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?

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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

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For lunch, I made a fish taco bowl.

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I pampered myself with a haircut in the afternoon.

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And picked up a sweet treat.

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

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

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All in all, a lovely day off!

What would you do on a day off?

Garry Bjorklund Half Training – Week 10

We’re just under 2 weeks from race day! Feeling good except the Achilles has reared its ugly head again this past week. It had gotten better and has flared up again. Not sure why, but I might have to take a little extra rest the next couple of weeks to make sure it’s good when I get to the start line.

Monday – rest

Tuesday – 5.07 miles (9:31/mile)

Run with Kate and Hyedi. It was a good run, but this is when I started to feel my Achilles again. I don’t remember stepping wrong or anything, but I was feeling it on and off for most of the run. Some of the soreness/pain was creeping up my calf, too. Not what I wanted so close to the race.

Wednesday – 1.75 miles (9:58/mile)

I could feel the soreness in my calf most of the next day, but it was National Running Day (and beautiful out), so I headed out  to see how my Achilles/calf would do on a run. I was still feeling the soreness, so I cut the run short to be safe.

Thursday – rest

This was my planned rest day. I had a meeting with some folks at CCFA to help with planning an event in the fall. Then I headed over to Heirloom for dinner. It was a fantastic meal!

Ricotta gnocchi, interesting vegetables, meat pie, carrot cake
Ricotta gnocchi, interesting vegetables, meat pie, carrot cake

Friday – rest

I decided to take an extra rest day this week. I think one of the reasons my Achilles has acted up recently is that it’s time for new shoes. I picked some up after work and am starting to break them in. I went with my usual Brooks Glycerin (neutral shoe).

Love the color!
Love the color!

Saturday – 3.23 miles (11:39/mile)

Saturday morning was the Girls on the Run 5K! I got to the race about 8:15 and waited in a little bit of traffic to get into the parking log. I headed over to pick up my bib and t-shirt. The line was a bit long and I found myself getting a little impatient, but then I looked around and saw how excited all of the girls were and reminded myself to relax and have a good time.

I found the school I had been assigned to for being a running buddy. A few of their girls ended up not being able to make it, so they didn’t need another girl or I to run with someone. She and I started chatting before the race and it turned out she was training for Garry Bjorklund too! It will be her first half marathon. We ran the 5K together at a nice, leisurely pace to support the girls and talked about running and life.

gotr5k

There were so many people at the race! It definitely seemed bigger than the fall 5K. They had a beautiful day for the race — the sun was actually pretty warm. There was a lot of energy at the start and finish with all of the family/friends hanging out to cheer on the girls. This program just continues to grow!

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I wore my new shoes and the Achilles/calf did ok. I did some good stretching when I got home and was hopeful it would be ok for a long run on Sunday.

Sunday – 11.02 miles (9:28/mile) and 1.05 mile walk

I met Hyedi for our long run around Lake Harriet, Calhoun, and Isles. We started out and after a few miles I could feel the tightness in my calf. I was wearing my old shoes because I was hesitant to wear the new ones on such a long run without breaking them in a little more.

We continued to make our way around all 3 lakes. I contemplated cutting it short, but it never got worse, so I kept going for the full 11 miles. Of course by the end of the run I wasn’t feeling the soreness anymore.

11miles

I got home and stretched, showered and relaxed for a couple of hours before heading to the Take Steps Walk for CCFA. I was volunteering at the walk, so I got there at 2 p.m. to help with some set up.

takesteps

Handing out t-shirts and other incentives to people who met their fundraising goals was like my second workout of the day.

Then it was time for the actual walk to start. There were a lot of #IBDHeroes out there on a gorgeous afternoon to support finding cures for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

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Balloon arch over the start line

After the walk (my third workout of the day), it was time to tear down. I got home around 7:30 and was physically exhausted, but had such a good time!

Disclosure: I received a free race entry for the Girls on the Run 5K. All opinions are my own.

TC Marathon Training – Week 16

I’m officially two weeks away from the Twin Cities Marathon. Eeek! I can’t believe it’s so close. It’s nerve-racking, but I’ll also be glad when the day is finally here.

Many of last week’s workouts and training runs were done while I was on vacation. I didn’t get to run on the beach as much as I would’ve liked to because high tide was falling right at the time of the morning that I wanted to run. Hitting the streets wasn’t too bad though, and I got to relax on the beach after!

