Half Marathon Training Week #2 (12 weeks until the race!): Monday August 21st- Sunday August 27th.

Good evening! I hope all of you had a fantastic weekend full of fun, exercise, food, and time to relax! 🙂 My weekend was pretty low key, but it was just what I needed.

The week of training didn’t not go quite as expected, but I will just roll with it. My mileage was pretty low, but it’s better for me to ease into training with my history of injury. Plus, until these last two weeks I was not running much. My goal is to run 20 miles per week next week and continue to bring down my running pace. Slow, but steady wins the race for this previously injured girl! I have some time goals for my half marathon (1:30), but when all is said and done I just want to toe the line healthy. 🙂 So, now let’s recap this last week of training with some random pictures and thoughts from the week for good measure. 😛

Monday August 21st: REST DAY. My coworkers and I watched solar eclipse in the middle of the work day, so that was cool. It was definitely weird wearing solar eclipse glasses over my regular glasses, but I had to protect my eyes! See below for a cool picture my dad took of the eclipse. I didn’t try to take any pictures because we didn’t get the best views of the eclipse in the city.

Tuesday August 22nd: REST DAY

Wednesday August 23rd: 3 miles at 7:35 pace after work. Felt strong, despite the lack of sleep early in the week. I got an amazing view of the sunset on this run too. 🌞


After the run, my amazing husband made us chickpea stir fry and it was delicious. It’s one of our staples during the work week, so maybe I will share the recipe here one of these days.

Thursday August 24th: REST DAY

Friday August 25th: 3 miles at 7:52 pace after work. I felt really sluggish on this run. The lack of sleep during the work week probably caught up to me. I definately need to prioritize sleep as my training ramps up. Im not doing the greatest with this, as it’s already past midnight as I write this post. 😛


Saturday August 26th: Hips of death circuit” for hip/glute/ core strength. This is a circuit my husband does with his high school cross country/track athletes. I’d share it here, but it’s hard to explain all the moves in writing. It’s a lot of body weight moves, so it’s nice when I don’t feel like going to the gym or have access to a gym. Each week I aim to do AT LEAST one day of glute/hip/core strength due to my injury history.

I also enjoyed this delicious bowl of berry, cinnamon, and raw hemp seed oatmeal prior to my workout.

Sunday August 27th: Solid 5 mile run at 7:34 pace with my husband. He was definitely thrilled to take the photo of me running below. 😂 After the run, I did some stretching, but I need to be much better about stretching this week.

 I hope you all have a good night! Also, if any of you are on Instagram I just got an one for this blog! My handle is @blackbeanqueen. Follow me if you want you midweek training updates or to see random food pictures! 😜

How was your weekend? What are your exercise and running goals for next week?

Half Marathon Training Week #1 (13 weeks until the race!): Monday August 14th- Sunday August 20th.

Good evening friends! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend! My husband I are staying up late doing laundry and he’s finishing up his lesson plans for the week, so I thought I’d blog:) My half marathon training does not offically start until tomorrow, but I wanted to start my weekly workouts feature for fun and to hold myself accountable.

I’ve only run about ten times in 2017 and one of them was a 5k race that I ran without training…I have a history of not properly training for post college races. I did a half marathon in summer 2014 where I started training one month ahead of time. I only ran 3 days per week and my longest run was 8 miles. I think I was burned out from college and college running- I shouldn’t have signed up for the race in the first place. Anyway, I ended the race with yet another IT band injury and was unable to properly run without issues until I went through intense physical therapy in spring 2015. You can read more about my injury history here.

I will not allow myself to put anymore meaningless things before my favorite hobby or to run anymore races without training. I am officially committed to training properly for this half marathon! I am following the Hal Higdon Novice 2 training plan plus 2 days a week of strengthening exercises to protect/strengthen my hips/glutes/IT band. Despite my experience as a D-1 XC/track athlete, this is a good choice for me because I have not really been running this year and I have a history of injury, so I want to play it safe. Here’s the link to the training plan I’m using. My ultimate time goal for this half is under 1 hour and 30 min, but my realistic goal is 1 hour and 35 min.

So without further ado, here are my weekly workouts for my half marathon training. As a note, this was not the best week for me personally or training wise. My grandfather broke his hip 2 weeks ago and then unexpectedly passed away on Monday. 🙁 I found myself unmotivated and sad early in the week, but then I found solace in running later in the week. Here’s a picture of my grandpa and I dancing at my wedding last month. Sorry for the low quality picture. Regardless, I am fortunate for this happy memory with him!

