Sep 30, 2013

Posted by Jo W. 9/30/2013
I had a pretty busy weekend and had to work both Saturday and Sunday. Since I moved my long run to Friday, I took a rest day on Saturday and was able to squeeze in a 1 hour bike ride (18.5 miles) Sunday afternoon. After work on Sunday, I had a girl's night out at California Pizza Kitchen. It's kind of sad, but I haven't had the time to socialize lately, so last night was really fun with good company and good food :) I got the California Club pizza, and we split the red velvet cake for dessert. OMG that red velvet cake... It had cream cheese frosting, white chocolate shavings, vanilla sauce, AND vanilla ice cream. Amazing.

Posted by Jo W. 9/30/2013
The Lean Green Bean
It's Foodie Pen Pals Reveal Day! Don't know what Foodie Pen Pals is? Each month, you sign up and get paired with another foodie. You get to know them a little and what they like. Then you put together a little package filled with yummy treats for them! (Spending limit of $15). The best part is, you get a package from another participant. At the end of the month, bloggers who received packages share what they got from their pal on the Reveal Day.

For this month, I was paired with Bree over at The Thing About Joy. She filled my package with healthy treats, both homemade and store-bought! I also got cute cards with a hand-written note and a recipe for the cookies she made me! How sweet :)

Sep 28, 2013

Posted by Jo W. 9/28/2013
This week was crazy high volume with both running and biking. On Sunday, I biked a personal distance record of 100 miles on my first century ride. Those were some hilly, beautiful, and fast miles! Seriously, I thought the day went by way too fast. On Friday, I decided to go for my peak mileage with my long run, and ran 20 miles. It's less than a month now until the Marine Corps Marathon, and I'm about to get busy with travelling for interviews, so I'm glad I got to squeeze a 20-miler in this week. Taper time is soon, so that'll probably mean more biking and less running. Or maybe less of both since I am traveling every weekend leading up to the marathon! 

9/22 Sunday- 100 mi bike (Back Roads Century)

9/23 Monday- rest

9/24 Tuesday- speedwork, total 5 miles

9/25 Wednesday- 8 mi easy

9/26 Thursday- 24 mi bike

9/27 Friday- 20 mi run

9/28 Saturday- rest


Biked- 124 mi
Ran- 33 mi
Posted by Jo W. 9/28/2013
Let's start the weekend off with some pumpkin pancakes, shall we?

I can't think of a more perfect breakfast on a cool autumn morning :)

Sep 27, 2013

Posted by Jo W. 9/27/2013
Cancer is a loaded word. It has touched everyone in some way or another. Maybe you have felt the tremors when you heard that a friend of a friend was recently diagnosed. Or maybe it has violently shaken your life and turned it upside down, whether you are battling it yourself or are fighting for someone near and dear to you.

Cancer is a powerful force that changes lives, but those who are facing cancer do not have to battle it alone. I made a decision to join hands with the cancer community to show my support.

I am on a mission to ride 4400+ miles across the country, from Baltimore, MD to Portland, OR with the 4K for Cancer in the summer of 2014.

Posted by Jo W. 9/27/2013
The Marine Corps Marathon is exactly 30 days away! I decided to go on a long run this morning. At about mile 10, I decided to make my long run into a 20-miler. My personal distance record, and the peak mileage that I am planning on doing. I hit the 20 mile mark mainly for the confidence boost. From here on out, it's all going to be downhill with my training. Until the actual marathon, of course :)

So today, I learned what my fueling plan is NOT going to be. I'm NOT going to only drink 8oz of water and I'm NOT only going to eat a 110 calorie gel at mile 10. Yea... I was smart enough to do both those things today. Since I wasn't planning on going 20 miles, I only brought along a small Amphipod 8oz water bottle and a Clif Shot gel (Double Expresso). Such a bad idea and I was hurting starting at mile 15, going up a hill. The dreaded WALL was looming in front of me, and I felt a deep gnawing hunger in my stomach. I also felt generally fatigued, and I slowed down a lot to conserve energy. I made it through, though, and didn't actually hit the wall, even though I was so close I could brush up against it.

So, next time. Bring more fuel. 

