Eau Claire Half Marathon Training – Week 6 & 7

Yea, I missed my weekly recap last week, so let me get you caught up.

I’m halfway through Whole 30! I can’t call it easy, but it’s not as hard as I thought it would be. I’ve found some new recipes to try and am eating some good food.

This taco salad was a nice change to my usual weekday lunch.

I had book club during week 1 of Whole 30, so I made these prosciutto wrapped pears, and they were really good! I was glad I could contribute something compliant that wasn’t just raw veggies. Though our book club host was amazing and made a compliant meal because a couple of us are actually doing Whole 30 right now! Support from family and friends is REALLY nice when doing something like this.

I’ve been making egg bake for easy breakfasts during the week. This is the egg back from week 1, but I actually made an even better one for week 2. It’s a trial and error process with new recipes.

The Whole 30 plan calls for a pre-workout and post-workout snack to help fuel your workout and recover. Took me a little bit to find things that worked well, but I think I’ve got a routine now.

As far as running goes, I’m still chugging along with the training plan. This plan is kind of high mileage, so I have a longer weekday run and my other runs are slowly getting longer, too. I can kind of feel the mileage in my body now. I may end up taking an extra rest day from time to time, or cut a run a tad short as I get ready for all of my upcoming April/May races.

Partially because I don’t remember (whoops) and partially because this is getting long, I’ll keep the workout updates short.

Week 6

Monday – rest

Tuesday – 4 miles (9:40/mile)

Wednesday – 6.06 miles (9:27/mile)

Thursday – rest

Friday – 4.03 miles (9:36/mile)

Saturday – 3.1 miles (8:33/mile)

My “long run” for this wee was a 5K race. I didn’t actually sign up for a 5K race, so I just headed out and planned to run fast. And that’s what I did!

Sunday – Alchemy private class

Got in a great cross-training workout at Alchemy. My friend won a free private class, so she invited a bunch of friends to come do a workout. My legs were a little sore from all of the running during the week and my fast 5K. I was happy to hear the class was going to focus on upper body stuff. And man, were my arms/shoulders feeling it the next day!

Week 7

Monday – rest

Tuesday – 4.79 miles (9:25/mile)

Wednesday – 3.3 miles (9:24/mile)

Thursday – 7.35 miles (9:32/mile)

Friday – rest

Saturday – 9.19 miles (9:49/mile)

It snowed overnight. Yeah…Minnesota. I waited this late morning to do my run so the snow would have a chance to melt a little on the path as the sun came out. I did a loop along the river. I started out and the mile was fine, but when I crossed the river the path was only semi-clear. This meant the first 4.5 miles were somewhat slow. When I crossed back over the river for the second half, the paths were great and I was able to pick up my pace a little.

These 9 miles actually flew by. I just sort of zoned out and before I knew it I was done!

After my run, I did some meal prep in the afternoon. Then my sister and I headed to a roller derby! A friend of ours has been doing roller derby for several years, but it was her last bout, so we had to go cheer her on. It’s a super entertaining sport and those women are tough!

Sunday – rest 

My sister and I headed to Wisconsin to spend Easter with our grandmother. We ate our Easter meal, played a card game, watched an egg toss at her senior living facility (super cute watching the residents participate and have fun!), and chatted for a little bit before heading home. I did a little more food prep in the evening and was exhausted, so skipped any kind of workout.

I’m gearing up for the second half of Whole 30 and getting ready for my spring races to start. Maybe one day soon the snow will stop falling and it will actually feel like spring!

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Eau Claire Half Marathon – Week 5

The week started out pretty busy with the end of my San Diego trip and some evening plans a couple of nights. I was also continuing to prepare for a new 30 day journey: Whole 30.

When I first heard about Whole 30 a few years ago, I never thought it would be something I’d try. Cutting out sugar, grains, alcohol, processed food, and lots of other things just didn’t sound that appealing to me. I started to come around to the idea of trying it as I heard more and more friends have positive things to say when they did it. It wasn’t just weight loss benefits, it was things like better sleep and having more energy. That sounded appealing to me.

