Friday, November 30, 2012

Running Motivation

I was lacking some serious motivation to run this morning. It was raining, my apartment was warm and my coffee was brewing.

Luckily, I'm a morning runner. This doesn't help me much in the sleep department, but usually when I wake up at 4am, I'm not conscious enough to consider anything else except what's first on my agenda for the day: running.

The times in my life that I have tried to be an evening run, it has backfired in my face. I then have all day long to talk myself out of my run. There are always a myriad of excuses.

It's too cold.
My left shin hurts.
My right shin hurts.
It's raining.
I'm hungry.
Etc. etc. etc.

I am always so impressed with people who can run in the evenings. They must have found a way, on the days that they lack motivation, to squash these negative thoughts. Impressive!

For now, I will be sticking with morning running before I can talk myself out of anything.

Mornings like today, I really have to force myself to remember whey I love running. I always try to remember my last great run and how awesome I felt during and after. That is usually enough to get me out the door, but sometimes I have to find inspiration elsewhere. Below are some of my favorite running quotes. Hope they give you some inspiration for the weekend!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Discovery and Split Jerks

My favorite trail-running inspiration has left me for Africa for a few weeks (ultra-marathoner Jess), so I have been on my own. I was planning on running some trails last week, but it was a rainy mess and I didn't want to be all alone. Waaahhh!

Luckily, I still had a great run last Wednesday.

Yesterday, I put on my big girl pants and took my run-love to Discovery Park. While it's not my favorite trail, it's close-by and I know it very well. There are also lots of people around so I couldn't get too lost!

It was a nice, cold morning. And it wasn't raining yet! Perfect recipe for a great run!

I started out on the 5 mile loop. And figured depending how I felt, I would either do 2 5-mile loops, or do a 5 mile and a 3 mile. Listening to my body. This is a new thing. =)

It felt great to be running the trails again, and the mountains were out with lots of snow covering them! I'm afraid for my Tiger Mountain 50k and the possibility of snow. I guess I will cross that bridge when I come to it.

The only problem with the 5 mile loop at Discovery Park is the abundance of stairs around mile 2.5. Literally so. Many. Stairs. As I ran up to the stairs that led down to the waterfront, I was welcomed by a "trail closed" sign. 

Meh. Whatever. I figured I'd see how it was and turn around if I had to.

It was totally fine and I couldn't figure out why the sign was there. Oh well!

I ended up with 8 miles. Nothing too strenuous, just loving the miles.

The rest of my day was spent getting some work done before heading to Crossfit. I was feeling tired, but usually by the time I get to my box I feel ready to go!

That didn't happen yesterday, but I was happy to be there as usual. 

We started off with 5 sets of 3 split jerks. I know. Split jerks sound so complicated. But they're not. You basically throw the barbell over your head as you jump your legs apart. The below video is not me, in case you couldn't tell.

I didn't get very far in weight, but I had fun trying!

Our WOD was a 12 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible).

For the dumbbell split jerk, you start with a dumbbell in your hand. Begin from a deadlift and do the same split jerk above your head. Four per side. Good times.

Looking forward to another sweat-filled Thursday!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Lack of Recovery and Holiday Love

When I added the Seattle Marathon to my race schedule, I knew I was going to be running a 50k several weeks later.

The plan: Take it nice and easy. Don't push it and kill yourself so you can keep up 50k training.

And I think we all know how that plan went. Lesson learned: I have trouble holding back.

On that note, most people take a good amount of recovery time after a full marathon. I am not most people and I am still hanging on for my 50k's in December and January.

Unfortunately, the marathon has left me somewhat fatigued. Yesterday I was pretty creaky, and my left psoas was very tight and ornery. I pretty much rocked the compression socks all day and was wandering around the gym as slowly as possible.

Neon compression for the win!
I took things nice and slow all day and today I am feeling much better. I'm hoping to feel loads better by tomorrow and get in a nice run at Discovery Park before the rain comes. I'm going to do my best not to beat myself up if that doesn't happen, though. Bigger picture!

So the holiday season is finally upon us! I can't even begin to convey my love for this time of year! I have always been big into the holidays and love everything that comes along with it! (so many exclamation marks)

Case in point. I got my tree all set up and decorated this weekend!

So pretty!

Unfortunately in my move from New York, several of my ornaments were broken. I also lost two of the pieces that stand my tree up. It is precariously balanced against the wall for now. Not sure how to make it more sturdy.

