Showing posts from 2012

Cheating, Bloating, & Cleansing

On Sunday night my boyfriend convinced me to cheat and split a pizza w/ beer for dinner. My taste buds and senses were on overdrive and well, I was still hungry. I signed up to run Dallas marathon and went to bed. Monday was spent researching Paleo recipes and cooking, baking, and cleaning up the kitchen. I did not exercise on Monday.
Tuesday morning I felt dense, not quite bloated but not as clean and fresh as I've felt for the past week. When I got home from work I was lethargic but convinced myself that I needed to run, even if it was for only 30 minutes. It was a great run! My feet barely touched the ground.  It was a cleansing run.

Homemade Almond Meal

Homemade almond meal is so easy to make. In less than 5 minutes you can have fresh almond meal, at a fraction of the cost of ready-made products. Be sure to refrigerate (or wrap, label and freeze) any unused almond meal because it can become rancid after being ground and exposed to oxygen and light.  Difficulty: Easy Time Required: Under 5 minutes- Start to Finish! Here's How:Place 1/2 cup blanched or unblanched almonds in a clean electric coffee bean grinder.Put the lid on the coffee bean grinder and pulse several times until a medium-fine textured meal forms. Don't over-grind or you will make almond butter!Put ground almond meal in a clean flour sifter. Sift almond meal. Place any large particles of almonds back in coffee bean grinder and pulse again. Sift reremaining almond meal.That's it. Use any nut to make fresh, delicious nut meals using this simple technique. Tips:Do not over-grind the almonds or you will end up with almond butter!Use a flour sifter free …

Trail runs.

This past weekend was unusually warm here in Virginia. On Saturday temperatures reached the high 60s/borderline 70s and yesterday temperatures rose to 77 degrees. I love running the trails, especially when the temperature is crisp and cool and I can really push myself but I'm not going to complain about our weather over the weekend. I got out rather late on Saturday but that didn't stop me from having a great long run. I took it easy, listened to my body and took the time to capture some images on the trail. 

Yesterday morning (Sunday), Tony suggested that we go for a run together. We never run together and I was a bit hesitant. 1) He runs faster than I do and 2) He really, really pushes himself. I had no plan to exercise since it was my rest day but I reluctantly agreed- I'm the one that complains that we don't exercise together so yes, I jump, although cautiously, at the chance to spend this time together. The first measurable segment was only 30 seconds faster than…

Paleo Pancakes

This recipe is a modification of 2 Ingredient Pancakes 
Holly's Paleo Pancakes
2 eggs
1 banana
1 tsp peanut or almond butter
1 splash almond milk

Cooking Instructions
1. Mix all ingredients and run through a food processor to puree
2. OPTIONAL- Add 1 tsp of vanilla extract and mix all together
3. Warm a skillet over medium or low heat with some oil of your choice
4. Spoon batter into skillet and flip when it starts to bubble

Top with maple syrup or sugar free/natural jam.

From Pay-lee-NO to Paleo

Seven Steps for Jumping Into the Paleo Lifestyle
If you are reading this blog, you are probably already committed to CrossFit or some other form of fitness training. If you have not carried that commitment over to the rest of your lifestyle, I’ve outlined some steps to help you truly optimize your health and reach your fitness goals.
But first things first. What is paleo? In a nutshell, paleo is a lifestyle free of sugar, grains, dairy, beans, legumes, and processed foods. It is a life full of energy, strength, and vitality obtained from eating lean, preferably grass-fed, meats; wild-caught, sustainable seafood; and (ideally) local, organic vegetables, fruits, and nuts. Please note my use of the term “lifestyle” instead of “diet.” Paleo is NOT a diet. It is a way of life. People sometimes have a hard time grasping this concept. Here is how many of my conversations in the past year have gone: Them: “So how long are you going to st…

Simply pay attention. . .

