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Friday, April 19, 2013

Jillian B. Murphy on Running a 200 Mile Relay Race, and Reflections on Teamwork

If you read my blog on the reg (there has to be someone right'?)  then you hear me talking about Jill, Jillian B. Murphy, or Running Master Jill as I like to call her.

Jill has been a HUGE inspiration and support system from day one.  Jill helped me train for my first long distance race and ran my first half marathon with me (20 minutes faster of course).  

She keeps me calm, joins me on my distance runs, scolds me when I ignore all her rules, shares her recipes and secrets,  approves or disapproves of all running related purchases, and constantly reminds me I can do this.  When I need to bitch about a bad run or get some advice on a running issue, she always listens and responds with a " I know... I get it".

This girl is a vault of amazing information and I was really excited when she agreed to guest post for me (while I am away sunning scuba diving, drinking, and maybe running in Bonaire).  

Jill has run countless races from marathons to overnight relays.  I recruited/begged Jill to run Ragnar Cape Cod with me last year.  When she agreed, she also agreed to run the hardest leg with me on the other team.  We ran three legs  and a grand total of 24 miles (9 miles, 9 miles, and 6 miles).   When she wrote a blog post for AMACOM Books Blog about her experience with Ragnar and the teamwork required in running a Ragnar Relay, I had to link it up here.  

I mean the blog is called Running A Ragnar. 

Meet Jill and Enjoy!

Keep an eye out for a guest post or two from Jill on the blog this week.   
Thank you Jill.
For Everything.  

Happy Running

(How To) Taper for a Marathon

While I completely understand the need for a taper, it seems really hard (mentally) and the rules seem a little confusing.   I did a bunch of research and here is what I found for tapering.  

* Do your last long run three weeks before your marathon

* Two weeks before cut your mileage to about 50-75% of what you were normally doing

* One week before cut your mileage to about a third 

I  am a control freak, and I always always need a plan, and a schedule laid out in front of me.... so I put together a schedule for May (trying) to follow these guidelines.  

3 Weeks Out :  22 Miles Long Distance  10 mid week
2 Weeks Out : 10 Miles Long Distance 8 mid week
1 Week Out: 5 Miles Long Distance 6 mid week
Week Of: Two 3 mile runs, two rest days before race.

Other important aspects while tapering:  Maintain a healthy diet high in carbs and protein, drink lots of fluids, get 8 hours of sleep a night. 

Three weeks  of tapering that seems like a lot right?  I was a little worried about losing all of my fitness until I read this:  Patti Finke, who coaches 250 maratoners a year says "What they don't realize is that in those last few weeks, it's the rest more than the work that makes you strong.  And studies show that your aerobic capacity, the best gauge of all fitness, doesn't change at all"

Is anyone else surprised by this?  It is good to know that 3 weeks off wont ruin 3 months of training.   It is just going to be a mental struggle to stay relaxed and keep my "long runs" low distance.  I know I will want to run longer distances to prove to myself I can-  I will have to fight this urge!

The main point of a taper is to minimize fatigue.  The last three weeks is not the time to add in more runs, or fight the mental battle of long distance, that should be done long before.  The last three weeks you want your body to repair muscle damage from training, replenish your carbohydrate storage in your muscles.  

If you are like me you have made it this far (almost) injury free! (darn cankle) Spend the last three weeks celebrating that instead of risking a new injury?

Guest Post: Kristen makes Tate's Bake Shop Key Lime Pie


 I am so happy to be guest posting on Katie’s blog. Wehave been the closest of friends since meeting in 6th grade scienceclass.

(Senior Prom 2006)

I am always so impressed with Katie’s ability to make timefor running, two jobs, her cute dog Olive, and those cooking skills… She canthrow together a great dinner with zero instruction or prep. We always jokethat she cooks, and I bake.

As we’re heading into spring, I thought I would share one ofmy favorite warm weather deserts. Tate’s Bake Shop on Long Island has a cookbookwith a pretty killer key lime pie recipe. The combination of a sweet crust and tartpie filling makes a delicious result.  Secondbest part? It is so easy to make!


For the GrahamCracker Crust:

-         1 ¼ cups graham crackers, processed (or smashedin a Ziploc bag!) to fine crumbs – approximately 1 ½ packets
-         1 tablespoon sugar
-         5 tablespoons salted butter, melted

Mix the crumbs and sugar in a medium bowl. Add the butter.Stir until well blended. Lightly grease the bottom & sides of a 9-inch piepan or dish. Press the crumb mixture evenly against the sides and bottom of thedish. Bake for 10 minutes at 325 degrees. Cool completely.

