Saturday, March 31, 2012

Keuka Lake Tri Training Week 3

I can't believe we are already done with the third week of tri training!  It is going by extremely fast!


Off day.  We spent our one free night of the week going to Fleet Feet and having Mike's gait analyzed.  He was fitted for new shoes and he ended up going with the Brooks Ghost 4.  


We switched Tuesday's run and Wednesday's ride because we had to go swimming on Tuesday too.  It was easier for us to bike at the gym rather than run prior to swimming.  We changed up our stationary bike routine by doing one of the hill workouts called "Rolling Hills".  This week our mileage increased by 1 mile so we ended up doing 6 miles in about 22 minutes.

 That's me swimming, but not on Tuesday

After biking we hit the pool for our swim workout and did 500 yards.  Since this was the last day of 500 yards we decided to swim the entire workout consecutively and finished it in 7 minutes and 10 seconds.  Not bad, not great.  I want to try to get my swim leg to be 10 minutes or less during the triathlon.


Since we had switched our ride and run, we had 6 running miles on our schedule for Wednesday.  While developing our training plan I did this so that we had a semi-long run before our half marathon this Sunday.  I didn't want it to just be a regular run so we did a short tempo workout, you can read my original post about it here.

Mile 1 - 9:26
Mile 2 - 9:27
Mile 3 - 8:31
Mile 4 - 8:30
Mile 5 - 9:28
Mile 6 - 9:15

Mike's tempo paces were a little bit closer to 8 minutes per mile.


This was a lighter day for us, just 600 yards in the pool.  We added a half an hour in the gym using the arm and core weight machines to make the drive worthwhile.

Our swimming workout consisted of a 100 yard warm-up, 2 x 200 swim and a 100 yard cool-down.  We finished everything in about 12 minutes.


Yesterday we went for a 5 mile easy run along the Canal Path.  The whole thing didn't feel easy, but overall it wasn't too bad.  It took about 47 minutes to do the entire run.  The wind was pushing me back a little bit in the middle of the run and my pace slowed down to about 9:40 minutes per mile.  I pushed it the last mile and came in at 8:52 minutes per mile!


While we didn't want to, we ended up going to the gym again for our final ride of the week.  The temperature has cooled down quite a bit and we didn't feel like dealing with that this morning (plus we don't really have any cycling clothes yet, although we did both just order some tri shorts and I bought a tri top).

Instead of using the stationary bikes like we had been the last few times, we ended up using the spin bikes.  Some of the spin bikes at our gym calculate your distance, which is nice!  I did the 10 miles in 26:11 and Mike was about 1.5 miles ahead of me (about 3-3:30 minutes).  Our pace was a lot faster than on the stationary bike, but it was nice to be able to get the workout done in less time!

Tomorrow we are racing in our third half marathon ever, the Skunk Cabbage Half Marathon (I affectionately call it "Skunky")!  We will get to meet Jenny and her husband and see Rena and her boyfriend again since they are all racing too!  I'm really excited about going out to brunch with everyone after the race.  Hopefully the weather cooperates!

Now that March is over, here are our totals for the month:

Swim: 2,600 yards
Bike: 50 miles
Run: 81 miles

How did your training go this week and month?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Am I Going to Forget How to Run?

I realize the title of this post seems silly, but that is the question I ask myself almost EVERY time I go out for a run.

You're probably thinking, "yea right, Jamie.  You're exaggerating".  Sorry, I wish this were true.  Just today I was questioning if I would be able to run 6 miles, when I just did that two days ago and got a better than I could have ever imagined PR. 

I guess this comes from all of those times that I have gone out to run and it has ended HORRIBLY.  The last time that happened was the Polar Bear Series half marathon and probably the time before that was the 11 miler that Mike and I ran on my birthday (slowing down to 12 minutes per mile pace was not exactly how I thought that run was going to go).  I have been questioning my ability to do well at THIS weekend's half marathon as a result.   

Yet, I have had AMAZING runs lately, too.  The race this past weekend was just the icing on the cake.

 See, I can run (while holding spatulas) for 6 miles

Tonight, even though I was questioning my ability to run 6 miles, Mike and I headed out to do a tempo run (I was especially questioning the tempo part).  The plan was to do six 1 mile loops at a local park in Rochester, with a 2 mile warm-up, 2 mile tempo and 2 mile cool-down.  We only ran together for the first two miles and then Mike took off at a faster pace than me, which is completely fine since I am not at his tempo pace, yet!

Mile 1 - 9:26 pace
Mile 2 - 9:27 pace
Mile 3 - 8:31 pace
Mile 4 - 8:30 pace
Mile 5 - 9:28 pace
Mile 6 - 9:15 pace

Oh look at that, I WAS able to run 6 miles, hit my tempo pace (maybe even slightly faster) AND negative split.  Who knew?  Obviously not my brain since it tries to play tricks on me.

