I’m In A Fight With My Body

So I started this post on Sunday, February 12. And I am finishing it on Thursday, February 16. Things got a little busy. I started off my Sunday post by sharing one of my favorite post-run snacks. Bananas with peanut butter.

My Hubby thinks this snack is disgusting, but I find it just the perfect mix of sweet and sustaining after a run.

What is your favorite post-run snack? Another of mine is Chobani with cereal.

So after I bragged in my previous post about the fact that I was totally sticking to my training plan …then I went ahead and missed a run last week and had to regroup. I missed my Thursday run last week, so I had to make it up on Sunday. As I trudged out for four miles on Sunday morning, I remembered why I hate missing runs – because then I don’t get my much-needed rest day on Sunday after my longest run of the week. My body was pretty mad at me.

In an attempt to appease my body, I made a delicious soup on Sunday night. I wanted something warm and yummy, but also healthy. I turned to CookingLight.com for some help, and ended up making this quick and easy modified-version of their soup:

I used this recipe: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/spinach-pasta-pea-soup-50400000115796/ with a few modifications…

Spinach, Pasta, and Pea Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 thinly sliced green onions
  • 4 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup uncooked orzo
  • 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup of frozen spinach
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preparation

  1. Heat a large saucepan over high heat. Add olive oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add garlic and onions; sauté 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add chicken broth and 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Add orzo and chickpeas. Cover and cook 10 minutes or until orzo is done. Stir in oregano and next ingredients through spinach. Ladle 1 3/4 cups soup into each of 4 bowls; top each serving with about 4 teaspoons cheese.

It was just what I wanted. And to add a little more to the meal, Hubby and I shared a plate of crackers and cheese.

Sunday night ended with us watching the Grammy’s and me heading to bed early.

And then my body decided it hated me again when I didn’t take a rest day for another four days. I have 30 miles on my schedule for this week, with a 13 mile long run this weekend. To many runners, this mileage is nothing. To me, just getting back into the swing of things, this is a significant bump up.

The rest of my week in running has looked like this:

  • Monday: Ran 4 miles at the gym. My gym has a 30 minute time-limit on the treadmill at the peak hours after work. So I ran faster on the treadmill than I think I ever have before and finished my four miles in 31:05. Phew! I was also dripping with sweat and a little wobbly getting of the treadmill.
  • Tuesday: I ran 5 miles outside after work along the East River. It was Valentine’s Day, but I had to get some miles in. Done and surprisingly felt decent!
  • Wednesday: I ran 4 miles outside after work along the East River. My body threw a temper-tantrum and I had to go super slow. This whole run was painful.
  • Thursday: I ran 4 miles outside before work along the East River. Again, my body was very angry about this arrangement and protested the ENTIRE way. It was a brutal run and I felt a slight twinge in my hip. I hear you body, and yes, I am planning a rest day. For tomorrow in fact!! 

This week four or marathon training has been pretty painful. I really hate conflict, so my body needs to get over this anger stuff pretty quick. Hopefully tomorrow’s rest day will help. Something else that eased a little of the pain was the nice bouquet of flowers I received from Hubby at my office on Valentine’s Day.

 

So pretty! Nice job Hubby!

And now I am happily looking forward to Friday as a day of rest and recovery. But I’m gonna need to have a serious chat with my body about what’s going to happen on Saturday. Hopefully with a rest day on Friday, maybe the 13 miles I have planned on Saturday won’t be too painful. 🙂

How do you cope with the pains of training? Do you scale back your mileage or push through it?

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Could I Become a Yogi?

Happy weekend! I cannot tell you how happy I am that the weekend is finally here. I had a very stressful week and found myself basically passing out at 9:30 p.m. both Wednesday and Thursday nights. I was completely drained and needed to rest.

And after all my big talk about sticking to my marathon training plan “to the T” this time around, I failed big time as the week progressed. I didn’t run five miles on Thursday night or Friday morning. I had to take Mr. Murph to the vet Thursday night (he’s okay), and then was way t0o tired to get my lazy butt out of bed on Friday morning.

So now it’s Saturday, and I just finished my long run (saw Ali in the park running too), and typically Sunday would be a lovely rest day. Not for me – I have to squeeze in four miles at some point tomorrow. Darn it! Oh well, I’ll just suck it up.