For the Key LimeFilling:

-         4 large egg yolks
-         1 tablespoon grated lime zest, from one lime
-         1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
-         ½ cup fresh lime juice, from about 4 limes

In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the yolksand lime zest until they are smooth. Beat in the milk, then pour in the lime juiceand beat the mixture until smooth. Pour the filling into the graham crackercrust and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool the pie then refrigeratetill it’s cold, at least 2 hours. I let it cool in the fridge overnight as Ibaked it after dinner.




Tollbouse cookie pie

Sometimes you just need something sweet. 

Sometimes you just need something sweet and completely not healthy.

 Sometimes you just need a tollhouse cookie pie.

I know this is a running blog, and I am supposed to inspire you with healthy recipes, but I also believe life is about balance.  Work hard play hard right?  In this case play hard eat hard.  It's okay to put down the wheat bread for a croissant.  And sometimes its okay to load an apple pie crust with cookie dough.  

It was a friend birthday Saturday and his cake request was a tollhouse cookie pie.  I am not a baker.   I can't even pretend I am a baker.  I destroy everything I bake... I burn it..... I dont measure the ingredients. It is usually a disaster.  

When I found this 8 ingredient recipe, I felt empowered and pulled out my neglected mixing bowl.  Mix all ingredient, pour in pie shell, bake for an hour.  It is trickier than it sounds.  


This was absolutely delicious-  Still ooey gooey in the middle, and paired with vanilla ice cream it tasted like a cookie sandwich.  

How do you make this recipe lower in fat?
Best way to make unhealthier snacks healthier....
Share with friends  :)


2 eggs
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. finely packed brown sugar
1 c. butter, melted and cooled
1 (6 oz.) pkg. (1 c.) Nestle's Toll House semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c. chopped pecans or walnuts
1 (9-inch) unbaked pie shell

If using frozen pie shell, use only deep dish style and thaw completely. Place on cookie sheet; bake 10 minutes longer.Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In large bowl, beat eggs until foamy. Add flour and both sugars. Beat until well blended, and blend in melted butter. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Pour into pie shell. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.
Makes 1 pie.


Bonaire bound !

It is finally here!  

I am on my way to Newark and off for a week in Bonaire diving and playing in the sun.  I am hoping to squeeze a few runs in but that depends on the newly formed cankle. 

 I wont cry over missing a few runs but I am a little nervous about diving with a bad ankle.  While diving is low impact, it will be straining on my ankle to swim in the fins.

One day at a time though....

I had to pack almost all of my scuba gear (BC, regulator, fins, boots, wet suit, computer, masks) in my carry on.  This left about no room for clothes.  I tried to go bare minimum on the clothes.

I packed 6 dresses, 1 pair of shorts, 2 pairs of gym shorts, a few running tanks, undergarments, and lots of bikinis.  And I will be wearing a pair of pants and a jacket there.  I think that's everything.  I plan to live in a bikini all week anyway!.

I laid out the cute jewelry I wanted to wear with the dresses to make sure I didn't forget any accessories ;) 

I managed to fit all of that in these three bags.  My checked bag really isn't that big and it fit all of my scuba gear and most clothes.   I put my regulator, mask, and dive computer in the red and white laptop bag as a carry on.  I put the rest of my clothes, books, electronics, and documentation in my beach bag.  
I am still amazed I life into three bags.  

After all of that packing I sat n the couch  painted my nails, and stuffed these two coldstone ice cream cupcakes down the ol' hatch.  Delicious.

I have set up a few posts/guest posts for your viewing pleasures while I am away.  Not sure if I will have cell service or internet in Bonaire... I am assuming no.  It seems like a realllly tiny not so popular island.
I had never heard of it... have you?

While reading a brochure they suggested "to prevent the windows in your rental car from being smashed, leave your vehicle unlocked and all belongings at the hotel".

So I am guessing internet is a no no.

I hope everyone has a great week with some great runs.  Can't wait to report back with details from the trip.  And I hope you LOVE the guest posts :)

Happy traveling,

The Future Of Marathons

It has been a few days and Boston is still pulling on our heart strings.  Like many runners, I am grieving for my community, and sitting here thinking...

"What's Next?"  

What is going to become of this sport...This sport that I am just earning the rights to call my own?

I really loved this article from Runner World written by Roger Robinson.  The full article can be found here  but I wanted to share a few excerpts that stood out to me. 

