Running Survey!


I got all excited when I read Lisa’s running survery post yesterday that I immediately copied the questions down to answer them for today’s Thinking Out Loud post!

thinking out loud

Would you rather…

Have a post-race beer or post-race dessert?

I think we all know the answer to this one! My evening plans after every race involve a good dinner AND DESSERT. I am always a total sweet tooth but my sweet tooth really kicks in after a long run or race.

I want nothing to do with savory foods and really look forward to cake.

lindas fudge cake

I don’t really drink anyway. I don’t like beer and I cannot tolerate alcohol well (read: I faint from a few sips) but sometimes I am able to drink wine if I am well hydrated and have already eaten. I have fainted more times in public from a few sips of alcohol than I care to admit. After my last fainting episode (Miami 2011, half a drink) I started taking my issue seriously and haven’t touched vodka since!

Run with a blister the whole time or a side stitch the whole time?

Yikes, I wouldn’t want either! Thankfully I have forgotten what a blister feels like since my running shoes never leave me with one but a side stitch is pretty bad too. I can’t even answer this question, they are both bad!

Run a flat race in the heat or run a hilly race in the cold?

I am going to have to pick running a hilly race in the cold. I don’t love running hills but I can handle them much better in the cooler weather than any type of running in the heat. The Independence Day 4 Mile race is still fresh in mind for sure — it was way too hot out there for me!

As soon as I saw this question about running hills in the cold, I immediately thought back to the Runner’s World Half Marathon.

I recall the hills being steep and endless but I felt great and recall being so happy about running in the fall weather.


I am still so proud of running the Runner’s World Hat Trick that weekend in the fall of 2014. All three races were hilly races and you can read the recap from the Runner’s World Half & Festival here which includes recaps of the 5k, 10k and half marathon.

Runner's World Hat Trick Race Medals

Run a 5K or a Marathon?

I have yet to run a marathon but I think I may prefer the longer distance over the fast, short 5k distance. I am not a short distance runner. I much prefer running a little slower for a longer period of time than running crazy fast for a few miles. It takes me at least the 3.1 miles to even feel warmed up!

Run without music or run without your GPS?

This question is reminding me that my headphones broke over the weekend and I have yet to replace them. Music is super important to me when I run, more than tracking my miles and pace. I have phases when I run without music but those are rare occurrences.

I have been running all week with only one ear from my headphones working to hear the music. Please remind me to get a new pair of headphones today!

Train throughout winter for a spring race or train throughout summer for a fall race?

Training during both seasons do have their benefits. I prefer running in the colder weather but summer is awesome for getting outside earlier in the morning due to the extra sunlight. I also like the reward of a fall race because I always speed up as the weather gets cooler.

However, if I had to choose right now, I think I prefer training in the winter because this summer has just been so brutal on me with the heavy heat and humidity! Remind me I said this when it’s snowing every day and I am stuck inside on the treadmill.

Would you rather give up running for one year to get a BQ (Boston Marathon qualifying time) or never BG but run as much as you want?

Is it weird that I still don’t care to ever run the Boston Marathon? I am happy just to run everyday. I don’t really need a race to motivate me. Maybe one day this will change but somehow I doubt it. I think it’s great that others focus on achieving a BQ but it’s not something I think about.

Always run in shorts or always run in tights?

It’s a little bit funny that I do in fact prefer running in capris over shorts considering I absolutely hate wearing pants. I think I opt for pants when I run though to avoid that feeling that I need to adjust the parts of shorts that tend to ride up and get stuck between my legs.

Run an ultra marathon or do a triathlon?

Um, neither? Do I have to?!

Run an ultra marathon? Gosh, that sounds tiring. And it’s already making me hungry. I can barely keep up with the appetite I have now.

A triathlon? I had a pretty lavender Schwinn 10 speed bike when I was a kid. That’s the last time I rode a bicycle unless you count a spin bike.

And swim? Do I have to get wet?

Previous Survey Posts!

Running Survey 2015 – Another fun running survey similar to today’s survey!

