Happy Saturday! Writing my week 5 recap a day early because I leave for Boston tonight for a quick weekend trip and I know I won't have time to post tomorrow. This week wrapped up an intense and speed filled week of training. It also brought 2 new plank PRs and a lot of confidence about where my training is at a little over a month in. My plank streak is still going strong at 21 days. Today also marks the end of running this month for me because tomorrow is a rest day, so I was able to log all of my stats for the month and I am really happy with how it worked out.
Monday - Tempo Run
Monday's tempo run got off to a weird start because I took off before my watch had the satellites. I had heavy legs from the previous Saturday's 16 miler and was stiff from Sunday's 5:11 plank. I was struggling to hold "8:30" miles for the first mile and a half and was sure I couldn't do a tempo until I realized that my watch was way short on distance and realized it didn't have the satellites. I had to go on feel until it found them around mile 3. I used Map My Run when I got home to figure out what I really did. I ended up doing 6.3 miles at 7:33 pace. Mile 1 was 8:20, Mile 2-4 were all 7:30s, Mile 5 was 7:13, and Mile 6 and the last .3 were 8:04 average. I wrapped it up with a 3:01 plank.
Tuesday - Recovery Run
Tuesday's recovery run was a little faster than I would have liked, but overall it wasn't too bad. It ended up being 4.1 miles at 8:22/mile. I'm finding the 8:20 pace to be incredibly comfortable for me. The winds were insane at 30mph, but it made for some cool waves at the lake which I took a little break to watch. After the run I broke my plank PR again with a 5:31 plank. Arms were definitely done for the rest of the week after that one.
Wednesday - "Easy" run
After taking Tuesday a little too fast and knowing I wanted to work hard on Thursday and Saturday, I decided to keep Wednesday's run pretty easy. When I got home from work in the afternoon it was windy and rainy, but I had no interest in a treadmill run, so I grabbed my rain gear and set out. About a quarter mile in my feet were already soaked, but it wasn't too cold out and it was refreshing to be out in the rain with drivers looking at me like I was nuts. I ended up with 5.2 miles at 8:30/mile and seriously waterlogged shoes (newspaper works wonders for that!). I then got in my plank for 3 mins.
Thursday - "Easy" tempo run
Woke up on Thursday to blowing snow and wind, and opted for the treadmill knowing I wanted to do a tempo run and knowing I did not want to do it with slick surfaces and freezing cold snow blowing. I decided not to take it too hard after doing a tempo run earlier in the week and after a speedy week. I ended up with 5 Miles at 7:49/mile. Mile 1 was a warmup at 8:27, Mile 2 was 7:45, Mile 3 was 7:30, Mile 4 was 7:30, and Mile 5 was a cool down at 7:52. Followed up with a plank for 3:35. Fueled the tempo run with Tropical Nuun and Orange Blossom Honey Stinger Gummies.
Friday - Rest Day
Took Friday off as usual, and spent it carbing up for my Saturday long run, but I got in a solid plank workout. One 4 minute plank, one 2 minute plank, and two 1:10 planks for a total of 8:20 in planks. Planning on 8 minutes for my new plank goal so I hoped that doing it in a combo would help me progress.
Saturday - 10 Mile Long Run
I couldn't ask for much better results than today's long run. I set out with my running partner (who was hoping to be back on track for 10 miles today but wasn't ready) who had to turn at four miles. He held me to about an 8:28 average while I was with him. After he turned, I took off, hoping to negative split my long run for the second week in a row. I kicked it up a little for mile 5 and then really cranked it up when I turned around. Mile 6 involved the huge hill that I have hated since I started running this route, because it is steep and long, but today was a big accomplishment. The mile including that hill was 7:58! After that I wanted to test myself, so I tried to keep the next mile under 8 and succeeded, running a 7:40 for mile 7. I told myself I would do a third sub-8 mile and it came out to 7:43 for mile 8. At that point I had some members of my running club in my sights so I kept up with the sub-8 to 8:10 pace for the half mile it took me to catch them. I then slowed to an 8:45-9 while I was with them and so mile 9 came out to be 8:15. One one friend who was running with them must have been on the same wavelength as me, knowing I wanted to kick it in to see what was left in the tank, so about a quarter of mile into mile 10, we kicked it up to 8:15 and then 8, finally coming in at 7:30 as we got back to the start. Overall pace was 8:12 for 10 miles. Wrapped up my Saturday training with a 2:30 plank.
