6'0 tall, former athlete, mother of 3, struggling to keep up on the RUN of daily life.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Test Lab Tuesday

Welcome new Bloggy Pack Members!!!

This is the day I dedicate to all things I review...

Living, Eating and Running...
Nicholas Sparks Books made to Movies:
Nicholas Sparks (HERE) is my FAVORITE author. Tall Grandma and I have read all of his books, I own the collection in hard back. Imagine my delight when I viewed the trailer for the newest Nicholas Sparks book turned movie "Dear John." From the previews the casting looks spot on and I can hardly wait!! (Charity are you in??) Many of Nicholas Sparks books have been made into feature films, and I have not always been thrilled with the film rendition.. Here is a quick review, let me put my CRITIC hat on.
  • The Notebook: This is the BEST romance movie, if you have not seen it go buy it, and buy Kleenex at the same time. Although it is not 100% along the lines of the book the casting was great. The story line was compelling and the costumes, LOVED THEM!!
  • A Walk to Remember: I am a Mandy Moore fan so I loved this movie. It has the flare of a teenie bopper flick, but if you dig deeper it has a message of living life to the fullest.
  • Message in a Bottle: PUKE!! Three Thumbs down! I read the book and saw the movie a few weeks later. Kevin Costner is BLAND at best and the chemistry between the main characters does not work.
  • Nights in Rodanthe: I didn't care for this book as much as others, so the movie was just OK. Richard Gere can never be anything but a Lawyer picking up a call girl to me. Diane Lane had the same distant and pouty look most of the movie. If you are bored and it is on TV give a watch, but overall not the best.


Muscleman Manicotti:
Oops he did it again! I bought all the fixins to make Manicotti, I LOVED eating my Grandma's Manicotti growing up. I have a goal to cook a new recipe once a month. Well when I got sick last week Muscleman took over. It was AMAZING!! We have a great basic recipe book at home, will look up the title and review soon. I am sure there are many many recipes on the Internet, just google it..

Debbie Macomber Recipes (HERE):
Debbie Macomber is a Washington writer. Tall Grandma has lent me copies of some great books. I recently visited her website to find RECIPES! This author loves to EAT! I have yet to try any but I love that she asks readers to submit recipes and features them on her website.
FREE Races:
Have you ever heard of such a thing? Well through a connection at work I received information about some great local FREE Races. I quickly passed the details on to my local bloggy running buddies and I am 333% sure that most of us will be running the "Million Inch Run" on February 13th. The total mileage is 15.78, no shirts, medals or anything, but hey its FREE! Will give you a full report next month.
Training Plan week 1.5:
My Fleet Feet Marathon training plan for Marathon #2 EUGENE (HERE) is in a plastic bound notebook. Each week has it's own page with plenty of room to write notes. I completed my first Tempo run yesterday:
1.5 Warm up- 8:45 pace (little faster than plan)
3.0 Tempo Pace (7:56-8:06)- 7:50. 7:57. 8:04
1.5 Cool-down- 9:17
This tempo run was BLISS!! I am not 100% sold on the out and back LONG STRAIGHTAWAY route, but it takes me past the Dreyers Icecream factory and yesterday they were cooking something that smelled like coffee and waffle cones.. YUMMERS!! It was 53++ outside, I overdressed but who knew it would feel like Spring? The sun was shinning and Mount Rainier was in full glory. LOVED IT!
Tall Mom Thoughts:
  • 4 days a week is perfect for me
  • I LOVE LOVE the Friday run followed by Saturday Long run, I feel like this will prepare my legs for the fatigue factor on race day.
  • With a mixture of tempo runs and hill training, mixed with the slower paced mid week runs, I feel this plan is totally easy to follow.


  • I have just one, so far, and this is not really even a gripe. The whole run slower to go faster thing BAFFLES me! I have virtual chatted with many bloggies about this. As a former Basketball player I am used to practicing at GAME SPEED. How am I supposed to run an 8:20 pace for 26.2 miles when I practice my Long Runs at 9:17-9:40 pace?? Just one of the MANY MANY things I need to learn about running.
  • Happy Tuesday!
***Have you found any GREAT products lately?


