Austria Day 3

After the hell that was running on a mountain, I decided it was best to stay flat the next day.  We had seen a river from the top of the mountain that flowed all the way through the valley, connecting town to town so I thought that seemed like the ideal place to run.  I wasn’t wrong.  It started in a nice, shady part of town:

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And I quickly headed out of town and along the crushed gravel path running right beside the beautiful and incredibly clear river.

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The view to my left wasn’t bad either.

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It was seriously one of the most beautiful places to run I’ve ever seen.  I must have said to Joe 50 times that I could live in this town.  Obviously, one of the most compelling reasons would be the perfect running– this trail goes on forever and ever and no chance of getting hit by cars, just perfect scenery and a beautiful, flat trail.  Bonus: Even in the heat, the water was FREEZING (being glacial water and all) and made the perfect ice bath for my super sore muscles.

 

Obviously, the best way to recover was a gelato in town.  I got lemon and mango, Joe had hazelnut and blueberry (we only discovered this afterward, we basically guessed at the German words and what we thought they might be).  Best lemon gelato ever, it was super sour and felt so good on a hot day.

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We spent the afternoon being lazy and resting our sore bodies, which meant I got some serious sun time with my beer.

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Before we knew it, it was dinner time.  Started with a salad with blueberry dressing.

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Carrot and thyme soup.

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Quiche lorraine.

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Delicious fish and roasted veggies.  I would have felt pretty healthy if it wasn’t for the liter of beer and gelato I had earlier.

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Where was your prettiest run?

Favorite flavor of gelato?  I really like fruity flavors like lemon, mango, raspberry in the summer but cappuccino is my favorite if it’s not as warm out

 

 

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I’m turning into a hypochondriac

It was so gorgeous yesterday and I just couldn’t help myself, I waited until the middle of the day and ran in the bright sunshine.  It was a little toasty after the first couple miles but it just felt so good to be running in the sun and warmer temps.

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But this is not something you want to see 4.97 miles into a 7 mile run:

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Dead Garmin.  It’s now all charged up and ready for today but I pretty much guessed and ran around aimlessly for the end of my run yesterday since I was on a different loop than I usually run.

 

I’ve decided that running is trying to turn me into a hypochondriac.  Once you’ve had a pretty nasty injury (for me the plantar fasciia tear and the two torn knee ligaments), every pain becomes a potential future injury in your head.  Rationally, I know that having sore shins from needing to run 3 consecutive days on concrete is normal and just a reaction to the fact that I normally run on dirt, but in my head I’m like “ahhh maybe it’s going to be a stress fracture if I run on it tomorrow…but I think maybe not tomorrow so I’ll run on it tomorrow but then definitely not the next day.”  Then by the next day, it’s better anyway.  But I have a mini internal freak out when I first notice any new niggle.

 

We have a little experiment coming today…I’m going to try to take my sister-in-law’s dog for a run.  My own dogs don’t like to run with me (they’re sprinters, not distance runners) so I’ve never run with a dog and they don’t run with him either like on full-on distance runs but he’s very active and runs constantly and the breed is supposedly built for running.  I’m going to do the first few miles alone then loop back and grab him and try to make it around 2 with him and get him some exercise.  If it goes well, I forsee me trying to convince Stevie that running 6 miles is her new favorite activity, to replace chasing squirrels in circles in the backyard.

 

 

Do you run with a dog?

Do you freak out about all the random pains that come with running?

 

Getting so good at running indoors

Well, it snowed again.  It’s nearly April and it snowed.  I’m used to it being around 70 this time of year, this is ridiculous.  At least someone likes it:

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There isn’t too much thankfully, around 2 or 3 inches but I don’t think it’ll stick around for long.  But yeah, it meant running inside again.  Woo! False enthusiasm.  I did a 7 mile tempo and core and legs after.  Note to self: Leg workouts should come before, not after.  I felt like jello.

 

I tried another Quest bar after my workout.

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This is my second attempt, a different flavor each time.  Both times I was sick afterwards.  Apparently, these are a no-go for me.  It makes me a little sad, I was a fan of the 20g of protein in each one since I’m always trying to up my protein intake.  However, not only was I having problems with the taste (too sweet for me, but I’m the girl who hates chocolate so if you’re normal, they’re probably fine) but also the hours of feeling nauseated afterwards just aren’t going to cut it for me.  They seem really popular though so I guess I’m the only one with this issue.  Joe’s going to eat them instead so I’ll let you know if he loves them.

 

Thanks to the snowy day, I finished my run and just hung out inside for the most part.  Got a bunch of reading done and of course, procrastinated with random useless quizzes.  Sometimes it scares me how much they know me:

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Well, at least we know we did it right 😉  Not that anyone could regret getting married in France, but you know.

