Monday, February 27, 2017

Meal Prep Monday : 2/27-3/3

Well, I survived my black beans and lentils last week!  It did occur to me early in the week that I was eating baby food though...mushy beans, mushy potatoes, mushy lentils... I'm rewarding myself for all that protein-filled mush by eating pasta this week.

Lunch This Week

Green Beans

Meatballs : 1 lb lean ground beef (93/7) mixed with 1 egg, a bunch of garlic powder, and some breadcrumbs.  Cooked in Prego mushroom tomato sauce with a bit of alfredo sauce for about 90 minutes.  

Pasta : Penne pasta, tossed in sauce from the meatball pot.

Green Beans : I sauteed some onion with garlic powder and olive oil, then added a bag of frozen french-cut beans.  Cooked til tender enough to eat.  I did cover the pan for a little while to let them steam.  

The meal : 3 meatballs, a large spoonful of pasta, and 1/5 of the green beans.  

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Longest run since November 2013!

I was actually looking forward to my 20 mile run.  My last 18 miler went so well, I didn't see any reason why the 2 extra miles would be a problem.  I did not foresee that I would be running 20 miles with a very weak inhaler, however.  I've been trying to refill my prescription for almost 3 weeks now.  I've never had trouble getting refills authorized before, so I have no idea what is going on.  The pharmacy tried three times and then asked me to try.  I left a message on the prescription refill request line, which said to allow 5-10 days.  9 days later, I asked the pharmacy to try again.  Hoping they get through this time and I get my inhaler in the next few days!  If not I guess it's time to find a new doctor...

Mentally, I felt fine throughout the whole 20 miles.  I wouldn't say I hit a "wall" at any point.  I just couldn't get enough oxygen to my legs to keep them moving at the pace I wanted.  I felt good for the first 5 or so miles, and then it started getting harder.  I stuck with the guys til about mile 10, and then I really started dragging.  Thankfully, they were also in good spirits and would slow down or come back for me whenever I got too far behind.  I would try to speed up to stay with them, but every time I tried, my breathing got too fast, so I slowed back down.  It felt like I was crawling, but thankfully I'm in good enough shape that my crawl was still mostly faster than a 9 minute/mile pace!

This week : 
M : TRX 50x 30/10
jog 4 / 7:35 / 210 ft
T : youtube yoga for runners
Wolf Pack Track Tuesday 5 miles
W : workout abs & arms 37:30
R : Wolf Pack 8 / 7:57 / 358 ft
Sa : 20.4 w/Ben & Corey / 8:25 / 1053 ft
Su : shakeout 3.1 / 8:19 / 121 ft
total miles : 40.5

I loved the warm weather on Monday!  Was glad I had a jog scheduled as well as TRX so I could get outside and enjoy the sunshine in a tank top and shorts!

Mollie designed our track workout on Tuesday.  We jogged over to the track from the brewery for our warm up.  Then we did 8 x 300 at 75 % effort, with 2 minutes rest in between.  I was surprised at how consistent I was able to stay.  We started each 300 together, and the rest started when the last person crossed the line each time (me).  My times : 63 ,62, 62, 62, 61, 62, 63, 62.  My last one would have been faster, but Ben took off like a rocket, determined to beat Corey on the last one, and laughing slowed me down... Then we did 2 x 50 at a dead sprint.  We didn't really measure out the "50," we just picked the beginning and end of the bleachers on the back straightaway because it looked approximately 50 meters long.  I did both my 50s in 9 seconds.  

Wednesday's workout, 7 rounds of 7 exercises. 2 minutes between rounds.

Thursday, another gorgeous warm day for a run.

Saturday's long run.  Before, during, after, and aftermath. 
I finally took the tags off the camelbak I bought 3 years ago and put it to use!

