Weekend Wrap-Up+Half Marathon Training, Week 4

Ugh, Monday already?!  Even though I’m bummed the weekend is over, I’m excited to have Brandon back home!  And it’s my birthday month!  

I had an easy 11 mile run Saturday morning–I could feel the plantar fasciitis in my right foot, but I wasn’t in pain.  It’s just annoying more than anything.  

I’m starting to experiment with foods the night before my long runs so I can hammer out a plan for race weekend.  Friday night, I baked some salmon and had it alongside a sweet potato with cinnamon and some plantains.

This was also my first time cooking a sweet potato in the microwave.  Genius!  I mean who has time to wait like 45 minutes when you’re hungry?  Not me.

My dinner seemed to work well for my tummy and I was satisfied but not stuffed.  I was up at 5:30 Saturday morning and prepped for my run.

My stomach felt so much better using jelly instead of almond butter.  I forgot to buy a banana to have along with my toast, so I ate the few leftover slices of plantains.  I brought my handheld with tropical flavored Nuun and two gels.  

The weather was overcast and in the upper 40’s.  Although it was dreary, it was perfect running weather.  I wore my Saucony Triumph ISO’s and compression socks instead of my Nike’s this time, since Laura said the extra cushioning in the forefoot may be better.  I was happy with how this run went–like I said, I wasn’t in any pain, but I could feel my PF.  I kept my pace easy, and picked it up over the last two miles.

After my run, I headed home to clean up and then picked up Brandon from the airport!

I was so happy he was finally home.  He had a hockey game that evening, so I dropped him off at the rink then went to grab dinner at a local Peruvian chicken place, Sardi’s!  

Pictured: Peruvian chicken, yucca fries, and salad.  Fun fact: I was so hangry I ate so fast that I actually thought I might up chuck when I was finished.  Nice huh?!

I headed back to the rink to cheer Brandon and his team on.

He’s in the white jersey, rockin the face off!  They won, woo!

After his game we headed back to DC so he could grab something to eat, and so we could watch the Caps game (they lost, boo).  I’m usually a wine drinker, but after a long run or speed session, all I want is a delicious craft beer.

Delicious!  Guess what Sunday morning was?

Hahahaha that is one of my all-time favorite memes.  Never gets old.  

I enjoyed a quiet morning with coffee, chocolate protein oatmeal, and the ads before heading to TJ’s. I was naughty and picked up some treats.

My favorite dark chocolate almonds and a mix pack of different craft beers.  Oh, and our TJ’s sells Picky Bars now!

I wish they sold the cookie doughpness flavor–that one is so hard to find!

I spent the rest of the rainy Sunday Netflixin’ (I’m on season 2 of The Tudors!) and chillin’.  We watched a documentary about the Duke University lacrosse scandal–very interesting.  Watch it if you get a chance!  

Now on to the recap of week four of training!

Monday: 4 miles easy+prehab exercises+core work.

Tuesday: 6×4 mins @ 5k-10k pace with 2 min recovery in between, plus w/u and c/d.  So tough because it was almost 70 degrees and sunny when I started, but I nailed that ish! Total 4.5 miles.

Wednesday: 3 miles easy+strength training.

Thursday: 5 miles easy.

Friday: Rest day!

Saturday: 11 miles easy, pushing a little more during the last 2-3 miles. 

Sunday: Lazy day.  I was supposed to do 40 minutes of cross-training but I slept in a bit and relaxed instead.  Oops!

Total Weekly Mileage: 27.5 miles.

Hope you guys have a great Monday!

Share your weekend highlights!

Any recs for PF? 

Favorite treat after a long/tough run or workout?

Weekend Wrap-Up+Half Marathon Training, Week 3

What a gorgeous weekend in D.C.! I heart spring weather so much.  Well, minus the pollen.  I could do without that. 

First, I want to back up really quick to Friday afternoon.  We had an awards ceremony at my staff meeting, where all of the school psychologists nominated someone from their school as recognition for being an amazing educator.  I chose a good friend of mine, but not because she’s my friend, but because she loves our students with everything, even when they’re pushing buttons.  I had some of our students write about why she’s so great, and got her to shed some tears.  That doesn’t seem like a huge deal, but she’s from New York and doesn’t cry often!  I was so happy to give her the award. 

