Thursday, January 31, 2013

3 workouts, 1 day


Yesterday Lorelei and I had a busy day. We visited my grandma. She doesn't live that far from here, about an hour, but we don't get there often.

Somehow, Paul managed to get out right after 5. He NEVER gets out that early. We took advantage of our time together and took Lorelei to a movie.

Also, yesterday was my third day off from running. After my terrible long run on Sunday I've been giving myself a break. In the week or so leading up to that run I was struggling and the thought occured to me that maybe I was on the verge of overtraining. Maybe it's just too much too soon. Here is a pretty good article about overtraining.

Today Paul started a month of nights so we were going to run this morning. I knew it was going to be cold and windy, but we've run in wind advisories before. The weather was much worse than anticipated so we didn't go. I did do a 30 minute Pilates workout and a 40 minute barre workout though. The Pilates workout felt pointless, but I was tired after the barre. I found both of these workouts on YouTube. It's seriously a great place to find at home workouts. Lorelei was mostly cooperative, she only jumped on or hung off me a few times. I set her up at the table with some paint and then lunch so she was busy and I could still keep an eye on her. When you're a mom you've gotta get creative to get those workouts in.

My lunch was amazing.

Organic mixed greens, cucumber, carrots, strawberries, cheese, chia seeds, salmon, and oil and vinegar. I could eat this every day. It was that good. A mug of cinnamon spice tea on the side. Oh, did you see this article about vegetarians being less likely to be hospitalized or die from heart disease? I've said it before, and I'll say it again. We eat too much meat! Paul looked at some of the actual article (not the one I linked to, the one with all the medical lingo) this morning and said it was very interesting.

I got these in the mail today. The day Runner's World arrives is the best day of the month.

I was planning to spend some time reading them this afternoon, but Lorelei wanted to go to the gym to play with her friends. She doesn't ask to go often, usually I force her, so we went. I ran 4 slow miles on the mill. It felt good, nothing hurt. But running that slow was really boring and it seemed to take forever! Doing 3 workouts in one day has thoroughly tired me out, or something has anyway. I'm looking forward to parking myself on the couch after the girl goes to bed, at 8, sigh.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Trader Joes and other things

Hey friends!

I hope one of you did a good workout for me yesterday. I had a total rest day. It was pretty nice to just be a little lazy. I'm sort of continuing that trend today.

I needed to go to trader Joes to get a few things, mainly wine, but a few other things too. I just did a quick little workout before I got in the shower. It was 50 (mostly modified) push ups, a 2 minute plank, and an assortment of other ab exercises. I'm planning to do a bit more later after Lorelei goes to bed. It's pretty easy for me to do random workouts when I'm watching tv. And the workouts are much less boring that way too.

Speaking of Trader Joes, if you don't have one near you I'm very sorry. Also, you should think about moving. Where else can you buy bottles of wine that actually taste good for $3? Worth the move I think. Besides wine I got a few of my other favorite things: pub cheese, pretzel bread, and nut butters (today I got peanut butter and sunflower seed butter). They have the best pumpernickel pretzel sticks but I didn't get any because I have lots of regular pretzels left over from the cookies I made the other day.

These guys don't stand a chance in this house. Just give me a spoon. Or the bag of pretzels, that's more acceptable I guess.

Also, I've been meaning to tell you that I read something in the January/February issue of Women's Running that you might like. I certainly like it. They say your fitness level is a lot more important than your weight. Research shows that "overweight fit people are less likely to die from chronic disease than those who are thin and out of shape." It's nice for people to know that skinny doesn't necessarily equal healthy. Now maybe people will stop trying to be skinny and start trying to be healthy. If they were smart they would. I think trying to be healthy ultimately leads to weight loss anyway, right? Also, it doesn't specify how overweight. But I assume they are referring to BMI.

Do you ever do workouts while you're watching tv?
Any trader Joes lovers out there? What's your favorite thing from TJ's?

