Marathon Training, Week 1

T-minus 130 days!!

18 weeks from now I will be running the NYC 2010 marathon. Monday marked the beginning of marathon training, week 1! You can see my tentative training schedule on Google Docs. It’s based on a McMillan training plan, but I have a feeling I’ll be making more adjustments as the weeks roll by. Monday called for an easy 4 miles and so I headed to the gym after work to get it done. It had been a long day in the office and I needed to be at another event by 8:30pm, so I just shut my brain off (or tried to, anyway) and ran 4 miles in about 33:30.

After the gym, I headed uptown to the Museum of Natural History. Tribe Hummus invited me to the launch party for their new product line – Tribe Origins. Okay, I’m going to be straight with you – I usually buy Sabra’s hummus because I think it’s the most delicious. It’s extra creamy (worth the extra calories!) and is topped with a delicious drizzle of olive oil. I usually shy away from other brands because I find them a bit too gritty. I wasn’t sure what to expect from Tribe’s new product, but I thought I’d give it a try.

I was greeted at the door of the museum with a glass of chilled white wine. Hey…it’s hot outside…gotta stay hydrated 🙂


I met some lovely Tribe representatives who escorted me around the room and introduced me to different varieties – Classic, Zesty Spice & Garlic, Spicy Red Pepper, and Tomato & Veggie.

Red Peppers

Tribe Origins

I loaded up (several!!) plates with dollops of the hummus and a variety of greenmarket veggies and pita wedges.

Tribe Origins


After some mixing and mingling, the party moved outside to an open roof terrace. We were treated like A-list foodies: open bar, passed appetizers, music, etc. It was a really fun night! And most importantly….what did I think of the hummus??

I think it’s a winner! It reminded me a lot of the Sabra style of hummus. Smooth, creamy, with an almost whipped consistency. This style of hummus is a bit higher in calories (70 cals per 2 Tbs serving vs. 50 cals per serving), but the extra olive oil and tahini are healthy fats and they really make a big difference in taste.

Tribe Origins

Another one of my heart healthy favorites is dark chocolate (yay, antioxidants!). Vosges recently sent me a goodie bag with samples of their “exotic chocolate bars”. I incorporated these gourmet treats into my afternoon snack on Monday.


The first bar I sampled was the Calindia bar 65% Venezuelan dark chocolate with Indian cardamom, organic California walnuts, and dried plums. Thoughts? I really love cardamom, so I was psyched to taste that in this chocolate bar, however I felt the dark chocolate overpowered the walnuts and dried plums. I’d give this bar a 5 out of 10.

Calindia Bar

On Tuesday afternoon, I sampled the Naga bar45% deep milk chocolate with sweet Indian curry powder and coconut. Verdict? Love, love, love! Confession: I think I like milk chocolate better than dark. I’d give this bar a 9 out of 10. I can’t wait to try the other Vosges flavors I received (Mo’s dark chocolate bacon bar and the Red fire bar).

Naga Bar

Iced coffee and chocolate

I enjoyed my afternoon chocolate with a cup of ghetto homemade iced coffee. I’ve been trying to lay-off my Starbucks habit, so I’ve been pouring myself a cup of office coffee and then sticking it in the freezer for an hour or so. The coffee cools off nicely and even develops a slushie like consistency around the edges. And the best part? It’s FREE. Take that $3 Starbucks iced coffee. I was hoping all of that chocolate + caffeine would give me the energy to rock my weekly Tuesday track workout.

After a 2.5 mile warm-up to the East River Track, my teammates and I got ready to roll. Yesterday’s workout involved lots of shorter intervals to improve our leg speed for the Founder’s 5K at the end of July and then the NYRR Club Championships in August. Even though I’m “officially” in marathon-training, I’m trying to keep the weekly mileage moderate and the workout intensisty high (at least until September, anyway).

Here’s how the workout went down:

4 x 600m @5k pace with 200m recovery:

  • 2:21, 2:19, 2:16, 2:16

4 x 400m @ 3k pace with 200m recovery:

  • 87, 85, 87, 84

Yikes. This was a tough workout. I felt a little shaky (and way dehydrated) by the end, but I was pretty happy with the results. I was able to consistently get faster on the intervals. However, I think I need to start doing strides (80-100m pickups) before track workouts. My legs felt a little awkward during the first few 600’s, but by the time we moved on to the 400’s, they seemed to find their groove.

I finished up with a 2 mile cool-down, about 12 gallons of water, and then scarfed a fiber one oats & chocolate bar in the locker room. 9 grams of fiber? Stomach please don’t hate me tomorrow. Once I returned to my apartment I was feeling tired and lazy, so I made myself a smoothie in lieu of a “real dinner”. My smoothie packed a pretty powerful nutritional punch, however: 1 frozen banana, 1/2 cup frozen strawberries, 1/2 cup POM juice, 3/4 cup Greek yogurt, and a big scoop of peanut butter. Yummmmm.

Smoothie and Fiber One

Later on I toasted up a slice of ezekiel bread and topped it with more peanut butter and some mini chocolate chips. I definitely had some nibbles before bed, but I was exhausted and so no documentation. Dayummmm, that workout took a lot out of me. Here’s hoping it makes me faster!

pb toast

True of False?  Running “by feel” will result in a better workout.

Andddd, congratulations to Jessica, winner of the $40 gift certificate to CSN stores.

Jessica @ Jessica Balances says:

I need a new toaster… like whoa. And a new blender wouldn’t hurt, either.

Question: What’s your favorite smoothie combination?

  • I am smoothie obsessed. Here’s my current fave: unsweetened tart cherry juice, a handful of frozen tart cherries, a handful of frozen peaches, some plain Greek yogurt, and a squeeze of agave nectar. Yum!

