Category Archives: marathon training

Running into Spring

Today I wanted to step away from a post about the weather and snow outside and think more about Spring that is just around the corner. The last few years Spring has meant training to me, either tapering for a early May race or gearing up for a later summer race. This year I am on a break still but one can dream right 😉 And yes I actually miss it, crazy I know.

I have done many marathon training posts in the past, this one, and learning to run posts like this one plus many more! I won’t go back and repeat my tips again but what I do want to do is share some running and training articles with you from other sources I have found and think could be of help to you runners out there.

What Runner’s Should Know About Pain Medication – Runner’s World – I saw this article on Twitter and was pretty interested since like most runners I did take a Motrin before races to prevent pain during the run. I only ever took one but really never looked into what it could do….

How to Pace Your First Half or Full Marathon – Runner’s WorldSuch a great question for first time racers!

8 Superfoods for Runners! – Women’s RunningFrom my past experience eating plays a HUGE role in races times and successes. I would start eating these foods ASAP if I was training, they cannot hurt!

No Time? No Problem! – Women’s RunningEveryone is going to run into this problem when training since it requires so much time. I know I would always jump at the chance to spend a little less time training.

Now onto my day… we were up and out of the house by 6:45am to get to a work breakfast by 7am. I loaded my plates up with pancakes and fruit so no complaints on the early wake up call!

My day was a tad slow, I am not too busy right now but things will pick up very soon but it can make for a long day. After work we hit the gym, last night I did a home workout since Chad was sore and did not want to go to the gym. While I was working out he cooked supper:


Shrimp and Asparagus Risotto form Iowa Girl Eats. And he did a awesome job!

After work we had plans to go to the gym and both of us were a tad tired from the early morning so opted for a early morning workout. I did a old workout from a Women’s Health magazine:

I did 3 rounds of these moves and 3 sets of 12 for each move.

1. Dumbbell Step-Up

2. Dumbbell Chest Press

3. Dumbbell Row

3. Bodyweight Lunge

4. Stability Ball Ab Sit-Ups

5. Stability Ball Leg Curl

6. Plank

7. Mountain Climber – Cross-body move

Supper tonight was a little time consuming for a post gym meal but we made it work. Spicy Roasted Veggie Mac and Cheese:

mac and cheese

Hit the spot for sure!

And with that I will catch you all tomorrow 😉


Any good running articles or blog posts you have read lately? Link away!

Run Chat

I feel like Spring is just around the corner these past few days, call is wishful thinking or maybe it is just the warmer than usual January temps but I cannot almost feel it. Yes, I am saying that with 3 plus feet of snow outside. So sad… Anyways, with Spring brings races! And while I am still not running marathons for 2o13 I am going to run a few other races. My goal is 4-5 races in total, so about one a month during the running season around here. I won’t lie about my jealousy when it comes to seeing and reading about all these other people signing up for marathons (I am looking at you Leigh!) but at the same time I am excited for them. And I am also excited to share any tips or info I can with them. If you are one of these lucky people please feel free to email me, I will type your ear off 😉 What I decided to do instead was share my top running/training tips. They are very simple tips, nothing mind blowing but at the minimum a good reminder for us all.

Here are my top 5 running/training tips:

1- Make a plan that works for you but my suggestions are – run no more than 3 days a week. More than that equals burnout and you will soon not enjoy running. Cross-train one day a week, this will help keep your cardio up but be easier on your body versus running. Stretch always! Practicing yoga is a good way to accomplish this – I wish I had when I was training!

2- Refuel, refuel and refuel some more. After my struggles with HA I cannot say this enough. Eat MORE. haha. I did not do this and have more than learnt from my mistakes. But eat whole, clean foods, lots of veggies, fruits and protein. Eating lots is good for you, if you eat the right things.

3- Hydrate. This goes along with #2, and is so, so important. I learnt recently I was WAY under hydrating. I was drinking enough for my weight with no activity, let alone the 70km a week I was running. Dehydration can cause your body lots of harm. Also, make sure you keep those electrolytes up, there are many healthy powders you can buy to add into your water for this. Like this one from Vega.

4- Invest in good runners and talk to a professional to see what is best for you. Again, such a important component. Old shoes or shoes that are not right to you lead to injury, injury means you are stalled in training and might even miss you race. Do not cheap out on running shoes, they are worth every penny. I have paid as high as $180 for runners and do not regret it. Some favorites of mine in the past, Mizuno Wave Riders, Nike Frees and now Asics Nimbus runners.

5- If you are tired one day, take a break, maybe your body is trying to tell you something.You need recovery and rest days too. Don’t burn yourself out! I promise a few days or even more will not make a difference in the end, quality over quantity people!

