Running Through 2020 Like…

Featured

WordPress reminded me to renew my blog so it’s definitely time for an update. Last we left, i was running the Chicago Marathon in October 2019. That did happen! I really enjoyed my weekend in Chicago and the marathon was very well organized and the best part is i could walk to the start line from the hotel–no messing around with race day transportation which is always tricky! For my past Marine Corps and NYC marathons, I have showed up late to the starting line late despite following prescribed transportation! (looking at you Staten Island Ferry!)

I’ll have to share more about Chicago, but after the marathon my knee was in bad shape and I had orthoscopic knee surgery the first week of December 2019. It all went well and was nice to hear my surgeon say “it wasn’t as bad as I thought” when he came around post-op. Great! So I started PT through January and on my doctor’s advice, I considered taking up cycling. Running has always been my thing, no equipment, can do it anywhere, low hassle sport. But i would have to wait a few months to get walking again before even trying to run. So enter the Peloton bike. We ordered in December specifically expecting to need a bike to rehab my knee. I think i did my first 10 min ride in January 2020 and my new obsession was born! I’m going to save my Peloton journey for a next post or next 5 posts(buckle up)!

So then the pandemic hit and we have been working from home/ schooling from home since March 13th. I’ve quit counting off the days but it’s been about 6 months and it was great timing to have the Peloton in the basement since i was not going out to the gym during the times of quarantine.

2020 was to be my big year! This year was the Comeback Tour after knee surgery. I planned to run the Marine Corps Marathon in October. I turned 50 in May (uh oh) This was going to be MY YEAR! I was going to get my running back on track and take my fitness to the next level!

Whomp Whomp, then the pandemic hit. ūüė¶ So the first half of the Comeback tour was cancelled but we’ve added some new dates and new goals!

NEW 2020 Goals
I had a few fitness goals for this year and i’ve since revised them for this new world. I have been running and riding a lot more than I expected, likely had more free time working from home and not having to keep up with going places!

  1. Run 700 miles – I’m actually on track to run 1000 miles this year!
  2. Bike 1300 miles – I’m actually on track to bike 2020 miles this year or that’s my goal.
  3. Lose weight and keep it off – I’ve actually lost 31 pounds since January 2020 (future blog post!) Not much to do during pandemic but work out and I’ve been able to avoid some of my usual junk food traps by never leaving the house.

My 2020 Comeback Tour — All shows cancelled (like many a Morrissey Tour!) plus new Dates Added! Many of you know I love The Smiths and Morrissey and the latter is famous for cancelling shows though I’ve seen him 4 out of 5 shows in recent years, that’s a decent track record.

Comeback Tour 2.0 | Comeback Tour 2020 Dates!

4/18 Boston Athletic Association 5K (BAA Medley Race 1) –Cancelled. this was their Distance Medley series to run a 5K, 10K and then Half. The series was moved then cancelled.

5/3 Margarita Half Marathon–moved to 6/13 and went virtual. Did not run

6/13 Market Square Day 10K–Moved to September virtual only. not running

6/20 BAA Boston 10K (BAA Distance Medley #2)–Cancelled

8/21 – Millennium Anytime 5K! – Did run it in 26:11! Our local running store setup a 5K course around the block with a starting and finishing timing mat. You could go run the course Anytime day or night. I ran it in June at 27:39 so happy with the improvement!

8/29 NH 10-Miler–Offered in person and virtual. Did not run.

8/29 Tour De Fox –New show added! Rode 58 miles on Peloton for Michael J. Fox Foundation! This was my first “tour” where folks stack classes back to back on Peloton. More to follow on Pelo life!

10/11 BAA Half Marathon–(Medley #3 of 3)—Cancelled

10/11 New England Half Marathon – New show added! Live and virtual offered i am thinking to do virtual. Have wanted to do this race for a few years but the dates never worked out. Now i can since my race calendar is pretty wide open due to the pandemic! The medal is pretty cool, in years past it looked like a stained glass leaf for the fall colors.

10/17 PELOFONDO ! New Show added! I will attempt to ride my Peloton for 100 miles in one sitting. Note to self, need to order those padded shorts! More to follow.

10/25 Marine Corps Marathon–Cancelled, virtual only. Deferred it to 2021!

11/26 Portsmouth Local Turkey Trot –probably not.

