Showing posts from 2017

Workouts and Meal Plans

After a few weeks of poor meal planning resulting in last minute frozen pizzas, dinners out and less than healthy foods  we are back! The past week coach Nichole has also upped me to running 6 days per week. which I haven't done in years. I need to focus on recovery after the tough days and having the right fuel will be key along with gentle yoga on day 7.

Sunday Lentil Tamales with black beans and fajita veggies (Hosting Christmas Eve) and of course plenty of cookies: Almond crescents, molasses and I healthified (is that a word?) my grandma's toffee bar recipe!
Monday Vegan GF Lasagna with garlic green beans
Tuesday Turning Sunday leftovers into fajitas
Wednesday Christmas with Matt's family
Thursday Tofu curry or Jambalaya (can't decide yet!)
Friday "Fried" cauliflower rice
Saturday Dinner out?


This past week started my 6 days of running, plus got to kick off the holiday weekend with a family Crossftit workout and last weekend I finally got my butt of…

Identity Crisis

Does anyone else feel like they are stuck between their younger self and current adult self?! 40 is chasing me down the last few miles and gaining on me. In only 13 months I turn the big 4-0! Yikes, I was fine with 30, actually liked that birthday, 35 a little tougher but 40 I'm already struggling. Another friend was posting about this on Facebook yesterday so I know I'm not alone.
As I drove to work this morning I felt like so much contradicting!

I'm driving to work in my mom car listening to old school hip hop. Blasting Beastie Boys, Warren G and more thanks to the great local station. Bringing back memories or driving around with friends in high school and college. I'm headed to my part time job (yes I quit a full time career) for 2 part time jobs, makes me feel like a teenager again although these jobs are still big! I headed in today to meet with a big stakeolders about clinical development and funding, yikes!I have a great career but I still don't know what I …

Day 1

As as sat last night with a glass of wine in hand and eating the Peanut Butter Salted Nut Rolls I took from O's Halloween candy I realized I was past my post marathon indulgence period! The past weeks have been filled with sleeping in, pizza, lack of workouts, wine and lack of great choices. We all deserve time to not focus of strenuous training and goals but I think I have reached the end of that. Especially considering that next week I double my work hours meaning less time to push off the workouts and need for better meal planning, not to mention the lovely winter weather that has already hit us.

So here I am putting it out there for all to see, with 2 months left of 2017 I am setting new goals. As we all know the holidays are coming meaning busy days, parties, desserts, wine, colder weather plus with my job busier days and more work.

Daily food tracking, mainly because it makes me think twice about the extra junk and mindless eatingMorning workouts progressively increasing (1 t…

Chicago Marathon Prep

"Feet don't fail me now, take me to the finish line..."
Wise words from Lana Del Ray and I sit here obsessing about Chicago Marathon and full of taper energy. It's almost like the pregnant mom nesting (which I can't say I ever experienced!). Good thing I run marathons more than I'm pregnant, maybe my house will actually get organized.

As a marathon veteran I will be the first to say that the nerves, excitement, mixed emotions and craziness of taper don't get any better with experience. So what can one do to relax (a little) pre race. Here are a few suggestions...
Focus your energy on something else: read, bake (but don't carb load too much), have a family outing.Focus on healthy eating, increasing healthy carbs and hydration.Look back over your training and look at the highlights and runs that will help push you through the tough spots.Visualize the race and the finish you want.Plan for race day: nutrition, clothes, post race fun, etc.Look at logistics o…

1 month

Well let's see if I can do this blog ate my entire post!! I'm back for a little update and looking ahead. 1 month until my 33rd marathon. I am returning to the site of my 3rd marathon and first sub 4 (I managed a 75 minute PR!). I am not expecting anything as spectacular as that but hoping for a great race and maybe even a small PR. 
Training has been going well (almost hate to say it aloud!). I have been focusing on slowing down my easy and long runs allowing me to focus on harder speed and hill workouts. I've even raced a couple shorter races in this cycle and managed a couple PRs there! I haven't been forced to take time off (knock on wood!) and am up to 5-6 days of running a week.
I went into this training with a better strength base but have decreased that intensity over the past month. Rest days are being taken advantage of, no hard cross training but using these as yoga or pilates days and getting in a long walk with the dogs or an easy bike.