This week was actually a cut-back week in training. So I only had an 8-mile run on the schedule for a long run. I headed out to Central Park around 11:00 a.m. with some light snow falling for a full loop. I went out with a few co-workers for drinks on Friday night, and after about four beers, I wasn’t feeling all that fast and furious this morning. But I knew that I would probably feel decent by the end.

I ran my loop and was actually kind of surprised by my splits:

I ran 8.8 miles in 1:16:20 and was averaging a pretty decent pace. I definitely think the 7:02 pace is totally wrong, but the 8:11 might be right, and that’s pretty good for mile 6 into a long run. Dare I say that I MIGHT be getting back in shape finally?!!

I stopped on my way home at the post office to pick up a pretty exciting little package:

Yes, I am officially addicted to nuun. I will finally admit it. I tried it for the first time before the 2011 Mohawk Hudson River Marathon, and while I can’t say that it was the only reason I was able to finish, I do think it played a part. So as I creep along into week four of my spring training, I was getting nervous to see my nuun tubes disappearing. Drastic action needed to be taken. And now that it is here again, I feel much better.

Ok – so what is it right? I’m sure a lot of other runners out there know about nuun and this is nothing new, but for others here’s the gist:

“Nuun’s special formulation of electrolytes helps increase the amount of water that’s absorbed into the blood stream. That means more of the water you drink is actually used to hydrate you instead of being eliminated because the electrolyte balance wasn’t right. Nuun is not energy. We designed Nuun just for hydration. “

That is the very basic idea from the nuun website – which you should check out if you want more info.

And no, nuun hasn’t asked me to blog about their product or anything like that. I simply really like these little tablets.

Giving Yoga a Shot
I recently got a LivingSocial deal for New York Yoga, which has a location right near our apartment, so I decided today was as good a day as any to go check out their Vinyasa Basics class.

And away I went…

I hate being the newbie to a gym or class and having no clue where to go or what to do. But everyone was very nice and pointed me in the right direction. I found the locker room, put my stuff away, found the room and unrolled my mat. Then a lady next to me said that I should pick up two blocks, a blanket, and a rope thing. Thanks random lady for being so nice to the clearly clueless new chic. Check, check, and check – I was ready to get my yoga on.

The instructor was really great. He was very calming and took things really slow for us. There were only a few poses here and there where my legs or arms would start to shake a bit. But otherwise, I felt like I was pretty in control for it being really only my second classes ever – and the first was YEARS ago. There were a lot of people, but we managed to all find a place.

I REALLY enjoyed the class. Especially after my run in the morning, I could feel my legs and muscles just completely stretching out and breathing. I think it will be good for me to add one or two yoga classes a week to my training to keep my muscles loose.

So, it looks like maybe, just maybe, I could be converted into a Yogi (is that even a term, the right term?).

What about you – do you take yoga? What kinds? Who does the hot yoga?

As part of my deal, I have access to the yoga place on 86th and Lex that has hot yoga – but that is totally intimidating me. Should I give it a shot?

Fabulous Weekend and Superbowl Win!

So yes, I know it’s already mid-week and this post is pretty late, but I’ve been a busy woman the past few days. How it is already the END of Wednesday is truly beyond me.

But anyway, last weekend after my long-ish run, the Hubby and I met up with some of this family who were in town. We checked out their fabulous room at the Waldorf Astoria, then walked to Central Park to check out the iceskating, and finally headed to P.J. Clarke’s for a relaxed quick bite to eat. I had a very delicious turkey burger and the tater tots. If you are ever at P.J. Clarke’s, the tater tots are a must. So good.

After dinner we walked just a few blocks downtown to O’Neill’s, an Irish pub that was having live Irish music playing. I enjoyed a Blue Moon and a Smithwicks, and we all had a really good time.

Here we are, I’m in the pink…

And suddenly it was Sunday and it was the Superbowl! Hubby and I decided we wanted to stay home this year and just have some appetizers and snacks while we watched the game.

We started with a fruit and veggie platter – yum!

And we also snacked on crackers and cheese with pepperoni.

