Make sure to VARY your runs!

A screen shot from a video so yeah… 

Let’s talk about changing up our runs a bit!

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I have been reading from my good friend (he doesn’t know we are friends) Hal’s book… MARATHON!  

In the below excerpt he is talking about how he ran into some speedy men out on the roads the day before their sub 2:10 marathon.  They were out there jogging it out and running EASY and slow!  The best of the best runners make sure to include slow and easy runs so we should too!

I love how he talks about varying your speed and distance throughout your training.  One of my favorite things about having a coach is all of the variety she gives me.  Each day is different and that is so important with our training.  It is so easy to plateau in our fitness if we just do the same thing every day.   Switch things up—>  your speed, your distance, your surfaces, your courses and you will notice big changes!  

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Thank you for all of your well-wishes this morning!  Both of us woke up feeling great.  I think I was just having sympathy pains for Brooke last night because I felt fine this morning.  Brooke’s temperature is back to normal today but she does have a little cough so we are still taking it easy for her.

We did venture down to the treadmill and I did 7 miles while Brooke watched Mickey.

Progression run this morning (ummm actually I didn’t start until this afternoon).  

Started with an 8:34 mile and worked down to a 7:00 mile for the last one.  Average pace of 7:45.   Felt strong and fully recovered from my speed work on Tuesday.  I’ll take tomorrow off completely and then have a great long run on Saturday.  

I keep telling myself that my long run is going to feel like a million bucks—>  Self-fulfilling prophesies are real.  

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Some stretching on the ground afterwards.  Gotta attempt to be flexible.  

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I don’t know if you have noticed (of course you have), but all of my meals are pretty much the same thing but just arranged differently.  

Baked sweet potato as the base, bbq sauce, chicken, peppers, avocado, roasted broccoli and cottage cheese and grapes in the blue bowl in the back.  I don’t think it is possible for me to ever get sick of any of these ingredients.  

Making sure to get in veggies, carbs, proteins and fats right after my workouts.  

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PS this is a great way to tell if your avocado is good to go!  From 24 Must-See Diagrams That Will Make Eating Healthy Super Easy.

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We’ve been working hard over here on our numbers.  I love being a teacher again especially because I get to stay in my sweats all day this time around.  

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Are you pretty good at varying your workouts?  Does it just depend on if you are training for something specific?

-When I am training for a race I am good at varying my runs.  When I am just running to run I tend to do just about the same thing every single day.

What ingredients have been the star of most of your meals lately?

What time did your workout get done today?

Any teachers reading?  What subjects?  What grades?

-I used to teach high school!  I loved it but I do not miss teaching drivers ed.  It really is a miracle that I am still alive after doing that for 4 years.  

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88 comments

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I try to do every workout with a purpose…speed, endurance, and recovery. It doesn’t always go as planned, but I try!
I could eat avocados daily! And popcorn!
I got to the gym at 5:30 this morning.

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Star of my meals = quinoa and pecans. Also carrots and hummus are a daily thang around these parts:) My mom is a teacher!

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I never knew that about avocados, but I will definitely be using that trick in the future! Good to know you’re feeling better. Workout this morning started at 5am. 3x circuits using the spin bike (climbs & sprints) with leg strength training in between. I burnt a ton of calories.

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I vary what I do in that I run, swim, bike (in the summer) and do yoga but when I run it’s always 3-5 miles, when I swim it’s 1-1.5 miles and when I cycle it’s between 10-25 miles. Kind of boring but it works for me. I guess my variety comes from actually doing non running sports. Yoga gets changed up a lot because I do what the instructor does!

My workout was at 5:30 am today. First one in the pool (it’s a goal of mine every single time). Tomorrow is run so more like 5:00 am.

So, so happy you guys are feeling great! Big sigh of relief!!
Enjoy your day :)

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I’ll do a run after work, so in about 45 minutes! I always try to switch things up so I’m not doing the same things everyday. If I’m not training though, I get stuck in the same routine alot though.

I have applesauce nearly everyday when I run. I do eggs most days. Everything else differs though.

Glad you are both feeling better!

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I always try to vary my runs by doing easy, long, and tempo and/or fartlek. I rarely vary my everyday route so I’m always running the same terrain and hills unless I’m on the treadmill.
Star of my meals lately: roasted cauliflower, roasted chicken, and sweet potato or butternut squash fries!

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I am pretty good about varying my workouts. And I always run at 7AM because I’m sort of OCD, actually, really OCD.