Time for some superglue?
Another sad ornament story: my first year in New York, my parents mailed me all of my childhood ornaments. I never got the package and when I tried to track it down, no one would claim to have it, even though it had been delivered. I remember being so sad because there were so many sentimental ornaments in that box. Obviously I got over it, but seriously! Who steals and box of ornaments?!?!

I went to Crossfit last night basically just to see my friends. I planned to just take it super easy and sit out if I had to. After being mellow like Jello all day, I somehow had tons of energy once I got to the box! Our workout was a take on the Tabata, which is 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest. Our coach had us do 40 seconds of work and 20 seconds of rest instead. We did 5 rounds total.

As I said I would, I took it easy and used a lighter wall ball and kettlebell than I normally would have. I started off using a band for the pullups, but by the end made the effort to do them unassisted, even if it was only two in a row. Gotta start somewhere, right?

I hope everyone is having a great Tuesday!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Seattle Marathon Race Recap

Secondary Title: "I'm Faster Than I Thought I Was"

Remember when I said I wasn't "racing" the Seattle Marathon and using it more as a training run? Yahhhh, it didn't exactly happen that way.

Backing up, I woke up nice and early, ready and excited for the marathon. It was fun going in just trying to do the miles and not worry about time. I got dressed in the brightest outfit I could manage. Seriously, I must have looked like a giant watermelon.

I made it out to Seattle Center and froze my balls off (if I had them), waiting for the start.

Brrr I'm cold! Someone turn up the heat!
I was going back and forth on whether or not to run with my Camelbak. On one hand, there were frequent water stops on the course, so why would I need it? On the other hand, I could have water whenever I wanted and it could carry my fuel. Decision was made to run with my Camelbak. And now I'm pretty certain I will be running every race with it. Except for 5ks and 10ks. But, who knows, maybe I'd get thirsty!

Haha, please note the kissing couple in the
lower right corner. #specialmoments
The race started off pretty crowded. Although I have to say the Seattle Marathon did a good job of starting the marathoners after the half-marathoners. I can't imagine what a mess it would have been if we had all started together!

Mile 1: 8:27
Mile 2: 7:40
Mile 3: 8.28

I started out with the 3:45 pace group. I pretty much lost them first thing. I was trying to spot a friend and wasn't paying attention. Oh well! Don't ask me why my second mile was almost a full minute faster than my first and third. I guess my legs just needed to stretch out!

I went into the race thinking I would just stick around an 8:30 pace and then if I felt good after the half, I could speed up a little.

That didn't happen. I see all these people around me going fast and I get jealous. So I just ran. Probably with a goofy smile on my face. I figured I would probably hit the wall, but in the moment I didn't care.

Mile 4: 6:19
Mile 5: 10.05
Mile 6: 8.26
Mile 7: 6:55

I name these miles the "Allison is a schizo and can't pick a pace miles". Granted my Garmin definitely went off a little going through the tunnel, so the pace was probably off for some of these.

I thought I would hate going across the bridge, but I didn't. Sure, it was windy, cold and loud. The express lanes were split in half and you ran across on one side and then back on the other. On the way out, it was pretty neat to see the leaders flying past in the opposite direction. And then on my way back, I got to see all the people in back of me and cheer them on a little. I got lots of strange looks for my watermelon costume.

One guy even yelled at me: "Nice socks 2001!"

I gave him a fist pump in return, obviously.

Mile 8: 8:20
Mile 9: 8:19
Mile 10: 8:14
Mile 11: 7:55
Mile 12: 7:59

I was feeling great coming off the bridge. I had run along Lake Washington Blvd several times before and also around Seward Park, so I knew what to expect: flat and boring. Actually, on a nice day it's a lovely view, but it was super foggy yesterday, which meant you could hardly see past the shore.

I took this as an opportunity to play.

By "play" I mean go faster. I just wanted to RUN! Again, I knew this meant I was going to hit a wall, but I didn't care. In times like this all I am thinking about is having fun in the moment, which was just what I did.

All of a sudden I encountered a huge group of people and couldn't figure out why so many people were all grouped together! Then I spotted the 3:40 pacer and decided I had to pass them.

Hello Competitive Allison. Welcome to the party! I was certainly just channeling Prefontaine.

Mile 13: 8.11
Mile 14: 8.23
Mile 15: 8.18
Mile 16: 8.16

We circled Seward Park and I finally started feeling a little tired. Until that point I thought I could have run for days! I stopped to use the restroom which really ticked me off. I hate peeing during races. But I knew I would be more comfortable if I just went. I think I only lost about a minute, though.

