Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Weekly Training Update: 7/14-7/20

Training for a goal half marathon doesn't stop when you go on vacation.

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And I'm so glad for that.

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This week my workouts have taken me to Arbor Day Farms, home of Arbor Day, in Nebraska City to Davidson Mesa outside Boulder to the top of the world in Rocky Mountain National Park.

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All the while, we've driven 1,200 miles and spent time with some of my favorite people in the world. Some might not like the pressure of fitting in runs and workouts while balancing vacation fun but this week has been some of the most fun training I've had in a long time.

The week, in training:

Monday, July 14
RUN | 5 miles

Time: 46:55     Pace: 9:22
Plan: 2-mile WU; 5 x [30 seconds uphill at hard effort, walk down rest; 75 seconds 5K effort, walk down rest]; 1-mile CD.
Since I can't find good hills in my neighborhood and I'm taking this training seriously, I hit the treadmill for this workout. For the hills, I did the 30 seconds hard at 7.5 (8:00 pace) and the 75 seconds 5K effort at 7.3 (8:13 pace). Incline was at 4.0 for first two intervals, 4.5 for second two and 5.0 for last. It felt tough for sure.

Tuesday, July 15
CYCLE | 10.25 miles
Time: 50:00     Pace: 12.4 mph
Let me say this: It's totally weird to ride in the dark. I woke up early to ride, taking the long way to the YMCA. I did some upper body exercises and then rode home.

Wednesday, July 16
RUN | 6.6 miles
Time: 58:10     Pace: 8:49
Workout: 2-mile WU; 4 x 1 mile @ 10K pace; 1-mile CD
Goal pace for the repeats was 8:20 but thanks to the awesome support of my husband, we were able to nail it - with negative splits. 8:13, 8:11, 8:08, 8:00. It was definitely tough at the end and I sort of wanted to die but I really showed up. The weather didn't hurt either thanks to the second coming of the polar vortex.

Thursday, July 17
RUN | 3.21 miles
After a 10-hour drive (not including stops), my legs were happy to go for a run. My heart was happier to be able to run with my best friend. Our time together is never enough so it was great to have a few miles without kids and husbands.

Friday, July 18

Saturday, July 19
RUN | 3.4 miles + 1.23-mile run commute to cycling
First run at altitude, and it was as difficult as I remembered.

CROSS TRAINING | Indoor cycling class
I visited the nearby rec center, and I really enjoyed the class. The instructor was very "Boulder" and welcoming. The workout featured some sprints and steady flats. A few climbs, too.

Sunday, July 20
RUN | 9.05 miles
Time: 1:27:54     Pace: 9:43
I did the first 4 with Mark around Louisville, Colorado, and then finished the last 5 around Davidson Mesa. The views were breathtaking, and I was completely enamored when I saw horses. Good thing, though, that my sister-in-law told me later that I could have also spotted rattlesnakes. Ick!

Friday, July 18, 2014

On the Road: Grain-Free Snacks

A lifelong friendship could have very well been a polite acquaintance had it not been for one thing.

Pretzel rods.

Kim and I were making the journey from northeast Indiana to Chicagoland for the 2013 Wisconsin Half Marathon. Like any good toddler moms would, we came packing. Apples, carrots, nuts, pretzel roods and raisins filled bags and, later, bellies until we were able to stop for lunch.

Just one thing: A suitable dining spot was hard to come by. We spent much of the four trip lamenting that we were hungry as we ate another pretzel rod ... and another ... and another. As we were both running 13.1 the next day, we just considered it carb loading.

But carbs and me aren't on the greatest of terms since I adopted my no sugar, no grains lifestyle (which is about 80/20). So when it came time to pack snacks for our road trip to Colorado, I was at a bit of a loss. Sure, I could fill a bag with fruit snacks, yogurt-covered raisins, granola bars and crackers for the boys. But what was I going to pack?

Plenty, as it turns out.

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UGo Bars. I found these at my local running store, and I couldn't resist. The bars are made in Bloomington, Indiana, and feature recognizable ingredients and an actual expiration date. They are comparable to Larabars but the taste is off the charts. I had the Ultra Cherry and Cacao, which had dried cherries, pecans, raisins, flax, cinnamon chia seeds and cacao nibs. They do have brown rice syrup, which hedges the line of no sugar, but it's still a good option.

Snack pack olives. I'll admit, these weird me out a bit. The black olives come in a plastic container with no liquid. And, at nearly a $1 per serving, these aren't cost effective but it's nice to have something salty and fatty to tide you over.

Shelled pistachios. I love, love, love pistachios and often get them on car trips when we make a pit stop at a gas station. The only problem is that they come in the shell, making them difficult to eat while driving and messy. It's worth it to spend the extra money and get them pre-shelled. I bought snack pack plastic baggies and portioned them out. Other nuts are great, too.

Peeled boiled eggs. This option is best for consumption within a few hours but I packed a few eggs in a plastic container with freezer ring. As we left at 4 a.m., I was able to grab these when I was ready for breakfast and eat something familiar.

Almond butter packets. A container of fresh ground almond butter can almost always be found at my desk. I eat it with fruit or on a sweet potato but mostly I eat it with a spoon. So why would I stray from a favorite on a trip? The combination of fat and protein is great for satiety.

What are your must have snacks?