Half Marathon Training Update – Week Thirteen

Three weeks away and counting!

Half Marathon Training


April 7th – April 13th

Starting weight – 173.6 lbs

Monday - P90X Stretch – Missed my usual stretch because I was taking my youngest to apply for a summer job which you can read here.

Tuesday - 10 X 400 @ 11:23 pace – 400 meter RI (Track) - These were pretty great! I had a lot of energy that day. I ran all of them on an average of 10:00 pace. Anytime I go below my scheduled pace I consider a win!

Wednesday – Strength Training  – Sleep the night before wasn’t great so I felt a little tired going into it. Once I got going things were good.

Thursday - 1 mile easy, 5 miles @ 12:20, 1 mile easy (outside) – This was by far the best run that I have had! It was really windy(like 20mph gusts) so I was dreading it a bit. I decided to do my first half against the wind which turned out to be a good choice. As soon as I started I knew it was going to be an awesome run. I started at 10:40 for the first mile and it just kept getting faster from there. My fastest mile was at the 6 mile mark at 10:17.  I PR’d both my 5K and 10K times.

Friday - Rest day! 

Saturday - Spin Class  - Surprising or not, maybe, I felt a bit tired. My energy wasn’t there. I had a good class but I really had to really work at it more than usual. I figured it was because I did an hour and a half the week before and then put in around 25 miles of running this week.

15 mile Run  @ 13:10 pace -  It was a crazy windy day again and in the 70′s which is well above our average high for this time of year. I wasn’t feeling up to the task of tackling this last super long run. What ever it was, I had a horrible run. I was very disappointed in myself with it. LOTS of walking which makes me feel like I could use a few more weeks before actually doing the half. I don’t understand why I was so tired. My watch stopped at 6:80 miles so I had to just guess where my 7.5 mile turn around spot was. How is it that I am this inconsistent? Next week is 10 miles as I start to taper a bit.

What I have been eating.

I have been playing with combining the proper amounts of carbs and proteins to fuel my workouts. Some days I hit it some days I don’t. I’m not looking for perfection but I want to make the most out of every workout.

This is a recipe that I haven’t tried yet but I want to this week for Good Friday.

Scallops with ginger and pineapple salsa from The Paleo Recipe Book by Sébastien Noël


4 large scallops

1 onion, sliced

¼ cup fresh pineapple, chopped

1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated

1 tsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped

1 tsp honey, optional

1 tsp lemon juice

½ tsp sesame seeds

1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

4 tsp extra-virgin olive oil

Cooking fat

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


1) Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and cook the onion in some cooking fat until softened, about 5 minutes.

2) Place the cooked onion in a bowl with the pine- apple, ginger, cilantro, honey, if using, lemon juice, sesame seeds, red pepper flakes and olive oil. Season to taste with sea salt and black pep- per and mix everything well.

3) Heat the frying pan again to a medium-high heat, season the scallops to taste, and cook them in the hot frying pan with some cooking fat for about 2 minutes per side, until just cooked and opaque all the way through.

4) Serve with the pineapple and ginger salsa on the side.


Positive - Great workout week despite my Sunday long run!

Things to work on - Consistency seems to be the issue here this week. I really don’t know what to do differently to make my really long runs better. To have a killer run on Thursday only to have a really bad one three days later.

How do you fuel your workouts?

First Summer Job

Monday I had to skip my usual stretching to take my youngest to apply for his first job. This job will be working at our local carousel park for the summer. He is so excited and hopes he will be one of kids hired.

As I was waiting for him to return to the car, I started to reminisce about my first job. My first job was working as a cashier at the now defunct Zayres department store.

I had so much fun that first summer. It was 1987 and I was 17. I think my pay was $3.35/hr then.

I made so many lasting memories there. I met my husband there and we started to date. I even met my hairdresser there too. Two relationships that have lasted over 25 years.

Those days I felt carefree and financially independent, or so I thought. I still look back on that summer with fondness. I actually looked forward to going to work!

Now, my youngest will get to experience it hopefully this summer. I hope he will get that feeling of freedom and independence. I hope he will meet new people and have the kind of lasting relationships I had.

What was your first/summer job?



Half Marathon Training Update – Week Twelve

I can’t believe my race is only a month away. I will be stepping it up these next couple of weeks.

Half Marathon Training


March 31st - April 6th

Starting weight – 175 lbs

Monday - P90X Stretch – Great stretch!