Ok, back to the weekend!  Saturday morning, I woke up before 6:00 and prepped for my 10 mile run, which Laura wanted me to do at an easy pace.  Here’s my prep:

Cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread, almond butter, and honey.  Plus some tropical flavored Nuun and a Gu.  I decided to nix the coffee since I had tummy troubles last weekend.  My stomach definitely felt better this time without it, but I still got some pains/cramping–maybe it’s the almond butter? 

It was overcast but humid during my run, so I was glad I had Nuun with me.  I was a sweaty mess like two miles in!  I ran all my miles between a 10:00-10:40/mile pace, so nice and easy.  My legs were still a little heavy from strength training, but they relaxed as my run progressed.  And I finished before the downpour started!

My bud Andy was in the area for work Saturday morning, so we met up after my run for brunch.  I had Greek yogurt with fruit and granola, plus a side of bacon and toasted ciabatta.

I don’t eat bacon often, but I freaking love it.  Give me real bacon over turkey bacon any day!

After brunch I did a bit of house cleaning and laundry, then headed out to the Navy Yard area for drinks/dinner with some girlfriends!  I figured I earned my two glasses of wine plus tacos, plantains, and guac after my ten miler.

I love soft tacos (especially corn tortillas) over hard tacos any day.  

I passed out by 10:00 Saturday night–I’m such a granny when I don’t get my afternoon nap in!

I was up around 7:00 on Sunday but didn’t get out of bed until closer to 7:30.  My training plan called for 40 minutes of cross training but it was so nice outside that I didn’t feel like being stuck inside the gym, so I leashed up Rusty for a nice long morning walk!

He had a great time sniffing everything in sight and meeting new friends.

He’s such a little sassafras too–after we got home, he sat by the back door begging to lay in the yard.  Seriously?!  You were just outside!  

After letting him back out (I’m a sucker), I made my beloved protein oatmeal.

PS have you tried the MaraNatha dark chocolate almond spread?  It tastes like brownie batter!

I stocked up on items for lunches/dinner this week at my fave store.

And I didn’t buy any treats!!  Crazy, I know.  

I spent the rest of my Sunday enjoying some sun on the deck, napping, and taking a relaxing Epsom salt bath.

And now to recap week 3 of training!

Monday: 3 miles easy+hip strengthening and core work.

Tuesday: Speed work! 1 mile w/u, 4 miles tempo, 1/2 mile c/d.  My first tempo mile was slightly over at 9:23, but the rest were at or faster than goal pace! #crushedit. 

Wednesday: 3 miles easy.

Thursday: 5 miles easy+strength training.  Also included some hill work but still kept it at an easy pace.  

Friday: Rest day–much welcomed!

Saturday: 10 miles at an easy pace.  Foam rolled and stretched after. 

Sunday: Long morning walk with Rusty pup!

Total Weekly Mileage: 26.5 miles. 

Share your weekend highlights!

Any suggestions for the almond butter pre-run? Should I just try honey or jam? 

Running Goals+Changing My Mindset

Happy hump day!  Even though I still have a few weeks to go before my next half marathon, I’ve started thinking about what my goals are, and in doing so have changed my mindset a little bit.  And this doesn’t apply just to my race, but running in general!


It’s no secret that during my last half marathon, I wanted to sub 2:00 really bad.  Or at least finish in 2:00 hours.  Even though I beat my previous half marathon time and finished in 2:05:09, part of me felt defeated.

I decided to work with the awesome, encouraging, and patient Laura this training cycle to help develop a weekly training plan for me that suits my needs.  I originally wanted to work with a coach in hopes of reaching my sub 2:00 goal, but after doing some thinking I’ve decided to alter my goals a little bit.  Instead of focusing on a specific time, I want to focus on a few non time related things:

1. Make it through a training cycle uninjured.  As I thought back on it, every single half marathon I’ve trained for (which currently is just four, but still!) I’ve missed at least a week due to some sort of injury, whether it be tendonitis, pulled muscle, etc. likely due to overtraining.  This time, I want to focus on making my easy runs easy so that I have enough to give on the hard days without overdoing it.  Laura has me running at least 3-4 easy runs a week, and I love it!

