Cleveland Half Marathon Training – 5 more days!

It’s taper time! You know, that time when every runner in your life gets cranky and slightly crazy because they can’t get in that longer run they think they should but really know they shouldn’t?

The second to last week of my Cleveland half marathon training is DONE. It’s somewhat bittersweet -and exciting! – that the next training post I share with you as an ambassador will include race day. Holy cow … am I ready?

Here is a look at this past week:

This week's training

This week’s training

Monday: On the schedule – 5 miles.

Actual run – 6.18 miles. It was truly gorgeous weather for a run outside- not too hot, not cool, but just beautiful spring!

Tuesday: On the schedule – 10×400 intervals.

Actual run – 10×400 on the treadmill. Each 400 was about 7.6-7.7 and I walked a minute or so in between each one. Confession: Intervals have not gotten any easier. I used to jog between them but this week started off with walking and was glad I did.

Wednesday: On the schedule – 3 miles.

Actual run – 5ish miles, thanks to running with Erica this day. It was a perfect morning for a run. We had 3 on the schedule, and I did about a mile warmup first and then felt so good after the run I did a little more. I was overdressed but it was so perfect out! If race day is this way – low 50s – I’ll be ecstatic!

I took a selfie while waiting for Erica-  you can see the Terminal Tower in the background AND the fact that my shirt is indeed too warm for our run.

I took a selfie while waiting for Erica- you can see the Terminal Tower in the background AND the fact that my shirt is indeed too warm for our run.

Thursday: On the schedule – stretch and strengthen.  

Actual workout – I did about 55 minutes on the elliptical at basically no resistance in the morning.

And then 3 miles, pace. At night, B had some time and it was beautiful out so I decided to do my Friday 3 mile pace run. With B pacing, it felt like we were flying. We finished the 3 miles in about 24 miles, an 8:18 pace. I was definitely hurting – if this is what it takes to get a sub-25 5k, I’m almost ready!

Feeling proud after 3  fast (for me) miles. And tired. Oh yes my body is tired.

Feeling proud after 3 fast (for me) miles. And tired. Oh yes my body is tired.

Friday: On the schedule – 3 miles, pace.

Actual run – No run! I did my pace run Thursday after work so I just did a super easy 60 minute elliptical workout on Friday.

Saturday: On the schedule – 12 miles.

Actual run – 12 miles. We were rollin’ deep today! Which was great because I was super warm and needed the distraction. B and I started out, met Nicole 1 mile in and then got to Mary after about another mile in. Also not ready for this warm weather – good thing we started early because it got up to 80!

How we look mostly through our run (we stopped for water)

How we look mostly through our run (we stopped for water)

How we feel. Holy heat!

How we feel. Holy heat!

Sunday: On the schedule – crosstrain or off.

Actual workout – 55 minutes on the elliptical and some abs. It was another beautiful day but we ended up not having time for a walk – because it was Mother’s Day! We spent the day at the Asian Market and then went to B’s parents house for some small plates. It was a great, relaxing day.

Some questions for you:

  • Race day is looking quite warm in the forecast. Any tips on staying hydrated and not overheating?
  • How do you stay motivated after your race? Do you sign up for another one? Take time off?

Meatless Monday: Zoodles with Spicy Asian Peanut Sauce

I can’t stop making zucchini noodles. Seriously, I love my zoodler (okay I guess the correct term is spiralizer). It’s so easy to use and makes cooking vegetables SO MUCH FUN and getting B to eat veggies SO EASY. Spoiler – if you read my blog often you know that B is not my child; however, in the past few years he’s gotten much better about eating vegetables. One of the ways? Creative usage of veggies. And this recipe definitely counts. I mean, who doesn’t love oodles of peanut buttery sauce with their noodles (see what I did there?)… now, just substitute with zucchini and it’s even better!

Want a Thai-inspired, delicious meatless meal? Here you go. Oh, and while we were eating this, B said, “What’s in this sauce? I would definitely eat this again.”

Zoodles with Spicy Asian Peanut Sauce

Zoodles with Spicy Asian Peanut Sauce

Makes 2-3 servings.

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 3 medium zucchini, spiralized into zoodles
  • 1 large carrot, spiralized
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts, for garnish
  • 1/4 lime, for garnish (optional)

For the sauce:

  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 5 Tablespoons of peanut butter
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • 4 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ¼ – ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1-2 Tablespoons water, to thin out the sauce somewhat

Here’s what you do:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together garlic, peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, ginger, honey and red pepper flakes. Add water if needed to thin out the sauce – should be a thin paste. The zucchini will thin out the sauce even more later. Set aside.
  2. Heat a large skillet to medium heat. Add oil and diced shallot and saute for 4-5 minutes or until translucent and fragrant.
  3. Turn down heat and add in zucchini and carrot noodles. Stir fry for 3-4 minutes or until zucchini is heated through and at the texture of your liking  – B likes his zoodles somewhat softened and not as al dente so I cook mine for about 4-5 minutes.
  4. Remove noodles and add to the large bowl with the sauce.  Toss until noodles are well-coated.
  5. Serve and garnish with peanuts. Enjoy!

