Sunday, April 28, 2013

5k and 10k Recaps

I'm realizing that I've alluded to my 10k race, but haven't really gone into any detail about how the race went.

I started training for the 10k about one month after I first started going to the gym seriously. One of Joey's friends started talking to him doing a half marathon together. The one they were looking at was on May 19th, and offered a 10k as well. Joey suggested that I should try to train for a 10k, so I could run in that while they ran in the half marathon. At the time, I was running ~2 miles on the treadmill, 2-3 times per week. I had run a couple of 5k's before, but pretty darn slowly. I thought this could be a good idea, and started looking for some potential training plans. I found a 13 week plan by Jeff Galloway that worked out perfectly timing wise - I would be ready for my race on May 18th.

The plan basically had me running for a certain number of minutes for two of the days each week, then slowly increasing the mileage one day a week for my "long day." He recommended that alternating walking and running was actually helpful in terms of recovery. I started out with running 4-5 minutes and then walking 1 minute, and repeating until I reached the number of minutes I was supposed to go for that week. Then for the long runs, I would run straight with no breaks. I gradually increased to running ~10-11 minutes straight for every 1 minute walk break. Towards the end of my training, I just did whatever felt good that day for my 2 timed runs.

After I had been training for about a month, Joey and his friend decided against the race on May 19th, and decided to run a race on April 27th instead. This was fine, but that half marathon didn't have an accompanying 10k race. We found that it was surprisingly difficult to find a 10k race this time of year. There is a 10k in Batesville on May 18th, but it is widely known as a legendary race that is one of the most difficult 10k's around. Not the best course to do my first 10k on! We heard from some friends that there was a 10k in Richmond in mid April, but I was afraid that would be too early in my training. At that point, I just decided to continue with the training, and we would just keep looking.

In mid March, once I had successfully done two 4 miles runs (both on the treadmill), I started to plan out a 5 mile run outside. The registration fee for the 10k in Richmond would increase after March 31st, so we decided that as long as I could run 5 miles by the end of March, we would sign up. According to my training schedule, I was supposed to run 6 miles on the actual day of the race, so it wasn't a huge stretch to sign up and do it. Joey promised to do it with me, and give me whatever encouragement I needed. He told me that just finishing would be my goal.

Of course once it started getting closer to race day, and I had completed two 5 mile runs, I started having ideas about goals for the time I wanted to take to finish. The race was HUGE, so we had to sign up for individual wave times. I didn't have a qualifying time fast enough to put me in one of the seeded waves, so we signed up for the first non-seeded wave with an estimated finish time of 63:00-65:59. I kept trying to figure out what time I thought I could get. I eventually decided that I wanted to finish in under 62 minutes, and I would be thrilled if I finished in under 60 minutes.

We drove to Richmond Friday evening to pick up our packets at the expo. We were staying with some friends in Richmond, and joined them for dinner and ice cream after the expo. We tried to get to bed as early as we could, since it would be a very early day! Joey was supposed to be running 12 miles for his half marathon training - this was actually his longest run before the race, so it was pretty important that he got all of his miles in. We woke up before 7 so we could drive to stadium and catch the shuttle to the race start. Joey planned out a 5-6 mile run right around the race start. The race officially started at 8:30, and our wave was scheduled to start at 9:08, so we planned on meeting back up ~8:50. I tried to find a sunny spot to hang out in while he was running, and mentally prepare for the race. The time went by pretty quickly, and before I knew it we were already starting to line up!

I felt great for the first two miles. I did notice that my running app wasn't lining up with the mile markers, but hoped that would work itself out. The first water stop was just past 2 miles, and I stopped to get a cup of water. It felt so strange throwing the cup on the ground after! I think it actually hit another runner's leg - whoops. Right after I drank the water, I started getting cramps. I felt pretty crappy for about a mile. I started to feel okay again until around 4 or 5, and that was the point where I just started to run out of energy. Joey and I both had our head phones in for the race, with the promise that once I needed him for motivation, he would take his out and talk me through the rest. And the rest wasn't pretty. By this point, I realized that the mile markers were significantly further out than my running app was recognizing them, so my pace was slower than I thought it was. My goals for both 60 and 62 minutes started to go out the window. Once we hit the 6 mile marker, I just pushed as hard as I could through to the end, and finished in 62:14. It took me a while to realize how amazing it was that I even finished, and that it was still a pretty good time. We calculated and the race was probably closer to 6.3 miles, and all of the weaving around made it 6.45 miles according to runkeeper.

