Tag Archives: marathon training

The World According to Irving

Good morning all. How are you? I’ve been a frazzled mess recently. It primarily has to do with stuff going on at work. I may have been in the office yesterday at 7:45 a.m. It was hectic to say the least.

Anyway – I’ll do a quick recap of the past two days. Breakfast on Monday was oatmeal with mixed frozen fruit.

Lunch was salad – unpictured and then I didn’t really snack in the afternoon because that’s when things go C-RAZY. I probably would have work to all hours of the night, if it hadn’t been one of my best friend’s birthday on Monday! I met up with Katie after work for a quick dinner. We were going to try Blossom Bistro on the UES, but we simply didn’t have enough time, so we hit up Ariba Ariba! instead. And I had a much-needed margarita, along with this a yummy and HUGE chicken burrito.

It was very filling. After our quick dinner, Katie and I headed to the 92 Street Y to see John Irving speak. Mr. Irving is one of our favorite authors. We saw him speak back in October and simply could NOT pass up the opportunity to see him again. He is so amazing and so charismatic. Hey there John!

Mr. Irving spoke from 8:00 – 9:30 and even shared some draft material from a potential future book, as well as some interesting and entertaining stories. He is soo great! They were pretty explicit about no photos or video, so I put my camera away for the night.

Are you an Irving fan? What books of his have you read? What is your favorite?

I haven’t read them all, but I’ve read: A Prayer for Owen Meany, The Cider House Rules, The Water Method Man, The World According to Garp and A Widow for One Year. I have his newest book (an autographed copy!), so that is on my list of books to read. I’m pretty sure Cider House is my favorite. 🙂

After the reading, I called it a night so that I could get up super early on Tuesday. My breakfast was a bowl of Puffins with Almond Milk.

This was my first time trying Puffins and I really liked them. So much so, that they might have been my dinner last night as well. Hehehe.

No other food photos from yesterday. I was busy, busy all day. I had a Peanut Butter and Jelly (Apricot – yum!) sandwich for lunch and my usual snacks.

After work I FORCED myself to run at the gym. There were big rain clouds threatening, so I played it safe and ran 5 miles at the gym in 41:25. I can not believe that my marathon is NEXT WEEKEND!! Holy cow.

I am trying to get myself in a good frame of mine – build my confidence and visualize myself running my marathon strong and in the time I want. I need to figure out my race-day outfit and all that as well. I’m getting so excited and nervous!! And of course, I am praying for perfect weather!

Have a great Hump Day all! Hubby comes home from being out of town – so I’m super excited about that! YAY!

Wedding Fun & Marathon Nerves

Good morning all – welcome to another work week. Blah! This past weekend flew by so fast. Did yours?

On Friday after work I headed upstate on the train. I had dinner with two of my best friends that night, including some pasta to help fuel my run the next morning.

Saturday’s run was a good one – maybe because it was so much shorter than my last weekend run (21+ miles). My friend Lauren also met up with me for about four of the miles, so that made it go by quickly as well. Here are my stats from that run:

Mile 1 – 8:19
Mile 2 – 9:10
Mile 3 – 9:23
Mile 4 – 9:04
Mile 5 – 8:38
Mile 6 – 8:16
Mile 7 – 8:42
Mile 8 – 8:27
Mile 9 – 8:31
Mile 10 – 8:20
Mile 11 – 8:33
Mile 12 – 8:19
.22 – 1:47

Total mileage – 12.22 miles in 1:45:34. Average pace – 8:38 minute miles

I felt great after this run! After my run I hung around my parent’s house for a bit and then got ready for my friend Jenny’s wedding in Queensbury, N.Y.

They had a gorgeous day for their wedding and the ceremony happened to be outside, so that was perfect. Here’s Hubby and I at our table taking the requisite table photo.

And that’s my friend Lauren giving us bunny ears. Thanks girl!

And here’s a group shot of some of the girls with the bridey.

The cocktail hour was amazing – there were sooo many stations. But I completely forgot to take any photos because I was so intent on hitting up every station…and I did.

Our dinner was delicious – the menu was chicken and Chateaubriand, with a twice-baked potato and grilled broccoli and carrots.

And then my favorite part – dessert!

I loved the wedding cake with the chocolate cream-pudding in the middle. And the icecream in the mini cup was fabulous as well. I cleared my plate.

