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Monthly Archives: February 2013

It’s Ramp Up time!

Are runners crazy? I think we all can agree that answer is YES.


1) I text a friend mid afternoon asking her to run 13 miles with me THAT night so I can make my (unwritten) goal of running 100 miles in January. Here’s a quick snippet of how it played out:

kerin 1

Some more talk of logistics and timing and then less than 20 minutes after I’ve asked her…

kerin 2

Ya, that’s how we runners roll!

Click HERE to see how the run went.

2) Getting up at 5 am to PURPOSELY do this to yourself:

Hill Repeats

Hill Repeats

3) Knowingly running in this weather:

10 miles after teaching SPIN

10 miles after teaching SPIN

Those are just a few of the many reasons people think we runners are crazy. Maybe they’re right.  Maybe they don’t know what they’re missing!

So… why am I talking about being crazy?  Well, because I’ve decided to run a race… next month… the longest distance I’ve run since having all my kids. What is it? Eastern States 20 Miler!!  Okay, I know I only have a few weeks.  I know I’m not exactly properly trained for it.  But what I do know is:

  1. I will work my butt off to make it happen.  Even if it means getting up at 5 am and running in “Feels Like” 6* weather.
  2. I will NOT race it; I WILL run it
  3. I will challenge myself.
  4. I will power myself with Energybits.
  5. I will have family and friends support in getting my training done.
  6. I will be wearing Mizunos.
  7. And remember Kerin from “Crazy Point #1 above?”kerin 3 kerin 4Hehehe.  Yep, she’ll run it with me! I will say, I haven’t signed up yet.  I’m waiting to see how my next two long runs go and then I’ll make the ultimate commitment.

Regardless, I will DEFINITELY be running the Wallis Sands Half Marathon.  I’ve never done this one before but have heard great things about it.  Normally I’m not a huge fan of flat courses, I find them more difficult for some reason.  Maybe it’s the monotony, maybe it’s that my muscles don’t get to work in slightly different ways like they do on rolling terrain, maybe it’s all in my head.  (Well… we runners are crazy, right?!) But I’m definitely willing to give it a shot!

And thankfully there are others  know running it as well!  My sister in law (yup, you see her in some of those pictures that scroll above) and of course Kerin will be running it.  A few more might sign up as well (sign up soon!).  This race I’d really like to break 2:00.  Fingers crossed and training plan in place.

So, yup, I’m ramping it up and happy to do so!

I appreciate that ALL runners are crazy and don’t think twice when asked to run at strange hours of the night…


A Spin Playlist and a few notes about Endurance training

Yesterday’s SPIN class was week 4 of a 12 week progression to get us to a “Race Day” ride.  Week 4 ends our focus on Endurance training.  What is “endurance training?” Well, in a quick tiny nutshell (ya right, you know I like to talk!) it’s the building up of your aerobic capacity and by working it harder and longer you are pushing the boundaries of when your body switches to its anaerobic fueling strategy.  Why would one want to do this? Let me count the ways!  No? Okay.  Just a few GOOD reasons for today then. 1) Increase your body’s ability to reach for its fat stores for fuel first (before the stored glycogen (sugars). 2) Increasing the amount of time your body can work in its aerobic state before switching to anaerobic metabolic processes means you can work harder, longer, more efficiently, and over time at a lower heart rate. 3)(How about an easy reason?) You build up your immunity system when staying in your aerobic/endurance zone for longer periods of time.  Okay, there are MANY more reasons but that wasn’t where I wanted this post to go…. LOL

The SPIN profile/playlist…

During Bike Set Up/ Members Coming in…

Amsterdam by Imagine Dragons
The Biggest Mistake by The Secret State feat Akon & B.O.B

Warm Up

Sweeter by Gavin McGraw (92 rpm)
What I Got by Sublime (96 rpm)
At this point I’ve asked them to ride these flats and turn the resistance up gradually hopefully ending at a 75% heart rate.  Now the trick is to NEVER dip below this HR for the remainder of the ride. Remember, this is week 4, we’ve been working up to this.

