Tag Archives: marathon training

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?

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!

 

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?

More/Fitness Half Marathon: This Race Deserves a Recap!

Hello all! How is everyone out there? Are you loving these two days of fabulous spring weather we’ve had (well at least in NYC anyway)?

I haven’t posted in a while, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been running. I’ve been logging the miles and completed two 20+ runs in preparation for the Boston Marathon a mere 15 days away. As I mentioned, the first 20 miler did not go as planned, and although we finished it, I felt like it wasn’t a great run.

My running cohort must have felt the same because about a week later she asked me if we could bump our last long run from 20 miles to 22 miles. As I’m convinced that anyone who runs marathons (myself included) has some slight masochistic tendencies to begin with, I was completely onboard with this idea although I was fully aware of the pain threshold involved.

All I will say about our 22 miler was that it felt amazing to be DONE with it. I enter different stages of pain during long runs like this and my running buddy (Lauren) has learned to ignore when “kind of mean Lindsey” arrives for a bit or “not likely to converse Lindsey” muscles her way in. But for the most, “pleasantly in pain Lindsey” was in attendance for this one. I did have one moment around mile 20 where I was tempted to throw out the idea that we just stop right there and call it a day, but I held my tongue and gutted it out. And it was all worth it in the end! I felt fantastic after we finished and didn’t even experience much residual pain.

Which brings me to what this post is really all about:

More/Fitness Magazine Half Marathon Recap
Let me just take a moment to remember this race last year. How would I describe it? One word: SOAKED!! This race happened later in the month last year and happened on one of the worst days of the spring. I finished this race and was soaked through and through.

So I was extremely pleased to see that the weather this year called for nothing but sun and cool temps. Lovely. I will admit that I did not get enough sleep the night before. Hubby and I got 127 Days on Netflix, but didn’t actually start the movie until after 10 p.m. So I didn’t get to sleep until probably 12 -12:30 a.m. Not a good way to prep or start.

But I kept things status quo in the morning and followed my usual routine. I headed out the door at 7:25. This year, when I saw that my bib number placed me in the very first corral, I walked right in, head held high. Last year I placed myself one corral back. Starting in the first corral was pretty darn cool. Mary Whittenberg actually started the race right behind me (and quickly passed me). I also passed Elizabeth Hasselbeck within the first two miles – that felt good.

Basically, this whole race felt good for me. I checked my Garmin during the first mile and was shocked to see 7:39 as my pace. I knew I needed to slow it down and I swear that I kept trying, but I also just felt good.

So I scaled back a bit, but would catch myself speeding back up. Finally I decided to just stop looking at my Garmin altogether. If it felt right, that would be the pace I would run. The first loop around went pretty fast.

Mile 1 – 7:39
Mile 2 – 7:45
Mile 3 – 7:31
Mile 4 – 7:58
Mile 5 – 8:04
Mile 6 – 7:44

The second loop began and I felt like I was slowing a bit. Cat hill was particularly rough, but then I felt a little bit better from there. And once I reached the very north portion and hit the 9 mile mark, I knew that I was way ahead of my pace for previous races.

Mile 7 – 7:47
Mile 8 – 7:56
Mile 9 – 7:48

After passing mile 9 it was up the HUGE hill for the second time and it was tough! By this point, we had caught up to the walkers who were on their first lap and this made things a little confusing. The walkers (and let me say that I fully support walkers in races and think it’s wonderful that they are out there) took up a MAJOR part of the course. The typical “stay close to the inside” rule that runners try to follow does not seem to apply to walkers. They were meandering all over the place and forget about trying to get to water stations while they are there. Thankfully, I had taken water at mile 6 and 8, so I felt okay, but I watched as other runners tried to work their way to the water stations unsuccessfully as the walkers crowded the area.

As I reached Mile 12, I was so happy to see that some of the volunteers had taken water and gone to the outside lane to try to help the runners who couldn’t make it inside because of the walkers. I gladly grabbed a water and continued on to finish things up.

The last mile stretched on and probably because I had run so much extra mileage as the runners were pushed to the outside because of the walkers. I pushed as hard as possible for the last few miles.

10 – 7:57
11 – 8:05
12 – 7:44
13 – 7:34
.28 – 1:57

Total – 13.28 miles in 1:43:34. According to Garmin, my average pace was 7:47 minute miles!

And I finished and actually felt good. I was smiling, thanking people, accepted my medal, ate and drank, and then headed home. It was an awesome race and a new PR for me. I ran it last year in 1:46:00.

