January 14, 2013

Ramping up the training and possibly golden rice

**Last day to enter the Happy Family giveaway of organic snacks for kids. Head over and check it out. Right now your chances of winning are pretty high.

This week had some extreme highs and lows, but I'll lay out how training went down. Remember how I'm training for my first 50K at the end of February? Yes. Well when my coach sent me my new four-week training schedule last night, my free time died a little inside. This ultra training is no joke. No Saturday in my new plan has less than 20 miles on the schedule. Yikes.

Training wrap-up

Monday: 4 miles on the track in 37:04 easy miles, 5 slow miles out and back from the gym to the trails behind the library.
Tuesday: 8 miles in 1:12:38 (9:05 pace), easy miles
Wednesday: 2.5 warm-up miles, 1200x2 (90-sec. RI), 2 easy miles, 1200x2 (90-sec RI), 1mile cool down. Splits for the 1200s were 5:35, 5:25, 5:22, 5:21.
Thursday: back to my back being injured.
Friday: tried to run, but my back pain was so bad that I ended up hobbling for a mile on the treadmill. And stretched a ton. Then I went to the best chiropractor ever, and he worked his magic on my back.
Saturday: 15K in 1:36:45 (10:24 pace). I fought hard for that pace considering the muddiness of the trails.
Sunday: 6 recovery miles (around 9:00 pace)

My schedule is changing in that I have lots of slow miles on the schedule, but I'm running way more days. I was supposed to get in 18 miles on Saturday, but it just wasn't going to fit into the schedule. Traveling to the race took a couple hours each way, and by the time we ate and waited for awards, the day had already moved along enough for me to forget those extra miles. Plus I had already disobeyed my chiropractor with one unrecommended running session.

So now I'm on to a new fresh week, hoping that my newly healed back will hold up enough to allow me to stick to my schedule.

The trail that I attempted on Monday was the Boulder Canyon Nature Trail behind our local library.

I was hoping to get in lots of miles back there, but unfortunately I maxed out at four miles, and that included running every trail more than once. 

These trails are great for hiking, but not so great for running. There were just too many little starts and stops to feel like you were actually going anywhere, and the leaves and vines were super thick. There was one section that looked cleared and awesome for running, but it was blocked. Cry. Look at that cool trail leading up the hill.

It was excellent practice for Saturday's trail run with all the creek crossings. Although I should have just jumped in to actually be prepared for the mud bath on Saturday. 

I can't get enough of running into random rock formations around here. This will be a cool summer playground for the kids. Bathing suits required. Or not, considering my kids' streaking habits. They can't get rid of clothes fast enough. 

What the kids don't want to get rid of is some of our new eats. They loved this chicken dijon I made. The salad is topped with homemade fig dressing (so freaking good), and I used a mix of brown and black rice to go with the chicken.

During this clean eating experiment, I've discovered that it is impossible to find sauces and dressings made without some type of sugar. If you know of some, please fill me in!

While I was trying to find some I ran across the most expensive rice ever at Wal-mart. It's the size of a salt shaker. Is there something about this rice that I'm unaware of, like it has a gold coin at the bottom of the shaker?

And I've officially turned into a grumpy old lady. That's two posts in a week complaining about the prices of products at the grocery store. Plus I love to wear polyester, so I automatically qualify.

What's your favorite salad dressing? Is it sugar free? 

Do you stick to rocks when crossing a creek or splash straight through the water?

Is your training plan ramping up or down right now? Mine is definitely going up, and I'm nervous!


  1. I always find something to chuckle about in your posts. Today it was the part about being a grumpy old lady and wearing polyester! Awesome!!! I don't do trail runs, not too many trails in these parts but I do love to read and see your adventures!

  2. I recently was introduced to the wonderful world of tahini salad dressing. Yes, the stuff that is in hummus-sesame seed paste. You mix it with water and lemon juice and it becomes heavenly. I even use it as a sauce on roasted butternut squash. Google it to get a recipe. You might like it! And I know you'll love that it has no sugar!

    1. Stop right there! I have a butternut squash waiting to be eaten in the fridge right this second. I think I have an ancient can of tahini that someone gave us when they were moving. Maybe time to purchase some more and start using it. Thanks for the tip!