All in all, it was a really great wedding and weekend. I wanted to be super motivated and run on Sunday, but it was just too hot and muggy and I was too tired. So last week, it looks like I only got in 3 of my 5 days of running. Apparently, I am taking the taper time to the next level and am just being straight lazy! Hopefully I can get in my five days this week. I am losing training motivation!

Any advice from marathon veterans out there – how to stay motivated during the taper time? I don’t want to ruin all my training by not tapering properly.

And in other marathon-related nerves – I had an extremely bizarre dream last night. I was running the marathon with my high school cross-country team, but it was more like an obstacle course. We had to squeeze through hidden doors and strange routes and then our coach stopped us for a full 5 minutes to have a chat. I was flipping out and yelling “we are running a marathon – there’s no time for talking!”

It was not a fun dream. I think I can say that I am officially nervous for the Poconos Run for Red Marathon on May 16th. Eeeks it’s so close!

Have a great Monday all!

Ireland, Here We Come!!

Good morning all! Happy Tuesday. Hope your Monday wasn’t too unbearable. Mine was a-okay and probably more than okay because Hubby and I officially booked our trip to Ireland!! Yahooo! We are leaving on August 29th and returning on September 10th. So feel free to send any suggestions my way! So excited. Having a vacation to look forward to just makes everything a little bit better!

What is the best vacation you’ve been on? And where was the last place you went?

Our last vacation was our honeymoon to Hawaii and it was AWESOME!! We went to Maui and Kauai and had such a great time. But that was back in October 2008, so I think we’re due for a nice little trip. Plus, I have family in Ireland that I’d love to meet and Hubby is the quintessential Irishman, with red hair and all! It’s going to be great! Now I just have to get an updated Passport. Not fun.

Other than booking our trip, yesterday was a pretty same-old-same-old day. Breakfast was some boring Kashi Heart to Heart cereal.

Lunch was a salad with a few Rice Chips on the side.

Okay, so it might have been more than a few chips. And then later in the afternoon I had a Chobani yogurt with granola.

After work I did manage to squeeze in a quick recovery run on the treadmill at the gym. I just ran 3 miles in 27:44. A nice and easy pace. But running on the treadmill seems so much harder these days.

When I got home after my quick run I made a quick dinner – a chicken breast grilled on the Foreman with a side salad. Someone had ordered this salad for Hubby for lunch and it had beets in it, which Hubby does not like. So he saved it for me.

I ate about half of the salad and saved the rest (prob for tonight). It was really delicious. Field green lettuce with beets, sliced apple and goat cheese. I drizzled some Newman’s Sesame Ginger Dressing on top.

I’m still so excited about Ireland. It’s a ways away, so I need to chill out. Plus I have a marathon on May 16th that I should be excited (or nervous) about first!  And this coming weekend we’re going to a wedding upstate – so much to look forward to!!

What are you looking forward to?

Have a great Tuesday all!

Three Cheers for Friday!!

Happy Friday! Thank goodness it’s finally here. I am very ready for the weekend! What are your weekend plans?

For me it’s squeezing in my 5-mile run tonight that I missed on Wednesday, pasta dinner with my cousin-in-law tomorrow night and the More Magazine Half Marathon and 20+ run on Sunday morning. And then my taper will begin!

As for yesterday, my day started out with a boring breakfast of Kashi Heart to Heart cereal.

My lunch was not too exciting either and the photos are absolutely mind-numbing, so I’m not posting them. I had a PB&J sandwich on wheat bread, a Chobani yogurt and an apple. See boring.

Weather.com toyed with me throughout the day – saying a thunderstorm was coming at varying times. Finally around 3:00 p.m. I said “screw it”, closed the website and told myself if I got rained on it wouldn’t be the end of the world. I wasn’t missing another run.

I flew home after work, as usual, and got ready in record time. I headed out to clear skies. Here are my stats from my run:

Mile 1 – 8:35
Mile 2 – 7:51
Mile 3 – 8:22
Mile 4 – 8:09
Mile 5 – 8:23
.14 – 1:15

Total mileage – 5.14 in 42:38. Average pace – 8:17 minute miles

The sky was definitely starting to get dark as I neared home, but I was doing a little ha-ha happy dance in my mind because I beat the rain and broke free from weather.com’s curse. Being a weatherman is such a cush gig.

