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My running has been scattered, I’ve been going from 50 to 30 miles before Chicago.  55 miles after Chicago and back to 40 miles last week!  Right after Chicago I dove straight into running, 11 days none stop for 95 miles.  I won’t go into the detail of most runs since all my emotions have been poured into my Daily Mile updates instead but here’s a summary of the runs by day.

A few things to note:

– I think the 13 and some of the 11 milers were done in two parts between lunch and post work. With time management I am finding it physically and mentally easier to run twice in one day then once in a long time.

– That being said, I think I’m okay with doing double duty for mileage as long as I do one real “long run” a week

– The 15 miles on Saturday was my first long run in a while.  I flirted with some 13 milers in the beginning of the month but haven’t really done long runs in one standing

– The 15 miler was rough.  I averaged out at a 9:05 pace which includes a fast stretch and potty stop at mile 11.  I wish I could say 15 felt easy but I don’t think mentally I’m in long run shape.  I know physically I can do it, but my mind is not into it

– I struggled through the 15 miler by listening to gardening pod-casts.  I don’t actually think I absorbed anything or had any clue what they were talking about but it made me feel like I was multitasking and not just doing something I wasn’t in the mood for (like running).

– I’m been doing fartleks (not to be confusing with farting haha) on my treadmill runs.  I don’t think it’s the best kind of training for me since I should work on keeping a pace but those help make things less boring.

– I skipped a long run this weekend because I was visiting my family in NY.  Between 9 hours on a bus and just how fast a day and half fly by, I decided taking a 3 hour run was not the best use of my time.  And no waking up early is not an option.  I love my sleep dearly.

– I was stubborn.  So stubborn that I decided I couldn’t go to bed until I did a long run on Monday.  The 22 miles is composed of 6 miles during lunch and 16 after work.  The 16 miles were hard physically.  I thought two days of rest would make me amped up for speed, instead I wanted to sit on the couch and watch Olympics as I ran vicariously through the professionals on TV.   I took an 8 minute break around mile 14 where I had to beg myself into going back outside for 2 more miles.  In the end the average pace with break was 9:41.  I know that I ran around 8:30 for the first 8 miles before I just lost energy.

– I did take Gu Chumps, but Gu Chumps can’t replace a real meal that my body was craving at 7:30 PM.  I tried to tell it that if it waited til 9 a burger and beer was waiting for it, but it wouldn’t believe me.  I listened to about 3 running podcasts to keep me motivated.

Run Run Live podcast is awesome so I highly recommend it for some mojo on your run.

Why am I so insistent on long runs again after calling it quits for the summer? Well I must confess, flipflopped back on running the RnR Montreal marathon if I don’t have to work that weekend.  I had a slight freak-out when all the promo hotels with group discounts were sold out.  But! I found shelter for $36 a night next to the starting line.  AirBnB rocks!

I will also be using AirBnB for renting a room for the Providence RnR half marathon!  While I haven’t personally stayed in a room through the site yet, friends that have said it turned out cheaper and better than a hotel room so we shall see.

And because I can’t have a post without some pictures

Whenever I visit Brooklyn, sushi takeout is a must

Since Tony wasn’t there with me, I got this all to myself!

My parents took me to Ikea because I am in search of cheap curtains

Alas, no curtains were purchased at Ikea but somehow I walked out with a full belly instead.  I must say, next time I’m going to try to trade some of the balls for more mashed potatoes.  It was great!

This is a Tuesday shot but GeorgeTown cupcakes on Newbury celebrating Crocs

Can I just say that the free secret cupcakes they have everyday is the best worst idea ever.

Hope everyone had a great July!

Can’t believe it’s August in a night’s sleep.  Where did my summer go!

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I know today was a successful day, it involved a 15 mile run, gardening and fish tacos with me being at home in PJs by 10.

I know, you think I’m possessed but it’s been an exhausting week!  I’m old now, gone are the days where 5 hours of sleep was all I needed for the week.   Before I get to today, I’ll recap the rest of the week.

