MarathonMaiden's Blog

April 11, 2011

I Waited All Winter For This.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 08:44

And, no, I’m not talking about this little thing that I’m doing next Monday.

Or the ice cream brownie sundae I got to eat on my porch last night with the brownie recipe below. I have to carb sugar load for Boston, right?

I’m talking about SPRING. Like, real spring. Not some date on the calendar (although I think that mother nature and the calendar should get on the same page) but warm weather. The kind where my roomie and I could actually sit on the balcony and not be all bundled up! Hallelujah (and yes I’m acutely aware that I just jinxed myself. And all of you. I apologize in advance. Especially since we all know this jinxing will occur on the 18th)

thanks google

The overnight lows were in the 40s and the highs were damn near 60* the past 5 day.  We didn’t actually hit 60, which is my typical benchmark for spring.  But I think that, given how rough winter was for the large majority of the country, I’ll let it slide.

With the rising temps I’m always tempted to raise my miles as well.  Which I probs disregarded the first week of my taper. BUT I have shown some restraint and there have been no fartlek runs or anything resembling speed work.  While I may be in the mindset of going with the flow I’m too scared to risk anything with speed work! Especially since the runs keep going back and forth between pain and pain free. Which some of you (smart minds 🙂 ) told me in my last post. I just need to relax and ride out the next week-ish until the race. Eeep. Easy running has been my bread and butter for the past 5(!!) weeks, no need to mess with it.

And it’s taper time, right?

Easy running, therefore was the story of the weekend.  Thursday and Friday were easy mid-distance days, Saturday was my last “long run” and Sunday was somewhere between short and mid.  All in bright shining sunlight.  Some wind but that felt great and “cooled things off”. (Can you tell how excited I am about the weather. Every paragraph refers to it. And in a glowing way!) <– Happiness.

All the runs were pretty darn fast too.  Relatively speaking, which even with that disclaimer is still confidence boosting.  Definitely no sub-9 miles (gosh I haven’t seen those since pre-injury!) but fast enough to tell me that I’m recovering.  Hopefully in a week, those 26.2 miles between Hopkinton and Boston don’t throw a monkey wrench in it.

Aside from working on my tan (which I really need to be diligent about the sunscreen this year. Hello another 3 moles removed! And hello sun-freckle-spot thingy machine that was at clinic last week and showed me the damage on my skin.  Surprisingly it wasn’t as bad as I thought but the sunscreen needs to be a daily thing) I’ve been baking a bit. Or rather my roomie told me “we are making brownies to bring to pub trivia”. So really a bit = once and because I was told to.

So I did. We used this recipe from All Recipes and it turned out pretty good if I do say so myself.  And the fact that there were none left by the end of the night is a good sign too (do not disillusion me by saying that we were drinking at trivia night. Irrelevant!) If I were to make them in the future I’d try and tweak the recipe to make them more fudgey. Maybe less flour and an extra egg?  I know that with all my box mixes I get to add an extra egg to fudgify it.

Hope everyone is enjoying your Monday! I knew when I left work on Friday that today was going to be a rough one but, hey, the weather is nice and I’m sitting on a really good (well relatively speaking anyway) 8.5 miler already done.  There was IT pain and my legs felt dead. But that could be taper related.  The humidity was definitely a factor as well, 53* and 91% humidity! And YES to spring again because the sun actually rose in the first half of my run.

So I say: Monday? Bring it on!

January 25, 2011

About This Embracing Weather Thing…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 17:26

Well I’m still all for winter at the moment. Despite yet another nor’easter supposedly bearing down on us sometime in the next few days I’m sort of digging the snow.  Maybe it’s because I know that this will be my last real winter?

While the snow may be really REALLY pretty to run in or look at while sipping hot cocoa or snowshoeing (I think I’m going this weekend!) or building snowmen, I am not such a big fan of this

SALT

Don’t get me wrong: I am a salt-a-holic and douse my food in it.  I think I’ve said before that I have the ability to go through a salt shaker every 10 days or so. I do NOT, however, enjoy road salt. As you can see in the picture above my legs get covered in it.  The sign of a salt truck now sends shivers down my spine. Because it dries out my skin and stings like a….

I didn’t let it stop my workout though:

  • Warm up
  • 5.6 miles “tempo” @ 7:39 average (2.2 @ 7:46, 2.2 @ 7:43, 1.2 @ 7:21)
  • 1.2 miles easy/recovery @ 8:49
  • 1.2 miles hard / re-tempo @ 7:25
  • Warm down

Totals:

  • 16 miles
  • 138 minutes, 29 seconds
  • 8:40 pace

I guess for whatever reason I really turned it on the last bit of the hard stuff.  I’m slowly getting back into the training mode although holding this pace was TOUGH.  I really cannot believe that I ran 26.2 miles a little over 7 weeks ago at a *faster* pace.  Sometimes I feel like WR was a fluke. I guess I have a ways to go before the training mode muscles get back into full swing.

I’m really proud that I was able to bang out some really great last hard miles. It felt good to see the results of an effort that felt really taxing.  After seeing a not-what-I-wanted first two loops I must have dug real deep.  I’m not so proud of how long it took me to mentally get my body into it.  Hence those first few miles at the not-what-I-wanted pace.  But overall this “tempo” (and I still want to keep calling it tempo!) was the fastest out of the weeks I’ve been doing them post-WR.

Progress.

In the not-so-progress view, as I probably should be eating better night-before-quality-workout snacks: this run was  fueled, not by cookies, but by brownies.  Work was really rough yesterday so I went over to my friend’s house and while he was rockclimbing, my other friend and I made the brownies (she’s such a better baker than me. So she’s my baking buddy) and we all had brownie sundaes (warm from the oven) at midnight. I’m normally not a brownie person and when I do get a craving I like gooey ones.  My baking friend said she had success with this recipe:

Nestle Chewy Cocoa Brownies

(from the box of cocoa powder from Nestle)

Yeah so we dug in quickly...deal with it

Ingredients:

  • 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup NESTLE® TOLL HOUSE® Baking Cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts
  • powdered sugar
  • ADDITION FROM US: 1/2 cup melted chocolate chips.  We didn’t think the mix looked Chocolaty enough. I suppose you don’t have to melt the chips but we did.

Directions:

  1. PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 13×9-inch baking pan.
  2. (Additional added by us) MELT 1/2 cup chocolate chips in microwave until melted
  3. COMBINE sugar, butter and water in large bowl. Stir in eggs and vanilla extract. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in medium bowl; stir into sugar mixture and add Chocolate Chips). Spread into prepared baking pan (the mixture was REALLY thick and hard to spread).
  4. BAKE for 18 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out slightly sticky (it took us about 26 actually). Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar (optional). Cut into bars.
  5. ENJOY (we sure did. And with ice cream too)

They turned out really well and we dug in immediately.  I’m sorry for making your pants expand by proxy but hey, mine are expanding in real life I’m sure 😉

And I promise that the next recipe I post won’t be dessert.  Tomorrow night (the night the nor’easter is supposed to hit) my friends and I are likely going to make something special for dinner.  Just so you don’t think I’m on my way to a diabetic coma or something…

And check out the giveaways from Tricia (Endurance isn’t only Physical) and The Hotlegs Runner

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