5 Things Survey Fun – I wrote this a few months ago already?!

Versatile Blog Award Survey – I love reading older posts

[bctt tweet=”running survey! #running #races #survey #thinkingoutloud #runner #runnersworld #fitlfuential” username=”cookiechrunicle”]

Would you rather train for a race in the cold or in the heat of the summer?

Which headphones are you loving right now?

Favorite post-race meal?

Weekly Workout Recap 10/20/14-10/26/14


I took it real easy after last weekend’s races.

It wasn’t until after Wednesday morning’s workout that I felt like myself again, ready to jump into my typical running routine.

weekly workout recap


Morning Walk & Stretch

I hate walking but I knew I needed to loosen up my legs and running was definitely not on the agenda.

Hoka One One

I went super slow (because hi, I hate walking), didn’t track miles or time or anything like that.

I wore my pretty pink Hoka sneakers and the Eddie Bauer Incendiary 1/4 Zip both which I received from the Meet and Tweet.

I am loving the Hokas for their cushioning and comfort (not ready to switch to them for running but for everything else, they are perfect for me).

I also LOVE this Eddie Bauer top. More on it soon.


Super Slow 3.50 Miles & Pure Barre Core/Stretching

I thought I was ready to run. Within the first few steps my left and right hamstrings disagreed so I walked (not even ran, walked) into the gym for the elliptical instead.

I didn’t feel anything on the elliptical other than hot (because I was dressed to run outside) and bored.

After ten minutes I decided to give running outside another shot and if it didn’t work, I would walk myself home.

Running worked, nice and slow and I didn’t feel my hamstrings anymore. I finished up with the core and stretching sections from Pure Barre.

This is truly a reverse-taper week.


Spin! Spin! Spin!

I told you on Thursday that I received a free guest pass back to Lifetime so I used it to take a spin class.

Lifetime Fitness Spin Class

I enjoyed it for sure, my hamstrings appreciated the break but once the class was over, I was left with that feeling of needing to go for a run.

I didn’t, but knew I would be ready the next morning to return to normal.


Pure Barre DVD & 6 Miles

It was raining, cold and miserable outside but I was all too excited to get out there for a run since my legs felt 99.9999% back to normal.

rainy fall morning

I really don’t mind running the rain. I don’t enjoy stepping out directly into a downpour but if it’s lightly raining, I can deal with the heavier rain that follows once I am already moving.


Pure Barre DVD & 6.12 Miles

I love doing the Pure Barre routine before my runs because I get all stretched out and ready to roll.

I felt great during this run, still going pretty easy but was able to speed things up for the last mile.


 12 Miles

I forgot my jelly beans at home so around mile six I looped back to my house to grab a handful. I am sure I could have run without them but they do offer me a sweet pick-me-up so it was worth it.

I also decided to start focusing on picking up my pass after mile ten. It’s always after mile ten where I can become tired, sluggish, or thinking about being done.

I want those double-digit miles to feel comfortable and not like the end so making it a point to pick up my pace however much I can at that point on tired legs seems like a good way to adapt.


A Run? Spin? Pure Barre DVD?

Not really sure. I don’t even feel like I ran yesterday so after breakfast I will decide. I have that Lifetime guest pass for a few more days so I should really take advantage of it.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

In case you missed my Runner’s World Hat Trick race recap, click here to catch up!


Is today a rest day or a run day?

Best thing you have eaten so far this weekend? Linda’s Fudge Cake. I didn’t get a picture because I was too busy enjoying it.

What I Ate Runner’s World Race Weekend

Somewhere in all of that race recapping yesterday, I mentioned that I felt as though I ate really well when it came to fueling my muscles properly in order to prepare, run, recover and then prepare to run again.

wiaw fall into good habits button

When I say I ate really well, I mean that the foods I was consuming made me feel good. They digested really well, didn’t leave me hungry, gave me energy and didn’t cause me any intestinal distress.

On Friday I showed you my favorite running/race food staples that I was packing up to take along with me to Bethlehem, PA.

race food

Destination races can get tricky because you want to make sure you eat what you are used to and needing to do that means coming a bit prepared.

The best part about everything I brought along with me is that I really ate it all!

