Looking to spice up your cooking? Give some calabrese pepper paste a try. He found this at our local italian grocery and has used it in just about everything.
I’m not creative so I wouldn’t know what to do with it, but if you are (and like heat), try it. We like the one on the right better.
I did roughly put together a half marathon training plan, which will officially start in the next week or 2. It’s 12 weeks long and since we have more time than that, we should be OK.
We went out for a slow 3ish miles on Saturday. This is the first time I’ve ran outside since moving and so now it’s a question of finding new running routes. This one was OK. I ran with my other half and we took it very slow. Picked up the pace a bit in the last mile and it felt good.
Looking forward to more outdoor runs in the near future.
The gym I teach at just wrapped up a Cycling Across America program to try and boost interest and attendance in our cycling program. It was really neat and it was great to see the members get excited about it.
Here’s me looking scary happy after our last cycle across america class.
This was a group photo (selfie) but i cropped the members out. And yes, I am always that happy at spin. Before, during, after. Psychotic smile 🙂
Also in spinning, one of my classes is being cancelled. I teach a Sunday morning and a Monday evening and the attendance on Monday has been struggling. With the quarterly changes they decided to do away with Monday night. I understand and know it has nothing to do with me. The members are not happy, so I guess we’ll see what happens.
I don’t envy the role of making group exercise schedules at a gym.
Not much to report here. We did have a cake tasting and in doing so realized we like the style of a “naked cake”. We’re not really doing this exactly, but I figured I’d share a photo of a photo anyway 🙂
My favorite topic…
Here are a couple of shots of minnie to wrap up the post.
Looking really excited.
Happy with her donut.
She never truly looks happy, eh? It’s that sad Sarah McLauchlan face.
So that’s more or less what’s been going on here. I’ve been sticking with OTF two times a week, which has been great. Body Beast has temporarily been put on hold while we focus on cardio/running. I’d like to get back to at least some of it soon as I enjoyed the weight training challenge.
Holy crap it’s March! Of course I knew March was coming, but somehow it still snuck up on me. Guess that’s what you get with a 28 day month.
I’ve still been debating this blog and whether or not to post, but I think I’m going to try to keep up with it since it helps me clear my head.
So how was your February?
My February was good. I think. 😉 Just kidding, it was fine. It was busy but nothing overly notable.
I did a pretty good job of going to Orangetheory regularly, meaning two times a week. I only have the 8 class/month package, so it is what it is. I’ve thought about asking how much it would be to up to the next level but haven’t done it yet. But that combined with my two spin classes a week is a start.
You probably don’t remember, but I mentioned that I was going to work out with my other half the three remaining days. That was the plan since January. Let’s just say that it just started. Yesterday. (all him, not me)
I registered for the Fairfield Half which is at the end of June. Training for that will start later this month. Hopefully.
I’ve been having some foot pain and am hoping that it’s just due to my needing new inserts for my sneaks. I think they will be delivered today or tomorrow, so we’re close.
I tried Super Feet but still find them to be super uncomfortable. Am I the only person who isn’t a fan? I use Power Step inserts.
I’m currently running in Saucony Triumph ISO 2s.
I had the first version of this shoe and loved them, so I figured I’d try the next version. I think I like them.
In a totally different style, my sister also about me a pair of the Adizero Bostons.
This is the shoe she runs it, but it’s WAY more minimalist. I did one OTF class in them and the running felt OK during and great after. But later that day I had some foot/shin/achilles pain. Again, could be the shoe, could be in the inserts.
I’m kind of going to play around with these two for now and then go from there. Hopefully both will work, but if not, at least one. Fingers crossed!
Now I need to come up with a training plan. To the interwebs I go!
As I mentioned, the other half and I finally started working out together. We’re doing Body Beast.
He’s a big fan of at home workouts and likes the Beach Body stuff. I don’t really care for at home workouts (or Beach Body) but am giving it a go.
Body Beast is clearly more targeted to men (although plenty of women have used it). It’s led by a super muscle-y guy who comments on how he can feel his shirt “getting tighter”. Definitely entertaining!
