Category Archives: Polar Bear Series

Polar Bear Series Half Marathon

Polar Bear Series

Sunday March 10, 2013 I ran my first half marathon as part of the Polar Bear Series through the local YMCA. I felt ready. I followed a half marathon training plan since December 2012. I cross-trained, I strength trained. I felt mentally and physically prepared for the race. Then the Sunday before the race during my long run I began to have some pain in my right foot, so I took the week before the race off from running and only went to spin class and worked out on the elliptical trainer. By Thursday I was virtually pain free and my confidence was back that I would be able to race on Sunday.

That Saturday night my youngest daughter vomited during the night and I only got four hours of sleep. I lost an hour of sleep to  daylight savings time and I woke up worried that my lack of sleep would affect my ability to put forth my best effort in the race. I went ahead and prepared to race anyhow, telling myself not to worry, that I would do great.


I had a pre-race bagel with peanut butter and a banana along with an energy drink (just in case!) I put 5 pitted dates in my pocket for during the race fuel, my plan was to eat one at miles 3, 6, 9 and 12 plus an extra if I felt I needed it. I debated wearing my fuel belt, but decided against it.

We headed over to the race site and picked up our bib numbers about 30 minutes before the race. I got myself ready and warmed up a bit. It was a beautiful day, mid-50s and sunny, perfect running weather! About two minutes before the race was supposed to start I realized I had forgotten to put on my IT band strap but there wasn’t enough time to run back to the car and grab it so I decided to just run without it. I hadn’t been having issues lately so felt that I would be okay.

3, 2, 1 and we’re off! I felt good at the start of the race, I had run the course before and knew what to expect as far as turns, etc. I felt confident and began to pick out people that I wanted to catch and pass to keep me going and focused. I was keeping a good steady pace of about 9 minutes per mile and was feeling confident that I was going to meet my goal of finishing in 2 hours. I grabbed some water at the first station, mile 4, and ate a date.


Around miles 5-6 I saw the leaders heading back to the start/finish and knew that the turnaround was at mile 7. Sometime between seeing the leaders and getting to the turn around I began to feel twinges in my right IT band. I quickly stretched a bit on the side of the road and kept going. I got to the turn around at 57 minutes, still on pace to run the 6 miles back and finish in 2 hours.

By mile 8 or so I had to stop and stretch out my right leg/knee again, the pain was sharper and more intense. My husband caught up to me and stopped to ask if I was okay and should he stay with me? I waved him on to go ahead and finish the race at his own pace. I tried to keep running but it got to be more and more difficult, by mile 9 I was alternating walking, stretching and trying to jog a bit. I knew by now that there was no way I was making my goal. Now all I wanted to do was finish the race. I had completely lost sight of my husband. People began to pass me, lots of people.

There were several times during those last 3-4 miles that I felt like just giving up. I thought there was no way I would make it back to the finish. My knee hurt an unbelievable amount, but I kept going. Walk, stretch, try to jog a few feet, stretch, walk again. I ate my dates. I stopped at the water stations where the people handing out water cups shouted words of encouragement like, “Almost there, 2 miles to go!” Those two miles felt like 200, but I persevered.

I caught up to a young man who has done all the races (and happens to be a client where I work) and we commiserated about our injuries (he had a hamstring issue going on) and jogged together for miles 11 & 12. He managed to get another burst of energy and ran the final half mile to the finish. At mile 13 I pushed myself to run the final 0.1 mile to the finish line. Once across I collapsed to the ground in agony.

My official 1st half marathon time was 2:23:33 hours. I was very disappointed in myself that I had failed to meet my goal after all my training and hard work. On the other hand I was proud of myself for having finished a half marathon even though I was injured.

Blueberry Chia Blaster Smoothie | Herbivore Triathlete

After the race there was Gatorade, water, pizza, pretzels and Newton’s available. I had made my Blueberry Chia Blaster Smoothie and drank that instead.


There was an awards ceremony after everyone had crossed the finish line. Everyone who had run and finished all 4 races of the Polar Bear Series was given a medal.