After my run I cleaned a huge pile of dirty dishes and then made myself a quick dinner.

Soup with a side of carrots and grape tomatoes with dill hummus. This hummus was amazing and I will definitely be buying it again.

A little before 7:30 Hubby began readying a spot in front of the t.v. and preparing for some grand event. The NFL Draft of course. I forgot what a big deal it is for people every year. Did you watch the draft?

While Hubby hunkered down for some NFL excitement, I got pretty excited about this dessert…

Ohhh yum! I am making this again tonight. I have been snacking on some chocolate chips here and there when I need something sweet, but this was a grand decision. I just melted a handful of chocolate chips in the microwave for about a minute, mixed up the chocolate and drizzled it over top the strawberries. AMAZING!! I am actually craving this right now.

As of right now, weather.com says RAIN still for Sunday. It’s the only day on the forecast that has not changed in the slightest. Fantastic. I’m just going to keep my fingers crossed that, like usual, the weathermen have no clue.

I think today I may also start seriously planning/looking into our trip to Ireland. Anyone have suggestions?!

Weather.com Strikes Again!

Good afternoon – I’m posting during my lunch today.  A morning post just did not happen. I’ve had kind of a stressful past two days, so I’m feeling a little grumpy and I know that’s not the best time to be posting on my blog, but what can ya do?

Anyhoo – for a quick recap of yesterday I’ll start off with my delicious oatmeal breakfast yumminess with banana and peanut butter.

Doesn’t that just look divine?

My workday was super busy yesterday, so I squeezed my lunch in kind of late in the day. I had the leftover chicken dish from dinner the night before. Yum!

Good lord I hate florescent lighting. Afternoon snacks, an unphotographed Chobani yogurt and a new flavor of KIND bar.

The cranberry almond was really good, but a little bit sticky.

Towards the end of the day, my work started to spiral out of control. I had a lot to work on and it needed to be done asap. I ended up getting out of work a little bit late and then was so upset when I walked outside and big fat raindrops landed on my head. I check weather.com every morning and the forecast was clear. If it even hints at a chance of rain I bring gym gear with me to work.

Weather.com totally screwed me yesterday. So I went home tired from work, stressed and then upset by the rain. Needless to say, I didn’t make it to the gym for any kind of run. GRR!

I was starving when I walked in the house, so I made a pre-dinner snack of Triscuits with melted cheese and then I spooned a little salsa on them. It’s kind of like eating nachos.

I also poured myself a glass of much-needed wine. After my pre-dinner snack, I made a big salad for dinner with romaine lettuce, carrots, cherry tomatoes, cheddar cheese, raisins and walnuts. I drizzled balsamic vinegar on-top.


Oh but my weather.com struggles do not end there my friends. I happened to glance outside a little while ago and see that it looks eerily dark. Mind you, I checked weather.com this morning as well before leaving work, and then around 10:00 a.m. and my local forecast was all clear. Plus – do you think I learned my lesson and brought gym clothes just in case – Nope!

I just checked the website again and now there are thunderstorms forecasted for on and off between 3-6 and then 9:00 p.m. and on! How, why, what – that’s not fair!! Theoretically, I can try to squeeze my run in between 6-9, but I know in an hour it’s probably going to tell me torrential downpours for the whole night. Darn you weather.com – I am shaking my angry fist at you!!

Lastly – I’m running the More Magazine Half Marathon this Sunday and just guess what weather.com has to say about the forecast…You got it – RAIN!! Not even showers or drizzle – solid Rain! Should be fun. I was also planning on tacking on some extra mileage at the end for my last 20+ run – looks like it’s going to be a wet one. 😦

The End of Mid-week 8 Milers!

Sometimes it’s the little things that make me happy. Completing my first 20-mile run of this particular marathon training plan felt great, but for some reason, the fact that my mid-week 8 mile runs have come to an end made me ecstatic!

At this point in my training, an 8 mile run isn’t all that bad, but it’s the mid-week part that gets me. My schedule goes something like this: race out of work at 5 p.m. on the dot. Pray the trains aren’t slow or backed up. Race off the subway to our apartment. Change. Gulp down some water. Hit the bathroom. Try to head out by 6:00 p.m. Run my 8 mile run at a decent clip. Get home by 7:15 or so. Stretch, stretch, stretch, and drink some water. Hop in the shower. Get out and get dressed. Race to the kitchen to throw together some semblance of a dinner. Try to be done by 8:30 at the latest so that I can maybe relax for an hour before exhaustion strikes.