I will probably only do it 3 times a week, so I’m curious to see how it goes and if I get super ripped like him. 🙂
And my last item of interest is that on Saturday I’m going to look at wedding dresses. Wait? What? This is so bizarre to me and I have no clue of what to expect. I just hope I don’t leave there feeling like nothing looked good (which is sometimes how clothing shopping goes). Guess we’ll see!
Have a good rest of the week and weekend! Happy March!
Makes me think of the commercial where some guy gets a tattoo that actually ends up saying NO REGERTS. I want to say the tattooer is eating a snickers or something.
Today was the SONO Half Marathon in my town. I ran this race last year. It was my first half marathon ever.
I was well trained for it (almost 6 months of training) and for the most part enjoyed it.
This year I made the decision not to run it. I wasn’t overly motivated (which has been my problem since finishing it last year) and I had minor personal issues with the race director and didn’t want to give him my money (I think I’ve written about that before). I was confident in my decision.
Until this morning.
As of this morning I really regretted not signing up and running. Of course the weather was beautiful, but I think what got me was that it’s such a local race and a few of my friends were running.
I do try not to regret any decisions that I make as they are mine and I have to own the consequences but in hind sight, I do wish that I had gotten down off my pedestal and signed up for the stinking race (and somehow found motivation).
The moral of the story is that I think I will run it next year. Good moral?
And now I need to stop being lazy and unmotivated and start running.
It’s July 27th. My last half marathon was on June 26th and since then I have not done any true running. Yes, I’ve done some short bursts of running at OTF, but I have not gone out for a run, nor have I hit the treadmill to just run.
Quite honestly I haven’t had any desire to run. I’ve been teaching two times a week and going to OTF two times a week (when I can) and it’s been nice to not feel that feeling of “I should go out for a run”.
The last training cycle (which was hardly training or even a cycle) left me with a lot of guilt, although that’s a strong word. I felt guilty because while I was OK when I got out to run, I never really wanted to go. There was a lot of “should” going on in my head.
I’m driven in some ways but not in other ways and running was just not one of those ways. I wanted to do it and enjoy it, I didn’t want to feel like I had to do it.
I think the break has been good, and for the first time in a month, I’ve actually had tiny little feelings of wanting to run. The weather here is still a bit hot for me, but I just may give it a go on the treadmill this evening. We’ll see how it goes. And if it doesn’t happen, that’s OK too, there will be another day.
Based on this attitude i’m sure you can guess that I’m not signed up for any more races (of any distance). I’m going back and forth on the idea of a fall marathon, either the Sono Half (in my town, and my first) or the Philly Half. I think I like the idea of the Philly Half more, but it’s $150 and I think that’s pretty insane!
In the meantime I’m trying my hardest not to get too bogged down with work and busyness of life. I’m trying to enjoy things and do things, even when it means I’m busier than ideal.
This past weekend was just that. Great but so busy.
Originally my plans were for later in the day on Saturday to meet my family in NYC after my parents saw a broadway show. Then I decided that maybe my sister and I should see a show too, which turned into me going in to also have brunch beforehand.
So I hit OTF in the morning and then came home to shower and grab Minnie and we headed into the city. I got to my sister around 11a, left Minnie in her apartment and headed to brunch. From brunch we went back to my sister’s apartment and met up with my parents. Hung out a bit and then headed downtown to the Broadway area. My parents saw Beautiful and my sis and I saw Fiddler. Both are great shows if you’re ever in the area and want to see a show.
Once the shows were over we met up and did some walking through central park. Stopped at the Ballpark Grill for some sangria and then continued to make our way to dinner on the east side. After dinner we grabbed an Uber back to my sister’s place, hung out a bit and then it was back to CT for me and the pup.
Got home around 10 and pretty much went directly to bed.
Sunday – up at 6:45a to prep a bit for my class at 8:15a. Class was great. Did a few errands afterwards because I was headed up to the Thimble Islands for the day.
The Thimble Islands are essentially an archipelago in the Long Island Sound off the coast of CT. I believe it’s officially hundreds of islands of varying sizes; some simply a boulder, others large enough to have multiple dwellings.
One of my friends has what they call a cottage on the island above the 5 in the picture above.
