Training: Traveling and Hot Half Marathon

Last week was quite the interesting week.  Yay for some sort of excitement of training right?

As most people know from Instagram, I ran the Crawlin Crab half marathon.  I’ll go into more detail, but it wasn’t on my radar this year until last week.  I’ve always wanted to do it.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: Easy 60 minutes
Thursday: Easy 60 minutes
Friday: Rest
Saturday: East 45 minutes
Sunday: Crawlin’ Crab 13.1 (1:32.30)+2 miles

Total: 50-53 miles

My weekday runs were just that, easy, and uneventful.  If I had known that I would be running a half that Sunday, I would have probably run less each day or had an extra rest day because the half added a lot more mileage to my week.

Crawlin’ Crab 13.1: 1:32.30

On paper, this looks like a personal worst.  It’s over 5 minutes slower than what I ran just three weeks ago at the Air Force Half on an easier course.  However, at the start, the weather was 75 degrees and 95% humidity.  I felt as though I was swimming.

As I mentioned, I didn’t plan to run the Crawlin’ Crab, but when my husband’s plans changed, I was left with a weekend with nothing to do so I drove back to hometown to see my parents.  I had always wanted to do Crawlin’ Crab, so I toed the line of the half.  Having the hardest week, thus far in my training, plus the weather, made it easy to determine it wouldn’t be a fast race for me.  Everyone suffered from the weather, and even though I was swimming, I placed 4th female and 9th overall.

In all, I’m happy with the week of training.  It’s not what I expected, but the Crawlin Crab felt more like a workout versus a hard race.   I was more happy to meet my goal of having fun and seeing several friends.

Progression (I’ve decided to just keep the last 5 weeks to keep it less cluttered):
Week 6: 45 miles (1 workout)
Week 7: 40 miles (13.1 miles workout)
Week 8: 43-45 miles (2 workouts: 1 race/1 tempo)
Week 9: 41-43 miles (2 races)
Week 10: 50- 53 miles (13.1 miles workout)

Posts of the Week:
September Training
Why I Don’t Post Paces Online

Questions for you:
Did you race this weekend?  There were a lot of good ones!
What was your best workout?

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10 Mile Hike through GrayBeard Trail (North Carolina)

Due to various things, my husband and I are doing quite a bit of traveling over the next few months.  Before we leave for another trip this weekend, I wanted it to blog about our car buying trip over Labor Day weekend.

Last week, we drove down to Winston-Salem to look at a new (used) car.  As most people know, my husband is fixing a 1987 944 Porche.  What I don’t post much of, is he also has a collector 1989 BMW 328.  Together with my car, it makes up our three daily drivers.  Both of the 80s vehicles are fun but when you have two daily drivers that are coming up on 30 years old, things break…a lot.  It’s never anything he can’t handle (he’s rebuilt the transmission, done things to engine…hell if I know), but regardless between the 3 vehicles, there are never 2 continuously reliable cars in the household.

As you can guess, my husband is very much into cars so he knew exactly what he wanted.  Unoratently, the closest vehicle was in Winston-Salem so that’s where we went.  We had no issues with Flow BMW, purchased the 2015 228i (manual) and it was shipped back to our house in less than a week.bmw 228 i

Honestly, it’s whatever he wanted.  He has supported me for random things and I want to buy and I can only do the same.

All of that being said, it led to a fun road trip to North Carolina.  Heck, we were almost back in Alabama!

Anyway, while down there we decided to go for a hike on the Greybeard trail.  To be honest, it was one of my favorite trails to date.  We got lost a couple of time and went off the beaten path, so it was about 10 miles round trip for us.  We stopped at the falls, as well as the “Walkers Knob” which I thought was called “Walkers Nook”…ha.

We had never hiked the Blue Ridge Mountains before, but we are definitely hoping to get back there again.

