NYC Marathon Training Week 5 – Skipping the Long Run

Last week, it happened. I didn’t want to but I had to. I skipped my long run. Luckily it wasn’t due to injury but due to fun! So the belated weekly recap!

Monday – 8 Miles
Outside for an average 7:49 pace. I was surprised and happy that I was able to get back into running after the 50K. I started out slow around 9 minutes because I still felt tired but somehow I just got completed zoned out into my run.

Tuesday – 7 Miles
Average 8:08 pace on Incline 3.  Started at 7.1MPH and did pyramids up to 7.6MPH and back down. For the first time in a while I didn’t take an 10 second walk breaks like I usually do. According to a chart my 7 milers at incline 3 are 1,108 feet of elevation gain.

Wednesday – 8 Miles + 2,000 yds swim
Incline 2, 7:44, 8 bitter cranky miles later, I felt more like a human. I also went swimming at night. The pool was mostly empty and for most of my swim I had the lane to myself. A woman decided to practice her backstroke in my lane but quickly changed her mind after she realized I’m swimming laps since you know I was in a lap lane to begin with. I reached a new distance in swimming for an hour or so. I did a few 500yds and then a few 200yds swim.

Thursday 15 Miles
I tried to do my long run on Thursday. I got home, changed in seconds and ran out. Sure it was a hot and humid day but I was determined to be cool and get it done. I got 13.1 miles in a sub 8 minute. 10 miles in 7:52 pace but afterwards I just couldn’t hold the speed even on a decline. It was 81 degrees when I started and humid but cooled off relatively well through the run. I mostly stayed in a shaded trail with pavement. Medford or maybe that’s Malden decided to tear up both sides of sidewalk around a rotary to further try to kill me. That my friends, I did not appreciate. As the sun peaced out and darkness took over, I decided to take pride in my good 15 miles and call it a night because I was tired, hungry, rather than slug out 5 more in misery to reach the infamous 20 miler.

Friday 12 Miles
Two runs because I wanted to reach 50 miles before I left for the weekend. 7.5 miles on the Charles for a flat 8:43 pace. After I got home, I debated about pushing myself through 4.5 more but I wanted to reach 50 for the week. I told myself I could just wake up early on Saturday and run them but I had to be honest with myself. Waking up early to run is not my strong suit. So I got dressed, made dinner and went for an easy neighborhood jog. I ended up picking up my pace to 8:06 for some strange reason but I figured I’ll have two days from running to rest up on.

Saturday – Waterfall repelling
Wasn’t what I would consider a workout but my heart was racing from fear.

Sunday – Hiked Mount Washington
8.3 Miles round trip that took us a little over 6 hours to do with 4,250 elevation gain on rugged boulder terrain that has left my body and quads useless all week. Was it worth it? Yes. Have I been whining all week? Yes.

Total Miles 50 (not counting the hike)

Total Feelings – Great until I hiked. I’m still wobbling four days later!

Designer Whey Sustained Energy™ Giveaway!

A few months ago, I got to work with Designer Whey to try out a few of their products. Well thanks to my relationship with Fitfluential, I get to try more of Designer Whey goodness. This time it’s their newest protein blend called Sustained Energy™.

Designer Whey Pack

Key features of the Sustained Energy™ line include:

  • Formulated with Endurance Blend™ : Designed to give you balanced, stimulant-free, sustained energy through a premium protein blend of fast-absorbing whey protein and slower absorbing soy & casein proteins.
  • 16g of Protein: 32% Daily Value per serving.
  • 5g of Fiber: To help control hunger.
  • Packed with 19 Vitamins and Minerals: Including B-vitamins to help convert protein, carbohydrates, and fats into energy; vitamins A, C, & E for fast workout recovery; and, calcium and vitamin D to maintain strong bones.
  • 100 calories per serving: Naturally flavored and just 1g of sugar.

Now to be honest, I don’t use protein powder everyday, but I do use it after hard workouts. What’s a hard workout for me? Either a speed workout, a long run, or something I don’t normally do like hiking up mountains. I want my muscles to rebuild and recover as fast as possible so I could resume my normal running activity.

The new Designer Whey Sustained Energy™ is made with soy protein and is loaded with other vitamins and minerals.

Designer Whey Nutrition

And because the folks at Designer Whey are so awesome, they want not one but SIX Run To Munch readers to try their product. Details will be at the end of the post but first I wanted to share 5 of my favorite protein smoothie combos. I used 6 oz of a liquid and 1 scoop of protein powder and the rest of the ingredients I usually play around with depending on my mood.

