Boston Marathon Training: Hansons, Week 11

Highest volume week yet to wrap up the month of February! My body was tired by Sunday, but my legs still felt pretty good. I did my first round of strength workouts in place of my track workout, and it was a lot of fun. I can certainly see how these workouts are going to build speed and endurance over the next 6-7 weeks. I have a bit of a recovery week on the schedule for week 12, and it’s going to feel great after the week I just had.

Here’s the pace guide I’m using:

Marathon Goal –  3:05
Marathon Pace/Tempo Runs –  7:03/mile
Recovery Runs – 9:11/mile
Aerobic A/Easy – 8:36
Aerobic B/Easy – 8:01
Long Run: 7:42

Monday, 2/22: 10 Mile Easy Run+ Core/MYRTLs + Pole Fitness

This run is the reason why I’m a runner. It was after work, and I had 6+ miles on the schedule. I’ve been running a few extra miles on Mondays. Hanson’s plan states in the program modifications that easy runs are a good place to add miles. They suggest extending your easy days to 10+, so for awhile I hovered around eight miles on days where six was on the schedule, but starting last week I bumped it up to 10. I do this with the understanding that if I’m not feeling it, I’m fine with cutting the run at six and calling it a day.

There was no cutting it at six, and if I had more time I might have even considered running longer that day. It was absolutely gorgeous out – 50 degrees and sunny. I had shorts with me. Shorts in February! I went to the D&L trail in Northampton with a few of my friends from work. Missy was running eight miles, Leigh was aiming for six. Missy and I did two miles together to warm up since we got to the trail before Leigh, and then we all got started. We all fell into our own paces and didn’t stick together, but it was so gorgeous out that I just zoned and enjoyed the weather. I felt like I could run forever.

As I was heading down the trail to finish my run, I just kept thinking, “This. This is why I’m a runner.” That run was the reason why I try my best to run what’s on my training plan each week. This run is why I try to eat healthy, and get a lot of sleep. To be able to go out and just run comfortable and happy on a trail for however many miles I felt like running. That’s what it’s all about for me. And I think over the past few years, I lost sight of that as I’ve been chasing my marathon goals. I needed a run like this!

After the run, I did some core/MYRTLs and headed to pole class. We took a break from competition practice and learned a few new tricks using some different grips. We used a forearm bracket grip, which I actually really love and something called a football hold. It was fun to learn something new.

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Tuesday, 2/23: Track Workout: 3 mile warm up, 6×1 mile w/400 meter recoveries, 2.5 mile cooldown (13 miles) + Strength/Core/MYRTLs

I was so excited for this workout for two reasons: first of all, it’s different from almost anything I’ve ever done. Second, it was so long but the pace was reasonable that I could do it outside and on the roads to avoid running around the track a gazillion times. Except it was about 35 degrees and we were being hammered with rain/sleet, so guess who ended up on the treadmill AGAIN. I’ve never spent so much time on a treadmill as I have this winter. Which is so weird, because the weather hasn’t been as horrendous as the past two years.. But I also have more focused workouts this winter, so hitting certain paces has been a big part of my training.

I headed to the gym and got it done. The focus was to do 6×1, but to do them at marathon pace minus 10 seconds per mile. I’m aiming for a 7:03 pace, so ideally I should run these at 6:53. I set the treadmill for 8.8 mph (6:48 pace) since it was the closest without going over and it actually felt good.

I’m not going to sit here and tell you this workout was easy. It wasn’t. It also wasn’t the most awful thing ever. Surprisingly, I warmed up and cranked up the treadmill and was able to knock them down pretty comfortably. It actually got me thinking of a workout I did once on the track when I was working with Kenrick, my former coach. A few weeks before my marathon, he had me to 8×1 mile at 6:45 pace. I remember getting that workout done on the track, and I remember it being really hard. Like 6:45 pace that day felt the way my 5K pace currently feels. I don’t necessarily think it was a bad workout or I was in worse shape then – I still cranked out some fast marathons that season. I think what might make this workout seem more effective and approachable now is the fact that I’ve built up to it.