Strive 5K

Sorry, playing catch up on the blog this week. Some big things ahead as I turn 39 tomorrow, yikes! Struggling with this one and not motivated to write other than the many posts that happened in my head...Back to the point of why I'm here.

A couple weeks ago I signed up for a 5K, yikes! You all know how much I hate those. Nichole encouraged me to shake things up a bit and try racing something short. After the other race in July I figured why not. O also wanted to run so with plenty of warning she knew not to try to run with me!

I headed out for a 2 mile warm up then met up with her to start, she wanted to line up with me, I had her on the outer edge not to block faster runners but seeing others who had lined up in front I knew we'd be fine. My goals were to 1) don't go out too fast 2) keep pace around 7:00 3) negative split 4) win!
So what did I accomplish...A sub 7:00 pace, not entirely a negative split as I went out too fast! but I did finish 2nd behind one guy and 1st wo…

Friday Five: Marathon Training Thoughts

Just about 10 weeks out from Chicago Marathon that is still undecided whether it will be an A race or not and filled with the typical training ups and downs. I have handed over control of my training to Nichole and am focusing my energy or writing plans for others while she controls mine! Even trying something new with some 5K races, eek!

1- Struggle: Last Saturday was a struggle. Friday morning the long run fell apart. Had planned to run that day but overslept (so did my training buddy!). Got in my hills that day then sat at the beach, didn't eat great and had a few glasses of wine plus stayed up later than I should. Saturday I struggled from the first few miles but I did it. I am often asked if after all these years I have bad runs and yes I do! I'm not afraid so say I struggled, thought about quitting and had many doubts!

2- Nutrition As I am increasing mileage it s time to focus on better nutrition. My post marathon indulging lasted longer than it should have, oops! Too many…

Weekly Menu Planning with BFree

We are in a week of minimal activities as dance intensives are auditions are over for now and due to the results O has chosen to give up team gymnastics due to scheduling conflicts so no gymnastics either this week. Perfect time to get focused on meal planning and better eating again. O also informed us a week ago that she was becoming a vegetarian for a week, this has changed to her being vegetarian forever. I am thrilled, Matt indifferent. We have been have her give input on meals as well and she seems very excited to not eat meat. Much different than when I became vegetarian (the first time) and my mom took me to the doctor who told her how unhealthy it was and I was forced to eat meat or not be in sports! What?! I’m glad things are changing.
My training mileage and intensity is increasing so I find myself hungry! I had to explain hangry to O on Friday after staying at the beach through lunch Friday! The UCAN Coffee Bar I ate at 10am and the almonds I snacked on the 4 hours we we…

Mental Training as a Runner

No matter how hard I physically train I have managed to mentally defeat myself at the worst times. Any runner knows that running is not all physical and the mental side of running is huge, for me at least 50% of a run is mental.
In the beginning running was only fun (okay not always fun). I had no real goals other than get out and run, finish a race, go a little further. In these days I'm sure I still had a mental side but it was easier to accept that it didn't go well and I could back off. Then I overtrained, ran daily, became injured and kept missing my goals, I focused soley on physical training and I kept falling short. Next phase I became a mom, running was again something I did. I enjoyed the time for me, getting out and training when others said I never would. I also benefited from the postpartum speed with a year and half of amazing running that came pretty easy, knocking of PRs at every distance. A hamstring injury, full time job, lack of good training and I was not w…

Starting To Race Again

This past Saturday was a local 3.7 mile race, it runs 1 loop around a lake giving it the weird distance. I have run this 2 or 3 times in the past, most recently 4 years ago when I finished 2nd in my AG with a time of 28:00. I rarely race anything under a half marathon. Let's be honest, I hate the feeling of pushing so hard you hurt! I'd rather suffer to a little less extent for a longer time!

