On a Program (1.16.2008)

Thank you so much for all your well wishes about the Polar Bear Plunge - it is greatly appreciated. I am scared out of my mind. It was 13 degrees this morning as I was driving to work and the thought of jumping into freezing water seemed... well...unfathomable. I can say that it will be an experience.

New Running Program

I have decided to try and follow a running program so that my treadmill workouts are a little more exciting.

Since I am planning to do a half marathon in the spring, I am going to try the FIRST Half Marathon Training Program. They have programs for 5k, 10k, Half Marathon, and Marathon distances that can be found HERE.

FIRST stands for Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training. Their motto is "Run Less, Run Faster". Sounds good to me.

Pacing is the important component to the training program and the paces are based on your current best 5K RACE pace. They recommend you figure out your paces using tables found in Runner's World Run Less, Run Faster book. My dad actually had a copy which he loaned to me, but on their website, they provide a table so you really don't need to buy the book.

My current best 5k time is 26:40. That was a few years ago, but since I haven't run many 5ks in recent years, I am going to stick with that and see how it goes.

Taken directly from their website:
"Each FIRST training program includes 3 quality runs per week. Runners can do the three key workouts in any order throughout the week; however, the workouts should never be performed on consecutive days. FIRST does NOT promote 3 days a week as the only training for runners. FIRST recommends that runners cross-train (bike, swim, cycle, etc.) two or three days a week."
This week is the first week of the training and so far I have completed the following:

Monday - 1hr spin class

Tuesday - Key Run Workout #1 (I completed 6 miles)

  • 20 minute warm-up
  • 12 x 400m (90 sec. Rest Interval) - I lost count since I was watching TV and probably only did 10 intervals.
  • 10 minute cool-down

I ended up completing a little under 6 miles in 1 hour. I have never stayed on a treadmill for that long and having this program really helped me. Along with catching up on all the Golden Globe gossip.

Wednesday - No Work out. I got home late and needed to clean and run errands.

Thursday - I missed my Key Run Workout #2 scheduled for today because my friend Erica came in town to stay for the night. She was in town for a conference and we went out to dinner.

I did manage to take a short run to the park with Oscar (my face just about froze off) and complete the following workout, courtesy of Bobbi over at N Her Shoes. (Taken from her Wednesday Workout Tip)

  1. 30 squats
  2. 15 push ups
  3. 30 second wall sit
  4. 25 jumping jacks
  5. 30 second plank
  6. 15 burpees

Take a 1 minute break and repeat it 2 times! It was a good one and my legs are sore today.

Friday - I plan to do my Key Run Workout #2 tonight after work.

  • 2 miles easy
  • 3 miles @ ST pace
  • 1 mile easy

As you can see in the first week - I am already a little off track, but I am flexible. In life, things change and stuff pops up - you need to adapt. I want to use this training program as a guide to give me different treadmill ideas and if I get faster in the process - AWESOME.


To stop this post from becoming a 1,000 page novel - I am going to highlight just a few items.

Yesterday, I made a quick snack using:

  • 1 flat-out wrap (multi-grain type)
  • 16 blueberries (go ahead...count them in the picture below...I did)
  • part-skim ricotta
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • agave nectar

Spread ricotta on half of the wrap. Top ricotta with blueberries, cinnamon and agave nectar. Fold wrap and microwave for 30 seconds. The blueberries will be oozing goodness all throughout the wrap. It was basically like a crepe stuffed with ricotta and blueberries. YUM!

Last night, Erica and I went to Cinghiale in Harbor East for dinner. I went there back in August and wrote about my experience here.

This time, I started with the beet and ricotta salad. It was incredible and so refreshing.

For my main meal, I ordered the Creamy Risotto-Style Orecchiette with Pancetta, Butternut Squash, and Crispy Sage.

I was disappointed because the sauce was extremely oily - yuck. They left the fat on the pancetta which most definitely contributed to the oil factor. I had to pick around those pieces because I do not like fat on meat. Also, the small cubes of butternut squash didn't seem to be cooked properly (they were hard) and I though they should have roasted them for better flavor. The pasta was cooked to a perfect al dente, so at least they got that right.

I will go back because I love the atmosphere, they have an extensive wine list, and a creative menu. But, I will not be ordering that pasta dish again.

This morning, I got up and made Chocolate/banana smoothies using the Vita-Mix. I found a Light version of the Silk Chocolate Soymilk, which is what I used.

