One run good one run bad

by Joanne on February 17, 2018

When I first started training for marathons, it wasn’t just finishing the race that gave me a runners high, it was also completing each long run 16 miles and longer.  What happened to my rush?

Last weekend, I ran my first 18 mile long run for this training season.  Now if it was done all or in part on the treadmill, that would explain the lack of contentment.  It wasn’t.  I enjoyed a wonderful run outside. The temperature was slightly warmer but still felt chilly.  Zoey and I started out at 5:30 am. The roads were partially covered in packed snow with a lot of sludge on main roads.  We ran 8 ½ miles before I brought her home to change to thicker gloves and continue on alone.  Before running, pre run fuel was a honey waffle.  I had a sip of Amino’s and Nuun Performance then got underway.  The only additional fuel was 1 powergel after 8 ½ miles.

I ran to Acacia Village to visit Dad. It was early so I explored some back roads around the Masonic Community.  What a nice area! Stopped to see Dad a little after 7:30 then continued on.  The plan was to run rolling hills.  There were short hills but my course wasn’t what anyone would define as rolling.  Still, I kept it outside instead of giving into the winter chill and hopping on the treadmill.  What was unusual was in the end, it didn’t feel like an 18 mile run. Sure there was stiffness after sitting for 15 minutes but that quickly went away.  Where was my feeling of accomplishment that usually comes after that first long run of the training season?  I wondered if my Garmin needed recalibrating?

Maybe after running so many marathons my body adapted quickly to the long run?  Still don’t know why I felt so good last weekend.

Move forward to this weekend when my run consisted of a 60 – 80 minute warm up then 6 x 3 minute repeats at 10K pace/ 2 minutes at half marathon pace, and a 20 – 30 minute cool down.  The goal was 18 miles total.  I started out with Zoey then at 4 miles my stomach started cramping. Recovered from that but never felt great.  8 miles felt more like 18.  I headed home after 10 miles to see if I could motivate myself to do repeats on the treadmill.  #nevergiveup.

Before getting on the treadmill, I took a Clif gel (before heading out in the morning, I had a honey waffle).  I knew that gel wasn’t going to do it so I decided to make a smoothie to sip while trying to get more miles in on the mill.

It didn’t give me super energy but it sure did taste great!  Being honest here, this was a delay tactic because my body didn’t want to run anymore.  What a sweet way to delay a run! YUM!

Banana-Mango Power Juice

  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 mango
  • 2 medjool dates
  • 1 cup non dairy milk (I used Soy)
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 cup water *or however much is needed to make your preferred consistency.

Toss all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. 

Bubbles of love!

End result was that I got 16 miles on my legs.  It wasn’t the 18 as planned but there was no quitting. Instead, I found a way to power through and keep going.  That’s the key to endurance sports. Just find a way #FINDAWAY.

Isn’t it funny how one week your body feels great and can give you more and more then the next, it lets you down, feeling as if it’s been through multiple long runs?  Not every week, not every run is going to be good nor will they be bad.  Take it as it comes and if that week is an “off” week, just find a way to keep going a little bit longer. That’s endurance. That’s desire. And THAT’S what gets us to the finish line.


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My own mortality

by Joanne on February 4, 2018

Life certainly gets more challenging as we add on the years.  No one warns us of the obstacles that we must overcome.  There is no guidebook.  I wish there was.

In 2015 my mother passed away unexpectedly.  I thought she was going to be with us longer than my father but that apparently wasn’t the Supreme plan.  I can’t help but think how much easier caring for an aging parent would be if it were my mother who were with us instead of my father.   It seems women are more capable when alone than men as they age or maybe that’s just how it is in my family.  Still, we’re blessed to have my father with us.  He moved back to the area last November.  It’s tough on my sister and myself because there seems to be so much to worry about but we try to remind ourselves “one day at a time.”

My dad at happy hour in the retirement community where he now lives.

Being around the elderly has made me ponder my own mortality more than ever before. Life was so free and easy but now I can’t help consider how to be a better person, the importance of making the most of each day, and of course the scary thought of whether everything is in place to allow for my own care as I progress into the later years of life.

