Favorite Things Friday: Baking Edition

I am officially in taper mode before the Baltimore Marathon so this week, I am bringing you something unrelated to running for my favorite things Friday post.  I have a sweet treat for you that is – dare I say – a little bit healthy.  Well, probably not healthy, but it has zucchini in it so that has to make it a little bit healthy, right?

About a month or so ago, WholeLivingGal tweeted she was making zucchini brownies.  As someone who loves to bake and a self-professed brownie lover, I had to inquire about these zucchini brownies.  Could they possibly be brownies that I would feel less guilty eating? Perhaps.  She pointed me in the direction of the cookbook Simply in Season.  Three clicks later on Amazon and the book would be mine.  Heather had told me it was one of her favorite cookbooks and upon receiving it, it quickly became one of mine.

I love that it organizes the recipes by what’s in season so you can cook or bake with local fresh foods.  We’re not perfect, but we do our best to eat local and/or organic and in season fruits and vegetables for the most part.  Simply in Season is perfect for recipes to go along with what is in season.  I finally got around to trying the recipe for zucchini brownies, now that zucchinis aren’t technically in season, of course.  Hey, I said I’m not perfect!

I’ll admit to being a teensy bit skeptical about eating a brownie that has zucchini in it, but it’s a brownie so how could it be bad? Any doubts I had were quickly erased with my first bite.  These brownies are delicious; they’re moist and chocolatey.  I was in such disbelief about how good they were, that I had to eat a second one just to make sure I was tasting correctly :) .

You know you want some of this

Zucchini Brownies

In a large bowl, combine:

1 cup flour

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Stir in:

2-3 cups shredded zucchini

Finely shredded zucchini

In a separate bowl, combine:

1 egg

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1/2 cup oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Add the sugar mixture to the flour mixture and stir until well combined.  Spread evenly into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan.

Please refrain from licking your screen, I know you want to

Sprinkle 1/2 to 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips on top (I also mixed some in with the batter for good measure).  You can add nuts, if you so desire.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool slightly, then dive in.  These taste amazing while still warm from the oven.

The finished product

It was very difficult to have the patience to take this picture instead of immediately devouring it

Hubby didn’t get a chance to try a zucchini brownie because he was at his grad school class last night.  When he saw my pictures for this post when he got home, he didn’t believe there was zucchini in it.  This morning, he needed to have one for breakfast and he still couldn’t believe there was zucchini in it.  He even had a second one just to make sure (see why we belong together?) The zucchini just melts away and you only taste the gooey chocolatey goodness.  Maybe you can feel slightly less guilty for indulging because these have some healthy ingredients.  At least that’s why I’m telling myself! :)

Delicious recipe from Simply in Season.

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My 20 mile run with Zain

Earlier this year, soon after starting this blog, I started training for my second marathon.  I knew my marathon training was going to take me up to a 20 mile run.  I had a goal in mind that I had really hoped to accomplish.    My goal was to run 20 miles pushing Zain in the jogging stroller.  For me, it felt like this goal was even bigger than running the marathon because I knew how hard it would be.  On Saturday, I accomplished my goal.

I had kept this goal mostly to myself.  I didn’t really want to mention it here because I knew there was a good chance I wouldn’t be able to do it.  During my 20 mile run last weekend, I repeatedly told myself there was no way I was going to attempt this with Zain in the stroller.  As the week went on, the pain of those 20 miles faded and apparently, so did my memory of how hard it was.

My husband is also training for the Baltimore Marathon (his first and most likely last marathon so he says!) and I knew I wanted to be with him for his 20 mile run.  I came very close to calling in the grandparents to watch Zain for this run and I almost had no choice as there was a chance of rain.  I obsessively checked the hourly forecast on Friday night and was relieved on Saturday morning when there was only a 10% chance of rain.  However, 94% humidity didn’t exactly make for pleasant running conditions; at least it was only about 67 degrees when we started.

I had to wake up Mr. Sleepyhead and give him breakfast, then we were off for our longest family run ever.

My little snuggle bug

We needed a whole lot of stuff for 2 runners and 1 toddler.

All of our gear

We brought – one bottle of ice water, one bottle of Lemon-Lime Nuun, one extra bottle of water, 8 Gus, 2 packs of Clif Shot Bloks, Nathan hydration belt (I made hubby wear it so he didn’t weigh down my stroller anymore than it already was!), iPhone, iPod Shuffle, headphones for iPhone, water and snacks for Zain, my visor in case the sun decided to come out (which it did not; thank goodness for a cloudy morning), my ID, a small towel (came in handy to wipe my sweaty face), and the Fisher-Price Apptivity case (more about that later).  Not pictured, but managed to make their way into the stroller: my wallet, a Honey Stinger waffle, a blanket for Zain, tissues, diaper and wipes, and some small toys.

