Seven…in heaven?

March 8, 2010 at 8:03 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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I made it!!!

If this was a yogAHHHH pose, it would be “Runner’s Sun Salutation” (with 7 fingers displayed).  Seriously ;).  For the first time in MONTHS, I didn’t have to layer and bundle up, I didn’t have to wear a warm hat and I didn’t have to be covered from head to toe.  Amazing.  It was warm enough for just a moisture-wicking top, pullover and capris.  It was even warm enough for shorts, which I kicked myself for after getting out there.  Oh well.  I have a feeling spring is FINALLY on its way.  There will be another day fit for shorts.

Sam and I left one car at one end of the bike path and the other car at the other end.  We decided it would be better to run in a straight line, so getting from one car to the next was the motivation!  In case you were wondering, 7 miles is also the length of my daily work commute, so running it took on a whole new meaning.  The first 4 miles were great — the sun was out, we were keeping up a great pace, everything was wonderful.  We stopped and took our GU at that point and then after just a little bit of walking, got back to it.

The next 3 miles were terrible.  I can’t be sure what it is, but my stomach began to cramp and I had to stop to walk again.  I think it may have been the GU.  I did the “shot” kind and swallowed it down in about 3 gulps.  Maybe skipping the chewing part of digestion was a bad idea?  It felt like a rock in my stomach.  I had to exercise some serious positive thinking to make it all the way to 7 miles, but I did it!  *phew*

I weighed myself when we got home and found that I had lost 2 pounds (of water, obviously) during our 1 hr+ run.  Interesting.  So, following the Runner’s World article I found a while back after my scary experience, I drank 16 oz. (1 pound) of water for each pound lost.  Good to know.  I definitely didn’t expect it to be as much weight as it was.  Eye-opening.  Or pore-opening.  Eww, gross.

Last night was especially fun because Sam’s grandparents (who live in town) and his brother and brother’s girlfriend met us out for dinner.  My birthday is coming up and they wanted to celebrate.  I know you’re asking yourself how I managed this dining experience with my “If It Doesn’t Have a Mama” March rules, but I did A-okay!

We went to Lui Lui’s, a local Asian “fusion” restaurant.  The owner is a friend of Sam’s grandparents and I knew I could trust her food.  The menu was extensive (Asian, Italian, American styles) and I asked a lot of questions.  Poor server didn’t know she was going to be playing the “Name That Food Neurosis” Game Show.

After a few obstacles (we couldn’t be sure what was in the rice noodles of my usual Chicken Paad Thai :(), I ordered the Pepper-Seared Rare Tuna.  Tuna has a mama, so check on that.  It came with veggies (grow in the ground — check) and rice (grows in the ground — check again).  I also had a house salad to start (the picture came out too dark to post :() with homemade house dressing.  I avoided the bread basket because I’ve learned my lesson with bread…can’t be too sure, better to just leave it be.

Those are carrots spelling out “Happy B-day!”.  I took them home to use them in my salad for lunch today, haha!  There was also wine with dinner — exempted from the challenge, of course ;).  It was a wonderful meal and a great time with family.

This morning’s breakfast kind of pales in comparison!

The usual suspects: Kashi cereal, skim milk, Green Monster Smoothie and coffee with organic half and half.  All within the “If It Doesn’t Have a Mama” March challenge guidelines.

Whew!  Long post!  I’m off to do morning things and walk the monsters.  Stay tuned for a “If It Doesn’t Have a Mama” March week 1 wrap up.  Have a great Monday!

What’s your take on energy gels?  Do they ever upset your stomach?

Are you feeling lucky?

March 7, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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As in…lucky number 7?  I’m staring down a 7 mile training run (aren’t they ALL training runs at this point?  who’s running for fun anymore?!) and I’m waiting for it to get just a little bit warmer before we hit the trails.  My new “running rock-out tune” is “100 Yard Dash” by Raphael Saadiq.  Love it.  Very MoTown-y.

In the meantime…

If you put money on the fact that I wouldn’t end up cross training last night, you would have won.  Too late, all bets are off ;).  I finished that last post and then sat, pondering for a moment.  I had very little energy to get my rear in gear and was just totally uninspired to decide what type of cross training to do.  So, I rebelled.  In fact, that’s just what I wrote in my workout journal: “I rebelled.  No cross training.”

