Storm Prep Checklist: Water, Food, Rum?

First things first: To all my family and friends in the NJ and NYC area, I’m sending lots of happy thoughts your way (in hopes that drains the floods and turns your power back on…)

Praying for Nana’s house on LBI!! (Don’t worry she’s not in it!)

—-

To be honest, when Sandy first showed signs that she was headed our way I, like most New Englanders I’m sure, thought “OK, a few days of rain and wind, woohoo, no big deal”. Now, maybe after Irene and Happy-Halloween-Snowstorm from last year should have taught me to go ahead and put more faith in Pete Bouchard and co. that they’ve got this one right. But as she continued to stay on track, Mr. Born-to-Run and I realized that maybe we should head to the store and get some essentials. For us, essentials really just meant normal food shopping since all we had in our kitchen was some of Ry’s homemade Chex Mix and a few rogue apples. Well apparently every person in the Greater Boston area had the same idea as us…

Mad rush for the bottled water..

It was slightly chaotic but also slightly humorous to see the way some people were shopping—Do you REALLY need 8 cases of water? And you do realize if your power goes out, all those gallons of milk are going bad? We were slightly wiser on what a Sunday before a hurricane required…

I feel safer already

And what’s a pre hurricane day without some Paleo Pumpkin muffins ??? I’ve never made paleo “baked goods” before, partially because I needed to invest in ingredients that I don’t normally have like almond flour, so this was experimental. And because I have an unhealthy addiction to chocolate I figured why not make half with mini “Enjoy Life” chocolate chips? The result was epic. So epic that there are none left. To answer the question you’re probably thinking, Yes I did feel sick after eating so many in such a short time.

These need to be rationed next time…

After a day that was full of hurricane prepping (OK, who are we kidding, it was filled with 1 hour of hurricane prepping, the rest was filled with football watching and laying on the couch), I realized that a run was unlikely the next day or two and I better get out there now if I wanted to get one in. So I laced up the sneaks and went out in the rain (yes it was already getting “Sandy” out). Due to the weather, I brought zero music, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. You get so much more sightseeing and people watching in when you’re not having a dance party in your head. I got in 5 average paced miles and was happy.

Monday was a work-from-home day. Like most offices in New England, mine was closed due to the State of Emergency. Good thing I have a good stay-at-home coworker.

On Hurricane Watch duty..

Now, naturally you would think OK working from home due to a hurricane, maybe you should stay inside. And I considered that. Until about lunchtime. It hadn’t started raining yet, was just a little windy from what I could tell from the inside of my warm condo. So before I sunk into an afternoon with my laptop and hard-working coworker Bailey, I threw on my sneakers and ran to the park for some quick speed work.  Don’t worry, I looked around first to be sure there were no tree limbs or low lying power lines in sight. I figured I would just do 10x 100yrds sprint/100yrds recovery jog. Well it sure makes things interesting when you’re “sprint” is into a headwind of 1,000mph (well that’s what it felt like). So I did 5 into the wind and then the other 5 sprinting with the wind. And since I had a gut feeling that CrossFit was not going to be open for evening classes I figured I’d do mini workout from the Travel WOD page: 4 rounds for time of 10 push-ups  20 sit-ups, 30 air squats. Let me just say that doing this solo was HARD and I’m glad that they are back open today for some group motivation! BUT it was fun, quick, and just what I needed to get some afternoon energy.

While I did that, my hurricane day coworker was also productive—she moved from the chair to the couch. Big things.

Doing some serious WORK.. oh the life.

What did YOU do to prep for the hurricane? Did you lose power? Any running or workout adventures? I wanna know! 

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Friday Favorites

Here’s a few things this week that have qualified as Friday Favorite worthy…

FastPaleo.com. This website has become my new favorite recipe website. It’s essentially a site where anyone can share their Paleo recipes. I’m not exactly known for my skills in the kitchen (that’s Mr. Born-to-Run’s area of expertise!) BUT when I find something that sounds manageable, seasonal, and delicious I get excited and go all Rachel Ray. So Tuesday night I made this Farmers Market Chicken and it was pretty freakin awesome. Definitely bookmarking this bad boy.

Farmers Market Chicken– AMAZING!