I’m not a caregiver.  I never had children and have never had regrets for missing out on motherhood.  I like dogs. They’re easy and allow me to have time to myself.  They are my best friends and love whatever I love.  Caring for a parent is something I wrestle with every day even though my commitment isn’t 24 hours around the clock. It’s actually not a lot in comparison to what others deal with but the small amount of time required takes it’s toll mentally and physically.

My friends, Luke and Zoey.

My running partner, Zoey.  She loves to run more than I do.

Speaking of running, it has been one heck of a tough season.  Very cold with slick roads.  I haven’t done near as many miles as my last 7 winter running seasons.  I haven’t wanted to because lying in bed is so much more attractive than hitting the snowy, slick pavement when it’s 5 degrees at 4:30 am.

The affects of winter running outside.

I’m trying to ease up on myself when I don’t meet a weekly mileage goal in getting ready for Boston come April.   The Boston Marathon is my favorite race and this year, if all goes well, will be my 8th consecutive run.  Talk about lucky, right?!  The best thing about Boston at this point is that I have no expectations to run it at my best.  I just look forward to getting to the start without injury, experiencing that energized course and crossing the finish line feeling good so Ted and I can go out and make the best of the city.  Daily motivational quotes and inspirational quips help keep my mind on track.

What else is going on this year?  Well, I was fortunate enough to be chosen as a Nuun ambassador. This light tasting performance powder has taken me through my runs so far.  No funky ingredients and no funky taste.  Light and fresh.

I just celebrated another birthday.  Had a great time at a wine festival in Connecticut.  We tasted wonderful wines, enjoyed sampling other libations, and ate delicious four star restaurant meals.

As for my own kitchen creations, I’ve converted to a whole food plant based focus instead of just vegetarian.  It’s difficult getting away from that need for protein mind set and accept that I can get enough protein from plant based whole foods.  I feel good and only occasionally eat a small portion of fish.   Ted is still on his Krusteaz pancake kick.  His typical breakfast looks like this:  Krusteaz Buttermilk pancakes, eggs, and a vegetarian sausage patty. Don’t knock it. Check out all that fruit!

Ted and I had to address an issue with our property.  Last summer during the ferocious storm, water washed a lot of the land from the creek at the edge of our property.  The escarpment went from a gradual decline into the creek to a very steep and immediate drop.  The land is loose on the edge and it isn’t very safe. We believe we were lucky as our first try to get help came from the Soil and Water Conservation Authority seemed to be the correct move so far.   They came out immediately and said something could be done but funding had to be requested.   We’ll wait and see how this plays out.  It will take time.

That’s about all for now. I’ll keep you posted as my running progresses and hopefully increases with the coming of spring. What did punxsutawney phil say?  Six more weeks of winter? OMG.  Hold on. We’ll make it. We always do.



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Pumpkin Bread 2017

November 12, 2017

This year we roasted our own pumpkin for the freshest pumpkin puree and seeds possible. Ted sliced 4 pumpkins and I roasted the seeds and the flesh. Once cooked, the flesh was pureed in the food processor and used in pumpkin pies, pumpkin bread, vegetarian pasta sauce, and more. Plus, there is still more puree […]

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St George Marathon 2017

October 14, 2017

This is the most scenic and easiest marathon I’ve ever run and there has been 26 of them to rank. Coming from upstate New York, this wasn’t going to be a quick weekend run. No way were we passing up all the scenic byways of Utah.  We had 3 ½ days to soak it all […]

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Dark Chocolate Chunk Zucchini Bread

September 3, 2017

Rainy days are made for doing in-house chores, watching movies, reading a good book, or getting creative in the kitchen.  You know what my choice is and my goodness did I make the best out of this dull, wet day. First I put together a cucumber salad which had red bell pepper, celery, tomatoes, a […]

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Fit at fifty plus: A recipe for youth

August 15, 2017

Ok, here it is, I’m over fifty. Wow that was tough since I never think of myself over 20, well, maybe 30. As long as I don’t lean in to close to the mirror and let the wrinkles remind me or let the stiffness when leaning over to tie shoes act like a slap to […]

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