(photo credit

"A Marathon in South Africa was created to commemorate the dead in World War 1. The Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon affirms life after the bombings in that city in 1995. This very Boston Marathon mourned and honored the school kids who were gunned down a few months ago in Newtown, Connecticut, not far from here. Out of respect for them,  The race was started for the first time in 117 years not with a gun but with an air horn." 

(That line got me all teary eyed- of course)

"Even without that special purpose, marathon running is a sport of goodwill. It's the only sport in the world where if a competitor falls, the others around will pick him or her up. It's the only sport in the world open to absolutely everyone, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity or any other division you can think of. It's the only occasion when thousands of people assemble, often in a major city, for a reason that is totally peaceful, healthy and well-meaning. It's the only sport in the world where no one ever boos anybody.
If you're losing your faith in human nature, look at marathon crowds, standing for hours with no seating, no cover, no bathrooms, to cheer thousands of strangers. Or look at our sport's volunteers, on whose shoulders the whole sport rests
Our problem is that this marathon world of goodwill and prelapsarian innocence has made us so vulnerable. Ever since the New York City Marathon went ahead seven weeks after the horror of 9/11, my wife Kathrine Switzer and I have feared exactly what happened today. Our sport is such a great photo-op, and global media coverage is guaranteed. Modern murderers like those things. Kathrine saw the police sniffer dogs at 8 this morning checking the finish area, so the bombs were presumably planted later, by someone who wandered in behind the crowd. How could you stop it?

It's too soon to say where we go from here. The world cross country championships were much weakened by the demands of modern security, meaning they always have to be held on closed circuits instead of across country as they should be. Could we run marathons on safe closed circuits? How could you reconcile that with the essential notion that the marathon is a journey, and a celebration of the community or the environment it passes through? "

(photo credit

In my eyes, what makes a marathon so special is the thousands of people cheering you on along the way.

This is the VERY REASON I chose to run the Vermont City Marathon.  Scribble your name on your shirt and you will have people shouting your name from mile 1 to mile 26.  You will have bagpipers and drummers, kids with sprinklers to run though, neighbors with bananas and gatorade.  While the runners (and volunteers) make the race possible, the crowds and volunteers make the runners possible.  

I dont know what is going to become of this cherished tradition.  But I do know I will keep running.  And I hope you all do too.  

See you at the next start line,

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I spoke too soon and Lia Sophia

Sometimes I need to learn when to shut my mouth.  I have spent a lot of time bragging about how I have been injury free.  Praise the newtons because I have been running for four months injury free. 

Well my friends, 

This week.... the streak ends. 

After taking a serious hiatus last week, I was excited  eager to get back on track and get back into a routine.  I spent Monday running around like a crazy person, so I opted for a late night treadmill date at the gym to squeeze in a 5 mile run.

I decided to do my favorite little speed interval to change things up and pass time on the Dreadmill.  

Breaking up the run into .25 mile sections makes 5 miles go by quicker than usual.  That and free episodes of How I Met Your Mother on Netflix.

 I am SO not coordinated though so watching netflix and keeping an eye on my speed and distance was a disaster.  My Ipod flew off the treadmill, My sweat rag flew off, and I accidentally hit the emergency reset button (happens all the time).  Hot mess on a treadmill...

I squeezed in some stretching and an ab circuit before heading home.  I woke up Tuesday morning with an odd pain behind my ankle above my heel.  I went out for a super slow 3 mile run with Olive hoping it would work itself out.  Nope.

I spent the entire day at work Tuesday RICEing like a good little runner  (Rest Ice Compression Elevation).  Without fail, my ankle looked like THIS Tuesday night. 

Holy cankles!
The swelling is mostly on the outside of my ankle under and behind the ankle bone.  I did some research and it sounds like  Peroneal Tendonitis.  


Of course I leave for my vacation Friday night with not a spare second to make it back to the doctor.

Yes you read that right... BACK to the doctor.  I had to drop in Monday to get my head to toe poison ivy looked at.  Itchy blistery poison ivy all over-  Just before I get to spend a week in a bikini. 

When it rains... it pours.  

I am going to scrap my 20 mile run tomorrow and keep resting and icing and hope the swelling subsides.  I am going to take Jill's advice and take it a day at a time.  I have made it to 18 miles and at this point in the game I need to stay un-injured.  Going to try to squeeze in a 20 mile run when I get back from Bonaire.

