MarathonMaiden's Blog

March 15, 2011

Snobbery

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:38

of the coffee variety.  You see, I’ve NEVER been a coffee person before I started and entered the real world in August.  Slowly but surely I’ve started, well, becoming addicted to the stuff.  I’ll admit that I didn’t really drink it to enjoy it.  In fact, what I typically drank was this stuff

and I drank it, and liked it, because I could make it as strong / weak as I wanted.  I could make it (and did) pipping hot.  And it was quick.  For Christmas (and I am ashamed to say that I JUST broke it out of the box.  No real good excuse either except that I was too lazy to buy coffee filters…) I got

TA-DA

Well I guess it wasn’t *totally* that I didn’t have any filters (yes I know that’s a weak excuse) but also because I A) had lots of the instant stuff in the cabinet and B) didn’t really know what kind of coffee to buy (I guess my only real requirement was CAFFEINE).  I did get a thing of DD coffee and some store brand with the coffee maker buttttt well I just didn’t have any oompf to make my own coffee.  Until….

omgsogood

a friend (who doesn’t drink coffee) gave me this bag because she was given it and didn’t want it to go to waste.  Rather than leave it in the clinic I immediately told her that I’d take it.  And OMG so good. I definitely am NOT a coffee connoisseur but I am sooooo enjoying this coffee.  I haven’t yet checked out how much it sells for in the grocery store / godiva store but I’m betting that it isn’t exactly cheap.  So I’m trying to really savor it while I can!  I still have the packets of instant in the cabinet but hopefully this lets me become a full-fledged coffee snob.  All in good time.

But at least I’m able to enjoy *something*.  Because I was all set to get up and actually enjoy my traditional Tuesday Tempo.  Maybe I should have heeded “Beware the ides of March” because alas my left leg did not want to cooperate with me.  And neither did my brain because I totally slept through my alarm this morning after being up all night with what I suspect was a fever and a really runny/stuffy nose. I am amazed at how much snot can come out of my nose.  It’s not even that big!

I’m also amazed that I managed to get through the warm up once I got out there,  barely though.  It felt (and still does) feel like my other leg did in December after trying to do too much after WR.  The funny thing is that I was hurt this time last year in my Boston training but with my shins.  Oh well.  This time around I plan on not being slightly silly and training through it.  I mean, I might try but at least I listened to myself and didn’t try to force the tempo. And tothose of you who are wondering: I don’t have access to a gym / pool / bike so XT-ing it up isn’t an option for me at the moment.

I did spend the time that I was going to be running the tempo icing, stretching and rolling.  So I wasn’t just bumming around feeling sorry for myself.  And to note: I’m not feeling totally frustrated or even sorry for myself.  Yes, it sucks to not be able to complete workouts but I’m feeling worn at this point and need some R&R. I thought one week was good enough but I guess not. We’ll see how I feel in a few days. It’ll be a most excellent time to try and satiate my insane appetite that I’m getting being so far in training hahah

Good thing I’m taking Boston for fun, no? I’m doubley looking forward to the massage I scheduled for Friday. Holler.

Finally, after seeing everyone else post on FB their Boston number I figured I’d check out what mine was and what wave I ended up being in (for those of you who don’ t know, Boston is now a 3 wave race). I’m not going to share the actual number here (because I don’t know who is reading behind the scenes) sorry but it’s good enough to get me FIRST WAVE. Holler. And I’m sure many of you know my full name and can search for me.  And then stalk me on April 18th.

March 4, 2011

Sometimes I Wish There Was…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 10:38

…a “like” button for the comments section of blogs.  Well maybe not because I’d like them all BUT Miss Zippy told me yesterday

Let me add that one day, Charlie Sheen’s brain may be in the Mutter! ; )

which merged my new favorite website and my new favorite museum. Word.  I have spent far too much time clicking the Charlie head! Currently my favorite quote is “I’m alive. Bring it.” Or “There’s a new sheriff in town. And he has an army of assassins.” CLASSIC.

Also classic? My Tuesday and Thursday workouts.  AKA Tempo (or GMP / threshold / as fast as I can go for ~6 miles) Tuesday and Long Run Thursday.

