(Cross) Training Recap + Meal Planning

Happy Sunday! Although school is still in session, summer weather is definitely here.  We got to the pool for the first time Friday after school, and I’m looking forward to some lazy summer days ahead.

Training wise, my shins are feeling great! So that’s exciting.  However, did I mention I was also dealing with a mild case of plantar fasciitis? I’m falling apart over here! So I need to give that a few more weeks.

Here’s the rundown of cross training:

Sunday:  45 minute strength (Jillian’s NMTZ)

Monday:  spin class

Tuesday: 4 mile walk (am) + 3 mile walk (pm)

Wednesday: 5 mile hilly walk + short strength session

Thursday: 45 minute spin with 2 x 5 minute rounds of tabatas

Friday: 4 walk (am) + 3.5 walk (pm)

Saturday:  1-2 hours of HIIT training (broken up in many segments) at an instructor training for Max Fitness…  long story, but there’s one opening in our town and when I chatted with the owners, I was asked to come on as an instructor and I figured, why not?  I only have a few hours I can give to them, but it should be really fun!

If it’s true that 30 minutes of HIIT is better than a 60 minute treadmill run, then I got my 2 hour long run in!

Round two of training today with kick boxing and strength training… wish me luck!

Meal planning:

Sunday: Chicken sausage and black beans in the crockpot

Monday: Quinoa power bowl with Lemon Tahini dressing

Tuesday:  Sushi (we like to make our own)

Wednesday: Grill whole chicken, veggie kebabs and potatoes

Thursday: Leftovers into burritos

Friday: BBQ Chicken Flatbread Pizza

Saturday: Picnic dinner at the pool


Have you done a HIIT class?

Any tips for keeping plantar fasciitis at bay?

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

Healthy Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

All this rainy weather put me in the mood to bake! Last week, we made Blueberry Mango Muffins (gluten free and low sugar) …

and this week, it’s banana bread.

I like mixing up the flours to make gluten free options, but if you want a whole wheat option, check out this awesome banana bread with whole wheat pastry flour.

Because of the added protein in the almond meal, this bread is low glycemic and low in sugar with only a little bit of maple syrup, yet delicious!

Healthy Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 c. melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 c. unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 c. milk of choice
  • 1/3 c. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 c. almond meal
  • 1/2 c. rolled oats
  • 1/2 c. gluten free or whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1-2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c. dark chocolate chips

Blend wet ingredients together in a small bowl.  Stir dry ingredients (almond meal through salt) together in large bowl.  Add in the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.  Stir in chocolate chips or other add ins of your choice (chopped walnuts, coconut flakes, etc).

Bake in a preheated oven at 325 degress for 50 minutes or until lightly brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Let it cool for another 10 minutes.

For runners and athletes, muffins are ideal immediately after a workout when your body wants to quickly replenish the glycogen stores.  Enjoy!

Do you like to experiment with flours in baking?

What are your favorite add ins for banana bread?

Two weeks of cross training + Kombucha

Hi friends! It’s been a whirlwind of a weekend.  We had a funeral for my husband’s aunt on Saturday, which was emotional and yet beautiful, difficult but also healing. The acapella four part harmony of the congregation was breathtaking.  I’ve missed that full sound.  I was really impressed that my 7 year old was holding her own on the melody while my husband and I switched to the bass and alto lines.   A highlight for me was hearing my husband and his brother sang the final song from the back…. they are talented brothers.

His aunt was a really amazing woman.  She was an artist, photographer and doula, among other things.  She was constantly rescuing junk and repurposing it into beautiful handmade books, felted work, bags, scarves and dream catchers.  She followed me closely on social media and was also the person who encouraged me to look into nutrition and health coaching 6 years ago.  I don’t know that I would be running my own business if it wasn’t for her.  So yes, a remarkable woman.  (She even had a few running awards from the 80’s!)

Life is unpredictable.  The timing was pretty ideal, as it reminded me that not running is pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

I miss running but I’m staying busy with other projects and cross training… here’s a sample of how the last two weeks broke down:

Monday: This was when I actually had pain on the run and knew I needed a break.  I switched my workout to a spin class and 5-10 minutes with the TRX.