Zoodles with Spicy Asian Peanut Sauce

Interested in a not-so-meatless version? I added shrimp to B’s dish and cooked them with the shallots first before adding in the zucchini. See?

B's version!

B’s version!

For more posts on my love for zoodles and some recipes, here you go:

Some questions for you:

  • Do you have a spiralizer yet? What do you make with it?
  • What’s the best vegetarian meal you’ve eaten lately?

Join this Meatless Monday linkup!

Meatless Monday Linkup!

WIAW #13 : A fully meatless Monday!

It’s time for my lucky #13 What I Ate Wednesday post. I’m really so hooked on WIAWs now – I can’t stop reading everyone’s blog posts, viewing the photos (most of which are waaay better than mine) AND getting new ideas on what to eat. Are you interested in joining the fun or checking it out? 

This is my Monday eats – and it was a Meatless Monday! One of these days I’ll do an actual Wednesday or a weekend, but alas, weekends sometimes the blog is so far from my mind (as is documenting my glorious eats) but as soon as Monday rolls around it is back to business.

So here we go. Welcome to my Monday!

Breakfast, along with coffee (I needed it!) was egg whites with hot pepper, made by B of course. With spinach and frozen veggies.


I had gone for a 6 mile run with Nicole in the morning and I was parched. So in addition to my usual lemon water and Crystal Light, I had a Nooma. Delicious! (Disclosure – Nooma sent me some to review as I train for the Cleveland Half Marathon. I would be drinking it even if they hadn’t sent it-  I’m hooked!)

I match!

I match!

All of a sudden it was lunchtime. My froworker, Wendy and I, made a quick stop to Hingetown during lunch – she picked up lunch and I (had brought my lunch) picked up some homemade Ginger Kombucha from the Cleveland Tea Revival. Yes, I have a new favorite kombucha!


I drank it all afternoon, including with my lunch. A delicious and colorful salad that I had made. Arugula, lentils and roasted cauliflower, broccoli, sweet potato and eggplant. And some hearts of palm. I looove hearts of palm!


Snacks during the day included some carrots. Surprise, surprise.


And some raw cauliflower dipped in Frank’s Red Hot. Don’t question it – just try it.


And a late afternoon sweet tooth snack of some homemade granola. I forgot to take a picture of the bag, but here’s what it looked like when I cooked it:


For dinner, I made some zoodles with a spicy peanut sauce. I pretty much mixed up 4 or 5 recipes and it came out GREAT! I’ll be sharing it for an upcoming Meatless Monday blog post.

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Dessert included a butterscotch cookie I had made AND some chocolate covered fruit that B had made me. That’s right – B made me some chocolate covered fruit! Our 4th anniversary was last week and the traditional fourth anniversary gift is fruit (and flowers!) and he stayed up one night while I was sleeping making me chocolate covered strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. #lucky

ate half before photographing ...

ate half before photographing …

Also ate half the blueberries before photographing ..

Also ate half the blueberries before photographing ..

Perfect end to a delicious day!

Some questions for you:

  • What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever had covered in chocolate? I tried chocolate covered dried pineapple once and liked it – along with chocolate covered fritos! 
  • Carnivores – do you ever have meatless days?


Training Tuesday: Two More Weeks. Eep!

I reallllly can’t believe that I only have two full weeks left of training for the Cleveland Half Marathon and sharing my training with you as a Cleveland marathon ambassador!

Week ten of Cleveland half marathon training is DONE. And it was a good week, pretty uneventful. I admit that I didn’t follow training 100% – a few days I accidentally got in a little more mileage, but overall it felt pretty good to get in a 30+ mile week again.

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Monday: On the schedule – 5 miles.

Actual run – 7.12 miles. Yup – 2 more miles than necessary. I ran with Nicole and somehow we miscalculated our route and ended up with a few extra miles. It was also pretty chilly out (for end of April – 40 feels like 37!) and I was not prepared. But it was so sunny out!


Tuesday: On the schedule – 45 minute tempo run.

Actual run – A lame tempo run. I didn’t push myself as much as I should and definitely should have gone faster during my speed part. But my legs were a little sore, likely from the 10 mile race and the previous days 7 miles.

Wednesday: On the schedule – 3 miles.

Actual run – 5ish miles, thanks to running with Nicole again. We did a little extra. Surprise!

Thursday: On the schedule – stretch and strengthen.  

Actual workout – I did about 55 minutes on the elliptical at basically no resistance. Just to get the legs moving.