2. Have a plan beforehand and stick to it.  Like I said, I wanted to sub 2:00 so bad during my last race.  But that was my only goal going into it, and I had no plan for how I was going to make that happen.  At the last minute I decided to run with the 2:00 pacers, but that was a flop since they started out way faster than I ever had during my long runs, and then I ran out of gas.  This time, I’m going to work with Laura beforehand to develop a plan based on my training runs on how to approach the race, stick to it, and run smart.

3.  Listen to my body AKA don’t be glued to my Garmin.  I have no problem admitting I’m Garmin happy and get fixated on what my pace is.  But it’s probably not a good look to be running with my head down and neck stiff staring at my watch, which is why lately I’ve been listening more to my body while running.  On easy days I make sure I’m breathing easy, and on speed work days I’m learning more what ‘moderately hard’ feels like by my breathing rather than relying on my watch.  This worked out really well for me during my tempo run yesterday, and I only looked at my Garmin when it beeped at the end of every mile.  Not only did it feel refreshing in general, but it felt so good to see that I was hitting my goal paces just by going off of effort.

Of course I still want to run a sub 2:00 half marathon–I’d be lying if I said I didn’t. Whether it happens next month or not isn’t going to make or break me.  I want to run smart and have fun–I get to run right past my Grammy’s house and see her, my mom, Brandon and our fur baby cheering me on! It doesn’t get much better than that, and I want to remember that.

Do you find yourself relying more on pace or effort during runs?

Have you ever run a race without stressing about a time goal and still achieved it?



Weekend Wrap-Up+Half Marathon Training, Week 2

Spring is finally here in DC!! I am so excited about the warmer weather and being able to sit on our deck (with a glass of wine, obvi).  

Brandon is on a two week business trip (sad face), but I had a great weekend filled with running, getting my hair did, and visiting my sassy Grammy!  

Saturday morning I was up around 6:00 and scarfed down a slice of cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread with almond butter along with 1/2 a cup of coffee.  I was ready to tackle my Saturday workout–Laura had me running 9 miles, with the first 6 miles easy and the last 3 at GHMP.  The weather was perfect at the start of my run–upper 40’s and very little wind.  I wore my capris, short sleeve shirt, visor, and brought my handheld.

The first 6 miles felt great, but I could feel myself starting to get warm once the sun was out.  I probably should’ve worn shorts but oh well.  Once I hit mile 6 I started to pick up the pace and felt pretty good until the last mile.  I had to stop twice to catch my breath since it seemed like I was practically wheezing.  I think I need to stop obsessing over what my Garmin says and go based off feel and just focus on maintaining a moderately hard effort during those miles.  Here’s my splits:

Mile 9 is off because that’s when I stopped twice, but I didn’t pause my phone.  The rest of my run was on point though!

Guess what I refueled with afterwards?

I’d love to know if you guessed something other than protein oatmeal!  PS check out that chocolate hazelnut butter on top.  I don’t play.

I also hit up TJ’s Saturday instead of Sunday, since I knew I’d be hitting the road Sunday morning.  I stocked up on frozen veggies, stuff for lunches, and some goodies (duh).


And I got my hair did, hayyy!  I decided to go for darker blonde highlights this time.

I made a delicious dinner Saturday night–riced cauliflower with carnitas, Cuban style black beans and avocado.  So good!


Then relaxed with a glass of vino and some TV.

I was woken up at 7:00 on the dot Sunday morning by a wet nose in my face.  But I loved snuggling with my fur baby all night!  I headed to the gym for an elliptical session, then headed to St. Michaels to visit my sassafras Grammy!  We grabbed some BBQ for lunch, which she was super excited about.

I think I got the ‘I love to stuff my face’ gene from her.  I opted for some hush puppies, pulled pork and smoked turkey, green beans, and sweet potato casserole.  Awwww yeah dog. 

I had so much fun chatting and spending time with her.  Plus I’ll get to see her in a few weeks for my half marathon!

The remainder of my Sunday was spent prepping lunches, lounging on the couch and getting my Netflix on!