DESIGNER WHEY VANILLA BEAN + SPINACH + FROZEN MANGOES + UNSWEETENED ALMOND MILK

DESIGNER WHEY VANILLA BEAN + STRAWBERRIES + WATER + KALE

DESIGNER WHEY VANILLA BEAN + ORANGE JUICE + GREEN APPLE

DESIGNER WHEY CHOCOLATE + BANANA + WATER

DESIGNER WHEY CHOCOLATE + COFFEE + ICE CUBES + ALMOND MILK

 

Now the giveaway will run from Tuesday through Friday at midnight at which point I’ll select 6 random winters. To enter you must answer which Designer Whey Sustained Energy blend you would like to try. I would also love to hear what your favorite smoothie combo is but that is not required.

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Disclaimer – I was provided free product and no other compensation in exchange for a post. All opinions for better or worse are entirely my own!

NYC Marathon Training Week 4 – How long is too long?

PSA – When you pack your workout clothes don’t forget socks because there’s no way to “wing it” on a treadmill without socks. I can get away without a sports bra (it’s jogging haha), maybe even barefoot without shoes, but no socks means no run for me. I get cranky without a run but I have no one to blame by myself. /endPSA

A friend and I were discussing long runs the other day. We were wondering if doing more ultras makes us slower for road marathons. While training for long distance generally makes you faster as the shorter distance, for me personally there is a trade-off in speed vs. more miles.

Why? Because while I can endure being on my feet for more miles and more hours, I get comfortable with running easy, taking a walk break, or just chilling back. I know super fast ultra running people don’t think of these terms but as a middle of the pack runner, it’s what I do to survive. For the most part, until NYC marathon, I’m planning most of my long runs on roads to train in marathon pace. This weekend, I broke away from that. Instead of running 21 miles in 3 hours, I ran 31 in 7 hours, on trails. Will this help me? I guess only a marathon PR will tell.

Monday – Rest 

Tuesday – 16 miles

Three part run 8 miles at 7:44 pace at noon. 3 miles in the evening at 7:47 pace and 5 miles at a slow recovery pace with Bill Rodgers! I wasn’t planning on running 16 miles, but how could I miss out on a chance to run with one of Boston’s most famous marathoners?

Wednesday – 7.4 miles + 1,000 yds swim

My hips felt tight after 16 miles (11 at way too fast speed for me) so I tried running at a recover pace of 9 minutes, but would speed up without noticing to 8 minute miles or so.

I went swimming in the evening. Something I avoided for a few weeks and rediscovered my love for the pool. Mentally, getting myself to go swimming is one of the most difficult things to do, but once I dive in, I feel pretty relaxed. Better than yoga.

Thursday – 1,500 yds swim.

Still felt sore and decided an injury is not worth reaching my mileage goal for the week. Went to the pool after work which was surprisingly empty. With the lane all to myself, I decided it’s time to try to swim further. Got to 1,500 yds in 45 minutes or so before my arms felt like they would fall off.

Friday – 5.9 miles

After a day off from running, I felt great again. The weather was also beautiful so I went out of a light run. I tried very hard to make sure I didn’t get carried away with Saturday being a 31 mile day.

Saturday – 31.43 miles

TARC Summer classic. I dropped down from the 50 miler to the 50K. I wasn’t even going to do the run at all, but was able to get a ride from a friend. Luckily, I went because I had a blast in completing my first 50K as well as the further distance I have yet to run. I’ll have a full recap in a few days.

Sunday – I thought about doing a recovery run but I decided to chill back. Going from an 18 miles to a 50K earned my hips/calves/hamstrings a little break.

Total Miles about 61 

Total Feelings Happy

QOTD – Do you think more distance will make you faster?

Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt Giveaway

As much as I complain about the hot weather, I don’t want summer to be over. I will never love the 90 degree heat waves and humidity, but I love summer nights. I love being able to go for a run after work, better yet a long run and still have time to sit on my porch and watch the sunset. Now as I start to wrap my runs up 7:30/8PM due to darkness, its dawning on me, summer is coming to an end. We might have another heat wave like this week, but the days are getting shorter and shorter. If I wake up early, it’s still dark.

Although the summer season isn’t over until September 21st, we know that in our hearts it ends after labor day. At least in my heart, when the city once again refills with eager college young-ins that make me miss the careless days! My busy season at work also starts but that’s a whine for another day.