Here's the plan for the upcoming week : 

M :  yoga/pilates
T : Track Tuesday (hoping for longer intervals at an easier pace)
W : abs & arms
R : 8-10
Sa : 10-12
Su : shakeout or rest

Monday, February 20, 2017

Meal Prep Monday : 2/21-2/24

I actually did my meal prep on Monday this week!  I've been enjoying a nice President's Day off at home, after being in Asheville for most of the weekend.  I got to sleep in, do some reading, do some cooking, workout, and enjoy a run in 70+ degrees!

I went grocery shopping this morning, and while walking down the beans aisle towards the pasta I suddenly decided it was time to make another attempt to like lentils and beans.  I've never had any love for either one, so I'm not sure why I just decided to torture myself with both at the same time.  My main motive is that they are both high in protein, and much cheaper than meat.  I am never giving up meat, but I would like to be able to supplement it with other forms of protein, since it's so expensive.

Lunch This Week 

Chicken Breast
Mashed Potatoes
Black Beans
Red Lentils & Carrots

Chicken Breast : See last week's post.  I made 2 chicken breasts last week, and only portioned one of them into my lunches.  The other one is in this week's lunch. 

Mashed Potatoes : 3 small potatos, boiled and mashed with butter, milk, garlic powder, salt, and oregano.

Black Beans : Simmered til soft.  Then there were added to a skillet with sauteed onions, mashed, and cooked with some of the leftover broth that I cooked the chicken in last week.  I also added a large handful of chopped mushrooms. 

Red Lentils : Simmered til soft, with garlic powder and some roasted cumin powder.  They ended up a bit overcooked, as the bag said 15-20 minutes.  I checked them somewhere around 10 minutes and they were already going to mush.  I removed them from the heat, drained them, and let them sit while I chopped and sauteed 2 large carrots.  I then added the lentils to the skillet along with some more of the chicken broth, and stirred til the carrots were soft enough and the liquid was cooked off.  

The meal : A large spoonful each of potatoes, beans, and lentils.  A few small slices of chicken on top of the mashed potatoes.  

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Planning ahead

I'm good at making broad statements about how my training will go, following the idea for a week or maybe 3, and then going back to doing whatever I feel like, whenever I feel like it.  In October I said I was going to do speed work every Tuesday.  That lasted until my foot hurt after November's race.  I was afraid to pound it too hard for awhile, and then I forgot about it.  By the time I remembered, it was too close to my February race to do any good.  In January I said I wouldn't run less than 7 miles at a time anymore.  Then this, that, and the other thing happened and I went back to some shorter runs.

I guess I'm not giving up though!  I'll never succeed if I don't keep trying.  My running partners and I are starting Track Tuesdays this coming Tuesday.  On Thursdays, we will do medium-long runs (I'm thinking 8-10 miles). And I have my weekend long runs mapped out all the way to the Hatfield McCoy Marathon in June.  And I am really going to try to keep strength training at least twice a week from now on.  I really want to be able to run a strong marathon in June, and I know the way to get there is to be more serious about my training schedule than I have been in a long time.  Hoping I can stick to it this time!  So far, so good.

This week : 
M : easy 3 / 7:54 / 72 ft
30 minutes core strength Pilates
T : run w/Mollie 5.3 / 8:24 / 240 ft
W : workout 5x5 @ 30/10, 2 minutes rest between sets
R : AM w/Mollie 9.5 / 8:28 / 374
(2.4 solo jog,  6 hill striders, then 6.2 with Mollie)
Sa : long run w/Ben 12.3 / 7:33 / 614 ft
Su : hike 3 miles 
total miles : 30.1

Here's the plan for the upcoming week, let's see how well I stick to it!

M: run 3 easy, 30 minutes TRX
T : 20-30 minutes Yoga or Pilates, speed workout on the track
W : 20-30 minute workout, focus on arms/abs
R : run 8-10 miles
F : day off
weekend : 20 on Saturday or Sunday, other day either off or easy 3-4

Now before I's a lovely finish line photo from last weekend. 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Meal Prep Monday : 2/13 - 2/17

This week I had to do my cooking on Saturday instead of Sunday, since I was gone just about all day Sunday for the 10 miler in Blacksburg.  I didn't feel like being too productive on Saturday, so I went for something simple.

