Workouts from last week + Meal Planning

Happy Monday! How was your weekend?

I took the girls to my parent’s house to hang out and for a much needed girls night out. This pineapple mojito was amazing but my friends like to tease me that I can only handle a few sips of a drink.  It’s true- half of one is more than enough for me!

I also got to visit my great-grandma who recently took a turn for the worse.  I’m glad I was able to spend time with her, but it was sobering too.  Getting old is no fun.

Here were last week’s workouts and meal plan:

Monday : 30 minute pool run + 500 rep workout (50 push ups, 50 mountain climbers, 50 squats, 50 lunges, 50 burpees, 50 pull ups – split and I did these on the TRX- etc… this workout was no joke!)

Tuesday: 7 mile stroller run, easy pace (10+ ave)

My stroller buddy took to the roads with me when we were done for her own little run.

Wednesday: evening track workout: 6.5 miles with 2 mile warm up (8:32, 7:31) and 6 x 400m, 2 x 200m and 1 x 100m then a cool down

Thursday: recovery 45 minute pool run

Friday: 11 miles through a crazy rain storm- I was soaked!! I worked in a few nice hills (8:38 ave)

Saturday: short full body HIIT circuit at my mom’s (push ups, burpees, mountain climbers, lots of core, squat jumps, lunges, etc)

 

Our garden is finally going crazy so this week we have lots of cucumbers, tomatoes, red beets and greens to use up, plus my mom sent me home with a dozen ears of corn.

For the meal plan, I’m repeating some favorites from last week:

Monday:  Our anniversary night out!!

Tuesday: Corn on the cob, sliced tomatoes and something on the grill (chicken, maybe?)

Wednesday: Grilled salmon with Meals on the Run Protein Mashed Potatoes (this was also a huge hit last week!)

Thursday: Egg sandwiches/ wraps

Friday: Meals on the Run Shells with Bolognese sauce (This was a huge hit last week!!)

Saturday: night out/ pizza

There is still time to enter to win a race entry for the Runner’s World Festival in October!

Do you have great grandparents still living?

Did you get caught in the rain last week on a run?

 

I’m linking up with Fitness and Food with Ilka and Angela, and Tricia and HoHo from The Weekly Wrap!

I’m running the RW Festival races + giveaway and discount for you!

Happy Friday!

I’m excited to announce that I’m teaming up with Runner’s World again to be part of the Runner’s World crew at the RW Festival in October.  It’s a jam-packed weekend too good to miss!

This race weekend contains everything…

  • Trail run on Friday
  • 5k, 10k and kids run on Saturday
  • Half marathon on Sunday

You can run one, two, three or all four races! It’s worth making a weekend out of it.  On Friday, Altra puts on a trail running seminar, and after the trail run there is a “how to” Grand Slam seminar and then a book launch party for Bart Yasso.

After Saturday’s races, you can sign up for seminars on restorative yoga, how to “Run Forever” with Dr. Metzl, self defense, running while pregnant and more.  Before the pasta dinner, hang out with elite runners Ryan and Sara Hall for a Q&A.  (See the full schedule of events here).

Details: October 20-22, 2017 in Bethlehem, PA

If you’re not yet signed up, I also have one free entry to giveaway!

To enter: Leave a comment telling me which race you would want to run at the RW Festival.

Bonus entry: Tweet the above and comment again telling me you did.

If you don’t win, use code MOMMYRUNFASTER for a 10% discount on any race.  I’ll announce the winner next Thursday, August 24.

Hope to meet you there!!

Week of workouts + Meal Planning

I’m back from Atlanta! It was a fantastic weekend of learning, running, nutrition, some of my favorite people and even board breaking (yes, again- I got to do this for the first time over the summer).

I feel incredibly lucky to get to work with these amazing ladies and came home refreshed and inspired.  I’m now in recovery mode (us introverts need a day to go inward before we resurface) and super happy to be home.

However, my now 3 year old decided turning 3 means no more napping, so my time suddenly feels much more limited, since she was my 3 hour napper! Eek! I’m trying to begin a quiet hour but she comes down about every 5 minutes with some sort of request.  I’m thankful we decided to start preschool this fall or I’d have zero time to get anything done!

So… the workouts and meal plan:

 

 

Monday : 45 pool run + at home Pilates

Tuesday: 9 mile trail run, easy pace

Wednesday: 40 minute pool run with intervals; 20 minute swim

Thursday: travel + 4 on the treadmill (ave 7:49)

Friday: off, with lots of walking

Saturday: 10 miles total, with a 5k in hilly, hot Atlanta – 21 something, but I managed to get first woman! It was pretty brutal conditions so I’ll take it.

