Friday Five 2.0 2/24 – Runfessions

Happy Friday everyone!

It’s been about a month since we have joined in on a Friday Five and we are excited to be back with you today. We’re linking with Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five 2.0. This week’s Friday Five is all about Runfessions! . Here are our five confessions – running style!

I’m in a slump – big time!!! — I’ve had a hard time returning to a fitness/running/exercise routine following our vacation last month. Runs have been difficult, filled with problems, lacked energy and downright painful. I was able to demonstrate this visually yesterday with a photo comparison of his heart rates on two different runs – one good, the other bad. We hope to be rid of this problem soon. Jen had some difficulty getting back into the swing of things after two weeks of traveling as well.

The top is a normal heart rate chart on a previous 14-mile run. The bottom is how my runs have looked lately, including last nights 10-miler. Rough!

We’re brand snobs — We’re not trying to sound snobby but the truth is, the brands you wear matter. Personal preference has a lot to do with these choices but for Travis, its ASICS shoes and Thorlo socks on his feet, SLS3 compression sleeves, and a good mixture of Holloway, SLS3, Under Armour and Holloway for shorts and tops. He also uses NUUN to stay hydrated. These may not be your brands of choice, but for him, they work well and keep him running long miles (mostly) injury free.

Only one of us has a coach — Jen is the only one of us that has a coach. Jen uses Denny Krahe as her coach and has been with him for about 14 months now. It helps her stay accountable, gain focus and make sure she is progressing safely. Travis on the other hand designs his own training plans and workouts. Although he is still short of his next marathon goal by 12 seconds, he has successfully shaved over 20 minutes off of his marathon time in the last two seasons doing it his way. He says if he gets stuck, he’ll get a coach.

Zumba is back — Jen is back to enjoying Zumba classes after a 5 year absence. She says its been a nice change from her normal routine and looks forward to the classes every week.

Weather worries — Not going to lie, after the last few years of running the Syracuse Half Marathon in less than ideal weather  we’re a little nervous to see what mother nature is going to throw at us for 2017. 2016 brought an epic blizzard with terrible conditions and the year before was cold and snowy. We’ve been having a little bit of a warm up in Northern New York, but we know that doesn’t mean anything and winter most likely isn’t quite done with us yet. Here’s to hoping that the race Gods are kind to us this year… is 60 degrees and partly cloudy too much to ask for?

We’re holding out hope that March is much less eventful, even though we know that won’t be the case! Only 4 weeks til race weekend!


Friday Five 8/5: Let the Games Begin

Good morning and welcome back to the Tale of 2 Halfs. Today we are concluding our drive to Michigan and are looking forward to some relaxation over the next week. After arriving tonight, you can bet that we will be watching the opening ceremonies of the Rio Olympics. With the world’s eyes set on Rio, we thought we would share five things we are most excited to watch. 

1. Michael Phelps: What an amazing athlete! Phelps is younger than Travis, and we have been watching him for over 16 years. We appreciate his success for Team USA, but more significantly, we recognize that he is in fact an imperfect human being. He has been down, in trouble with the law and retired from the sport. He was selected by Team USA to carry the US flag in the opening ceremonies, a tremendous honor for the greatest Olympian of all time.

2. The Marathon: What kind of Olympic fans would we be without watching  the signature event of the modern Olympics. There are numerous storyline of interest – including the suspicions of Kenyan athletes drug use, the last Olympics for Meb Keflezighi and also the emergence of Galen Rupp on the men’s side. With Amy, Shalane  and Desi representing the American women hopefully we can pick up a medal.

3. Beach Volleyball: A favorite for Jen, this Olympics marks the end for Kerri Walsh-Jennings. A three-time World Champion and undefeated in the Olympics, having never lost a game in 2004, 2008 or 2012 with former partner Misty May. A fun sport, with a great location on the famous Copacabana Beach.

4. Utter Domination: Some times you have an individual or team come along that is leaps and bounds (Olympic humor!!) above the competition. We look forward to the USA dominating in Basketball, Women’s Soccer, Women’s Gymnastics, Women’s Volleyball, and Women’s  Water Polo with outstanding individual performances from Ashton Eaton, Simone Biles and Katie Ledecky to name a few. This year’s women’s team is crazy good!

5. Different Sports: The great part about the Olympics is the coverage of “other” sports that we may only get to watch every four years. Personally my list of different sports I love watching include all thing Archery and Shooting, Rowing and Canoeing, Track Cycling and BMX. With good medal chances in all except Canoeing, these events should be fun to watch.

We hope you take time to support Team USA as they Go for Gold and represent the very best of the United States athletically. These athletes have trained for years, decades for some, and have earned the right to be called an an Olympian. Best of luck to all!

Friday Five 6/10: Food/Drinks Every Race Should Have

Good morning and welcome back to the Tale of 2 Halfs! If you’re paying attention, you’ll notice that this is a special “Daily Double” post. You can read our first post of the day recapping our Piece by Piece 5k benefiting Autism Speaks by following the link.

Since we just completed our second event as race directors, are minds are still in planning mode and that got us thinking about the best food and drinks that every event should have post race. We’re linking up with Cynthia, Courtney and Mar for today’s Friday Five!

1. Chocolate Milk: The taste of an ice cold chocolate milk after a grueling 13.1 or 26.2 miles sure is satisfying and also is a great way to start muscle recovery immediately.

Chocolate milk

2. Watermelon: Okay, so this isn’t only limited to the post race party but should be included out on the course as well. I had two large slices of watermelon about 18 miles into the Buffalo Marathon and it was perfect. It was cold, sweet, juicy and refreshing and although I crashed due to the heat, was the perfect light food to consume for extra energy.