Phew, just writing that tired me out. I feel like my 8-mile run nights are kind of fast forwarded or played at super sonic speed. I often think of the warp speed mode in Space Balls…I’ve gone plaid. I try to squeeze everything in and get it all done at a decent hour. And then I collapse. So when I updated my mileage on my training plan last night and saw that it was the last mid-week 8 miler, I did a little happy dance. Next week, my highest mid-week mileage is 6 miles, which is very okay with me. 🙂

Do you ever feel like in your quest to fit it all in your time is super compressed or your rushing around like a mad woman?

Or maybe it’s just me and I do it to myself. I’m one of those people who gets upset if I don’t maintain or beat my commute time to work. That’s kind of sick right? I’m constantly early. For every job I’ve ever had I’ve been “the early girl.” At my first job, a co-worker once called me when his car broke down on the way to work and asked me to tell the boss once he got in. He said he called me because he knew I’d be the only person at the office already. My early-bird ways worked out great when I was getting paid by the hour, but at this point in my career it really doesn’t matter.   

Anyway, I have no food photos from yesterday since besides being on warp speed mode, I was apparently on totally forgetful mode as well. But here are my stats from my last mid-week 8 mile run!

Mile 1 – 9:09
Mile 2 – 7:52
Mile 3 – 8:27
Mile 4 – 8:04
Mile 5 – 7:56
Mile 6 – 7:44
Mile 7 – 8:09
Mile 8 – 9:59

Total mileage – 8:00 in 1:07:02. Average pace – 8:22 minute miles.

After my run I threw together a chicken, pasta and broccoli dish that also involved chicken broth, lemon juice, white wine, cheese and butter. It turned out pretty good and I will be enjoying some of those leftovers for lunch today.

I managed to catch the last 1 1/2 hours of Biggest Loser too. And I would like it noted that I became pretty peeved when I saw the new Yoplait Greek Yogurt plug. Sure, I can understand why Yoplait is jumping on the Greek yogurt bandwagon. I’m sure their sales have taken a hit as the Greek yogurt craze took off. But, if you’re going to enter a new market, at least DO IT RIGHT!! There are plenty of other Greek yogurt producers out there that are making natural products that taste amazing. Why would you create a brand new product that is less than the best? Why create a product with Milk Protein Concentrate (MPCs) and other unappealing and unnatural ingredients and try to sell it as being as good and as “healthy” as all the rest. Seems like cutting corners and producing it cheaply to me. And it seems like they put very little stock in consumers being able to tell the difference. They think consumers will see “Greek” in giant letters on the side and dump it in their cart.

I’ll pass thanks.

Sorry for that little rant. I think I gave Biggest Loser a little more credit than that. Their product placements are always a little out of control, but my recent taste-test and ingredient look-up of this new yogurt only fueled my annoyance with this plug. And I’m sure a lot of people out there will try it and like it ,and that is completely fine with me. I certainly don’t eat all natural and/or organic all the time, that is for sure. I’m just saying – why not at least try to make your new product as healthy as possible?  Oh if only I were a billionaire CEO. 🙂

Hope you all have a happy hump day!

No Time for Slacking!

Good morning all – hope your Monday started off well! I’ve been such a poor blogger on the weekends as of late. But for some reason, I’ve really been cherishing the chance to just unplug and relax a bit. It might be because on the exercise and training side of things I am not unplugged or relaxed at all – far from it.

Before I get into my weekend recap, I want to say good luck to all those Boston Marathon runners! I can only imagine the adrenaline and nerves they’ve got going on right now. Just thinking about it makes my stomach churn a bit. Hopefully someday I’ll be running that race as a qualified runner.

Which leads me to this past weekend. I didn’t take many food pics, but I did get in some running (although a bit reluctantly).

On Friday after work I was plain exhausted and running was the furthest thing from my mind. I had planned to do a short 4-5 miles, but instead I went home, relaxed and was asleep by 10:30 p.m. Exhaustion.