Monday, January 28, 2013

PureFlow 2, a month later

Remember the present Paul got me for Christmas? Now that I've been running in my Brooks PureFlow 2 for about a month I thought I'd do a more in-depth review of them, you know, give you a little more info other than "I love them".

First, let me tell you a little about some of the cool features of the shoe.

It has what Brooks calls an IDEAL Heel which encourages a more forward foot strike which puts your landing over your center of gravity.

The midsole is made of a combination of BioMoGo and Brooks DNA technology for a more responsive ride. Also, it's biodegradeable. Awesome, right?!

It has a split in the toe box (Toe Flex) to enhance flexibility and allow your toes to function more independently. It also allows for better balance.

Here's the split toe.Yeah, they're dirty. Guess that happens when you wear them. Bummer.

They have an anatomical shape which means they contour to the foot and have a glove like fit.

The shoes also have a Nav Band that wraps over the instep which makes for a comfortable arch fit.

I'll admit, when I heard that Brooks was coming out with the next gen of PureFlows I was a little worried because I loved the first ones so much. I quickly realized that the changes they made were good though. These shoes are great!

A few differences that I've noticed:
The PureFlow 2 feels a bit lighter. I checked and they are, but not a ton. They weigh in at only 7.2 oz!
The PureFlow 2 has assymetrical lacing. Here's a pic of the first version (purple) and the 2s (pink). You can see the difference in lacing.

You can also see in the above pic that the Nav Band is not as wide in the 2s. And the tongue of the shoe is actually connected on one side.

I'm not sure if it's the difference in lacing or the changes to the Nav Band, but the first version of the shoe caused a sore spot on the top of my foot until they were broken in. This hasn't happened with the 2s. I'm pretty happy about that!

Now that the 2s are out you can find some really good deals on the first edition of the PureFlow. Paul was even convinced to get a pair. Now we have this going on at our house...

If you'd like more info about these shoes, or any others in the PureProject line check out the Brooks website. They are offering free shipping on orders over $75. They also have a handy shoe advisor to help you pick a pair.

When long runs go bad

Yesterday was long run day! I was planning on doing 11 miles. No big deal, 11 miles shouldn't be hard. I've done it plenty of times. I always kind of look forward to long runs. There's such a feeling of accomplishment when you're done. Paul was home today and Grandma Linda and Grandpa Jim were here to watch Lorelei. We even went to my favorite local long run spot, a bike path near our house. It was the ideal long run situation.

The path was covered in snow. We still ran on it for a couple miles before i pulled the plug and we switched to the shoulder of the road. It wasn't that bad running on the snow, but I knew it was making me tired and I still had most the of the run ahead of me.

I also didn't bring any water. I haven't been that thirsty lately on the outdoor runs and didn't feel like wearing my fuel belt. That was a mistake because I certainly got thirsty.

When we got to the halfway point I nearly had a meltdown. I was tired. I was sore. I was ready to be done. This is pretty uncharacteristic of me. Paul was so surprised that he started to laugh at me a little. Not a good idea. He talked me out of my wimpy place, I changed up my music and we were off again. I told him I couldn't talk to him anymore because I had to focus. I needed to just shut my brain off and run. That's exactly what I did, for a while.

Then my hips got so tight I had to stop and stretch them. That helped for a bit but I had to stop and stretch again, this time it didn't help at all. At this point we were 8.5 miles into the 11 miles and luckily headed back to the car. I ran a little bit more but then had to stop to walk up a hill. My legs were that bad. Some of you might already know this, but hills don't bother me. At all. I eat hills for breakfast (maybe not, but you get the idea). Most days I wouldn't even call what I encountered yesterday hills, but they felt like mountains at the time.

Some of you also know how hard it is to get going again when you're tired and you've stopped to walk. Everything gets so tight and it takes a few minutes of running to get loosened up again. Unfortunately I never got loosened up again. At this point I was freezing and not sure how much more running I'd be able to do so I sent Paul ahead to finish the run and come back with the car to get me. First time I've ever done that and it hurt me a little, ok a lot. I alternated running and walking until he got there and ended up covering just over 10 miles.