Stroller console loaded

Full stroller basket

Cute toddler all set

Previously, the farthest I’ve run with Zain was 13.1 miles.  Before that, I had run 10 miles and 12 miles with him – and it was always just me and him.  During my 12 and 13.1 mile runs with him, he actually fell asleep while we were running.  I had hoped the same thing would happen Saturday, but he was too interested in the sights to sleep.

I broke one of my stroller running rules.  I NEVER run on the road while pushing Zain in the stroller.  I don’t feel like it’s safe so I always stick to sidewalks.  Saturday, I had a lot more miles to cover than I usually do so instead of driving myself crazy running back and forth on the same streets with sidewalks, we headed to a quiet road with very few cars, a good size shoulder and lots of nice neighborhood streets that branch off of it.  I would not have done that had I been alone with Zain, but we had hubby there.  I instructed hubby to run in front of us while on the road so that he could be our human shield :) .  He wore a gray top and black shorts so he blended in nicely with the road.  I told him he just needed a white stripe down his shirt and he’d be set (there needs to be a sarcasm font).  Note to road runners: always wear bright colors so cars can see you! One of my tweeps just did a fantastic post about running safety, be sure it check it out!

When we first got to this road, we noticed another family come out of a neighborhood for a run! A running mom, a running dad and 2 kiddos in a jogging stroller.  I was so excited I tried to snap a picture of them.

See that tiny little dot down the road? That’s the other running family! :)

The first 10 miles of our run went off without a hitch.  Zain was in such a happy mood and kept babbling to me.  We paused a few times so I could give him some snacks and his sippy cup.  I took a little break around mile 8 to have a Honey Stinger waffle because I made the mistake of not eating anything before we left; you’d think I’d know better by now! I ended up giving most of it to Zain because he loved it (and I love that it’s organic and healthy for him to eat too).  Zain was still quite content at this point, but hubby asked me what I was going to do if Zain wasn’t happy anymore. I told him that if that happened, I’d cut the run short and just do my 20 mile run solo next weekend.

Hubby was also growing concerned that pushing the stroller for 20 miles was going to be too much for me.  He asked me repeatedly if he could push for a little while.  I wouldn’t let him.  I needed to do this on my own.  Plus, he never runs with the stroller so a 20 mile run was not the place to start.  He asked if maybe I should call my parents for back-up just in case.  I told him “come hell or high water, I am finishing this run!” I think he got the point then.

Lookin’ good! Oh wait, no, I look awful. Zain is still happy and cute as ever though!

The rest of our run was on sidewalks which was for the best since the roads were starting to get busier.  I got super excited when my watch hit 13.11 miles as that meant I had run the farthest ever with Zain.  Hubby informed me at mile 14 that he was “fading.”  Instead of saying, “excuse me, are you pushing a toddler in a jogging stroller?” I did my best to encourage him and remind him that he was doing great.  We only had 6 miles left.  He could run 6 miles in his sleep.  In fact, he practically does when he wakes up while it’s still dark outside, rolls out of bed, throws on his running clothes, and hits the pavement.  Up until this point, neither of us listened to music which we are accustomed to doing on our long runs.  I passed him his iPod Shuffle with the hope that some tunes would help keep him going.

This is when I broke my second rule of running with Zain.  I never listen to music when I run with him because I don’t feel that it’s safe and I obviously need to be able to hear him if he needs me.  I decided to plug in my headphones and keep my volume super low.  Luckily, we were only on sidewalks at that point so I felt a bit safer doing so.

Running up and down empty parking lots to pick up any little bit of mileage we could!

At mile 17, we headed to a road with a monster hill.  Hubby did not want to run it, but I did solely for the fact that where it took us would help us add our final miles to the run.  I told hubby to turn back and Zain and I would go up the hill.  I ran as much of it as I could and walked the rest (always pausing my watch for walk breaks).  After hubby went the other way, Zain started to get fussy.  I think it was because hubby wasn’t in front of us anymore for him to keep an eye on.