After the workout, I did core, MYRTLs, and the Nike Training Club workout (Runner Strength and Balance) from the past two weeks.

Wednesday, 2/24:  Arc Trainer, 20 min + Barre Strength + Core + Pole Fitness

It was pouring so I knew that ski club was canceled, but I headed to the gym anyway because I like the short workout I do on Wednesday morning. I think it helps get my legs all flushed out from the track work the day before. I started with my Nike Training Club Barre Strength routine, which is really tough and effective. Instead of the elliptical, I tried the arc trainer to change things up. It seems like a similar workout to the elliptical.

I had a productive night at pole class making my way through my routine. I still have segment that needs some choreography, and I need to actually do it to the music, but it’s coming along.

Thursday, 2/25: 14 miles w/8 at Marathon Pace + Abs/MYRTLs

Tempo day! Is it sick and twisted that I was actually excited for it? Because I was. It was a rainy ugly morning, but I didn’t have to do it until the afternoon. Oh, and I saw a pretty rainbow on my way to work and figured it was a good sign.

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The run didn’t start well, and while I hit my paces it didn’t feel quite as effortless this week. It was still fun and productive, though. First of all, as I was leaving work I realized I forgot socks. I can’t run without them. I know some people do, I just can’t imagine doing it. I grabbed a small coffee and luckily, there is a Sports Authority en route to my preferred trail.

I’m driving to the trail, and its doing some weird wintery mix thing. A little rain, snow and sleet. Not very hard, but it was dreary and super windy. Like whipping my car around windy. Pulled up at the trail and yes, I change in my car. Except not only did I forget socks, but I forgot a sports bra. I was thisclose to saying “fuck it, I’m going home”. I decided I would just wear my regular bra (ugh!) and suck it up. At this point, I felt defeated and like the task ahead was so daunting.

I tried to keep the warm up a little easier than last week, and the tempo miles were about the same. I know I need to stay closer to the 7:03 pace. But I have a really hard time finding that pace. I can go faster, I can go slower, but I can never just nail it. I know it seems good that I can bust out the pace faster, but I don’t need to be moving faster. As soon as I start to slow down, I slow down too much. I can’t seem to find that sweet spot. It’s a bit concerning. I want to hold 7:03 in Boston, and I need to get used to what that feels like.

Sure, I would love to hold 6:50s in Boston but I just don’t think I have the fitness to back that kind of pace up. I’m not saying I’m incapable, I just don’t think the timing is right and I haven’t done the work yet. I haven’t broken 3:10 in over a year, so I can’t expect to show up and break 3 hours. 10 whole minutes is a huge jump.

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I didn’t finish the tempo out as fast as I did last week, but it was still solid. Overall pace, 7:24. I felt good once I got moving, and the cool down felt better this week. By the final mile, I was tired. I went home and did MYRTLs and abs, including a Nike Training Club workout called Fearless. I hadn’t done that one in awhile and it features a bunch of V-sits and the things that I usually shy away from. It didn’t get any easier!

Friday, 2/26: 8 Mile Recovery Run + Core+ Pole Fitness

UGH. AGAIN. THIS FREAKING RUN.

I dread this thing more than I dread anything else all week. I think because it’s dark and early. My legs actually weren’t sore, but my body was tired. It wasn’t as cold as last week but it was windy. FML. I almost called it at 3 miles (I pass my house at 3 miles) but I told myself, “Instead of 8, just do 6. It’s an easy out and back to make it 6.” Once I got to six, I felt okay so I told myself to go an extra half mile to make it seven. And once I got to seven, I convinced myself to go one more half mile because then all I had was a 2.5 mile run back and I would be at eight. I actually didn’t feel terrible towards the end, but it took some convincing to get me through it.

At pole class, I showed up with a new song for my competition piece. I’ll do a post on it soon. I thought the studio owner was going to lose it since I’ve been practicing the Bieber song since the beginning of January! I was completely done choreographing the Bieber song. I just wasn’t into it, and I felt like the movements had to be so rushed in order to fit all of the choreography in with the music. However, I made some progress with the new song and can use almost all of the choreography from the old one in some way.

