Run Doodle Run

The long road to 26.2


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Weekly Recap

I know, I know… I’ve really been awful at this blogging thing lately.

I’m sorry 😦

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It’s been tough to get excited about blogging when my running has been so hit or miss due to injuries over the last 6 weeks.

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Things were going so well until mid-August, but the last six weeks have just been so frustrating. BUT, getting my final 20 miler in in such great condition really helped.

This week I was released from 2x per week PT!! This week and next week I’ll only go once, to get my hip taped, to use the PENS therapy machine, and to run on the Alter G. It was a huge mental boost to hear that I don’t have to go on Mondays anymore.

Yesterday we were still getting lashed by that coastal storm that’s been wreaking havoc on South Carolina. When I woke up it was 45 degrees, pouring down raining, and super windy, so I decided to skip my 12 miler – no need to risk pneumonia (or getting hit by a car…) this close to the marathon! Instead I did 8 miles on the elliptical while watching Spirit of the Marathon today (a must-watch).

Tuesday will be the first time I’ve gone to the track in 6 weeks. I’m still not allowed to do speed work, but I figure because we’re doing 1600s at 10 sec faster than marathon pace, that’s not really speed work, so I can do it. 🙂 I’ve really missed my Tuesday night track sessions – I think it’ll be good psychologically to get back there, even if it’s just for the last two sessions.

And Saturday will be my last long run! Whoa! Where has the time gone?? It just occurred to me this evening that I should start planning my race-week meals and acquiring the ingredients. Anal retentive, yes, but I’m not leaving anything to chance. I’ve put too much into this to screw it up with something stupid and easy to avoid.

What are your favorite race-week meals or snacks?? 

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#tbt Florida, Part II

So after spending a really great week in Miami and Naples, we headed north to spend some time with family in Central Florida. We had planned to stop in at Sanibel Island, just outside of Ft. Meyers, but the traffic was beyond insane. Really. It’s like the entire state decided to cram on to that one little road. An hour to go 16 miles? No thank you. So we grabbed lunch and hopped on the highway, heading up the west coast of the state.

Honestly, I-75 is really kinda boring. Like, insanely boring. The only saving grace is that the speed limit is 70 – and this adorable little manatee haven south of Tampa Bay. There was a little sign for the “Manatee Viewing Area” on one of the roadside signs, so we decided to stop and see what it was, expecting some hokey, over-priced touristy place. Driving into it from the highway doesn’t exactly make you feel all warm and fuzzy – it’s kind of a podunk rural “highway” with a school, a few buildings, and smokestacks off the in the distance. Well, those smokestacks are what you’re aiming for, believe it or not. It’s the Tampa Electric station, which keeps the near-by water ways warm – just like manatees like, especially in this colder-than-average winter we’ve been having all up and down the east coast. The parking and admission was fee (although I’ve heard that parking can be a bit tight) and you were free to walk about as you wanted. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures – but check out their site because it’s really quite cool.

While in Central Florida we visited Cocoa Beach and the Jetty Pier on the east coast.

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my mom and my aunt :)

my mom and my aunt 🙂

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Apparently sea turtles are quite common along the pier, but the waves were very heavy that day and the water was quite cloudy, so we didn’t see any of them, but we did get to see a dolphin sliding between the waves near the Pier! 🙂 The Jetty beach was nice (and the sand was super soft!), but Cocoa Beach wasn’t my cup of tea. Check it off the list, move on.

The next two days were spent in Disney! Okay, so I’m not really a huge Disney person (if you choose to overlook that fanatical Little Mermaid phase in 2nd and 3rd grade), but there is something kitschy-fun about Disney as an adult. We went to Animal Kingdom first, where we froze our butts off! Oh my gosh! Not only was it cold, but the wind just whipped right through any layers you had on.

Animal Kingdom was pretty cool and I’d actually like to go back when it’s less crowded to explore it some more. Expedition Everest was lots of fun, but that was pretty much the only ride I did there because the line for the safari was way too long. Oh, and we did the Bug’s Life show in the Tree of Life, mainly just to get out of the cold and see the cute bug-themed movie posters they have in the waiting area 🙂

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Believe it or not we actually had some pretty decent food there! The cinnamon almonds are amazingly addictive (I’m going to try making them at home) and the chicken curry in the African section was surprisingly good – although they didn’t give you nearly enough flatbread to eat it “properly,” so I ended up breaking out the fork half way through the meal. Oh, and the pineapple whips! Mmmm…. The pineapple whip is good, but I highly recommend getting it with coconut rum – super yum!

