Week 12: Maine Half and Holy Donut

Marine corps marathon is getting close, y’all!  I managed to get in some good runs in this final week of September.  I have to do one more 20 miler next week to meet my goal of at least 2 runs above 20, but this week i scheduled the Maine Half marathon in Portland, Maine.   When i signed up, i had planned to run 20 miles the week before, but family commitments and events got in the way– but I already put the money down for the half so gotta go run it!   I’ll simply adjust my training plan, AGAIN, which now is a series of scratched out ‘aspirational’ distances for the weekly long run.   Coming off a lame week 11, I ran a total of 28.8 miles this week and continue to run consistently 2 out of 3 of my quality runs (tempo, track and long run).    Here’s a snap shot of this weeks stats.

Monday: OTF at 0530.  My usual Monday morning rude awakening at Orange Theory Fitness (OTF) with Kellie since our usual trainer Nate was off.

Tuesday OTF @ 0530 with the spouse!

Wednesday.  The weather was pretty nice so I decided to do my track workout down at the beach.  I ran 3 x 1 mile intervals with some walking break in between.  It was also Wear the Eagle Wednesday for my new Team RWB (Red, White, and Blue) so there you go.  I was excited i ran the mile intervals in 8:12 min miles or a little less when my target was 8:25.  I also saw this bunny.

Thursday.   I need to get another team RWB shirt!  Thursday I went to the first (?) Team RWB meet up at our local running store, Runner’s Alley in Portsmouth.  I met up with Sarah and we were the only 2 representing RWB.  A little colder night for a run but still nice.   Got dark by 7pm and almost had to break out the headlamp.

Friday. Off, rested or was just too lazy to do anything.

Saturday I decided to go to OTF on the spur of the moment and actually got in a really tough workout.   I rarely get over 400 calories per the heart rate monitor but i really killed it this time.   Probably not the best approach for the day before the half marathon.

Sunday Maine Half Marathon!   I drove with a friend up to Portland, ME, about an hour drive to run the Maine Half.  They run a Full, half and a relay on the same out and back course.   This was my first Maine half and it was pretty good. I picked it because it was reasonably close and cheaper than the Smuttynose or BAA Boston Half marathons.   The amenities are pretty basic, and one negative was the porta potties (some) did not have toilet paper!   But you got a tshirt and a free can of B&M baked beans – their plant is in South portland i guess.    I started the race not planning to really race, and to just take it easy but i was going along at a pretty good pace.   We were keeping up with the 2 hour pacer much of the way.  At about mile 11 I started to fade.  My friend finished in 1:59 and I got 2:01:09 which is still a PR for me for the last 5 years!   My half PR is 1:52 from 2013 but I don’t know if i’ll ever get back to that pace.    I wore my RWB shirt and got some shout outs from other Eagles.  Met a guy from NY who is running a half in every state.  That seems like a cool goal, but there are some states that I just don’t want to visit (sorry North Dakota).   I really need to invest in a 2nd RWB shirt with all the wear so far.

After the race we went to the Holy Donut, a popular donut shop with 3 locations around Portland.  We had to wait in line outside before we could even get into the place.  I got a half dozen gluten free donuts, which the family liked.  I would definitely go back.

On to October and the final weeks of training for Marine corps!

see you out there<
– Jenn

Week 11: Popovers and time off

Following my 20 mile run on 9/16, I took a lot of time off from running last week (9/17-9/23).  It was due to needing some rest but also a lot of family events and commitments on the weekend.  For the gluten free baking challenge for the week, we made popovers and tried a new recipe for chocolate cake.   Total mileage for the week was only 13.1 miles and no long run.    I ran the tempo and track runs and went to Orange Theory twice.   Friday, Saturday and Sunday I took off and I feel more rested this week for sure.  Having hit 20 the week prior, I don’t think this will impact my overall fitness too much.  Trying to get back on track this week after over eating pretty much all weekend.

