Monday, September 24, 2018

Baltimore Running Festival Training Week 6

It was not a good running week.  Not even specifically because of the runs but just weird things that kept happening during my runs.  But oh well, at least I got most of my runs in.  I cut my long run short so I'm going to switch things around and do it this upcoming weekend instead of the cut back I had on the schedule.  But here are the details.

Monday - Planned rest day with an extra training session in the evening.  I didn't get home until past 9pm.

Tuesday - Easy 4 miles after work.  It's split in 2 because somehow, one of my contacts slipped up under my eyelid.  I had to take a detour home, running with one eye closed, so I could get it out.  Once I got it out, I went back and finished the run.

Wednesday - 10 minute warm up on the elliptical plus a Body Pump express class.

Thursday - Morning run with 1 mile warm up, 1.5 miles at 10k pace, and 1 mile cool down.  I had to cut the cool down short as I was wearing some new socks and they were too big.  I ended up with cuts on the back of my ankle.  I also had a dog from across the street feel the need to run at me growling, but thankfully he backed off with some yelling.

Friday -  Rest day but lots of walking!  We had an employee appreciation picnic at work.  There was a band, and lots of free food.  I had a roasted vegetable wrap with a chickpea salad.  There were also chair massages, raffles, and puppies!

After that, Mike and I met up in the evening to have dinner and then we met up with some people to volunteer for voter registration.  We basically spent an hour walking around that evening.

Saturday - 6 mile easy run.  At least this run was pretty uneventful with minimal issues.  My headphones died during this run (and now they won't hold a charge at all) but they lasted through 5 miles so at least I didn't have that much left to run without music.

Sunday - 4 miles (instead of 9).  Sadly, it rained all day.  I couldn't face another 9 miler on the treadmill (I had done that 2 weeks ago) so I decided to switch my weekends around.  This upcoming weekend is supposed to be nice so I'll do my 9 miles this weekend.  I got to the gym and a body plump class was about to start.  So I did 60 minutes of body pump and then got on the treadmill and did 4 miles.  My legs were pretty tired!

Here's the plan for this week.

Monday - 3 easy miles after work
Tuesday - Body pump
Wednesday - Rest day and going out to a show for our anniversary in the evening
Thursday - Morning speed work (.5 mile warm up, 3 miles at hm pace, .5 mile cool down)
Friday - Strength training
Saturday - 6 miles
Sunday - 9 miles (6 of them at half marathon pace)

I'm linking up with with HoHoRuns and Taking the Long Way Home for the Weekly Wrap.


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats

I've been trying a new breakfast option this week and it's working really well.  I had been having overnight oats for breakfast but I got a bit tired of them.  And I had been forgetting to make them the night before, leaving me to scramble for breakfast in the morning.  So I decided to experiment with steel cut oats since I figured I could make a big batch over the weekend and eat it all week.  I portioned it out into tupperware in advance so it's a grab and go breakfast for the morning.  I started out with this recipe for Morning Glory Oatmeal and adapted it for the instant pot instead so I didn't have to stand over the stove.

Not the prettiest photo but trust me, it was delicious!

4 Servings
  • 4 cups almond milk (I like my oatmeal not too thick, you can try 3 cups if you want thicker oatmeal)
  • 1 cup steel-cut oats
  • 1 cup grated carrots 
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 ounces raisins
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  •  1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Sweetener of choice
  • ½ cup coconut flakes (I wanted unsweetened but they only had the sweetened ones at the grocery store so I used less sweetener than I otherwise would)
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • ½ cup chopped and toasted pecans 
Put all of the ingredients in the instant pot except for the coconut, orange zest and pecans.  Set it for high pressure for 4 minutes, and make sure the steam vent is in the closed position.  This will actually take longer than 4 minutes since the instant pot has to come up to pressure first.  Once it beeps, let the pressure release naturally.  I think we waited 12 minutes and then manually released the remaining pressure.  It looked way too liquidy at first but it thickened up to the perfect consistency as it cooled.

I then added the coconut, pecans and orange zest.  I stirred it all up, and portioned it out into 4 servings.  I've had it for breakfast every day this week and it is so good!  I love the way all the flavors meld together and it reheats well in the microwave.  And it was pretty easy to make in the instant pot since it's just dump it all in and let it go.  I think the total time to make was around 25 minutes, so not a huge saving over cooking it on the stove top.  But I didn't have to stay in the kitchen during that time and could go do other things, which is why I definitely think I'll keep using the instant pot for steel cut oats.

