Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Training Log – Week of Nov. 24 (Week 46)

And just like that, Thanksgiving is over. It was great to spend some QT at home relaxing, recharging, and seeing my family. The city wears you down after a while, and I always leave home ready to take it on again. Yesterday, we got our Christmas tree and went to our annual extended family Christmas party.

2014-christmas-tree-selfie

So much room for winter activities!

In other news, my 2015 race calendar is starting to take form.

2015-usat-age-group-nationals-qualified

Third time’s the charm—Milwaukee, I’m coming for you! Honestly, I didn’t expect this email and figured I’d have to qualify at South Beach in April, so this news alleviates a ton of early-season pressure.

General training notes: Even though I didn’t “race” the Philadelphia Half last weekend, this week took the form of a step-back period. All my workouts aside from Sunday’s steady run centered on recovery. Case in point: I swam twice and biked zero times. Ha!

Monday – a.m. run and p.m. swim

I actually felt pretty decent upon waking sure. Sure, a little soreness in my quads, but nothing worse than what usually sets in after a normal long run. Even so, I stuck to the plan and ran two easy miles. After work, I went to the pool and pulled for 1,000 yards. (Full disclosure: I tried to swim, but my legs said no way.)

Tuesday – off

Wednesday – a.m. swim

Back home, I headed to a local pool and planned to log a true workout that included tech work. And for the first time in about three months, I revisited my favorite (finger-tip drag) and not-so-favorite (catch-up) drills and swam a total of 2,100 yards. On the bright side, my 5x100s were all where they should be (1:21-1:23), but I felt gassed after each one. Meh, I’ll take it.

Thursday – F-M Turkey Trot (8-K, technically 4.66 miles)

Coach Pat gave me the go-ahead to run this local yokel turkey trot as long as I treated it as an easy run. But it’s highly possible I went out too fast and logged a couple of “steady” miles before easing off the gas. Sorry, Coach. I also kinda felt like a jerk because people around me were coughing and dry-heaving while I chilled out. Hey, getting out there and running is awesome, but if you’re on the verge of throwing up at a turkey trot, you’re probably doing it wrong.

Friday – a.m. run

You know you’re in Upstate New York when you spot more snowplows (four) on your run than runners (zero). No complaints, though—just an easy 9.25 miles around the lake. Things got a little dicey at some points with the snow and ice combo, but on the bright side, that ensured I kept an easy pace. Just trying to be a good athlete, Coach Pat!

Saturday – off

Sunday – a.m. run and strength training

Since this was supposed to be quality run, I hit the ‘mill for 40 minutes. It wasn’t good, but it wasn’t bad. Let’s blame it on the … stuffing. I ate all my grandma’s stuffing. No regrets.

How was your Thanksgiving? Did you run a turkey trot?

3rd Annual F-M Turkey Trot Recap

Before loading up on savory turkey and delicious desserts, I kicked off Thanksgiving 2012 with a local race, the 3rd Annual F-M Turkey Trot.

This was my second year trotting on Turkey Day, and it was my first time tackling the 8-K (4.9-mi.) course.  Last year, my dad and I ran the 4-K route, and it proved to be a challenge.  I was a semi-recreational runner—I ran four or five days a week, but I would simply go out and run, so no speedwork, tempo runs, etc.—and I didn’t know what a “cross-country course” entailed; the hills, mud, and roots surprised me!  To top it off, it was my first semi-trail/off-road race, so when I finished in about 24 minutes, I was very, very happy to be done.

Anyway, I knew what to expect this year.  My knowledge of the conditions, combined with my swimming and biking focus and my laid-back approach to running, basically determined my game-plan:  I wanted to take it easy, and even though it was my first time running an 8-K event, I didn’t want to go in with the mental approach of PR-ing; given my training, or lack thereof (just some speedwork and one tempo run), “racing” wouldn’t have been a smart goal.  Instead, I planned to use this semi-competitive environment to practice pacing:  For the first four miles or so, I told myself to stay in the 8-8:30 min. ballpark; for the final mile, if I felt strong, I would “race.”