Tuesday: 1 hour easy spin

Wednesday: bootcamp class (am) + 1 hour walk (pm)

Thursday: 1 hour spin

Friday: Walking NYC on our day date… I estimated 7-9 total miles

Saturday: Short hike with hubs + spin class

Sunday: 1 hour walk

Week two

Monday: nada

Tuesday: boot camp class (am) + 1 hour walk (pm)

Wednesday: 90 minute spin

Thursday: boot camp class + 1 hour walk

Friday: 45 easy spin + short strength circuit

Saturday: spin 1 hour

Sunday: 45 minute strength circuit

Can I just tell you how tired I am of the spin bike? Granted, I’ve been doing most of it on my own to save time traveling to the gym, and a class would probably help.  But I’m also trying to find access to a pool this week to mix things up.

Overall, I’m hanging in there.  I really miss running! But I know it will be there for me in a few weeks and I can do this.

Over the weekend, my cousin-in-law and fellow Kombucha lover brought me a baby Scoby so I started my own batch yesterday.  At $3+ a bottle, it was becoming an expensive habit! I’m excited to see how this turns out.  (For those interested, I’m following these instructions).

Between that, my husband’s saurerkraut and his sourdough bread, we’ve got the fermented foods down! We used to make yogurt too… maybe I need to give that another go…

Do you make any fermented foods?

What’s the longest running break you’ve had to take?


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

How much time should I take off?

Hi friends!

How was the long weekend? We had a little kid free time Friday and Saturday (thanks to my parents) so we went into the city Friday night for dinner and a show.  Saturday we made omelets and went hiking.

Having a quiet house is such a nice treat! The rest of the weekend was spent catching up with family, including lots and lots of cousins.  We all came home simultaneously refreshed and exhausted!

Before we left, I was able to get a few more answers around the shin pain that has been coming and going for over a year.  When I saw my PT on Friday, he determined that it’s an inflamed tendon.

I was initially relieved, as that sounds much better than any kind of bone stress.  But when I asked if I should rest it for 1-2 weeks or more like 4-6 weeks, he said the longer the better.

Basically, I’ve been managing the pain all year by backing off for a day or two when I feel it and then running pain free again for a few weeks but it always comes back.  The only way to get rid of it for good is to give it the longer time frame to fully heal.

It’s been a week so far, and I feel good and part of me is itching to run.  The other part of me knows I need to be smart and patient and make sure the shin gets the full time to heal, so I’m shifting my focus to getting stronger and maintaining my cardio fitness with spinning and some walking.

Instead of going to boot camp once a week, I’m aiming for twice a week plus a Barre or Pilates workout.

At boot camp last week I got to try pike push ups- not a move I would have attempted a year ago!

We also have a ten day Europe trip coming up at the end of June, and it won’t be easy to run there either so if I wait the full 6 weeks, it will be early July just as we get back from our trip.

I know that’s the best decision, it’s just a bit frustrating.  But many of you have been there! Any words of advice on how to pass the time and not go stir crazy? My body is already acting like I’m tapering but I guess it will figure it all out soon enough!

How long have you been off for injury? How did you maintain your fitness?

Any tips for passing the time?

Doing less now to get stronger later

Hi friends,

After a really strong 12 miler Saturday, I felt the same old shin tenderness pop back up again.  I ran Sunday and felt okay.  On Monday, I headed to a trail thinking that would be a better option but it started to hurt on the downhill portion so I quit one mile in to be conservative, and finished up on the spin bike instead.

I’ve been here before, as many of you know! So I’m not panicking.  I know I’ve caught it before it progresses to anything serious.  Typically a day or two of cross training does the trick.

However, now that I’m officially registered to run the Richmond marathon in November, I don’t want to be training when I’m walking the line (in terms of injury), if that makes sense.

I’d rather pull way back now so that I go into the marathon training refreshed and strong.

