Tag Archives: run fast eat slow

To Marathon or Not To Marathon

Who followed the Chicago Marathon on Sunday? I didn’t watch the whole thing, but we caught parts of it on TV and followed my cousin’s husband on the Marathon app. We had the BEST time at the Chicago Marathon last year and the whole family was sad not to be there this year. Especially since the weather was perfect fall running weather again. Maybe next year.

Early morning pre-Chicago marathon spectating walk. Loved the energy in the air.
Early morning pre-Chicago marathon spectating walk. Loved the energy in the air.

Maybe next year…I run it? I’ve always said I would never run a marathon. Before I was running focused, I’ve always been health focused and, frankly, I don’t think running marathons is very good for your body or good for your overall health.* Plus, while I enjoy 14 mile training runs for the half marathon, I don’t know that I’d enjoy running an extra 8 miles for my long run. I’m also quite certain my feet would not love it. Buuuut, cheering Bill and my cousin’s husband (can I just say cousin-in-law?) last year with the whole family was so fun, and it looked so beautiful (and flat!), and I’ve kind of come around on the marathon running community (just fyi, you are STILL a runner even if you don’t run marathons:)…plus it’s my hometown….Maybe next year. Maybe someday.

See you someday. Maybe.
See you someday. Maybe.

In the meantime I’m training for one of my favorite races, the OUC (Orlando Utilities Commission) Half Marathon which is in early December. I love the race because it is local, and I have run almost every part of the race course during my typical weekly runs. Familiarity is good. I also love that it starts near Bill’s office so real bathrooms. Yes!!! It’s also such a great time of year. It’s usually a little cooler and so pretty outside. This is a big race for Orlando, and Track Shack (the race organizer) has a great post race event around Lake Eola. The only downside of the race: brick roads. Not my favorite, especially around miles 8 and 9.

Bill has been transitioning my workouts with an eye towards the upcoming half marathon. My tempo runs are now four miles at a slightly slower pace than my typical three mile workouts. He also had me do a new-to-me workout last week at the track. I knew I was either going to love it or hate it…I ended up really liking it! I did 16 x 400, alternating 5k pace (6:56ish) and marathon pace (7:53ish). My 5k splits were all between 6:43 and 6:55 and my marathon splits were all between 7:50-7:59. It was a tough workout because I never felt like I could fully recover from the faster lap, but it was great for honing in on different paces and learning to recover without settling in to an easy pace. I’d definitely recommend it! I initially thought that 16 laps sounded like torture, but they flew by.

Just one more. I love this city!
Just one more. I love this city!

Completely unrelated: I’m still in love with my new cookbook, Run Fast Eat Slow. Since my last post, I made the Moroccan Lentil Salad with Couscous, Swiss Muesli Bowl, Wild West Rice Salad, Noodle Salad with Runner’s High Peanut Sauce, and Make-Ahead Breakfast Burritos (confirmed that they are every bit as delicious after being frozen and reheated). I liked every recipe I have made from this book, but my absolute favorite is the Moroccan Salad. The different textures combined with the cinnamon, turmeric and cumin spice mix = absolutely addicting. I ate it straight out of the bowl for five days straight. I love that this cookbook is all about real food that is really good for real appetites.

Noodle Salad with Runner's High Peanut Sauce
Noodle Salad with Runner’s High Peanut Sauce with a side of marinated and baked tempeh
Moroccan Lentil Salad with Couscous
Moroccan Lentil Salad with Couscous

What are your thoughts on the marathon? 

Favorite genre of food? 

* A quick internet search led me to  this , this, and this. I’m not saying marathons are the worst thing for your health, but articles, posts and research studies make me at least question whether marathon training and running is good for your overall heath.

Trying to Run Fast and Eat Slow

The goodness that came in the mail today:

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I’ve already made and tried the Superhero Muffins (delicious!), and the Banana Spelt Bread is cooling and ready for breakfast tomorrow.  I’ve wanted this cookbook since before it was released this summer, but made myself wait until my birthday to get it. I highly recommend Run Fast Eat Slow if you like good food that also happens to be healthy and nourishing. There is a good mix of drinks (smoothies, tea lattes, etc.), snacks, salads and light meals, main entrees, and treats. And that’s not all! I sound like an infomercial. Seriously though, every recipe looks awesome.

On the workout front, I’ve been keeping up with my normal running routine, although I’ve subbed in a track workout every other week in place of my tempo run. I think it’s super important to have one faster or challenging workout per week.  Although I take some time off a couple times of year from all speed work (usually after my December half marathon and after the end of the local racing season), for most of the year I include a tempo run in my weekly schedule. My 5k times have improved with just a weekly tempo run, and I think tempo workouts have an even greater impact on longer races – the 5 mile, 10k and half marathon.

During and just before my racing season, I will substitute a track workout for a tempo run every other week. I like doing 5k paced track workouts because my coach makes makes me do them they help me to lock in my pace during a 5k race, give me confidence that I can run fast, and also help me to get faster. However, as Bill likes to say, “the track giveth and the track taketh away.” My body (especially my feet) take a beating from the combination of regular track workouts and races. So I try to limit my time on the track to key times during the year.

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“The track giveth and the track taketh away.”

Racing! Although I missed the first race in the local series this year (we were in Chicago in August), I was able to run the September race which was the Rock N Run 5k in Casselberry. I’ve always liked this race, mostly because there are no brick streets. I ran a 21:37 (6:57 pace) which I was very happy with. Four seconds faster than last year’s race, and my new PR for chipped races. I am also now fairly convinced that I did not run a 21:29 at the July race, as I used the mile marker clocks during the Rock N Run to estimate the distance I ran before I started my watch at the July race. I’m pretty sure it was a bit longer than the two seconds I previously estimated. Obsess much?

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The splits for miles 1-3 are  actually slightly faster than each of those splits during the July race. That’s something!

My last bit of workout news is that I’m back on the strengthening train again. Twice a week for the past month. For real. I’ve started doing the workouts at the gym instead of at home and it’s made a big difference for me in terms of convenience, liking it more, and making it a more challenging workout. There is a lot more space, and all of the equipment I need is there – a better variety of weights for different exercises, a step to elevate my legs for some of the abdominal work and an exercise ball that is not half deflated (or my kids’ hopping ball with a handle on the top of it, also half deflated). The best part is, I discovered that I actually kind of like going to the gym. So that’s been kind of fun to discover. Oh, and I’m getting stronger. My planks have gotten longer and my single leg squats are so much easier than they used to be. I need to figure out how to go lower without hurting my knees or add some weights next time. Progress! I guess some consistency in strength training actually makes you stronger. Weird.

Ok, that’s enough for now. Bill’s sofrito chicken and arroz con gandules have been simmering for the last 90 minutes and everything smells so good. I can’t wait to scrape the overcooked rice from the bottom of the pot. Does anyone else do that? It’s the best part!

Which do you prefer, track workouts or tempo workouts?

Favorite strengthening exercise?

Favorite cookbook or recipe source?