The bad news was that I came home to find a gigantic blister on my toe. I could feel it growing as I was running, but it was a complete mess. I actually think there is a blister on top of a blister. Yuck. I know. My poor baby toe looks atrocious.

So any advice on blisters out there? I plan to make a trip to Jack Rabbit this week to get some no-blister socks and mole skin. I already have Glide, which I will be applying next run. Anything else?

That’s all folks! I promise I’m going to try to post a bit more between now and Boston to capture some of the tips I’ve learned about prepping for Boston, as well as to catalogue my travels to Boston and experiences in the city. 15 Days!!

Boston Marathon Training – Week 5 in Review

Hello blog world! How was your long weekend if you had one? Mine was very good. Just the right mix of busy and relaxation. Before I get into that, I want to do a quick recap of my fifth week of training for the Bostom Marathon because I felt as though I made it over a mental and possibly physical hump this week.

I had a rough start to training. My first two weeks, I could only summon the energy to run 14 and 17.5 miles in total. Not ideal and not how I wanted to start this training process.

Things started to get better in week three – for weeks three, four and five, I hit my weekly mileage total and ran five days a week. And then finally, last week I started to hit a groove where every run didn’t feel so tedious and running five times a week was almost actually routine. Here’s how my training is looking so far:

Last week, I ran 3.5 miles at the gym on the treadmill on Monday; 6.12 miles outside in Central Park on Tuesday morning; 4 miles at the gym on Thursday; a frigid (I’m talking under 5 degrees) 12 mile long run with Lauren on Saturday; and a 5.29 mile run outside again on Sunday.

I’m finding that mixing the treadmill with outdoor runs is keeping me from becoming bored with either one.

A quick word on the 12 miles run upstate this weekend. That was officially the coldest weather I’ve ever run in. Lauren and I took the cold weather VERY seriously and bundled appropriately. I wore my arctic tights (the warmest things ever), ski socks under my tights, a Nike base layer, a really warm hooded sweatershirt, a hat, gloves and a neckwarmer that I actually pinned to my hat so that it would stay up and cover my face. We looked fabulous:


We may have looked ridiculous, but I was very warm and toasty with alll of this on. The neck warmer covering my face was crucial! I was so happy I brought it and thought to pin it up.

For any people training from spring marathons out there – what are your winter running tips and tricks?

I’m feeling like winter is looking particularly messy this year and I can’t seem to remember how I made it through training last winter. I’m taking it week by week and coping with each weather set-back as necessary. I will say that winter training definitely makes you appreciate it when the spring weather finally rolls around. 🙂 Happy winter running all!

Treadmill Avoidance

Yowza – it’s Thursday already? Seriously, where is the time going? And next week it will be November. That is just crazy.

I started yesterday off with a yummy and filling breakfast of oatmeal with banana and topped with brown sugar.

Lunch was pretty boring – just leftovers of my shell-less taco from the night before.

I Can’t Let Go…
It was such a dreary day yesterday, that I had planned on heading to the gym after work to run a few miles on the treadmill, but part of me just wasn’t ready to take that step indoors yet. So I’m going to try to run outside tonight instead. I want to take advantage of every last second of outdoor running before darkness, cold and snow force me inside more often. I honestly can’t quite understand how I trained for a May marathon from Jan-March of last year in the cold and snow. I guess I must have just sucked it up and bundled up or made nice with the treadmill.

How are you coping with the shorter days and the loss of daylight for outdoor running?

As you can tell, I am not welcoming it with open arms.

When I got home after work, I set to making us some dinner. We had some mushrooms in the fridge that were begging to be used. So I came up with this creation…

Sautéed mushrooms, carrots and broccoli with chicken in a butter, white wine, garlic and lemon sauce and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. This was pretty yummy and I made enough to have some leftovers for today.

On an unbelieveable side note: I was attacked by a mosquito again last night. I woke up this morning with 5 bites on my left arm. I guess I should be relieved they aren’t on my face. I know it’s happening because our screens in our windows are soo bad and there are gaps that allow mosquitos to squeeze through. It’s sad to say this, but I am actually really excited for it to get cold so we can close the window. Why is the mosquito army attacking me?!! I found the culprit on the wall this morning after I showered and made Hubby kill it. But I am seriously contemplating buying Skin So Soft and using it as a moisturizer at night. 😦  And I’m praying for a more restful night tonight.

