Boy, oh boy. Sunday was a literal blur for a good portion of the day. I spent most of the day on the couch in my parents basement or on the backyard lounge chairs, attempting to nurse my running hangover. Or maybe it was heat exhaustion? I’m sure everyone at the half-marathon yesterday felt the same way by the end of the race: happy for it to be OVER.
And let me just preface this post by saying: I generally like the half-marathon distance.
Don’t get me wrong, it was a beautiful race. The homes in Highland Park and its surrounding north shore suburbs are beautiful and right on Lake Michigan. And here’s a fun fact! The course was in the same neighborhood as Cam’s house from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I knew those ravines looked familiar. CLASSIC.
But the beautiful homes and seeing Lake Michigan could not distract from the awfulness that was the weather. I mean, the weather would’ve been perfect… if you were spending the day on a boat. Or in the house with the AC pumping. Kidding, kidding. Anyway, here’s my take on the 2017 North Shore Half-Marathon
All in all, I think it was a pretty good race. The weather was definitely not favorable but the course itself was beautiful and I managed to PR with a time of 2:26 and some seconds. It’s not my all-time half-marathon PR but it is definitely a recent PR 🙂
Matt and I went to pick-up a dozen donuts from Gurnee Donuts because #WEEARNEDTHIS. Although, I did not have much of an appetite and had a raging headache so I just had one donut and went to my parents house to nap by the lake.
Later on in the evening I, along with Matt, Caitlin, and Thomas, met my mom for dinner at O’Tooles. I still didn’t have much of an appetite but I ate what I could: quite a few tortilla chips with guacamole and their Michigan Ave Salad. Matt and I were supposed to have steaks but we were both so exhausted that we pushed those until last night.
OMGOMGOMGOMG. The weekend is finally here. I thought this day would never come! Why is it that 4-day weeks always go by sooooo s-l-o-o-o-o-w? I thought with my taper & carb-load I’ve been doing, the week would go quickly. Or at least not move at a glacial pace. Nope, wrong. I mean, 4-day weeks with Friday off are nice but 4-day weeks with Monday off? Forget about it. I want no part of that. Luckily, next week is a 4-day week for me again. WITH FRIDAY OFF. Hurray! *throws confetti* I’m not sure what I’ll do with my time but I’ll be sure to keep ya updated 😉
A N Y WAY – today I’m going to talk to you all about the importance of carbohydrates for endurance sports & how to properly carb-load. Carbohydrates play such an important role in performance for your sport. Raise your hand if you spend days, weeks, months, training for a sport only to “bonk” or hit-the-wall. *raises both hands* While proper carb-loading won’t make you actually run any faster, it can prevent you from feeling fatigued in the last few miles so you can finish strong. Remember: carbs won’t do the work for you but they will help you reap the benefits of your training.
Okay, let’s get down to the nitty gritty here.
So, your body obtains energy from multiple sources: protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Glycogen, from carbohydrates, is the most easily accessible source of energy so it’s no brainer that your body uses all of that up first. And when your glycogen stores are filled, your body is happy. So, so happy. That means that it can use up the glycogen stores before turning to fat for energy. Efficiency is key, folks.
So does that mean you should stuff yourself the night before a race? Definitely not. I mean, you can only consume so much at one time right? Right.
So how do we properly fill our glycogen stores to the brim? Well, since we cannot top-off our glycogen stores with one carb-heavy meal, we need slowly fill our tanks in the week leading up to the event. By consuming more carbohydrates with every meal, you can slowly fill up your glycogen stores without overeating. Think of it like watering a garden: you water your garden for 10 minutes every day so your plants can grow. You know that if you water your garden too much, your plants can drown. Too little and your plants with be thirsty. Your body is kinda like that garden. With proper carb-loading, you contribute a small, but manageable, amount of carbohydrates over the period of a week. You aren’t drowning your muscles in glycogen.
