Thursday, October 31, 2013

Three Things Thursday

I've seen a lot of "Three Things Thursday" posts floating around and since I don't have much time for a post this morning here are mine.


I made these cute little clementine "pumpkins" & banana "ghosts" to send with my daughter for her school Halloween party today, thank you Pinterest! Don't worry they will also be decorating sugar cookies I made some pumpkin spice frosting to go with those too. A little healthy treat thrown in on such a sugar filled day isn't such a bad idea though!

2. I am so sore today. Apparently I slacked off more than I thought with the strength training during marathon training! Tuesday I did this workout with my barbell:

30 Overhead lunges
10 burpees
30 spidey push-up
10 burpees
30 thrusters
10 burpees
30 plank toe taps
10 burpees
50 high knees
10 burpees
30 deadlifts
10 burpees
30 weighted squats
10 burpees
30 scissor abs

I adapted this workout from one I had found online a while ago, but it was so long ago I have no idea where or I would share it. I usually do 50 of each exercise and add in box jumps too, but since my knee has been bothering me I tried to tone it down a bit to be sure the pain wouldn't come back. So far so good! I also did a bodyweight workout yesterday that included jump squats, jump lunges, plank jacks, & push-ups. I'm going to try a run again Saturday. Fingers crossed for no pain!

3. I don't really like candy. Gasp, I know its crazy right?! But, aside from dark chocolate I am just not a sweets person. I don't really eat cake, cookies, etc. either. Put a bag of salty tortilla chips in front of me with some salsa/guac and I'll eat the whole bag though!

Are you a sweets or salty person? Making any Halloween treats?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Raspberry Protein Pancakes

Good Morning!  I have a yummy, healthy, filling breakfast (or any time of day really, breakfast for dinner anyone?) recipe to share with you today.  It may take up a couple extra minutes in the morning, but it is worth it!

Raspberry Protein Pancakes

1/2 C Oats
1/2 C Cottage Cheese
1/2 C Egg Whites
1/4C-1/2 C of Raspberrys
1/2 Tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp. Cinnamon
Vanilla Extract

Put all of the ingredients in a food processor/blender until the mixture looks like pancake batter, cook and up, top it with whatever yumminess makes you happy, and eat up!  I topped mine with chocolate peanut butter and bananas.  Delish! Just a note, these pancakes are not sweet.  Depending on your preference you may want to add a little honey/maple syrup/sugar/whatever to the batter.

Sorry for the blurry photo!

What is your favorite breakfast?

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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Spectating IS a sport.

I feel like I have been checking the internet all day for race times.  My marathon may have been last weekend, but I anxiously awaited friend/fellow blogger times today.  And it was a rocking day for all.  Lots of PR's to be had!  My coach Tara ( )ran a PR and amazing time today at the Marine Corp Marathon.

I on the other hand have run 1 mile in the past week.  You read that right, just 1.  I have been having a lot of knee pain since the Baystate Marathon.  I'm not sure what it is, but I'm hoping it goes away.  I have lots of goals to meet and this isn't going to help.  I know one thing for sure, I will rest/ice until I am pain free.  I have until the spring until I really need/want to meet my goals.  I will be so bummed to loose the fitness I have gained, but I'd rather get better than worse.

Speaking of goals, I have a few set in stone that I'd like to share.  That way I am forced to make them happen :)

*Sub 1:35 half marathon

*Sub 3:30 marathon

*Sub 20 minute 5k

None of these are a huge stretch for me, except maybe the 5k goal.  But I still know it is doable if I train right.  I know that I need more speed work and more miles in general.  So I'm going to figure out my knee and spend the winter working on speed and into the spring I'll work on endurance.  This last marathon left me feeling so empowered, and I know my training so I know I can do better.  Watch out 2014, I've got you in my sights!! :)

What is your biggest goal right now?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Baystate Marathon Race Recap

Received this in my inbox the day after the race:

Ashworth Awards Bay State Marathon Erin *
Congratulations, you qualified for the 2015 Boston Marathon
Overall Place: 353
Division Place: 19
Place in Gender: 56
8.5 Mile:1:07:42
Halfway: 1:43:10
30K: 2:28:15  

Best. e-mail. ever.