Sunday: recovery 3-4 miles + kb squats, kb swings, TRX push ups and pull ups, core

 

My daughter was thumbing through the Runner’s World Meals on the Run Cookbook and earmarked several recipes that we’ll use this week:

Monday:  Hubs grilled Jerk Chicken, + eggplant, plantain and made rice and peas

Tuesday: Meals on the Run Shells with Bolognese sauce

Wednesday: Grilled salmon with Meals on the Run Protein Mashed Potatoes

Thursday: Leftovers or pool picnic

Friday:  travel to grandma’s

Saturday: grandma’s/ girls night out

 

Are you an introvert or extrovert?

Any tips for getting some quiet time during the nap strike? 

 

I’m linking up with Fitness and Food with Ilka and Angela, and Tricia and HoHo from The Weekly Wrap!

Newport Liberty Half and my fall race schedule

After much debate between the full and half marathon this fall, I’ve decided it’s the season of the half marathon.

I find I walk the fine line of over-training when I train for full marathons because I want to go all in and do it well! I may run Boston in the spring but for now I need to be smart, as I’m still in the process of making sure my tendonitis is healed from this past year.

I also want to highly recommend the recent podcast where Lindsey Hein interviewed Jessica from Pace of Me.  It is all about this balance of over training, good health and taking care of ourselves while also shooting for big running goals. And how social media can encourage us to push too hard.  I loved it. Check it out!

With that decided, I am really excited about getting back into racing!!

First up is a small 5k at the conference I’m attending in Atlanta this weekend.  It will be HOT!! So no time goals for this one- just to get back into the swing of the racing thing again.

Next up is the Newport Liberty Half! (Sunday, September 17)

I ran this one for the first time last year and it’s a fantastic race.  I had an off day because of an overly ambitious race goal mid-marathon training so I’m ready for redemption.

The course is flat and really scenic, as much of it is run along the water with the NYC skyline in the background.  It’s not easy to find mostly flat running around here!

Let me know if you’ll be there! You can find all the details to sign up here.

September 30th is a 5k and kid’s race that my friend puts on to raise awareness and search for solutions to the issue of human trafficking.

The RW Festival Weekend is October 20-22! I’m choosing which races I want to run but looking forward to participating in this again.

And I’ll wrap up the fall with one more fall half marathon, at the Richmond half in November.

Whew! I hope my legs are up for all of that racing.  I’m planning to use my pool running to supplement land running and go for some prs this fall… we’ll see what happens!

Are you running any of the same fall races?

What’s your big fall goal?

I am linking up with SuzRachelLora, and Debbie for Running Coaches CornerPattyErika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run, NicoleAnnmarieMichelle, and Jen for Wild Workout Wednesday.

Training + Finding Balance + Meal Planning

Hi friends!

I’m wrapping up a solo parenting weekend and hanging in there! We packed in a play date, trip to the pool, IKEA visit, park afternoon, Trader Joe’s trip, and a picnic.  I’m worn out!

As I mentioned in my runner’s identity crisis post, I’m wrestling with what is next for me in terms of fitness. I still love running and have many running goals but my body doesn’t seem up for the challenge of many more marathons.  And I’m honestly not even craving those long runs in the way I used to.  I like having more family time over the weekend and knowing I can get in a great HIIT workout and be done in less than half the time! So I’m looking for that balance.

I took a break from my coach while I really listen to my body and take it week by week in my running.  I’m trying to focus on alternating the hard/easy days.

Here’s the training rundown:

Monday (hard): 6 mile progression run, felt tough! (9:23, 8:32, 7:56, 7:50, 7:31, 7:25) + short pool run

Tuesday (easy): 35 minute pool run, 25 minute swim

Wednesday (hard): 7 miles with intervals (1.5 warm up, 1 @ 6:29, 800 x 3 @ 6:39, with 400m recoveries, 400 x 4 @ 6:44 with 30-45 second recoveries, cool down)

This was a backwards speed workout… getting shorter and slower, instead of shorter and faster to make those 6:44s feel easy, and it was really fun!

Thursday (easy): 40 minute easy pool run

Friday (hard): 5k run, 3 miles elliptical with 10 x 90 second sprints, strength (squats, lunges, assisted pull ups and push ups)

Saturday (easy): off – solo parenting

Sunday (hard): 45 minute spin with 2 sets of 8 tabatas (4 minutes each) + kb squats, kb swings, TRX push ups and pull ups, core

 

My meal prep isn’t happening this weekend, but last week was a good first week with the awesome reset ladies! For this week:

Monday:  BBQ chicken on the grill + veggies (I’m embarrassed to admit that this is the first summer I’ve learned to use the grill!)