How I Got My BQ

Sorry for being completely MIA this weekend and not posting my comparisons between my first and second marathon. I was totally hit out of nowhere with either a bad stomach bug or a slight case of food poisoning. I was completely out of commission starting Saturday afternoon through today. Hence there won’t be any food pics, since I barely ate anything this weekend. Ugh!

But what I can do is finally give my comparison between how I trained for my first marathon vs. my second marathon in order to obtain the coveted BQ. So here are the main areas where I changed things up a bit and I think it helped: 

Work on Speed: For my first marathon, I didn’t really focus on speedwork at all. I was solely concentrated on logging the necessary mileage. For the Pocono Marathon,  I started incorporating some speedwork into my shorter runs. It wasn’t as formal as other runners, but I would consciously push my speed during certain runs and see if I could run the next mile at a fast pace or I’d pick landmarks and do short bursts of speed. I think I probably could have gotten a bigger benefit out of going a more formal route – running 400’s, 800’s, etc. at a specific pace. But I wanted to ease into speed a bit.

Get a Garmin: For my first marathon I trained using a regular sports watch and mapped out all my long runs on mapmyrun.com. I could guestimate what my average pace was based on the total time it took me to run it and the distance, but I never knew how my speed was broken down. I received a Garmin for Christmas last year and definitely put it to good use during my training for the Pocono Marathon. I was surprised to see how fast I was actually running sometimes. I think using my Garmin gave me better control over my speed and my pace. It helped me learn how to really kick it in at the end of races as well. I know Garmins are expensive and sometimes people think runners become too attached to them. But I think if you are trying to BQ they are almost a must.  

Increase Your Mileage: For my first marathon, I based my training plan off of Hal Higdon’s Novice plan. At the end of it all, I had run 383 miles in training (including the marathon). I was running 4 days a week. For my second marathon, I upped it to 5 days a week and increased my total mileage to 540 total miles (including the marathon). I based my second marathon training plan on Hal Higdon’s Intermediate I Training Plan. I did not stick to Hal’s plan exactly – I moved some of my running days around a bit. But I think that increasing my mileage that much really helped me. Others may not need to run that much or run 5 days a week, but I needed to train my body to run harder more often.

Choose Better Food/Fuel: I didn’t really pay too much attention to what I ate while I trained for my first marathon. I started my blog last October and started training for the Pocono Marathon in January 2010. At that point, my focus on healthy eating and my plan for better eating during this training was pretty solid. I ate soo much healthier this time around. I incorporated new grains like barley, couscous and quinoa into my diet, and upped my intake of fresh fruits and veggies. I made the switch from light Yoplait yogurt to Greek yogurt (generally Chobani) and found that my foods were keeping me full longer. I fully admit that I ate whatever I wanted during the first training – candy, desserts, junk food – all that. I thought that because I was burning so many calories, I was entitled to eat as much of everything I wanted. Wrong! And this leads to my next point.  

Find the Right Weight: I weighed between 113-114 pounds during my first marathon. I weighed about 108-109 pounds for my second. I know this doesn’t sound like a big difference, but I’m 5’1 and have a petite frame, so an extra 5 pounds on me does make quite a difference. I actually gained weight while training for my first marathon. I chalked it up to “gaining muscle” and it’s probably true that I did. But I also think I gained a little more weight than was necessary for me. Going into training for the second marathon, I had lost a little bit of the weight from the first marathon. But as I started training for the second AND continued to eat right, the rest of it just kind of melted off. I wasn’t trying to lose weight – but I think it came off naturally because 108-109 is actually around the ideal running weight for me.

Use Races: I kind of went through a racing slump for a few years. I would run 1-2 races each year, but that was it. As I began training for this second marathon, I decided that I needed to incorporate some more races into my plan to get myself used to maintaining a race pace. If you check out my Race History page, you can see exactly what I races I ran from January – May.  I ran five races of varying lengths – ranging from 5 miles to a half marathon. I actually made some of these race days my long run days. So I would run the race and then tack on some additional mileage to reach my long run day total. This worked out great for most runs – but my last long run was pretty torturous.

Run Hills: Ahh the dreaded hills. Knowing that my second marathon might be a bit hilly, I tried to incorporate hills into every run I could. Central Park has some pretty decent hills, but when I would run from my parent’s house in Upstate NY, I would add some really terrifying hills to my routes. My parents and friends would ask me why I was torturing myself by adding all these hills and my answer was: to be overly prepared. Plus, the general benefits of hill training have been touted everywhere!  Training on hills improves leg-muscle strength, quickens your stride, develops your cardiovascular system and can even protect your leg muscles against soreness. Basically, it can help make you a stronger, faster and healthier runner. You know the saying – what doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger!