I had a really amazing run yesterday morning which really surprised me because I lacked motivation and my energy levels were low. Before heading out I reminded myself that the only expectations were the ones that I put on myself and I should just take it for what it was - exercise to exercise with no agenda. During the first mile I went through the usual check-in with my body and my thoughts began to wander when I made the decision to try for four miles instead of three. "Really? You're really unsure if you're making the right decision to add an extra mile?" For an endurance athlete, drastically altering your diet is humbling. Your body essentially goes into shock and is left scrambling to figure out how to pull 'energy' from new fuel sources to sustain activities that used to be no more difficult than a wink. I'm glad that I added the extra mile. I ran hard but not too hard and I listened to my body. The main focus of the run was to get out and breathe w…

Pumpkin Pudding

A friend posted this recipe to Facebook yesterday.  I'm looking forward to trying it.
14 oz can pumpkin purée
14oz can full fat coconut milk
2-3 tbsp agave nectar or maple syrup
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup pecans
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp agave nectar/maple syrup
Mix first 4 ingredients in a bowl. Chop half of the pecans and line the bottom of 4 bowls/cups.
Pour pudding mix over pecans.
Mix remaining agave nectar/maple syrup and cinnamon. Spoon onto pudding and top with remaining pecans. Refrigerate for at least an hour, then enjoy!

Low Energy

I am entering the low energy phase for Paleo newbies. I am craving carbs; Pizza!!!! Beer!!! Sugar!!! and I'm constantly hungry. How is it that I can eat a full plate of sauteed veggies, a chicken breast and drink a glass of wine and be full.. only to be starving again an hour later?
Went short on my run this morning taking into account the energy low. Down 3lbs. At least the headache went away. Drink more water.

Day #3

The day after election day. Sigh. We went to bed before 10 pm last night; I'm exhausted. There was no sense in staying awake to watch the election results. My participation in the process (other than my vote) really has no effect on the outcome. I learned this lesson with sports on television and the invention of the DVR hasn't helped change my mind. When I'm exhausted it's time to call it a night and go to bed. I slept really well- dinner consisted of ground steak meat sauted with mushrooms, peppers and spinach with a glass of wine. It was really tasty.
This morning I had a difficult time waking up. I avoided turning on the television or looking at my computer. Instead I stumbled into the kitchen and turned on the espresso machine. In my stupor I turned on the radio and the radio announcer on WTOP announced the winner of the presidential election. I let out a muffled whoop! and hopped into the air.
Before all that I stepped on the scale (weighing myself every morning…

Election Day

This morning I woke up feeling like it was Christmas. I grabbed a cup of coffee, curled up in bed with my computer to answer some emails and post an update for yesterday before heading out for a run. It was only 30 degrees outside and I was having a difficult time finding the motivation to subject myself to those kind of temperatures but boy, oh, boy, I'm glad that I got out there. The first couple minutes were rough, as they always are, but I reached the canal path in 7:28 (baseline is 8:00) and then pushed hard to Fall Hill in 15:43 (baseline is 17:00). Instead of the easy 4-miler I had planned I extended my run by following my 5-mile loop- completing it in 43:41. I'm trying to be smart about my running now that I'm starting Paleo again. No carbs = fatigue. Reasonable expectations this time around. . . take it easy and give my body time to adjust.
i'm hungry.

Paleo v2.1

Yesterday. November 5th, I hopped back on the bandwagon and am attempting Paleo again. I'm calling it Paleo v2.1. .
Sunday evening I met up with a friend for beers which ended with me consuming 3 pints and ordering a pizza. It would seem that consciously or sub-consciously, however you want to look at it, I was eating a last meal, chock full of carbs and all the yummy things I love but have been a major contributor to my increasing waistline. I topped it off the Trickling Springs chocolate peanut butter ice cream (so yummy!) to empty the fridge of the last of the dairy products and called it a night.  Monday morning I felt awful. As always, there were a variety of factors to which my malaise could be attributed - dehydration; feeling the full effects of hitting the ground full-force the day before; sleeping in a strange bed (we've been staying at my place for the last month); or all those carbs. Instead of hitting the gym I came home and curled up on the couch instead.

New Demands

"My body will do almost anything I ask of it as long as I give it time to adjust to new demands." ~ John Bingham

Dirt, anyone?!