Redhead Running said...

As it's been explained to me, if you want to run an 8:30 pace you train at a 9 pace. If you constantly train at pace you will wear yourself out. On race day your adrenaline will be up and the excitement will pull you along at pace. This is how I trained for Chicago and I exceeded my expectations time wise. I am again training under pace minus a few pace workouts for Gasparilla and I feel like I am going to crush it. I know it's weird but it works!

Laura said...

I actually had lactate tesing done to figure out what zones to run in. Our long run for even the fast runners are veryyy slow (deliberate we call it). The point is to train your body to be able to not build up lactate (like happens in hard running) and be able to go longer and ultimately faster. It works but it does take a lot to get others to get that running fast isn't everything...
RUn past an icecream factory. Yikes!

Suzy said...

Mmm, the manicotti sounds wonderful! I love pasta and cheese.

Free races are the best. I'm in the middle of doing 5 of them. The running club I'm in has 10-15 free runs a year. All low key and all lots of fun.

Stacie said...

I also loved The Notebook and am looking forward to the next movie :)

The manicotti looks like heaven. I'm jealous.

I'll be talking to Jason about possibly getting to come run the Million Inch Run. I don't always have his support with all this crazy running stuff :) I try not to take away family time so I can get to do more stuff. I'm envious of the fact that Muscleman supports and participates with you so much. I'll keep you posted.

So far I've only gotten one outside run in with my Garmin 405. I'll try to have a more detailed review soon.

Velma said...

I agree with the run slow to run fast thing. It is strange, but it does work. You want to teach your body to burn fat for fuel (that is good!!).

I have rekindled my love of grapefruit, but I am not sure if that counts as a new product. I also love Larabars :)

No Longer Using said...

okay so i am still laughing about "PUKE! THREE THUMBS DOWN" heheh. i didn't know n.sparks was your fave author!! i wonder if you would like jodi picoult... less love involved though but for some reason i thought of her. i LOVE LOVE LOVE channing tatum so i will be seeing this movie for sure.

gosh i really want to run the million inch race with you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! if it wasn't over valentine's day i would prolly try to come cuz i just saw flight specials for $99 (use before may). that soundS SO COOL not just the distance, which is fun, but also the free-ness of it :) i wonder if there are boston free races, somehow i doubt it. i will look.

slow to speed i think just means recovery run days! run your race pace for long runs and faster than race pace for tempo and intervals! slowing down on recovery days allows you to go faster on your hard effort days for sure cuz your legs are rested :)

Katie A. said...

Wow! Free race! I don't need a shirt and I don't need a medal - I just love the competition! Gotta look one of those up near me!

Anonymous said...

Yay for free races, that's awesome! And I agree on the PUKE rating for Message in a Bottle...actually for a lot of his ;)

Mike Russell said...

Your long runs may be slower, but your speed work shouldn't be. That rule doesn't apply to all of your runs...

Questionably Texan said...

I ran my first marathon at an average pace that was 45 seconds faster than any of my long runs (plus, the marathon was very hilly and my long runs were always flat - my shorter runs were on hills). You need to spend some runs faster (tempo, intervals, etc), but as has been mentioned by others, if you train at race pace you'll wear your body down too much.

Pfitzinger, one of the most respected marathon training experts, recommends long runs at 10-20% slower than marathon goal pace (so if you're goal pace is 8:20 min/miles, add 50 to 100 seconds to that pace for your long runs - personally I aim for closer to the 10% range). But, your tempo runs will be much faster than your marathon pace.

Genesis said...

oooh free races...thanks for sharing.

i LOVED the notebook and a walk to remember...i seriously cried during the notebook....i even own both DVD's.

Stephanie Nichole said...

I LOVEEEEE Dear John! I was crying my eyes out sitting on my porch alone at the end of it. Omg I'm sure I looked ridiculous!!!

