Monday, March 2, 2015

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Race Recap: 2015 Frostbite Five Miler

Ahhhh ... Monday Monday.  Monday after freezing cold and ice Monday.  March sure did come in like a lion, so I am holding onto hope that it will go out like a lamb.  Tomorrow would be awesome. 

But despite the freezing cold temps, I had a race this weekend! The Frostbite Five Miler in Ambler, PA.  I've run this sucker a bunch and I like it because it's a true apples-to-apples comparison of performance since the course is the same.  Only this year, I think it's an apples to oranges comparison with past races because coach had me do an 11 mile warm up.  The big race (NJ State Marathon) is just 8 weeks away, so Saturday was just another long run day.  Last year, I managed to break 40 minutes, which put my pace in the 7s, which thrilled me given how hilly it is, and I was hoping that this year I could do the same.  That didn't happen, but I'm still pretty pleased with my performance.  

Here's a little history of my times:

2012:  42:28 (8:30 pace)
2013:  40:51 (8:10 pace)
2014:  39:35 (7:45 pace)
2015:  40:30 (8:06 pace)

Sure, I didn't break 40 (so close!) and I didn't beat or tie my time from last year, but even with 11 miles in the tank, I managed to beat my 2013 time.  That's not bad at all.  And in order to keep it simple, I just ran two loops of the race course and then tacked on an additional mile at the end.  My running buddy Tina met me at 6:45 (the race started at 9:00), so we were able to run that course twice and had about 20 minutes before the gun went off.  Perfect.  

It was ZOMG freezing when we started running our 11 miles at 6:45.  I think the temp was about 15 degrees.  It was so cold that my water bottle (that I wore on my fuel belt) froze.  Still, it was a lot of fun and it's always good to see the course conditions.  I forgot just how hilly this course really is!  

What's funny is if I look at my splits from this and last year, there is a definite pattern, which says a lot about the course!

Mile 1:  7:38 [last year: 7:41]
Mile 2:  7:32 [last year: 7:48]

Miles 1-2 are not bad.  There are a few uphills, but there's a lot of down.  I felt like I was flying down these hills.  I looked at my times and was like yes - yes - yes hold on to this pace. You can do it (put your back into it).

Mile 3:  8:15 [last year: 7:57]
Mile 4:  8:04 [last year: 7:46]

Mile 3 is a doozie - it's very uphill and the hills are long and really tough.  Mile 4 isn't easy either.  A bit of a break but still more hills.  You can see how even last year my time slowed on mile 3 and rebounded, but not as fast as the early miles, on mile 4.  I knew when I saw those 8s that I was in trouble.  Because Mile 5 is the hardest of all.  I tried to push and make up some time, but I was just done.  My legs would not go any faster.  

Mile 5:  8:26 [last year: 8:09]

What I remembered as a "gradual" uphill is actually a very challenging hill for a good 1/2 mile.  I saw my watch and knew that a sub 40 wasn't happening, but if I ran hard, I could come close.  You can see my face here - I wanted to finish strong:




The coolest thing about this race was that when I crossed the finish line, a woman in purple behind me came up to me, gave me a high five and then hugged me and said "THANK YOU! You paced me the entire race!"  I had no clue.  But damn ... that made me feel good.  Who doesn't like to be a rabbit?

So, I'll consider this one a bit of an anomaly in terms of results.  And I'll keep on keeping on with the training.  I have to hope that when the weather turns, I'll feel better about running. Right now I feel a little off my game.  

Just a head's up that there won't be a post on Wednesday.  This weekend was cray.  I have a bunch of half finished projects but had zero time (or inclination or motivation) to do them this weekend.  

See you swoon,

Friday, February 27, 2015

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What I Wore {post 67}

It's the end of February! Holla!  I can't even believe it. I am so ready for Spring.  Lots of fun on tap for this coming weekend - running, racing and visiting.   