Saturday, 2/27: Long Run, 18 Miles Run + Pole Fitness + Core/MYRTLs

This was just a long morning. Due to some plans in my schedule for next week, I had to do my long run on Saturday. I couldn’t do it on Sunday because I have to move my track workout to Monday, and I certainly didn’t want to do them back to back. So Saturday morning, at the ass crack of dawn, I met Mark and Kathy. We met around 6 am, which should be illegal on a Saturday morning. The run was pretty uneventful. I didn’t feel too awesome, but I got it done. I seemed to perk up around mile 12 and dropped a bunch of faster miles, so we negative split the run. Overall pace, 7:33 and much closer to my long run pace. Lately, those have been a bit too fast.

I just didn’t feel awesome running. My legs felt a little tired, and my body was a lot tired. My stomach was a bit upset, but nothing unbearable. I think part of the problem was that I’m more recovered from Thursday’s tempo by Sunday, and I don’t start at Dark O’Thirty anymore. For awhile, I really hated and dreaded the long run but lately I’ve enjoyed it…until this past Saturday. It’s definitely the timing of the Saturday run that makes it less enjoyable.

I made it to the 9 am pole class and stayed until noon working on my new song. By the end, I actually had the entire song choreographed AND I could run through the whole thing! The studio owner was pretty excited at this point, as she was worried I would be setting myself back. Now all I have to do is just keep practicing the routine. I’m really excited about all of the changes I made and will post some clips soon.

At home, I did my core and my MYRTLs before going to get one of my sister-in-laws famous gel manicures:

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Sunday: 2/28:  10 miles + Core/MYRTLs

It was a gorgeous day and I met Emily mid-morning for a run. We did 10 easy miles, and it was perfect out! We kept the pace easy, 8:17, and I took her on one of my favorite new routes through Saucon Valley. At home, I followed it up with MYRTLs/core, including a Nike Training Club workout called Core Stability. I also spent some time stretching and foam rolling.

How was your week? How is your race training going? Do you ever have a run on your schedule that you just want no part of? 

♥ Total ♥ 73 miles ♥

Foodie Fridays: Almond Sweet Potato Flatbreads

imageLast year, I was hung up on a paleo wrap recipe that I would make and use for lunch – well, really for any meal but I’d bring them to work for lunch. Honestly, they tasted great no matter when I ate them but they worked best if I could quickly heat them up in a skillet (just for about a minute) before using them. Otherwise, they would fall apart a little. I didn’t mind and would just eat them with a fork.

This school year, I wanted a wrap but I wanted it to be a bit lower maintenance. The other ones didn’t take too long to make but they required some attention as each one needed to be cooked kind of like a pancake or a crepe, where you flip them halfway through and have to keep your eye on it. I found this flatbread recipe on Pinterest and it met a lot of my requirements: paleo, simple and fun ingredients, super easy, lots of flexibility to modify and change it up with whatever you have on hand.

As usual, I modified the original recipe and added some spices to fit my taste buds. You could switch up the spices, or even chop up some fresh herbs to go in the crust of these depending on what you use them for. I’d guess that you could also sub pumpkin, banana, butternut squash, or maybe even some cooked and mashed apples for the sweet potato. I haven’t tried (yet), but I can’t see why it wouldn’t work.

Here’s the base recipe that I like, and what I made almost every single week since coming across it to keep in my fridge. They taste great with pretty much anything – I topped it with a paleo chicken salad, I’ve spread almond butter, cut up banana and a drizzle of honey on them. I’ve filled them with an egg scramble for a breakfast wrap. I had some leftover marscarpone cheese the other day and warmed up a wrap and slapped that goodness on top. OH EM GEE.

