Welcome to the Family!!

Happy Monday everyone!

I have some exciting news to share….

Callie

CallieI’d like to introduce you all to Callie, my new kitty! I adopted her last weekend and we’ve been getting comfortable with each other ever since. She likes to stretch out by my running sneakers and pretend like she was the one who went for the workout.

FlexibilityShe is such a sweetheart and I’m so glad to have a new furry friend in my life. 🙂

Anywho, let’s talk running! I am just about 100 days out from Philly and happy to be sinking my teeth into training again.

This week’s workouts included:

On Wednesday – 2 mile warm-up, 4 x 1 minute @ 6:32, 1 minute recoveries, 2 x 2 minutes @ 7:32, 2 minute recoveries, 2 x 3 minutes @ 7:32, 3 minute recoveries, 4 x 1 minute @ 6:32, 1 mile cooldown. I won’t lie – I was worried I wouldn’t be able to keep all these intervals straight in my head while running so I wrote the workout down on my hand.

I wasn’t super excited about this workout – I just don’t really enjoy the feeling of constantly changing pace and never really settling into a rhythm. Still, I was happy when I was done and most of my splits were spot on or a touch fast.

Sunday was long run day with some marathon paced miles. THIS was a workout I was excited about. 3 mile warm-up, 2 x 3 miles @ 8:05/mile, with a 3 minute recovery, 2 mile cool-down.

Here’s how I did:

SplitsI was a little nervous after the first 3 miles that I was going to fall apart on the second set, but I ended up being more on target than the first set, running 8:04, 8:00, and 8:04. Still, it didn’t feel easy (or like I could run 26 miles at this pace). My plan is to keep assessing as we get closer to Philly on whether I need to adjust my goals.

While this run was pretty solid, I did something weird with my gel where there was still some left in the wrapper when I shoved it in the little holder I had for my handheld water bottle. Next thing I knew, during my cool-down miles, I realized I had brown goo (not the brand GU, I was actually using a Huma gel) smeared all over my white shirt. Not sure how I did that, but I’ll need to figure out a better system.

Just over 35 miles for the week and my Achilles has been feeling good so I’m feeling optimistic and excited to see what’s coming! **Funny fact: One of the things that always used to make me hesitant to work with a coach was because I liked to be able to look at a training plan for a race and see the whole picture and know what I was getting myself into. Now, I kind of like getting my workouts/training plan on a weekly schedule because it’s kind of a fun surprise to see what I’ll be running! Plus, I trust that my coach is thinking of the whole process and taking into account where my body/fitness is right now, which a training plan can’t do.

Do you have any pets? Any cat people out there? (I used to be strictly a dog person but I’ve come to love cats too now – clearly!)


Getting Back into the Routine

Happy Monday and happy April!!

I don’t care that it snow/sleeted all Friday and Saturday in Boston. I can feel that Spring is coming and warmer weather too. This winter feels like it’s gone on FOREVER. New England may not have figured out that it’s Spring yet, but that’ll come. 😉

I mentioned briefly in my last post, but I recently got back from a week long work trip that really messed with my routine. I was staying in some pretty old hotels in the middle of nowhere (but right off the highway of course) so my running was SUPER limited. I managed to squeak in one easy 4.5 miler one day and did get to take in a nice view of the sunrise.

2 Generations RunningSince getting home, I’m sliding back into my structured training regimen again. I did some easy 45 minute runs this week and then a workout on Saturday.

Because of the slushy snow, I was forced to take my workout to the treadmill AGAIN. Even with running indoors, I still managed to soak my sneakers through on the 2-minute walk over to the gym. Nothing like starting a workout with water squishing around between your toes!

Face palm | 2 Generations Running

The workout was 2 mile warm-up, then 6 x 2 minutes at 7:30 with 1 minute recoveries. 3 minute recovery then another set of 6 x 2 minutes followed by a 1 mile cool-down. The total distance ended up being just about 7.3 miles. It wasn’t super easy but it was fun to be working hard again and the intervals made the time on the treadmill fly by.