Now moving on, last night we did a home workout. I decided to use my stairs as my cardio in between my sets and it worked great and kept my heart rate up! I am loving home workouts these days, so much more convenient. Now to bite the bullet and buy a tmill for my house! For supper I made a delicious salad from Iowa Girl Eats, Autumn Salmon Salad:


Today was a rest day since I had a meeting will just after 6pm, it was also a easy supper day – grilled cheese on pumpernickel break with avocado and smoke cheddar and roasted tomato soup. Such a comfort meal.

I am told our TV shows have started up again this week! Yay! I missed them. So lame, I know.


When is your next race?

What is your top running/race tip? Share!!

So You Want To Run?

This is a post that has been a LONG time coming. I mean months and months. I can talk about running forever and knew this would be a great post to write but never got around to it. But now that I am on a self imposed running break I am even more obsessed with it. haha. Go figure.

I truly believe anyone can be a runner. You just have to want to run. When people say it is 80% mental and 20% physical it is very true. However, that is not saying that you can just throw on your runners and hop out the door and run 10km when you have never ran before. That might hurt a bit 😉

I was never a runner. I was not athletic growing up and still do not consider myself athletic. I was trying to remember when I started running and I believe it was 2005 or so, when I might do run-walks for 2-3km but those were rare. It was not until 2009 when I started to run. That summer I would run a 3km loop, and each time would set up a goal for myself to run just a few feet further until I could run the whole 3km.

To make my story short, we will fast forward a bit…In January 2010 a friend of mine convinced me to join a local training group to train for a half marathon. From January –May I trained for the half marathon and quickly fell in love. I went from running maybe 5km at a time, to running 21km. From there I became a crazy obsessed runner. I have since ran many 5-10km races, 6 half marathon’s and one full marathon. I have also learned a thing or two about running in the past few years and that is today’s post.

So you want to run? Where do you start?

Please remember this advice is based on my experiences, I am no expert and always consult your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.

1- First thing is first, have a goal. This could be to run 1km, or to train for a 10km race or even a half marathon. But have a goal no matter how big or small. This is will help to keep you motivated

2- Find a running buddy or even better – buddies! There are tons of running groups out there, don’t know where to look? Go ask at our local running store. I found that belonging to a running group kept me accountable and it was WAY more fun to run those longer runs with other people. You can also then talk to other runners about running and learn lots from the “seasoned” pros.

3- Make sure to fuel your body properly. You are most likely burning more calories than before so make sure you are eating enough. Most sources suggest that you eat a combination of healthy fat and carbs before running. What you eat and how much will depend how much time you have before you run and how far you are running. My go-to pre-run breakfast was peanut butter toast and a banana. Post run you should aim to re-fuel within 15-30 minutes which is your glycogen recovery window. The general rule here is 3:1 carbs to protein ratio. My favorite? Chocolate milk.

4 – Never under-estimate the importance of good shoes. And yes you may have to pay $100 plus for them. If there is one running essential you need to invest in good runners are it. Make sure to go to your local running store to be properly fitted as well. My go-to runners were Mizuno Wave Rider’s and for shorter runs, Nike Free 3.0’s.

5- Make sure you always find keep a balance. Running is addictive. I have been there. But make sure you take your rest days, and balance running with strength training and cross training. All three are just as important as the runs themselves.

And remember anyone can be a runner! You do not need to be fast, run marathons or run 7 days a week to be a runner. Happy running everyone!


What would be your number one running tip?

Mine would be number 4 – invest in good shoes! Without them you are sure to end up injured.


One year ago today I was just over a month away from my first full marathon, and only a couple week away from tapering. I think it is more than fair to say that the one word I will use to describe that time was – DONE. I was pretty tired and worn out and counting down the days till my taper. Now a year later I have to admit, I kind of miss training, and yes that involved the 30+km runs every Sunday – but only on the sunny days 😉 I decided instead of missing training and running I would take this time to share with everyone else training an gearing up for races information I have came across that I think will be helpful.

From Runners World, “Running Foods”,a few tips about running, snacking and nutrition:

-For runners, snacking is a valid nutrition strategy. It helps fuel you for workouts and runs, get in your necessary nutrients, sustain your blood-sugar levels (to reduce cravings) and keeps your metabolism going strong. According to the article the key is to keep portions small—around 200 to 300 calories—and choose healthy, nutrient-dense foods. For me snacking is very important. Most days I eat 2-3 snacks and my 3 main meals, so during my awake hours I am eating every 3-4 hours. If I do not do this, I find my energy levels drop, I get cranky (quick) and then start to crave more foods that aren’t necessarily great for me.