Here's a breakdown of my pace throughout: (according to runkeeper)

1/2 mile: 4:46 - 9:32 min/mile
1 mile: 9:33 - 9:33 min/mile; 9:34 min/mile in last 1/2 mile
1 1/2 miles: 14:17 - 9:31 min/mile; 9:28 min/mile in last 1/2 mile
2 miles: 19:11 - 9:35 min/mile; 9:48 min/mile in last 1/2 mile
2 1/2 miles: 24:17 - 9:43 min/mile; 10:12 min/mile in last 1/2 mile
3 miles: 29:22 - 9:43 min/mile; 9:50 min/mile in last 1/2 mile
3 1/2 miles: 34:18 - 9:48 min/mile; 9:52 min/mile in last 1/2 mile
4 miles: 39:03 - 9:46 min/mile; 9:30 min/mile in last 1/2 mile
4 1/2 miles: 43:58 - 9:46 min/mile; 9:50 min/mile in last 1/2 mile
5 miles: 48:47 - 9:45 min/mile; 9:38 min/mile in last 1/2 mile
5 1/2 miles: 53:42 - 9:46 min/mile; 9:50 min/mile in last 1/2 mile
6 miles: 58:33 - 9:45 min/mile; 9:48 min/mile in last 1/2 mile
Total: 6.42 miles in 1:02:14 - 9:42 min/mile

Just to get an idea, they said I did 3.1 miles in 31:39 (10:13 min/mile pace) and 6.2 miles in 62:14 (10:02 min/mile pace). Not bad, even with that!

Here we are after the race!

Now about the 5k! Like I said, the half marathon Joey decided on did not have a 10k affiliated with it. However, it did have a 5k. I think this worked out a lot better for me in the end, since I had Joey to run with for the 10k, and only ended up doing the 5k by myself. Joey's friend didn't end up being able to do the race with him, so he ran by himself. I think he was a little nervous about it since not only was he getting sick (a cold or something like that), but he had hurt his ankle the previous week. I had no idea what to expect with the 5k. Usually before a race, I check the previous results to make sure I won't be last! This was the first time this venue was holding a 5k though, so there were no results to check! I knew Joey would be fine, but I was seriously hoping that a lot of novice runners would be doing the 5k. The last 5k I did was in Wilmington over Thanksgiving, back before I started training. I was pretty proud of that one, since it was the first 5k I had done without walking at all. I finished in 31.5 minutes, and Joey ran the whole thing with me (after doing the 10k first!). My first goal was to get a better time than that. I then wanted to finish in under 30 minutes, and thought it would be pretty fantastic if I finished in under 28!

The race was in Waynesboro, about a half hour away, so we decided to drive in the morning of. I was a little worried about timing and of course made us leave a lot earlier than necessary. We left the house around 5:40 am (so early!), then drove to the start of Joey's race, where he could pick up his packet/bib and get ready. I dropped him off, then drove the 13 miles to the end of the race to park. Both of our races ended at the same place (the 5k was actually almost exactly the last 3 miles of the half marathon), which was convenient. They were having the 5k runners park at the end of the race, pick up their packets, then get on a shuttle to the start. The last shuttle would leave at 7:15, so I was really nervous. But timing went just fine - I got Joey to his start ~6:10, parked ~6:30, and just made the first bus over to my start. It was pretty cold just standing around! Oh and imagine my surprise when I find out that there were only ~30 of us running! I got really nervous that I would indeed finish last. Plus I didn't bring any water with me, and got really thirsty at the start.

At just about 7:30, they started lining us up (I didn't even have to fight to be at the front of the line), and then we started! It honestly felt pretty strange running the race. I felt like I was just running on my own in Charlottesville, with a few runners out near me who happened to be running the same route as me. It was hard to get an idea of the pace I was going. Normally I set runkeeper to notify me every 1/2 mile, but since this was such a short race, I changed it to every 1/4 mile. After the first 1/4 mile I was afraid that runkeeper was spazzing out again, since it was I was going at under an 8:30 pace! I tried to slow it down a bit after that, but was still nervous that I was going slower than it registered. I slowed down a bit more between 1 and 1.5 miles, due to the two steepest hills of the course. I tried to pick it up in the downhill stretch after that, since I knew that the last mile was basically all uphill. I must have gotten into a groove by then, since I kept a nice pace still, and it didn't feel as bad as I thought it would. Yet again, runkeeper was giving me mile updates slightly before I actually saw the mile markers on the course, so I thought I was going a bit faster than I actually was. When I turned the last corner, I could see the 3 mile marker and the finish, and really started to speed up. I could see the digital display of the time, and saw that it was already over 28 minutes. It was starting to get close to 29 minutes, and I tried SO hard to get there in under 29, but just missed it at 29:01. But I achieved two of my goals!

This was around 8:00 when I finished, and I knew that Joey wouldn't finish until ~9:00 (his race started at 7:00), so I had a lot of time to sit around. They started an awards ceremony for the 5k race at 8:30, and I was half listening when I heard them say "3rd place, with a time of 29:01..." realized that was my time "...goes to Jennifer Kaplan from Charlottesville, Virginia" and realized I won a medal for my division! Of course this is not very impressive when there are only 7 people in the 20-29 women's division, but I was still pretty excited! I couldn't really tell how many people were in front of or behind me. When the race started, there were several people who shot off right away, and I couldn't see them the entire rest of the race. There were two women who I passed in the beginning, who eventually passed me in the end. One of the guys passed me towards the end as well. And then there was a woman who kept on trading places with me, but I passed her in the last mile. Besides that, I had no idea where I was in the pack, but just hoped I was towards the front. Once they posted the results, I saw that I finished 10/31 - not bad! There were apparently a few people right behind me - I had no idea they were there the whole time.

