Today begins the 5 grueling days I dedicate to miles logged as “0”. The week before a race is always tough for me, as it is for every runner. Nerves, habit and excitement has my appetite at zero and my energy level sky high. Typically, runners will take at least 10 days of taper before a race, however I find with a slower build and shorter taper, my body reacts better.
Here are a few tips I have found successful:
Get Lots of Sleep: I don’t always get 8 hours of sleep no matter how hard I try. The closer the race gets, the more I toss and turn. Don’t wait for the night before to rely on the sandman to get you through the miles.
Don’t try to squeeze in last minute training sessions: Cramming for a race is like cramming for an exam. It doesn’t work and at this point your body is prepared as it’s going to be. The week before a race, a runner’s job is to keep rested and prevent injury. I’ll still run 2 -2miler runs this week but they will be easy- conversation paced runs.
Mile 12 during the Disney half marathon
Carbo load and hydrate all week long
: ‘Carbo loading’ and chugging water shouldn’t happen only the day before the race. Instead I eat slightly more carbs than usually throughout the week and try to drink a little more water than usual. This means oatmeal for breakfast, a sammie for lunch and a carb side at dinner. Stick to what you know
: Now is not the time to start anything new. Keep to what you practiced in training down to your pre-run meal and process for fueling on a long run. You trained this long and hard for a reason. Enjoy yourself
: I have a tendency to put undue pressure onto myself to finish in a certain time or achieve my race goals. The most important is to have fun. After all, I’m with Meghann
, destination races are a great way to see a new city. ;)
Lots of blog friends are preparing for NYC and Savannah this weekend!!Question of the Night: What are your tips for a successful taper?
Today was a little slower paced than it started. After about half my train ride in, I was feeling under the weather. The combination of a headache, tummy ache and achy body left me trudging home and back to bed.
My day was spent primarily like this:
Napping with her:
With only 9 days left till Savannah, I need to make sure I am healthy and ready to run!
Question of the day: What are your go-to remedies to feel better faster? For me its always chicken noodle soup and ginger ale.
Another weekend has come and gone. They always fly by too fast no matter how early I wake up to savor each glorious day off. As you could imagine, with my ‘to do’ list adding up, I had quite the busy weekend and accomplished almost everything! Here’s a quickie recap.
1.) Clean my apartment.- I was so excited Saturday morning to clean that I practically kicked the BF out so the fun could begin. I’m not crazy enough to love cleaning all the time, but there is nothing like the feeling of a clean apartment and the smell of pumpkin pie candles burning when its all done. Ahhhhh
2.) Decorate- Well I got halfway there. Not too much for the walls yet (I’m kinda picky) And I hunted for the second time for my fall decorations (where could they have gone?!) but I did set out more pumpkin candles, ordered prints for framing and bought new fabric to re-pollster my chairs :)
3.) Errands- Check, check and check. I now have groceries to last me until Friday (wait till you see the yummy fall recipes I plan to share!), a new 6 pack of Oktoberfest beer to try and I think we already covered the crafts portion with the fabric ;)
4.) Race Packet- Done and done
5.) Run- I got halfway there in my logged miles. I ran 5 miles when I got home Friday night, meant to run 2-3 Saturday and woke up too late, and ran 8 miles yesterday in a Octorun 13k race with my friend Vira. 9:30 splits in the beginning followed by 10 min miles, not too shabby for a training run :)
Oh did I bake. If you want a delicious fall recipe that won’t kill your calorie count, head over to sweettoothsweetlife
and make Courtney’s Banana Pumpkin Raisin bread. It’s certainly a crowd pleaser!
This was a less successful portion of my weekend as mi madre and I hit two cute little boutiques looking for a dress for a rehearsal dinner quickly approaching. I had no luck. Maybe next weekend a trip with my brother’s gf will be lucky!
4 loads and 1 closet clean out later, I am ready for the crisp fall weather!
9.) Carve Pumpkins-
Sadly this was a no- go this weekend. Between a (later) dinner with my mom Saturday night, and busy nephews for the bf, we had to hold on the pumpkins. Instead we had quality time with the BF's monster pup Brutus. Fitting name huh?
I just wanna play ball. No need to be a hater. Monster! Ha!
10.) Dinner and College Football. – My mama and I went to dinner Saturday night (both craving fish) and since we were both not in the mood to dress up beyond jeans, she and I headed to TJ Smiths to take in the Penn State action and grab a bite to eat. Great decision and a great game to boot.
