Category Archives: winter

Week in Review 3.13.17 to 3.19.17

Monday: 2 miles easy. Downhill skied.

Tuesday: 2.5 miles easy. Downhill skied again as Stella rolled in. Shoveled the first foot of snow in the evening.

Wednesday: Shoveled the second foot of snow (and the next 6 inches). Downhill skied in the most amazing powder ever.

Thursday: 3 mile run easy.

Friday: Match Day!

Saturday: 45 minute nordic ski at Catamount.

Sunday: 5.75 mile run outdoors.

Total Miles: 13.2

The first big news is that we Matched!!! We will be heading to Asheville NC and Greenville SC for our General Surgery and Emergency Medicine residencies respectively. We were incredibly lucky to interview at a whole host of amazing institutions and are looking forward to starting our careers in the Blue Ridge.

To see just how excited I was, here’s a great video my friend Jack got of the whole shebang:

We also got an INCREDIBLE snowstorm on Tuesday and Wednesday that dropped 30 inches on Burlington and an insane 58 inches at Bolton Valley, which is where I am lucky enough to have my pass. I spent the first three days of the week bombing around on my skis and Wednesday was easily the best day of skiing of my entire life.

I was also able to start doing some easy running this week. I was doing well and excited to get back to normal running…and then my steri-strips fell off which leaves my incision in direct contact with my sports bra. I did finally get 6 miles outdoors in today and although I felt 100% out of shape, it was good to get out there.

One of the nicest things about knowing where I’ll be for residency is being able to plan upcoming races! I now have my schedule set through June and have even been doing some longer range planning for my fall sub 2:50 marathon.

For this week, I’m trying to get back into regular training while also listening to my body. At this point, it’s clear that Unplugged is going to be a training run but I’m hoping to set myself up such that it can be a great workout as well.

Week in Review 1.23.17 to 1.29.17

Monday am: Thanks to odd January weather, actually made it to the outdoor track for 5 by 800 at interval pace. Enormously humbling to be struggling along just a bit faster than what I consider my usual tempo pace but felt great to get it done. Legs after.

Monday pm: 45 minute skate ski with the team.

Tuesday: 4.7 mile run in the snow/sleet/ice storm. Stayed upright, which is all a girl can ask for.

Wednesday: 5.65 miles while the car was getting inspected. Sidewalks still a little hairy but trail shoes did the trick. Skied with the team in the afternoon, probably 20 minutes or so of real skiing and a lot of coach standing.

Thursday: No run. Had I known how busy the end of the week would get, I would have run on Thursday instead of taking it as a scheduled rest day but I was trying to be good. I downhill skied all day and the conditions were INCREDIBLE.

Friday: 7 mile progression run on the treadmill. Massage in the afternoon.

Saturday: All of the activities day. 3 mile recovery run, 30 minutes of nordic skiing plus coaching then 5 hours of downhill skiing then three rounds of bowling.

Sunday: Got slammed by my schedule (and my own bad planning) and didn’t get any run in, let alone my long run. Disappointed but trying to view my accessory activities as deposits into the fitness bank.

Total Miles: 33.1

The good? I got two solid workouts in, lifted a lot and got a massage which did wonders for my glutes, hamstrings and back. The not so good? I didn’t do a good job managing my schedule and messed up my long run. My senior research abstract is due on Friday and I’m still scrambling to review charts. Interview season and HIPAA made it impossible to do this project on the road so I’ve been working hard to get through it since my travel wrapped up.

I still didn’t manage to get 20 minutes of yoga in this week, which is more a reflection of my prioritization than schedule. I need to make this investment, period. My DQS was > 15 on 5/7 days and even the days it wasn’t, I was making good food choices. Planning meals on Sunday makes a huge difference for me and surrounding myself with good choices for fueling makes it easy to get to 15.

This week brings my LAST interview. Wahooo!!! I’m headed to the Windy City where I’ll get my long run in on Friday, hopefully along the Lakefront Trail if there’s not too much snow. Will has shoulder surgery on Thursday and will be out of commission for 12 weeks so I’ll also be trying to pick up more of our household stuff that he usually manages. Finally, this is my last weekend before I go back on service on Monday for my Medicine Acting Internship. My AI will be a great test for my workout plan during Residency and my goal is to just get my workouts in (including that long run!!) and be at least at 40 miles a week. Everything else is gravy!