After I got my medal, I went back to the finish to wait for Joey. His goal was to finish in under 2 hours, thinking that it would be great to finish in 1:55, and fantastic to finish in 1:50. Once the time started ticking past 1:50, I started getting nervous for him! Every time I saw someone in a red shirt turning the last corner, I squinted my eyes to see if it was him. I wanted so badly for him to get the time he wanted. Suddenly I realized I could see him, and I started jumping up and down and yelling his name! I was so excited I didn't even look at the clock, and just ran over to see him. I grabbed him some water while he came to a shaky stop, and let him recover a bit before congratulating him. He ended up finishing in 1:54:15!! I am so unbelievably proud of him! I really wish I remembered to take a picture of him at the actual race, but here are some pictures in front of my house, once we got back:

Here is a breakdown of my pace throughout (according to runkeeper, who says that the course was 3.21 miles):

1/2 mile: 4:12 - 8:24 pace
1 mile: 8:47 - 8:47 pace (9:10 last 1/2 mile)
1 1/2 mile: 13:35 - 9:03 pace (9:36 last 1/2 mile)
2 mile: 18:03 - 9:01 pace (8:56 last 1/2 mile)
2 1/2 mile: 22:37 - 9:03 pace (9:08 last 1/2 mile)
3 mile: 27:08 - 9:03 pace (9:02 last 1/2 mile)
total: 3.21 miles in 29:01 - 9:02 pace

Official race results: 3.1 miles in 29:01 - 9:22 pace

This is the fastest race I've ever done, and I'm so excited about my time! Now that I've done these two races, I'm hooked. I can't wait to do another race and try to improve my time. I can see how running can be an addiction. It's perfect for me, because the only person I'm competitive with is myself. 

I'm going to a conference in Orlando this week (and a cruise following that!) and the last morning of the conference actually has a 5k race scheduled. Prior to this weekend, I wasn't sure if I wanted to do it, especially since it's at 6am. But now I'm definitely doing it! I'm pretty sure it'll be mostly flat, so maybe this will be the course where I break 28 minutes! The Charlottesville Women's 4 Miler is a really popular race, and it's at the end of August. I would love to get a sub 9:00/mile time for that. I definitely want to do a 10k race again, and get a better time, definitely under 60 minutes. And who knows - maybe a half marathon is even in my future! Joey said that once I can comfortably run 5-6 miles, 3 times per week, I should give a half marathon training program a try. 

One thing I will say - I'm proof that it's possible to become a runner in just a few short months, and hopefully this will be a lifelong habit.

Miles for Boston: 
15.2/26.2 miles completed!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Recipe: Rosemary Yorkshire Puddings

Every year for our birthdays, we request a special meal. One of the things that Joey requested this past year was Yorkshire Puddings. I had never made them before, so I was intrigued. Let's just say that they were amazing! They take about 5 minutes to prepare, about 20 minutes to bake, and then you have the most delicious little puffs to go with your dinner. We always have leftovers, and they still taste great the next few days. This time we decided to add some rosemary, and that made it even better! They would work well with any kind of herbs, probably with cheese too.

Obviously using pan drippings (the traditional method) wouldn't be okay with me, so we use clarified butter instead. Definitely use a clear fat - regular butter wouldn't work because the milk solids would burn.

Recipe: Yorkshire Puddings

1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 tsp kosher salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk (we use almond milk and it works just fine)
2 tbsp clarified butter, divided

Preheat oven to 400 F, with a 12-cup muffin tin inside.
Meanwhile, start making the batter. Blend the flour, salt, eggs, milk, and 1 tbsp of the clarified butter (melted) until smooth.
Add a small amount of clarified butter to 9 of the muffin cups, and put it back in the oven to melt.
Remove from oven, and immediately pour batter into the cups, about 2/3-3/4 full.
Bake until puffed and golden brown, ~20 minutes.


I also made up another batch of banana bars! This time I forgot to add in the melted butter - whoops. Still turned out just fine! This time I got 11 of them.

Running for Boston, Part 4

This was our last run before the races on Saturday! Joey's training schedule had him running 2 miles, so I asked if he would mind running a 5k equivalent with me. It would be a slower pace for him, but would be difficult for me. It went really well! My runkeeper app actually worked this time, thank goodness. And even though the hilly areas were difficult, we kept a good pace. I'm feeling good about the 5k on Saturday, although of course I won't have Joey with me for motivation. I'm just going to pump up my music and try to get through it as quickly as I can!

Pace breakdown:
1/2 mile: 4:34 - 9:08/mile pace
1 mile: 9:10 - 9:10/mile pace (9:12/mile pace in last 1/2 mile)
1 1/2 miles: 13:38 - 9:05/mile pace (8:56/mile pace in last 1/2 mile)
2 miles: 18:33 - 9:17/mile pace (9:50/mile pace in last 1/2 mile)
2 1/2 miles: 23:15 - 9:18/mile pace (9:24/mile pace in last 1/2 mile)
3 miles: 27:46 - 9:15/mile pace (9:02/mile pace in last 1/2 mile)

Total: 3.11 miles: 28:45 - 9:15/mile pace

I bet you can guess where the biggest hill was! (And where I had to recover from the hill)

Miles for Boston:
12.1/26.2 completed!