Saturday morning I was up and out for my run around 9:00 a.m. – I wee bit later than usual. But I only had 12 miles on the agenda, so my late start wasn’t a big deal. I started off and was trying to decide how fast to run when it just clicked all of a sudden that this was no time for slacking! I needed to be working hard! Here are my stats from that run:

Mile 1 – 9:25
Mile 2 – 6:55 (this is clearly wrong)
Mile 3 – 8:32 (that seems like a more accurate pace to me)
Mile 4 – 7:57
Mile 5 – 8:05
Mile 6 – 8:23
Mile 7 – 7:56
Mile 8 – 8:08
Mile 9 – 7:59
Mile 10 – 8:01
Mile 11 – 8:28
Mile 12 – 8:19
.43 – 3:26

Total mileage – 12.43 miles in 1:41:40. Average pace was 8:10 minute miles.

I felt pretty good after this run. My second mile was definitely a glitch by Garmin because I physically Can NOT run at that speed. But anyway – I felt better after getting that run done.

The rest of Saturday was good, if perhaps a bit lazy. We may have even ordered in dinner. 🙂

On Sunday, Hubby and I got up late – I think almost 10:00 a.m. for me. We chilled a bit and then set to work on cleaning the apartment. It somehow manages to get dirty really quickly. I blame it on the dirty city we live in.

How often do you do a general overhaul cleaning of your place?

As we neared the end of our cleaning, I debated whether I should go for a run. I still had about 4.5 miles I was supposed to get in for training to meet mile 35 mile quota for the week. I hemmed and I hawed, and then I finally told myself to shut up and GO because…yup – you guessed it:  It’s no time to be slacking! I gave myself a good kick in the pants, reminded myself that taking it easy wasn’t going to get me any closer to Boston in 2011. So I threw on my running gear and headed out. Here are my stats from that run:

Mile 1 – 8:07
Mile 2 – 8:04
Mile 3 – 8:10
Mile 4 – 7:51
.56 – 4:52

Total mileage – 4.56 miles in 37:06. Average pace – 8:08 minute miles

As you may imagine, I felt very happy after getting this run done.

How do you motivate yourself when your slacker side starts creeping in?

I also kept reminding myself all weekend, every time I thought about bailing on a run, that some really great runners would be running the Boston Marathon in two days or the very next day. That was some good motivation.

And, just when you thought at my slacking ways were gone. We come to Monday morning. I’m having dinner with a friend tonight and I really wanted to get my run in this morning. But let’s call a spade a spade – I am NOT a morning runner. I even emailed two running buddies last week kind of begging them to run with me this morning so I wouldn’t have an out. Alas, they were both busy. So…did I go?


Sure did!! I dragged myself out of bed at 5:10 a.m. for a solo run (and this after Murphy woke me up at midnight, 2 a.m. and 4 a.m.). Here are my stats from my morning run:

Mile 1 – 8:58
Mile 2 – 8:23
Mile 3 – 8:48
Mile 4 – 8:56
Mile 5 – 8:41

Total mileage – 5.02 in 44:00. Average pace – 8:46 minute miles.  

It wasn’t fast, it wasn’t particularly fun, but it is done! And I’m hoping that by powering through these recent runs, I’ve taught my slacker alter ego a lesson and will be able to keep her at bay until May 16!!

Have a great Marathon Monday all!

The Furminator and Zombies…Sounds Scary

Yay it’s Thursday! This week is almost over. I was supposed to get up and run this morning before work, since we have a happy hour planned for after work, but it just did not happen. Maybe I need to take a rest day.

My hump day yesterday was busy, but good. Breakfast started out with a bowl of Kashi Heart to Heart cereal with skim milk and strawberries, and a side of light cranberry juice.

My mid-morning snack was four clementines. They did not keep me satisfied for long. For lunch I had some burrito bowl leftovers – so good.

My afternoon snacks included another non-Chobani yogurt, but one which was much more satisfying and truly “all natural.”

I give Brown Cow a very good rating. It was tasty, but maybe not as thick and creamy as Chobani. But still a winner in my book and way better than Yoplait. Ingredients in this yogurt: Cultured Pasteurized Nonfat Milk. Contains Five Live Active Cultures: S.Thermophilus, L.Bulgaricus, L.Acidophilus, Bifidus And L.Casei.

Much better. I wish I’d bought more of this brand and less of Yoplait.

My late afternoon snack was a peanut butter and jelly Larabar – fuel for some running.