Lunch This Week

Chicken Breast
Pesto Pasta
Carrots & Cabbage

Chicken Breast : I had a pizza night with my friends a few weeks ago, and ended up with a jar of artichokes and a jar of sun-dried tomatoes to finish on my own.  Once I had eaten them, there was still lots of liquid left in the jars, that I didn't want to just dump out.  In a sudden moment of inspiration, I dumped out both jars into a pot with some chicken breast, added enough broth to cover the chicken, and poached the chicken.  It came out delicious and tender.  I happened to buy both artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes this weekend because they are yummy, and because I wanted to cook chicken that way again.  Except this time I stole the liquid out of the jars before I actually ate the food out of them.  

Place two chicken breasts in the bottom of a saucepan.  Add artichoke and sun dried tomato liquids, then add chicken or vegetable broth until the chicken is well covered.  Add a generous amount of garlic powder.  Bring to a boil, uncovered.  Once a boil is reached, cover and simmer for 10 minutes, then remove from heat and let sit for 15-20 minutes.  Remove the chicken from the liquid and shred, it should be very tender.  Last time I made this, I let the chicken sit in the liquid to keep it extra moist and just cut off the amount I needed each day.  This week I didn't want the "extra work" during the week so I just portioned it out. 

Pesto Pasta : I believe I cooked slightly less than 1/2 pound.  Cook pasta according to directions on box.  Toss with a generous amount of pesto, and a dollop of alfredo sauce.  

Carrots and Cabbage : I chopped about 5 carrots and sauteed them with some olive oil.  I covered the pan for a little bit at the beginning to help them soften faster.  I divided the carrots into my five lunch containers, then used the same pan to cook some finely chopped cabbage.  I didn't have a lot of cabbage left, so there wasn't very much to divide up in my container, just a spoonful for each.  I also added a tiny bit of sauteed onions to each container.  

The meal : Thin layer of carrots, spoonful of cabbage, covered with a serving of pasta, topped with some shredded chicken.  

Like last week, I will be supplementing each meal with some green grapes (on sale again!) or sugar snap peas.  

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Blacksburg Classic 2017 : some crazy wind out there!

Today was my fourth year in a row at this race.  My time to beat was set the first year I ran it, when I finished in 1:10:14.  After that first year, I got a minute slower each year.  So today's primary goal was to not continue the trend and be another minute sooner.  And what I really wanted to do was finally PR this race.  I know I am stronger right now than I was the last 2 years, and possibly stronger than the first time I ran this race, although it's debatable.  When I ran it in 2014 I was a month into my first bout of tendonitis and still pretending it wasn't a big deal, but since I was only a month in my legs and lungs were still strong even if my foot wasn't.

I have run numerous half marathons at a faster pace than I have ever run this race, and I think wind is the main factor there.  It is always windy in Blacksburg.  This has been confirmed by someone who went to college there.  There are some stretches of the Huckleberry Trail during the race where there is absolutely nothing to block the wind.  There was a stretch in the middle of the race today where it took a lot of energy just to keep my feet on the path.  But I put my head down and pushed into the wind, and that mile somehow was not my slowest of the race.  I know that wind cost me some energy though.

My goal was to start the race at a 7:30 pace and then gradually speed up, and finish around 1:10 (hopefully under).  I ignored all the people passing me in the first mile, and tried to keep an easy pace.  It was about 70 degrees so I was wearing a tank top, rather than a shirt that covered my watch, and I couldn't stop myself from looking at my 1 mile split.  Way too fast...but I decided to hope that the downhills were to blame and that the jogging effort was good enough.  I don't think I looked at my watch again until mile 5, when I looked to see how ahead or behind I was for a 1:10 finish.  I was at 35:35, which seemed perfect for a negative split race with a PR.  That was right around when the wind got bad, but also when I started to pass people.  I was in 5th place at the time, and took 4th early in that 6th mile.  2nd and 3rd were within my view, and I set my sights on them and slowly reeled them in.  I was right on 2nd place's heels when we hit a turn-round at mile 7.  I stayed on her heels for a bit as we were passing on-coming runners, and then I found an extra burst of energy and made my move.  I spent the rest of the race feeling like I was dying, but terrified that she would catch me again if I slowed down at all.