In all the years I’ve known her, I’ve never been. To get there you take a “ferry”. I’m putting this in quotes because it’s a rather small boat.
I brought Minnie with me, so that was an added challenge as my lovely dog is quite afraid of the water. I was pleasantly surprised with how well she handled the ferry.
So we made a 12p “ferry” and were to the island quite quickly. My friends island is called Money Island and I believe it has 30 or so homes on it. While they do have running water, they do not have electricity, so it’s a bit rustic.
That said it is an absolutely wonderful place to be in the summer since you are surrounded by water and can truly just relax.
My other half actually went up Saturday and stayed till Monday and he enjoyed some fishing and clamming. It’s amazing to be so removed from it all without actually being that far away.
My photos don’t do it justice, but here are a few.
So pretty! While you can’t just go to one of the island to hang out (they are privately owned), they do offer some Thimble Islands cruises and there were quite a few people waiting in line for those.
If you’re in the coastal CT area, I definitely recommend checking this area out. I’m already hoping for another invite!
I took a “ferry” back around 7:30 and was home around 9. It was a really busy weekend but it was absolutely wonderful!
How was your weekend? Any race suggestions? Have you done Philly? Is it worth the $150 price tag??
I’m totally a new runner, but since my sis is not, I’ve been around some of the language and therefore it’s somewhat familiar to me.
If you’re just getting started in running, all the terminology can be really confusing. Boy do they love acronyms. So I figured I’d throw together some terminology that I wondered about, hoping it would help others. Thanks to Runner’s World for some of the definitions!
I stuck to the basics this round, but let me know if i’m missing anything!
Bib: The sheets printed with numbers (called “bib numbers”) used to identify each runner in a race.
Fartlek: Speed play, or fartlek in Swedish (the concept originated in Sweden), is a speedwork format in which you run faster for however long (or short) you want.
Hill repeats: A workout that includes sprinting uphill fast, jogging downhill at an easy pace to recover, and then repeating the sequence. It’s thought to be an efficient way to build leg strength, speed, and aerobic capacity. Hill repeats reduce your injury risk because it limits fast-running time and because the incline of a hill shortens the distance your feet have to fall, reducing the impact of each step.
Iliotibial band (IT band): A thick, fibrous band that connects your hips and knees. It helps to flex and rotate your hips and stabilize and extend your knees. It can become easily strained, leading to iliotibial band syndrome, if you increase your mileage too quickly. The iliotibial band is also often irritated on the leg farther away from traffic if you regularly run on canted roads.
Negative splits: Running the second half of a race faster than the first half.
Repeats: The fast segments of running that are repeated during a workout, with recovery in between.
Side stitch: Also called a “side sticker,” this is a sharp pain usually felt just below the rib cage (though sometimes farther up the torso). It’s thought to be caused by a cramp in the diaphragm, gas in the intestines, or food in the stomach. Stitches normally come on during hard workouts or races. To get rid of a side stitch, notice which foot is striking the ground when you inhale and exhale, then switch the pattern. So if you were leading with your right foot, inhale when your left foot steps. If that doesn’t help, stop running and reach both arms above your head. Bend at your waist, leaning to the side opposite the stitch until the pain subsides. (I never knew this and suffer from side-stitches, so I figured it was worth a share)
Speedwork: Also called intervals or repeats, speedwork refers to any workout run at a faster-than-normal pace. Often done at a track. Performed to increase cardiovascular fitness.
Splits: The time it takes to complete any defined distance. If you’re running 800 meters, or two laps, you might check your split after the first lap to shoot for an even pace.
Strides: Also called striders or “pickups,” these are typically 80- to 100-meter surges that are incorporated into a warmup or a regular workout. Strides increase heart rate and leg turnover; they get your legs ready to run. Strides are run near 80 percent of maximum effort, with easy jogging in between.
Tempo: When runners talk about doing a “tempo run” they usually mean a sustained, faster-than-usual run of 3 to 6 miles at the pace they could sustain for an hour in a race. Tempo runs are said to feel “comfortably hard”—you have to concentrate to keep the effort going, but aren’t running with as much effort as a sprint or 5-K race. Tempo runs are a good way to boost your fitness without doing hard track workouts. (tempo runs are by no means easy!)