Tuesday

  • Warm up
  • 6.8 miles @ 7:37 pace (2.2 mile @ 7:50, 2.2 @ 7:22, 1.2 @ 7:41, 1.2 @ 7:23)
  • Warm down

Again a “meh” from me. I woke up on Tuesday morning by oversleeping. Or rather re-setting my alarm about a minute before it was supposed to go off.  For about an hour or so (that totally takes dedication there as I’ve disabled the snooze function so I have to manually reset the darn thing). Oh well.

And it was really tough to get into this workout initially.  Intertia (heeeeeeeeeeeeello physics nerd!).  At this point I actually hadn’t read the majority of your comments suggesting a cut back week or cutting out the hard stuff this week but I was thinking of nixing the tempo/whatever anyway.  I actually did have a major cutback week 2 weeks ago where I ran miles less than the week before (by 30 miles) and the week after (by about 20 miles). I do plan on taking another cutback week (and reducing the speed/hard work that week as well) but I think part of the reason I’m worn down is emotional/mental rather than physical.

Because it was my mind that really REALLY wasn’t in the first portion of the tempo (aka lots on my mind lately that’s been distracting) and my legs then decided to jump on that bandwagon.  But once I rounded that corner (literally as it was a turnaround after 2.2 miles) I was able to pick things up a bit by thinking POSITIVE.  Once I did that (as well as staying FOCUSED) my legs seemed to perk up. I also find it funny that the first and third paces above are similar as are the second and fourth.  I blame it on the way I run my route: the first and third portions above are “first halves” of loops and I tend to slack a bit because I’m scared of crashing and burning.

But, like last week, I’m okay with the pace of the tempo/threshold/whatever not being what WR was.  I’m getting okay with the training being what it is.

Thursday – 22.2 miles total

  • 10 miles @ 8:57 pace
  • 10 miles @ 9:06
  • 2.2 miles @ 9:00

While the pace is MUCH slower than I wanted (I blame a very emotionally draining Wednesday night) at least they were pretty consistent.  Or at least consistent as much as a 22 mile run can be.  I actually thought the last route (the 2.2 one) was faster.  Because I was putting in more effort.  But nope.  Oh well.  I was working hard anyway.  Nothing felt off and I actually felt like this was a good positive run even if the numbers “disagree” with me.

Wednesday and Friday were the standard recovery runs. Lots of boringness.

Maybe kind of sort of like this post.  And my workouts.  I need some spice.  I’ve taken Jess’s suggestion of taking Boston as a fun race and I really REALLY like that idea.  Like I mentioned above it’s helping me not take my workouts as “be all to end all” and hopefully that will let me jump into doing workouts / wrapping my head around trying new training stuff out.  That’s spice right?

I’ll leave you with this video that my roomie and I watched the other night.  I can’t believe I had never really watched any Flight of the Conchords stuff before.  Hil-ar-ious!

February 28, 2011

Glutton for Punishment?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 08:32

Apparently.  After an emotionally charged weekend what do I decide to do to cap it off? Try to physically exhaust myself too. Luckily I had a hard interval workout on tap for this weekend. I wasn’t up for it at all on Saturday so around noon on Sunday I decided to tackle it and hope that a good painful (but in a good way) run was what was necessary to pick me up.

On tap: 3 X 3.3 miles. Boo! Hiss!

Ouch just to look at the workout. I typically only do 2 of the intervals (as do most normal and sane runners) but I was definitely going for the whole “glutton for punishment” vibe this weekend.

As far as how fast I wanted to run it, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to hit the 6:29-6:43 tempo interval pace that McMillian thinks I can do based on WR, and while I’m in good shape, there was something just ON about my training last fall for WR….which speaking of….guess what I got in the mail over the weekend?

Holler. Between this piece of mail and my new Boston confirmation I should be rearing to go! Maybe not McMillian pace ready, but I thought that between 7:00 and 7:15 was reasonable for this workout.  Oh man. Oh hubris.

How’d it go?

  • Warm up
  • 1st interval: 3.3 miles @ 7:19
  • 2nd interval: 3.3 miles @ 7:28
  • 3rd interval: 3.3 miles @ 7:32
  • Warm down

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeh. My head was no where near being in this workout.  I was very distracted, probably from my weekend, but in all honesty I was about to write that I felt like I was pushing at my best.  I wasn’t.  Clearly with each interval being slower than the last. Normally I’m the opposite. No real excuses or anything but I probably could have kept my head in the game…

Is it bad to admit that this is on my iTunes?