So I’ve changed direction a bit with my fitness plans but the Comeback Tour is still going strong! Just some new tour dates and new cities, mainly virtual ones or my basement Peloton. More to follow on the blog now that i’ve renewed with WordPress for the year! Stay safe, – Jenn

2018 belated recap / 2019 Goals

Hello, it’s been a minute since updating the blog but i’ll look to update more often going forward.¬† Last we left our heroine, she was off to the Marine Corps Marathon last October.¬† Spoiler alert:¬† She survived the 10th marathon and 4th MCM overall.¬† Now that I’ve run 4 MCMs, I feel like i should run a 5th to round out my Marine Corps marathon career.¬† But not in 2019.¬† ¬† I will post my highlights from the 2018 MCM in a separate blog.¬† In short, I traveled to DC solo as the family was sick that weekend, but I still had a pretty good race.¬† I felt really good up through mile 20 but my stats would show i wasn’t going as fast as I felt.¬† Finished in 4:34 and am pretty happy with that time.¬† Maybe MCM 2020 will be my 5th and final.

img_6695

2018.  Pretty great year for running following a not so good 2017.  I ran 2 marathons last year, MCM and the Austin Marathon.   I loved them both.  MCM is comfortable, my 4th time running it, had my plan and just got it done.  Austin was a great trip back to UT where i got my graduate degree.  Fun going to all the old places and some new ones and the marathon course was pretty good.  Damn hilly but good.

I ran more than 1000 miles in 2018 y’all!¬† I met my goal to run 1000 miles last year, hitting 1000 just before the MCM at the end of October.¬† Read more about it here¬†

I ran some halfs (halves?) but never broke 2 hours.¬† Almost did at the Maine Half marathon in Portland, ME.¬† This was a first time race for me and the course was pretty flat to a little rolling.¬† I ran it with a friend and just couldn’t keep up with her after mile 12 but I’m happy with a 2 hr 1 minute finish.¬† 2019 I’m hoping to break 2 hours.

What’s up for 2019?

2019 is off to a great start. I’m making this all about #9.¬† ¬† ¬† Run 9 races, read 9 books (not a big reader and already behind the pace on books, ugh!)¬† Run a sub-2 (1:59) half marathon.¬† ¬†You get the idea.¬† ¬†I am in for the Chicago Marathon on October 13th so official training starts soon.¬† This is my first Chicago so it will be exciting.¬† ¬†I am hoping it’s as flat as they say it is, after Austin i’m done with hilly marathons!¬† I don’t have a time goal but considering going for under 4 1/2 hours so 4:29, you get the idea with 9 is my theme this year!¬† ¬†2019 and also i turn 49. ūüėź

I’ve already completed a few of my 2019 goals and challenges to-date including running a sub-2 hour half marathon!¬† I’ve run two so far in sub-2 so i’m pretty excited.¬† I credit my overall fitness to the Taji 100 Challenge (run 100 miles during February) and also Orange Theory Fitness. I’ve been hitting OTF pretty regularly, at least 3-4 times a week.¬† It’s the one thing that will get me up and out of bed in the wee hours — the $12 cancellation fee if i no-show for class.¬† ¬†I ran the Shamrock Half in 1:59 and the Portsmouth Half in 1:58:39!¬† ¬†The shamrock half was a fluke, i was running along and half way through i realized i was running at a pretty good pace, from then I started making a dozen mental calculations as to whether i could make a sub-2.¬† ¬†The last mile is mostly downhill to the finish but i stopped to walk for just a bit.¬† Then ran like hell to the finish because i would have kicked myself if that last walk put me over 2!

I also finished an accidental run streak of 100 days of running on the heals of the Taji100.  I had already run every day in Feb and decided to keep going!   I can get a little OCD /obsessed with things but it was so satisfying to see all my Apple watch fitness circles filled in! Ran everyday from last week of January through May 5th.

Next Up the Wallis Sands Half Marathon this coming weekend.¬† ¬†I am wondering if i can 3-peat my sub-2 performance.¬† Last 2 outings i ate mac’n’cheese the night before the race.¬† Perhaps this is my new go-to/ lucky/ pre-race meal that will propel me to the finish! That and coffee.

More to follow as i kick off official Chicago training. 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 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