Time to take it easy next week with the 50k relay coming up next Saturday. I'm leaning toward racing it, but not too hard. This week ended up with 30.6 miles at 8:05 average and 31:07 in planks.
The month itself was great. The last three weeks of training resulted in average paces of 8:19, 8:19, and 8:20. Consistency like that makes me very happy. The entire month wrapped up with 129.4 miles at 8:14 average and 1 Hour 21 mins and 20 seconds of planks.
So that's it for me for February, and now I am off to Boston. Definitely will be stopping by the finish line to take in some inspiration.
Stuffed Bell Peppers!
Stuffed peppers are one of my favorite meals, but there one I very rarely make because of the length of bake time involved. Still, the end result is very worth it. The ones I make have a Mexican twist and are stuffed with chicken.
what you will need:
16 oz of chicken shredded - I use the canned stuff because I didn't have time to cook and shred chicken
2 bell peppers - green is my favorite and you will want to get the ones where the bottom as 4 bumps instead of three
1/4 cup Mexican shredded cheese
1 cup long grain brown rice - I use minute rice that comes in the cup
1/4 red onion diced
1/4 cup Lizano sauce (this is a Costa Rican salsa that I absolutely love from the time I spent living in Costa Rica. Obviously it isn't as easy to find, so any green salsa of choice will do)
1. In a small bowl, mix the chicken, cheese (save a little for the top), rice, onion, and salsa.
2. Halve the bell pepper and remove the seeds. I prefer to cut them across the middle rather than down through the top. This involves leaving a hole in the bottom half where you remove the vein. Then place the halves in a glass baking pan. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
3. Fill the pepper halves evenly with your mix. Top with leftover cheese and a little more salsa. Then place into the oven and bake for 25-30 mins.
4. Bake until the peppers have some brown spots and are soft and flexible. Remove from oven and enjoy!
Happy Sunday! Yesterday wrapped up my first month of marathon training for the Cleveland Marathon. And I'm pleased with the results so far. My last three weeks have had the same pace average for the week (8:19) and my plank streak is still going strong. Today was day 15 and I broke 5 minutes with a 5:11 plank today. My best back in high school was a 4:30 and I feel so much stronger than when I did that one! I was also able to get back outside for all of my runs this week, which resulted in some really good training. So here's the break down of this week of training:
Monday - 5 Mile tempo run
This run was pretty solid. It was my usual tempo run and while I fluctuated on pace throughout the miles, my 3 fast miles came out with almost perfect splits. Mile 1 was a warmup at 8:27, slipping on snow the whole way to the park. Mile 2 was 7:15. Mile 3 was 7:13. Mile 4 was 7:14. Mile 5 was my cool down at 8:14. 5 miles total at 7:41 average. I wrapped up the workout with a 3 minute plank.
Tuesday - 4 Miles Recovery
This run didn't come out as slow as I would have liked but it was still a low effort run so it felt good. I had beautiful scenery from the fresh snowfall and ended up with 4 miles a 8:27. Starting to find that 8:25 pace incredibly comfortable. Also did a 3:35 plank post run.
Wednesday - 5 Miles
Set out for this run with no expectations, except to go on comfort. I barely looked at my watch (which caused the run to be 5.25 instead of 5) and surprised myself with 5.25 miles at 7:50 average. I also came home and pulled out a 4:01 plank! It was a good workout day for me.
Thursday - EASY, EASY, EASY run
Told myself this one had to be really easy after pulling two really hard runs during the week with a 16 miler coming up over the weekend. I also felt a little discomfort in what I thought was my achilles (and later learned was a posterior shin splint) so I took it super easy. I ended up with 4.3 miles at 8:50 average. I also wrapped up plank streak day 12 with a 3 min plank.
Friday - Rest day
Friday was a simple rest day that only involved an easy 2 minute plank and some serious carb loading for Saturday's long run. It was also the day I found out I was picked to be a member of the Honey Stinger Hive! Love their gummies and their new gluten free waffles are fantastic!