Cream Sweater & Turquoise Pants

This was a dreary, cold Winter day and I wanted to channel Spring.  I wore my cream blousey sweater and turquoise pants/jeans.  It was a fun outfit.



Black Sheath Dress & Cream Jacket

I had a client meeting but didn't want to want to wear a suit.  So I paired my favorite black sheath (Banana Republic outlet) with a cream jacket from Banana.  It was professional and fine.   I appreciate the opportunity to avoid the whole suit thing with a dress and jacket.  :)


Emerald Pants, White Shirt, Navy Cardigan

I wore this before the Austin Half, so I was focused on wearing flats instead of heels.  I wore my emerald green pants from Banana Republic outlet (that I believe cost $7), my white Ella Moss tee that is years old (and getting a little long in the tooth if I am being honest) with my Gap outlet navy cardigan that I snagged for $5.  I wore a brown leather belt and leopard flats, too.  And I got photobombed. 



Have a great weekend! 

See you swoon,

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

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Swoon-Worthy Eats: Easy Tortellini & Basil Soup and New Orleans Shrimp & Pasta

This time of year with the cold air and snow and ice makes me crave comfort food.  I thought I'd share two of my favorite recipes for you.   These are both in heavy rotation now on Lenten Fridays.  Enjoy! Mangia!

Easy Tortellini & Basil Soup



This is one of my favorite soups. It's so so easy and so yummy.

Ingredients

Minced garlic, four buds or the equivalent from a jar (I use more)
4 cups chicken broth
1 9 oz package cheese tortellini or mini ravioli
Salt and pepper to taste
1 14 oz can of stewed tomatoes (stick a knife in the can and cut them up before using) or diced tomatoes
1/2 bunch of fresh spinach, washed and stemmed (I use several handfuls of baby spinach)
6 fresh basil leaves, rolled and sliced 
Parmesan cheese

Process:

1.  sautee garlic in a splash of olive oil, about 2 minutes

2.  Stir in broth and tortellini, bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer until tortellini are just tender, about 5 minutes

3.  After the tortellini is tender, stir tomatoes, spinach and basil into soup. Simmer 2 minutes

4.  Serve when the spinach is still bright green. Add parmesan in each bowl. Enjoy the warm, yummy and fragrant goodness!

New Orleans Pasta & Shrimp


Gird your loins because this recipe is garlicky.  Very.  It's soooooooo good.  And pretty easy.  

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs shrimp (pre-cooked)
4 TBSP olive oil
3 or 4 garlic cloves - minced
3/4 tsp salt
2 TBSP butter
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp black pepper
4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
box of long noodles (linguini, spaghetti, whatever you like)
crusty bread

Process:

1. toss shrimp with 2 TBSP oil, the garlic and 1/2 tsp. salt and let marinate for 15 minutes

2.  start pasta water

3.  heat butter, 2 TBSP olive oil, chili powder, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce and 1 1/4 tsp salt over low heat, stirring until butter is melted.  Add shrimp and heat through

4.  remove shrimp from heat and add lemon juice

5.   combine hot pasta and shrimp.

Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmm.  Got any recipes that are good for Winter? If you know anything about me, you know I love food.  So share!  I also love kittens and sparkles.  

See you swoon,

Monday, February 23, 2015

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2015 Training Recap: Weeks 7-8 & Bonus! Austin Half Playlist!

Two weeks of training in two very different climates.  Week 7 was all about easy tapering before my Austin Half Marathon, with a handful of workouts in super warm, super sunny Texas.  Week 8 was back at it here at home in the cold, the snow, the ice and the wind.  Winter please go away.  