I had to fight for way too many of those miles which leaves me wondering where I went wrong. This run should not have been hard. I'm definitely taking 2 days off, maybe more. I haven't quite worked through that yet. I had lots of time to think about it when I was sitting on the couch freezing afterwards but I just don't know. Seriously though, I had 3 blankets and hot tea and I couldn't stop shaking and my fingertips were numb. That's never happened to me before and I've run in colder temps for sure.

Post run refuel:

To cheer me up Paul made me French Onion soup. It really is a labor of love to make that soup. He cut up sooo many onions. My eyes were red and watering and I didn't go anywhere near them.

One of these is for the soup, one is to drink.

My contribution to dinner was the best cookies ever.

Just make your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe but instead of just chocolate chips you also add peanut butter chips and pretzels. I just break up the pretzels as I'm putting them in. Not too small of pieces though. It's really good when you get a bite of the crunchy, salty pretzel. Paul said these are the best cookies I've ever made. He is a reliable source so you better make them.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Quiet time

Yesterday I was lucky enough to get 6 miles worth of quiet time in. My in laws are in town and watched the girl so I could run. Paul was at work so I was on my own. I usually don't prefer to run on my own but today I was happy to.

I often feel like I never get even a minute of quiet in my day, especially now that she doesn't take a nap, so I was more than happy to have some time all to myself. I know, I could get up earlier and have my quiet time then, but who wants to get up earlier than they have to? Not this girl. It was actually really nice to just let my mind wander and not have to talk to anyone. It was equally nice to just go at my own pace and only have to check in with myself. Usually when I run with Paul we just automatically settle into a pace that works for both of us, but sometimes it takes a few miles and some communicating (nice way of saying, I yell at him to slow down) before we find it. Then we get in a groove for a few miles and everything is great until someone (me) has to stop for a drink or to adjust a shoe and we start all over again.

Isn't that just like life though? Most of the time we're on the same page, in sync, things are moving along at an agreeable pace . Other times it takes more effort to get there and once you're there life happens and throws it all off. Anyway..

It was a great run. I don't know my pace, because I left the watch at home, but the goal was just to keep it easy. We got plenty of snow here a couple days ago so I strapped on the YakTrax but really only ended up needing them for a few blocks at a time here and there. Some people had already shoveled but some (hand raised here) hadn't. I didn't feel like taking them off and putting them back on constantly so I just left them on even though it felt like I was running on springs at times.

I can't even be annoyed, it's so pretty.

When I got back there were donuts, I resisted and had a banana with peanut butter. I'm actually not big on donuts so it wasn't hard to pass them up.

There was also some bowling. I'm not ashamed to tell you that I'm the worst bowler ever. I started the game with a strike and of course it all went downhill after that. I don't have any pictures because I was too busy throwing gutter balls.

I'm only showing you a picture of one of these and you'll just have to wonder how many I actually ate. Hint, it's more than one. Hershey's Hugs.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Perfect pizza

I think I made my favorite pizza last night. I wanted bread and melty cheese so pizza seemed like a good plan. I like making my own pizza, even more than ordering it. Making it yourself is the only way to be sure it's just the way you like it. Also, I really love a thin crispy crust, I hate deep dish greasy crust (shocking, I know).

Last night I decided to put one of my favorite combos on it. Goat cheese and red pepper. Let me tell you, it was amazing! My new favorite pizza toppings. I also used some mozzarella, you can't have too much cheese. Sadly I was in a hurry and didn't have time to mess with making crust so I bought one pre made. It was still good. Nice and crispy. I sautéed the red pepper in olive oil with some garlic, salt and pepper before putting it on the pizza.

