Monday, June 30, 2014

Race Report: 50 Yard Finish 2014

I got my medal!!  If you have been following my blog, you know that was my goal for this race.  Last week I ran for time.  This week was for that medal.  And it’s a pretty sweet medal.

There were about 800 runners entered in the 5k and another thousand or so running a half marathon.  I was 4th female and 1st in my age group on a hot, humid Saturday morning in Orchard Park, New York.  When I woke up race morning, I was surprised to see my cousin Michele getting ready.  I didn't know she was coming with us so that was a nice treat!  She had to work a 10-10 shift that day so go Michele for waking up at 5am to hang out with me at a road race!  Also run/walking was my mama Linda, my aunt Barb, and my cousin Melissa’s friend Ali.  Melissa wasn’t with us this year because as we were running she was biking 65 miles raising money for cancer research at the Ride for Roswell!  #ProudCousin

The 5k was one big loop on the roads around the stadium.  Pretty boring course but the last half mile is well worth it.  It’s awesome rounding the corner to see the stadium then running through the tunnel and onto the field.  I crossed the finish line with a big smile on my face (obviously), grabbed some water, a chocolate milk, and some treats from Tim Hortons – a great sponsor!  I then found my spot at about the 20 yard line to watch the rest of the girls cross the finish line.

So much fun.  Great morning.  Can’t wait for football season!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Run Jen Run's Beach Body Workouts

Background: My friend Kelly was abroad this spring and asked me what she could do to get ready for a Cape Cod summer in bikinis.  She did not have access to a gym or any equipment so I put together two quick workouts with a few exercises targeting all our major muscle groups that she could do virtually anywhere.  Summer may be here but it's not too late to get fit!

*Please make sure you are medically cleared before trying a new fitness routine.  Schedule an appointment with a certified personal trainer to receive a workout specific to your goals and fitness levels.

Run Jen Run's Beach Body Workout #1

Jog 1 mile

10 Burdenko Wake Up Call
Take a small step forward while clapping your hands overhead. Step back to start position and repeat with the other leg. Gradually take bigger steps forward until you are lunging. 

10 Squats

30-60” Plank

15-30” each Side Plank

10 Burdenko Squat Hurdles
Squat. As you’re coming back up, kick left leg in the air while you reach opposite hand to foot.  Squat and repeat with the other side.  

10 each Burdenko Earth to Sky
Lunge to the side and “sweep the floor” with your opposite hand and continue to make big circles overhead.  Continue for 10 repetitions and repeat to the other side.  

30-60” Plank
15-30” each Side Plank

10 Jumping Jacks
10 each Single Leg Hop in Place     

Jog 1 mile + Stretch

Run Jen Run's Beach Body Workout #2

Jog 1 mile

10 Push Ups

10 Tricep Dips

60” Plank
30” each Side Plank

10 Bridges

10 Bird Dogs
Begin on all fours with hands underneath your shoulder and knees underneath your hips.  Raise opposite arm and leg making sure to keep back.  Return to start and repeat.

60” Plank
30” each Side Plank

10 Burpees

Jog 1 mile + Stretch

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Race Report: Women Running Wild 2014

The Skiba women ran great races at the 18th Annual Women Running Wild on Saturday July 21st in Osterville, MA. 

2 women.  2 PRs.  1 awesome evening.

When I ran this race in 2012, it was my fastest 5k since high school.  It was a fun race, a fairly flat course, and I was excited to be back.  My goal for 2014 was to break 21 minutes.

I became super nervous waiting around all day until the 6pm race.  I am so out of my comfort zone running 5ks.  They are short.  They are fast.   And I don’t like short or fast.  Well, I like fast but you know what I mean.

Anyway, it was a beautiful night for a race!  Perfect temperature.  A little breezy but the sun was shining and there were a lot of happy women at the start line.

The first mile I was relaxed - almost too relaxed as I kept gazing at my watch and forcing myself to slow down.  I passed a couple of women in the first mile and a half but then I stayed about the same distance behind the 2nd place girl for the rest of the race.  I finished the race feeling good.  I was definitely working the last mile but I didn’t feel like I totally pushed myself, which is a good sign of my fitness.  I crossed the line in 3rd place with a 20:49.  Happy Jen!

Linda ran a 27:50!  She didn’t stop to walk at all.  She is turning into quite the little runner.

Up next: 50 Yard Finish on Saturday morning!  I won’t be running for time... I’ll be racing for an age group medal!  Last year I jogged the course finishing 4th in my age group.  It normally wouldn’t faze me missing out on a medal until I realized it was a Buffalo Bills medal.  Anything for my Bills.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Pumpkin Granola Bars

These are amazing.  Great for breakfast or after a run!