Wednesday was a 6 mile run plus Jillian Michaels No More Trouble Zones. Love JM beyond words!  I gave up on doing the ToneItUp workouts as I see them as ineffective for the amount of time I need to put it.  I prefer Jillian’s wam bam thank you pain style instead.

Thursday’s run seem easy with an incline of 2 (vs. 3) and my speed up 30 seconds less per mile (8:30 vs 9:00).

Tony and I went to Cirque Du Soleil Totem on Thursday night as well.  The show was fun but 3 hours long so we got home way past our work bedtime.

You can still get discounted tickets on Goldstar for a discounted price of $30 and it’s well worth it!

We were trying to figure out a cheap (relatively) place to get dinner in the Seaport area which was no easy task, luckily with yelp I found Yankee Lobster Co.

The scallops and shrimp was yummy but even Tony didn’t touch the haddock.  It tasted like rubber so if you go there skip the fish and chips (although the chips were yummy) and get the scallops and shrimp.  So good!  It’s also right next door to the Harpoon Brewery so if you have extra time and are in the area take a tour.

I also picked up some curried couscous from the farmer’s market and voila dinner was grand.

Friday I ran 11 miles and was not in pain.  I’m trying to make up for the lack of running last week due to Chicago heat and exploration desire.  I want to PR again at Providence next month.  I know the chances are slim since I PRed at my last two half marathon but I’m going to give it the old college try!  If not, I’ll just mark another state of my half marathon check list.

As for today… Well today was busy. It started with meeting with a contractor to go over bathroom additions.  (Who wants to donate bathroom labor to the Liana’s home charity?). Eventually we ended up at Mahoney’s; a plant nursery.  My eyes were wide with wanting to plant every vegetable out there.  However, its end of season and there were not much options.  So luckily I did not blow all my pennies on plants that will probably die.  Aside from lack of ever having a garden, having a history of killing most house plants I owned (most of it was due to keeping my house at 45 degrees when I wasn’t home); the main problem is that our house doesn’t get direct sunlight much.  We have these trees that create lovely shade to sit in for people not veggies.

I present you my garden.  The previous owner loved cinder-blocks!  While I hope to remove them in the coming years, for now I’m leaving it as is.  I did spend like two hours elbow deep in the dirt trying to pull out all sorts of weeds and roots from god knows what. I think some of the weeds might have been older than me.  I felt bad for killing my elders but they had to go!

We got one head of lettuce to test out.  If the lack of sunlight doesn’t kill it, I’m sure the bunnies will eat it before I get to it.

We are also testing out one pepper plant!

The Impatiens my mother planted and the violet petunia that was on sale so I got it.

Our Herbal corner with my little Mrs. Burns Lemon basis and the giant mint plant I got today.  I’m now on the look out for dill but Mahoney’s was all out.  I hope my basil survives as I dragged it all the way back from Chicago’s Botanical Gardens (they were giving one out for free and it almost died when my luggage tried to crush it.)

After a visit to the garden shop and the farmer’s market, we got hungry.  Suburban living makes you hungry.  Luckily I had a EverSave coupon for a Mexican joint in Stoneham.  Three Amigos is a small family owned restaurant of the main square in Stoneham.  We scanned the menu and wanted everything.  Luckily we learned that we can’t eat everything and tacos make crappy leftovers once assembled.

Tony’s huge steak burrito cooked perfectly.  I can’t vouch for the meat being the highest grade but it was tender and I couldn’t taste the fat pieces that I usually do in cheap Mexican places.

I went with fish tacos!  I love fish tacos.

We also got adventurous and ordered the hot carrots.  It was interesting, sort of like pickled peppers.