I was planning to run today and decided that keeping it slow would be best for my complaining body. I had a few things to do around the house this morning before I could go to the gym, and had to be in Ohio at 2 so I was only able to squeeze 4 miles in. A short, slow run is still better than no run. I kept it really slow, like slower than my long run pace slow. It was just a tiny bit faster than 10 min/mile. I always feel weird about telling you my paces. Partly because I'm not speedy, but also because I don't want anyone else to feel slow and inadequate if I just happen to be faster than they are. It's really not good to compare yourself to others. I try not to. For me this run was slow, if that wouldn't be slow for you that's just fine too. All that matters is that you're doing it. There are a lot of benefits of easy runs, I just need to remember this. I'm going to work on slowing it down until I'm feeling less sore and achy.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cross training?

Does cleaning count as cross training? If it does, I've cross trained the crap out of today. And now I really don't like cross training. I decided to take today off instead of tomorrow because I've got some sore spots I'm dealing with, quad/IT issue and bottom of the foot on my left leg. I knew there would be no running today because everytime I woke up last night and stretched my leg out it hurt.

Anyway, yesterday I did an easy 5 miles. It wasn't great, a little painful. I'm getting pretty frustrated with all this. How does a person train for a marathon with no injuries, and then get all sorts of little issues when they aren't training for anything? I'm trying not to push it because I don't want these little aches and pains to turn into more. On the other hand, it's time to start training! Instead of doing what I want to do I've decided to catch up on the things I keep putting off like cleaning the fish tanks and scraping stickers off the floor. Sounds fun right?  I should also go grocery shopping but I've been putting that off too. I love to eat, but hate shopping for food.

Last night we had pasta which was a bummer because I haven't really been loving pasta lately. By lately I mean for months, even mac n cheese has lost a lot of appeal. I don't know why. Because I was bummed about the pasta I made something else to cheer myself up.

Apple Bread!

This bread was AMAZING! Seriously, we couldn't stop eating it. It's already gone. Shameful. I've made it before, but I changed it up a bit last night because I didn't have exactly what I needed for the original recipe.
Here's what I used: 
1 apple, diced and microwaved for 2 minutes (I didn't peel mine)
6 oz vanilla greek yogurt
4 oz strawberry applesauce (you could use regular, but I only had strawberry. It was good!)
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350* Spray bread pan
Combine dry ingredients in medium sized mixing bowl
Combine wet ingredients and apples in another bowl. Mix together and add to dry ingredients
The batter will be really thick. If it's too thick and you can't mix all the flour in you can add a little more applesauce or a splash of milk.
Add batter to sprayed pan and spread it out evenly.
Bake for about 50 minutes.

Try it out and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Intervals and Recovery

It's Tuesday! So whatever.

I took Sunday and Monday off from running. Monday was a rest day from all workouts. Sometimes I need days like that. It must have been a good idea because my legs felt great today!

It was 2* this morning and I feel like it's bordering on child abuse to take Lorelei out on a run when it's that cold. Instead, we headed to the gym. I'm hating my gym more and more these days. The facility is nice, but they do really stupid things like shut off most of the treadmills for cleaning. This has happened twice in the last few weeks. They aren't open 24 hours so it seems like they could do it before they open or after they close. This morning the only mills that were on were in use and the super unhelpful guy at the front desk said they would turn them back on in a half hour. The blazing fury in my eyes must have made him reconsider arguing with me about it because he turned one on for me. They still hadn't turned the rest of them on almost an hour later when I finished my run.

I did 6 miles this morning. A 3 mile warm up, intervals and a .75 mile cool down. I'm not sure the exact length or speed of the intervals. I was watching tv so I just cranked the speed up for the commercials and slowed back down when Ellen came back on. I felt pretty good for the first time in weeks. I haven't really done anything but easy and long runs lately so in an attempt to still feel good tomorrow I foam rolled and then elevated my legs. I just lay on the floor and put them up on the wall. I thought about an ice bath but couldn't bring myself to do it. Long runs don't really bother me anymore, but speed work can still wreck my legs. Guess I need to do more of it. Here are some good tips on helping your muscles recover post run.

And since we're talking about intervals, here is a link to a short article comparing calorie burn in endurance running vs intervals. Endurance running burns more calories, but intervals are good for fat loss. A good reason to do some every once in a while

At least I had good company while I put my legs up.

