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The Final Push!

October 13th, 2011 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (9 Comments)

I’m almost done with my last week of heavy training until November 6th. Remember last week how I said I hit 70 miles and felt great while doing it? Well, the tables have turned this week. My goal was (is?) to hit 75 miles this week, but my legs are just not feeling it. To hit 75 miles on 6 days of running, without a workout, is harder than I thought. I keep reminding myself that taper time is just around the corner, and it’s okay if the volume is making my legs tired for now.

Honestly, I have struggled a lot with motivating myself to get in my runs this week. A combination of training and some exciting personal changes (which I’ll discuss on the blog…soon!) seem to have zapped my energy and focus. Yesterday was one of those mornings where I felt like stopping dead in my tracks after a few miles, walking home, and being okay with that. Instead, I mustered up 11 easy miles as a run-commute to work, though every step was a bit of a mental struggle. This morning I woke up around 6 a.m. before my alarm, and wanted nothing more than to skip my run and sleep forever. I procrastinated on Twitter and email, and finally stood on my doorstep for about 5 minutes before I could actually will myself to run. 9 dark and misty miles along the Hudson River actually flew by, and I questioned why I thought the run would be so miserable.

The point here is, running has highs and lows. Training does not comes easy, and I don’t hit the pavement with a smile on my face every day. Some days I do, but many more days I don’t. But the days I don’t feel like running the most are the days I always seem to return back home, smiling that I did it. Putting in the work isn’t always fun, but the rewards of a new PR (fingers crossed!) on race day motivates me day in and day out to not listen to my body, and get out there and run!

Here’s how the week has shaped up so far. I am planning to take it easier on Friday and off on Saturday before running the Nike Women’s Half-Marathon on Sunday(!). This totals to 75 miles for the week, though I’m not sure how my legs will feel doubling again tonight so I might skip the run to rest.

  • Sunday: 20 miles with Alex in Central Park, Riverside, Battery Park, Brooklyn & Manhattan Bridges
  • Monday: 9 miles in morning, 3.75 at night
  • Tuesday: 6.75 in morning, 5 at night
  • Wednesday: 11 miles run-commute to work
  • Thursday: 9 miles in morning, Planned 4 after work
  • Friday: Planned 5.5
  • Saturday: OFF

I might have forgotten to mention this on the blog, but yes, I am flying out to San Francisco this weekend to run the Nike Women’s Half-Marathon! (NOT the full!) My friend Jill from college is running it with her sister and friends, so I got looped in on their team and accepted into the lottery. My sister goes to college in San Francisco, so it was an easy trip with a free place to stay!

San Francisco is known for its hills, so my game plan is to use this race as a workout versus a race to PR. I’ll aim to run the first 10K  around marathon pace (~6:50) and then work on bringing that pace down for the second part of the race to practice feeling good while negative splitting.

I’ll also use this race to test out my (hopeful) marathon shoes! I’ve had a bit of a shoe dilemma…

Last year, I ran the marathon in an old pair of Nike Lunarsomethingorothers (honestly can’t remember if these are the LunarElites, LunarTrainers, LunarGlides, etc.), which I really liked. They had enough support while still being lightweight and fast.

However, after a few workouts and races, I wanted to find a fresh pair. Plus, the heel came up pretty high in the back and sometimes cut up my skin. Ouch. I bought a pair of Nike LunaRacer’s, because they seemed similar and I loved the color. Sucker for fun shoes.

After a few workouts, I felt okay in the shoes, but didn’t love them. The base felt a bit too spongey. I’ll keep wearing them for workouts, but wanted to find a new pair for the race. Since CPTC gets a 40% New Balance discount, I ordered the 1400s below and am crossing my fingers they work out! I’m hoping to wear them on my easy 4 miles to break them in a bit before the half. How fun are they?

New Balance 1400s, so bright! Hope these work!

Peak marathon training also means my appetite has increased tremendously, enough to feed a family of four at times it seems. To prepare, I made a big batch of quinoa on Sunday night and have been basing my lunches and dinners around it to ensure that I had a healthy source of whole grains and protein with every meal. Otherwise, it’s just way too tempting to eat peanut butter and 16 Handles for dinner every night. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…but I want to make sure I’m fueling my body the best I can to carry me to the finish line. Convenience is my friend in the kitchen when logging tons of miles and spending long days at work. With a bit of prep work, these meals have come together in less than 10 minutes. Hooray!

Wednesday's dinner: Quionoa, spinach, tomatoes, baked mahi mahi pieces and TJ's peanut satay sauce (new discovery- so good). Made this same thing on Monday with a burger patty instead of mahi mahi.