That’s when I had to pull out my back up entertainment plan.  I bought the Fisher-Price Apptivity Case pretty much solely with this run in mind. Honestly, I was surprised I didn’t need to bring it out until that far into the run.  This case makes your iPhone totally baby-proof.  Feel free to judge me for giving my toddler an iPhone to play with, but desperate times call for desperate measures, my friends! I put on a Fisher-Price app (that was free!), locked my phone into the case and gave it to a delighted Zain.  I would have taken a picture of this excitement, but he had my phone :) .  That also meant I lost my music.  It was okay though because the Fisher-Price toy played some wonderful repetitive music (another place I could use a sarcasm font).

Just before I hit the 19 mile mark, I started to feel like I really wasn’t sure if I could finish my run.  I was hurting.  I knew I would be so mad at myself later if I didn’t push myself for one more mile so I kept trudging along.  That’s when we ran into hubby again.  I was so happy to see him.  He was a little closer to being finished than me since I lost some time while setting up Zain’s little entertainment center.  Hubby was struggling and I had to pass along some more encouraging words.  Aren’t I such a good wife? I was so proud of him when he finished though.  I know he’s not a fan of distance running, but he’s accomplished so much.

When I finally reached 20 miles – after I was done cursing myself for finishing it on an uphill stretch – I nearly cried.  Of course, I wanted to cry because my body hurt so badly, but also because I was in disbelief that I just ran TWENTY miles pushing Zain in the stroller.  I’m very proud of myself for that accomplishment.  I’m also here to tell you that I never want to do that again!


I have to say it was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be.  I think that’s because I took it much slower than my usual long run pace and slower than my usual stroller running pace – actual running time was 3:40 with an average pace of 11:02.  My watch says 3:44 because I forgot to pause it a few times while waiting to cross the street.  Actual time that elapsed for this whole run – 4:23.  That includes all walking breaks and stops to tend to Zain.  However, 3:40 was the total time in which I ran the 20 miles (thank you, Garmin for breaking down all the details for me!).

Even after running 20 miles, Zain is one happy kid. We’re so lucky to have such an awesome little man!

Running buddies

Running 20 miles pushing Zain in the jogging stroller was without a doubt the hardest run I’ve ever done.  It wasn’t just difficult physically, it was also hard mentally.  I constantly questioned whether I’d be able to make it to my goal.  I’m so glad that I did.  I’m incredibly thankful to have such an amazing little boy who sat through a 20 mile run.  I’m also incredibly thankful to have a super supportive husband who helped me through this tough run and even made me laugh as he tried to assist me by nudging me up some of the hills.  I’m so happy that I was able to share this amazing run with my sweet boy and my wonderful husband.  I’ll never forget this experience.


Many other running moms have asked me how I kept Zain entertained in the stroller for so long.  While he can be a crazy toddler like any other 20 month old, he’s usually a very easy going kid; the fact that he was willing to sit still for so long does have a lot with his personality.  I also have to say that a huge part of it is that he is pretty much only in the stroller when we go running.  Every since he was tiny, I have worn him when we go places instead of putting him in the stroller.  You can see my posts on our strollerless trip to Europe for a little more about that.  I think a big part of why he’s so content is that he’s not used to being in the stroller frequently so he doesn’t mind it one bit when he is in it.

Some of Zain’s supplies for the road

Our other tricks to keep him happy were snacks and a sippy cup.  Freeze-dried fruit makes a great, healthy and easy stroller snack.  Also, all natural fruit snacks by Mott’s and some of mommy’s Honey Stinger waffle were a hit.  Last, but not least, the Fisher-Price Apptivity Case was a lifesaver to get us through those last few miles.  I was prepared for the possibility that we would have to stop for him to run around.  I knew where a playground was that we could incorporate into our route and I kept my eye out for other open areas that would be safe for him to stretch his legs.  We didn’t end up needing those options because he was content, but it was good to know he could take a break if needed.

Not only is Zain an all-star for sitting through our long run, but you are one too for reading this 20 mile long post! Believe it or not, I actually left out quite a few details, like how hubby was nearly attacked by 2 different dogs in the same neighborhood in a span of about 45 seconds.  Our 20 mile run was certainly an adventure we’ll always remember!

Happy running!


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Favorite Things Friday

Happy Friday everyone! On this beautiful (almost) Fall Friday, I just have one favorite thing for you and it’s a reminder to stay hydrated.  I know for me, when it’s not as hot out, I sometimes fall short of getting enough fluids in my body, especially when running.

Grape, Lemonade and Strawberry Kiwi

The very kind folks at Crystal Light contacted me recently asking if I’d be interested in trying their new product called Crystal Light Pure.  Of course, I was very interested in sampling this new product that has no artificial flavors, no preservatives and is sweetened naturally with sugar and Truvia; plus, it contains electrolytes!  This is the perfect drink for runners and athletes.

