Reaction Time

October 12, 2010 at 9:48 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Training Calls for: 3 miles (check!)

Miles Run So Far: 267.2

Days Left: 5 (deep breaths…deep breaths…)

Confession time:

I had a panic attack yesterday thinking about the marathon.

I’m normally a very low-key, low-stress person (stop smirking, Sam) who does not get ruffled by future things.  I did not have a panic attack about any of these past majorly-life-changing events: graduating from college, moving several states away to take a job where I knew no one, getting married, telling my first boss I quit, starting a new career, going back to school, buying our first car, buying our first house.  Not a single panic attack in any of those segments of life.  But on a random Monday, less than a week away from 26.2 miles, my heart started to pound uncontrollably.

I guess there’s a first time for everything.

I was scoping out the marathon website to email information to my parents when everything started to overwhelm me.

That route on the map looks incredibly long….Wait, how many water stations are there?…Parking is going to be a nightmare….Quick, check the weather….What am I going to wear?

Pretty soon, I felt like I couldn’t catch my breath and I actually had to go in my office, close the door and put my head down on my desk.

Breathe.  Deep breaths.  In and out.  In and out.  Stop.  Freaking.  Out.

I may have joked about hyperventilating into a paper bag in the past, but I kind of get how that little piece of grocery garb could be clutch in a situation like this.

When I told my sister about my little “episode”, she asked: “what exactly are you worrying about?”

Good question.  I have no idea.

And then it kind of struck me how silly the whole thing was.  If I don’t know what I’m specifically worrying about, then there’s nothing to worry about.  I have trained for more than four months for this one event and while it makes me nervous, there isn’t anything to worry about.

What if I can’t find my groove and I struggle?  Well, I know how that feels, I dealt with it during our 18 miler and I overcame it.  I showed it who’s boss.

What if I wear the wrong thing and overheat?  I’ve been testing outfits for two weeks and if I make a boo-boo, I’ll ditch the clothes.  They’re donated to the needy anyway.  No biggie.

What if I surprise myself and it feels effortless?  Um, keep running, goofball.  Just like you did when you ran half the 20 mile run without stopping.

It all comes down to reaction time.  Not reaction time as in the ever-inadequate “hey look out!” before a softball smacks you in the face, but reaction time as in you have to wait until the time to react.

I can’t run a marathon ahead of time just so I can feel prepared and less scared and know how I’m going to handle every little curveball or pitfall.  I’m going to have to react when the time comes.  It isn’t here yet, so no sense in getting my running shorts in a bunch over nothing.  My training has shown me that I can not only run the distance, but I have learned to react well to just about anything.

I’m always surprised by how much running mirrors life.  Maybe it’s because over the past year I’ve become a devout discipline of Saint Hal Higdon, maybe because running gives you an incredible amount of peaceful time for self-reflection.  Whatever the reason, you can’t tell me that this whole theory of reaction time isn’t applicable to life in general.

Wait until the time comes to react.  Don’t bother with the what ifs.  Otherwise, you’re wasting energy having a panic attack in your office with the lights off wondering who will explain to your husband that it was the mental preparation for the marathon that killed you, not the actual physical exertion.

Someone sent me an email recently and included in their signature line was the quote, “The miracle isn’t that you finished.  The miracle is that you had the courage to start.”

Amen to that.  The hard part is over.  If I have to crawl across that finish line, it doesn’t matter.  I had the courage to start.  I’ll just take whatever comes my way and rely on some well-prepared reaction time to deal with it.


The Great Infestation

October 4, 2010 at 9:45 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments
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Training Calls For: Rest 🙂

Miles Run So Far: 244.2

Days Left: 13

So I left you hanging with a picture of a disgusting bed bug and the promise of telling you what has recently infested my house.  Well, here’s a real picture clue.  Ready for it?

Fatigue.  We now basically always feel as good as we look in these pics (circa 15 mile run — August??).

Like a pest that creeps into your house at night and you suddenly wake up surrounded — fatigue is everywhere.  Lately it seems like Sam and I are both dragging all the time.  We’re balancing a lot, which isn’t anything new to us, but on top of everything (work, school, running, caring for the monsters, tending to our house, living life) — I think we’re both ready for marathon training to be over.

