Training Update #4,983

I’m here, I’m here!

It seems like every night I’m running (literally) around, and then when I finally get into bed I say, “but I didn’t blog today…”

I’m in the process of revamping this blog. I’m looking into other servers too since WordPress is starting to tick me off.

Anyway, a training update! I’ve been doing great with my runs, but I’m starting to get a teeny bit burnt out. Today was a rest day, and tomorrow is 6 AM spin.

On Sunday I had 12 miles planned. I knew it was going to be tough and hot, so I loaded up the entire Rent soundtrack and just told myself to go easy. Since I went with my Sunday morning running club, two of the guys told me they were going 16 with the Galloway method, and I should join. The thought of 16 miles made me laugh, but somehow I agreed to it. My longest run ever at one time was a half marathon, so 16 sounded like a psychotic distance to attempt.

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As you can see, I hit my 12. We  were really starting to suffer with the humidity, so we didn’t do the full 16. The run started at 6:30 AM (6:37 to be exact), and it was already really sticky out by then. Gotta love summer runs, right?

I had never done a Galloway run before. If you aren’t familiar with the Galloway method, you do intervals of running and walking. We chose to run for 5 minutes and walk for 45 seconds, but you can customize it however you want. Beginner runners may do 2 minutes running/2 minutes walking. It’s cool because it’s up to you and your fitness level.

It’s also cool because it was hot as hell when the sun came up, and those walk breaks felt ah-mazing. I didn’t feel guilty like I normally would after walking, because our pacing was pretty good too. We’re planning for 16 in a few weeks, so I’ll just have to be scared till then!

RUNSAFER + Lessons Learned

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On Friday night I went to Jacksonville Running Company (JRC), where they were hosting a workshop called RUNSAFER. I had heard about the workshop in the past, but I never went to one. I headed out for this one because I thought it’d be informative.

JRC set up some cheese and crackers (yum!), and Aasics was out promoting their shoes. Aasics is an official partner of the program, so it was cool to see them out there. I got to try on a new pair of shoes, but since the weather was really crappy, we didn’t get to test them on a run.

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I did win a raffle at the end and now have a personal martini shaker, which is pretty awesome!

This workshop is awesome, and it’s probably the most important running-related event I’ve attended. The class is taught by Todd Williams, who is an Olympic runner and has a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He uses his mastery of Jiu Jitsu to teach runners simple techniques to be safer (get it? Run Safer = RUNSAFER!) while out on the run.

I’m not even going to attempt to describe the techniques we learned. You can watch the videos for yourself at the RUNSAFER site. They’re easy-to-follow lessons that anyone can do.

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This is an important workshop for anyone to attend, whether they are runners or not. In a lot of cities around the world, Jacksonville included, you can run from a really “safe” neighborhood to a not-so-safe one without going very far. You never know who is out there, and it’s better to be prepared. Never let your guard down, because you just never know.

Head over to RUNSAFER.com to attend one of Todd’s workshops and check out some tips and techniques!


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Workout Wednesday: Going Longer

Marathon training has been going great! I found that once I accepted that slower times were going to happen because of the ridiculous heat, I found it easier to prep for longer runs. My FuelBelt has literally been a lifesaver!

On Sunday I ran 10 miles! The running club has a long run option on Sunday mornings. We start at 6:30 AM, which is right after the sun comes up here in Jacksonville. This weekend I’m going to try running bridge repeats downtown, which should be a great practice for the 1,400 bridges (or that’s what it seems like) that I’ll face in NYC.

Tonight I went to a run at Native Sun, which is one of the local healthy grocery stores. We ran along one of the main roads in the SUN. Do you know how the top piece of advice when you’re training in the summer is to stay out of the sun? That’s not meant for this run. Usually I do 4 miles, but tonight I wanted to try for something a little further.

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It was (barely) a success! Like I said…slow times are the norm since it’s usually 85-90 degrees when we start running at night. I know it’s only the start of July, but I’m looking forward to cooler temperatures and less humidity in the fall.


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Racing On A Budget

A perk of living and running in Jacksonville: There are two big running stores in town, so there is always a race to run.

A negative of living and running in Jacksonville: There are two big running stores in town, so there is always a race to run.

I love doing fun and interesting races. Even though I’ll always be a middle of the pack runner, I love trying new distances, courses, and themed events. Since I’ve been here, I’ve done races on the beach, in EverBank Field, and along the river. I’ve got tons of t-shirts, so I’ll always have something to wear to the gym/on a run/around the house.

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The latest edition of the race calendar from 1st Place Sports came out, and as I went through it, I realized I wanted to do all the races.