A few weeks back while I was still recovering from the Half at the Hamptons, I tried out a yoga class for runners near my office. It was called ‘Stretch and Strengthen’ for runners and focused on strength in the glutes, hamstrings, and core. I’m not a huge yoga fan but I REALLY liked this class. The instructor was very friendly and knowledgeable and the class was very dynamic. There were only 3 of us in the first class I went to (and 4 in the second) so the small groups make for a lot of personal attention and form corrections which was awesome. I could tell I had worked muscles that weren’t used to it by the slight soreness I felt the next day. I think the class could be a really good addition to my training regimen so I’m going to try to keep up with going to it on a weekly basis as much as possible.

How was your weekend? Are you as happy as I am that it’s finally April?


What’s Next?

Hello, I’m back again!

When we last left off, I was disappointed in the result at the Half at the Hamptons and pondering next steps. I think I definitely tend to experience a sort of let-down/depression after big races when that feeling of chasing a big goal is over (I distinctly remember feeling this way after my first marathon). It’s easy to feel a little lost when something you have been looking forward to for months comes and goes.

Half at the HamptonsThe one good thing about not hitting my goal at the Hamptons is that I don’t feel like it’s over. I didn’t hit my time so that big exciting goal is still sitting there, waiting for me to catch it. Only a few days after the race, I was searching for another race to give my PR a shot and I’ve settled on one – The Fast Half on May 13th. Can’t beat a name like that, right??

Fast Half | 2 Generations Running

I’m hoping this race really is the flat and fast course it’s advertised as.

I’ve taken the better part of 3 weeks almost completely off (some of that due to travel for my job and not necessarily by intention). Either way, I am well-rested and ready to dive back into some hard workouts again. I want to really focus on my nutrition and mental toughness as I feel like those were areas where I experienced some shortfalls as well.

I’ve got a few other races on the calendar as well that I am SUPER excited for! Coming up in only a few short weeks is the BAA 5k! No Boston Marathon for me this year, but I am really looking forward to being part of the festivities by racing the 5k on Saturday. There are also a bunch of McKirdy Trained athletes running the marathon and I’m excited to finally meet some of these folks in person! Marathon weekend is probably one of the most fun times to be in Boston and I can’t wait!

I’ve got a few smaller 5ks and 10ks that I’m looking at doing in the spring. But the race that I am REALLY excited about is my first international race – Rock n Roll Montreal!!!

Montreal Rock n RollI will be running this race as a Bibrave ambassador and I cannot wait. I’ve never run a Rock n Roll race, but I have heard amazing things. It’s not until the end of September, so anyone who wants to join me has plenty of time to sign up! Code BIBRAVE15 will get you $15 off the half or full marathon. 🙂


Run Fast Eat Slow #6: Carrot Ginger Soup

Happy Friday!

For this week’s Run Fast Eat Slow post, we’re talking SOUP! Truth be told, I never used to be much of a fan of soup. It never felt filling to me and always left me kind of… bored (and hungry).

Carrot Ginger Soup | 2 Generations RunningOne of the best episodes of Seinfeld EVER.

I think that’s changing with Run Fast Eat Slow. The soup recipes in this cookbook are AH-MAZING (on par with the Soup Nazi’s I would even say!). So far, between my mom and myself, we’ve tried the Broccoli Chevre soup, the Curry Lentil soup with Charred Cauliflower, the Hearty Minestrone with Spicy Sausage and Beans and now, the Carrot- Ginger Soup (pg. 116). I guess you could say we’ve been craving soup this winter.

I think one of the things that I like about all of these soups is that they’re pretty filling and packed with lots of nourishing ingredients. I was also super stoked when I realized just how simple the Carrot-Ginger soup is. All you do is simmer the carrots in butter with an onion and then add broth and rice (I used brown rice which worked well). Then you just let it sit for around 40 minutes.

Carrot-Ginger Soup | 2 Generations RunningLook at those carrots simmer!

Once all the carrots have softened, you blend it up and boom – you have a wonderfully, thick and smooth soup.

Carrot-Ginger SoupThe only note I have about this recipe is that the rice absorbs a lot of the liquid. I had to add more water a few times while it was simmering and then I also added more water throughout the week (just mixed a little in with each serving).