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And:

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I’ve only had this hair for a decade, no biggie.  Except a good 6-8 inches longer than hers.  Trauma if they cut off more than an inch.  The description is hilarious, I am indeed simultaneously extremely carefree and yet when I have a plan, don’t you dare change it or I don’t handle that well AT ALL.  Which is probably why I keep my hair exactly the same despite always seeing photos of people with adorable shorter hair and feeling incredible urges to chop mine off.

 

 

 

Did you have snow?  Expecting any more this winter (SPRING!)?

Ever not been able to stomach something everyone else seems to love?

What is your workout on this beautiful Wednesday?  I’m doing an easy 5 and p90x Chest&Back 🙂

Doughnuts and (protein) pancakes!

One of the things I was most excited for coming home:

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My mom got all 6 of these for me, and another 6 for Joe.  Don’t worry, I couldn’t eat all of them.  It took me 4 days and I managed 5 but don’t want to see another doughnut for a while.  The coconut ones are my favorites.

Decent weather this weekend meant I got to take my run to the trails, which is where I always feel like my real runner self.

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I just want to run in the woods every day.

After my long run, I made red velvet protein pancakes to refuel.

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I don’t know if you’ve ever made protein pancakes, but I have tried dozens of times and they are always completely the wrong texture and/or taste weird.  Frankly, usually both.  I’ve tried ones on running/triathlon forums, bodybuilding.com, the Tone It Up girls’ recipes, and never ever like them.  This was basically my last ditch attempt to ever try to enjoy them AND IT WORKED.  It must be some kind of miracle.  I’m sure credit is due to the protein powder (for not tasting horrible) but also to the ratio of ingredients, because for once, they were crazy fluffy and while not entirely like real buttermilk pancakes, as close as I think protein pancakes are ever going to get.  Here’s what I did in case you want to try it yourself:

1/2 cup oat flour

1 scoop Red Velvet Cake Batter protein powder

1 tbsp baking powder

1/3 cup liquid egg whites

2 tbsp vanilla almond milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

Then just plop in the pan and make like normal pancakes!  They don’t break apart like others I’ve tried so they flip like normal pancakes, they just take longer to cook so leave them for several minutes on each side.  I’m thinking I might try this same recipe with my Peanut Butter Marshmallow or Cookies and Cream protein powder next time.

Favorite kind of doughnut?

Do you prefer trails, roads, sidewalks, grass, or treadmills?

Have you ever made protein pancakes?

Eating before a run

At some point I was looking through my Google searches and saw that quite a few people found me searching for “what to eat before a run.”  I realized, though, that nowhere have I actually addressed this, though you can find plenty on what I like to eat after a run.  So here we go…I’m sure all you veteran runners have your fueling all figured out but if any newbies are out there reading, I hope my experiences help even just a little!

Discovering what works for me was very much a trial and error process.  When I first started running, I didn’t do it with any particular training in mind nor did I read running literature so I knew nothing about fueling, I just continued to eat exactly as I always had and just happened to run 5-6 days each week.  I figured the stomach cramps I had after 90% of my runs were just a side effect of being new to running and I’d get used to them.  Luckily for the future of my running, after my college classes got switched around and I had a long 2-3 hour break in the middle of my day, I changed my eating.  With my new schedule I had breakfast before I went to my first class then changed and ran after class and showered and brought water and something to refuel with me to my afternoon classes.  Suddenly, my stomach cramps went away.  This is when I learned I run best 2-3 hours after I eat so that takes care of issue number 1: timing.  I’ve since learned that many coaches and nutritionists advise waiting 2-3 hours if you’re eating anything more than a snack-sized meal before your run so it turns out, I accidentally discovered just about the ideal ratio.

 

Even once I mastered my timing, I found I would have GI distress on longer runs (8+) or runs where I ran particularly fast.  I was aggravated to say the least because it wouldn’t happen on any other runs and I thought I had all my eating figured out.  By now I was googling running articles and learned this was pretty common so again, I ignored it for the most part.  But I did start experimenting with different foods to see if any of them made things better or worse.  It took all of one very ill-advised run to determine cereal was a no-go.  Ditto yogurt.  My go-to breakfast of bagels were just fine.  Oatmeal was the best.  Clif bars work fine, but they are less filling so I typically eat them only 60-90 minutes before I go out.  For me, the biggest determining factor was being sufficiently fueled yet not too full, and giving myself plenty of time to digest.  If I do that, I run without any tummy troubles all the way up through marathon distance and through most foods (including doughnuts and macarons if you’re really interested haha).  If I rush my run too close to when I eat or eat too much, well, I’ve made more than one emergency run back to my car/home.  So for me, timing is way more important than the type of food unless I’m racing and really pushing my body to its limit, but if you start experimenting, you’ll find out soon enough if yours is the same.  My body has always been very tolerant of all kinds of foods.  If you’re struggling with what may be causing issues, try tracking your diet before runs until you can pinpoint what types of foods or timing may be causing you trouble.
The funniest thing about all the experimenting is, every runner I’ve met has their own method that works for them.  It truly is a trial and error process specific to each runner.  If you stumbled upon this looking for advice, the best general advice I can give is cut back on fiber before a run and make sure you have easily digestible carbs in the pre-run window.  Everything else is determining what feels best for YOU.  Track your intake until you can run without issues every time.  It turns out, I can’t run at all on an empty stomach.  I tried multiple times over the summer to get out the door quicker and beat the heat but I feel sluggish and horrible.  I have to wake up at least 90 minutes early and get some real food in or I’m an all-out disaster.  You might be different.

