Training recap (2 weeks to go!) + Meal Planning Link up

Hello from CA! I’m wrapping up my 5 days in the San Francisco area.  I earned this trip to see Shaklee headquarters and receive more nutrition training, meet the scientists, see the labs and the carbon neutral building, and be wined and dined for a few days.  It blew my mind, as usual.

I also got to spend a night with a friend I met through blogging- and she’s amazing! As I knew she would be.  I love that relationships can be built through blogging and social media- and that a friend on the other side of the country that I never met would be so willing to host me!

Training… we’re down to the last two weeks!! EEEK! Or WOOHOO!! I’m not sure which one I feel more.

Sunday: 20 total (with a half marathon that didn’t go as planned)


Monday: easy 45 minutes of spinning to help boost recovery

Tuesday: 6 easy run with the stroller + 25 minutes of strength (mostly upper body/core)

Wednesday: 8 miles with 7 at close to marathon pace (8:54, 7:48, 7:37, 7:34, 7:40, 7:26, 7:36, 7:21) before catching my flight!

Thursday: 30 minutes elliptical + 20 minutes strength in the hotel gym

Friday: 8 miles (8:30 ave) with Shaklee friends (led by 44 year employee Marc who runs sub-3 marathons!)

Saturday: 13.1 easy miles on Iron Horse Trail with fast finish (most 8:45s, last 3 – 7:45)


Meal Plan

Sunday: Travel day

Monday: Quinoa Power Bowl with Lemon Tahini Dressing


Tuesday:   Grill chicken satay and veggie kebabs with rice

Wednesday:  Fish tacos with cabbage slaw

Thursday: Spiralized squash carbonara

Friday:  Family pizza and movie night

Saturday: Leftovers or out

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Do you have a favorite thing to do in the San Francisco Bay area?

Have you made friends with someone through social media before meeting?


Troubleshooting- 4 Things that can ruin a race

I’ve been thinking a bit about the race on Sunday and what happened. I’m feeling surprisingly positive about it, despite things not going as planned.  I know that my fitness is there and on the right day with the right conditions, the race would have had a very different outcome.


So innocently optimistic at the start!

There are many things that can cause a race disaster, a few of which affected mine:


Everyone handles the heat differently and I’ve learned in the past that I do not handle it well.  I’m also a “pitta” dosha or “summer” Aryuvedic body type, which means that I already run hot and am greatly affected by heat.

I know this was probably the biggest factor of the race for me, and obviously, is completely out of my control.

2. Going out too fast

Starting too fast can lead to a much slower second half as the wheels slowly come off.  I don’t think I’ve ever been guilty of this before in such a dramatic way.  I tend to know the paces I’m capable of and stick to them.  But for the conditions, I definitely went out too fast and my body refused to hold on.

3. Poor fueling and hydrating

Proper fuel and hydration are key! Again, this is not typically an area where I’ve struggled, but over the past year my diet has shifted to more protein and fat and (by default) slightly lower carb.  As I read Tina’s post this week on her diet reflections, I realized I may not have paid enough attention to carb-loading as I should have which would explain some of the lack of energy.  This is an important reminder before the marathon!

I was also outside at a school carnival much of Saturday and didn’t hydrate properly.  Possible TMI warning, but I had very yellow urine Sunday afternoon and know I need to pay attention to this going forward.

4) GI Distress or cramping

Thankfully, this has never been an issue for me.  I have a pretty iron stomach.  However, I did use the bathrooms multiple times before the race and lined up on empty.  I wrote down my food the two days leading up to the race to try to track anything that might have caused this.  I’m going to play it really safe and keep things as bland as possible before the marathon.

I realize there is lots of potty talk today, but if you’ve ever run with partners, you know it’s normal to discuss these things publicly, ha!

Have you dealt with any of these four issues in a race?

Is there anything you are careful to do to prevent them from happening?


Liberty Half Marathon Race Recap

The crash and burn race. We all have them, right?