On to the race recap.  I am fortunate enough to have an aunt that lives on the Baystate Marathon race route, which is part of the reason I chose it.  The other were the claims of "Flat and Fast" and 25% of race participants qualify for Boston (on average).  That was enough to get my butt out there.

Hubby and girls dropped me off to meet my Aunt Kathy Saturday afternoon and her and I headed to down to Lowell to pick up my number and attend the expo.  The expo was held at the Lowell High School Auditorium.  It was quick and easy to pick up my number and shirt.  The expo was pretty small with no impressive free samples or anything so we didn't spend long there.  I did pick up a pair of arm Asics arm warmers because I didn't want to have to wear a jacket/long sleeves to start the race.  A quick stop at the supermarket and liquor store (come on that's normal race prep right?) and we were headed back to her house for a quiet evening before the race.

I headed to bed a little before 10, which is actually on the late side for me (yup old lady status over here) and slept a lot better than expected.  I was up and showered and eating breakfast by 5:30am.  I opted for a Smores Luna bar and a banana.  I had never eaten this before a run/race before.  I know you are not supposed to try anything new on race day.  I DID NOT listen to this advice for this particular race.  I got lucky and I do not recommend you follow my example.  I also took Immodium AD before the race and I have never tried that before either.  Oh and hubby bought me a new Nike running skirt the day before the race that was just way too cute not to wear.  Oh and used fuel during the race that I hadn't used during this particular training.  So what that's like 4 new things on race day? (don't worry I had my 6 y/o do the math for me)  Hey I least I didn't try new sneakers....

Anyways, the race website recommended you get there 90 minutes before start time because traffic could be backed up, so I figured we'd head out at about 6:45am for an 8am start time. We were already in town and if there was traffic it wouldn't be too far of a walk to the start line.  Traffic was non existent and she was able to drop me off right near the start line.  I went right inside and waited in line for the bathroom.  Then when that was done I went outside and waited for the bathroom.  Notice a trend?  I always have to pee while I'm running and I figured since I had so much time I'd just spend it in bathroom lines.  They were long, but if you were there as early as recommended it shouldn't have been a problem. 

Even though I waited until about 5 minutes before race time to get into my corral I had no issue getting there.  I had scoped it out before hand and had seen the fence had a bunch of openings to get through.   I lined up in the 8 min/mile and immediately spotted the 3:30 pacer, he was holding a sign and wearing a bright orange shirt so it wasn't really hard.  It was my plan to stay with him during the race.  The race was pretty big, around 3000 all together I think.  The marathon and half marathon started at the same time, but had different start lines to make up for the .1 difference at the finish line.  They had a moment of silence for Boston, and the National Anthem was sung, and the race started right on time.  I didn't have any trouble getting stuck behind people at the start, but it was pretty crowded until around mile 3 when the half marathon course splits off from the marathon course.

We all settled in and had a pretty big group running with the 3:30 pacer.  I really enjoyed it, there were a lot of conversations going on through out much of the race and it made time go by a lot faster.  The pacer (Ernesto) was great.  He let us all know at the beginning that he was planning to run about even splits and bring us in just under 3:30. (which he did, only I was slightly behind...more on that later).  After we split from the half marathoners we were onto the point of the race which we would be doing twice because the race is primarily a double loop.  The race is really pretty, much of it is along the Merrimack River and this time of year is peak foliage.  There are some small hills during the double loop.  I think this surprised some people because I heard a few complaints about how the race was supposed to be flat.  It really was mostly flat and I actually liked having it broken up with a few small hills.

