Tag Archives: pittsburgh

Half Marathon Training – Week 6

In keeping with my commitment to share the truths of my training and hold myself accountable, here is my latest training recap! 

You can find the others here: 

Half Marathon Training – Week 5
Half Marathon Training Plan + Mantra
Last week’s half marathon training was not exactly what I had planned out, but I did get in 5 days of cardio, so I’m calling it a win. I moved the prior week’s long run to Monday instead of a rest day and I ended up doing the same this week.  I would have liked to have made it to yoga, but I’ve never claimed to be perfect. 

Monday- 6 miles 

Tuesday- at home circuit & stairs

Wednesday- 3 miles

Thursday- tempo run 3 cycles (3.82 miles)

Friday- rest

Saturday- rest

Sunday- 4 miles

Total miles – 16.82

I think Thursday’s tempo run might have been the most difficult. It consisted of 3 cycles of 10 minute runs followed by 2 minutes of jogging. The plan said I should have made it 4.1 miles by the time it was all said and done…

… There’s definitely some room for improvement. But overall I felt good. 

Sunday it was warm enough to run outside. I can’t wait for spring running! The outside run was supposed to be 7 miles, but it was cut a little short to allow for a hockey date. 

And I got to see my beloved Penguins deliver a healthy smackdown on the Buffalo Sabres. Totally worth it. 

9 weeks until the Pittsburgh Half! 

Are you training for any races? 


Half Marathon Training Plan + Mantra

This year I signed up for my 4th half marathon.  

There was a time when I never would have believed that. I distinctly remember finding a book on running form at a friend’s house and thinking anyone who ran as a sport or hobby was extremely boring and insane. Yeah, that was probably a little harsh. Someone should have told me never to say never.

So now here I am painfully chasing down that 2 hour goal time. (And even the term ‘chasing’ is probably generous.) 

The past few years I’ve really floundered. My first race I pretty much ran solely on determination, and although the time was not impressive, I know I could not do that again if I tried (ahhh, youth).

2013 Pittsburgh Half Marathon – 2:21:44

 The second year that I ran the half marathon was my best. I trained, I felt good, and I improved…but I still didn’t meet my goal. 

2014 Pittsburgh Half Marathon – 2:08:34

The third year that I ran was filled with moving, starting a new job, and mass confusion. I actually debated skipping. 

2015 Pittsburgh Half Marathon – 2:22:19


So that brings us to 2016. I knew I needed to be committed to a training program, but I also needed a plan that would help me with my speed. So I launched a search… And it was surprisingly successful. 

That’s when I found RUNfit365 and was able to download their 16 Week Intermediate Half-Marathon Training Plan for free.

The plan breaks down different training techniques, explains all of the terminology, and allows you to base your training off of a goal pace. The other thing I really like about it is that it doesn’t require logging crazy miles so it’s completely attainable. 

I am on week 4, and so far I have missed the weekend runs (major fail) and replaced one easy run with a hot yoga class each week. 

So to stay on track I’m going to check in on F&F each week to report my progress, and I’m also going to have a mantra.


I’ve heard that having a running mantra can do wonders for your race game. Which I actually believe to be true because I definitely had one for my second half marathon. (Something along the lines of ‘Hell hath no fury like that of a scorned woman’… You get the picture.)

As cheesy as it sounds I’m going to make my mantra to appreciate that I have the time and the ability to train this year. (Having a wedding on the horizon doesn’t hurt either).

Do you have a running mantra? 

Have you ever crushed your goal time? 

The Pittsburgh Half Marathon & Some Exciting News

Good morning! I know I have been MIA lately, but I’m hoping things will start to get back to a normal pace now.  Over the past week I had a few exciting events take place!

First, the Pittsburgh half marathon was on Sunday.  I knew going into it that I was not at my best.  I struggled through an 8 mile run about 3 weeks ago, ran the Pirate’s 5k, and then pretty much stopped doing any physical activity until Sunday morning.  During my time off from breaking a sweat, I also managed to twist my knee in my sleep (I know, you can’t make this stuff up).  So as you might expect, my results were not exactly a PR.  I was actually just happy to finish.  Around mile 6 I was honestly contemplating throwing in the towel, but then I realized that as much pain as I was in I would regret quitting too much to give up.  So I toughened up, and put my mental grit to the test.


I was so proud (and relieved) to finish after 2 hours and 22 minutes of such a miserable run.  I was also feeling a little under the weather after I challenged my body to something that I was not prepared for.  In the midst of my struggle to feel like a normal human being again, I didn’t even snap any pictures.  I was actually pretty set on that being my last half marathon ever… but how quickly the body forgets pain.  After I got moving yesterday morning and got rid of my headache I was already starting to think about how I would train better for next year.  So we shall see! But for now, I’m still getting back to normal.

First, I will eat all of the food (until my stomach feels normal again), and then I will think about a good detox plan, a new workout regimen, and then future races.

As part of that plan, I treated myself to Chipotle for lunch yesterday and it really hit the spot.


But on another note, I am so extremely excited to share a large part of the reason I did not train properly… the house hunt in Buffalo has finally come to an end.  We signed the paperwork to build a home last Thursday!!

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I am so incredibly excited to begin this journey and to see our future home through every step of the way.  The planned completion is October, so we will have the summer to enjoy the pool in our apartment complex and day dream about all of the potential future home projects.

I hope your week is off to a great start!  It feels great to be back in the world of blogging.

A Weekend of Fun & Back to the Madness

Happy Monday!

I hope your week is off to a great start.  We had a fairly unproductive weekend and it felt great.  We finally found an apartment on Saturday, so I won’t have to be homeless when I start my new job in the Great White North next Monday!  But other than that we took some time to relax and celebrate any Irish roots that we might have.