Sep 26, 2013

Posted by Jo W. 9/26/2013
My goal for this fall is to complete my first full marathon. I've been thinking about what I want to accomplish after that. A spring marathon? PR in another distance? Or even try a triathlon? I've been thinking about triathlons lately...

Reflecting on this past year, I have gone from a non-runner to an endurance athlete. My "runniversary" is coming up next month, October 21st, the day of my first race, my first half marathon. That was the day that I'll never forget, when I reached my goal of finishing the once-intimidating distance. This past year was the year of working towards my personal goals and self-betterment. I would say that I have been quite successful.

So onto the next year.

I have put so much effort into training for endurance running and cycling events, solely for myself. Now, I want to use my sports to do something beyond myself. I want to give back to my community. And the best way I know how is to pour my passion for my sports into my passion for serving others.

I have decided to dedicate this year towards supporting the cancer community and joining their fight against the life-changing disease through the 4K for Cancer. The 4K for Cancer is a cross-country ride across America, but it's so much more than that.  Along the way, the riders serve the cancer community, share their stories, and give them hope and inspiration.

To learn more about why I am doing this, check out my profile page HERE.

I will be sharing more about my journey, so stay tuned!

Sep 24, 2013

Posted by Jo W. 9/24/2013
It's little more than four weeks before the Marine Corps Marathon! Yikes, my mileage has been pitiful lately, and if you haven't noticed, I haven't posted my weekly training log for the past two weeks. I do have two excuses:

1) I took it easy the week before the Philly Half Marathon on 9/15
2) I had a week to recover after the Philly Half for my century ride (100 mile bike ride) on 9/22

So I haven't been running as much as I would like, but oh well. I'm getting back to focusing on the marathon training, and hope to get my mileage higher.

To start off with, I took Monday to recover from the century ride and did some speed work today. I ran 0.7 mile intervals at 6:50 pace twice with a 0.5 mile recovery at 8:30 pace. Yea, I make up my own speed workouts and do them whenever I feel like :)

Since I'll be travelling a few weekends in October, this is a rough plan of the workouts I want to accomplish in the remaining 5 weeks before MCM:

Week 5- 13+ mile long run, speed work x1, 45 mile bike ride, total 20+ miles
Week 4- 15+ mile long run, speed work x2, total 25+ miles
Week 3- speed work x1, progressive tempo (I'll be travelling on Fri to Mon, so I'll try to squeeze in a run here and there)
Week 2- speed work x2, tempo
Week 1- cross training, easy miles (I'll be travelling Thurs and Fri this week)

We'll see how this goes...

Sep 23, 2013

Posted by Jo W. 9/23/2013
On Saturday, I went to the farm again with my brother to go apple picking. I also needed some squash in my life, so I picked up a pumpkin and a butternut squash.

I picked some Jonagolds, Fuji, and Cameo apples. I also sampled a lot, and I think I ate at least two whole apples while picking. 

Sep 22, 2013

Posted by Jo W. 9/22/2013
Today, I finished my first century ride! The ride was so scenic, the weather was absolutely perfect, the support from the volunteers was never lacking, and everything went smoothly (no drop chains, mechanical failures, bonking). I would say this was the best ride of my life (so far)!

A view of the Shenandoah River on the way to Berryville, VA

The Back Roads Century is an annual event put on by the Potomac Pedalers, a bike club in the Washington DC area. The century ride starts out at Berryville, VA, and goes through the countryside of Virginia and West Virginia. There are many different ride options suitable for all ability levels. The route was surrounded by mountains, pastures, fields, and forest. The first half wasn't too hilly, and the second half had some rolling hills and a longer climb near mile 85. 
I signed up with the B group to be conservative, since I was averaging about 17-18 MPH on my training rides. The B group was supposed to average 14-16 MPH. Supposed to.

Sep 21, 2013

Posted by Jo W. 9/21/2013
My bike is tuned up, tire pressure is topped off, finally got a water bottle cage and installed it, printed out my cue sheets and maps, and I am almost ready for the Back Roads Century tomorrow. Just need to pack a few more important items, and hopefully I don't forget anything!

Here's an overview of the 100 mile bike ride. It's going to be epic, accompanied by perfect fall weather :D

Sep 20, 2013

Posted by Jo W. 9/20/2013
As you may or may not know, I am applying to dental schools this year. The application process starts in June, and interviews start around September/October, and goes until the spring. I have 4 interviews scheduled in October so far, so I'll be travelling around a lot!