Today's lunch: Quinoa with zucchini, tomatoes, feta, walnuts and TJ's garlic chicken sausage

How’s your running going this week? What do you look for in a good pair of running or racing shoes? Favorite easy (and filling!) meal?

After Saturday’s race, I’ve been taking it a bit easy on the running pace and adding in a bit of extra stretching to let my legs recover. However, my legs are seriously still feelin’ it.

On Sunday, I did an easy 6 mile run around 8:20 pace, followed by stretching/foam rolling at the gym to offset the quad soreness and tightness in my legs. I am always, always a fan of easy running  the day after a workout, race or long run vs. taking a rest day. I find it helps shake out the junk and loosen up the tight muscles versus not moving them and letting the junk sit there longer.

Monday was another easy 6 miles, followed by a rest day yesterday. I hit the bridle path this morning to meet up with Natalie, a new running buddy who is also aiming to run a sub 3:00 marathon this fall! Right around the time she split off around 4 miles, my legs really started feeling much heavier than they did earlier. I had to stop a few times to stretch and get water the last 4 miles on my own. It was kind of like my hamstrings and calves tensed up and weighed 8000 pounds. I also may be exaggerating, a bit.

Here’s to hoping my hamstrings and calves decide to relax a bit before tomorrow night’s 6.5 mile workout! When do I hit the point in marathon training where runs actually start to feel good and effortless? I think I felt that way last year, but maybe I’m imagining it to be easier than it was. Shake out runs, foam rolling, stretching, walking (to continue flushing out the junk), and good old R&R typically work for me, but this heaviness is lingering a bit longer than I’d like. I haven’t taken an ice bath in a few years, but might try to incorporate them into this year’s training post-long run.

———

This shouldn’t be news to me, but today as I ate my lunch I realized I tend to get hooked on a certain meal or food for a while, and become a bit obsessed. I wouldn’t call it a food rut, because I never feel like I’m in a rut. Maybe a routine?

For example, there was a time not too long ago every lunch I packed (and often dinner, too) involved a tortilla wrap. They’re so versatile, so it’s not like I ate the same thing every day. I probably went through a 12-pack of tortillas every week or so.

This past week, I’ve just transitioned over to sandwiches. More specifically, Ezekiel sprouted bread. I love my bread chewy, full of seeds/nuts, and filling. This bread fits the bill, and tastes great toasted as well. In the past week alone, I’ve had:

"Healthy" Sausage, Egg & Cheese Sandwich with Soy Sausage, Egg white, and shredded cheese on toast

Toasted veggie burger with Avocado, Laughing Cow cheese & ketchup

Open-faced burger with cheese, onion, tomato and ketchup

I think grocery shopping/cooking is the main culprit here, beyond the fact that my taste buds really don’t mind routine. Grocery shopping and cooking for just one person is a challenge, so when I buy something (like a loaf of bread), I tend to get hooked and feel like I need to use it all up. And go back and buy another loaf next week. And another. Because it works, and I like it. I never switch it up, when maybe I should have a sandwich one day, salad the next, then soup, or maybe chicken after that…I’d have to keep so much of each type of food on hand at one time I’d get a bit overwhelmed!

The same goes to breakfast, too. The last 3 weeks or so, I’ve had the same breakfast every morning: Plain greek yogurt mixed with one sliced banana, cinnamon and dry oats sprinkled on top. I craved this breakfast every. single. day. This week, it’s all about the Kashi cereal with sliced banana, blueberries and bit of protein powder…and probably will be for the next few weeks because now I’m hooked. Until I get on my next kick :)

What’s your favorite food combo you’ve been hooked on recently? Give me some fun sandwich ideas! What do you do when you have sore/heavy/tired legs to get them feeling fresh and fast again?

Good Things This Week

June 21st, 2011 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (0 Comments)

This week has been full of good stuff.

Cute finds at a neighborhood street fair

Animal pencils! I swear I'm 24, not 4.

Cousin’s bridal shower

Cousins! Me, Lauren, Kira, Kelly (Bride-to-be), Ali and Carrie

Delicious desserts!

A fun day in Long Island for Father’s Day. This is the north shore of Long Island at Dan’s uncle’s house. We even got to go out on the boat.. so much fun!

And, enjoying my ‘break’ from regular running!