Instead, I will live in the August, in the summer and enjoy my next two weeks. Enjoy the early sunrise and late sunsets while I can. And all the frozen treats my brain can take. Which is why I’m so excited to bring you my current giveaway.

When I finished my half marathon at the Narragansett Running festival, I bypassed the medals, the water and ran straight towards this truck.

Yasso Van

No, at the point I have never heard of Yasso but I love Greek yogurt, I love frozen bars and the best price of free could not be beat. Besides, I can just grab my medal later!

And of course I was instantly hooked! I later learned it was a local Massachusetts company started by Amanda & Drew only a few years ago. After learning that they were local, I got in touch with Yasso to host a giveaway for my readers because as much as I love talking about myself, I love sharing products and brands I love even more, especially anything local to me. They in return gave me three boxes of Yasso frozen Greek yogurts where I tried my new favorite flavor and because the folks at Yasso are so awesome, I get to give one of you three boxes to try! The blueberry and coconut are a must from my prospective!

Yasso!

They are low-calorie (only 80) but come packed with flavor! I wasn’t able to find them at stop & shop near me but I’ve seen them at every Wholefoods. You can check their website for store locations.

To find out more about Yasso check out their website, facebook or twitter!

The giveaway will run from now until midnight on August 24, 2013. You can enter by telling me which flavor you are most excited to try. Bonus entries for following me on other medias.

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Running with Bill Rodgers – Boston Running Clubs

I got to do something fun Tuesday night.  Well for one I ran 16 miles in 3 parts of 8 tempo, 3 MP and 5 miles with a certain famous marathoner.

If you’re not a running geek or local to Boston, Bill Rodgers is a somewhat of a celebrity in these parts.  He won NYC marathon 4 times, as well as the Boston marathon 4 times. with a personal best 2:09:27 (1979)!  Rodgers is also the last U.S.-born winner in the men’s or women’s open divisions of the New York City Marathon (my current A race) to date; the two subsequent American winners were born in Cuba (Alberto Salazar) and Eritrea (Meb Keflezighi). It so happened that on Tuesday night, Bill graced one of my running clubs with a short Q&A and a run! However, I’ll get more on that later in the post.

In Boston, there’s no shortage of running clubs with the Charles river in all our backyards. In fact, all you gotta do is pick a day and you’ll still have 2 or more options in different neighborhoods and terrain. I usually stick with two in the Back Bay area. Tuesday nights at 6 with CitySports or Wednesday nights at 6:30 with Marathon Sports. But honestly, almost every sports store from Lululemon to Athleta holds group runs once a week or more. In fact, I know many awesome people that go to all of them!

Most clubs have 2-3 options in runs ranging from 3, 5 or 8 miles and most likely no matter how fast or slow you are, you’ll find someone that matches your pace. I may be biased but I think we’re a quite good looking city whether you run through the streets or on the river path!

As I got to CitySports, Bill was already speaking. He mentioned a few important things about taking rest days & recovery days. He also mentioned pool work which reminded me of a certain runner that hasn’t swam in over 2 weeks. Someone asked him about nutrition but he mentioned that was one thing he was always awful at. I guess that gives me hope for my chomping on tacos before a 12 mile run as a perfect way to fuel up!

I asked him what his favorite speed workout. It’s something I’m always curious about since there’s so many options and I’d like to avoid tempo runs for as many years as possible. Him mentioned 1-4 minute surges. Okay, that seems manageable, and I’ll have to try it next time.

Bill Rodgers Run

We ran 5 slow & easy miles around the beautiful Charles ending my day at 16 miles!

Check out Bill’s new book Marathon Man – My 26.2-Mile Journey from Unknown Grad Student to the Top of the Running World.

And guess what I did Wednesday night?! Swimming! Yup, hearing Bill mention pool workouts reminded me that I was long overdue. After carrying my swimming stuff from home to work to home without once going to the pool for well over two weeks, I made a little detour! At the pool! It was only for 30 minutes, 1,000 yds, but I felt home again! It also helped that the pool had not 1 but 4 lanes open Wednesday night! I would have swum longer but I had a dinner date for $10 chicken parm at Papa’s bar & Grill, my favorite!

and yes my friends, that is all chicken with extra sauce on top!

Do you belong to a running club? Tell me about it!

(Almost) wordless Wednesday – Sorrelina Boston Dinner

We went to dinner at Sorrelina’s for a friend’s birthday dinner and it was amazing!

I got dressy

Steak tar tar for app…

Best salmon dish ever! Tony liked it and the poor boy hates salmon.