Working Portion

Thank You by MKTO (126/2 = 63 rpm) (not a heavy hill staying seated the whole time)
Instanbul (Not Constantinople) by Milan & Phoenix (128/2 = 64 rpm) (standing climb but no increase in resistance – don’t let the HR go over 80%. If it does go over 80%, sit down and climb it.)
Mermaid by Train (105 rpm) Just sit, remove resistance, and ride this brisk pace. For the rest of this ride you should be “uncomfortably comfortable.”
Carry On by Fun (106 rpm) Play with your resistance.  Add? Remove? Your choice… you know where your heart rate needs to be (between 75 AND 80% of max HR) so you ride it.  These quick paces can be hard … mentally push through it.
Don’t Stop the Party – Pitbull (63 rpm) Back on your hill.  Play with it. Sit for 30 sec, add a touch of resistance and stand in position 2 for 20 sec, out to position 3 for 20 sec, sit for 20 sec, repeat two more times.
Feel This Moment by Christina Aguilera & Pitbull (68 rpm) Sit and climb.  Watch the HR.
Man Like That by Gin Wigmore (103 rpm) Love the energy of this song (that apparently is in a Guinness commercial?!)  Just like before… embrace the flat, your heart rate should not drop below 75% – how could it when you’re pedaling a meaningful flat at 103 rpm!  Become aware of your pedal stroke – about 30 secs into the song use the Right leg only for 20 secs, then the Left leg only for 20 secs, then even out your pedal stroke again.  Feel a difference?  Feels easier now, right? Can you add a touch of resistance without losing your cadence?  Push through…
The Foxhunter by Celtic Woman (starts out 110 rpm then drops to 65 rpm) take a tiny bit of resistance off at the beginning of this song, ride it out, add resistance to get on a moderate hill when the cadence changes.
Eyes Like Yours by Shakira (127/2 = 63.5 rpm) last hill … remember it is never a grueling hill.  One that makes you work and keeps your HR in that 75%-80% range.  Stand in position 3 if you’re able to do so and keep HR in the range.  Otherwise, sit and climb til the end.
Say Hey (I Love You) by All Rebel Rockers (93 rpm) Bring that heart rate down slowly… enjoy a nice flat for a couple minutes and then begin your cooldown in the middle of this song.

Cool Down

Take You to Rio from the Rio movie soundtrack
Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri


At the end of this ride you should not feel totally spent.  You worked very hard but never sprinted or went all out on a flat or a heavy climb.  What should you feel? Energized! A little tired.  And ready to go again! (tomorrow)

Enjoy the playlist and the ride!!



Running isn’t Simple…

It sounds simple.  Put your sneakers on and go out for a run.  Seems straightforward enough.  So why isn’t it this easy? (Or is it just me?)

Well, I’m sure the answer to that question varies slightly for everyone.  Here are my thoughts on my run from 2/6/13…

Today’s run was a true test of my will; willing my body to do what my mind wanted it to do at the same time I was convincing my mind I could do it.  Confused?  Ya.  Me too.

Today’s run hurt.

Today’s run required change.  I set out with a goal of 6 miles.  I’ve been tired lately… really tired.  I think it has something to do with my 100 mile goal for January which ended with me reaching that goal by finishing a 13 mile run at 11:30 Thursday night.  It wasn’t so much the 13 miles.  I had done the training to get me to that mileage no problem.  I think it was the cumulative 100 miles (about 20 more in a month than I’ve done in a while) along with teaching at the gym frequently.  Could be because of my diet as well.  Don’t get me wrong.  I eat well for the most part, but I have had many more indulgences lately!

Running is a Process

I need want more than just a pair of simple running sneakers to get the run done. (Ha! “Simple” running sneakers.  That’s funny.  How much time do you spend in a Running Shoe store while shopping for your next perfect fit??!!  I wonder how many different running shoes actually exist.  Anyone?)

I started out with my Garmin not finding satellites quickly.  I waited and waited and finally set off.  It was probably about 0.15 miles before the satellites kicked in.  I love my Garmin (except when it can’t find the satellites).  GPS. Heart rate. Pace. What’s not to love?

I had my JayBird bluetooth wireless earbuds in.  These of course were connected to my iPhone strapped around my arm in my adidas arm band.  Thank goodness for my music today!

My UnderArmour ColdGear Compression pants were perfect for the weather today.



I had two layers on top – my adidas Climalite long sleeved top and my Nike Dri-Fit Thermal half zip jacket.  Do I need these special fabrics and fits to run? No.  But I enjoy them and definitely stay warm and dry on my cold weather runs.  (And maybe TMI, but I sweat. A lot. Even when it’s cold out so I prefer to have these wicking/warming fabrics on.)

