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 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

Austin 3M Half Marathon/Gluten-Free Austin

I ran the 3M Half Marathon on Jan 25th in Austin, Texas and it was a great run and really fun weekend.   I met up with a friend from grad school and we covered a lot of ground in addiiton to the 13.1 miles on Sunday.  Here are just some of the highlights of the weekend.

I arrived late morning on Friday to cold and rainy weather which I did not expect. I had a vision of sun and 70s, but no problem, anywhere without snow is good.   I met up with an Army buddy of mine at Hopdoddy burger joint on South Congress a.k.a. “SoCo” area.  The burgers here were delicious and they serve their own house-made gluten free buns!  Anytime I go to a new city I like to check out the GF options in town and treat myself to some great gluten free bakeries and restaurants.  www.hopdoddy.com was so good, i went back again on Sunday before leaving town.
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After lunch I picked up my friend at the airport and checked in at the hotel.  We stayed up by the Gateway shopping / Arboretum area north of the city because it was walking distance to the start of the race.   We went by the Texas Running Company and I ended up buying some Hoka Constant running shoes – the gal there gave me a whole run down on how they are great for marathon and half marathon.  I’m going to give them a try.    Dinner we tried Maudie’s Tex-Mex on W. 7th.  We had to wait about 20 minutes or so but the food and margaritas were worth it.    Then on to the Hole in the Wall for some live music.  Good music but it was literally a dark, semi-seedy hole in the wall bar.  But apparently a famous landmark of the Austin music scene.
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Saturday we covered a lot of ground.  Around 9am it was still in the upper 30s/ pushing 40F so we went by Target and got some cheap grey sweatshirts for the race.  “Team Hanes” was ready to rock.  We did a nice 3 mile loop on Town Lake, a runner’s paradise and the one thing that I miss most about the city.   We hit Joe’s for breakfast and it was delicious.  We were at the downtown location but drove across the river to the SoCo location for gluten free pop tarts.   I had a lavender-fig pop tart, and it was an out of body experience that I cannot even begin to describe.  Here’s a picture of the pop tart.   (Did I mention that I took a hundred pictures like a total tourist).
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We went by the capitol and Texas History Museum to pick up our race numbers.  Here’s our Capitol of Texas Selfie.
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Then on to the University of Texas Co-op for some UT swag.  I got a “hi, how are you” t-shirt and some post cards.  The main drag by campus has changed a lot.  Also if my current gig doesn’t work out, I can get a job at Jenn’s Copies–that’s Jenn with two N’s.  They are everywhere.  Back up to the hotel to kick up our heels for a bit before dinner.   For dinner we went with a gluten free and pre-race standby, P. F. Chang’s.   Then we had to see Interstellar at the movies, for our traditional pre-race movie night (to get off the feet and relax).    And in Austin, if Matthew McConaughey is playing at the theater, you simply have to go.   I give the film a thumbs up.   We laughed, we cried, I was stressed out about the ‘dramatic’ scenes. We cried some more.  Good movie in my opinion.
Enough about the food and around town, how was the race?  Chilly start, sweatshirts came in handy, it was only in the lows 30s.   The course is almost entirely downhill and billed as fast–and it was really fast.   It started up at the Arboretum/Gateway area and finished with a run through the UT Campus and finish line just steps from the capitol building.  I had a great run and didn’t realize that I was moving along at a pretty good pace (for me).  There was a slight hill around mile 9 but otherwise it was downhill as advertised.  The standout feature of this race is the ginormous goodie bag!  A huge sampling of 3M products, here’s a pic of everything included: Scotch tape, lint roller, scotch brand kitchen sponge, recovery drink mix, glass cleaner, Post-It notes of course!
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Post-race we went down to Snack Bar Austin for some brunch back South of Congress. Snack bar was very cool decor (if i may call it decor) and they serve gluten free french toast that was delicious!  (pictured above!)  We cleared out of the hotel and returned to SoCo for live music at the Capitol Club, and a final burger at Hopdoddy before heading to the Airport.
Great race in a fun place.  I would definitely recommend this race and may come again or in February for the Austin Marathon and half.  And this was my first time running outside since January 1st with all the snow in Boston!
– Jenn