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 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... clears my head allows me to think through work issues makes me happy makes me accountable's keeps me healthy keeps my little girl's life inside me healthy'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.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Guest Post - My First Marathon - Part 2: Race Report

Lisa's back with her marathon race report (read her last post on her training)- Lots of Congratulations on your first one!!


Virginia Beach, watch-out!  Jersey girls are coming to town!   

Pre-race Day (Saturday):

We arrived in Virginia Beach late Friday night, excited for the weekend to begin, but very tired.  
I woke up in the morning feeling good and rested.  Jillian, Victoria and I decided to go down and check out the breakfast in hopes we would have stuff to help us prep for race morning.  Of course, we brought our own food for race morning.  Can’t change routine or food choices before a race!  We were excited to find that they had a toaster for us to use.  Yay!  We had breakfast while watching the 8k finishers run right by our hotel.   Have to say they had some great outfits!  

View from my hotel room of the finish line

After breakfast, I decided to go for my short run that was on my schedule.  2 mile run (Warm-up: 10 minutes easy pace, Main Set: 5 minutes at 9 minute mile pace, then 3-4 times 30sec pickups Cool Down: walk)
My plan was to go outside and just enjoy the sites and sounds of Virginia Beach.  The weather had other plans.  The second I went to step out the door, it started to downpour, so I turned around and headed for the treadmill.  I didn’t want to take any chances the day before the race. After my workout, I showered and Victoria, Jillian and I heading to the Shamrock Expo to meet up with Stephanie and Josh to pick up our bib and shirts.

My bib # and long sleeve tech shirt (it was official)

After we all picked up our stuff, we decided to walk around the expo and do some shopping.  It was fun just hanging out and having fun, but I didn’t want to be on my feet too much.  So, we decided to part ways, but before we did we took some photos. 
Support Crew (aka the best)

Victoria (1/2 mar) Me (mar) Stephanie (1/2 mar)
Jillian, Victoria and I heading back to the hotel for some rest and basketball until dinnertime.  We decided to go to a restaurant called Abbey Road, which had a great menu that meet all of our dietary needs.  Plus, it had the basketball games on…NCAA pre-rounds for the March Madness. 

My friends and I at dinner pre-race, look at all those waters on St. Patrick’s Day weekend.  haha
After dinner, was time for more relaxing and getting everything ready for race morning.  We were all set and ready for our races. 

Marathon Morning (Sunday):

I was not sure what to expect race morning; the forecast was calling for rain/clouds and wind.  We the weather turned out to be not bad at all, except for the wind.   It was cloudy, 45 degrees, and very windy. 
Surprisingly, I wasn't too nervous until I was walking to the starting line, but I had some great early morning surprises from friends and family.  My favorite one was: 

My niece and nephew cheering me on from NJ!!

My walk to the starting line took no time at all.  I could feel my nerves inside me, but once I saw my corral I was fine and the nervousness went away. I was ready to go!  

 I meet some great people in my corral and they were all first-timers.  I knew I won’t be staying with them due to my race plan of running a mile, walking a minute, but that was okay.  It was great chatting with them pre-start.  Once the buzzer sounded I was off and running.  I stuck to my training plan, which was hard at the beginning, but it was worth it in the end.   I was able to keep my friends updated throughout the run during my walk breaks I would text them. 

Mile 12 just ran past my friends feeling good and on target for 4:20:00 marathon.
I was so happy and felt great and was on target for a 4 hour and 20 minute marathon until I hit mile 15. At mile 15, the road was slanted and I couldn’t find a flat surface.  The slanted road kicked in my IT band and I was unable to keep my pace.  So, my pace slowed and I kept going.  I ran walked all the way to the finish.  It was tough, but not as tough as my 20-mile training run.  

As I headed into the last mile, I could feel the energy from the crowd and the excited was building.  The pain that I was feeling went numb.  I couldn’t wait to see my friends who I knew were waiting for me at the finish line and to run though the finish.   The crowd pushed me. And I spotted my friends just feet away from the finish.  Just passed them, they announced that I was a marathon finisher.  What a great feeling.  It was over and I had accomplished my goal!  My finishing time was 4hours 51mins 32seconds.  Not bad for someone who last year at this time was not allowed to run!!


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