Later in the afternoon we found our way over to the Magic Kingdom. Like I said, totally not a Disney person, but dammit, if we’re going to Disney, this princess wants a tiara! 👸 And I found one! Well, really, I found like twenty. 😉 But I got one.

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And yes, I wear it around the house when no one is looking.

We wandered around there a bit but it just got too cold when the sun went down, so we called it a day and drove back home.

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The next day we spent the whole day at Epcot! This was my whole reason for going to Disney – I am a huge international nerd and loved the World Showcase area when I was a kid, so I definitely wanted to see it as an adult.

We went to each and every country, except the USA, and had enough time to really spend wandering around each one. Some are better than others, but in a surprisingly un-Disney way, they manage to pull each one off without being overly cheesy or offensively cliche. No, it’s not even close to being a suitable substitute for visiting each country, but it’s a really great introduction for those who may not have thought of visiting one of those countries or trying the cuisine, or a really great way to experience the world for those who may never get the chance to go abroad.

We had lunch in Morocco (I highly, highly recommend Restaurant Marrakesh, especially the goat cheese with crispy bread, which we recreated when we came home, and the sultan sampler – way more food than any one person should eat, but who cares?? you’re on vacation!) an afternoon snack in France (the strawberry tart at Les Halles Boulangerie and Patisserie was honestly to die for). If you’ve never tried Moroccan – or any Middle Eastern cuisine, for that matter – I highly recommend you check a good book out of the library and give it a shot. The recipes are super simple, but loaded with flavor!

IMG_9298Then we had dinner – on Chinese New Year – at the Nine Dragons Restaurant in the Chinese village. I was admittedly disappointed that Epcot didn’t do more to celebrate Chinese New Year, but unfortunately being in Hong Kong for Chinese New Year (aka Spring Festival) pretty much ruined any other celebration for me. It was okay though because the food was quite good. And I got to use a little bit of my Mandarin with the waitress 🙂 Something I don’t get to do very often anymore. 😦

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Yes, I was massively stuffed by the time we had to roll our way back to the parking lot, but it was so totally worth it. Like I said, I really only came to Epcot for the international section and, of course, the food.

IMG_9308I’m hoping to run the Disney Princess Half with one of my Hopkins classmates this upcoming winter, but one of my goals in life is the run the Wine and Dine Half and then gorge myself at the Wine and Dine Festival – I’ve heard it brings out some top notch chefs and you can really get some of the most amazing foods there. If I could afford to do both in the same year, I totally would, but I think the latter goal is going to have to be put off for a year or two.

All in all I’m really glad I went down south this winter. I’m slightly less ashamed to admit that I might be slowly becoming a Florida-in-the-winter kind of person… as long as the cold promises not to follow me like a lost puppy next time!


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Last Track Session Before Army!!

Mental Note: Eat more food.

I haven’t been eating much lately, but not necessarily due to a conscious choice – I just haven’t been hungry (unexpected late-in-the-game bonus – I’ve lost another 4 lbs.).

Tonight’s track workout was supposed to be relatively easy – :20 90% perceived effort, :40 comfortable but hard pace, repeat 20 times. Despite this, I felt like I was dragging the whole time. Legs just felt heavy, joints didn’t feel fluid, the whole shebang. And I got a really weird side-stitch under my right ribs. I never get side stitches, so that was totally out of left field.

I’m not sure what I’m missing nutritionally, but I clearly need to focus more on how I’m fueling myself this week. I’ve only got two more easy workouts before race day and really need to make them count.

What are your favorite race week meals/snacks??


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Weekend Wrapup

How is it August already??

Thursday night I had a b-school alumni event – a fellow alumnus owns a minor league baseball team, the Akron RubberDucks, which was playing in the area and he was able to set us up with two suites at the stadium! It was a really great event with great turnout – and was my first visit to Harrisburg. The alumni office staff was even awesome enough to arrange to have a birthday message for my mom put up on the jumbo-tron before I could get to it! They must have been reading my mind becuase they emailed me about it the morning after I googled how to get the message up there. 

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After b-school my friends scattered all around the world. There’s a group of six of us who have been pretty good about keeping in touch with each other via Skype but we haven’t been able to get together in person often. Although we weren’t able to get the whole group together, we had a small girls’ weekend this past weekend.

