Runner’s World Run Streak Week 4

#RWRunStreak is now coinciding with half marathon training!  I signed up for FrontRunner Columbus‘ half marathon training group, and will be running half #8 (The Columbus [Half] Marathon) in October.

Day 22: Monday, June 16 ~ 1.7 Miles.
Mondays have been tough to get miles in.  I decided to take a walk around my neighborhood after work, and it was great.  I took a nectarine, and a brisk walk, and it was a good way to clear my head without snacking at home.

Day 23: Tuesday, June 17 ~ 2.7 Miles.
This was a fun run! I got lost in the woods 🙂 After my weekly Weight Watchers weigh in, I go for a 2-3 mile run before getting ready for work.  Today I decided to change my routine and explore a small park that’s on the way.  I went running through trails I had never seen, and took every turn to see where it ended.  I wanted to get in at least 30 minutes of running, so I was less concerned with distance.  I love exploring!

Day 24: Wednesday, June 18~ 1.8 Miles
Early morning run.  Was out the door by 7:30am, home and showered and ready for work! BF and I had dinner & a movie plans, so I wanted to make sure to get out in the morning.  Loved it.

Day 25: Thursday, June 19 ~ 2.4 Miles
Running as commuting :).  I met my parents & niece out to see a movie.  It was a screening of Bottle Rocket as part of the Wexner Center Drive-In. Since the movie wasn’t starting until after dark, I was able to go to yoga, go home for a quick dinner, then I ran to the movie!  I love using running time as commuting time.  Ran in to a dear old friend at the movies, and had a great time.

Day 26: Friday, June 20 ~ 2.7 miles
Day off today, and also another hot day!  I started my day by getting roused by the tree guy who needed me to move my car from our parking lot. Instead of just parking somewhere and coming home, I panicked and grabbed a bunch of random stuff I might need for the day and left.  I ended up going to a small parking lot that joins with the running path and taking a good 30 minute run.  Felt good but HOT!

Day 27: Saturday, June 21 ~ 1.7 Miles (walk)
Saturday was starting off a long week of work.  Working through the weekend and in to next week, so I needed some head-clearing time.  Took a walk and felt ok.

Day 28:  Sunday, June 22 ~ 4.1 Miles
A great day for an early morning run, and a great day to be back with a group.  For all the whining I do about getting up early, I love being finished for the day at 8:00a.m.  There is a larger group this year, and everyone seems very friendly.  Looking forward to a good running season… and more views like this one:

Early morning summer sky

17.1 Total miles and a good start to training!


Sunday Cooking: Cheesy Quinoa Muffins

Cheesy Quinoa Muffins (Serves 6)
(Adapted from Everyday Home Cooks and a co-worker’s recipe)

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed (red or white)
1 cup chicken/vegetable broth or water
2 shredded carrots
2 sliced green onions
1 clove minced garlic
2 tbsp flour
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
(Optional fillings include: diced jalapeno, cooked sausage, cooked bacon, red pepper flakes – add-ins may affect Points Plus)

1. Bring water or broth to a boil. Stir in quinoa, reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and let cook 15-20 minutes until all water is absorbed.
2. Pre-heat oven to 350. Grease a standard sized muffin tin with non-stick spray.
3. Add carrots, green onions, garlic, flour, eggs, cheeses, salt and pepper to a bowl. Stir in cooked quinoa slowly (if it’s too hot it will scramble the eggs!)
4. Fill each muffin tin with approximately 2tbsp of quinoa mixture (about half – three-quarters full). Bake until set, about 20 minutes.

Each serving: 2 muffins
4 Points Plus per serving! Paired with a salad, makes a great lunch. These are also tasty hot or cold!


wednesday smoothie!

Remember when I had a Smoothie Week?  Well today I knew that there was going to be a lot of time between breakfast and lunch, so I decided to throw together a new smoothie today and it tasted GREAT!

New Favorite Smoothie

1/2 cup fat free plain greek yogurt
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 tsp chai spice (or cardamom if you aren’t lucky enough to live near a location of The Spice House!)
1/4 cup (or a handful) frozen raspberries
1/4 cup (or a handful) frozen mango chunks
1 banana

Blend until smooth.

Enjoy!  I put mine in the freezer at work this morning for about an hour and a half, then let it thaw slightly.  It was perfect!

{According to the recipe builder in Weight Watches, this is a 6PP smoothie. However, I generally don’t count 0PP foods when I track smoothies, so I track this as 2PP for the yogurt.  Everything else is 0.}


Runner’s World Run Streak Week 3

This week, my schedule was my guide and some runs  had to be brisk walks.  But I have been active EVERY DAY!