So from now on brain, stop doing that because I can do this.  I am not going to forget how to run, not if I have anything to say about it at least, and I am going to just keep getting faster and faster and running farther and farther.

Source: via Jamie on Pinterest

Monday, March 26, 2012

Around the Bay 30K Relay Race Recap

This post could otherwise be known as "That time I responded, 'I want to run with you!' to a blogger's request for a teammate, drove to another country and ran with two people I had never met before.  Best. Decision. EVER."

Screenshot of said best decision!

Now settle in because this is a long one, as it rightly should be! (Want Ali and Lyndsey's perspective on this? Go and read Ali's recap and Lyndsey's recap!)

After dropping Bernie off at boarding, riding 8 miles on the stationary bike and getting ready, Mike and I drove the 2.5 hours to Burlington, Ontario.  The race was actually in Hamilton, but by the time I agreed to run in the race all of the hotels in the area were booked!  Burlington isn't too far from Hamilton though so it worked out nicely.

After a few phone calls, on the hotel phone of course so we didn't get charged ridiculous international and roaming fees, we all agreed to meet at My Thai for dinner.  Yep, that's right Thai food and it worked out just fine.

When we arrived Ali, Colin and Lyndsey were already there.  We met and instant friendships were formed!  The poor waitress hated us because we took so long to order, sorry lady we had important Spatula Runner business to cover!

 All three of us, photo courtesy of Running with Spatulas

After dinner we went to Ali and Lyndsey's grandmother's house, party people I know, to devise our scheme for race day.  We were going to be rebellious and not use the shuttle buses to the exchange points for relay runners!

 Spatula Runners only use spatulas while scheming, photo courtesy of Running with Spatulas

All that planning, I mean "scheming", made us tired so we headed back to our hotel for the night.  I put out my race day outfit, we decided to wear the race shirt (I know, I know) underneath our Spatula Runners shirts since they were long sleeve (and I forgot another long sleeve shirt) and it was supposed to be a little bit cooler out (in the end Lyndsey and Ali didn't wear it because it wasn't necessary and I had to roll my sleeves up).  

Race day outfit

Race morning Mike and I woke up at 6:30 and got ready to drive to Ali and Colin's house.  When we got there Lyndsey was already there and so was REX!! He is Ali and Colin's adorable dog and he loved me (ok he is the kind of dog who loves everyone but I know he loved me a little bit more).

 Ready to race!

My new friend, Rex

Now for the scheme.

I am so grateful for Colin agreeing to driving us all around!  Without that the race would have been really boring since we would have been stuck on the shuttle buses for a long, long time and Mike and Colin would have been stuck at Copps Coliseum for hours.

 The location of the end of the race!

We arrived at the start of the race with plenty of time for me to stretch, warmup and check to make sure our chip worked in the shoe clip pouch that Lyndsey had.  It did.

Ready to "win" the race

Around 9:15 everyone else went to a location closer to where we had parked so that they could leave as soon as they saw me after the start.  Our plan was to drive each runner to the exchange points on roads that weren't closed for the race.

 The madness at the start of the race

 Waiting for me to run by

At 9:30 the race started!  I was far enough back that it took about a minute for me to cross the starting line.  As I was running I thought that I had missed everyone, I had stayed to the right so that there would be a better chance that they would see me, but then I was surprised when I heard them say, "there she is!"

See, I have the spatulas!

After that I continued on my merry way, I did have to pull over to the side within the first mile to pull up one of my compression socks but it only took a second.  After the first mile I clocked in at 8:36 and I thought, "well let's see how long this lasts" and after the second mile was 8:44 I knew that I had a chance to PR.

Miles 3-5 were the toughest for me mentally.  I did slow down a little bit and had to tell myself to just keep going and get to the exchange point.  I don't really remember much of the race except that everyone's watches around me kept beeping every kilometer and that seeing signs for the kilometers made it feel like it was taking forever!  I also remember that there was a guy with a bowl of oranges on the side of the road and I thought that was a little strange (apparently it is normal).  

I had two water stops during my portion of the relay and I took water both times.  I also had to explain to a few people why I was running with spatulas and my response basically was, "because... of... my... friend's... blog...".

The most memorable sign that I saw was, "go, bitches, go!"  Well I went!  I picked up the pace and hit 8:57 at mile 6 and knew I didn't have very far to go!  Before I knew it I heard Mike, Ali and Colin cheering me on and letting me know that Lyndsey was on the right.

 Finishing my leg and I didn't drop the spatulas! Photo courtesy of Running with Spatulas

Well I thought I had to run over a mat at the exchange point to record my time, but I was wrong.  I heard Lyndsey yell "Jamie!" and I stopped and we exchanged the chip and the spatulas and after a quick photo she was off!

Lyndsey's turn to run with the spatulas!