Last week, I ran 3 times for a total of 11.5 miles. And it was the perfect amount for me that week! Between a busy week at work and catching up on rest, I needed it. By the time Saturday rolled around, I was actually excited to get out the door and put a few miles under my belt. Also, I was home for the bridal shower which meant I got to do my favorite loop in Montclair which goes through two small parks and past the childhood home I grew up in until I was 10! Kinda like a jog down memory lane…harhar.

I took off Sunday and Monday since I got a Brazilian Keratin Treatment done to my hair (a post on that coming soon!) I love it so far; what I didn’t love was not being able to shower for 48 hours after the treatment on Saturday afternoon!! Whoops, hope nobody noticed my lack of hygiene at work today…I swear the straight hair is worth it.

I woke up this morning ready to run, but more importantly, finally shower! I logged 5.75 miles along the bridle path and felt better than I have in a while. My pace (7:42) was nothing special, but I wasn’t completely drained at the end. Success!

I’m continuing to see that my body did/does need a bit of a break, and I am starting to get really excited about increasing my mileage, doing workouts, and setting on my marathon training plan in just a few weeks. I have a few areas of focus I want to work on this time around, and I’m looking forward to it.

Tonight I came home from work and didn’t feel entirely drained (this is rare). I wanted to head to the gym to do some quick lifting and core work, but my stomach was growling! I knew it’d be a distraction while at the gym, so I quickly whipped up a healthy and filling dinner that wouldn’t sit too heavy.

My version of a ‘healthy’ stirfry. I spray the pan with nonstick cooking spray, crisp chicken gyoza dumplings from Trader Joe’s (so good!), add in stirfry veggies (edamame, carrots, broccoli, snap peas, etc.), and mix with egg whites. Finally, topped with some sauce. You must try this TonTon Hibachi sauce; it’s a great sauce for stirfries but also tastes great topped on veggies or meat by themselves!

After dinner was done, I popped a load of laundry in and headed to the gym during the wash cycle (gotta love multi-tasking!). I did some arms and abs, didn’t get too fatigued but felt good to get some work in. Strength training is an area of massive improvement for me, so I have to hop on it during those rare moments I feel motivated to do it!

Time to take my clothes out of the dryer!

What is your favorite quick go-to dinner on a busy or time crunched night? Stirfries always feel so easy to me because you pop a bunch of frozen stuff into a single pan, top with sauce, and enjoy! Typically healthy as well!

How do you get amped up to start a major training cycle? For me, I need to take time inbetween training for major races to ‘compartmentalize’ each. I like resting and recovering after a big race or training period, rather than training nonstop year-round. While it takes a bit to get back to fitness, I think it keeps me healthy both physically and more important, mentally!

“Rest” Begins!

June 15th, 2011 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (0 Comments)

Thanks for the comments on my recap of the NYRR Mini 10K. Yes, I was majorly down on myself but actually helped hearing everyone had a pretty rough day out there. Thanks, 96% humidity!

I also really appreciated reading your comments that I’m on the right track, training wise. Saturday’s race has me rethinking my training. I have not run any PRs since I started group workouts with CPTC; my races have just gotten slower. I feel like I should be improving, no? Part of me started second guessing it all. But, I know (and just needed a bit of time to snap out of my funk) that group workouts will ultimately make me a stronger runner, and I love being part of a team again. It’s just an adjustment, and I’ve been doing workouts/racing a bit more than I had been. I know it will pay off on November 6th, I just need to trust in the training. Plus, new runner friends are fun :)

My ‘break’ from regular running luckily corresponds with (another) extremely busy week at work! My plan the next two weeks is to run 2-3 days a week for as long or as little as I want. I want to keep some fitness so I don’t start from scratch at the beginning of July, but 100% need a mental and physical break to begin fresh and amped up to train!

On Monday, I was up bright and early at Grand Central Station at 7:15 am to catch a train to Stamford, CT to go to a client meeting. That night, I passed out at 9:30– I couldn’t even make it to the rose ceremony in the Bachelorette! :) Definitely my body telling me I need more sleep. I was happy to finally have the chance to rest up, and not worry about squeezing in any miles.

On Tuesday, I had to be at an event at 8:30 am, and by the time I got home around 7, I was feeling good and felt like heading out for a quick run. I did an extremely easy 2.25 miles around Riverside Park (the 5 pm office ice cream sundae social was a bad delicious choice-ugh!) and ended at the gym, where I did about 30 minutes of weights/core. It was just the perfect amount.

This morning, I woke up and felt like running again! The weather was beautiful and cool but after a bit, my body was just not feeling it. I did about 4.25 miles total, but had to stop and stretch/catch my breath in the middle. I’m really not sure what’s wrong, but glad I am not worrying about mileage now.