We ran back along Lake Washington Blvd and it was fun to see people going the other direction again. There was a fair amount of spectator support around the Lake, which was nice to see. I gave some high fives and big smiles to thank the cheerers for coming out in the freezing cold!

Mile 17: 8.32
Mile 18: 8.24
Mile 19: 8.23
Mile 20: 8.35

I really started feeling the miles around this point. It seemed like we were running along Lake Washington for a trillion years and my neuroma was hurting pretty badly. Every time I stepped on just the smallest pebble, my foot would get what I like to call a "nerve shock". Not fun. I just tried to keep enjoying myself.

It helped that there were some hills, which I think killed some people, but I loved! I was getting tired of running flat. Woah, what a weirdo, where does all this hill love come from? (probably a little mountain named Tiger)

Mile 21: 8.44
Mile 22: 8.31
Mile 23: 8:59
Mile 24: 8:29

This was where I was expecting to hit the wall, but I never did! I felt great except for my neuroma. The hills slowed me down a little, but my muscles were happy for a change.

I'd brought my ipod with me and had it stashed in my pocket the whole race. It was around mile 22 that I took it out. I wanted to zone out. There was a lot of huffing and puffing around me and I was getting sort of annoyed with it, so I figured some sweet tunes would cool me down. I had a grand old time just lip syncing to the lyrics, although I'm pretty sure the spectators all thought I was bonkers.

Mile 25: 8:17
Mile 26: 7:54
Extra Mile: 7:41

I was still feeling great by the end. I was ready to be done, but still feeling awesome. I started turning my legs over and passing other people, which only spurred me on. By this time, my Garmin was way off on mileage, almost by half a mile. Way to not run the tangents, slugger.

I tore into the stadium and finished in 3.40.01 according to Garmin.

Official results say 3:41.28, which is more accurate, I'm sure.

I felt great afterwards, if not a little stiff. In the back of my mind, I was thinking about how I was going to have to run 5 more miles in a few weeks. Eeek!

I'm pretty certain my awesome time today had something to do with the neon green compression socks I was rocking.

I'm very proud and astounded with my time today and how great I felt! Now in the back of my mind I'm thinking about what I could do in Eugene in March. Boston qualify, perhaps? We will see what happens.

Thanks for a great marathon Seattle!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy belated Thanksgiving! And Happy Black Friday!

I will NOT be shopping today. Large crowds overwhelm me. But I will be headed into the thick of the madness in downtown Seattle because I have to pick up my race bib for the Seattle Marathon on Sunday!

Although I'm not technically "racing" this one, I'm still pretty excited for a sanctioned marathon after missing NYC. Since I have a 50k in a few weeks, I'm going to try not to wear myself out too much. So hopefully I can just have a no pressure, fun race!

I had a great Thanksgiving yesterday. I haven't spent a Thanksgiving with my family in about 10 years, so it was great to be at home. I took the ferry out to the peninsula of Washington on Wednesday and, thankfully, the ferry line wasn't too bad. The wind was howling, though, so it was one of the bumpiest ferry rides I've ever been on. Good thing I don't get sea sick!

Thursday I started the day off with a nice run! Obviously.

I was excited to be out at my parents' house because they have some fun trails and big hills in their town.

I set out with every intention of doing 6 miles while trying to find the biggest hills. What a weirdo! I feel like I have neglected trails in the past week, so I knew I wanted to get out and enjoy some.

I ended up with 7.11 hilly miles in an hour and 4 minutes. Whoooo! I was on such a running high after that, my family probably thought I was bonkers.

My family is pretty health-conscious, but we all have our favorite Thanksgiving foods. For my stepmom, it's potatoes and gravy. I've never met someone who likes their mashed potatoes so much! For my dad it's peas (don't even get me started), and I'm all about the sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts. Needless to say, we didn't have many traditional dishes other than the turkey and potatoes.

My dad asked us all to name 2 things we are thankful for over dinner. I couldn't keep it down to two, but here are a few things on my list, in no particular order:

My family
My supportive and amazing friends
My apartment with a washer/dryer
My job

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Running, Murph-ing and Chia Coconut Energy Bites

This morning I woke up to the sound of insane rain and wind. I had planned to head to Discovery Park to knock out 10 miles, and I was determined when I went to bed last night. I was NOT going to take this one to the treadmill.

After seeing the monsoon happening out of my window this morning, I decided to scratch Discovery. As much as I wanted some hills, the slippery stairs were just going to be a recipe for disaster.