Tuesday – 3 X 1600 meter – 400 meter RI 11:23 pace (Outside) - I was thrilled I was able to finally do these on the track at my son’s school! Very different from the treadmill. I have to learn how to pace myself outside now. I went out faster than the scheduled pace and burnt out early. Great workout! My quad is a lot better thanks to that compression sleeve.

Wednesday - Upper/lower body strength training and core - Felt great. I made sure I was careful with my quad but it was feeling a lot better so I didn’t have any issues.

Thursday - 6 easy miles(outside) – I’m not sure why my schedule had this on instead of a regular tempo run but I will take it. I just ran at a good clip and my watch said I had my fastest 10k so far. Can’t complain about that!

Friday - Rest day! 

Saturday - Spin Class  - This was the first Saturday of the month class which means the optional half hour on top of the regular hour. Despite having little sleep the night before, it was a good workout and I was surprisingly peppy!

14 mile Run  @ 12:58 pace -
04-06 Time
I did 13.75 miles so I will count this in the win column to a certain degree. My legs were still very tired from the spin class the day before. That didn’t become an issue however until the 10th mile. The course I mapped out I had forgotten how hilly it was. I like incorporating this into my long runs to build my strength. It didn’t make for a spectacular long run but I worked my ass off for it.

What I have been eating.

When it comes to Sunday dinner I have to plan around my long runs. This means either make something that isn’t to labor intensive or throw something together in the crockpot. What I made yesterday I made in the oven but cooked it on low for the afternoon.

Lean Slow Cook Pot Roast


5lb Lean Beef Roast (I used Top Round yesterday)

5 – 8 Red Potatoes cubed (this could vary depending on the size of your dish)

1 bag baby carrots

2 cans Progresso French Onion Soup

Salt & pepper to taste.


1. Put meat into a large cooking pan.

2. Add cubed potatoes and carrots.

3. Salt & pepper. (Keep in mind the sodium content of the soup)

4. Pour both cans of soup over the meat and veggies.

5. Cook at 300 degrees for 6 hours in the oven with pan lid on.

6. Serve with a nice salad!

You can get creative and put any veggie that you would like into pan too. Great comfort food that is actually healthy too.


Positive - Great workout week!

Things to work on - Endurance. Now that I am increasing my miles these next couple of weeks before I taper, I want to make sure not to burn out before I get done. Also, my scale hasn’t been moving which confuses me.

How was your weekend?


Staycations – The Spin

My husband and I will be married 26 years next week. Even though money is tight now it was really tight in our early years.

I got married when I was 18 and he was a couple of month shy of 20. Crazy, right?? This was before kids and it was just the two of us. We bought our first house when I was just 20 years old. When I say that money was scarce that would have been a colossal understatement.

No money also equals no vacations at least not the kind that you travel for. We always made sure we took vacation time together but we didn’t want to just sit at home the entire time.

One year I decided to invest in The Entertainment Book. This was a book that had local restaurants and points of interest at a discounted price. These were mostly BOGO deals. With this book in hand, I declared that we will have the best Staycation ever!

Weather dependent, we picked something to do every day as well as a daily lunch date. With BOGO why not?

We went to the Buffalo Zoo one day. Something that I haven’t done since I was a kid.

Another day we went to the Niagara Falls Aquarium. We love to fish so that was a pretty cool day.

We went to the Buffalo Museum of Science which I think I may have gone on a field trip for when I was in grade school.

I couldn’t get him to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery though which was too bad. That museum is really nice and the building’s architecture is amazing!

Staycations are a wonderful thing to do because we tend to forget all the cool stuff that’s near to us.

Would you consider a Staycation this year?

Second Blooming

When Do You Count A Running Distance? A Talk With Hubby.

Last week I was talking to my husband about, you guessed it, running. I’m sure he is getting pretty tired of all of the discussions. Actually, I know he’s getting pretty tired of me talking about it.

One discussion in particular stood out.

Me: I can’t believe that I have almost 5 weeks left before my half marathon.

Hubby: I don’t know why you are going to do that race. You have already run that distance so you HAVE run a half marathon. Why pay money for it?

Me: It’s not the same. I can’t really count it until I actually DO the race.

Hubby: It is the same.

Me: @#%$%$#$

Yes, I am going to be that person who sticks a 13.1 sticker on my back window once I complete the race but only when I complete the race. I know it may be pretty obnoxious but it’s going to happen so deal with it!

I’ve seen this picture floating around and I thought it was quite appropriate.

So, I throw the question out to you guys.

When do you count your distance? Training, race, or both.


Half Marathon Training Update – Week Eleven

OMG! I have 5 weeks left and I’m stressing just a bit!