The problem with loving to run is that it costs money. I will never bandit a race, so like most others, I’m a racer on a budget. Since we can’t run all the races, here are some tips to be a racer without breaking the bank:

  • Pick unique events: If your town has a lot of running events, chances are you can run a neighborhood 5K any weekend. When you need to decide on a few key races, go for the different ones. For me, that means beach runs and the annual Stadium Challenge at EverBank Field.
  • Register early: It’s no surprise to any of us that the earlier you register, the less expensive it is. I’m a master procrastinator, and I usually wait till the last minute to register for a race. I’ve seen prices go up as much as $30 for those who waited till the day of to sign up. If you’re set on running it, pay for it now.
  • Go for the swag: Most race packets include a t-shirt. I like to go for the events that also include finisher medals. It helps me remember the race, and I feel like I’m getting a little more for my money. Plus, everyone loves a new finisher medal!
  • Make your “must-run” list: I know that for me, there are a few races that I look forward to each year. When I make my calendar of future events, those races are at the top of the list. It’s a lot like making your monthly budget outside of running – figure out your priorities, and see what you have left over.
  • Consider costs: Unless the race is for charity, I’m probably not spending more than $25 to register for a 5K. I’ve sat on a registration committee for a race that was for charity, and we kept our costs down to provide a great experience for runners while charging only $25 for day-of registrants. If we could do that, any company can. There’s no need to spend a ton of money on a race, unless, like I said, there is a charity involved.

Those are my tips for racing on a budget. Do you have any money-saving advice?


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Cooking With Cast Iron

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In my previous post I mentioned that I just moved. I’m in my own place now, so I got to go out and buy all kinds of kitchen stuff. I brought a small frying pan from home, but I also picked up this little cast iron skillet. I’ve heard all kinds of stuff about them, but I had never cooked with one.

As it turns out, it’s been a pain in the butt so far. Even though I use nonstick cook spray, my eggs stick to it and make a huge mess. Maybe I’m doing something wrong – anyone have any advice?

In the meantime, I’ve been looking up some recipes to make with it. Cast iron skillets are supposed to be extremely versatile, so I’m excited to figure out what I’m doing. The kitchen has never really been my strong point. Here are some of the recipes I’ve found on Pinterest that I have on my “to make” list:

Do you have a cast iron skillet? Any recommendations on making things not stick in it?


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Workout Wednesdays: Group Runs

It’s been a little while since I wrote a post! I moved out and was without the Internet for a few (miserable) days.

I’ve been really busy lately with work and doing group runs! One of the local running stores hosts a group run just about every weeknight, so I’ve been going to them. It gets kind of boring running the same route every single time you go out, so mixing things up is really important when you go out.

The runs are cool because a lot of vendors come out and they raffle off prizes. I’ve already won a new pair of sunglasses, compression socks, and calf compression sleeves!

Wednesday night runs are especially fun because we get free cake from one of the healthy grocery stores. This is me last week with my birthday cake, which was this chocolate-chocolate chip AMAZING thing (my birthday was last Thursday!)

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Tonight I did the full 4 mile loop and we were all rewarded with carrot cake. I hate carrot cake, but this was really tasty! It’s a full gluten-free bakery, so the cake has a really dense texture.

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Marathon training has been going great! 4 miles felt pretty easy tonight, even in the really hot weather and sun. Now that it’s officially summer, it’s only going to get warmer.

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Old Fashioned Protein Pancakes

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I love breakfast food. Lately, I’ve been eating some form of breakfast food for breakfast AND lunch. Of course, eggs get kind of old after a while. I’ve made protein pancakes before, but those were just with oatmeal, protein powder, and egg whites. These have a little more substance to them, and combining coconut flour with peanut butter flavored protein powder gives you a plainer, more “old-fashioned” taste.

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Ingredients (I made 5 decent sized pancakes out of this)

  • 1 scoop Peanut Butter protein powder
  • 1/4 cup oatmeal, ground into a flour
  • 2 TBSP coconut flour
  • 2 TSP coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup egg replacement
  • 1/2 cup Vanilla Almond Breeze

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How to Cook

  1. Combined all ingredients (except coconut oil) into a small blender. I used a Magic Bullet. Blend until it forms a consistency almost like cake batter. You may have to add more almond milk to thin it out, but don’t make it too soupy.
  2. In a large frying pan (or griddle if you have), melt the coconut oil. Pour the batter into circles of your chosen size. If you’ve ever made pancakes, you know the batter spreads, so don’t make them too big.
  3. Cook for a few minutes on each side, until you can flip them. Be careful for splattering oil!
  4. Cook on the other side for a few more minutes, till they are cooked thoroughly.
  5. I ate mine plain, but you can serve yours with any kind of toppings – peanut butter, chocolate chips, fruit, whipped cream, etc.

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