When I looked at my watch it said I had done 6.15 miles in 55:03 (8:58 average pace)!!  Lyndsey ended up "finishing" my 10K for me by running over the mat and online it says that our first leg's official time is 56:21, which is still a PR for me but since it includes our exchange time and the time it took Lyndsey to run over the mat I'm not counting that as my time.  I'm going to go with 55:03 and hope that I run faster than that soon so I can have an "official" 10K PR!

I quickly crossed the street and grabbed my food and water and we got into Colin's car to get Ali to her exchange point.  After parking, Ali got ready for her leg.  We had all told each other our estimated range of times that we expected to finish so we had a good idea of when Lyndsey would be coming.

Mike went up the hill a little bit so that he could signal to us that she was coming and after 1:05 for her 9.5K leg there she was! (A PR for her too!)

Rockin' the spatulas

Ali and Lyndsey exchanged the chip and spatulas and Ali took off for the hardest and longest leg (10.5K).

 Getting the shoe chip on

 Mike did a great job cheering for everyone! Photo courtesy of Running with Spatulas

Heading out on her way

The four of us got in the car and drove back to the same parking lot as the beginning of the race to wait for Ali to finish.  Mike and Colin went into Copps Coliseum to wait for her while Lyndsey and I waited outside of the entrance to the Coliseum.

I know that Ali doesn't want to use her injury and her lack of training (because of the injury) as an excuse, but it is a valid one!  Regardless of that fact, she still rocked the race!  After approximately 1:07 (a PR for Ali too since she has never officially raced the 10K distance) I saw a runner in pink shorts and a white t-shirt coming and I said that I thought it was her, and it was!  We cheered her on while she entered the Coliseum (and didn't fall, unlike some other unlucky runners we had seen).

Wave those spatulas proudly because you're done!

Our finishing time was 3:12:41 and unfortunately the first leg and our final finishing time are the only splits we have since Ali somehow missed the mat after she exchanged the chip with Lyndsey.

Team Spatula Runners

 I suck, Lyndsey and Ali rocked the spatulas, photo courtesy of Running with Spatulas

The evil relay bibs, it gave people permission to push us around!

After taking some photos, we headed back to Ali and Colin's house for some post-race fuel and cuddling with Rex. Thanks for making us a shake, Ali!

Although we didn't want to leave, we had to get going so that we could pick Bernie up before 6pm.  (Good thing we left when we did since it took us almost a half an hour to get through border crossing).

 It's appropriate that the Spatula Runners were in the kitchen

Spatula high five! Photo courtesy of Running with Spatulas

This was probably one of the best weekends I have had in a long time and I am so glad that we all got to meet and run together!

Like Mike said to me, Lyndsey and Colin, next year the girls should do the 3-person relay again and the guys can do the 2-person relay!  Or, we can all do the full!

Has anyone had a race where that made them just want to get right back out there and do it all over again?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Keuka Lake Tri Training Week 2

This week kicked off week 2 of tri training!


Monday is our off day and after our brutal half marathon the day before we needed it!


Only the second Tuesday into it and we already deviated from our training plan

We decided to break up our first 5 mile run between two days.  We went for a shake out run of 2 miles and ended up clocking in at 18:55. 

 Where we swim

BUT that wasn't all, we also hit the pool and did our first double workout.  We ended up doing 500 yards in 10 minutes and broke it up with a 100 warm-up, 300 swim and 100 cool-down. 


We hit up the Genesee Riverway Trail for our first cycling session this week.  The temperature was about 75 degrees and of course there were plenty of people out on this multi-use trail soaking up the warm weather!

Our training plan called for 6 miles and we did an out and back route along the trail.  Within the first mile I almost collided with a little boy whose father didn't make him wait to cross the trail and then about two seconds later I almost hit a dog whose owner didn't pull him back far enough!  I wasn't very optimistic about the ride after that but it went pretty well considering the scary beginning. 

The first three miles were more uphill and then on the way back we got to go faster on the downhills and I actually kept up with Mike for the most part on the way back! 

We ended up doing the 6 miles in 30:13 which is 11.9 mph!  Not too bad for our third ride. 


Unfortunately Mike didn't finish the last three miles of our training run that we broke up into two days.  He has been dealing with some shin splints and decided to go to the gym and use the rowing machine and core machines while I ran the 3 mile loop outside.

I had NO plan for this run.  I wasn't sure how I was going to feel since it was still slightly warm out but I headed out the way that I normally run (our gym is at the college I work at so I run the route often enough).  After the first mile clocked in at 9:14 after running up the one hill that is on campus, I decided to see how I felt and picked up the pace a little bit.  The second mile clocked in at 8:52 and then the third 8:54!  I ended up doing the 3 miles in 9:00 minute average pace in 27:01.  I guess I ended up doing speed work.

After I finished running, I quickly went into the gym and changed into my swimsuit because it was another double workout day.  We had another 500 yards to do and we decided to change it up a little bit.  We did 100 freestyle, 100 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 100 backstroke and 100 freestyle.  As usual it took us 10 minutes.