And then for the main event – homemade nachos! I have a serious nacho obsession…

At first I had shrimp cocktail on our menu as well, but the store Hubby went to was all out of shrimp, so we scrapped that plan and we were both worried about having enough food. It was MORE than enough. We feasted.

And then just as suddenly it was Monday (don’t you hate how that happens) and it was back to the grind. And back to training. I was able to squeeze in 3.3 miles on Monday night outside, 5 miles last night outside, and 3 miles on the treadmill tonight at the gym. Somehow, I need to get in 5 miles tomorrow morning, which pretty much means I need to plan a very early morning run – it’s going to be painful. But, knock on wood, I’ve stuck to the training plan almost to the “T” this time around.

What about you – do you TRY to stick to your marathon training plans or really just use them for overall weekly mileage?

I like being able to log my numbers and see them match what was planned…or even exceed it…which is rare. And then again, it feels like every training session is different. Things one is feeling particularly hard – even though I’m managing to stick with it.

One new twist is that I’m going to start adding in Yoga! I got a LivingSocial deal at the Yoga place right down the block, so I hope to take two classes this weekend. I think I’ve taken only one yoga class in my life (more a Pilates gal), so it should be interesting. I will be that girl in the back who is completely lost and falls all over the place. At least I’ll be entertaining. 🙂

What about you? Yoga, pilates, hot yoga – do you take any of these classes? What’s your favorite?

Happy hump day!

2012 Spring Marathon Training Week Two

So, the second week of spring marathon training is OVER! I just finished my long run for the week and it felt great. But before we get to that, I left off in the middle of my kind of tough week.

The rest of the week was pretty busy, but I managed to get my runs in. It’s fun to have Hubby running throughout the week too. And he does most of his runs after work at night, so I’ve started giving that a try here and there as well. On Wednesday night I ran 4 miles along the East River, and then on Thursday I ran 3 miles in the same area.

Wednesday night’s dinner was some leftover veggies mixed with rice and grilled chicken.

Dessert was some fruit…

Thursday night after my run I finished up the veggie lasagna leftover from earlier in the week. I love leftovers, it makes dinner so easy. I do know people who get freaked out by leftover or “used food.” How do you feel about them? And what’s your favorite leftover recipe?

Friday FINALLY arrived and it was a jam-packed day. I was thrilled to get home to relax a bit. We ordered pizza, and I may or may not have snacked on a cadbury egg and some sweettart hearts. :-/

So you can imagine that my gluttony on Friday night did not make for a great feeling start to Saturday. I was feeling a little bloated with carb overload and sugar. But I knew that I had a long run on the schedule and that I would probably feel a little better after it. So I dragged myself out of bed, ate my oatmeal and had some water and coffee, and then geared up for my long run.

I had 11 miles on my plan for the day, so I headed to Central Park to join all the other runners. It was pretty nice out – around 45 degrees – and I was pretty comfortable. Surprisingly, I didn’t feel as sluggish and heavy as I thought I would. I didn’t check my Garmin at all during the run, I just ran whatever felt right.

A few miles into the run, I decided to shoot for 12 miles today. I also decided to run two smaller loops in the park – cutting off Harlem Hill – giving myself a little break.

Other than my nose running non-stop the whole time, I felt really great and strong. I ended up running 12.5 miles and here are my splits:

Not too bad! And as expected, I feel SO much better now. It was like I got rid of all the excess sugar and carb calories and cleansed my system. But lesson learned for the next long run to not overdo it with bad food the night before.

What is your go-to pre-long-run food?

I’m usually pretty good about keep my long run dinner pretty clean – either having pasta or a rice dish. I don’t think pizza is the right fuel for me. Of course, the candy didn’t help either.

Total mileage for the week: 28.15 miles

With my long run done, the rest of the day will be fun. We are meeting up with my sister-in-law and her husband, and our niece and her husband to gallivant around NYC a bit and get some dinner. Should be fun!!

Lastly, I will leave you a lovely Mr. Murphy photo. He hasn’t been on the blog in a while. Here he is having a relaxing night at home…

Hope you have a great Saturday!

 

Mid-Week: The Good, The Bad, The Sweets

Hello Wednesday. I wish you were Friday. So far, this week has been one of those really never-ending weeks. I’m actually glad I’m back in training mode because it’s keeping me sane.

