Thursday, April 25, 2013

7 miles, IronStrength and the best Blizzard


Yesterday I ran 7 easy miles on the mill. It was rainy and crappy here so we stayed inside. I kept the pace really easy because my hip is still sore occasionally. But I still need to get miles in because I'm "training" for another race, a 25k in a couple of weeks.

I've decided to combat the hip soreness that I need to do some strength training. It's likely a muscle imbalance or some kind of issue like that so I need to be better about strength training. Apparently having a "strong butt" might solve these problems. Or so I've read. Here is the article I'm referring to. Dr. Metzl, the guy in video in the previous link, put together a total body workout for runners and he referred to it in the video so I thought I'd try that out. Injuries are not a runners friend so I'm going to give the strength training a real shot. So, yesterday I did the IronStrength workout. Im not going to lie, it was pretty tough. Or I'm just a wimp. Or I hate strength training. I think I can manage to do this a couple of times a week. My quads and glutes are pretty sore today so it must have been good for me.

Took my sweet four legged girl, Olive, to the vet yesterday. We were there for 2 hours just for a shot and a heart worm test. Ugh.

She's worth it. Poor Lorelei was out of patience when we left and she had a meltdown on the way home because she wanted ice cream.

Dinner was vegan jambalaya made with tempeh and veg stock. Here is the recipe. It was pretty good. I didn't quite follow the recipe because we were short on time, I cooked the rice before I added it to save time so it wasn't quite as good as it would have been if it had cooked in the seasoned broth. Next time I'll do it that way. I'm not a vegan, just vegetarian, but I've been paying attention lately and lots of the stuff we eat is vegan. I can't eat eggs, I have some sort of intolerance to them, and we don't buy milk so the only animal product we eat on a regular basis is cheese. I like that. Don't tell Paul though, he'll pretend to be outraged. Cutting back in animal products is good for lots of reasons and every little bit helps. Think about doing something like a "meatless Monday" at your house. You'll be surprised at how easy it is.

After dinner we took Lorelei to get her ice cream. I've decided the best thing at DQ is the Chocolate Covered Pretzel with Peanut Butter Blizzard. It comes with chocolate chunks, but I'm not crazy about lots of chocolate so I don't get those.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ultra or not?

So, awhile ago I was kicking around the idea of running an ultra marathon. I talked myself out of it by telling myself I didn't have time for the training. Who would watch Lorelei while I'm out doing back to back long runs every weekend? I still don't have the answer to that question, but the desire to run for more than 26.2 miles is back in full force. It doesn't help that I found a local trail race in September. There are all sorts of distances including a marathon, 50k, 50 mile, 100k and 100 mile runs. I know that a 50k doesn't give you true ultra bragging rights and is basically just a stretched out marathon, but it's tempting. If I'm being honest with myself 50 miles is a bit tempting too. But so, so scary. Any encouraging or discouraging thoughts are welcome!

Yesterday I ran 5 easy miles. No biggie, nothing exciting. We also spent 2 hours at the park.

Today we went back to the park and also planted some seeds; carrots, spinach, cucumbers, summer squash and red peppers. I guess that means I've gotta make some Earth Boxes to put them in later.

When we didn't hear from Paul by 6:30 we decided to run without him. It was supposed to rain later so I didn't want to wait any longer. By .7 miles in it was really raining and we had to turn around. Lorelei was so sweet. She thanked me for trying to keep her dry, and never complained about the wind blowing the rain right into our faces. We were pretty wet though. Lame. I also squeezed in a 20 min arm workout.

For tomorrow I'm hoping to get a mid length run and some core work in. I've also got a few new recipes on the agenda this week that I'm pretty excited to try.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Scott Jurek and VegFest

Hey everyone!

I'm super excited to tell you about the fun we had today. I was supposed to go to Chicago this weekend to visit my friend Stew but she wasn't feeling good so we stayed home. I found out kind of last minute about these other fun things though and got my awesome SIL Heather to drive down here to join the fun. This morning we got up early to go to Running Fit (a local running store) for a group run with Scott Jurek. This was my second time doing one of these runs with him. I did the first one last summer as part of his book tour. If you haven't read his book Eat and Run, you should. For those of you that may not know who he is(gasp!), Scott is arguably the best ultra marathoner. Ever. He runs 100+ mile races over mountains and through Death Valley and he wins. He also held the American record for most miles run in a 24 hour period, his record was recently broken though. He's also a vegan. And so nice. Today he made sure to run and chat with each person/group of people that came out. It was pretty dang cool to run with him.