Since the run legs of our duathlon in May happen on trails, Mike and I bought trail shoes so we could go on some training runs (we actually wore them on Wednesday for our ride too).  After asking Eric at Roc the Run on Twitter which trails in Rochester were on the easier side, Mike and I headed out for our first trail run!  We decided on the Greenway and found an area of the trail where we could park and then do an out and back route for a total of 5 miles. 

Tried to get a cool photo and Bernie did alright with it, haha

 There they are

The run went better than I expected!  I didn't think that we would be able to hold similar paces to what we normally do, but we were!  This was a "baby" trail though and it was easier to navigate than others in the area. 

After finishing the 5 miles in 47:52 we headed back to our car and while stretching briefly I noticed that I had a sock line.  Unlike our half marathon, where we got sunburns, we were actually dirty this time!


We had an 8 mile ride scheduled for Saturday.  Since we had to drop Bernie off at boarding for the weekend and then head out relatively early for the 2.5 hour drive to Burlington, Ontario we decided to just hit the gym.  We ended up using the stationary bikes and I finished the 8 miles in a little less than half an hour (Mike was a few minutes faster than me).  I would have preferred to do it outside but it was probably the best decision!


Mike was going to run in the morning but decided against it since he would have had to do his run at 5:30am, and considering his shins are bothering him still it was probably the best decision.

 Team Spatula Runners after the race!

I ran the first 10K leg (technically I ran 6.15 miles) of the AMAZING team Spatula Runners at the Around the Bay Road Race!  I finished in 55:03, but more on that tomorrow!

How was your training last week?  Did you race this weekend?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Enchilada Stack Recipe

Today's new recipe is an Enchilada Stack!

I found the recipe, here, and originally wanted to do it in the crock pot like you are supposed to according to the recipe.  The problem with that, I realized this morning, is that it would have been done around 12-1pm (we leave for work at 7am)!  The recipe says that it only takes 4-7 hours on low and since our crock pot doesn't have an automatic warm setting that would not have been good! 

I noticed that one person who commented on the original recipe put it in the oven so that is what I decided to do!  I still made the ground turkey mixture the night before because I had planned on doing it in the crock pot and at 6am I changed my mind.  I guess I do my best thinking in the early hours of the day.

Oh and you should all be proud because with the exception of cutting and serving it at the end, I did this entire recipe by myself!  For those who know me really well that does not happen often, if ever! 

Enchilada Stack

 Looks good!

1 pound ground turkey
1 8 oz bag diced peppers and onions
1 10 oz can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 15 oz can black beans, drained
1 15 oz can organic chili beans (pinto, kidney, black), drained
1/3 cup water
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 cups Mexican blend cheese, shredded
6 soft tortillas (6 inch)

I combined the ground turkey, peppers and onions in the skillet and cooked them until the ground turkey browned and the vegetables were cooked through.  Then I added the next 6 ingredients (everything except the cheese and tortillas) in the skillet and brought it to a boil.

Once to a boil, I reduced the heat, covered and simmered everything for about 10 minutes.  Once everything was done I put the mixture in two containers and put it in the refrigerator.  You can definitely make your mixture the same day that you make the recipe if you prefer.     

 It made a lot more than I thought it would!

Ready to put in the refrigerator

After our run tonight (our first trail run which was really fun!), I layered everything in a glass baking dish.  The layer order: turkey mixture, tortilla, cheese.  I just estimated how much of the mixture and cheese to put on each layer but the original recipe has more exact measurements if you prefer that method!

 The "stack"

There was a little bit of mixture left so I just put it around the stack and then put it in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for 45 minutes.  Well, that's sort of a lie, it was supposed to be in there for 45 minutes and then I checked it with about 10 minutes left and the top cheese was a little crispy.  We never learn and should always put cheese on top of things that are uncovered the last 10 to 15 minutes.  Since I had taken it out a little early the middle layers of the stack were colder but after 1 minute in the microwave everything was

 Mike managed to cut it and put it on the plates in one piece!

We really liked this dinner.  It was a nice way to be able to use up the organic beans I had left from the Clean Food Challenge, I think almost everything that I bought for that is used up now.

In the future I would just put the last layer of cheese on top during the last few minutes in the oven.  I probably wouldn't even do this in the crock pot unless we buy one that has a range of settings including an automatic warm setting.

Ali and Lyndsey you would be happy to know that I have been carbo-loading A LOT this week! 

For those of you who don't know Ali and Lyndsey are my teammates for the Around the Bay 30K Relay this Sunday.  Mike and I will be traveling to Canada (after cycling 8 miles) tomorrow and I'm ready for the hug Ali has threatened me with!  Plus, I will have a treat for her!  Although, I already warned her it isn't anything that she should get too excited about. 