Workout: April 24, 2013

Time for another Wednesday workout! Joey and I planned on going into the hot tub and pool for a bit, so I tried to make a shorter workout. I also didn't want to completely destroy any of my muscles, so I would be okay for my run on Thursday, as well as the race on Saturday!

Assisted pullups:
90lb assistance: 10, 8, 5
Burnout pullups:
100lb: 10, 110lbs: 10, 10

10-2 Ladder:
Full burpee
Russian Twist with 10lb medicine ball (I did twice as many for this one, per side - ex 20 per side, then 16, etc)
Stability ball squats using 55cm stability ball
Inbred cousin with 10lb medicine ball
Hamstring curls with 55cm stability ball
Lunge with twist with 10lb medicine ball - count is per leg

1 minute on, 30 second off
Pushup position row: twice through
Superman: once through

I was planning on going 2-3 times through the 1 minute on, 30 sec off exercises, but got a horrible foot cramp! It was one of the cramps where your toes start pulling and pointing in different directions. I decided to just give up at that point since I was basically done.

Then Joey helped me do some of the exercises that will help me do a pullup faster.

Seated row (with a narrow grip, but one that is slightly wider than the usual machine I use):
Static position (no moving legs or back, just arms) - 2x15 at 70lbs, 1x15 at 60lbs

Iso-Lat pulldown - 45lb weight on each side - 2x12 with both arms in unison, 1x12 separately - per arm

After I finished my workout, we both changed into our suits. We first went into the main pool, so I could practice putting my head underwater. This is really sad, but I haven't done anything even close to real swimming since I was about 10 years old. This includes swimming around with my face underwater. I used to get bad nosebleeds every summer when I would go to the pool, so I eventually just started to avoid it. With our cruise next week, we're planning on doing some swimming with turtles and snorkeling, in which case putting my face underwater is very necessary! It took a few tries, but it didn't go too horribly, plus no nosebleeds! Then we went in the hot tub and sauna for a bit - definitely helped relax me.

For dinner, we went to our favorite Mexican restaurant in town - El Jaripeo. I got one of the vegetarian combo dishes - spinach quesadilla, spinach burrito, chalupa. Then some of Joey's frisbee girls came for a meeting, and we got margaritas :) Fun night

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Running for Boston, Part 3

Well...I had my first running app malfunction today. I brought some running clothes in with me to lab so I could just do a route starting and ending there. It saved some time, plus it wasn't as hilly as a run would be starting from my place. I mapped out a run that would be just about 3 miles, and used runkeeper to help me keep my pace while running. Imagine my surprise when it tells me that I ran 0.50 miles in 3:30, and then 1.0 miles in 6:00. Umm, not possible!! It somehow added all of these weird turns and zigzags in.

Here is what it said I did:

Here is what I actually did!

Here's the breakdown of what it says I did (makes no sense obviously)
1/2 mile: 3:19
1 mile: 5:55
1 1/2 miles: 8:55
2 miles: 11:55
2 1/2 miles: 15:30
3 miles: 18:33
3 1/2 miles: 21:29
4 miles: 24:52
4.21 miles: 26:29

Here is what I TRIED to estimate - I lined up the real mile markers with the time I hit them. But let's just say that this is a really rough estimation, since in some places it literally had me running around in circles. What I can say for sure is that I did 2.96 miles in 27:15, which is a 9:12/mile pace.

1/2 mile: 4:53, 9:46 pace
1 mile: 9:28, 9:28 pace (9:10 pace in last 1/2 mile)
1 1/2 miles: 13:57, 9:18 pace (8:58 pace in last 1/2 mile)
2 miles: 18:23, 9:11 pace (8:54 pace in last 1/2 mile)
2 1/2 miles: 23:05, 9:14 pace (9:24 pace in last 1/2 mile)
3 miles (2.96 to be exact): 27:15, 9:12 pace (9:03 pace in last 1/2 mile)

I hit a lot of lights, which probably helped with my time. Although I think that made things worse with the app - every time I paused and resumed it did something extra screwy. My plan is to try to do a route on Thursday that has fewer intersections to cross. I also want to find something even hillier. Yes, I actually said hillier. I need to force myself to do hills, and I think it'll make my 5k on Saturday feel easier if I'm prepared.

Update on running for Boston:
9.0/26.2 miles completed

Side note - dinner was really yummy tonight! We roasted some onions, peppers and mushrooms, and steamed some carrots and zucchini. We tossed that with a combination of penne and shells (trying to use up mostly empty boxes of pasta), protein of choice (roasted shrimp for me, sausages + shrimp for Joey), ~2-3 oz goat cheese and some homemade pesto. Delicious!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Workout: April 22, 2013

I always like Monday workouts, since I get to do kettle bells. Joey helped me come up with a good combination of cards for my workout today. I tried to take it a little easier since something in my left tricep has been hurting.
This is what I did!