Set the Goal: As scary as it may seem, I think it’s important to set your BQ goal and tell people about it. Recognizing that your goal for this race is different will help you get into the right mindset. My goal for my first marathon was simply to just finish! A goal like that puts you in a different frame of mind than knowing you’re trying to qualify for Boston. Setting a specific time goal can be scary, but it also keeps you well-grounded during the race. Plus, once you’ve said that goal outloud or shared it with…umm the entire blog world – it makes you push that much harder to achieve your goal. I can honestly say that I thought about all the people who commented on my blog and gave me great BQ advice. I didn’t want to let you guys down after you’d listened to me drone on and on about wanting a BQ! I wanted to make you all proud! 

And lastly – believe you can do it!! Visualize yourself running that perfect race and finishing in the time you want. There is no better motivation than knowing you’ve put in the training and hard work that is necessary to obtain your BQ. And although the actual race may be far from perfect (mine certainly was), it will be that belief in yourself that will ultimately take you to the finish.

If you haven’t read my second marathon Race Recap, feel free to check it out – that can give some insight into what a non-perfect race can feel like. And thanks again to all who gave me advice on how to achieve my BQ.

What was the best BQ advice anyone ever gave you?!

Now I’ve got to rehydrate and get 100% better so I can do my first post-race run! I’m starting to go through withdrawal. Have a great Monday all.

Let the Carb-loading Commence

It’s almost here. I can feel it. My body can feel it. My nerves are on fire and the marathon is on my mind. I can’t really get it out of my mind actually. I catch myself picturing my run at least a few times every day. And with that mental picture, my stomach drops!

I don’t know about other marathoners, but a marathon is really the only race I get nervous for anymore. Since my last marathon (October 2009), I’ve run quite a few races and felt relatively calm before almost all of them. I knew they weren’t THE RACE, the BIG race – they were just training for the real deal. I did end up racing and setting PRs in many of those races, but I never experienced the full-on nervousness. Oh the nerves.

So it’s Thursday and the race is only a few short days away. So it’s time to get serious. My birthday indulgence is done and I am on a strict carb-load, hydrate and eat-right plan. I fully support carb-loading 3-4 days before a marathon, and not gorging yourself on carbs the night before.

For all you marathoners out there – when do you start your carb-loading? And how do you prep the few days before?

So Wednesday truly began my carb-loading. I started off at breakfast with a big bowl of original Puffins and some blueberries on top.

Then for lunch, I heated up some leftover pasta with chicken from Monday night.

Afternoon snacks were Chobani with Kashi Heart to Heart cereal mixed in and three clementines.

After work, I headed to the gym for a quick run. It wasn’t exactly raining outside, but the skies looked ominous, so I played it safe. I ran 3 miles in 26:28 – a nice and easy pace. It was hard going that slow and I actually thought I felt tired, which made me even more nervous. I should not be tired after 3 miles – did I take my taper too far?!

I left the gym and headed home and threw together a quick dinner of baked tilapia with a large side of rice.

I have been seriously ravenous lately! And I’m not running a lot right now, so it feels a little weird. After dinner I was still hungry, so I ate a healthy dessert of strawberries and blueberries sprinkled with crushed puffins on top.

This hit the spot and I was FINALLY full. Again, I tried to go to bed early because I know that I likely won’t get too much sleep the night before the marathon, so I want to be as well rested during the week as possible.

And I had a strange dream about the marathon last night. My husband and I got there and he decided to help me warm up. We ended up getting lost and running like 11 miles before the race even started! There was road work going on and we had to take a detour and then we were sprinting to the start of the race and I was exhausted! Oh the stress.

How do you guys cope with nerves before a race?! Help!

Have a great Thursday all – I am trying to put the race out of my mind for the entire day….starting now!

Happy Birthday to Me!

Good morning all! I feel very refreshed today for two reasons: 1) I went to bed last night at 9:30, and 2) It’s my birthday today!!

To be honest, I haven’t really gotten very excited about my birthday in a while, but I am feigning the excitement for you all. I’m not sure what if any birthday plans I have for tonight – maybe go out to dinner or at the very least, convince Hubby to make me dinner. 

 As far as a recap of yesterday, breakfast was very good. Oatmeal with banana and peanut butter in my brand new bowl that my momma gave me for my birthday (thank you!). The old red ones were looking atrocious and she agreed it was time to retire them.

Lunch was a peanut butter and apricot jelly sammy (I am loving the apricot lately). I also had a side of carrots.