I put on my game face and headed out to brave the elements. I got started and by this time the rain had dissipated a little. By the time I hit mile 3, it was totally dry! definitely should have taken it to Discovery. Oh well! By the time the sun came out, the skies were clearing! How lucky!

I ended up having an amazing run! I'm not sure how, but I was going so fast for most of the 10 miles! After 5.5 I literally had to will myself to turn back around and head back so I could make it to a CrossFit workout. I love it when that happens! 10.77 happy miles in an hour and 27 minutes!

I finished up with a huge smile on my face. This was definitely the run I needed before the Seattle Marathon this weekend. It's always nice going into a marathon to have a little confidence to spare! Although I'm not really "racing" the Seattle Marathon. I'm using it more as a training run for my 50k in December. But that's another post for another time!

At my gym (the one I work at, not Crossfit), we have a WOD board. I am pretty much the only one that updates it. Which is sort of fun because I can work on programming workouts and learn what works and what doesn't. I decided yesterday to stick up a Thanksgiving special workout: Murph. This is one of Crossfit's benchmark workouts and it is a killer. Try it and you will see! I've only done this one once, and it was when I first started Crossfit. Thinking about working this out Friday evening.

Switching gear here.

One of my favorite on-the-go foods are Larabars. I frequently eat them between workouts and after long runs before I can get a real meal in me. The only thing I don't enjoy about Larabars are the price tag. Why do they need to be so freakin' expensive. Unfortunately, I don't have a food processor or I would make my own (it's actually not hard at all!). 

But I was excited to find these Chia Coconut Bites. They are a perfect snack on the run and they include chia seeds! I love my chia seeds. I used to eat them every morning (I'm not sure why I stopped). This little super food is awesome! Full of fatty-acids, protein and antioxidants. They also absorb water, which is a good thing for endurance athletes. 

Chia Coconut Energy Bites

1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup raw chocolate cocoa nibs
1/2 cup almond butter
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes then roll into bite-sized balls. Place in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to a week. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Rainy Seattle Equals Treadmill Success

I guess it's pretty obvious I love getting good and sweaty. And the best way to get super-de-duper sweaty? 

The treadmill!

Seattle was a rainy mess all day yesterday. Seriously, so much rain. When I lived in New York and told people that I was from Seattle, people asked if it was always raining. I found that a difficult question.  The rain is different in Seattle. It's usually a light rain compared to New York downpours and I never really find it too annoying. Unless, of course, I just did my hair or something. And lets not talk about how long it has been since I've "done" my hair.

Anyways, I took my run indoors to the treadmill yesterday. And every. Single. Time I am floored with how sweaty I get! 

Awkward photos in the gym.
Thanks, treadmill! You may be boring, but I sure like your sweaty consequences! 8 fast miles total for the day, loving life.

For running the Gobble Gobble Sunday, we received long sleeve shirts that I thought were pretty fun! I like that they are red. I hardly have any red race shirts.

I also made it to Crossfit yesterday. For some reason, I had a lot of energy and my legs felt pretty fresh. We did some back squats and I worked on my form, something I am really trying to hone in on. I find that as my mileage has gone up, I really have no strength left to lift new PR's every single time. At first this bothered me and I would always try to keep up with others. Until I realized I didn't care too much and would rather run longer and faster the next day. 

Our workout was very different from what we usually do. The goal was to basically find our threshold max. We started on the rower and rowed as hard as we could until our reps started going down. We hoped off and lunged across the room. Then we took a wall ball and threw it up the wall as high as possible three times. We lunged back to the rower and then did a farmer's walk. Four rounds of fun!

This wasn't the most exciting workout, but I think it was very good for me to mix it up and do something a little different than going balls to the wall for 20 minutes.

Today was my final 4am wakeup call until Friday! I'm pretty stoked to "sleep in" for the next 2 days. I'm hoping to get in a long-ish trail run tomorrow morning and a Crossfit WOD before heading out to my parents' house for Turkey Day. Good times!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Gobble Gobble 10k Race Recap

I couldn't stop making turkey noises yesterday. But I had good reason!

It was the Gobble Gobble Greenlake 10k!

Several of my friends, Beth and Elena, and I signed up for the race about a month ago. We signed up for fun, not for racing. Although it was difficult to get off work for a race I wasn't actually racing, I'm so glad I did because I had a blast!

All week we were wondering what we should wear. We definitely wanted to dress up, but we weren't sure how to dress like a turkey. Beth ended up finding some great Turkey headbands on and we thought we were all set!

