I am going to be grounded

The planned workout today on my schedule was a 40 minute tempo run at an 8:00-8:10 pace with ten minutes of warm-up and ten of cool down. The first couple of miles felt sluggish and my splendiferous running partner Bridget and I feared the workout was going to be grueling. Once we shook the lead out of our shoes however the pace rapidly changed to speedy. Perhaps it was the bright pink socks that gave me the energy.

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Pink Power Socks
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Sporty Sandy

Actually, I don’t think it’s the socks. It must be the training and my awesome training partner. On every run I am discovering new power in my legs. I am also finally finding more length in my stride (My legs are ridiculously long. I have the same in-seam as my husband, 36). I hope this is what it will feel like on marathon day! My friend Bridget (who is blazing fast) has been amazing to train with and encourages me with positivity. She has given me new motivation to push through the tough parts of the run especially at the crest of a hill where it is easy to slump into a slower pace. Once she even got mad at me when I didn’t push the pace to the downhill startling me by saying sternly, “What are you doing?!?!?!?!” I think about that now every time I am going uphill, it’s a new mantra of sorts that has helped me to find new energy within.

Just like that our “slow run” became 1 hour and ten minutes, 9 miles at 7:46 min/mile pace. Definitely not the planned workout! I know my coach may scold me but when you find that speed it’s hard to slow down as the endorphins push you along. I want to be smart about my training so hopefully I won’t get “grounded” for not following my plan.

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Breathing
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Please don’t ground me Denise.

What do you do when you find new speed?

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Fresh Friday-Power Pancakes

I am geared up to try something new once a week. I am sure that I will have successes and flops during these trials especially when it comes to trying new things in the kitchen. I figure being a parent we are constantly asking our children to try new things and sometimes as an adult it can be easy to forget the different emotions that come along with trying new things. When trying something new you can feel excited, worried, nervous, happy, scared, energized . . . the list of emotions is endless.

How do you feel when you try something new?

Starting this blog is my first new big challenge in a while (other than the new and continuing challenge of parenting). I felt scared and even a bit embarrassed to put my writing into public view but now that I am doing it I feel energized because i am sharing my passions and it is also a source of release for me.

So now I will share my first FRESH Friday post. This week I am focusing on fueling my body during my marathon training and also to get ready for the VT City Marathon. Getting enough calories for my body has been a challenge throughout my life. My mom always laughs when we remember how I would come home from school and snack on entire can of baked beans. When I was pregnant with my son Brock my blood-sugar level constantly crashed, I would see stars and immediately feel like I was going to pass out. As the runs get longer during my training I am trying very hard to avoid that feeling and to have the energy to power through.

My big goal is to work on pre-fueling leading up to the longer miles and tough workouts to give me the energy stores that I need. Through the guidance of some other inspirational athletes such as Sarah Stanley I have learned about some new ingredients to add to my diet. This week I made what I’ll call “Power Pancakes.”
The “power” ingredient is Bob’s Red Mill Hemp Protein Powder. I added one tablespoon in with my pancake mixture which includes other favorite ingredients StonyfieldOrganic Milk and our Pete & Gerry’s Organic Eggs of course. Plus some fair trade bananas for some extra calories.

Power Ingredient

I must say that I was a little unsure of the hemp protein powder because I did not like the smell but when I tasted the pancakes they were delicious (maybe a little dense). Hemp seeds and hemp protein powder is plant based protein that comes from a whole food source. Hemp protein powder also contains Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids which are essential to a balanced diet. This type of protein is also easily digested. The Hemp protein powder definitely packed a punch and I felt great on my tempo run after loading up.

The only drawback was that I ended up having to eat the pancakes right before heading out the door due to kid meltdown during the process of pancake creation. Thankfully my beautiful pancakes with strawberry and basil salad as an accompaniment and fresh maple syrup waited for me while I raced to get my kids in bed.

I will definitely be adding Hemp protein powder to my repertoire for cooking and also to add to smoothies when training hard.

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Ingredients for Power Pancakes
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Power Pancakes and Strawberry Basil Salad

Related Articles:

Chocolate Protein Oatmeal with Mixed Berries (tastespace.wordpress.com)

“Benefits of Hemp Protein”

http://www.sarahstanleyinspired.com/2012/02/09/eat-for-health-featuring-hemp-hearts/

http://www.shrinkingkitchen.com/strawberry-basil-salad-with-balsamic-vinaigrette/

“Controlled” Energy

In honor of Dr. Seuss's Upcoming Birthday. This seems appropriate

In life we all have many “mountains” to face. Some big, some small, some figurative and some literal. One of the biggest daily challenges is to make to most of what you have, to put your best foot forward and to face the challenges and adventures that lay ahead. Training for a marathon gives me the time that I need to reflect on life, family, friends, and experiences and to figure out how to move forward and embrace what each day and each moment brings.

Different workouts often mirror life. Some days when I put on my running shoes and head out the door a run can feel like it takes forever with lead weights in my shoes, feeling breathless when not even working hard.  Whereas on some days a run feels like floating with my feet gliding across the ground with the grace of a gazelle speeding across the African plain. I wish I could pass this feeling along to those who need it to help when challenge arises.

Super Fast! Thomson's Gazelle can run 50 mph!

Last night I had a “gazelle run.”  The night was crisp, with a low hanging moon, and bright stars and  planets visible in the night sky. Apparently a meteor even crossed the NH sky last night. Plus it was the eve of “leap day.” I set out with my running buddies on River Road lit only by the glow of lights from a few houses, our headlamps, and flashing vests.  For this tempo run my usual friend B. joined me along with the addition of another “Krazie” who is also known as Captain D. (and often sometimes group therapist).  Our attitude upon heading out was light as we warmed up. The workout was a tempo run meant to focus on pace.

*10 minute gradual w/u to include: 3 x :15 striders with 1:00 easy in between. 5 x 4:00 at 8:00-8:15 pace, 1:00 easy jog in between. Remainder of run, easy, comfortable recovery pace

Energy captured!

When the energy is high and your legs feel light it is hard to maintain the recommended pace but thankfully we had the help of our Garmins and Captain D. to help us maintain pace and to not push too hard. This tempo run had the kind of “controlled” energy that I always wish I could bottle up and use on race day.  This is the energy that everyone needs  at some point in the face of a challenge.

Bottled Lightning=Energy

Perhaps the energy of the night run had to do with the amazing night sky. We are heading into a month where five of the planets Jupiter, Venus, Mars, Mercury, and Saturn will all be bright and visible in the night sky. Whatever it was this run left us all feeling lifted up and light for the remainder of the night.

It’s time to work on capturing that feeling and powering through.

See you on the mountain this weekend for Round #4 of The Winter Wild Race Series at Mt. Sunapee this weekend!