The schools that I applied to are all over the country, so I am flying to SoCal, Kentucky, and Utah. My first interview is at my state school, though, so I'll be able to just drive there. I'm going to be travelling almost every week this month!

So last spring, I registered for the Marine Corps Marathon knowing in the back of my mind that a dental school interview might interfere with the race. So far, I've dodged the bullet, but I'm still crossing my fingers. Maybe I'll get lucky. 

The MCM is on October 27th, and I have an interview in Utah on the 25th. I'll fly out there on the 24th and hopefully fly home on the 25th. Then I'll have the 26th to rest up and recuperate. 

My travels are also going to interfere a bit with my marathon training. I'll try to be flexible and figure out how I'm going to balance work, travel, and training. Maybe I need to rethink my time goals for this race. I am thinking of throwing out the time goal all together. This is my first marathon, and I want it to be a pleasant experience.


Sep 19, 2013

Posted by Jo W. 9/19/2013
I love figs, but don't buy them often. They are pretty pricey, so I usually get them if they are on sale, or to splurge.

This past weekend in Philly, I went to Reading Terminal and walked past a grilled cheese stand. It smelled AMAZING and I really wanted to try it, but unfortunately, I passed up the chance. They had a grilled cheese with figs and honey, so I wanted to recreate those flavors at home!

The sweetness from the honey, earthiness of the figs, and salty tang of the cheese combine to create a sandwich of awesomeness. You have to try this.

Sep 18, 2013

Posted by Jo W. 9/18/2013
This week is in between two endurance events, the Philly Rock N Roll half marathon last weekend, and the Back Roads Century Ride this Sunday. Obviously, this week is not the week to pick up the intensity for marathon training. I need to recover smartly from my half marathon, and prepare myself for the 100 mile bike ride.

So far, I've been taking it relatively easy:

Monday- rest (2.5 mile walk)
Tuesday- Insanity Core Cardio and Balance
Wednesday- Insanity Power and Resistance

My bike is in the shop to get a tune-up before the century. I plan to go for a spin either Thursday or Friday. On Saturday, I'll take another rest day and load up on the carbs ;)

Sep 17, 2013

Posted by Jo W. 9/17/2013
Here are some pictures from my weekend trip to Philly for the Rock N Roll Philly Half Marathon.

We spent Saturday afternoon just walking around the city and seeing the sights.

The Comcast Center is a really cool building. I liked how reflective it is, like it's almost blending into the sky.

Sep 16, 2013

Posted by Jo W. 9/16/2013
I had a great weekend in Philly and an awesome race! I was aiming for at least a 5 minute PR, and I got it! More on that later. 

On Saturday morning, my brother and I left for Philly around 9:30. The drive took about 2.5 hours, so not too long at all. I didn't drive, so I just listened to music and chilled the whole way. 

When we got there and finally found parking (at a super expensive garage), it was almost 1pm and I was really hangry (hungry + angry). Good thing we parked right next to Reading Terminal Market (which I pronounced like a noob, until my friend corrected me). This was my first time at Reading Terminal, and all the food choices was overwhelming! I wanted to try everything. Although I wanted to try the roast pork at DiNic's, the line was super long so we settled on getting cheesesteaks at Spataro's. Not bad.

Next, we hit up the Health and Fitness expo for our bibs and to get some swag. The expo wasn't much different than the other Rock N Roll expos I've been to. 
Brooks had an island themed exhibit, which I've never seen before. It was cute and larger than their circus and pasta themed exhibits. There was this cute game that kids were playing where you run in place on a mat, and a little runner runs up a mountain depending on how fast you step on the mat. There was also a mechanical shoe (like a mechanical bull, but it was a shoe...) that looked fun, and gait analysis. The lines were long, so I skipped the activities.

Sep 14, 2013

Posted by Jo W. 9/14/2013
Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts!

Earlier this week, I went on a pumpkin baking rampage and made three different pumpkin treats using one can of pumpkin: pumpkin granola, muffins and pop tarts. This was the first time I've made homemade pop tarts. Why haven't I made these sooner? They are pretty easy to make and the perfect size for a snack or dessert. Aren't they the cutest?