All the things I look for in a sports drink, plus it has electrolytes

I had to try it out right away! I went with the lemonade to start.  I like citrusy drinks because I find them refreshing.  It tasted like real lemonade! Flavorful, but not too strong.

Crystal Light Pure Lemonade

It even comes in convenient single serving packets that are perfect to throw in your purse, gym bag or in my case – diaper bag!

Convenient packets

And now I will leave you with some words of wisdom on hydration from Crystal Light Pure spokesperson Molly Kimball, RD:

1.      Keep a Tally
We can’t actually tell how well we’re hydrated by how thirsty we feel. For many of us, by the time we start to feel thirsty, we’re already dehydrated, but just how much water is enough when it comes to staying hydrated? Keep a running tally of how much fluid you’re getting and aim for half of your body weight in ounces of fluid per day, plus an extra 16 ounces for every pound of sweat lost during exercise or work in the heat.

2.      Flavor Up to Drink Up
Want to drink water to stay hydrated, but hate the boring taste? Add the flavor you want and none of what you don’t by sipping on naturally sweetened Crystal Light Pure. It’s got no artificial sweeteners, flavors, or preservatives and is sweetened with sugar and Truvia, a natural sweetener derived from the stevia plant. It’ll give your water light, refreshing flavor with just 15 calories and 4 grams of sugar per serving. And the Grape and Strawberry Kiwi flavors have the added bonus of electrolytes!

3.      Don’t Forget about Food
Staying well-hydrated is essential for maintaining optimal energy levels, preventing muscle cramping and headaches, and more serious issues like heatstroke. But that doesn’t mean you have to force down gallons of water or bottles of sugary sports drinks. Any type of alcohol-free beverage can count toward your fluid intake – and even some foods! Some of the top electrolyte-rich, hydrating foods include all types of fresh fruit, soups like gazpacho and Greek yogurt.

4.      Watch the Caffeine
For years, the widely-held belief was that caffeinated beverages were dehydrating. An abundance of research has proven otherwise, however. The amount of caffeine typically found in standard servings of tea, coffee, and soft drinks appears to have no diuretic effect, meaning that these beverages don’t cause us to lose more fluid than they provide. But remember that you don’t want the majority of your fluids to come from caffeinated drinks since most health organizations recommend we limit our caffeine intake. Instead, try to vary what you’re drinking.

Remember to stay hydrated, especially those of you currently training for Fall marathons and half marathons, as you head into longer distances.  I know after my 20 mile run tomorrow, I’ll probably be sipping some Crystal Light Pure :) .

Happy running!

Disclaimer: I received a sample of Crystal Light Pure from Kraft Foods, but the review is my own opinion and my own words.

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“You are one beautiful mama”

The past few weeks, life and rain have gotten in the way of my regular training schedule and I’ve missed one run a week for the past 3 weeks.  I’ve been doing okay missing it, but I really do need it to stay on top of my training for the marathon.  Thankfully, my long runs have still been going well.  After not running the past 2 days, I set out on a 5 mile run with Zain in the jogging stroller this morning.

I’ve gotten my share of stares, car and truck horn honks, whistling, etc while running.  Nothing around here has ever been as bad as the Paris gawkers and the Rome romancers though.

I felt slow and tired as I usually do when I take 2 days off in a row – another reason I don’t like missing my runs.  As I was struggling up a hill, a car goes by and the passenger sticks his head out the window and says “you are one beautiful mama!” I couldn’t help but laugh.  I felt anything but beautiful at that moment so it was a nice little ego boost.  Honestly, I find it annoying and rude when cars and trucks give me a honk as they go by, at least this guy gave me a compliment!

Sunday, I will attempt to conquer what will most likely be my longest run before the marathon – 20 miles.  Just typing that makes me nervous.  I will do one more 20 mile run before the race, but if that run happens to be going well, I’ll try to push it to 22 miles.

Today marks one month until the Baltimore Marathon.  I cannot believe it’s almost here.  I’m beyond excited!

Happy running!

For my fellow running moms, what are some of the funniest things people have said to you while running?

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Check me out!

I’m so excited share with you my new and improved website! Isn’t it fabulous? The Running Mom has been getting a lot more traffic and followers lately so I thought it was time to make things look a bit prettier around here.

Rita at Blog Genie did such an amazing job! How cute is the header that she designed for me? I think she made me and Zain look pretty adorable :) .  She even put little Mizuno running shoes on my feet! The fun part is that scene looks very similar to an area that I usually run with Zain.