That’s right — we’ve reached that point.

Let’s do tha dang thang.

It’s not hard to understand why we’re fatigued from training when you consider we’ve been training continuously for the past 16 weeks and really, since January when we started half marathon training.  That’s more than 10 months of following one piece of paper or another printed off Hal Higdon’s website.

That’s an awful lot of mornings when you wake up and say, “how many miles do I have to run today?”

This is where it gets honest (for me — I can’t speak for Sam): I’m kind of tired of running.

There.  I said it.

Does that make me a bad person for admitting I could definitely go for more than just a random rest day here or there but an actual string of days without a 5 or 6 mile jog?  Or that I could really use a day where I’m the one who determines how far I’ll run and whether I’ll worry about my pace?

No.  It makes me human.

With any long term goal or project, you’re bound to run into the point where you either want it to be over already or you want to quit.  I don’t want to quit — I’m too close (13 days?!?!?!) to do that.  But I am itching to get to the starting line so I can get to that finish line.  Make sense?

The best way to combat fatigue is to listen to yourself and focus on other things which give you joy and pleasure until you can restore that sense of happiness in the task that is causing you fatigue. Don’t let it drag you down.

Example 1:

A lovely dinner out to celebrate our anniversary.  On Saturday, I made a conscious effort not to dwell on the 12 miles we were running that day.  I didn’t want to mentally fatigue myself over it.  Instead, I made the star of the show that day our fancy dinner out and some quality time together.  That’s what I was looking forward to all day. The 12 mile run was just something on my to-do list — it wasn’t my entire to-do list.  P.S. It was a great run, probably because I didn’t assign it so much importance.

Example 2:

A fun breakfast.  On mornings when I’m running more than 4 miles (read = preparing to burn more than 400 calories during a run), I make sure I fuel up with a carb-y breakfast with some healthy fat and staying power.  It’s almost always an English muffin with PB and maybe a banana (depending on the length of the run).  I am tired of English muffins (no offense to the British ;)).  I am tired of pulling out the toaster first thing in the morning.  I am dangerously close to being sick of PB — this is an emergency, people!  I need a break.

My standard breakfast is easy and takes 2 minutes, but in a way, it’s causing me fatigue, so I chose to go with something more fun.  Something I could really enjoy.

“Hey That Tastes Like Pumpkin Pie”  Oatmeal

🙂 1/3 cup each of: Trader Joe’s Quick Cook Steel Cut Oats, Light Vanilla Soymilk, Water and Canned Libby’s Pumpkin

🙂 1/2 tsp ground All Spice

🙂 1/2 tsp of Cinnamon

🙂 Brown sugar and chopped walnuts for sprinkling

Combine, heat, sprinkle with brown sugar and chopped walnuts.  Close eyes.  Imagine Thanksgiving.  Pass the turkey leg.  Yuuuuum.

A little extra time this morning and I don’t feel like I’m stuck in the same breakfast rut that relates to the same fatiguing running rut.

I can already feel the tides turning.  I think tomorrow’s 4 miler will be fabulous, re-affirming in fact!  All because I took a little time to stop focusing on fatigue and give myself a little boost with other happy activities.

Remember: fatigue is an infestation, but joy is contagious.  One can chase away the other — just make sure it’s the right one. 🙂

How do you handle fatigue?

One Big Date Night

September 30, 2010 at 9:44 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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Training Calls For: 4 miles (5 miles in my case)

Miles Run So Far: 332.2

Days Left: 17 (?!?!!)

I checked out on you yesterday…but for a good reason:

No, Sam and I didn’t get married last night.  But we did get married three years ago as of yesterday!  While we’re actually going to celebrate our anniversary this weekend, we wanted to spend a little quality time together and bopped out to a movie.  My life is one big date night with that guy 😉 and it all started on 9-29-07. ❤

If you’re looking up at the top thinking, “why did she run an extra mile this morning if training called for just 4 miles?”, here’s your explanation:

No, no.  I didn’t run an extra mile to burn off extra calories (please, you know that’s not how I roll!)

