Monday Night Cooking Challenge + What’s Next on the Fitness/Running Front

Hello and good afternoon! I hope it’s a good one for you – it’s been a busy one over here!

Matt and I are continuing to enjoy our Monday Night Cooking Challenge – are any of you guys joining in on the fun? Monday night was Matt’s turn (we skipped last week with my travel to LA and such), and he decided to get ambitious and festive – on the menu was St. Patrick’s Day corned beef & cabbage, made in our crockpot!


I honestly have no idea how he made it – he said he used online recipes like this one for inspiration but didn’t follow them exactly – but the general gist of it was corned beef + beer. Such a boy meal. :)


Basically, he put a bunch of veggies (turnips, carrots, celery, onions, etc.) in the bottom of the slow cooker, plus some seasonings (peppercorn and coriander are pictured).



Next went in the beef, some beer, and enough water to cover it all up.


Set to high for 7 hours, and when there was 1 hour left, he put in the cabbage. Et voila! I’m not normally a huge corned beef person but I have to say, this rocked. Well done, Matt! Great flavor and I loved the variety of veggies, too. :)


You guys should join in on the cooking challenge – it really helps with motivation to make new and creative meals!

On the fitness front, some of you guys have been asking: what’s next?! As you know, I just ran my second full marathon, the LA Marathon, on March 9, followed by the Rock ‘n’ Roll USA half marathon on March 15.

AnneMauney_ALAM Finish Line

In terms of what’s next, my first plan of action is to get back into strength training – specifically CrossFit, boot camps, kickboxing, and OutRun. Over the past couple months, once I got into the higher mileage, I was mostly doing yoga and swimming as my cross training because I was nervous about a) injuring myself before all those races, and b) being too sore for the really long runs. Now that my second full marathon is behind me, I’m ready to jump back into strength related workouts – I’ve really missed them! While I’m in great endurance/running shape right now, I feel like strength wise I’ve lost some of it – I tried to do a pull up the other day and couldn’t anymore! Fail. So, this spring will be dedicated to mixing it up and embracing heavy weights again. :)

But of course I’m not going to stop running – just dial back the distances of my weekend runs a bit! I’ll still be sticking with my standard 3 days per week of running, and I want to focus on working on speed again, too, so expect to see more speed workouts/fasters runs on here in the coming months! In terms of races, I do have some fun things on the docket – here’s what’s on the running agenda so far this spring/summer. By the way – anytime you want to see what races I have coming up, check my right blog sidebar! I have a “Recent & Upcoming Races” area there. :) Also, just a note that for each of these races I’m being provided a free bib in exchange for sharing my adventures/a recap of the race afterward!

Upcoming Races:

May 4: Pittsburgh Half Marathon!

  • I’ll be doing this race with Matt (it will be his first half!), my brother, and Matt’s brother Drew (also his first)! We’re all really excited. This won’t be a PR race – Matt, Drew, and I are going to run together and enjoy the action. So excited for them to delve into the world of half marathons – especially since it’s in the place where they grew up! Have any of you done this half marathon before? I’ve heard good things – and also that it’s not as insanely hilly as the full!


June 6-8: Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half & Festival

  • This festival/running weekend sounds like it will be a blast – I was invited out with a group of other bloggers for the action, which includes a 5k and a 10k on Saturday and a half marathon on Sunday. There’s also a 2 mile “dog run” Saturday! :)
  • We were able to choose which race we did, with the options being a single race, or the “5 and Dime” (5k + 10k), or the “Hat Trick” (5k + 10k + half marathon). I went for the Hat Trick – go big or go home, apparently?! Should be a good challenge! My game plan is to take all the races slow and steady.
  • I’d love to see some of you guys there – if you sign up, use these coupon codes for the race of your choice. For 10% off the 5 and Dime: blogfannetasticfood5&10. For 10% off the half marathon: blogfannetasticfoodHalf. For 10% off the Hat Trick: blogfannetasticfoodHat.


