Tag Archives: Chicago Marathon

A Plan

Marathon training. It technically started last week, so I figured I should share my plan.

Since I’ve been so injury prone over the tenure of my running career, choosing the right plan has proved to be difficult. I don’t want to run too much and hurt myself, but I also don’t want to run too little and be ill prepared. My Philly Marathon training was less than stellar and I topped off at an 18 mile long run, and I know I can do better. I’ve been slowly and steadily keeping running as a part of my routine, and while I still have some shin pain here and there, I’m confident for this go-around.

Running both the Chicago Marathon and the NYC Marathon are two dreams of mine – unfortunately I’m running them both in the same year, 4 weeks apart. Because of this close time frame, I’m focusing on Chicago as my “race” and NYC as more of a “fun” run. My plan is to do an additional long run after Chicago, but to really just keep running whatever I can between the two.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about training, it’s that having the plan on paper can only take you so far. There are bound to be situations where you can’t get in your planned run the day it’s scheduled, or you have to skip it completely. With everything that’s been going on with my GI lately and a planned trip to Europe in July, I’ve had to adjust my plans to make it as flexible as possible.

So, I’m looking to do 4 miles 4x a week with a long run for the first five weeks, and then from there one of the runs during the week will bump up to 5, and eventually 6. With the way I’ve scheduled it out, if I don’t miss any long runs, I’ll be able to get in three 20 milers (if I actually do accomplish that, I’ll try for a 21 or 22 in there). I’m going to do my best to cross-train as well, with some yoga, weight lifting, HIIT and tabata workouts, and whatever else I can get my hands on.

Fingers crossed for an injury free training cycle that can hopefully bring me a PR!

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Fourth Marathon

It’s official – I’ll be running the 2012 NYC marathon this November… a mere three weeks after the Chicago marathon!

Unfortunately my husband and I both applied for the lottery, but only I got in. This will be the first race I’ll be running without him. Even though we don’t usually run together, it’ll be weird to have him on the sidelines the entire time, instead of just waiting for me at the finish. The first thing my dad said to me after finding out was “Well you can’t run Chicago then!” … of course I can, silly. I’m just going to soak in NYC and really enjoy it – I mean, it’s in my birthplace and I know the majority of my family will be able to come out and see me at some point on the course (they have no excuse – I’ll be running near their neighborhoods)!

Official training starts at the end of May, but I’m going to use between now and then to maintain the mileage I worked on for last week’s half marathon. I can’t believe that I ran my first marathon in November 2011, and by November 2012 I’ll have four under my belt!

Can you tell I’m excited? Who else is running?

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Curry in a hurry

I’ve been slowly but surely getting back into the swing of things in terms of running. After running the Philly Marathon in November and then turning around and completing the Goofy Challenge at the beginning of January, I had some trouble running right after that. It wasn’t for lack of wanting to run, but when push came to shove, I was much happier on my couch. After signing up for the Chicago Marathon (basically as an excuse to visit and eat my way through Chicago again), I realized that in order to make this training cycle a little less torturous, I needed to get back out there now.

So, with February coming to a close I’m finishing out the month with just over 70 miles. That’s nothing to write home about, since most runners that I follow on Twitter run that in a WEEK, but for me, it’s a good starting point. I’ve come to realize that I can’t be a high-volume runner, at least not yet. My little legs won’t allow for it, and usually revolt in the form of shin splints, tight hips, or weird foot pains. So for now I’m focusing on PRing a half marathon in April (it’s about time, since I’ve only had one good half marathon since I started running, and it was my first one ever), and just enjoying running along the way. Sometimes I get lost in the “chore” of running, but then I remember how lucky I am that I can run, and that usually carries me for a few weeks, until the whine cycle starts again.

After braving the 30+ MPH winds this past weekend on both Saturday and Sunday’s runs, the husband and I rewarded ourselves with Smoothie King, some  yummy treats I’ll be mentioning later in the week, and curry! I love curry because of how flavorful and spicy it can be, and also its versatility. I had planned to make a slow-cooker curry lentil soup all week, but never got around to it. So on Saturday, some quick spicy curry was just what we needed. This could easily be turned into a soup with more liquid, but it was perfect served alongside some garlic naan.

Spicy Curried Lentils
– Serves 2-4 –

Ingredients:
1 cup uncooked green lentils
1 yellow onion, diced
1-2 jalapeños, diced (depending on your heat preference)
1 15oz. can diced tomatoes
2 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp ginger powder
3 cups water
1 chicken bouillon cube/packet of bouillon *

Directions:
1. In a large sauce pot or dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and jalapeños and sauté for about 5 minutes.
2. Add 1 Tbsp curry powder, ginger powder, and garam masala, and cook for another 5 minutes.
3. Stir in water, bouillon, and lentils. Simmer for 40 minutes, uncovered.
4. Add in tomatoes and 1 tsp curry powder, cook additional 5-1o minutes.
*NOTE: You can use 3 cups of vegetable broth OR chicken broth instead of the water/bouillon combination. I used a Herbox bouillon packet. 

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This Week in Yum

I’m still here, I promise! I’ve been slowly taking over my cooperating teacher’s schedule, so I’ve been getting more and more work (yay!). My time in the kitchen has mostly been spent recreating favorites and making quick meals. However, there have been a few noteworthy dishes I’ve devoured recently.

On Sunday, I sent my husband off to a Superbowl party with some Buffalo Chicken Dip, a true football party classic. He surprisingly brought some home, so on Tuesday I decided to use the leftovers to make grilled sandwiches. It was super easy, and really delicious – it tasted like it was a million calories, but I promise it wasn’t! All you need to do is make this buffalo chicken dip (second recipe listed), put about 3 tablespoons on your favorite bread, and grill away. Yum.

The next night, I made veggie burgers, but not just any veggie burger. A few weeks ago, Megan over at Running Foodie posted a recipe for eggplant burgers. As luck would have it, eggplants and burgers are two of my favorite things, and combining them was right up my alley. So, I bookmarked the recipe and finally made them. My husband isn’t a big eggplant fan, but he was pleasantly surprised when he found out the ingredients. The recipe makes 8 burgers, so I was able to enjoy some for lunch throughout the week. Double win. Unfortunately I was so excited to eat it all I didn’t snap a picture, but you should absolutely  make them.

It’s no secret that I’m a huge burrito fan, so I decided to add that to our menu for the week. This wasn’t just any burrito, though, it was  a grilled burrito, which is something I need to do more often. It was such an easy way to upgrade the burrito to a whole new level. If you can muster up waiting a few extra minutes before devouring your burrito, all you need to do is spray a pan with some non-stick cooking spray and heat it for about 2-3 minutes on each side. So good.

To round out my week of yum, I received some goodies I ordered from Pure Bliss Eats, and it’s been a struggle not to eat everything right away! I ordered the Chocolate Chip Dough Balls and some Peanut Butter Chocolate Granola. Almost all of the dough balls are gone already, and there is only a bit of the granola left, too. They are both SO good and since it’s healthy, I have no problem indulging frequently. If you’re in the market for some delicious healthy treats I would highly recommend checking out Pure Bliss Eats, especially because it’s a fellow foodie fitness blogger’s brainchild!

There’s plenty of yum on this week’s menu, and also lots of running. I signed up for the Chicago Marathon in October, so base training for that has begun! This round both the husband and I are planning to incorporate weight training into our plan as well, and we actually spent an extra hour at the gym today doing some leg work. I’m looking forward to making that a more regular occurrence, because I really believe cross training can help someone like me who’s so injury prone. Bring it on, running.

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