginners. I have not been rolling much lately, but I used it a lot after my long runs in marathon training. It’s a great addition to stretching and keeps your muscles relaxed and loose. Here is an article from Runners World with some basics.





Upper back

(Bring your arms up at 90 degree angles, and then back down)


IT Band




Wall Sits


Have you tried foam rolling?

Motivation Tricks and Tips

Monday, 3 mi + swim class

Tuesday, Spin Class

Wednesday-Group run fail

How is it Wednesday already? This week is flying by and that is great because we are heading to Traverse City this weekend for a snowshoe 5k race! I’m counting down the days and staying busy.

My second week of swim class took us to the lap pool. My form is getting a lot better, but I still feel very winded after 1 or 2 laps. More practice I guess!

Tonight, I went to meet the Elite Feet group run and no one in my pace range showed up! It was dark out, so I chickened out of running alone. I decided to make an impromptu rest day out of it. The hardest part of a run is getting ready and out the door, so I was a little disappointed. I will be back next week!

Speaking of motivation, reader Susan asked about ways to stay motivated to exercise when working a full time job. I wish this was an easy answer, and that there was an easy way to achieve highly motivated status. I believe motivation is like rolling hills. I find myself highly motivated for a few weeks, and then less motivated for a time. Here are a few strategies I use when I’m struggling to get out the door.


Here are a few recent food pictures! Delicious homemade sushi by Kevin, and vegetarian stuffed grape leaves from Anita’s Kitchen in Ferndale.

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Check back soon for a post about foam-rolling!

How do you stay motivated to meet your fitness goals?