3-1/4 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 (or more!) teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon flaxseed (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9x11 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together oats, spices, flaxseed and salt.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk brown sugar, pumpkin, applesauce, honey and vanilla extract until smooth.  Poor over oats and stir well until all of the oats are moist.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Evenly press oat mixture into prepared pan.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and set.  The pumpkin keeps the bars moist so make sure you don’t under-bake!

Remove from oven.  Let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.

Cut into bars.  Remove from pan and let cool completely.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The terrible, horrible, no good, very bad run.

Have you ever had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad run?

Today was one of those days.  The sun was shining.  There was a nice breeze.  Monday's afternoon run felt effortless.  The plan was an easy 3 miles with some strides.  I was ready.

Or so I thought.

It was awful!  There are no good words to describe today's run.  It was freaking hot.  I couldn’t breathe.  Like really, I couldn’t breathe.  I had to walk.  As I was walking, I tried to remember the last time walked during a run.  The only thing that came to mind was a 14 miler during marathon training when later that day I found out I had strep throat.  2012.  Ugh.

Anyway, bad runs happen.  Everyone from beginners to elites will experience bad runs from time to time.  Even if everything is going right from training to preparation and all the little things like stretching and nutrition, you will experience a bad run.  And when you do, it’s important to stop over-analyzing what went wrong and have confidence that the next time you head out the door, it will be a new day.

Time to put that run behind me and look ahead to the weekend.  Spin and Power Water tomorrow.  Easy 3 miles on Friday and going for a 5k PR at Women Running Wild on Saturday night!  Woohoo!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Let's Get Married Spin Playlist

Yesterday's spin playlist was created in honor of KK’s bridal shower weekend although the bride-to-be never showed up to class!  Oops.  Here’s what you missed out on… :)

Good Vibrations - Marky Mark                                  4:31  Warm up
Lucky Strike - Maroon 5                                               3:05  Drills, pedal strokes
Like I Love You - Justin Timberlake                          4:44  Build
Can't Remember To Forget You - Shakira               3:27  Rolling hills
Fire Burning - Sean Kingston                                     4:05  Build
Mercy (feat. The Game) [Remix] - Duffy                  3:50  Standing climb
Hello Good Morning (feat. T.I.) - Diddy                    4:29  Fast/jumps/running
Do Somethin' - Britney Spears                                    3:23  Recovery, start build
Single Ladies - Beyonce                                                 3:15  Jumps (pyramid 20" to 5" to 20")
Let's Get Married Remix - Jagged Edge                     4:11  80-100, high tension
Now That We Found Love - Heavy D & The Boyz  4:18  Seated/standing climb
Love Never Felt So Good - MJ & JT                              4:06  Cool down
Marilyn Monroe - Pharrell Williams                          5:51  Stretch

PS- Thank you for coming Dana!  Loved having you in class!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to the greatest Daddo in the world!
This year is going to be quite an adventure and I am both thankful & excited to have you by my side. I owe you a round of golf and an ice cold beer. Love you.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Spinning Tips for New Riders

Below is a blog post I wrote for the Mashpee Fitness Center.  To see the original, visit the Mashpee Fitness blog.

Thinking about attending your first Spin Class?  Spin is an awesome cardiovascular workout with high energy, the lights turned down and the music turned up!  Here are my tips for new riders:

Arrive early.
Proper bike set up is extremely important for safety and injury prevention. Class begins on time so arrive 10-15 minutes early to ensure enough time for the instructor to help get you oriented.

Drink lots of water.
It is recommended by Spinning to drink 40 oz of water for a 40 minute spin class.  8 oz of water about 30 minutes before class, 24 oz during class, and 8 oz within 30 minutes after class.  If you get to the point where you feel thirsty, you are already enduring the early stages of dehydration.

Bring a towel.
You will sweat!  Some fitness centers will supply towels to their members.  If you are unsure, it’s best to bring your own just to be safe because I guarantee you will want one!

The bike seat isn’t that bad!
Don't be intimidated by the small & narrow bike seat! It only takes a few classes to get used to it. To improve your comfort, wear bike shorts or bring a padded seat cover to class.

Wear a heart rate monitor.
A good instructor will incorporate heart rate training into the ride.  It adds another element to your training and allows you to see your progress and continual improvements to your fitness.  Benefits include: improves fitness levels, more efficient training, avoid over-training, less chance of injury, increases metabolism & fat-burning efficiency, and most importantly – you’re in control of your workout and intensity.

Go at your own pace.
The best part about a spin class is that anyone and everyone can experience a great workout from beginners to seasoned athletes.  The instructor is there to motivate and guide riders through a class but it’s ultimately up to you to choose the intensity.  Some riders never get out of the saddle – and that’s ok!  I always say – you can do what you want as long as you’re pedaling!