One thing of note is that I added an email subscription to the right column. It works but you have to scroll way down to get to the form. I apologize for that. I am trying to figure out why it’s doing that. So, if you want to know when my posts go live, sign up!


Half Marathon Training

March 24th – March 30th

Starting weight – 175.6 lbs

Monday - P90X Stretch – I was hoping that this would work out that tweak I have in my left quad. It was pretty sore after my 10 mile run and remained so today. Needless to say, it help but was no fixer.

Tuesday – 1 x 1000, 1 x 2000, 2 – 1000 11:24 pace with 400 meter RI(treadmill) - These were a challenge but I did them well. Quad felt a little better but still remained sore afterwards.

Wednesday - Upper/lower body strength training and core - Felt good. I did the complete workout without any grief from my quad.

Thursday - Tempo 1 mile easy, 6 miles @ 12:19 pace, 1 mile easy (outside) – I was so happy to be outside for these. It started fine but as I went on my quad got more and more sore. The last quarter mile however scared the heck out of me. I was into the last quarter mile when that soreness in my quad became a really sharp pain. It stopped me dead in my tracks. After lobbing some F-bombs (sorry neighbors!) I managed to hobble back home. I’m not sure what I did but I knew it wasn’t good. I can run through pain but this was a different level all together. With 5 weeks left, I can’t afford a bad injury.

Friday - Rest day! – I spend the night before and tonight icing my quad. I’m hoping with some Aleve and ice I can make the pain go away. Going up and down stairs was no picnic either.

Saturday - Spin Class  (Missed) – I hate to miss spin and this was the second week in a row that I missed it. I knew my leg would suffer if I did it. The pushing off action hurt so I knew the standing climbs would be terrible. My thought is off today so I can run tomorrow.

14 mile Run  @ 12:58 pace (Incomplete)- First, I woke up to this.
Hello??? Where did spring go. It was there for a couple of days then gone again. I decided rather than dealing with slushy roads I would stay inside on the treadmill. My thoughts were if I had another issue like Thursday then at least I am inside and could just stop. I managed to get 6 miles in. I am very disappointed. My quad started to ache after 5 miles and by 6 I had to stop. I will play it by ear for this next week. I also ordered a thigh compression sleeve to aid in my recovery.

What I have been eating.

Continuing with the seafood theme, this wild caught salmon recipe is sure to please! The Cajun spices give a little heat to this very tasty fish! I love salmon and this is a tasty variation.

 Wild Salmon with Cajun Spices From the Paleo Recipe Book by  Sébastien Noël

1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp crushed coriander seeds
1 tbsp dried ground garlic
2 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp coarsely ground black pepper
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
4 wild salmon fillets, about 1/2 lb each skin removed
1 tbsp Cooking fat
Sea salt to taste

1. Combine all the spices together in a bowl and season with sea salt to taste.
2. Use half of the spice blend and rub the salmon fillets on both sides, cover with plastic wrap and
let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
3. Heat a frying pan on a high-heat and melt some cooking fat. Place the salmon fillets in the very hot pan and cook for 2 minutes on the first side,
without moving them.
4. After 2 minutes, turn them over and cook for
another 2 minutes.


Positive - I managed to get through most of the week before my injury. Had good workouts prior to it. Even though I only did six miles yesterday, I still got something in without hurting myself.

Things to work on - Still pace. I know it will come in time.

How was your weekend? What types of compression wear do you prefer?


Our First House – The Spin

This week’s Spin Cycle is about fixer uppers. Thank you Gretchen and Ginny for posting it!

Our first house was just that. Actually, fixer upper would probably be an huge understatement!

Why my husband insisted on that house, I’ll never know. Back in 1990 we were both very young. We wanted desperately to get out of the apartment scene and into our first house.

We looked high and low for houses in our price range which was next to nothing. We had a few in mind but I knew I didn’t want that one. The real estate agent called my husband and told him if we wanted the house we need to make an offer quickly because someone else was ready to buy it.

She must have really seen us coming because in hind sight no one in their right mind would want that house. Either way, my husband and I totally fell for it.

My husband talked to me about it and he said we really should get it because there may not be another one that we could afford. I told him I didn’t like it and there was too much work that needs to be done. He insisted and ultimately I gave in.

What did I know? This was my first house and I was only three years out of high school. I got married right out of high school if you were wondering.

Once we started doing the work on it we realized what a huge mistake it was. There was so much to be done but here were the few that really stood out.

Kitchen – Indoor/outdoor carpet, contact paper in the cupboard. The Dose Girls put this “Would you rather” question up about carpeting in the kitchen or bathroom. Well my friends we had both and both were equally disgusting! Contact paper in the cupboards were equally gross and took a case of Goo Gone to get it all out.