This delicious, pre-made lasagna was waiting for me at home Tuesday night and I just couldn’t bring myself to lace up my sneakers and run when all I wanted to do was heat a square of that bad boy up and chow down.  I know you understand.  Comfort food has a hold on all of us, no?  More like a vice grip in my case.  At least I made this one with whole wheat noodles, reduced the cheese and used ground turkey to “healthify” it. 😉

In addition to my Italian-related irreverence to the training schedule, I also reasoned that if I were to run 5 miles Tuesday night and then turn around and run 8 miles Wednesday morning, that was just asking too much of my body.  Could I do it?  Yes.  Would it be a quality run?  Prob not.

I’ve done that kind of back-to-back running in the past.  It’s problematic because:

😦 Your body is still recovering from the first run when you force it into the second.

😦 I find I can’t eat enough calories to replenish from the first run and then turn around and fuel for the second.  I may like to eat, but I’m not a fan of forcing food down my throat.  Unless it’s lasagna.

😦 Odd, but true: the peeps at the running store told me it can take your running shoes 24 hours to “re-inflate” to their full stability and support after a run because you’ve been compressing them with your body weight over the course of your run.  So let’s see, a 5 mile run at 7 o’clock at night and then an 8 mile run at 6:30 AM means I’m bouncing my feet off squished shoes.  Thanks, but no thanks.  We have three weeks left, I’m taking every step to protect my leggies — no pun intended.

This all means I ran 8 miles yesterday morning (nothing says “Happy Anniversary, old lady” like a hearty long mid-week run!) then 5 this morning to make up for Tuesday.  I’ll do 4 on Friday and keep on truckin’ with the regularly scheduled 12 on Saturday.

Sunday, I will rest.  Ah, rest.

Sometimes I think it’s silly to go into such an in-depth explanation of why I’m switching it up and how I’m keeping track — but I think it’s important to show you that you can follow a training schedule without going bonkers. Hal Higdon, the great Don of Running, says himself it’s okay to switch around.  Just don’t miss your long runs and try and keep your mileage up.

The point is to get to the starting line and then get to the finish line without injury or insanity.  I’m just tryin’ to make that happen, peeps.  One run at at time.

Finish this sentence:

The comfort food that warms my heart and has a vice grip on my decision-making skills is….?

Have a fantastic day.  When I come back, I’ll tell you all about an infestation that’s gripping our house.

No.  Not bed bugs *shudders*.


The Spirit of the Marathon

July 26, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Training Calls for: Rest (yogAHHH)

Miles Run So Far: 101

Days Left: 77

I’m finally at the point with my schedule this summer where I will openly admit it: I over-scheduled myself.  Oops.  (Yes, you were right, Mom.)  I’m not usually one to bite off more than I can chew because I always find a way to balance all of it, but right now, I’m choking.  Just a little.

It’ll be okay.  No need for the Heimlich yet.

I’m balancing two online summer classes, a full time job and marathon training.  Add that to a normal life where I normally want to spend normal time relaxing and hanging out with my husband and friends and things are getting a little tough.  The thing is, I can’t really let go of anything just yet.  I’m past the point where I can drop the classes and there’s NO WAY I’m going to stop training, so I just have to keep plodding along, doing what I’m doing to balance it all.  I will be very excited once these two classes are over…and even more excited when I can call myself a marathoner and just run whenever I feel like it and for how long I want and not adhere to a schedule.  Yay.

Because of all this, yesterday, when I felt tired and lazy, I went with it.  I took naps, watched a movie with Sam and generally did nothing productive except grocery shop.  I needed it.  It felt good. 🙂

I hope I don’t come across as a whiner.  That’s not my intent.  I just sat down to sum up yesterday and thought, “how do I explain I did NOTHING?”  With a little background info, I guess ;).

It was back to the grind this morning!  I hit the snooze just once and made it down to my own personal yogAHHH studio (the basement) by 5:45.  I was surprised when Sam joined me for about 15 minutes.  YogAHHH is not his thing.  It was cute.  After only about 20 minutes myself, though, I turned it off in favor of some deep stretching and foam rolling while keeping one eye on the Today Show.