Paleo Almond Sweet Potato Flatbreads
Makes 6 Wraps

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups almond meal
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/2 cup mashed, cooked sweet potato
  •  1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon spice of choice (I use turmeric, mainly because I like the color and the anti-inflammatory properties, but you could do anything. Cinnamon for a sweet flatbread, perhaps? Paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, cinnamon, curry powder? Possibilities are endless!)

Method

  1. In a large bowl combine the almond meal, spices and sweet potato. Mix with a fork until well combined.
  2. Add egg white and mix until dough forms. The dough will seem like it’s a little too wet, but don’t panic.
  3. Divide dough into 6 pieces.
  4. Place one section of dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper and flatten with hand (or rolling pin) into a 1/4 inch thick circle.
  5. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and repeat with remaining dough.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.
  7. Top as desired.

Enjoy!

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What do you eat for lunch? Do you do meal prep ahead of time, or just wing it?

Review: Hello Fresh


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Disclaimer: I purchased this product on my own and have no affiliation with Hello Fresh. This review is based on my personal opinion of my recent experience with this company.

A few weeks ago, I tried and reviewed Blue Apron. I loved it so much that when Groupon had an offer for Hello Fresh, I was all over it.

Hello Fresh is a meal delivery service. You choose from an assortment of recipes and can get three to four meals per week delivered to your door, based on a plan for a two person household. They have options for families where members can get more or less delivered each week. Subscribers receive all of the recipe and all of the ingredients for each meal. Even with having to chop the ingredients, the whole process of prepping and cooking each meal was under 45 minutes.

The Groupon I came across offered two weeks worth of meals. I had a coupon for any Groupon, so I was able to purchase this package for $55, which means $27/week! $27/week for three meals per week (each feeds two people) is pretty good, considering the types of meals I would be receiving (salmon, chicken, pork, beef, etc).

My first delivery was set for Saturday, February 6th followed by a second delivery on Saturday, February 13. Deliveries could be scheduled from Monday-Saturday. The food comes packed neatly in a medium sized box. Inside the box is a silver insulated bag made of bubble wrap, and the bag contains all of the food plus enormous ice packs. If I wasn’t home to receive this, I would feel comfortable leaving it packaged this way for a whole day and not worrying about it spoiling.

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The recipes I received for each week were:

Week of February 6th

  • Prosciutto Wrapped Garlic Sage Chicken with Spinach and Tomatoes
  • Peppercorn Steak with Creamed Kale and Roasted Potatoes
  • Pan Seared Pork Chops with Rosemary Grape Salsa and Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Broccolini

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imageWeek of February 13

  • Caramelized Onion Burgers with Garlic Aioli and Crispy Cauliflower
  • Spiced Salmon with Blood Orange Arugula and Couscous
  • Chicken Paprikish with Creamy Polenta and Dill (I forgot to take a picture of that one!)

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The recipes come in a little book with clear, concise directions. The protein comes in vacuum sealed bags, and every item is clearly labeled. Each recipe comes with a special box that contains all of the little extras you may need, like random spices and seasonings. You do need to keep the basics at home, like olive oil, salt and pepper but they give you everything else.

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My favorites were the pork, burgers, and the chicken. My husband really loved the peppercorn steak. I’d eat any of these meals again, and I will absolutely be recreating these in the future!

In my opinion, the difference between Blue Apron and Hello Fresh is minimal. I found that the recipes and flavors in Blue Apron were a bit more suited to my tastes because they used some very different ingredient combinations. Blue Apron seems to be a bit more creative. Serious foodies looking to try a meal delivery service should choose Blue Apron. However, I would not turn my nose up at Hello Fresh – the meals were fabulous, the ingredients were incredibly fresh and the recipes were easy to follow. It was a joy to come home and know I had a brand new meal to prepare, and it wasn’t going to take me all night to do it. Oh yeah, and I didn’t have to meal plan or food shop for any of it – it’s all shipped right to your door!

Besides spicing up my dinner hour, I can reiterate what I said about Blue Apron: I love the convenience of these services. I deactivated my account after my final delivery because they will automatically charge you and ship you more food. However, since deactivating I already received a coupon, so I re-activated it and have a week of meals coming to me on my birthday! It was very simple to cancel the service (and to restart it).