But disaster struck and they didn't get delivered in time! Sad panda. The day before the race, I made an emergency trip to JoAnn's Fabrics and found us feather and headbands. The other girls were able to find us some fun socks to match the feathers.

Who doesn't love colorful socks!?!?
Whew! Crisis averted.

We weren't sure how our "look" was going to come out, but I have to say we ended up looking perfectly goofy!

I think we were "gobbling". Whatever that means.
I woke up Sunday, race day, to rain, rain, and more rain. I live in Seattle, so obviously I'm used to it, but it was still kind of a bummer.

Nonetheless, I donned my feathers and headed over to Beth's house to braid everyone's hair. Necessities.

We headed out in the rain over to Greenlake for the start. It wasn't as crowded as we had anticipated and we were able to park fairly close and get to the start in no time! I think the rain scared lots of participants away. Thankfully, we had enough time for lots of pictures before we started.

The race started right on time and we took off.

We made a plan to stick together the whole time, the goal being just to have fun. For the 10k, the race had us doing 2 laps of the lake.

Our first lap was great! I was feeling pretty good and just enjoying the time with my friends doing my most favorite activity: Running!

We stopped after our first lap for a potty break and once we got started again, my stomach was being a big old meanie. Always frustrating. Needless to say, the second lap wasn't as fun for me. I just fed off the energy of my friends for the last 3 miles. The fact that Beth and I had plans to head out to Tiger Mountain afterwards was definitely nagging in the back of my mind.

We finished up the 10k in about 59.35 minutes with big smiles on our faces! Goal: Accomplished.

We didn't stick around for the Mashed Potato Munch Off, but I did enjoy the race! It was so nice just to run with friends and not worry about pacing or time, for once. Happy runner here!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Run Love and a New Crossfit WOD

I swear I am still flying high from my Tiger Mountain run on Wednesday! It's amazing what a good run will do for you.

When people who don't know me well hear how much I run, they are always baffled and inevitably ask me why.

I think they always assume there is some ulterior motive. I want to burn calories. I'm really competitive. I need the challenge.

I run for one reason: I LOVE it. Most people don't believe me when I say that. However, no matter how bad some of my runs are, the times when I am able to lose myself when I'm out on the trails or the road makes it all worthwhile. There is really no greater feeling for me!

Runnin' happy!
Sure, sometimes I am proud of my bad-a** status among my non-running friends. I'm proud of what I have trained my body to do, and do well! But, ultimately, I just love to run. Fast, slow, with friends, with music, alone. Any way you slice it, I love it.

Aaaaannndd I'm done ranting! For now =)

I had a great CrossFit workout the other day. It was right up my alley. We had several options for our workout. It started with either running or rowing.

And I'm sure you can guess which one I chose! I feel like we don't run anymore at Crossfit now that the weather has changed and it's either freezing outside (not really freezing, but Seattle-ites can be wimps in that regard) or raining. That means we're usually rowing.

I don't like you very much, machines of death. 
My most favorite thing in the world. #sarcasm

Anyways, it felt good to be back doing our regular 400 meter run. I was happy to stretch my legs and really let it fly!

From there, I did 21 dumbbell clean and jerks followed by 84 jump ropes. I am getting so much better at jumping rope. I used to be so awkward. Now I just need to really buckle down and start working on double unders, where you pass the rope under you twice for one jump. Haaaaard. Although I feel like everyone else at my gym can do them, so I need to get with the program!

So we did that whole thing 4 times through. And I loved it.

I'm excited to run a fun Thanksgiving run this Sunday with friends! We are planning to wear costumes of some sort. It's going to be hilarious! The plan is to head out to Tiger Mountain again afterwards to get in some more miles. Hope you have some sweaty adventures planned for this weekend. Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Tiger Mountain Wednesday

Yesterday I ran up (and down and up and down) Tiger Mountain.

And it was amazing!

It was one of those runs where life melts away and you just love running!

I did the same loop that I will be doing twice for my 50k in January. Ultra-marathoner Jess took me out to show me the loop and we just had the greatest time!

I was feeling good as we headed out. My new breakfast left me satisfied and I was feeling so full of energy! I'll certainly have to test it out again, but I think we have a winner!

Grape Nuts and srawberries for the win!
Anyway, I was just excited to head out and redeem myself after Friday's less than stellar running effort. I had been taking it fairly easy most of the week thus far, so I was really hoping I would find my running mojo on Tiger.

And find it, I did!