Someday Lorelei will be sad that she refused to have her picture taken with him and was making animal noises in protest. I hope she is anyway.

After the run we hung out at the store, got a T shirt and had breakfast. They had a really yummy vegan breakfast spread.

The shirt I bought.

And the one Brooks gave me.

After the run we went to VegFest, vegan tastefest and expo. We sampled tons of really yummy vegan food and went to a presentation by Scott. My most surprisingly delicious vegan find was Teese. It's a vegan cheese substitute. I tried the nacho sauce and it was really good. I've already looked up where I can buy it around here. I'm a cheese lover so if I say it's good, it's good. I was also very impressed by a vegan doughnut Lorelei got. It was baked not fried and very tasty.

They had a kids area where Lorelei made a carrot man.

And made compost and played with worms.

We were all really tired when we got home so we lazed around and napped a little. Lorelei found a bird egg on the ground and was very concerned that the momma bird would want it back so she put it in the tree.

Now she's talked Paul into making carrot cake...
Hope you had a great weekend!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Sunday fun day

Hey guys!

It's been a stressful couple of days around here. Our house has been flooded. Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence. We have a split level house so the living room, kitchen and laundry room are partly underground. That was a big mistake since we live in a flood zone. I'm so over it. Along with cleaning up water for the last 2 days I also have had other things to deal with. Like piles of charcoal. I went to move a wet bag of charcoal and the bottom ripped out. Nice.

Today Lorelei and I camped out in the upstairs. She ate breakfast in my bed which means it's full of crumbs. Gross.

Most of the water is gone now which is good because my awesome sister in law Heather is coming tomorrow! We're going to a fun run with Scott Jurek on Sunday morning and then to VegFest after that. I'm obviously super excited since he's my favorite ultra marathoner. I've gone to one run with him followed by a talk and book signing. I told Heather to Google him so she'll be excited too. I think it worked, she's pumped!

As far as running goes, I did 5 miles on Wednesday. I felt like I was recovered and good to go but my legs were still really tired on that run. We meant to take it easy but got caught in a thunder storm. Lorelei was with us and there was lots of lightning so we hustled to get home. I was beat.

Today I did an easy 4 miles at the gym. We needed to get out of the house and it was really windy outside.

Hopefully we'll get a good, easy run in tomorrow. After 19 days in a row Paul finally has a couple of days off. We're pretty excited about that.

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Injuries, diets and shoes

Hi friends,

Let me just start by saying that on Monday morning I jumped out of bed and was so excited. I made coffee, had breakfast and turned on the tv to watch the pre Boston Marathon shows. I had been looking forward to this race for months and months, and all I was going to be able to do was watch on tv. At one point Paul and I were trying to plan a vacation to be in Boston for the marathon just to watch, but it didn't work out. For those of you not in the running community, you might not understand how big of a deal Boston is for runners. You have to qualify to run the Boston Marathon by running another marathon in a certain amount of time depending on your age and gender. And even then you aren't guaranteed a spot. People work so hard to get to Boston and it's such a celebration for them when they make it. I was mostly super excited to see all of our olympic marathoners compete again, sadly only 2 of the 6 ended up running it though. I stopped watching after they finished and was shocked and so, so sad to hear what had happened later in the day. I'm going to do my run for Boston later today, my body finally feels recovered from my race over the weekend. My heart is very heavy though.

In an attempt to distract myself I've been blazing through the new running mags that were waiting for me when I got home. Thought I'd share some info about common mistakes runners make regarding injuries that I read in the May issue of Women's Running. And also add some of my own unprofessional, unqualified to have an opinion, opinions to it.

1. Increasing your mileage too quickly. We all know they recommend only increasing your mileage by 10% a week, right? Well if you didn't before, you do now.