A big part of Whole 30 is also learning how certain foods affect you. I know what my “normal” feels like, but I also have a feeling that I don’t know what I don’t know and could probably feel even better. I’ve never felt like my diet affects my ulcerative colitis, but given my recent flare, it couldn’t hurt to see what changes might make me feel better overall. So, I’m giving it a shot. It’s 30 days. I’ve found a lot of good recipes that I’m actually excited to try, and I have several friends doing Whole 30 at the same time, so lots of social support. So important!!

And half marathon training continues. Here’s how week 5 went.

Monday – 6.02 miles (9:27/mile)

After two busy days of exploring the zoo and safari park, my sister and I slept in a little and then headed out for workouts about 9 a.m. I had 7 miles on my plan for my long run for week 4 that I had pushed to Monday. I wasn’t really sure how far I’d make it and had resolved to just do whatever I could.

The weather was perfect: low 60’s and sunshine. I was enjoying exploring some of the parks and paths along the water and before I knew it I was closing in on 6 miles. It felt really good, but my sis and I wanted to do a few more things before our flight, so I called it good at that point.

Here are some highlights from the run.

Tuesday – 3.27 miles (9:10/mile)

I had Flight Club with the Oiselle Volee team. We met at Lake Calhoun and did a loop around the lake before dinner. It was nice to run in daylight after the time change!

Wednesday – rest

Took the night off from working out and attended a networking event/panel discussion. Felt good to take a little bit of a break after several days of activity. My body needed it.

Thursday – 6.04 miles (9:25/mile)

I started out on this run thinking I might add in the “big hill” that I ran last week, but a couple of miles in I decided my legs just weren’t up for it. I still had a good run without it and had some small hills on my route.

Friday – 4.00 miles (9:26/mile)

Legs were feeling tired and heavy for this whole run. Normally I wouldn’t care that much, but I was a little nervous knowing I needed to do an 8 mile run the next morning.

After running, I kicked back to watch some March Madness and dug into Whole 30 meal planning for week 1.

Saturday – 8.00 miles

The weather was basically perfect for this long run – mid 40s and pure sunshine. I decided to do a loop around the river crossing a couple of bridges and admiring the blue sky above and blue water below.

As I got started, I could feel the tiredness in my legs. It was that way for the first 3 miles or so. Then it seemed like they finally warmed up, but around mile 5 I could feel the tiredness again. It stuck around until I was done, but it felt good to be getting into the higher mileage long runs.

Sunday – HIIT

A friend was able to get a group of us into a free workout class at her gym. It was a high intensity interval workout. The variety was nice, but it was definitely a hard workout that my body felt for a couple of days after.

We headed out to brunch after to consume all of the calories we burned. 🙂 I was also in a mode of savoring my last tastes of certain food before Whole 30 started the next day.

In the afternoon, I hit the grocery store and did a LOT of meal prep for week 1:

  • Slow cooker sweet potato chili
  • Turkey & egg breakfast casserole
  • Baked chicken
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Cut strawberries

Should set me up for a successful first week!

Eau Claire Half Marathon Training – Week 4

It’s not always easy to fit in training runs when you’ve got work, friends, travel and more going on. That’s how last week felt with figuring out workouts during a busy week, but I managed to get it done! It helps me to be flexible while also keeping running as a priority when I’m adding things to my calendar. Sometimes you have to get up a little earlier or move runs around throughout the week to fit everything in.

Totally worth it this past week as it meant I got to hang out with friends and take a fun trip with my sister!

Monday – 3.5 miles (9:31/mile)

Days like this one are why I bought a treadmill. We got a lovely snowstorm that started in the afternoon, so I didn’t feel like braving the path and slipping and sliding all over the place. I turned on some music and cranked out my 3.5 miles while watching the snowflakes fall.

Tuesday – rest

I happily took a rest day to meet up with a group of friends to have dinner at Hai Hai in Minneapolis. They serve “Southeast Asian street food” and it is 100% delicious! I ordered a couple of dishes and got to taste a couple of things that friends ordered. I need to go back and try just about everything else on the menu!