Assisted Pullups and Triceps Dips:
Assisted Pullups, 90lbs assistance: 10, 7, 5
Assisted Triceps Dips, 100lbs assistance: 8, 6, 5
Burnout Pullups: 100lbs assistance: 8; 110lbs assistance: 10, 10

Kettle bell card: Bell Brutality
10-2 Ladder, 20lb KB
American Swings
Goblet Squats
Bent Over Rows (5 each side)
High Pulls
Tactical Lunges (5 each side)
Half Burpees

Kettle bell card: Back to Basics
3x through, 20lb KB
Swings: 25
Cleans: 20 (10 per side)
American Swings: 10
Goblet Squats: 10
Get Ups: 10 (5 per side) - used 7.5lb DB

5-1 Windmill Ladder - 15lb KB

Wide Grip Lat Pulldowns: 60lbs, 15x3
Narrow Grip Seated Row: 60lbs, 15x3

For dinner, I made a quick but tasty meal. I roasted a bunch of veggies - 1/2 a zucchini, ~1 cup cauliflower, ~1 cup baby carrots, 1/2 red pepper, 2 large mushrooms - at 450 for ~30 minutes, seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder. I made some Trader Joe's Harvest Grains Blend and mixed it with the veggies and some roasted shrimp. I've found that roasting shrimp is the easiest, and best way to cook shrimp. I just season them and then roast them at 425 for 6 minutes.

For lunch today, I made a sandwich. I used rye and pumpernickel swirled bread, with some sweet and spicy mustard, baby spinach, roasted eggplant slices, a cooked tilapia filet, and some crunchy lettuce. It kept me nice and full the whole day. Then I had a smoothie for a snack about an hour before I went to the gym - I put 1/2 scoop protein powder (this is the one I use) with 1/4 cup water, then added ~1/4 cup greek yogurt, a bunch of strawberries, a bunch of blueberries, and some frozen banana slices.

I'm going to make another batch of those awesome banana bars! I would recommend putting them in the fridge - they're really moist, and the last couple from the batch I made last week unfortunately got a bit moldy haha. This time I'm going to make a double batch and freeze one of the batches, and stick the other in the fridge for the week. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Weekly Finds

I have way more recipes on my "to make" list than on my "have made" list. Every day, I read through dozens of my favorite blogs and save recipes. I use pinterest to save them all. I also save articles with information about food and nutrition, as well as interesting workouts. The hope is that I'll eventually get to some (if not most) of the things I've saved!

Here is what I pinned this week!








Cool info about food:


What I actually made this week!

Running for Boston, Part 2

I had a fantastic run this morning! I have officially decided that Riverview Park is my favorite place to run. It's almost perfectly flat (teeny tiny hills of 10 ft or so), it's right along the river, and part of it is shaded. It's a paved path, and it's really nice being outside and seeing other people out there - running, walking, out with their kids or their dogs.

Since all I've run since the 10k is 2 miles, I wasn't sure how today's run would go. I was originally going to run with one of Joey's frisbee girls, but the timing didn't work out. I think that for a run like this, I actually prefer going by myself. I can just zone out with my music, go the pace I want, plus save some energy from not having to keep up a conversation with someone. I don't know if that makes me an anti-social runner...

At the 10k, I averaged just under a 10 minute/mile pace. Of course it was a bit faster than that, if I counted all of my weaving around people. I was hoping to just go at a nice pace today, and to complete the 4 miles. I got to the parking lot a little before 10, and there were a TON of people there! I found out later that they were doing a 5k to support Boston. I wish I had known about it in advance - I would have done it! I didn't take the time to figure this out when I got there, since I just wanted to get my run started. I have runkeeper set to inform me of my average pace every half mile, so I was pleased (and a bit surprised) when I got the first notification after 4:30 minutes. I didn't think I could keep it up, but at every split, the pace basically stayed the same. When I got to the 2 mile mark (where I turn around and head back), I figured I should slow it down. I tried, but I guess it didn't really make much of a difference!

Here's the link for my run:

Here's the breakdown of my pace:
1/2 mile: 4:30 min, average pace: 9:00
1 mile: 9:12 min, average pace: 9:12, pace over last 1/2 mile: 9:24
1 1/2 miles: 13:46 min, average pace: 9:11, pace over last 1/2 mile: 9:08
2 miles: 18:11 min, average pace: 9:05, pace over last 1/2 mile: 8:50
2 1/2 miles: 22:48 min, average pace: 9:07, pace over last 1/2 mile: 9:14
3 miles: 27:20 min, average pace: 9:07, pace over last 1/2 mile: 9:04
3 1/2 miles: 31:53 min, 9:07, pace over last 1/2 mile: 9:06
4 miles: 36:24 min, 9:06 pace, pace over last 1/2 mile: 9:02

And here's a breakdown of my mile by mile pace:
1 mile: 9:12, average pace 9:12
2 miles: 18:11, average pace 9:05, pace over last mile: 8:59
3 miles: 27:20, average pace 9:07, pace over last mile: 9:09
4 miles: 36:24, average pace 9:06, pace over last mile: 9:04

Calories burned: 459

Update of my miles for Boston: 6.0/26.2

Oh and I got to the 5k point at 28:22, which made me feel really good about the 5k I'm doing next weekend! Although that one will definitely be more hilly than the run I just did. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Workout: April 19, 2013

Fridays are my "sparty" workouts, short for Spartacus. I'm not sure where it originally came from, but Men's Health featured it. It's basically a high-intensity circuit workout. 10 different exercises, 60 seconds each, with a 15 second break in between. Then you can repeat it 2-3 times. The first time I did it, I attempted to do all of the exercises from the Men's Health version. Since then, I have made a modified version each week, so I can target the muscles of my choice.