That said, my legs did feel the burn and clearly fatigued throughout the workout.  Which is what I wanted to do. I just wish that fatigue pace was a little faster that’s all. Too much to ask for? I know that all the life stuff that’s been crazy present in my life lately  has been a huge factor in my training this cycle.  Unlike previous cycles I’m not basing my life around my training but rather my training around my life.  And at the moment some things (*cough*hanging out with my friends and having fun*cough*) are more important than, well I was going to say training but I’ve still be attempting my hard workouts, but things more of the sleep nature

 

I love how my friend's expression is like "oh man. here we go tonight" hahah!

And I don’t quite know how this post is going to come across.  Because I have lots of emotions going on when I think about this Boston training and where my running is at right now.  In the end, no matter how frustrated or upset or angry I am about not being as fast as when I was training for WR, I am much faster than this time last year when I was training for Boston.  That’s still a very good sign.  Just annoying that WR was so amazing that right now can’t really compare.  It’s like karaoke-ing after the kid who is studying musical performance at grad school (true story from last week at karaoke!).  No matter how good you are at singing (or training with my running right now) it’s not going to compare.  Doesn’t mean that I’m not doing some good stuff but last time had all the stars aligned. We’ll see how zen I feel about it on April 18th though!

February 25, 2011

Apparently none of y’all say “wagon”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:22

I think it’s a my-family thing though rather than regional. What can I say. My family is weird. Sure I’ll defend them to my grave, but they’re weird.  And for those of you who asked, yes I say “bubbler” and “frappe” and “wicked”. Yes I may want to move the heck out of here but it will forever have a place in my heart ❤

Anyway. Moving on.

To things I want to recap on.  I’m going to do it bullet style because the last time I did a running post (or even a real post in general) was over a week ago and I’m 99.9342% sure that there’s no way I can make smooth transitions.  And y’all will get the highlights…or the funny-lights because I’m sure that somethings aren’t exactly going to be true high points. At least not when they were happening!

  • PHILADELPHIA was an absolute BLAST.  That is, of course, once I got there.  My bus ride took 8.5 hours because the driver decided to go through NYC during rush hour traffic. I was in the Bronx for 2 hours.  But, once I got to my friend’s house I was a-okay for the rest of the weekend.  There was lots (and I mean LOTS) of drinking. But some shopping and museum going and movie watching and gossiping/giggling. The coolest part was going to the Mutter Museum which, for those of you who aren’t going to click the Wiki link, is a medical museum located in the Center City area of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It contains a collection of medical oddities, anatomical and pathological specimens, wax models, and antique medical equipment (thanks wikipedia!).  It was SO COOL.  And did I mention the drinking? Because taking the train into the city that day, well, let’s just say I didn’t think it was going to happen. So of course that means I did not run one step. And that’s not sarcasm

The girls!

  • On Monday when I got back to Boston I ended up having dinner with my family due to the train schedule being silly for the holiday.  I got a great 7 miler in my old stomping grounds that night, although my hometown has banned streetlights to save money (eyeroll) which I didn’t know about.  Needless to say that the end of the run was a bit faster than the start.  Oh, and I also karaoked the following song.  Stone. Cold. Sober (because I was the driver that night). I think that’s pretty impressive.
  • Despite not sleeping at all over the weekend as well as that Monday I still decided to tackle my Tuesday tempo workout.  With varying success.  I did, in fact, sleep in about an hour and a half later than usual. Didn’t change the results of the workout though.  I guess that the workout ended up being a GMP one.  Per usual at this point. The fast portion was 6.6 miles @ an average of 7:37 pace (2.2 @ 7:41, 2.2 @ 7:24, 2.2 @ 7:46).  Just like last week the middle 2.2 was way faster than the first or third.  Weird. And meh.  At this point I’ve given up hope of having stellar threshold runs.  I’ll just try to hold on until Boston.
  • The same thing goes for the long runs.  I mean, they are definitely *not* going poorly. Especially since yesterday’s 21 miles @ 8:50 pace is any indication.  I did do the typical long run fade in the middle miles (which is funny because with my tempos/GMP it’s the opposite: see above) but the last mile was run in 8:20 so I’m happy.  If I can finish the marathon strong I’ll be happy.
  • My recovery workouts have been going well too.  They’ve been faster than I expect which, under normal circumstances, would be great.  But given how I’m not over-whelmed with joy over my hard workouts I kind of look at my faster easy paces a little skeptically.  Not that I’m upset with how my tempos/GMP/LR/intervals have been going but sometimes I feel like I’m not *really* in training.  I don’t know if that makes sense but it does in my head. So there.
  • Maybe this will light a fire under my butt in my quality workouts: YAY for my new Boston confirmation with updated (WR) time coming in the mail this week.