Glad little Brooke is feeling better and I think you’re gonna rock your long run! I’m sure of it :)

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I think a lot of us runners have some OCD in them ;)

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I wish there were a like button on here because this ^^ is soooo true! :)

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I’m so glad that you both are feeling better!!! :) I feel like I am not the best at varying my workouts, unless I am training as well. When I am running just to run I tend to stick to the same thing each day. I need to work on that! Lately tortillas have been the star of my meals! I love me some carbs ;) I actually am having a rest day today because I am having some weird pelvic pains. This may be TMI, but did this ever happen to you after having a baby? My daughter is almost a year old and I went to my doctor, and she said that it can be normal? I know you aren’t a doctor ha, but I would love some input :)

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Your hair is awesome in that pic! It’s getting some serious air haha. I’m glad Brooke is feeling better! I’m sure it helps to have such a lovely mum taking care of her :)

I want that salad so bad right now, thanks for that ;)

I am big on switching between yoga and running, I can never go too long without one or the other!

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5:30am – Because when I get home from work its PJs, couch, popcorn, and guilty TV pleasures.

I eat at least 2 sweet potatoes a day. I have problems. I think we should start Sweet Potato Addicts Anonymous? SPAA, welcome Amanda, welcome. ;)

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I completely understand getting up crazy early to get in a workout so that you can dedicate the evening to being lazy:) I used to do that every day as a teacher! We can be co-presidents of SPAA!

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So true– too much of the same is how injuries happen!

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My meals are also the same things arranged 50 different ways :) My run was done at 6am today and it was freezing! I’m not good with varying my runs if I’m not specifically following a training plan. I vary the route, not the speed though. When I create a training plan I will follow that though.

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I ended up getting up extra early today (for a day off, that is), so I hopped on my bike right after 8 am and got in a solid ride then.

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Glad you both are feeling better today!

I just started varying my workouts this past year and what a difference it has made. Intervals, fartleks, hills, tempo, speed… now I do it all. It sure makes running a lot more fun when you can switch up the workouts and add a little variety.

The star of my meals lately has been cauliflower and salmon. Chicken is also an easy alternative.

I teach psychology! :)

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Workouts are done in the 5am hour or they are rrrrrreaaly hard to get done at all.

I should be more varied in my running. But I guess until I sign up for something or actually follow a training plan, that probably won’t happen.

I am so glad you are both feeling better!

That avocado pic just changed my life. I thank you forever.

PB is the star of my meals and snacks. I actually just finished another jar about 30min ago. Just eating it with a spoon. If I told you how many days ago I opened said jar, and that I ate it entirely by myself, you would be disgusted.

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I never cut open an avocado at the right time, hopefully this diagram will help!

I’ve been adding laughing cow cheese to anything I can lately!

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I’m pretty sure my pelvic stress fracture resulted from not enough variation, or too much intensity and not enough easy days. I learned my lesson!

I am running with my running club in menlo park tonight which is always fun: new routes, new runner friends, and sometimes new products to test out :)

Aaaaand I teach 2nd grade. The golden age if ya ask me. They’re sweet, they love their teacher and want to please, and they don’t smell yet!

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2nd grade would be SOOO fun to teach! Have an amazing run tonight with your running club. Sounds like a blast!

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I definitely vary my workouts/runs in a week. I don’t think I could go fast everyday, my legs would not agree with that. I normally do a speedy run followed by an easy run and always an easy/shorter run the day before a long run. I am not liking that my long run will be on a treadmill this weekend but I am mentally preparing for it now!

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Drivers Ed.! Yikess. Idk if I could do that. Lol
Yesss. I love avocadoes. Well it’s ok, you choose good arrangements of food :) I always love to put cheese or tomatoes in whateverr I’m eating.

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Yay!! So glad you are both feeling better today!

Squash has been a big component of my lunches.

I vary my workouts all the time – walk/run on treadmill, elliptical, stairmaster. I often change the pace/resistance on the machines too so my body doesn’t get too comfortable.

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OMG we literally have the same diet i guess because i pretty much eat those things arranged in different ways all the time hahaha! Sometimes I add blackbeans to my sweet potato/avocado/chicken routine… and sometimes instead of grapes I have an apple haha! I dont think i can ever get tired of chicken, sweet potatoes, broccoli, and avocados! (honorable mention peanut butter!)
I finished my workout after classes at 1:30 it was nice to get it out of the way!

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Uhhh… chocolate chips have been the star of my meals lately. Well, since forever, actually.

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I vary my runs a lot, I definitely notice that mixing it up keeps the injuries at bay (and keeps things fun!)
I vary my food a lot as well, different things every day. I love trying new things and really enjoy good food in general so this is easy for me :-)

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So funny Janae, I totally forgot you used to be a teacher until you just mentioned that.