Anyone have any fun plans this weekend?  Meeting anyone you have never "met" before?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Western New York Blogger Meetup

So far I have met two lovely ladies through blogging, although Ali doesn't blog anymore since she is so busy with grad school.  I know how that goes!

This weekend I am going to meet Ali and then the following weekend I am going to meet Jenny!

I can't stop there though, there are so many of you that I want to meet!

This morning while on Twitter, yes it is addicting but also informative, I found out from this lovely lady that the Color Run has a competitor!  Color Me Rad also has some colorful and fun 5Ks around the country and it just so happens that there is one in Albany, New York on June 9th.

I haven't talked to Mike about it yet, although I did post it on his Facebook (if you are friends with us on our personal Facebook pages you probably notice we share a lot of articles, websites, etc. with each other on Facebook), but I would LOVE to do this run.  We will have to do a long run the day after for marathon training but since this is just for fun I don't see the harm in running slowly with some friends.

That's right, friends.  This is where YOU (yes, you) and anyone else you know from the area (or anyone who is willing to travel to the area) come in!  I want to try to set up a blogger meetup at the Color Me Rad 5K fun run!

How fun would it be to run together and then throw our color packs in the air at the finale?

Registration hasn't opened for Albany yet but it looks like there are 4 waves every 5 minutes between 9-9:15am.  I would LOVE to set up a team so that way we would all be running in the same wave!

Who else is in and wants to run for fun and get colorful?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Polar Bear Series Half Marathon Race Recap

Now let me just put it out there and say that there was nothing, other than the name of course, Polar Bear about this race!  While I enjoyed the mild winter we had this year, I did not enjoy the weather conditions yesterday and in the end Mike and I both had less than stellar performances.

Similar to what Adam Richman would say on Man vs. Food, yesterday Mike and I put up a good fight but in the end weather won!

The race didn't start until 1pm, which in normal March conditions would have been fine since the race was 2 hours away from Rochester.  It was nice to be able to sleep in and just take our time getting ready.  I had planned on wearing knee high socks with clovers on them but I decided against it since it was going to be so hot out.  I did wear green socks though!

Yep, those are my legs and feet

When we got to the Olean YMCA we weren't exactly sure where to go, but quickly figured it out. After picking up our bibs we did a warm-up and then got ready for the start of the race.  We actually ran in to Ali right before our warm-up and it was fun to finally meet her!  Her dad was running the race too, they are training for a marathon together, and he was pretty nervous (but he finished in 1:55 and beat all three of us, go Ali's dad!)

After a few announcements we all lined up and just like that we were running our second half marathon!

 There we are in the middle (behind the yellow shirt guy), photo courtesy of the Olean-Bradford Area YMCA

I didn't really have a plan for this race since it wasn't an "A" race, but I did want to try to get a PR.  I knew that if I could hold similar paces to our recent training runs that it would be possible.  I had wanted to start out slower than I did but I figured the first mile would be faster and then I would calm down a bit.

During the first mile, Ali and I ran together for a little bit.  She told me that her track team in high school would run down one of the roads that we were running along, so some of the course was familiar to her.  Plus, she ran the race last year and it was much colder that year!

After the first mile clocked in at 9:00 I knew that I needed to slow down.  I slowly backed off from Ali and I saw her put her headphones back in and she went on her way.  I knew I would see her and Mike later on since it was an out and back course.

The first three miles went fine with all of my paces under 10 minutes and then everything went downhill from there.  Since the race started at 1pm and it was 70-75 degrees out, the sun was right overhead the entire time.  There were probably only 10 to 15 minutes that we got a break from the sun the entire race!

I tried to keep up a good pace but in the end it was just too difficult.  At 5 miles I took one of my energy gels (which was really warm from the sun) using my new handheld which actually didn't really make things much easier for us.  Mike and I each bought one since Ali said that last year they ran out of water on the course.  In normal temperatures that wouldn't have been as bad but in 70 degree weather I knew I would need water.  Mike later told me he dumped half of his out at mile 3 (because it was boiling hot) and then the rest out at the turn around.  The handheld did irritate my hand a little bit and I had to take it off a few times to give my hand a rest but overall I was happy with it.  

There were plenty of water stops, but I still drank out of my bottle just to try to prevent dehydration.  I would also just take one small sip from the water stop cup (because it was colder than my water) and then dump the rest on my head to try to cool off a little bit!

I saw Ali and then Mike before the turn around and kept on my way.

After the turn around, things just kept getting worse.  At mile 8.1 I actually stopped and walked.  I was so disappointed but almost everyone else around me was walking and I later found out that both Ali and Mike walked a few times, too.  I walked another 3 times (no more than .1 miles at a time) until I reached mile 12.  (I had taken my second energy gel at mile 10, but it didn't really do anything for me).

Once I got to mile 12 I didn't allow myself to walk and I just focused on getting to the end.  I knew that a PR was out of the question and at that point I just wanted to finish.  I saw Mike on the sidelines and kicked it in to the end.