Saturday - 16 Mile Long Run
Wasn't sure about what pace to hold for my long run as the mileage is starting to pick up and I don't want to overdo it. I ended up doing two, 8 mile loops in the park because my running partner is back from his injury and up to 8 miles! I ran the first 8 with him and my club at about an 8:50 average filled with great conversation. I then set out again for 8 solo miles and kicked it up. I pushed it a little more than I probably should have, but it felt good (and I recovered well) and finished the second 8 at 8:11 average. That meant a negative split for my 16 miler and 8:33 average for the whole run. I was thrilled! I also pushed the last quarter of a mile at 6:40 to test what kind of kick I had left in me. Plank streak day 14 was 3;35.
This was definitely another great week of marathon training. I'm really happy with all of the runs this week. Ready to step back a little this week to recover and because the Green Jewel 50k relay is only 2 weeks away. 34.7 miles at 8:20 avg and 21:11 in planks this week.
Happy Sunday! Last week wrapped up a frigid third week of marathon training which brought a lot of treadmill runs. Specifically, all but one of my runs this week happened on the treadmill....including my long run. This week also brought the start of a plank streak. I have been looking for a way to stay consistent on my core work and planks are a pretty easy way to do it. I made it my goal to do at least a 2 minute plank every day and I am on day 8. I'm interested to see how long I can keep this up. Sunday 2:30 plank, Monday 2:30 plank, Tuesday 2:30 plank, Wednesday 2:00 plank, Thursday 2:31 plank, Friday 3:31 plank, Saturday 3:00 plank/1:00 plank, Sunday (today) 2:30 plank.
Monday - 5 Mile Tempo Run
My first run of the week was a tempo run. This one was a five miler fueled by my Super Bowl food...needless to say I felt a little heavy for this one, but it still came out pretty solid. The treadmill I used didn't have a minutes per mile setting, only a miles per hour, so I was trying to calculate while doing speedwork, so some of my miles were too fast. Mile 1 was a warmup at 8:23/mile. Mile 2 was 7:22. Mile 3 was 7:09. Mile 4 was 7:13. Mile 5 was a cool down at 7:52. Overall pace was 7:45.
Tuesday - 4 Mile Recovery Run
I actually managed to get outside on Tuesday for four easy miles. It wasn't warm at all and it was starting to snow so footing was unsure, but it kept me at a nice recovery pace. I ran over by the lake which resulted in crazy wind, snow, and frozen lake spray. Ended up at 8:43 avg which was pretty solid for my recovery run.
Wednesday - Slower 4.5 Mile Tempo Run
I ended up back on the treadmill on Wednesday and I made it into something of a progression, tempo run because my legs felt really fresh so I kicked it up slightly each mile. Mile 1 was a warm up at 8:35. Miles 2 & 3 were at 8:20. I kicked it up to 8:00 for Mile 4. And I wrapped up the last half mile at 7:32. Ended up with 4.5 miles at 8:19 average.
Thursday - Short and easy
Decided to keep Thursday's run short. Headed to the treadmill for 3.6 miles (I zoned out) at 8:18 avg. Wanted to keep it short because I knew I had a 14 miler on Saturday.
Saturday - 14 Mile Long Run
With the windchills in the danger zone at -16 and the snow blowing and piling up, I decided that 14 miles outside was not a smart decision. I opted for the treadmill, knowing it was going to suck, but that I had done a 12 mile treadmill run before and that I could probably handle 2 miles more. I hopped on the treadmill at 6am and kicked off at 8:20/mile. I had the gym to myself for the most part, except one woman who showed up for about 45 mins once I was 30 minutes in. At 6.78 miles I knocked out the safety key and had to restart my run because for some reason the treadmill wouldn't resume the activity after the key gets knocked out. It wasn't too bad through mile 8 because I was locked into my music and distracting myself. I motivated myself from 8-10.5 because I knew I got to take my gel at that point. I held 8:20/mile for the first 10.5 miles.
After taking the gel at 10.5 I started to realize how terrible the treamill was. I wouldn't let myself look at the clock until I got to 11. I backed it down to about 8:27.
"Just 3.5 more miles, you can do this" "that's just a little more than a 5k" "it's like 9 songs, that's nothing."