Earlier in the week the weather was perfect for running, 60s and cloudy, but come Saturday the heat wave returned, hot humid ad heat index reaching 100+, yuck! Friday evening Cooper startled when someone came to the door and used my foot/ankle as a launching pad resulting in multiple scratches and a deeper cut right on the top of my foot where my laces hit! I had no idea if this would cause me pain to run.

We got there with a little time to spare, I took an easy warm up run to adjust the laces to not rub then met up with some MRTT friends. We complained about the heat and got ready to run…

Taking Time to Regroup

These past 2 weeks after Grandma's Marathon have been exactly what I needed. 2 weeks of low running without expectations, the ability to skip a run if I wasn't feeling it, a complete transition away from my overly stressful job that was taking over my life and working to make myself and family a priority.

We spend much of last weekend at the softball fields coaching O's team to a consolation bracket win! In true MN weather we were cold, bundled up in jackets and pants and even pulled out hand warmers for the Sunday morning games! All weekend I was wishing that this weather had been there the previous weekend for the marathon.
This week I struggled with running, legs were heavy, I was tired, I just didn't have that push. I kept low miles, walked if needed and didn't look at pace, my body was asking for recovery. I even skipped my 4 miles midweek when O asked to join me, we did 2.25 miles run/walk averaging around 10:30 pace! Way to go! It brought a smile to my face …

Grandma's Marathon Recap

Well, Grandma's was to be my replacement marathon for being sick right before Flying Pig and not being able to race. Coach Nichole and I decided to give it another shot since I was recovered quick after Pig and ready to race. I was lucky enough to find a last minute hotel and a friend wanting to share Friday night. After a week + pf tracking weather that looked perfect, tailwind, highs of 60, cloudy, it all changed!

We got up early to ride to the start. Since Grandma's is a point to point course they bus to the start. I waited in a nice long porta-potty line as I drank my UCAN and shed my top layer of clothes. It was lightly sprinkling and a little cool, perfect! After dropping my bag I weaved my way through the crowds to get between the 3:35 and 3:25 pacers (no 3:30 pacer). The DJ played "Let's Go Crazy" and I had a great feeling, I was ready. That is my song, not only am I a huge Prince fan but on the bus to Boston the year I PR'd that song was playing.


Five for Friday!

So much has been happening in my life over the past month or so, some big changes in store for me and the family. I have finally made some decisions on what I need to be focusing on at this time in my life and how to be better. I'm learning what I want from myself and life (yes, it has taken me many years!). Today is the first day of many new things...

1. I worked the final day at my job yesterday! The job that has caused me so much stress and anxiety is now removed from my life. I am no longer required to push family commitments aside to be at work in evenings or weekends or working from home to finish countless hours of charting. I woke this morning with such a sense of relief and calm, I slept great and feel refreshed not dread and anxiety. I am excited for my new opportunity that is much different and very much employee friendly. I am scared leaving a very stable full time job for something with some uncertainty but sometimes you just need to take the leap!

2. Summer Bucket List…

Happy Global Running Day: Giveaway & Discounts

Happy Running Day Everyone! Although I don't really need a special day to run, but way not. It seems like a lot of races are getting in on the fun now and offering discounts too so even better.

I have partnered with Nathan Sports to share some great runner essentials and also give away a prize pack to one reader!

Hipster Belt: I have struggled finding a good belt to carry my phone, more important one that doesn't move or slide around on runs. This belt is great! I have used it on a few long runs and it stays put. My phone is securely in the pocket so no fear that it will crash onto the pavement!

SpeedShot Plus: Holds 12 oz of fluid. Which for me is perfect since I don't drink a lot when I run, For me it was small enough to carry without being annoying or too heavy. My hand fit great in the handle without even needing to really hold the bottle. I rarely carry water (or my UCAN Hydrate) on runs under 2 hours unless it is hot and humid so this came at a perfect time with the br…

Post Marathon Recovery

I am now 15 days post marathon and have gone through all the emotions of happiness, disappointment, anxiety of what if I can't get faster, excitement of what is next, and more. Marathon training is all consuming and to lack the end results you hoped for comes with all the emotions of any big event.

