Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A Sort of Race Report and Training Update

The cobwebs were brushed off... officially.  BTW - I'm a little late with the race report...

Lessons learned from the first race - NJ Genesis Triathlon - I need to swim, bike and run, in combination...
The last race I did was September 2012 a couple months before I found out I was pregnant with Miss Sofie B, and it was one of those "I went out with a bang - good race." 

This race wasn't a fast race by any stretch, after coming off of an ankle sprain and barely running, going on vacation and barely training for two weeks before - I apparently forgot how stressful it was to swim next to a hundred good female friends in a cold lake.  I had to bike my ass off because it was going to be my only saving grace to make myself NOT last.  I also remember how hard it is to bring up the rear of a swim and try to get yourself in a remotely decent spot on the bike knowing that you are going to blow up on the run..

It hurt, but it was a good hurt.  Going from finally running mid-8minute miles in an Olympic distance to an 11 minute mile is not a fun feeling, as well as watching people pass you when you know what you used to do - it wasn't particularly encouraging. 

HOWEVER, going from not doing any triathlons for almost 2 years, carrying a baby for 9 months, and this 9 months post-partum, I feel like it is one of my biggest accomplishments. 
All in all, it was a beautiful day, a really flat race, wonderful race support, and I was around friends with my sister cheering me on. 

I know that this race was done with minimal training.  I am adjusting my plan to make sure I get in my key workouts for NJ State Olympic and Princeton 70.3.  Having a child is definitely hard with training however, it's about figuring out priorities with scheduling, which means waking up very early or doing it after she goes to bed at night.  Sofie has been my training partner for some runs in the stroller or my mom takes her on long walks while I run and now Sofie is going to the gym with me for some swims and being watched at the kids area at the gym. 
Sofie started swim lessons at the gym!!
too cute not to post - her new bike - just like mommy's
Daddy and Sofie have quality time together on Sat morning for me to get in my longer rides with my friends - which is such a nice time away from everything - much needed.
Last rides with Yasi before she takes off...sad face

you never know what you will find on a ride - the new Amazon fulfillment center.

And of course I have wonderful parents, sister and in-laws that babysit when I work and I can take advantage of lunch time workouts.  I have come to really enjoy my workouts instead of just "get 'er done" attitude it used to be, probably because this is my "me-time" and nice way to get out the stress and sweat.  Sometimes I just can't get in the workout number two and that's ok...I think my "mommy military" training of carrying a 20+ lb baby either in the running stroller or strapped to me in addition to sleep deprivation training must count for something?  I know my arms are starting to look buff even though I have barely lifted a weight recently...even though I still have a little way to being at race weight...just takes some time.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What They Don't Tell You - Running Post-Pregnancy

About 12 weeks ago I sprained my ankle, again, side-lining me from my indoor field hockey season and training for a half-marathon I signed up for end of March.  It sucked, more so because I was getting back in shape and being motivated and then it sucked that the weather was horrible for NJ, the never-ending winter of 2014...The difference between spraining it before and now, was that with a new baby that is crawling, there is no putting your feet up, I mean I didn't do that before but this was magnified by carrying around another 18 lbs (the baby not me).  It was taking a long time to heal.

About a month ago, I tried to start running again over a weekend.
I was so excited about running and starting training but knew physically this was hurting still.  I mean how long did this need.

My friend/podiatrist told me I need some physical therapy and sent me to this great place.
They hit it spot on...my hips.  After having a baby, your body goes through some changes (just a little right).  Apparently, my hips were out of whack which caused bad running form, thus causing my already high mobility and weak ankles to twist more easily.  In order to fix the ankle, the hips need to be fixed.

It makes sense, the PT guy says similarly in people with bad knees, running post-pregnancy can cause knee pain.  BOTTOM LINE - WOMEN SHOULD BE DOING HIP WORK/BALANCING/CORE WORK POST-PREGNANCY BEFORE OR IN CONJUNCTION WITH RUNNING.

WHY doesn't any internet site go over this?  Why do they tell us all the things to do to prepare to have a baby - do yoga, do strength work, etc but they don't tell us what to do once we have this cute little baby that basically causes a little havic to our body. 

