Fall Self Care Bingo!

Oh hello there! I’m excited for my absolute favorite season which starts TODAY. Foliage, cider donuts, stews and braises… it’s HERE! I don’t think I have to tell you that fall in New England is an absolute gem. Unless you’ve never been here – now is the time of year to visit! I’m fired up for leaf peeping, hiking, adventures with my Instant Pot – and savoring those last hot days while I have them.

To make the most of the season, my Fall Self-Care bingo is up and ready for printing!

The board is full of small pleasures to take advantage of the shift in seasons while focusing squarely on yourself. I’ll be printing out my own copy today and playing along with you.

Grab your copy here:

More news from around here:

My next wellness and productivity mini-course is being launched on October 15th! Stay tuned for more in the coming weeks.

Also – I’ve been hosting *Do the Thing Hours a few times a week – free online co-working sessions where we hop on a video call; go around and let each other know what we need to accomplish; I mute everyone, set a timer, and we get to work. A little added accountability for your work day, particularly helpful for those of you who don’t go into an office every day. Email me at sam@thesecondlunch if you’d like to be added to the list!

Finally; my facebook page has been given a little facelift! Head over to facebook.com/thesecondlunch for some daily productivity and wellness inspiration.

 

10 Tips for a Great 10k Race

This post is sponsored by Tufts Health Plan 10k for Women. Get 10% off your race registration at checkout with my link through 9/15.  

On October 9th, I’ll be running the Tufts Health Plan 10k for Women as a race ambassador. If you are in the Boston area and looking for a JOYFUL race to run, this is a spectacular race with excellent views of the city. The race caters to all abilities; you won’t find a more positive place to run your first – or your 50th 10k. This year will be my 6th year running the race in a row – I’m hoping to run this race every year for the next 20!

The race has a special place in my running heart because it was also my very first 10k race; only two weeks after my very first 5k race… the tip of the iceberg that led me down a path of racing, working for a running company, half marathons, 26.2, triathlons, relays, adventure racing, and finally personal training and run coaching!

In honor of this 10k, I’ve put together a list of tips for running a great 10k race – including some of the quirky stuff they don’t tell you when you start running longer distances.

10 TIPS FOR A GREAT 10k RACE

1. USE A 10k TRAINING PLAN

Following a training plan is the best way to train safely and consistently for an intermediate distance race. Really, for any race! I typically recommend plans by Hal Hidgon or the Galloway walk-run plans. If you are training for specific goals, consider working with a run coach to come up with a custom plan. As a running coach, I typically write my own plans, but sometimes it’s great to get a fresh perspective – for this race, I’m following fellow ambassador Chrissy of Snacking in Sneakers plan for an intermediate 10k.

2. GET FASTER – RUN WITH A SPEEDY BUDDY OR A GROUP

If your goal is to PR a speedy race, consider running once a week with a group or a faster running buddy. This has personally been one of the best ways for me to speed up in training. And those fast friends? Don’t worry about going “too slow” – they’ll appreciate an excuse to get in some easy miles while helping you pick up your pace.

In Boston, there are also some great local running groups to take advantage of group runs at all paces. I’ve personally run with Heartbreak Hill Running Company, the local runs out of the Athleta store on Newbury, and from New Balance, just to name a few. Most of the running stores have group runs in the city.

3. PREPARE YOUR RACE NUTRITION

While the speediest runner may not need to refuel during a 10k race, anyone running longer than an hour should consider taking in nutrition during the race – and you’ll benefit by practicing your race nutrition in advance during your long runs.

What to eat? Race nutrition is a personal choice. As a profuse sweater, I’m a fan of a chew with added salt; although occasionally I’ll train with whole food options like dates with nut butter. Research your options, and make sure you test before race day!

4. 10K PACKING LIST AND RACE PREP

Your 10k is still short enough that you can roll up with nothing but a pair of sneakers, your race bib, and a small snack. I stash my cards and keys in a Spibelt to wear for the race, and typically hold onto my phone while I run. An arm band is always useful, but I’m a weirdo who doesn’t mind a phone in hand.

Get prepared in advance, and lay out your race prep the night before your race. Make sure your running watch is CHARGED if you wear one.

If you are driving yourself to the race, make sure that you have somewhere to stash your keys – and a pro-tip is bring a towel for your seat after the race to keep your car clean.