I really liked that it forced me to cook with ingredients that I usually pass up. It gave me some great ideas for side dishes during the week, which is what I usually struggle with. For example, the Grape-Rosemary Salsa on the pork chops was top notch and SO simple. I will absolutely make that again!

Again, I am in no way affiliated with this company but a few friends of mine have saved a few bucks from a discount code they sent me in my e-mail! Use the code below and you get $40 off a week of meals!!! That comes to $29. How can you pass that up? And when the delivery comes, it’s like food Christmas. hellofresh

Have you ever tried a meal delivery service? What are your thoughts on this type of business? I’m obsessed!

 

What I’m Working Out to Wednesday

“1940” (Amplive Remix)
The Submarines

Another one I’ve been jamming out to lately thanks to the recent pole competition in my schedule! The Submarines have had a few catchy jams that have made their way onto my playlists in the past, and I forgot about this song until recently. It’s by no means a new song, but a good one for any playlist!

What’s on your playlist that you are loving lately?

Boston Marathon Training: Hansons, Week 10

So last week’s milestone was that I made it to the halfway point. This week marks the end of my 10 week “speed” building segment of my training. The final eight weeks will use that speed, but the focus will shift to endurance. I’ll still have “Track Tuesdays”, but starting next week the goal of the workout will be strength. For the past 10 weeks, my goal pace for track workouts has been 5K pace. Starting next week, the focus is going to be workouts like 6×1, 4×1.5, 3×2, and 2×3 but the pace changes to marathon pace -10 seconds/mile. I’ll be gunning for a 6:50 pace for these workouts, rather than the 5K pace of 6:12. In theory, it sounds easier. It’s the volume that’s going to make these workouts challenging and effective.

Here’s the pace guide I’m using:

Marathon Goal –  3:05
Marathon Pace/Tempo Runs –  7:03/mile
Recovery Runs – 9:11/mile
Aerobic A/Easy – 8:36
Aerobic B/Easy – 8:01
Long Run: 7:42

Monday, 2/15: 10 Mile Easy Run+ Core/MYRTLs

We had off for President’s Day, so I met Emily for a hilly run around Saucon Valley. We did 10 miles, and kept the pace comfortable, 8:23. I went home and did some core and MYRTLs, and had intentions of going to pole class at night as usual. Mother Nature had other plans. By the time I had to leave for pole, it was snowing and the roads were a mess. It’s about a 20 mile drive for me to get to the studio, and the highways I normally take were completely jammed. I stayed home, and I heard I made the right decision. I was SO bummed to miss it.

Tuesday, 2/16: Track Workout: 3.25 mile warm up, 3×1600  w/400 meter recoveries, 3 mile cooldown (10 miles) + Pole Fitness + Strength/Core/MYRTLs

We had a super surprise snow day. I really didn’t even think we had a shot at a delay. It snowed, then it turned to sleet/freezing rain, and then turned to rain. Then, it warmed up to 50 degrees! But thanks to the arctic air over the previous weekend, the ground was so cold that most of the surfaces were like skating rinks. I wasted no time going to the gym for my track workout, and then headed right to pole class since I missed out on my Monday night class due to weather. It was ahhhhmahhhhhziiinnngggg! Best day ever.

So, the track workout. The repeats. I mentioned it before, I hate them. Mile repeats scare the eff out of me. Thanks to the ice, I was (once again) on the treadmill. My goal pace for these is 6:12, and I did them in 6:08, 6:10, 6:04!! I started with the treadmill set at 9.7, and then at the end of the first two repeats would crank it to 9.8. The last one, I started cranking the pace earlier and got it up to 10.1 mph! I felt really good, and I really enjoyed the run. After the workout, I did my Nike Training Club workout, Runner Strength and Balance. I mentioned it last week. It’s only 16 minutes and really targets your lower body.