Here's what I did today!

Assisted Pullups:
90lbs assistance - 10, 8, 6

Burnout Pullups:
Joey suggested that once I finished my 3 sets, I increase the assistance and do "burnout pullups." To keep increasing, and do as many as I could.
100lbs assistance: 10
110lbs assistance: 12, 10

Sparty: (2x through)
Burpees (full)
Reverse biceps curls (10lb DBs)
Side lunge with touch (10lb DBs)
Inbred cousins (14lb medicine ball)
Back fly (10lb DBs)
Lunge with twist (14lb medicine ball)
Chest Press (10lb DBs)
Single Arm Swing (10lb DB)
Russian Twist (14lb medicine ball)

Joey also suggested that each time I do sparty, I keep track of a few of the exercises - how many reps I do each time through. It's a nice motivation for the second (and third, if I do it) sets, to try to beat the reps of the first set. And it's also a good way of tracking my progress, which obviously I love doing.

Burpees: 11, 12
Inbred cousins: 12, 13
Lunge with twist: 18, 20
Chest Press: 26, 28
Single Arm Swing: 20, 20 (per arm)
Russian Twist: 26, 32

Close Grip Pulldowns: 2x15 at 70lbs, 1x15 at 60lbs
Seated Narrow Grip Row: 1x10 at 70lbs, 2x15 at 60lbs

Now I'm enjoying a dinner of leftovers. I heated up the last piece of lasagna, cooked an ear of corn, and heated up some leftover corn chowder. The chowder is decent, but I think I could make a better one from scratch. I got a mix at World Market, and I definitely wouldn't buy it again. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Running for Boston

It goes without saying that I'm saddened and horrified by what happened at the Boston Marathon, but I'll say it anyway. Having just run in a race of a similar size, merely two days before, made it hit closer to home. While I will self-deprecatingly tell anyone and everyone that "I'm really not a runner," I really have become a runner, and consider myself to be part of that community. My heart goes out to everyone that was at the marathon, specifically those that were injured due to the explosion. I have read many articles about the events, and about how to help. One really struck me - it said that we should all dedicate the next 26.2 miles we run to Boston, whether that's over the course of 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, etc. It will be much closer to 1 month for me, at the rate I run, but I think it's a great idea. Of course it's not directly helping anyone, but I think it's a good way to boost morale. By targeting an event like the Boston Marathon, one of the most prestigious running events in the world, runners everywhere need to rejoice in what they do everyday, and continue doing that.

Today I ran 2 miles out of my 26.2. It was my first run since the 10k - I took Tuesday off. I got to the gym with barely enough time to do the 2 miles I had planned before yoga class. I wanted a minimum of 15 minutes between so I could de-sweatify, and it worked out perfectly. I did the first mile at a nice pace - 10:20 min/mile. Then I decided to kick up the pace a bit for the second mile, since there was only time for one additional mile. Ended up doing it in 9:10 - not bad at all. The first half mile definitely hurt - my shins hurt for the first time since I've started running. I don't know if that's from going back and forth between the treadmill and outside, or what. I'll just have to keep an eye on it.

The funny thing about my running, is that my pace on a treadmill is completely different from my pace outside. I would have thought that a treadmill would make me run faster, since the speed is set and I have to keep up with it. Turns out I'm close to a minute faster when I run outside. It definitely doesn't feel faster. The first time I ran outside for a long run, I was using runkeeper through my iphone to give me my pace. I set it so it would update me every half mile. I remember feeling like I was barely moving, being half afraid that the first update would tell me I was going at a 12:00 pace. Imagine my surprise when it told me I was going at a 9:45 pace. That seems to be my natural pace outside. 

Yoga was wonderful tonight. I was afraid that I would be too sore to enjoy it, from running and last night's workout. But it was exactly what I needed - it helped me stretch out my sore muscles. There's one exercise called "crow" that requires you to balance yourself on your hands, and I finally was able to do it! It makes me feel like I'm actually making some progress in yoga, that I'm not just the uncoordinated fat kid who keeps showing up haha. Now I just need to get a yoga towel. Joey got me a yoga mat for my birthday, which I absolutely LOVE, but it's just a teensy bit slippery. It's especially bad when I run right before class, since I'm starting out sweaty. 

Workout Summary:
2 miles, run in 19:36
Total on treadmill:
2.2 miles in 22:52
248 calories
Yoga - 1 hour
Running for Boston: 2/26.2

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Workout: April 17, 2013

Wednesdays are days that I sometimes work out with one of the girls on the frisbee team that Joey coaches, but today I was on my own. Sometimes it's nice to do the workout myself, to be able to just zone out and go my own pace. Anyway, this is what I did! Like I said on Monday, I definitely tried to focus more on my legs in the strength circuit.

