Miles do not equal workouts

First, the winner of the SELF magazine workout in the park tickets is…

Allie from FitnessClassFanatic

My fave class is still STEP! I started in high school and even though it isn’t trendy or cool, especially in NYC, it’s still the best to me. Double step… all the steps in a row… it comes from my love of dance but add the extra up and down element & it rocks!

Congrats Allie! Email me your mailing address at runnerskitchen [at] gmail [dot] com !

Andddd now for today’s public service announcement (mostly to myself): Just because you’re running most days of the week, doesn’t mean you’re in race day shape.

Last Thursday I headed back to my first team tempo workout since February. It was hard. Ever the glutton for punishment, I decided to go to this week’s Tuesday track workout. Since I had been on a bit of a workout hiatus, my coach suggested a short workout of 3 x 800m’s at about 3k race pace. (Note: 800m = 1/2 mile, 3k = a bit less than 2 miles). After a 2 mile warm-up, I toed the line with my workout buddies. My goal was to run about 92 seconds per 400m (one lap around the outdoor track). That’s the equivalent of about 6:08 pace. Piece of cake, I thought to myself. I mean, hey, I’ve run a whole 5k at that pace (lolz, like 4 years ago…). But anyway, I was feeling confident, thinking these 800’s would be a breeze.

About 200 meters into the first repeat, I can’t even type the expletives that were going through my mind. I finished this first repeat, bent over, and whimpered as my workout buddy encouraged me to “jog it off”. The next two 800’s were slightly better, but I was still pretty spent by the end. Lesson learned: doing speedy workouts will make you fast, not doing them will make you slow. In the end, I suppose the workout was executed well, but it just felt really awful.

  • 2 mile warm-up
  • 3 x 800m w/ 200m recovery jog – 3:05, 3:04, 3:03
  • 2 mile+ cool-down

I embarked on my cool-down (interrupted by an emergency bathroom visit – THAT was fun) and finished up with about 6 miles total for the day.

I hit the roads for some early morning miles today and I felt alright. If the legs don’t hate me tomorrow (Thursday), I may attempt a tempo run. Hmphh. Training for races is hard.

On to less cranky ramblings….Lately I’ve been obsessed with the website FoodGawker. I could literally waste my entire day on that site ogling recipes and food photos. Last weekend the man-friend and I cooked up some dinner inspired by FoodGawker recipes.

Asparagus Chicken Sausage & Gruyere Tart (inspired by Scarpetta Dolcetto)

And a ridiculously decadent Chocolate Loaf Cake with homemade Sea Salt Caramel Sauce (inspired by How Sweet It Is). I made some changes to the original recipe, so my version appears below.

Homemade Sea Salt Caramel Sauce (make this first)


  • 1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 giant splash of vanilla extract (I allowed the man-friend to help and he had a heavy hand with the vanilla extract)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt


Mix water and sugar together in a saucepan. Heat over low heat without stirring until sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to medium-high, allowing the mixture to come to a boil. This will take about 5-7 minutes, and you can occasionally swirl the pan to stir. (Note: I like that is recipe does not require a candy thermometer!) Once the sugar mixture is golden in color, remove heat, and add cream, milk, vanilla and salt. It will bubble up – don’t freak out. Turn heat back down to low and stir continuously with a spoon until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and let sit in saucepan at room temperature for 2-4 hours until it thickens.

Chocolate Loaf Cake


  • 1 and 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • 1 and 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 (12 Tbs) sticks soft unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and place a baking sheet on the middle rack.

Combine the flour, baking soda, cocoa, sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, and yogurt into a stand mixer and combine until smooth. Scrape down the sides and mix again while streaming in boiling water. Use a spoon to mix in the chocolate chips.

Scrape and pour the batter into a 9″ loaf pan (lightly coated with non-stick spray) and put into the oven on the rack. Bake for 50-55 minutes. When ready, the loaf will be risen and split down the middle. My cake started to get brown on the edges before the middle cooked, so I covered it with tin foil after about 30 minutes.  Let cake cool, then poke holes throughout the top with a chopstick or knife. Drizzle caramel on top – you want it to sink down into the holes! Serve with vanilla bean ice cream and extra caramel sauce. You’ll probably have a lot of  caramel sauce leftover. It’s delicious, use it wisely.

And don’t forget to take your insulin.

Did you ever think a run or race was going to be a lot easier than it actually was? I definitely under-estimated the ferociousness of  last night’s track workout. Wah.

  • Aaaaaand the title of this post is precisely why I’m terrified of Brooklyn.

    Sounds like you still had a great workout! 3K pace is fast stuff.

  • so i’m weird but i LOVE speedwork. I’m good at operating at 80-90% for a couple of minutes vs pushing myself for an hour. so, I always look forward to my speed/tempo work and get a little nervous about long runs. I’m weird… and it’s funny because I’m fast during speed work but can’t seem to translate that speed into distance. As soon as the minutes go from 2 minutes to 8 minutes, I slow down significantly.