Anyway, I thought it was interesting, my friend said it sounds like you are going back to basics.  It reminded me of those exercises we used to do in the 90's to Buns of Steel....haha, yeah I did that.

As I go into my fourth week of PT and will be starting to run hopefully this week, we have moved into more exercises focusing on one leg, balancing on spongy surfaces, balance beam, hip flexor exercises with resistance bands, one leg squat by picking up items in multiple plains, lunges in multiple plains.  I love it! 

In fact this last week, I was back on the bike (TWICE) thanks to the awesome weather.  I am getting in a couple more weeks of some base training and fun workouts before the work begins for another 20 week half ironman plan!!  So excited!  Now if I can only start swimming again regularly.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

New Plans, Races and Recipes

So I had a kid, a pretty awesome one...you may have seen her plastered over Facebook, Instagram and MiniFancyPants (yes, she has her own blog).  I had full intentions of posting all these great posts...but baby, work, life got in the way.
Somewhat recent February - Sofie - 6 month shot
I started running with her about 6 weeks post-baby, once I got the official clearance.  I truly think the running, walking, strength training and lots of yoga while pregnant helped me have a faster recovery process after Sofie was born.

About 4 weeks post-baby - lots of fast walking at the park

6 weeks post-baby - I can still run (sort of)
I did a 10K in November, just 11 weeks post-baby.  I think I made it through about 4 miles before I did 2 small water walk breaks about a minute each.  Definitely slower than my time last year, but I was very happy to be back.

New mommy run club?

Got milk? Doesn't everyone run with a breast pump?

I was on a relatively good track, running-wise, keeping to a 4 mile runs and strength training and spinning. I signed up for the Love 1/2 Marathon in March...

I got super excited because as I was deciding which 1/2 Ironman to do, low and behold, the WTC decides they will do the Princeton 1/2 Ironman.   So I signed up for that, knowing that I have swam, rode and ran the course many times from both the NJ State Tri and just in general my riding and running routes.

So that happened, then after getting ourselves ready for a 1/2 Marathon plan of long runs with friends and babies...
Running with Sofie in the Bob Stroller - a little hard in the wind...or in general

and numerous Snow Apocolopse that have been happening in NJ, we couldn't take the dreadmill for another day and decided to go outside and be super careful....and I was, until, my clutzy ass falls on a rock and sprains an ankle.

So, as I type I am just finally at almost healed on this damn ankle,(almost 6 weeks) which does not help at all in the motivation department.  Knowing there is no chance in hell I will be running the 1/2 marathon in two weeks.  Super Sad Face. 

During that "time off" the baby has kept me feeling like I ran a marathon daily because she is always on the go...(may have been my fault with keeping so active being pregnant - the Sofinator does not stop!)

So here is the new schedule, I figure if I write it, it will happen...

Redbank Sprint 5/18

ODDyssey Half Marathon 6/8 - MAYBE

NJ State Olmpic (Wait List) 7/20

Princeton 1/2 Ironman 9/21

It's short and sweet, but with the baby, I don't know if I want to over-extend myself this year. 

I leave you with two of my favorite new green salads that are helping me get back to pre-baby weight!

Grilled and Green Quinoa Salad

2 cups water
1 cup quinoa
1/2 jar capers
1/2 can of artichokes in water (Trader Joe's)
1/2 can green olives (Trader Joe's)
1/4 cup of fresh flat leaf parsley
2 cups baby spinach
2 grilled chicken breasts
Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil

Rinse quinoa and add to water in pot.  Bring to a boil and reduce to low for about 20 minutes covered.  Grill chicken breast pieces (or use leftovers).  Make the salad with the rest of ingredients.
Add balsamic and olive oil to liking - I use about 2 swirls of each :)  Add drained quinoa and eat.