 

How about you?  What’s your pre-run food ritual?  Oatmeal or a bagel 90 minutes-3 hours before I run (I can run anytime in that window, I just procrastinate sometimes haha)

Did you have any cramping or stomach issues when you started running?  How did you learn how to fix it?

Favorite food to eat if you know you AREN’T going to run that day? PANCAKES! (I can run after pancakes, but they’re heavy so I have to wait a really long time to not feel full)

 

Something I’m good at

I’m so good at procrastinating interval workouts.  Pretty much any other run I’ll be eager to do as soon as I’ve digested breakfast but intervals often wait until the afternoon when I do them only because I know I’ll be too tired to do them if I wait any longer.  But as usual, I feel really good when I finish.  There’s something so satisfying about finishing a hard workout and knowing you’ll see results from it in the future.  2 miles warm up, 4×1 mile with 3 min jog recovery, 2 miles cool down.  Then 40 minutes of plyo and my legs are SORE today.  Schedule calls for easy 4 and I will happily oblige. 

 

{Still doing the random photo thing until this weekend!}

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Small update on the school stuff: I met with my supervisors yesterday who are just wonderful people.  I’ll be leaving here with another masters degree (having two seems excessive but at least I’ll leave with something!) so I will still be researching and writing for the remainder of my time here.  We actually chose to go a different route than I was with the doctoral dissertation so that I can use the majority of what I had researched in my future doctoral program and I will build on one of my completed chapters for this.  It’s crazy, because it means I have to write roughly 30,000 words of new and original work in the next couple months when I already had SO MUCH done of my doctoral dissertation, but I want to preserve being able to write about what I’m passionate about at another program.  And they are going to write me glowing recommendations and do whatever they can to help me get in elsewhere (they strongly disagree with what is going down) so hopefully it all works out and I end up someplace equally prestigious but where I can write what I want. 

 

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Oh, and I think I’m going to do that race I mentioned yesterday, because apparently I’m a glutton for punishment.  Let’s just hope I don’t ruin my team’s chances of placing.  Unlike a lot of obstacle runs, this one is timed and competitive and all four of us and our times will count for the team.  Mark and I are working on trying to convince Joe to join, it would be super fun to do a race with him and lifting things and hiking mountains is so much more his thing than actually running on a flat course (because he’s crazy).  In case you didn’t know this already, 9 years together and I’ve never even been on one run with my husband.  Very jealous of all of you who have someone to run with!

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(at the Cherry Blossoms 2005)

 

Plan for today is just the easy miles, no lifting or extra cross training.  Then library for some research materials and errands and research the rest of the day.  My life is a party, obviously 😉 

 

Tell me something going on in your life right now!

What was your workout yesterday/today?

All the good things

Had a weekend of running, NICE WEATHER!!, and trying to figure a few things out.  I made a list of schools I might want to transfer to and I’ll start doing the research in the coming months and working on applications for the fall.  And we are trying to sort out everything with physically moving back and getting all our stuff out and moving the dogs, etc.  I haven’t even had my meeting with my supervisors yet (it’s tomorrow) so I still don’t know what I’m going to be doing to wrap up my time with the university and the timeline for that.  But I’m Type A and I like to be prepared haha.

Yesterday was my long run day, but I dutifully listened to my training program which told me to run only 10 the first 2 long runs.  It didn’t feel “long” but it was really nice not feeling the anticipation and everything of the REALLY long runs and working out fueling and all that.  It was short enough that I got to just run without thinking which I love.  NB: I don’t take water or fuel unless I’m running at least 13 or it’s hot out.  It’s a very arbitrary number, I don’t know why I chose that number but it works for me.  I have gatorade or nuun waiting in my car for me the instant I finish.

Came back and watched the World Indoor Championships in my Pro Compression socks.  Thrilled for the Chanelle Price victory, sad that Bernard Lagat didn’t win after his awesome performance at USA Indoors.  I LOVE watching track and field meets, marathons, whatever.  Massive inspiration and always makes me want to go running right that instant.

