Go, Speed Racer!

Quinoa… it’s not just for dinner any more!

When I make quinoa, I typically make four servings at once. If I don’t eat it all within a few days, it gets a really funky taste and smell. Yes, I still eat it. I don’t waste any food! Yesterday, though, I only made two servings, and decided to use the second serving for my breakfast. I reheated it in the microwave with half a chopped apple and topped it with peanut flour butter and maple syrup. I’m trying to save the rest of the cashew butter for my mom, although if she doesn’t eat it soon, I can’t be held responsible for what I’ll do to it 🙂

For lunch, I sauteed egg whites with spinach and black beans and stuffed it inside half a kabocha. It kind of looked like vomit, so I didn’t take a picture. It sure tasted good, though! For once in my life, I couldn’t finish the squash. I only ate about half of it and saved the rest for tomorrow. I’m never too full for pumpkin yogurt, though! For a snack, I had more Fiber One with pumpkin soy milk. It’s full of sugar, but it comes only once a year 🙂

I convinced my dad to go to Costco with me before dinner. I was out of pretty much everything! I’d like to think of these trips as a father-daughter bonding experience. He pushes the cart around and tries to convince me I don’t need four jars of applesauce while I try to distract him from the fact that I’m buying several pounds of cheese.

Speaking of cheese…

I haven’t had feta ALL YEAR! Can you believe it?! I thought I had hummus at home so I didn’t get any at Costco, but my mom said she tossed it because it went bad. Remember what I said about not wasting food? FAIL! I threw on some dried cranberries and spinach for good measure.

Another thing I’ve been seriously lacking is fruit! I bought bananas, apples, pomegranate seeds, blueberries, and cherries. I’ve had the damnedest craving for cherries for WEEKS. My craving was satiated tonight 🙂

After work this morning, I headed upstairs to the treadmill. That’s one thing about working in a gym- you can never say you don’t want to go because you don’t feel like driving! I wanted to do some speedwork to work on one of my New Year’s goals.

I mentioned that I hurt my hip and the back of my calf after my run on New Year’s Day, and I thought the pain had subsided today. The pain in my hip is gone, but the pain in the back of my leg is still there. I probably shouldn’t have run, but the faster I ran, the less I could feel it!

Confession- I am totally clueless about speedwork. I don’t do it… ever. One of my goals this year is to PR in a race, and it ain’t going to happen unless I put the effort in. I’ve been reading the archives of Caitlin‘s blog, and she mentions a few speed workouts. It wasn’t until after I left the gym I realized I could have pulled them up on my phone and followed them. Whoops!

Instead, I did the following sets:

First set

  • 5 minutes on the elliptical
  • 5 minutes on the treadmill- starting at 6.5 mph and working my way up every minute until I hit 6.9 mph

Second set

  • 5 minutes on the elliptical
  • 5 minutes on the treadmill- starting at 7.0 mph and working up way up until I hit 7.4 mph

I alternated these sets until I hit an hour altogether. Yes, I have severe workout ADD and I don’t like to stay more than five minutes at a time on any machine. The longest I’ve ever run on a treadmill was an hour and I thought I was going to hang myself of boredom. Doing only five minutes at a time makes it go by faster!

This is kind of what my face looks like when I run fast. I look positively homicidal, and I’m sure I scared everyone around me 🙂

Even though my leg started bothering me towards the end, I was proud of finishing! I’m going to research some more speed workouts to do when my leg is feeling better. As you can see, my workout is highly specific and scientific 🙂

I was telling my dad that I really want to run a sub-2 hour half marathon. (Whoa, I almost just typed ‘marathon.’ Can you imagine anyone running that in under 2 hours? Physically impossible!) My 11 mile run was done in a 10:19 pace, which I’m happy with, considering I’ve taken so much time off running. To run a half marathon in under 2 hours, my pace will have to be 9:09 at the slowest! YIKES! Hopefully I can stay on top of speedwork and make this happen.

Do you do speedwork at all? How do you improve your pace on runs? Any and all tips are welcome!

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44 Responses to Go, Speed Racer!

  1. I seem to run out of fruits and vegetables quickly too. Then I have to convince my mom to take me to the store. 🙂 Sounds like you had a great shopping trip! YUM!

  2. emily says:

    Quinoa is definitely one of my fave foods. 🙂

    I hate being on the same machine for a long time at the gym, too. I can’t run more than 5-6 miles on a treadmill before being completely bored out of my mind!

    I think speedwork really does work…I used some during my last half marathon training, and I definitely think it helped. It’s not fun to do, though!

