Half marathon training tips from Bart Yasso!

Yesterday afternoon, I listened in on a Google+ Hangout featuring Bart Yasso (running royalty!) and Summer Sanders (Olympic gold medalist!).


The chat was all about training and best practices for the half marathon distance. Since I’m doing a half in October and I really want to improve my time, I listened and took notes!



Bart’s Advice on Training

***You really only need 3 quality days of running per week!
– one 8-12 mile long run meant for ENDURANCE, not speed
– one speed/hill/tempo workout
– one run at HMP (half marathon pace) Warmup 15 minutes, run 5-6 miles at HMP, cool down for 15 minutes.

***Recovery runs must be done at an easy pace to avoid injury.

***The other 4 days of the week can be rest days, cross training days, or easy run days.

Summer Sanders, who is an awesome swimmer and now an awesome runner, also discussed her thoughts on training and her upcoming goals. She will be running the hat trick and giving a seminar on women’s running at the Runner’s World Half and Festival in October. If you want to run this race too, you can get 10% off with the below promo codes!


Thanks for the tips Bart and Summer :-).

Highlight of the day…look who is now following me on Twitter!


Do you have any half marathon training advice?

My new blog name should be running2eat.

The last few days have been spent doing what I do best…running and eating :). Monday’s run was an easy 5.6 mile shake-out run after my 5k on Sunday evening.  Tuesday was a cross-training day and I took a body pump class during lunch.  BTW, if you haven’t tried body pump yet, you really should.  It is a very effective way to get a whole body strength workout in an hour.  Today’s run was a 6.2 mile hill run…lucky for me, or not so lucky :), there are a number of hills on the courses around my work.

Before I run, while I run, and after I run, I think about what I get to eat next.  For the past two weeks, I have been eating pretty much the same thing for breakfast and lunch each day.  Pretty boring I know.

Breakfast:  Think Thin bar, Kashi Bar, or Whole Grain Power Bar.




Lunch:  Kashi Meal, Amy’s Meal, or Salad


and grapes


Afternoon snack:  yogurt and granola


Dinners are always up in the air and we do eat out a lot (I consider getting Subway to eat at home “eating out”).  After a long day of work and at least 2 hours of the day spent in the car, it is really nice to have somebody else do the cooking.

Last night Chris and I went to a place I have wanted to try for a while.  It’s a cute little place called SoupR Natural…excerpt below is from their website.

The Heneghan Family – Dan, Nell, Elynor, Lauren, Bridget and Annalee – is delighted to open a community restaurant featuring fresh and natural foods, like the herbs and vegetables growing outside our restaurant and the local eggs, meats, and ice creams selected from farms just a few miles away.

Our nourishing menu items are made from nutrient-rich raw ingredients and our soda fountain features drinks made with 100% pure sugar cane syrups.

Our menu will change seasonally and most all of our kitchen creations are intentionally prepared with healthy additives such as herbs, spices, fruits, and local produce.



Chris ordered the Carolina BBQ sandwich and it came with cole slaw and chips.  Chris said, “This is the best cole slaw I’ve ever had.”  🙂


I ordered the sandwich and salad combo:  BLT on Honey Wheat bread and garden salad on the side.  My picture isn’t great, but it tasted wonderful.


Annabelle just couldn’t decide what she wanted.


I would definitely like to go back and try some of the other menu items.

Dessert:  I think it’s pretty clear at this point…yes, I had dessert and yes, it was probably ice cream :).

8 miles is the plan for today!


Do you stick to a food routine?  Eat something different everyday?  How often to do you go out to eat?

Boordy 5k Recap!

Let me just start with the most exciting part…I placed 3rd in the 30-39 age group! PS this is a huge deal to me because I never place :-).

Chip Time: 22:05
Gun Time: 22:07
Pace: 7:07
Overall: 37 out of 657

The race began at 6 pm, so we headed to Boordy Vineyards around 4:45. They had volunteers to show people where to park and there seemed to be more than enough room for the 800 registered runners ( race registration was capped at 800).

At about ten til 6, they let everyone line up at the start line. I was brave and got right up front…I knew that I didn’t want to have to weave in and out of people. The race started right on time at 6 pm and we were off running. Here is a view of runners crossing the starting line. Looking good Michele, Matt, Kim, Alison, Andrea, Katie, and Brittany!

Photo from Charm City Run

The course started on a field, then made a sharp right turn onto some gravel, then back to grass, and finally onto the road. Since my Garmin never started, I’m not sure how long we ran on the grass/gravel but I’m guessing about a half a mile? Anyways, it was an out and back course with about the first and last half a miles spent on the field and the middle portion was on the road with some rolling hills.

It was tough from the very start. By the time I hit the road, I was struggling for air and I was convinced I would have to slow down or stop. I put mind over matter and gave myself a pep talk and kept running as fast as I could. I crossed mile 1 at 7:05 and mile 2 at 14:15. This picture was taken between miles 2 and 3 and I just couldn’t even pretend to be happy at this point.