  • Cooked oatmeal
  • Extra make-your-own oatmeal raisin oatmeal packets
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Ezekiel Bread
  • A jar of Crunch Time Peanut Butter
  • Jelly Beans
  • Justin’s Peanut Butter Packets
  • Chobani 100 Strawberry and Blueberry Greek Yogurt
  • Mixed cereal container with raisins
  • Sweet Potato Wedges
  • Extra Watermelon Gum – because, well, sometimes you need a piece or two or three

I love sweet potato wedges hot or cold and figured they would make a perfect running snack at any time of the day or night.

sweet potato wedges

I put them in a cooler along with the yogurts and cooked oatmeal for the car ride.

cooler bag

I left Friday afternoon and prepared myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on Cinnamon Raisin Ezekiel Bread to eat on the road.

peanut butter and jelly

I ate the halves of the sandwich probably an hour apart.

I wasn’t even all that hungry to tell you the truth which I don’t say often but I knew I had to eat.

I stopped for Starbucks when I was probably thirty miles outside of Bethlehem which was a nice pick-me-up even though I was trying for the whole more water less coffee thing. Oops.

starbucks coffee

By the time I arrived at the hotel, checked in and found my way in and out of the expo to grab my number, it was time for dinner which ended up being at Panera Bread.

Panera Tomato Soup and Veggie Sandiwch

As you may know, I don’t care for soup. Not that it’s bad, I just never crave it or want it.

Tomato soup though, is sometimes the exception.

I went with a long time fave, the Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich on Whole Grain Bread with a side of the tomato soup as my pre 5k/10k dinner.

Oh and a pickle.

I ordered the soup not just because I think I was in the mood for a bowl but because the extra sodium sounded like a good idea to help me retain some water in order to keep me a little more hydrated.

Sodium helps regulate the body’s fluid levels. Click here for a good article from Runner’s World on the subject.

I had some apple slices with peanut butter when I returned to my room before bed. apple with peanut butter

Pre 5k/10k Breakfast:

oatmeal banana peanut butter

My usual oatmeal mixed with banana and peanut butter.

And of course, coffee.


And lots of water too, from the minute I woke up.

In my pockets went:

jelly beans and peanut butter

And like I showed you yesterday, in between the 5k and 10k was a banana with the peanut butter I carried in my pocket.

banana and peanut butter

When I got back to my hotel room after the 10k, I was starving as usual which is exactly why I knew to bring my usual post run favorite meal.

overnight oats

It’s not all that appealing to the eyes but trust me, it was delicious.

Basically, it was overnight-ish oats:

I heated up one of my make-your-own oatmeal packets with water and then let it sit in the fridge during the races. When I got back, I added a container of the Chobani Blueberry Greek yogurt, some skim milk, more raisins, apple slices and a ton of peanut butter.

I normally eat plain greek yogurt but since I would not have my usual fruit supply with me to flavor the mix, I bought the flavored yogurt varieties for this trip.

I am really not good at heading out to eat after a race. I am usually too sweaty and cranky to wait for a table or rely on what might be on a menu. I like to shower, eat what I am used to and put my feet up.

I drank a few servings of a smoothie-juice-thing from the Vitamix booth at the expo that afternoon which somehow became a meal because I wasn’t even hungry again until an early dinner.


I really liked how I felt from eating the soup and sandwich combo as a pre-race meal so I went the same safe route for dinner Saturday night, only having it this time from Cosi,  which was located in the Saucon Valley Promenade Shops because yeah, I fit in some shopping when I wasn’t running.


I think it was a warm veggie sandwich on their whole grain bread with hummus instead of some feta spread, toasted up all nice with a cup of the tomato soup with extra bread and a little bag of carrots.

So this is interesting:

candy store

I took this picture with the intention of showing you what I ate from the candy store. But I didn’t get anything.

I know, right?! I went in thinking I would go for a piece of fudge or some fun chocolate-covered pretzels but nothing was truly appealing to me.

I just wasn’t in the mood. Instead I went back to the hotel and had this as my nighttime snack:

sweet potatoes with bananas and peanut butter

A cup full of banana slices, sweet potato wedges and lots of peanut butter.

Don’t knock it till you try it. I am craving it just typing up this post.

Pre-Half Marathon Breakfast:

oatmeal banana pb

Getting repetitive, aren’t I?