I have followed the half marathon training schedule to a “T”…until yesterday.  We’re in week 7 of 12 and I’m a little burned out on following the schedule, so I thought “eh, take the night off.  Don’t do anything wild to jeopardize your long run tomorrow and just rest up.”

It felt goooooood.  Sometimes a little rebellion is JUST what the doctor ordered.  And you know what?  While I was “relaxing”, I found out we get FitTv!  In a way, my rebellion may have answered future inspiration issues with cross training.  I’m going to definitely check it out soon.

Eats for the day (all within the “If It Doesn’t Have a Mama” March challenge)

Breakfast – a bowl of Kashi Go Lean, fat free skim milk, coffee with organic half and half and…

A leeeeeeettle Green Monster Smoothie.  Sam and I split a regular-sized one, as it was all we had the ingredients for!  Grocery shopping time.

Lunch – my new favorite sandwich (homemade whole wheat flax bread with tuna, avocado and mustard), carrot sticks and green grapes.  A big glass of water for pre-run hydration.

Speaking of hydration, I’m going to figure out my “sweat rate” today.  I’m following a Runner’s World article I found online after my scary dehydration experience.  I don’t want a re-run of that feeling!  I’ll let you know how it goes.

And finally, an addendum to the “If It Doesn’t Have a Mama” March rules.  I exempted protein powder for training purposes and I realized, I need to exempt something else.  Something I didn’t think of in the first place.  I’m asking your forgiveness and allowance of GU energy gel.  I tried very hard to find another means of run energy supplements and came up very very short.  Know of any?  Send them my way and I’ll lay off the GU.  But until then, you’re going to have to accept energy gel as a “training supplement exemption”.  I’ll Google all the ingredients just for knowledge sake….later.

I appreciate your understanding ;).

Acute Menuphobia

February 22, 2010 at 8:43 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I’m afraid the diagnosis is *duh duh DUH* acute menuphobia, the doctor says.

Is there a chance of recovery? the frightened patient asks.

Of course, but it will be long, and it will be difficult, the doctor replies.

No, this isn’t a scene from General Hospital (although it almost could be, it’s written so badly!).  This is how I think of going out to dinner.  Silly, I know.  I’ll explain in just a minute.  But first…

Who’s that lady?  Who’s that lady?

Oh.  That’s just me.  MISS SIX MILES!  BOOM!

The run yesterday went great!  Sam is training for the half marathon with me, on his own schedule of some running and mostly CrossFit, but he’s making it out for the long runs, which is really what matters.  That man is exponentially more athletic than I am and has legs that are almost as tall as I am, so his lack of regimented training works in my favor, really.

We chose to run around the college campus in our town.  It’s my experience that an academic institution is much more in tune with their ice and snow removal than say, the parks and rec department is with the bike path.  Heaven forbid some freshman miss his Intro to Psychology class, but to hell with the dog walkers in the county.

Over the course of the run, I:

-called Sam a liar (he said just one more hill — suuuuuuure)

-accused him of trying to kill me

-stepped in copious amounts of goose poop (if stepping in dog turds is supposed to be runner’s good luck, what does stepping in fowl foul-ness represent?)


*addendum: we had to stop for about 2 minutes because he was having a hard time getting the package of energy goo open.  It didn’t affect my time that badly, though!

I run using the iPhone app RunKeeper Pro so it’s easier to tell just how far we’ve gone (it works kind of like a Garmin watch — with GPS).  Once I saw on my iPhone we had hit five miles, I yelled ahead to Sam.  He pulled back a little and matched my stride and then said, “just think, every step you’re taking now is one step farther than you’ve ever run before” (yes, truly, we do have those kinds of Hallmark movie moments in our relationship — don’t hate).  It was just what I needed to power out the last mile and keep a good pace (good for me).  I told him later how it was really inspiring that he said that, to which he replied, “yeah, I realized later, I probably should have saved that one for the actual half marathon!”


So back to those goos….as an energy goo virgin, I was super psyched to try them!  As I read along with Caitlin, Megan and Meghann while they trained for the Disney Marathon, I was pretty intrigued by the shots, the bloks, the gels, the jelly beans…I mean, this was a whole new world.