Week in Review 1.16.17 to 1.22.17

Wherein I put together an almost reasonable week of training!

Monday: 4 mile campus loop with 2 laps of ins and outs. Arms in afternoon.

Tuesday: 6 mile workout on Roanoke River Trail. 10 by 1 on/1 off. Felt at little clunky but happy to be in shorts! Legs and core afterward.

Wednesday am: 4 miles with perhaps the kindest resident ever, who met me at my hotel at 4:30 am. He’s a big runner too but still…super nice. We had a great chat about balancing training and residency and I finished the run much more encouraged that I could do both.

Roanoke Star on top of Mill Mountain

Thursday: 3 mile campus loop with Will, super easy. Arms after.

Friday: 6 miles on treadmill with 3.5 at tempo effort. Legs after.

Saturday: 3.5 miles super easy around campus. Downhill skied in the morning.

Sunday: 10 mile run and a few runs of downhill skiing.

Total Mileage: 36.6

As we’re just barely into the new year and I’m just figuring out how to make my new goals work, I made a checklist on my whiteboard downstairs to track how I’m doing with all my various goals. I used to do this on paper in college for workouts and loved being able to check things off throughout the week.

 

I did a great job getting runs and strength training in this week. Foam rolling and nutrition, however, need some work. Some of this was travel related but I need to do a better job of planning so that I can hit these goals. Morning running was relatively successful; the days when I didn’t run in the morning were more because I didn’t have to so I’m willing to be flexible on that until I go back on service in February.

I’ll be bumping my mileage up to 45 this week with a 12 mile long run, a long hill repeat stamina run and fast paced repeats on the treadmill. As a bonus, I have NO travel scheduled this week. Wahooo!! I also found out that I was selected to be an Ambassador for Lumo Run and cannot wait to start tracking my biometrics. Lots more on that opportunity and all my sponsorship plans for 2017 soon. PSSST, want a coupon for $10 off your own Lumo Run? Use code “SM10” at checkout!

Week in Review 12.26.16 to 1.1.17

Hard to believe another year has gone by! I ended 2016 with 2,216 miles and will be honest that I’m surprised I got that many in. It was a VERY chaotic year for training. I lived in Connecticut, Illinois and North Carolina for 14 of 52 weeks this year and spent October through December in the airport in three time zones and over a half dozen states. This past week, however, I had the pleasure of being at home and it was SO nice to sleep in my own bed and hang out with my dogs.

Monday: 8.5 mile outdoor run featuring wind and ice pellets. Not pleasant!

Tuesday: Super active day! Nordic skied at Sleepy Hollow then downhill skied at Bolton then did a fartlek workout on the treadmill. 7.5 miles total with 2 by (5 minutes at T, 4 minute recovery, 3 minutes at I, 2 minute recovery, 1 minute at R, 1 minute recovery). Legs after.

Wednesday: Easy ski in the morning and 5 mile recovery run.

Thursday: 45 minutes of continuous nordic skiing in the morning and a few runs at Bolton in the evening.

Friday: 8 mile tempo workout. 4 by 5 minutes at T pace.

Saturday: Downhill skied all day.

Sunday: Downhill skied all day.

Total Miles: 29 miles

I’ll write more about this in tomorrow’s post but this week was rock bottom in terms of motivation and prompted me to look back over my training log only to realize that I haven’t taken a break longer than one day since November of 2014. Which, if you’re counting, is over two years ago. I’ve been running and training for so long (sometimes I joke that running is like brushing my teeth, I don’t even notice that I do it) that I lost track of the biggest picture of periodization. At the same time, I bought a downhill pass to our local mountain and found myself BOUNDING out the door to alpine ski every day. I love being outdoors and active…I just wasn’t loving running because I’ve been aimlessly doing it for two years chasing my goals.

So, I took the pressure off and skied a bunch this week and it was AWESOME. Our big storm didn’t manifest and we’re heading for a meltdown this week but I’m off for another big set of travel so it shouldn’t affect me too much either way.