Fall Weather. Like I said in my earlier post , I have welcomed fall weather with open arms this year. It has been ideal running weather lately and has actually felt like fall (as opposed to last year where we had summer and then “Happy Halloween, here’s 8 feet of snow!”) Plus my utility bills are appreciating this in-between state where neither the AC or heat is needed—Bonus!

“Routine”. Since the marathon, I’ve been able to get back into what was my normal routine.  I’m going out for runs with no plan just to run for fun. Not that training isn’t fun—sometimes it’s just nice to step out the door and go without having a mileage or pace number to hit. I also am back at CrossFit 3x/wk. I was starting to fall into a 2x/wk habit the last few weeks to fit in some final mileage. Speaking of CrossFit…

CrossFit H2O. I love it here. Where else can you go to lift heavy things AND have dance parties AND play dodgeball all before 7am? Nowhere else I can think of. Even though I’ll be in Boston Marathon training soon enough, the next couple of months I really want to focus on getting stronger. I noticed  how much it helped improve my running since starting (umm hello 18+min marathon PR!) and want to keep it going!

Chocolate. Yes, the paleo gods are gasping right now. Since the end of the Paleo Challenge in September I’ve been sticking to eating Paleo for the most part. But I recently discovered “Enjoy Life” chocolate chips which are dairy, nut, and soy free (so of course they are healthy, RIGHT?) Almost every night this week I’ve had dessert of apple slices dipped in a mixture of almond butter and those “healthy” chocolate chips. Well let’s face it, chocolate is chocolate. I don’t feel guilty about eating it, but do realize that for me chocolate and portion control have never lived in the same school of thought. Moral of this story: I am the poster child for people in need of single serving packages.

Steve’s Original Pumpkin Spice KRUNCH bar. This time of year, anything Pumpkin is pretty great. But these babies are the best! I tend to need something to hold me over between lunch and the end of the work day so I don’t completely fade out. These are those perfect only-a-few-REAL-ingredients type bars that are Paleo friendly, SOOO delicious and the proceeds go to an awesome cause .

Your turn! What are some of your favorite things of this week? Or that you’re looking forward to this weekend? Anyone else share an addiction to chocolate?? 

Fall Running

As a New Englander, I love my four seasons. Yes I have my favorites, but I look forward to and enjoy the quarterly change. Growing up, summer was always my favorite. As a kid it meant vacation from school, poolside afternoons, days at the beach, trips for ice-cream, and late night games of man-hunt. Even as I got older, summer was still the “season of all seasons” (except instead of ice-cream and man-hunt it was cocktails on the patio and hunting for anywhere with outdoor dining—actually who am I kidding, ice-cream has always been a constant). In fact, I loved summer so much that every other season was spent looking forward to it.

Well becoming a runner has completely changed that. I am now a full-fledged super fan of spring and fall. In fact, my ideal day is high 50’s to high 60’s, 0% humidity, sunny skies, and a slight cool breeze. Anything less and you have to start piling on the layers. Anything more and you are sweating within the first 10 minutes.

Yesterday morning was one of those perfect fall days. I had stayed at my parents’ house the night before and was pretty excited for some hometown running. I was out the door at 8am, just as the really cold air was disappearing and the sun was starting to get higher. I wanted to go all out and keep up with double digit weekend mileage, but coming off marathon weekend last weekend I didn’t want to push it so I planned for an easy paced 6-7 miles. Even though I was running on around 5 hours of sleep, I had a ton of energy and was feeling awesome (thank you fall weather!) so I picked up the pace and ran about 30sec/mi faster than originally intended. I finished my 7.5mile jaunt of leaf peeping (trees are at their prime right now!) with a lovely runners high. What’s even better than that? A post run coffee and leg soak in the hot tub! 🙂

Thanks for the reminder, coffee mug, life IS good

I’m hoping this fall weather sticks around for a while— I’m not ready yet for the snow covered sidewalks, the arctic air, the gloves, the earmuffs, and all the layers that come with winter running.

Now you! How was your weekend? Any races or awesome runs? What’s YOUR favorite season?  Hope everyone’s week is off to a great start!

Post Marathon: Coming off the runners high

It has been almost a full week since the marathon and dare I say I am feeling awesome?! Don’t want to jinx anything, but I only had muscle soreness/minor hip flexor pain for a couple days.