I went to my primary doctor the next day. She sent me for x-rays and referred me to a sports medicine doctor. I saw the sports medicine doctor on Wednesday. He diagnosed me with Iliotibial Band Tendonitis and Peroneal Insertional Tendonitis. I was prescribed anti-inflammatories and physical therapy 3 times per week for the next four weeks. Doc said that if PT clears me I may be allowed to begin low-impact exercise such as swimming or the recumbent bike in 2 weeks. I go back for a follow up with the sports medicine doctor in mid-April.

Bruised Foot | Herbivore Triathlete

To say I’m bummed out is putting it mildly. I do not sit still well. I’m the kind of person who feels guilty and restless when I take one day off from working out. I don’t know what 2-4 weeks will do to me. It will probably drive my family crazy! My fear is that all the gains I’ve made will be lost. I’m worried I will put on a bunch of weight and lose cardio fitness. I don’t have a game plan yet, but perhaps I can still do some yoga or kettlebells or have Jillian Michaels kick my ass using her 6 weeks 6 pack DVD that’s collecting dust. We’ll see.

Check out my other races on the Herbivore Triathlete Race Results Page
Previous Races in 2013: Polar Bear Series 5K & Polar Bear Series 10K & Polar Bear Series 10 Miles
Next Race: Allegany Adventure Run 6K-May 4, 2013 (Trail Run)


Polar Bear Series~10 Miles

Polar Bear Series

The Polar Bear Series 10 mile race was the farthest I’ve ran so far as a runner. It was a gorgeous day, the sun was shining and the temperatures were in the high 30’s. About an hour and a half before the race start I made myself a juice that I’m calling, “Go Get ‘Em Green Juice” (recipe below). I also ate a bowl of my homemade Maple Sunbutter Granola with almond milk and a banana.

For once I actually managed to get my phone started on time and my music was turned up! I had come prepared with an extra layer consisting of a jacket and a fresh pack of Hot Hands. About a mile into the race, I shoved the Hot Hands in my pocket. I unzipped my extra jacket around mile 2 and thought about taking my hat off because I could feel myself sweating, but decided against it since I knew that the middle miles are in shade and colder. Around miles 1-2 I passed my husband and several other racers. My ankles started to ache a bit around miles 2-3 but not too bad and I ran through the achy-ness. I skipped the first water station and felt like I was keeping a good pace. I passed a couple more racers between miles 3-4. I like to pick a person or two ahead of me to try to “catch” and pass them.

Around miles 4-5 the leaders started passing me heading back towards the YMCA. I was hoping that the turnaround was coming up soon, but it seemed to take forever before I saw it. This portion of the race was all uphill, a L.O.N.G gradual uphill, it sucked. At the turnaround I grabbed a water and took a few sips. Now I got to run back down the hill and picked up my pace quite a bit.

I passed this one guy I’d been aiming for the past mile or so at this point. He slowed to a walk to drink his water. Next up was a woman in a pink jacket. It looked like she was quite a ways ahead of me and I feared that I may not be able catch up to and pass her. At miles 7-8, I was close enough to pass her and made my move. At this point there was no one else ahead of me to try to pass, I figured all the fast runners were way ahead of me and had probably finished by now.

I tried to pick up my pace for miles 8-10, however, my left IT band started to tighten up and really hurt at this point, but I refused to slow down and walk this close to the end, I pushed through the pain. Around 9.5 miles  I saw some runners who had already finished cooling down. I turned the final corner, about 1/4 mile left to the finish, and pushed myself into high gear. I ran as fast as I could to the finish line. My time was 1:33:53! (The splits shown below don’t give the official finish time due to me starting my phone timer prior to the official start of the race).

I was pleased with this time, my guesstimate had been about an hour and a half. This was my first longer distance race and I could not have asked for a better run. I felt really good the entire time and kept a steady pace, averaging 9-9:30 minutes per mile.