And with that I’m about to finish up my work week and go for a nice recovery run in the pouring rain.  Hopefully everyone has a fun-filled weekend! I’m definitely planning on taking it a bit easy after my weekend in Philly last week.  I am going to see a friend perform in a play tonight and then hopefully grab a drink after.  And then do some rockclimbing, maybe tomorrow. Very low-key.  Fingers crossed.

February 16, 2011

Question: Will This Ever Get Any Easier?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:09

Answer: Probably not.

In some ways I don’t want it to get any easier, because then it means I’m not pushing, but man: TEMPOS SUCK. I know I know, broken record.

Wah wah wah. Thanks google images

I guess so do GMP runs, because lately that’s all I’ve been able to muster.  Like yesterday’s workout:

  • Warm up
  • 6.6 mile tempo @ 7:33 (2.2 @ 7:40, 2.2 @ 7:20, 2.2 @ 7:39)
  • Loooooooooooooooong warm down

I’m a little unsure of how I feel about it.

In terms of a workout it was GREAT. It felt hard at times and my legs were burning with effort.  But I’m eeeeeeeeeeeeeehhhh about the pace.  Because it sucks to see a slower-than-I-thought pace. Mostly because the first 2.2 was uphill AND against the wind.  Seriously. Like one of the two isn’t bad enough.  The plus side is that the second 2.2 was going back the way I came, so it was downhill and with the wind.  And the third, well, I was tired at that point and haven’t done a continuous 6.6 yet.  So no real excuse for that one, because I expected it to hurt.  And it didn’t let me down in that respect.

I actually felt pretty darn good during it and my legs were really tired and lactic acid-y afterward. So the effort gets a good grade for this workout, maybe B+, because my mind *did* wander a bit over life stuff despite my legs feeling like they should at the end. But pace gets a lower grade.  I really wish the weather would cooperate with me! Doesn’t it know I’m training for the Boston Marathon?!

Wouldn't this be nice? Thanks google.

But I’m slowly making peace with this idea of tempo / GMP.  I hate it but I’ve been doing it so regularly that it’s just a part of life right now.  So it better pay dividends in a few weeks.

Because I sure know that my recovery run this morning was slooooooooooooooooooow.  And the leg-os were pretty heavy too.  I actually got up a half hour earlier than Monday and ended only slightly earlier at the end of the run! Granted I ran a bit further than Monday’s recovery run but I guess LRs don’t take as much out of me as harder / faster efforts.  Maybe I should try and push the LRs more. But that’s a thought for another day.

I also went to the doctor yesterday (because I’ve been so tired, lightheaded, bruising easily etc) and *surprise* I was / am low on iron.  Which is what I expected. So for the next month I’ll be on iron supplements.  And I’m thinking that my running will improve (as well as my mood and energy levels). I just started today so I’m, obviously, not feeling it yet.  Maybe by my intervals tomorrow? I can only dream. But hopefully a semi-placebo effect will kick in soon so I get AMPED to go climbing tonight.

GOAL EQUALS

Holler. Thanks google.

I’m semi-kidding on that front.  Lizzy might make me change my mind and my climbing buddy is actually going to Yosemite this spring to do it.  Eeep.

Check out the giveaway from Jess @ Blonde Ponytail

February 10, 2011

Wednesday Was Not My Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 20:43

At least in terms of rockclimbing.  I went last night post-work and man, it was HARD! Maybe stress got to me or maybe it was that I went at 2200 after working 9.5 hours.  But in either case it was one of those nights where it was a struggle: even though climbing isn’t really about the upper body strength, my arms were really exhausted. But I’m glad I went.  Every once in awhile you need those days that kick your ass and remind you that you can improve.