It’s so cute that Brooke has her little comfy chair to sit in while you run. :) Adorbs.

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I am horrible at varying my workouts! I need to do better with this, but it’s just so easy to stick with what you know!

My workout today was on my lunch break, a quick 4.5 mile run (in the blazing January heat?!), and then tonight I”ll carve out a few minutes for 8 minute abs and arms. And then I’ll reward myself with pizza ;)

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I always do my workouts in the morning. If I don’t I’m not very likely to do it later on in the day.

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I have to tell you that when you first mentioned you were reading Hal Higdon’s book “Marathon,” I was weirdly excited…lol. I’ve been following his plans since 2009 and never looked back. I also own the book “Marathon” and have read it so many times the cover is peeling! He is a lovely man and if you facebook him he writes back—which is awesome! I got to have dinner with him at the Boston Marathon this year, along with the 74 other runners profiled in his book on the bombings 4:09:43. I was pretty much star struck…lol.

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I read every day but rarely comment. I’m a teacher! I teach special education and work with kids in 4th and 5th grade. I love it but hate the paperwork and hoops that I have to jump through.

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That is seriously so awesome Jess! You are amazing and thank you for commenting! Oh… I bet the paperwork gets so old!!!

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A training plan is about the only thing that keeps me from the mentality, “go hard or go home” (which is not great, I know!). A salad of chickpeas, spinach, raw veggies, and fruit seems to be a part of every meal. Finished by 7:20 (late!). And I used to teach middle school science. I now get the opportunity to support teachers in K-12 science and technology. I love the heart of teachers and am grateful to get to help them and be a voice for science. Plus, they all know I’m a crazy runner and encourage me!

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I’m a first year teacher– 3rd grade– all subjects. A bit overwhelming but dang, it’s an adventure :)

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That is so awesome Jillian! I never taught elementary school but I do remember feeling completely overwhelmed my first year of teaching. It got easier and easier each year. I hope the same happens for you!

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6th grade math over here! Reading your posts on my “break” throughout the day or over a quick lunch keep me motivated and definitely entertain me :) P.S. for our two year anniversary my fiance and I decided to have frozen yogurt as our date :D

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I’m a high school ESL teacher! After working in elementary for a few years, I love being able to have conversations and joke around with students, but sometimes the teenage attitude/drama gets old

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I’d say I’m ok about varying my workouts but some weeks are definitely better than others. I’m either up to run at 5am or 5:55am depening on… well the workout haha.

I could and do eat eggs an popcorn every day, sooooo yummy!

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If anything I think run most of my runs too slow. There is less injury risk that way though. I’m glad you are enjoying that book….I’ve read it too and really enjoyed it!

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I am training for my first half marathon and I do change up my running but I can’t help feeling like I have no idea what I’m doing. I am following a Jeff Galloway half training schedule, so I hope that’s just what I need to do well! Fingers crossed. And avocados are basically the best food on the planet. Glad you’re both feeling better.

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The cut up avocados on that salad though. It looks perfectly…cut! I commend your cutting skills. :P

I know I should vary my runs but the very thought of tempo or speed training makes me want to go back to sleep.

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I got my workout done from 8 to 9 this morning since I had later classes today! An easy 7 miles with friends around campus and on a Greenway trail a few miles from our dorm.

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At first I was embarrassed to run slow but now I see how it is benefiting me! I’m teaching my body about being on my feet for a few hours but not risking injury. I love to do speed work and hills too. I’m not a fan of tempo runs…Not sure why.

Unfortunately my food base has been sugar. Candy. I’m hooked.

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Best part of marathon training is all tgecdifferentvruns I get in weekly! Lately, I have been hooked on dark cholicate chips. This could be a problem!

I teach first grade. My students use one of my old marathon medals as a hall pass. They think it is pretty cool. Makes me smile…

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LOVE the idea to use old marathon medals as a hall pass. SOOO cool!

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I tend to eat the same things mixed in different ways too!

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I used to think I was good about varying my runs, until I hired a coach 6 Months ago and realized what really varying can do. I love it. Mentally and physically it prevents ruts and plateaus and I have seen HUGE improvement in my training and racing since doing so. Even got to try a new workout tonight, a wave tempo and I loved it!

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I completely agree! A wave tempo, that sounds AWESOME! Way to go girl!

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I teach preschool. I love it! I got my run in this morning at 4:30 at the gym on the treadmill. I am loving Joseph’s flatbread and Laughing Cow cheese rolled up with tons of veggies. Super yummy!

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Mary, this sounds delicious and easy. I am totally going to copy you.

