Tag: smoothie

A Looong Halloween

Happy belated Halloween, I hope everyone had a great time whether you celebrated or not!

My Halloween was just kinda meh. My day started super early (4:30 eeek!) so I could fit in a 12 mile long run before work. My run actually went pretty well. The lakefront trail was still closed so I completed a big loop in the city before heading down to the trail and running an out-and-back, turning around where the path was closed. I was super surprised to see a car parked on the trail around Ohio St and a man prohibiting runners from continuing along the trail (at like 6 am!) In all the inclimate winter weather we’ve had, I’ve never seen that before.

I ended up running about an 8:00 min/mile with my first 6 miles in the city slower (stop-and-go) and my last 6 faster.

This picture makes it look like I was out running on a beautiful fall day. My run was great and all but it was 37 degrees feels like 28 when I left my apartment. Not so fall-y at all!

Work this week has been incredibly busy. We had about a week to pull together a grant application and all other research projects have been put on hold as we attempt to finish everything by Friday. I’ve had quite a few days where I just haven’t been able to eat lunch until 2 or 3 pm because I’m running around and working on stuff non-stop. I’m not trying to complain because I’m actually really glad to have an opportunity to work on this application and it’s a great experience but being so busy really makes for a long day.

Ian and I had plans to use our free Chipotle coupons (from the Cultivate festival) last night so we headed over around 6:30. This was a big mistake. Apparently, Chipotle was giving out $2 burritos to anyone dressed in costume and given that the Chipotle we went to is surrounded by 3 colleges, the line was incredibly long and filled with college kids dressed to go out for the night. Ha. I felt so old.

About 30 minutes later we finally got to the front of the line and I ordered my veggie burrito bowl with romaine lettuce (best of both worlds). I want to say it was worth it but I was so hungry at this point that I just scarfed it.

[recycled photo but you get the point, also I always share the guac with Ian]

Our building does trick-or-treating but very few kids actually participate. Ian saw one little girl before I got home and a few people picked up candy from the bowl we left outside of our apartment but we didn’t get anyone else after dinner :(.

Finally, we settled down on the couch, put on Arrested Development, and I enjoyed my one and only piece of Halloween candy, a Reese’s peanut butter cup!

I also had a dark chocolate wafer chip (TJs) with sunbutter. By the way, Reese’s cups are gluten free but do have dairy in them. I made an executive decision when my boss put one down on my desk earlier in the day that Halloween only comes once a year and I was going to enjoy myself. It was totally worth it!

We also gave the furball some catnip treats but I think he was a little jealous of my Reese’s cup or just the wrapper, whatever.

How was your Halloween? Did you do anything fun? Favorite piece of candy?




WIAW {10-24-2012}

It’s time for another What I Ate Wednesday and today I’m going to show you my eats from yesterday (Tuesday). For more information and/or to link up, check out Jenn’s blog Peas and Crayons!
Spooky Snacks and Healthy Halloween Treats

Let’s get to it!

{5:10 am} Pre-run Snack

Before heading out for my 10 mile run, I had a medjool date stuffed with mocha peanut butter and sprinkled with salt and a little almond milk (unpictured). I’ve started salting my nut butters before longer runs to counteract the fact that I’m a salty sweater and don’t drink sports drinks while I’m running. I also accidentally bought a jar of unsalted almond butter and in adding salt to make it palatable realized I like my nut butters salty. No shame.

{7:15 am} Breakfast

It’s been really warm and humid in Chicago so after my run all I wanted was something cold, no oats, waffles, or breakfast bakes for me! I ended up making a recovery smoothie with 1 frozen banana, 1 cup frozen berry blend (TJs), 1/2 scoop Life’s Basics Plant Protein, and maybe 3/4-1 cup almond milk. I also had a rice cake with Naturally Nutty Pepita butter and raisins for crunch. This was a perfect post-run breakfast :).

{11:45 am} Lunch

I really tried to make it to noon to eat lunch but my stomach started growling loudly in my cube around 11 and eventually I gave in and dug into lunch early. I had leftover quinoa taco salad with veganaise and hot sauce and I have to say I think it was better the second time around!

I also had some huge grapes.

{3:30 pm} Snack

Yesterday was a hungry day and by 3:15 I was starting to feel like I needed something to eat. Knowing that I needed to run some errands after work, I snacked on a pear around 3:30.

{7:00 pm} Dinner

Dinner last night was super easy and really tasty. First, I made this roasted brussels sprouts and apples side dish and then I heated up the last of the TJs sweet potato bisque soup. The brussels sprouts were awesome (even Ian had some!) but the soup was just okay, I had to doctor it a bit with spices/hot sauce and I’m not sure I’d buy it again.

It’s hard to take a pretty picture of soup.

After dinner I spent a good chunk of time looking at and eventually booking our hotel for the Goofy Challenge (woohoo). We managed to get a pretty good deal and planning the trip made me realize that it’s actually happening. I’m so excited!