Week 7 (Feb. 9-Feb. 15):  3:55:54 hours

Swim: 0 hours/0 yards
Bike: 30 minutes (trainer)
Run: 3:25:54 hours/23 miles

Workouts

Monday:  rest day
Tuesday:  easy bike
Wednesday:  speedwork (treadmill)
Thursday:  rest day
Friday:  easy 3 mile run
Saturday:  walk/run
Sunday:  Austin Half Marathon

There's not much to say about week 7 - it was a lot of rest in anticipation of a hard race on Sunday.  Lots of rest, lots of easy runs and bikes.  Even my speedwork on Wednesday wasn't bad and was pretty short.  The best were my workouts in Texas.  My Friday easy 3 mile run was in 65 degree sun. I was kinda happy and took this Gloaty McGloaterson picture for my friends in PA who were freezing in sub-zero temps.  


Annnnnnnd then karma gave me a big ol' womp womp with a disappointing and hard-fought race on Sunday.  Still ... worth it.

Week 8 (Feb. 16-Feb. 22):  4:25:21 hours

Swim: 0 hours/0 yards
Bike: 1:15 hours (trainer)
Run: 3:10:21 hours/19.6 miles

Workouts

Monday:  rest day
Tuesday:  easy bike
Wednesday:  walk/run
Thursday:  easy run
Friday:  rest day
Saturday:  walk/run biked instead
Sunday:  long run: 17 miles - did 13.25 instead ON THE TREADMILL

So, yeah, welcome home to cold.  And then snow! A snow day!  And then ice!  And cold!  And all of those things!  I was able to do a bike at home on Tuesday (snow day), which was fine.  Wednesday I had a walk/run and I was not going to do it on the treadmill.  I went to a park near the kids' school and wore my Yak Tracks.  It was a 10 minute walk with a 30 minute easy run. Contrast the above McGloaterson photo with McSnowerson.  



Still ... better than the treadmill!


I wonder what the cars passing by were thinking as I snapped these shots.  

Thursday was an easy run, which, given the time of day that I had to run and the extreme sub-arctic cold, I opted to do on the treadmill.  Friday was a rest day - woo hoo.  Saturday was supposed to be another walk/run, but I couldn't fit in a trip to the gym, so I opted for a longer bike ride instead: 45 minutes on the trainer.  Not too shabby.  

Sunday.  Did you read the all caps?  Yes.  I did 2 full hours (13.25 miles) on the em eff treadmill.  I didn't die, but I will tell you that if I had run literally one more second, I would have turned into the hulk, raised that treadmill over my head, and thrown it out the window of the gym.  And then jumped out the window and destroyed it with a baseball bat.  So, I had to do the treadmill because on Saturday we got a lot of snow.  And then rain.  Which turned the snow to slushy ice.  Sunday morning had terrible conditions, and I absolutely had to run early.  Treadmill it was.  I can't get Pollyanna about this run.  It was not fun and kind of terrible, but I did it.  I was supposed to do 17 miles, but that was not happening. Hopefully 13.25 is good enough.  

Up this week - more miles, and I really want to get in a swim.  I have the Ambler Frostbite Five Miler, which I've run (and managed to PR) every year for awhile now.  This year, coach has me running a little 11 mile warm up beforehand ... so I am not sure about a PR.  My eye is on the prize, which is the NJ State Marathon in late April and the Love Run Half in late March.  

Bonus!  Bonus!   I made a new playlist for the Austin Half Marathon and I'm going to share it with you.  I feel that the city of Austin might ask me to remove its name from the playlist because a cool music town like Austin will not want itself associated with the below, but it will kindly have to get over itself.  

The Austin Half was such a brutal race and I was so out of it, that I only remember one -- yes one -- song from that playlist for the entire 13.1 miles.  That song, my friends, was Neil Diamond's They're Coming to America.  It was around mile 6 and I remember thinking "Ok ... this is it.  This song is going to change this whole race for me. This is the moment." Sadly that did not happen.  I listened to this playlist on my treadmill long run and really enjoyed it!  It was as though I had never heard it before.  Ha.  Enjoy.  You're welcome in advance.  Comments in bold italics where needed.  

