Vermont and other mischief

By | August 11, 2019

July finished with 84.79 miles. 84! That is, by far, a personal best. And yes, that missing .21 miles bothers me just a little because round numbers. But only a little because I’m really proud of this mileage increase that, touch wood, has been without injury.

On nutrition:

as I mentioned on twitter, I finally got to try the Science in Sport gels at a group workout and I’m a fan. Not as thick or overly sweet as some of the others and, touch wood, good on my stomach even in the heat. Know a number of you have these already via BibPro, but if anyone wants to try, this code should get you 20% off.

Instant lemonade slush

I also tried the powder mix on the 8/10 long run and at half strength and frozen it was a perfect lemonade slushy for the first mile or so.

Oh right, grape Nuun isn’t purple!

As soon as I dropped in the tablet I remembered someone’s post — grape Nuun looks so weird. Even though grapes are green and wine can be white, I so expected it to be purple. Judy was that one of yours I’m thinking of? Used it for cross training, but definitely a fan.

One thing I still need to find/buy is an insulated water bottle as even freezing them isn’t keeping them cold on summer long runs. I saw one reviewed when I was catching up on the last of my print Runners World, but I want to look around some more. I tried this Nathan one, but it splashes and I don’t like having a wet hand. Do you have a favorite?  After that I am done spending. Feel like money is running out of my wallet these days even if it’s (mostly) necessities. I am not going to buy a Sarah Marie Design Studio NYC shirt. No, I am not. Not at all. And the 11th commandment, thou shalt avoid the Gap Factory sale.

Two week Weekly Run Down with Kim and Deborah:

Week of 7.29

  • Monday: it was too hot to breathe outside. I tried the treadmill but was having a wardrobe malfunction and instead landed on the rower. Had been a while since I rowed 5K. Felt good, as it subsequent PT exercises.
  • Tuesday: another aborted run turned cross train. Decided to listen to what my body was telling me.
  • Wednesday: Rogue training. The prescribed workout:

The workout: Lumberjack Twist

What? Runners will do a combination of short hill sprints of 60-80 meters in distance, combining with 20 minutes of steady effort work, followed by more hills.

Runners will start on the hills with marathoners doing 5-6 hill sprints. Then, runners will take a 1 minute break before rolling into 20 minutes continuous at steady effort. Then, runners will take another 1 minute rest followed by another 5-6 hill sprints to finish up their work. The hill sprints should be at a hard effort, short and fast, with easy running back down. The steady section is intended to be comfortably hard and should fall somewhere between half marathon and marathon effort, likely erring more on the marathon side of that given the summer conditions.

Why? This workout is all about working to improve aerobic threshold on tired legs. The early hills are designed to introduce fatigue so that runners have to work a little bit harder in the middle section, sustaining a comfortably hard rhythm after working those sprints.

  • the reality: not exactly. But not because of weather or fitness. The hill repeats were on the ramp above Pier I and my Achilles just wasn’t having it. I did five of the six in the first set and then managed two in the second. I called that a smart decision. Yes, the NYC course is hilly, but not hill repeats hilly and not breaking is my priority.
  • Thursday: off due to moved long run.
  • Friday: Fourteen solo morning miles. Well really, 14.35 and 3h10m running. Whoa. No more “longest training run” and more “longest run ever” territory. I had a couple of route plans but ended up with the simplest due to time, an out and back down to the Seaport area. It was gorgeous and not too hot. My knees were really sore the rest of the day, but otherwise felt OK.
  • Saturday: 3m shakeout before my road trip. It was humid and I was so sore from Friday but it meant negative splits as I did ten! laps of a .3 mile trail segment near mom to get in three miles. I wanted the cushion of a trail, but the longer segment is still closed due to construction, so a crazy back and forth it was. Luckily there was a work crew with a water jug in their truck as the water fountain was shut due to construction.



row row row your view!

  • Sunday: cross train with a gorgeous view.

Weekly mileage: 21.83

Week of 8.5

mom and I have A Thing for covered bridges. This has also become a running Thing

  • Never miss a Monday: and a beautiful one at that running past corn and cows in Stowe. I love this Stowe tradition of running into town for breakfast. We followed this up with a hike to the Von Trapp chapel, which was stunning.