For the second time in the 15+ years that I've running I ate dirt on the trail this afternoon. It's comical, actually. I was making my way along the flattest portion of the quarry - the USGS trail, followed by the Beach trail. I had just come upon a mtn biker on an area of the trail that widens with the curve and contains a log, causing him to be mid-dismount and a bit flustered as I entered the scene. I hopped over the log, feeling quite spritely, recalling memories of dodging people during the finish at MCM. . . I was hunched over and weaving as the trail snaked with 'S' curves. I was chuckling to myself as I recalled the picture I posted to accompany the MCM race report and the next thing I knew. . .toe. caught. moving rapidly. catch. nope. belly smacker. trail. air. not. in. lungs. Heart racing. "Get up!" Damn, that hurt. Assess the damage - gloves took the brunt of it on my palms, legs are fine, chest is covered in dirt, arm is scratched all to hell. . .…

Paleo - take 2

Monday, November 5, 2012. I will attempt Paleo - again. Bring it on.

Marine Corps Marathon

I came back this morning to revisit this post and take the time to write up a decent race report. All too often, I forget the importance of documenting these events and instead push it off and treat it as an after thought.
My approach to Marine Corps marathon this year wasn't much different than in other years. The marathon always falls at the end of the season and I don't really have many expectations for how I am going to perform. Marine Corps is the marathon I run because of the emotions it evokes within me- I run for Team Fisher House which means that I'm participating in something bigger than myself. This isn't a marathon I run for personal records or recognition. Participating in this event reminds me - if only for 24 or 48 hours- that we are at war and the men and women on the course, both running and 'volunteering', are serving or have served our country selfishly, without regard for their personal well-being. Some people are on the course to memorializ…

Intervals? Speed? What?

I decided this morning to start incorporating intervals/speed work into my workouts once a week in an effort to build up to an all out speed workout in the coming weeks. With the bulk of my schedule completed this season my focus can shift from recovery/preparation to training again. In an effort to be smart about it I decided to stick to sporadic intervals interlaced with a typical four mile run. I've been sleeping really well lately but have been having a terrible time waking up in the morning. . .oftentimes laying in bed 45 minutes after my alarm has gone off. There is little risk involved here since the only thing this cuts into is my running time. As long as I am home by 8:30, I'm good to go. This morning was no exception and I found myself with just enough time to run four miles after stretching, lifting and rolling before getting out the door. I ran to Fall Hill via the Canal Path in 16:38. I turned around, reminding myself to take it easy but then scanned through the f…

New Shoes!

I decided after I tanked on Saturday that I needed new shoes.  Really, I decided that I needed new shoes before Saturday but Saturday afternoon was the day I finally decided to stop in at VARunner while I was on my way to Wegmans. Lately I've become reluctant to run errands. . . that's off topic and a completely different subject. . . so actually stopping was a minor victory. Anyway, I stopped in the store and recognized 1 of 8 employees. At the forefront of my thoughts is whether I should switch to trail shoes or if I should stay in the same shoe and honestly, I didn't feel too confident that these kids, that didn't know me or my running style, would be very helpful. I shouldn't feel that way but if I can go for a year in the same set of shoes, run the trails as often as I do, run back to back marathons, ultras, and road races . .sans injury. .I hope that you can understand my hesitation. I asked for a specific employee and walked out with the promise to return wh…

Get the Lead out

I probably should have taken today off but it was a beautiful day and the weather was damn near perfect for a run tonight. I ran up to the playing fields with the intent to run 4 miles nice and slow. That was the plan. I think I started out way too fast and blew up. I also tweaked my calf coming up the hill behind the track. I walked the track for a half mile and then was inspired by another runner.  She was taking it easy and looked absolutely graceful. I pulled myself together (after stretching, of course) and mimicked her running style. My legs still felt like lead but in the end the run felt good. My legs felt like lead on my 'get the lead out' run.

yeah. . .

I slept until 10:00 this morning. I don't know how it happened. Tony woke up early to get in a workout before heading north for a memorial service. I rolled over and went back to sleep, fully expecting to wake up in the next hour or so. I ended up sleeping another 3+ hours. I was hour of sorts so I got dressed and walked down to the farmer's market. I stopped by the butcher and picked up some stew meat, and then picked up makings for stew along with some apples. After making the stew and setting it to simmer I took off for my run. Since my run yesterday was so amazing, and heck, my body should be able to handle back to back 9-milers, I set off on the same route. I was wrong. I tanked. Perhaps it was the late start. . 1 pm . . and perhaps it was the temperatures. . 59F. . But that shouldn't have made me feel like I just ran a marathon. My hips hurt, I'm slightly off/out of it, and I'm exhausted. sigh. I need to figure out this recovery thing. Going hiking in Shenand…

