"A" Race eve

This week has been crazy and it's almost 9pm the night before the race and I'm trying to get my playlist in order. If you have a good song, leave me a comment with it!  I cannot believe tomorrow is May 1. It is shocking to me how fast the past 9 months have gone and that Kara will be one in 2.5 months. Totally bittersweet!  Good luck to my sister tomorrow running Big Sur, and my brother's girlfriend Miranda, running her first marathon at Big Sur!!

Here's how my week went in terms of training:

Monday - swim 4000 yards + abs/lifting
Tuesday- Run 8.4 miles with mini speedwork routine
Wednesday - Run around 5.5 miles and swim 1000 yards, lift
Thursday - Run 8 miles with 2 miles at race pace
Friday - Swim 3800 yards
Saturday - easy 2 mile run
Sunday - race day!

I made an appointment with my friend Kelli who is a chiropractor at her office today about the issues I've been having. My entire right upper hamstring area is very very tight - I think the piriformis muscle is the biggest issue, + my abductor and a little bursitis. She also told me that one of my legs is one inch longer than the other. My pelvis is tilted and I need to stretch!!  I got heat therapy then Graston is what she specializes in - it breaks down adhesions. What felt the best and hurt the worst is when she used her hands/fingers to push on where it has been bothering me. Then I got the little square things that send pins and needles to your muscles, plus ice and then more muscle therapy.  At the end, I got taped up for tomorrow.  It was the best chiropractic appointment I've ever been at. It reminded me of college when I used to go for crew - at the time I had a lower back injury. It never got resolved until I stopped rowing so this was great!

While I am hurting a bit from these tight muscles, and hope my leg doesn't slow me down, I'm feeling pretty confident in knowing that I will do the best that I can!  Look out for a report tomorrow.


A little bit of crazy

I have alot going on right now - here's the run down.

I basically stopped pumping cold turkey a couple of weeks ago and am now suffering the consequences of this. I just couldn't find the time to fit it in anymore. I was only getting about 2 oz so it was close to the end but I did not do it right and now I have a boob that hurts and feels like there's something in there. So stupid. I also just feel totally sad that it ended like that right after 9 months. First Kara just started refusing to eat and I didn't have the time to keep at it, so after a couple of weeks of pumping 4 times a day, I just stopped. She is still drinking stored up milk which will last until about 10 months. The whole thing makes me sad and I am mad at myself for just stopping. I know you aren't supposed to do that.

We just put our house on the market on Monday. It has been crazy trying to keep the house clean and leaving for showings. I am already overwhelmed and we only had one day so far, of 2 showings. We have more in the next few days. I hope it sells quickly.

It looks like my hip problem is an upper hamstring problem. My friend is a chiropractor and gave me advice as to what to do for it - it's still bothering me and I just hope I can run 100% for Sunday.

This week I have been waking up and not wanting to train at all. I hope it is not related to my cold turkey pumping and that this doesn't last long. I've got in my workouts but with some level of dread.


Race week

Today I did the same workout as I did before my half marathon last month. I like to call it mini speedwork: 2 x 1 minute at race pace with 1 minute in between, 4 x 1/4 mile with 1/4 mile jogs in between, 2 x 1/2 mile with 1/4 mile in between and 1 mile at race pace, sandwiched between warmup and cooldown. 

Last month my average for the entire workout was 8:40. Today it was 8:17. I need to drop about 40 seconds off my average pace from the half marathon, so it looks like it will be close but I might not be there. I bet my pace will be around 7:42 for Broad Street.  I'm questionable as to whether I can hit the 1:15/7:30pace but that is what I'm going for. The weather is looking warm, 73 is the high for Sunday. Can we get some weather just in the 60s? We jumped from 45 Saturday morning to 85 yesterday. Really??? It's April 25 and we had to put on the air.

I did not run Sunday or Monday hoping to give my hip or butt or whatever it is a break. I don't know what it is exactly - it's just below my butt on my right side. Hamstring?  It's a new pain and I'm not sure what brought it on and I can't figure out what to do to help it. I did yoga on Sunday but then it seemed worse yesterday. Any ideas on what it could be? It seems maybe too high for my hamstring? but I have no idea what it could be. I thought it was my hip at first.