Here are a few photos but if you ever get down to the Asheville area, I recommend it.  It took us about 5.5 hours to do the entire 10 miles.

graybeard trail asheville nc

graybeard trail asheville nc

At the top.  I can truly say the view was one of the best I’ve ever seen. 

graybeard trail asheville nc

Other hikes we’ve done:

California:
Hiking the Hollywood Sign (LA)

New York:
Getting Lost at Bear Mountain (Part 2)

New Jersey:
Sunfish Pond
Seeing a Bear at Sunfish Pond
Hiking the Stairway to Heaven
Hiking Hemlock Falls

Questions for you:

What is your favorite type of car?

Where is your favorite hike?

 

Workouts: Hilly Scenic Runs and a 5k

Running last week went surprisingly well.  Both training and my 5k both clicked off better than anticipated.  I’ll have a full race recap of tomorrow of the Flying Fish 5k.

Since my husband and I were out of town, it meant running in new (and hilly) places.  I had some of the most beautiful running views I’ve had last week.  I also had some of the hilliest runs and hikes I’ve ever done.  Each was worth it.

Monday: 60 minutes easy
Tuesday: 60 minutes easy
Wednesday: 60 minutes easy
Thursday: off
Friday: 60 minutes easy
Saturday: Flying Fish 5k (19:17)
Sunday: 10 miles easy

Total:

Progression:

Week 1: 31-33 miles
Week 2: 33-35 miles
Week 3: 33-35 miles (1 workout)
Week 4: 35-37 miles (1 workout)
Week 5: 29-31 miles
Week 6: 45 miles (1 workout)

Thoughts:

Looking back, I jumped mileage faster than I should, especially considering several runs were hilly.  Nothing hurt, or felt achy and I felt good for most runs.  Running through Tenessee was one of my favorite runs and I could not have pictured a better backdrop.  While I love where I live in NJ, it’s both nice and fun to run in brand new locations.

The Flying Fish 5k is one of my favorite races.  I ran last year and had a great experience.  This year, I had less running under my belt but still hoped for a good race.  The week of hilly runs, as well as upping my mileage, caught up to me.  While I didn’t feel bad during the race, I didn’t feel tapered or fresh either.  I took out the race a bit faster than my current fitness and ran a 5:55, 6:23, and 6:12.  Overall I’m pleased with the race and it’s 20 seconds faster than last year.

Next week I’ll be running less, focusing on recovery, and running the Air Force Half Marathon in Dayton,  Ohio.  I don’t have a time goal, but to get my feet wet in the distance again.  My primary goal is to support my husband in the marathon.  Since he’ll be in the middle of nowhere for a while anyway, I figure I would run the half in that time.

Posts from the week:

How to Build a Running Base and Stay Healthy

August Training Reflection…hey I ran.

Questions for you:

Do you have a lot of hills near you?

What is the most scenic run you’ve done?

Visiting New York City

After my husband came home, we decided to go visit New York City.  Even though we live approximately 90 miles away, we rarely go.  Between, traffic, tolls, and parking it’s not the easiest place to get too.

So last week, we decided to take the train from Trenton.  It was an easy process, and we made it to Penn Station and into Manhatten.  We ended up staying on 57th street close to Central Park, Broad Way and Times Square. We had booked the hotel before I decided to stop running, so we had planned to run in Central Park.  One day we will (that isn’t the New York City Marathon!)

While in NYC, we didn’t do a heck of a lot.  Both my husband and I are relaxed and we like to take trips with not a lot of plans.  We figure it out as we go along.  For the most part, we walked around New York just looking at sights.  We did go see some of the big things like the Empire State Building and Times Square.  I’ve been before, but it’s always fun to see again! empire state building

We got close to the Empire State Building but opted not to go in.  empire state building

Times Square

One thing we both wanted to do is get a New York Bagel.  As someone who went to college in New York (way upstate at SUNY Potsdam), we got used to good NY bagels.  NJ just doesn’t compare.

My favorite is a Nova Lox.   It was a good bagel (not that I’m an expert) and I have no complaints. 