3. Beer: I know, not healthy generally but studies have shown that a refreshing cold one after an endurance event can have some health benefits, such as, ” [Beer] can even serve as a decent rehydrator since most American beers are approximately 90 percent water with an ABV (alcohol by volume) of ~4.6, a small amount of protein, and approximately a third of the calories coming from carbohydrate. (Runner’s World, June 24, 2014)” Just have one though because alcohol can dehydrate you further if your not careful

4. Yogurt: On this list for multiple reasons – yogurt, especially greek yogurt, is an excellent source of protein providing your muscles what they need for recovery and repair. Additionally, the healthy bacteria in yogurt can aid in getting your digestive track  going after it shut down during your endurance activity. If you top your yogurt with granola, you’ll get the added benefit of carbohydrates.

5. Gatorade / Powerade / Nuun or Fresh Fruits: We weren’t being indecisive with our fifth pick, the point of is simply electrolytes. While sports drinks pack the electrolytes in and are refreshing, they often offer very little other nutritional value. Instead, you could try replenishing lost electrolytes with fresh fruit or fruit juice, which will also provide some carbohydrates.


For those that stopped by for our busy week on the site, thank you!

What are some of the best post-race food/drinks you’ve enjoyed?

Friday Five 5/13: Summer Goals

Happy Friday the 13th! We’re over the worst of our post vacation hangover and back to a somewhat normal schedule. The weather has been great this week which means Travis’ side business is starting to resume speed again. He does auto detailing so after winter people are very anxious to get the salt and sand off of their vehicles from winter. Peyton and I have been spending our days running errands while Parker is in school, trying to finish up our main projects for our 5k. We’re going to be out of town the entire weekend before so having everything squared away is going to be cruicial!

Since it’s Friday, we’re linking up with Cynthia, Courtney and Mar for the Friday Five


I’ve been thinking about what I’d like my goals to be for the summer, and here is what I’ve come up with so far:

1. Marathon training consistency: Once our Buffalo race is over I want  to keep the momentum going into training for Chicago. It can be easy with nice weather and summer activities to start skipping training but thankfully, working with a coach gives extra accountability!

2. Nutrition: I’ve been slacking big time lately so it’s time to put some extra focus back on nutrition. I’ve been starting to clean up my diet again and really trying to drink more water during the day as well.

3. Cross training: Especially with marathon training starting (or continuing if you’re Travis) both of us need to do more cross training. There are a couple of outdoor classes that I’m looking into giving a shot over the summer, just to switch it up a little!

4. Outdoor activities for the whole family: Both of our kids love to be outside and there are a ton of outdoor activities in our area like a new nature center that we haven’t tried out yet. I want to make it a priority to try some new things with them both this year!

5. Finish all of our outdoor projects: We’ve got a LONG list of things we’ve been working on outside that never seem to get finished. We got a lot done last year with landscaping and building the fire pit, but this year is more maintenance things like painting and staining decks. Not as fun!


What are your summer goals?


Friday Photos

Today we’re headed back to New York as our vacation is over. We kept busy over the week and as always our time in Florida flew by. We had a great day at Disney’s Magic Kingdom on Monday and the kids behaved amazingly but unfortunately, our day at The Animal Kingdom was rained out. We also spent a ton of time lounging by the pool with the kids. Our room at the resort provided the perfect view for viewing the Wishes firework show from our balcony!


We did not prepare a Friday Five post for today so we’re sharing some photos from our trip instead. Enjoy!

Friday Five 4/1: Syracuse Half Marathon Goals

Happy April Fools Day! Have you been the victim of any pranks?

It’s finally race week over here! All that’s left is a short shakeout tomorrow morning before we hit the road for Syracuse!

We’ve been stalking the weather all week and this is where we’re at so far:

It’s not so much the temperature that bothers me…it’s the temperature plus strong winds. I’ve had my fingers crossed all week that it was going to improve, but it’s only gotten worse as the days have gone on.

While this isn’t ideal were trying not to stress too much about it and adjusting as necessary. We’re packing lots of layers so we can make a day of decision for clothing.

Women’s running published an article written by Courtney from Eat, Pray, Run DC about racing in rough conditions and it came at the perfect time! I’m definitely adopting the “why not me” attitude for the weekend!

Here’s five of our goals going into the weekend:

1. Jen: I’ve mentioned before that I have a big (for me) goal for this race. The plan is to shoot for 2:30 giving me an almost 16 minute PR. There’s an A and B plan in place, so even with the weather I’m hoping to still be able to hit the goal!

2. Focus on what we can control: Obviously the forecast is way beyond control so we are choosing to put our attention on things like hydrating, eating well and stretching so that we’re as ready as can be come Sunday morning.

3. Travis: Based on the weather, the course profile and how I’ve felt during this training cycle, I don’t think that a PR (I would need to run a sub 1:28:38) is in the cards for this race. Instead I think that a good goal for Syracuse is to go for a course record. My current record for the course is a 1:37:19. The final 2 miles of the course have been altered slightly but it won’t have any effect on the profile in terms of elevation.

4. Remain Positive: At this point all of the work has been put in and the race is just the celebration!

5. Have fun: It’s not often that we both get to run the same race so we want to make the most of it! Syracuse is a race that we both really enjoy and the race directors work extremely hard to put on an awesome event each year so we’re going to do our best to enjoy all of the aspects of the weekend.

Have you ever raced in poor conditions? Any tips for us? 


We’re linking up with Cynthia, Courtney and Mar for the Friday Five


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