My Experia socks with Thorlo technology are the only socks I wear now to workout in… today’s color? Hot pink.

I wore my Fuel Belt and brought along my chapstick and one bottle of water.  Only ended up having a few sips but it’s a comfort factor to have water on me at all times.

So is running simple for me? No.  I think about layers and materials, water and chapstick, music and… even the type of sneakers to wear!  Right now I’m keeping it simple (hehe).  If I run outside I wear my Mizuno Nirvanas.  Done.  Simplest part of the whole running process.  Yes, sometimes running is a process.

The Run and my thoughts during it…

I realized around 0.2 miles both of my shins were screaming at me. What?  Since when do my shins hurt me?  How come I felt no pain in my shins leading up to this point in my day?  Ugh.  They burned.  But I didn’t stop.  Let’s see if this feeling goes away. (Come on, you know you’ve said this on many a run before!)  Wasn’t much further out when I felt the drag in my legs.  Just couldn’t get my groove.  WTH?!  Ugh.  I JUST WANT TO RUN!! (Do you scream at yourself in your head too?) My husband came home early so I could get a run in.  Good guy.  A keeper.  I’m not turning around.  This is my only workout time today.

At mile 1.5 I decided something needed to change. Easiest thing to change at that point? My route.  At the next turn, instead of going left, I went right.  It’s a road I run frequently, but this time I ran it the other way.  Amazing the things you can see when you’re simply facing the other way!  I saw a Gazebo I’ve never seen, an American flag mailbox I’ve never noticed (I love American flags!), and even though it’s a very familiar road, it just plain looked different!

Mile 2.5  I don’t even want to know how slow I’m going, but I think I’ve found the zone. I didn’t have to think anymore about putting one foot in front of the other.  I was noticing things around me and not thinking about my shins and heavy legs.

Mile 2.96 Okay, I’m feeling the groove… let’s go down this road I’ve never run before.  I have to look like a real runner here; I know people who live on this street.  Felt good going down… a little rough going up.

Mile 4.3 Hmmm… 5 miles or 6 miles? 5 or 6? 5 1/2?  Ugh – 6 it is.  So, let’s climb this other friggin’ hill to get a little extra in before I head back home.

Mile 5 Thank goodness this is downhill!  But why am I continually catching myself slouching?  I think I have a strong core… I work it a lot.  I’m just tired… blech.  Tired of being tired.

Mile 5.3 Dang it.  I’m going to have run past my house to get the 6 miles in.

Mile 5.6 Okay, I passed the house and now I’m on the home stretch. My legs are tired. Again.

Mile 5.85 At my house.  Feeling good… run past it again.  GET IT DONE.

Mile 6 Huh.  Well that was a rough one…. or was it?  When can I get out here and try this again? Ha!  I know all you runners chuckled at this thought of mine.  But it’s true right?  Running breeds more running.


Okay, let's look at the pace.... What?!?!  THAT was my last mile?  Wow.  That's a great mile for me... especially with how I was feeling this whole run.  Wonder how the rest of the miles actually look like versus what they felt like?!

Okay, let’s look at the pace…. What the?!?! THAT was my last mile? Wow. That’s a great mile for me… especially with how I was feeling this whole run. Wonder how the rest of the miles actually shaped up to be versus what they felt like?!

Mile 1: 9:58 (basically a slow climb the entire mile) Avg HR: 142

Mile 2: 9:02 (a lot of downhill) Avg HR:148

Mile 3: 9:04 (rolling terrain) Avg HR: 146

Mile 4: 9:46 (some definite climbs but honestly I thought this was my pace for my “easy” miles!) Avg HR: 151

Mile 5: 9:14 (one short and steep climb) Avg HR: 151

Mile 6: 8:53 (back down mile 1 with a tiny quick climb near the end) Avg HR: 155


Huh.  Not bad for a "feel like a$$ run."  Wow... look at how low my heart rate was! Ya - I guess I'll try again.

Huh. Not bad for a “feel like a$$ run.” Wow… look at how low my heart rate was! Ya – I guess I’ll try again.

Lessons Learned

Okay, it just doesn’t feel right to only complain about the run.  Good comes out of even the bad runs, right?!  What did I learn from it?