For awhile now, I have had trouble when dying in a race.  I lose energy and the willpower to fight for it.  Today I finally felt some of my grit coming back.  I was gasping for air, and my legs were getting tired, but when I hit the hills in those last few miles, I dug deep and pushed harder, and my body responded.  A moment later I would start to die again, and feel like I had to give up, but each time, I was able to dig deep and find something more.  That is a piece that has been missing in my races, and I am so happy to have it back!  The hill towards the finish line was rough, but I knew the finish was just over the crest, and I managed to kick it up the hill and sprint the final curve to the finish.  I finished in 1:10:50.  Not the PR I had hoped for, but no regrets.  I ran an amazing race and I bet if I hadn't had to fight that wind I would have had my PR.  After 3 years of injuries, I am finally getting myself back, and I continue to be excited about what I will accomplish in races this year!

HR profile certainly says I ran hard...that's an awful lot of time in Z5!

My race buddies and I showing up to the race in style. 
(Straight from church)

Ready to race!  But still have 45 minutes to kill.

All of us survived and have recovered enough to smile!

Top 3 females. 
Somehow my name didn't end up on the awards list but thankfully 3rd place was honest and told them I was definitely in front of her...and they got it fixed. 

2nd place trophy + $75 gift card to RunAbout Sports

$25 from last year's 3rd place + $75 from this year's 2nd place = I get to buy new shoes!
Ben snapped this of some point after this there were 2 or 3 more pairs there. 
The ones on my feet in this picture are actually the ones I ended up with : Brooks Glycerin. 
I still had to pay $40 after the gift cards, but the salesman said they are supposed to be a higher-mileage shoe, so hopefully if I am diligent about going back and forth between these and my mizuno wave enigmas, I will be able to get (dare I hope for) 400 miles out of them.  

February race week!

Another shorter-mileage week, due to a combination of the sore ankle and not wanting to overdo it before the Blacksburg Classic.  I did workout on all but one of the days that I didn't run though.  Hoping I will be able to find a balance between runs and workouts going forward, as everything but my legs is woefully out of shape, and my legs would also benefit from some strength training.

This week : 
M : workout 34:31
T : group 4.1 / 7:42 / 197 ft
W : workout 13:27
R : group 6.2 / 8:32 / 338 ft
F : TRX 33:10
Su : group warm up 1.2 / 7:53 / 46 ft
warm up #2 0.5 / 7:07 / 0 ft
race 10 / 7:03 / 351 ft
cool down 0.5 / 11/48 / 0 ft
total miles : 22.6

Monday's workout

Wednesday's workout
(followed by some quality time torturing a tight muscle in my calf with my new roller)
these brand new, extra smooth, floors are perfect for pikes in socks

Friday's workout

Monday, February 6, 2017

Meal Prep Monday : 2/6 - 2/10

Last school year, I had just about the exact same thing for lunch every day.  A tuna-egg salad sandwich, a golden delicious apple, and potato chips.  This was all well and good...relatively healthy, easy to make, and I somehow never completely got sick of it, though it did get old occasionally.

This school year however,  I am at a new school.  Where my commute is about 15 minutes longer.  And where I no longer have to wait in line for a microwave at lunch.  So I decided I was done with the sandwiches.  It saves me time in the morning if I can just grab a pre-packed container out of the fridge, and not have to make a sandwich and slice an apple (since I can't bite apples ever since my bike wreck in November 2015).

So now, I spend some time in the kitchen every Sunday afternoon, cooking up a meal to portion out into 5 containers to take to lunch each day during the school week.  I am loving this new routine.  I get to eat something slightly different each week, and it is so nice to just grab and go in the morning!