Good Eats: Vegan Chickpea Curry Stew

Vegan Chickpea Curry Stew

Tis the season for hearty stews. The beautiful part about this stew is that it packs a ton of healthy ingredients into a gluten free, dairy free, vegan stew that (almost) anyone will love.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium white onion
  • 2 teaspoons of minced garlic (or 2 cloves freshly chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 3 sweet potatoes chopped
  • 2 cups of cooked, pureed squash
  • 2 cans of chickpeas drained
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 6 cups of fresh spinach
  • sea salt
  • crushed black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of yellow curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes

Directions

Saute the onions, garlic and coconut oil until onions are translucent. Turn down the heat and add sweet potatoes and squash and stir until combined. Add salt, pepper, curry, bay leaves, cumin and red pepper flakes and stir in. Add chickpeas and diced tomatoes. Simmer for 25 minutes or until sweet potatoes are soft. Add spinach and serve once wilted into the mix.

For Added Protein

Add in one box of silken tofu, crumbled into small pieces

For Added Carbs

Serve over rice or quinoa

Nutrition Facts (easy to do for any recipe: just enter ingredients here)

Recipe as above serves 6

Recipe as above serves 6

Week in Review 1.18.15 to 1.24.15

Monday: 5.25 miles with 3 by 5 minutes at tempo. Legs afterward.

Tuesday: 4.2 mile recovery run. Arms after.

Wednesday: Off day.

Thursday: 6.3 mile progression run with hip core afterward.

Friday: Full workday plus our biggest MMU Pursuit ever! Lots of running around the course but no real run. Up for 22 hours…

Saturday: 9.5 mile long run. Flipping freezing out!!

Sunday: 7 miles with 10 by (1 minute hard, 1 minute easy) on the track. The hard sections were about 5:30 pace which I was psyched about. Legs after.

Total Miles: 32.2

Another solid week! I didn’t intend to take two days off but with the Pursuit on Friday, there was a ton of administrative work to do that meant I was up later than I wanted to be on a couple of occasions. Despite that, I fit in three quality efforts, plenty of strength work and another > 30 mile week. I also did much better on bringing my own food for the week which made me feel a lot better than eating cafeteria food (even if our cafeteria food at UVMMC is pretty amazing).

I’m at the end of the Surgery clerkship tunnel, with the oral boards and national shelf coming up at the end of this week. I should then have another hour in the morning which is just awesome. Hoping to push my mileage up towards the 40s as that happens. Also trying to figure out my racing schedule for February and leaning towards getting both my 3K indoor race in and the 7K snowshoe race as part of the All Terrain Runner series. I haven’t done this series before but with lots of different events that I would otherwise not enter, it seems like a great idea for a year where I don’t have the optimal training schedule.

What to Wear for Winter Running: Men’s Edition 2016

Let me brag about my friend Carl for a moment. Carl is the quintessential athlete and I’m pretty convinced he’d be successful at any sport he tried, but he claims to not be a “real runner.” Ignore the fact that he once ran a 1:35 half marathon off almost no training or that he regularly runs with me at any time of day. Anyway, since Carl really is up to run any time, he enthusiastically agreed to join me on some pre-surgery 3 am runs…if I helped him build a winter running wardrobe. Hailing from southern California and going to school in New Haven, his wardrobe leaves him wanting for the months of November through April. So for Carl and for everyone looking to run outside as much as possible as we start 2016, here’s the rundown of what you need to run outside comfortably. None of this is sponsored and all comes from years of running, skiing and living in Vermont.

Baselayer: What you put next to your skin matters. The better the baselayer, the fewer overall layers you’ll need to wear and the less you’ll resemble the kid in A Christmas Story.

Warm? Yes. Conducive to running? Notsomuch.

Warm? Yes. Conducive to running? Notsomuch.

Windbriefs: Do not underestimate the importance of these. Every single winter, one of my male athletes will forget theirs or insist they don’t need them and spend many miserable minutes doubled over in the snow after a race. If you buy one piece of winter gear, MAKE IT THESE. My pick? Craft makes amazing stuff and it’s worth the investment for these.