Friday: On the schedule – 5 miles, pace.

Actual run – 6.8 miles, not quite pace. Again, I decided to run outside with Nicole and the weather was gorgeous! I was struggling this morning, though – I had gotten very little sleep Wed. night and woken up Thurs. to work out at 5 and then Thurs. night B and I were out until midnight for our anniversary dinner. Needless to say, getting up on Friday was rough. Running early on little sleep after a four course wine/beer pairing meal (Yes, both) is not fun.

Saturday: On the schedule – 11 miles.

Actual run – 11 miles at a somewhat easy pace with B and Mary. The weather was SOO gorgeous and I felt pretty good the entire time. Finally – a confidence boosting run!


AND after the run I got to hydrate with Nooma. They’re a local hydration drink company that uses no acid or preservatives AND  they sent me and some of the other ambassadors some beverages to try out. I love the mangosteen!


Sunday: On the schedule – crosstrain or off.

Actual workout – 60 minutes on the elliptical and a nice walk with B. It was another gorgeous day and I couldnt NOT be outside!


Love this view of the city.

Love this view of the city.

Overall thoughts about the week: 

The good: I finally had a good, confidence boosting long run. With only 2 weeks left of training, it’s about time!

The bad: Speedwork still kicks my butt and I’m slacking off with getting it all in. I need to hold myself accountable and actually do “pace” runs!

Questions for you:

  • Was your last run a confidence boosting one? Or the opposite?
  • Do you do speed work? What do you do? How do you get yourself to do it?

That weekend I won $2

You know the first weekend that it truly feels like spring? The air is warm, the city is buzzing and the flowers are blooming? Well – it may be May but we finally had that weekend here in Cleveland! The weather was simply perfect and we took every chance we could to enjoy it.

Friday night B and I had plans to go to a movie but 3 hours at the Verizon store got in the way … but yay for a new phone! We did at least get to go out to dinner together and enjoy some hummus, lamb shawarma and fattoush salad. Yay Aladdin’s! Seriously – perfect pre-long run food.  I also could eat hummus all day long every single day.

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Saturday started off with an 11 mile run with B and Mary. We took it somewhat easy (unlike last week’s 10 mile race) and the weather was pretty perfect … sunny, 50-60s, light breeze – goooorgeous!

finishing up strong-11 miles done!

finishing up strong-11 miles done!

We didn’t end up doing much after the run – a quick trip to the grocery store, some cooking (making Buffalo Chicken Dip) and then it was time to head to B’s brother’s house for the annual Kentucky Derby Party!

My annual derby hat!

My annual derby hat!

Like my hat? I made it like 5 years ago for the first derby party and have worn it annual since. Anyway, this year I bet $1 on 5 horses (so $5) total and one of my horses won, so I won $7 (based on the party odds) – meaning I came home $2 richer. Woohoo!

Ready for the Derby - Mint Juleps!

Ready for the Derby – Mint Juleps!

So. Much. Food. And so much not pictured.

So. Much. Food. And so much not pictured. Including our buffalo chicken dip.

It was such a gorgeous night that outside of watching the race, we spent most of it outside – such a treat!


Sunday morning started somewhat early – I wanted to get in an easy elliptical workout to loosen up my legs from the 11-miler, but had to get it in before my board meeting and event. It was the annual big event for the Cleveland Association of Phi Beta Kappa – our scholarship banquet where we recognize high school seniors from schools in the area and celebrate them with a luncheon. It’s a great event and so wonderful to see so many young, bright minds!

Oh – and during the event, one of the parents asked what school I was going to next year. It threw me for a loop – school? I then realized he thought I was one of the high school seniors! So there’s that.


After the event, I had planned on going shopping but it was sunny and 70s and I was dying to spend the rest of the day outside. So I got home and nearly immediately B and I headed to the beach for a walk  – we weren’t the only ones! The beach and park were crowded and tons of people were there. Even a few swimmers! (70 is too cold for me to swim)

just going for a this view!

just going for a walk…love this view of downtown!

After our walk it was dinnertime. We didn’t end up going to B’s parents house for dinner but instead got Vietnamese food – it was delicious! The second we walked into Superior Pho, the smell brought me back to Vietnam. I decided to try something new – a papaya salad with pork jerky (and of course spring rolls!). It was … interesting to say the least? I enjoyed it and ate very last bite; however I think I’ll go back to my usual cabbage salads next time 🙂

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All in all, a pretty good weekend. And winning $2 helped! Now, what to spend it on?

Some questions for you:

  • If you like Vietnamese food – what’s your go-to order? What’s your favorite?
  • Hummus – yay or nay? Favorite flavor? I love traditional hummus but also love cilantro hummus!
  • Did you go to a derby party? Wear a hat? Make any money?
  • Was the weather amazing where you were this weekend too?