To end on a happy note... I had a Lia Sophia jewelry party last night.  I made a delicious spread of chips and salsa, shrimp cocktail, cheese and crackers, arugula feta and strawberry salad with lemon vinaigrette, my roasted root vegetable flat bread (recipe here), and a Tollhouse cookie pie (recipe coming next week!)

Everyone loved the food (cookie pie and flat breads were favorites!) and bought some really cute and fun jewelry for spring.  

If you are interested in buying some Lia Sophia jewelry Follow this link  and use my name as the hostess (Katie Arruda).  

 If you buy two items, you can get the next four items half off.  You can make your first two items (the full priced) the cheapest ones, and leave your most expensive pieces for the half off.  (Opposite of most sales!) 
Lia Sophia has a lifetime warranty on all of their products so keep that in mind! 
I will be putting the order in by Friday so if you would like to order something do it soon :)

bought this knot ring and necklace  and also bought a few more necklaces

and also in green

I am a sucker for big chunky jewelry.  The pricier items you can get for half off -  Buy a cheap ring and pair of earrings full price and then get expensive pieces like this half off! And like I said life time warranty- if something breaks or tarnishes you will get an absolutely new piece and if they don't carry it anymore, you will get the full price back!

Happy Shopping and Happy Icing

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston On My Mind

It took me a while to sort my feelings and comprehend the tragedy that happened at the Boston Marathon.  Growing up in Massachusetts and training for my first marathon, this hit too close to home.  I am so sad for all those runners who never had a chance to cross the finish line, for all of those families who are mourning a loved one, and for everyone affected by Monday's events. 

Sitting at work following the updates, it was heartbreaking seeing the outpouring of "I have lost faith in humanity"  or " I need to move out of this country" comments. 

News flash:  Acts of violence like this one happen all over the world.  What makes the US different is how we react to these situations.  

I am sure you all read the quote about "looking for the helpers"  and saw the footage of people running TOWARD explosions to help random strangers.  I hope you focused on this instead of losing faith in humanity.

Inspiring Images of the helpers of the Boston Marathon   

Why are we so willing to let the evil of few supsersede the good in so many?

Bostonians near and far offered up their beds for stranded runners and bystanders.  There was even a Google Docs Spreadsheet   made where random strangers offered their personal information, hot meals, how many beds available, and other information. 

"I don't live in the city," reads one, "but can come get anyone who needs a place to stay."

"I live in Hopkinton," reads another, "but would happily drive anywhere to pick up a runner who needs food, shelter and comfort."

"Space for one person on a pull-out couch," goes a third. "Will cook you a nice meal too!"

As an article from Yahoo Sports states
"There's more good people out there than bad people," Zuker says. "And it's way more. The scales aren't even close."
He's right. There were perhaps one or two evildoers on Monday. And the list of good people goes on and on, growing by the minute, lined up in rows, ready to do anything to help.

My heart goes out to all of those affected by this tragedy But this will only make the running (and Boston) community stronger.  39 days until I run the Vermont City Marathon and I will have Boston in my thoughts every mile of the way.  Honor and remember the victims and I hope the helpers restored your faith in humanity <3

Monday, April 15, 2013

Fell off the bandwagon

Last week I fell off the band wagon..... hard.    Monday I went to my HIIT class, Wednesday I went for a 3 mile run.... and that was it.  3 miles in one week is a rough week of marathon training.  Instead of getting really bummed out about it and feeling defeated, I realized a few things:

*  I had that funky knee pain last week and taking a week off isn't the worst thing.  I have been training pretty hard so a week off wont kill me.

*  I read an article saying at this stage... less is more.  Well iv'e got that down to a science.  

*  If I don't run first thing in the morning on the weekends, I am never going to run that day, no matter what I tell myself.  Commit to run first thing in the morning even if that means waking up at 5 am on a Saturday. 

*   I got to spend Saturday and Sunday morning doing normal people things like sleeping, cooking and cleaning.  What a nice change of pace. 

*  Instead of being tired and sore all weekend I:

---Rode Bradley and gave him a bath- as you can see he really enjoyed it...

---Went out for a fantastic dinner and enjoyed 1$ Oyster Happy Hour at the Oyster Club in Mystic, Connecticut.  

---Was able to drink a few Makers Mark Mojitos without worrying about a hang over or being dehydrated

---Started packing for my trip and started packing up the house for the big move.  

I am not going to get down on myself about last week because what good will that do?  Instead I am going to make this week count.  Monday 5 miles and HIIT, Tuesday horseback riding, Wednesday 5 miles, Thursday walk with the dog, Friday 20 miles.  Saturday Bonaire!

