Saturday, May 5, 2012

Super Yummy Spinach and Apple Pesto

This morning the boys and I walked down to the Saratoga Farmer's Market.  I did not know what I was going to purchase (besides Sage's m&m cookie from our cookie lady Linda).  After dancing to a wonderful bluegrass band, Running the River, we walked back and forth until I felt inspiration for our supper.  Sometimes it is very hard to decide when surrounded by lovely fruits and veggies, but at the moment I saw the big green bag of spinach I knew that I had to have it.  Apples are a usual purchase, and we love spinach, so I thought that the two would be so great together!
I did an internet search and found an awesome recipe for roasted carrot ravioli with apple-spinach pesto.  I did not have the time to make pasta tonight, so I used some spaghetti that I had on hand.  This pesto is AMAZING!  Sage gobbled it right up.  And to make it better, it is so simple to create and easy to make vegan.  For added flair, I added pine nuts and craisins as a garnish.  So delicious!

Thank you 51 Porter, we will be returning to find more delicious creations!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

You Have To Start Somewhere

Well, this past Saturday (April 14th) was our first 5k of the season.  My dad, Rich, and I all ran, and I have to tell you, my dad kicked our butts.  Even though Rich was pushing the boys and I am coming off an injury, I still believe he would have left us in the dust!  All I wanted was to finish and maybe come in under 30 minutes.  I did both, which made me a happy camper.  My time was just over 28 minutes, not my personal best, but I will take it.  By the end of the season I would love to get my time below 25minuets for 5k, and I think I can do that.

Rich and I have gone on two training runs this past week, 5 miles on Monday and 3.5 miles last evening (Wednesday).  We are both feeling strong, positive, and connected.  I cannot speak for Rich, but I am starting to feel clearer.  I am totally loving this year and I am very excited for all of the possibilities that are coming my way.  All seems all right in the universe.

I am really lucky to have two men in my life who love to run.  It has been really wonderful training with them and racing with them.

Our next race is on April 29th in Schoharie, NY.  It is another 5k, this one is to benefit the Schoharie Free Library which was ravaged by the flood waters that hurricane Irene brought with her. 

Flood damage
If you are free on the 28th, you should head on over, down, or up to , Schoharie, NY  for this wonderful run.

I am off to go for a run with my dad.  I hope to see you on the road!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My Dark Ride

This is the bike I'm currently Fuji Comp 9.1
Starting this Sunday I got back on my bike and did a 30 miler with a couple friends.  We stuck to the northern areas of Saratoga County and rode some amazing backwoods roads that weren't too frequented by cars.  By the end of the ride I felt strong and a lot more confident in my ability to have a good season on the bike.

That ride had me really itchin' to get back out and this morning I had that chance.  I was planning on waking at 4:15 so I could be on my bike by 4:30 and get in 90 minutes before I had to get ready for work, but our youngest boy was up almost literally all night.  SO, I could have probably ridden at 3 if I wanted to get a 3 hour ride in (because I was up!), but I decided to stick to the plan.

I probably should have planned on getting ready a little earlier as I'm still not too good at getting ready for the bike quickly.  I ended up out the door at 4:40, but had to turn back home once I got up the block because I didn't dress warm enough.  I thought it was going to be warmer, but it was around 30 when I woke up, so I definitely needed my mittens and ear warmer.  I probably should have put on warmer socks, but didn't think of it.  By the time I got half-way my toes were already numb.

Perhaps I should light my bike like
this for my next Dark Ride??
I finally got on my way at 4:45.  I went down Route 9 because I knew the shoulder was wide and in good shape.  Still, I was a little nervous at times given what happened on my last morning ride.  It was dark most of the time, but luckily the headlight Becca gave me helped on the long stretches where there were no lampposts.  I took it easy and made sure I didn't go too fast at times, but in well-lit areas I really pushed.  Though, I will say, unlike Sunday's group ride, I didn't quite have the push in me that I had then.  Not sure if it's because of the lack of drafting or the friendly competitiveness that makes us want to go faster, but there was definitely a big difference (that difference could also be because of 4 hours of broken sleep!).

I made it to the first round-a-bout in Malta and then headed home.  When all was said and done, I managed just short of 20 miles and finished just as it started to get light out.  I feel good about it though and know next time I'll be able to brave the dark ride a bit more quickly and confidently.

Friday, April 13, 2012

It Feels Good!

FINALLY!  I am back to running and yoga.  That was a tough three weeks but my first two runs out of my injury were surprisingly strong and pain free.

This week Sage has off from school and Rich took off from work.  It has been a great week so far!  We  celebrated my sister's babies on Saturday (they are due in early May), celebrated Easter and my birthday on Sunday, spent a few nights at Rich's mom's house and a night at my folk's.  Rich and I went for a beautiful 4-mile run near his mother's house on Tuesday.  We took it nice and easy because it was my first run after a few weeks off.  His mother lives out on a beautiful country road where everyone we passed waved, sometimes twice (on the way out and on the way back), and the cars gave us enough room where we did not think we needed to bail in the ditch.  Rich and I got to spend some nice quiet time together and we were able to talk freely, which does not happen that often.  Then on Thursday we took a very scenic 10k run alongside The Sacandaga with my dad.  Great run and great conversation.  Both runs are leaving me feeling optimistic about our races this season, which starts with a 5k tomorrow in Broadalbin, NY.