– Pre-run the article suggests that 30 to 60 minutes before running eat high carb, low-fiber foods that are easy to digest and provide fast energy. You can also eat some protein and fat to steady your blood sugar during a long run, but in moderation. This is because fats and protein break down slowly and, like fiber, can lead to an upset stomach midrun. I am sure we have all experienced this during a run, and it is no fun at all! For me, once I found a pre-run breakfast that worked I kept it the same so that every run my body knew what to expect. The three foods I consumed before runs (or workouts) – peanut butter, a banana and toast. Depending on the run/workout length and my plans after I might eat all three of these or just a banana.

– Post Run it is suggested to choose a more substantial snack combining a 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein. This mix speeds muscle recovery, especially if eaten right away since foods consumed within 30 minutes of your workout provide the maximum recovery benefit. Though sometimes after a run or workout you may not feel overly hungry it is still important you have something in this time window, a great thing to try is chocolate milk, it provides that 4:1 ratio and helps you rehydrate. I always had chocolate milk after any long run, mean while I would cook up a carb heavy brunch (since my long runs were done Sunday morning) – pancakes, french toast, oatmeal were all favorites of mine.

When I got to the gym this morning I was not feeling the treadmill but decided to attempt a run on it anyways and to keep it less boring I started at a speed of 6.6mph and every minute increased the speed by.1mph up to 7.7, then back down to 6.6 and back up until 30 minutes. It made the 30 minutes fly by! Then I spent 30 minutes in the weight room doing upper body exercises. I incorporated a couple new exercises from this month’s Oxygen magazine –v-curls (instead of regular bicep curls) and one arm tricep extensions (instead of tricep dips). Switching up moves is something I am bad for not doing but not only is it important for your muscles, also for your brain so I am going to keep working on this.

Since I still crave those carbs post workout, you can bet we cooked up some pancakes after this morning’s gym trip. For the first time I tried Apple Cinnamon Pancakes from Peas and Thank You, topped with Greek yogurt (plain mixed with cinnamon), peanut butter and maple syrup. Delicious and so filling, we each had two and a half pancakes which left us stuffed.


After brunch I had some “work” in the kitchen to do. It is my treat day at work Tuesday so I had to make a couple treats for my co-workers. Since we are still working our way through all our carrots I made a Carrot Cake loaf from Angela at Oh She Glows – which turned out great until I messed around with it and broke it in half. Good thing it will be cut up for when I serve it.

Check out my awesome baking set-up:


I use my iPad for the recipes now instead of printing them all off. I also am using Pinterest more to “pin” recipes versus emailing them to myself or bookmarking them.

The other treat I decided to make were a form of energy balls. I have seen this all over the blog world for the past year but have never actually made them, no idea why since they’re similar to Larabars which I love. The version I made today was from Pickles & Honey, Vanilla Ginger.

All was going great until I did not read the “pulse” part in the food processor instructions and ended up over processing the mixture… Want to know what happens when you over process walnuts? They turn to oil!


I was able to squeeze the oil out, roll in more walnuts and make 8 “balls” out of this batch. I decided not to take these to work but keep them for me and Chad.


And after putting them in the fridge for an hour we did a taste test, they passed! But a good lesson learned.

Since I had used all the walnuts on batch one, batch two had to use a nut replacement. The only other nut we had was almonds, so with my fingers crossed I made batch number two with this substitution, making sure to only pulse the mixture. This time they turned out perfect!


Though the pancakes left me stuffed this morning but 2:30pm my tummy was ready for more food so I did more quality testing on the “balls” and made myself a strawberry- banana protein shake.

Now I am going to relax for a couple more hours before we head off for my brother’s birthday supper. I think I might convince Chad to go early for a drink, I could use a glass of wine tonight!

One photo before I go:


Someone already is in relax mode…


How do you feel about kitchen flops or errors?

I won’t lie I get angry at myself, but at the same time I like to learn from flops and it is part of the fun when you are trying new things, but at the time I am usually more frustrated than anything.

Do you have a go to pre-run breakfast?


Even though this little blog is just over a year old, there are some posts from back when that I thought deserved extra attention as well so that my newer readers can read them without searching back in time. I categorized some of my favorites:

About Me:

If you are a newer reader of this blog, this post is 25 random things about me so you can get to know me better!

How I met Chad aka the hubby 🙂


Marathon Training:

Two months into my training for my first full I posted my top tips!

Along with my “tips” I also posted my favorite stretches.

All about my marathon training nutrition.



During marathon training, I took a Omega-3 fish oil supplement every day, here is why!

Looking for that healthier swap in your baking/cooking, check this post out.

All about my favorite food – QUINOA!

Speaking of “superfoods” here are the Canadian Superfoods.



Chocolate PB Banana Bites – so easy and delicious!

Our favorite granola bars, they are almost always stocked up in the freezer!

Chicken, Bacon and Pesto Panini – because I am craving one right now!