   

Wednesday – 5.32 miles (9:25/mile)

By Wednesday the temps had warmed up enough that the paths were clear. I headed out for my longer weekday run. I was feeling ambitious, so I decided to add a big a$$ hill to my route. It fairly steep and is .25 miles long. I wanted to do a big  hill because Goldy’s 10 mile always has some hills on the course, so I want my legs to be ready. I made my way down the hill first, ran on flat pavement for a minute, and then started my assent. It was slow and steady, but I ran up the whole hill. The legs were burning a little near the top, but I kept going and continued running at the top to finish up this 5+ mile run.

Thursday – A10 workout with Alchemy

I met up with Hyedi for a cross training workout to celebrate Alchemy’s 3rd birthday. The workout was held at an event space rather than one of their studios. We brought our own yoga mats and they put us through and A10 workout. It starts with some warm up that incorporates stretching, yoga and practice doing the moves that make up the main part of the workout. Then, they put 10 minutes on the clock and you do a high intensity interval workout trying to do as many rounds as you can in 10 minutes. This workout was all body weight exercises (e.g., squats, sit ups, shoulder taps). It also included burpies (which I HATE), but I survived. Then you do a cool down with some more stretching and yoga moves.

We were sweaty, but still smiling at the end. Since it was a birthday celebration, there were snacks and drinks following the workout.

Friday – 3.5 miles (9:40/mile)

I did a morning treadmill run because my sis and I were off to San Diego in the afternoon!

Saturday – Walk, walk, walk (San Diego Zoo)

We got up fairly early to make our way to the San Diego Zoo by 8:30 a.m. We decided to do a special panda tour where you get into the zoo before it opens to the general public and get some dedicated time in the panda exhibit as well as some behind-the-scenes looks at other exhibits in the zoo.

Anyone who knows me knows I LOOOOVE pandas! I have since I was born. I’ve seen a panda in the National Zoo years ago, but only for a few minutes. This tour allowed us to hang out in the panda exhibit for awhile in a smaller group, so we weren’t rushed through. It was so cool to be that close to the gorgeous creatures!

The tour took us around the zoo on a cart, but when that was over we spent about 5 more hours exploring the rest of the zoo. I think we covered every inch of it! Needless to say, it was a lot of walking and my legs were feeling it by the end.

I took a ton of pictures, but I’ll just share a few more here.

Polar bear nap time
Baby giraffe
Aren’t tasmanian devils kinda cute?

After the zoo, we headed back to the hotel to chill out for awhile and then went to Juniper & Ivy for dinner. I was sooo excited to try this restaurant, and it did not disappoint! Absolutely delicious meal!

Sunday – More walking (San Diego Safari Park)

We spent most of Sunday at the San Diego Safari Park, so it was another full day of walking. We got there when it opened, so beat some of the crowds to see the butterfly exhibit. There were hundreds of butterflies just flying free around you.

We hopped on the “Africa Tram” to do a 25 minute tour around some of the park.

Then we spent time visiting all of the other exhibits. We saw some of the same animals as the zoo, but the feel of the Safari Park is a bit different with some of the wide open spaces they have for the animals.

King of the jungle

These gorillas deserve a special shoutout. They were so entertaining to watch! They were really active running around, teasing each other, and even wrestling from time to time.

On our way back from the Safari Park, we stopped in Old Town for some Mexican food and margaritas to cap off the day!

I was exhausted after two busy days and slept really well before our last day of vacation. I did get in a run around San Diego, but more on that in next week’s recap since it happened on Monday!

Have you ever been to San Diego? How do you fit in runs with a busy schedule?

Eau Claire Half Marathon Training – Week 1

I’m officially back in training mode! It feels good, but I can also tell I’m not quite at the level I’d like to be. I’m not too far off, but I’m hoping getting back into the regular routine and following a training plan will get me back up to where I’d like to be soon.

As I was planning my spring races last fall, I knew I wanted to do a half marathon. This was the perfect year to give the Eau Claire Half a try. It is in my hometown, after all!

I’m following the same training plan that I did last spring to train for the Divas Half Marathon where I broke 2 hours. I’m not really sure yet what my goals are for this year’s half, but running strong and feeling good are a good place to start.