I saw my chiro/sports doctor yesterday who confirmed (as always) that I am a mess, ha! My calves had lots of knots, my back and hip flexors were very tight, and my mobility was pretty sad.

It’s amazing how good I feel after one treatment.  I could twist and turn my neck and back significantly further afterwards, my hips were back in place and the knots were worked out. I’m realizing I probably need to have a regular date at his office through the fall to stay balanced.

The good news is, he can tell I’m stronger in my upper body and core than a year ago, and once we get everything working together and firing together, that will improve my overall efficiency and power.

He did not tell me I had to take time off or how much time off I should consider, but my gut is thinking 1-2 weeks to be conservative.

I’ll stick to spinning, strength training and Pilates/Barre.  Plus some walking.  And then build back up from there.

I realized I have been training pretty hard since November, and started to feel beat up after the half pr in March.  I took minimal down time and then started working with a coach, (who, by the way, has been amazing!)

I feel like I’m training smarter than I have in the past, but I never gave my body all the recovery time it was asking for after a winter of intense training.

So that’s where I’m at… battling a semi injury-prone body but determined to come out ahead!

Do you build in weeks of the year to cut way back or switch to cross training?

Are you injury prone or are you one of the lucky few?

I am linking up with SuzRachel, Lora, and Debbie for Running Coaches CornerPatty, Erika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run, Nicole, Annmarie, Michelle, and Jen for Wild Workout Wednesday.


5k Training and Meal Planning

Happy Sunday! Training picked up this week, with the shift now to a 5k in mid-June and possibly a one mile race as well.  Here’s the rundown:

Sunday:  5 recovery miles no watch, probably 9:30-10:00 pace

Monday:  7.25 easy run on a hilly route, ending with a flat mile or two (9:42 –> 7:58 pace) + mini Barre workout at home

Tuesday: 50 minutes easy cycling

Wednesday: Interval run (2 mile warm up, 8 x 2 minutes at 6:20 pace, 2 mile cool down) + 5 minutes of core and push ups

This was the first really warm morning and I struggled to find the correct pace.  My first few were too slow, then several were too fast, and I just never felt great! But in retrospect, my paces were better than I thought (6:30 to 6:08 range for the repeats).

Thursday: 7 easy (8:40 ave) at 5:30 am which is as early as it gets for me! But I do admit, I love having this done before the kids are even waking up.

Friday: rest!

Saturday:  12 miles with first ten at 7:50-8 range and last two at 7:20-7:30

I couldn’t believe how good I felt on this run!  The miles were ticking away in the 7:30-7:40 range so I rolled with it, and final two were 7:18 and 7:10 for an overall 7:36 average.  That used to be a goal half marathon pace a few years ago, so it feels pretty amazing to hit it relatively easily on a training run!

I’m meeting a local client for a few miles this morning and looking forward to some recovery miles.

Meal planning:

Sunday: Chicken sausage and black beans in the crockpot

Monday: Quinoa power bowl with Lemon Tahini dressing

Tuesday:  Leftovers

Wednesday: Baked salmon one pot meal from Cotter Crunch

Thursday: Grill burgers, veggie burgers, corn on the cob, watermelon (girls favorites)

Friday: Date night (girls to grandparents for a sleepover!)

Saturday: Date day

And I really need to try this Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Dip from Paleo Running Momma!

Have you ever done a one mile race?

Are you a sweets or salty person? Or both?

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

How to turn anxiety into adrenaline on race day

I think I need to declare this my summer to work on mental toughness.

It’s been clear to me in my past 3 (!!) races that I have some work to do in this area.  In a local 5k, the NJ Half and the Newport 10k, I struggled in the final mile, and then managed to pull out a fast finish somehow.

The struggle feels very physical in the moment, but then it turns out my body does have more to give when I see the finish line, and I’m realizing how mental that piece is for me.

I shared a few weeks ago some of my favorite mental toughness takeaways from a few books and podcasts I’ve listened to.

Recently, I added another one to the mix.  I highly recommend the podcast Tina Muir did with Bhrett McCabe.  As she says, there is so much gold in there!