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I am much better at varying y runs when I’m training for a race. Just running to run is usually 8 miles through the neighborhood.

I was at the gym at 5:30 this morning for a spin workout and some swimming!

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Teacher!! I teach 2nd grade this year :) I taught kindergarten for 4 years and switched to 2nd grade this year. I am loving it!!

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SOOO glad that you are loving 2nd grade! Sounds like a blast Cassie:)

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I wasn’t great at varying my workouts during my fall training cycle. It’s something to keep in mind for this spring! Speaking of, I was really looking forward to a great long run on Saturday myself, but just heard on the news we have some kind of awful front coming in bringing bitter cold winds :(

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I try to vary my runs! Must not have done a good job because I just got a tibial stress fracture. Sigh. So now I’m pretending to be a yogi, hanging out on the elliptical/spin bike and doing some indoor rock climbing.

Sweet potatoes have been dominating my meals this week!

I am a second year teacher! 6th grade language arts, so I spend my day with a bunch of awesome 11 year olds. I love it, but I definitely think it’s one of the hardest, most exhausting jobs out there. One day, I hope to be teaching little ones at home instead of the classroom like you :)

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I teach sixth grade! :) this is my first year, so I’m learning a lot. I vary my runs only based on how much energy I feel like I have that day- probably not the best method! I’ve been all about eggs this week. Breakfast sandwiches for days! :)

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So glad you both are better!! I’m amazed you could run today. Get better soon Brooke!

I was quoted in Hals book! I never did look at it because I was afraid I’d sound silly. ;)

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How do you get Brooke to stay in a chair and watch TV?!? My son would be all over the place and would probably want to be on the treadmill too…..

I teach Careers Studies, Civics (Politics and Civic Duty course), Geography, Law and sometimes dabble in Spec Ed. I don’t teach those all the time, but I rotate between the courses every semester. Next semester I am teaching Careers and Comm Tech/Yearbook course

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Thanks for this reminder about varying runs! I feel like I am better about changing up my runs in the summertime, when it’s lighter and I have more of a chance to run outside. I am a second year reading and writing intervention teacher for kids in grades 5-8. They keep me on my toes! :)

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I saw this and it made me kind of think of you… inspiring other women to do their best, no matter what that is!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aN7lt0CYwHg

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WOW!!! Love this video so much. Thank you for sharing it Jennie!

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Oatmeal with walnuts has become my new go-to breakfast
Potato chips keep working their way into every meal and CHEESE….it is not the best staple but i’ve been eating grilled cheese, mac n cheese, pizza, cheese omelettes….oh my?

I went for a long walk with my dog and my friend and her dogs from 2-3pm and really that’s the only exercise I had all day.

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oooooh. oatmeal with walnuts.
That’s what I need. Thank you VERY much.

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I’m bad at varying my workouts, I get stuck in a rut of running the same route at about the same speed. I think it will be a goal of mine this spring to drive to the local trails a couple times a month to mix it up.

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Totally off topic but just finished watching the series finale of “parenthood” and remembered how you enjoyed the show, did you see the final episode? Bittersweet!

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I haven’t yet. I am so so sad that it is done:(

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I’m a teacher in my 15th year. I teach 2nd grade (all subjects) now but have taught 1st, 3rd, and 5th. (I love 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, but I HATED 5th! 180 days of solid misery.)

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I have a running partner that is way slower than me but I love running with her. My runs with her are my slow recovery runs. I actually look forward to my runs with her because we start off together and end together. In between I’ll speed up and then slow down. It’s the perfect amount of variation to get the heart rate going!

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I think I am pretty similar – when I’m not focused on improving my running in a certain way, I am a bit of a plodder – long and slow. But when I have an upcoming race, I mix it up with hills, intervals, tempo runs etc.

My dinners generally contain at least a couple of: bok choy, broccoli, brussel sprouts, lettuce, spinach. See a green theme??

I did my workout at 5:30am today! I was just happy I made it out of bed this morning – I’ve been letting myself sleep in now and then lately, and then I just feel rubbish for the rest of the day if I haven’t worked out.

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My workouts all happen in the morning. It’s sad sometimes, but working full-time with kids, it’s my only option. Too many things compete with my time in the evenings.

And yes, I’m a teacher. Elementary Special Ed.

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I’m teaching 5th grade this year, but taught PE last year. Both so much fun – but so much work! But today was my first day back (Aussie here!), and my husband did all the housework and made me dinner when I got home! Woo!