So let’s back up.  The whole family was coming along to this race.  We woke the girls up early and left the house by 6:30am.  They dropped me off and went to the Brownstone Diner and Pancake Factory for breakfast while I picked up my packet and did a warm up.


I got in about 3 miles before the race.  It was 70 degrees and overcast, so I was hopeful that it wouldn’t “feel” too warm but I was already uncomfortable before the race began.


I had a discussion with myself about how to pace this race.  My goal time was about 7:05 pace but I was doubting myself in the heat.

Yet, so much of racing is mental… maybe I could pull it off? I shouldn’t doubt my abilities from the beginning or it definitely wouldn’t happen.

So I decided to go for it.  Big mistake.

The race started at 8:30 and I settled in to what felt like a pretty comfortable pace for the first few miles: 7:03, 6:59, and 7:01.

My face felt unusually hot, but I felt strong and confident.  All I had to do was hold this pace and I would finally break my half pr! It felt doable.  I began running side by side with another woman for awhile, and we started talking.  She was aiming for around 1:33, so was I.  She kept us on pace for a few more miles and I was feeling good, although I remember telling her how odd it felt to have such red cheeks so early in the race.  Miles 4 and 5: 7:10, 7:12

During mile 6, I slowed down to get water and dumped some over my head which felt amazing.  As I caught up with my friend again, I couldn’t get the rhythm back.  She assured me that it was from the water stop and I’d get back in the groove soon.  Unfortunately, I just started feeling worse and worse and let her get a lead.  Mile 6: 7:34

Suddenly, the wheels started falling off.  I don’t even know what it was- my legs felt heavy, my breathing felt hard and I just wanted to lay down on the side of the road.  I pulled out a HUMA gel, hoping a little fuel would bring some pep back to my legs and sipped on half of it.  No luck. I actually had to stop and walk! Mile 7: 8:17

At this point, I debated quitting.  I was pretty sure there was no way I could run another 6 miles.  But this was also supposed to be my last 20 miler before the marathon.  I realized I needed to let go of a time goal and walk as much as I needed to and hydrate as often as possible.  At least I would get the miles in as a training run.  Mile 8 and 9: 8:46, 8:02

After drinking lots of water and dumping some more on my head, I began to feel a little better.  I tried to find marathon pace but only managed to hold that for one mile.  Mile 10: 7:38


I was pretty miserable and just hung on for those final 3 miles: 8:14, 7:58, 8:14.  I managed to find a little extra for the final .3 (7:02) and was so happy to cross that finish line! Final time: 1:42ish?


I saw the girls and my husband at the finish, but immediately felt light headed and had to sit.  I don’t know if I’ve ever felt that awful at a finish line.  Thankfully, after lots of water, a little Gatorade, chunks of dry bagel, pretzels and a banana I felt better.  We sat together on a bench sharing all the snacks (the girl’s favorite part of races!) and then walked slowly back to the parking garage.


Back at home, I felt strong enough to cool down with my final 4 miles to finish the 20 miler.  I was as slow as molasses (9:30-10 minute pace) but now that it’s all behind me, I’m thankful.

Thankful that I got in another 20 miler.  A 20 miler with 6 at tempo? That’s maybe a better way to look at it!

Thankful that I made it to the finish line without any further symptoms or heat issues.

Thankful that my family could be there, and that I had a few thousand people to run my long run with, and for the great views of NYC and the Statue of Liberty.

Thankful that my cranky shin felt great! I’m ready to shift my focus to the Scranton marathon and learn from my mistakes in this run.  Fingers crossed it’s cooler!

And I’m going to do my best not to let this rough race mess with my head as I get ready for the marathon!

Have you had a ‘crash and burn’ race?

Any tips for not letting this throw doubt on my abilities for Scranton?





NATHAN running essentials giveaway

September 16 is Run at Work day, encouraging fun runs to or from work, during lunch breaks or in any other creative way.