I hear ya on the long runs, but I guess that's what tempo runs are for... combining your long run endurance with your speed work speed! I'm so not a fan of tempo runs. :\

-Stephanie (TMRC #8-- yes, I made up my own number)

Anonymous said...

Wow...thanks Tall Mom for bringing up your gripe! I have been so frustrated lately with my running time during the week and trying to push to get to the time I wanted. Not knowing that my body is probably tired and trying to recover. Everyone seems to be in agreement about the running slower so you can run faster during the race. Like you, I can't quite get my mind around it, but will try it out. Thanks everyone!

Lisa said...

I stopped reading Nicholas Sparks... too depressing. Free races??? Never heard of such a thing lol.

Steel Springs said...

The manicotti looks great! Go Muscle Man!

I'm also confused with the training pace vs. race pace thing. That's something I'm going to have to check into.

Julie said...

Hi Mel,
I totally love Nicolas Sparks and have seen everyone of his writing inspired movies! I cryed my eyes out too!! I am such a softy:) Your right about the Notebook...it is the best!!!

Pining for Pinterest said...

I totally agree about the Nicholas Spark's books and movies! He is also one of my favorites!!!

Anonymous said...

I think I was supposed to be born a guy- Sparks makes me wanna throw up. I HATED the notebook! So predictable. Give me Scorcese any day!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh and I am with Lacey- I love Picoult. I am now reading the last of the books she has out and it makes me sad.

Alicia said...

The Notebook- own it, love it, prolly my favorite movie!

I just started a FIRST (Furman Institute of Running & Scientific Training) half training plan and it says to run the long runs at your goal race pace + 30 sec. Ran my first "long" run today and it felt about right. 3 days/week running on this plan. Just perfect for me as I need to have time to add in weight training other days.

Funny comic, by the way! Hope you are having a fantastic day!

Unknown said...

Glad you like your training plan. I'm looking for one now for my first marathon - you've inspired me to keep looking!

Winks & Smiles,

Alisa said...

Slower to faster baffles me too. In fact, we were discussing this on our long run this weekend. For someone like me, who was targeting a sub-5 hour marathon, all the plans said to run the long runs at like a 12:40 pace... I can't run that slow!

I do think there is some truth to it, it works for Mr. Pi who runs his long runs at a 9:00 sometimes slower and then busts out a 3:20 marathon!

I think you have to balance LSD (long slow distance) with speed/tempo runs midweek.

Can't wait to do a run together sometime. It'll be a SD for you and a tempo for me =).

Denise said...

One thing I didn't mention last night...every time I doubted the slow running, my coach said, "trust the training." do the same!!

Kathleen said...

I love this post- its so upbeat and awesome :) Thanks for your thoughts! I personally can say that I'm the only girl that I know on the entire planet that is NOT a fan of Nicholas Sparks. BUT the guy in Dear John is looking mighty fineee, haha

H Love said...

love the reviews. I do think the leading man is quite nice to look at so I'm sure to check it out.

I need to look for FREE runs as well. I love learning about your training process. I need that guidance.

Ran 10 yesterday trying to play catch up.

Marlene said...

I LOVE all of the movies that are based on N. Sparks books. Still making my way through his books and currently reading The Last Song, which is going to be a movie too! So excited!

Mmm, the manicotti sounds YUMMY! Maybe Muscleman can make it in June too. Hehehe.

Glad to hear that the training plan seems to be a good fit so far! Great job on the run!

Dion said...

Another Mandy Moore fan, here.

And did you know that Nicholas Sparks is a runner, too? Coaches, too.

Melissa said...

I don't get it either (the run slower to go faster). But, who knows...it must be true if that many people believe in it.
Glad you are liking your training program!

Healthy Momma said...

I can't wait for Dear John, either! It looks so good! I love your blog. I love your pictures! The places you get to run are AMAZING! :]


Glad to hear the training is going well! I love 4 days a week too! I think it's the perfect amount.