Mike coming in to the finish, photo courtesy of Ali

Finishing up a hard race, photo courtesy of Ali

I finished in 2:26 and Mike finished in 2:11 (unofficial times, I didn't feel like waiting for the official times anymore).  Both of our times were worse than our first half marathon, the Fall Foliage Half Marathon, back in October.

If the conditions had been better, or if this was in the summer and we were used to running in this temperature, I know we would have done better.  The course was relatively flat with a few rolling hills here and there.  I didn't mind the out and back route, it actually helped me mentally this time.

After we were done we got some Gatorade (I wish there had been some on the course, oh well) and pizza.  I was actually able to, after a few minutes, eat this time!  We then went into the locker rooms to change.

While I was changing I noticed that I had lines on my legs from where my shorts (oh by the way those were new too, and it worked out just fine) and my socks had ended.  I thought, wow I either got some color or I am really, really, really dirty!  Well, we both got sun burns!  Seriously, in March!?

The only positive thing from this race, other than meeting Ali of course, was that I am going to recover SO MUCH better than after our first half marathon.  But, if I had been honest the first time, I was actually injured before our first half marathon but I had worked so hard that I didn't want to DNS (did not start).  I can actually walk around pain-free this time!

After that slightly disappointing race it makes me even more determined to do well at this weekend's relay in Canada.  I am hoping to get a 10K PR, hopefully close to 55 minutes, and have a fun time running with Ali (yes, I know lots of Alis) and her cousin.  I also want to get a half marathon PR at the Skunk Cabbage Half Marathon on April 1st.  Oh you didn't know I am crazy?  Yea, 3 races 3 weekends in a row.  Rena (and her boyfriend) and Jenny will be running the half so I can't wait for that race!

Updated to add: Our finishing times were 2:26:43 (me) and 2:11:32 (Mike).  Pretty close to what our Garmins said that our times were, I guess we are getting better at starting our watches at the start!

I also used this race as my half marathon for Detroit Runner's "I Just Felt Like Running" virtual race, although I didn't feel like running in the heat!

Does a bad race make you just want to do better next time or do you feel disappointed for awhile?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Ground Turkey Sausage Lasagna

I don't feel like recapping our less than ideal race right now (and I'm waiting for the official results) so I will post our new recipe for this week instead!

Last night Mike and I made lasagna.  Now, some of you know this but Mike and I already have made lasagna many times before.  We actually have a really good recipe for it!  Mike kept telling me that this recipe didn't count, but I disagree.  There are some different ingredients, and while some are the same that means it counts as "new"!

Since we had our half marathon we knew we had to carbo-load so lasagna was perfect!  We ended up making Ground Turkey Sausage Lasagna using this recipe as a guide. 

Ground Turkey Sausage Lasagna

 I wish you could see everything in it better!

1 pound ground turkey (we used patties and just broke them up in the skillet)
Barilla No Boil Lasagna noodles (lazy yes, works yes)
1 onion chopped
Garlic Powder
1 jar of sauce
1 15 oz container Ricotta Cheese
1 egg
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
3 cups spinach
2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese 

You probably noticed the no boil noodles, we swear by those!  You don't have to use them if you don't want but for us they work. 

We basically followed the directions of the recipe, with a few exceptions.  After chopping the onion, the sausage, onion and some garlic powder (not sure how much, ask Mike haha) were sauteed in the skillet until the sausage browned.  The original recipe said to add the sauce to the mixture but we skipped this step since it doesn't specify what size jar of sauce!

Meanwhile, I combined the ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese and the egg in a bowl and mixed it all together. 

We used a 9x13 glass baking dish and coated it with non-stick baking spray.  Some sauce is poured into the bottom of the pan and then lasagna noodles are placed on top.  The order of our layers went: noodles, ricotta cheese mixture, sausage mixture, sauce, spinach (really we just guessed how much to use each time), mozzarella cheese (guessed how much each time again).  We repeated this 3 times until the final layer.  After the last 4 noodles are put on top, it is topped with sauce, Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese.

 Ready to go in the oven

The lasagna is cooked in a preheated 350 degree oven, uncovered, for 45 minutes (I will say covering it might be a good idea for a little while since the mozzarella cheese was slightly overcooked but not too bad!)

 Looks delicious!

This was really good!  We will definitely make it again!

And now I'm sure you are wondering how this lasagna is different than our regular lasagna, right?  Well some of the procedure is different, in our regular lasagna we mix the mozzarella cheese in the ricotta mixture and some of the ingredients are different.  We don't normally use ground turkey sausage, onions, garlic powder nor spinach.  I do have to say that all of those were great additions!

What do you put in your lasagna?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Keuka Lake Tri Training Week 1

On June 3, 2012 Mike and I will be triathletes!  We are racing in the Keuka Lake Sprint Triathlon (.75K Swim, 22K Bike, 5K Run) and we started training this past week.