Wednesday was the day, however, for me to kick my tempo workout’s ass:

  • Warm up
  • 5.6 mile Tempo @ 7:24 (2.2 @ 7:29, 2.2 @ 7:24, 1.2 @ 7:15)
  • 1.2 miles easy
  • 1.2 miles HARD @ 7:23
  • Warm down

It was HARD to do this workout.  I was originally going to do it Tuesday but woke up feeling really run down.  After doing the warm up that morning I nixed it and postponed it to the next day.  My run Tuesday was really tough by the way, even though it was an easy “just-go” run. By the time Wednesday rolled around I still didn’t want to do it but after checking my watch after the warm I decided to at least give it a go.

And boy am I glad I did.

I was so surprised when I saw my time (because I knew that it was ~7:30 pace).  Granted, maybe I shouldn’t have been because I was running hard and the effort was great, but not over the top.  I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t be able to hold onto the pace but I did.  I kept having to tell myself that “I can do it” and to stay focused because it felt great in the moment! Obviously I would like my “tempo” pace to be faster (like where I was pre-WR) but this is a significant improvement from weeks past.

I got that really exhausted but energetic feeling in my legs for the rest of the day.  I was on a TOTAL cloud 9.  There’s something so amazing about pushing yourself hard and being able to handle it.  This run may or may not have gotten an air fist pump at the end…just saying.

Totally worth the struggle of a rock climb later that day!

Also: a couple people have asked how I come up with my odd distances for tempo runs. I map out areas that I know will be not-so-traffic ridden and such and that just happens to be how they fall.  Maybe someday I’ll be able to get a garmin but for now I’ll be sticking to my 5.6 mile loop where I know that, for example, my house to the end of the path is 2.2 miles, and a loop around my house is 1.2.

Rather than tell you about all the mediocre runs, other than my tempo, or go on about the stress in my life (still ongoing but I’m managing. Apologies again to the sporadic commenting. I promise I’m still reading! It actually de-stresses me a bit reading y’alls blogs.) I’ll leave you with this dessert, described as “crack” by one of my friends.  With a tall glass of milk it’s perfect after a long day…which after the way my Thursday night is going might just be my post-work activity!

Chocolate Caramel Saltine Crackers

(taken from a friend but I’m pretty sure you can find the recipe on AllRecipes or something)

Ingredients:

  • ~40 saltine crackers
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Sheets of caramel coating

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet (with sides) with foil for easy clean-up. Place caramel down on foil and arrange saltines on top in a single layer and touching.
  2. In a small saucepan, bring butter and brown sugar to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda. Pour over crackers, spread to coat evenly and bake 6 – 8 minutes.
  3. Immediately sprinkle chocolate chips over and let them melt.  Spread with a spatula / knife to cover the crackers. Place in a fridge to cool and then
  4. ENJOY!

February 1, 2011

The Postman Must Have Been A Runner

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 17:03

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds

Sooooooo over this winter thing.  I mean I’m embracing the snow but the novelty of the white fluffy stuff has been lost. Spring? Yes please.

Obviously many of you know that there’s a snowmaggedon going down right now in many places in the country and, while I wish it weren’t the case, RI is getting hit.  This morning I got to run in round 1 of it.  Round 2 (ice and sleet) is coming at midnight.  The only good news about that is that work has been tentatively closed tomorrow. YAY snow day.

The bad news is A) another storm and I hate storms. And B) I likely won’t get to run in it because today’s weather left me with NO TRACTION at all. I may be a crazy runner but I’m not suicidal.  On the plus side my belaying buddy might have the day off too and we can go rock climbing.  I’ve already gotten a text from him confirming that we’re going tonight if the place is open.

So with the weather like this

It was probably a bit foolish to think that I could get in a good hard tempo, or even a good harder than easy, run in.  Didn’t stop me from trying though…

  • Warm up
  • 5.6 miles harder @ 7:51 (2.2 @ 7:59, 2.2 @ 7:42, 1.2 @ 7:53)
  • 1.2 easy
  • 1.2 harder @ 8:17
  • Warm down

For the past three out of four Tuesday Tempo days there has been rain or sleet or snow. I think I’m joining Amy’s I-Hate-Tuesdays campaign now.

So it’s really hard to judge how I’m doing endurance-speed wise.  This run was particularly brutal because of the way the wind was blowing the snow, so I had icicles on my eyelashes.  And I had to stop a couple times (once during the “tempo” portion) to melt the ice so I could see.  Couple that with no traction because the roads were not plowed (nor did I see a plow…not bitter or anything…) and I really don’t see how I could have expected the run to be fast pace wise.