I took lots of notes and will probably need to go back and listen to it a few more times before it all sinks in, but this was one of my favorite quotes:

Adrenaline and anxiety feel the exact same in the body.  The only difference is in how we interpret it.


When we interpret it as fear, it becomes anxiety.  When we interpret it as excitement, it’s adrenaline.  – Bhrett McCabe


Powerful, right? I know I often line up on the race line with a little (or a lot) of anxiety.  The thought that the only difference is in how we interpret it gives me a lot of hope.  I don’t have to force myself to feel differently- I can feel what I feel and tell myself how excited I am to have the chance to race!

Smiling, staying positive about how much fun it is to race and removing pace expectations can go a long way to make a more enjoyable racing experience.  I’m working on that.

The next step is to better embrace the discomfort in that last mile and stick it out, rather than fading and giving up!

What is your weak spot in a race?

Are you nervous or excited at the start? Have you considered the relationship between anxiety and adrenaline before?

My journey back to the marathon

Well, it’s official.  I’m registered for a fall marathon!

Thanks for all the great suggestions.  I decided to go with the Richmond marathon for a number of reasons.  I’ve had several friends recommend it, my sister lives in the area, and I like that it’s in November so I can limit the summer 20 milers.

My husband and I had a long conversation flushing out what the deal is with the marathon. Immediately after pretty much every marathon, I’ve told him that I’m good- no need to do another one.  The poor guy is so confused every time when I’m suddenly back on the marathon train!

I think it’s kind of like giving birth- something that is a big enough challenge in the moment that you don’t think you need to go through it again.  Months later, your memory softens the tough parts and you know you are capable of it.

I think there is a second reason, too.  I’m only a few years away from 40, and I feel like the inevitable slow down is coming.  I know I’ll continue to run, but I can see myself sticking to shorter races and doing more trail running and becoming a little less competitive with myself.

Maybe it’s some sort of mid life crisis, but I feel like these are the last few years I have to really see what I can do, and then I’ll move on with the marathon phase of life.  I don’t want to miss this chance to push while I still can.  Does that make sense?

There’s still plenty of time to join me- I hear Richmond is an amazing race!

What drives your running?

Do you have age-related goals?

Switch to 5k training recap + Meal planning

Happy Mother’s day to all the moms! And a special hug to any women who are yearning to be a mom and are not yet there.  I remember how hard this day was when I was in your place.

Yesterday, my 7 year old pulled off a Mother’s Day tea with the help of my husband, and sent invitations, created the menu, set the table and she and a few friends served the moms tea, fruit salad and cookies.  Plus dark chocolate, at my request!

I admit, I wasn’t thrilled when she came up with the idea as Mother’s day is supposed to be about less work for the moms… but they did it without my help and it was a sweet morning, and really nice to have an hour or two to sit and catch up with friends.

Training picked up this week, with the shift now to a 5k in mid-June and possibly a one mile race as well.  Here’s the rundown:

Sunday:  5 recovery miles (9:15 ave) after Saturday’s 10k, with two of my favorite running friends

Monday:  6 easy (9:00 ave) + Barre class

Tuesday: 50 minutes easy cycling

Wednesday: Interval run (2 mile warm up, 8 x 200m with 200m recovery, 1/2 mile jog and repeat, 2 mile cool down)

My warm up paces were 9:00, 7:56, then I kept the 200s between 5:40 and 5:55 pace.  I had to rush back so my cool down mile was 7:20, but then I did a proper cool down with the stroller after dropping my older daughter off at school, 2 more miles at 9:40 ave for 10 total.  I haven’t done 200s in a long time, and this was a really fun workout!

Thursday: 7 easy (8:30 ave) + boot camp … in retrospect, boot camp took this from easy day to moderately challenging day so I was ready for my rest day Friday!

Friday: rest!

Saturday:  10 miles total with 10 x 1 minute on, one minute off at 6:00 pace (recovery at 9:45 pace) total average 8:06 for the miles… this was a treadmill run, with 100% rain all day long but I added some short hills in the first half, and the fartlek in the second half made the run fly by.