I figured that since I don't always talk about our training in detail that I would recap each week of triathlon training.  These posts will be written on Saturdays, Sundays or Mondays depending on the week.  Since we have a half marathon tomorrow it was easiest to write this post today!


Monday is our off day for the next 12 weeks.  I may do some Jillian Michaels DVDs here and there but for the most part we will need to rest completely on this day since the rest of the week is full of training!


I hadn't quite memorized our plan, which I still haven't, and I thought that we were supposed to swim on Tuesday but later noticed that we were supposed to run 5 miles.  After work Mike and I headed to Durand Eastman Park to do a progression run. 

I need to work on starting slower during longer runs so I wanted to practice holding a specific pace for one mile.  We were semi-successful since we ended up doing the run a little bit faster than we were supposed to:

Lap 1 - 9:48 pace
Lap 2 - 9:40 pace
Lap 3 - 9:29 pace
Lap 4 - 9:09 pace
Lap 5 - 9:05 pace

Total Time: 47:12

I felt great during this run and other than getting a little bit tired at the end I felt like I could have kept going.  


I already wrote a post about this training ride, but Mike and I went back to Durand Eastman Park for a 5 mile ride.  It wasn't the best but it wasn't horrible!  I did the 5 miles in 29:19 and Mike was 2 minutes faster than me.


Mike and I hit the gym and the pool on Thursday.  In order to make our trips to the pool worthwhile we decided that we would try to lift beforehand.  We used the arm and core machines and then changed to get our 500 yards in at the pool.

Although we were only 20 minutes late getting into the pool after it had opened, the entire thing was full (and it is an 8 lane pool)!  We ended up sharing a lane with this woman who was pretty slow.  I felt bad that we were constantly passing her but she only had to tolerate us for 10 minutes.  We did a 100 yard warm-up, 300 yard swim and a 100 yard cool-down. 

I mentioned on Dailymile (which then posts to Twitter) that swimming 500 yards is really easy for us and I got this response:

I clarified that since I was a competitive swimmer for 12-13 years that, for me, 500 yards is easy.  It almost isn't worth it for us to go to the gym! Oh well, we will be increasing yardage soon. 


Some of you already know this but my Friday morning started out with a little scare at work.  I work at a college and since we experienced a shooting (just one person was shot and it wasn't deadly) in 2004 and a student was caught with weapons in his dorm room a few years ago, we have an emergency alert system set in place.

While I was in my 8am assignment I noticed that I had received a phone call but I just thought it was the scheduling office for interpreters.  However, when the professor told a student who had turned in his quiz to stay (she had first told them they could leave after the quiz), I was a little puzzled.  She told a second student to stay and then announced to the class that we would all be staying after the quiz.  She then motioned for me to come over and mentioned that we had an emergency alert in place but that those were typically for bad weather (sorry, no they aren't).  I went and checked my voice mail and heard "there is a man with a rifle" near one of the dorms. 

After all the students finished their quizzes, the professor announced that we needed to stay because there was a man who had been spotted with something near the dorms (I don't really like how she was watering it down for them, but not my class not my decision).  A student later said "no, it was a rifle". 

We then were in safe shelter mode and we had to lock the doors, barricade the room and turn off the lights (not Deaf friendly but eventually their eyes adjusted).  I was not terrified but I was a little bit scared.  I was no where near the dorm side of campus but our campus is not huge and if someone wanted to go on a killing spree, believe me he or she could have. 

I remained in contact with Mike and texted all of my friends at work to make sure they were alright.  After hearing that the local Sheriff's department was on scene my nervousness slightly increased.  

After an hour of sitting in lock down, we finally received the all clear.  In the end it was a false alarm.  The student had an umbrella with a Samurai sword handle and it has been taken away from him until the end of the academic year. 

I'm so relieved that nothing happened, but the reality is that I could be sitting here, or potentially not sitting here, telling you a very different story. 

With all of that excitement I had to get my 5 mile run in as soon as possible.  I ran my typical route at work and tried to keep an easy/slow pace because of our half tomorrow.  I did the 5 miles in 48:12, which is only 1 minute slower than Tuesday, and felt pretty good!  I should have probably gone a little slower in the middle but that's alright.  Mike actually did his 5 miles today and kept up a pretty consistent 9:10 pace. 


 This is not where we rode, and yes we desperately need biking clothes

On our schedule for today was a 5 mile ride.  We headed out to Webster and rode along the 104 (highway) bike trail near North Ponds Park.  This ride went a little bit better than Wednesday but I hated how some of the trail was really bumpy and we had to stop at some intersections before continuing on the trail.

My time was 27:18 and Mike was just a few seconds faster than me.  I played around with the gears a little bit and I am finding some settings that work for me. 

Tomorrow we finish out the week with our first of two half marathons over the next two weeks.