Tuesday: Easy Chicken Masala + green salad

Wednesday: Gado Gado (peanut sauce over steamed veggies and rice)

Thursday: travel/ conference

Friday: conference

Saturday: conference

Sunday: Friends here- likely grilling!

Who handles the grill in your family?

Are you careful to follow the hard/easy principle?

 

I’m linking up with Fitness and Food with Ilka and Angela, and Tricia and HoHo from The Weekly Wrap!

Using the Pool for Marathon Training

I’m still undecided whether I’ll be running the full or half marathon in Richmond, but I have decided that aqua jogging will be part of my training.

I used the water to maintain fitness while letting my tendonitis heal for 5-6 weeks, and so far, I’m continuing to get in 1-2 pool workouts a week.  It feels amazing to be in the water and get in a great workout with low impact!

Last week, I spent some time reading more about using the pool for marathon training and I came up with a plan.

There are several ways you could use aqua jogging in training.  The key is to continue normal training volume and intensity- alternating hard and easy days.

For all aqua jogging workouts, a belt is ideal to keep your body weight in place so you can work on the movements.  These exercises are meant to take place in deep water.

Using the pool for intensity

While injured or first coming back from injury, the pool is where the hard runs should happen, and you can use the road for the easy runs as you build back.

There are countless ways to get a high intensity workout in the pool.  After a warm up jog in the water, choose one of the following:

  • alternate 2 minutes hard, 2 minutes easy x 8-10
  • run 5 minutes hard, 3 minutes easy x 5
  • do a ladder of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 minutes hard with equal recovery
  • “run” a length, skip a length, try high knees, butt kicks or front kicks each for 1 minute with equal recovery and repeat

This book is also a fantastic resource for getting a high intensity workout in to complement running.  It covers forms, exercises, tools, and sample workouts in detail.

Using the pool for recovery

A second option is to use the pool for easy days in order to “run” without the impact. This can include easy aqua jogging, with short bursts of speed for 30 seconds to break it up.

Using the pool for a combination of hard and easy workouts

The pool can also be used for both speed and recovery.  This is ideal if you want to get in one hard workout on land but prefer to keep the other runs easy.  The second hard workout (or third) can take place in the water.

My plan

I’m going to combine some of the theories of Run Less, Run Faster with pool running, spinning and strength.  So for now, I’m focusing on about 3 runs per week, with 2 of them “hard” – intervals, tempo or long runs with a pace goal. My recovery runs will be in the pool.

Because my body tends to break down when I consistently run over 40 miles per week, this will allow me to maintain higher volume while hopefully keeping my body strong and happy!

I’m planning to get in a few more long runs before making the call for the half or full.

If you are currently injured, I shared more workouts in this post on getting fitter while injured.

Have you ever used pool running in your plan when not injured? 

Do you have one set way you train for races, or do you like to experiment with various training plans? I’ve done a lot of experimenting over the years!!

I am linking up with SuzRachelLora, and Debbie for Running Coaches CornerPattyErika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run, NicoleAnnmarieMichelle, and Jen for Wild Workout Wednesday.

Training picks up + Meal planning

Happy Sunday! We are dropping my older daughter off at her first overnight camp today, eek! She’s old enough to try it for a half week, and it’s through our church so she knows a number of kids going.  I know she’ll love it.  My only concern is how exhausted she’ll be after staying up late every night.  Her internal alarm clock gets her up around 6/6:30 no matter what time she goes to bed!

Training is picking up and going well! Here’s the rundown:

Monday:  35 minute full body strength circuit + 30 easy spin

Tuesday: 6 miles with intervals (800m at 6:22 pace, 400m at 5:38, 800m at 6:10, 400m at 5:40, 1 mile at 6:32) all with 400m recoveries

Wednesday: 40 minute pool run, 15 minute swim

Thursday: 6 miles (8:04 ave) + squats, lunges, TRX push ups and pull ups

Friday: 45 minute pool run

Saturday: 11.2 miles- longest since May! This was a fun one with a variety of paces: warm up: 8:46, 7:58; 2 @ 10k-half: 7:00, 6:50, 1 @ hmp-marathon pace: 7:17, 3 easy: 8:51, 8:25, 8:07, 45 seconds hard with 45 seconds easy x 10: hard paces ranged from 6:33 –> 5:44)

Half or full? This is the big question for the next month.  I’m going to try a few more long runs and see how everything is feeling before I make a decision. I’ve definitely lost speed endurance (it feels harder to hold challenging paces over several miles) but my shorter speeds seem to be back to normal.