Planned / Actual miles:   27 / 13.1

Tuesday.
Orange theory workout with my pal John which was actually a pretty hard workout.  I don’t usually get over 400 calories burned but I did today.   We also made popovers with dinner.  The recipe is surprisingly easy; it is essentially eggs, flour and butter poured into a hot pan and baked for about 30 minutes.  Ours did not pop up as much as some that we get at a local bakery–aptly named Popovers–but we figure they must be experts since the place is called Popovers.   Next time i would bake them a little longer, which is becoming a frequent bit of feedback: slightly under baked.  What would Paul Hollywood say on Great British Baking Show?   For one, they call popovers “yorkshire puddings” i believe.  We used the recipe from Gluten Free on a Shoestring – 2nd edition.

Wednesday.
Track workout on the treadmill.

Thursday.
Double fun.   Orange Theory in the morning with Kellie before work and then I went to the Team RWB meet up at our local running store in Manchester, NH.   I did a 5 mile run with the group which counted as my tempo run for the week.    The run was fun but it was in the downtown area with a LOT of busy streets to cross for the first 2 miles.  This week I am going to meet up closer to home in Portsmouth for the Thursday night run.   I work in Manchester, so evening runs there are an option.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Nothing but cake.
No workouts on the extended weekend and I ate too much cake.   We made a new gf chocolate cake for my husband’s birthday and it was delicious.  We have a chocolate and zucchini cake recipe that we like but we had no zucchini this time.   This recipe will be our new go-to chocolate cake recipe.  Our backup  / runner up is gf chocolate cake mix from King Arthur Flour Company which you can buy locally or via mail order.   We also made homemade buttercream frosting.  Here’s a pic!

Hope to get more mileage and workouts this week! See you out there.

-Jenn

Week 9: A rest day or 3 and apple cake

Last week was an off week and maybe I needed a break from working out all 7 days last week. I took off Monday, Thursday and Friday. And Saturday I slept in but then decided last minute to hit the gym for the 10:30am class. It was a good workout and I felt a lot better afterwards. I really pushed up the calorie burn, maybe because I was off days before but I hit over 400 calories which doesn’t happen all the time.

This week’s baking challenge – Apple cake.  It wasn’t so much of a challenge as we have made this recipe before.  We had a bunch of other first-time recipes to try and we also tried English muffins- gluten free of course.   The muffins taste exactly like Thomas’s English muffins that i remember, but they did not rise enough so were more dense and didn’t look great.  We will retry that recipe later on (not pictured here).   For the apple recipe, it’s adapted from one that I used to make years ago.  Apple picking is already in full swing and there were tons on the trees.

 

Planned  miles = 27 | Actual miles = 23.9

Monday.  Nothing to report.

Tuesday.  Orange theory in the morning and then track workout on the treadmill.  Still super hot outside so sought refuge in the basement.   2 x 1600 and 2 x 800

Wednesday. OTF.  Arrived about 5 mins late but still got it done.

Thursday.   zero activity

Friday.  zero activity.

Saturday.   Slept in and decided at 10am to hit the 1030 OTF class.  All this rest must have gave me the energy to really push my limits.   Over 400 calories burned (per their tracking system)!

Sunday.  I was toying with the idea of doing at least 18 miles or even up to 20 but in the end I ran 13.  I was feeling really stiff from overdoing it at OTF on Saturday.  The Camelbak continues to work well, though there was some sloshing.  I failed to get all the air out to start and the water tasted a little soapy.  I cleaned it last week but needs more rinsing.  Lessons learned!  the weather was great and really cooled down from the heatwave of the past few weeks.

Share a Coke with Jennifer, well of course i had to partake.

Next week’s goals:  Take more photos while out running.  Stretch goal:  Take a jumping picture.  Any running blogger wannabe should be able to pull that off right?   Jump up to 20 miles for the long run?

find me on Strava,

-Jenn

Week 7: Yellow Layer Cake/ 800 miles

I’ve decided to blog about our latest gluten free baking adventures in parallel to my running.  They go hand in hand on the weekends, I run then I eat the sweets.  This week we planned to make lemon meringue pie but we did not have time for it so opted for a basic yellow cake.  The search continues for a nice gluten free yellow cake recipe that will be our standby family recipe.  This one may be it (see below) but the chocolate frosting did not work out.    We are working through our newest cookbook Gluten Free Wish List, by Jeanne Sauvage.  Last week was cream puffs, highest rating from the crew.  We’ve also made the matcha chocoloate cake.  Cake, 5 stars, matcha frosting– I don’t care for it.  We’ve been watching Great British Baking Show this week as well, a lot of baking AND miles this week.   I’ve hit 800 miles year to date!