But oh boy, YUM. I could see this soup being my new favorite for times when I come down with a cold. The lemon and ginger flavors add some serious zing (but if you don’t like ginger, you could easily omit this ingredient and it would be just as delicious).

What foods have you been enjoying lately?

 


Half Marathon Training: The FINAL Check-In

Hello again!

Apologies for the lack of posts last week. While I love blogging, my work during the week pretty much restricts my blogging time to only weekends. This can make things a little hectic trying to squeeze in all of my runs, chores and a week’s worth of blog posts in the span of 2 days. Last weekend, I felt like I needed the time to really decompress, but I’m back now!

Rather than share 2 week’s worth of workouts (which would probably be pretty boring), I wanted to touch on some highlights and my thoughts about the Half at the Hamptons being THIS SUNDAY!

Excited but nervous gif | 2 Generations RunningYes, exactly.

Two weeks ago, I had my last long run/hard workout on Saturday and it did NOT go well. The workout was 3 mile warm-up followed by 3 x 2 miles at 7:32 with 2 minutes rest between sets and a 3 mile cool-down. I knew it was going to be hard, but I can honestly say I wasn’t dreading this workout. I made sure to get a good night’s sleep and I felt ready to tackle it in the morning. The only bit of trepidation I felt was in that I was visiting my family for the weekend and the roads around my hometown are hillier than my typical running routes around my apartment. I knew it was going to be a struggle running 7:32 pace with hills thrown in. Boy, was I right.

I picked the least hilly area I could find, which still included 2 short but steep-ish hills. I went into the 2-mile repeats and knew pretty much right away it was not going to be a good day. My first set was 7:39 and 7:57 but then I fell apart even more on the second and third sets. I felt like I was working hard but I was literally GASPING for air and could NOT make the pace on my watch nudge down to the low 7:30s. Mentally, I was frustrated and already beginning to have doubts about the half. It was, by far the worst workout I have had this entire training cycle.

I ended up chatting with Mary (my coach) the next day, and she reassured me that this happens and is not the end of the world. One bad workout does not undo 3 months worth of good workouts. I felt 100 times better after talking it through with her, and I don’t think this workout will negatively affect my mindset going into the race this weekend.

Now, I am officially in Taper Town! I think I simultaneously love and hate the taper. I love knowing the race is coming up and running easy miles, but I do feel like my body/mind tend to freak out a bit. I had a few minor aches and pains during some of my easy runs this week (some pain in my achilles, a pain in my hamstring). When these would pop up, I would immediately start to wonder if I’m injured, if I’ll be able to do the race, etc… But all these little aches ended up going away after a mile or two, so thankfully I think I will be in perfect condition for Sunday. 🙂

This past weekend, I had an easy 8 miles on Saturday in beautiful mid-60 degree temps which was GLORIOUS!

2 Generations RunningNothing like wearing shorts on February 25th!

Everyone was outside on what I like to call “my” running route but I guess I can share if it means more nice weather in the future. 😉

This week I have a few more easy runs on the agenda, but nothing too crazy.

How was your week? If you’re in the Northeast, were you able to get outside and enjoy this amazing weather? 

How do you react to the taper?


Run Fast Eat Slow Post #5: Can’t Beet Me Smoothie

Happy Friday!

Today’s Run Fast Eat Slow blog post is another guest one from my mom. Enjoy!


Nora and I have been making so many of these recipes we can’t keep up with the posts !! This week, I decided to try the Can’t Beet Me Smoothie (pg. 28).

Even though I love beets, I have to say I was not sure what I would think of this recipe . But I decided I would give it a shot. I would love to add “after a great 5 mile run…” but sadly I’m still just walking with a few short jogging bursts here and there. At least, I’m still getting to take in some beautiful views.

Cant Beet Me Smoothie

I gathered the ingredients and put it all together in my blender. Nora had stressed the importance of using frozen bananas so I made sure I had peeled and sliced a banana into a zip lock bag and tossed it into the freezer the night before (Frozen bananas is HUGE for texture in smoothies – it’s almost like adding a scoop of ice cream – they add that much creaminess!). I used regular 1% milk because I don’t usually have almond milk on hand unless Nora is home. I followed the directions and whipped everything up in my blender… and voila!