Back on the trails

I'm going to incriminate myself here but I can't help not to. . . After Towpath marathon my body is taking longer to recover. My legs are tight and I'm exhausted but the weather is absolutely perfect. I went out for a run this morning but was deterred, as usual, and got a late start. I really wanted to hit the trails but really didn't have enough time. After hitting the canal path in 7:18 (usually takes 8:00) and then getting to Fall Hill in 15:20 (usually takes 17:00) I decided to push the envelope. Made it to the quarry in 27:20 and I felt amazing. Heck, if I turned around now I'd make it home in time to grab a shower before my conference call  but if I ran the USGS trail to the USGS outpost and back the ridgeline I'd be adding 3 miles but would be 15 minutes late for a call I rarely participate in. . I made my decision and my body responded. Ran 9 miles in 1:26:12 and was only a wee bit late to that call. It was an amazing run!

Ohio down & 1 more [scheduled] to go

This last Saturday morning I set out for Ohio running a slight fever and not really knowing what to expect of my marathon on Sunday. We had, in my opinion, unseasonably warm temperatures last week. . think temperatures you'd expect on a June/July/August morning in October. .  [I was not a fan] and the temperatures seemed to have a direct effect on my running and health. I haven't been sleeping at night and the lack of sleep hasn't helped much. But this post will end on a good note and I will stop complaining [for now].
I left Virginia and the temps were still unseasonably warm but the humidity was down. Even though I was feeling 'off' I went out for a 30-minute run. . . I needed a preventative run for the 7 hours I was about to spend alone in the car.  By the time I arrived in Ohio I was wishing I had packed more winter-type clothing. The forecast was for temps in the mid-40s with a 50% chance of rain after 2 pm. As it turned out, it was 42F, felt like 38F, at 5:3…

Ten miles anyone?

I'm writing this morning snuggled up under a down blanket from the comfort of my couch - windows are wide open letting in the crisp, cool autumn air. I'd love to be out running this morning but my body is telling me that it needs to rest and I'm listening because I know I've been pushing it the last two weeks and I will continue to ask it to perform for at least another month, if not more.
Yesterday morning we drove down to Lynchburg, VA, for the Genworth Virginia 10-miler. I'd won a contest on Facebook from Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine and decided, why not?! This was my first visit to Lynchburg and I was very impressed by the revitalization of the city. . .definitely want to plan another visit. I hadn't really thought through the logistics of making the 3-hour trip in time for the 8:00am start until earlier in the week, like Monday. Mid-week I decided to utilize the networking site,, to find a place to stay Friday evening and had a plan to sta…

Back in the saddle

Ran 5 miles this morning wearing the Vibrams. I made sure to stretch and lift some weights to warm up before heading out to make sure that I was ready to go. It was a near perfect run; I felt it in my core - I felt a deep love for running that I haven't felt in a while. When I wrapped up and looked down at my watch I was surprised that it read 44:31. Not bad. Not bad, at all! I'll take it!

Where did September go?

Here we are, approaching the end of September, enjoying seasonable temperatures unseen since last year at this time, and yet I feel as though the calendar should read July instead of September 25. Where did September go? September followed August into oblivion. So here we are.
This last week was a pretty incredible week for me. I went home on 13 September to run the Erie Marathon at Presque Isle. My training this summer was whatever I could get away with NOT doing instead of being focused and targeted towards my goals for the fall season. For the most part I've started out successfully; I ran Erie as a training run, but mainly because I miss marathon medals. I ran the first half in 2:06 but the pavement was tearing me up. I proceeded to run the shoulder of the road for the remainder of the marathon. When I realized I could probably match my finishing time from Vermont City in May (4:22:20) I started really pushing myself instead of just using it as a 'training run'. That&#…