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Planned 27 miles / Actual 30.9 miles.

Monday – OTF to kick off Monday morning.  Plus 4 easy miles after work.

Tuesday.  Off.  Had thoughts of going for a ‘perfect week’ on Apple watch but it didn’t happen.  No excuse really as i worked from home but it didn’t happen

Wednesday – Orange Theory matched up perfectly with my planned track run.  I was to run 6 x 800 and today’s OTF workout was 1/2 mile sprints on the treadmill.   I ran 3 half miles at OTF and then jumped on my treadmill at home for the other 3.   Workout jackpot for 4 miles total.

Thursday.  6 mile tempo run (5 mile tempo + 1 warm up) plus tried out my new Camelbak hydration thingy.    Apart from choking myself trying to drink and run at mile no. 1, the pack works pretty well.  I think it needs to be tighter though.  Note that my basement treadmill area looks like an episode of Dexter.

Friday – OTF for 2.9 miles.

Saturday – Off.

Sunday.  13 mile long run with Camelbak.  Plus bonus $30 parking ticket!  So I parked where I always park down by the beach which is a strip of road about 50 yards long that connects the main beach road to another back road.   The road is split between two towns and i parked too far on the wrong side of town.   Grrrr….  I guess i should have noticed i was the only car on that portion of the road, but in the morning there were few cars on the road any way. I just assumed i was early for the beach parking rush.

Camelbak.  It worked pretty well for 13 miles.  I did get a bit of chafing on my arm but that could be related to my outfit.   More test runs are required.  I am trying camelbak because I would like to carry one pack/belt/hydration system that will fit all my stuff including my iPhone plus–which doesn’t fit into any belt that i own already.   I have run with my water belt and an arm band for the phone (too much chafing) and then with my water belt AND my spibelt for the phone (2 belts seems too dorky).  Enter the camelbak for long runs.

What about the cake?  Here’s a picture of the yellow cake.  We had family over who helped eat it but the frosting was too runny and oozed out when the cake was cut.   I think with a different frosting this will be a winner!

Next week, I’m striving for a perfect week on Apple watch.  What’s a perfect week? Hitting my goals for exercise (30 mins); “moving” (650 cal) and standing (once every hour for 12 hours during the day).      I’ve hit a perfect week a few times in the Spring, going for it this week!

see you out there,
– Jenn

Week 6: marathon is like grave digging

I started a new audio book this week and in the opening scene the main character is digging a grave and compares it to running a marathon. It takes longer than you think (yup), it’s takes all the strength you have and you have to finish it (yup n yup). I’ve never dug a grave, but this sounds right. From Something in the water, by Catherine Steadman.

Yep. That hole is getting dug. There’s a point in every marathon that I’ve run where you are over the whole thing but you’ve just got to get it done. Usually it’s mile 20 for me, but sometimes it’s mile 14 and you just have to “suck it up” as a friend of mine would say.  And btw this is a really good book so far, i’m really into it!

On to the update. Planned 27 miles / actual 33.5.

Monday: Orange Theory fitness at 0530. Gotta do it as painful as it is on Monday morning.

Tuesday. Track workout on my treadmill. 2 x 1200 and 4 x 800. I’ve gotten into running intervals on my treadmill especially with the hot weather and it’s one more hurdle to go to the local high school track. And most often the track is crowded with high school sports or other folks. Treadmill takes out the guesswork- 0.5 miles in 4 mins. I can do that or fly off the treadmill trying.