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Variety? What’s that…oh, making an extra loop or running a little add-on (my friend and I call it a wart. I know, gross but nurse runners are extra ridiculous) After reading your blog more thoroughly I’ve really gone all sorts of wild and done a tempo run. Get back fancy cat! I try my best to mix things up, mostly during XC season when I’m coaching and keeping it interesting for the kids. Typically I run the same routes, as it’s easier to zone out a bit and just enjoy. Plus I like to be in cell range (not something many people stateside worry about) in case the kiddos call and need something, like chocolate milk or fashion advice. M-F I run at 3:10, except on Tuesday when I swim during my son’s swim practice. I cycle on the weekend and either double up one day or decide depending on weather. Today it’s snowing like crazy…..hmmm.

How am I not orange? Sweet potatoes daily-they are so good right now! Pears-so good.

I have the funniest job ever-I’m a school nurse.

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I tend to do the same workout everyday.. then alternate the weights-based exercises afterward.

Lately I have been loving dried figs, pecan crusted cheese, dried craisins, and dried apricots. … although I have my usual ’emergency chocolate’ in the form of a bag of Enjoy Life chocolate chunks…

I finished my workout at about 8:15 pm so that I could watch PARENTHOOD. So sad that it is over, but I LOVE Iron and Wine so it was a good surprise to see Sam Beam perform on the last episode.

YES: I started reading this before I even finished my teacher-education program, and now I am in my fifth year teaching. I teach high school English to juniors and seniors. For the most part, they are lovely, but there are some days… where I wonder if they are crazy odd or if I was just crazy to go into this career. Moreover, today is FRIDAY: YAY, best day of the school week because everyone is sooooooo happy!

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Laura, did you say Pecan Crusted Cheese?! That sounds like a great combo of creamy/crunchy/sweet/salty!!! I bet you love the pending senioritis plus the juniors excited to “run the show.” teenager. oy.

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Yes, I think the pecan cheese was from Trader Joe’s.. but I am not seeing it anywhere online, so maybe it was from Mariano’s.

With respect to my students, I am super grateful not to teach sophomores… I taught them one year, and they made 10,000 sexual jokes out of every line of literature. They were just too immature for me. I try to navigate around senioritis… but it is definitely a concern!

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I don’t tend to vary my runs right now…running for two again. So just moving is what I shoot for : )

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I really struggle with varying my runs!! I feel like if I can run an 8:15 mile, then I should all of the time.

Workouts are usually done between 5 & 5:30. Crazy, I know.

I teach high school English. I have 9th, 11th, and 12th grade. This is my first year having upper class man and I am really enjoying it.

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Lately I have been doing more treadmill runs so I have been having to vary it some so I dont get hopelessly bored. Once the weather warms up I will be excited to get back outside!

I did my workout at 830 this morning. I wasnt feeling great yesterday, so I was really happy that I woke up feeling better and could work out. Maybe I had sympathy pains for you!

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I started running just over a year ago and was following the Couch to 5k & 10k programs. I just ran my first half marathon using Hal’s novice training plan which included varying runs. I really loved it! Some days I do hills and sometimes I just run a fast mile because I don’t have enough time for more.

I used to get my runs in around 6am to beat the heat, but now I’m running when both kids are in school on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Also a former teacher and taught 2nd-4th grades. Now I’m on my first year as a SAHM!

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Thanks it was a good tip about variety.

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Since you like BBQ sauce on sweet potatoes… I don’t know if you have Sprouts grocery stores in Utah, but they have their own BBQ sweet potato fries in frozen packages. I’ve never had them… have you or anyone else out there tried them?

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High school teacher here! I teach American Sign Language (ASL) as a second language. All my students are hearing and they take ASL instead of a spoken foreign language :)

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I am way better about varying my runs when I have a training plan. When left to my own devices, I pretty much just do the same thing all the time.

I’ve been eating a lot of chicken lately. And broccoli – every day.

I did my workout around noon today.

I used to “teach” toddlers between 18 months and 3 years. They’re crazy, but so much fun!

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I seriously read you every day (although got a few days behind over a busy weekend) but don’t think I have ever commented. but I’ve gotta ask, does Brooke stay in her chair the whole time while you run? My daughter is a few months younger than Brooke, and I’d be so happy if she’d sit for an hour (or even a half hour)! I have to run on my treadmill once she (and my 4 month old) go to sleep or else she’d getting into everything LOL

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I had physical therapy this morning at 9am and will probably be doing some yoga this afternoon followed by spin this evening. It’s going to be an eventful day for working out around here!

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I love avocados, so delicious!

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Yes!! This time around I have totally been varying my runs and the result is that I LOVE every single one of them – and all for different reasons!!

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