I will spare you another photo of coffee but I never go without a cup (or two) before a race.

I had half of a banana with water right after I finished the half just to hold me off until getting back to the hotel.

post race breakfast

More overnight-ish oats with Strawberry Greek Yogurt, raisins, apples and peanut butter and a side of race medals.

I made myself another pb & j for the car and stopped for coffee before hitting the road.

dunkin donuts

During my ride home which went fast until reaching the GW Bridge (shocker), I ate my sandwich, an apple and the few sweet potato wedges that were left in my bag.

pb and j

When I got home, I found myself craving another bowl of tomato soup before going out for dinner which I recapped in Monday’s post.

Trader Joe's Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Good thing I had some in the house. I should now try the regular version which contains more sodium for my next race!

Looking back, I eat real boring and repetitive but it really worked for me and I loved every bite.

Be sure to check out what everyone else has been eating this week!


Do you bring certain foods with you for destination races?

Are you starving when you finish running or does it take time for your appetite to kick in?

Are you a soup lover?




Weekly Workouts Recap 9/8/14-9/14/14

I thought I would attempt to offer a weekly recap of my workouts since I am often asked what my routine looks like and how many miles I run on average.

I never strive to hit a certain amount of miles each week nor do I plan out what each run or workout should look like. I just sort of set out each morning based upon how I feel and see where that takes me.

While the Runner’s World Hat Trick is coming up next month, I am not really training for it. Just keeping up with my typical running should be enough to tackle the three races.

Just remember, the mileage and routine that works really well for me may or may not be best for you. You need to do (or not do) what works best for you….

weekly workout recap


8 miles plus Pure Barre DVD

Somewhere after the six mile mark my phone rang and I was chatting until I realized I was at eight miles and should really stop since I wanted to do a Pure Barre video.

pure barre dvd

I swear I will offer my full review of the videos vs. the actual class soon!


6 miles plus some strength training/core work/stretching

Not all of my runs flow from start to finish. This run in particular started outside for two miles and then I ran into the gym for some arm strength training.

The Pure Barre DVD’s are missing the main arm circuit which I thankfully memorized from taking the classes over the summer so I try to incorporate the routine into my workouts.

When I was finished, I headed back outside for another four miles and then home for some core work and stretching.


35 minutes on elliptical plus Pure Barre DVD

I always set the elliptical on the random setting and then play around with the resistance as well as pedal forward and backward throughout the workout to keep things interesting.

I start out at a level of three and increase it from there. I go as high as twenty yet on average I probably hang out around level twelve or thirteen the most.

Each elliptical machine is different so how the one in my gym works may be different from yours.


10 miles

I talked a little bit about this run on Friday. I don’t normally run as long as ten miles during the week but my schedule has changed a bit in the morning so I have some flexibility with time.

I like throwing a ten mile run into the weekday mix so I may do this more often when I have the time (and when I feel like it).


5.15 miles plus Pure Barre DVD

I have been aiming for every other day with the Pure Barre DVD’s. It usually pans out to three days a week but sometimes four.

The isometric movements of Pure Barre combined with the stretching of the muscles really is a great compliment to my running. I like following along with the video in order to extend my plank time and push myself to do a bit more core work than I would do on my own. Not to mention, getting a good stretch and working every other muscle in a non-impact way is kinda nice too.


13.30 miles

Just the usual long run…Listened to a mix of Dr. Joy Browne podcasts and Pandora Radio.

I always appreciate a phone call during my long runs because I can hold a decent easy pace while my friends and I recap our nights and settle into conversations which turn into therapy sessions while I run through the miles.


Not sure yet.

It’s supposed to be a beautiful morning after last night’s rain so I have my sights set on a walk to Dunkin Donuts and perhaps a Pure Barre DVD when I get back but I really haven’t decided just yet.

I didn’t total my mileage to the exact number but a quick calculation appears to be around 42 miles.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and don’t forget to enter the Stur giveaway!


Which day is your long run usually – Saturday or Sunday?

Best thing you ate yesterday?

Do you set the elliptical machine to a specific workout or play around with the buttons the entire time?


Two Long Runs, Two Salads and Off To Philadelphia


We won’t discuss that this was one of the last weekends left of summer.