Rita was so awesome about making all the little changes I wanted and she really customized the site for me.  She was – and still is – very patient with the millions of questions I have for her :) .  I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out! I love all the colors, layout and most of all the cute little running mom!

I hope you like my new site as much as I do! Be sure to look around at all the fun new stuff.

Happy running!

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I think it’s pretty well-established by now that I am not a fast runner, especially when I’m running with Zain in the jogging stroller.  A couple months ago, I set out on a run where I attempted to speed up my pace while running with Zain.  I was really proud of what I accomplished in that short run and it motivated me to keep trying to run faster.  My fastest mile had been 9:05.

Since then, I’ve had some mile splits that were faster than that, but not while I was pushing Zain in the stroller, only on solo runs.  I’ve had a few runs with Zain where my mile time hovers in the mid 9 minute range and I try to push my pace a little more, but no luck in beating that 9:05 personal record.

When I posted about 9:05 mile blog post on Twitter, I distinctly remember one comment that stood out in the several congratulatory tweets.  One of my followers said she couldn’t wait to hear about my sub-9 minute mile with the stroller.  I thought that sounded like the perfect goal to keep in mind.  Up until today, I couldn’t ever seem to get my legs to move fast enough to achieve that goal.  I remember one run about a month or so ago where I thought a sub-9:05 minute mile was at least in sight, but it ended up being 9:06.  Ugh!

My 4 mile run started out slow this morning – 10:22 for the first mile, 10:02 for the second and 9:41 for the third.  I liked the trend I was seeing and tried to keep my legs moving at a good pace.  At the beginning of the last mile, I noticed my pace hovering around 8:50-55 and I thought, hmm…maybe today is the day I will run my sub-9 minute mile while pushing the stroller.

Then I saw my pace jump back to the 9:10 range and I started to think maybe today wasn’t the day.  I forced my tired legs to move faster and slipped back under the 9 minute range.  I gave it all I had for the last half a mile and was hoping to see an average pace of around 8:55 to pop up on my Garmin when it beeped at 4 miles, but I was ecstatic to see that it said 8:40.  8:40!!! A second shy of being a whole minute faster than my third mile and 25 seconds quicker than my previous fastest stroller mile.  I did it! I got my sub-9 minute stroller mile.  Physically, it was hard; my legs were still mad at me from my 18 mile run on Saturday.  Mentally, it was even harder; I could hear this voice in the back on my head telling me I couldn’t do it and I just had to tell myself that I could.  And I did.

Now I just need to figure out how to run at that pace all the time.  That’s the tough part!

Happy running!

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Favorite Things Friday

This Friday, I just have one favorite thing for you – my favorite meal to eat the night before races and long runs.  You probably know by now that the standard night before long run or race meal is usually pasta.  I love pasta.  We didn’t eat it very frequently in our house until I finally started making my own pasta sauce.  I don’t know why I didn’t attempt it sooner because now it’s a staple in our dinner line-up.

I first made this sauce last Winter when hubby was very sick and requested pasta with a light homemade sauce.  Hmm…it was time to experiment.  Since the first time I made it, it has evolved and hubby says it’s even more delicious every time I make it.  Zain is a huge fan too!

Here’s how I make it (makes enough for 4-6 people):

I use my favorite pot – my Staub dutch oven.  I love that thing.  I use it all the time.

Cannot live without my Staub!


Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 finely chopped yellow onions

Lots of tomatoes, finely chopped.  I use a variety of tomatoes because that give the sauce the best flavor.  I usually use 1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, about 10 plum tomatoes, about 4 Roma tomatoes, and 4-6 brown Kumato tomatoes.  I chop all my tomatoes ahead of time and put them in a container with some paper towels to absorb their excess moisture.  Without doing so, the sauce can get too watery.

Garlic – as much as you like.  We love garlic in our house so I usually use 3-4 cloves.

Fresh herbs – basil, parsley and oregano, chopped

Juice of one lemon

Salt and Pepper to taste


Italian Sausage



Yellow Squash

Anything else you want to add!

Variation #1: With mushrooms

Variation #2: With yellow squash and Italian sausage

Variation #3: With artichokes and mushrooms

This sauce is very simple, but so flavorful.  The first part of ingredients are the basic things you need to make a delicious tomato sauce.  Once you have that, you can add so many different things to change the flavor or add extra vegetables.