Midcalf Socks: Another rule of winter running is creating multiple ways to tuck in your clothing and thus keep wind, snow and slush out. In my opinion, you can’t beat Darn Tough for running socks. Yes, they are pricey upfront but they have a lifetime guarantee. Literally. I send back many pairs a year as they wear out and they send back brand new pairs within a week. Well worth the $18. For winter, the material of choice is wool or wool blend.

Top and Bottoms: You can spend an enormous amount of money on baselayer and if you’re going to be a professional downhill skier or spend days in the back country, that’s probably a good call. If you’re going to run for 45 minutes a few days a week, it’s overkill. I spend a ton of time outside coaching and love Hot Chillys Pepperskins for their high cost-to-effectiveness ratio. Note: if you are planning on wearing a looser pant, you should invest in a pair of bottoms. If you are planning on wearing running tights on the bottom, you are probably good with just a top baselayer.

Tops: This is where temperature, wind and precipitation starts to matter. If it’s sunny and 30, one of your summer running teeshirts plus a long sleeve shirt or your jacket will be plenty. If it’s an active snowstorm, windy and 15, you’ll need a baselayer plus long sleeve plus jacket. In general, if you’re warm when you walk outside, you’re overdressed. Aim to be comfortable by 10 minutes into your run and you’ll generally be happy.

Long Sleeve Top: You’re looking for a medium thickness top that is fitted but big enough to fit over a baselayer. My pick in this category is the Skechers Godri Seamless Half Zip. It has thumb holes so you can create a nice barrier between your gloves and your skin, has mesh on the back to vent you and has a half zip to dump heat if you overdress. The price is also extremely reasonable and conducive to stocking up on an item that you’ll likely wear the most in your closet. The half zip long sleeve is my most commonly worn winter item; when you find one you like, buy two so you can wash them once in a while.

Jacket: There are tons of jackets on the market but again, Craft takes the cake here. Will has this exact jacket and I’ve stolen it on a few occasions. It’s windproof without being stiff and water resistant. Be warned: this jacket is WARM. You won’t want it when it’s above about 25 so if you live somewhere a bit warmer, consider a vest instead of a jacket.

Bottoms: A bit of a personal choice for most men. I spend a lot of time with distance runners, so I’m used to men in tights but I know lots of men balk at the idea. Thankfully, they make great option in both loose and tight pants, so buy what you think you’ll be happy to wear. Again, it takes a little experimentation to find out what layers make you comfortable in given conditions.

Loose Pants: Unfortunately, the best men’s pants ever seem to have been discontinued. Thus, if you can find a pair of Brooks Spartan Pants in your size on a discount size, do it. They are so comfortable to run in and perfect warmth for 30 degrees with shorts or around zero with a baselayer. Sporthill SwiftPro and Saucony Boston are close in style to the Spartan.

Tights: The market for men’s tights is a little disappointing, as this is one area where they seem to just adjust women’s tights for men’s proportions. That being said, Saucony Drylete is a great all-around option for men with a zipper ankle (allows a nice tight fit around your socks, see above) and mesh behind the knees to shed heat as you go. I have the women’s equivalent of this tight and find them to be the best in terms of allowing natural movement.

Extras: Don’t be the dummy out running in your baseball cap with bare hands. Not only will you feel miserable, but your body will be wasting precious energy trying to keep your extremities warm rather than pumping oxygen to your muscles.

Hat/Headband: I actually prefer a headband because of the ear coverage but regardless of style, I’m totally and uttery sold on Skida.  They fit well, they are extremely warm and they hold their shape with as much washing as you want to do. Of note, the Alpine line is lined with fleece (my favorite) while the Nordic line is unlined.

Buff: I am more likely to wear a Skida neckwarmer on days when I’m doing a coaching/skiing hybrid but if I’m doing a workout on skis or on foot, I’m in a buff so I can manage my snot better. Sorry, but it’s true. Buffs are fantastic (but you should never borrow someone’s because of the snot issue) for giving you neck coverage, rolling up into a headband or stuffing in a pocket to cover changes in temperature.