{9:00 pm} Dessert/Snack

I wanted a little something more than just a piece of chocolate or fruit so I attempted to make muesli by mixing oats, sunflower seeds, walnuts, banana slices, chocolate covered walnuts, dried cranberries, cinnamon, and almond milk in a little dish. It wasn’t quite muesli but it was pretty tasty.

After dinner, Ian and I both filled out our absentee ballots and relaxed for a bit before heading to bed. Being productive in the evenings after work is exhausting :P.

Do you normally have a snack after dinner? What do you like to have? 




{Goofy Challenge} Mesocycle 2

Today marks the start of the second mesocycle of my training for the Goofy Challenge. I discussed the five mesocycles of Advanced Marathoning when I first mentioned I was using the plan but to refresh a bit the first mesocycle focuses on increasing mileage to improve pure endurance, the second on improving lactate threshold, the third on race prep, the fourth on taper and the marathon, and the last on recovery.

The second mesocycle, lactate threshold + endurance, is five weeks long and includes one recovery week of 47 miles. The rest of the weeks vary between 52 and 58 miles which is definitely higher than most plans I’ve previously used. One of the most noticeable differences between the first mesocycle and the second is the increase in lactate threshold runs (tempo run sandwiched between 2-3 miles) and strides. While the first mesocycle only had one speed workout a week, mesocycle two includes two: one lactate threshold and one workout with strides. Similarly, this mesocyle features the first set of VO2 max intervals (600 m – 1,600 m at 5k pace). It should be exciting!

This morning I kicked off the second mesocycle with a 10 mile lactate threshold run with 5 miles at 15k to half marathon pace. It was oddly warm and humid out and I wore shorts and a short sleeved shirt. Isn’t it almost November? My run went well and I finished in 1:16:07 for a 7:35 min/mile pace. For the first time in awhile I was happy with my tempo miles (7:25, 7:21, 7:10, 7:15, 7:16), I felt good pushing the pace, and my legs didn’t feel like lead the last two miles (7:30, 7:50).

What training plans have you tried? How do you relax after a busy weekend?




Running in the Dark

This morning, after finishing up a shorter run, I realized that I suck at running in the dark. It’s not that I’m scared to run in the dark (although I used to be) or that I run slower (I actually run faster) it’s just that I am totally unprepared for anything that could happen.

Take today for instance. It was chilly when I woke up so I put on my running tights (black no reflector stripes), a long sleeved tech shirt (also black with dark purple panels), and my running shoes (blue, red, and black with no reflector stripes). With me I took my watch, my keys, and my iPod. I didn’t have any identification or my iPhone with me and Ian was fast asleep at home with no knowledge of what route I’d run.

Now I am usually totally fine and nothing strange happens to me but I’m not sure it’s worth taking that chance anymore… weird and scary things have been known to happen to runners. Plus, when I’m running in the morning most stores and businesses are not open, if I’m uncomfortable or feeling nervous there is really no where for me to go.

Here are some basic things that can be done to improve the safety of your early morning/evening run?

  • Try to run in well-lit areas as much as possible. In Chicago, most parts of the Lake Shore path are pretty well-lit. If you’re running on streets make sure to run against traffic.
  • Be visible- this means wear a reflector vest/headlamp at all times. Also wear brightly colored clothes.
  • Always carry identification and a cellphone.
  • Vary your routes and/or run with a buddy.
  • Listen to your instincts, if it doesn’t feel safe to run in a certain area don’t run there.

In terms of how I plan to make my morning runs safer, I’m going to finally purchase a Road ID so that I always have identification and emergency contact information with me whenever I’m running or cycling. Also, I think my mom might also have an old reflector vest that I can steal. I like to run early even during the winter and given that my running jacket is black, having a neon vest might be a good idea.

Do you run in the dark? How do you make sure you feel safe?

This week has been mentally exhausting. I’m not more tired than usual but feel wiped out by the end of the day. What gives? Hopefully the weekend will reinvigorate me!




Back in the Groove

Happy Friday :). I still have some posts that I’d like to write about my trip to Boston and the marathon (specifically my final thoughts on deferring and my Q&A with a Gatorade GSSI scientist) but first I thought I’d check in and give you all an update on what I’ve been up to since getting back from the trip.

Well, first school’s been incredibly busy. I arrived at home right at the start of exams and have already taken my first final (yesterday) and finished my thesis presentation and abstract (I present next Wednesday). Whew! Unfortunately, the good stuff just keeps on coming and I have an exam & three presentations next week (and my birthday) followed by three papers the following week. Craazy!

I’ve also been running pretty consistently. I’ve devoted myself to rebase training and am focusing on increasing the number of days per week that I run. I’m starting at a low 20 miles per week (still more than I ran the past 6 weeks) and by increasing my mileage no more than 10% per week I’m hoping to reach 40 miles by the end of May. My main goal is to avoid injury so I’m not worried about time at all, just waking up my muscles and reacclimating to running. Luckily I have some shorter distance races and a triathlon (maybe 2) to keep my mind off of long distance racing for awhile.

I hope to increase my mileage to about 55 by the end of the summer and then start marathon training- woohoo!

And thats about it over here- what have you been up to this week? Do you have any exciting plans for the weekend?