Breakfast this morning:

Behold!  The return of Oats in a Jar!  This peanut butter jar has been patiently waiting on the counter since the middle of the month.  Since I swore off all possibly-portable breakfasts after having to eat so many at work, it got lost in the shuffle.  Today’s mix was the fabulous cottage cheese oats (equal parts Trader Joe’s Steel Cut Oats, water, soymilk and cottage cheese — to protein it up!) and blueberries.  See the berries peaking out from under the oats?  Hello, blue!

Berries also populated my salad today:

This is one of my favorite salads, ever.  Period.  Spinach, strawberries, feta cheese, walnuts.  Dress in EVOO and balsamic vinegar.  Inhale.

A sidekick bananner also contributed to lunch:

And an apple and four o’clock yogurt round out the meal.  Sam and I have a date night planned tonight (BBQ!) and I want to save my face stuffing for later ;).

The movie we watched was a documentary called The Spirit of the Marathon.  Wow.  It came highly recommended from a new friend who has run several half marathons and multiple marathons.  She said it was incredibly inspiring, and she was dead on.  If you haven’t watched it yet and you’re a runner, I think you’ll appreciate it.  If you aren’t a runner, you’ll probably just think all the people are crazy.

The Spirit of the Marathon follows six runners as they prepare for the Chicago Marathon: two are elite runners (world record holders or Olympians), two are already established marathoners (one who is trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon) and two who are running a marathon for the first time.

I was in tears by the finish line.  It was so neat to watch the culmination of those peoples’ efforts and it gave me a boost and re-invigorated me for training this week.  I’ll probably be a wreck when I cross my own finish line, judging by my reaction to these strangers’ stories.  Really great movie.  The best part?  They interview Hal Higdon, who’s training plan I am religiously following.  He’s such a nice guy ;).

The movie served as a wonderful way to pass a day when you just needed to do nothing and rest AND revved my running engine for training this week.  Go rent it!

Veggie Love

July 13, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Training Calls For: 3 miles

Miles Run So Far: 68

Days Left: 90

This morning was another early wake-up call, but I actually didn’t mind.  I find it awesome to get 90% of my to-do list ticked off before I head in to work.  Awesome!  Last night, I was able to come home, spend time with Sam and not feel like I had to rush-rush to get something else less interesting and more time consuming accomplished.

We feasted (eh, an exaggeration) on a simple dinner last night: Curried Tuna Cakes.  This recipe was found in a book called the Can Opener Gourmet.  I inherited it from my grandma and hardly ever pick it up.  I think it could use a better title — the current one is a little bit of a detterant.  Might I suggest: Make Dinner?  Sure You Can…haha.  Okay, maybe we all just realized how they ended up sticking with what they had originally.

With a simple ingredient list: tuna, bread crumbs, curry powder, and egg (or egg whites in our case), this baby was a go.   Form the patties, pan fry in a little EVOO to brown up and dinner is served!  Looked pretty…

…plated with a little lettuce and tomato.  It tasted okay — something was missing, something spice wise.   I can’t put my finger on it and didn’t really feel like playing Ingredient Investigator, so I let it go.  I let it go in favor of a night spent reading (Eat, Pray, Love…which is taking me forever to finish!) and hanging out with my husband.  We pushed our plans for Brew Week to another night.

I think it was a good call.

This morning, bright and early, we hit the pavement for our schedule 3 mile run.  Oh, Hal Higdon, you have a love of the prime number 3, don’t you?  3 mile runs bookend mid-week long-ish runs according to his training schedule, so if it’s a Tuesday or a Thursday, you can count on a 3.

I would like to shout from the rooftops: IT IS AMAZING RUNNING IN THE EARLY MORNING!  Oh, me, oh my.  I ran in 70 degree weather this morning as opposed to the 90 degree mid-day heat I had been battling for the last few weeks.  It was great.  I still sweated like a pig had a healthy glow, but at least I wasn’t sweating glowing before the ran even began.