June 21: Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Half Marathon

  • As part of my Run Happy Ambassadorship with Brooks, I’ll be lucky enough to get to take a trip out to Brooks headquarters in Seattle this summer, and they are planning the trip around the Rock ‘n’ Roll race! We were offered the option to do the half or the full, and I responded immediately: “half, please!!” I think I need a break from fulls for a little while! :) This is going to be my last chance for a half marathon PR until fall, so I might try to PR this race – have any of you done this half marathon before? Is it really hilly? I’m so excited for the opportunity to explore Seattle on foot – such a cool city!


I can’t wait to share all these upcoming running adventures with you! What do you guys have on the docket, running-wise, for this spring/summer?

And if you’ve joined me and Matt in our cooking challenge – what did you make this week?


  1. 1

    I hope to make it for the hat trick races in Boston! Such a fun challenge and a great runner-related weekend with expos and speakers. Great job on your previous half and full marathons!!

  2. 3

    Wow that’s a loaded schedule! You go girl!

  3. 4

    Great races on your schedule! That’s so nice to be able to travel to different cities. I’m sticking with local races this spring, and I have two 10ks coming up and a duathlon in Hagerstown. Not doing any races in the summer because I’ll be on the road, and haven’t even thought about fall yet, since I’ll be starting school

  4. 5

    Those sound like super exciting races! I’m running the Lincoln Half Marathon on May 4th, the Iowa Market to Market Relay Race on May 10th (my legs total 13.9 miles), and Dam to Dam (half marathon) on May 31st. I’m super pumped — and ready for the weather to be nice to actually be able to train outside!

  5. 6

    Now that the hubby is back in town I definitely want to try out the Monday night ritual :)

  6. 7
    Alexis @ funrunning4life says

    I’ll be at the Runners’ World Half! It’s right in my backyard. So excited!!

  7. 8

    I’m considering the Seattle RnR. I need to find a 10k between now and then. I have heard there are a couple good/bad hills. I’ve never done it. But it is a great city.

  8. 9

    My mom makes corned beef and cabbage every year. I always look forward to it as a special holiday meal. Looking forward to hearing more about your strength training. That’s something I’d like to do more of.

  9. 10

    I did the RnR Seattle last year…there are some hills on to the freeway which make it a little slow, but for the most part it’s actually pretty flat for Seattle :)

  10. 11

    LOVE corned beef! Matt’s recipe sounds delicious!!!

  11. 12

    Hey Anne – I read your blog (as well as many others) through Feedly. Why is it that lately I have to click through to read the full post? Just wondering, yours is the only one that is doing it, so I’m not sure if it’s something specific to your website or something with my computer. Thanks!

    • 13

      That’s strange – let me look into it! I haven’t changed any settings in Feedly (I don’t even know how to change that, ha), but I did fiddle around with my email subscription feed, and maybe that affected it. Thanks for the heads up!

  12. 14
    Genevieve says

    I have Dallas RnR this Sunday, and then next month Nike DC Half – your stomping grounds! I’ve never been before, so any recommendations for a pre-race carb meal location or other must try things, suggestions appreciated!

  13. 15
    Amelia @i_heart_kale says

    I love that you and Matt switch off on cooking/ challenges/ etc. Kevin & I could not do this. His dinners would be inedible. Ha! I suppose that’s why I cook all of our meals.
    Rock on with your upcoming race schedule. You are so fit already, that I’m sure your strength (and pull up ability) will bounce back fairly quickly! With a good training schedule and right nutrition (obvi), you’ll be mastering pull ups again in no time. :)

  14. 16

    I did the same thing with corned beef–had never cooked it before but loved the flavor of making it in the slow cooker with beer as the cooking liquid.

  15. 17

    This week we made your Orange and Lemon Chicken! It was awesome! :) Loving all the races! Right now I only have about one on the docket!

  16. 18

    I am curious about your training plan and running three times a week, do you post very much about your schedule? I run three times a week to help prevent injuries from coming back and am currently training for a marathon–the Seattle rock-n-roll, actually! The half isn’t too bad for hills. Two years ago the course was hillier than it was last year! It would be cool to see you there!