Bedroom – Paneling held up by two by fours leaning up against it. Really??? Is this how to put up wall paneling?? I wish I took pictures because it was completely surreal. We didn’t notice this when we went through the house because I think a couple of dressers may have been holding it up.

Living room – Carpet that smelled like cats. We had them cleaned a few times and it helped. We really noticed the damage once we pulled the carpet up. They had really nice hardwood floors that may have been repairable but we just decided to carpet over them once they were sanitized.

Well, we did fix it up and it didn’t look (or smell) bad once we were done.

What is your fixer upper?

Second Blooming



Breaking Out of The “I Really Should” Mantra

Since deciding to go on this journey I have obsessed talked about it to just about anyone who I can pin down to listen.

Ok, maybe I’m not that aggressive but it’s hard to contain my enthusiasm when I talk about my training. This is especially true when I hit milestones like my new high mileage runs.

Each time I talk with certain people I get similar responses – “I really should go and ****. You can fill in the blanks. Each person is different.

“I really should go running again.”

“I really should get back to the gym.”

“I really should get my bike out and go riding again.”

“I really should eat healthier.”

I am not expecting people to justify their actions simply because I talk about what I like to do. They are the one’s who feel the need to do it.

I started to think about how to break out of that mantra; to get past the thought and into the action. I have some tips how to put your “I Really Should” mantra into “I Am” action.
I Really Should
You have to really want it.

Yes, you really have to want it. Nothing happens until that point. I know because I have gone through a million times before. This time for me it was somewhat simple to a certain degree. I wanted to do it for a long time but something held me back. I was in that “I Really Should” way of thinking. I finally, last fall, decided that I would go for it. I really wanted it and nothing was going to stop me.

You have to make a plan.

Now that your past the wanting it stage it’s on to the implementing part of this exercise. My success is really based on how I plan something out. I am a planner by nature but even if you’re not you should get into the habit. Your success or failure is based on the course you set for yourself.

Understand that flexibility is important.

It’s important to want it and then make a plan for it but understand you have to be flexible to. Life has thrown a couple of curve balls my way with my training. Some things I couldn’t help and some things I could. Don’t get stuck in the “I really should but…. ” mantra because you think that all won’t go perfectly. I’m here to tell you – IT WON’T. Life isn’t perfect and neither is diet and exercise. Perfection isn’t the key here. It’s getting up and doing something that is.

So the next time you think you should be doing something, get up and do it. You’ll be glad you did!

What are some of things you do to break out of the “I Really Should” mantra? What are some other suggestions you would like to give?

Half Marathon Training Update – Week 10

Happy chilly Monday everyone! I apologize for the goof last week. For some reason my post was not accepting any comments even though everything was set up ok. It was a weird thing that sent me into a bit of a panic being worried that all my posts were going to end up like that.

Anyway, on to training last week.

Half Marathon Training

March 17th – March 23rd

Starting weight – 174.6 lbs

Monday - P90X Stretch – Badly need this after my long run. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised but I was quite sore. I really should invest in some compression socks because my calves were unusually tight.

Tuesday – 4 x 1200 11:24 (Missed) - I opted out of doing these tonight. I hated to do this. I was still really sore from my 13 miles and just felt like I needed a extra rest day.

Wednesday - Upper/lower body strength training and core - I was glad (somewhat) that I skipped my speed work. I still had some lingering soreness but overall had a good strength training workout.

Thursday - Tempo 1 mile easy, 6 miles @ 12:19 pace, 1 mile easy (treadmill) – These were great. I was happy that I finally recover from the run.

Friday - Rest day! – Going away party for my work friend made that nice birthday cake for me. I will really miss her being here but I am very happy that she found a great new opportunity!

Saturday - Spin Class  (Missed) – About that going away party, well, as much as I was happy to be there, I should have know better than to overindulge like that. I ate foods and drank beverages that I have been staying away from and going to bed really late. The result, I felt awful Saturday morning. I didn’t feel rested and it felt like I had a brick in my stomach for most of the day. Spin would have been a disaster.

Sunday -10 miles @ 12:57 pace (outside) - It wouldn’t be a Sunday long run if I didn’t have freezing temps and a bitter wind chill to deal with. Where the hell is spring?? It was 23 degrees with a bitter 20mph wind coming out of the North. Surprisingly, I was actually much faster than I have been. I finished out on an average of 1 minute below the assigned pace. At mile 3 and 5, I was two minutes below. Again, the one stretch which was about 1.5 miles long towards the end of my run was directly into the wind. That gave me some trouble but as much as I hate to do it, I know this will make me a stronger runner in the long run (no pun intended).