2. You don't eat enough. This is one thing that really bugs me, ladies on starvation diets. It bugs me even more when they eat nearly nothing and then run on top of that. Also, can I just tell you how much I hate the idea of a "diet". You don't need a "diet", you need a lifestyle change! Diets are short term, you'll just gain the weight back when you stop dieting. You need to change the way you live in order to have lasting weight loss. If you're running just for the purpose of weight loss you don't need to do a crazy number of miles, just a few here and there will suffice. You can't really expect your body to do more then that on a low calorie diet. If you're running lots of miles and training for things, please eat! And eat enough! Not eating enough makes your bones weak, add the stress of running to weak bones and you get stress fractures. I'm not saying you should pig out on junk, but if you eat healthy foods there's no reason you can't eat lots of them. I'm also not saying that you shouldn't cut some calories if you need to lose weight, but be smart. I'm not a calorie counter or dieter, I just try to make good choices most of the time. And remember, it's healthier to be a little overweight and active than to be skinny but not fit.

3. You don't rest. You need rest days to recover. I know that taking rest days can be hard at times but you need them. End of story.

4. You don't cross train. I'm guilty of this. I don't cross train much. I do some yoga on occasion, and some strength training sometimes. They recommend cross training and strength training once a week.

5. Your running shoes need to be replaced or are the wrong fit. Try to keep track of the mileage on your shoes, they don't really last more than 500 miles. Most don't even last that long. Do yourself a favor and go to a specialty running store, not a department store or big sports store, and have them fit you for shoes. At least do this the first time. I would also suggest that you do a little research before you go so you can tell them what kinds of shoes you might be interested in. Lots of running stores will just put you in a traditional trainer of some kind, that's not my preference. I prefer a more minimalist shoe. Get what you like, but I will say that I do tend to buy into the idea that traditional shoes do contribute to some of the common running injuries. Putting a big wedge of shoe under your heel screws your posture all up and puts extra stress on your knees and back. Hello, runners knee. Obviously plenty of people will disagree with this, but like I said, DO YOUR RESEARCH.

6. You live in flip flops and flats. Also guilty of this. I don't really like shoes, the less shoe the better. They say that hard soled shoes can lead to planter fasciitis, I've never had this problem though. If you do, try a more cushioned shoe for everyday wear.

Like I said, I'm not an expert. Do what you want, at your own risk.

On another note, it's finally a beautiful sunny day. I plan on enjoying it. And being thankful for things like still having all my limbs, and my life.

Happy running!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Gazelle Girl Half Marathon


Today was race day, one of the best kinds of days. The weather has been pretty crappy here and this morning was no exception. It was 35 with wind, snow and sleet. Lovely.

I got up at 5, made coffee and breakfast, and drove to my moms. I rode to the race with her and my step dad. Mom was running, Phil was volunteering.

Those are sunflower seed butter sandwiches. My nerves are always out of control on race day so I can't eat much. I managed to get one of those sandwich halves down. And the coffee.

We got there an hour before the race started. No lines for the toilets!

And food left unattended!

I lined up with the 9 min pace group and we were off. I totally lost the pace group but was fine with doing my own thing. I wore my watch but decided I wouldn't check it until I was done. I wanted to just run the best race I could run today and not stress out about it. I really wanted to finish in under 2 hours so I knew I would give all I had regardless of what my watch said.
The first 4 miles were great. Effortless. I hoped I could keep it up. It just felt so good and easy.

Then it got windy and sleet was blowing right in my face. It was obnoxious. It made things a bit less easy and enjoyable. I wasn't really paying much attention to mile markers for the first half. There weren't any clocks on the course either.

I forgot my Gu in the car but they were handing it out. The flavor I got was disgusting though so I didn't get much of it down.

I was still feeling pretty good for miles 7 through 9. I had no idea what my pace was or whether or not I was managing to keep it steady. I caught up to the 9 min pace group just in time to hear the pacer say they were going to slow down a bit since they did the last mile in 8:20. No wonder I didn't see them until the end. I have no idea how I managed to catch them at that pace. I passed them and was feeling ok until mile 10, then I started to struggle. My goal was just to keep ahead of the 9 min group at that point but still be close enough to hear what was going on back there.

By 12 miles I was really running on empty and just struggling to maintain my pace. I knew I had been gradually slowing down. I also knew the finish was just around the corner.