Polar Bear 10miles //

Go Get ‘Em Green Juice

3 Romaine Leaves
1 cup spinach, baby bok choy, baby red & green chard blend
1 celery stalk
1 apple
2-3 inches of an English Cucumber
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1/2 inch knob of ginger
1/2 of a lemon

Check out my other races on the Herbivore Triathlete Race Results Page
Previous Races in 2013: Polar Bear Series 5K & Polar Bear Series 10K
Next Race: Polar Bear Series Half Marathon–March 10, 2013

Weekly Workout Summary 02.10.2013

Valentine's Day Weekly Workout

Here’s what my weekly workouts looked like:

Sunday 02/03/13: 8.6 miles on the treadmill (1 hour, 25 minutes)

Monday 02/04/13: REST Day

Tuesday 02/05/13: 3.24 miles on the treadmill (35 minutes)

Wednesday 02/06/13: Spin Class at Allegheny Endurance (45 minutes)

Thursday 02/07/13: 2.77 miles on the treadmill (30 minutes)

Friday 02/08/13: Your Shape Fitness Evolved: Toned Arms & Shoulders Workout-5#, Sleeve Busting Workout-5#, Zen Class: Ocean (35 minutes)

Saturday 02/09/13: Spin Class at Allegheny Endurance (60 minutes)

Weekly Totals:

Running: 14.61 miles, 2 hours & 30 minutes

Spin Class: 1 hour & 45 minutes

Strength Training/Other: 35 minutes

Today I am running the Polar Bear Series 10 miles, stay tuned this week for my race report. Check out my other Polar Bear Series Races; 5K and 10K as well as previous races.

Weekly Workout Summary 01.27.2013

weekly workout 01.27.2013

Here’s what my weekly workouts looked like:

Sunday 01/20/13: Polar Bear Series 10K (55:33 minutes)

Monday 01/21/13: REST Day

Tuesday 01/22/13: Fitness Blender Kettlebell Workout (35 minutes) and Intense Calf & Ankle Stretches (20 minutes, my lower calves and ankles hurt SO badly after the 10K)

Wednesday 01/23/13: Spin Class at Allegheny Endurance (45 minutes)

Thursday 01/24/13: Elliptical Trainer at the YMCA (35 minutes)

Friday 01/25/13: OFF (traveling)

Saturday 01/26/13: Ran 3.77 miles (40 minutes)

Weekly Totals:

Running: 9.97 miles, 1 hour & 35 minutes

Spin Class: 45 minutes

Strength Training/Other: 1 hour & 30 minutes

Weekly Rewind~Hodge Podge Edition

rewindTime for another edition of Herbivore Triathlete’s Weekly Rewind!

I’ve been super busy this week, I know I’ve said that before, but it’s true! I feel like this week has just been go, go, go!

On Sunday I ran my very first 10K, you can read about my experience here.

My birthday was on Wednesday. I turned 35 (holy shit, when did I get old??)

Three kids + three bedroom house = shared bedrooms = recipe for disaster! We’ve had our house on the market since this past summer and have been casually looking for a 4 bedroom house. I found one that looked like it was a good fit for us, kind of out of town a bit and had a small amount of land. I contacted the Realtor  scheduled a viewing, and went to the house on the designated day and time. We waited for half an hour and she NO SHOWED! What kind of Realtor does that? I was annoyed to say the least. We had made childcare arrangements and cancelled my birthday dinner plans to go see this house. Ugh!

I’ve been reading a lot about photography this week:

By the way, I need this lens–>Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 Awesome lens at an awesome price!

Food I’m crushing on this week:

Looking for a new blog to obsess over? Check out Greatist‘s list of 60 Must-Read Health &Fitness Blogs for 2013. Several of my favorites are on the list, are yours?




Polar Bear Series~10K

polar bear running2Last Sunday the temperature was close to 60°F and it was sunny during my long run. The weather predicted for today was 21°F, winds up to 20-30 mph and 80% chance of snow. Perfect weather to run a 10K, or NOT! All morning I was fretting about how cold and snowy and windy it was outside. I could hear the wind rattling the windows in my house all night and all morning. I did NOT want to go run 6.2 miles, not one bit. But I had registered for the race so I tried to mentally prepare myself as I packed my bag.

I made a last minute run to the store to pick up some Hot Hands and a fleece jacket for an extra layer.

Before the race I fueled up with some Endurance Crackers¹ and a Beet & Sweet Potato “Roots” Juice² as well as a banana. About 15 minutes prior to the race starting I took a slow jog around the block to warm up and did some minor stretching. I got my phone all set up with the GPS and music and timer, and I actually remembered to push “start” this time!

The first mile was brutal; we were running into the wind and the snow was coming right at my face. I felt like my face was frozen and it hurt! I looked at the woman next to me and her face was covered in snow! My husband was just ahead of me and my goal was to pass him by mile 2.