The race had a late starting time of 10 a.m., I arrived at F-M High School around 9:30 a.m. and had no trouble finding a parking spot.  After picking up my t-shirt and bib, I wandered around a bit and looked for my friend Cathleen.  We played field-hockey together in high school, and we went to the same college (she’s a few years older than me), and it was great to see a familiar face.  And we totally forgot to take a picture—whoops!

After the kids’ fun run, we were directed toward the start line, which was in the middle of a vacant field, and before long, we were off!  Cathleen and I didn’t position ourselves close to the front—we were too busy talking!—so we got stuck behind slower runners; at one point, my watch read 10:35 min./mi.  Luckily, though, the environment didn’t seem competitive, and since I wasn’t racing, it was fine.

I used the first 4-K as a warm-up and slowly increased my pace to 8:07.  However, the second 4-K proved much more challenging than the opening segment:  As I made the turn at the halfway point to continue onward (the 4- and 8-K participants ran together until we reached the start line, which is when the 4-K runners headed toward the track to finish and the 8-K runners continued), I was surprised when the course went into a forest.  In an effort to avoid wiping out, I slowed to 8:20 as I traversed rocks, stumps, and tree roots.  Coming out the clearing, I met a huge hill that appeared to go straight up like a 90-degree angle.  Obviously, my pace slowed there, too.  The remainder of the course contained smaller hills, so I hung out in the 8:07-8:15 range; the pace felt comfortable, so I kept it in cruise control.  However, I did pick it up as I approached the finish line—how can you not?—and picked off about seven runners in the final 100m.  It’s all about finishing strong!

Unfortunately, I don’t have a 100 percent accurate finishing time—there were no timing chips, and most people (including me) didn’t even wear race bibs.  As each runner finished, they had the responsibility of checking the scoreboard for their time. (I also think there was one person relaying times at the finish line, but I was so hyped up on endorphins I didn’t hear anything.) However, since I wore my Garmin, I didn’t bother to look.  That said, though, I started my watch about 15 seconds before I crossed the start line—oh, bottlenecking—and it measured the course as slightly longer than five miles.  My watch read 40-ish minutes, and Cathleen told me my scoreboard time was around 39 minutes. (She’s battling an injury and decided to run the 4-K.) Either way, this ballpark equates to 8 min/miles, which I will totally take, especially for not racing.

Overall, this race signified more than meeting a time goal.  First, I was really happy with how I followed my plan, dialed into the target pace, and held it.  There were segments when I wanted to ease up, and there were moments when I wanted to go faster, but I reminded myself to execute the plan; running really is 90 percent mental.  Second, it’s been a while since I’ve done a “straight-up” (no swimming and biking beforehand) race, so it was nice to have a successful, no-stress outing.  Third, I think this event bodes well in terms of Olympic-distance triathlons.  Right now, I’m simply maintaining my running base, so if I can hold this pace without a ton of training, then maybe it would be a feasible target pace for a triathlon 10-K.  Yes, I definitely have work to do, and I’ll be the first to say running off the bike is completely different, but it seems like a challenging, yet feasible goal.

Did you do a turkey trot this year?  How are you staying active this weekend?

Thanksgiving 2012 in Pictures

Good morning, everyone–I hope you had a great Thanksgiving!  We had a ton of fun yesterday–lots of food, laughs, and quality time together. (I owe you a turkey trot recap, too!) Here’s a glimpse into our Thanksgiving.

So much yummy food!  My plans for the rest of the day include shopping at Syracuse Bicycle and Fleet Feet–oh, and I got my swim in this morning!–before hanging out with my family for Thanksgiving part deux.  Enjoy the day, friends!

Thanksgiving Traditions

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m off trotting and then eating, but since I didn’t want to abandon the blog for a day, I thought it would be a good time to share some answers from a Thanksgiving survey Natalie originally posted.

1. Do you have any Thanksgiving traditions?

My family usually has a special breakfast like pancakes and French toast, and we watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

2. List at least three dishes that are on your family’s table every year.

Green beans, roasted carrots, and my great aunt’s recipe for twice-baked potatoes–we call them Aunt Jeana’s Potatoes.  I’m so excited for AJPs!

3. Do you prefer pumpkin pie or pecan pie?

Honestly, neither; I’m an apple pie girl.

