Secret Ingredients & Long Run Inspiration

Happy Friday! I hope you all have a great Friday and that your weekend starts soon!

I was moving a bit slower than normal this morning as we spent the evening at our friends house enjoying what was probably the final rooftop night. They have access to their building’s rooftop which means that they are able to relax and enjoy sunsets while grilling dinner. It’s a great way to spend an evening and we’re so thankful that they included us for two rooftop nights this summer.

IMG_1886[1]We were not only celebrating the last breath of Summer but also Ed and Kerrie’s wedding. They just returned from an incredible 2.5 week honeymoon! We toasted with delicious champagne rose before enjoying quite the Summer spread of vegetables, hummus, chips, summer salads, roasted corn, and hamburgers. Ed’s burgers were delicious due in part to the fresh charcoal grill flavor AND a secret ingredient – prosciutto! He added onions, garlic, salt, pepper, seasonings and torn up prosciutto to the ground beef before putting the burgers on the grill! 


This evening Bo and I are relaxing since I have my 20 mile long tomorrow morning, bright and early. As mentioned, my goal tomorrow is to get better about pacing so I finish strong and hopefully negative split.

I’ve also read a few great, inspirational marathon training articles in preparation for my long run.

15 Pieces of Semi-Wisdom from My First 100 Miler 

26 Tips for Running Your Best 26.2

Expert Tips for Surviving Long Runs

3 Strategies for Tackling Long Runs

How to Run Faster on Race Day

I’ll check in tomorrow after my run to share a recap and a new recipe with you all!

Your turn: Inspired by Ed’s secret ingredient, what’s your favorite hamburger ingredient?


Berlin Marathon Training–Week 6

The month of September is just around the corner. I can’t believe the marathon is this close! There are moments when I’m excited and then there are other moments when my fear of failure replaces all the positive emotions. Anyone who has been reading this blog for a while knows that last year’s marathon went less than stellar. My first, NYC in 2010 was incredible. My 3rd, 2012 Philadelphia Marathon, was so much fun even after the Sandy craziness. So, since I seem to have an every other year trend going with marathons enjoyment and performance, this year, number 5, is meant to be great.

Right now, I’m spending time planning our trip to Berlin instead of stressing over the marathon. We’re looking at the river cruises as a Saturday activity since it will be SEATED and I refuse to kill my legs touring Berlin the day before the marathon. Did you know Berlin has more than 900 bridges?

So, let’s take a look back at last week’s training, shall we?

Monday: I woke up unexpectedly sore EVERYWHERE so I took an unplanned rest day other than my 5 minute workout.

Tuesday: I didn’t expect evening speed intervals to go well but this workout surprised me! In fact, the repeats felt a bit too easy so I know I need to increase the pace this week! 1 mile warm-up, 3×1000 meter repeat with 200 m jog/walk between, 1 mile cool down.

Wednesday: In my effort to focus on my cross training, especially my arms and abs, I did my 30 minute arms & abs workout again at the office during lunch. I increased the weights this week on the hammer curls to 15 pounds which is proof the weekly workout is helping!

Thursday: The 6 miles I had on my schedule didn’t come easy but the early morning views were worth it!


Friday: A complete rest day which included working from home, soaking my feet in a tub of Dr. Teal’s Epsom Salt foot soak, lots of foam rolling, my favorite 20 minute yoga sequence, and sporting compression socks all day.


Saturday: As mentioned in Sunday’s post my 20 mile long run was a tale of two cities. I felt incredible for the first half but then basically hit a wall at mile 15. It was a great reminder of just how crucial pacing is and it gives me a great focus for these next few long runs. As people pointed out, I am blessed to have gorgeous scenery to take my mind off the struggle miles.


Sunday:  My legs were feeling tight but the gorgeous weather was to nice to not enjoy. I hopped on my bike for a relaxed, 1 hour ride around the lake. My normal path was a bit crowded for my liking but it still felt great to enjoy fresh air and shake out my legs. I also spent some time on the foam roller Sunday evening while we watched Friends.


How about you? How’s training going? What did you learn from training this week?


20 Mile Long Run – A Reminder in Pacing

While last week’s 17 mile long run was the perfect confidence boost I needed, yesterday’s 20 miler was a bit humbling. It reminded me just how important pacing is when running a marathon.

Due to cool temperatures I slept in later than expected since I once again wasn’t trying to beat the heat and humidity. I woke up at 7:30 to finalize my route while eating my regular long run fuel of coffee, toast, peanut butter and banana. I also sipped Vega Pre-Workout energizer in Acai berry which tastes far better than the lemon lime.

I’ve found that giving my body an hour to digest the food really helps me feel more fueled and energized during the runs.

In order to make the distance a bit easier, I split it up into 3 parts:

Mile 1-6: Music

Mile 6-14: Listening to Chrissie Wellington’s audiobook

Mile 14-20: Running with Amy

This week’s route was similar to last weeks except I cut 2 miles off of the countryside route so that I could be back in Geneva by mile 14 to meet up with Amy, a new friend who just moved to Geneva last week.