By the time I was done de-weeding and pretending to garden it was 6:30 and I was determined to get a run in.  Yes, I can’t believe I did 15 miles today… This might be my longest run since May.  I’ve just been calling quits at 13 and I was pretty close to stopping at 11.4 when I stopped by the house for a little potty action (charming I am).  Regardless I went back out there and slowly pushed through the final 3.6 miles.  I started the run around 6:30 in the evening and decided to go at a comfortable pace which involved me not checking my pace or time and just running for the feel it.  I listened to “Grow your grub”  podcast and zoned out for a bit.  Of course I had no idea what any of the gardening things they talked about but it made me motivated!  I think not counting the home water/bathroom break I had an average 9 minute pace.  Afterwards I was starving again, so of course two bowls of noodles make a great source of refuel.

Do you have a garden? Any tips? Do you know anything that grows in shade besides mose? 

Also, ever do any home reconstruction projects on your own?

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I’ve been idle on R2M and DailyMile because I was marching (actually with the heat it was more like crawling in a zombie stumble) the streets of Chicago.  A recap with gratuitous photos is in the works.

On Thursday night while I was packing I decided it was a good idea to pack 4 sets of running clothes because of 4 days in Chicago means I’ll go running 4 times… right?

Total times I went for a run was once!  Lesson is that I should pack half as many work-out clothes as I think I will be using and chances are I still won’t use them for anything else besides sleeping in.

The North Avenue beach path was only half a mile north of our hotel!

This path almost made me want to quit my job, sell my house and move to Chicago!

I was envious of this amazing urban beach right in the backyard of Chicagoans; that is until I saw how expensive it is to rent there and realized that if I did live in Chicago I would be too cheap to live by North beach.

Had Tony not been waiting for me at the hotel room I think I could have ran forever.  By the time I was done the weather was hitting 85 degrees.  And yes this was the coolest day out of the 4 we were in Chicago for.  Good thing I brought my own water bottle with me.

Overall about 5.5 miles on a lovely beach path.  I’m not sure the total distance as my runkeeper app and Iphone in general was going crazy bouncing signals all over the place.

I almost missed out on this scenic run!  I went to the hotel gym and wanted to hit the TM before Tony woke up only to be welcomed by a broken machine and two occupied ones.  Luckily, I was stubborn and just took it outside.

Next time you’re traveling and the hotel gym is a complete disappointment like it usually is, take it outside!  You might be surprised by what you find.  I just followed some other running person that led me to this.  Dude probably thought I was a creepster.

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The past few weeks I’ve been struggling with an identity crisis. Yes, I think I know who I am and what I want for most things but with running I’m still finding my way.  It’s been a little over a year since my running turned from just a way to get my 30 minutes of sweat a day to something a little more complicated.

hobby

: a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation engaged in especially for relaxation

life·style

: the typical way of life of an individual, group, or culture

ad·dic·tion

: the quality or state of being addicted
: compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance

Where do I stand?  I know that it started as a hobby and at some point where all I would do is run, read about running, talk about running or think about running I was on a brink of addiction.  Now a few weeks later where do I stand?

Did I burn out the candle like other infatuations?  No, with more time and cooler weather I still love a great long run.  That’s good.  Have I demoted running to a life-style or a hobby? Possibly.

I’m still reading Scott Jurek’s book eat and run  and still browsing through my collection of Running Times magazines.  However, I am going to stop prioritizing each weekend with a 15+ miles.  I am not going to train and most likely not do the Montreal marathon.   Yes I love Montreal and I think there is almost no cooler way to visit then through a marathon but my summer priorities are are re-characterizing running as a hobby and not as an addiction.

For me summers are about weekend getaways, rooftop bar nights with friends and day trips in the sunny weather.  If I ran 20 miles that day while I would still have the energy to hang out, I would not want to spend the rest of the day biking.  I don’t enjoy that much strain on my body and trying to figure out how I can sustain my weight and still do everything I love. I want to get faster, I want to run more but I also want to do everything else I love.

Two weeks ago when I went to visit my parents at the Catskills was probably when I decided to quit marathon training this summer.  Had I gotten up to run the 13-15 miles I was supposed to on any of those days I would not have had the time to bike 21 miles or hike 11 miles with people I love.  Yes, I could wake up earlier to get that done before everyone else wakes up but that would turn running into an errand vs. something I just love to do.  I love sleeping in and staying up all night watching bad shows as much as I love running!

