August Runfessions

I linking up with Marcia at Marcia’s Healthy Slice for Runfessions and since the Friday Five theme is of my choice this week, I also am linking up with Courtney at Eat Pray Run, Cynthia at You Signed Up for What, and Mar at Mar on the Run. I have been so busy all summer my blogging took a back seat, so I am glad to be linking up and connecting with you all.

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I runfess….I was loving marathon training in the summer (as compared to the dead of winter). Being light out makes it so much easier to get up and out. However, taking a 2 week vacation in a hot country really threw things off. Physically and mentally it has been hard to find my rhythm since mid August. This threw things off :

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I runfess…many times I have thought I must be crazy to have signed up for a second marathon in a year.

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I runfess….despite points 1 and 2 above, I realize I do love the structure of a training plan. It gives me that little extra nudge to get out the door and run more regularly that I normally would.

I runfess…. I indulged on vacation. Since I have been back I have really been cleaning up my diet and I feel great. (I tried many typical Greek dishes while there)

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I runfess ….I am really looking forward to school starting for my girls next week. The school year adds structure to our week that I like. Having the down time over the summer has been great but it is time.

 

What do you have to runfess this month ?

Are you faithfully following your training plan this summer ? 

Back in the saddle

Vacation finished last Monday, and even if school for the girls doesn’t start until Sept. 1st, things are slowly getting back to a sense of normal. Work was a bit slow, so it allowed me to do a lot of cooking and focus on getting back into some kind of fitness routine.

Here is how the week went down :

Fitness

  • Monday : 6,5 km with some speed work. I can already tell that the days are getting shorter.

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  • Tuesday : 6 km 
  • Wednesday : One hour full body workout @ home
  • Thursday : Off
  • Friday : 20 minute lower body workout and planking, and then the cat wanted to join in

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  • Saturday : Off
  • Sunday : 25km run /walk. It was perfect weather and I was happy to be back in my usual stomping ground. My run was supposed to be longer but my NYC marathon training plan is a bit off because of my vacation. I didn’t want to over do.

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Indeed, my achilles was a little finicky all week, with the speed work + squats. It doesn’t hurt but just doesn’t feel 100% great. I went out to run and saw this guy who was dressed like it was winter (and its 60 degrees WTH ?). When I looked at him he was wearing compression sleeves and I was like holy crap, why didnt I think of that ? A little compression would probably help my achilles stay tight while running. So I turned around and went home to slip on my compression socks. Win.

I went really slow on my run and iced my lower leg several times Sunday. I was pretty happy with the idea I found, using the ice bag that we use to keep wine cool. I just slid it over my foot and it molded great to my lower leg. Feels pretty good, but we will see Monday !

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Food

I was happy to load up on unprocessed, whole foods :

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Omelet with spinach and roasted pepper

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Eggs, onions, spinach & quinoa

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Roasted tomatos / zucchini / eggplant, rice, fish

Life

I spent some time getting the house back in order, doing windows, washing curtains and decluttering. I am traveling this week for work, so I like to leave things in tip top shape for my husband when I go.

And that’s a wrap.

I am linking up with Holly and Tricia at Hoho runs and Misssippipiddlin for their Weekly Wrap.

Tell me one thing about your week ! Any favorite recipes or meals to share ? 

WeeklyWrap

 

Vacation favorites & vacay-fessions

I am linking up with Courtney at Eat Pray Run, Cynthia at You Signed Up for What, and Mar at Mar on the Run for this week’s Friday Five, which is is a topic of favorites.

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This post was inspired by my recent vacation to Crete (Greece). There is so much to love about vacation and I have a ton of favorites, but there are also vacation-fessions that go along with those favorites. If you are interested in knowing more about Crete, you can check out my posts Crete week 1 and Crete week 2.

My Cretan vacation faves : 

Relaxing. I spent a lot of time disconnected from social media which gave me time to sleep, read, and just do nothing but people watch.

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…at the same time, I vacation-fess that there were times I preferred to stay in the air-conditioned hotel because the idea of putting on sticky sunscreen again just was not appealing. It was sunny and 95 degrees everyday, temps we never get in Paris.

Reading. I hardly ever have time make time to sit and read during the year because I am always on the go, and zap constantly between everything I do. I was happy to have finished four books in 2 weeks, a record for me. I had downloaded several on my kindle before I left.

… but I vacation-fess that sometimes I miss a book with pages. I bought a couple paperbacks recently because I was craving a “real” book.

Running. I am in the middle of NYC marathon training and I had such good intentions about running while in Greece. I brought a ton of running clothes, and all the gear I would need.

…but I vacation-fess that my packing was so concentrated on running, that I brought only two, yes T.W.O. “everyday” shirts to wear. LOL. This is why in every single picture you see me with my favorite black Athleta top. The other one was too dressy to wear during the day.

Sightseeing. I am Type A and have a hard time staying put. So I always drag my family to cities, museums, archeological sites, caves, monasteries….because I because I figure that if we are visiting a new country, we should know a bit about the history & culture. I am glued to a guide book several times a day.

…but I vacation-fess that after 10 days of sightseeing, I was done playing tour guide. All I wanted to do was lounge by the pool.

And the LEAST favorite thing I like about vacation is eating out. Restaurant food every day, and even twice a day is just too much for my body to handle. While I try to choose healthy options, the change still throws my body out of whack. Look at the size of this feta portion!

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…but I vacation-fess that the last week, during our all inclusive, there were so many healthy options, I was thrilled that I didn’t have to cook or think about meals. Whole foods. Veggies. Fruits. Grilled chicken & fish. I hadn’t been an all inclusive with such great choices. A buffet was so much better than choosing off a menu.

What would you like to vacation-fess ?