After work I headed home and reluctantly put on my running gear. I was still feeling a little nervous after my IT band pain on Tuesday. Would a 5-mile run help or hurt?

I headed to the East River promenade and did a somewhat easy run.

Mile 1 – 8:34
Mile 2 – 8:29
Mile 3 – 8:37
Mile 4 – 8:38
Mile 5 – 8:32
.28 – 2:21

Total mileage – 5.28 miles in 45:13. Average pace – 8:34 minute miles.

I actually wish I had slowed it down even more – maybe to 9:00 minute miles. It’s just so hard for me when I’m running around other people. I don’t like to follow too close behind another runner, or have another runner on my heels, so I tend to speed up rather than slow down.

I felt a few twinges in my hip area here and there while running, but didn’t feel too bad after my run. I stretched again, but not nearly as much as I did on Tuesday night and I think that was a problem. I did wake up with a very dull and minor pain in my hip/leg. I need to stretch like crazy from now on. Like I said, today is going to be a full rest day for me and then we’ll see if I work in a run tomorrow or just hold off till my 12 miler on Saturday.   

After my run, I made a very quick and easy dinner – a fried egg with cheese on an Arnold Thin Sandwich with carrots and hummus. BTW – Hubby says that I am obsessed with fried eggs now that I know how to make them…and I kind of am. 🙂

Loving that dill-flavored hummus too.

Then I made a small dessert:

I actually couldn’t eat all of the peanut butter and chocolate chips for some reason – maybe too full or I just wasn’t in the mood for it.

Hubby and I also watched “Zombieland” last night. I think we both approached the movie with less than high expectations and me with some trepidation. But despite a lot of blood and guts in the beginning, it really wasn’t half bad. It was very funny in some parts and I loved all of the actors in it. It was short and over before I knew it. I would definitely say to give this movie a chance, it’s unexpected entertainment.

More unexpected entertainment is the book I’m reading: The Year of Living Biblically. I think people see me reading this on the subway and think I’m a big Jesus worshipper or a little bit crazy (the cover is kind of crazy looking), but I promise you, this book is not trying to convert anyone or anything like that. It is truly hysterical. I’m moving through it pretty quickly, so hopefully I’ll have a full review soon.  

And since my parents pointed out that their grandkitty Mr. Murphy hasn’t been featured on my blog lately, this little shot is for them:

He was just chillin – hanging out with his Daddy and obviously having a good time. Doesn’t his fur look particularly shiny and clean? Why, you ask? Cuz we’ve been furminating him all the time. That’ right, we bought a product called “The Furminator” and it’s pretty good. It’s supposedly removes hair from your pet’s undercoat as well as top coat. When I use this thing on him giant globs of hair come off. And he’s gotten better about tolerating it. We bought one for my parents to use on their cats and the one cat absolutely LOVES it. If you have pets (cats or dogs) that shed, you should check this thing out. The demos on the website are pretty incredible. Do you brush your pets? Do they like it? Like I said, Murphy usually tolerates it for a while, but I think he’s kind of getting used to the Furminator.

That’s all for now folks – hope you have a good Thursday.

Yucky Yogurt and IT Band Issues

Good morning. Happy Hump Day. My week seems to be moving by slowly. I am very much looking forward to the weekend and possibly even sleeping in on Sunday!

But first, my Tuesday recap. For breakfast I had some delicious oatmeal with banana in an almost-bare peanut butter jar. Yay for oats in a jar!!

Early morning snack was a granola bar and then lunch could not come soon enough. I was so hungry. I had sliced chicken breast with two slices of american cheese and mustard on an Arnold Sandwich Thin. And three pickles on the side. These were the leftover pickles from last week’s jar-breaking in the fridge catastrophe, so I figured it was time to eat them.

For my first afternoon snack I tried Yoplait’s new Greek yogurt. Apparently, there was a raid on Price Chopper in Whitesboro this weekend and all the thieves stole was Chobani yogurt. Seriously, the shelves were absolutely bare! So, I tried to make do with a few other kinds of Greek yogurt, Yoplait being one of them. I added some Kashi Go Lean cereal to this yogurt and gave it a whirl:

Decision: This yogurt was less than stellar. It is not nearly as thick and creamy as Chobani and it had kind of a weird taste. Not only that, but this yogurt is not all natural. The ingredients include: CULTURED PASTEURIZED GRADE A NONFAT MILK, MILK PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, SUGAR, STRAWBERRY PUREE, KOSHER GELATIN, LEMON JUICE CONCENTRATE, COLORED WITH BEET JUICE CONCENTRATE, CALCIUM CHLORIDE, , VITAMIN A ACETATE, VITAMIN D3.