I can have a pretty sensitive stomach and while I do like to try new things, the days leading up to a long-distance race is not the time to experiment. I prefer to keep my carb-load foods very plain and basic: oatmeal with raisins and a Greek yogurt, banana with peanut butter, pasta with some chicken or Italian sausage, bagels, an extra half-sandwich, whatever. These foods are tried and true favorites of mine to ensure a happy stomach and a good performance. (disclaimer: food will not make you faster, you do still need to put the work in during your training!)
Sample Meal Plan:
Like I said above, I prefer to keep things simple and boring. This sample plan is by no means an extensive list but it’s something I like to follow. It’s higher in carbohydrates than I typically eat but it’s also easy for me to follow.
And that’s what I’ve got for you today, folks. I’ve definitely been using these tips for my half tomorrow & will continue to do so in the future!
What are your favorite ways to carb-load?
Do you have any endurance events coming up?
Hi everyone! Welcome back. If you’ve already tried the egg-white muffins from my previous post, let me know how you like them! If you haven’t, click here to view the post. And now, the previous weeks training log &the long weekend!
I’m officially in my last week of training for my Half on Sunday so this week will be easy, breezy! And next week officially starts my first week of Marathon Training. EEK! I’m gonna be switching things up for Marathon Training (ie: updating more regularly, in real-time) so stay tuned for that! And below I’ve got last weeks log:
Total mileage: 16.5mi
It was my first Memorial Day Weekend in 11 years that I didn’t have to work AT ALL. Can I tell you how nice that is?! It is SO NICE. Zero stress. No phone calls from pool managers wondering where something is. Not worrying about random things coming out of water slides. No understaffed shifts. It was GREAT.
After my run on Saturday, I went to my parents to wash and clean-out my car. I realized after I felt a literal burning on my back that I hadn’t put sunscreen on AT ALL that day. Which, to me, is crazy, because sunscreen has been my BFF since I completed my round on Accutane. So I spent my weekend as a lobstah.
I spent most of Sunday at my parents with my grandparents and 4 of my sisters for Caitlin’s birthday. We got Portillos, had ice cream cake, went for a boat-ride… some fun #MemorialDay thingz. That evening, Matt and I watched The Leftovers – gotta say, I’m not happy that this is the final season! If you aren’t already watching this show, START. Now. Right now.
Monday was a pretty good day: Matt and I went to breakfast and drove up to Woodman’s for some cheap cheap CHEAP groceries! We both got pretty much the exact same breakfast: a veggie skillet (hash browns, lotsa veggies, some bacon, 2 eggs), with 2 blueberry pancakes. OMG delicious. All blueberry everything. When we got home, we both took a nap, and then my mom stopped by the house on her way home from a friends lake house. Dinner was AMAZING and will definitely be shared later this week: Mango Habanero Chicken! YUM!
Be sure to tune in next Monday for this weeks training log & the road to Chicago!
What did you do this weekend?
It’s officially summer… any fun plans?!
Hello my fellow runner-lover-friends. Welcome to my Training Log for the week of May 15-21! 12 days til the half-marathon, WOO! I’m excited to really get into the nitty gritty of the marathon training. I say this now before training officially begins but I can promise you I’ll be singing a different tune come weekends in August when I’m trying to run a 15+ miler in the heat.
Anyway, on to the training portion of today’s post:
Total Mileage: 25 miles
And now we taper. And eat. Also, can we talk about all of the refrigerated pasta options at the grocery store? I had no idea what to pick! I went with Spinach & Ricotta and Proscuitto & Cheese. WE LOVE CHEESE OVA HERE. Who doesn’t, though, let’s be real.
Ho boy. This week was relatively good for the most part. I got to the weekend and ran into stomach issues due to some slight overeating and not getting enough of the good stuff. Ya know, like vegetables.
Matt and I went to the mall on Saturday afternoon and for some crazy reason, we decided that getting Blaze Pizza was a good idea. Normally, we LOVE Blaze. It is SO GOOD. It’s like, Chipotle but for pizza. Anyway. It was a terrible idea that day. Matt ran a half on Sunday and I had my long-run scheduled so that + greasy pizza = not a pretty sight. We lived. We learned. That will not be happening again.