Day fifteen: Monday, June 9 ~ 1.2 Miles.
It was a really nice day on Monday, so after a lazy morning, I took part of my dinner break to run in the neighborhood around work.  3 cul-de-sacs = approximately 1 mile!

Day sixteen: Tuesday, June 10 ~ 2.3 Miles.
A little shorter than last week because I had some errands to run, but this was my post weigh-in week.  Had a good week, felt like I was on track, and this is a great way for me to start every week.

Day seventeen: Wednesday, June 11 ~ 5 Miles
This was my first reminder of what it’s really like to run in summer heat!  I got to my mid-way/turn around point, and then bonked in the heat.  I was mostly out of water, and super overheated.  Walked the remainder of the way back home!

Day eighteen: Thursday, June 12 ~ 1 Mile
Ahhhh, this was a nice one!  Post yoga easy mile, and it felt great.

Day nineteen: Friday, June 13 ~ 1.7 (walk)
Super duper cranky today, and not really sure why.  Grumpy from work, indecisive about what I wanted to do after, and not happy about food choices today.  Ended up taking a walk to try and clear my head.

Day twenty: Saturday, June 14 ~ 1.2 Miles (walk)
Spent Saturday out and about with my neice.  We got a lot of stuff done in a short amount of time, including a nice walk along the trail that goes by my house!  Another day where running just wasn’t happening, but we stayed super active all day.

Day twenty one:  Sunday, June 15 ~ 3.2 Miles
One more HOT day.  Like, really hot.  Like, a quick reminder that I should not put off running until 2:30pm because blazing hot sun will zap your will to live.  I was proud of myself for doing this one though, my family was getting together for Father’s Day and I ran around my brother’s neighborhood before starting my celebrations.

15.6 Total Miles & a reminder to get it done early in the morning…  It’s only going to get hotter!


Runner’s World Run Streak Week 2

Made it through another week and got a run in every day!

Day eight: Monday, June 2 ~ 1.2 Miles.
A rainy day – ran up the path by my house and to a close by coffee shop, then walked to the grocery store. I love being in a neighborhood like this again.

Day nine: Tuesday, June 3 ~ 3.2 Miles.
After months off track, my weigh in’s are showing my lack of commitment to WeWa. After today’s meeting, I took this run to think about what changes I could make.

Day ten: Wednesday, June 4 ~ 4.3 Miles
Met up with running buddy for a nice run after work. Felt good to have a chat and a run!

Day eleven: Thursday, June 5 ~ 1 Mile
Late start to my work day so I took a mile run to get a cup of coffee!

Day twelve: Friday, June 6 ~ 3 Miles
BLERGH this was a day where every little thing was frustrating. Including my run. I left the house, warmed up, and got to the trail before realizing I was wearing the wrong shoes. Had to go home and change and start over. Just didn’t feel like the right day.

Day thirteen: Saturday, June 7 ~ 1.2 Miles
Took a quick trail run after work. Felt ok!

Day fourteen: Sunday, June 8 ~ 5 Miles
Today was a 5 mile race in the neighborhood where I work. I love community races and this one was great. Small, and with a lot of people hanging out in their yards to cheer on runners. Lots of familiar faces and it was a fun course with the last 2 miles on our bike trail. Good times! Finished in 54:03 🙂


Runner’s World Run Streak Week 1

I am going streaking! Runner’s World Magazine hosts a running streak each year to jump off the summer running season. It’s pretty simple. Run at least a mile every day from Memorial Day to July 4th! I tried this a few years ago, and if I remember correctly, I stopped because of an injury or fall and just never got back in to the swing. However, I remember that my favorite part was using running in new ways. A quick mile at lunch, or a run to get coffee instead of driving! Here is my recap of week one, where I hit every day except one (and with good reason!):

Day One: Monday, May 26 ~ 4.01 Miles.
This was my first run after the marathon. I was giving myself some recovery time, and thought a week would do it. By the Friday before, I was pretty anxious to get active again. Also, the weather was gorgeous! This one felt really great! I did not run my MapMyRun GPS, so I did not get a “green dot” for today, but I did run!

Day Two: Tuesday, May 27 ~ 2 Miles.
I decided after a busy morning to take my run on my dinner break at work. I think this was a mistake! The drive to the path took longer than I thought it would, and it was HOT. Also, full of cottonwood. So by the time I got to the car, I was hot, sweaty and coughing up a lung. That stuff is nasty!