Monday – 14.51 miles (10:14/mile avg pace)

The weather was fantastic at the beach with lots of days in the low to mid 80s. The first couple of days that I was there were hotter and more humid, but the temps got a bit cooler by Monday, so I felt good about heading out for a 14 mile run.

I got up early to get the run in so I had plenty of beach time and to avoid lots of sun while running. Running in the neighborhoods provided some nice shade for most of the run. It took me a little bit to get warmed up, but I’m kind of used to that by now. Finally my legs woke up and carried me even a little farther than 14 miles when all was said and done. I took a few minutes to dip my tired feet in the pool after my run. 🙂

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Tuesday – 4.13 mile walk

Took a nice, long walk with my family in the morning before heading back to the beach for the afternoon.

Wednesday – rest

Thursday – 5.09 mile run (10:03/mile avg pace)

I made myself get up to do one more run while on vacation. We had a few hours in the early afternoon to sit on the beach before having to get packed up and head to the airport. Sad to have to leave my Happy Place, but it was the perfect way to wrap up the summer. I think I’m ready for fall now.

flying

Friday – 8.09 mile run (10:05/mile avg pace)

I got back late Thursday night, but still had Friday off of work, so I was able to do a mid-day run as the temps were definitely feeling like fall in the 60s.

Saturday – 35 minute elliptical and 1.3 mile walk

Doing my 20 mile and 14 mile runs on Mondays was kind of throwing off my training schedule. Not too bad, but I wanted to get it back on track for the last couple of weeks. I opted for some good cross-training instead of a 4 mile run on Saturday morning.

In the afternoon I met up with my sister and some friends to check out Street Pub with Deschutes Brewery. They closed down a couple blocks in downtown Minneapolis for this pop-up street pub with beer, food, and music. All of the proceeds get donated to Second Harvest Heartland. It was a gorgeous afternoon to be outside sipping a beer for a good cause!

streetpub

Sunday – 12.18 mile run (10:01/mile avg pace)

When my alarm went off at 6:30 a.m., I knew I was not ready to get up yet. I reset it for 7 a.m. and went back to sleep. Luckily, it was a nice, cool morning so starting my run at 8:30 wasn’t a big deal.

I ventured over to Summit Ave. for this 12 mile run. Summit Ave. is the road the covers the last 5 miles of the marathon course. I parked near where the finish line will be and ran West on Summit until I hit East River Rd. I ran on East River Rd. for about a mile and then turned around. I did this on purpose. There’s an infamous hill on East River Rd. that leads the marathon course onto Summit Ave. It’s not a huge hill, but when any hill comes at mile 21 of a marathon, it’s a bad hill. I wanted to run that hill and then make my way back up Summit towards the finish line just to get a taste of it before the actual day.

Summit is a beautiful street full of trees and old homes. You pass the beautiful St. Paul Cathedral just before the finish line.

cathedral

Overall, a pretty nice run to get ready for TCM!

12miles

I spent most of the afternoon relaxing, but then ran a few errands, and embraced the fall weather by cooking up a hot meal. I made this Spinach and mushroom quinoa recipe that I found on Pinterest and roasted some sweet potato. Doesn’t get more fall than that!

quinoa

Are you ready for fall?

Goldy’s 10 Mile Training – Week 1

I signed up for Goldy’s 10 mile for the third year! I like the push it gives me to keep training in the colder Minnesota winter months.

With my sights set on the marathon this fall, I’m planning to take it easy in other races. So, I’m following a basic training plan (no speed work) that will just get me up to the mileage I need to be at. Here’s a recap of this week’s workouts.

Monday – 3 mile run (10:20/ mile pace)

I hit the treadmill after work for my first training run. Nothing big or special, just a solid training run.

Goldys training run 1

Tuesday – rest

I headed to the MN Wild hockey game with a friend. It was a great game that the Wild won 3-0!

Wild

Wednesday – 30 minute elliptical

Thursday – rest

Friday – rest/Atlanta walking

My friend, Hyedi, and I traveled to Atlanta to visit friends and get away from the MN winter for a couple days. No “real” workout on Friday with an early flight, but did get in some walking in the airport and walking around town a little.