  3. I love love love your shoes, so pretty!!

    I totally agree the hardest part of eating clean is finding clean sauces and dressings, but it is possible! I eat a lot of vinaigrette dressings on my salads. I love mixing extra virgin olive oil (it's worth it to get the good stuff for salads, you really can taste the difference!) with different vinegars - red wine vinegar, balsamic, apple cider, etc. My most recent favourite sauce is a sweet & sour sauce using no sugar added orange/ apricot marmalade in place of brown sugar, mixed with a small amount of tomato paste, vinegar and soya sauce and a few chili flakes. Yum!!

    1. That sounds awesome! Trying it too. I've been saving all of my old bottles to store my new homemade stuff in.

  4. My favorite dressing is ranch, I'm not gonna lie! I used to be obsessed with using ketchup on my salad, heavy on the sugar there! Wowza, your training sounds intense! Be careful on that back, hope all goes swell!!

    1. Excuse my while I go barf in my garbage can.:) But for real, yo, ketchup on salad does not sound good. Ranch is a giant improvement!

  5. Omg that rice is crazy expensive!! And it seems like EVERYTHING has sugar in it. Maybe a homemade dressing with apple cider vinegar and oil?

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  7. It looks like there's arugula in your salad? A couple dressings that go VERY well with arugula: lemon vinaigrette, lime/jalapeƱo ( minus the seeds and ribs of the pepper) vinaigrette. The citrus taste balances out the peppery taste of the lettuce quite well.

    Some other flavor affinities for arugula are:
    Pears and prosciutto,
    balsamic vinegar + lemon + olive oil + Paremsan cheese
    Cabrales cheese + grapes + endive
    Cucumber +feta +mint
    Fennel +pears
    Sorry, I probably went a little over board :/

  8. that dinner looks good! sadly, my fav would be ranch or blue cheese-the 2 most terrible dressings of all. i usually end up with a vinaigrette of some sort. i definitely stick to rocks! and, training is down for me. i'm pretty bummed about this hip issue.

  9. Hope your back continues to hold up and gets stronger! So true about the sugar packed salad dressings. I like Annie's, they have less sugar, but still are not usually sugar free. So often I"ll use evoo and red wine vinegar or lemon juice. Or combine it with a little mustard, salt and pepper.
    By the way, I was thinking of you because my friend Holly also missed a BQ by 2 seconds in Houston. She didn't write her post yet, but maybe you can cheer her up (or commiserate with her) when she does! :) http://fashionablemiles.com/

  10. Oh my gosh, I will definitely head over there to give her some support. Two seconds!!! It's so painfully close.

  11. MMMMMM...that dinner looks GOOD! I like the idea of a fig dressing. Where did you find the recipe?
    I used to make a lot of my own dressings but I somehow got out of that habit. Need to get back on that, especially since I have about a hundred mason jars taking up space in the cupboard. My favourite dressing is a french vinaigrette made my Presidents Choice. It's got oil, mustard, champagne vinegar, tarragon and some other stuff in there. I'm sure I could recreate it if I tried but buying the bottle seems so much easier, ha.
    As for training, it's ramping up something fierce. I have my first of 5 20 milers this weekend. After that it seems like every other week I'll be running 20 miles until the end of March. Gah.

  12. Hugely impressed with the dinner shot...it looks great, especially if the children eat it!! I make a nice salad dressing with olive oil and mustard and stuff, I'll dig up the recipe and see if it hits your rules!

    There is no 'ramping up' here but a slow notching up. I'm adding a mile a week - the joys of only doing half marathons! I ran hills for the first time this weekend...my quads and my calves are agony now! I'd forgotten that aspect of hilliness!!!!

  13. Wow that is some expensive rice. It better cook itself. I am excited to see how your ultra training goes. I have a secret wish to maybe do a ultra in the fall but I am gonna give the marathon a try first before I get totally out of hand. My training is ramping up for the Wisconsin marathon. Makes me nervous and exciting.

  14. Favorite dressing: Ranch, hands down. Especially from Red Robin- I could eat it with a spoon ;)

    But, in an effort to eat less process food, I am trying to cook more food from scratch. Can you post your fig dressing? It sounds amazing... maybe it will even top my ranch-love.

  15. That trail looks pretty rough, mind your ankles! My training is ramping up - did 14.5 km today:)

  16. homemade fig dressing? You're my hero! (for the day, at least)
    Keeping my digits crossed that your back continues to hold up for your new, increased mileage.

  17. Wild rice is really good! But, yeah, it's ridiculously expensive. I think I have bought it once. And sometimes they put it in rice medley/mixes so you get a little bit of it.


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