I've been keeping track of each week's meals for awhile now, but haven't gotten around to getting them on here.  I'm going to try to start posting them each Monday now.   And the one's I haven't posted yet will be saved for the random weeks when I don't get around to cooking and end up scrounging all week instead.

Lunch This Week

Pork roast

Pork Roast : Pre-heat oven to 450.  Lightly coat a pork roast with olive oil, and then sprinkle the top with garlic powder (a lot of it, in my case) and oregano.  Bake for approximately 1 hour.  I use a meat thermometer to check temperature, and remove from the oven once it gets past 145 degrees.  A smaller roast will take less than an hour, a larger one takes more. 

Risotto : I'm not a huge fan of rice, I much prefer pasta.  However, I'm trying not to eat pasta every day...gotta change it up once in awhile.  And I do like risotto.  It's time consuming, so I don't make it too often, but occasionally I talk myself into it.  I have found that it does matter what kind of rice you use, I have had zero luck with brown rice, but arborio rice works great.  

First, I sauteed some chopped onion in olive oil.  While the onion was sauteeing, I grated a carrot and added that to the pot.  When the onions were translucent, I added about a cup of rice and some more olive oil, and stirred to coat the rice.  I then added about 1/2 cup of white wine.  I stirred occasionally to make sure nothing was sticking.  Then I warmed up about 4 cups of  chicken stock and vegetable stock in the microwave, and added it about 1 cup at a time, only adding more each time all liquid was absorbed.  When the risotto was almost done, I added a couple of chopped mushrooms and some garlic powder.  

Cabbage : I finely chopped some cabbage and sauteed it in olive oil with some garlic powder.  

The meal : A thin layer of cabbage, topped with a big spoonful of risotto, and 2 slices of pork. 

I usually cook more vegetables, but just wasn't enthused by any of my options this week.  I will supplement each lunch with some green grapes or sugar snap peas for extra fruit/veggie though.  I haven't had grapes in a while, but they were on sale this week and looked good so I couldn't resist!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Easy mileage week ended with an ankle-buster

I was surprised to find that I was not at all sore after last Sunday's 18 miler, but I think my legs were a bit tired.  I wasn't really feeling any longer runs, so I took it pretty easy all week.  With a 10 mile race coming up I wanted to make sure I didn't overdo it.  By Saturday I was feeling pretty good, and started thinking that it might be fun to go for a trail run. I meant for it to be slow and easy, with stops to take photos.  Then Ben texted to say he was going trail running in Damascus, did I want to go?  So off to Damascus we went, to run 4 miles up a mountain on the AT and then 4 miles back down.  It was gorgeous out, and my legs felt good.  I was worried about busting an ankle, but tried to run as carefully as I could.  Coming back down the mountain both ankles were hurting from the uneven terrain, even without either of them actually being rolled.  And then I had 1 mis-step on my right ankle.  The same ankle I sprained really badly a year ago.  As far as ankle-rolls go, it wasn't too bad, and I ran the last 2 miles with no more mishaps, but being even more careful than before.  The ankle was sore, but it didn't feel like a sprain, and I figured it would be fine.  As the day wore on, I realized it was a bit worse than I thought, and I realized I would have to take a day or two off after all.

I took today off from running and did TRX instead.  My ankle is feeling better after it's rest day, but I can tell it is pretty weak.  I will probably end up taking tomorrow off as well, just to be safe.

This week : 
M : run 4.2 / 8:04 / 190 ft
W : early AM run 6 / 8:36 / 292 ft
R : group run 6.2 / 8:23 / 144 ft
Sa : trail w/Ben 8.2 / 9:44 / 1791 ft
Su : TRX 30 minutes abs/arms
total miles : 24.6

Appalachian Trail south from Damascus, VA
we crossed into Tennessee about 3.5 miles in, 
and turned around at 4.1 when we reached the top of the mountain

the view from the top

what's a gorgeous day on a mountain after a 4 mile climb without a jumping photo?

the state line

Ben heading back down the mountain