  • Tuesday: cross train with a view because I didn’t want to run three days in a row. Trip up the Stowe gondola with a short hike before heading to the airport for three hour delays (on a 45m flight)
  • Wednesday: grumbling about Tuesday as it turned into an unplanned off day with run group rained out & postponed to Thursday. In truth, the off day was much needed as I could work late to catch up after a few days off.

another runner’s photo of the pre-storm sunset

  • Thursday: the planned workout:
The workout: 600s @5k pace/effort
What? All runners will do 4-8 x 600m at 5K pace (or effort) with 200m easy jog in between each. Add warm-up and cool down to get the necessary mileage in for the day. The pace should feel hard but controlled. Runners will want to find a strong rhythm and start conservative, progressing as they go through each repeat.
Why? This is a down week, and as you know we like to work on speed during most down weeks.
These 600s at 5K pace are a VO2 Max workout. The workout’s aim is to improve the amount of oxygen the body can deliver to the muscle cells (used to produce energy) by stressing the maximum of the heart, lungs and circulatory system (your VO2 Max).
  • The Reality: pretty close. The benefit of doing this on the Great Lawn was that it equated to essentially 3/4 of a lap for the 600 element and the final 1/4 for the recovery. I went out too quickly and as a result, my pace suffered toward the end, but I was happy overall. Still had enough in the tank for coach to pace me the last lap. When a wind gust spun up, we had a feeling we were in for an unexpected storm. We were just taking a cooldown when we saw lightning and the cooldown turned into a fast “sprint”. I learned what running at a pace I couldn’t talk meant! I was OK, save for the side stitch which passed when we took a breather to cross the street. I have to say, this was definitely the most fun workout of the training cycle. I still love rain runs.

Mismatched tree

Friday: I was tight as a rubber band so after work I went to the gym for some PT and yoga. This was probably due to a lot of sitting around at the airport on Tuesday and not properly stretching after the rain. I can always count on Romance and my first NYRR Retro shirt to keep me from matching.

it’s too damn early face

a rarely-seen view of Mr. Vanderbilt. Thanks SummerStreets!

I’m strong to the finish cause I eat my spinach err sushi!

you can pry my treat food from my cold, dead hands


  • Saturday: what did I say about not matching? Daybreak is another wonderful one in that effort. Aggressive non-matching is my favorite sport. The weather was gorgeous and this down-week run was perfection. I missed last week’s Summer Streets run and didn’t realize how much water was available on the course so I over packed water. Oh well. We ran across 59th St. and down Park Avenue to the Brooklyn Bridge and back up, with a little smidgen of Central Park to get to ten miles. I ran the whole thing with someone else from the run group! I’ve never done that over a long run (full disclosure, she stuck with me- I did not keep up with her). Considering we stopped at two Nuun stations (strawberry lemonade, lemon lime), took a couple of photos and got stuck behind people walking four abreast in the last mile, our pace was pretty good. Slightly faster than the Cherry Blossom 10m (all the photos!) and slower than the Bronx. Much better than recent long runs, thanks to the weather. Run buddy called for the “wonder woman/popeye” shot, but it also felt fitting after a conversation Renee and I were having on twitter. People, and by people I mostly mean women, are the worst sometimes. Went to the gym after for a solid foam roll and some more yoga before treating myself to sushi and a sunset read.
  • Sunday: probably off. I had some vague plans of a morning shakeout or beach trip, but after sleeping in (9!) I woke with a sinus headache and with a busy week/weekend coming up I decided to chill with coffee and catch up on email, blogs and what not. I will go out as it’s a gorgeous day, but will be a low key one.

Weekly mileage: 19.79 Yeah, not really an overall down week for me since I am not reaching the plan’s mileage (deliberate choice)

Overall this cycle: 153.1 I’m really, really proud of that.

Plan for the week:

  • Monday: run
  • Tuesday: walk with Darlene?
  • Wednesday: Rogue training
  • Thursday: run with Darlene?
  • Friday: off, Giants game
  • Saturday: 16!!
  • Sunday: TBD/Yankee game

Go The Dist August:

I touched on the run mileage to start the post, but it was an overall strong month:

  • 537, 348 steps
  • 84.79 miles run
  • 240.91 miles run/walked.