Photo from Charm City Run

Thank goodness the finish line came when it did. I was spent. I can honestly say that I went as fast I could in the moment…the 2nd place woman in my age group passed me in the last .2! I crossed the finish line in 22:07 gun time and 22:05 chip time. PS this was way better than I thought I could do :-).

Ice cold bottles of water were provided at the finish line along with an assortment of cheese, bread, crackers, grapes, and sodas. I took some food but couldn’t think about eating until about an hour or so later. Chris did have this waiting for me when I was done and I enjoyed a glass a little later on. BTW, we were given a Boordy wine glass as part of the entry fee. 🙂

I was super excited for the awards because I thought that I had a chance at placing. It was really fun to hear my name called and to see that my hard work is paying off. The rest of the evening was spent drinking wine, listening to the band, and hanging with other friends who ran the race and Chris, my mom, and Annabelle who came to support me.

(Me, Kim, Andrea, and Michele)



It was a really fun race and Charm City Run did a great job!
The night concluded with something that I had gone way too long without.


My weekend in pictures!

Friday night dinner…the salad doesn’t look all that great, but it has spinach, grapes, walnuts, garbanzo beans, and Gorgonzola with a Zinfandel vinaigrette dressing and it is delicious.



Ice cream and baseball.

AB close up 🙂

First run in the jogging stroller! She slept the whole time 🙂


Post run breakfast…egg whites and cheese on a cheddar herb bagel.

Pool time with Matt and Kirstyn…and frozen margaritas.

Matt spent the day working=no fun.

Happy 39th Anniversary to my parents! Best parents in the world!

I took them to Bluestone for dinner.


AB loving to eat her new shoes. PS I love Target.

5k PR yesterday evening and 3rd place in my age group! Recap coming soon!

I hope you had a great weekend!

Earning a shower.

I think showers that I “earn” feel the best! What do I mean by this? A shower is earned when you do something (workout, run, garden, clean the garage, play outside with the kids, swim, diaper blowout, etc) that makes a shower a necessity and not a formality. Today my shower will be earned by going to the x-fit class at my work. I always leave the class sweaty, out of breath, and sore the next day. PS I followed my training plan and ran an easy 6.75 miles yesterday.

In other running related news…I am running the Boordy 5k on Sunday evening. It’s at a vineyard and we get to hang out and drink wine afterwards! This is my first time racing a 5k and I’m shooting to keep a 7:30 pace…we’ll see how that goes.

I’m really excited for these Pro Compression socks to come in the mail. I have a few pairs already and I just couldn’t pass these up.

If you use the promo code RACE, you get $20 off!

Have a great Friday!

How will you earn your shower today?. Please leave me a comment, I really want to know! 🙂

BBB…Blogging and Big Brother!

BBB...Blogging and Big Brother!

Baby is in bed = blogging while watching Big Brother…and icing my right butt cheek. Happy Almost Friday!

Phone Dump #1

I’ve seen this on a few other blogs, and since I want to be cool like all of them, I decided to my own “Phone Dump”. These are random pics from my phone that I thought would be useful…or not. 🙂

Annabelle’s 6 month stats…girlfriend has lots of brains in that head.

AB playing video games with her cousins.

My new cube! The light above me does not work and I love it. Lots of natural light coming in 🙂

You guys remember the dancing banana that sings “peanut butter jelly time”??? My college roommate Kirstyn made this for me back in college and it now lives on my work phone.

Our neighbor Amber was nice enough to take Molly in when we were at the hospital. 🙂

Me (7 months pregnant), Chris, my brother John, his wife Emmy, and my cousin Carrie at my brother’s wedding.

Flyover at the Ravens game. I get goosebumps every time.

Annabelle having fun in her walker…and looking so old!


What is the most random picture you have on your phone?

A successful run, a bday present, and a disappointing dessert.

Yesterday was a successful training day! We did 5 easy miles at around an 8:15 pace. It was very hot and humid so those 5 miles did not feel as easy as they should have. Here’s the plan for today:

Your Workouts for Thursday, August 22
Workout #1: 7 MILES LSD
Type: Run
Planned Distance: 7.0 miles
Description: Today is your long, slow distance (LSD) run. The long run is the backbone of any successful training program. It builds your aerobic base, increases your endurance, boosts confidence, and helps you rehearse some of the gear and fuel strategies you’ll need for the race. It also helps you prepare for the psychological challenge of racing for a few hours. Since you’ll be running farther, you can go out slower than you usually do. On these days your goal is just to complete the distance feeling good.
Pre-Activity Comments:

It’s another humid day out today, so we’ll see how it goes.
When I got home from work last night, I found a nice surprise…a birthday present from my brother John and his wife Emmy! It’s an Origami Owl locket with the letters A and B and and a heart with 2 little pink feet. Love it! PS My bday was in July, but feel free to send me presents at any time. 🙂

After dinner, I realized that I didn’t have enough ice cream left…just unacceptable in my book. To solve the problem, my mom and I went to Wendy’s for Oreo parfaits.