 

I apologize for no pictures today, my phone will not send any of the pics I took yesterday and I don’t know why.  I shall give you gratuitous pictures of random things:

 

from our trip to South Africa:

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From a weekend trip to Paris while I was living in Annecy:

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Slider and Stevie, the day we brought each of them home:

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What are your 3 favorite things about your hometown?

How are your push-ups/pull-ups coming?

A Change of Scenery

 

Yesterday we had a wonderful day around campus.  I had a fantastic coffee and chat with a friend then Joe and I hit up a museum.

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Complete with super old telescopes.

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And had lunch with the place all to ourselves.

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And maybe a beer made an appearance 😉

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After my run today I’ve got big plans…finding fall races!

 

Favorite alcoholic drink (if you drink)?

What’s your favorite race you’ve run?

You know you spend too much time in your pjs when…

I’ve got some fun stuff for you guys this week!  Was working on it yesterday and I think we’re all set now.  Meanwhile…

No speedwork yesterday, keeping it easy this week before my next cycle of my training program starts Monday.  Push-ups and pull-ups and 6 easy miles followed by my favorite post-run meal:

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It’s just so good.  Expect me to have this for lunch every day this week.  This was dinner:

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Crabcakes are delicious.  They also remind me of home, we used to have them at brunch on Sundays after church when I was a kid.  Crabcakes and waffles…the new go-to combination. 

 

Oh, and I forgot to show you the deliciousness from the night before last!

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I was really in the mood for a burger.  That second picture is me showing you that there is pulled pork on my burger too, not just my fries 😉  Pulled pork, blue cheese, and fried onions on the burger in case you were curious.

 

So I have this habit of wearing pjs to bed (obviously), waking up, eating, running, showering, and changing right back into sweats or pjs.  I know a lot of grad students do work in libraries and I just can’t.  I go and pick up what I need to last me a couple weeks, then sit at home to do all my reading and planning and eventually, write it all up into a (hopefully) coherent chapter.  So I’m home ALL THE TIME.  At home, I like to be comfy, so it’s running clothes or pjs.  You know you spend far too much time in pajamas when you wear a hole into the knee of your pajama pants instead of your jeans.

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A bit ridiculous. 

Today’s plan is a 5 mile run followed my a 20 mile stationary bike.  Let’s just pretend I’m excited about the biking part, maybe it’ll start to grow on me. 

 

Do you wear “real” clothes when you’re just hanging out at home?

What is your favorite go-to lunch?

Switching it up

My training cycle for my next goal race (a half marathon at the end of May) starts in 9 days.  I’m going to switch things up a bit and just run easy for the next 9 days.  I’m not sure if this has any physiological benefits, but I’m thinking it will recharge me mentally and get me super excited for the hard training if I lay off hard efforts for a little over a week.  So I’m heading out for an easy 4-5 miles after breakfast. 

 

I’ve been on a huge avocado kick lately.  I get in random moods where I want to eat one food all the time, and I love avocados and eat them fairly regularly anyway, but lately I’ve been wanting to put them on everything.  Two nights ago, Joe fell asleep super early so I was on my own for dinner and didn’t feel like making my planned Indian meal to eat by myself so I had soup and grilled cheese instead, because I’m five.

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I repainted my nails five minutes after I ate because I hated how chipped they were in this picture.

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Yup, I put the avocado in my grilled cheese.  Add some sauteed onions in there too, it’s delicious.  And a little garlic.  You know when Phoebe calls Monica’s food “pretentious comma garlicky” (yes I had to spell it out, that’s how she says it in the show if you’re not a fanatic like me)?  Well, that’s my food.  If you can’t taste garlic in every bite, I didn’t cook it.  I get asked what the secret to my yummy Thanksgiving potatoes are…unless you REALLY want to know that there are three entire bulbs of garlic in there, don’t ask. 

 

And last night, I decided I was in the mood to be healthy (which is always easier after an easy run than after a long run/speedwork somehow).

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Yes, my plate is half veggies.  It’s a miracle.  Plus quinoa, avocado (obviously), and a crusted fishcake. 

 

I’m so glad so many of you are in for our contest!  I’m beginning my push-up/pull-up training today and we shall see how that goes.  My plan is to do 50 push-ups (split up into 2-3 sets) and 2-3 sets of 8-10 assisted pull-ups 3 times this next week.  I’ll increase the number of push-ups every week and try to decrease the amount of “assistance” on my pull-ups every week until I can do one unassisted.  I’ll let you all know if I make any progress at all on the pull-up front.  I’m hoping I can at least crush the push-up portion though so I don’t fail my own challenge!  And stay tuned, I’ve gotten some good news regarding giveaways so I’ll be revealing those in the next week or two 🙂

 

Are you currently on a training plan?  If not, are you starting one soon?

Describe your cooking style in five words or less.