Gloves: This is one place where I’m the wrong person to ask because I wear gloves when it’s 50 out, but these gloves are well loved by my team and my other running friends for “normal” hands.

So there you have it: the basics you’ll need to run outside all winter long. If you’re a winter runner, what brands and items do you love? Would you rather be a little cold or a little warm on a run?

 

Week in Review 10.12.15 to 10.18.15

Ah, an adaptation week at last. Par for the course, I actually felt worse than I did during my full volume weeks but I know recovery is necessary.

Monday: 6 mile recovery run with Acadia while the girls did their workout. Acadia is running for Vassar so I was thrilled to get 45 minutes with her to hear all about college and her new team. Arms after my run.

Tuesday: 6.8 mile normal run.

Wednesday: 7 mile run, including a trial of my new Night Runner 270 shoe lights. I ordered these as part of a Kickstarter campaign and finally got to try them out. Full review coming soon but they were awesome!

Thursday: Tempo plus speed on the track. 5 by mile at tempo pace (5:57, 6:06, 6:12, 6:10, 6:13) followed by 4 by 400 at R pace. The 400s felt clunky at best but the miles were awesome. I definitely went too fast on the first one because I felt so good but was more honest about tempo effort for the other four. I was helped in this effort by the wind as it got pretty breezy on the track by the time we were done. 10 miles total. Legs after.

Friday: Off day, prorated at 6.8. I did jog around our home course for the race but kept it as minimal as I could. Amazing team day with every runner posting a season’s best and many posting huge lifetime bests.

We're so lucky to have a team parent who is a photographer! Me in my element.

We’re so lucky to have a team parent who is a photographer! Me in my element on Friday, watching my girls kill it.

Saturday: As Will said, it was like I had an oscillating fan on me on the track. Got a 4 by 1200 workout in between the snow squalls (yup!) and really battled the wind. The goal was 4:15 but I came through at 4:20 each time, which was a little over a second lost per lap. The Daniels SMART calculator estimated 32 seconds lost per mile given the wind speed so I’ll take it! 8 miles total with legs afterward.

Sunday: 13 mile long run with Will and Amy. Pretty chilly out and was actually really tired, so I was glad it was a short long run.

Total Miles: 58.2

As I wrote earlier in the week, I really am feeling better now after three weeks of liquid iron. Easy runs are back to normal and my workouts are happening at the paces I expect although I’m still really anxious every time I start one. My sleep hasn’t been great lately but I think that’s more to do with Will starting surgery and waking up at 5 am every day. I usually fall back to sleep but it feels more disrupted than normal.

The week ahead is back to normal volume (65 to 70) with a big marathon pace effort next weekend. We’re into Phase 4 now which means that after my regular workout efforts, I have to remind my legs how to be fast. Tough task as the weather gets colder and I’m at the peak of training!

Great New Gear: Night Runner 270 Shoe Lights

This article showed up in Runner’s World last week and was sent to me yesterday. I am not really a gear head but got so excited to see this product, both because it helps me get closer to my goal of being a human Christmas tree but also because it fills a need that anyone who runs outdoors year round absolutely encounters. I can’t count how many stutter steps, trips and staggers I take during night time runs but the ability to see where my feet are landing is a welcome improvement. Especially as I head into the clinical years when 3 am (eewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww) runs are going to be a reality, I’m excited to try out these attachments!

I’m making the Marathoner pledge ($50) for one pair of Night Runners and highly encourage you to do the same! Supports a running couple and gets you a product that can really improve safety for you and drivers.

(Not at all sponsored, just an awesome product I found out about and wanted to share with my little blogging world.)

State Champs!!

Yes, I’m still standing! It’s been a crazy week but I’m starting to dig out from all the madness. The Boards happened but more importantly, the MMU Girls Nordic team won their first State Championship since 1995! It was truly an awesome day and one that we’ll all remember for a long time.

After the most insane relay finish I've ever seen...

After the most insane relay finish I’ve ever seen…

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Bottle that happiness for a rough day!

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Girls First, Boys Second and a whole lotta hardware.

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Evidence that this is a great community: present from the parents for finishing my Boards.