Looks are deceiving…the vanilla frosty was good but the chocolate sauce tasted funny and I do not believe the cookies were actually Oreos. I know my cookies and they just didn’t taste right. 😦

What is your run for today?
Best dessert you have ever had?

Following a training plan…or at least trying to.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I will be running the Hat Trick at the Runner’s World Half and Festival.  Yup, I will be running a 5K and a 10K on Saturday and a half marathon on Sunday.  I’m a little worried about having to crawl across the finish line of the half…but let’s think positive shall we?  Luckily, Runner’s World has training plans for each distance and the Hat Trick.  For each distance, you also have the choice of a beginner, intermediate, or advanced training plan.  I decided to bite the bullet and get a training plan because I think some structure would benefit my running.  PS I also really want a running coach and this is as close as I will get right now.

I chose the…

Intermediate Training Plan for Runner’s World Hat Trick*
Plan length: 12 weeks
Weekly routine: 4-5 days of running, 3 rest days
Weekly mileage: 20-30 miles
Quality workouts: hills, half-marathon pace runs, mile repeats
Long runs: start at 7 miles, peak at 13
Hat Trick Workouts: 5
*Designed specifically for RW Half-Marathon Course

Since the race is only 8 weeks away (4 weeks shy of the plan length), I will have to make some adjustments.  Also, I have a pretty decent running base so I am used to 6-7 mile runs during the week and a 10 miler on the weekends.

Below are the workouts for the week so far….and then the workouts that I actually did.

Your Workouts for Monday, August 19

Workout #1:  

5 MILES HILLS Type: Run Planned Distance: 5.0 miles Description: When you’re running uphill, don’t try to charge up it; you’ll spend all your energy by the time you get to the top. Try to run relaxed. Keep your hands loose, and keep your shoulders away from your ears. Just think of letting the road rise to meet you. Pre-Activity Comments:  (Actual workout:  6.2 mile hills) 

Your Workouts for Tuesday, August 20

Workout #1:

4 MILES EASY Type: Run Planned Distance: 4.0 miles Description: Be sure to sandwich each run with a warmup and cooldown of five to 10 minutes of walking and easy jogging, even on days that call for short, easy runs. Doing so will help you feel more comfortable on the run and will help prevent injuries such as muscle pulls. Pre-Activity Comments:  (Actual workout:  Body Pump class)

Your Workouts for Wednesday, August 21

Workout #1:

REST/XT Type: Day Off  Description: A well-kept training log can help keep you motivated and injury-free. Take notes on how you feel on the run, how long you ran, where you went, and what the weather was like. Seeing all the miles add up can keep you motivated when the going gets tough. And if you keep track of aches and pains, you can nip them in the bud before they become full-blown injuries. Pre-Activity Comments:  (Planned workout:  5-6 miles easy)

Since I ran hard on Sunday, Monday’s workout left me very tired and I felt the need to not run today.  Therefore, I just switched my run day with a XT day and I will be back on track for Thursday.  I am going to try REALLY hard to stick with the plan as much as possible!

Do you follow a training plan or just do your own thing?  Ever considered a running coach?


And since no post is complete without something Annabelle related…there was a hole in the toe of her PJs and my dad was afraid it would cut off the circulation to her toes.  Therefore, we just cut the feet off and these PJs will fit for way longer now :). (Shannon, I’m sorry we cut the feet off but they are super cute capris now!)


Runner’s World Half and Festival!!!

I cannot even begin to explain how excited I am for this race. If you are looking for an awesome Fall race, this is it!

The Runner’s World Half & Festival is hosting several races over two days on October 19th and 20th. The race is in Bethlehem, PA and runners can choose to run the 5K and/or 10K on Saturday, October 19th or the half marathon on Sunday, October 20th. If you are feeling really motivated, you can run all 3 races for the Hat Trick! In addition to the races, the weekend is full of other activities such as fun for the kids, speakers (including Dave McGillivray, director of the Boston Marathon!), seminars, and a pasta dinner with the editors of Runner’s World.

Runner’s World is sponsoring an awesome group of bloggers for the race (including me!!!!!) and I am super excited to spend a weekend with some amazing runners! I am running the hat trick and I would love to see you guys there! If you wan to join in on the fun, head over to the registration page and sign up!

If you are interested in running the half marathon or the Hat Trick, you can get 10% off the cost of registration by using the codes below:

– 10% off the half: Running4twoRWHalf

– 10% off the Hat Trick: Running4twoRWHat

I hope to see you there!