If you recall, my running plan for the weekend was to mimic the Runner’s World Hat Trick which is coming up in October.

Saturday’s Run:

Since the first day of the Hat Trick will be a 5K followed by a 10K, I treated my typical long run morning almost like two separate races in that I stopped at 3.1 miles to go to the bathroom, drink some water and stretch before heading back out for the next 6.2 miles.

adidas energy boost

I felt like it was important to make the pit stop in between the miles just to do the whole run-stop-run thing.

I don’t really have an issue stopping and then running again after a short distance but I also didn’t stop for as long as the break will probably be on the actual race day.

I ended up running a few steps over ten miles because when I finished both race distances, I slowed my pace to a cool down until I reached my front door.

The best part about any run is knowing what post-run fuel is waiting for me when I finish.

oatmeal in a jar

In case you forget what’s always inside – cooked steel-cut/old-fashioned oatmeal served cold mixed with plain greek yogurt, lots of berries, lots of peanut butter and lately, I add Skoop A-Game for the added boost of nutrients (and because I like the taste when it’s all mixed on up).

I liked using this peanut butter jar as my bowl because it was easier to reach around and get all the little bits of peanut butter off of the bottom because it is shorter and wider than the typical Crunch Time jar.

It’s the little things in life that make me happy.

Sunday’s Run:

This run was mentally more difficult simply because I had to keep reminding myself on Saturday that I was running thirteen miles on Sunday.

I am so used to running long on Saturdays and usually just doing a shake out run Sundays with no mileage goal in mind.

Even though I have done a bunch of back-to-back ten-mile runs, I had to stop thinking about the fact that I was doing 13.1 miles because somehow too much thinking about that distance, even though I do it pretty often, was still slowly creeping up on me mentally as if it would be a challenge.

Ten miles are always the easy part of a long run (easy is a relative term here, we know it’s never actually easy) it’s those extra miles past the ten-mile mark where I tend to get tired and I found myself thinking I would get tired sooner since I ran ten miles on Saturday.

pro compression

I wore my favorite Pro Compression calf sleeves for this run.

Lately I have only been wearing them as recovery (they really do amazing things for you legs after a run) but I decided to wear them as additional mental/physical support.

The mental part that was getting in my way before I ran drifted away as soon as I starting running.

I felt great actually. In fact, I think I felt better overall than I did on Saturday.

Don’t ask me exactly why I think this because I can’t pinpoint a reason. All I know is that I was in a nice groove and found myself running faster in the second half of the run rather than konking out.

I always pop jelly beans starting after mile six but I can’t say if they help or just taste good.

It was as if I didn’t run ten miles the day before which is really something to be happy and actually, proud about.

If you were to have told me two years ago as I was training for the Hershey Park Half Marathon that one day I would be running ten miles on a Saturday and a half marathon distance the next, I would have thought you were crazy.

I used to get all sore and stiff after running long distances and even my shake out runs were a struggle.

It’s really amazing what the body can learn to do and what it can even learn to enjoy.

Speaking of enjoy…

Favorite eats from the weekend:

red mango parfait

Red Mango Parfaits are prettiest when the yogurt on top is pink.

I went with strawberry greek yogurt on top because they didn’t have coconut greek which is my favorite. The coconut greek yogurt doesn’t actually taste like coconut. It almost tastes like the original flavor just a bit thicker and creamier.

I had two fantastic salads over the weekend that didn’t come from The Cheesecake Factory.

First, from the East Bay Diner, the Portobello Mushroom and Avocado Salad.

salad and sweet potato

Not the best photo because the lighting was real bad but you get the idea. It was gigantic…until I ate it all and wondered where it went.

And, of course, order a sweet potato on the side.

Diners always bake the best potatoes.

And, another great salad from La Bottega.

la bottega salad

What I love about La Bottega is that they will combine all different ingredients from any of their standard salad options to make you what you want.

I rattled off so many ingredients (like every roasted vegetable including butternut squash, eggplant, mushrooms, corn and who knows what else) plus they give you a ton of avocado which just ties it all together so nice.

Totally random, but my son and I are off to Philadelphia for the day. When people ask me why we are going, I say for lunch.