Cant Beet Me SmoothieA really wonderful, tasty, creamy smoothie! It was surprisingly sweet, probably from the beet and the banana and, though it was a beautiful purple color, did not really taste of beet at all.  And the texture was so smooth and creamy. Much better than I had expected! Nora, the smoothie expert says this is the frozen banana (It is!!). The only thing I would do differently next time would be to cut the ginger up a bit more: my blender did not quite chop it up fine enough. I’m not usually a big “smoothie person” but this one has made a convert out of me and I know Nora will love it when we make it together!

Can't Beet Me SmoothieBeets – yay or nay? I know they’re supposed to be great for runners but I’m not a huge fan…


Half Marathon Training Check-In #5

Happy Monday everyone!

After the most boring winter ever, New England finally got hammered with a nor’easter this week and now the snow just seems to keep coming. It’s made for A LOT of treadmill runs this week. Honestly, I’m starting to get sick of it. I will take heat and humidity, I just want to be able to run outside again! But anyways…

The half marathon is 3 weeks away and after this week, it looks like my training is beginning to taper. I hope I’m ready. Here’s what the past week of training looked like.

Monday – Easy 4 miles on the treadmill in the morning. I was a little sore after Sunday’s long run/workout the day before but not terrible.

Tuesday – Easy 60 minutes also on the treadmill.

Wednesday – I had been pretty tired the night before so I decided to sleep in and do my run in the evening. I knew temps were forecasted to be uncharacteristically warm (high 40’s) so I figured I would run home from my office in the evening and tack on a couple miles for a total of 6. It was probably a good thing that I did this because when I went outside Wednesday morning, everything was a SHEET of ice – it was literally everywhere. If I had gotten up in the dark to go to the gym, I would almost certainly have slipped and fallen.

Thursday – Workout day. This time it was a 2 mile warm-up followed by 6 x 800 meters at 6:53 pace with 2:30 recoveries, followed by a 2-mile cool down. This was tough, but doable. I felt this in my quads and I KNEW I was going to be sore the next day. I knocked this off on the treadmill and the snow was just starting to fall as I came home. Unlike most of Boston, I still had to go to work but it was kind of cool seeing the city so empty and so snowy!

2 Generations Running

Friday – As expected, I was very sore. Luckily, I only had an easy 35 minutes to run which I knocked off on the treadmill since the streets were a slushy, icy mess. Later, walking to work, I slipped on some ice and fell flat on my back. The joys of winter… So in addition to my quads being wicked sore, my tailbone was also in pain. What a week.

Saturday – Easy 6 miles. The streets were still in terrible shape so once again, it was treadmill time. Thankfully, the Bibrave podcast kept me entertained through it and my quads were finally starting to feel normal again.

Sunday – Long run day and of course, there was more snow in the forecast. Ugh. I debated breaking up the run to do my first couple easy miles outdoors but the streets still were not in good shape and it would have required a lot of wardrobe changes going from street to treadmill. So I decided to suck it up and do the whole thing on the treadmill. The workout consisted of 2 mile warm-up, 1 x 3 miles at 7:32, 1 minute jogging recovery, 1 x 1.5 mile at 7:32, 5 minute jogging recovery, then 5 x 400 meters at 6:52 pace, capped off with 2 mile cool-down.

I really would have preferred to have done this on the road, BUT 11.15 miles later, it was complete. It was actually kind of nice that there were so many parts to this workout because it made it go by a lot faster. It was also probably good for my mental toughness.

Total # of Workouts: 2

Total Mileage: 45.5

Are you as sick of winter yet as I am? 


Run Fast Eat Slow Post #4: Wild Salmon Sweet Potato Cakes

Hello and happy Friday!

I have another Run Fast Eat Slow recipe review for you this week. Honestly, when I came up with the idea for this series of posts I thought it would just be a fun little break from all the training posts, but I actually love how it’s really forced me to get out of my cooking comfort zone. In the past, I’ve bought cookbooks, made a couple recipes, and then just tucked them away on the shelf to only be used when feeling particularly ambitious. Now I’m actually browsing the recipes and thinking ahead about what I want to make for the week!