My afternoon snacks were a blueberry Chobani yogurt and an apple. Boring – no pics.

After work, Hubby and I set out for a nice WINDY run along the East River promenade. I swear, every time I run with my husband the weirdos come out: the man talking to himself and gesticulating, the strange girl dancing enthusiastically by herself and singing, the car that veered off the road unexpectedly and came to a screeching halt, etc. Seriously, every time we run together we encounter strange people.

My Garmin was acting up and didn’t start working until more than .5 miles into our run. Here are our stats from our 4+ mile run, of which only part was captured.

Mile 1 – 8:33
Mile 2 – 8:03
Mile 3 – 8:27
.86 – 6:54

Total mileage – 3.86 in 31:59. Average pace – 8:17 minute miles.

I think in total, we probably ran about 4.5 miles. I am taking tonight off as a rest day and a birthday treat.

After our run, I had planned to make chicken and rice and soon realized we had no rice. Second choice was chicken and pasta. I also threw some carrots into the mix as well.

After dinner, Bill proceeded to become engrossed in the Stanley Cup hockey game and I think Murphy wanted some attention. When Bill finally picked him up, he showed off a little bit.

Big kitty stretch!

Like I said, my night ended pretty quickly when I turned in at 9:30 p.m. I was exhausted from getting very little sleep on Sunday night. I am feeling a little more rested and awake today.

So what about you guys? What is the best birthday you can remember? And what do you like to do on your b-day?

Have a great day all!

Long Lost Blogger

Hi all – how is everyone? I don’t know because I haven’t been able to check many blogs lately and have been so super busy – I have no clue what is going on with people. I am trying to catch up, but I’ve missed so much!

Things with me have been crazy at work and outside of work. Last week I only ran 3 of my 5 training days – eeek! And my marathon is this Sunday!! Can you believe it? I can’t. My nerves are out of control.

This past weekend we headed to Utica, N.Y. to visit Bill’s family and celebrate Mother’s day and his sister’s 50th birthday. Our drive up Friday night was good, the weather was clear and slightly cool, but not too bad.

On Saturday morning, I woke up to some blustery weather – about 37 degrees, overcast and a slight drizzle. I decided to suck it up and bang out my last “long” training run. It wasn’t so long – only 8 miles, but I wanted to make sure I got it in. Here are my stats from the run:

Mile 1 – 8:32
Mile 2 – 8:08
Mile 3 – 8:18
Mile 4 – 8:07
Mile 5 – 8:33
Mile 6 – 8:12
Mile 7 – 8:30
Mile 8 – 8:27
.23 – 1:43

Total mileage – 8.23 miles in 1:08:33. Average page – 8:20 minute miles.

I finished up my last “long run” and felt pretty great. And as I did so, I finally reached over 500 miles on my training plan.  I won’t reach my total goal mileage, but I’m not too far off.

On Saturday night we went to dinner at a Greek restaurant in Whitesboro, N.Y. called Symeon’s. It was pretty good. I had the THRACIAN CHICKEN: Fresh boneless skinless chicken breasts marinated and charbroiled  and served with rice pilaf. I could have gone a more authentic Greek route, but I wasn’t feeling entirely adventurous. I’ve found as races approach, I tend to try to play things a little safe.

What is not so safe is that everyone around me seems to be getting sick! Bill’s one sister didn’t make it this weekend because she was hit with the flu, his nephew’s kids were sick, and then my parents both got hit with a cold of some sort on Sunday just before we were planning to drop by. My mom called to tell me to stay away because she didn’t want me getting whatever they have right before the big race.  Ahhh!!

On Sunday I was originally planning to run 3-4 miles in the afternoon, but I scratched that idea when it started SNOWING!! I kid you not. It was really snowing in Utica. It was insane. It was freezing cold outside and I didn’t have appropriate running clothes with me, nor did I feel like confusing the heck out of my body. I just kept praying that this coming weekend is drastically different. Can you imagine running a marathon in the snow? I’m sure people do it and do great, but those are not the right conditions for me.

The rest of the day Sunday was busy and we didn’t actually get home to NYC until 11:30 p.m. and I didn’t get to sleep until 12:30 a.m., so I am pretty darn tired today. I just keep telling myself that I need to get through this week and power through the marathon and then I get a break!! I need one.

How was your weekend? Do you seem to have busier times during the year? For me, Spring always seems to be chock-full of activities and my free time is non-existent!

I hope to catch up on what’s going on today. Have a great day all!