5k PR, the cycle and the hip

This morning it was pouring rain and 45 degrees, and I was questioning whether or not to run the 5k I do every year locally.  In addition, my hip started hurting earlier this week and ever since Thursday's speedwork, it has been getting a bit worse. I went to pick up my shirt and bib # anyway, I love the shirts! They are long sleeve with a butterfly on the front. The race is in memory of a girl that went to the local high school and was killed by a drunk driver going the wrong way on Route 76. What a tragedy. She was 18. I can't imagine. Anyway, it is a well put on run each year and I enjoy doing it. Last year it was our first (and last?) family 5k. This morning I really wanted Nick to come watch since it's so close but it was too gross out. 

I went by myself and wanted to get in 7-8 miles for the day, so I warmed up with 3 miles on the track.  I was soaked. Completely soaking wet and my Garmin was going nuts and beeping all over the place. I feel like the rain was hitting the bezel - wtf is that.  By the time I got to the start line, it was changing screens on its own and had the accuracy screen up and GPS off. I was getting really annoyed with it! Does this ever happen to you? I am not a fan of the bezel thing at all! I asked a girl for help and her and boyfriend / husband helped me out - later she was the female winner of the race! A really nice person too! 

I started running and felt totally out of breath. I was semi happy to see that I went out in 7:10, but seriously, it felt like 6:10 the way I was huffing and puffing. Mile 2 was 7:20 and mile 3 7:26. The last 0.14 was 6:34 pace.  I finished in 22:48 for 3.1 miles, which was 3rd place for my age group so that was fun. I saw the 2nd place girl pass me in the last 0.1 mile. So annoying!  I did NOT feel strong for this race. My goal was sub 22 minutes and as close to 7:00 pace as I could get. As I was running, I thought "ok, sub 23 will be ok."  I JUST made that.  I don't feel super confident for next weekend now, as this was a 5k and I could barely hold the 7:15 pace, and my goal is to run 7:30 pace for 10 miles?  We'll see what happens! I have no pictures since it was raining and no one was there! :)
One week to go!

Warmup 3.22 miles 29:50
5k Race 3.1 miles 22:48/ 7:15 pace
cooldown 1.29 miles/13:44
Total 7.61 miles today

Do you feel differently depending on where you are in your monthly cycle? I have been eating like CRAP for the last week. I made cookies early in the week and have been having dessert every night (a cookie and "pudding" with hemp protein). I have not been motivated to get up and go swimming but feel good about getting up for a run. I feel fat and lazy this week. I wonder if there is a week in the cycle that you are at your best for a PR. What do you think?

Happy Easter!


The Little Engine That Could & Winner

Thank you for the support on my last post! I really appreciated the kind comments and emails. It meant a lot to me, so thank you!

Yesterday was my "key" workout for Broad Street.  I was planning on doing it on Tuesday and then wanted it to be closer to the race.  The race is 9 days away!  Last week I was planning on doing an intro to this workout or an easier version, then I got the stomach bug and only did about 15 miles total last week. I came back fine this week and felt good about this workout.  Miranda sent me an email about it - it's a workout by Greg McMillan - it is actually a 10K workout that I just added on to.  My goal was to do 5 x 2 mile repeats at my goal pace with 5 minutes in between. I ran out of time and did 4 x 2 mile repeats with 5 minutes in between, a warmup and then .3 of another repeat. I felt pretty good. I was running saying I THINK I CAN I THINK I CAN I THINK I CAN! I knew it was a key workout to gauge my fitness.   The Little Engine that Could is one of Nick's favorite books and it has that great message - I think I can!  I want to hit 1:15 which is 7:30 minute miles. I don't feel 100% confident and tomorrow I am doing a 5k. I'll see what my pace is like and how I feel, but for Broad Street, I think I can do it.  Do you have a key workout before a race? What is that workout?

The winners of the SONY WALKMAN MP3 are (chosen by random.org)


Congrats and please email me tosha25italia at yahoo with your address!


Triathlon Results and Memories

Here are my triathlon times which don't mean much to me except for the run.   I would have thought my swim time would have been maybe in the low 7s, but this included getting out of the pool and running to the mat. I feel like I should have gone faster, but I think I was trying hard. I don't really know.  My goal for June 26 is to get on the bike more and figure out how to use it properly so that I don't get my A** kicked again.  After that, we'll see if I do more triathlons. :)  Thank you to my sister for letting me borrow all of her stuff, going over transition with me and coaching me.