Monday August 14th: REST

Tuesday August 15th:

Wednesday August 16th:

Thursday August 17th:
3 miles at 7:53 pace (according to my Garmin) followed by stretching and hip strength exercises (see examples of what I do under Saturday’s training)

Friday August 18th: A late 2 miles after work at 7:51 pace

Saturday August 19th: hip and glute strength exercises at the gym:

-band walks (side to side and forward/backward): 3x 20 reps each side
-walking lunges: 2x 20 reps each leg
-squats with the large resistance band: 2×20 reps
-foam block balancing and raises: 3×10 reps each leg
-tipping bird: 3×10 reps each side
-clamshells with resistance band: 3×10 reps each side
-bridges with resistance band and 2 second hold: 2×10 reps
-leg raises with resistance band: 2×10 reps each side
-foam rolling and stretching: 10 minutes

Sunday August 20th: REST

Today’s questions: How was your week of training? What races are you training for? Do you use a training plan when you sign up for a race?

It is NEVER too late to begin (blogging) again

Wow…Where to begin?! It’s been over two years since I update this blog! 😱You were all starting to think I forgot about it, right? Wrong! Don’t worry, some things have not changed! I am still a vegetarian who loves running, black beans, and healthy food! 😛 It has been an eventful and busy two years to say the least, but blogging has been on my mind the whole time. It was just a matter of actually coming back here to blog in the midst of the good, the bad, the busy, and the unexpected. Words can’t adequately describe the way I felt over the last two years, but I will try…

 I am nervous about doing this, but I decided to get personal with all of you today.😬

To put it briefly: I am not proud of how I took care of myself the last two years. I feel like I switched from a glass half full to a glass empty kind of girl in a matter of months. I was not running or working out very often (and if you knew me a few years ago, running was my life!). Furthermore, I was not eating enough or very healthy some of the time. Instead of living in the moment, I was focused on the future and what might or might not happen. I was not doing things I enjoyed as often (i.e. this blog, cooking, running) and I was using every spare moment to write lesson plans, apply for jobs, think about the future, or to feel sorry for myself. By the end up summer 2016 I would wake up in a negative mood more days than a positive one. I just was not myself…It was a gradual change from spring to summer 2016 and some of it was because of the things that happened, but more of it was because of HOW I reacted to what happened.

When I was feeling low, I would compare myself to others and feel crummy when someone else reached a milestone I wish I had reached. Comparison is such a waste of time! Imagine what would happen if we all built each other up and celebrated each other, instead of comparing and competing?

Anyway, reflecting back on the last two years, MORE positive things happened than negative ones:

1. I student taught honors science classes at an amazing high school in spring 2016.

2. I earned my Master’s degree and won an award for being a promising new science teacher in spring 2016.

3. I applied to more teaching jobs than I can recall and even scored some interviews.

4. I did NOT get a teaching job.

5. My boyfriend (now husband) got an amazing teaching & coaching job in summer 2016.

6. I got engaged at the Chicago marathon in fall 2016. My then boyfriend ran and I volunteered/watched. I can share our story in the future if there is interest. We met in high school through running so it’s a cool story (at least I think so 😂). 


7. I got a full time job in winter 2016/2017. It is unrelated to teaching, but I love it.

8. I planned my wedding.

9. I got married and went on my honeymoon in July 2017.


10. I decided to prioritize my overall health again in August 2017

Notice that the only negative is #4, but at the time it was a HUGE deal for me…I have always prided myself on working really hard and achieving the things I worked for. This was one of the first times in my life that my hard work did not result in the desired outcome. I was confused because I did well in my classes, did well in student teaching, and won an award for being a promising new teacher at my graduation, but then I did not get a teaching job. I felt like a huge failure. 🙁 I felt like I wasted my money, my education, and my time. I was also worried that I let my professors, my family, and my friends down. It is hard to convey exactly how I felt back then, but I hope this clarifies things a bit. Luckily, I am in a much better place today! 🙂

So, why am I even blogging again? Well, it is because of number 10 on the list. How will I make number 10 a reality? The first step is to workout/run 5-7 days per week because I signed up for half marathon with my husband in November! 🙂 The second step is to eat balanced meals everyday to be healthy and have training fuel. The third step onward are yet to come…stay tuned.

Takeaways over the last two years:

Just because life gets in the way does not mean we should neglect to take care of ourselves. We cannot be the best version of ourselves in our relationships, in the work place, or in our hobbies if we do not treat ourselves with love and respect. The best thing we can do, is to do things that make us happy. 🙂 Remember, things are never as bad as them seem!

So, please join me on this blogging journey (take 2) as I navigate “adulting” as a twenty-something newlywed while making health, happiness, and hobbies a priority.

Today’s questions: How did you/do you deal when your life goes in an unexpected direction? If you are a runner are you training for any fall races?