Wild Salmon Cakes | Run Fast Eat SlowI’ve been on a huge sweet potato kick lately, so I thought the Wild Salmon Sweet Potato Cakes (page 142) sounded just about right – plus, they would be easy to pack with a salad for lunches for the work week. I love salmon and I know it’s a really fantastic food to include in my diet because of all its health benefits. Sometimes I just get lazy about remembering to buy it/prepare it. Apart from the salmon, I had all the ingredients on hand, which made it pretty easy to whip up.

It’s a pretty straightforward recipe – saute some garlic and onions, then combine them with the salmon, sweet potato puree, almond meal, eggs, and some seasonings. While the recipe recommends ordering wild salmon with skin and bones removed and finely chopped, I kept things a little easier (and cheaper) by opting to use canned salmon. I’m sure the recipe is delicious with real salmon, but I wanted to keep things simple.

Once everything was combined into a nice, thick batter, it was time to saute them in a generous serving of coconut oil. This was where I ran into issues. The batter was NOT staying together nice enough for me to be able to flip them in the frying pan.

Run Fast Eat Slow | 2 Generations RunningI tried it with 3 of the cakes and gave up as they all fell apart. Luckily, I remembered I had made a similar recipe a year ago where the sweet potato salmon cakes were baked in the oven in a muffin tin. I scooped the batter into the tin and had just enough to make a perfect 6 cakes. I popped them in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Wild Salmon Cake | Run Fast Eat SlowVoila! They look much nicer than the ones that kept falling apart on me. I have been lightly sauteing them in a frying pan to warm them up and get that nice crispy feel on the outside each night I’ve prepared them. They’ve held up much better like this and are just as yummy. 🙂 And, I’m happy to report these are just as delicious as every other recipe my mom and I have tried so far!

Have you cooked up anything tasty lately? 


Thoughts on Hard Workouts

Happy Wednesday!

As you all know, I started working with a coach in early November. I was ready for some extra guidance to help me reach my goals and wanted a little more support than a training plan copied out of a book can offer.

Coaching | 2 Generations RunningSo far, it’s been an AWESOME experience. I used to think I understood what I was doing with easy days and workouts but looking back now, I feel like I was blissfully ignorant. I would do my workouts, but I always targeted paces I knew I could hit. I didn’t like to fail (and I still don’t). And then I would always follow up workouts with total rest days, which meant I wasn’t running as many easy aerobic-building miles as I could have been.Consistency | 2 Generations RunningThings are finally getting consistent.

But the thing about targeting paces you know you can hit is that it means you aren’t really pushing yourself as hard as you could be. My coach has given me workouts that excite me, but also sometimes leave me questioning whether I’ll be able to complete them and hit the prescribed paces. But I’m learning to trust her and just give the workouts a shot. Sometimes I nail the workouts and sometimes I don’t. Last week I had a workout of 2 x 2 miles at 7:36 followed up with 5 minutes at 6:59. I was pretty much right on for the 2 mile repeats, but that last 5 minutes? I was WAY off – I averaged 7:24, basically 30 seconds slower than what I was aiming for and I was spent. I knew going into that interval that I didn’t have 6:59 in me, but I was willing to give it my all. And if I wasn’t working with a coach, I don’t think I would have ever given myself this workout or pushed myself this hard.

Half Marathon Training

10K PR | 2 Generations Running

Casually running 10k PRs in workouts these days.

So I’m learning that these difficult workouts are supposed to ride that line between what you’re capable of at your current fitness level and where you are trying to get to. And that’s where the improvement comes from. Before I started working with my coach, I was thinking about targeting 1:41 in the half marathon (a 4 minute improvement for me). And even that I worried, would be too aggressive. And after a few months of coaching, I am pretty darn confident I can do even better than 1:41 (though I really don’t want to jinx anything by saying that). Just have to wait till March to see what happens though. For now, I’m going to keep trusting the process and giving it my all in those hard workouts.

How’s your week going so far? Any tough workouts coming up? 


