Week 3 Training Update + Something New (Bonus Recipe)

Can the running purchases settle down a little bit please? Found this funny cartoon that aptly describes my budgeting psyche as of late:

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But really. I love my new shoes, and they were a much-needed purchase. My old, well-loved Saucony Guides were starting to break open at the heel and I was feeling the pavement a little too much with every stride. The last thing I wanted was a foot strain so early on in my training, so I stopped back at Marathon Sports to see if I could find a new pair that fit well. I was not impressed with the updated Saucony Guides — I found something about their new support uncomfortable for my foot, so I tried on a few more options (I think there was a Brooks shoe that was just a little too unsupportive, an Asics shoe that was too heavy on my feet, and the Mizuno Wave Rider I ended up going with that seemed to combine the best of both worlds – lightness/flexibility with support). The guy helping me out happily offered to have the Wave Riders shipped to me from a different store since they didn’t have the color I wanted in stock in my size. I also got a bunch of advice from a different employee about different fueling chews and went home with a little booty stock pile of a bunch of different ones to try (with a 10% student discount, too!). When the shoes showed up on my doorstep a whole day earlier than I expected them to, I found a hand-written, personally addressed note inside. Marathon Sports, you know how to build a loyal customer – that’s for sure!

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Training (Week 3) Total Miles = 29.1

I’m considering this my third week of training, since my first few weeks were a little all over the place with traveling and recovering from the Half. This week was a good mix of cross training and running. I technically didn’t have a rest day, but would consider the two easy runs sandwiching my long run on Saturday more of an “active rest day,” since I don’t think being completely sedentary is a good way to have a rest day anyway.

Monday – 45 minute easy

Ran behind Harvard in the morning before work and saw a few new sights (also spotted a car that had a MN license plate and a window sticker from the University of Wisconsin and felt an overwhelming sense of pride for this unknown human). My legs felt pretty stiff, especially during the beginning of the run, after Sunday’s long one (after which I ended up driving ~3 hours in a car, picking strawberries and peas in a field, and grocery shopping). At the end of it, though, I realized how beneficial shaking out a long run can be, as opposed to just taking the day off after a long run, which I might have been more apt to do if not following this training plan. Since I ran first thing in the morning and hadn’t eaten breakfast, I found that my heart rate was more apt to stay down in the mid 150’s. Completed 4.7 miles with a 9:32 average pace.

Tuesday – 1 hour cross train + 30 minute core workout

Took advantage of the gym at school which is also near my work. Worked 40 mins on elliptical at varying resistance, with 2 minutes of high resistance pedaling in reverse every 7 minutes. Followed this with 20 minutes on the stationary bike doing preprogrammed hills.

Core workout was deceivingly challenging (in a good way!). Ended up doing 3 sets (the third set of mountain climbers was laughable though)

  • 50 bicycle crunches
  • 10 pushups
  • 50 second mountain climbers
  • 10 leg lifts (on your back, legs together)
  • 50 second side plank holds
    Add:
  • 2 x 25 air squats
  • 2 x 15 side lunges

Wednesday – Tempo Run

Had to fit this guy in between work and class, and ended up running around 2pm when the weather that had been cloudy and cool started to burn off and the sun/wind came out to say hello. Great timing (-__-). Was feeling pretty tired at the get-go, but wanted to complete the run and knew I’d feel better afterwards. I also knew that people were handing out free Yasso bars on the Greenway and this seemed like enough of a reward to push through my fatigue.

  • 20 minute warm up
  • 20 minutes at 8:00-8:15 pace (comfortably hard)
  • 10 minute cool down

The 8:10ish pace was hard for me to maintain with the wind, and I kept naturally settling into an 8:30 pace (that still felt like a big effort). I felt the after-effect of the squats and lunges on this run — didn’t have any pain, but was more ‘aware’ of my knees than usual and the impact of my feet hitting the pavement. This ended up being my final run in my Saucony Guides, and that’s probably for the best! Completed 6.22 miles.

Thursday – 1 hour cross train + 15 minute body weight workout

Tried out FlyWheel in Boston for the first time, and was very impressed! Sometimes I find the “cult” vibe of fitness studios a little too intimidating and hard to swallow, but was welcomed immediately into the bright FlyWheel studio inside the Prudential Center by the ladies working the front desk. Took this blonde a little too long to find it, which made me glad I budgeted in an extra 15 minutes in my commute. Loved that the shoe rental was complimentary, and there were locker rooms and bathrooms with often-missed essentials (definitely used some of the face wipes post-spin!). Since I had the day off, I took a class at 4pm and that made it a little less hectic and full of people. I really liked the FlyWheel bikes, that you could see actual numbers on the bike related to resistance and RPM, which satisfied a lot of the type-A in me wanting to know where I am and where I can push myself. Our instructor was very motivating, had a great playlist and pushed us to go beyond our own personal comfort zones. “I’ll take whatever you give me” he said, reminding everyone that the only one to benefit from the 45 minutes in the class is yourself, so why not push yourself to the next level? I haven’t been in the habit of spinning frequently, so whenever I do the classes are suuuper challenging and often leave me out of breath. I was definitely dripping in sweat after this class, but left feeling like I could definitely go back for more (on a future date, of course).