Discovering Crete (part 2)

How time flies ! Last week at this time I was lounging around a pool, and I am now back at work already. This is the recap our second week in Crete, if you missed the first one, you can check out how wonderful the Chania region is. During the second week we went to Rethymnon for less sightseeing and more R&R.

Discovering Crete (Chania)

We decided on an all inclusive resort, because I knew that my 2 teenagers would not survive 2 weeks of sightseeing alone with their parents. Both are very social creatures and crave people, activity and interaction. So we chose a resort about 13 miles east of the city of Rethymnon.

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The resort was on the water, with several small inlets of beaches…

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… many walking paths….20160806_111725

… however, most of the week looked like this :

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As I mentioned in my first post, I am not a big beach person, nor am I (usually) a big pool person. I did fully enjoy the forced rest and got to read 4 books, which is probably more than I have read in the past year. Thanks to my cousin Tammi for the recommendations.

However, 7 days of pool is just too much, so we did do a couple half days of sightseeing.

We visited the city of Rethymnon. There is a cute port as well as a huge fort with an amazing view of the city and water.

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This was too funny… you could go out on a pirate ship for a cruise around the bay,  jump off the ship and swim around. Hmmmm…. if my kids had been younger they would have liked to do that. It was too far away to see if people were jumping off a plank or not !

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We took half a day to visit a city known for its ceramics, Maragrites. There were about 20 different stores and every single one was different. No copy paste what so ever.

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Several of the stores had the workshop in it. I collect small, handmade pottery bowls so I could have spent hours here.

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And finally, we visited a monastery, Moni Arkadiou. It is the symbol of the Cretan resistance during Turkish occupation in the late 1800s.

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This was one of the best vacations that we have ever had. We absolutely loved it and I am sure we will go back.

What do you prefer to do on vacation ? Pool lounging ? Shopping ? Visiting tourist sites ?

Thumbs down to marathon training while on vacation

I have been away on vacation for the past 2 weeks in Crete (Greece), and while it was fantastic, I am glad to be back and catch up with all of you.  If Crete interests you, you can check out my first post here (Chania region) and my second post will be coming out mid week, as well as some “Vacation-fessions” soon !

In short, training didn’t go well / as planned. We flew to Greece on the Friday, so this is a Friday to Friday recap :

Week of July 29th (Chania)

We were staying in a small apartment in a small complex in a resort town. Notice the spiral stairway in the background of the photo.

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There were roads but no specific biking or running path. It was 80 degrees at 7 a.m. Not the best running conditions, but I went out any way. In short :

  • Friday : Flew to Greece
  • Saturday : 6,5 K in 50 minutes
  • Sunday : Off
  • Monday : Off
  • Tuesday : 9K in 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Wednesday : Off
  • Thursday : 8K hike

Physically, the week was tough. Before leaving for Greece I had done a 27K run on the Thursday because I knew this would not get done while in Greece. We arrived in Greece on Friday and not sure if it was the long run, new bedding, travel, change of temps… but I had both a pinched nerve in my upper back / neck AND my left sciatic nerve was protesting by Sunday morning. I NEVER have issues with my left sciatic and my pinched nerve is something that comes and goes but had been gone for at least 5 years !

I am sure this didn’t help :

  • I was wearing flip flops alot.

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… going up and down that narrow spiral staircase. Every time I would go down the stairs (with feet at a funny angle because of the stairs) my right achilles would pop / make this snapping sound. And I went up and down those stairs 10 times a day. So the first few days were not ideal running conditions.

On Wednesday we went to the beach and all the tension in my back and neck disappeared, though my achilles continued to snap. On Thursday I was good to go for our hike. It was only 8K but it took us over 3 hours. I was wearing sneakers and there were a lot of rocks and it was up and down for the whole 3 hours.

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I loved the hike but it was tough and I did it in my running sneakers. I was surprised that I was not sore in the days that followed but my feet were fatigued from the rocky terrain.

Week of August 5th  (Rethymnon):

Week 2 we were at all all inclusive resort along the water. I was excited there were walking paths but the stones were a killer to run on, despite the great view. There was no give what so ever and it was very uneven and all ups & downs.

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  • Friday : (travel to change locations)
  • Saturday : 7,7K
  • Sunday : 4,5K with walking & some running (hill repeats) + some upper body weight. Then went sight seeing in flat sandals. Bad idea.
  • Monday : Pilates
  • Tuesday : Aquagym
  • Wednesday : 45 minute walk
  • Thursday : Rest
  • Friday : Travel back to France

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The Sunday sightseeing (combined with all the rest) in un-supportive sandals did something to both my feet, though the right one was the worse. I couldn’t put any pressure on my foot, as soon as I stepped I would get shooting pains up through my heel. Under the left heel wasn’t much better.  It was very painful and I started to have nightmares about training and not being able to run. So I stopped. And spent the next few days in a horizontal position around the pool. I think this was a very smart choice because after about 2 days everything seemed better, but I kept off it until Saturday.

  • Saturday : 4 x 1 mile repeats in my usual stomping ground + warm up and cool down : 13km
  • Sunday : 6 km walk

As much as I would have liked to run more, the conditions were not great for training. Terrain, heat, hills, sandals, narrow spiral staircase…. so I figured rest would be best. I have now adapted my training plan a bit to get back to it. While I have no pain per say, I have a very minor throbbing still under my left heel and I feel stiff. My leg muscles are stiff, both my achilles are stiff…despite a massage, stretching and foam rolling. Hoping that this shall pass so I can get back into a regular routine.

And that’s a wrap.

I am linking up with Holly and Tricia at Hoho runs and Misssippipiddlin for their Weekly Wrap.

How do you adapt your training while on vacation ? 

WeeklyWrap