To celebrate, NATHAN is giving away some of my favorite running essentials:

  • FlexShot – This water bottle is squeezable and can be packed down easily for traveling to work.
  • PowerShower Wipes –  This travel-size pack of wipes is great for a quick clean up when there is no time to shower.
  • LightSpur RX – Light up your run and make yourself seen! USB-rechargeable LED shoe light that lets you choose between red, green, or blue.
  • Hipster – I love that this stretchy hip pack can be added to the top of any shorts to add extra pockets for keys, phone, fuel for racing, etc.
  • SpeedShot Plus Insulated – This is my favorite water bottle to carry – it’s insulated to keep 12 ounces of fluids colder, longer, and I love the pocket for running essentials.


To enter, use the rafflecoper below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway will run through Friday, September 23 and I will announce the winner on Sunday, September 25, 2016.  US entries only.

Are you able to run to work, or at work?

What’s one of your running essentials?


What I learned about preventing injury from my chiropractor

If you’ve been following my weekly training recaps, you saw that I jumped up to a 50 mile week, then raced a 5k, and then ran 10 miles two days later.  And since my pesky shin speaks up anytime it thinks I might be pushing ahead a little too fast, last week was a good time for it to rear it’s head.

The good news is that it’s only mildly bothering me but with a half marathon this coming weekend and two marathons right around the corner, I refuse to play games.

I switched my long run on Saturday to a warm up + 5 miles on the Alter G treadmill + a cool down.  It felt much better but I’m going to be ultra conservative and cross train most of this week leading up to the race.  I know I won’t gain fitness at this point, so why push it and risk injury?

When I asked about using the Alter G treadmill last Saturday, my chiropractor reminded me that we should figure out the root cause of this left side of my body.


I would definitely rather figure out the root cause than continue this dance of taking time off every time it starts to bother me.

So I saw Dr. Todd Saturday after my run.  I love his approach- as a chiropractor, he understands how everything is connected and offers a more holistic perspective than a typical sports doctor or physical therapist.  And he incorporates recent research like cold laser therapy, trigger point dry needling technique, Graston technique, etc to get good results.

He could immediately see that my left side is off balance.  I even lean slightly to the left when standing straight and my legs are not exactly equal.

As he took me through several range of motion activities, it was obvious how much tighter my left side was all the way down- from my shoulder and neck through my hips and even foot mobility.

After he adjusted me, I was able to repeat those same movements with improved range of motion and felt so much better.  He did a little cold laser therapy to speed the cell metabolism (ATP) and healing, and then gave me my homework of several exercises to do every day.  Forever.

An example of cold laser therapy

I’m going to see him at least once a week leading up to the races to try to keep everything balanced. It was encouraging to have a better idea of what the root cause is of this issue and to have some tools to balance it out.  He feels confident that I’ll be fine for my races, and I think so too.  I don’t want to lose time training but I realize a week won’t throw me off too far.

Have you seen a chiropractor?  Do you know what your imbalances are?




Marathon training (4 weeks to go!) + Meal Plan Link Up

How’s your weekend going?

We made a day trip to PA yesterday to hang out with some of our best college friends and their kids.  Some of them I haven’t seen in years.  We met at a park where the kids all happily played outside and splashed in the creek.  We all brought sides and my friend Leah made awesome chicken fajitas with a very simple cumin, chili powder + salt rub on the grill.

It’s always fun to reconnect with old friends that know you well… it felt like we hang out every weekend, when in reality, we’re lucky to see them once a year!

So… training.  The countdown is on now.  After my first 50+ mileage week and then racing the 5k, my body has been asking me to back off a little.  I have a half next weekend and don’t want to push too hard right now.

Sunday: off (3-4 miles walking NYC on our day date!)

Monday: 9+ miles with the 5k (3 easy warm up, 3.1 in 20:50, 3 cool down)

Tuesday: 25 minute walk + 25 minutes of strength (mostly upper body/core)

Wednesday: 10 birthday miles, easy pace (8:45 ave)

Thursday: 45 minute spin + 20 minute strength

Friday: 6 easy on a trail (just under an hour, no watch)

Saturday: 9-10 run (middle 5 on Alter G at 6:10 pace)

Verona 5k crossing the finish line

Ready to cross the finish in the 5k!