Happy Monday everyone! 
Hoping its a productive workout week for me.  

Friday, April 12, 2013

When to Swap Out Your Sneaks

Happy Friday!

It has been a CRAZY week for me.  Why?   I am leaving a week from tomorrow for my diving vacation in Bonaire so I have been doing lots of prep for that (shopping, packing, getting dive gear ready, purchase dive insurance),  I am moving out of my house 3 days after I get back from my trip,  I have been house hunting and finally put an offer on a cute condo (YAY!), filling out necessary paperwork and getting all the forms together to enroll Olive in doggie day care, riding my horse and my trainers horses, all while working both jobs. 

 Living by my coffee mug today.

I need this vacation.

While packing and running around like a maniac, I looked down at my shoes and realized they aren't looking so fresh and so clean clean.  I looked at my mile tracker, did the math, and realized I have already run over 300 miles in these sneakers.  I also make the big mistake of using my running sneakers for walking/ hiking, hanging out sneakers (oops).  It is time to order up another pair of Newtons so I have a fresh pair broken in before my marathon. 

Is it awkward that I am a little attached to my sneakers?  I mean I fully intend to get the same exact pair... but I feel attached to THOSE sneakers.  Those sneakers have endured every mile with me, those sneakers got me to 18 miles, and now I just replace them?  I'm probably just a huge weirdo but I decided to compromise and use my old Newtons as my walking/every day shoes and use my new newtons strictly for running.   If you are investing in a great pair of running shoes USE THEM FOR RUNNING ONLY!  Gotta remember that one.....

I have so many friends who are trying to get back into running and I am so happy for them.  When I ask them about their sneakers they usually tell me they are the same pair they have had since high school-  OY!

How do you tell when its time to retire your trusty footwear?  The Runners Guide provided these helpful tips on when and why to replace your running shoes. 

*  After lots of research, I keep reading that the magic number is some where between 300 and 500 miles.  This however, depends greatly on your body weight, your shoe, the way you run, and the surface you chose to run on.  I am already at the 300 mark with just running and  I am sure I put on another hundred or so just walking around in them (I swear my next pair will be just for running!).

*  Obviously, take a look at them!  If the treads look really worn down, or the shoe is really flexible around the midsole- its probably time to pull out your wallet and buy another pair.  

*  Notice any changes in you?  If you are developing new aches and pains, shin splints or soreness, it might be due to your worn out sneakers.  

For me specifically  I run in Newton Gravity.  They are super expensive ($175) but I was told they last a little longer than most sneakers.  I did a little more research and read this

"I'm on my second pair, and when I noticed my first pair wearing quickly I asked the people at Newton about it. They told me that your first pair acts like a coach and wears more quickly than you can normally expect. They told me that they are designed to last between 350-500 miles, but everyone is a bit different and will experience different wear. I ended up retiring my first pair at 325 miles - they looked pretty brutal and my knee started to hurt a bit. Too early to tell on my second pair. I do love my Newtons though!"

For me this made sense and I am over the 300 mile cusp.  I rather replace them a little early than run a marathon on dead dead sneakers.  Its killing me a little with this $175 price tag but I rather pay that than deal with shin splints or other injuries.

And hey.. its an investment to be healthy right?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

70 Degrees and Some Motivation :)

If you live in Connecticut (or New England) you are probably on your way to work, sipping on an iced coffee (Dunkin of course) with your sunglasses on, windows down, singing and celebrating the fact that it's finally SPRING!

The weather report today is clear, sunny skies and a high of 70 degrees.  I am so excited for this little taste of summer.  Of course I coordinated this wonderful weather with my work schedule so today I am off sampling groundwater in the sunshine.

Before I go I decided to leave you with a little bit of motivation to get out there and run / walk / workout today. 

After my 18 mile Sunday I went to my HIIT class Monday and felt awesome.   Awesome even after running 18 miles the day before.  I was going to skip my class because I feared it was too close to my long distance run.  But then I thought to myself- its only a half hour- completely different muscles and movements, and I really enjoy this class.  I spent the entire day icing my left knee on and off, bought a compression sleeve for my knee, and went to my HIIT class with a positive attitude.  

My knee never bothered me, and while my muscles felt fatigued, the class felt great and almost felt like it was starting to get easier.  Like I said yesterday-  running is very mental for me.  A little positive thinking, proper fuel and smart decisions seem to be going a long way lately.

If you are looking for some mojo to jump start your workout- here it is. Now get off your computer, enjoy the sun, and go inspire someone to do the same ;)