Friday, October 31, 2014

Food Highlights: Pittsburgh, PA

Whelp, it seems I didn't take very many iPhone pictures at all when in Pittsburgh, PA the weekend before last. It's a crying shame because I had so much fun and delicious food! I'd never visited Pittsburgh before nor had I done any research, so I had no idea what to expect (as evident by my naively attempted 13 mile run that turned into 10 miserable ones).

Another example: When arriving in Pittsburgh from the airport, you drive into a through-the-mountain tunnel and then---BOOM---there is Pittsburgh! Bridges! Rivers! Stadiums! Skyscrapers! Hills! It was awesome. Pittsburgh is 5% water (according to Wikipedia) and it's downtown sits on the convergence of two rivers. Pretty cool! Also, Pittsburgh was probably 2+ weeks ahead of Richmond as far as fall goes: All the trees were shades of red / orange and the weather was in the mid to high 50s the entire time.

Once I pulled myself together and showered after the run, Sarah and I headed back into the city for some pre-dinner fun. What's at the top of the to-do list when spending a weekend with a best girl friend? COCKTAILS! First, we headed to Olive or Twist (website) martini bar. I surprisedly settled on the "Orange Clove Pomander" martini (Stoli Oranj, Licor 43, Allspice Dram, Orange Juice). I think it was the Licor 43 that won me over...reminded me of my Camino de Santiago trip in college and it did not disappoint. Sarah thankfully got "Winter Chai" (Smirnoff Vanilla, Rumchata, Allspice Dram, Cinnamon) because that was my second choice. CHAI, duh. There were so many fun concoctions, I wish we could've gone back for dessert to try the Cookie Dough or S'more martinis.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Marathon Training Monday - Week 14 (3 weeks out!)

The best part about this past week being over? It's time to TAPER!!!! The leg pain that popped up last week continued to haunt me this week to the point that I had doubts the 20-miler on Saturday would happen. Alas, it did and relatively pain-free...not to mention, I shaved 15 minutes off of last year's time!

Monday: 50 min gym cross-training (cardio + core)
Tuesday: 1 hour, 30 min run (9.7 miles)
Wednesday: 45 minute water run
Thursday: 1 hour vinyasa class
Friday: OFF
Saturday: 20.25 miles! / 3 hour run
Sunday: OFF


From last Friday's run in Pittsburgh, my back-of-knee discomfort continued and was joined by inner calf pain. (YAY!) For that reason, I decided to run Tuesday's 9-10 miles by myself so I'd have the option of stopping at any point, should the discomfort escalate. I ended up making it all the way through with only some mild discomfort and tightness. Total time: 1:23:38; average pace: 8:40; fastest mile: 8:07; slowest mile: 8:57.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Naturally-Sweetened Zucchini Muffins (with Maple & Honey!)

Recognize something from Monday's post? I know it's fall and all but zucchini muffins are definitely something to get excited about, especially ones like these: sweetened with maple syrup and pure honey, and sporting a healthy dose of whole wheat.

I am sure you've heard all of the "Go sugar free!" Give up sugar!" chanting over the internet lately. I've stopped and thought about it more than once, most recently a few weeks ago. Even if you just pause a moment to think about, it's hard to deny that sugar is an addictive "substance". There's not very much else (besides bacon) I crave, particularly when I'm sad / cranky / tired / happy / bored. I crave it just about ALL THE TIME. Besides the cravings, I hope I don't have to point out to you that sugar is pretty much in everything nowadays. Pasta sauce, bread, crackers, salad dressings...Kind of scary, right?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Marathon Training Monday - Week 13

Squeeze's window just about sums up my recovery week, plus or minus several pounds of pasta, dessert and wine. Last week's recovery could not have come at a better time! I kept my two runs shorter and slow. I also took advantage of the flexibility in my schedule by visiting my friend Sarah in Pittsburgh, PA for a long weekend.

Monday: 50 min gym cross-training (cardio + core)
Tuesday: 1 hour, 30 min run (8.79 miles)
Wednesday: 50 minute water run
Thursday: 1 hour yoga class + 1 hour sports massage
Friday: 2 hour run...ended up being 1 hour, 40 min hilly run (10.5 miles)
Saturday: OFF
Sunday: OFF

TOTAL MILEAGE: 19.29 miles

Monday, October 13, 2014

Marathon Training Monday - Week 12

That's THREE MONTHS of training in the books! And only five weekends to go... *barf*. To be completely honest, I'm a little nervous. "Knowing what to expect" is kind of a pro and con in this instance---I know my body can (barely) physically handle it, but I also know how freaking hard it is! This year, there's also is the added pressure / reach goal of trying to beat last year's time. Scary, fun, scary, fun, scary, fun?! I go back and forth on an daily basis!

Monday: 45 min gym cross-training (cardio + core)
Tuesday: 1 hour, 30 min run (9.7 miles)
Wednesday: 50 minute pyramid water run
Thursday: 1 hour yoga class
Friday: 1 hour SEAL Team water workout
Saturday: 3 hour run (18 miles!)
Sunday: OFF

TOTAL MILEAGE: 37.7 miles (2.3 less than last week)