I was almost done when I heard someone yelling for me. They put our names on our bibs so people were cheering you on throughout the race but this didn't sound like that. I looked over and saw my sister in law Heather and her fiancée Obi! Great surprise! It's nice to have familiar faces in the crowd. And Heather brought my favorite beer in her purse. Now that's love!

My official time was 1:56:06, which puts my overall pace at 8:52 min/mile. I'm really happy with that, especially since nothing seemed to go right during my training for this race.

Beers with Heather and Obi!

Yep, cheapest beer ever. Runners got beer for $1.


Black bean burrito and potato soft taco followed by a short nap. It was too short. I'm still really tired. My left hip is pretty sore. Everyone cross your fingers that its better tomorrow. I'll be limping around the rest of today.

Monday, April 8, 2013

wine and whine

So, there hasn't been much running going on around here the last few days. I wish I could say I was tapering, but tapering for a half seems kind of silly (unless you do it and it works for you). There's all kinds of info out there on how to taper for a half, the only thing they seem to have in common is that you don't need to taper for longer than the week of the race. Some say to reduce your mileage but keep the speed up. Others say to reduce mileage and do all runs at an easy pace that week. As usual, I'm doing whatever I want to. I haven't followed a training plan so far, why bother following a taper plan?

I don't really have any good excuses for not running. Saturday I was just busy having fun doing other things. And Paul has been working like crazy so that kind of makes doing any longer runs hard. You all know how much I hate pushing Lorelei in that stroller.

On Sunday I just sucked it up and ran a little over 4 miles while pushing her. I told myself I was just going to go slow and take it easy even though there's really nothing easy about running and pushing over half your body weight in front of you. That plan worked for a little while and then I saw another runner. I rarely ever see other people out running around here. I didn't mean to, but I realized I was catching up to them and then before i knew it I had passed them. I couldn't slow down at that point and have them pass me, so I just kept at that uncomfortable pace until I lost them. I also gave myself an asthma attack. Dumb.

Last weeks pathetic total: 22 miles. I hope those rest days did me some good. My foot seems a bit less grouchy most of the time.

Today I did another 4 miles at the gym. I wanted to do more but there was not time before the kids area closed. I was planning to run them at my goal pace for the half, which is about 9 min, but I needed more of a warm up than I planned on. And running on the treadmill always feels harder to me.

Plan of attack for the rest of the week is to get a few more shorter, easy runs in, and then take Friday, maybe Thursday also, off to rest. I'll be working on my mental race strategy as well. I know at some point the running will be hard since I have a time goal, and I'll want to slow down and feel sorry for myself. I'll also have no familiar faces in the crowd to look forward to and give me a little boost. It's just going to be me and my thoughts, surrounded by strangers for 13.1 miles.

On that note, tonight I'm going to have some wine with all my whine. I am aware this post has taken a turn for the whiney. It happens. I'll try harder next time.

Next time I'll give you this recipe I came up with out of desperation. It was good.

And here's something cute, just so you come back. Just look at that face. And that shirt.

Friday, April 5, 2013

I stepped in wet cement

Hello friends!

So yesterday was a pretty great day.

In the morning I did an ab and arm workout. They were separate videos that I found on YouTube and must not have been very good because I'm not feeling either of them today.

Then Lorelei and I went to the zoo. She's been begging to go all week and the weather was perfect for it. I planned to go later in the day so we could meet Paul after he got out of work and go for a run before heading home. He works really close to the zoo.

We actually didn't see many animals because she wanted to ride the carousel (as usual).

That's her token to ride. She proudly put it in her pocket until it was time to get on.

Riding the flamingo! Or flamango as she calls them.
Real flamingos. She loves them.

We got distracted on our way to the giraffes.

Important question, do you like powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar on your elephant ears? I go cinnamon sugar, every time. Love it so! I wish I could tell you we ate the entire thing but sadly we didn't. I ate the soft, chewy edges and Lorelei took the crunchy pieces, ate some, and then just licked the sugar off. You can't go wrong with fried dough covered in cinnamon sugar.