I headed right to the pole studio and worked on a new combo that I plan to use in my competition piece. I really need to get my spin combo together, because everything else is pretty set. I have an idea as to where I want it all to go, but it’s still a huge work in progress.

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I went home, did some MYRTLs/abs, and spent the rest of the day relaxing on the couch.

Wednesday, 2/17:  Elliptical, 25 min + Barre Strength + Skiing

“Rest” day (from running)! I had an hour before work so I used it on the elliptical and that Nike Training Club workout from last week, Barre Strength. It is so challenging and I really love it.

We skied for a few hours after work since it was a ski club night, but we had terrible conditions. We had the cold weather and the snow, but the ice turned to rain and 50 degrees made for a really interesting textured snow. We had fun anyway.

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Thursday, 2/18: 14 miles w/8 at Marathon Pace + Pole Fitness + Abs/MYRTLs

You guys…consistent tempo runs…it’s what my training was missing before. I know different training stimuli work differently for everyone, but seriously. Why was I not doing weekly tempos before? Oh, right – because they are scary and freaking hard. They still scare the shit out of me. They are still hard as shit. But I am beginning to develop a love/hate relationship with these runs. I don’t know how I trained for marathons before without them. Just the confidence booster alone is worth the anxiety of having them on the schedule.

I got to do my tempo run outside this week! That in itself is a huge win. I’m so glad that I didn’t attempt to do it outside last week, because the trails would have been covered for sure. There were still some sketchy, icy segments this week. Most were completely passable without having to slow my pace, but there was one patch that I hit in my warm up and cool down where I had to actually walk over it because it was like a skating rink. I almost went down both times – even just walking.

Back to the actual run. Just like last week, I made sure to get a great night’s sleep and to pack a few extra calories to eat throughout the day. I was also focused on hydration – drinking often, and making sure to add Nuun tablets to my water all day long. I ate a banana, drank a small coffee and some water on my way to the trail.

It was chilly and a bit breezy, but sunny. I started out on the trail with my warm up and I felt good. Really good. I was trying my best to stay within my easy range because I knew once I picked up the pace, I would wish for those relaxed miles back. When I hit mile three, it was time to take off and aim for my 7:03 goal marathon pace. The first mile felt uncomfortable as usual, but I settled into a rhythm and started ticking off the miles. I was trying to run off of effort rather than keeping an eye on my watch.

The trail I was on turns into a REAL trail run around mile 6.25, so I knew I had to turn around at that point (or slow down). If you run the whole trail, it’s a 15 mile run (7.5 out and back), but the terrain turns rough at the end. Not something that would bother me on any other run, but not ideal for a tempo run. As I turned around to head back at 6.25, I was just over 3 miles into my tempo and it felt decent, so I decided to take in my Salted Watermelon Gu. Last week, I waited to fuel until I was halfway into the run but really I just wanted to make sure I had enough gas in the tank to bust out my tempo miles (who cares about the cool down, I can struggle through that and eat after).

And that’s when I proceeded to crank it out:

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Maybe it’s not a true negative split in the sense that each mile got faster, but I certainly laid down the second four miles of the tempo portion faster than the first four! I was smiling from ear to ear (I can’t imagine what I must have looked like to anyone I passed). When my watch beeped at that 6:39 mile, I was seriously shocked. I am still seriously shocked. Like what the actual eff even happened out there, I still don’t know. Is this real life?

The other awesome part of this run was my cool down. I decided to go for the full three miles, and so when I got back to my car I was only at 12.5 total miles. There’s a little extension on this trail that I’ve never checked out before, so I used the remainder of my cool down to go explore. It was perfect, because when I got to the .75 mile point I had to turn around because the trail became impassible with snow and ice. I literally could not go any further even if I wanted to. By the last mile, I was cold and starting to get tired so I just went with whatever pace I could comfortably manage.

I am sitting here writing this the day after the run, and I am still shocked at how this run went down. I’m so excited. I can only hope I can have a few more tempo runs that feel this way. I am so thankful for the tempo runs I’ve had in the past two weeks and I hope I can continue to see progress.