My First Triathlon - Sprint
Swim 450m 8:01
Bike 10 miles  44:46
Run 3.1 miles  24:36
Total time:      1:24:01
30/89 females
3/7 age 30-34

Last Thursday my great Aunt Mary passed away. She was my mom's aunt (my mommom's sister) and my mom was very close to her, being one of her main caregivers. She never married and did not have any children. She was 95 years old.  Her funeral was yesterday. She lived a good life, and had many nieces & nephews who loved her and a constant flow of visitors at her house through the years.  She was a smoker for the last 75 years and never had any complications until the last 5 years or so. Eventually her lungs were not strong enough to fight pneumonia but I cannot believe after all that smoking that she was in good health for such a long time.

I have alot of regret and the last week has been difficult. I went to visit Aunt Mary when she was in the hospital nearby and she was completely with it.  She asked me how the kids were doing and Bill and who was watching them - then she remembered it was a Sunday.  What killed me is that she said she never got to see Kara. I never brought her to visit.  I  did bring Nick down before he was mobile but I got nervous of bringing Nick to her house and getting into everything and worried about the smoke  and I just made up excuses and didn't bring them down after Nick was about 5 months old. I feel horrible about this.  When she was in the hospital last weekend I did not know it was the end of the road. It was naptime on a Sunday and I still had to grocery shop, so I was watching the clock. I think I stayed 45 minutes but I should have stayed much longer.

Besides talking about eating meat - she was always intrigued that I stopped eating meat and proud to tell me when she wasn't eating too much of it. We talked about this at the hospital too. The funniest thing that she said was that one of my Uncles looked huge on a magazine cover. She was always totally honest and never sugar coated anything. Whenever you went to her house, she always had homemade biscotti and tea, and she was always dressed like she was going to work: stockings, skirt to her knees, and button down cardigan. I guess this was a thing of the past, when I am her age, I will be wearing sweats. I'm pretty sure of it!

Throughout college and after college, I visited Aunt Mary a handful of times.  We had long conversations on the phone and she ALWAYS said 'love you' at the end.  One time after college I remember her telling me she was getting lazy making coffee because it was downstairs and it was a big coffee machine so I sent her a 4 cup one to put upstairs. I don't know if she ever used it but I think it made her day. For our wedding she gave me a piece of china that was passed down through the family. It's a serving dish that I cherish.

So the past few days I have been full of regrets. Why didn't I visit in the past 9 months? Why didn't I call as often as in the past? I know that I am busy and I think in the last few years she just became more bitter but this is no excuse.  I regret that I did not visit or stay in as close of touch as in the past. And to top it off, my mom, who I sometimes have issues with her bossiness, asked me to bring the kids down at least 10 times. I feel awful.  I suppose this is common when someone dies and I will learn a lesson to cherish the time with my grandparents and older people, but it has just been really hard. That was all I could think about yesterday at the services. 

Aunt Mary holding Nick, 1 month old, March '09

one of my favorite pictures from our wedding
Aunt Mary shaking Bill's hand at the receiving line.


First triathlon finished!

Last night around dinner time my stomach started feeling better and although I did not sleep well, my stomach was ok through the night. All week I have slept awful with this stomach bug, but didn't feel it last night. I woke up and was hungry! and ready to go. Just in time!  I ate a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast and had a cup of coffee - half coffee, half almond milk.  Today was the first day in 5 days that I am eating normally!! Crazy. My sister lent me all of her cool race gear to wear so I looked like I knew what I was doing - but I didn't have a clue. It was pretty cold this morning, high 40s? and super windy!

Decked out in pants, a jacket and fleece, I got to the race spot - a local YMCA - and set up my bike and looked around at how everyone else was setting up the transition area.  I set up my area and it was a walk over to the heated 50m outdoor pool. I went to check it out and then set up my stuff in the indoor warmup pool. I warmed up with a 500yard easy swim and then wore my nice swim parka around - totally kept me warm. I kept that and my flip flops with me and headed to the pool area.

It was soo cold and windy. There was a delayed start and it took a while - I think 30 min late. I was in the first wave. There was a "special" heat that went first then my heat. I have no IDEA what time I put in when I filled out my registration form but I was cracking up thinking about what time I could have possibly put in to be in the first heat. Ha! I was in an end lane and could not see much, I think most people were so far ahead of me and then there was one guy that I was close to. I noticed when I was swimming that my left hip was really hurting me. That was weird, I don't know why. I felt pretty strong, but felt like I should have been kicking more.

By the time I ran to transition and got my act together, everyone in my heat was long gone.   I took forever in that transition. I'm nervous to see my time. I was in no rush and a girl that I swim with was doing the bike for the relay part and took some pictures for me.