4. Will you watch football on Thanksgiving Day?

Um, sometimes.  I don’t follow football, so it’s not like I *need* to watch a game.  My cousins and I plan to watch Animal House, though.

5. Do you plan to exercise Thursday?

You bet—I’m doing the 3rd Annual F-M Turkey Trot to be exact.

6. Do you prefer ham or turkey?

Definitely turkey.

7. Will you shop on Black Friday?

I have in the past, but I will not be waking up at an ungodly hour to shop this year.  Although I do want to go to Syracuse Bicycle at some point; the shop is hosting a huge fall clearance sale!

8. Do you take a nap on Thanksgiving?

Not usually.  After eating, my family usually plays games—Catch Phrase and Apples to Apples are our favorites!

9. Share one dish that probably won’t be on anyone else’s table.

My aunt’s three-bean casserole.  It’s quite infamous.  I’ll be sure to take a picture.

10. What are you thankful for today?

My family, my health, and my blogger friends!

Have a great day!

Thanksgiving Preparations and a Walk with Zelda

Happy almost-Thanksgiving, friends!  If your Turkey Day celebrations involve cooking, baking, or traveling, I hope you have a delicious and safe journey.

With “only 17” people coming tomorrow, we have plenty to do!

I need to start cleaning and organizing, so it’s a quick post today!

Dinner

Yesterday involved a lot of food prep, so it was a takeout kind of night.  Hello, Chinese!

I ordered hot and spicy baby shrimp—mmm.  I would definitely get it again.  Prior to last night, I don’t even remember the last time I had Chinese, so I’m sure that added to its tastiness.

I had to Instagram my fortune cookie, too.

Workout – Running

I took a rest day Monday (two days before a race, I always take a day off), and I set out this morning for an easy, 20-minute shakeout run.  The cold weather made it quite difficult to warm up—thanks a lot, 35 degrees—so I’ll have to keep that in mind during tomorrow’s turkey trot.

Breakfast

After my run, I made a spinach and egg-white open-faced breakfast sandwich.

Since I’ve been home, I’ve been having a hard time cooking food in a pan; between yesterday’s “pancake” and today’s “omelet,” it’s struggle city big time.

As I ate my breakfast, a certain greyhound refused to leave my side.

Someone wanted a w-a-l-k. (Zelda recognizes the word “walk,” so we have to spell it out or simply abbreviate it to “w.”) How could I say no to that face?  The cold weather called for a coat—for both of us.

For greyhounds, the general rule of thumb states whenever you wear a jacket, they need one, too.  Anyway, we drove into town and set off!

Zelda loves stalking squirrels, which is funny because as a former racer, she had to chase a fake rabbit around the track.  She wasn’t a great competitor—she “retired early”—but I’m sure if she had to chase squirrels she would be a champion.  But then she’d probably still be racing and not living here.

Did you have any pets growing up?  How about now?  Are you a cat or dog person?

Greetings From Central New York

Hello!

That’s right—I’m back in CNY for Turkey Day.

The past few days have revolved around organizing, packing, and doing laundry, and I took the train home yesterday.  One of the benefits of freelancing/not having a full-time “big-girl” job includes getting a jump-start on holiday travel, so I beat the rush.  No complaints here!  Oh, and in somewhat-related news, operation clean out the fridge went pretty well.

Two things:  First, that is not my can of Dr. Diet Pepper.  Someone (*cough* mom *cough*) left it when they visited.  Second, I craved and had to buy more almond milk.  I almost had a one-trip-to-the-grocery-store week.

Dinner

My mom asked what I wanted for my first meal back home, and there was no hesitation—spicy shrimp with cilantro and lime.

Delish!

Breakfast

I tried to make a modified two-ingredient pancake this morning and failed miserably.

Whoops.  It still tasted good, though.

Lunch

I ate an early lunch today of leftover chicken and green beans, plus an unpictured apple.

Aside from the food front, I don’t have too much to report.  I spent the afternoon running some Thanksgiving-related errands; nothing too exciting.  We host Turkey Day every year, and we have 17 people coming.  Actually, in the words of my mom we “have only 17 people” attending; most years, we get more than 20!  Thank you, large Irish-Italian-Roman-Catholic family.