  3. ick I just cannot get in to quinoa! I know it’s healthy but some things I just don’t care for and that is one of them. SOmetimes Ifeel like I am doing something wrong 😦

  4. ciaotochow says:

    I’m a runner too, and it often happens that when I’ve pulled a muscle on my leg or have an ache of some sort, it doesn’t hurt when I run, but it hurts when I just want to walk around/do errands. It’s such a nuisance!

  5. runyogarepeat says:

    Pom seeds are SO good! I hardly ever do speedwork, but I should because one of my goals is to run a faster half marathon too. In high school cross-country, we used to do interval & fartlek runs, as well as track pyramids. One I remember is doing a 400m, 600, 800, 1200, 1 mile, then going down (1 mile, 1200, 800, 600, 400). Even though I hated it (it’s hard!), it really helped with speed for longer distances and track races.

  6. Kat says:

    Wow you put my cardio workouts to shame! haha. I love that you bounced back and forth, but always cranked the intensity. I do speedwork on the treadmill probably twice a week but only go for about 40 minutes. By then I can barely feel my legs lol

  7. Lisa says:

    Pomegranates seems like a lot of work. Is there a secret to making it easier?

    • Yes- buy them already cut 🙂 My sister cut one open once and it was a mess! I’ve heard soaking them in water is supposed to make it easier to de-seed them, but I have no desire to stain my white counter tops. I’ll take them pre-seeded any day 🙂

  8. Haha, I love that you have no excuse not to work out since you work at gym. We have a mini gym in our house so I’m the same way… no excuse. 🙂

  9. greekmelie says:

    I know what you mean. I am also aiming for a 2:00-half marathon this year and I need to get serious with speed training ASAP. I am trying to follow the runner world’s training plan, which in my case is alternating 800m (2 laps or 0.5 miles) of 9:00 pace running intervals with 400 m jogs. I admit to cheating and alternate laps (1 lap fast, 1 lap jog). We’ll see if it works!

  10. AlisonM says:

    I also eat quinoa for breakfast!

    If you go on the RW website they have lots of speedwork suggestions. The standard structure is 400m to 1600m repeats, depending on what distance you’re training for. But they also have stuff like example fartlek and hill sessions. I think variety is the key to keeping it up!

  11. bakebooks says:

    Thank you for your sweet comments on my blog 🙂

    I have a bag of quinoa here but never tried it yet! That should change – anything with maple syrup must be good! 🙂

  12. Peggy says:

    Fruits and vegetables are always the first to go in our house! Glad you got to get your cherry fix!

  13. I totally need to try quinoa for breakfast! Doing it tomorrow 😉

  14. Go speed racer gooooooooooooooooo! bahahahaha

    Crasins and spinach are BFF… love it. and your bowl of fruit is making me want to run out and buy cherries!!! yum!


  15. Priyanka says:

    I am loving your fruit bowl. Cherries are one of my favorites!

  16. I am YET to try quinoa for breakfast – must change that ASAP

  17. Hannah says:

    As a die hard peanut butter, maple syrup, and quinoa fan, I’m going to have to make this breakfast soon! Although with actual peanut butter, as peanut flour doesn’t exist here in Canberra…

  18. I’ve never done speed work either but really need to start! Most of the time I don’t put much thought into running, I just go out and do it. I would love to get faster times though so I’ll have to add that to my list of goals for 2011!

  19. Emily says:

    Oh my goodness, no feta all year? It is one of the many reasons I can’t become vegan, but probably at the top of my list. I eat it out of the container sometimes, haha 😡 Good luck with all your speed work! I’ve never done it before, but I would probably consider it if I became more serious about running.

    • Haha, just as of 2011 🙂 Although I did go without it a lot last year because I was vegan for a while… never again! It’s one of my favorite cheeses 🙂 And I definitely eat it out of the container too!

  20. Love that you had black beans w/your bfast:)
    When I was running I used to do speed work just so I wasn’t so bored on the hampster wheel (I mean treadmill)

  21. Jessica says:

    I love quinoa but I’ve never considered it for breakfast before – that sounds delicious!

    I’m training for my first half marathon, and I’ve included speedwork in my training plan for once a week. I’m doing intervals of quarter miles, half miles and miles at faster speeds (fast for me anyway). I haven’t been doing it long enough to know if it will make a difference, but for as much as I dislike the speedwork, it better help 🙂 I’d be interested to hear if you come up with other tips!

    • Major props for doing speedwork when training for a long distance race. I really wish I had done it! I was just so focused on increasing mileage that I figured as long as I ran the distances, I would be fine. I was pretty happy with my time, but I know I could have been faster. Good luck!

  22. Carlyn says:

    oh my god I have father daughter bonding at costco too! Me and my dad go every week and rave about the samples and watch the vitamix guy 😛 Then we debate if we really NEED another huge bag of dark chocolate covered pomegranates:P

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