Here’s how week 1 of training went.

Monday – rest

I was technically supposed to do 30 minutes of cross training, but after the tough Pettit Marathon Relay on Saturday, I decided one more rest day would be ok.

Tuesday – 3.22 miles (9:30/mile)

I met up with some of the Oiselle Volee team for a group run and dinner. We ran along the river on the St. Paul side and then had some Pho at a Vietnamese restaurant to warm up.

Wednesday – 4.01 miles (9:37/mile)

Sometimes getting out of the house for a run after work is tough. I was a bit tired after the day, so started out telling myself I could do 3 or 3.5 miles if I wanted. I got going and started to feel good, so I settled in and made it the full 4 miles to hit my full training run for that day.

Thursday – 3.04 miles (9:34/mile)

An uneventful 3 mile run, and those are totally ok with me!

Friday – rest

I met my sister and a couple of friends for dinner and a Gopher hockey game!

The Gophers beat Ohio State 2-1! The game started at 8 p.m. — a little later than normal. By the time I got home and got to bed, it was about midnight.

Saturday – 3.15 miles (9:34/mile)

I let myself sleep in a little bit after a later bedtime and got a few things done around the house in the morning. Around 11:30, I headed out for a quick run.

After that, it was a quick shower and lunch before heading to help out a friend at a fundraising event. We were bagging groceries for donations.

On my way home, I got some gas and a car wash since the weather was finally warm enough. I had to grab a little coffee at the gas station knowing that I had one more outing for the day.

I headed to a girls’ night out/birthday dinner for a friend.

We made a stop for another drink after dinner, so it was another late night with a 1 a.m. bedtime. So yea, I know I’m getting old when a midnight and 1 a.m. bedtime for a Friday and Saturday night are “late.” 😛

Sunday – 4.23 miles (9:30/mile)

This was my long run for the week. Feels a little weird to call 4 miles a long run, but also felt nice not to have a daunting distance ahead of me as I get back into training. It was a good run and I’m looking forward to building up the long-run mileage over the next 11 weeks.

I got a couple of other errands done during the day and then met up with a friend for dinner. It was Restaurant Week, so we feasted on a 3-course meal. We split the mac & cheese and pot pie, which was a really good decision because both were amazing! A true comfort food meal.

I did a lot of eating out over the weekend. While it was fun and really good food, I’m hoping to get back on track this week.

Divas Half Marathon Training – Week 8

I spent the week gearing up for Goldy’s 10 mile on Sunday. I still got in some good miles, but I took an extra rest day and did light cross training so my legs would hopefully be fresh to race.

Monday – rest

My legs definitely needed a rest after the spin, run, yoga stuff I had going on the weekend before.

Tuesday – 4.08 miles (9:26/mile)

I met up with a friend and her running group to do a 4 mile run. It was a beautiful spring day for running. So nice to check out a different running route and have some people to chat with a long the way!

Wednesday – 7 miles (9:26/mile)

I debated shortening this run to save my legs, but once I got going it was just easier to do the full 7 miles that were on my plan.

Thursday – 1.97 mile walk

I had to run an errand after work, so it was a good day to just take an easy walk in the evening.

Friday – 4.15 miles (9:39/mile)

Friday was the perfect opportunity to escape the office for lunch with a friend! This also kicked off a pretty epic weekend of good food. 🙂

My plan had 4.5 miles on it, but I ended up just doing a 40 minute easy run.

Saturday – rest

After a relaxing morning and a few house chores, I met a friend for lunch at Young Joni. We shared a pizza and the Brussels sprouts. Both were fantastic!

I ran a few errands and then met up with my sister and a friend for dinner. Our plan was to sit on a patio to enjoy the spring weather. Only problem was it wasn’t as nice and sunny as they had predicted. But, we didn’t let that stop us! We found a cute patio at an Italian restaurant, which was perfect for some carbo-loading.

We hit one more patio after dinner for drinks. I stuck to water and club soda for this patio tour, but I look forward to the next one when I can enjoy a cocktail (or 2)!