Assisted Pullups:
90lb assistance
Set 1: 9; Set 2: 6; Set 3: 5
Post Sets: +4 after the first 3 sets, +6 after the circuit, +3 after the extra pullup exercises
Total: 33

1 minute on, 30 seconds off
Repeat circuit 3x

Extra Pullup Exercises:
Wide Grip Front Lat Pulldowns: 2x15 at 70lbs, 1x15 at 60lbs
Seated Narrow Grip Row: 2x15 at 70lbs, 1x15 at 60lbs

Recipe: Roasted Veggie and Pesto Goat Cheese Lasagna

I am moving in less than two months, and seriously need to get rid of some stuff. This includes a lot of pantry items, so I am initiating a project called "clean out my pantry" cooking. Joey and I are trying to use up a couple things each week. This week we decided to use a box of lasagna noodles I've had sitting around for who knows how long. I roasted a TON of veggies Monday night (used some of them for my dinner) so it took no time to pull together when we made the lasagna on Tuesday. We also had an opened log of goat cheese to use up - Joey had the genius idea of using it in place of the ricotta that is found in most lasagna recipes. I looked online to see how people generally used it, and found a great recipe that we based ours after:

We somewhat followed the recipe.
For the veggies, I roasted:
1 head broccoli
1 small onion
1.5 red bell peppers
3 zucchini
~12 oz white mushrooms
1/2 head cauliflower

Then I took out some and ate it for my dinner Monday night :)

We mixed ~6-7 oz goat cheese with ~1/3 cup pesto (the last of the homemade pesto from our basil plants last summer). I'm pretty sure that was my favorite part - it was incredible. Plus, adding the pesto made the goat cheese much creamier and easier to work with.

The noodles I had were the "no boil" variety, and we made 4 layers with 3 noodles each. The box came with 16 noodles, so we still have some left.

We layered in some shredded cheese - I think it was an Italian blend. We also sprinkled some grated parmesan on top.

And we used an entire jar of sauce - I tried to smother the noodles as much as I could, since they would need to be wet to actually get cooked.

Here it is! It was amazing :)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Recipe: Bananarama Bars

Updated 9/15/17:
This was my first recipe post! 4.5 years later, it is time for an update. I actually came across this while looking for ideas for afternoon snacks or pre-workout fuel for my husband. I had been making him Morning Glory muffins, but I think he got a little sick of them. I dug into my archives to find this post, and realized it desperately needed an update! I altered some of the ingredients and directions so it is more accessible to whatever you have on hand. These bars/cookies are awesome, and you should try them! Added benefit - if you use certified gluten-free oats, these are 100% gluten free!

I have a hard time eating much right before a workout. I've been relying on GU Chomps for energy, but sometimes I'm just STARVING and a few gummies won't cut it. Most snacks that are big enough to take the edge off my hunger, just sit too heavily in my stomach. However, I've found that a granola bar is pretty energy dense, while still allowing me to work out or run just fine. I've made Alton Brown's recipe a few times now (another post on that later), and my only complaint is that they go so quickly! Last week, Joey pointed out this recipe, and I finally gave it a try last night.

Recipe: Bananarama Power Bars
2 large ripe bananas, mashed with a fork
2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup milk (any milk of choice - I usually use almond milk)
1 egg
2 tbsp melted unsalted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp honey
1/4 cup sugar (or splenda)
1 tbsp ground flax (optional)

Mix-Ins (choose as many or as little as you like!)
5 dates, chopped
1/4 cup chopped pecans (toasted!)
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 375 F. Mix everything together in a large bowl. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a large cookie scoop (or ice cream scoop), place batter on baking sheets, flattening tops slightly. Put 5 on each sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, then switch positions of the baking sheets in the oven (swap top and bottom). Bake another 10 minutes, or until golden and the bars feel set when you lightly touch them. 

Feel free to add as little or as many of the mix-ins as you want! I really like pecans+chocolate. My husband loves pecans+chocolate+coconut. Dates+pecans would also be fantastic!

I have successfully made these adding in some protein powder. I even used banana flavored protein powder to amp up the banana flavor! If you do this, just sub out an equal amount of the oats. For example, if you add in 1 scoop of protein powder, then make sure when you measure out 2 cups of oats that you subtract 1 scoop.

Ground flax adds fiber and nutrients without affecting the taste. Make sure to use ground and not whole flax seeds, to really get the full nutritional benefit.

If you only have one banana, feel free to cut the entire recipe in half! Every ingredient is pretty easy to divide in half - and just use 1 egg white instead of a whole egg. If you bake half of the recipe, just keep them in for the entire 20 minutes - you don't need to worry about swapping positions in the oven.