I did not see any of them on the bike!  Eventually about 5 people passed me. I was so cold that I put pants on and they were getting stuck to the chain and bike. I had to roll them up. Rookie mistake. Oh my gosh.  It was not bad at the beginning but it was totally windy and this was a hilly challenging course and as soon as I started up a hill, I felt so slow. I don't even know bike etiquette and I could not ride out of saddle (I think that is what it's called). My quads were so sore for some reason so I just laughed, sat down and rode. What made me laugh the most was that if I was flying down a hill, I was not even pedaling just going along for the ride. I did alot of laughing at myself during this bike ride and since really no one was around, I felt like I was out for a Sunday joy ride. It was pretty humorous to me.   I had on the Garmin and found it SO helpful to know how many miles I had left, I love that thing!!! I think I started it late.

After the bike, I think I was a little faster going to the run, much less to think about and I was excited for the run. My legs were definitely tired.  It was a hilly course but I really didn't think it was that challenging. A lot of people were complaining about hills I didn't notice so I felt good after that! My average pace for the run was 7:40, I was pretty happy with that considering it was supposed to be a challenging 5k and my first one after a swim-bike.   I'll be interested to see what the results have.

It felt good to finish but honestly I felt like I could have gone further. I am glad that I signed up for the Olympic tri now (except for the bike, oh my!) because it will be a bit more of a challenge for me.  I did not feel even half as tired as finishing a half marathon.  I have no idea how I did time wise overall and was especially interested in my swim time but there were no clocks! (and I didn't realize it was 450 meters anyway. I thought it was 500 yards.  It was a good day.  My great aunt died this past week and my parents had a busy week, as my mom was her main caretaker. More on this in another post but I didn't want my parents to get up early to come out but once I was there, I totally wanted them to be there taking pictures and such. Also since it was so early I felt bad asking Bill to come and bring the kids, but it would have been nice if just Bill was there cheering. I felt kind of lonely and sad that I finished my first triathlon and no one was there :(


Luna bars and crackers

Whew. I have been hit hard with some kind of stomach bug. It started Tuesday morning with feeling clammy, lightheaded, no energy, and my stomach hurt. Tuesday and Wednesday I ate just about nothing. I had zero appetite. I don't think that has ever happened in my life as bad as it was those 2 days. I was laying in a ball alot on Tuesday - thankfully the kids took nice naps and Nick was cool hanging out and watching Thomas.  Tuesday morning I did attempt to run and it was horrible.  Wednesday I did nothing. Yesterday I had a little bit more of an appetite- I forced crackers down, pretzel sticks and stuck with Luna bars.  I ran 4 ok miles in the afternoon but my stomach was not feeling well. Last night I tried to eat a semi normal dinner. No matter what I eat my stomach is just in knots. I'm not vomiting, it's not coming out the other way, my stomach is just very upset. I've never had anything like this before. Anyone care to help?

My speedwork for this week - gone. And it was to be a big workout to gauge my fitness and goals for Broad Street (2 weeks away)! Biking this week - did not happen.  This morning I got up to swim. I haven't been sleeping well with all of this crap so I was awake at 4:30 anyway so I just got up. The first 100 I thought I was only lasting 30 minutes, if that.  Then we did 6 200s and I was hanging in there. I made it through the workout but when I came home I really would have liked to go to sleep for 4 hours. Not happening :)

Hopefully I will feel ok for Sunday's triathlon which is now just a little twist in my training! That's all I'm viewing it as so that it will be fun. Predictions - I will probably enjoy it and wish that I trained harder for the bike. Or I will not be feeling it and wonder why I signed up for an Olympic distance in 2 months.  :)

My Kara turned 9 months old today.  How fast did that go? Too fast my friends!!! I am at the end of nursing and pumping.  We'll see how long she goes on stored milk until that runs out. It is bittersweet but she was fighting it so she was ready to be done. I'm ready for you to come off any day now, last few pounds.

Don't forget to enter my giveaway!


Sony W Series Walkman MP3 Review & Giveaway

Cortney from SONY contacted me to see if I wanted to try out the Sony W Series MP3 Player and since I'm the runner at spring races using my iPod hatphones because I haven't found anything as awesome as them, of course I said yes!