The race support was great along the course.  There were water stops every 2 miles which also offered Gatorade, as well as clocks every 2 miles.  There was also Powerbar Gel at 2 stops on the marathon course.  I chose to carry my own Shotbloks. I loved having the clocks, even though I didn't have to worry about my pace at all. Thanks again Ernesto!  I felt great and I got to see family 4 different times and at the finish line.  This was such great motivation for me.  My stepsister was at about mile 2 (she had also visited me at the start). My hubby, aunt, and girls were at mile 12 and at that point I handed over my arm warmers and grabbed another pack of shot blocks and some more Imodium from hubby(I had major tummy troubles in my first marathon and I didn't want a repeat).  I knew they would be at mile 12, but they also surprised me at about mile 19 before they headed over to the finish line.  This was a great surprise!  They were able to do this because only the roads were not closed during the race.  My mom and stepfather were at 23.  I am really fortunate and so thankful for all of the support I had.

Ernesto (the pace group leader) was really encouraging during the last part of the race.  He kept reminding us that even if it hurt we could still keep going.  It was working for me until about mile 24.  I feel like I fell apart after that.  I fell back from the pace group, and stopped a couple times to stretch for a second and that just will my legs to keep moving.  I knew the finish line had to be close after a while, but I just felt like I would never make it.  At about a 1/4 mile to go hubby ran over to me with my daughter on his shoulders and just encouraged me to keep moving.  This really helped.  Although it was still hard, and I'm not sure I was even able to pick it up much to make it across the finish line.  I was so happy to see that finish line and see that I was going to reach a goal of been chasing for a couple years!

Family was diverted a different way around the building after the finish line than runners due to security reasons, so I made my way slowly around the building stopping to scan my bib to find out my chip time (loved this) and looking for food and drinks.  They had bananas, chips, Powerbars, soup, and PB&J sandwiches for food.  Water and soda for drinks.  I grabbed a water and that's it.  Maybe I'm just picky but none of that sounded good to me at the time.

I would definitely recommend this race.  It is well organized, has great support and a beautiful fast course.  The only thing I would have liked was a little more food options at the end.  This really wasn't a huge deal since I wasn't hanging out for long after anyways.

I was trying to upload a photo of the bling, but its taking to long so I'll add that in my next post along with some talk about all the new things I did on race day (and why) and those last 2 terrible miles!

Do you have a favorite race?

Monday, October 21, 2013

I Got My BQ!!!!!

I am so excited & happy to be able to report that I reached my goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon!  I finished with a time of 3:31:48 and so hopefully this will leave me enough cushion to be able to make it into the race for 2015.  I am so freakin pumped about this!!!!

Here are some photos from the race:

I'll have a race recap up soon! :)

Did anyone else race this weekend?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Taper Lazies

It's taper time!  I ran my last "long" run of 15 miles just over a week ago.  15 miles felt pretty great after weeks of 16's, 18's, and a 20!  I ran the 15 miles pretty close to marathon pace with a couple of fast miles at the end and it felt really good and gave me a huge confidence boost.  Not all of my long runs have felt great, actually a couple of them felt downright miserable.  My last two put my head back in the right place, and I feel like I'm ready to head out and PR (and hopefully BQ) this coming weekend at the Baystate Marathon in Lowell, MA!

Lots of people despise taper time.  I'm really not one of them.  After months of training I look forward to a couple weeks of lower mileage and resting up my achy legs.  The only thing I don't like about it is during the last week when I cut out strength training and I'm only running 3-4 miles runs, that makes me feel LAZY!  However, I'm going to use that time to get more cleaning done around the house, get more walks in with my girls, and maybe squeeze in a little more reading time (who am I kidding, its possible I may just spend a lot more time obsessing about the marathon!) How do you handle taper?  Do you like it or hate it?

Here is an article about WHY you should taper:

You NEED to taper, it is just as important as your weekly long runs during training.  If you read the article you will see why.  I have trouble running slower than my natural pace.  During this final week I am going to really try to run SLOW!  Times like this I wish I had a running buddy to force me to slower my pace.  I know I will benefit from it, but have such a hard time putting that into practice.  Anyone else?

Here is this weeks schedule:

T-3 miles, 3 strides
W-4 miles @ Marathon pace
Th-4 miles
Sat.-15 minute jog

I may not get a chance to run the 3 scheduled for today, if that happens I will not be making it up I will just make sure I get Wednesday and Thursdays runs in!