Meal planning will be a bit easier for the first 3 days while the picky eater in the family is away!

For lunches this week, we have leftover Jamaican food that my husband made this weekend: jerk pork and chicken, rice and peas, plantain and grilled eggplant and zucchini.

Monday:  Pesto pasta and chicken with all the basil from our garden

Tuesday: Cilantro Lime Fish Tacos

Wednesday: I want to try these Miso Mango Chicken and Cabbage Wraps from Lindsay

Thursday: Veggie Omelets

Friday: Probably eating at the pool, as we spend most afternoons there and try to limit food to once/week

Saturday: Girls night out

 

Do you spend a lot of time at the pool in the summer? It’s so much easier this year, as my older daughter can go off on her own.

Is anyone else debating between a fall half and full marathon?

 

I’m linking up with Fitness and Food with Ilka and Angela, and Tricia and HoHo from The Weekly Wrap!

Half Training + Meal Planning

Hi friends,

As I write, the house is still a mess but we wrapped up a successful birthday party  yesterday for our almost 3 year old.  My 7 year old did most of the planning- an Elmo theme, and she chose games, a pin the nose on the Elmo, decorations and Elmo cupcakes (from Pinterest) that actually turned out pretty cute!

In terms of training, I’m inching along slowly and increasing my long run little by little. Yesterday’s long run was a mix of trail and road, and my legs seemed to appreciate the change of ground.  But the heat and humidity were rough this week!

Here’s the rundown:

Monday:  4.25 easy miles at the beach (so humid, but a treat to run with my husband while the girls hung out with cousins)

Tuesday: 30 minute HIIT workout

Wednesday: 4.5 miles with 2.5 at tempo (7:23, 7:11, 7:04)

Thursday: 45 minutes elliptical with 8 x 2 min sprints; upper body strength

Friday: 40 minute pool run; 25 minute swim

Saturday: off

Sunday: 9 mile run, combined trail and road

For meal planning this week, we made a few things ahead this weekend:

  • large batch of quinoa salad for lunches
  • pot of lentils to top salads
  • chopped veggies and watermelon
  • carrot oat “cookies” for the girls

Monday:  Pesto chicken on the grill

Tuesday: Ground turkey, zucchini, tomato and salsa one pot dish + corn tortillas

Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday: BBQ chicken; kale salad

Friday: Pizza

Saturday: Grilled Mediterranean turkey burgers (from RW meals on the run); corn on the cob

Sunday: Breakfast for dinner: Omelets + Two ingredient pancakes

Have you attempted to follow a Pinterest birthday cupcake? They always make it look so easy.  We’ve had a lot of flops, but thankfully the Elmo ones worked out okay!

How was your training in this humid weather last week? 

 

I’m linking up with Fitness and Food with Ilka and Angela, and Tricia and HoHo from The Weekly Wrap!

 

Why a runner’s identity crisis can be a good thing

Last weekend marks 8 weeks since the day my tendonitis reared it’s head and caused me to pull out of my training.  For the most part, I stayed upbeat and positive.  I could spin, swim, aqua jog, use the elliptical and weights, so I was enjoying the mix of training.

By the 5 week mark when I was able to ease back in, I had a few good runs and then one run with a little pain that brought everything crashing down for a few days.  Isn’t it funny how that can happen?

From that one run, I was sure I was back to square one.  That I would need another 6 weeks off.  That my body was done with road running for good.

And then there was the issue of my name… mommy run fast? What do I share on Instagram if I’m not running? What do I blog about? What if I’m done with running for good? Should I change my brand and pick a new name?

Have you ever had a runner’s identity crisis? I think that’s what I would call my experience.  But it gave me a healthy perspective that, in retrospect, was much needed.

When everything is feeling good and all systems say go, I go!! And push and push and push.  How much more can I increase my mileage? How many more minutes might I be able to shave off my race time?

Social media rewards intensity.  The longer you run, the more likes a photo receives. The bigger the challenge, the better! This is not helpful for my somewhat addictive personality.