Below you can read about it:

The short list
Pros: no wires, nothing to hold, no extra baggage, 11 hours of battery with a quick charge (3 minutes = 90 minutes of play), reasonable price, waterproof/sweatproof

Cons: Not compatible with Mac, do not like ear buds (but you probably will if you are an ear bud user), some level of fiddling around due to ear bud issue (for me)


It arrived and the first thing that I did was plug it into the computer to add songs to it.  Being a mac user, it was a little tricky  for me to have to use the PC.  Even though you can drag and drop songs from iTunes onto the player using a little window, my iTunes list is on my mac as are all of my songs so I was limited to Bill's songs on his PC and I used Windows Media Player- to transfer my songs.  I thought I hand picked a handful of songs from my iTunes playlist but when I started listening there are random songs on there that I don't know how they got on there.  I think that it comes preloaded with a few songs on it which is kind of weird. I believe macs are our future so an updated system that works with macs would definitely be more appealing.  I also didn't find the transferring software to be super easy. I tried to create a playlist but couldn't figure it out. Usually, I'm pretty good with computers.  I did not like not having the choice to get rid of the album art - I'd rather see more songs at one time then a bunch of boxes showing what the album looks like (I don't care).
Rating: 3 star: key would be making it mac compatible.

I have always leaned towards the headphones that are old school and sit on your ears with the pads - nothing going inside the ears, no ear buds. Usually they are not comfortable and do not stay in my ear when I'm running and I'm constantly fixing them.  These are little buds that are attached to the player itself.  The ones that are on it by default with are average size (medium) and they weren't staying in my ear. I needed the smaller ones that come with it.  For the most part, they stay in my ear. For me I found that there was some level of movement, even though I could still hear the music and I was fiddling with them while running a bit. I think they will take some getting used to. When I took them off, the inside of my ears was a little bit sore but I don't think this is a design flaw, I just think that I am not good with anything that goes in my ear.
Rating: 3.5 stars

The music quality is very good.  It is easy to start it up once the player is on your head/ears - you push a button to make it shuffle. The buttons are a little dated, it did remind me of the walkmans of the 80s/90s. There is the play button which you can push to play and pause and the same button is used to switch to the next song by pushing it up or down. The volume is next to the play button and easy to navigate and manage. I've found that I really do not need to see the songs when I am running/training.  I just make sure the list that I create is quality and any song will do, I don't want to fiddle with changing the song.
Rating: 4.5 stars

Both sides of the ear buds are magnetic and stick together to turn it off and for storage . I found that it doesn't really stay together unless it is untouched (not in a bag, etc) and several times, it came apart and was playing music on its own.
Rating: 3 stars

I would totally opt for headphones with built in songs. I think they'd stay in place nicely and I wouldn't have to deal with earbuds. Many of you can do earbuds though and would probably really like these!

Overall 4 stars (updated)

I was provided with a free Sony W Series Walkman MP3 Player and the opinions above are all my own.

Do you want one?
Cortney has generously offered to giveaway 2 Sony Walkman MP3 Players. To enter giveaway,
leave a comment for each entry.  2 winners will be selected at random and announced on April 22nd, Earth Day!  Entries will end at midnight 4/21.

Mandatory Entry: What are your headphones of choice that have been tried and true and work for you?

Optional Additional Entries
1-  Follow my blog
2 - Link up to this giveaway from your blog 

Don't want to wait?
You can purchase one at $48.99 by going here.


I woke up yesterday planning to do a speedwork workout that I was looking forward to - key workout in preparation for Broad Street! As soon as I got up, I could tell I was not feeling well: sweaty, my heart was beating fast, my stomach was in disarray. I got on the treadmill to run and it was like a pregnant run. I had to stop, sit down and take a break. I was lightheaded and overall just not feeling well. Not what I was hoping for the day of a workout I was looking forward to. I ended up doing just over 3 miles and calling it quits.  I slugged through it but thought maybe I could finish later if  I was feeling better. All day was weird - my stomach hurt, no appetite, I was sweating and out of breath after walking up the steps, felt lightheaded (probably because of the lack of food) and was tired. I spent the morning laying in bed with Nick watching Thomas next to me while Kara was napping.  We skipped our usual Gymboree class; I couldn't imagine getting both kids in and out of the car.

My friend Lauren brought over some crockpot leftovers for dinner and it really broke up the day - Nick and her daughter Olivia are the same age and were having a blast together. It was so nice to have dinner made and I didn't have to worry about it!  In the afternoon I took a nap while the kids were napping. I felt better when I woke up but ended up just laying around curled up in a ball.  Looking at food made me want to gag. I don't know if I ate something weird or what, my today still my stomach is in disarray. I slept last night from 9-7am.  This is really bad timing and I want to get in my speedwork - 2 key sessions this week and next week to see if I am on track to reach my goal time in 3+ weeks! For now I am resting. I have the tri on Sunday and I feel unprepared but mildly excited. Mildly - I want to see what my swim time is and my run time after the swim and bike.