I enjoyed a mini monster after the run…splitting a regular sized Green Monster Smoothie with Sam.

Then got down to biznass making a breakfast that effort.  I’m done with easy-peasy morning meals for a while.  I want the food that takes some work.  Gimme pancakes, homemade waffles, omelets, toads in holes and stovetop oats!  Bring it on!

Yummm.  Behold, this morning’s labor of love:  An egg+egg white omelet stuffed with sauteed green pepper, onion and garlic and a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese.  I ate the “butt” (heel?) of a loaf of bread alongside with a dabble of REAL butter.  I left it in dabble-form because I thought it looked a little like a breakfast commercial.

In addition to appreciating early morning runs, I am also seriously in love with drinking coffee from a mug once more instead of throwing it back from a travel mug for for sleep-battling survival reasons.  My mug was mega.  I took a picture so you could compare a regular mug to my mug.

Mega mug mega love.  Don’t worry — we’re brewing the half-caf coffee, so I’m not cracking out on caffeine.

Speaking of loves, my love of veg has returned, full force.  Gone are the days of carby cravings and sweet scavenger hunts through the cupboards.  Phew!  Good thing, too.  I kinda felt the difference in my diet in my mood and energy levels.  Crazy.  I followed my veggie inclinations and created a salad out of last night’s leftovers.

Romaine lettuce, tomato, carrots, and celery topped with two two-na patties.  They were better cold and the second day.  Odddd.  Fruit entered the picture in the form of a banana, black seedless grapes and some blueberries (which will take a nosedive into my yogurt this afternoon.  ‘Bout 4 o’clock.   Be there, be square…or round).

My renewed interest in vegetables and my recognition of how poorly I felt eating imbalanced for so many weeks made me wonder:  how would I feel if I ate fast food again?

For those of you who are new (welcome, amigos!), let me explain:  I don’t eat un-natural foods.  If I can’t pronounce it or don’t recognize it, I’m not going to put it in my body.  I wrote about how much power fast food used to have over my lunch hour in this post.  I haven’t had a meal from a yellow and red themed restaurant since December!  That’s almost 7 months, peeps.  I always hear people talk about how much better they feel when they eat healthy (and I know this first hand), but I wonder how quickly it would take for me to feel badly if I ate the fast food.  I wasn’t eating junk for the past several weeks — I just wasn’t eating balanced and I noticed a change in my overall health.  If I noticed a change from that, would a combo meal send me into a coma?

I’m kind of tempted to find out.

What do you think?  Should I hit the drive thru on my way home ;)?

More Than a Feeling…

July 8, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Training Calls for: 3 miles

Miles Run So Far: 56

Days Left: 95

*sigh* Le computer is telling me there isn’t enough disk space for my photos from today, so this will be kind of a shortie, photo-free post.  I’ll have to put in a work order with Sam on this problem.  Last time I did that, though, he suggested just getting a new computer.  *gulp*

Today was a pretty good day.  I worked another super early day (5am to noon, but this was the second to last one!) and then hit the gym for a scheduled training run.  The heat is supposed to break tomorrow and cool off over the weekend, but today was another scorching, humidity-filled day in the upper 90’s.  The heat has driven me to run inside on the treadmill — not my favorite, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

I decided I’d test out the treadmill’s hill setting, but when the machine notified me the max speed for the hill challenge was 13:30min/mile, I ditched it and crafted my own plan.  I started pushing random buttons and ended up prompting the machine to say, “Marathon Mode”.  How did it know??? 😉

Finally, I settled on starting out with 0.0 incline for five minutes and then alternated an incline (between 2.0 and 4.0) for 5 minutes with flat running for 5 minutes until my half hour was up.  It was the fastest 30 minutes ever.  I felt like I got a pretty good workout in, too.

However, I might have gotten too good a workout.  My right hamstring is bothering me right now and I’m not really sure what to do about it.  I wouldn’t say I’m in pain, it’s more than a feeling…less than a pain.  Just…pressure?  I think I’ll do some foam rolling and Google.  Heat or cold?  Hmm.  Good thing tomorrow is a rest day.  I feel like I’ve been motoring along with all my pistons firing (work, class, training, life!) so tomorrow will be a good day to kind of move in slow motion.