I did however fall into an “I’m taking a few necessary rest days so OBVIOUSLY frozen yogurt with lots of chocolate should be on the menu”—it was only twice but I made both times count. Cookies N’ Cream frozen yogurt is considered Paleo, right?? Thanks Stephanie for introducing me into an evil world of chocolatey goodness.

By Tuesday I was feeling lazy and bit down, like I had come off a marathon “high”. I had big plans to run after work but then the dog was sick. And it started to rain a bit. And then the sun went down. So I skipped it. (Ahhh what are these excuses??? Katie who are you??)

Wednesday was a new day. I was determined. Plus I was starting to think “If you don’t use it, you lose it”. So even though I was feeling tired and a little unmotivated by the end of the work day (which is why I love 5am wakeup runs!) I grabbed some coffee and dragged myself down to the gym at work. Once I laced up my sneakers, I instantly felt better. It’s amazing how just putting on your workout gear can get you in the right mindset. I went and ran 2.5 miles, did a mini CrossFit WOD, then ran another 1.5 miles. It was nothing crazy, long, or speedy but it felt fantastic. So fantastic that I couldn’t wait to do it again! So Thursday on my lunch break (awesome benefit to having a gym and locker rooms w/showers at work!) I went and ran another 4 miles. Lunchtime running is the best solution for the afternoon slump. For some reason Thursday I was feeling pretty great (either leftover endorphins from Wednesday or trying to make up for a lazy Sunday-Tuesday). Since last week was marathon mode, I hadn’t been to CrossFit since last Wednesday so I was itching to be back. So Thursday after work I ran to CrossFit(1.25mi), did a really fun WOD, and ran home (1.25mi). Yesterday was awesome. So awesome that I was back there again at 6am this morning (are you noticing a pattern here?)

10.18.12 WOD

10.19.12 WOD

 

Moral of the story: It feels good to be back into my routine.

What do you do to motivate yourself out the door? Do you ever fall into a funk when you break routine? Does it cause you to eat your body weight in chocolate? Happy Friday Everyone!

ING Hartford Marathon: Race Recap

What. A. Race.

Yesterday was amazing. Fantastic. People dream about these kind of days. But before I start the “OMG I love running so much” parade, a little behind the scenes of my ING Hartford experience.

5:15am Wake Up Call

Everything laid out the night before. Notice there is no cold weather gear here…

Pre-race agenda:

-Pre-race fuel: Water, hot tea, protein smoothie (protein powder, almond milk, water, frozen strawberries)

-Brush teeth

-Stretch out a little

-Get dressed

-Realize I did not pack for 27degree temps, reluctantly accept I may be wearing my “throw away” long sleeve over my sleeveless race shirt longer than planned

-pin on Bib, put on watch, pull up hair

-Thank goodness I married someone who thinks of things like cold weather gear, gladly put on gloves and ear warmer

-Gather some pre printed race info to read on the 10minute drive there, tie the sneakers, and head on out

7:15am Park ¼ mile away from the park. Start to get pre-race jitters. Ryan brings in the voice of reason, assures me I will not in fact freeze to death, “See, look, people in shorts!”. It didn’t matter that the next person to walk by was in a down jacket and UGGS, it was still comforting.

7:45am After walking over to the park, wait in a line of what seems like a thousand people to use the porter potty pre-race (Goal: NOT to stop at all during the race). Get nervous when race officials come by saying “Please let runners use the bathrooms first, we will be starting in 5-10 minutes”. Glare at the woman in jeans and boots a few people in front of me who does not take the gentleman’s direction. Pee as fast as possible and jog with the rest of the late porter potty visitors to the starting line.

8:05am Get to the start just as the MC is getting people amped up and ready to pull the trigger. Ditch my gloves as I can’t get music started, and watch turned on with my clunky hand warmers. Locate satellites on the Garmin, press play on Pandora, BAM! Starting gun shot, HERE WE GO!

Mile 1 Ok let’s get this party started. So crowded, people dodging to get moving.

Mile 2 Starting to get a little easier to maneuver around people. Still crowded as we move through the city streets

Mile 3 Wow already hit the 5k mark, lets check out my pace now that we’re actually in run mode—“WHAT, 8:15 pace?!? Katie, who do you think you are??” The whole saying, it’s a marathon not a sprint applies here. Literally. Pull back on the reigns. Ooo water! Take some water at the first water stop to try and start a good habit early (a little preview, I suck at race fueling. It ties into my fear of having to visit on-course porter potties).