Most importantly... Have fun!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Belmont Jewel

Belmont Jewel

1.5 oz bourbon
2 oz lemonade
1 oz pomegranate juice

Shake vigorously & serve over ice with a cherry or lemon twist.

It’s been a tradition to watch all 3 Triple Crown races each year with my dad.  I look forward to it every spring.  In honor of California Chrome’s Triple Crown attempt, we enjoyed a glass of Belmont Jewel, the official drink of the Belmont Stakes.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Recovery Tip #1: Ice Baths

“Anyone can train hard.  Do you have the discipline to recover?”
~Lauren Fleshman

Recovery is a very important factors in your training to reduce the risk of injury and to maximize the gains you are making.  By "recovery," I don’t mean just laying around all day!  Rest may be important but so is activity – for example, a walk – something light to keep your muscles active without putting extra stress on your body. 

It’s the little things like recovery, functional/strength training, warming up, and nutrition that can make you a better athlete and avoid injury.

Ice baths are a great tool in recovery especially after a race, long run, or a tough workout.  There is surprisingly not much research out there to support ice baths but ask any elite runner (like Meb Keflezighi and Usain Bolt, just to name a few...) and they 100% believe in the theory behind ice baths.

Theory suggests that an intense run can cause trauma to your muscles resulting in micro-tears to the muscle fibers.  It has been said that a 10-minute ice bath will reduce inflammation by constricting blood vessels to flush the metabolic waste out of your muscles.  Once the muscles start warming up again, there is increased oxygen to the muscles to jump start recovery.

Eliminate sore legs and fatigue while preparing the body for it’s next workout.  Are you ready to give it a try?

Cool temperatures between 50 and 60 degrees are ideal.  During the spring and late fall, a non-heated pool or the ocean works great as an ice bath.  When that is not an option, empty all the ice cube trays in your house into the bathtub or buy a bag of ice.  Fill the tub with water and ice so that your legs and hips will be fully submerged.  Grab a magazine or warm coffee and stay in the tub for 10-15 minutes.  It may be painful at first but you’re legs will thank you!

Some people touch your heart...

Some people touch your heart it ways they will never know.

Rest in peace to my very first training client.  A lovely woman who danced her way through every session and insisted on calling me Jenna because she thought it sounded better – even as her husband tried to correct her every time.  In her 80s, she liked to brag to all her friends that she had a personal trainer.  I'll never forget our conversations about marathons, dancing, cruises, and her grandchildren.  Dot, you will be missed. 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Weekend Roundup: First Ever Pub Run & Two-A-Days!

I don’t know about you, but I had an excellent weekend.

Photo from Cape Cod Runner
On Friday night, I attended the first ever Pub Run at Marathon Sports Mashpee.  Mizuno sponsored the event and it was a blast.  They brought along shoes and there were perks for trying them on and running the 3-mile course in them.  I ran with Tiff from work – and we were flying in the Mizuno shoes!  They are a great brand and great company but they run a little too narrow for my big feet.  Boo.

After the run, the group met up at The Lanes.  Everyone that wore the Mizuno shoes got a drink voucher, a Mizuno pint glass, and a cool blue Mizuno t-shirt. 

That’s not all – The Lanes brought out food!  Chips, soft pretzels (my fav!), nachos, and pizza.  Awesome.  My dad also ran and we stuck around for a while and met some other local runners.  It was a late night for us – got home at 10pm! – but we would totally do it again!

Thank you Marathon Sports & Mizuno!

Friday also marked my first ever two-a-day.  I knew I would be running at the Pub Run so I was going to move my usual Friday morning long run to Thursday or Saturday morning.  Stupid tree pollen and work stress has had an effect on my sleep this week so I skipped my run Thursday morning.  When I woke up Friday morning, I was feeling great and the morning was so beautiful I couldn’t help but head out the door for a lovely 8 miles down by the beach.

Saturday morning I received a surprise text from Lizzie that she is in town so she joined me and my mama for a nice 4-mile walk around West Falmouth and Chappy Beach.  I love when she’s home.  We also made a trip to Somerset Creamery – in my opinion, the best ice cream and waffle cones on Cape Cod!

Other highlights:

While we were sleeping Friday night, Galen Rupp broke the American Record in the 10,000 meters.  So amazing.  If you didn’t have a chance to watch the race, you can check it out here. 

Registration is now up for the Tufts 10k for Women.  I have it marked on my calendar as my goal race of the year.  Join me on Columbus Day for an empowering day for women and a 6.2 mile run through the streets of Boston.

Weekend Mileage – Friday AM 8miles, Friday PM 3miles, Saturday AM 4mile walk.  Sunday PM 4 miles with mama joining me on the bike.