Warmed Super Green Salad

1 cup Tuscan Kale chopped
1 cup Swiss Chard chopped
1 chopped hard boiled egg
5 cherry tomatoes
1/3 chopped cucumber
1/4 cup of chopped/shredded carrots
1/4 chopped bell pepper
1/4 cup of goat cheese
1/4 cup of chickpeas or kidney beans
Balsamic and olive oil

Equal parts in large bowl chopped Tuscan Kale and chopped Rainbow Chard (with stems) - I use the Trader Joe's cleaned in a bag super easy for the busy working mommy or anyone.  Add remaining ingredients.  Microwave for 45 seconds and add dressing of choice (balsamic and olive oil).

Now I can get back to training!
And still able to spend time with the hubby and drink some good beers...

Thursday, May 16, 2013

What's Been Happening in Training, Food and Beer?

I feel like there has been so much going on but I don't want to bore you to tears with my pregnancy journal - that's on minifancypants blog.

I have been feeling a loss about posting to this blog and instead have been reporting on MiniFancyPants on my preg journey.  But then I got to thinking the purpose of this blog - what was going on in beer, training, food and life.  So here are some highlights...

Broken Goblet - the little brewery will be finally coming to fruition by September - Broken Goblet will include  a tasting room with growler filling and distributing kegs to bars- all of this is very exciting and Mike and the three guys (Jay, Bub and Joe) that have been working their asses off in getting this off the ground....As you may remember I have posted about Brewtal Beer in past posts (3 part post at the end of 2011 that you can read here) but since a trademarking battle that has turned into the name of Broken Goblet.

As for the club, the name Brewtal will be kept.  The Brewtal Beer Club is a monthly meeting that has now been running for over a year successfully. The club occurs the last Friday of every month in Bristol, PA at a new location Business Casual Coworking (an incredibly cool co-working space) which is also now the home tasting room for Broken Goblet!

So you want to try the beer to get a sense of what it's about??  If you are somewhat local Broken Goblet will have a booth at the Yardley Beer Festival this weekend!  Last year, we kicked kegs left and right and had a great turnout.

Also if you come to a club meeting, Brewtal beer club ($15 for a great night of beer tasting, food and mingling) they sometimes test out some new recipes with members!!  This month will be May 31 - Shmoozin', Boozin' & Fondu-zin'.

In other beer news, I promise a summer beer list in one of the next posts based on my Broken Goblet/Brewtal family.

Okay, so my training had to take a back seat.  I had posted way back that I would be swimming like Dara Torres come delivery but I think I swam once so far in the pregnancy.  What I have been doing is running, biking and lots of yoga and strength training, to keep myself healthy and ready for delivery.  I did recently do an 8k at 5.5 months pregnant  with my best friend and running partner Christine who is due 5 weeks after me!  We didn't plan it...lol...

at 5.5 months...belly has grown significantly since then...

but now going into my third trimester, it is becoming a little more difficult to maintain a steady pace without the frequent walk pee breaks.
Still see my feet!

After some wogging (a cross between jogging and some walking) and smoothieing with Yasi and some tweeting among the four of us, Yasi,  Anabel and Katie, I am going to start thinking of my comeback race.  I got a little jealous of their training weekend in So Cal.  I decided on a half-ironman for 2014 sometime between May and September.  I loved Vineman but if Rev3 does Portland again, I may have to change it up.  Or just do something local.  I am still looking to do a 10K in November to get myself back and then start base training from there.  Throwing in a half-marathon sometime in March/April.  More to come there.

I did buy the new Brooks Pure Cadence and the jury is still out.  I wanted to write a review but they aren't making me feel the same love as the last model...I don't know if it is my running gait at now 7 months pregnant or if it is the shoes so I figure I will see how they work post-pregnancy.

 So my food posts were lacking, not because I am not eating healthy, I try most times...

(ok there has been a bit more ice cream, fro yo and gelati's from Rita's), but because when you have no kitchen it's really hard to really get in there and cook over the spackel dust....hence the previous pictures and paper plates.  Kitchen remodeling started in February and should be finished in the next couple weeks...should be....It will be great when done! 

Above shows the old cabinets and the new cabinets are below -- can't wait till done!
However, the farmer market is opens today in Princeton and am so excited to see what that will bring!

And lastly, just some recent pics of what's been happening!

Getting in some lovely outside prenatal yoga

My cousin Vanessa is getting married (in white dress)

Mya turned 1 - so a good reason for the paparazzi to come out..

