Saturday, May 25, 2013

You gotta earn the views

Lorelei and I made our last trip out of town for the month this weekend. After spending hours in the car with 3 dogs and a 3 year old I was ready for a run.

I really didn't want more time alone with my thoughts though, I've had plenty of that lately, so I decided to take advantage of all the hills around here. If I'm working hard I just think about that. 5.5 miles of hills later and I had tired myself out enough to feel a little better. My body was tired but my brain felt recharged. If you don't run that might not make sense to you, but that's how it works.

You gotta earn these views! Running up these monster hills is tough though.

I was planning to do a loop so I would only have to do that monster once but ended up doing an out and back and hitting it twice. It's brutal from both sides, but the downhill is fun.

My "dang that sucked, what was I thinking" face.

Worst spectators ever.

This stuff was really fun, especially when it gets in your nose and mouth.

This was the reason I did the out and back. I love, love, love running this road. I wish It went on forever instead of just a mile. It was so nice I decided to turn around at the end and do it again.

Have a good weekend! Run some hills.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Weekend in pictures

And a few words.
It's Monday. Whatever. I gave myself a week off and now I'm getting back to it.

My youngest siblings graduated from high school this weekend. Somehow having a 3 year old doesn't make me feel nearly as old as this does. Love these kids!

She was checking out the ants. And squishing them.

My brother Doug and soon to be sister in law Carrie surprised everyone by driving up from Pennsylvania for the party.

Best way to label coffee. Good one mom!

Yeah, my sister is pretty bad ass.

One of my favorite pictures, back when I used to be his favorite girl...

Then we kicked the under aged out and had a real party! Just kidding, we were all too tired. It was more like a "have one beer and then go to bed" party.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Eating like a Kenyan, Sukuma Wiki

I may not be able to run like a Kenyan, but I can eat like one.

I found a Kenyan recipe on my Door to Door Organics page and I was really excited to try it out. Here is the link to Kenyan Simmered Kale and Sweet Potatoes, or Sukuma Wiki. I haven't seen any recipes for this where sweet potatoes are added, other than the one I linked to, but they were really good. Traditionally Sukuma Wiki, which means "to push the week" or "to stretch the week" is either kale or collard greens and tomatoes.

For the most part I followed the Door to Door Organics recipe. I did use canned tomatoes with jalapeños instead of dicing up tomatoes and a jalapeño. Sometimes you just need to use a shortcut. I also added a few cloves of garlic in with the onion. For seasoning, I did use salt and pepper, but I also added some Cumin and Chili Powder. I love those flavors with sweet potatoes so I just sprinkled some in. I don't know how much, you know I don't measure. It was REALLY good. We loved it. Sadly, it was a tad too spicy for Lorelei, next time I'll leave the jalapeños out and see if she likes it. I made Bulgur wheat to go on the side. I cooked it in the extra vegetable broth. It was a perfect combo. I really like Bulgur wheat, I should make it more.

That's really all the cooking that has happened around here this week. I'm not going to go into the details but we've been really busy and haven't been home much for dinner this week. Last night we had a picnic at the park for dinner.

As far as running goes this week, I've done little. I've had a lot going on and really just haven't felt like running. Yes, there are times when I don't feel like running. Shocker, right? I'm tired and stressed and just don't feel like it. I did force myself to do 5 miles on Tuesday, but that's it so far. I'm really ok with that. I've trained for 2 races already this spring so I really don't mind taking a week of downtime and just running when I want to. Always training for something can really burn you out so maybe this is just the mental reset that my running needs. I'm not going to just slack off though. I do plan to do some strength training this week, mainly at home workouts, because I hate the gym. Also because Lorelei is currently refusing to go to the gym. On Tuesday when I picked her up she was crying because the other girls were mean to her. I'm not one of those parents that just assumes my kid is innocent in all situations so when I started asking her about it she told me that she was mean to them too. I don't know who started it, but the other two ended up playing together and she was left out. And sad.

Other random pics from our week.

