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Run Less, Run Faster Review

 Today-Barbell blast class + 3 mi run

I realized that I never reviewed my training program from the Cleveland Marathon. I wanted to give a summary of the program as well as the parts I enjoyed and found challenging.

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I chose this program and bought the book when some local runners told me about the 3 days/week program with speed work. I had previously used Hal Higdon’s training plans and I wanted to try something new. I was intimidated by the speed work but figured it’s time to see if I can run any faster. The program features 3 run days, 2 days of cross training, and 2 days of rest. The idea behind the program is that by running more focused and intense miles, and less miles overall- runners can improve their race times without risking injury through overtraining.

The program has training plans for all race lengths, including specific information on pacing for speed work & long runs. It also includes Boston Qualifying specific paces.

I really liked the speed work and found the recommended paces to be a perfect challenge for me. I liked having 3 run days a week because it made my schedule more flexible is something came up.

The book recommends specific cross-training (swimming, cycling, & rowing only) and specific strength training. I found myself wanting to take other classes and do more weight lifting. I think next time I would be more flexible with the cross training and keep taking some group classes.

I increased my marathon time by 9 minutes, and I think it would have been more if the heat hadn’t taken me down. I’m definitely going to use the program again for my next marathon!

What training plans have you liked?

Have you ever created your own training plan?

Cleveland Marathon Review- Part 2

Saturday-5.5 mi with Melissa

Monday-10 x 400m with Mel again! + ab video

Here is Part 1 of my review. I left off at the start line and I did this because the race weekend was quite the story. Here we go!

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Robert and I had our watches ready to go, and we made it through the start line only 4-5 minutes after the official time. The start area wasn’t congested and it went off perfectly. Robert took off at his pace, and I tried to maintain 9:40 second miles for the first 4-5 miles.

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My pace plan for the day was to start off with 9:40 minute/miles, and then hold a 9:30 for the bulk of the miles, and push at the end to stay the same pace or speed up.

It was difficult to keep such a close eye on my watch and I think I probably would run how my body is trained if I would just let it. I’m a freak about the numbers though and didn’t want to start out too fast.

The water stations were somewhat congested and there were many that I had to stop and walk to get close enough to grab a cup. I tried to make up for lost time right after the station and probably expended some extra energy doing this. After the half marathoners split off around mile 12.5 the stations got much better. The heat and sun really kicked in at this point too, so I was wishing the water stations were closer together than every 2 miles.

I stayed true to my pace plan until miles 20-26. The heat and sun really got to me and I had to alter my plans. Running experts advise to change your pace and goal time during the heat, and I probably should have slowed my pace down from the beginning in order to maintain a steady pace throughout. I really do believe that you can have a marathon experience that doesn’t make you want to die or quit running if you are smart about even pacing. This, however, was not that day for me.

I considered quitting. I started panicking about not being able to finish. My breathing would get really quick and shallow, but then I used some positive thinking and deep breathing to bring my self out of this funk. I stretched for about 20 seconds around mile 20, and stopped for a quick potty break around the same time. I also began to walk through the water stations. Every water station involved multiple cups of water because I was so hot/thirsty/dehydrated. Another mistake I made- for that kind of heat I should have carried water on me to refill at the stations. I was pretty miserable. Every person with a hose drenched me, but I just couldn’t cool down. My last chocolate GU made me soooo sick to my stomach I thought I was going to be sick. Oh boy, what a lovely way to spend an afternoon right?

Another awful thought in my head was of hate toward the spectators just lounging with their friends drinking an iced coffee. I wanted to be in their shoes so badly, and seriously reconsidered my love of marathons.

Somehow, the miles kept ticking by and I tried to remember that this miserable feeling wouldn’t last forever. At one point I saw an official time clock and realized that I was still on pace for a PR under 4:31. These are the moments that help me realize how strong and capable I am, because I somehow survived and crossed the finish line at 4:22.

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The finish line was great with quick handouts of our medals, bananas, water, chocolate milk, and popsicles. The popsicle was amazing! I wasn’t too hungry and my hunger never really kicked in that day or the next. I think the heat was the biggest factor because usually I’m incredibly hungry after a marathon.

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It was a great race, and I think the half-marathon course was really awesome. The full course had some really boring looooong streets right in the sun. Everything was well organized, and despite the heat I do want to run another marathon soon.

Tell me about your favorite/worst race experience?

Healthy tips for holiday parties

Thursday, 3 mi

Saturday, spin class + 2.5 mi

My heart and mind are with the families and the community in Newtown, CT. 

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It has been a nice week of working and enjoying time with my husband. It is so fun to have him home, especially with the holiday season in full swing. Tonight we are having an ugly Christmas sweater party to welcome Kevin back into town. The treats and sweaters should be very unique. Winking smile

Another yummy meal I enjoyed was sushi at the restaurant Hana. Everyone pays a flat rate of $20 and you can order as many sushi rolls, appetizers, entrees, and desserts as you like. I think our waitress was pretty sick of dealing with our multiple orders. It was just so good! I had a green tea ice cream for dessert that was legit.

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I have been working on moderation when it comes to holiday treats and parties. Working in a school, it feels like 2 full weeks of goodies everywhere! I would like to maintain a healthy weight and healthy habits for the next few weeks. Here are some ideas I try when I’m partying it up. Smile

  1. Drink water all day and evening. If you are having alcohol, try a glass of water between drinks to limit the calories and keep you feeling fresh.
  2. Have something to eat before you go. Try something healthy and filling like a sweet potato, or cottage cheese. I always slip up when I get really hungry.
  3. Don’t feel like you need to try everything. Pick a few things that look amazing to you and stick to small portions.
  4. Enjoy the conversation and holiday games after eating. Try to stop snacking once you are full.
  5. Wear something on the tighter side, instead of a baggy dress or top. This will keep you aware of overeating.
  6. Pick your favorite dessert and ENJOY it!

How do you stay healthy during the holidays?

Anyone else love sushi!?

Feel good Friday

Rest Day (again)

Happy Weekend! I have been working on a few projects and fun things today. And this is day 2 of resting because I have a lot of running planned for the weekend. I am running a local 5k Saturday morning and 10 miles Sunday morning. I am looking for a PR tomorrow, since I don’t really have a 5k time. It seems that I’m always doing 5k fun runs in some costume or another and don’t keep track of the time. I’m ready to fly through the course tomorrow though!

For breakfast I made french toast, but I wanted to talk about oats in a jar! This is old news in health blogging, but I thought others might not know about this fun oatmeal idea. You take an almost empty nut butter jar, cook your oats, and then pour them in the jar. It gets every last scrape out and tastes so good!

Also, I had a beautiful moment while visiting the corn man today. Everyone in town calls this local farmer with a stand “The Corn Man”. I bought so many amazing vegetables and made a huge salad and my life was complete 🙂

Lettuce, cucumber, tomato, celery, green pepper, and quinoa.

Next, I roasted some beets that I picked up! I really like beets but have never cooked them myself. All that you do is trim the beets (the lettuce part can be eaten also), roast at 350 degrees for 1-2 hours with a little bit of olive oil. Then, once they cool you have to peel the skin off. Yum! Slice and put in salads, or dress them up whole. I kept thinking of Dwight from the office…

“You cannot buy farmers at a farmer’s market. It’s super-confusing.”-Dwight

Have you tried any new-to-you produce?
How do you like your oatmeal?