 Hopefully by tomorrow I'll be back on my feet and by Friday I can do the speedwork.


Weaning, Heart Rate Monitors, and Triathlons

3 Random things : )

Last week at 8 months and 3 weeks,  Kara started refusing to nurse. I can't remember if that happened with Nick but with Nick running around and having both of them, I kind of just gave up and gave her bottles. I was pumping 4 times a day and now I'm pumping 3. The end is in sight and it happened so fast, it was kind of sad. I'm ready for 12 months and the sippy cup for sure. I remember Nick would hold his own bottle but Kara won't hold it. At least with nursing you can have a hand free, but with a bottle I feel like I can't do that!  I'm not sure if my crazy pms and hardcore time of the month last month was the beginning of my supply decline and hormonal craziness or if I'm going to experience that real soon. I have been feeling pretty blah over the last few days.
random kid picture

I started looking at heart rate monitors. I'm interested in knowing when I'm in hardcore training mode but I also want to know how many calories I actually burn throughout the day and when my heartrate goes up and down including while I'm sleeping. Do you have one that you can wear throughout the day? Do you wear one while running/training? Any recommendations?

My first triathlon is this weekend, on Sunday. It's at a YMCA - outdoor pool - swim 500 meters, 10 mile bike and 5K run. I'm not going to lie, after my biking experience last weekend, I didn't even go outside on the bike this weekend like I should have. I've been doing spinning once a week and fully plan to get crushed on the bike. At least it will be a PR race since it's my first one. I'm not totally feeling it but I'm excited to see what my swim time is and my 5k time after a swim and bike.

The following week I'm racing a 5k, but I think I'm going to run 5-7 miles first, so I guess it won't totally be a race. I'm not sure, but I have to get in 8-10 miles that weekend, one week before Broad Street!  I was thinking of doing maybe 5 easy miles then racing the 5k so it would be like tempo pace for the 10 miler. Maybe I should do 2 before the race, do the race then easy 3-4 more.   So what is in store:

This weekend April 17 - Y triathlon
April 23 - 5k + short run
May 1 - 10 mile big race!
May 15- haven't signed up - 10K?
haven't signed up for the Odyssey half marathon in the end of May - should I do it?


Running long

Thursday morning I had to decide whether or not to go on the treadmill for a tempo run or meet up with a speedy group that I've ran with once.  Since they are speedy and one of the girls was planning to do a tempo on the roads under 8 minute miles, I picked the group. We met up and one other guy who was going to run on the roads ended up not coming and the tempo runner who hadn't met me before decided she didn't know where she was going on the roads by herself and that she'd hit the trails with the 2 other girls who came.  I was not thrilled with this decision but have never done the trails so thought it would be interesting.

Well, I was cursing probably the whole time.  First off, they all had headlamps, I did not. You couldn't see anything. I was saying to myself, "F*ing great! I'm going to fall and get injured after all this training for my A race. Awesome." Definitely turned my ankle a handful of times but didn't fall.  I looked at my pace a couple of times and was running in the 8s. The whole plan was the tempo run so I was just not feeling the trails or the run. We ended up with just over 7 miles in the end, and later in the morning I did 4 tempo miles on the treadmill at my tempo pace (7:45). I felt good. For the next 3 weeks I will probably stick to the treadmill for my tempo and speedwork since I can control it!

This morning's long run was at the Wissahickon Trail. I think the group I joined is so cool in that people host each week and bring tons of food and lay out water stops.  I'm so happy that my former colleague Bill told me about it.  Thanks Bill! This week I haven't slept too well and I think my body was tired from Thursday's running. As soon as I started off, I was not feeling it. I started running with Bob who I've ran with time to time - he runs around 8 to 8:40 pace  & today I just wasn't feeling it and ended up running by myself.  It wasn't a good run but I finished it. 11 miles at low 9's pace. I think I need to stretch and rest the body!

 What are your thoughts on the long run? Is 11 miles even a long run, I'm not sure anymore. I'm training for a 10 miler.  I've been running 4 days: speedwork, easy, tempo, long. I think the long run needs to be more on the easy side, but I've been running it a bit faster than easy pace. Easy pace is probably around 9:00 mile and a bit faster is around 8:30 pace.  What pace would you do your long runs in training for a 10 miler?