Meal Plan

Sunday: Quinoa Power Bowl with Lemon Tahini Dressing

Monday: Apple Sausage Breakfast Bake (I think my girls would go for this!)

Tuesday:   Crockpot Enchiladas

Wednesday:  Salmon (or salmon burgers- we like the ones from Costco) + green beans + quinoa

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Sweet Potato Bacon Egg Muffins + smoothies (more breakfast for dinner, because these look awesome!)

Saturday: Likely pasta or another easy low-fiber pre-race option!


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Do you stay in touch with college friends?

Is anyone else racing next weekend?

Birthday fun and new to me goodies

As of yesterday, I’m another year older.  I like the 30’s a lot.  They’ve been some of my favorite years so far and I’m looking forward to a few more.

I woke up to a bag of goodies from Whole Foods.  This is seriously all I need to make me happy!  Dark chocolate… popcorn… good cheese… kombucha… chocolate cheesecake… magazines… he knows me well.


Have you seen Pipcorn?


It’s amazing! It’s smaller, made from fragments so it doesn’t have the kernel part that gets stuck in your teeth.  And so good!

My day started with ten miles in my new shorts.  I needed something with more than one or two pockets so I can stash gels or chews for upcoming races, and I love these!

Four total pockets, one zippered one and three gel sized pockets.  I used my gift certificate as I would not typically spend $60 on a pair of shorts!

My other birthday item is picking out a pair of walkable shoes that are semi fashionable.  The more intense training gets, the pickier I am about what I wear the rest of the day.  Flip flops and my beloved Tom’s are just not cutting it.  I’m heading to the mall to pick out something at The Walking Company.  It’s not cheap but they have some great options and I feel like it’s time to pamper my poor feet.

In other news, we started first grade over here.  First grade!!


And my girls both presented me with homemade cards for my birthday.  Dad took care of getting the girls to school, pick up, baths and bedtime so the time I had with them was quality, not the work side of motherhood.  Back to the grind today!


Have you found you need to invest in more feet-friendly shoes?

What simple things make you happy?




Verona 5k Race Recap

It’s been several months since I’ve written a race recap! I’m looking forward to writing a few more soon… possibly another 5k on Saturday, Liberty half the next weekend and then Steamtown and NYC marathon.  This race reminded me how much I love racing!

I knew it wouldn’t be an easy run- it was tough after my 21+ miler on Saturday.  But I went in with no goals, other than using it as a tough workout.  I need to race more often with no pressure.

It’s a hilly course.  I ran it 3 years ago, when I was new to NJ and the hills around here, and it felt so brutal.  I vowed not to race this one again, but somehow signing up for a hilly course took the pressure off.

I did a 3 mile warm up and lined up.

Verona 5k start

My parents and family came too!

The start of the race is flat for probably a quarter mile or so before making a right up a hill.  My first mile was 6:55, which was discouraging, but I knew I was hardly holding a sub 8 pace up the hill.

Mile two leveled out a bit more with rolling hills, and came in at 6:42.  The final mile was mostly flat and beeped at 6:35.

The final stretch was flat but my legs were done.  I would have happily coasted my way to the finish, but the older guy behind me was coaching me in.  Telling me to pick up the pace, that I was almost there, I’ve got this.  He yelled, “Go! Go!” a few times and it made me go! Final sprint- 5:55 pace.

Verona final push

There he is yelling “Go!”  It was really helpful- I needed that extra push to finish strong!  Final time: 20:50

Overall, it felt like a solid workout.  It was a pr for this course on tired legs after a 50 mile week.  I’ll take it!  I cooled down with 3 more miles for 9 for the day.

Verona 5k award

And a glass and gift card for first in my age group! I was just saying I need new running shorts.  Woohoo!


How did you spend Labor day weekend?

Do you do a mix of races for time and racing as a workout?