Dinner tonight was veggie burgers.

And garlic cilantro wedges.

To make them I (sorry I don't have a more precise recipe, that's just not how I do things):
Peel and cut the potatoes into wedges.
In a small bowl I mix fresh cilantro-roughly chopped, olive oil, and 4 cloves of garlic pressed
Pour over the wedges and toss to coat
Spread on a baking sheet and season with salt and pepper
Bake at 425 for about 30 min

We love them!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

This weekend=not productive but fun

Hello! We've had a busy but fun weekend here!

Yesterday I was planning a 10 miler but by the time I got around to it I didn't have enough time before I had to be somewhere. We did 8.5 instead. I was actually going to do my long run today because I had less going on but the weather is bad, luckily I checked ahead of time. Its very cold and windy. Since I cut 2 runs short this week and skipped one my total for the week is only 21 miles. Honestly, I'm ok with that.

We picked up a new foster cat yesterday! Lorelei is in love.

Paul got some mall gift cards for Christmas from work so we decided to spend those today. He was sweet and let me spend half of them. I didn't buy anything running related!

Apparently I like stripes. I bought stripes and other things. Also, I know it was way too cold to be wearing Toms but my blisters don't hurt as bad in them. I don't care if my footwear is appropriate for the season or not.

Paul is lame, or smart, and he went to the Apple store and bought an iTunes gift card with the rest.

More pics from today...

Friday, January 18, 2013

Vegetarian Meatloaf and some terrible news

Hi! Happy Friday! Paul has this weekend off so we're actually excited about it being Friday.

Yesterday I did 4 miles on the mill. I almost talked myself out of running several times, even after I had my running clothes on. I just didn't feel like it and i was a bit achy. I compromised and did 4 miles instead of the 6 I had planned. While I was running I heard some terrible news. Ellen is moving to a new time and will be on at 3! I have no idea how I'm going to get through my treadmill runs now. I can't go to the gym at 3 because the kids area isn't open then. I know, some people have real problems but I'm bummed.

I don't know why but meatloaf has been sounding good lately. I haven't felt like spending $7 on organic ground beef though so I decided to come up with a vegetarian meatloaf. I made it up as I went along, it's not perfect but it's pretty good. Paul and Lorelei liked it too.

Vegetarian Meatloaf:
1 package tofu-press the liquid out
1 1/2 cups cooked lentils*
1 small onion-diced
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 egg
5 Tbsp ketchup
3 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Add all ingredients to a medium sized bowl, mash it all together using your hands.
Spray pan and bake at 400 for about 40 minutes**
*measure out the 1 1/2 cups of lentils after you cook them. I wasn't sure how much I would need so I cooked 1 cup of dried lentils but didn't use them all. 3/4 cup dried lentils might be enough.
**I baked my loaf in a bread pan, if you use a shallow baking dish you may not need to bake it as long.

Today I had a rest day planned. I had a doctors appointment this morning. This is how we get through them...

After that we went to say hi to Paul at the hospital and then had lunch at Panera. Someone cute stole my bread!

And poked her finger into a cupcake when we were ordering. I felt obligated to buy it after that. It was big, and heavy, and delicious.

This afternoon we did some yoga and some napping. Tonight we might go to some ice festival. We're pretty wild like that.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Training for Time

Hey guys! Hope you had a good day.

I did a short 3.4 mile tempo run tonight when Paul got home from work. It was sad to see what 1 month of slacking can do to my tempo pace. Also, my running just feels a bit off this week. It seems harder than usual.

The Brooks logo in my shoes is so reflective it's distracting!

First run with the headlamp!

I was talking to my friend Stew last night about how I'm not motivated to train. I realized I'm having a hard time switching from the training to finish mentality that I had last season to a training for time mentality. Last year nearly every distance was new and exciting and finishing was the main goal. I guess not knowing that I could do it made doing the training easier. After the marathon in October my goal was to always be in half marathon shape and I've done a pretty good job of maintaining that fitness level. This should be good news, it makes training to improve my time easier. The problem is that I'm finding training for a better time isn't as exciting as training for a new distance. I know, that's weird. Guess I should try to come up with some time goals to motivate me.
While I'm on the topic of distance, I was really considering doing a 50 miler this year. The problem is that I don't have a babysitter that is closer than 3 hours away. Maybe next year...