WOW. I beat my best ever month by 4K without even walking all around London. Marathon training does a step goal good.

Gym visits: 12; March-August total: 44. A nice rebound over last month. I’ll be good for the reimbursement.

37 thoughts on “Vermont and other mischief

    1. cari Post author

      When I was in college in Rochester, NY I often drove ROute 17/I86/the Southern Tier Expy, which I called Cows & Corn. I had no idea how much there could be until I visited Stowe. There were sheep too. SIS is my new favorite, I think

    1. cari Post author

      It’s crazy to think I’ll likely be out there double. EEK!

  1. kookyrunner

    Awesome job this week! So glad that you are loving the SiS gels – what’s your favorite flavor? I’ve tried a few and salted strawberry is still my go-to. Last month I started using a Nathan hydration waist pack. It has enough room for my gels and phone and I fill up the flask half way and freeze it the night before a long run, then fill the rest with water right before i leave for my run. My water stay pretty cold for most of the run. Here’s the link –

    1. cari Post author

      I just saw your SiS haul. Did I forget you’re an ambassador? I’ll buy through you next time. I’m hooked on the lemon lime drink mix, but their water bottle is kind of ridiculous, and by kind of I mean unusable
      I think yours might be perfect – the push pull cap is what mine doesn’t have and, I think, why it leaks. Thank you!

    2. cari Post author

      I just bought your belt. Took the bottle for a run as I didn’t have time or a scissor to fight with the belt but I love how the b ottle works as a hand held on a short run and it opens & closes! THank you!
      I don’t think my phone will fit in the belt, but I’m honestly less concerned about that. I’ll probably run in November without/with less water and can use my current belt for the phone.

  2. Chocolaterunsjudy

    Yup, that was my comment about the grape Nuun. 🙂 We used to go to Stowe occasionally when we lived in VT. It’s definitely a great place to visit (so didn’t like living there).

    Sounds like marathon training is humming along well and you’re very smart to listen to your body so much!

    1. cari Post author

      I thought so – but searching for Nuun on your blog wasn’t bringing it up. I said to mom that even if Stowe had beach and mountains (I loved the August weather),it still wasn’t for me as it’s too far from everything. Probably 3 hours apiece to Boston, Montreal. Sorry, Albany doesn’t scratch the big city itch the same way for me. I like it for a weekend getaway, not sure I could have done the full week though.

      1. Chocolaterunsjudy

        We lived outside of Burlington, and Montreal is a day trip from there — we did it quite a bit. And we often vacationed in ME during the summer.

        Albany is not a big city & I don’t personally recommend it & it wasn’t my choice to move here anyway! So no reason to be sorry.

  3. Coco

    I know I’ve commented on grape Nuun — it messes with my head! Woohoo on the long run. My legs have felt tight for a while now. I think I need to give in and give them a rest, but it’s so hard when the weather turns nice! Bummed my trip to NYC was so short, but it worked out since you weren’t there anyway. LOL

    1. cari Post author

      Same. Today is a breezy, beautiful 65 and I want to run but no

  4. Marcia

    Great week and great month for you! I still have a bunch of SIS from when I was a RocknBlogger. I agree it’s nice but the large size is a pain in a marathon when I need to carry a bunch. I still haven’t found a handheld I like. I tried that exact Nathan and I agree: The nozzle splashes then ultimately breaks. Let me know if you find one you really like.

    1. cari Post author

      Will do. I’m going to the big JackRabbit tomorrow and play with a bunch. They have some demos available for a run, which I may do too since I think it’s hard to tell issues in store. You hit the nail on the head re: gel size. For me it’s the chews – they’re narrow but tall (cliff bloks) or bulky and square (honey stinger). I think if i go that route in November they’re going to be in a ziplock. Ooph

  5. Deborah Brooks

    Your July mileage was really impressive! Nice start to the month for you as well. I should try the SIS electrolyte drink I like lemonade flavor. I am not a handheld person I like the run belt.