So all the ingredients highlighted in red made me suspicious. For the first one: milk protein concentrate, I found this info almost immediately:

“Milk Protein Concentrate (MPC) sounds OK, but how would it look if we saw the word “glue” on our food and beverage labels? MPC is legal for glue and for industrial uses, but it has never been approved for human consumption. Why then does the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permit MPC use in any food or beverage without first having this unapproved ingredient tested for safety and nutrition as required by law under federal “Generally Regarded As Safe”(GRAS) status?” from www.farmdefenders.org.

Yuck – did I really eat that?! I dug a little deeper and found that  New York Senator Chuck Schumer introduced a bill back in 2009 that would levy higher tariffs on imports of  MPCs. The dried dairy product is used in many processed foods in the United States because it’s cheaper than domestically-produced dried milk powder.


Next on the list: Kosher Gelatin – sounds yummy doesn’t it? Well, Kosher gelatin can be made from fish bones, beef, Japanese insinglass, agar agar, carrageenan, and Irish moss, according to The Vegetarian Resource Group. Double ewww and gag!!

I’m a little rusty in the periodic tables, so I googled Calcium Chloride next and Wikipedia told me this:

Calcium chloride, CaCl2, is a salt and the compound of calcium and chlorine. It behaves as a typical ionic halide, and is solid at room temperature. It has several common applications such as brine for refrigeration plants, ice and dust control on roads, and in concrete. The anhydrous salt is also widely used as a desiccant, where it will absorb so much water that it will eventually dissolve in its own crystal lattice water. It can be produced directly from limestone, but large amounts are also produced as a by-product of the Solvay process.”

Oh yum – this yogurt is really sounding tasty now, right? Widely used as a desiccant – delish!

So next is Vitamin A Acetate. I had a hard time finding info on this vitamin additive. My searches kept bringing up facial beauty products and information about retinol. I’m going to continue searching, but in the meantime, maybe I should be rubbing the yogurt on my face instead of eating it?

Anyway – I bought one more container of this yogurt and part of me doesn’t even want to eat it, but I also don’t want to waste food either. Tough call.

After work I set out for my 8 mile run, fueled by all the really great and inspiring comments posted yesterday (thanks all – you’re the best!). Everything was going really well until about 3 miles in when my left side thigh area really started hurting. I trudged on and finished my 8 miles, but the pain in my leg was searing from my butt all through my upper thigh afterwards. Here are my stats from the run:

Mile 1 – 9:14
Mile 2 – 7:58
Mile 3 – 8:30
Mile 4 – 8:26
Mile 5 – 8:02
Mile 6 – 7:55
Mile 7 – 7:52
Mile 8 – 8:50

Total mileage 8.01 miles in 1:06:43. Average pace – 8:19 minute mile.

I was definitely pushing myself a little bit harder than I probably should have, especially after my 20-mile run on Saturday. But I so wanted to prove to myself that I could run harder without any issues.

I guess that was not true last night. When I got home, I tried to stretch every way possible to help with the pain and then finally it dawned on me that perhaps this was IT band related. I’ve heard so, so many runners mentioning IT band pain, I needed to check it out.

And all my searching told me that it likely was related to my IT band. I wasn’t experiencing any knee pain, but the pain from my butt throughout my upper thigh sounded like one of the symptoms of an IT band issue. I then searched for many different stretches and happened upon Megan’s post about her IT band stretches (including awesome how-to photos). So I spent a solid 20-3o minutes throughout the night doing her stretches. Hubby even turned to me later in the evening and told me all I’d been doing since I got home was stretching. Darn right!!

But it must have been IT band related and the stretching worked because my leg feels about 80% better today. I got out of bed very cautiously, waiting for the pain to hit, but it was gone! Hurray. At least now I know the cause and how to stretch it. Plus, I’ve decided to take tonight’s and tomorrow’s runs REALLY slow. Seriously, I am going to force myself.