As I stepped back and considered being done with running for good, a strange thing happened… I realized I could be okay with that.  During this running break, I

  • actually really enjoyed my spinning, swimming, elliptical-ing, and strength training
  • felt fitter and stronger after a swim or strength workout than an easy 5 mile run
  • found my body was happier and more balanced without the long runs
  • had more energy on the weekends (and week days) to really play with my kids, swim around in the pool with them, and happily take them more places because I didn’t need a nap or wasn’t worn out from training
  • found my appetite was more balanced and I thought less about food, eating at normal times and not needing all the extra snacks
  • had more quality family time and my kids noticed and appreciated my energy

Yet…

I signed up for the Richmond marathon and part of me really wants that 3:15.  I can’t quite understand why.  I mean, I totally get it when I’m in training, but when I step back, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.  What difference does a 3:23, 3:15 or sub-3 make next to my name in the big picture?

My kids will only notice the additional hours that I’m gone and the added exhaustion when I’m with them.  My husband will have to pick up the slack around the house.  My body will be back in the stressed zone- is it worth it?

The answer might be yes.

It might be no.

I’m still wrestling with the next immediate goal, but I appreciate being forced to consider how running fits into my life for the long term and to know that regardless of what happens, I will be just fine.

Have you had a runner’s identity crisis? Have you found an injury took you through all the emotions?

Does running start to define who you are and what you do? I think it’s natural to be proud of our accomplishments and plan around races and training runs but it’s also easy for this to go too far (for me).

I am linking up with SuzRachelLora, and Debbie for Running Coaches CornerPattyErika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run, NicoleAnnmarieMichelle, and Jen for Wild Workout Wednesday.

 

Progress in my running this week + 2 Ingredient Pesto Chicken

Hey friends,

I have no idea where this week went! I didn’t plan to ignore the blog but here it is the weekend again.  I’ve been reflecting a lot on my runner identity (or identity crisis while injured!) and my future with marathons and training.  It’s been helpful to step back from training… more on that later this week.

In terms of training, I decided to see how much speed I lost and did a repeat track session Wednesday night and Saturday morning.  The good news, I didn’t lose as much as I thought and I feel my paces slowly returning. Progress for sure!!
Here’s the rundown:

Sunday:  Easy 5, felt wiped out for some reason… this was without my Garmin but probably 10+ minute pace

Monday:  45 minutes easy spin with a few intervals was all I could handle

Tuesday: Off! Still feeling tired… I think I was fighting something off. Finally felt better by the evening.

Wednesday: am: 35 minute pool run; pm: 4 miles at the track with a few intervals to see where I’m starting from in terms of speed…

1 mile- 6:48, 800m- 6:44 pace, 400m- 6:29 pace, 100m x 2- 5:48 pace for each

This was humbling, yet encouraging too.  I thought it would be worse.  The mile pace was my goal half pace 6 weeks ago so yeah… lots of work to do!

Red face, green smoothie

Thursday: 45 minutes spin + TRX push ups, pull ups, lunges, squats and planks

Friday: 4.5 run, .5 walk with my blogging friend Steph, nice and easy pace

Saturday: 6 miles with a repeat of Wednesday’s track workout and progress!

1 mile- 6:42, 800m- 6:31 pace, 600m- 6:14 (added this one), 400m- 6:01 pace, 100mx2- 4:45 pace for each

These are pretty much back to where I was pre-injury, other than the longer than normal recoveries I needed between each!

I’ve never seen a 4:xx on my watch before! But I’ve also never done 100m bursts in training.  I want to stick to track or tempo work just twice a week and not worry too much about endurance right now. I know I have enough volume with all the cross training, and my focus is on remembering how to turn over my legs and making the quality count, while of course taking it really easy on non-running days.  So far, so good!

I skipped meal prep this week as we’ll be spending the next few days at the beach, but we did make an awesome pesto chicken Friday night which was SO easy!

Pesto Chicken

  • 1/2 cup pesto
  • 1-2 pounds of chicken

Brush chicken with pesto and grill for 4-5 minutes per side, or bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

We made our own pesto with our exploding basil plants and grilled chicken breasts and drumsticks (the girls love these!) and threw veggies on the grill as well for a fast, easy, healthy dinner.

Then I threw leftovers together with quinoa and veggies for a one dish salad for lunch yesterday.

What are your favorite veggies to grill? We love zucchini, red peppers, onion, mushrooms and eggplant.

Do you have a favorite interval workout at the track? The shorter the better for me.  I started with the mile because I knew mentally I wouldn’t be able to wrap my head around more than one and loved that the repeats in this workout kept getting shorter!

I’m linking up with Fitness and Food with Ilka and Angela, and Tricia and HoHo from The Weekly Wrap!