  • Strawberry banana orange was always my favorite growing up and I sure do love the refreshing combo in the summertime.

  • I haven’t tried a ton of hummus brands because I always get Cedars…have you had theirs before? Is Sabra’s really better? The Cedars sundried tomato and basil kind of reminds me of cheese.

    Glad to see you have all of your training mapped out for NYC…it’s so fun to see a specific training plan laid out (not always as fun to complete it!)…I think I’m going to go write out my XC plan now just for motivation!

    And I think that, if nothing goes wrong (and I know, the marathon is so unpredicatble), sub-3:30 will be very achievable.

    The cycling looks like a good idea to get in “miles” without actually pounding. Too bad for me I am awful at it!

  • I LOVE SMOOTHIES!! esp during these HOT summer months for sure!! i LOVE me some green monsters- im sure its all mental but i feel better after i drink em, haa

  • Michele

    I’m obsessed with orange juice, frozen mixed berries, fresh banana, and a yogurt. So yummy!

  • Here is a super easy way to make some very, very good iced coffee. And still much cheaper than Sbux.

  • Godo Food Good Times! I am all about it!

  • Sounds like a great event! I actually like TJ’s roasted garlic hummus quite a bit, but these sound delicious. Um, and so does the chocolate!

    Good luck with your training!! When you alter your plan, is it usually do to schedule conflicts and do you then just focus on making sure you get the same number of miles in that week?

  • I like the banana, peanut butter combination for smoothies. Always happy with mixed berries too 🙂

    On a separate note, per your PB toast pic, I have the same plates as you! They’re a super old hand-me-down from my mom, I think!

  • Hooray for NYC! My training schedule starts on Monday the 5th! WOOT! HERE WE COME!!!

  • Looks like a good (tough!) training schedule! And my favorite smoothie combo is…banana, milk, frozen cherries, raw oats, and spinach. 🙂

  • 1. You need to stop T-minus til xxx 11.7.2010 b/c you will freak me out. 🙂
    2. I’m so glad someone else in our crew is definitely doing NYC!!! Kristine R. is wavering and I need to push her. We’ll get a group and do long runs when I get my act together. 🙂
    3. You looked awesome last night. Great job.

  • Good luck with your training plan! I’m sure you’ll rock it and hopefully stay injury free!

    Mine will hopefully start next week and I can’t wait.

    That hummus sounds perfect. Glad they figured out what works!

  • Yay for marathon training! (I will DEFINITELY be singing a different tune about 14 miles into my 20 mile long runs…)

  • dear megan, i want your foodie-rock star life! you go to all these cool events. i dig!

    good luck with your training! i love the first-day-of-training-run. always very exciting. hang soon? 🙂

  • Wow – I can hardly believe you are training already!! Nov. seems so far off. But really it isn’t. So exciting. The start of a new training cycle is always so inspiring! Nice job. 🙂

  • Hot damn. That means I have ~100 days until Chicago. And I am still in denial.

  • Very envious of your Vosges sample pack – love their bacon bar.

    Favorite smoothie: frozen mango chunks, shredded coconut, kefir, pinapple, little bit of honey.

    Good luck with marathon training!

  • Banana/Strawberry smoothies are my fave. I used to love the chocolate smoothies at Jamba Juice until I realized they were like 500 calories—at least! Yikes.

    And I’m a Sabra fan too, but I’ll try Tribe just to have a comparison.

  • Ahh yeahhh i’m running it too! I’ll probably be about an hour behind you 😉 but AMAZING 🙂

  • I’m so jealous! Everyone’s marathon/half marathon training is starting up and I’m all pregger!

  • I’m, like, a little obsessed with your training plan. I love training plans. I should make one for myself, but I think I’ll just ogle yours. Same goes for the Vosges bar – SO DELICIOUS. Everything tastes better with cardamom (sort of). But I just can’t rationalize spending $8 of my nonexistent income on chocolate.

  • Good luck with training! can’t wait to follow along : )
    great training plan!

  • Pingback: Chocolate and Beer | The Runner's Kitchen()

  • Michellegc47

    Because Sabra is your sponsor, are you deliberately misleading the public or was it a simple mistake?
    Compare the nutrition facts of the two brands;


    Serving Size: 2 TBSPCalories: 40Total Fat: 2.5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 125mgTotal Carbohydrates: 3gDietary Fiber: 1gSugars: 0gProtein: 1g


    Chickpeas (chickpeas, water), Roasted Red Peppers, Canola Oil,
    Sesame Tahini, Sea Salt, Citric Acid, Spices, Natural Roasted Garlic


    Serving Size: 2 TBSPCalories: 70Total Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 120mgTotal Carbohydrates: 3gDietary Fiber: 1gSugars: 0gProtein: 1g


    Cooked Chick Peas (Chick Peas [Garbanzos] Water), Tahini (Ground
    Sesame), Soybean and or Canola Oil, Red Bell Pepper, Garlic, Salt,
    Citric Acid, Seasoning and Spices, Natural Flavors, Potassium Sorbate
    and Sodium Benzoate added to maintain freshness.

  • Anonymous

    Michelle – I’m not sure what you’re getting at here…Sabra is not my sponsor and never was. They may have sent me coupons or something, but that’s it.

    This post was from over 18 months ago and it details an event that was hosted by Tribe Hummus (not Sabra). They were debuting a new line of hummus. “Tribe Origins” is different from their original formula and a little higher in calories/fat. My nutritional comparison was between Tribe Regular hummus (40/50 cals per serving) and Tribe Origins hummus (70 cals), not between Tribe and Sabra. I don’t get paid by companies to post about products and always try to be up front about what I buy with my own $$ and what is given to me as a sample.

    If you have any more q’s, you can email me. Thanks.