Here’s a quick beak down of week 2 of training:

Monday: 3 miles easy+hip strengthening and core work.

Tuesday: 10 minute warm up, dynamic stretches, then fartlek repeats! Two minutes at slightly faster than goal race pace followed by two minutes recovery.  I did a total of 8 repeats plus a mile cool down for a total of 5 miles.

Wednesday: 3 miles easy.

Thursday: 5 miles easy+strength training.

Friday: Rest day!

Saturday: 9 progression miles.

Sunday: 35 minutes elliptical.

Total Weekly Miles: 25 miles.

Hope you guys have a great Monday!

Share your weekend highlights!

Any advice on easing into and holding a moderately hard pace?

Fave BBQ food?

Weekend Wrap-Up+Half Marathon Training, Week 1

Happy Monday!  I had a nice, relaxing low-key weekend and can’t wait to share my first week of half marathon training with you guys!

Saturday morning, I woke up a little before 6:00 for my 8 miler, which Laura wanted me to run at my easy pace.  I ate my usual slice of cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread with almond butter along with a little bit of water.  I totally forgot to make coffee!  Clearly I was still half asleep.

The weather Saturday was supposed to be pretty icky, with chilly temps and rain/wintry mix (where are you spring?!).  I made the last minute decision to leave my iPod at home so I could focus on my form and breathing.  Don’t get me wrong, I love listening to my jams, but sometimes I think I get too distracted.  I want to be able to really listen to my body this training cycle.

Verdict: I really enjoyed it!  Running without music helped me make sure I wasn’t going too fast or breathing too heavy.  It was also really nice to just mentally unplug.  Even though I got soaked by the rain for a mile or so, I actually had a lot of fun!  Something about running in the rain feels freeing.

I usually grab my favorite soy dirty chai latte from my local coffee shop after my run, but since my tights were pretty soaked and I was chilled, I headed home so I could change into dry clothes and warm up.  What better way to warm up than with a bowl of this?

Chocolate protein oatmeal and a hot mug of coffee!  PS I love that coffee mug–I got it in Cabo!

Saturday night I headed to Maryland to have dinner and hang out with my work BFF’s.  We grabbed takeout from Pasta Plus, a local Italian spot–what better way to refuel after a long run than with some delicious homemade pasta?!

We decided to take a family pic too.

I know, we’re hysterical.  They also introduced me to the show 60 Days In–it’s insane! I’m hooked.  I can’t even begin to fathom spending 60 days in jail willingly.

Sunday morning, I was woken up by a wet nose and wagging tail a little before 8:00.  Gotta love pups!  I headed to the gym for 30 minutes on the elliptical, followed by some light stretching.  Then it was time to hit up Trader Joe’s!  Obviously I bought some goodies.

Don’t worry, I only bought one container of them, not the whole stack.  Heads up, they’re amazing.  I also stocked up on some new frozen veggies that sounded good.

I’m all about fresh veggies, but after a long day at work, I’m all about the convenience of frozen ones.  Let me know if you’ve ever tried that kind!

And some stuffed pork chops!  I love pork chops but never make them.  These sound amazing.

Now on to my week 1 training recap!

Monday: 3 miles easy + hip strengthening exercises.

Tuesday: 1 mile easy, 3 tempo miles at GHMP, 1 mile cool down.  This run was cold and windy but fun!  I was pumped every time I looked at my Garmin during my middle miles to see I was hitting my paces.

Wednesday: 3 miles easy + hip strengthening + lower body strength training.  My legs were burning afterwards!  I did reverse lunges, weighted squats, leg lifts, and bridges.

Thursday: 4 easy miles with Courtney!  I actually think I did a little over 4, but stopped my Garmin earlier.

Friday: Rest day!

Saturday: 8 easy paced miles.  Here’s what my splits looked like:

Total Weekly Mileage: 23 miles.

The rest of my Sunday was spent watching Netflix (I started The Tudors again–Henry Cavill is gorg), and having a relaxing Epsom salt bath with a glass of wine 🙂  Hope you all have an awesome week!

Share your weekend highlights!

Do you enjoy running with or without music?