By the time I hit 12 miles, I was checking my mileage every half mile. At 12.5, I backed way down to about 8:45, which I held until 13. I then kicked it back up to 8:30 until 13.5. After 13.5 I kicked up the speed every 10th of a mile. By the time I hit 14, I was at 8:07. I ended up with 14 at 8:25 average, which was exactly what I was shooting for.
After the long run on Saturday I spent the afternoon with my run club watching some truly amazing and inspiring athletes compete at the Olympic Marathon Trials. Definitely inspires me to continue grinding out the training to get faster and stronger. Week 3 of marathon training wrapped up with 31.1 miles at 8:19/mile and 20 minutes of plank.
Happy Friday everyone! Sitting here watching the snow and wind blow and carbing up for my 14 miler tomorrow which I'm pretty sure is going to be happening on the treadmill. :( After getting frostbite and hypothermia about this time last year, I'm not exactly gunnning to take on the negative windchills, blowing snow, and unclear paths for 14 miles tomorrow morning.
After getting home from work I prepped my pasta dinner to carb up for tomorrow and got day 6 of my plank streak in (3:31, getting closer to my high school record of 4:30).
While I rarely eat red meat, because I have somewhat of an intolerance to it, I have noticed dramatic improvement in my endurance and overall performance when I eat red meat the night before a long run because of the extra iron. I season the red meat with garlic and pepper. I use gluten free spaghetti and my sauce is plain tomato sauce with a little salt, pepper, garlic, basil, and oregano. The toast is Udi's gluten free whole grain. And of course my hydration of choice is Nuun. Tonight's flavor is lemon lime!
On the race planning front, I registered for another race this week to use as part of my marathon training and long run speed test. The race is the Green Jewel 50k which takes place in Lakewood, Ohio on March 5th. I will be doing the relay with a friend/run club member. The relay is split into two legs. The first is a 15 mile run, which is the one my friend will be running. The second is a 16 mile run, which is the one that I will be doing because it perfectly lines up with the 16 miler I have that day. This should be an interesting race because it's run in the place where I do all of my training, so I am very familiar with the course and elevation. It should definitely be a fun race. I love racing odd distances because they require different strategies and I love running races as part of marathon training because it's a good test of where you are at in your training. This one will be especially interesting because of the fact that when I am running my leg, there will be people running the 50k solo who are tackling the second half of a very long race alongside me.
Happy Super Bowl Sunday everyone! I'm writing this post with my appetizers baking and sipping on my gluten free beer and snacking on some chips and guacamole. You know you are fitness minded when you made sure to get a workout in this morning so you can enjoy Super Bowl party food. Definitely not as invested in this game since my Seahawks aren't in it this year (silent tears). But I still love football, commercials, and music so I'm already tuned into the pregame show. What's on my table for the Super Bowl? "Skinny" buffalo chicken dip (sub low fat cream cheese, cut the cheddar cheese in half and use low-fat, sub fat free Greek yogurt for the sour cream), chips and guac (my recipe is two avocados, a tsp of cilantro, a tsp of lime juice, a pinch of sea salt, and about a tablespoon of medium salsa), New Grist gluten free Pilsner beer, and green olives stuffed with jalapeños. Life is about balance and while I may eat super healthy during the week, im okay with indulging on special occasions.
Marathon training week 2
So now let's talk about how Cleveland marathon training week two went! Actually pretty great! This week brought my first ever intro to speed work and a slight step up in mileage. So here's the breakdown.
Monday - 4.5 miles; tempo run
Monday's run was my first intro to speed work and I survived and didn't hate it. I warmed up with one mile at 8:28, the took the next four miles fast at 7:15, 7:30, 7:37, and then finished with a half mile cool down at 8:40. The run came out to four and a half miles at 7:49/mile. It didn't hurt that I had gorgeous views.
Tuesday - 4 mile recovery run
Tuesday's run was to do 4 miles at a fairly easy pace to recover from Monday's speedwork. I did end up throwing in a couple hill repeats. I motivated myself by leaving my bottle of grape nuun at the top. I ended up with 4 miles at 8:35.