The one thing we did do was go see a Broadway.  We booked tickets to “Waitress” starring Sara Bareilles.  I like Sara Bareilles as a songwriter, and the Broadway was about a diner waitress…how could we go wrong?  It was excellent, and I highly recommend it if you’re ever up that way.

Before leaving, we also checked out Ellen’s Stardust Diner near Broadway.  The Diner is unique in that the servers are always performing.  You get a meal and a show.  You’ll see your server perform for the entire restaurant.

ellens stardust diner me

We had a great weekend away.  It’s funny, as I mentioned, New York is not a far commute for us, but we never go!  We will definitely go back sooner rather than later.

Questions for you:

Have you ever been to New York City?

Where was the last weekend trip you took? 

WhiteHorse Diner

Recently I met up with personal friend Christine at the Whitehorse Diner in Hamilton, NJ.  Not to be confused with the Black Horse Diner in Camden County. Until a week ago, I hadn’t heard of the Whitehorse Diner, but with over 500 diners in the garden state, you’re bound to find one (or 100) you haven’t heard of.

We arrived on a Friday for lunch, and it wasn’t crowded at all.  In fact, for most of our meal, we were the only ones.

Atmosphere: A
The atmosphere of the Whitehorse diner is what you picture for a diner.  The outside is big, metallic, and shiny while the inside has plenty of booths, tables, and a full-length bar.

Coffee: A
The coffee was brewed hot each time, and I had no issues with it.  It was definitely one of the better coffees I’ve had lately.

White Horse Diner Trenton

Service: A
Since we were the only ones in the Whitehorse diner, the attention was all on us.  I’ve seen this go both ways in restaurants.  The waiter or waitress is either overbearing or doesn’t show up much at all.  For us, it was perfect, and the waitress gave us plenty of attention, refilled our beverages but didn’t hover.

Food: A
The menu at the Whitehorse diner is everything you could want in a diner plus several additional healthy choices.  They have breakfast, lunch and dinner specials.  I opted for something more healthy.  Both Christine and I ordered the same thing!  Twinners are winners right?

We ordered a Greek salad with arugula and salmon.  When it came out, I couldn’t ask for a better salad.  It was a huge portion of salmon, and everything was fresh.

White Horse Diner Trenton

Cost: $
For my salad with salmon and coffee, the cost was $16.  I can’t complain at all because the food was fresh.

Overall Thoughts/Summary:
I liked the Whitehorse Diner and have no complaints.  They have a great menu with a lot of options.  I wish they advertised more because they are hidden.

Atmosphere: A
Service: A
Coffee: A
Food: A
Cost: $9-15
Overall: A

Closeby Diners: Daphne’s Diner, Town Diner

Questions for you:
What is your favorite salad?
What is the last hidden restaurant you’ve found?

Living Minimally

It’s hard to believe I’ve been back in New Jersey for 10 days.  It’s been an adjustment to life, weather and just getting back into my regular routine.

I didn’t have to stay 6 weeks in Montgomery.  I did have to go down, but I could have driven back solo while my husband finished his course.  I could have driven down, did what I needed and drove back to New Jersey (driving close to 4000 miles in 6 weeks). Instead, I chose to drive down once, stay there during the quiet weeks and drive home together.  That way, we could drive one car, stay together and it would be more enjoyable that way.

When we moved to Alabama, I packed everything I would need in two suitcases.  We weren’t sure the exact time frame, but you can live out of a suitcase for 2 months.

To be completely honest, I was nervous to go down there.  As I mentioned, I left my job for 6 weeks.  I didn’t know anyone in Alabama.  While I had things to do, it definitely was not as much as living back in New Jersey.

But I wanted a risk, new adventure, and challenge.  I told myself: if I had lived in the middle of nowhere, Texas, I could make it Alabama.  Thinking out loud and truth be told, despite the constant tornados, I liked Alabama.

Living in Alabama taught me a lot how to live minimally.  I learned I have far too much clutter here in New Jersey.

Essentially, I lived out of a suitcase in a two room hotel for 6 weeks.  In the hotel, we had a kitchenette but no oven.  It wasn’t bad, and we were able to eat healthy and make do without it.