Sep 12, 2013

Posted by Jo W. 9/12/2013

And the pumpkin craze continues! Today I will share my recipe for Pumpkin Spice Granola, with pumpkin, delicious spices, and pumpkin seeds for an added crunch. Just warning you, this stuff is really addictive!

This recipe is vegan, and you can also make this recipe gluten-free by using gluten-free oats.

Sep 10, 2013

Posted by Jo W. 9/10/2013
Today, I was baking stuff for my Foodie Pen Pal. Since it's fall and fall means pumpkin season, I decided to make it pumpkin themed (duh). I was a baking maniac, and couldn't decide on one thing to make, so I ended up making three different kinds of pumpkin-flavored treats!

I am going to eventually share all the recipes, but for today, I'll just share my pumpkin muffin recipe because I didn't include that in my pen pal's package. I don't want to ruin the surprise!

Sep 8, 2013

Posted by Jo W. 9/08/2013

This week was pretty chill, running-wise. I was feeling a bit burned out from running, so I ran a grand total of twice. Monday's planned, but failed, long run was a bit disheartening. It was relatively hot and muggy, and I just felt plain tired that day. I turned around sooner than planned, and actually started walking about a mile from home. That's rare for me.

Monday- 7.6 mi run. I was planning on a long run, but just wasn't feelin' it. Besides, it was Labor day, so I didn't want to labor too hard. That's how that holiday works, right?

Tuesday- Insanity Plyometric Cardio Circuit

Wednesday- 8 mile run (tempo)

Thursday- 23 mi bike

Friday- 40 mi bike

Saturday- rest


Biked- 63 mi
Ran- 15.6 mi

I did a 13.1 long run today, and it's exactly a week before the Philly Rock n Roll Half marathon! Um, I should probably be tapering this week. I'll see how that goes. I plan on running some easy miles, or bike more. No Insanity workouts this week, since I don't want to fatigue my legs.

Weekend Eats

Sep 7, 2013

Posted by Jo W. 9/07/2013
This first week of September really feels like fall! And that means fall flavors, like apple pie, cinnamon, pumpkin, and other warm spices. On Friday, a particularly cool morning, I decided that it was the perfect weather for baking an apple pie.

After buying a huge jar of coconut oil, I wanted to experiment with using it to make pie crust. It was a success, and the crust turned out perfectly flaky with a slight, nutty hint of coconut that I thought perfectly complemented the warm spices of the apple filling.

Sep 6, 2013

Posted by Jo W. 9/06/2013
Happy Friday :) The weather today is amazing, and I decided that it is perfect apple pie-baking weather. The high today is only 75 :D

It's not even noon yet, and I am pooped. This morning, I decided to go on a long bike ride instead of doing it on Saturday, since I have to work a lot this weekend. I headed out around 7am when it was only 55 degrees, and I was freezing! I tried to warm up with some sprints, but that just made me colder because of the wind chill. I did eventually warm up after about 6 miles, but my feet were cold for the entire ride.

I didn't plan out an exact route or a specific mileage, so I just went down some roads, took a few turns, and kept going. At some point during my ride, I decided to go for a personal distance record and shoot for 40 miles. I had only brought two Amphipod water bottles (8oz each) with me, and no fuel, since I wasn't originally planning on going so long. That was not a very smart decision because miles 30-40, the only thoughts going through my head were:
1. Food
2. foodfoodfood

I even started rambling to myself around mile 28, planning what I would scarf down when I got home. And of course when I was mumbling out loud to myself, a biker was actually behind me and probably heard the crazy hunger-talk. Uh... how embarrassing. I just smiled and said hi. And then biked away fast.

When I finally got home, I ate two chocolate oat bars, coconut water, and toast with hummus, arugula, scrambled egg, and mozzarella. It hasn't even been two hours, and I'm already thinking about lunch ;)

40.23 miles is my new personal distance record! And I have two weeks until my century ride. I've been looking at training plans for a century rides, and the mileage and long rides are a lot more than what I am riding now. I don't think it will be too big of a problem that I didn't train "properly" for my first century. I am pretty confident that my endurance is there, since I've been concurrently marathon training.