Instead of trying to figure out how I can schedule in a 4 hours run I’m going to run when I can in my free time probably more often but in shorter distances.  And yes a 20 miler that took me 3 hours in the winter takes me 4 hours in the summer.  Unless I’m running to stay warm I have no motivation to go fast.

I am also trying for a 5K running streak from July 4th to Labor day so we will see how that goes.  So far I’m good for week 1.  My other summer goals?

1. Long Weekend getaway to Chicago

2. Spending the day in Providence & of course the RnR Providence half marathon

3. Water-Fire in providence

4. Hike up Mount Washington

5. Paint our attic

6. Bike the full Cape Code scenic trail

7. Visit my family and friends in Brooklyn

8. Part of 7, see Coney Island Fireworks on a Friday night

9. Day trips to New Hampshire and maybe Maine

10. Work on RunToMunch.com so I can be self hosted instead of using wordpress.com

 

What are your summer plans? Goals?

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A catch up of running

I didn’t write a recap of week three of training because I have to admit I didn’t get very far after Thursday’s run.  I did reach 33 miles but it was only because I went hard Tuesday and Thursday.  Friday came, no run, Saturday no run, and Sunday still no run.  I did cool things like hike and bike; but I really didn’t have a good excuse for not running Sunday.  Truth was I was scared and lazy.  It was too hot, I was “busy” visiting my family and I really didn’t want to run on a breakdown lane of a highway since upstate NY does not have anywhere for pedestrians.

Yes call me pansy but this city runner is not into it.  I did do some big time gambling.  I won $9 of a penny machine just to lose most of it on scratch lotto tickets afterwards!

I guess I’m not as skilled at Penny Gambling as my parents.

Luckily week 4 of training towards something or other is going better!  At least as far as total miles go!  47 and I still have a possible “long” run tomorrow.  I have to admit, going past 13 miles hasn’t been achieved yet since the heat started and the skating ring where I get my water has closed down for the season.

Monday 6.1 miles on the treadmill and 7 miles after work.  I wanted to go for 10 after work since I didn’t run for 3 miles but as soon as I hit the pavement in the heat my legs felt dead as I struggled after 3 miles and called it a day after stopping by the house for more water.

Tuesday 6.35 miles on the treadmill, tried to do speed-work but I am not at the speed I was in March when things were cooler and breathing was easier.  Since I was going to skip my regular strength class due to plans I decided it was time to dust off my Jillian Michaels No More Trouble Zone video.

My trainer on the other hand gave me the stink eye each time I only did half the reps Jillian did and watched Glee Project instead.  I guess he did not approve.

Wednesday was America’s birthday and my anniversary with the Tony.  We celebrated in true Run to Munch fashion by running and munching.  8.5 miles we slaved away together.  After I went off and did 4.6 more to end at 13.1.  It took two litters of water, lots of rest breaks and an average pace when all was said and done at 10 minute miles.  Not my goal speed but humidity hits me like that and I was still glad to be doing double-digits.

Thursday – 6.1 miles during lunch which felt exceptionally easy & pleasant after running in the hot humid day of Wednesday

Friday – 3.35 quickie before a very special date =)

Saturday – Quick 4.5 miles at the Y followed by a slow walk in the humidity back home..

Now I should probably sleep so I can run long tomorrow and be a productive homeowner and work on fixing the broken windows in the attic.

My life is full of glamour!

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10.5 miles elliptical

10 mile run 1:25 8:27 average pace of being hot fun and sweaty!

Thursday turned into a 2 part workout.  The plan, all good things have a plan, was to wake up at 6AM, do an 8 mile run and call it a day.  Well like all good plans this want ended with several snoozes and me being in bed until 7:15 and realizing if I don’t wake up soon I’ll be late for work.