I'm linking up with Deborah and Sarah for Meatless Monday.

 Jalapeno Quinoa Lentil Slaw

Monday, September 17, 2018

Baltimore Running Festival Training Week 5

I'm glad last week was a cut back week!  I had to shuffle things around due to some meetings and ended up having to run 4 days in a row, which I'm not used to.  But I got in all my runs and 1 strength training session, though I would have preferred to get in 2.  But overall, I'm happy with the way the week went.  And we got lucky with Hurricane Florence missing us so we had some overcast skies over the weekend but not much rain.

Here are the details of last week.

Monday - strength training at home

Tuesday - planned rest day because I had an all day meeting downtown.  I did get in a mile walk to the meeting and a mile walk afterward so that at least got me some time on my feet.

Wednesday - Unplanned rest day

Thursday - Easy 3 mile run

Friday - Easy 4 mile run.  I waited a bit too long and did end up with rain on this run, but it wasn't too bad.

Saturday - 1 mile warm up, 2.5 miles at half marathon pace, and .5 mile cool down.  I'm really struggling with pacing here, the second and third mile were too fast for half marathon pace and the fourth was too slow.  But the fourth was also mostly uphill and the other two were mostly downhill so maybe it averages out?

We also went to a rally for some local candidates running for office.  It was pretty interesting but we ended up dehydrated and tired afterwards so cancelled our evening plans for a quiet night at home.

Sunday - Easy 4 miles.  Nothing too memorable on this run (except all the weird mushrooms I saw growing, I guess because of how much rain we've been getting).  I definitely struggled despite the temperature not being too high.  But the humidity was still around 95% so I guess that's part of it.  And the other part may be that it was the 4th day in a row of running.

I also just noticed that my average pace was exactly the same on all three easy runs this week.  Weird!

We also went to the Small Press Expo that's held near us every year.  It's pretty cheap and a good way to discover new graphic novels and such.

A new book I picked up at the expo

Here's the plan for this week.

Monday - Rest day and an evening meeting
Tuesday - Easy 4 miles
Wednesday - Strength training
Thursday - Speed work (1 mile warm up, 1.5 miles at 10k pace, 1 mile cool down)
Friday - Strength training
Saturday - 6 miles
Sunday - 9 miles (6 of them at half marathon pace)

I'm linking up with with HoHoRuns and Taking the Long Way Home for the Weekly Wrap.


Monday, September 10, 2018

Baltimore Running Festival Training Week 4

I hope everyone had a good week!  There was a lot of rain here over the weekend which certainly put a damper on things.  And it looks like we may be getting more rain this week as well.  But fingers crossed that it's not too bad and the hurricane heading towards the east coast doesn't hit anyone too badly.  But work out wise, I did get everything in this week.  So I'm happy about that.

Also, you may have noticed a change in my training.  I started looking at the travel to Columbus, which was complicated by a west coast work trip right before the race.  It just wasn't looking like it was going to work out without a 10 hour flight with stops.  So I decided it wasn't worth it.  I had already registered but the money goes to the children's hospital so I'll just consider it a donation to a good cause.  Luckily, there is a race in Baltimore the same weekend!  I've heard good things about the Baltimore Running Festival so I'm going to do that half instead.  It's hilly compared to Columbus' flat course but I generally run in a hilly area anyway so I think it should be ok.

Here's a summary of last week.

Monday - rest day

Tuesday - strength training in the evening (pretty much the same as Friday but I forgot to track it on Tuesday)

Wednesday - 4 easy miles in the morning

Thursday - Speed work on the treadmill (1 mile warm up, 2.5 miles half marathon pace, .5 mile cool down)

Friday - Strength training after work

Saturday - 6 miles.  Thankfully the rain held off and I was able to get my run in before the rain really started.  It was only in the high 60s, which was nice, but the humidity was still in the high 90s and the air felt pretty soupy.