Yep, that's all I've been thinking about, so I decided to call it quits today on the calorie counting crap. Maybe for the day just to take a break, and maybe not. We'll see. 

the bike
I had a bad attitude going to spin class and really didn't feel like doing it. I'm in need of a positive bike experience my friends!  I did the transition from bike to run for the 2nd time. I'm sure it's not the same as being on an actual bike but it is good practice for now. I biked 11 miles then ran 3.5 and did abwork. It was a good workout.

I was thinking this morning: If I had the time, I think I could definitely train for 2 hours a day. I used to want to do an Ironman. I could do the training for it, but knowing the bike is involved, I have zero desire to do so.  I have been so motivated!  I remember when I was unmotivated and I'd read the inspiring Angela or Michelle's training posts and get excited and motivated. Now I feel like I'm there. If you want to get motivated, seriously, read these blogs. Both moms - Angela works full time and was training for Kona last year and qualified for that in the earlier part of the year - check out those posts, she's on hiatus right now working on #2 and Michelle is a coach and athlete that gets to swim and train in Hawaii. Just the pictures might get you excited to pretend you are there. :)

I forgot what happened to me on Monday morning. I was wearing my No-Meat Athlete shirt  and this random older man says to me "Don't you miss hoagies?" Only in Philadelphia.  We had a nice little conversation where he told me he'd miss hoagies and hamburgers and couldn't go meatless. It was a pretty humorous conversation when I think back to it.

Have you seen a picture of a food that you have to have? That happened to me today and I made these double chocolate cookies. 

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 c agave nectar
1/4 c maple syrup
3 T. ground flax seed mixed with 3 T. warm water
1 t. vanilla
1/4 cup hemp protein powder (chocolate flavor) or an extra 1/4 c cocoa powder
1/4 cup Amazing Grass Chocolate Superfood - optional or can add more cocoa
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup ground oats/ oat flour
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Melt the coconut oil, agave and maple syrup. Add in the flax + warm water. Let sit 10 minutes. Add in the rest and mix to combine. Bake 10-12 minutes or until set at 350. Or just eat them raw.

For dinner, I tried Kate's Vegan Eggplant recipe and thought it was really tasty!It doesn't look half as good as hers but I'm not good at presentation.  I had to change some things around based on what I had on hand, and it turned out good. I didn't have tomato sauce and I love tomato sauce so I'll have to try it again with tomatoes.

Vegan Eggplant Parmesan
adapted from Fat Free Vegan
3 baby eggplants, sliced
1 sweet potato, baked, pureed
3 cloves garlic
1/3 block extra firm tofu
1/4 c cashews
2 T tahini
½ c unsweetened almond milk
½ c vegetable broth
2 T nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp dried parsley
2 slices Ezekial bread, toasted and food processed to make breadcrumbs
1/4 c fresh basil
black pepper

1. Slice the baby eggplants into thin slices, lay out on a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and let sit 10 minutes. This takes out the bitterness- blot it with papertowels after 10 minutes, sprinkle with olive oil and pepper and roast at 400 for 10-20 min till soft depending on the thickness and size of the eggplant.

2. Saute garlic and olive oil. Bake the sweet potato (I used the microwave) then food process it, adding water as needed to make it the consistency of tomato sauce.  Add to the garlic and olive oil.

3.  Toast & food process the bread or use 1/2 c breadcrumbs.

4. Make the "cheeze" sauce: Combine the tofu, tahini, cashews, almond milk, veggie broth and nutritional yeast in the blender until smooth. Add parsley.

5. Layer it up - start with the tomato/sweet potato sauce, then add eggplant, then cheeze sauce  and layer it again. Top with the breadcrumbs and bake for 20 minutes at 350.


Calorie Counting 1 week down and Speedwork

It has been one week now of calorie counting. I'd say I'm giving it 80% and I'm surprised I even lasted the week.  I'm going to try to see if I can improve it for the rest of this week and make sure I'm entering everything in.

Here's what I learned so far:

*Somehow I gained 2 pounds. WTF is that. I averaged about 2000 calories, burning estimate between 2200-2700. Maybe that burn estimate is too high? Or I'm not entering everything in. The burn estimate includes a basal metabolic rate of around 1300.  Since it's a pretty simple equation (eat less calories than you burn), I think I need to eat less.  When I was in college, I only added in my workouts (no basal metabolic rate) and made sure I ate less than I burned. I was eating only 1100-1200 calories a day and working out every day - hard workouts - crew team. I lost 25 lbs in 6 months doing that and gained about 10 back overtime. I could NEVER eat that little again. That is like nothing! I am going to shoot for 1800 and see if I can handle that.