Friday night Kris came home from Buffalo, we ordered a pizza, and I passed out (per usual).  Saturday I woke up bright and early to go for a run, but it was a bust.  It was cold and wet and I was not running at my best, but I guess a bad run is better than no run.  Around noon we went downtown for some Pittsburgh St. Patty’s day festivities with friends:


It was a long day of green beer but we had a great time.  We got to meet up with a decent number of friends including my brother as we made our way around The Burgh throughout the day.

Yesterday there was a fair amount of laying around and recovering.  I baked some sugar cookies (that I have yet to ice) and we grilled some jalapeño cheddar chicken burgers for dinner with avocado and watermelon:


OK – I didn’t eat that whole bowl of watermelon in one sitting (close though).  There is plenty to make a few watermelon salads this week.  I am on a mission to have a bare fridge by Saturday so that we have less to pack.  We shall see how it goes!

It is supposed to be a beautiful day here in Pittsburgh and I’m hoping to get in a nice long run with the B-ster and a visit to my parent’s house.  Have a great day!

Valentine’s Day + Cupid’s Chase 5k

Good morning!  I can’t believe how fast the weekend is going.  Time flies when you’re having fun, I guess!

Friday evening started with a nice big glass bottle of wine.  This was the first time I tried this Mountain Merlot (I am totally guilty of buying based solely on the bottle design and name) and it was delicious.  Even though I only had a 4 day work week, it seemed like the longest week ever.


As evidenced by the fact that I tried my hardest to “uncork” this screw-off wine top.  (oopsie) But hey, I was on a mission – I was getting in there one way or another.


I’m not usually one to brag, but I feel like I would be doing the flowers an injustice if I didn’t show the beautiful Valentine’s Day bouquet Kris sent me at work on Friday.  It was a very unique mix of flowers and I really liked the arrangement (communityflower.com coming through clutch).  I used to get really embarrassed about the attention that usually comes with receiving flowers at work, but I seem to have gotten over it real fast. 🙂


Saturday morning we bundled up and headed into downtown Pittsburgh to run the Cupid’s Chase 5k (check that one off the races to complete in 2015 checklist).  I actually didn’t even check the temperature but I would guess it was in the low 20’s (the warmest it will be here for a couple days) and it was snowing.  To be honest it was a little dangerous… the snow was coming down and the trail was covered so it was a little slick in some places.  But we finished in around 31 minutes and we didn’t even stop to walk once (our best yet)!


For dinner we decided to try a new-to-us Italian restaurant Sarafino’s.  The restaurant isn’t very big, but we arrived just in time to get a table for two.  The atmosphere was very warm and inviting and it was the first time either of us have gone to a restaurant that is BYOB.  We brought a bottle of pinot noir and started with some warm bread with dipping oil and the goat cheese bruschetta appetizer:


For my main course I got the “Pasquale’s” – a yummy mix of penne pasta with sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, mushrooms, feta cheese, and spinach. (Kris got the “Sarafino’s” and it was delicious as well).


If you’re looking for a small Italian restaurant that is off the beaten path, I would highly recommend it!

On the agenda today – probably a lot of hibernating and chocolate chip cookies.  It is cold out!!


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Painting with a Twist

Yesterday afternoon we decided to partake in the painting and drinking craze.  A few months ago I decided to  run the Pittsburgh marathon for the Animal Rescue League and one of the fundraisers was a painting class at Painting with a Twist.  For $45 per person we had 3 hours of painting/drinking/entertainment and $33 of that went to the Animal Rescue League.  Altogether the event raised $3,500 for the ARL.  Not too shabby.


The picture that we painted was a picture of Pittsburgh, and it was not exactly a beginner level painting so we were a little nervous.  Luckily our instructor talked us through it and they turned out pretty well!

We started out with a blank canvas with an outline penciled in so that we could all begin our painting with the right proportions:


Then we painted the sky, the water, and the darker land area.  After this we listened to music and drank a beer while the paint dried.


After the background was mostly dried we painted the buildings:


Then added the highways and the Point Park fountain:


After we let that dry a little, we added all of the dots. (there were a lot).  It looks much more impressive the farther back you are standing.  But I was pretty proud of our masterpieces!


This morning started out with a hot mug of lemon water, a lemon raspberry muffin, and a fried egg.


Kris is off today for the holiday so I took a vacation day. 🙂  It’s going to be a good Monday!

8 Races to Complete in 2015

Good morning and happy Friday!!

This morning started off with my second EFX (Enhanced Functional Exercise) class at FASTER, and it was a good one. The class consists of an hour of challenging circuits in an upbeat atmosphere.

Breakfast this morning is another friend egg, half of an AB&J English muffin, and a grapefruit.


For lunch I am planning to go out with a few friends (probably to Mexico, yessss), and for dinner I’m going to my sisters.  So minimal meal planning today, which is nice! Aren’t Friday’s the best?

Last night I started to put together my tentative list of races to complete in 2015.  Having something to work toward keeps me accountable, and I love a good 5k followed by a big breakfast or a few beers and brunch.  So here it is, the 2015 line-up:

1. Cupid’s Chase 5k – Saturday, February 14th 2015

2. Pittsburgh Pirate’s 5k – Saturday, TBD April 2015

3. Pittsburgh UPMC Half Marathon – Sunday, May 3 2015

4. Buffalo Half Marathon – Sunday, May 24th 2015

5. 50 Yard Finish – 5k or 10k – Saturday, June 27th

6. Gatorade Steeler’s 5k – TBD August/September 2015

7. Pittsburgh Great Race 5k – Sunday, September 27th 2015

8. EQT 10 Miler – November 2015


Some of these races I have completed in the past and others are completely new. Bring on 2015!