Week 8: 16 miles and Battenburg cake

Nailed it last, last week!  (Coincidentally if you have not seen Nailed it on Netflix, please stop reading this and go immediately to Netflix. It a cooking show, sort of, where hapless bakers try and recreate fancy cakes).   I decided to go for a ‘perfect week’ according to the Apple watch, which entails hitting my 3 goals for movement (calories burned), exercise (30 mins- yeah kinda low but not really for cross training days) and stand hours (you need to have been standing/walking for 12 hours out of your day and not sitting at the desk for 2-3 hrs straight).     I’ve hit a perfect week a few times in the spring, but unless i work out everyday to some degree, I won’t make it.  Like my 1000 miles challenge this year, having a goal keeps me motivated to workout.  If i miss my morning workout, then i make time to fit in a quick run during the day or after work to meet the goal.  I’d call it a healthy obsession.  Check out the rings, 100% perfect week!

This week’s baking challenge was Battenburg cake. We made our own marzipan which was actually pretty easy. It turned out great and we received rave reviews from the family. It’s a cake we discovered in London and they made it once on Great British baking show.  The key is to have a checkerboard of traditionally yellow and pink with apricot jam in between the squares.  We used raspberry which was a nice tart flavor.

Planned / Actual Miles: 27 / 36

I should probably up my weekly goal as I enter into the longer runs of my marathon training plan.  I just have 27 miles as default on Strava which is a good average goal for fall back weeks where my long run is only 10-13.

Highlights this week include hitting all 3 of my quality runs; tempo, track and long run plus running 16 miles for my long run.  And I took the new Camelbak out for 16 miles and it worked great!

Monday.  OTF 0530 class

Tuesday.  Tempo run on the treadmill.  Was a 3 mile tempo + warm up and cool down for 4.3 miles total.

Weds. OTF 0645 class.  This was a really good workout and I broke 400 calories which doesn’t always happen in every class!  I find that I do get a better workout when the class is 2 groups or 24 people rather than 3 groups/36 max number of people.  With 2 you get about 25 minutes on the treadmill side, with 3 you only get 14-15 minutes which makes it harder for me to get my heart rate up.

Thursday.   Interval workout on the treadmill.   2 x (6 x 400).  So 12 0.25 mile sprints.  It was actually not as hard as I thought it would be.

Friday.  OTF #3

Saturday.  16 mile long run! And cake!

Sunday.  Finishing out the perfect week  with a 3.1 mile run on the treadmill.

More in week 9 update!

See you out there,

-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

Week 4: martinis and taffy

So….I took a rest weekend and didn’t do a long run.   I ran my tempo and track workouts but the weekend got busy, I had a house guest and we went out for drinks Friday night and had a few drinks on Saturday.  Just was not feeling it for the long run.  Two out of three ain’t bad, hopefully this week I will get my 3 ‘quality’ runs in the schedule.  I’m also running my 3 mile ‘tempo’ run on Thursday as a 5K.  I realized the last time I ran a 5K without kids in tow was 2010, so i’m going to go for a new PR.  (last year’s turkey trot 5K with kids I ran/walked it in 38 mins.)  My PR per Athlinks is 25:18 which may be out of reach but something to strive for.  This week’s race is a mostly downhill course with a sharp uphill at the very end.  Seems doable.

Have you checked out Athlinks?  A friend referred me to it and it’s pretty cool for the tracking your race results.  I have run 9 marathons but I have no idea how many halfs (halves?), 10 and 5Ks.   I’m working to tally up my half marathons.  Not all the results are on Athlinks, particularly for races where I *may* have run with a friend’s bib or bought a bib on craigslist.  Sometimes you miss the signup and sometimes you sign up but can’t run the race.  I’m not against swapping for minor races and also (BTW) races could allow swapping, it’s just changing the name in the database and they could even charge another registration fee and make more money on the trade.   I’m not qualifying for Boston, so in the past I’ve run under a pseudonym at a few races.  Subject for a future blog about bib transfer thoughts, now back to the training update.

Planned / Actual miles: 31.5 / 13.9

Monday. I had to head to work early with no workout, but I hit the treadmill as soon as I got home. This humidity is crazy plus it was getting on to evening.  I got in my 4 mile tempo + 1 cool down and 1 for warm up.  Catching up on Elementary on CBS streaming on the iPad.

Tuesday. Orange theory last day for bingo!  Take a selfie with your coach was a square so here’s my selfie with my coach! … spoiler alert: I didn’t win the bingo raffle drawing.

Wednesday. Nothing.
Late Monday night and early Tuesday caught up with me.

Thursday. Orange theory workout.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday.  Track workout early before work on Friday and then martini night!  I felt good getting my track intervals, 5 x 1K was no joke, actually challenging to run each at about 7.4mph on the treadmill.    Friday night, out for martinis.  Saturday was rainy and we headed ‘upta’ Maine for brunch.  My kids are in the braces age, one got them off last winter and one is getting them on in two weeks.  Since they don’t have saltwater taffy in February, we hit up the candy store on the way to brunch.  They have barrels of taffy, barrels!   We let the kids do all you can eat taffy before the braces, then it’s a long 2 years with nothing chewy.

Sunday, hit the snooze on the long run.   Here’s to next week!