    1. cari Post author

      It’s really good iced. Like a slushy. I like it better than Nuun but in Nuun’s defense, it was warm and in a jug so probably not in its best form. Amazon has the drink for much less than SIS – I don’t feel too bad with that since the SIS emails link directly to their amazon shop.
      I don’t think I’m going to find a handheld I like, but I’d really like to ditch the belt, although the current one is probably OK for fall

  6. Zenaida Arroyo

    I’ve heard so many great things about the SiS gels. Great mileage for July! I don’t have a handheld but sometimes just carry a water bottle on my runs. I have a Fitletic belt with two small water bottles that I love too. I hope you find something that works for you.

    1. cari Post author

      I have a two bottle belt. Don’t think it’s Fitletic, but I like that it also fits my phone. It just doesn’t keep the bottles as cool as I’d like. The SIS gels are more refreshing than sickly sweet

  7. Lisa @ Mile by Mile

    You have been doing great and how exciting that you hit your highest mileage last month! Not sure if Ive ever had grape Nuun but I would also expect it to be purple! Weird!

  8. Wendy

    I’m tired just reading about your training! Wow! Nice job. Sounds pretty in Vermont.

    I carry my Tailwind in a handheld. And it’s nothing fancy–a Tailwind bottle with a can coozie on it and a bottle band to hold it in place on my hand. I cannot do fuel belts. All that sloshing and bouncing on my waist makes me crazy.

    1. cari Post author

      Luckily I found belts that don’t bounce – thanks to my belly, most likely. But I really want to find a handheld. A can coozie is such a good idea. Thanks for that tip

  9. Laurie

    Nice workouts! You are getting some great training miles in. I am also a fan of aggressive non-matching. I had to laugh at that phrase. I have tried handhelds and belts. Right now, I am using a belt, but I don’t like to wear it when it gets really hot. I am more likely to just run my long run in smaller loops so I can stop at the rec center I start from at the end of each 3-mile loop and get a drink and something to eat rather than carry everything with me.

    1. cari Post author

      The heat is exactly my issue – sometimes I don’t want one more thing touching me.
      I need to find a loop that hits a store or rec center. Luckily my main ones have water fountains, which help
      Aggressive non matching is something a former colleague came up with, and it’s so true

  10. Debbie @ Deb Runs

    You had a great week! 84.79 miles for the month is so close for us round-number-loving-runners, but you should be proud of those miles! With marathon training, your months will only get higher!

    I remember how surprised I was the first time I ever plopped a grape NUUN tablet into my water bottle and it didn’t turn purple. It sounds like a common reaction! 🙂

    1. cari Post author

      Seriously. I’m at 70 already and have two long runs yet to go. although I think next week might be a down week. It’s crazy how quickly they add up
      Team grape should be purple forever

  11. Michelle @ Running with Attitude

    Great mileage for July! And it looks like August is off to a great start for you! I’ve been trying different fueling and have found SIS to be kind on my stomach too – salted strawberry for the win! Which one do you like?

    1. cari Post author

      I like berry too, and the orange. I’m going to play with more this weekend. I agree re: stomach friendly, especially in the heat when Gu just doesn’t work

  12. Renee

    Oh! Great idea with the electrolyte slush! I have used SiS before, but currently using High5 and Wiggle own-brand tablets. They are all good for me!

    As far as taking hydration with me – it’s annoying but I just take a bottle if under 1 hour running and anything more I use my Salomon hydration vest which I love, but is spendy. It has a 1.5 l bladder and I have 2 500ml collapsible bottles if I need more. Usually though I fill the bladder and then I can take my gels, honey stingers, phone, keys, etc with me all in one go (lately also a travel size body glide). But again, spendy. But worth it IMHO.

    14 miles!! Good lord! I think I should be around 14 miles this week Saturday but I am not looking forward to it. My brain is still not in the best place when it comes to solo long runs. Way to go!!

    You got some great mileage in the past two weeks. Sometimes I panic a bit because I feel like my mileage is too low or something. Then I remember I need to trust MY own process and follow MY plan.

    1. cari Post author

      Second week in on the electrolyte slush and I really love it. If I didn’t live up five flights I might try to figure a way to run past my apartment to grab another bottle halfway through
      I wish they allowed the vests in races here – would make life much simpler.
      And yes, so many different plans even among beginners also running NYC. I try with varying degrees of success to tune out the noise.

    1. cari Post author

      I go back and forth. Sometimes it’s quicker than a run, other times it feels like five hours

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