Sunday – 10 miles (9:12/mile)

Race day! Stay tuned for the full race recap, but overall it was a great race!

In the afternoon, I kicked back and relaxed. I also may have fallen asleep on my coach for about a half hour. Nothing like a post-long run nap. 🙂

My epic food weekend ended with a home cooked meal. I used some veggies I got from a friend’s CSA to make dinner. I had a roasted beet salad with goat cheese, spinach and a honey, balsamic vinaigrette. This salad is so delicious! You can put goat cheese on just about anything and I’ll love it.

I also roasted sweet potato, turnips, and parsnips. Then I cooked some chicken on my little George Foreman grill to round out the meal.

Did you get out to enjoy the spring weather this past weekend?

Vancouver Half Training – Week 8

October is right around the corner and that means race day is getting closer and closer! I’m really excited for this race – not only because it will be the culmination of another training cycle but because it will be an awesome way to explore a new city.

Here’s how the last week of training went. It was good for running. I didn’t get all of the strength training in that I wanted, but I guess something is better than nothing!

Monday – rest day

I headed to happy hour with some friends right after work. We sat outside, sipped beer and chatted. I kept my eating under control after having pizza for lunch by ordering the market salad. It was tomato, watermelon, ground cherries, feta and a watermelon vinaigrette – so fresh and delicious!

dayblock

Tuesday – 4.57 miles (9:29/mile)

I met up with Hyedi and a few of her local Oiselle teammates for a group run. We ventured out around St. Paul and one of the girls showed us a trail not far from downtown. Great views and fun to go “off-roading” for a change.

oiselle-run

After the run, we grabbed a beer and a snack.

redrvkit

Wednesday – 7.09 miles (9:27/mile)

Got in my longer weekday run after work. There was some rain in the forecast. The wind picked up a bit in mile 4 and I thought the storm was starting for sure, but I managed to beat it and not get wet.

Thursday – rest day

I got invited to a sneak peek event for Herbie’s on the Park, a new restaurant in downtown St. Paul.

herbies1

My coworker and I headed over there right at 5 p.m. We looked around the beautiful old building and grabbed a drink. Then we hit up the food – there was a great spread of things to taste. This pic doesn’t even do it justice! I tried the house salad, deviled egg (which had candied bacon as a garnish), mini burger, and mini lobster roll. For dessert I had a mini creme brulee, and it was amazing!

herbies2

After checking out Herbie’s, I headed to a going away party for a friend setting out on an amazing adventure. Sad to say good-bye (luckily only for a short time), but excited for the opportunity she has.

Friday – 5 miles (9:40/mile)

It was raining after work, so I stuck to the treadmill for my run. I felt remarkably good on the treadmill for 5 miles. I did some strength training after and then enjoyed relaxing for the rest of the night.

treadmill

Saturday – 4.01 miles (9:31/mile)

I got up on Saturday morning and headed out for a short, easy run. I had missed this run during the week, but I didn’t want to overdo it because my long run was coming on Sunday. My legs felt pretty good on this run — I was expecting them to be more tired.

I managed to get in an arm and back workout after my run.

Sunday – 10.13 miles (9:22/mile)

I was up early to head to the Women Run the Cities 10 mile for my long run. A race recap is coming, but overall it was a great run!

wrtc1

I hadn’t done this race before, so it was nice to try something new and it was a great way to get in my 10 mile run. I’ve got one more race coming, a 10K, before the half.

Here’s to another good week!

Day off in pictures

After several busy weeks at work, I took a much needed day off on Thursday to relax and have some “me” time.

I started the day with coffee in my favorite mug.

image1

Then headed out for a run and did an ab workout.

image2

For lunch, I made a fish taco bowl.

image3

I pampered myself with a haircut in the afternoon.

image4

And picked up a sweet treat.

image5

I enjoyed my caffeine and chocolate while working on some spin4 stuff for our upcoming event (I’m on the planning committee).

image8

Later, I met a friend for dinner at Parlour. We had to have the burger – so good!

image6  image7

All in all, a lovely day off!

What would you do on a day off?