Our run was pretty dang good. Another 7.3 miles. Other than the side stitches, asthma attack, not bringing water and stepping in wet cement, it was a good run. Can't make that crap up people. Seriously though, I think we were moving along at a good pace because my legs were so tired afterwards. Like long run tired. I forgot my watch and phone so we'll never know but I'm choosing to believe we were making good time. Mostly because I could use the confidence boost this close to race day. That and the alternative is that we were going slow and my legs have become wimps.

Today my legs felt less tired but I'm planning on only easy runs until the 1/2. I wanted Lorelei to be able to play so we went to the gym and I ran 5.5 miles on the mill. No other kids showed up though so she had no one to play with. Poor girl. She was pretty excited to see the neighbor boys out when we got home and they sat around chatting until I was freezing and made her come in.

More random eats from the last couple days.

I might have a nut/seed butter addiction.

Leftover pasta and spinach for lunch. I mixed them together.

Our Target just got groceries and I found this dip there today. Really good on crackers!

Pasta salad for dinner. Bowie pasta, grape tomatoes, cucumber, green grapes and feta cheese with oil and balsamic vinegar dressing.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Feelings are dumb. Here are some of mine.

So, yesterday I did 5 miles of intervals and then exploded a pot of black beans.

We eat A TON of black beans around here. I always buy them in a can, it's so easy, but Paul really wanted to buy them dried this time. I've been thinking about it anyway because of all the BPA in canned foods, but I didn't tell him that. He usually resists my "dirty hippy" plans.

I might have forgotten about the beans, they have to cook for a long time, and came out to find this.

Yep, bean splatter all over the wall and stove. You can't see it, but it was also running down the front of the stove. Oh joy! I guess it's worth it to keep Lorelei from eating more food tainted with poison, but what a pain.

Along with black beans, I cut up 2.5 pounds of carrots for snacking. Since I obviously can't just stop snacking, it just doesn't work for me, I decided to make healthy snacks more convenient. These were some big carrots...

And a lunch Lorelei requested...Potbelly

And since I've worn out the food topic, I guess that means it's time to address the running, or lack of running that's been happening this week.

Saturday was the long run and on Sunday my foot was really hurting. It was still sore on Monday so I took another day off. No big deal. It felt good Tuesday so I got ready to go to the gym to use the mill. It's been a bit chilly here and it seems my winter toughness has worn off and I can no longer handle anything less than 40 degrees. I was almost out the door when the phone rang, it was an important call so I had to take it. 45 minutes later we actually left for the gym. I didn't have much time so I did 5 minutes of intervals. 1 mile warm up, 1 mile at 8:30 pace, .5 mile at 9:15 pace, repeat, you get the idea. Today my hip is sore. I still tossed around the idea of running, knowing that I really shouldn't. It's so close to race day I really don't want to mess anything up.

Here's where it gets uncomfortable for me. This sort of feels like a confession of how pathetic I am. So I was feeling sorry for myself and reading a running magazine (Running Times, April 2013 issue) and happened to come across an article about injuries. This particular section was about how your mind can play a role in you remaining healthy or getting injured. "If you place a high value on yourself as a person, more so than as a runner, then when you get in the early stages of an injury, you can stop whatever is causing you to get injured in the first place. If you don't have a high enough value for yourself, and your only value comes from running, then you're going to press on. And because you're pressing on, now you're more injured."-Stan Beecham

That really speaks to me as a runner. I think I do place too much value on myself as a runner and not as a person. Or at least just too much value on running. Running has become my thing. It's the only part of my day that's just for me. It's not there to make someone else happy. It's mine. There's my confession. Not super exciting, but I'm not a "talk about your feelings" kind of girl. I'm more of a "run until you have no feelings" kind of girl. It works for me. I like it.

Dr. George Sheehan probably said it best. "Running made me free. It rid me of concern for the opinion of others. Dispensed me from rules and regulations imposed from outside. Running let me start from scratch. It stripped off those layers of programmed activity and thinking. Developed new priorities about eating and sleeping and what to do with leisure time. Running changed my attitude about work and play. About whom I really like and who really liked me. Running let me see my twenty-four-hour day in a new light and my lifestyle from a different point of view, from the inside instead of out."

In keeping with the idea of valuing myself and my sore hip, I'm attempting to take the day off. Lorelei and I went shopping. Buying her first running outfit was really fun.

And we had some quality snuggle time afterwards.