I don’t know, we randomly decided we should head west rather than out east for a day trip this week and we somehow came up with Philadelphia as a destination.

We may see the Liberty Bell but if you know me by now, you know that is totally not our focus.

I had my son research some foodie favorites that have been recognized by Adam Richman (Man vs. Food) and/or seen on episodes of Diner’s, Drive-in’s and Dives.

Our destination in terms of driving directions will land us at the parking garage of the Reading Terminal Market.

I suggest that you read Allison’s post (from the blog, Life’s A Bowl) who just visited the Reading Terminal Market. One look at her photos and you will know why this is the focal point of our excursion rather than some bell.

Be sure to follow along with me on Instagram for all of the Philly fun!

Now, excuse me while I go squeeze in a Pure Barre DVD workout before we leave…


Have you ever and/or how often do you run back-to-back long runs?

Favorite food to order at a diner?

Ever been to Reading Terminal Market? Favorite food to get from there?


Egg-Free French Toast


My idea of an active rest day yesterday morning involved experimenting with Egg-Free French Toast.

egg free french toast

Under all of that peanut butter is Cinnamon Raisin Ezekiel Bread cooked French toast style.

I learned the other day that 1/4 of a banana = one egg when substituting in recipes.

If you knew about this substitution ratio and didn’t tell me, that was not very polite.

I don’t eat eggs very much anymore which I think we have discussed but maybe we are due to discuss again. Putting it on my list.

I really enjoyed how the French Toast came out and plan to make it again this morning.

I would share a recipe but it’s not really a recipe. Basically, all it involves is mashing the banana, adding a drop of nondairy milk to keep it Vegan (or just use whatever milk you have on hand if you aren’t Vegan) and coat your bread.

I will keep playing with this French toast and if I perfect it any further, we will discuss with photos and more details.

Next on my active rest day list was to tackle and organize the art supplies.

art supplies

It’s been on my mind to clean some stuff out and reorganize but I always know once I get started, I can’t stop.

When I saw exactly what I had going on in the supply drawers, buckets and bins, I briefly contemplated selling all of the unopened packages of pens, pencils, erasers, glue sticks and crayon boxes on some sort of school supply black market.

school supplies

Then I realized that every house needs an overabundance of art supplies including 9,569 loose crayons in addition to the I’m-afraid-to-even-admit-to-how-many unopened crayon boxes just in case of an emergency project, hurricane, snow storm or if you suddenly have a room full of toddlers and need to entertain them.


Fun fact: I always wanted to be an elementary art teacher but didn’t actually want to be a teacher so instead I surrounded myself with school supplies, art supplies and started my son on art projects (even let him paint in the house!) at a super young age.

When he entered preschool, I somehow worked out an arrangement where I created and taught their art program both for the school year and summer program. Oh, and a cooking class too. That was fun.

You should know that I did throw a lot of stuff out which is such a good feeling but I couldn’t part with the unopened jars of fresh Play-Doh.

play doh

Not the best colors which must be why we never opened them but I am still excited and hope my son doesn’t think I am insane since he isn’t exactly of Play-Doh age anymore but neither am I so what’s the difference.

The stuff is ageless in my opinion.

Anyway, I am looking forward to getting outside for an easy run this morning since this weekend will involve a lot of running and I don’t want to get tired before that even happens.

Since I signed up for the Runner’s World Hat Trick of races which includes a 5K followed by a 10K one day and a Half Marathon the next, I want to mimic those miles this weekend.

I won’t run at a race pace but I do want to introduce my legs to running thirteen miles after running almost ten the day before.

I have done back-to-back ten-mile runs on more than one occasion and have run thirteen miles on one day followed by six or seven the next day a few times too.

Should be fun!

And, in case you are wondering, I keep checking the mail for the arrival of my Pure Barre DVD’s. I really can’t wait to get started as I am in slight withdrawal without the class.

I have been doing the core work routine and some of the other lifting, toning and burning exercises to the best of my ability on my own but the videos I am sure will push me harder.

Have a terrific weekend!


Do you have a thing for art and school supplies like me?

Do you have any closets and drawers to clean out which you keep putting off?

What are your running plans for this weekend?

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