Day Three: Wednesday, May 28 ~ 1 Mile.
I made time to run a mile in my neighborhood before work. Nice, but I can’t imagine getting up much earlier than that.

Day Four: Thursday, May 29 ~ 1 Mile.
I went home from work with a horrible headache on Thursday and slept from 1:30-6:30pm. Got up and did mile on the trail to try and clear cobwebs. Got covered in mosquito bites instead.

Day Five: Friday, May 30 ~ 4.6 Miles
This was a nice morning run, pre-vacation. Felt pretty good!

Day Six: Saturday, May 31 ~ 1 Mile.
We were out of town and staying at your basic roadside cheap motel. Behind it was a neighborhood I decided to explore, and in that neighborhood was a dog who did not want me there. He barked at me and followed me but luckily did not bite me…

Day Seven: Sunday, June 1 ~ 0 Miles
After hours in the sun Friday and Saturday, being chased by a dog, and sleeping like crap in the motel, I broke my streak and did not run Sunday. And I’m ok with that!


Race Recap: Cleveland Marathon 2014

Cleveland Marathon Recap Race Recap

The race was  2 weeks ago! I figured I should get my recap done now, because I have had plenty of time to reflect, and I also don’t want to forget anything…

2. Before it was over, I knew I would do it again.
3. There were things I would change, it was not easy, and I fully admit to crying at Mile 24.
4. OMG, really?! I ran a marathon!

The Weekend
I traveled to Cleveland from Columbus on Friday morning. BF and I both got a long weekend off work, and getting in to town early was really nice. It took a little bit of the stress off, and we were able to enjoy things other than just the race. We had lunch at Great Lakes Brewing Company, and then went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. That was a total blast! After that, we headed to the race expo, checked in to our hotel, and then scoped out Italian food for a pre-race carbo-load. 🙂 We found Peppers of Lakewood near the hotel, and it was exactly what we were looking for- tasty, simple Italian in a neighborhood setting with decent wine.  Saturday, we went back in to Ohio City, checked out the West Side Market, had a great brunch at the Flying Fig, then mostly took it easy during the day. I loaded up my ipod with new running tunes to give me something to really look forward to! In the evening, we met up with my running partner, her husband, and some other friends running the race, for dinner. We met at Nano Brew (also in Ohio City – we spent a lot of time in Ohio City). It was hard to decide what to eat, I had been obsessing about pre-run fuel for months… I ended up going for a meatball sandwich. It came with fried cheese on it, and I think I made the wise decision not to eat that! 🙂 I also broke my own rule, and had one beer. They had a radler on the menu, which is my new favorite thing, so I had to go for it. After dinner, we grabbed ice cream and headed back to the hotel. I fell to sleep almost right away, after making sure I had everything laid out for the morning. 4:45am comes pretty quickly!

The Expo
It was MASSIVE. There were a few things about the expo that disappointed me. For one, it was pretty far away from the course, so it was a little disorienting for out of towners to have to go so far out of the way to pick up their stuff. It sort of felt disconnected from the race itself. The volunteers were friendly enough, but there were not nearly enough of them. Most tables were unmanned, so you waited by your bib number until someone was freed up to come help you after being 5 or 6 tables away. I’m sure this event is hard to staff, but it was a little hectic! Also, running partner and I were both disappointed in the shirts. The marathoner shirts were highlighter yellow, which just does not look good on anyone. Also, the logo is a guitar, and it says that this “The Cleveland Experience” which is totally cashing in on the RnR Hall of Fame, and Cleveland’s claim to Rock, but it seems like it’s conflicting with the Rock and Roll Marathons… and also, the course goes nowhere near the Hall of Fame, and nothing about the race says “Rock and Roll” to me. Anyway, just my input in that part!

Race Day Recap
Since we were staying in Lakewood, we did a little investigating, and decided the best bet was to take public transportation downtown. I got up at about 4:45 and got ready, and headed to the train station at 5am. I was really nervous about pre-race fueling, so I had crackers and peanut butter, and some water. I was also really unsure about what to wear. It was about 45 degrees that early in the morning, but I stuck with a short sleeve shirt, shorts and compression socks, so I was shivering away on the train platform! It was dark and cold! Luckily, it wasn’t that long of a wait until the train came, and most of the riders were runners anyway.