See you out there, follow me on Strava if you like!
– Jenn

Week 3: 700 miles and the devil’s alarm clock

Hey there, another week down for marathon training and another blog entry, i’m on a roll! And I signed up for some more races. For August, I’m running the Cigna corporate 5K on August 9th and joined part of my company’s corporate team.   And then I decided to run the Saunders 10K on the 16th. They changed the course to start and end from Odiorne’s Point state park–much better location and course than the original course that starts down by the former Saunders restaurant at Rye Harbor.  They razed the restaurant several years ago for condos so the race used to start on the side of the road (literally) with no real parking.

This week I realized that I shouldn’t plan each day in detail because I change the plan every day. I also didn’t do my track workout again this week but on the positive side, I hit 700 miles for the year to date!

Monday. OTF workout.

Tuesday. Rest day

Wednesday. Killer OTF workout. I got over 450 calories which anything over 400 is high for me. There were some visitors from other studios and they didn’t know what hit them.

Thursday.  Hey, I got up and ran!  So i continue to struggle with the snooze button and getting up to run.  I downloaded this app called Alarmy and it’s pretty hardcore.  In order to dismiss the ringing you have to either solve math or memory problems, shake the phone hard 30+ times or take a picture of some location that you pre-set.  For example, if you set up the alarm to be a picture of your coffee pot in the kitchen, you cannot turn off the alarm until you take a picture that matches the one you set (of the coffee pot). I have not tried this option but I will try it next because the math problems are hard!   I had to set the math on ‘very easy’ just to get something i can solve quickly when i’m awake let alone just waking up!   You have to solve 3 problems to kill the alarm, here is a very easy problem, a “normal” level math problem and a ‘very hard’ math problem. Who can do this?

So i got up an ran my 6 mile tempo run on the treadmill. I tried the alarm on Wednesday but after solving the math i decided to go back to bed and set my iPhone alarm to something more sane and I went to the gym later in the day.

Thursday work out #2.  I headed to Orange Theory after work for only to get another bingo square.  I’ve been chasing the ‘run/row’ workout square and heard it was happening today.  I took the 5:45pm class and it was a lot of weights and inclines on the treadmill.  Every ‘run/row’ we did was 0.15 miles run at increasing inclines and a ‘push pace’ (8mph for me) and then row 200 meters then repeat at + 2% incline.  I ran the inclines but most days i feign an ‘orthapedic injury’ as my friends keep telling me hills on a treadmill are dangerous.  I don’t usually do the jump squats either, I just figure that would be asking for trouble.  Bingo is over on the 31st and every row of bingo gets a raffle entry for cash and prizes, so they’ve got me hooked.

Friday.  Racked in for the morning after a double workout yesterday.

Saturday I hit OTF and got 3000 km of rowing so I didn’t feel too bad when later we hit Dairy Queen. My kids are so weird. We gave the these options: get DQ on the way home from dinner out or just go home and have ice cream there. They choose going home. Kids, have I taught you nothing? DQ today and the ice cream at home will be in the freezer again tomorrow.

Sunday. Ran 12 miles down by the beach. All in pretty good training week. Planned 27 miles, ran 26.2. Took 2 rest days and no track workout, but also got up and ran before work.

See you out there ,

– Jenn

MCM training Week 2

Last week went pretty well for training but I skipped my track workout. I could argue that I do a lot of treadmill sprints when I’m at orange theory fitness (OTF) so let’s call it even.  OTF is running a bingo game in July, so I took classes at some random times to get a bingo square–one square is ‘take Kara’s 7pm class thursday’ so I worked that into my schedule even though it’s not my usual time. For every row that you get bingo, you’re entered into a raffle for $250 cash and other prizes. Fingers crossed, I never win these challenges or raffles at the gym!

Miles planned for the week / actual miles:  24 / 26.8 miles

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Monday.  Didn’t get up to run my track workout but I did go hit Orange Theory in the afternoon.   #notamorningperson

Tuesday. OTF 0530 hours

Wednesday. I did my tempo run on the treadmill after work and ran 5 miles at my marathon pace (MP) which per my charts is 10 minute miles.   This wasn’t too hard, I ran on the treadmill to beat the heat and it was getting late in the evening.

Thursday I took the 7pm class to get a bingo square but also it’s not helping with my aspirational goal of becoming a morning person.  My data has shown though that I seem to burn more calories and spend more time in the ‘orange zone’ (84% max heart rate) when i take class in the evening rather than before work.  But this could also be because evening classes are less full and i can start working out on the treadmills or rowing stations.  In the morning I usually arrive just as class is starting and typically start in the weight room which doesn’t get my heart rate going at the start.

Friday
Took a rest Day and indulged in pizza night with the family.  Side note:  made the kids watch Back to the Future with Michael J. Fox.  Reviews were mixed.  Trying to educate the kids with the 80s classics!

Saturday long run 10 miles!   Was pretty warm out, I ran along the beach road for the first half and inland for the way back.  I wanted to ‘ice’ my feet in the ocean after but it was so warm, not much cooling effect.

Sunday 90-minute class OTF.

Another bingo square but I may be overdoing it. Took the 90 minute class at OTF and was a sweaty & exhausted mess at the end. Here’s my workout summary. I average about 350-400 calories and 5 points normally in a 60 min class and this was a new calorie burn PR.

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On to next week!  see you out there,
-Jenn