The Bad
Besides having some residual head cold symptoms lingering, it just seems like every day there is another new issue to contend with or another frustration. My motto this week has kind of been two steps forward and eight steps back. And for a control freak like me, that is tough to handle.

The Good: Training on Track
But, I’m trying to focus on the positives. One being that I ran on Monday and Tuesday. Monday I logged 3.5 miles at the gym and Tuesday, I got my butt out of bed in the morning for a brisk 5-mile run. So far, I am on track for my mileage this week.

The Good: Delicious Dinner
Also on Monday, I made a delicious dinner after my run. I baked some tilapia, topped it with butter and lemon, and then sprinkled with dill, cilantro and garlic powder.

Our side dish was a vegetable medley. My colleague brought in some fresh kale from his garden, so that’s what inspired the dish. Along with kale, I added zucchini, potatoes, mushrooms, asparagus, and a few grape tomatoes. It was very filling and delicious. 

The Good: Balade
Ok – so another positive was getting together with a friend last night for dinner and finding a new hidden gem. My friend Katie and I love exploring new ethnic, eclectic cuisines. We used to have a monthly date where we would try new and different restaurants. I think we kind of forgot about that tradition when we joined our book club.

But last night took us back to exploration. We ended up around Union Square and then walked a little south and east. We would up at: Balade – a Lebanese pitza and grill.

The waiter was super nice and helped us with our pronunciation and meal selection. We chose to share a bunch of small plates and it was the perfect amount of food.  We started with some hummus that had a light touch of lemon and was really good.

Then we had the Sambousik: “decadent pastry pockets filled with seasoned ground beef and toasted pine nuts.”  Along with the Grilled Halloumi Cheese: “grilled, sizzling hot cypriot cheese slices served with tomatoes and cucumber.” 

And last we had the Fatayir with Spinach and Feta (my favorite): “mini-pies stuffed with chopped spinach and feta cheese.”  

Unfortunately, I completely forgot to take photos. It’s taking a little time to get back into the swing of things, but I’m working on it.

I guess, upon reflection, although my week has been kind of tough, it’s also had some high points. It’s all about balancing the good with the bad. I’m hoping that my little head cold will work its way out of my system today when I sweat it out at the gym and then eat a healthy dinner.

The Sweets: Sugar, Sugar
I guess I might as well also admit another bad point of my week have been my intense sugar cravings. I don’t know why they are so out of control, but with Valentine’s day candy and cadbury eggs showing up, I’ve found myself veering off my course and making unplanned stops at CVS and 7-Eleven to stock-up on totally unnecessary and unhealthy sweets. It’s my weak spot and I’m totally failing.

My new plan is to allow myself just a hint of the sugar I am craving tonight. I bought those ever-so-delicious-and-addicting sweettart hearts, and I am only allowing myself to eat five mini hearts tonight after a healthy dinner. I will give moderation a shot, and if that fails, I might have to just throw them out.

What about you (if anyone is reading) – how do you squelch temptations? Can you have them in the house or do you have to get rid of them? Can you practice moderation?

 

 

 

 

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Oh What a Productive Sunday

Happy Sunday all! I wish the weekend wasn’t over already. It really flew by. Hubby and I both got our long runs in yesterday, I got a hair cut, and then we went to dinner and a movie.

We tried out a new place about a block away from our house called Felice 83. It’s a new wine bar located in a very tiny space. I felt kind of cramped right away when we sat down. I hate feeling like I can’t really have a conversation with my husband when we’re at a restaurant because the people next to us are basically eating with us.

I got over the tight quarters and checked out the menu. There were some pretty interesting selections on the menu, and I finally settled on the quinoa dish. Hubby and I started off by sharing a salad (overpriced at $15), and we each had a glass of Cabernet. The negative was that, for a wine bar, our glasses of wine were very small. And at $8 and $15 a glass, we were expecting a decent-sized goblet. Not so.

The salad was very good, and my quinoa was delicious. I tried some of Hubby’s dish and it was good too. Overall, I’ll say the place is decent. It offers organic and local selections, so I guess I can see why the prices may be a bit more. However, I think we will be trying some other local places before we go back to this one again.