Before they were baked (left), After they were baked (right)

Workout: April 15th, 2013

Assisted Pullups:
90lb assistance
Set 1: 10; Set 2: 6; Set 3: 5
Post Sets: +5 after the first 3 sets, +3 after the lat pulldowns

Assisted Dips:
110lb assistance
Set 1:10; Set 2: 10; Set 3: 8

Kettle bell workout:
Farmer's Ladder
10-2 ladder of the following exercises, with a 20lb KB

  • Swings
  • Pushups
  • Grand Ribbon
  • Clean and Press (5 each side)
  • Tactical Lunge (5 each side)
  • American Swings
  • Triple Crush
  • Walk-Out Planks

Now that my new goal is to do a real (unassisted) pullup by the summer, I'm adding some exercises that specifically target those muscles.

Close Grip Front Lat Pulldowns: 1x15 at 60lbs, 2x15 at 70lbs
Seated Narrow Grip Row: 1x10 at 70lbs, 2x15 at 60lbs

And I can honestly say that my arms are DEAD now! I should probably focus more on legs for my Wednesday workout.

First Post!

I’ve been working out pretty regularly now for the past 3 months.  This is a pretty big accomplishment for me. I normally would work out sporadically, but nothing ever became a routine. I would get really excited about it at the beginning, but by the end of the second week, would already start coming up with excuses. Now I think it’s actually sticking. Since I’m a crazy list maker and probably the most organized slob you’ll ever meet, I have about 15 google docs with list of potential workouts and tables and charts detailing the workouts I’ve already completed. Lightbulb moment of the day = starting this blog! It probably doesn’t take a genius to figure out that it’s best to keep things all in one place. And since google just decided to abolish my beloved google reader, I’m not really trusting it with my workout docs…

First, I’m going to say that coming up with a name for a blog is HARD. I thought I was being creative until I realized that every name I came up with was being used in many different variations on every potential blogging site there was.

Disclaimer – this blog is mainly meant to record what I’m doing at the gym. I’m also going to include all of the awesome food I’m making, since I love to bake and am becoming a decent cook. Again, its main purpose is to keep track of what I’m doing (slash eating). But if this is at all helpful for anyone starting out a workout routine, that’s fantastic!

To start from the beginning – I am one of the least athletic people you will ever meet. I tried almost every sport in existence during middle school and high school and failed pretty miserably at all of them. This includes track, softball, tennis, swimming, cross country, volleyball, field hockey, ice skating, and probably a few more. I have horrible balance and really slow reflexes. I’m also not at all competitive, at least not with others. This makes it difficult to work out and still have it be “fun.” Last spring I started running a bit with my boyfriend (Joey), and got to the point where I could run 3-4 miles. Then things got busy in lab, and he started running with a friend who is a much faster runner. And became a really good runner himself. Meaning, no more running partner for me…

About 2 weeks into 2013, I decided that something had to change. I had gained a few pounds, and was just miserably out of shape. With Joey’s help, I started going to the gym 2-3 days/week. He helped me plan out my workouts, and I realized that I actually really enjoyed it. Before I knew it, I was training to run a 10k, while doing some serious strength training 3x a week. Now that I successfully completed the 10k (yay me!), I’m going to cut back a bit on the running. Imagine my surprise though, that I actually enjoyed the training. Although I still have a bad habit of telling everyone that “I’m not really a runner.”

My current strength training routine is as follows:
Mondays: kettle bells using workouts from
Wednesdays: different exercises including DBs, KBs, body weight exercises
Fridays: Spartacus workout – 10 1-min stations of different exercises

For my 10k training, I used Jeff Galloway’s training plan:  
I did my runs on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. This put me at the gym about 5-6 times/week.

Each day I do strength training, I start out at the assisted pullup machine. One of the first things I decided, when starting all of this in January, was that I wanted to be able to do a real pullup. I’ve been using the assisted pullup machine to gradually decrease the amount of help I get. The cool thing is that I actually see progress. I started out by needing ~130-140 lbs offset (I think the machine is off by about 35 lbs), and now I’m at 90lbs. Once I can do 3 sets of 10, I move down 10 lbs. Joey thinks that I’ll be able to do a real pullup by the summer. I’m going to start adding some exercises to my normal routine that are specifically designed to help with this goal.

I had a hard time finding a 10k race, and actually ended up running the race 4 weeks before the training was finished. I would like to continue training somewhat, and maybe sign up for another race in the fall. But I was pretty darn happy with how I did. Not only did I run further than I had EVER run before, but I did it at a pace that was pretty consistent with every long run I’ve done. The course was 6.3 miles (just a tiny bit longer than advertised) and I finished in 1:02:14, which makes my pace 9:53min/mile. I used the runkeeper app during the race, and it actually said that the course was 6.45 miles, probably only because we had to weave around so many people! It’s amazing how much extra that adds. Using that, my pace was actually 9:40min/mile, which was faster than anything I had ever done, even if my official time doesn’t reflect it.

Lastly, I’ve really gotten into yoga. I tried it out because one of my good friends was doing it really regularly, and I wanted to try something new. I LOVE the girl who teaches the class I go to, and am really enjoying the class. Joey got me some yoga gear for my birthday, and I’ve been trying to go once a week or so. It helps that the instructor is a runner herself, so it’s a more athletic form of yoga. Plus she doesn’t make us “ohm.”

So that’s it! I’m just going to blabber on about the hard workouts I did, and then the crazy amounts of junk food I baked and then consumed in response.