  • oh man I haven’t done a speed workout in weeks and I’m terrified to start back up! i know i’m going to be experiencing pain like whoa.

  • oh man I haven’t done a speed workout in weeks and I’m terrified to start back up! i know i’m going to be experiencing pain like whoa.

  • Anonymous

    Agh, adding in workouts 1x/week has been the one change I’ve made in my 2011 training vs. 2010, and I have definitely noticed the difference in my races–PRs! I agree that mileage is an important component to training, but speed/tempo workouts are equally as crucial!

    One of these days I am going to get to a Tuesday CPTC workout– the track scares me with its intensity! I am also going to try to make it to tomorrow’s road workout…do you think you’ll be there? Sounds like you love pain 😉 haha

  • man-friend

    you are a running guru, Brooklyn Half Marathon does not know what’s coming for it and there is a 107% chance you will do great. The tough mudders that I have run, I did not imagine them to be as difficult as they were.

  • AMEN. i ran lots of miles the past 6 weeks but feel so out of shape because i don’t have anything speed related. bleh. i need to get back on track

  • Um, yes. Like, every workout that I see and think, “That is cake!” and then I die and my uterus falls out due to exhaustion. That’s normal. You were totes badass to come, though, and those splits are still mega fast. He. Mega(n) fast. Anyway, the point of a workout is to HURT. Do you see the fastest guys running? They look like they are about to expire!

  • Corey @ runners cookie

    I can definitely relate to that feeling of thinking a workout will be easy and then struggling with it. Some days I go out and for no predictable reason, my legs just don’t want to cooperate. But in your case, I would say to give it time. If you haven’t done a tempo run in months, I think its pretty normal that you didn’t feel great during this workout. Sometimes when my workouts fall flat though, I struggle with whether to give up and just do an easy run instead, or push through it but end up not doing it as fast as I would have liked.
    Oh your food looks wonderful – I want to make everything I see on Jessica’s blog!

  • I’m the opposite — I overinflate how hard a race/workout will be, and it always ends up being so no worth the dread. It tends to feel better and easier than I suspect when I’m curled up in my blankets and running sounds so rough…

  • Very exciting – thanks!!! I finally did a training run in Central Park Tuesday, which reminded me what HILLS are. I’ve been training on flat surfaces way too much, and I know the Brooklyn Half is going to have some hills! Tomorrow morning’s hill workout hoepfully helps me kick it into gear also… so I don’t experience the “thought it was going to be easier” situation when I do run the Brooklyn Half.

  • This is really very interesting and impressive blog. This is really very nice recipe. I love to eat so much. Thanks for sharing such a nice recipe.

  • I can’t formulate a proper comment because I can’t stop staring at that chocolate loaf cake photo.

  • mmmm, cake. that looks amazeballs. I’m just getting back into tempo runs and they are seriously kicking my ass. They always seem easier in theory! I do know that next weekend’s 10K will be a beast, but I’m ready for it! Are you racing?

  • Mhmm! That looks amazing! Have you ever used honey as a substitute for sugar? My family sells honey and I am working on a blog that uses honey! Also, since you are an athlete, you should check out what the National Honey Board says on how honey is good for athletes:

    -Sarah E
    Little Oak Farms

  • did you see my pics on foodgawker? thinking of shooting pics foodgawker style has really made me a better photographer!
    They also have an awesome app to make you drool on your phone. Check out too.
    It’s nice to know running is hard for you sometimes too!

  • Anonymous

    this always happens to me with long runs! i get myself all worked up and in the end….they’re never that bad.

  • Anonymous

    hey! i wasn’t at last night’s tempo workout (hoping to do it today…), but i plan on being at the track again on tuesday. you should come!!

  • Anonymous

    i like that you referenced your uterus. that made me LOL.

  • Anonymous

    No 10k races for me this Spring, but I’ll come cheer for you! 🙂

  • Anonymous

    i did see your photos on FoodGawker – the morning glory muffins look really great! 😀

  • Anonymous

    do i need to alter recipes in other ways if i use honey (more flour, less baking soda, etc)? i’d be interested in substituting honey in some brownie/cookie recipes.

  • I haven’t had to do more or less of anything so far, but it might depend on what your making. I’ve been planning on making some cookies with honey so I’ll let you know if it needs more or less of something added and then you can use it for yours!

  • Thehealthyapple

    Love this recipe; these photos look fabulous….can’t wait to create this…my mouth is seriously watering…yummmy.

  • Anonymous

    Wow.. So yummy.. I love to eat Chocolate Loaf Cake and it is my one of the  favorite chocolate cake. It looking also impressive. I love all chocolate  cakes.

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