No plans to run the rest of the week, perhaps if the mood strikes me I will, but I think I need to listen to my body and rest up a bit more. And, take my liquid iron supplement a bit more regularly than I have been- whoops!

I bought a lot of produce this weekend at Trader Joe’s, and needed to use it up before I’m at another event tomorrow (hooray for free catered lunches & dinners!), and go home Friday night/Saturday afternoon. So, tonight’s dinner was fresh, fast and healthy so nothing spoiled.

Baked tofu topped with TJ’s white bean hummus and feta; corn on the cob; snap peas; mango and blueberries!

I am headed home to NJ on Friday night and am going to a family member Kelly’s bridal shower on Saturday! I am so excited for more wedding festivities. Then, I’m headed back into the city for a friend’s birthday party on Saturday night. I also have an appointment to get a Brazilian Keratin Treatment on my hair on Saturday! I was really excited about this, it basically smooths and reduces hair frizz, but then this morning the Today Show was talking about the dangers and toxic side effects of the treatments from some salons and I got a bit nervous. I’m still going to do it, so fingers crossed my hair comes out fine and I am still alive :)

What do you have planned for this weekend? When you have a break from racing, do you typically rest completely, or do you still run or crosstrain regularly or lightly?

Since I don’t quite feel ready to race the Healthy Kidney 10K tomorrow, I’m going to write about some other things rather than focusing on the race. Probably not a smart pre-race strategy, but I am trying not to stress about it too much and instead, focus on using this race as a great first 10K and last strong effort before next weekend’s Brooklyn Half Marathon.

I also find it rather hard to believe that I have never raced a 10K before. I have done them for tempo workouts in the past, but never a race. Definitely not in top shape at the moment, so here’s to hoping I can break 42 minutes!

Earlier this week, I was lucky enough to enjoy a great dinner with a client at a restaurant I have been dying to try, Stanton Social. Oh my goodness, this was so good. It is a sharing style menu, which meant we got to enjoy many little bits of many little items.

Pardon the quality of these photos, it was dim and I took them with my camera phone.

French Onion Soup Dumplings

Yellowfin Tuna Sashimi & Apple and Brie Quesadilla

Mac and Cheese

Kobe Beef Sliders

We also tried the fries, sweet and sour chicken and cashew spring rolls, red snapper tacos and essex street pickles but somehow I missed pictures of those.

And of course, dessert!

Mini ice cream sandwich, warm doughnuts, and strawberry shortcake sundae

Oh my god. I was in a food coma for hours but it was SO GOOD.

Tonight’s pre-race dinner was not nearly as indulgent, but pretty darn tasty and easy! I finally hit up Trader Joe’s last night for some much needed grocery shopping. On an impulse, I happened to pick up these:

I have never tried mahi mahi before, but I do want to try to incorporate more fish into my diet. I am not a big salmon lover, and I heard mahi mahi isn’t overly fishy (which I hate) and burgers seemed pretty hard to screw up.

So tonight I threw a burger in the toaster oven and cooked for about 20 minutes total from frozen state, while chopping up tomatoes, avocado and mango for topping. After the mahi mahi burger was done, I squirted a bit of lemon juice on top for flavor.

It was delicious! I am definitely hooked on these, and the tomato, avocado and mango were the perfect toppings. Hopefully the protein, fat and carbs (I may have snacked on a bit bunch of granola while waiting for it to cook) will be good pre-race fuel.

What plans do you have for this weekend? Are you a seafood lover? If so, what’s your favorite kind? I am running the 10K tomorrow morning, and then hopefully relaxing the rest of the weekend since the forecast looks like it’s going to be quite rainy! I am trying to eat more seafood since it’s so good for you. The only seafood I like are shrimp, scallops, and lobster…and now mahi mahi!

On The GO!

March 9th, 2011 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (0 Comments)

I have had busy few days, and haven’t had the time to post as I’ve wanted to! I’ve really been trying to write around 2x a week, maybe more if my schedule allows, so thanks for continuing to read and check in :)

I traveled to Chicago for work for about 36 hours on Sunday and Monday. As you can imagine, it was a bit of a whirlwind trip. I also didn’t take any pictures, but the view from my hotel room was pretty much just like this:

Source: Trip Advisor

Quick trips like that often throw me for a loop as I don’t really get to settle into a routine or plan things out as I’d like. I thought it would be helpful to share some tips for keeping your healthy routine while traveling- I’m certainly not an expert but hope I can share with you!