Monday, May 13, 2013

A miserable 18 minute PR. Riverbank Run Race Recap

If I had to pick one word to sum up this race it would be miserable. Seriously. Miserable.

Lets start with the night before the race because it was better than the race. Paul and I met up with his sister and her fiancee at the race expo and then went for Pizza and beer and Ms. Pac Man. Sounds great right? It was. Made even better by the fact that I bought the best shirt ever at the ultimate hippie store.

I can't tell you how much I love this shirt. They didn't have Lorelei's size or else I surely would have bought one for her too.

As soon as we got back to our home away from home, my intestines decided to play a mean game. I was getting sharp pains followed by lots of pressure. This is probably TMI, but it felt like super bad gas pain but nothing was happening, if you know what I mean. I went to bed thinking I would be fine in the morning, this has never happened to me before, but in the morning I was still hurting. We had an hour drive so we ate breakfast in the car. I drank most of my coffee hoping it would get things moving and I would feel better. I barely touched the rest of my breakfast. I couldn't get comfortable and was very quiet except for the occasional gasps when I was really hurting. It was obviously a great way to be feeling right before running a 25k, that's 15.5 miles for you non running folks.

We got there just in time to stand in line for the bathrooms and then we were off. I knew right away that it wasn't going to be my day. I was hurting. Paul kept pulling away from me but once he realized that I wasn't going with him he'd slow back down. I think somewhere between 1.5 and 2 miles my step dad caught us. He had been in the bathroom when the gun went off and was running like a fool not realizing that his time didn't start when the gun went off but when he actually crossed the start line. He's speedy so he pulled away from us and I could really tell that Paul wanted to go with him. I knew I was holding him back and told him to go. Finally after a few minutes of my insisting he leave me, he did. It was his first race and I wanted him to be able to go out and see what he could do, not be stuck with my pathetic self.

After Paul left I was in a bad place mentally. The amount of my physical suffering didn't change, but it was a lot harder to convince myself to keep going. I'm not even kidding when I say that I wanted to quit at every aid station and have someone bring me back to the start. I'm honestly not sure why I didn't. There were a few points along the course where I got a little mental boost that helped, but mostly I was miserable and fighting a mental battle to keep going. The 5 mile mark sort of snuck up on me and that was really nice, I felt a little better mentally until about 8 miles when the lack of breakfast hit me. I was bonking. Hard. My legs felt like lead on top of the stabbing pain in my gut. I forgot my Honey Stinger Waffle in the car and of course this race doesn't have much other than water and Gatorade even though it's longer than a half marathon. That makes no sense to me, but whatever. I kept going. And going. And going. Until suddenly there was a band playing Eye of the Tiger. It was pretty awesome. There were high fives for everyone and another mental boost. I don't really remember anything significant after that. I was pretty focused on the hills and the miles. I stopped 3 or 4 times to stretch my tight legs and started walking through the aid stations rather than slopping my gatorade all over me. I was so done but still hadn't finished.

I thought I couldn't really feel any worse, but that was a mistake. The last 2 miles were so hard. I was exhausted and in pain. But so, so close. When I was 1.5 miles away I just pictured running to the end of my street, which is about that distance, it really did help to think that the end was so close.

I crossed the finish line at 2:25:23, a 9:23 pace. It's not what I was hoping for but it is 18 minutes faster than I ran it last year. I know there won't be many times when I can say I PR'd by 18 minutes so I'm going to enjoy that part. I'm also going to remind myself that I ran the best race I could on that day. And I didn't quit.

I don't have many pics, but here are a couple.

You love those awesome tights don't you? Mom got them for us and we rocked them.