What are your Thanksgiving plans?

Write It Down, Do It Up – Week of Nov. 18

Hey, hey—Happy Sunday!  Did you do anything fun this weekend?  Yesterday, I went to Smorgasburg, a Brooklyn-based food flea market, with my friends Meg and Sarah.

Holy cow—between a chicken sandwich, bowl of pho, and an oh-em-gee delicious red velvet brownie, I nearly died and went to foodie heaven.

This was the last event of the year, and I’m already looking forward to visiting once spring arrives.

Anyway, on to this week’s workouts.  With an 8-K Thanksgiving Turkey Trot as my main priority, I won’t be swimming or biking before Thursday.  After Thanksgiving, I plan to resume normal sweat sessions—less intense runs, plus swimming and biking.  Even though I have a temporary membership to the YMCA here in New York City, I’ve received conflicting information as to whether I’ll have access to my hometown Y when I’m back in Central New York.  Obviously, going there for swimming and indoor spinning would be easiest logistically speaking, but worst-case scenario, I can buy swim tickets for a pool nearby.  There’s the option of hitting up CNY Triathlon Club’s winter training facility (WTF) for bike workouts.  So basically, I’ll have lots of options for off-season triathlon training while I’m home, which is awesome.  On that note, it’s time for Write It Down, Do It Up!

(If you’re new to WIDDIU, here’s how it works:  Every Sunday evening, I’ll post my workout schedule for the week, and I invite you to do the same.  This way, we can motivate each other and hold ourselves accountable.  Sounds like a win-win, right?)

Monday – run; strength train

Tuesday – off

Wednesday – shakeout run

Thursday – 3rd Annual F-M Turkey Trot

Friday – swim

Saturday – bike with CNY Triathlon Club at WTF

Sunday – swim; run; strength train

Are you doing a turkey trot this Thanksgiving?

Which One Doesn’t Belong?

Hiya, friends!  Happy Hump Day!  Can you believe Thanksgiving is just about one week away?  Although I’m looking forward to running a local yokel turkey trot, I’m even more excited to see my friends and family.  And eat a ton of delicious food, of course. (Calories don’t count during the holidays, right?)

Workout – Running

This morning’s workout included a “tempo run”—we’ll get to that in a second—and some strength training.  I thought about ditching my iPod and running without music, but I definitely needed it; I battled some serious negative thoughts.  After a 10-minute warm-up, I settled into a comfortably hard pace, but the cold weather (37 degrees Fahrenheit) combined with the unrelenting headwind made it extremely difficult to hold the pace.  As I continued to push, negativity started to surface:  If I can’t hold this pace, how in the world am I going to run an 8-K in one week?  If this is challenging, how can I complete an Olympic-distance triathlon?  Yeah, I was not in a good place mentally.  When I reached the halfway point, I stopped, stretched, and gave myself a pep-talk:  Yes, it’s a tempo run, so it’s supposed to be difficult.  If this were easy, then everyone would do it.  You are stronger and better than this; this is how it will feel running off the bike, so instead of fighting it, just go with it.  On the run back, instead of fighting the pain, I acknowledged it and reminded myself it’s only temporary.  Plus, I told myself this is how I will feel during the NYC Triathlon (honestly, I’ll probably hurt a lot more), so I need to get used to this discomfort.  Just the thought of July 14 alleviated some of the perceived pain, and I finished strong.  I even passed a lady who was about a quarter-mile ahead of me.  So overall, this outing epitomized a “character-building” run.

In the fitness center, I noticed something strange near the weight rack.

Hmmm.  Which one doesn’t belong?  Don’t get me wrong—I’m all for drinking coffee before working out. (In fact, I always have two cups with almond milk before getting my sweat on, but I drink plenty of water so I’m not dehydrated.) But bringing java to the gym?  That seems like a fitness faux pas to me.

Breakfast

Almost-empty nut butter jars keep piling up, so it was another overnight oats in a jar morning over here.

Now that it’s getting colder, I might have to retire this meal until the spring, but I still have two nearly empty jars.  Decisions, decisions.

Do you drink coffee in the morning?  How about before your workout?  Do you notice a difference when you have caffeine in your system?