1812 Overture (Finale) (Charles Gerhardt & London Philharmonic Orchestra)  I defy you to hear this song and not pick up your pace.  I also defy you to not do the cymbals in the air at the appropriate place in the song.  
All Through the Night (Cyndi Lauper)
America (Neil Diamond)
Annie's Song (John Denver)
Apache (Sugarhill Gang)
Around the Way Girl (LL Cool J)
Baby, What a Big Surprise (Chicago)
Bad, Bad Leroy Brown (Jim Croce )
Brandy (Looking Glass)
Break My Stride (Matthew Wilder)
Can't Hold Us (Macklemore & Ryan Lewis)
Carefree Highway (Gordon Lightfoot)
Count On Me (Jefferson Starship)
Different Drum (The Stone Poneys)
Do You Hear the People Sing? (Les Misérables Original London Cast)
Double Dutch Bus (Frankie Smith) this song reminds me of roller skating as a kid. I start to shuffle when I hear it. 
Emotion (Samantha Sang)
Feels So Good  (Chuck Mangione) I LOVE THIS SONG. My sister and I grew up dancing to it. It's fun to run to.
Get Closer (Seals & Crofts)
Guilty (Duet With Barry Gibb) (Barbra Streisand)
Hello (Lionel Richie) Not a typo.  This song is really on here.  
I Can't Hold Back (Survivor)
I Got a Name (Jim Croce)
If You Could Read My Mind (Ela Wardi)
If You Leave Me Now (Chicago)
It's My Turn (Diana Ross)
Just Remember I Love You (Firefall)
Knowing Me, Knowing You (ABBA)
Let It Go (Demi Lovato)
Long Long Time (Linda Ronstadt)
More Than a Woman (Bee Gees)
One Moment In Time (Whitney Houston)
Party In the U.S.A. (Miley Cyrus)
Penny Lane (The Beatles)
Selling the Drama (Live)
Shadows of the Night (Pat Benatar )
Shake It Off (Taylor Swift)
Sloop John B (The Beach Boys)
Solitary Man (Neil Diamond)
Sundown (Gordon Lightfoot)
Take a Chance On Me (ABBA)
Talking In Your Sleep (The Romantics)
Theme from "Greatest American Hero" (Believe It or Not) (Joey Scarbury)
Truly (Lionel Richie) See above. Not a typo either.
You Are the Woman (Firefall
You Can Do It  (Ice Cube) I imagine I'm in the movie "Save the Last Dance" when it comes on. You're the Only Woman (Ambrosia)
Pretty sure that only on my playlist can Ice Cube, Lionel Richie, Barry Gibb, ABBA, Gordon Lightfoot and the 1812 Overture peacefully coexist.  

Have a great week! 

See you swoon,


Friday, February 20, 2015

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What I Wore {post 66}

Hey hey happy Friday! Who's ready for another Winter weekend? I'll close out this freezing cold week with some recent outfits.  


Black Buttondown, Grey Pencil Skirt, Dalmatian Belt

I've never worn this combination before. I liked it a lot.  I also wore patterned tights, which you cannot see in the first picture (so I took a second one where you can).  I wore my patent leather Mary Janes too.  Love them. 



Vibrant Printed Silk Blouse & Coral Pencil Skirt

This shirt is one of my new favorites.  I found it at Anthropologie after Christmas and sadly it was not on sale.   But it was one of those items where I wanted it immediately and loved everything about it and did not want to risk it selling out or not being there in the future.  So I paid full price.  I wore my coral pencil skirt with it for a lovely pop of color in the middle of Winter.

Black Polka Dot Blouse, Black Skinny Pants

I had to fly to Austin this day, so I didn't want to wear heels.  I took the easy way out and wore all black, which I find is a chic and easy way to deal with a day when I don't really know what I want to wear.  This polkadot blouse is a few years old.  The pants are fitted and work with either heels or flats.

Have a great weekend! 

See you swoon,

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