After my run, I had a not so fun dentist appointment but we followed that with dinner out and a concert with friends.  It was an outdoor venue but we had bought covered seats instead of lawn seats.  I was pretty happy about that given the rain.  It was a symphonic tribute to Prince, and it was really interesting hearing the music, mostly without vocals, played by a symphony.  It's touring to a couple cities as well so I would definitely recommend it if it's coming to a city near you :)

Sunday - 9 miles.  Ugh, I woke up to more rain Sunday and it was pretty much going to rain all day.  So I took my long run to the gym and did it indoors on the treadmill.  I hate doing my long run on the treadmill as my gait is definitely different but it was raining pretty hard outside.  I'm watching Madame Secretary on Netflix so at least I had that to keep my interest.

This week is a cut back week so here's the plan

Monday - Rest day
Tuesday - 4 miles in the morning
Wednesday - Strength training
Thursday - Speed work (1 mile warm up, 2.5 miles at half marathon pace, .5 mile cool down)
Friday - Strength training
Saturday - 4 miles
Sunday - 4 miles

I'm linking up with with HoHoRuns and Taking the Long Way Home for the Weekly Wrap.


Thursday, September 6, 2018

New York City trip report

We had a quick weekend trip to NYC over Labor Day.  We managed to score a decent room rate and figured it would be a nice little trip for the long weekend.  We mostly stuck to touristy things but here's a summary of how our trip went.

Getting to New York - It's a pretty quick drive from Maryland.  So we decided to leave Saturday morning instead of Friday night as that would involve paying for an extra night at the hotel. I also hate paying for parking in the city, paying the large toll to cross the bridge or tunnel into the city, and dealing with the traffic.  So we usually just drive up to one of the train stations in New Jersey, park our car there for a more moderate fee, and take the train into the city.

View from our hotel room from a previous visit

Broadway musicals - We had gotten tickets to Wicked from my parents as a joint birthday gift.  So we decided to make it a full Broadway weekend.  We saw Wicked as a Saturday matinee, Spongebob the Musical on Saturday evening, and The Lion King on Sunday evening.

Central Park - I love Central Park.  I usually go there for a run but Mike wanted to accompany me this time so we had a nice walk through the park on our way to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  We really enjoyed the walk and the museum.  We saw their Heavenly Bodies exhibit of fashion inspired by the Catholic Church and it was really a well done exhibit.  We also met one of the cutest puppies I've ever seen while we were at the park!

Food - We didn't plan too much as far as dining reservations this time and instead decided to see where we ended up when we were hungry.  It worked out pretty well for the most part.  We had lunch at Lillie's Victorian Establishment on Saturday.  It's an $18 brunch that includes one cocktail, not a bad price at all.  And then we just had dinner at a random Italian place we saw on the street.  The food was decent but it ended up being a bit pricier that planned.  We ended the night at the bar at our hotel, they had a wonderful outdoor patio overlooking Times Square and it was the perfect way to end the evening.

Sunday we had breakfast at the hotel since that was easy and then we had lunch at Toloache, our one reservation of the weekend.  It was really good and I would definitely recommend it for Mexican food in the city.  Dinner was a late meal after we got out of the Lion King and we ended up at Virgil's Real Barbecue as it was not far from the theater.  Again, the food was pretty good and I was happy that they had several veggie options to choose from.

And that was it for our trip!  The weekend flew by.  Sunday morning we had breakfast at one of the food booths in Times Square and did some shopping and then caught the train back to Jersey.  We also met up with my cousins for lunch and got to catch up with them before heading back home.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Columbus Nationwide Half training week 3

I hope everyone had a great weekend!  I'm posting a day late since we were driving back from New York yesterday and just enjoying the end of the long weekend.  But overall, it was a great week and I got in all my workouts.  Here are the details.

Monday - 3 easy miles after work

Tuesday - strength training at home

Wednesday - morning speed work

Thursday - 3.3 miles after work (it was supposed to be 4 but I ran out of time)

Friday - strength training plus we did some dancing at silent disco in the evening.  Sadly, because of the rain, it was moved indoors instead of on the rooftop.  Part of the charm is the beautiful rooftop so it wasn't as fun as past years but we still had a good time.

Saturday - rest day and driving to New York

Sunday - 6 miles on the treadmill plus walking a couple miles through central park


So that was last week.  The plan for this week is below.

Monday - Rest day
Tuesday - Strength training
Wednesday - 4 easy miles
Thursday - Speed work (1 mile warm up, 2.5 miles at half marathon pace, .5 mile cool down)
Friday - Strength training
Saturday - 6 miles
Sunday - 9 miles

I'm linking up with with HoHoRuns and Taking the Long Way Home for the Weekly Wrap.