Have you ever dealt with IT Band issues? Did they ever go away completely or do you just work to keep them under control and at bay as much as possible?

After my run I made us a yummy dinner of chicken, rice, lettuce, a little cheese and salsa in a bowl. I call this dinner a mini “burrito bowl” and it was totally satisfying.

I swear there is some chicken and rice in there….

After dinner I stretched away, vacuumed up gobs of Murphy hair and watched The Biggest Loser. Does anyone else feel like it’s time for Sam to go home? I like the guy and all, but I don’t think he needs to be there anymore. He is totally motivated and has got this – he can do it at home.

So that was my night. Hope you had a nice day yesterday and that Hump Day flies by for you!!

Dealing with Doubts

Good morning all. How is your Tuesday going? So far mine is okay. I went to bed at a decent hour last night, so I was able to catch up on some of my sleep. However, Mr. Murphy did try to get me up at 5:00 a.m. this morning, which was not appreciated. I really hate when he decides he wants some attention bright and early in the morning.

Did everyone make it through their Monday okay? Mine was a little tough because I was so exhausted. I started off the day with an easy breakfast because I had zero motivation – Kashi Heart to Heart cereal with almond milk and cranberry juice.

It wasn’t a thrilling breakfast, but it was all I could manage. I trudged through the day still feeling a little bit sore from my 20 mile run on Saturday. I didn’t even change out of my sneakers once I got to work.

Lunch was also less than exciting. It was some Triscuits with Laughing Cow Light Swiss Cheese and a small bag of carrots.

My afternoon snacks were Chobani yogurt with Kashi Go Lean Cereal and an unphotographed apple.

As the work day came to a close I actually started dreading my run for that evening. I was contemplating moving my 8 mile run up to last night because there was a threat of rain on the radar, but once I got home and changed I knew that 5 miles was going to be my max.

I set out for a run along the East River and hoped my lingering soreness wouldn’t make things too difficult. After a few minutes my legs actually started feeling better – maybe I was working some of the residual tightness out. Here are my stats from the run:

Mile 1 – 8:23
Mile 2 – 8:09
Mile 3 – 8:11
Mile 4 – 8:01
Mile 5 – 8:11

Total mileage – 5.05 miles in 41:20. Average pace was 8:11 minute miles.

I’m glad I forced myself to get out there. I was really thinking about taking another rest day. Hopefully today I can will myself out for my 8 mile run. For some reason, 8-mile mid-week runs have been sounding so daunting as of late. But the truth is, my marathon training schedule isn’t half as intense as some other runners I follow. My highest weekly mileage of my training is scheduled for next week and it’s only 45 miles. I follow this runner, who is tapering now and has 50 miles as part of her taper plan!! Or this runner who crushes long runs left and right, even when she’s NOT training for a marathon.

It leads me to question if I’m doing or have done enough to help push me toward a BQ. I know that each runner is different and that for me, running really high mileage would put a lot of strain on my body (not mention being able to find the time). I’m running more miles this time around than I did for my first marathon training – that is for sure. But I’m nowhere near an average of 55-70 miles a week, like other runners who have qualified for Boston.  

Plus, I was chatting with one of Hubby’s bestfriends this weekend and he told me he has a few friends who participate in triathalons and couldn’t qualify for Boston. Eeek – what makes me think I can come even close to qualify if these tough and toned athletes couldn’t do it?!

As you can tell, I’m having some doubts and starting to get pretty nervous. How do you cope with doubts/nerves about upcoming races or goals you’ve set?

After my run I rolled my legs out a bit with my marathon stick and it felt AMAZING!! Then I made us an easy dinner of pork chops with a side salad on the George Foreman.

A little A-1 sauce on the side. BTW – I love A-1. I could put it on anything, much like ketchup. Mmm soo good!

Then for dessert I ate a pusty.

I’m pretty sure this is an upstate NY dessert. Hubby’s mom picked up some pusties while we were there this weekend and sent two home with us. It’s basically a small custard pie with various fillings. Hubby and I both love the vanilla-filled pusties. I think the name “pusty” sounds kind of weird, but they are really delicious.

Exhaustion began to take over shortly after dinner. I made it until around 9:45 and then called it quits.

I hope you all have a nice Tuesday – hopefully my 8 miler tonight isn’t too painful. Have a good one!