The second mile we were finally running with the wind at our backs and I passed the hubby. I was feeling pretty good about my pace and no parts of my body felt like they were going to fall off from the cold anymore.

Polar Bear 10K

The app on my phone would chirp in and tell me my time, miles and pace every mile which helped keep me on track. At about 2.5 miles or so people started coming back towards me so I knew that the turnaround/halfway point wasn’t too far off. I was still feeling good and keeping a steady pace.

The third mile was a steady incline and I know I slowed down a bit, but it didn’t feel too significant. There was a woman and 3 men that I kept passing and then they would pass me, back and forth until about mile 5. I reached the turnaround point feeling good and knowing I could finish the 10K in less than an hour, which was my goal.

Miles 4 & 5 were on a gradual slope downhill and I was able to pick up some speed. I had wanted to run the second half faster than the first half and was feeling good about my pace. At mile 5 I dropped one of my hot hands while trying to fix my earphones. One had fallen out of my ear! I slowed for a split second to pick it up but changed my mind and kept going. I saw the 5 mile marker and picked up the pace a bit more.

During the final mile several runners who had already finished were cooling down and running back towards me. I knew I was almost done and my app informed me that I had run 6 miles in 54:06, I pushed myself to run faster to the finish line.

I finished my first 10K in 55:33 minutes, meeting my goal of under one hour. Not too shabby I think, especially with the weather conditions and considering it was my first 10K race. I walked back to cool down and also to cheer my husband on to his own finish of 56:49 minutes.

Check out my other races!
Previous Race:
Polar Bear Series 5K
Next Race: Polar Bear Series 10 miles
Herbivore Triathlete Race Results Page

¹ Read the Top 10 Benefits of Chia Seeds; Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds; Benefits of Sunflower Seeds; and Benefits of Sesame Seeds.
² Sweet potatoes and carrots are high in beta-carotene, vitamin C and anti-oxidants. Beets are rich in phytonutrients and have blood pressure lowering properties.  Read more about the benefits of beet juice for endurance athletes here.

Weekly Rewind~Back to Work Edition

rewindIt’s been a very busy week for me since I’ve returned to work full time this week after my nice long holiday vacation! As always, Friday means weekly rewind,here’s what happened this week.

Winter Session I of spin classes started this week and the sadistic duo instructors don’t ease us back into things but rather plow ahead full force.

Half marathon training is in full swing as well with each Sunday’s run session getting gradually longer. I’m not running a predetermined number of miles but rather a length of time, this week the plan is to run for 1 hour, 25 minutes. I’m expecting this to be around 10 miles or so.

Although I don’t necessary feel the need to make New Year’s resolutions per say, I do feel like I need to clean up my eating a bit after enjoying a bit of freedom food wise during the holidays.

I’ve been planning my meals again, which is essential for work days and I tend to eat better if I plan ahead. Every day I’ve made myself a huge salad for lunch. My salads typically include spinach, arugula and kale, about 2-3 cups worth. I add cucumbers, tomatoes, sprouts, beans (black beans, chickpeas, etc.), hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, goji berries, cranberries, and banana peppers. For the dressing my current fave is Marzetti Simply Dressed Light Raspberry Acai Salad Dressing.

Check out Somer’s Green Smoothie Challenge, talk about inspirational! She has graciously provided a Google document for anyone who would like to join in the challenge. All the work has been done for you, no excuses!

Megan from Country Cleaver has started a great how-to series. First up, a fabulous looking multigrain bread, picture perfect and waiting to be made into a great sandwich, or simply toasted and slathered with some nut butter, sunflower butter or even cookie butter. Yum!

Angela from Oh She Glows started a Vegan How To Series which I think is fantastic for anyone wanting to eat more plant-based whole foods. I wish she had done this series a year ago when I embarked into the world of veganism. Lots of great tips, tricks, and helpful information is being covered not only in the posts themselves but also in discussions in the comments section. Topics covered so far include; Introduction to the Series, How To Make The Transition, Replacing Dairy Milk, Carrageenan in Our Food, and Homemade Oat Milk.

I’m sick and tired of the music I currently have on my playlist and am looking for new, motivating songs for my upcoming Polar Bear Series 10K, which is quickly approaching. Eeek! It’ll be the longest race I’ve ever done.