Speaking of those acronyms, here are a few that have stumped me in the past…
BQ- Shorthand for Boston Qualifying time. Often used to describe a marathon or half-marathon finish time that qualifies a person for entry into the Boston Marathon. MP – Marathon Pace GMP – Goal Marathon Pace HM – Half Marathon (commonly used by bloggers who get tired of typing out all 12 letters) HMP – Half-Marathon Pace (I might have made this up) GHMP – Goal Half-Marathon Pace (this too) USATF – USA Track and Field (comes up with course certifications) DNF – Did not finish DNS – Did not start PR and PB – Personal Record or Personal best (your best time in a race/distance)
It’s been a super busy 8 days since I last posted. I did have every intention of posting again last week, but clearly that did not happen.
The half was Sunday and then it was back to work Monday. I was able to post then.
Tuesday and Wednesday were a sales meeting at work, so full days spent in a conference room. Wednesday included dinner. Thursday was a customer visiting the office, followed by dinner. Friday was a supplier visit, followed by meetings and then me scrambling to get out of work early because it was the Friday before a long weekend which does not bode well for traffic. ARGH!
It was super busy and not very healthy with all those dinners (and lunches brought in).
I taught on Tuesday night and then didn’t do anything active until Saturday morning when I went to OTF.
During that week I actually thought a lot about the Fairfield half. I went into the half really unsure about running. This was now the second half that I had signed up for and then failed on the training. The first time I was good about training, but both subsequent times I found that I just couldn’t motivate at all. When I get out there I feel good and enjoy it, but it was just hard to get out there. I can blame work and life, but it’s really me to blame. The motivation issues were all mine.
Trying to understand why you can’t motivate is tough. Was I just lazy? Did I have a vitamin deficiency? Do I not like running? Is it because I’m doing it solo?
After some thought, I do think that doing it solo is a big part. Other than me myself and I, there is no one to be accountable to and maybe that’s exactly what I need.
I figured I’d run Fairfield and then most likely that would be it. I’d take some time to figure out if I wanted to run anymore. What I wasn’t expecting was to like Fairfield as much as I did. The conditions were rough, but it was still enjoyable. After a few days processing it, I decided that I just may sign up for another half in the fall.
My first half was the SONO Half right in my town. All along I had figured I’d do it again this year, but after the last training cycle I thought maybe I’d skip it. I feel like I have a weird relationship with SONO because of the race organizer. For that half, I was a contest winner and won free coaching with the organizer. I was so psyched for that. And while the training was adequate and left me prepared, I was overall really disappointed in the experience and the guy as a coach. Had he wowed me I would have likely used him again as well as told everyone I knew how great he was. But he wasn’t. And I think because he was such a disappointment part of me doesn’t want to run in his race. Is that childish?
So for that race I go back and forth with running it or just being the most awesome spectator ever. Hmmmm.
But now i’m also thinking about doing the Philly half. I have to say it’s really expensive for a half, but I’ve heard good things. Has anyone run it?
Is my brain ever not going in a thousand directions? Nope!
The other thing about Fairfield that has completely blown my mind is how much my pace was affected by the weather. It’s crazy!
My pace for Fairfield was slower than my pace at Savin Rock where I walked all the hills. At Fairfield I barely walked (although I did walk some during miles 11-13). The temp at Savin Rock was in the 40s. I never in my life thought I would say that I prefer any temperature less than 70, but apparently for running I really do.
I haven’t run at all since Fairfield. I will get back to it, but I’m not rushing. May take another week or so and then just see how it goes. I may see if there are any shorter runs to sign up for and go from there. I am now teaching two cycling classes per week and doing OTF twice a week (when I’m lucky) so I hope to focus on strength and cross-training a bit more. So we will see what happens and of course I will keep you posted.
I was also thinking about trying to coordinate a group run through a newly opened running store (versus my original coffee idea), so I should revisit that.
Most importantly I want to try to enjoy the summer and the time when I am not at work. 🙂
Before I go, here are two pictures from the weekend. Minnie. Always Minnie. And Pizza. Always pizza.