It’s super easy to make.  The part that takes the longest is prepping all the ingredients.  I usually do that during Zain’s nap time so I can just through everything in the pot when I’m ready.

To make the sauce:

Add enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pot, then add the onions.  Sauté onions until they’re translucent and just starting to get golden.  If you’re going to add mushrooms and/or yellow squash, add them now.  Allow them to cook for a few minutes then add your tomatoes.  If you like a lighter garlic flavor, add it at the same time as your tomatoes.  I use a garlic press to add mine, but you can also chop it.  If you prefer a stronger garlic taste, add it closer to the end.  If you’re going to add Italian sausage, add it now (we like all natural spicy Italian chicken sausage).

Allow the sauce to simmer for about 15-20 minutes until the tomatoes cook down a bit.  If you’re going to add artichokes, add them now.  Add the fresh herbs and lemon juice and allow the sauce to simmer for about another 10 minutes.  This would be a good time to boil water in a separate pot and make your pasta.  We like whole wheat pasta.


Healthy, simple and delicious.  Feel free to add some freshly grated parmesan before serving.

I have another 18 mile run on the schedule for tomorrow.  Can you guess what we’re having for dinner tonight? :)

Happy running and have a great weekend!

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No watch, no music and no stroller, but…

A whole lot of rain.

The past 2 days, we’ve gotten buckets of rain and some lovely thunderstorms (that have sent my poor dog into a perpetually panicked state).  I don’t mind running in the rain; in fact, I like it, but I can’t do it with Zain in the stroller.  Yesterday, I had planned to hit the treadmill for my 5 mile run, but unfortunately I couldn’t because we had someone here to do some painting during Zain’s nap which would have been my treadmill time.  Alas, no run for me yesterday.

This morning, it was pouring when I woke up, but I couldn’t let that stop me from running.  Zain stayed with hubby and I headed out to get soaked.  I didn’t want to risk messing up my Garmin so I left it at home.  I’m used to running without music when Zain is with me, but I like to have it when I run alone.  Again, because of the rain, I thought it would be best to leave my iPod at home too.

I mapped my run out ahead of time on MapMyRun because without my Garmin, I have no clue how far I’ve gone.  I seem to always do a little something different for my runs so I don’t necessarily have a usual route to follow and know my mileage.

I felt so weird without any distractions during my run.  I kept wanting to glance down at my watch, but obviously it wasn’t there.  I couldn’t keep track of my pace and know if I was going too fast or too slow.  I just had to adjust my pace based on how I felt – what a novel idea! :)

I felt kind of like a crazy person running in the rain and splashing through puddles.  My ponytail seemed to triple in size as my hair got soaked and frizzy.  I’m sure I was quite the sight to the rush hour traffic that passed me.

Running watchless was difficult for me, but I think it was also a good thing – something I should incorporate into my regular routine.  It felt good to just run with nothing else attached to me or dictating my speed and distance.  Give it a try sometime!

Happy running!

Do you ever run without a watch or music? Do you like it or do you prefer having your running gear to keep you going?

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18 miles

My training for the Baltimore Marathon is in full swing and this weekend, I had to run a scary amount of miles.  Something about the hearing myself say I needed to run 18 miles really freaked me out.  I have run that far before; I’ve run farther – BUT that was 5 years ago!

Supplies for the road – Two 10oz bottles of water, one frozen; 3 different flavors of Gu; Nathan Speedbelt to hold it all

The distance was certainly intimidating, but I managed to make it through all those miles and I had a fantastic run.  The first 12 miles flew by.  I made a quick stop at home at for an emergency Body Glide re-application (oh, the joys of long distance running!).  After I headed back out, my legs must have thought they were done for the day so they took a little while to get going again.  By mile 15, I felt great again.  My last 2 miles were 9:50 and 9:22 respectively.  Considering my average pace was around 10:19 for the first 16 miles, I’m happy I was able to push myself for the last two.  I tried to keep my pace a little slower throughout the whole run so I didn’t run out of steam.  The run took me just over 3 hours in total.

I dare you not to drool looking at this :)

It’s a good thing I burned over 2,000 calories during my long run because last week I made a delicious new treat – German Chocolate Cake Balls.  German chocolate cake, mixed with coconut pecan frosting, covered in German chocolate, and topped with coconut.  They were amazing! I made them for a playdate and they were a huge hit.  I sent some home with a friend and sent the remainder to work with hubby so that I would not be tempted to eat them all.  Everyone loved them.  I think they were my favorite cake balls yet.

Big thanks to my hand model (hubby) for displaying the gooey inside

Happy running!

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