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I have a thing for watching planes land. The closer the better.

D just moved back to the States from Indonesia, I took the train up, and we spent the weekend up at C’s place in Connecticut for some much needed girl time. We had a nice bonfire in C’s backyard Friday night and were able to FaceTime with A (who is living in Africa!) on Saturday morning. Unfortunately we weren’t able to get in with the other two girls, but it was still great to get “together” and feel like old times. And I can’t express just how great it was to sleep past 5:00am on a Saturday. I skipped my long run this weekend and am absolutely unapologetic about it. 

Photo Aug 01, 6 44 42 PMWe explored Connecticut all weekend and were pleasantly surprised by the Yale Art Gallery – we weren’t sure how extensive it would be, but it was really quite amazing. I’m not a huge fan of museums (overdosed on them when I was in Russia), but it was still really impressive. 

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And Saturday night we had some super yummy Pakistani food. If you’ve never tried it, I highly recommend it (you can start with this bit of deliciosity) 

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I was super happy to come home yesterday to see my pepper plants doing amazingly well. I harvested a few early-season peppers (yes, I live that far north that I’m still harvesting early season peppers) last week but all of the plants really took off this past week. My big berthas (below) are easily 9″ long and are just about ready to come off. They’re insanely huge and I can’t wait to stuff them. 

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Sore Legs Antidote

Summer is peak training time for so many of us runners. Whether you’re adding major mileage or tackling that killer hill you’ve been eyeing up for a while, many of us spend a whole lot of time bellyaching about our aches and pains. 

We’ve earned these aches, no doubt, but sometimes they just need to go away, stat. 

I’m a big fan of the foam roller/the stick and icing to soften the blow, but sometimes that’s just not effective (enough) or we want to switch things up. 

For many of us, food is fuel first, pleasure second. If that fuel can kill two birds with one stone, all the better, right? Well, Competitor has some great ideas on how to double-up the benefits of what you’re putting in you to kick up what you’re putting out on the road

While you’re sitting in your ice bath, why not head on over and give it a read. It should take just about as long to finish as that ice bath should last. 

after the hard workout


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Real food

Last night the local farm market announced that they’ll be opening mid-May, which makes me oh-so-happy 🙂 (it seems spring really will happen… at some point…)

And then I saw this article posted on Be Well Philly, with substantial evidence that eating real food is healthier for you than any of those silly fad diets everyone swears by: http://www.phillymag.com/be-well-philly/2014/03/26/ditch-diet-now/

I love growing my own veggies and using them in my meals – it’s so much easier to include healthy items when a) all you have to do is go out your back door to pick them and b) you’ve put the time and energy into growing them. If I could, I’d have like an acre of fruits and veggies. But alas, it’s not in the cards right now. There’s just something so much more satisfying about cooking that gorgeous red pepper you grew from scratch rather than something you picked up at the store.

What are your favorite veggies? What are your favorite foods to grow?


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Pinteresting food choices

I love Pinterest. I really have a rather unnatural affinity for it. I’m a very visual person so I love the ease with which you can create a visual favorites list that you can come back to later. However, my one big pet peeve with Pinterest, and a lot of sites, honestly, is the amount of recipes that are super sugary/creamy/floury. I eat a lot of carbs. Some good, most not so good. It’s always been my weakness. And I’m making a concerted effort to reduce the number of creamy and baked goods I consume – which is super hard because I have a serious soft spot for a good cheese plate. But it seems like all the recipes on Pinterest – and really, the vast majority of websites – are all about baking or stuff that’s loaded with sugar, milk, and/or cream.

I’ve kinda OD-ed on sugar this past week and really don’t want to see that crap for a while. I love you, sugar, but we love each other better from a distance.

Do you have trouble finding good websites for recipes? I’m not talking like crazy health-conscious vegan/paleo sites, just sites with mostly healthy-ish options. I like meat, I loooove me some broccoli (much to my father’s chagrin), I love Asian inspired foods, I’m coming around to certain grains (I bought a bag of quinoa but need to work up the hutzpah to actually make it), and even though I love raw cauliflower, I think pureed cauliflower is a crap ass substitute for mashed potatoes or alfredo sauce. Basically I like anything but “American” food.

If you’ve found some good sites in your travels, which ones do you recommend?