I mean, I was suffering like severe heartburn during my long-run. And I felt a pizza hangover all day. So I decided to get back on the wagon (not that I really fell off but…), and prepared some healthy and delicious foods for this week like: EGG WHITE FRITTATA CUPS and a shrimp & turkey sausage dish (both of which I’ll be sharing). I also took the easy way out for dinner last night and tore apart a store-bought rotisserie chicken, frozen broccoli, and 90-second quinoa and brown rice. DELICIOUS, NUTRITIOUS, NO EFFORT.
“Slow and steady.” – My motto for the past week. Here’s my training log for the week of May 8-14. I’m another week closer to my half – 2 weeks + 1 long run left!
Total mileage: 26.6 miles (slowly but surely creepin’ up there!)
If you read my post last week, you got a glimpse of what a typical day of eating looks like for me. I woke up this weekend another pound lighter so that makes for 10 off since mid-February. Slow and steady. SLOW AND STEADY, FAM.
Here are some pictures from the last week or so to make up for my lack of words this post. Comin’ up later this week: MEDITERRANEAN BOWLS. Yum.
Earlier this month, we experienced some winter-like temperatures. I had to break out the quarter-zips and tights! But now we’re back to good May weather with a high of 85 today!!
Taken from one of my runs last week – vvvvvvvvvvvvv nice out
Gurnee can be pretty okay sometimes 😉
Hello & GOOD MORNING. Welcome to the third installment of my North Shore Half-Marathon Training Log – I’ve got about 3 weekends left and then it’s race day! Exciting.
Total mileage: 21.5 miles. I am playing around with my frequency and getting in more weekly miles because I think I’ve decided on a marathon plan. I’m reading Hanson’s Marathon Method and I know that plan has you running 5-6 days a week so that’s what I’m working on right now. Even if I have a lower mileage week, or even just do 3 miles, I’m still running “on tired legs” which is a focus of HMM.
Before I go on and tell you all about my super fun diet break, I do want to announce that I am down another pound. WOO! Down 8 since ~late February/early March.
So this weekend, Matt & I did some REALLY FUN THINGS:
First, we went and looked at apartments. Which isn’t actually as fun as it seems, especially when you can’t find something that fits all of your wants and your budget. Fingers crossed we find something this week (we’re going to see more on Tuesday evening). We are both SO. TIRED. of looking at apartments. And getting the run around from leasing agents. When I say I want a washer/dryer in-unit, please don’t send me to view one without that – THANKS.
Anyway, after our unsuccessful morning, we went to Spacca Napoli Pizzeria for… PIZZA. And arancini. The pizza was proscuitto, parmesan, and arugula (my new favorite pizza, I’M SURE OF IT). I highly recommend this place to anyone in the Ravenswood area!
So, the team Matt works on was hosting an event for all of their sales winners and since some of the sales people weren’t able to go, they asked some non-sales employees to take their place. WELL: he, along with a +1 (me, duh), got a one night stay at the Four Seasons Downtown, a $150 room credit, a 3 course + appetizers meal prepared by Fabio Viviani and his team, a $250 gift card to Nordstrom, a Sunday brunch, and Fabio Viviani’s 30-Minute Italian Cookbook (and a bottle of wine!). At the reception dinner, we ate even more proscuitto (#notmad), meatballs, steak, gnocchi, and some delicious desserts. After dinner, we went back to the room and put our room credit to good use: we bought Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. And pigged out on room service. Please don’t judge us.
We woke up really early on Sunday morning so we decided to go for a walk along Lake Shore Drive and Michigan Avenue. Around 9, we went to a beautiful brunch – omelets, pastries, breakfast meats, French toast, fruit salad. THE WORKS. So I think it’s suffice to say that we enjoyed our little (okay, major) diet break this weekend.