Hopefully the weekend glow won’t wear off too fast this week ;) Bring it on Monday!
Whenever the BF asks what I’m planning to do in a day, he always laughs and shakes his head, because my list is always about a mile long. That said, here is a little glimpse into everything I hope to accomplish this weekend. On Sunday night, I’ll let you know if I was actually successful :)
- Clean my apartment. Its getting grody and there is no-one to blame but myself. No a teenage boy does not live here.
2. Hang pictures/decorate the apt- Its sad that I have bare walls still (I've been here a year December 1st). I need to try a little harder. Maybe Pinterest will help? Or maybe it will distract me for hours. It’s a gamble.
3. Errands to the Grocery, Liquor and Craft Stores - There is something about the fall that makes me want to be a domestic goddess. Dinner in the crockpot, a chilled bottle of wine and a new fall wreath on the door makes me feel just like Martha.
4. Pick up my race packet- I'll be running a fun Halloween 8 mile race tomorrow with my friend Vira from work!
5. Run and Run some more- I have been lacking in the total miles this week, and trying to squeeze them all into the weekend is not realistic. But I’m hoping with 5 miles Friday, 3 today and an 8 mile Halloween race on Sunday will mean I’m only 4 miles shy of my weekly total. Not bad considering my schedule this week.
6. Fall Baking- I have cans of pumpkin in my pantry screaming my name. I hear you! I will be using you for something delicious this weekend. (twss)
7. Shopping- I need a dress for my friend’s rehearsal dinner. I am determined to find one. Even if it takes me all afternoon with (hopefully) the bro’s gf :) and a couple of latte’s8.
8. Laundry – This should have been 1.a9.
9. Carve Pumpkins- I’m running out of time before Halloween and I want to carve (hopefully with the BF’s nephews) some spooky jack-o-lanterns.
10. Dinner with my mama- My dad will be away Saturday night so my mom and I will be having a girls dinner. Hopefully at Honey. This alone has me excited.
10. a. Cheer on Penn State as they take on Northwestern!
Question of the day: Do you pack your weekends full too? How much to you end up accomplishing?
This is one of my favorite ‘go-to’ fall recipes that is healthy, easy and oh so super tasty! If you want a family/bf/husband friendly meal that doesn’t break the bank (or pop the buttons off your jeans) keep this one in your virtual rolodex.
2 lb ground turkey (preferably 85/15 mix)
5 button mushrooms- sliced
1 green zucchini
½ Vidalia onion
1 tbsp olive oil
Whole Wheat Breadcrumbs
Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce
First preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Next, finely chop ½ of a Vidalia onion and add to a hot skillet with olive oil. Sautee the onion until it is translucent. Then, shred (or thinly slice) the zucchini to the onion. Add sliced mushrooms and remove from heat once the veggies are tender.
In a separate bowl, crumble up the raw turkey meat. Drain the sautéed veggies of excess water and add to the ground turkey. Add one raw egg. The egg will act as the binder and hold the meatloaf together. Then add in the bread crumbs. Add as much as necessary that you can mold the meat into a ball shape without it being ‘wet.’
Then you can mold the meat to whatever shape you would prefer. Because I live alone and the most I cook for is two (the BF and me) I form the meat into baseball size balls and plop them into a greased muffin pan.
Bake uncovered for 35-35 minutes at 350 degrees. In the last two minutes of baking, squirt the BBQ sauce (I prefer Sweet Baby Rays) on top of the meat.
Ugly but delicious…
Tastes great with roasted potatoes and brussel sprouts. For all my single ladies, take the meatloaves and pack them into individual freezer bags for easy freezing and reheating.
Question of the night: Do you have a ‘go-to’ recipe that is a crowd pleaser and easy? Don’t be bashful, swap some recipes!
Dear Old State… Oh how I love you. This past weekend was homecoming in Happy Valley and it felt so good to travel ‘home’ the 3+ hours, into beautiful central Pennsylvania to celebrate with friends and family. I come from a family of Penn Staters (my cousins, brother and sisters all attended PSU campuses) and my youngest sister is still a student in State College so homecoming for my family is the culmination of our love for the University and college football.
The moment I pulled off the highway onto College Avenue, I could feel the excitement and electricity in the air. Homecoming has always been my favorite weekend in the fall for good reason. As a former Lion Ambassador, we participated in the parade, held Guard the Lion Shrine
and promoted the tradition and history at Penn State homecoming weekend.