  17. 20

    i just finished my first full marathon at the LA marathon and am looking forward to getting back into strength training too! i missed it a lot :)

  18. 21

    I have no problem with ads but for some reason this crown one on your site won’t go away and then I accidentally hit scroll on it and it takes up the whole screen. :-/ Maybe it’s just my computer, but the last few posts have been hard to read because of it. Just thought I’d let you know in case it’s not just on my end. :)

  19. 23

    Funny story! I have been creating a list of the races I want to run and the Newton Heartbreak Hill Half was on my list. There is a good chance I could be walking distance away from it come June. I think I am going to sign up!! :)

  20. 25

    the pittsburgh half is some much fun…but i may be partial since i grew up there and it was by first and second half marathon. its awesome seeing the city of bridges and i thought the crowd support was pretty good! the bridges are deceivingly hilly but everything else is relatively flat for the half portion. enjoy! i am bummed i can’t be joining my sister this year.

  21. 26

    Those sound like fun races. I wish I was into running when I lived in Boston. I’m also focusing on strength training right now to build strength again and to correct some imbalances.

  22. 27

    I ran the Pittsburgh full marathon two years ago and absolutely loved it! It was my first time visiting Pittsburgh and the course was a great way to see the city. Plus, the crowd support is AWESOME. People gave out fruit, cookies and my favorite….slushies! After 24 miles, it was best tasting slushy I had ever had ;) The course was hilly, especially compared to what I trained on here in DC, but you’ll be fine. Have so much fun!

  23. 29

    Oooh I didn’t know about the Rock ‘n Roll half in Seattle! Maybe I will sign up :D

    So I live here, and looking at the course map, I would hedge a guess that it’s pretty hilly. There are only a few REALLY steep hills in Seattle, though, most of them are little.

  24. 30

    Those races all sound so fun–the Seattle one especially! What a great opportunity! I live in MA and wish I could do the Heartbreak Hill half, but I don’t think I’ll be ready for it. Still slooooowly coming back from an injury. I do have a couple of 5k’s coming up in April through my work (to represent the hospital and as part of my running group thingie), but I still may need to walk/run those if my mileage isn’t up yet. Pathetic, but I’d rather make slow progress and not be injured than to push it too fast.

  25. 31

    You have some great races coming up!
    I have a half marathon on Saturday and then a 10km April 12. After that, a bit of break until the fall. My plan will also be focusing on my strength training.

  26. 32

    So jealous you’re going to Boston!

  27. 34
    Roadrunner says

    An impressive number of long distance races, Anne! Look forward to following your prep and race results…

  28. 35

    The Hat Trick sounds awesome! I plan on doing the Dopey challenge at Disneyworld in January! (5k, 10k, half and then a full marathon!) For sure love the go big or go home mentality :)

    I also plan on doing the Seattle RnR half! Hoping the weather is good for it!

  29. 37

    I will be part of the blogging crew at the Runner’s World Festival too! I am running the Five & Dime since I have a half marathon herebin Boston a week or so before :) But it will be my first time running two races on one day!! Looking forward to meeting everyone :)

  30. 39

    The Pittsburgh half marathon is great! It was the first and only one I’ve done (2012) but I am doing it again this year and my husband is, as well. Great crowd support throughout the neighborhoods, kids out on the curb in front of the hospital waiting to high five you when you run by, awesome running all those bridges. I’m doing that on May 4 and then the Niagara Falls Women’s Half on June 1.

  31. 40

    Do you think you’ll do the MCM? I found out I got in through the lottery this week… eek! Nervous and excited!

    • 41

      Not this year, but maybe next! It’s definitely on my bucket list but I think I want a break from fulls for a little while. :)

  32. 42

    So many half marathons!! Good for you :) Isn’t it crazy how quickly strength can go? I just went a week without more than bodyweight exercises and I already feel like I lost a bit…yikes!

  33. 43

    FUN! I’d love to do the RW races, but I’ll be heading to the east coast just a week later for a wedding… I can’t stay out there/miss work for that long, unfortunately.

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