Things are even tougher when it is completely out of your control. I feel that I had great training, yes there were days I struggled but overall it went well. My best training in years, I was hitting paces I hadn't hit in years, I wasn't in pan during and after every run, I was recovering great, I even kept up with the strength training. Yet, the factors out of control make or break the day, for me this was a lovely GI illness 3 days before the big race, meaning I was dehydrated and consumed less than I needed to be fully fueled and ready to run. It took me time to accept that this wasn't my failure at the race but instead I couldn't have changed it (accept maybe keeping…

Flying Pig Marathon Recap

The short and not so sweet...After being sick Thursday and Friday and not eating well at all I questioned what I'd be able to accomplish. Finally Saturday I was eating better but could tell I had calories and hydration to make up. Terrible timing before a race!  I was hoping for the best but knew plans might not go as we hoped.
My brief picture filled recap...

We had a fun weekend, dinner with friends, a little exploring Cincinnati, good food, relaxing! Saturday I hit the expo and quickly grabbed my gear and bought some Bondi Bands (10% off through that link!) for O and I. We then headed for some lunch and time to relax before making dinner.

Sunday was an early start, 6:30am! We headed over to the start bundled up and trying to stay warm. I got in my corral with minimal time to spare and the goal of not going out too fast. Success! First miles 8-8:10s, yay! I knew the hills would slow me but wasn't sure what I could manage.
I soon dropped to 7:50s and felt great. My goal was k…

Five on Friday: Marathon Prep

2 days, yes 2 days until Flying Pig! Despite a little set back yesterday, O was so nice to share her germs with me and I had a little bought of GI illness, but think I am recovering. Ugh!

How do I get ready for a marathon in the last couple days. I'd love to hear your pre-race prep 

For a busy mom, this is kind of funny! Fortunately I am flying to Cincinnati today, alone! I plan to spend the flight reading and listening to some music. Fingers crossed for a smooth, stress free flight and arrival.
Along with relaxing try not to obsess about the race, the weather, the what ifs and factors beyond my control. Yes I am following the weather but I can't change what Sunday morning brings, to help me relax I am preparing for anything!

Currently race morning is looking cool! So dehydration won't be a huge concern. Flying tends to make me feel dehydrated so I will be traveling with my water and UCAN Hydrate. With the past days of GI illness this is even more important! Of…

Staying hydrated Ion8 Bottle Review & Giveaway

As a busy mom and runner who works and feels like things are always moving in every direction it can be difficult to remember to drink enough water. I try to carry a bottle with me wherever I go but it can be tough finding a bottle that holds enough water but isn't too big. I was thrilled to see the Ion8 Bottle...
What makes ion8 different?

Ion8 Ultimate was awarded the reddot award for design with curved sides and a comfort band for easy grip, in fashionable colors.Comfort:  Concave sides and a soft band for a relaxed, slip free grip which also protects hands when carrying a hot beverage. Suitable for hot & cold drinks from 14°F to 204°F.Convenience:  Large enough neck for ice cubes! I love that the top locks into place preventing spills and has an easy spout for drinking. I brought in on my work trip last month including multiple flights and conference days and no leaking! Perfect size to throw in my bag and not be too heavy. My daughter has tried to steal this as her own! I…

Marathon Week

1 year ago I signed up for Flying Pig Marathon, something I have had on my bucket list for years. Not sure why exactly, maybe the name is fun, I like pigs, I want to cross off another state, who knows?!
So here I sit 5 days out from marathon 31! Honestly I never thought I'd be here, when I started I was a 1 and done marathoner, oops! I am thrilled that I have continued to run but somehow 31 training cycles doesn't make taper any less annoying and crazy!

Marathon Week Prep

Since I am traveling and the weather forecast is ever changing this means packing run clothes for everything from perfect weather to rain to heat! Today is laundry day to make sure I have all of these ready.
Food prep and research. Being a vegetarian with celiac makes race travel more difficult. I have researched the area and will be bringing race morning breakfast with along with my UCAN and plenty of snacks for the flight and throughout weekend.
Easy runs this week and accepting that I can slow down and not …