My prego partner in crime!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Rutgers Unite - 8K Race Report

Well, this is less a race report than it is a running report since I am not really racing.  I have a short post on the other blog http://minifancypants.blogspot.com/ on pregnancy and running.

I dropped down once I found out I was pregnant from the half-marathon to the 8K and I have to say 5 miles is really a nice distance!  Something different than a 6 mile race.  At this point, I am 5.5 months or 25 weeks, 15 to go!!!
Nicole and I picked up our race packets and I had a discount with the race and bought the newer version of the Brooks Pure Cadence 2!

More on that on another post once I start running with them.  I tried to eat like I normally would before a race with some lean mean and veggies and some sort of carb but with our kitchen being remodeled I just had to wing it.  I also made some arm warmers for Christine and I to go with our outfits.

I went to Mike's gig since it was Nick's last night locally with the band before he leaves for another continent (sad face). 

My rockstar husband...

Race morning, I had my normal ezekial english muffin with almond butter and apple butter and brought a banana.  I also brought some extra snacks (being pregnant you don't want to be hungry) and sipped on lots of water pre-race. We met up with Christine and Kate and drove up to Rutgers and was met with lots of sunshine and cold temperatures (um what happened to our 70-80 degree temps). 

Nicole ran off for her 1/2 marathon, while Christine and I took some pictures for her "coming out" party on facebook of being preggers....see the matching shirts...
How cool is it my best friend and I are pregnant together!!!

We then met up with Lisa, and saw another new mama, Kristin (her first race post-baby) for the start of the 8k.  Lisa and I rant together at a really nice pace, the chatty pace which was on target for what I could do.  I needed to stay in Zone 2 and we walked 30-60 seconds per mile.    Since she was just getting back to running after her marathon (see race report) she didn't mind running with the slow pregnant woman.  It was also nice to actually run with someone, I have felt a little lonely outside of a couple spin sessions with friends in my pregnancy workouts.  The course was BEAUTIFUL and was a perfect rolling hill, nothing too crazy.  Before I knew it the turnaround came and I was really surprised at how good I felt. 

There was only one time when I felt my heart rate going a little crazy on a long hill that I walked an additional 30 seconds but otherwise, I was really happy with my time and how I felt for being 5.5 months pregnant.  I hope this feeling continues throughout the pregnancy.

Lisa and I averaged at a 10:48 pace for the 8K with a final time of 53:42.
I felt a lot of emotion on this race and it was a little extra special, it represented to me that my little girl just did her first race and we, as women are strong!  A girl took our picture and said she didn't know you could run or do this when pregnant and then she asked me my age, when I said 37 she hugged me and said she was so happy that this was possible.  We told her you still have to check with a doctor but it was a nice feeling.
Afterwards, we had more paparazzi shots

...and met up with our team, where I discussed the possibility of doing a relay for a couple tris of the swim portion or even a 5k. 

Afterward, was a reward of fro yo....every prego and non-prego woman's craving...

Friday, April 19, 2013

Super Quick Healthy Dinner Recipes (GF)

A friend of mine is recently going through some health things and the doctor had suggested some dietary changes that may alleviate some of her issues.  She started eliminating gluten and meat.  A couple across the street recently began eating vegan and lost a tremendous amount of weight and not only look great but feel fabulous!

Personally, I am not gluten-free or vegan but I do eat that way once in a while when on a detox (vegan and detox) and prepping for a race (no dairy and gluten) and have found I do feel better while doing this for these purposes. I am a big proponent for those that want to embark on being vegan or gluten-free especially for health reasons.  Have you ever seen "Fork Over Knives"?  I recommend anyone with some health issues to watch this documentary.  My personal philosophy is - health is directly related to the food we eat. As much as I want the occasional milkshake while being pregnant, I have been trying very hard to eat clean 90% of the time leaving me the other part for that milkshake or fro yo that looks like a Reese's Piece's Sundae...