Exercise

  • Plan, if you can. I knew I wouldn’t have much down time this trip, so I scheduled two rest days into my schedule for Sunday and Monday. It meant putting in a few extra miles last week in preparation, but your schedule doesn’t need to be too disrupted with some pre-planning.
  • But remain flexible! I am a planner, as I just mentioned, but I am also trying to remain more flexible. It’s just as important to remember that squeezing in 3 miles instead of a planned 8 miler is better than nothing! Do what you can, with what you have.
  • Use your free time wisely. I had 25 minutes before a client dinner to spare- I knew I wouldn’t get in a great sweat session, or even make it down to the hotel gym, so I did some crunches and pushups right in my hotel room. Some hotels even offer free in-room workout kits, like Hilton Garden Inn’s Stay Fit Kit (disclaimer- they’re one of clients at work so that’s why I know/recommend this one, I’m sure other hotels have similar offerings!)
  • Get out and explore! If you are fortunate enough to have down-time, or can wake up a bit earlier to get in a morning run before your day’s activities begin, there is no better way than to see your destination city than by fleeted foot! Many hotels will have local maps, or pre-mapped running routes, that you can use to set your route so you don’t get lost. Mapmyrun.com is another great resource, you can even look at routes other users have uploaded in the area. I like to write the route in sharpie on my hand, or on a post-it stuck in my shorts.I did a post a while back about why I love to run when I’m traveling.

Eating

  • Pack snacks from home: If you know you’ll be rushing to your gate without time to eat pre-flight, or have a long flight ahead of you, it’s okay to pack some snacks from home. Just make sure they’re easily portable and won’t go bad– like a hard apple vs. a soft banana! Granola bars, crackers, carrot sticks, and nuts are all great carry-on snacks, but you could also pack a PB&J sandwich just as easily!
  • Choose healthier options at the airport: Chilis-To-Go. Wolfgang Puck. McDonalds. All these sit down or t0-go choices at the airport sound appetizing, but eating greasy or heavy food bef0re a flight will just make your energy levels dip, and the high sodium contents can leave you more even more dehydrated. Most major airports now have healthy kiosks like Jamba Juice, SaladWorks, or markets like Cibo where you can grab and go. When I got to the airport at 5:30am on Sunday morning, I ate a delicious serving of cooked oatmeal from Au Bon Pain and topped it with dried cranberries and chopped in a banana- SO much better than a sugary muffin or pastry. When I flew out on Monday night around dinner, I went to Salad Works and made a DIY salad with arugula, avocado, egg whites, tomatoes, broccoli, carrots and walnuts. Yum! Even Starbucks has to-go breakfast and lunch options that are a bit healthier than your average fare, if you chose right.
  • Start with a healthy breakfast. I find starting my day with a healthy and filling breakfast sets a healthy tone for the rest of my day. This past weekend, I found myself short of time in the morning before I had to go to the trade show, and didn’t want to go to the hotel breakfast restaurant because it was sit-down. I seriously considered ordering room service (expense that!) to make it easier but all of the options were way overpriced and a bit much food. Since I was in a major city (Chicago), I went to the Walgreens on the same block as my hotel and grabbed a protein shake and a fresh fruit salad. I knew the protein would keep me full and energized as I stood on my feet all day, and I could drink it quickly (along with my morning coffee, of course) in the car on the way to the trade show.
  • Be flexible! Again, be flexible! While traveling, you won’t have access to your healthy home-cooked meals and snacks as you normally would at home, but you also have tons of new options in your destination city. Go find out the local hot spots or the ‘must eat’ restaurants in the town, and hit them up! Don’t miss out on trying something new for sake of eating at a familiar healthy chain like Subway or Panera when you can try the acclaimed Italian restaurant or best pizzeria in XYZ city. As they say, ‘When in Rome…’

Well, that’s about all I’ve got. I hope you found some of these helpful next time you hit the road! Traveling can be hectic, but there are always healthier options and ways you can squeeze in some fitness if you make it a priority!

I’ll leave you with my easy lunch from today. Apologies for the crappy camera phone quality, I forgot my real camera at home.

Mexican-themed Wrap!

  • Whole wheat tortilla
  • 1/2 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 can of black beans, mixed with Trader Joe’s frozen fire roasted veggies (peppers, onions)
  • 1/4 cup shredded mexican blend cheese

Heat the black beans and fire roasted veggies in the microwave for a few minutes, until hot. Place beans/veggies on whole wheat tortilla, add chopped avocado, sprinkle with cheese, and enjoy!

What do you do to get in your exercise and still eat healthy while traveling? Do you find it hard to stick to your routine when on-the-go?