Autumn Tom-Foolery

Hello, world! It seems like ages since I last blogged. My stars, so much has been going on since late August! Between kicking off the new school year, planning my sister’s baby shower, dealing with a flooded basement, and all of the other minutia of life, updating the ol’ blog unfortunately had to take a back seat. However, the shower is over, the flood is cleaned up and we’re slowly putting things back together, and I think I’ve finally settled into a routine at work. Plus my mom commented at the baby shower that she has no idea what’s going on in my life since I haven’t blogged in “forever.” Got it, Mom.

I channeled my inner Martha Stewart to make the shower centerpieces. Word.

I channeled my inner Martha Stewart in order to make the shower centerpieces. Word.

Well, I can safely say what hasn’t taken a back seat is my training. Though it took the rest of August and the first week of September to get my breathing fully back under control, I planned out and eased into a very regimented training routine that will extend through to the end of November. Why? Because I’ve done something completely insane: I signed up for a half marathon. Eek! The Cleveland West Running Club is sponsoring their 39th installment of the Fall Classic Half Marathon and 5K on November 23rd.

photo 2-36

That’s right: pencil and paper, baby.

I signed up for the race the second week of September, and after taking off close to eight weeks of training due to my asthma, it was going to be a challenge to come up with a routine that would get me ready to perform well at a half marathon in less than three months. I tried to find a plan online, but everything I came across was either too short, too long, too intense, or not intense enough. After a long search, I decided to sit down and hash it out old school. I printed off some calendars, tallied up how many miles I could run during week one of my plan, and increased each week’s mileage by roughly 10%. In between, I have included plenty of cross training, from strength days to swim days. Once I had it all planned out, I entered everything into my iPhone calendar. Huzzah organization!

Fancy new trail kicks to tackles those trails

Fancy new trail kicks to tackle those trails

I’m a few weeks into the plan, and already I am seeing a difference. I put on some extra poundage while on the asthma roids, so I am happy to see my body returning to the shape I know and love. My energy level has started to increase and my stress level has started to decrease. I do about 2/3 of my weekly miles on the trails, and everyone knows the most fabulous time to run in Cleveland is during the fall. There isn’t much more that I love than hitting those leaf-strewn trails.

In addition to getting back into the swing of things in my training world, I’ve been doing more playing around in the kitchen. I’ve cooled it on the smoothies a bit because I’m in full-on fall recipe mode, though I did find a recipe for a pumpkin smoothie I’m dying to try.

photo 3-23In my trusty Racing Weight Cookbook, I tried out the roasted root vegetables on page 220. I tossed the baked beets, sweet potatoes, turnips, carrots, and parsnips with field greens, toasted walnuts, and chèvre in an attempt to recreate a scrumptious autumn salad I fell in love with from one of my favorite Grand Rapids haunts, Marie Catribe’s.

photo 1-34I’ve also been dabbling with some Paleo recipes. No, I haven’t gone completely caveman. I’m Italian: there’s no way I’m giving up my pasta. I am intrigued, however, by the whole-foods concept, and some of the gluten-free recipes floating around out there are quite easy and tasty. The recipe I found on Pinterest for Paleo chocolate chip cookies is by far my favorite. The cookies are made with almond flour and coconut oil, which makes them taste sort of like the pastry version of an Almond Joy. I like to snack on one before a run to give me a little boost of protein.

That’s the rest of August and all of September in a nutshell. I’ll be sure to keep you updated (Mom) on the fall training for my half as well as on my quest for new and yummy fall-flavored food. Stay happy and healthy!

~JLD

 

 

 

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