I can’t talk about the trip without talking about the food. After we got in, our friends picked us up at the airport and we headed to Flying Biscuit for brunch. I’d been dreaming of the biscuits and gravy there since we booked the trip.

Flying Biscuit

We got to hang out and visit for awhile in the afternoon until it was time to check in to the hotel and get ready for dinner. We headed to The Spence. I’m a big Top Chef fan, and the executive chef there, Richard Blais, was on the show. I ordered the mahi mahi and it was delicious! Great spices and served with tomatillo sauce, blood orange, potatoes and rapini.

The Spence

For dessert, I splurged! Blondie cake with coffee ice cream and frozen caramel. OMG – fantastic!

The Spence2

Saturday – 2 mile run (10:30/mile pace) and 3 mile walk

On Saturday morning, we hit the hotel gym for a quick workout. I got in the 2 mile run I hadn’t done earlier in the week.

ATL run

We had an initial thought that there might not be enough treadmills, but as soon as we walked in we saw that wouldn’t be the case. The hotel gym was big – it’s actually a gym that you can join if you live in the area.

Gym

After getting cleaned up, it was off to brunch. We headed to South City Kitchen, just a short walk from the hotel.

Love palm trees!
Love palm trees!

Had to start the meal off right with fried green tomatoes (w/ pepper coulis and basil). I loved them.

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For the main course, I had to get the chicken and waffle. I don’t think I’ve ever ordered it before at brunch, so I figured ATL was the place to do it and I was right. The fried chicken and waffle were great, and it was served with real maple syrup. A bite with everything gave you a fantastic salty/sweet combo.

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After brunch, we met up with our friends again and went for a walk on the Atlanta BeltLine. It was a gorgeous day (60 and sunny). We walked to the Krog Street Market to explore some of the vendors and get some Jeni’s ice cream!

Krog

Jeni's ice cream

The total mileage for our walk to and from the market was about 3 miles.

Following that, we got ready for dinner and headed to Holeman and Finch. Apparently “The Burger” is a big thing on their menu. It used to only be available at certain times, but recently made it’s way to the main menu. Of course, we had to try it. It was really good! Nothing fancy – no special sauces or odd ingredients – just beef, cheese, pickles, and house made ketchup and mustard.

The Burger HandF

Sunday – 4 mile run (10:26/mile pace)

Before heading to the airport, we took a short walk to get bagel for breakfast, then it was time to say good-bye to Atlanta. All around, a really nice getaway.

I got home and unpacked, headed to the grocery, and headed outside for my long run for the week. It was in the 20’s and a little windy, so I bundled up but got in a great run.

What spring races are you training for? What do you do to escape the cold winter weather?

Buffalo Chicken and Easy Fried Rice

One of my 2015 goals is to keep cooking, so I’m definitely starting off the year right.

On Sunday I pulled out my new Crock Pot to make buffalo chicken. I love ordering buffalo chicken in restaurants, but it hadn’t occurred to me to try and make it myself. Then, I found this buffalo chicken slow cooker recipe that only required three ingredients so I decided to give it a shot!

It was perfect to have the chicken cooking for a few hours on Sunday afternoon while I cleaned, worked out, and got my apartment back together after the holidays.

I was so excited hungry that I failed to take a picture of the chicken before taking it out of the Crock Pot, but this gives you an idea.

buffalo chicken

I put the chicken in a wrap with carrots, green onion and blue cheese. Delicious!

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On Monday night, I used the chicken for lettuce wraps.

lettuce wrap

I plan to get a lot of use out of the Crock Pot this year!

I had extra chicken breasts after making the buffalo chicken, so I baked a couple in the oven which was perfect to have around to go with one of my favorite go-to recipes: Easy Fried Rice. I may have shared a link to this recipe before, but I’ll share it again. It really is easy, and even better it’s from Weight Watchers. It’s a great light option when you’re craving some Chinese food.

Cook up some rice. I like using brown rice. Cook some carrots and green onions in a skillet for a few minutes. I just spray the pan with cooking spray – you don’t even need oil.

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Then put the cooked rice, some peas, and soy sauce in the same skillet. Stir everything together and let it heat through for a minute.

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That’s it! It’s really that easy to have fried rice in about 15 minutes.

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What are your favorite slow cooker recipes? What are your go-to recipes?