Happy Monday to all! I hope everyone enjoyed their first official summer weekend!
My weekend was lovely, but wait for it…too short. Big surprise, right?
The race was Sunday and in general we had a relaxed attitude towards it, so instead of doing nothing but relaxing on Saturday, we had a pretty normal (and busy) weekend day.
Saturday morning Minnie woke me up around 6a (not thrilled) but I decided to stay up and enjoyed knowing that I had nothing that I really really needed to do until later in the day. I haven’t been sleeping well, so I thought that perhaps the early wakeup would help me sleep that night.
Around 10:15a I headed out to a new running/biking/swimming store in town. I know the owner and wanted to show my support but also just check it out. I love my running store in Stamford, but this so much closer and quite honestly, convenience means a lot! I had planned on just buying some Gu type stuff and saying hi. Of course that didn’t happen!
I bought a bunch of Gu, and a few Clif products and then decided to try this.
While I wasn’t going to use it for the half, I figured it was worth trying. As a follow up, my sister said that some of them do still have remnants of the chia seed itself, so i’m not sure how the texture will be. Have you tried this brand?
I also picked up a new pair of Balega socks (Enduro no-show) since one of my pairs has gone missing.
As I was about the check out, I thought, what about compression. Because the store had opened only one day earlier, they had reps from the main brands there, so I got to talk to the 2xU rep, which was very helpful. I ended up going with a pair of compression socks and got a free running hat!
Yes, they are very smurf like, but they are so comfy! I had a long flight coming up at the end of August and figured these would do double duty.
I spent way more time (and money) at the store than I had expected and then headed up to Fairfield to pick up our bibs for the race. Pickup was quick and easy and then I headed home.
One Bro had an event that night, so I helped out a bit. I had agree to walk a neighbor’s dog, so I took her out around 3. And before I knew it, it was time to go to the train station to pick up my sister! Hooray! Once I grabbed her we did a few errands and then headed over to help at the One Bro event (which I never would have done the night before a race).
The party was a college graduation and it was a nice group. They loved the food.
Here’s the usual pizza eye candy. Two pies that made their debut on Saturday.
We managed to cut out of the party around 7:45 and went for sushi. I’m all about sushi as a pre-run food. As i see it, it’s a great mix of protein and carbs. Right? 🙂
And then it was time to rest up for RACE DAY!!!!
Forecast was sunny with low humidity and temps in the mid to high 80s. Start time was 8:15 which we all agreed is a bit late for a summer race.
So here we go….
I got up around 5:30 and we left the house around 6:45, getting to the train station (where the shuttle busses were) a little after 7. The process was easy. You picked up your clear bag check bag at the train station so you could leave things in your car. We were then shuttled over to the beach where the race would start.
We had plenty of time to hit the porta-potties and do some last minute hydrating. I ate my Sport Beans and then headed to what I would loosely call a corral. In this race, the men and women started separately and met up at mile 1. If you were running with someone of the opposite sex, you could start together in either.
My sister went to the front, my other half to the men, and I settled in towards the back of the women. My goal for this race was to go slow and enjoy. There were no actual time corrals although there were pacers. And then we were off. I was only a minute or so behind the start clock, so not too bad.
As I started, I had a few goals. Some were specific and some were more general.
Go slow…not faster than 11:00/mile
Enjoy the experience; the route, the surroundings, the people
Go without music until at least mile 7
Go without walking to at least mile 7
Don’t walk the hills
So I started with an easy pace and pretty much stayed at a consistent effort level throughout. We started out in town and there was some nice crowd support. There were bands spread out every 1-2 miles. As we headed away from town it became quieter and more country like, but the route was nice and some of the views were gorgeous! It was a rolling hills course, so some decent hills, but always followed by some nice downhills.
I managed to run every hill, goal met. Since I was focused on enjoying the surroundings and experiencing the event, I actually kept my music off until mile 9. And even when it was on, I kept the volume a bit lower. Goal met. I kept going at my slow pace and didn’t take a walking break until a water stop during mile 11. Goal met. So overall I met all of my goals. I think a part of me had a hidden goal of improving on my last time, but once I was out there running in the heat, I did the math and realized it might not happen. While it would have been nice to improve my time, it really wasn’t all that important to me.