So how did we go from too much stuff to a suitcase full? 

Lucky for my husband, he has two work uniforms.  Then he needed about 2 regular clothing outfits. Since he was running and training for his marathon, he brought more shoes than I did. Realistically, he could have probably lived out of a backpack…As an over packer myself, I could not.

Downgrade:

Do you really need 5 pairs of black leggings? Sure, the material might be slightly different or the pattern but is it necessary?  I brought exactly 10 outfits that could be paired differently.  Different tops and different pants.  I brought three pairs of leggings and did laundry every few days.  I grew to love that clothing enough that I won’t be wearing any of it for a few weeks now that I’m home.

When I got home, I had even forgotten I owned certain leggings.  At that point, I realized I had too much stuff.

We Learned New Simple and Basic Recipes:

We didn’t have an oven.  So we were forced to cook the majority of foods from a pan or the microwave.  For example, one of my favorite ways to cook vegetables is by roasting them.  Roasted beets are delicious!  Instead of forgoing beets at all, we decided to try something new and boil them.  It worked out just as well and honestly it’s something I’ll do back in NJ too.

So while living in a 2 room hotel for a while wasn’t ideal, it did teach me a lot.

When I got home, it took me about a week, but I downsized and donated a lot.  What were some questions I asked myself:

  • Race Tshirts: Does the shirt have meaning to me?  Did I PR? Do I like the shirt, if it wasn’t my favorite, it was donated.
  • When was the last time I wore an item?  If it wasn’t in the last full calendar year, it was donated.
  • Do I have multiple of the same thing?  Base layers are great, but do you need 4 pairs of nearly identical black leggings?  I couldn’t even remember all of the similar styles I had.
  • Running Shoes: As someone who works in running retail, I had over 20 pairs of shoes.  I’m actively running in 3 pairs right now! I kept one model of each brand, and donated 13 pairs.  It feels like a fresh hair cut.

I’m happy to be back and I don’t regret staying down in Alabama for the full six weeks.  I learned a lot about myself and what was truly important to me.

Questions for you:
How do you figure out what to keep or donate?
What are some tips you have to live with less clutter?

 

Training: Back to the Cold

Last week was a solid week of training.  My easy runs felt good and I had two quality workouts. Since the Mercedes half marathon was more of a workout, I recovered quickly.  Not that I’m complaining…

Monday:  Easy 60 minutes at McAlpine Park in Charlotte
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: Easy 60 minutes
Thursday: 12X2 minutes with 30 seconds rest
Friday: Easy 70 minutes
Saturday:  Easy 60 minutes
Sunday: 2X4 mile tempo (6:42 pace)

I didn’t race this week and I probably won’t next week.  Due to weather, February is typically a “drier” race month in New Jersey. I’m happy to get a couple of quality weeks of training under my belt as well.  My next major race is the Shamrock half marathon in about a month.  That will be a race to hopefully test my fitness.  Incase you are interested, I wrote about my 2017 Spring Goal Races here.

Speaking of New Jersey, I’m having a hard time adjusting back to the climate.   When I left, we hadn’t had a lot of cold days and now running in the 20s feels difficult.  It’s quite a shock from the drastic humidity of Alabama.  So if you see someone running around in a parka, it might be me.

Workouts:
Thursday: 12×2 minutes with 30 seconds rest (average 6:15 pace)

I appreciate my workouts are rarely the same.  This is one of the better workouts I’ve had lately.  I’m back to doing workouts on roads and I felt good

Sunday: 2X4 miles (6:42 average)
This workout intimidated me.  The goal pace was 6:44.  I did the workout on roads and it flew by.  I never felt amazing but I was able to make the pace.

This week will be similar.  I’ll just crank through workouts and get them under my belt.

Posts from the Week:
Mercedes Half Marathon
Saucony Freedom ISO Shoe Review
Love Yourself

Questions for you:
How was your week of training?
Where is your favorite spot to workout?