Completed the bodyweight work out back at home and definitely felt tired in my arms afterward.

2 Rounds:

  • 15 air squats
  • 1 min forearm plank hold
  • 15 lunges (each leg)
  • 1 min forearm plank hold
  • 15 side lunges (each side)
  • 1 min forearm plank hold

Friday – Light 30

Before work, went out for a light 30 minute jog keeping my heart rate between 155-160. Felt like my heart rate wanted to creep up towards the end of the run, but I also might have been sneaking in a faster pace. Completed 3.11 miles with an average 9:41 pace.

Saturday – 2 Hour Long Run (see video!)

Wanted to try something new and filmed a short long-run video! First time ever filming myself so will definitely need to get over the awkwardness of talking to my phone in front of other people… but hope you enjoy! I’ve loved watching other people’s training videos, reading blogs etc, and found them strangely comforting in my own journey. I like how unfiltered the running experience is with a video.. no time to reflect or edit thoughts.. just straight up documenting the run and how it makes you feel in that moment. My runs will no doubt get a lot longer and a lot more challenging, so I might try to document those as well!

Sunday – Recovery Run (30 minutes)

Another run that I might have skipped if not following this training program. Legs were pretty heavy in the beginning and ran at a very slow pace, but felt really good to get outside and enjoy the beautiful morning, stretch out my legs, and shake out a little stiffness. My HR stayed down on it’s own without too much effort (yay!) probably also due to running fasted – average rate was 142! Completed a total of 3.02 miles with average pace 10:24.

Feeling good so far! I did alert my coach that I felt like her plan had me running a lot more than I’ve been used to. I was comfortable running 2-3 times per week with a longer run on the weekends, fitting in crosstraining/weights where I could. The runs I’ve been doing recently with this plan are definitely a lot easier on my body compared to what I might have set off to run on my own before, and so far my legs/hips/feet aren’t complaining. I’ll definitely be watching out for any early signs of overtraining, though, since I am not about to be running through serious injuries any time soon!

THANK YOU to everyone who has donated to my crowdrise fundraiser for AHK since my last post. I’m over 10% to my goal, and that is so encouraging! If you haven’t had a chance to donate yet, but want to support physical activity and nutrition programming for kids around the country while also motivating me to reach the starting line of the marathon in November.

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Totally unrelated photo of my new favorite breakfast – one slice of Dave’s Killer 21 grain bread with an egg in the middle, sliced avocado and TJ’s green dragon hot sauce on top. A schmear of cream cheese on the bread cut out, and some kind of fruit on the side. NOMs.

As a huge perk of our Summer CSA, we get a particular amount of Pick-Your-Own produce throughout the season. Since our farm is a good 1:40 minute drive from Boston, we were able to pick our full share of PYO strawberries and different varieties of peas and bring them back home with us. The strawberry field was bountifully full of juicy, ripe, fragrant strawberries. I was instantly reminded of the song “Strawberry Fields Forever,” the bushes bursting with hundreds of plump strawberry hearts. It was crazy to me that there were so many strawberries virtually untouched by bugs or other critters. If I were a squirrel, you know I’d be having a heyday in that field. My roommate and I split 4 (heaping) quarts of strawbs, and I wanted to find some fun things to do with them before they went bad (besides just enjoying them fresh from the stem of course!)

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Here’s a super-quick recipe that takes just a few seasonal ingredients I had in my fridge. If you love the refreshing taste of a mojito and have some ripe, sweet strawberries around, MAKE THIS. I had it on top of Avocado Egg Toast this morning, and it was absolutely divine. Would also be good as a topping for fish or chicken, in place of dressing on a salad, or on its own as a salsa with corn or pita chips.

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Strawberry Mojito Salsa — Makes about 12 1/4 cup servings

Ingredients

  • 2-3 Cups fresh strawberries, washed and finely diced
  • 2-3 TBSP fresh mint, finely chopped (more or less to taste… I love mint so I was generous)
  • Juice + Zest from one medium lime
  • 1 TBSP vinegar of choice (I used raspberry vinegar because I had it, but cider, balsamic, or red wine vinegar would also work beautifully)
  • 1 TBSP maple syrup
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine diced strawberries, chopped mint, lime zest and juice.
  2. In a small dish, whisk together vinegar and maple syrup.
  3. Pour dressing over strawberry mixture and mix to coat. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Note: For a smoother salsa or sauce, use a food processor to puree the strawberries, lime juice, vinegar and maple syrup, and add chopped mint at the end.

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