I had read about how much your pace slows in the heat.
Assuming an ideal pace of 10:30 and a temperature of 80, that means I’d be looking at a pace of 11:46 on the lower end of the range. Looking at it this way, my pace on Sunday makes perfect sense. My effort level was pretty much the same, I was just moving much slower.
The race organizers did a great job with the water stops. Every water stop had water and UCAN (yuck!). A few stops also had Gu. The water stops seemed to be about every mile or so, which was great in the heat. My favorite part of the course was definitely the sprinklers. Early on I didn’t really need them, but from mile 10 on, they became a life saver because it was HOT and sunny. Getting wet with cool water made such a difference! There were about 6 or so official sprinklers (manned by the fire department) but quite a few homeowners also put their sprinklers out for the runners, which I loved.
The last stretch had you running over some gravel (which I hated) but thankfully it was short and left me really appreciating concrete. We also ran under a huge American flag, which was awesome!
I didn’t take any photos during the race, but did manage to grab a bunch from instagram. (I obviously took the bib/medal one)
Overall I had a good time. It wasn’t easy, but I did it and overall felt pretty good for most of it. I think that with proper training I could easily have a good run and drastically improve my time.
I’m proud of myself for doing it even though I really wasn’t trained properly or ready. But, as my mantra band says…
Catch ya on the flip side with some other thoughts.
I probably could have brought her in, but I have a hair appointment after work and trying to drop her off first would mean leaving work even earlier. So instead I will have my own personal Take Your Pet To Work Day another day.
There have been some studies regarding pets in the workplace and in almost most cases they seem to help reduce stress. I definitely think this is true and have had quite a few requests for coworkers that she come visit again.
I’m two days out from my third half marathon in less than a year. I never ever thought i’d say that. This one will be interesting to say the least.
1st HM – well trained and ready, but did encounter some stomach issues around mile 7 so I did a little more walking than I would have liked. Overall though, it was good and I was pleased with my time.
2nd HM – under trained and not ready. It was an incredibly hilly course and once I saw this I made the decision to walk the hills, figuring it would keep me going for longer. Stomach issues around mile 6 left me stuck waiting in line for the bathroom. I finished but it wasn’t pretty and I’m not all that proud of it.
3rd HM – under trained and kind of indifferent. I was nervous, but now i’m just going with it. It’s going to be warm. My plan is to go slow and try to enjoy the experience since this is supposedly a great half with good crowd support. I was going to skip wearing my garmin but think I should keep it to make sure I don’t go too fast. If I were well trained my target pace would probably be around 10:15, but in this instance I want to keep it closer to 11. I also saw that there are 25 band and cheer stations on the route, so I may also try doing some time without my headphones to once again try to enjoy the experience. There are also 6 sprinklers! 🙂
Any suggestions for going into a race that you really aren’t prepared for?
And now some random stuff…
Zulily has a “Graphic Imprints” sale going on right now and I’m LOVING some of these designs.
The verdict? It was OK but there’s room for some tweaking. I didn’t love the Italian sausage that I bought (Jenni-O Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage) and I think that played a huge part. I used more onion than the recipe calls for, added some shredded mozz, and also cooked up some sliced baby bella mushrooms. For some reason it reminded me of a quiche my mother used to make and while it sounds odd, it’s a good thing.
So the verdict is that I will make it again and see how it goes (with different sausage). The other half wasn’t a fan however, so it may be dinner for a night when he’s away. I have the leftovers for lunch and will see how it is reheated.
In case you were wondering, this was my backup recipe in case I couldn’t find the spaghetti squash.
The odd thing about this recipe is that last Saturday night while at a friend’s house I was looking through her Cooking Light and commented that this recipe sounded good. Then at work on Monday, someone brought me something I had printed and when he handed it to me it was two pages (I only printed one) and the second page was this recipe. Someone else had obviously also thought it seemed good.
So that’s what’s going on here today. Thoughts of running and food.
Have a wonderful weekend and I’ll drop in next week to let you know how it went. Enjoy the first weekend of summer!