Still, and this may sound broken record-ish, I can’t tell if it’s my mind or my body that giving me the slower-than-I-want paces lately.  I’ve got a lot on my plate right now and I know that during the run my mind was all over the place.  Which is fine for a normal/easy run but I need to be focused if I have a shot at training well and then racing well. Lately I’ve been questioning my level of motivation for this training.  Which is scary as hell and not being helped by workouts where paces aren’t being hit.  It felt like a quality effort though.

I suppose I’ll have to go on effort.  Which was there.  The easy was slower than the hard.  And my lungs and legs were working hard.  That counts for something, right?

To make my Tuesday even worse, the microwave at work is apparently broken and no one told me .  Because it did this to my popcorn just now.

Popcorn FAIL

 

I think that this day cannot end fast enough. Fingers crossed I get to go climbing tonight!

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

January 19, 2011

Life is Good.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 10:02

Too corny for you? I’ve got snow, fast running and apple crisp.  Not to mention heat coming back on and great friends I’ve been hanging out with.  I’ve been spending so much time there that they’re jokingly talking about getting me my own key.  Oops? Hahah.

That said, this whole not complaining about the weather thing is *really hard* but I feel like my attitude towards life in general is improving the less I say “I am sooooooo over winter.  This sucks. I want to migrate south”.  Really. I’ve literally been biting my tongue every time I see cold, wet, gross weather.  Partly because I’m really trying to not complain but partly because every time it snows I think that this could be my last.  And no that’s not morbid but I’m trying to actually migrate south at some point real soon.

Of course the mention of the weather does come into play with my “tempo” on Tuesday.   I woke up to actual snow that morning, which had turned into nice freezing rain/sleet by the time I got out my door to run. This precipitation left my shirt a layer of sheer ice by the end. It felt like I was wearing a bullet proof vest!  I didn’t let the slushy roads, nor the cars that decided to slush me, really affect the workout and it went a little something like this:

  • Warm up
  • Tempo 5.6 miles @ 7:41 average (2.2 @ 7:47, 2.2 @ 7:39, 1.2 @ 735)
  • Easy 5.8 miles @ 9:19 – lots of snow!
  • Hard 1.2 miles @ 7:42
  • Warm down @ 9:00

Total: 16 miles in 137.59 minutes which is an average of 8:37

Funny how the warm down pace is faster than the easy pace.  Oops?  The run was actually pretty fun I guess.  Mostly in hindsight.   I was in a FOUL mood during most of the darn thing.  Maybe because I had no traction and was slipping over the roads. That said, at some point during the run I just gave into the weather and then, isurprisa!, my attitude turned around and running was fun again.  And the “tempo” part (question: what do you call what I did? Tempo isn’t accurate but it feels like the only word I know!) was actually really good. Sure the pace wasn’t where I’d like it but the EFFORT was there.  Silly snow making running harder than it has to be.

Anyway. This morning I ran 8 miles as recovery.  Mostly because the sleet from Tuesday had turned to sheets of ice overnight.  Slipping and sliding. And slushing because it was shorts weather at 36* (ahhhh relativity!) But nothing special overall.

Apple Crisp

BUT I mentioned in my last post that I made an apple crisp over the weekend with my friend.  And that it turned out delicious.  So I’ll share it with you.  I was actually a little skeptical when I read the original recipe because, contrary to all other apple crisps I have ever made, there are NO OATS in this.  My friend even acknowledged that in all other crisps in the “family recipe book” oats are a key ingredient.

I probably shouldn’t have been worried because this girl knows her stuff.  It was delicious.  I had some Friday night after making it, Saturday morning post- run and then me and her roomie finished it off Saturday before going out and then skiing Sunday (which I’m glad that lots of you haven’t done it yet. I felt so weird for being a ski virgin! Especially as a native New Englander) Essentially this apple crisp fueled my past weekend.