Wednesday– OTF

Thursday. Saunders 10K. Start time 6pm. I think I’m done with evening races in summer. I kept under 9 min miles (barely) but was way off from hitting a PR. My PR is 53:15 and I ran a 53:37 in June. This race was 55:37, plus 2 mins from June but June was a regular 9am start and heat wasn’t an issue. I actually didn’t take any pics at this race but I won a T-shirt – they only give to the first 30% of finishers (I think). I also made it to May favorite burger joint before they closed at 8pm. Here’s a pic of the burger which was delicious as always.

Friday.  Whoa-TF.  Made it back from work to hit the 5:30pm Orangetheory class with Coach Nate. Working out indoors in the evening I can do. It was my beast calorie burn for the week

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Saturday Rest day and we made gluten free cream puffs which a) turned out great for a first time making them and b) were delicious!

Sunday: long run 13 miles

Felt pretty good on the long run.  I need to figure out a new hydration strategy for long runs.  My current belt is an Amphipod with the larger bottle, maybe 0.4 liter?  Stretchy belt, single bottle and a small pocket that does not fit my iPhone plus.   I ran this run with the water belt AND my Spi-belt with just the phone in the spibelt.  So if you see a dork running around with multiple belts for my stuff, that’s me.  I think i am going to try a Camelbak.   I also have a Nathan armband phone holder, but that chafes my arm on long runs. (whomp whomp).   The struggle is real!  equipment update next week!

Ready for another week! See you out there

– Jenn

Week 5 – More Orange, Less Running

I feel last week was a successful week despite again only managing 2 of my 3 training runs–but i did get my long run and tempo runs in, which were the most important.   i went to Orange Theory 4 days this week so that was probably plenty of treadmill sprints and probably also overdoing it on the cross-training.

Planned/ Actual:  27 / 26 miles

Monday.  OTF with coach Nate.  Good kickoff to the week.  Surprisingly the class was not full and only a “2 group” (24 or less people) rather than 3 group (25-36 people).

Tuesday. OTF.

Wednesday. Nothing / rest

Thursday.  Orange Theory Tornado Thursday!  This was a tough workout.  The ‘template’ for the class changes everyday but this one was a real sweat fest.   It’s hard for me to go over 400 calories in the 55 minute class but today I really pushed it to 450 calories and 10 ‘splat’ points (minutes in the orange zone = 84% max heart rate).

 

AND then I ran the Cigna corporate 5K in downtown Manchester, NH.  The race kicks off at 6:20pm which is better than 5pm but still hot and humid as hell.   The course is actually 3 miles of down hill (literally) and then 0.1 of directly uphill to the finish line.  I wish i was joking.  I had hoped to finish under 27 minutes but really felt the heat after mile 2.   My official time was 27:36.   I also probably didn’t need to work out at OTF in the morning and do a 1 mile warm up.  They opened up the fire hydrant at the finish line and that was refreshing! Happy that  I averaged just under 9 minute miles.

Aspirational goal:  I’d love to get a race photo where my feet are not BOTH touching the ground—where i actually look like i’m running.   This one was the best one and my fire hydrant selfie.

cigna5K-2018

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Friday.  OTF session #4 this week.   Had a chance to do the 8am class with my workout buddy John.  We don’t get to work out as much anymore since i am always in the 0530 class and John does not do 0530.

Saturday.   Several things tried to derail my long run.  Rain, overall feeling of malaise, I overslept and my iPad was not working (I was going to run on the treadmill to get over the rain problem). I borrowed my husband’s iPad and ran 13 miles. I started a new series, Sharp Objects on HBO. I’ve read the book, but I’m finding the series incredibly slow. Perhaps because I know the story.  Funny story, my iPad was not working at all, would not connect to the internet to stream anything, get email, check the weather, nothing.  I was super annoyed.  Fast forward to Tuesday and I was looking at my xFi app (xfinity wifi app) and saw that i had ‘paused’ my iPad to test out the feature.  Pausing any device blocks it from using the web.  So yeah, I blocked my iPad, forgot about it, then got completely annoyed the thing wasn’t working.  classic.

Sunday. Rest. And we made and ate a peach cafloutis! It’s a thing and pretty delicious! See you out there, – Jenn