The first six miles flew by as I listened to music. I didn’t have to check my map many times since I knew this portion of the route. I took a salted caramel Gu at mile 6, checked my route on MapMyRun and switched over to Audible to listen to my audiobook.IMG_1604IMG_1602IMG_1603The scenery between mile 6 and 10 felt as if I was running through a painting. I couldn’t stop smiling as I ran through vineyards, cornfields and small rustic homes and villages. IMG_1610IMG_1499[1]IMG_1613

By mile 13 I was ready for another fuel break and used this one to check in with my pace. I’d felt so strong at the beginning that I decided to ignore my Garmin and run by feel versus continuously checking my pace. This used to be a method Gia used with me when I would let my mind takeover during training runs. I quickly realized that my average pace was around a 9:40. I decided to scale things back as much as possible for the next mile, before meeting Amy. I figured that running with her would be a great way to slow the pace since I assumed we’d be talking. As I ran down the hill my Garmin beeped low battery, reminding me that I better charge this bad boy all night before the marathon versus forgetting and only charging an hour before the run. Luckily I’d also been using MapMyRun so I swapped to using that for pace and distance versus the Garmin.

IMG_1615IMG_1617The final miles with Amy were beyond a struggle. It sounds stupid but talking while running was quite hard at this point. By mile 16 my legs were screaming at me for the stupid fast early miles. We pushed on, winding through Geneva but each mile became tougher both physically and mentally. I should have requested that we stop talking and put on our headphones, but felt the need to chat since she’d been so kind to come meet me for the last few miles. Mile 17 through 20 were a walk run mix, averaging 8-9 minutes of running and 1-2 minutes of walking. Even with this ratio we were still able to keep a 10:20-10:30 pace. 


20 miles in 3:18:07 aka 9:55 pace. Done and done!

Mile 1 9:34 Mile 11 9:35
Mile 2 9:25 Mile 12 9:40
Mile 3 9:40 Mile 13 9:41
Mile 4 9:41 Mile 14 9:55
Mile 5 9:49 Mile 15 10:06
Mile 6 9:49 Mile 16 10:20
Mile 7 9:30 Mile 17 10:34
Mile 8  9:40 Mile 18 10:36
Mile 9 9:41 Mile 19 10:21
Mile 10  9:32 Mile 20 10:01


We ended our 20 miles by meeting Bo at the farmer’s market and brunch at Le Pain Quotidien. IMG_1620IMG_1623IMG_1625

This week’s long run lesson: Remember to respect the pace. For my next long run I’m going to keep a focus on my pace for the first half and then try running the second half by feel.



A Confidence Building 17 Miles

Happy Saturday!!!

I was just telling Theodora that after training for four marathons, it seems like the 5th time is a charm. I am loving marathon training this year and so far it seems to be loving me right back with strong results!

As Bo is still recovering, I was in charge of dinner last night. He taught me how to make our favorite long run dinner – sautéed scallops over angel hair pasta with basil and fresh tomato sauce. On the side we enjoyed some crusty bread, a glass of wine and Good Morning Vietnam.

2014-08-15 20.36.04-2

I rolled over this morning at 6am and felt the cool air coming through the window. That and a double check on the Weather Channel app confirmed that I didn’t have to wake up early to beat the heat. It was 48 degrees and the temperature by noon would only be 65. I curled up and slept for another 2 hours.

I spent an hour sipping coffee and NUUN, eating peanut butter and banana on toast and foam rolling while hanging out with Bo. I also spent some time mapping out a completely new route that would take me out through France before coming back into the Swiss countryside.  image

It was so nice to relax and enjoy the morning before heading out the door at 9:15. Once again I wore my favorite running outfit which is definitely going to be sported in Berlin on September 28th. Regardless the temperature it is perfect!

2014-08-16 09.16.102014-08-16 09.16.24

Why hello, small little border crossing! 2014-08-16 10.05.26

I was able to run on bike paths or sidewalks for 90% of today’s run which was such an absolute joy! I was rarely alone and the views were magnificent. Different from my normal lake views, today I had corn, sunflowers, fluffy clouds and cows for as far as my eyes could see. Passing through a few small towns meant that I never had to worry about running out of water. I fueled while taking this picture at mile 6 with a salted caramel Gu. The small, picturesque church was right in front of me as I turned to run into the town.

I lost myself in my thoughts and today’s Spotify playlist which included everything from Avicii, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, Jessie J, Swedish House Mafia, Taylor Swift, The Killers, Bastille, The Lumineers, Calvin Harris and La Roux!

2014-08-16 10.20.24-22014-08-16 10.51.29

My only other stop was at mile 12 to take in another Gu and refill my water bottle at a small roadside café. 2014-08-16 11.14.49

I knew I was almost done when I reached the lake, a welcome site. The sun was shining, the breeze was blowing and as I ran into a co-worker I couldn’t help but smile. I felt stronger on this long run than I have ever felt on a run of this length.

2014-08-16 12.12.56

I am so thankful for today’s run. It was the confidence booster that I needed to remind me that what was once my dream, stretch goal for Berlin can actually become a reality if I continue training smart and strong.

Today’s Splits

1. 9:40

2. 9:31

3. 9:49

4. 9:48

5. 9:37

6. 9:45

7. 9:41

8. 9:39

9. 9:31

10. 9:25

11. 9:19

12. 9:40

13. 9:31

14. 9:42

15. 9:18

16. 9:46

17. 9:35

2014-08-16 12.39.28-1

How was your long run or workout today? Did you have cool temperatures or are you fighting the Summer heat and humidity?