I would like to mention one run here in Saratoga Springs, NY that I think is going to be very nice.  This run is to benefit the Emma Foundation.  The race is on Saturday, May 12th at 9am and there will be a free kids 1/2 mile race just before at 8:30am in front of the Waldorf School on York Avenue in Saratoga.  If you are around this area and would like to support a wonderful school while meeting some fantastic people and seeing a beautiful town, please run on over and show your support.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

My First Brick

This week marks the first official week of a 20-week training program to get me ready for the Timberman Half-Ironman.  Monday I did an upper body workout.  Tuesday I swam a mile and ran 40 minutes while pushing the boys.  Today the plan was to ride my bike 90 minutes (an hour before work and 30 minutes after).

Being that I was riding outside at 5:00am it was still dark, so I needed to use a headlight on the bike.  It works okay, but it doesn't give you long range visibility.  This was not too big of a problem except for spotting potholes in time...I hit one near the Saratoga Racino and slightly bent my front wheel, but all systems were still go, so I continued on.  About 9 miles into my ride I found myself on Henning Road and didn't see another pothole that was apparently a bit deeper than the first.  So deep, in fact, that I got two flat tires when I went over it.  I didn't wreck, luckily, but when I came to a stop I realized I was roughly 3 miles from home and if I were to walk there would be no way I'd be back quick enough to make it to work on time.  Also, it was only about 5:40am, so calling Becca to come pick me up was out of the question too.  And, for those of you wondering why I didn't fix the flats and ride home, it's because my seat wedge pack is still on its way in the mail.  So, with no other options left, I decided to run, which made this my first brick workout (a brick workout is when you go directly from the bike to running).

My running shoes for today
For anyone who's ever worn bike shoes before, you know that even just walking around in them isn't the easiest thing to do.  In fact, I don't think I've ever walked more than 20 feet at any one time in these shoes before today.  Pushing the bike along with my left hand I ran all the way home and managed to keep a 10 minute pace.

Surprisingly, none of this discouraged me this morning. I felt good and was in a great mood afterwards.  And, to my surprise, my legs didn't feel like jello when I switched from the bike to the run!

Have any of you had something try to get in the way of your workout?  What did you do to get through it?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Just Breath

These past two weeks have been hard.  I have not been able to unwind how I normally do, running and yoga, and I am feeling like a piano string wound too tightly.  I am irritable and cranky, my poor family.

I am trying very hard to be a good girl and let this injury heal completely BEFORE getting back into my routine, but lately I have been feeling a bit like a wimp.  There is this nagging little voice in my head saying that I need to be out there running.  I should be out there now.  I should not be sitting around collecting dust and going stir-crazy.  I am weak!

This judgement of myself is a weird form of punishment.  Why in the world am I doing this to myself?  I need to honor my body and give it the time it needs to heal.   If I do not give it the time it needs, I will inevitably hurt myself more and maybe ruin this year's race schedule.

I am trying to be mindful of all of these judging thoughts that are coursing through my brain.  As the thoughts come into my field of mindfulness, I am aware of them and I try very hard to let them go.  I am trying also to accept my injured self for who I am, a runner who cannot run and a yogi who cannot practice yoga at this moment.  However, the one thing that yoga has given me is my breath.  When I start feeling like nothing is going quite right, I bring mindfulness into my breathing and most of the time I do start relaxing and my mind becomes more focused. There are still some crazy moments where bringing awareness to my breath does diddly squat for me, but for the times that it does work I start feeling a little less like a monster.  Breath has become my saving grace.  

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


With a 4 year old and a 6 month old you sometimes don't get nearly enough sleep.  Last night the last time I looked at the clock was 12:30.  The only issue with that was that I wanted to get in a one hour run and that meant getting up and out the door by 5:00.  Luckily, Elliot woke me at 4:40, so I had plenty of time to get out the door by 5:00!  Other mornings I would have admittedly stayed in bed, but I've been reading The War of Art and one of the author's points is that the person who is truly dedicated to a task will show up even when they don't want to.  And, wanting to hold myself to a higher calling, I really don't want to give in to resistance and not train the way I know I need to.  The pro shows up and does the work, knowing that work done today will feed the bigger calling, which for me is doing well in the Half-Ironman.

Today's weather was a far cry from last week and I actually had to bundle up to keep me warm for the 20 degree run.  Once I got warmed up it was a really nice run.  I forgot about how tired I was and just settled into the dark silence of the morning.  There were a few people out and I even got passed by one runner, but I left my ego aside and kept the pace that would maintain an aerobic heart rate zone for the entire hour that I ran (my ego is also telling me to not share that this runner was also female and a good deal older than me from what I could tell).   If you want to see the route I took, click here.

One of my prevailing thoughts was about what works for improved performance.  There are so many theories out there and so many different methods that have all been tested and have merit.  Part of me wondered what would work best for my body since I've had good results with a lot of different regimens.  As I posted before I'm training in my aerobic zone under the tutelage of Mark Allen in order to build my aerobic base and to hopefully get to where I'm running a fast pace with a low heart rate.  This method requires a fair amount of time to show whether or not it works, so part of me is terrified of spending all this time on the wrong plan.  But, I'm committed to it and am doing what I can to have patience with myself and my runs.  I will be having one interval session a week, so we'll see if that calms my nerves a bit.

Has anyone out there dealt with this?  What training techniques have had the best results for you with endurance races?