What I have been eating.

Being that it’s Lent, fish is on the menu for Fridays. This is a great spring recipe for a quick refreshing lunch. It would probably be more refreshing if it were warmer but what can you do.

 Tuna Salad with Apples & Oranges From the Paleo Recipe Book by  Sébastien Noël

1 small Boston lettuce, chopped
2 red apples, cored and sliced
2 cans tuna
1 orange, segmented and segments cut
¼ cup homemade ( you can use regular light mayo) mayonnaise
½ tbsp lemon juice
½ cup walnuts, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 Prepare the dressing by mixing the lemon juice
with the mayonnaise and seasoning to taste
with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to

2 Combine the lettuce, apples, orange and tuna in
a bowl and mix in the dressing.

3 Serve garnished with chopped walnuts.

Great combination of flavors and textures with healthy fats.


Positive - A decent workout week. I would rather not have missed those two days but I need to move on from it. I am happy about my improvements with my running again. 14 miles are on the schedule for this Sunday so stay tuned. I am happy about two pounds gone too!

Things to work on - My pace and I would like to get better running into a head wind. That still slows me way down.

How was your weekend?

It’s Almost Spring – The Spin

Spring officially starts this week on March 20 at 12:57 P.M. EDT but it already feels like it at my house.

It has been stupid cold lately. Despite the weather, on my last run I saw a huge group of robins in the trees and on the ground near the road. It was cold and windy that day but it made me hopeful for the warm weather.

Even this last Sunday I heard the first Red Winged Blackbirds calling from the wires above. Spring is almost here.

The biggest sign of spring is the collecting of sap from the maple trees to make maple syrup.

Around our house and especially up at our camp in the Adirondack’s you can see colored tubing woven through the woods to collect the sap.

Random picture.

Pure maple syrup is rather pricey, going for about $30/gal on average. This is something that we rarely (if ever) purchase.

This year my husband was determined to try it himself. He spent the better part of a couple weeks ago setting up his sap collecting stations. He tapped about 12 trees for his first run.

Syrup Collection

Collecting station.

Once he had a few gallons of sap collected he set up the fire in our back yard and started to boil down the sap. That took almost all day. Once the sap was boiled down to a gallon or two, he brought it in to finish it up on the stove top.


His first try he got almost a quart Mason jar full for his efforts.


First jar of real maple syrup!

First jar of real maple syrup!

His second run this last weekend produced three more jars.
3-16-14 Syrup

I am so proud of my hubby!


What is your sign of spring?

Second Blooming

Half Marathon Training Update – Week Nine

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I hope everyone is wearing green today. I wish I could say the same but I completely spaced about it. Well, we had a crazy week of weather but this week starts spring so I hope it will start getting better.

Half Marathon Training

March 10th – March 16th

Starting weight – 176.6 lbs

Monday - P90X Stretch

Tuesday – 2 X 1600 @ 11:25 pace with 90 second R.I. & 2 X 800 11:19 (treadmill) - These went well. I am looking forward to the day I can go to my kid’s school and use their track for these.

Wednesday - Upper/lower body strength training and core - I was a little tired that night but still had a pretty good effort. Crazy day with a snowstorm that blew threw. I was hoping they would let us out at noon like all of the other businesses did but no such luck.

Thursday - Tempo 1 mile easy, 5 miles @ 12:19 pace, 1 mile easy (treadmill) – These were great. I am never super energetic by Thursday but felt really good doing these.

Friday - Rest day!

Saturday - Spin Class - This class seemed really tough. I know I didn’t get much sleep the night before and that really made a difference with my performance.

Sunday -13 miles @ 13:09 pace (outside) - The weather gods must really hate me because every Sunday without fail the weather stinks. Sunday was high of 18 with a strong wind coming out of the North which brought wind chills to around 0. At least is was sunny. This is my new longest mileage run. My last was 11 miles. It went better than I had expected but I have to do this a few more times to really master it. Like my 11 mile run I was getting faster with each mile up till 8. After that I slowed way down. I knew this would happen so I am not upset. This was the longest distance I have done EVER so I am pleased if nothing else, with that.
3-16-14 Run


What I have been eating.

I fell in love with this salad after the first time I made it. I had some leftover beef tenderloin steak which I sliced up and used for this. I don’t have a stir-fry pan so I just made due with a regular skillet.

Citrus Beef Salad Stir-fry From the Paleo Recipe Book by  Sébastien Noël