My new Garmin is still getting to know me, so every time I run I get new “PRs” that come up. It told me I ran my fastest half marathon during this run! My PR in the half is from this past September, and it’s 1:29. My watch doesn’t know about that race, but it alerted me on Thursday that I ran a 1:34 half marathon!

Regarding the cool down. So in the past, I’ve ALWAYS cut corners with my cool down. If I ever did tempo runs before, I’d do something like warm up for 2-3 miles, tempo, then cool down for one mile. It just never felt good during the cool down. I realized after the last 10K I ran where I did a cool down run of 3 miles that the cool down does, in fact, make a huge difference.

I believe a solid, honest (in pace) cool down helps your body wind down and reduces soreness, because while I definitely feel a bit creaky and stiff the day after a tempo run, I don’t feel horrendous. Same thing with these track workouts. I’ve been doing the full, three mile cool down and I really think it flushes the lactic acid out of your legs and speeds up recovery. I know how crazy that sounds – run more miles to recover better? But I’m telling you. I’m running 60+ miles per week now and it’s the one thing that I’ve really changed. I could barely walk in the fall when I was running this type of volume.

Post run, I did make it to pole class and worked on my routine. It wasn’t the most unproductive night, but I was certainly tired. I did some MYRTLs and core at home that night to stay true to our StrongBody Streak!

Friday, 2/19: 8 Mile Recovery Run + Core+ Pole Fitness

UGH FRIDAY MORNING RUNS…that is all.

Well, I guess it’s not all. There were some really good things that happened. Besides the fact that my legs were all, “Hey you whore, remember that tempo run where we did what you wanted us to do less than 12 hours ago? What the HELL”, it was cold as shit (like 13 degrees) and dark and I am so whiny about this run ohmigosh. But I went, and I wore my new kicks (will be posting about those one of these days) and they were fabulous. But most fabulous of all was the fact that IT WAS GETTING LIGHT OUT AS I FINISHED MY RUN. You guys. Spring. It’s COMING!

After work, I headed to pole class to work on my competition piece. I’m working on a transition from an invert where I slowly lower down off the pole in a backbend. It’s really pretty. I also added a dragon tail, another favorite of mine.

 

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At home, I did core, MYRTLs, and a Nike Training Club Workout called Core Control.

Saturday, 2/20: 10 Mile Run + Pole Fitness + Core/MYRTLs

Woke up early and met Mark and Kathy for 10 miles. They were doing 18 and we keep the pace comfortable, 7:53. That put me about 10 seconds faster than my easy range, but I felt good and really missed running with them. However, Hanson’s has me doing Sunday long runs and I want to try my best to follow the plan. It makes sense that they fall on Sundays, so as long as it fits in with my life, I’ll follow it as scheduled. I might have to run long next weekend on Saturday to accommodate life.

Followed it up with a long session at the pole studio to keep working on my competition piece. I got closer on that backbendy-thing I was working on the night before, so I posted a clip on Instagram – though it’s still a work in progress! At home, I stretched, foam rolled, and did my core/MYRTLs, and a NTC workout called Core Stability.

Sunday: 2/21: Long Run, 16 miles + Core/MYRTLs

With Hansons, they only have you running long every other weekend. However, it does state in the program modifications chapter that you can choose to do a long run on the “off” weekends if you are trying to add more miles in. I love how adaptable this training program is. While I feel like it is much more structured than anything I’m used to, I also feel like I am truly able to make this training plan work for me.

I figured that since Megan could run (my fun, fast friend!) this weekend and we already knew the next few weeks might be tough to get together, that I would do 16 miles again. I did that last weekend at a reasonable pace in the frigid weather by myself. The weather was so much nicer this weekend that I wanted to take advantage of it.

We decided to run the towpath, which I normally hate. But instead of starting in Bethlehem, we started in Easton and we ran south – I’ve only run to Easton before, never further. We were running towards Philly, and it was so gorgeous! We had a phenomenal run – such a nice day, and great company. I really enjoy running with her.