Sadly, Paul had to help me finish my beer. It was good but I wasn't feeling it.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Weekend recap


Lets recap my week of running. It was a good one.
Monday: 7.1 miles
Tuesday: 3 miles
Wednesday: 7.2 miles
Thursday: 4 miles
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 11.8 miles
Sunday: 5.3 miles
Total: 38.4 miles

I felt pretty good about this week. It's more than double what I did the last two weeks. And it's where I'd like to be at this point in my training this year. Something new that I did this week was only take 1 rest day, although I had a couple of short runs to make up for it so I didn't miss it. Something else new this week was not taking the day after my long run off. I always take the day after off but there was a reason not to. I still haven't decided if I'm going to do an ultra this year but Paul was smart when he told me that I should train as if I'm running one until I decide. So, in an attempt to get ready for possibly doing back to back long runs soon, I decided to do a shorter run the day after my long run. It went well, of course my long run wasn't all that long, but still.

This increase in mileage has definitely led to an increase in appetite. I've been eating more the last few day, even Paul has noticed, and he's the least observant person ever. I'm trying to make sure that I'm actually hungry before I eat, but I definitely am. I've also been trying to fill up on good things not junk. Last night's dinner was grilled veggies, goat cheese, and a baguette. The veggies we had were red peppers, asparagus, summer squash, onion, and carrots. There were also some mushrooms involved. Paul marinated everything and then grilled it. So, so good.

Post long run eats, veggie dogs!

Long run pics, it's nice to be reminded that there are nice places to run around here.

Lorelei was plane spotting.

Long run supplies, plus another 1.5 liters of water. We drank it all! Two of those bottles have Nuun in them.

Curly haired runner problems...

Hope you had a great weekend. And Monday.

Friday, May 3, 2013

How many s'mores is too many?

Paul says as long as I keep it under 10 I'm probably good. I'm at 4 now so I'm not even halfway there! He also has the theory that I can have as many s'mores as he does beers. We're celebrating Paul being on vacation so I won't worry about it. Much.

Jack keeps trying to sneak off with my roasting stick though so I might not get to make many more. And the Lorelei keeps feeding our supplies to the neighborhood kids.

Happy Friday!

More miles and more tempeh

Well, I'm happy to tell you that the 7 miles I was planning to do on Wednesday actually happened. They felt much easier than the 7 miles on Monday and were even a little faster. I'm not sure how that worked out, but I'm always happy when a mid distance run at 8:50 pace feels comfortable.
Yesterday, we did a short 4 miler. I didn't wear my watch because I wanted it to be slow and easy, but Paul really just has one preferred pace (unless we're doing a long run) so it wasn't the nice recovery run I had hoped for. I would slow us down and he would speed back up. After I yelled at him he started paying attention and catching himself doing it but we were almost done at that point.

In non running related news, Lorelei and I planted most of our container garden yesterday. I've never attempted a container garden before but I chose seeds that said they were fine for containers so I'm hoping for the best. I just put some drainage holes in the bottom of the bins and filled them up with dirt. Most of our seeds had sprouted and had outgrown the little greenhouse so we moved them out.

And then there was lots of playing in the yard/kiddie pool. It was really nice again yesterday. That reminds me, weather that is "really nice" for relatively sedentary people is not so nice for me. I really hate running in the heat. Sorry friends, I'll be the one complaining about the hotness all summer. You can hate me. I don't care. By the time we ran yesterday it had cooled off a lot so it wasn't so bad. And I tried out a new running shirt. I love to wear bright obnoxious running clothes, maybe because that's not my everyday style at all.

Dinner was potato wedges and BBQ tempeh. I just marinated the tempeh in watered down BBQ sauce and fried it on the stove. It was pretty good. For the wedges I washed and cut up the potatoes, added a drizzle of olive oil and a few sprinkles of garlic, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Roast at 400 for about 30 min. Paul said it was really good. He's decided that tempeh isn't the best tasting (it's still god though) meat substitute but it is the meatiest.

And because I had some very ripe bananas to use up we had "cookies" for dessert. No real recipe for these either but here's what I did. Mash up 3 very ripe bananas, add a good sized blob of peanut butter, sprinkle in oats until it's thickened then add some peanut butter chips. Form them on a plate and freeze until they hold the shape.

That's what they looked like before I put them in the freezer. And since I'm talking about cookies. Lorelei and I love these things.