For the rest of the day, I'm going to foam roll like crazy, eat more, bake an apple pie (recipe coming soon!), and go to Performance Bike to pick up some gear I will be needing.

What are you doing this Friday?

Sep 4, 2013

Posted by Jo W. 9/04/2013
Ahh, it finally feels like fall! It was in the 50's early this morning, and I had a great 8 mile run. Compared to my last run on Monday, today's was less of a struggle-fest. 57 degrees feels way better than a humid 70 degrees! I felt so tired and out of it on Monday. I was planning to run at least 10 miles, but I ended up turning back sooner than planned, and even started walking before I got home! Like, I almost never do that! It was that bad. Oh well, I guess I have some off-days.

Today, I tried to run sub-8 miles for the first 5 miles, and then run easy for the rest for a total of 8 miles. My splits were 7:24, 7:42, 7:29, 8:04, 7:55, 8:30, 7:49, 8:34. Maintaining that pace is hard, but the more miles I run at a faster pace, the easier it'll become. I have 10 days before Philly RnR, so I better make my workouts count!

And although it's kind of old news, I found out yesterday that Competitor Group Inc.(CGI), who runs the Rock N' Roll Marathon Series, is pulling the plug on their elite athlete program and allocating those funds to improve other aspects of the events for the thousands of other participants.What this means is that for the Philly RnR Half, the elite runners who have been invited to compete will not be paid their previously agreed-upon appearance fees.

The RnR races are getting more popular, and I'm not sure how CGI's business decision will affect the future of the races. There may be fewer elites running, but most people don't sign up to run a marathon for the big names in the field. Heck, I chose Rock n' Roll as my first race because the bands and festive atmosphere made it appealing and fun. Serious and competitive runners may disagree with the decision, but more people are getting into running marathons for fitness, health, and for the personal challenge. CGI recognizes that, and they've decided to focus on attracting more new runners to the sport. And I don't think there's anything wrong with that.

What are your thoughts on all of this?

Sep 3, 2013

Posted by Jo W. 9/03/2013
I had a great Labor Day :) My family and I was out all day having fun. There is a huge entertainment center and shopping outlet near Baltimore called Arundel Mills, and we decided to spend the day there. There is a Live! Casino, which I was excited to go to since I could finally gamble! I haven't gone to a casino since I turned 21, and I wasn't allowed to join my family in the casinos whenever we went to Atlantic City. Now that I am finally of age, I wanted to try it just for fun!

I know the payout for the slot machines is terrible, and I went in knowing that I would most likely lose my money. I just allotted myself $5 and played penny slots. I must admit, it was pretty exciting at times, and the most I won at a time was like, $2.50 from betting 5 cents. My family wasn't that into gambling yesterday, so they just watched me play. That $5 entertained us for quite a while.

Sep 2, 2013

Posted by Jo W. 9/02/2013
Happy Labor Day! I hope you are enjoying the long weekend :) This is my one day off this weekend. I started the day with a 7.6 mile run, and then I'm going shopping with the fam. We are going to check out Arundel Mills, where there's fun places like a casino, Dave & Busters, restaurants, outlets, and a cinema. I've driven by the place, but never actually been.

This week, training-wise, was less running and more biking. I felt a bit burned out, hence the decreased mileage.

Training Log:

8/25 Sunday- ran 13.1

8/26 Monday- rest

8/27 Tuesday- Insanity Core Cardio and Balance, ran 2 mi

8/28 Wednesday- biked 20 mi

8/29 Thursday- ran 6.9 mi

8/30 Friday- biked 23 mi

8/31 Saturday- biked 34 mi

Ran- 22 mi
Biked- 77 mi

Sep 1, 2013

Posted by Jo W. 9/01/2013
It's the first day of September, and the start of apple picking season! Every year, it's a tradition to go to the farm and pick apples. I eat a ton when I'm picking them (gotta sample them, right?), and then buy a lot to bring home to make into pies, cakes, or just eat as a snack. When the apple season closes in October, I stock up on bushels of apples to last throughout the winter and into spring. Our fridge gets stuffed full of apples!

The farm also has a vegetable market with tons of lovely, fresh, produce.

These flat beans are really good! I got 3 lbs of them :)
I also got a beautiful bunch of Italian kale, which I'm planning on cooking tonight. Not sure what I'm going to make yet.


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