As for pace, it was too fast by Hansons standards, 7:16/mile. HOWEVER. I felt fine running, and we were talking the entire time. I wasn’t winded, and we could carry on a conversation. The only time I felt like it was tough was on the muddy sections where my footing felt weird. I felt a little tired by the last two miles, but it was the last two miles of the long run – I should feel tired. Since we were running flat and on a soft surface, I’m okay with it for this week. I have a long run planned for next weekend, and I am planning to keep the pace within my Hansons parameters for that one. There is no need to push the pace like that, and I don’t want my weeks to turn into a point where all of my paces seem to blend together and are the same. I’ve been doing a decent job of keeping each day within the suggested pace ranges, and week 10 isn’t where I want to go and start making things harder than they already are.

Post run, we did have enough energy for some pictures…the weather was awesome!

These shoes WERE new…

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I think this guy wanted to run with us:

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16 badass miles, DONE!

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How was your week? How is your race training going?! I am still sucking at the blog life. This post took me all day to get out!

♥ Total ♥ 68 miles ♥

Foodie Fridays: Paleo Shepherd’s Pie

This has become a staple in my weeknight meal rotation, or I’ll even make this and serve it up for lunch during the week because it travels well and reheats nicely! In the winter and when I am really in my higher mileage weeks of training, I need something hearty for lunch. I also try to pick foods that are easy on my stomach. My husband also really enjoys this dish, even though it’s the “Paleo” version of this popular comfort food.

This recipe is adapted from the Paleo Newbie – I love her concepts, but usually I tweak the recipes a tiny bit to suit my taste buds. Feel free to do the same!

Paleo Shepherd’s Pie
Serves 4

Ingredients

Meat & Veggies Filling
    • 1 onion, diced
    • 2 large carrots, diced
    • 2 celery stalks, diced
    • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
    • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
    • 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp pepper
    • 1 lb grass-fed ground turkey (or beef, but I really like this with turkey)
    • 3/4 cup of beef broth
    • 2 tbs tomato paste
    • 2 tbs of olive oil
Potato Topping
  • 2 large (or 3 medium) sweet potatoes or yams
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp cayenne (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon full fat coconut milk

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Peel and cut potatoes into chunks and boil in salted water about 20 minutes until tender. Alternately, you could bake them in the oven until soft (I usually do this because I make a bunch of sweet potatoes to have on hand each week).
  3. Sauté chopped onion, celery and carrots in a skillet over medium-high heat about 10 minutes with 2 tbs of olive oil.
  4. Add the garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper and cook for about 30 seconds, or until fragrant.
  5. Add the ground turkey (or beef) to the sautéed veggies, along with the meat seasonings and garlic; pan fry until beef is cooked through.
  6. Add the tomato paste, and stir in the beef broth. Reduce heat to low.
  7. Simmer together about 10 minutes – keep mixture moist by adding a little more broth if necessary.
  8. While the meat is cooking, in a medium saucepan or mixing bowl, mash cooked potatoes and add the coconut milk – you want the potatoes creamy but still stiff so they hold their shape, so add slowly.
  9. Stir in garlic powder, cayenne, and rosemary,  plus some salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Spoon meat mixture into in an oven-safe glass pie dish or casserole dish.
  11. Gently spread mashed potatoes over the meat filling.
  12. Bake at 350-degrees F for about 30 minutes, or until bubbling.
  13. Optional: after baking, place dish under oven broiler for 2-3 minutes to add a little brown crust (watch closely to avoid burning).
  14. Enjoy!

 

What I’m Working Out to Wednesday

“Roses”
The Chainsmokers

I honestly don’t know much about The Chainsmokers, but with this whole pole competition, this is the song the studio owner is using. She isn’t competing (actually, she’s judging the competition) but she is going to perform at the practice performance she is holding at her studio to help us prepare to perform in front of an audience. So I’ve heard a lot of this jam lately, and it’s super catchy. Also doubles as a great one for my running playlist. Hope you enjoy it!

What’s on your playlist these days?