So...dinner tonight was sweet and sour "meatballs"

Here's the recipe:
1 package frozen fake meatballs
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1 carrot, diced (I used baby carrots and just sliced them)
Pea pods
20 oz can diced pineapple
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
3 Tbsp white vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 Tbsp corn starch
1/3 cup hot water

Drain pineapple juice and combine with water to make 1 cup, add soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, corn starch and water.
Add sauce, meatballs, carrots, peppers and pineapple to crock pot. Cook on high for 2 hours then add pea pods and cook an additional 2 hours. Serve over brown rice.

This came in the mail today. I haven't had a chance to look at it yet.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Mentally Tough and The Best Caramel Apples


I started my day with coffee, Paul got lots of Starbucks Christmas blend beans for Christmas and I've been enjoying it too. I should probably stop making it for myself since it's his favorite...

I didn't really feel like running this morning, but I had a babysitter, Grandpa Jim, and no excuse not to so I layered up and headed out. It was 23 degrees this morning but it was sunny and calm. I was actually too warm. I attempted to time myself today, just to see where I am after a couple weeks of not keeping track of pace, but I must have accidentally stopped my watch when I took off my gloves. Oh well, the run felt hard even though I kept the pace easy. It's probably best that i don't know how much I was sucking this morning. I'm not sure what the problem is, I just felt really out of breath and my legs felt heavy. I was having some breathing issues this morning because of my asthma so maybe that, along with the cold made me feel out of breath on the run.

Anyway, 5.4 miles done with minimal pain and suffering. When I have hard runs like today I just have to talk myself through it. If I can run a marathon, I can make it through a harder than expected 5 miler. Besides, the hard ones make you mentally tough which is really most of the battle when it comes to running. Being mentally tough gets you through a half mary in the craziest, worst weather ever...

And through a 200 mile relay in the cold and rain.

And through a 17 mile long run in the blazing heat.

And through the last 100 yards of a marathon.

Speaking of tough...I may have one of the most amazing caramel apples ever in my fridge right now. I'm saving it for when Paul gets home so I can share it with him. That's tough! Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, I love you. And your Granny Smith apples, covered in caramel, tiger butter and Snickers pieces.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Ice Running.

I finally did it, I got a long run in. I really wasn't feeling it this morning but we went anyway.

My mom met Paul and I at the trail. The snow that was supposed to come last night didn't but it was still cold. The trail was pretty slippery on the way out and very slippery in a few spots. My strategy was just to shorten my stride and stay near the side of the trail so i could step off if I started to slip. Even the grass on the side was slippery! The way back was better. The misty rain must have helped.

We were planning on 10 miles but decided to do an extra .4 to make up for our shorter than planned run yesterday. It's easy to run farther here, it's so quiet and pretty.

We stopped for a few minutes about halfway to get a drink and have a snack. My friend got these for me and I finally tried them today. Love them! Might be my new favorite running fuel. The lemon was great, and I don't even like lemon flavored things.

We finished our run, then went back to get mom and finish her miles with her. 10.8 miles done! I Didn't keep track of time. I've thoroughly enjoyed not running for time the last couple weeks. Especially when you're recovering from injury (check), recovering from illness ( check), and it's slippery out (raising both hands and a foot over here). I'm usually obsessed with pace and all that but I'm starting to see how much fun it is to not care about that and just enjoy yourself. I'm challenging you to do at least one run, that you don't time this week. Just run by feel and enjoy yourself. Unless you run on the mill, then you're not really enjoying yourself anyway.

My goals for the week were a long run and to get 30 miles in. My long run today put me at 33.6 miles for the week. I'm happy with that! I'm thinking tomorrow seems like a rest day.