Mile 4-6 Easing into a good pace, still faster than I think I should be. Hitting around a 9min pace evenly, was planning on a 9:20 pace for today. Feeling really good though so going to try and keep it steady. Only regret right now is that I ditched my gloves. My fingers are frozen. Good news, begin to regain feeling in my toes.

Mile 7-8 Starting to warm up as sun gets higher. Take some more water at mile 7 water stop. Find a girl who seems to be about a second or 2 faster than me but can keep pace. Stay with her for a good 2 miles, keeping me at the faster pace I wanted. As she is GU-ing and sipping from her water belt every 5min, I think a) wow that girl is fueled up and b) I am the opposite extreme  Also realize “Holy Shit, if I keep this up, there is a slight possibility I could brake 4hrs!” Get excited, but tell myself that the goal was 4:05-4:10 so that’d be good too.

Mile 9 Hi Ry and Hoffman!! Get so pumped to see cheerleaders!! Ryan tries to take a picture, I just throw my ear warmer headband at him, yell “I love you”, and keep going. I am such a good wife.

Mile 10-12 Seeing them instantly got my adrenaline going and I ran the next few miles around 8:30-8:45. Felt good, but had some doubts about being able to keep up this pace the rest of the way. Turn the corner at mile 11-12ish and see the first place runner run by—he is at mile 21ish at this point. WOW.

Mile 13 Halfway! With a half marathon PR time! At this point we’re on the straight away part of the race that goes out and back so there are block parties going on both sides of the street with people who’s street is closed, they’re not going anywhere for a while, why not have a campfire on your front lawn and serve bloody mary’s? This is awesome. Lots of them have great signs, are loud cheerers, some even have plates of sliced bananas and peanut butter out for the runners (I of course avoid them at all costs, but it’s a nice thought by them 🙂 )! Grab some more water at this stop and some Gatorade. Note: my race day habit is always to start sipping some Gatorade at some water stops halfway through—also note I never train with Gatorade. Runners race rule #1, broken.

Mile 14-17 At this point I’m seeing more and more people running towards me who’ve already made the turnaround. Some of them are powering through and are so inspiring. See Hilary Dionne pass by on the other side, she is the first woman to pass by and ends up being the first woman to cross the finish line. She looks so intense! By this time, my hips and muscles are starting to feel the effects of keeping up this faster than planned pace. But I’m still able to do it and smile because there is still that “break 4, break 4” being repeated in my head. Plus smiling instantly makes a bit of positivity pulse through you.

Mile 18-19 YES, we’ve made a U turn and are heading back. Get to pass by the same sets of cheerleaders who now seem to be cheering louder than before (either because there are more runners running on both sides of the street or because the Bloody Mary’s have been flowing more freely as the morning goes on).

Mile 20 YES in the 20’s!!! Although, my race style is always counting backwards so I’m thinking “YES, only a 10k to go!” I stare longingly at every porter potty I pass (sorry for TMI but hey, if you’re a runner, you feel my pain) but breaking 4hr is so close I can taste it and I know any type of stop could prevent that from happening, so I pray a little, put my mind somewhere else, and run on.

Mile 21 Take water at this water stop, decide this is the last time I’ll grab water. In fact I don’t even want it but realize I should probably drink something so I don’t die. You know you’re mentally a little twisted when your instinct is to not drink anything so you won’t need to stop before the finish. Also maneuver my arm band, headphones, etc while continuing to run so I can ditch my bright yellow long sleeve that served me so well for the bulk of this race. The temps have finally gotten to a point where I’m warm and the weather finally feels like the perfect fall running day.

Mile 22-24 I am so happy. Probably a little delusional too. I’m pushing the pace hard. I feel like it’s taking much more effort than before to keep up the same pace. Then hot pink tank top girl passes me and I make it my goal to keep her in my sights. She’s pushing it, seemingly effortlessly. I’m able to stick near her and realize I’m pacing at 8:50, better than my last few miles of 9:10’s and 9:15’s. Yesss– I’ve got this.