5 weeks to the Steamtown Marathon + Meal plan link up

I feel like all I’m talking about these days is marathon training.  It has a way of taking over your life, doesn’t it?

Last week I was feeling tired.  This week, I hit my highest mileage for this cycle (50) and felt strong on every run! I think the cooler mornings had something to do with it.  And maybe ‘training’ is working?

Sunday: off

Monday: 10 miles with hills and a few at race pace (9:11, 8:27, 8:03, 7:30, 7:44, 7:53, 7:33, 7:46, 7:57, 8:32)

Tuesday: 3 easy miles (no watch, probably 9:30s) + 20 minute easy spin and 10 minutes resistance bands

Wednesday: 10 miles with 10 x 800m and 400m recovery jogs (warm up- 8:49, 8:23, 800’s- 3:11, 3:07, 3:13, 3:07, 3:11, 3:15, 3:14, 3:17, 3:14, 3:15) + cool down mile

Thursday: 30 minute strength (legs- squats, lunges, jump squats, walking lunges, and core)

Friday: 6 easy on a trail (just under an hour, no watch)

Saturday: 21.5 very hilly long run! (9:00 overall ave, with final two miles fast finish 7:30, 7:24)

21 miler

I’m still feeling good! The long run was a little harder and longer than I planned.  I ran to meet a local group who did a 12 mile route that I’m pretty sure went up for 11 miles and down for 1! But it’s great training for the hilly Steamtown course.  I never would have run those hills on my own, and my friend Lori and I pushed each other up each climb.

I’m also kind of regretting signing up for a 5k Monday morning.  I’m not sure how that’s going to go! But I’m going to approach it as a good workout, rather than trying to push for a pr on tired legs.  Plus, I enjoy racing so much more when I take the pressure off.


Meal Plan

Sunday: Brunch with my parents (Ham, corn souffle, upside down apple skillet pancake, asparagus and melon) … Dinner out in NYC while they watch the girls!

Monday: Black bean chicken tostados

Tuesday:   Chicken Tikka Masala and rice

Wednesday:  Spaghetti Pie and Sauteed greens

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Travel… pack or stop along the way

Saturday: Potluck in PA with college friends and all our kids!

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This afternoon we have tickets for Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway while my parents are here with the girls.  It’s one of my favorites, although I haven’t seen it on Broadway before- I’m excited!

Have you run a race on tired legs after a long run? Tips?

Favorite Broadway show? Or one you’d like to see? We have the Hamilton soundtrack memorized and I’m hoping to see it next!


A confidence boosting workout

Yesterday I set out for my second ten miler of the week, with 10 x 800m repeats on the schedule.

I have to pause there for a second, and note that I finally feel like I’m back to the running fitness I had when training for the Philly marathon 3 years ago right before I got pregnant with baby J.  A ten miler on Monday, Wednesday, 20 this weekend and a few easy runs thrown in… even just this spring the thought of that seemed so far out of reach!

If 800s are run with a 400m easy jog between each, as I did, they are considered Yasso’s 800s which have become famous as a controversial marathon predictor workout.  I shared a little more about Yassos here (ironically, 3 years ago, when I was training for Philly!)

As I shared earlier this week, most coaches feel that 800s are not a strong marathon predictor workout, or necessary at all, as short intervals are not as effective as longer tempos to prepare to run a strong marathon.

However, even knowing this, I wanted to throw in the workout just to see how I felt. And the good news is, it felt great!

Ten miles and ten yassos done

After a warm up, the 800s were: 3:11, 3:07, 3:13, 3;07, 3:11, 3:15, 3:14, 3:17, 3:14, 3:15) and a one mile cool down.

Regardless of how this ties into marathon pacing (I know on my best day I will still be lucky to hit 3:20 in the marathon) it was definitely a confidence boosting run.  I finished knowing there was more left in the tank.  Maybe all these sluggish, humid runs are paying off?

Have you had a confidence boosting workout lately?

Do you incorporate a particular workout in marathon training that you like to compare to previous training logs?