Veal ordered by the boys. So good it could almost be an abortion (bad joke I know it, but it’s what it looked like to me).

Best part of the meal… chocolate lava like cake with ice cream! OMG! OMG! Very few things are better in life.

It was also Tony’s birthday! He hates this photo, but he doesn’t read my blog bwahaha so I am sharing.

What happens when you get a bunch of trail runners together for a run! A picnic!

Jack’s new bed!

Photo of Copley on Tuesdays when they have the farmer’s market. My favorite is Atlas Farms. They are in Copley every Tuesday & Friday. They’re organic, the produce is beautiful and so reasonably priced you wouldn’t even know it was organic!

 

Do you ever go to farmer markets? What’s your favorite? Or are you lucky enough to live near a farm?

NYC Marathon Training Week 3 – Flat & Fast Training

After spending months training on trails for my failure of a 50 miler experience, I’m kinda enjoying some flat and fast running. There’s plenty of downsides to avoiding hills, but in the mean time I needed something to boost my confidence. During the weekdays I took advantage of the more mild Fall weather we started getting.  As much as I am loving the cooler days (I don’t do well in heat), I still shed a tear as it starts to be dark by 8PM and I must end my run/bike etc for the day.

I don’t mind the cold, but the shorter days get heartbreaking as I’m more of a daylight than a night time type of gal.

I had a few great fast medium runs.  At the same time, I had a mentally and physically brutal long run and a lower double digit recovery run with a great group of friends.  On the bad Liana side, I once again avoided the pool.  The Malden Y repulses me more than ever, but my laziness or cheapness to go anywhere else keeps me there.  Once again no swimming this week.  I did bike a little over 10 miles one night at a relaxing pace as we checked out some roads around the neighborhood.  However, after changing my mind on what pedals I want, my road bike is still MIA.

The run down

Monday – 8.4 Miles
About 68 minutes, 8:02 pace. I debated a rest day since Sunday was my brutal long run, but the weather was nice and decided to go with it. Sometimes it’s a struggle to decide what is best for my running goals vs. my running love. I love to run and the biggest struggle is getting myself to take a day off to have more energy for the next day. Sometimes I weight my options. I knew the week was only going to get hotter so I wanted to take advantage of the weather even if it harms my performance for my ultimate goal.

Tuesday – 8.4 Miles + 10.7
The weather stayed chill & so did I! Legs felt better than Monday. 65 minutes, or 7:44 average pace. 7 miles at 7:33 pace before warm up & cool down aka stop lights..In the evening we biked for 55 minutes.

Wednesday – 7 Miles
Reintroduced myself to the treadmill. 7 miles, incline 3, Was going to do progressive but lost patience & turned into interval run. I’ve just been digging the faster runs more than easy pacing. Took about 58 minutes or 8:20 pace.

Thursday 12.2 Miles
8 fast miles on incline 2 on the treadmill. I think I hit a pace PR for my work treadmill. 63 minutes, 7:49 pace. Added 4.4 Miles in the evening for a little bit of road hill work. Times were slow and insignificant.

Friday – Rest day – I love resting the day before my long run, just a personal choice

Saturday 18 Miles

The summary is above. The long story? Well, I had a birthday party Saturday so I knew that with lack of sleep, I would be useless for a long run Sunday. So I set my run for Saturday. However, I was hardly better Saturday. The temperature once again hiked up to 80s, which to me is hot. I know you Florida, Texas etc people are laughing at me but 80+ is heat flashes for me.

One of our friends wanted to try out trails, so we did one reservoir loop in the fells. About 7 miles. The boys called it a day and I drove back with them before heading back onto the road. However, either the trail wore me out, or the beating run, and running out of water had me home within 8.5 miles to lay on the couch in front of the fan. I sat for a bit, tweeted, & continued being lame before I decided to try walk/run on my treadmill in the basement while watching Hart of Dixie. My basement was hot, but it was nice and dark at least. Before I knew it, the 2.5 mile run was over and I felt accomplished because I spent the majority of the run trying to find an excuse to quit.

Sunday 13.25 Miles

Another trail run with the TARC group where North (of Boston) met up with South (of Boston) for a run and BBQ. Good times.  The South Shore TARCs shared some beautiful trails with us and I got to make some new friends.

Total Miles – 67

Total Feelings – Better than usual. I bumped up my mileage a lot this week but am feeling much better as long as I stay out of the sun. I think the trail high mileage agrees more with me than the road long runs.  I love my fast road runs, but I need the shade for anything over an hour.

What’s your favorite thing to watch while running?