How do you handle “injuries” or odd feelings?

The Post My Mom Will Flip Over

July 4, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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…with a title like that, you can’t help but wonder, eh?  Oh, I’ll tell you why, but first, let’s take care of two items of business:



Training Calls for: Cross Training

Miles Run So Far: 46 Miles

Days Left: 99

Yesterday was such a peaceful, non-scheduled day — I loved it.  I slept in, we took the dogs to the dog park for a romp with four-legged friends (and one very talkative 12 year-old boy), ran our scheduled 5 miles (thanks, Hal Higdon) and took in a movie.  Oh, and tofu was on the menu for dinner.

Yep, that’s the part my mom might flip about.  She’s not exactly a tofu kind of woman.  Neither am I, incidentally, but more on that later.

Breakfast was a glorious serving of homemade multigrain pancakes.  Sam found a recipe on Epicurious, and in an instance where I am truly glad he owns an iPad, used the technology to whip up a great breakfast.

I ate mine with a little REAL maple syrup (with the real stuff, a little goes a long way!).  There was also some unpictured turkey sausage and strawberries.  The s-berries were on sale at Aldi — 79 cents a pound.  Um, expect to see a lot of red berries in future posts ;).  We hoarded stocked up!

I’ve been promising myself I will make a more concerted effort to get veggies into my day and supress my irrational/sleep-deprivation induced cravings for carbs and sugar.  Lunch suited this promise just fine!

A delicious, filling salad of spinach, cucumber, tomato and carrot.  Topped with a little Newman’s Own Olive Oil and Vinegar dressing.  I still managed to get some carby fruit love in, though.

Sam-nana bread.  Over-rpe bananas on the counter never stand a chance — they’ll be pulverized into bread before they know it.  Delicious.

After a little time at the library (Sam studying for the GRE, me doing some of my returner-learner homework), we hit the road for a 5 mile run.  We both remarked how easy it was going to be, since it was just 5 miles.  So easy, in fact, it was worth doing a little hill training.  We live in a pretty hilly town but the bike path runs flatly along an old railroad track, so by doing almost all our runs on the bike path, we’re not preparing very well for hills.





We ran up long hills with slow, steady inclines.  We ran up short hills with steep, sharp inclines.  We ran down, all around, up and over, back and forth.  At one point, I wanted to throw my water bottle at Sam — because he was leading and this was his course. 😉  I didn’t.  It would have defeated my vow to not be negative on long runs anymore.

Even with all the hills, three short walk breaks to drink water and some serious mental anguish, we managed a good pace and felt pretty proud of ourselves.  You have to push yourself to improve.  If you find that what was once hard is now easy, find a way to make it hard again — it’s the fastest way to get better. 🙂

Now, dinner.

We picked up this organic tofu during our usual grocery expedition to use in this week’s stir fry.  I have had tofu exactly twice before (one time being accidental) and each time was in a restaurant.  I have no idea how to prepare it or how to serve it.  I’m not a vegetarian, so I don’t seek it out.  I am not a tofu-toter.

Why eat it then?  Because I’m all about trying new things.  I like to eat the occasional meatless dish because it’s better for your body and usually, for your wallet.  So let’s do a tofu taste-test.

Sam made dinner using extra firm silken tofu (which he pressed before hand — tofu is kind of water logged, so you have to press the water out of it before cooking), frozen stir fry veggies, creole seasoning and stir fry sauce.  The result:

Yum!  It was actually pretty tasty.  Once I surrendered to the fact that the consistency was different, I actually enjoyed it.  I was definitely full after eating dinner, so it’s not all foo-foo food.  Tofu takes on the flavor of whatever you cook it in or with, so don’t eat it raw out of the container.  Yuck.  I’d buy it again, I’d experiment with it again — but it’s all at the risk of my mom thinking I’m becoming a hippy ;).  Just kidding, Mom.  I know you love me no matter what I’m eating — sticks and twigs and berries and tofu.