I have found it has been easier to eat like this in our ever-changing society.  For example, Yasi and I traveled to New Hampshire back in June for Mooseman 70.3 and we were able to find a local country restaurant with quinoa on the menu for our dinner the night before the race.  Even going to your local food market, you can find the "gluten free" section.  Remember brown rice and quinoa are excellent gluten free options in place of a starch.  Don't be afraid to try seitan or tofu, experiment, it's fun!

I had a couple of really super quick and super easy vegan and/or gluten-free dinners that I made recently that I thought I would share along with a couple of favorite sites I go to for recipes.

Lentil Swiss Chard Spaghetti
(print here)
Inspired by a similar recipe on Edible Perspective blog


1/4 cup olive oil
1 red onion (chopped)
5 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 bell pepper (chopped)
1 cup mushrooms (sliced)
1 lemon (juiced)
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups of cooked lentils (I used 3/4 of Trader Joe's steam in a bag)
1 head of swiss chard (chopped)
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat parsely
1 lb pasta


Boil water for pasta and cook pasta till al dente.
Heat saute pan with olive oil to medium heat, add garlic, pepper, mushrooms and saute until soft (about 5-6 minutes).  Add in lemon juice, chicken broth and lentils and let simmer for 5 more minutes.  Add swiss chard and cover while simmering for another 5 minutes.  Add flat leaf parsley.
Mix veggies and pasta and serve.

Bruschetta Spaghetti with Rotisseire Chicken
(print here)
(Substitute mozzarella and chicken with soy mozzarella and grilled or roasted tofu for vegan option)


1/4 cup olive oil
3-5 cloves of garlic (minced)
4 plum tomatoes (chopped)
1/2 jar of roasted peppers (chopped)
1 handful of basil
1 rotisserie chicken breast cut in pieces

1 lb pasta


Boil water for pasta and cook pasta till al dente.
Heat saute pan with olive oil to medium heat, add garlic, tomatoes, peppers and basil and let simmer for 8 minutes.  Add chicken and let simmer for 5 minutes.
Mix bruschetta mixture and pasta and serve.

Garlicky Buffalo Chicken Salad
(print recipe)
(Substitute chicken and dressing with tofu, squash, cauliflower or other hearty veggie and vegan ranch or blue cheese dressing here or here for vegan option)


Buffalo Sauce (make more or less depending on what how garlicky you want your sauce)
2 tbsp earth balance margarine (or non-vegan margarine)
1 cup hot sauce (I use Louisiana)
2 tbsp of garlic powder

1 lb chicken

Spring mix
red onions
Other veggies (I added roasted sweet potato)
Optional (goat cheese or blue cheese)


Heat margarine over low heat, add hot sauce and then garlic powder, but STIR CONSTANTLY with spatula until sauce is smooth.
Cut chicken in bite size pieces, and saute until cooked through and drain.  Toss with sauce and add to salad.

You can go to my Recipe page to look up some of my recipes and check out my favorite go-to sites for recipes and ideas regarding gluten-free and/or vegan...

Gluten Free Goddess
Edible Perspective
FatFree Vegan Kitchen

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Running Today

I went running today for many reasons...

...it clears my head
...it allows me to think through work issues 
...it makes me happy
...it makes me accountable
...it's keeps me healthy
...it keeps my little girl's life inside me healthy
...it's part of a wonderful community of people that I love

....but most of all I ran my 3.5 miles this morning for Boston.

It was a terrible tragedy yesterday, after watching the news it took me back to 9/11.  I know it's not the same, but it was the similar feeling I had watching this as when I looked out my office window and watched the plane hit the twin towers.  I was not there this time, but I felt like I was. 

This was supposed to be a happy moment, a euphoric moment.  It's that celebration for the hard work you put in to do this race for you, for a special charity or for someone close to you.  These races mean something and to have that taken away, to have FAMILY and loved ones that came to support you in your celebratory moment be taken away or hurt is unfathomable. 

There have been so many inspiring posts of facebook, instagram, twitter and blogs.  I am thankful for all this social media, if we didn't have these avenues, we wouldn't have found out that our friends were safe yesterday.  I am also thankful for all the friends I have made in this sport through social media.  There are not words to express just simple thoughts and prayers and virtual hugs to all my friends.

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