Marathon Salad Making Continued

photo(1)This week’s salad consists of spring mix, spinach, orange tomatoes, matchstick carrots, roasted potatoes in a curry seasoning, chickpeas simmered with corn and bbq sauce, lightly fried polenta, asparagus, butternut squash, and roasted red pepper hummus. I made lots this weekend and ended up sharing most of it with friends on my back patio. It only took me an hour to make everything so I might be getting faster at cooking. All of my recent salads were inspired by this awesome post and I just keep modifying however I want. Last night, my friends brought over Earth Balance mac & cheese and it was a great addition (not pictured because it didn’t last long..!). I grew up on Kraft mac & cheese and the Earth Balance kind is just as perfect minus the dairy. And by perfect, I mean 0% nutrition, 100% comfort food.

Marathon training is going well too. 331 miles and 69 days till the marathon. Gotta get back to making more power salads for my meals!

This Week’s Veggie Salad

photoI’m still spending each week mutating my new favorite meal. This week I have avocado, cherry tomatoes, and matchstick carrots dressed up in a balsamic vinaigrette alongside barbecue cajun black beans, quinoa and fresh corn, and roasted butternut squash, roasted red potatoes and caramelized white onion. All topped with a heap of hummus and cracked lemon pepper. The combination of ingredients still has not gotten old and I don’t think it will anytime soon. I love that this offers the perfect fuel for training. It’s also a great way to cook pretty much just once a week since this lasts me roughly from Sunday-Thursday.

For my run today, I completed four Yasso 800s at 9:30/minute pace on the treadmill. Treadmills are not my best friend. Like at all. But, it was storming out so I got my work out in the best way I knew how. I conveniently forgot how much easier it is to run on a treadmill so that was the one saving grace. But, I’m still secretly hoping that will be one of my very rare treadmill work outs during training.

Yasso 800s

IMG_0402Sunset at the end of today’s workout

Speed work isn’t typically recommended in marathon training for first timers. However, I’ve been doing speed work regularly for over ten years so I feel comfortable doing a few light and easy speed workouts. In my off-season training, I did a few Yasso 800s for practice. I had heard of them before but never tried them or really understood what they were until just recently.

The basic idea behind the work out is to run 800 meters in your goal marathon time listed out in minutes and seconds as opposed to listed in hours and minutes. So, if you want to run a 3 hour marathon, you should be doing the 800 meter repeats in three minutes. I want to finish in roughly 4 hours and 45 minutes so I do my repeats in 4 minutes and 45 seconds. The theory states that if you can do 10 repeats of 800 meters at this pace, then you should be able to finish your marathon in your desired pace. To work up to 10 repeats, add one more 800 repeat each week or every other week until you can do ten repeats at goal pace. You should try to reach ten repeats 2 weeks or so prior to the marathon.

Today I ran a 1 mile warm up at a conversational pace, ran three 800 meter repeats with full rest in between each, and cooled down with a half mile easy jog and a half mile walk. My first 800 meter repeat was at 4:45 so right on track. The second was a little slower (4:55) and the third repeat was a little faster in 4:42. My hip is not feeling 100% today so I did some dynamic stretching and foam rolling. Tomorrow is a rest day then back at it on Thursday!

First Day of Marathon Training

IMG_0348View from my run today

I am definitely not a morning person. I feel no shame when I lay in bed on a Sunday morning until 11 AM. However, marathon training during summer months in the Midwest requires me to run when it is cooler out. In other words, somehow I woke up at 6:45 AM this morning to run. Or rather, my alarm went off at 6:45 and then I managed to crawl out of bed closer to 7:05. Still better than usual.

I finally got out the door around 7:45. So not only do I struggle to get out of bed, but I’m also slow moving in the morning. It honestly just takes me a while to do my hair and pick out my clothes as ridiculous as it sounds. I love running clothes. Buying new shorts, tanks, running tights, sports bras, shoes, socks… I love all of it. And I like to French braid my hair so it’s out of my way while I run. Typical girl, I suppose. It makes me think of how men and women differ when it comes to running.

I keep reading marathon tips from men and it’s clear that they’ve never thought about what it’s like to run as a woman. For example, one guy suggested doing training runs while it’s raining in case it rains on race day. Great advice and honestly it’s something I need to consider. It was freezing rain two years ago during the marathon I’m doing so it’s a huge possibility and I need to prepare for that. However, running in the rain means coming home with 15 inches worth of nappy, frizzy, tangled, soaked hair knotted up in a hair tie. I don’t wash my hair everyday particularly because it takes too long to wash, de-tangle, blow dry, and style it. After I come home from a run in the rain, it takes even longer to untangle and wash. Most men come home from a rainy run and can be showered, dressed, and ready to go in 15 minutes. Women? Um, an hour later maybe? If we’re lucky?

Heat is another tricky factor for female runners. The same guy with the rain advice also suggested running before work since it’s the easiest way to make sure it gets checked off your to do list for the day. Also a great idea if you’ve never tried to put on make up and get ready for work after an 8 mile run in 80 degree heat. Even after the coldest shower and even with an ice pack on my neck, I still can’t seem to figure out how to reduce sweating immediately after a run (and granted, you probably shouldn’t try too hard to stop sweating since it happens for a reason). I end up heading to work with a mixture of sweat, foundation, blush, and powder on my face. Super attractive.

So today was just one step closer to the marathon. And if I get any steps closer to figuring out how to look halfway decent as a female while marathon training, I’ll let you know. In the mean time, I’m going to go figure out what to wear for my race on Friday!