As an alumnus, there have been many memorable homecoming weekends as well.
In 2009 an October blizzard forced us inside to ‘tailgate’
Our beer tree cooler
In 2010 my best friends Jeff and Courtney got engaged!
And this year I got to celebrate with my sister Meg and reminisce about my years in the Valley.
Penn State has given me so much over the years and continues to do so:
- Job opportunity
- Warm memories
- A sense of belonging
Thou Dids’t mold ME Dear Old State. And I look forward to our next reunion.
Today is the perfect fall Saturday. It’s crisp, sunny and relaxing. I heart the fall!
I started my morning with a memorial 5k supporting the local fire departments. A former police officer and fireman passed away in December. He was well respected by my dad and brother (both are volunteers for our local fire department) and he had a big impact on my younger brother. So when Joe asked me to sign up for the 5k, it didn’t take any convincing.
Starting line of the George Casey 5k Memorial run
Finish line included the Fire Engines and a supportive crowd
With the nice cool weather, it felt good to break out the running capris. Hello fall! :)
I love running 5k’s especially when I know no-one. It is those races that you meet some incredible people and today was no exception. I met Skip, a 3-time Ironman and huge inspiration! We talked about training, our love of fall running and upcoming training programs. Our local Y hosts training groups for tri’s and ironman races. Get ready skip because you might just see my red hair in April ;)
This race was even more exciting for me because I have not run this course since Memorial day. The course is 1.5 miles down hill and then the remainder snaking back uphill. It’s always been grueling and a little demoralizing but not today. I was able to finally able to break my personal goal of a 29:00 5k. Yippee!! Maybe it’s the cold weather, maybe I’m actually starting to speed up? Either way, I’ll take it.
After the race, my mom came to meet me so we could sit and have coffee and catch up a little on some events that have been happening in her life over the last week. I told her about a new little coffee shop I wanted to try called Zen Den and she was game.
What an amazing find!
The owner Jen was very friendly, the staff was helpful, the atmosphere inviting and the food and coffee was amazing! I was pleasantly surprised to see they serve La Colombe coffee (my favorite!) and so I enjoyed a cup of coffee with a pumpkin pecan biscotti.
This will definitely be my new favorite nook for reading/ blogging etc.
Perfect fall Saturday morning. Now its off to run errands and get some laundry done before the Nittany Lions take on the Iowa Hawkeyes!
Lets Go State!
Question of the day: What’s your idea of a perfect Saturday?
Phillies Phever has swept the greater Philadelphia area and the BF and I are planning to start the weekend off right. We are heading out to watch the Phillies battle it out with the Cardinals in game 5 of the series.
And since we can't be at Citizen's Bank Park to enjoy the game, Puck will just have to do, with the game projected on the outside wall and a few of these in hand.
Enjoy your Friday night! Let's Go Phils!
Priorities. Everyone has them and they are usually defined as what is most important to YOU. For me I have always had the philosophy that my relationships and health come first in my life. My career second and everything else follows in the list. With this philosophy I have been able to keep prospective in dire situations and therefore have not lived with a shoulda, coulda, woulda regret process.
I am under the belief that keeping your priorities in order helps with everyday decisions and in the end drive your ultimate happiness. If you know what is important in your life, everything else will fall into place. For me, I would never kick myself for missing a meeting; however I would regret missing moments with a family member or loved one when they truly needed me.
My weekend and past couple of days have been ruled by this hierarchy of importance and therefore a lot of things ‘fell by the way-side’ (i.e. healthy eating, exercise, meeting friends, work etc.) and I wouldn’t have it any-other way. I am lucky to have a supportive work team and BF that understands all too well and support my choices.
At the end of the day yesterday (around 5:30) I stepped away for a little recharge via long run (I missed my long run Sunday) and logged 7 miles around town. It felt good to be alone with my thoughts, breath and digest the events of the last couple days. It’s amazing the power of exercise and how an hour away from everything can readjust your mind and spirit.
In the learning’s of my blog buddy and grateful lifer Trish, sometimes you have to live in the moment, embrace it (all of it) good, bad etc. and in that your find what is important. When those impactful moments in life roll around, listen to your gut. That mind’s eye will never steer you wrong.
Question of the Day: If you had to rank what is important for you, what would rise to the top?