Ingredients:

  • Apples, sliced, enough to cover bottom of cooking pan (We used Gala)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup butter (Yes real butter because I was at my friend’s house and that’s what they had)
  1. Peel apples and slice into a buttered pan (we didn’t butter the pan, nor did we peel the apples) and fill to about 1/2 full of apples slices
  2. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon over the apples
  3. Mix the last 3 ingredients (which we actually doubled and used 2 cups brown sugar, 2 cups flour and 1 cup butter.  More yummy topping!) and put on top of the apples.
  4. Bake at 350* for 40-45 minutes. And remember to check that the oven is on bake.  Apparently my friend’s roomie (whom I went skiing with on Sunday) likes to broil his bagels in the oven.  And we didn’t realize it until 5 minutes into cooking.  Luckily no damage done!)
  5. Serve with ice cream of whipped cream and enjoy!

Leftovers....yum.

And  now I’m at work dreaming of apple crisp.  Better than what I’m really doing.  Which isn’t working but rather fire drills all day because there was a fire earlier today in the clinic and the fire department keeps setting off the detectors. Fun.

January 11, 2011

This run brought to you by the letter A

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:44

for Alcohol. The rest of today is brought to you by the letter C. For coffee.

Not T for tempo.  Although this week’s went significantly better than last week’s. I think it had to do with the fact that yesterday at work I had a real craving for a flatbread-esque pizza.  Luckily the girl I share an office with (and who I’ve been, like living with lately!) agreed with me and we went to her place after work to make and eat pizza.  And I may or may have had my first sip of alcohol in the form of beer with the pizza.  Nothing beats the taste of a cold beer with a pizza.  Here’s a picture just so you don’t think that all I do is bake and eat cookies and pies.

It was really easy to make too.  We took tortilla wraps and toasted them in the oven for 5 minutes.  Then we added a spicy basil pasta sauce and some broccoli, spinach and tomatos that were seasoned with basil.  Then we sprinkled grated mozzarella cheese on top and placed back in the oven for 10 minutes or whenever the cheese had melted.  Since I love flatbread pizzas this was awesome.  The beer was good too,  I texted my friend who joined us too what kind of beer was a good pizza beer and he suggested I pick up Shock Top wheat.  It was delicious.  Dare I say that I may be becoming a beer person?

Before digging into the pizza, however, we did make a rum vanilla pudding pie.  Rather than be *completely* lazy we decided to make the graham cracker crust ourselves.  We also added a healthy dose of my good friend Morgan

and I just want to point out the bananas in the background. Picture of health.

So I was running on pizza, beer and vanilla rum pie this morning.  With a lack of sleep as I didn’t get back to my place until 0100. Oops. But it was worth it because we watched Salt.  Amazing! Total BAMF and I absolutely loved it.  Thanks to Lacey for writing about it and making me pause at the Redbox last night 🙂

Surprisingly the run didn’t go as bad as I would have thought and went a little something like this

  • Warmup
  • “Tempo”: 5.6 miles @ 7:36 pace (2.2 miles @ 7:52, 2.2 @ 7:26, 1.2 @ 7:26)
  • Warm down
  • 1.6 miles @ 8:26 pace

Overall I got in 15.2 miles at an 8:33 pace.  Not too shabby.  Again the tempo is in quotes because it really wasn’t an actual tempo.  But I’m getting there!

After seeing the first 2.2 miles be so slow I muttered some cuss words.  Like more than a few. So I decided to try and maintain the effort for the rest of my planned “tempo” route and then, because we’re supposed to be getting 12″+ of snow tonight and I don’t know what my LR will look like later this week, make it into a makeshift long run because I knew that my paces were NOT fast enough to be tempo.  Faster than last week (where my average for 4.4 miles was 7:44ish) but not the 6:50-7:05 that a tempo should target for me. So I think that the ebb and flow of pace today was good for a LR.

Of course those goal paces are based on my current marathon PR and I’m not sure I want to attack Boston as an overall PR race.  I say that right now and I’m not really feeling all gung-ho.  I’m pretty sure it’ll pass though. I definitely will commit to gunning for a course PR (and a sub3:30 because that’s what I was targeting last year) and the pace I was at today is below that MP and it was a bit hard of a pace but nothing dreadful.  It was actually a bit enjoyable by the end.  So I’m optimistic that Boston will be good to me.

In any case I had a really good hard LR this morning.  Just in time to go out and buy booze and ride out this “extreme storm” that we’re supposed to be getting tonight.  We’ve already been called out of work for Wednesday. Hizzzzoller.

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