And now we are both back to some healthy eating. We were both feeling really lazy last night after our runs so instead of really preparing anything for dinner, we whipped up our favorite, no-fuss, minimal effort meal: Teriyaki Chicken with rice & stir-fry veggies. We buy the Tyson brand frozen teriyaki chicken filets from Sam’s Club and all we have to do is heat them up in the microwave or the oven. Then just steam some rice, and throw a bag of frozen veggies in the microwave for 5 minutes. You’ve got dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes AND the meal requires almost no effort from you AND it’s healthy! A little high in sugar (because of the teriyaki) but high in protein, micronutrients, and a good source of carbohydrates.
And that’s all I’ve got for you guys today – tune in next Monday for my fourth North Shore Half Marathon Training Log!
Welcome back to the second installment of my North Shore Half Marathon Training Log. I told you… I’m GOING TO push these out every Monday since my training schedule typically ends on Saturday BUT there are weekends when I push my long run to Sunday #BUSY.
Total mileage: 15.1mi. I knew it would be a lower week since I wasn’t doing a super long run on the weekend but after seeing last weeks mileage, it is slightly disappointing. It’s fine – I’ve got 20+ on the agenda for this upcoming week. MY HALF IS IN 5 WEEKS! WOAH!
I don’t want to say I fell off the healthy-eating wagon this week because… for the most part, I didn’t. I definitely did not eat as many vegetables as I should have but life happens and sometimes vegetables fall by the wayside, right? Right.
And this weekend was weird with Matt and I viewing apartments, having to stay out of our townhome for showings, and we ate out TWICE this weekend. TWICE! Can you believe that? So, it’s back on the grind this week and shoving as many vegetables into my face as possible.
In all seriousness, I’ve got some seasoned chicken breasts prepared and chopped some veggies so that when I go to make my lunch the night before or morning of, I can just throw it all together in a few minutes. My salad of the week is a Greek chicken salad – although, letsbereal, I could always go for a Greek salad: crisp greens, zesty chicken, oil & herb dressing, and FETA. ALL OF THE FETA. Okay, not all of it because I’m dieting but youknowwhatI’msayin.
That’s all I’ve got for you folks, today! If you haven’t already, check out my latest recipe: Strawberry Lemon Quick Bread – it’s going to be my go-to pre-run snack this week! And tune in next Monday to read next weeks training log!
HEY GANG. Welcome back for another training log update. I’ve decided that I’m going to be pushing these out once a week. WHY? Well… I’m always really interested reading about how others train and I like to keep a log of this information for myself so… why not share it with others? Maybe you can learn from my mistakes (or, even better, I can learn from my mistakes!).
This weeks training has felt a little off; I spent Saturday-Tuesday either traveling to or from Boston to see my sister, her boyfriend Kyle, and to see a few people in the Boston Marathon (Matt’s brother, Kyle’s dad)! It was… SO EXCITING! And #motivating – Like… maybe one day I can BQ? PIPE DREAMS. Let me get through Chicago first, okay? Okay.
So because of my renewed motivation, I’m talking all things train
ing & nutrition today! Don’t worry… I’ll actually have some fun and delicious recipes for you these next few days so if you couldn’t care less about running or nutrition – STAY TUNED. Your time is coming. I’ve got some delicious and nutritious recipes for Cinco de May comin’ up!
I went running through one of my old neighborhoods & ran past a tree I used to climb… it used to be MUCH BIGGER. Or maybe it’s just because I’m not 8 anymore?
Okay on to the running portion:
Oh… nutrition. How I love you so. And hate you at the same time. I love to study nutrition, read up on the science behind everything: nutrient timing, the importance of carb-loading, how to properly diet so that you don’t starve yourself, etc. For those of you who are out of the loop… I got my BS in Dietetics and went on to sit for the RD exam. So… I know what I’m doing (or should be doing).
But… am I perfect? No. Obviously not. Nobody is. So one thing I’m really working on right now is getting my nutrition back in order: eating lots of vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, whole grains, and minimally processed stuff. It’s getting easier – only because as I’m losing the weight, running gets easier (and my fav. designer jeans fit better), so it makes making healthy food choices an easy choice to make.
Okay well that’s all I’ve got for you on this lovely Monday afternoon. THIS WEEK: guacamole, burrito-stuffed peppers, and MORE!