After dinner, we went to see Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

(Source)

I was a little hesitant about this movie because I knew it would be tough subject. But it wasn’t focused solely on 9/11 – it was really more of a close look at a family who lost a father/husband in one of the buildings. The boy in the movie was so good. He was pretty amazing. It was a very emotional and heart-wrenching movie, and I probably cried for most of it. But I certainly wasn’t the only one – I heard people all around me sniffling too. It was a good movie, but you have to be prepared for it, and in the right frame of mind to watch it.

Sunday
So after our busy Saturday, one might think Sunday would be a relaxed day. Not so. Before I got down to business, I fueled up with a delicious french toast breakfast.

With both of us in training now, we have more stinking (literally) laundry than ever before. It was overflowing and I knew it was going to be a big project. Four loads of laundry (up and down five flights of stairs about 20 times), and it was all finally gone.  So now we can start our second week of training off with clean clothes and an empty laundry basket.

The rest of my Sunday was filled with cleaning, running errands, and then making a delicious veggie lasagna.

Here is the recipe:

Vegetable Lasagna (6 servings)

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1/2 cup sliced carrots
  • 1/2 chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 3/4 of a bottle of tomato basil pasta sauce
  • 1 (15 oz.) carton of part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 6 hot cooked lasagna noodles (halved)
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (I used skim)

Pre-heat the over to 374 degrees. Cook the noodles and then saute the mushrooms through the red onion for 5 minutes. Then add the sauce and simmer for another 10 minutes.

Then spray an 8-inch square baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Line the bottom with 1/2 cup of the tomato mixture, then lay 4 noodles on top. On top of the noodles place 1/2 of the ricotta cheese and then 1 cup of the tomato mixture on top of it. Repeat the layers and end with noodles. Then put the last remaining tomato mixture in a thin layer over the noodles and sprinkle it with mozzarella cheese.

Then bake it covered for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake it for another 20 minutes. Then take it out and let it cool for about 10 minutes.

This is the second time I made this lasagna and it has come out really well both time. And I now have lunch for about four days this week. I love leftovers!

Okay – time to watch the rest of the SAG Awards and head to bed. Week two of training starts tomorrow!

How was your weekend? Anyone training for a spring marathon too?! What races?

And I’m (We’re) Back!!

Hello 2012, hello blog world! Wowza, I’ve been gone for a while. Okay, it’s quite obvious by now that I’m a fickle blogger. But something about starting to train for another marathon gets me back in blogger mode. I think it’s partially to help me stay on track, and also because I like being able to look back on all my training.

So as you may have already guessed, I’ve got another marathon coming up. If that wasn’t good news enough…my husband is also running it!! Hurray! This is going to be the best race ever.

Of course, I probably won’t spend more than 2-3 minutes actually running with him during the marathon because he’s so speedy. But at least we’ll get to run some training runs together, start together, and meet at the finish.

The Race
So what race are we running? The Vermont City Marathon in Burlington, Vermont.

It’s taking place on May 27, 2012 (Memorial Day Weekend). We’ve heard some really great things about this race, how scenic it is, generally flat, and overall lots of fun. We booked a hotel about a block from the start/finish, so hopefully the logistics will be easy and smooth.

Another great thing about this race is that my husband is raising money for a charity through his training efforts. He set up the whole charity page and all the details himself, and I’m really proud of his efforts. It will make running his first marathon even more special for him.

So, if anyone is looking for a spring marathon – you should sign up! We just completed our first official week of training. We are doing a 16-week training plan. Here’s what the first week looked like:

Monday: 3 miles on the treadmill
Tuesday: 4.5 miles outside in the morning (I know crazy!!)
Wednesday: 5 miles after work outside with Hubby
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 3 easy miles outside after work
Saturday: 9.25 miles in Central Park in 45-degree weather (nice!)
Sunday: Will be  a rest day
Total: 24.75 miles

Not too shabby for the first week. Hopefully I can stay on track for the next 15 weeks! Now it’s time to clean a bit, get a hair cut, download my next book club book (and maybe start it), and then hopefully have a nice date night with the Hubby tonight – dinner and movie! Hope you all have a great weekend and get out to enjoy the sun!