August Update

So I realize that it's been way too freakin' long since I last wrote. It was so long ago that I don't remember when it was or what I wrote about. There are a couple different things that I want to write about today but we're just going to settle for the cliff notes version.
I'm no longer PaleoSay what?! yes, I figured out that eating Paleo left me without energy. It was so bad that I couldn't run 4 miles without feeling like I'd been hit by a truck. Needless to say I needed to make a decision - stay Paleo &  lose weight or eat wheat & dairy in moderation and have the energy to get the workouts in that I need to complete my 50-miler in September. It would serve me well to give up beer again but that's a sore subject so I will address it in another post.I stopped running in VibramsEven though I took it slow and thought I did everything right I still developed what could possibly be a stress-fracture in my foot. Not to be derailed from my training, …

Food Porn


Paleo revisited

The past couple of weeks I have struggled with staying Paleo and a host of other factors which make staying true to the Paleo lifestyle, even my modified version, a challenge. The first challenge I encountered was exhaustion and convenience. I think most of us can agree that after a long day at the office the last thing you want to do is cook. Last week was one of those kind of weeks. It quickly became evident that after a long day it was much easier to go out and listen to live music and give in to emotional eating. Mind you, a pizza from Bistro split two ways isn't gluttonous, hell, we left hungry, but it was a healthy dose of carbs, gluten and diary. All those things my body craves and I found I functioned better without. Convenience, paired with live music, trumped my frugality and caused me to momentarily forget the good, healthy feeling that comes with keeping those foods out of my diet.
This past week I've encountered a challenge of another kind - staying Paleo while vi…

Day 9

Today started out tired with a kink in my neck and heavy legs - 73 degrees 90% humidity and 9 miles mapped out. The first mile or so we pushed the pace but quickly determined that in order to sustain anything, not just the pace but the distance, would require a more manageable pace. We also decided within the first 10 minutes that we needed to take scheduled walk breaks. 8 minutes running 1 minute walk. Repeat. In the end I think we ended up running about 7 miles - 1:10:48 - by cutting out a loop around Pratt and cutting down through Chatham instead of going around the property and I'm happy with that. My clothes were drenched through and I have gone through 2- 16oz glasses of water. Breakfast was the usual: 3 egg scramble, cherry tomatoes, spinach, dill and chicken w/ a cup of coffee.

Energy levels were low but that could be the beer I had with dinner last night, the heat, or the initial pace. Still figuring it all out.

Day 8

Today is a scheduled rest day. I lifted weights and did some yoga to stretch out since my legs were tired and achy last night. I'm gaining energy while running again which is great news. When I weighed myself this morning I found that I have lost 6lbs since last Monday. This is both a good and bad thing. I'm terrible about being disciplined and the fact that I've managed to lose weight even though I've been cheating will not motivate me to stop cheating.

For breakfast I made modified french toast.(Strawberry Applesauce Omelet)
3 eggs

spread unsweetened apple sauce on top
layer w/ strawberries

(I added blueberries and a peach)

top w/ real maple syrup.  Yummy! (I'll take a picture next time)

This was lunch:
salad w/ cucumber, farmer's market cherry tomatoes and leftover (I'll be eating this for a few days) chicken.

I suspect that if I stop eating so much fruit, and stop cheating w/ beer and tortilla chips I will lose more weight but I…

The Picky Eater Who Came to Dinner

I came across this article this morning (The Picky Eater Who Came to Dinner) and it reminded me that I need to write about Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  I've been putting it off because, well, I broke down and cheated this weekend.

On Friday I was relatively good. Since the heatwave started on Thursday I decided that instead of running I should bike. My legs felt like lead, anyway, so I thought that biking would be a nice, easy alternative. For lunch I had a salad with cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, carrots, capers and tuna. By the end of the day I gave in and had the Mojito. For dinner my boyfriend cooked up some steak, broccoli, peppers, and I can't really remember what else. It tasted kind of bland so we added some red curry paste.(He should let me do the cooking) It seems that he is following a modified Paleo diet and is encouraging the guys at work to do the same. If it helps me stick to my goals, I'm all for it. But his is where I cheated - we split a Bell's Two Hea…

Day 5

75degrees and 79% humidity.  I made the smart decision and rode the bike the morning. 15 good miles.  My legs feel like lead.  Ate a banana w/ almond butter before heading out and then the usual egg scramble w/ coffee afterward. Hanging out and working by the pool this afternoon. Trying to stay hydrated.  Debating if is Mojito is really all THAT bad. . . I'll stick to my little glass of wine. :)