We started off running along the outside of West Tiger 3. Tiger Mountain has 5 summits: East Tiger, Middle Tiger, and West Tiger 1, 2, and 3. Today we conquered West Tiger 1, 2, AND 3. Because one summit just isn't enough!

I've run a fair share of trails the past few months and have been lucky to experience many different ones! It's pretty exciting to finally be able to compare them and find out what I like and don't like. One of the things I absolutely love about Tiger Mountain is it's variety. Literally every one of the dozen trails we were on yesterday sported differing terrain. Sometimes I was running on rocks, sometimes on leaves. Sometimes the ground was spongy, and other times there were lots of roots.

We went through many patches of sunlight, and spooky, misty and dark sections. I wish I had brought my phone so I could show you pictures! It was truly beautiful and a great day.

Apparently Jess and I were on the same wavelength because we got through the two biggest climbs of the day in no time, just chatting away. I can't believe how fast the time flew. By the time we hit the halfway point, which was about 8 miles in, I was starting to get a little tired since we had been out for almost 2 hours. Yes, trail running is slooooow, but so fun!

We ascended and descended West Tiger 1, then West Tiger 2 and finally West Tiger 3. The final 3 miles were all downhill, which I actually found to be the most challenging part of the 15.5 mile loop. About 1.5 miles down, my quads were fatigued, to say the least.

Why is running downhill so much harder for me?! I think I get more cautious than necessary, which slows me down. My biggest fear is getting injured, and running downhill can be challenging, especially on technical trails, so I tend to watch my step probably more than necessary. Which I think is fine for now!

We finished up 15.5 miles in 3 hours and 14 minutes. Garmin said we ran 13.47 but since Jess knows the trails like the back of her hand and assured me it was 15.5 miles, I will not argue! Satellite watches tend to lose signal in the mountains, especially when there is a lot of tree-covering.

I was riding my running high the rest of the day, and can't wait to get back out there! Great runs are the absolute BEST!

What/when/where was your last amazing run?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tiger Mountain, New Breakfast and Rowing PR

Happy Wednesday! I am excited to have a day off today! You know those weeks that are just never-ending?

I've pretty much felt that way since last Friday and just powered through work the past few days. Working in the customer service industry, sometimes I find it really hard to be "on" all the time. It's one of those things where every day before I go to the gym, I take a deep breath and put on a happy face no matter what I am feeling. I am naturally a peppy person, so it's usually easy, but these past few days I have been tired, so I have definitely utilized my deep breathing =)

Enough complaining!

I'm excited to head out to Tiger Mountain today to run the same loop I will be doing twice for my Pigtails 50k in December. I have every reason to believe this run will be better than the disastrous run last Friday, so I'm excited to redeem myself!

Trail madness love!
This morning I decided to try something knew for my pre long-run breakfast. I haven't been very consistent on this front, lately. I know, BAD runner! It is usually recommended to find a breakfast that works for you and stick with it before a long run. I used to be a big believer in toast, peanut butter and banana, but I actually hardly used that at all while I was training for the New York City Marathon (tear).

I was talking with another trainer at work who told me that he has found the best pre-endurance meal to be Grape Nuts Cereal and Strawberries. He said he had tried it before and recommended it to many friends who all had great PR's on this breakfast.

That got me thinking, why not try it?!

I always thought of Grape Nuts as an old fogie cereal. My dad eats it every morning. Enough said =) I also try to stay away from processed foods. Nonetheless, I picked up a box the next time I was at the grocery store. When I looked at the ingredients, I was surprised to see just wheat flour, malted barley flour, salt and dried yeast. And lots of vitamins and minerals, including 90% of daily iron needs!

Even the back of the box touted the use of Grape Nuts for endurance athletes.

So, this morning, I am giving this a whirl. I will let you know how it goes! Has anyone else tried Grape Nuts for pre long-run breakfast? Did it work for you? Of course, I added some banana and almond butter to my bowl because I can't get through breakfast without either!

Final news for today: I rowed 2000 meters straight through for time yesterday at Crossfit. I can't tell you how unhappy I was when I heard the coach yell: "WOD today is 2000 meter row for time! Grab a rower!".

Admittedly, I wanted to strangle him. But I got my rower, while grumbling under my breath, and told myself slow and steady wins the race. And ya know what?

I killed it. Level II goal time was 8:50, and I crushed that with 8:46. Maybe I'm not so bad at rowing, but it still hurts! My butt is just a liiiiiitttlllleeee sore today! =)