Got to the race start without any trouble, wandered around a bit, then huddled in a doorway with a lot of other people trying to stay warm. I was in Corral F which was right in front of the walking group, so I was lining up towards the back. Our training group got together for a picture before race time!! (Sadly, running buddy missed it, so I managed to find her and snap  one before we started!). She and I chatted, and shared our nerves and dread about what we were about to do. But there was literally no going back!

My plan was to do a 10:1 run:walk for my entire race. So when we started moving towards the starting line (stepping over SO MANY discarded hoodies, mittens, garbage bags, socks, and any other scrap of thing a human uses to stay warm), I started my iPod and my timer. I kept my phone with me but decided not to use any running or racing apps. I decided this because I had enough things to stress out about. I decided this because I didn’t want to drain my battery. I decided this because I honestly did not care when I finished (okay yes I did). We ran past Jacobs Field, we ran through downtown, we ran through some great neighborhoods. There was even a group of spectators with a keg in Tremont. Way to represent, Tremont!! The run:walk felt great… GREAT for the first six miles.

Nothing drastic happened at mile six, except I stopped to walk a little longer so I could have a GU. It was probably a 2 minute walk. And it felt great. And then starting the run up again was a little tougher. Mile Six was also when I saw the 4:55 Pace Group ahead of me. I had caught up with them, and thought “Oh, wow! I was aiming for 5 hours, but look, here I am with this group! Go ME!” And then I walked. And then I ran and caught up. And then I walked. And then I ran past them. And then I walked. And never saw them again… More on that later.

The next thing I had to look forward to was Mile 10. Because of the way the course was laid out, a lot of this race was through residential Lakewood in Cleveland. This happened to be where our hotel was, so BF planned for this to be the spot where he watched the race. I got to say hi, he got a picture of me, and even made me a sign at the hotel. That was AWESOME and a real boost for my motivation. That only lasted like… a mile. Between 10 and 13, time slooooooowed down. I kept running, and walking, and running and refeuling, and this is when reality sinks in, and you realize you still have hours to go. That is a rough patch, and there is also the realization that it is only going to get rougher! Around Mile 10 or 11 is also where the Half Marathoners split from the Full, and the race field became pretty much desolate for me. As in, I could see maybe 5 people in front of me, and I didn’t even know if ANYONE was behind me. It felt pretty desolate, and that really takes the wind out of the runners’ sails, and the spectators’ sails. Oh, and did I mention the elite runners were on their way back? Like, they were at Mile 22 when I was at 11? Yeah, that. And some of THEM were encouraging ME.

Around Mile 14, running buddy and I started texting, and checking in about where we were. She was a couple miles ahead of me and was starting to have some pain. I was still feeling okay physically but my brain was starting to revolt! It was good for us to keep checking in, and I saw her right around the turn around for Mile 16. I stopped for a potty break and then the real walking began. Uh-oh. I still had 10 miles to go, and figured out that I was possibly surrounded by people who had been walking THE ENTIRE TIME. I swear to you some of these people look like they hadn’t even broken a sweat This was when it was time for me to dig in and keep going.

P.S. Did I mention that during my training, due to various injuries, sicknesses, coffee cup spills, 2nd degree burns, and maybe the occasional hangover, I had never run more than 18 miles? Well, I remembered that. And it really struck me when I got to 18, 19, 20… THIS is the furthest I’ve ever been! That feeling wore off pretty quickly. Here are things I remember about the end of the race… A slight hill feels like a mountain when you’ve already been running for 4.5 hours. Especially when an entire soapbox derby team is watching you struggle. When your hamstring feels ‘a little tight’, it will probably want to stop working all together by the end of the day. When you get a text from your dad checking in, you will cry. When you get a text from your boyfriend telling you how great you’re doing, you will cry. When you get a text from your BFF librarian friend in Chicago telling you that you are a rock star, you will cry. And when you cry at Mile 24.5, you will realize that you can choose to either cry and hyperventilate, or JUST.KEEP.GOING. So I kept going. And I saw the Cleveland Skyline. And even though I felt like I was in a scene illustrating the desolation of the Walking Dead, I kept running. And I took stupid selfies. And then We Are the Champions came on the iPod. And I felt so happy. Because I did it. Because it was almost over. Because I am was slowly making my way there with every step.

And then it was over!

I saw BF as I came close to the finish line, then there it was. All done. I got my medal, I walked, I cooled down, and I grabbed every snack I could get my hands on! Popcorn? Yes, please! Chocolate milk, OK! Banana, you bet! And I ate it all and I just marvelled. At what I did, and at how hard it was, and how fun, and complicated, and crazy.

Thanks for stickin’ with me on my 26.2!  Photo Post to come!