Mile 25 Make the turn for the final stretch. This is some cruel joke. Look up and realize I have no choice but to climb this mountain of a bridge if I want to make it back downtown and to the finish line. End up running next to a couple who’ve been with me for the past few miles and feel like keeping pace with them is actually pulling me up this hill. Get to the top and realize that we’re in the home stretch. Let’s F-ing do this.

Mile 26 Running into the city, more and more spectators means I’m that much closer to the finish line. Turn the corner to be pleasantly surprise by a nice decline. OMG it’s Mom, Ryan, and Hoffman!!! Mom freaks out a bit and tries to get camera happy. I am not in the right state of mind to accommodate her. Ryan jumps out excitedly and says “Under four!!” I get so amped but just say “ah please stop” thinking it will jinx me. Keep running.

Sorry Mom, no time to stop!

Mile .2 Thanks to seeing the best cheerleaders, I pick up the pace to 8:15 even though my hips and legs are started to get seriously annoyed with me. Finally in the corral yards from the finish, see the clock ahead and there is still a “3” in the hour column. So amped up that I push it as hard as I can across the finish mat. I am so happy to be done, to have crossed that finish line so strong, and to have that astronaut silver blanket wrapped around me. Race volunteer places metal around my neck, says “Congratualtions!” I say “Thank you, where are the porter potties?”

Finisher!!

Official Finish—3:57:00

Division F25-29 Place: 38/133

Overall Place: 970/2,528

This really was an amazing race. After crossing the finish line I immediately looked like a cripple walking out of the runners corral but was so proud of myself for being able to mentally keep it together. I stayed positive throughout the whole race and was able to push myself harder than I thought was possible.

SO—this recap was incredibly long. But every detail contributed to the outcome.

Me and Ry

Bushnell Park, Hartford, CT

Hoffman, Myself, and Ryan

What was your most challenging/exciting/frustrating/life-changing race? What do you tell yourself to keep yourself going? Do you suck at race fueling too? I love to hear others race stories!

Happy Sunday Everyone!

Feeling Under the Weather? Run it out!

Yesterday I was not feeling great. Stuffy nose, zero energy, blah blah blah. I think the hubby has passed on to me whatever he was suffering through last week. Moral of this story is I ended up working from home aka spent the entire day working from my couch. I think I got up twice. Bailey made for a good coworker though.

Bailey was tired yesterday too

With it being marathon week and all, I am having that “am I ready?” anxiety. So of course with Monday having been a rest day, I felt the NEED to at least make a running attempt yesterday.

So 6pm comes along, I drag energy-less body off the couch and force myself to lace up my sneakers. I head out the door with no music, no route planned. I told myself, just start running, aim for a few miles. I don’t know if it was the cool fall air or my energy reserves from barely moving a muscle all day, but this run felt awesome. I felt like every step I took gave me more and more energy. Which looking back on my watch (yes I left the iPod at home, but I didn’t go completely stone-age!) my pace per mile got faster as the miles went on too.

Fast forward to 7pm and I am back home, feeling so much better with 6 pretty strong miles behind me. Now, probably not the smartest “week of marathon” training but it felt great and the rest of the week’s plan is it take it easy (Ok, CrossFit this morning doesn’t count…)

I still feel like I have some sort of bug but trying to hydrate like crazy and stay above it. 3 more days til Hartford!

10-13-12 Here I come!

Hello world!

Welcome to Katie Born To Run! This first blog post comes after months of saying “I really want to start a blog to record my running experiences”. Well things like work, running, WOD-ing, and life in general always seemed to get in the way. But a couple weeks ago I got a kick in the pants to start– I got accepted to the Boston Bruins Foundation Boston Marathon team for 2013. My first thoughts were 1) HOLY BANANAS I’m actually going to run Boston?!? and 2) I should really start a blog now to track my progress and so family and friends can follow my journey to the ultimate marathon. There were a few more thoughts that followed, but those were the top 2.

To date, I’ve run 2 marathons (with a 3rd coming up this Saturday!), 3 half marathons, 1 10K, and countless 5K’s. This blog will follow my day to day experiences with marathon training, which include running, WOD-ing (CrossFit love), nutrition, and a few life in general accounts. Always note, I’m not a Dr., nutritionist, etc. all accounts are my own opinions or what works for me (or in some instances, what does not!).

SO– Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy following me on the road to Boston 2013!