Day 4

I really meant to come back yesterday and write about my morning run but the day got away from me.  The gist of it is that I ended up running close to 10 miles yesterday purely by accident. I met up with my running partner at 6:15 but instead of driving the 1.5 miles to our rendezvous point I ran. My rational was that three  weeks ago, before she went on vacation, she was running short and I would wrap up by myself. We ended up running 6.5 miles together and the remainder was my out and back from home. I was unprepared for the run. I'd had a really great meal on Wednesday night and then slept well but I had no energy and found myself apologizing for stopping more than one time. Breakfast consisted of the usual: 3 eggs, cherry tomatoes, spinach, turkey and red pepper w/ coffee. I packed a bowl of strawberries, cherries, and blueberries for snack w/ a packet of almond butter and an apple.  My energy didn't plummet like it did on Wednesday.  Lunch was salad greens, warmed chicken…

Day 3- update

I spent some time last evening researching Paleo in the hopes of combating these fluctuating energy levels and educating myself about the various approaches to adapting the Paleo lifestyle.  I can't say that I was surprised to find that everyone has their own opinion about what is 'safe' to eat and what should be avoided.  For instance, one blogger insisted that fruit was to be eliminated from your diet on the premise that fruit is full of sugar.  Sugar. Sugar?! An Oreo is full of sugar, not my apple, berries or melon.  Lowering my eyebrows a notch, I will admit that yes, fruit contains fructose, but really?! I should probably insert a disclaimer on this blog that I am a free-wheeling, non-strict person when it comes to training and following a diet.  If fructose from fruit is the most sugar I'm ingesting, bring it on.

After spending time looking through the various blogs, reading book reviews (which happen to be just as informative as the blogs), and finding websites …


What Runners Can Learn From Cheetahs
The gist of this article - strengthen your thighs!

Day 3

If I were to attach a label to today that label would be 'challenge'. Challenge in the sense that I was convinced that today was going to be Awesome(!), I was prepared for today to be Awesome(!), and I have no energy to enjoy all the Awesomeness I was expecting. Last night I tested out of a four-week long self-defense class and by the end of the class my energy levels definitely dropped to a new low. I've been expecting this energy drop to happen but wasn't quite sure when it would creep up on me. Lesson 1: Eat the good stuff more frequently. Lesson 2: Figure out what the easy, convenient 'good' stuff is and go out and buy it for my cupboard. When I finally got home around 2130 I was tired, exhausted and hungry. Out came the frying pan, veggies, and chicken for a swift saute and a little glass of Rose to replenish the system. I fell asleep with a fully stomach which is to say that I fell asleep quite happy. You would think that with a full belly of good, nutrit…
Face the challenge of running gluten free
I saw this article in my inbox today and found that it not only provides some good tips for runners with Celiac disease but also for my experiment with going Paleo. For instance, I didn't realize that deli meat can contain gluten - looks like I'll be cutting that turkey from the deli out of my diet. And after the amazing run I had this morning, which I attributed to giving my digestive system a break by cutting the dairy and gluten out of my diet, I hadn't considered increased fatigue and longer recovery. But I'm really looking forward to my body learning how to draw energy from existing fat stores rather than what's in my belly.

Day 2

I must say that after one day of following the Paleo diet I'm already feeling a difference. I went to bed early last night after a dinner of rotisserie chicken, red peppers, broccoli, zucchini, and squash sauteed with garlic.  When I rolled over and opened my eyes it was 0525 and I felt rested and ready to go for a run.  After stretching out and lifting some weights I hit the road and determined that today was the day to explore new running routes.  Droid (w/ Runkeeper running) in hand I set off to see where my instincts took me. In the end I combined both new and old running haunts to come up with a solid 9 miles. It sure helped that the outside temperature dipped down into the 50s and humidity was minimal. About a mile and a half from home I ran past one a place that has become one of my new favorite sanctuaries. Feeling good so far, let's see where the rest of the day takes me.  (no Vibram today, giving my legs a rest)

Paleo & Vibram

Day 1- Here is the plan. I am going Paleo from now until July 31, 2012 to see what all the hype is about. I am also going to track my progress with going barefoot/Vibram. My goal is to post everyday, supplemented by photos of food and blisters.