  • 2 cups Light Chocolate Soymilk
  • 1 banana
  • handful of ice cubes

Voila...it made enough to fill three glasses for myself, Kevin, and Erica. I would add more banana next time to increase the flavor there.

Big Weekend in Baltimore

President-Elect Barack Obama is making a stop in Charm City on his train trip from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C.!!! Tomorrow, he will make a speech at the War Memorial Plaza before heading to DC for his inauguration. Obama is retracing the journey of his political idol, Abraham Lincoln, who also rode to his swearing-in on a train from Philadelphia.

In other news...on Sunday, the Baltimore Ravens are playing the Pittsburgh Steelers for the AFC Championship and the chance to play in the Superbowl.

It's an exciting weekend to be in Baltimore!

Happy Friday all!


VeggieGirl January 16, 2009 at 2:09 PM  

Don't be scared, Lauren!! You got this!! Best of luck :-)

Enjoy your weekend!!

Anonymous January 16, 2009 at 2:10 PM  

This IS a big weekend in Baltimore! i can't wait :) yes, that barney butter shout out in my post was aimed towards you! how exciting!! ive wanted to try chingale but haven't yet, i'll make sure that if i go there i won't get that dish! i've heard its got a great wine list! awesome training program, you are kicking some booty!

Erica January 16, 2009 at 2:23 PM  

It is going to be an exciting weekend in baltimore! I hope you have so much fun! Do you have Monday/Tuesday off of work? I'm so jealous of everyone that does :(

Your main dish from Cinghiale looks awesome! I hope you had fun with your friend Erica (She has a pretty sweet name ;)).

tfh January 16, 2009 at 2:36 PM  

I've always thought the FIRST plan looked good-- I'm excited to see how it works for you. Have a great weekend!

Meghann January 16, 2009 at 2:44 PM  

I like the sound of that new program. Can't wait to see how it works out for you. I also love the looks of that snack rap. Blueberrie and ricotta cheese? I would be in heaven :)

K January 16, 2009 at 3:19 PM  

Good luck :D

Hehe - 16 berries! Everything looks delicious!

The Healthy Hostess January 16, 2009 at 4:46 PM  

I'm training for a 1/2 marathon too! I have done a few but in the past couple of years. I was looking at using a different plan, but I think I like yours better!
Thanks for sharing!!

matt January 16, 2009 at 5:29 PM  

looks like an awesome training plan!

that restaurant looks pretty sweet from the website. sorry your dish sucked though; i hate going to a restaurant for bad food!

happy running!

Sarah (lovINmytummy) January 16, 2009 at 7:55 PM  

The training program looks great. I much prefer a few quality runs per week than a daily mileage requirement. It definitely fits my lifestyle a lot better!

Have a great weekend!

Bridget January 16, 2009 at 10:04 PM  

O.M.G. just reading about your Polar Bear plunge is giving me chills!!! You are BRAVE!!!
Good luck with your training...you seem to be doing great, I'm sure no one sticks to a training program to the T...sometimes life happens and gets in the way :) you still want to be able to have fun once in a while!
BUmmer about the pasta dish...it sounds like it would be delicious.

Thanks for the supportive comments btw.

Fitnessista January 17, 2009 at 9:54 AM  

good luck :D
i'm doing my first half marathon in march-- i opened up the training plan and i'm gonna check it out.
hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Juliet January 17, 2009 at 12:02 PM  

I'm excited for your training. Thanks for passing along all the info about it, I've always been curious. I'm considering running a 5K or a half marathon too, but can't seem to commit quite yet. :) Soon, though!

Anonymous January 17, 2009 at 12:45 PM  

good luck with training! I have heard great things about FIRST program, i'm interested in what you think about it. have a great weekend!

I Run for Fun January 18, 2009 at 12:48 AM  

I've heard so much about the FIRST running program...if you need more reading material on it, check out the RunnersWorld forums...you probably already have. It's not for a beginner, but for someone who has put in the mileage and who prefers to mix quality runs with cross training, this could be a great training plan. Good luck...let us know how it goes.

Allison M. January 18, 2009 at 8:07 PM  

I'm entering my first race ever - Cleveland's 10K. I have never been a long distance runner but I think I can handle the 10K. It's not until May and I'm going to try out your link for training guidelines - I'll need it.

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