Wednesday - 4.5 miles
Wednesday's run was just aimed at getting the miles and enjoying the unseasonably warm weather (60 degrees in Ohio at beginning of February). I set out for a different park for once which involved the first 2.25 miles of my run being a gradual elevation gain. When I got to my turn around, I thought the difficult part of this run was over, after holding 8:15s for the first half of my run. Boy was I wrong. The wind shifted and I faced 23 mph headwinds (I checked) the whole way home. It was miserable and I wanted to stop the whole time. But I put my head down, turned up my music and grinder on telling myself that these runs make us better. I ended with 8:30/mile average.
Thursday - 5 miles
This run was aimed at holding around 8:20-8:25 and I knew I had 3-5 on my schedule and I planned on doing the minimum. The weather dramatically changed from the day before and I faced wind, cold, and snow. Yet somehow I had a big smile from the moment I took off and I ended up doing the full 5 miles with 8:23 average.
Saturday - 10 miles slightly above marathon pace
I wanted to hold this run somewhat near marathon pace because once the runs start getting longer next week, they will have to be a little slower and I can't use them as endurance tests like a 10 miler. My goal was 8:25 or faster for the whole run. I warmed up with 8:28 for the first mile, kicked it up for 2-4 holding 8:18, 8:10, and 8:12. I backed off a little for 5, taking it at 8:20. After I hit my turn I told myself to back off a little but to try to hold under 8:30 for every mile back. Mile 5 surprised me because it's a seriously hilly mile that came in at 8:22, miles 6-8 were solid, ranging between 8:12 and 8:23. Mile nine I caught up to a friend and slowed up a little to talk with her, so mile 9 came in at 8:38. But then I kicked it up for a little speed test to see what was left in the tank for the last mile, coming in at 7:45. Aside from feeling lonely without my running partner, who is injured, the run was pretty great overall and I felt good afterwards. Helped that I saw a couple friends in the park and we were able to exchange motivation as we ran past each other. Ended with 8:15/mile overall.
28 miles total. 8:19/mile average for the week.
Definitely no complaints here about this week of training. Ended with a lot of walking as I explored the beach cities in Northwest Ohio and walked along the beaches and long piers and boardwalks.
Just wrapped up the second of two great training runs so far during week 2 of marathon training, and I'm enjoying an amazing dinner (humble brag). I've been craving tacos all day long (subliminally I guess I knew it was taco Tuesday!) and even more after my four miler this evening which included hill training. So I figured I would share the recipe because these are both delicious and healthy!
They are probably a little closer to tostadas because of I left them open face but that can be adjusted based on how long you toast your tortillas.
What you will need:
Chicken breast tenders (2 tenders fills two tacos)
- I like to use the tenders because they cook better and quicker and they are leaner than the whole breast
Tortillas (I used corn because I have a wheat allergy but flour works too!)
Shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese (your preference on how much)
Spinach to top (you can use the lettuce of your choosing, I just happen to love spinach)
1/4 cup corn (per 2 tacos)
Green onions (to taste - I did about a tablespoon)
Garlic (1 clove per 2 tacos or about an 1/8 of a tsp if using powder)
A pinch of salt
A pinch of pepper
Salsa to top if you like
1. Throw the tortillas in a toaster oven or regular oven at about 450 and monitor to your preference. I prefer mine crunchy because I use the corn, so once they turn slightly brown I take them out. (This step can be skipped altogether if you don't want yours toasted).
2. In a greased skillet, cook the chicken tenders over medium-high heat until the outside is thoroughly cooked.
3. Cut the tenders into smaller pieces (about an inch wide) and continue to cook.
4. At this point, add the corn to the skillet as well as the green onions, garlic, salt, and pepper. Sautee, mixing everything together to mix the flavors.
5. Once the chicken is cooked and the corn is slightly roasted (some pieces will have brown on them), remove from heat.
6. Place a layer of cheese across the tortillas.
7. Layer the chicken/corn mixture across the tortillas spreading evenly.
8. Shred the spinach/lettuce and place on top of the chicken/corn mixture.
9. Add salsa to the top if you like.
The wine is optional...though highly recommended! You can also mix up the recipe by adding other taco toppings like guac, peppers, chiles, and tomatoes! Enjoy! I know I sure did!