5. WARM-UP BEFORE THE RACE

Ever take a look at the pros warming up before their races? Those super speedy folks in short shorts? They ALL warm up. It’s tempting to hang around and just stand there before a race, but if you warm up, you’ll have a much easier time getting into the swing of your race – usually it takes me a few miles before I’m warmed if I start at the race line, but I can cut that by doing some movement before I get started.

I typically walk, stride, and do some dynamic stretches – the idea is to keep moving!

6. PREVENT CHAFING AND BLISTERS

A 10k race means more time on the road in sweaty clothes – which means – you guessed it, more opportunity for chafing. I managed to avoid the chafe for my first few years of running – until one fateful day where I ended up getting brutal chafe on my underarm from the seam of a running shirt. OUCH.

If you are prone to chafe on your sports bra line – try bodyglide. Underwear inseam? Make sure you aren’t wearing cotton underwear, or go commando. For foot blisters – I recommend getting a high quality thick sock, and getting fitted for better sneakers. Blisters are NOT inevitable.

A side note: want a pedicure before race day? Only a polish change! No sloughing or you’ll be miserable with blisters.

7. DON’T SKIP THE POTTY BEFORE THE RACE

A 10k is a longer race, and if you are hydrating, you may need to take a bio break.

Many (but not all) 10k races will have port-o-potty stops on the course. Pro-tip: it’s best to make sure you know where these are in advance. Shout out to the Tufts Health Plan 10k for Women for making port-o-potties PLENTIFUL at the start of the race right next to where you line up! They know their audience!

8. ASK FOR ENCOURAGEMENT

If you like an interactive race day; consider tacking on – “Please cheer for me my name is______” on the back of your shirt – or simply take a sharpie to your running gear with your name in huge letters.

Look out for the kiddos on the side of the race for high fives – and if you don’t care about PRing, do what I do – take every opportunity to say hello to dogs on the side lines. It peps up my race experience every time.

9. ACE YOUR RACE PHOTO

Most road races these days have photographers camped out on the course to take your photo – and let’s face it… mid-run is not the most flattering photo op situation.

A little planning can go a long way – I scout where the race photographers might be hanging out. Once I see them, I tend to summon all of my energy and LEAP.

Thumbs up; joyful grin, and peace signs are also options. Usually I have to do a leap or two just so they can get a good shot. It’s worth it for the life long memories.

10. HAVE FUN

Whether it’s your first 10k race, or your 50th, going into your race with a positive mindset is a great way to ensure a better race day.

Do a little dance party at mile 3.1. Say hi to strangers, wave like the queen to the crowds, and enjoy your race. Do not be afraid to be that weirdo!

Finally, when I cross the finish line, I take time to give thanks for every opportunity I have to get out there and run. And then I take advantage of the moment to sign up for my next race before I think better of it ;p

Happy Racing!

Tufts Health Plan 10k for Women – October 9th, 2017
Get 10% off your race registration at checkout with my link through 9/15. Register here.

The Weekly Meal Plan

A pile of vegetables

:: The Weekly Meal Plan : Week of September 11th, 2017 ::

This week’s prep: hard boiling eggs for snacks, boiling potatoes, cooking a batch of white rice, cooking down some frozen spinach with garlic, chopping down a bunch of herbs from the garden to eat this week, making a batch of iced tea.

Fitness and nutrition: This Sunday is the Salem 10k, and I’m starting to ramp up my training for the Tufts Health Plan 10k for Women in early October (I’m a race ambassador – save 10% at checkout through 9/15 with my link!). Most of my nutrition will be keeping things simple, and eating enough carbs.

Saturday: Barbecue teriyaki chicken and broccoli. Known affectionately as the Trader Joe’s special. I shop and batch cook over the weekend, and prefer to keep my Saturday dinner super easy.

Sunday: Ground pork and asparagus stir fry with tomato rice. A riff on a recipe from Nom Nom Paleo’s new cookbook.

Monday: Roasted cauliflower, chicken drumellas, Annie’s. A little bit of comfort food to start the week.

Tuesday: Pork chile verde with Boston butt from the meat share, potato. Mostly just a dump into the Instant Pot – and I’ll cook two days in advance so the flavors have time to do their thing.

Wednesday: Salmon with edamame succotash. I tend to get the wild frozen Sockeye from Trader Joe’s, unless I see something at the store that looks particularly fresh.

Thursday: Braised lamb breast with cucumber salad and white rice. This is a fatty cut of meat – I’m going to marinate in a Chinese flavor base and then slow braise for 3 hours until the meat is shreddable.

Friday: Date night! Bertram goes to daycare and we go out to eat!

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