Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Running and Cupcakes

Monday  was a weird day.  I woke up at 4:30am (except since Daylight Savings had just begun, it was really 3:30am Old Time).  I had agreed to play taxi for my husband and his coworkers at 5am, was presented with a glazed donut with sprinkles that I barely remember eating, I got back home before 6am, and went back to bed for a little “nap.”  I had set up the coffee maker for 6:45, positive I’d be up by then.  And planned to go on a long run shortly after. Except I actually woke up at 8.  At least I awoke to the aroma of hazelnut coffee.

I ran 13 miles because I didn’t do a real long run this past weekend.  I didn’t have a pace in mind, but knew that Run Less Run Faster likes you to do most of your long runs at half marathon pace + :20 which for me is around 10:00-10:05.  I should note that while I love RLRF, I sort of mostly abandoned it since moving last month.  rlrf

Back to my run.

The first 12 miles were good, I ran them at an average pace of 9:47. Things got a little hairier for the last mile and change uphill.  I started off trying to run uphill for about .3 miles - even if it meant a really slow pace, but after 12 miles it wasn’t happening. I did some short run/walk intervals up the hill then resorted to walking the second half to my house.

I spent much of Monday evening in my Aspaeris Pivot compression shorts, and I even slept in them, hoping they would magically heal me and give me fresh legs for my planned track workout Tuesday night.

Either my legs are getting stronger from the abuse they are taking from the hills here or the shorts worked, but I felt I had a good first track workout.  I’ve done speed work before, but this was my first time on an actual track. Previously, speed work has consisted of programming my watch to beep at me at predetermined intervals while I run through neighborhoods and parks.

The track workout was:

4x[300m, 100m rest] 1:24, 1:24, 1:23, 1:25
4x[600m, 200 rest] (.37-.38 mi) 2:49, 2:59, 2:39, 2:50
4x[200m, 1min rest] (.12-.13 mi) :48, :45, :47, :45

I’d say it was a success as my beloved RLRF tells me I should run 600s in 3:05.

The 600s weren’t too consistent, but the others were pretty close.  I didn’t stare at my watch like I sometimes do for speed work, I just ran and hit the lap button on my watch as I crossed the line on the track.  While I am definitely in the slower half of the group that came to the track tonight, I didn’t feel badly about – I think seeing so many fast people ahead of me motivated me to run faster.

I was proud of my track success and treated myself to a cupcake. 

Actually, I had pre-planned this cupcake, regardless of how the track went.  I’ve been researching cupcake places in my new area, hoping to find something that could rival my most favorite cupcake place in NJ.  I was disappointed to see a lot of mixed reviews for the 5 or so cupcake bakeries on yelp.  Not confidence-inspiring. Maybe individual cupcake preferences vary widely. 

My favorite from Sugar + Sunshine in NJ was the mocha cupcake which was chocolate cake with a coffee buttercream frosting. I could eat that frosting by the spoonful, but luckily they didn’t sell their frosting.

When I learned one of the places here had a Mocha cupcake—but only on Tuesdays—and that it was right near the track, it was a done deal.

I will readily admit that aesthetically it does not even compare. Even before it got knocked around in the bag a bit.

IMG-20120313-00838  IMG-20120313-00839

But when I opened the bag at home I could smell delicious coffee.  The frosting to cake ratio was good.  The buttercream frosting had the right amount of coffee flavor and was not too sweet; the cake portion was still moist despite me buying it at 8:30pm.

The CA cupcake cost me $3 while my NJ favorite is $2.50.  The NJ one might be a little bigger, too.  But it seems all cupcakes in this area are priced at $3+.  I’ll blame it on the high taxes in this state.

Cupcakes: Yay or Nay?

What’s your favorite sweet/baked good?


  1. Let me start with cupcakes: yum! My favorites were the chocolate cupcakes from The Chocolate Room in Park Slope, Brooklyn. And only $2.00 a piece (at least they were when I was still living there in 2008)! I had to specifically walk on the other side of the street so that I wouldn't buy one every day on my way home from work. :)

    Also, I've been hearing about this Run Less Run Faster book everywhere. Maybe it's time I check it out? I've found myself running much slower than I used to, and am incorporating interval and tempo runs into my training to increase my speed. Well, I'll find out in 2.5 weeks at the Berlin Half Marathon if that made any difference!

    P.S. I love your blog title -- it totally captures the two things in the world I love most. :)

    1. I like the plan because it gives you very specific runs and training paces for different distances. I am sure if you're incorporating interval and tempo runs now you'll see improvement! The good/bad about RLRF is that it's only 3 runs a week + cross train 2x/week. Right now while I am looking for a job, I have more time on my hands and would prefer not to join a gym for access to spinning, bootcamp, etc. that I used to do for cross training so I would be ok with running 5 days a week.

  2. Holy moses that cupcake looks good!

    Why does your husband need a ride at 5am?? You are a seriously good wife!

    1. Pre-getting to the airport transportation. It was rough.

  3. Sounds like some good workouts! I have to say I'm not a cupcake fan. They are too hard to eat. I'll just take a slick of cake!

    1. Maybe the video Alison linked to can change that! I like good old cake too, but I think I like cupcakes because they have more frosting than a slice of a cake (unless you get a corner piece).

  4. cupcakes? f yes!

    Also, a video on how to eat a cupcake. It's a game-changer.

    1. Nice! That way you don't have a top-heavy cupcake after you take a bite or two. Though I guess you wouldn't have the problem of your cupcake tipping over if you never put it down :)

  5. So you're like the DD for your husband and his coworkers. Do you pick them up from work too? You're really really nice!

    1. Haha... I picked up one coworker and brought him and my husband to another coworker's place...who was driving the three of them to the airport. It sounded not-so-bad before Daylight Savings happened because I've been getting up at 6:30. I was wrong :)

  6. I've been so curious about RLRF and was glad to read its only around 3 days of running, I've been training for the LA Marathon ( on Sunday! eek!) and working with a sports center where they only have me running 3-4 days. Welcome to CA! :)

    (Ps, if you are ever in LA there are more cupcake shops than you can shake a stick at!)

  7. Those shorts must be magic!! :)

    Now I need a cupcake.

  8. I hate to admit this, but cupcakes almost always disappoint me. They look so cute but usually aren't as good as they appear. Glad you found a somewhat suitable replacement though! Great job on that track workout - you killed it!


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