How was your training this week? 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

"New to You" Cross Training Challenge: Biking

While I was reading Just Trying is for Little Girls' blog today, I realized that I had already completed my March "new to me" cross training activity!  I guess Jillian Michaels 6 Week Six-Pack is going to have to wait until April!

I have actually already written a post about our first time biking, luckily it was in March, which you can read about, here.  Since that was just "practice" which is pretty evident in our triathlon training program, I am fine with calling yesterday my first time biking on a real bike in over 13 years.

Sorry this is the only photo I have of our bikes!

After a great run on Tuesday, don't worry you'll hear all about it on Saturday when I recap triathlon training week 1, Mike and I headed to the exact same spot yesterday to go for a 5 mile ride.

Side-note: we no longer have to take two separate cars nor take the front wheels off of our bikes to fit them in our trunks because we have a trunk bike rack!  It does have to come off each time we use it since I wouldn't be able to open my trunk, but it is nice to have.  I was driving like an old lady though since I was afraid our bikes would fall off.

When we arrived at Durand Eastman Park I was happy to notice that there weren't too many people at the park.  I am definitely NOT confident on the bike yet and I wouldn't want to hit anyone nor fall off!

We used our Garmins' bike sport mode and set off on our first real ride!  I was behind Mike and doing fairly well but I was really confused as to why my watch beeped for the first lap at what looked like .6 miles.  At one point while going up a hill in the wooded part of the trail I yelled to Mike that my watch wasn't working.  Since we had just been there the day before, I knew approximately where the mile markers were and my watch wasn't accurately reflecting that.  Mike told me that my watch was on virtual partner and all I had to do was touch the bezel and it would go to the normal screen!

We got going again and after reaching the top of the hill, we had to stop and decide what we were going to do.  I really didn't want to go down the hill since I haven't mastered my gears and I didn't want to feel like I was flying and out of control!  At the same time I didn't want to ride on the main road next to the park's trail and we just decided to head back the same way we came.

I coasted down almost the entire length of the hill and I even had to use my breaks occasionally!  I was really afraid of falling and I didn't want to hit anyone.  Some people walking were NOT paying attention and I came pretty close to colliding with them.

After getting down the hill, everything was smooth sailing from then on, almost.  When I got to the end of the park's trail I didn't see Mike.  Since I was pretty sure we weren't allowed to bike on the sidewalk (Mike later told me you could) I decided to try my luck at riding on the road.  When I got to 4.6 miles, I stopped my watch and got off my bike and waited for all of the cars to pass.  After riding back on the other side of the road, my watch beeped at 5 miles right across from where we were parked.  There was no sign of Mike!

As I was waiting to cross the road I finally saw him!  He had ended up riding on the sidewalk and didn't turn around until he hit 5 miles.

 Thanks for the comment Jenny!

In the end I rode 5.03 miles in 29:19 at 10.3 mph.  Overall it was pretty slow, I think anyway, but that is to be expected the first couple of weeks.  I really need to figure out which gear to have my bike in when I am going downhill/uphill!

Even though we are racing in a triathlon, I am still going to consider biking "cross-training" since we are technically just runners who are competing in a triathlon at this point.  I am not ready to call myself a triathlete just yet.  I think after we finish our first one I might be ready for the "title" change!

Do you know anything about bike gear settings?  Are you afraid of falling off your biking and going downhill?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Triathlon Training Program

I finally finished our triathlon training program!  Now don't think that I am some genius who should be a running/triathlon coach, I definitely had some help from this online training website that I found.

I used the 10 week Sprint distance training program, for beginners, as a guide while writing up our plan for our first triathlon!  I'm not sure why it is called a 10 week training program since it does include the week of your triathlon which would make it 11 weeks, oh well!  Our training time frame is actually 12 weeks so I just repeated the last week of the one I found online.  

Other than the biking distances, I didn't really follow any of the distances established in the online program.  I used the days that the plan had for each sport with the exception of the long rides and long runs, I switched the days!

If you would like to see what we are going to be up to for the next 3 months, here you go:



If all goes according to plan we should be able to accomplish everything on this training schedule! The only thing that may need to be arranged are some of the running sessions after our half marathons and the long bike after Seneca 7.  I'm also not thrilled that the week of our triathlon is the first week of Marathon training, but Mike and I will have enough of a base that it shouldn't hold us back too much.  

The "off" days may not be completely off as we go along.  I need to keep up my Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred and we do want to try Crossfit sometime!  We are most likely going to lift on the days that we swim too so that we aren't just driving to the gym to swim a few hundred yards.  

I'm really excited about this and I can't wait to start training!  I did have to print out the plan, though, since I thought we were swimming today, not running.  Oops!  I don't have it memorized, yet.  

A good bet for all of our friends and family over the next few months (and even after that since we will be training for Wineglass at that point), if you want to see us come swim, bike or run with us!  A few of you are doing just that!

Have you ever developed your own training plan from scratch or do you use online programs as a guide?