Half Marathon Training Check-In #4

Happy Monday everyone!

I’m fresh off a challenging but exciting 12-miler as I write this (Sunday afternoon). With only a month to go to the Half at the Hamptons, things are really starting to click. The workouts are hard, but I’m hitting and maintaining paces that I KNOW only a few months ago would have been impossible for me. It’s exciting but also nerve-wracking because now I’m beginning to worry about all the factors that are totally outside of my control. What if we get a snowstorm and the race is cancelled (definitely a possibility for a March race in NH…) What if there’s a terrible headwind and I just can’t hit the paces? What if, what if, what if. I know it’s not practical to worry about these things since there’s zero I can do about them, but the thoughts are still popping into my head.

But anywho, here’s what the week looked like for me:

Monday – Easy 6 miles on the treadmill and my last miles of January! I ran 165.7 miles for the month. Pretty stoked about that! I bet I can beat it in February even with it only being 28 days though because I know the training is going to continue to ramp up.

Tuesday – Rest day.

Wednesday – Workout on the treadmill. It came out to 8.6 miles and consisted of: 15 minute warm-up, 1 mile at 7:20, 2 min recovery, 3 miles at 7:40, 2 minute recovery, 1 mile at 7:10. Boy do those 2 minute recoveries feel short… This one was another tough workout and it didn’t help that I had forgotten my headphones, so I had togut it out and shut down the negative self-talk as I got progressively more tired. I tried to think of it as mental strength work. 🙂 I ran this one early in the morning and felt a little tired walking around the rest of the day but not terrible. The next day though – HOLY DELAYED ONSET MUSCLE SORENESS! My quads were toast.

Brooks Launch 3 | 2 Generations runningI also got new shoes on Wednesday which I was excited about. I’m trying out the Brooks Launch 3. Review to come!

Thursday – Easy 5 miles on the treadmill. I was surprisingly more sore walking around than I was during this run, but I still kept it nice and easy.

Friday – Easy 6 miles on the treadmill plus some core work.

Saturday – Easy 6 miles outdoors around my favorite loop. The wind was rough but it felt nice to be off the treadmill.

img_2468Sunday – The BEAST of this week’s workouts. 12 miles total. The first 3 miles were the warmup and then it was 2 x 3 miles with alternating paces of 7:32 and 8:01 with 2 minute recovery in between sets. 3 mile cool-down. I knew this was going to be hard, but I was excited to see what I could do. It’s still not comfortable, but I have noticed 7:30 paces beginning to feel more and more manageable as this training cycle has progressed. Here’s how I did on the repeats:

Set 1: Mile 1 – 7:31, Mile 2 – 8:03, Mile 3 – 7:32 (NAILED IT, but also starting to feel really tired).

Set 2: Mile 1 – 7:37, Mile 2 – 8:25, Mile 3 – 7:27. This second set is where things got interesting. I had to fight tooth and nail for that 7:37 in the first mile. I felt like I hadn’t recovered at all on my measly 2 minute recovery and I had to launch into another 7:30 mile??? My legs were not having it. So I started that interval with my pace hovering around 7:45. And I got angry. And I thought about how I was going to completely fail at the paces on this second set. And then somewhere in there I realized I could still fight. The mile wasn’t over yet. I managed to get it down to 7:37 and was happy with that. But then I was wiped out again and my pace fell off on the 2nd mile while I recovered and mentally prepared myself for the last mile. This last mile I’m very proud of though. I knew it was the end and I promised that I was going to give it everything I had left. I had felt so spent running that 7:37, but somehow I turned around and ran a full 10 seconds faster only 8 and a half minutes later.

I think I’m beginning to learn that these workouts are as much mental as they are physical. Self-talk is having a huge effect on my ability to keep pushing myself through the interval (or not). It’s something I need to continue to pay attention to and work on, especially so that I don’t turn on myself when things get tough during the half.

All in all, I’d call the workout a success. I gave it a solid effort and came pretty close to hitting the intended paces. It also resulted in another new 10k PR which I was happy about. 🙂

10K PR | 2 Generations Running

How was your week? Did you watch the Super Bowl yesterday? Any plans for this week?