Then I was going to attempt a 6 mile fast run during lunch but once again I failed.  I forgot my sneakers, instead my mind this morning thought I needed two sets of workout clothes instead.  My co-worker let me borrow her sneakers so I caught up with the elliptical instead.

After work I ended up with some extra time as I was waiting for a certain somebody so I looked at the clock, grabbed my Hand-held Bottle added a lemonade nuun   (my favorite flavor) and headed out the door.  My run was a mix of 8 and 9 minute miles.  I walked every 2 miles or so to cool off and drink from my bottle.  Even during races I hate running and drinking as the same time.  Either way I eventually ran out of time and cut the run at 10 miles.

Refuel?  This baby.

Sorry fitness bloggers, but sometimes you just really need an Angus Deluxe to test out your arteries!

Also I came home today and I saw a giant box so I thought Tony ordered something fun, instead it was this:

Come on amazon! Stop being so wasteful.  At least Jack has a new toy…

He’s been hard at work lately.

Climbing ladders

Taking a break from all the house fixing he’s been doing.

And how is he fueling for all this work?

I guess Jack, just like his owners loves carbs in bread or granola form!

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Tuesday Run -10.7 miles in total

4 miles during lunch, 3 miles on the TM after work and 3.7 miles with the CitySports run club.  The Back Bay group meets every Tuesday and does 3.5 and 5 mile runs.  I wanted to do the shortest distance possible but I lost track of who was in the group and who wasn’t and just ran my own route.  I guess following directions is not my strong point.  They did tell me the route before the run that must have slipped through my ears.

Since I ended up doing double digits Monday & Tuesday, I took Wednesday off to do absolutely nothing!  Unless you count drinking a beer as a real ab workout.   Speaking of ab workout, I’ve done the Tone It Up Sunkissed Abs 2 days in a row (Monday & Tuesday) and I can now almost do 3 crunches.  Yes my legs are made of steel while my core is made of cheap jello.

The CitySports running club had Zooma as a guest.  Zooma, a women’s race series is having a half marathon and 10K at the Cape on September 23rd that looks like a fun time.  However, if I’m not working I’m going to do the RnR Montreal Marathon and teleport there.    If you’re interested in Cape Cod Zooma race the code CCAMB4 gets you 10 bucks off.  Because of the Zooma promotional event, CitySports gave everyone a 20% off on all purchases made that day and that’s what got me into trouble.  At least Zooma gave us free running tech shirts, a muscle milk sample and the most delicious popcorn I ever had!

Fun for the whole family! Now if only they had a cat size one

Two weeks ago, I went into CitySports in honor of National Running Day and walked out with compression shorts and compression sleeves. I didn’t even think I believe in compression theory that much.  Were they cute and worth it? Yes!

This week, I went to CitySports for the Zooma training run/running club and before I could make it out the door I walked out in this baby:

It all started with a 30% off with an additional 20% off and the only one left was perfectly in my size and before I knew it I was at the register.

I’ve tried to justify it in a few ways

– Its orange, I like orange

– I could use a track jacket/wind breaker

– I like orange?

– I suffered through 90 degree weather after sleeping with my heat on because it was barely 50 the week before to finish this marathon

– This was my first and probably only race I will ever fund-raise for and run for charity.

– Because I’m worth it…

Good enough, and yet somehow before I could even make it to the register I picked up a pair of Tom’s that were screaming comfort.  I was refusing to buy a pair for so long but somehow the 20% off convinced me.  I believe I’m a unique snowflake and I try to look the part.  Tom’s are not unique but they’re very comfy!

And no my mini shopping spree did not end there.  It continued onto Wednesday when because I wasn’t working out I had nothing to do during lunch which led me onto Newbury St and Second Time Around, a fairly nice consignment shop.  I’m not joking when I say I work out more for my budget then my health! Runch = less mindless store browsing.

One score, Nanette Lepore Deep Sea Strapless Top, I’m not in love with a giant fish swimming on my belly but I love the cut of it!  Second score, a pair of PETITE! comfy True Religion jeans.

Do you take a lunch break?  What do you do on your break?

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