*I'm deficient in calcium and Vitamin D. I bought a supplement. I found it helpful to find this out from the analysis and really like the fitday site once all your custom foods are in there.

*My fat grams count is high  - need to moderate those nuts and nut butters!

*Counting calories makes me want to bake mad desserts and think about them - chocolate chip cookies most of all.  IT also makes me think about food all the time. I am not a fan.

Speedwork this morning - when I left the house, it was dry out but they were calling for storms. As I was driving to the track (about 15 min away), I saw lightning in the distance. I decided to keep going. Warmed up and it started raining a little bit... also saw more lightning so hopped back in the car and did the speedwork on the treadmill. I felt really strong. 3 x 1600 at 7:20s pace and 2 x 800s with 800 jogs in between. I am excited for the 5k I am doing in a couple of weeks right before Broad Street.

I'm on my last leg of nursing. Kara is 8.5 months and doesn't want to do it anymore. Did that happen to you? I think it happened with Nick too. I don't really have the time to pump so I think we're at the end of the road. I also think since I'm trying to lose weight and working out hard my supply is dropping quickly anyway.  I have some stored up so she'll make it to about 10 months and then I'll make the switch to formula. I think some people report they drop a few pounds when nursing ends - didn't get the chance to find that out last time (since I was pregnant!) so we'll see what happens with that.

Bunny pancakes for some easter themed breakfast  - recipe coming soon.


*%$#ing Bike

I went on my first outdoor bike ride this afternoon after this morning's run. I figured my legs would be tired and they were, but I thought it was going to be OK.  First I planned to bring my bike to the run and just bike right after, then I didn't get my s#$t together in time so I ended up biking in the afternoon.

Here's what I learned from my ride: 

I will NEVER do an Ironman
I am going to get my A$$ kicked on the bike portion
I hate the bike

First of all, putting it in the car is a huge hassle. I have to take out a carseat and put the seat down. When I wheeled it over to the car, I realized the back wheel was not rotating. Somehow the chain came off? I fixed it and my hands were black with grease.  With curses it went in the car. I drove to the trail. I go to get it out of the car and the back wheel is no longer attached. WTF. I had been trying to figure out how to put it on a trainer and loosened one of the things that keeps the wheel on. This was not going well. Finally I got it all together and headed out on the trail, hoping to do 10 miles  - 5 out, 5 back. I HATED every minute of it.  I felt like I could run faster than I was biking and was thinking of all of the things I'd rather be doing.  The way out there was a headwind so the way back was much stronger, but still, I was not feeling it. It will probably be more fun when it's part of a race, but seriously - I am in trouble for these 2 upcoming triathlons and now I just want to skip the bike part.
It took me over 45 minutes to do 8 miles.

buckwheat cakes, ab challenge, long run

I made Kate's buckwheat cakes for breakfast yesterday. Yum! I edited the recipe a little bit and here is what I used:


Mini Breakfast Bundt Cakes
2 T chia seeds
3T flax + 1/2 c +1 T warm water
1 T coconut oil melted
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c buckwheat flour
1/2 c ground oats
1/2 c walnuts chopped
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c almond milk

warm up the water - add the flax and mashed banana. Then add in everything else. Add more almond milk if needed. Stick in mini muffin pans or mini doughnut tins and bake until set, about 15-20 minutes.

optional delicious frosting
2 T almond butter
1/2 c coconut unsweetened

Put the coconut into a food processor and process about 15-20 minutes constantly scraping the sides to form coconut butter - liquidy and oils are released. Add in the smooth creamy almond butter and spread on top! Nutrition facts below with the frosting.

Kate is also hosting an ab challenge. I have completed 2 weeks of the challenge using the exercises that she recommended and supplementing with Jillians 6 pack ab workout for 2.5 times a week (2 good ones, one half ab workout and half arms). My abs feel stronger and I hope to keep them working.

Today's long run was with the group. I totally wasn't feeling like running this morning when I woke up, but it's been that way lately. I feel like with the hard work during the week, I want to rest on Saturday! But once the run is finished and I'm in the shower and know that I'm done for the week, it's a GREAT feeling!!  I ran with a couple different groups of people and did 12.41 miles in 1:49.  It was nice to be able to run with different groups of people and made the miles go by quickly. Also, I ran on the Collegeville trail for the first time and thought it was really pretty!  Usually I'd be anal and try to get to 12.5 miles but I just wanted to stop and not run another foot!

 Miles 1-7.5 I was running with 2 people then ran alone until around mile 9, where I started running with a speedy threesome - after that I kind of wanted to die.
: )