  • Even when my legs are tired and sore they still keep moving.  One foot keeps falling in front of the other (directly under my torso no less) without me having to think too hard about it.
  • Even when  I think I’m running the slowest miles of my life – I’m not.  Maybe I should’ve looked at my watch to get some encouragement from the paces I would’ve seen on there instead of ignoring it thinking it was all bad news.
  • The combination of shirts I wore was annoying.  The bottom one kept riding up.
  • Feels good to be well hydrated and not NEED the water on a 6 mile run.
  • My heart rate was lower than usual at given paces.  My cardio is improving.  I think it’s time to adjust my numbers (zones).  (Maybe this will be a separate post topic!)
  • In 25* weather, I should’ve worn my mittens; the thumb holes didn’t cut it.
  • My mind needs to just shut up sometimes and let my body “do”.
  • Camel toe seems inevitable in any and all running pants I have.  WTH?
  • Feels great when all of a sudden I realize I’ve been enjoying the scenery around me and not been down on myself for how the legs feel, the pace feels, the annoying shirt riding up feels, etc.
  • CHANGE is good.  I should run some different routes or at the very least start running my current routes in the other direction.
  • Running by homes of people you know makes your form improve.
  • I am stronger than I think.
  • I’m high maintenance… even in running.  Who knew? (Careful there friends!)
  • Running isn’t just lacing up and heading out… for me anyway.  I need all the gadgets and fabrics and thing-a-ma-bobs and I’m fortunate enough to have them.
  • My husband is a great guy to come home early to watch the kids so I can get in my run for the day.
  • And lastly, I appreciate both the trials and the triumphs in running, no matter how big or small they might be and truly look forward to my next run.  I guess that means I’m a runner.  And THAT is a label with which will I happily live!

Love me some Falafels!

Hi All!  I’m multi-tasking as I write this post… watching the Biggest Loser at the same time. ;-) Love this show! So inspiring!

Anyway, onto the falafels… I love falafels and have never made them myself so when I saw this recipe on Angela’s blog I knew I had to try it.  I did make a few changes so let me start there.

Angela’s ingredient list with my changes noted:


  • 1 cup dry/uncooked chickpeas (or 2 & 1/4 cups cooked) - I did one 29 oz can of chick peas
  • 3 large garlic cloves - oh yeah – me likey the garlic!
  • 1/2 cup red onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice - i did 4 tbsp b/c my lemon juice came from a bottle darn it.  forgot to buy a lemon!
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup ground flax - I didn’t use this at all.  I am pretty sure this was Angela’s twist but I added my own little twist!
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, optional - yes please! I definitely added these
  • 1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt, or to taste
  • instead of the flax I used 1 tbs ground chia seeds AND 1/8 c. flour AND 1/8 c. oat bran

I followed the directions without any changes except I think I made my patties larger than usual.  I kinda wanted them to fit into my mini pita pockets perfectly! LOL


the chickpeas, onion, lemon juice, garlic, cilantro, and parsley in the processor

i sprayed the pan with Pam cooking spray...

i sprayed the pan with Pam cooking spray…

Flipped and lookin' good!

Flipped and lookin’ good!

I ended up stuffing some cucumber slices in the pita with the falafel.  I also added some Tahini sauce.  This brand is made in the town right next door to me!

I ended up stuffing some cucumber slices in the pita with the falafel. I also added some Tahini sauce. This brand is made in the town right next door to me! (Good Neighbor)

So, now you know what I’ll be eating the rest of the week!  Unfortunately no one else in the family will eat these… but huge props to my 9 year old daughter for trying it!  Although it never did make it to her belly.  Dang it.  Maybe it’s a consistency thing? I on the other hand thought they turned out pretty darn good!

Other ways I’ll try eating these?  in a salad… probably in a pita with some sliced red peppers… maybe with a melted slice of swiss cheese (yes, it then loses its vegan-ness but that’s ok with me!)… How do you enjoy your falafels?

I appreciate local businesses making delicious food!  I appreciate the protein (albeit in the lower end for beans) in chick peas!  Thanks Angela for sharing some terrific veggie recipes!

(Sorry about the photo quality!  I take all my photos with my phone because my phone is always on me! *Angela did not ask me to review her falafel recipe, but if it’s good, I share, and this was good!)



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