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a little bit of blog love

3 Apr

This weekend was pretty dang awesome. How was yours?

Apparently I needed to complain about my spring training for it to turn around. Willa and I had a fantastic 10 mile run on Saturday that was really key to get both us back into being enthusiastic about training. The 50 degree and sunny weather was key in our spirit lifting run. Yay for spring!

In addition to the great run, I also helped out at a Triathlon 101 clinic put on by Trinona (I’m completely biased, but this is the best triathlon MN has to offer). It is so fun to see newbies to the sport. They are so excited/nervous/anxious and are so fun to talk to.

I also got a much needed massage, finished the taxes and managed to relax with Brette. And as I write this, I’m enjoying pizza (sans meat and cheese) and some red wine. I couldn’t ask for a more perfect weekend.

I thought it would be fun to share with you some recipes and articles that caught my eye recently on other blogs. In addition to reading cookbooks and multiple cooking magazines, I read a LOT of food blogs. It’s a little ridiculous. There is just so much great content out there. So here are a few things you might like.

Articles

Recipes

 

That’s a good list for now. If this is something you like, I’d be happy to post links to things I find interesting more often…just let me know.

 

What have you been reading lately that you found thought provoking or appetite arousing?

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spring training

27 Mar

I really wish this post was about a great trip I took to Florida to watch my favorite MN Twins during spring training.

Yes, that would be Flat Stanley.

It is not. We were not there. Maybe next year?

Nope, I’m talking about training for a spring race.

If you are keeping score at home, you know that I am currently training for the Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon on May 1st.

When I planned out my races for the year, I really liked the idea of doing a spring half marathon and a fall half marathon.  Apparently I was thinking of how great our weather was last spring. By this time last year, I had already been running and biking outdoors – in shorts! That is so not the case this year. Yesterday on our long run, it was 20 degrees and I was layered up in all sorts of gear and had frozen snot on my face when I finished. It’s a very attractive look.

It is because of our super loooong winter and many other things that I’ve come to a conclusion about training for a spring marathon.

It stinks.

I don’t mean to be all negative nelly on the blog, but I’ve been kind of down about  this round of training. Here’s why I’m not digging it.

  • The aforementioned weather. Because of the cold and most importantly, the ice, I’ve only been able to do 5 of my 19 official training runs and 33 total runs in 2011 outside. I don’t really mind the treadmill for some of the speedwork and the shorter runs, but it’s really getting old. The treadmill is not the same. In fact, I’m finding it much easier than my outdoor runs and that does not bode well as the actual race…is outside. One of the things I love about running is being outside. I find it very stress relieving and I normally feel refreshed afterward. I don’t look forward to running on the treadmill so my overall mental outlook isn’t as good and many times, I feel far from refreshed when I’m done.
  • Sickness. I’m known to get a couple of colds a year and they usually happen during season changes. I was hit by a nasty bug a few weeks back. In fact, most of the state was hit with the same thing. My congestion and cough hung around for two weeks. I missed a few runs and my comeback runs were slow and not that fun. It put a major downer on my attitude and I can’t help buy worry about the affect it had on my overall training.
  • Injury. Now, this doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the time of year, but it’s something that is currently bugging me. I have a new leg pain. I’ll likely devote an entire post to it as it’s gotten to be quite the mystery. In short, I have a weird pain behind my knee that can shoot up my hamstring and down my calf. It doesn’t hurt when I run, but it will hurt later and on numerous occasions it has woken me up during the night to unbearable pain. It’s not awesome. Someday, I would like to know what it’s like to train for an event without having some sort of painful issue. That would be really nice.
  • Lack of improvement. I’m not a speed demon and I never will be. I’m okay with that. However, I’ve been progressively getting faster and becoming a stronger runner over the past 2 years. I don’t feel like that is happening during this training cycle.  In fact, I’m worried that I’m going to be super slow at this half. I’m sure this is due to the factors listed above. Maybe I took to much of a break between my last race and training for this one. Maybe it’s because of the full moon. I know I’m not going to be winning any races and I’m not competitive with other people when it comes to running. However, I am competitive with myself. I want to be getting stronger and improving my speed. So not seeing it happening has me down a bit.

So, would you like to hear the good news?

The good news is that I’m training for this race with Willa which makes it so much more bearable. Our longs runs are the highlight of my week. She got me through 6 miles on the treadmill when I was sicker than a dog (and probably shouldn’t have run) and she got me through 8 miles the next week when I was trying to make my comeback from getting sick. I know I couldn’t have done it without her and her ability to start singing the Rocky theme song at just the right time.

I realize this is not the most positive post, but it’s where I’m at with training. I haven’t set my official goals for this event, but one of the things I want to focus on is actually enjoying the event. I will set a time goal, but I’m going to set some non time goals as well.

I’m curious, do you find training for an event at a particular time of year easier than others? Why?

If you live in the fine state of MN like I do, what are you doing to beat this weather?

I cannot wait for the farmer’s market to open and for my favorite Saturday morning routine to start again!