More recovery miles this morning.

Meal planning:

Sunday: I believe we’re getting sushi tonight?

Monday: Roast tofu + bulghur burgers (I love this bulghur recipe from Moosewood- it’s an interesting combo of tahini, tomato, garlic, soy sauce, mustard and scallion… sounds odd, but it’s so good!)

And let’s be honest, probably eggs or Applegate hot dogs for the girls who won’t eat it

Tuesday:  Salmon, baked potatoes and green salad

Wednesday: Spiced Chickpeas with spinach and eggs (from Meals on the Run)

Thursday: Leftovers, just me and the girls

Friday: Hoping it’s nice enough to grill grass fed burgers and veggies!

Saturday: Out or quick throw together meals

Did I mention my husband has been making sauerkraut? Lunches lately have been some sort of wrap with sauerkraut, hummus, turkey or tempeh, feta cheese and greens… amazingly delicious!

Do you have any Mother’s Day plans?

Are you a sauerkraut fan? I find people either love it or hate it!

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


Run Your Fat Off

I was recently asked to review Dr. Jason Karp’s book, Run Your Fat Off. I met Jason at an IDEA conference and attended two of his sessions which were fantastic.  He is a well known author and coach with a PhD in exercise physiology.  I’ve also emailed with him around PhD recommendations as I’m considering taking that next step and he was very helpful.

This book came at an interesting time, because I was simultaneously reading Roar (Stacy Sims) and listening to Runners Connect’s Nutrition Summit with workshops from nutrition and running experts like Tim Noakes, Bob Seebohar and Matt Fitzgerald.

If you’re familiar with any of those names, you know that there is a lot they disagree on in terms of the ideal way to eat as a runner!

What I appreciated about Jason’s book is that he doesn’t make claims unless there is scientific evidence to back it up.

He states many times that there is no one right way to eat for weight loss as a runner, and I agree with him. He largely believes this is true because at the end of the day, “calories in equal calories out.”  So you can eat kale or steak, as long as you aren’t taking in more energy than you are using each day.

I believe it’s true for different reasons- I think some individuals react differently to certain types of foods.  For example, some women thrive on more meat and less grains while others have the opposite experience and start feeling better on a vegetarian diet.  Weight is complicated for women, as we have to consider hormones, insulin resistance and other individualized factors.

Jason tackles many weight loss and nutrition myths, which are particularly helpful. He cites a study that points to the benefits of eating a larger breakfast for weight loss, and a study in Denmark that found the macro nutrient breakdown of the food did not make a significant difference in weight loss.

Note: I do not recommend the above ratios! They are designed for body builders, not runners, and will not achieve the same results in runners.  But it highlights the popular thinking and why runners think carbs will make them gain weight, right?

I was curious to see what kind of eating plan he recommends, and was pleasantly surprised that despite sharing the Denmark study, he feels that moderate carbohydrate intake is beneficial for weight loss (not low, but not too high) and that’s what I’ve found to work best for my clients as well.

Of course, his eating plan is a one size fits all- it does not cater to vegetarians or those on a gluten free or dairy free diet, but it’s easy to tweak to fit specific nutritional needs.

While reading this book, the Runners Connect Nutrition Summit speakers presented alternative views.  Tim Noakes argues for a low carb, high fat diet for runners to prevent insulin issues and diabetes (he is now himself diabetic). Bob Seehobar shares his metabolic efficiency recommendations which I’ve already written quite a bit about, and Matt Fitzgerald had a slightly different approach as well.

Personally, I like conflicting view points because it reminds us that one way of eating will not work for everyone, but there are enough common themes that we can pull together and trust.

I’ve been compiling notes from my own clients, my personal experiments and journey as well as from each of these books and speakers and want to share with you some of what I’m finding.

Want to dive deeper?

If you’ve ever struggled with losing weight while running even though you’re not over-eating,  join me for a webinar next week highlighting the pros and cons of various approaches and how to determine what is the best fit for you.