I saw on a sign at Fleet Feet it is recommended you take an energy supplement (and when I say that I mean like a Clif Blok or GU, not 5 Hour Energy — I think your heart would stop!) to replenish your glycogen stores if you’re going to be active for more than an hour.  Since I run a 10 minute mile, I wanted to go ahead and take the energy stuff along with us, just to be safe.  Um, and to finally be justified in trying them!  This was our limited selection at our local sporting good store:

We agreed to split a package of the orange ones, since there are two servings in it.  I ended up running six miles in 1:01:29, so I just squeaked over that hour mark to take them.  Whatever, a minute is a minute.

What did I think?  Well, not bad.  They were about the size of a quarter and about 3/4 inch high.  They stuck to my teeth, didn’t taste terrible and left me with kind of a citrus-y aftertaste that made me a little thirsty. They were okay, but I’m going to experiment with some others.

After our run, we got cleaned up (it was a fairly unpleasant ride home in the car — windows down, air blowing, eww) and headed out to dinner with Sam’s family.  We were celebrating his younger sister’s 20th birthday.  I love that girl, but this is when my acute menuphobia set it.  *cue scary 1930’s horror movie music*

We went to Brio — a favorite Italian place.  I love food in general, but Italian is crazy good.  Since I started trying to be more conscious of what I’m eating and recognizing the kinds of foods that are good for me and nutritious, I’ve been avoiding eating out like the plague.  At home, I know exactly what’s in each dish, I know just how my lunch is prepared or my dinner served.  It’s a comfort zone, the margin of error is considerably smaller.

But at a restaurant, it’s different.  I suffer from the acute menuphobia.  This is a made up medical term I coined for that feeling you get when you look at the offerings, start salivating over what you REALLY want (um, hello Parmesan shrimp fettuccine Alfredo) and then tell yourself  “no, you can’t have that — get the plain grilled chicken breast instead.”  BUT THAT’S NO FUN.   You leave feeling like you did the right thing, but the right thing tasted like something you could have made at home.  You could tell yourself you deserve the shrimp because it’s a special occasion (which my sis-in-law’s bday clearly was) but then “special occasions” start adding up, the slope becomes slippery and soon, a Tuesday is reason enough to get what you want.

TROUBLE.  The plain fact is you have to balance it.

So, last night, I tried to exercise a little caution and still balance in the fun/specialness.  I chose not to drink, sticking with water (but more on that decision in another post) and scoured the menu.

I tried to find something that I wanted that wasn’t terrible.  Out went the red meat dishes (I don’t really like it anyway) and the over the top cream-based pasta dishes and anything that mentioned frying or pan frying.  I picked the Pasta Fra Diavolo with chicken.  It had a tomato cream sauce (but I asked for them to go light on it) and I decided I would only eat half since most restaurant portions are only appropriate for Andre the Giant.  I avoided the bread basket and I ordered a salad, but forgot to ask for the dressing on the side (Jillian from the Biggest Loser would have a cow) and only had one little bruschetta appetizer.

When my meal came, I visually divided it.  It’s a good trick for when you say you’re only going to eat half of something — actually cut it in half!  If you say half and then start eating it, it becomes half of that, then half of half, then half of a fourth — then it’s gone!  I left my knife in place as a dividing line.

I ate slowly and enjoyed each bite, trying to set my knife and fork down when I could remember.  It helps you recognize when you’re full.  I passed on dessert, mostly because I was full from dinner.

How do I think I did?  Um, okay.  Not great (stupid dressing) but in the end, I “treated” myself without going overboard.  It’s all about moderation.  I ran six miles yesterday and didn’t really eat a lunch (because we went to dinner on the early side and I woke up on the late side), so I didn’t feel bad getting pasta with a little cream sauce.  I balanced it all, and that’s what’s important.

But I’ll never be cured for sure of my acute menuphobia — it’s just something you have to live with ;).

How do you handle dining out?  Does it freak you out?  Do you go overboard or play it safe?

Well, lovelies, I’m off to do morning things before heading to work.  I’ve got a little research to do for my next post about a scary situation I had over the weekend…*cue more scary 1930’s horror movie music*


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