Free races - we have them here and I always run them if I am available. We've even had free races with t-shirts ... can't figure that one out, but I love FREE stuff!

KK @ Running Through Life said...

Mel, one more reason we have to meet up one of these days....
I am a huge NS fan....read all of his books! I totally agree with you on your assessment of the movies and books listed above. Although I do love both the Notebook and AWTR movies, the endings always makes me mad. (Spoiler)...I hate how they changed the ending in the Notebook movie and specifically prevented The Wedding from ever being made into a movie. The Wedding is a great book and would be a great movie. As for the movie version of A Walk to Remember, ahhh, I wish it would have ended like the book...when NS wrote the book version, which is loosely based off of his sister's life, he allowed the reader to come to their own conclusion about the ending (re death and life). The movie made that choice for you (part of this could be due to the fact that NS's sister passed away between the writing of the book and the making of the movie, but, still, I liked the ending I created in reading the book better!)
Okay, totally off the topic of running, but there you go...my critic hat for NS.

5 Miles Past Empty said...

i for one will NOT be seeing Dear John. If you want to know what it is REALLY like being with a Special Forces guy I will give you all the not-so-glamourous hollywoodIZED details. :)

Yeah for a Million Inches! i am in!! And almost ready!

Stick to your plan, it sounds like people have a good argument for it. I have read up a bit on the lactic acid build-up and threshold, you are trying to raise your threshold so that you can run further and faster! Have faith! You will be amazing because you ALREADY are amazing!

robinbb said...

That manicotti looks yummy. I can't wait to see that movie, I have been thinking about reading that book. Oh marathon training, I am looking forward to having a schedule again.

Jill said...

Even as a running coach myself, preaching to all I train to run your long run slow, most do not. But you truly reap the benefits of recoverying faster. The trick is to teach your body to run far, that's it. Now, you can, and I highly recommend, adding some Marathon Pace (MP) miles intermixed in your long run, somewhere in the middle, so your body adjusts to it. And every third week, I substitute a long run for a MP run of about 11 miles so the body knows what to do. With taper, rest and carb loading, come race day, the legs just wanna gooooooo. But if they are overly tired from running too hard on long runs, they can't do it. Glycogen is key here and you don't want to run out too soon.

Okay, sorry for the coaching advice. haha I look forward to that new movie out but I have not read the book. It looks kinda sad though.

ajh said...

I am such a Richard Gere fan! How can you not love him!!!! Oh well, that is what makes us great. We are all different!

Jenn said...

I'm ALL about free!! I'm also ALL about manicotti and I want some right now!! I am still learning with the slower running but I know it pays off! Good Luck in marathon training!

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

Think of weight training. You don't pick up the heaviest weight your first day. You start out lighter and over time you are able to lift more. Not exactly the same but easier to understant the concept this way, running faster requires you to 'log' training 'at a lighter weight' so to speak. There are lots of reasons why and I know you will be getting loads!! of answers.

Now for the rest of your post...that manicotti looked great. Was that an actual picture. Kuddos hubbs!

I can not wait to see that movie! It is already in my waiting list for Netflix!!

Congrats on free races! I have a bunch of races that are free that help train for my ultra this fall. They are probably free because they are so hard they will kill me!!

Kerrie said...

Yay for Feb. 13th! I'm looking forward to it now. Looking forward to the challenge and hanging out with eveyone (although, you all will probably be waiting for me for a while at the end).

misszippy said...

The longer runs take it out of you, so that's why keeping them at a sane pace makes the difference. If you kill yourself on them, your legs won't have any zip left in them for the quality speedwork during the week. Glad you are enjoying your plan!

J said...

Yeah that whole run slower thing was hard for me to get at first too! But honestly I have seen it work for me and others! It is incredible how our bodies work!!

Oh and you will get a kick out of this. My track coach from college ran XC and track in college with Nick Sparks. They are like really good friends! And my coach would always tell us stories about him! He is one cool guy!