After the tofu experience, we experienced a “T” of a different kind: Toy Story 3.  I got all gussied up because it’s been a while since I’ve had the opportunity to feel like a pretty girl — working early mornings doesn’t exactly jive with accesorizing and extra time spent on hair and makeup.

3D glasses are the new aviators.  Trust me.

I’m off to ride bikes with my friend, Kelly.  Yes, I said it just that way to make you feel like I’m 6-years-old all over again.

Have a safe and happy Fourth of July, whatever you’re doing, wherever you are!

You Know You’re in Training…

June 29, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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…when your wine bar no longer furnishes a libation to “soften” the day, but instead, looks more like a shelf at the local sporting goods store:


Training Calls For: 3 miles

Miles Run So Far: 31

Days Left: 110

You know those days when you don’t really want to follow the schedule and instead, have a hankering for pizza and beer and a night in?  Yep, having one of those.  Still going to lace up my running shoes soon, because the hardest part of a run you’re not that excited about is the first few steps you take…out the door.  I’ll get in to the groove and then eventually, it will all be done.  Another day ticked off on the Hal Higdon Novice 1 Marathon Training Schedule.

Eats for the day:

All natural, whole wheat toast with a smidgeon of Kroger-brand Nutella.

A “tropical” Green Monster Smoothie.  (Spinach, soymilk, protein powder, half a banana, a cup of frozen pineapple and a few drops of coconut extract)

A PB and Mango/Passion Fruit jam (ooh, fancy ;)) sandwich, on somemore whole wheat bread.

“Pita” chips I fashioned out of an aging Aldi multigrain wrap…cut it up, stuck it in a bag, shook some EVOO, cinnamon and a lil’ brown sugar.  Baked for about 10 minutes at 350 and boom!  Tasted amazing!

And a lemon Larabar made itself at home on my desk :).

I had a few unpictured noshes, but nothing too exciting…an apple here, some tortilla chips there, maybe a cuke came into play.  Just sayin’.

It’s time to hit the path and get my miles out of the way.  We’ve got some fun plans tonight — a farm team baseball game.  It’s half-dollar dog night!  (hot dog, not real dog — woof woof!).

Have a good one!

Points for Trying

June 19, 2010 at 8:54 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments
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Training calls for: 6 miles

Miles run so far: 10.5

Days left: 122


The score now stands:

Mother Nature 1

Bethany 0

Bah.  I attempted my 6 mile run this morning, as mandated by the Hal Higdon Novice 1 Marathon schedule, but was thwarted.  Not by the rain and foul weather, mind you, but by the lightning that struck twice while I hoofed it around the path near the pond.  With three more laps to go to complete my 6 miles, I made the call to can the run.  I’ll run in rain (every time it rains, I remember these drowned rats and suck it up), but I won’t run in lightning.  I like my life, I’d like to keep it that way — alive.

I was still sufficiently soaked when I got home.

See the rain line?

My shorts are actually light grey…ehem, thanks, water.

The women are off to a butterfly exhibit, but before I jet, I’ll recap yesterday for you.

Breakfast was one egg + egg white and a piece of whole wheat toast with a nanner on the side.

I helped the mumsie tidy the house for a while, vacuuming and windexing away.  I rewarded myself by doing a little damage at Target with my sister, Lisa.

What can I say?  I love Tar-jay.  Lunch was all ready for us when we returned home (ah, I love being home and being cared for).  This is what we affectionately refer to as “Taco Plop”.  Just tortilla chips, black beans, tomatoes, cheese, lettuce, and taco-seasoned ground beef.  Yum.

All the troops rallied around dinner time and after a glass of wine and some chit chat, we got to work making our own little pizzas.

Brilliant choice on my mom’s part.  I have yet to meet someone who just HATES pizza and making your own ensures you get to follow your own eating style (vegetarian, naturalist, dieter, etc).  Mine was topped with cheese, green pepper and onion.  Oh, and some pepperonis snuck on.  How did those get there?

More conversation and laughter later, we headed over to The Cone.  The Cone is a landmark ice cream joint in my parents’ area and they have the good stuff…

A butterscotch dipped vanilla cone…in front of a giant plastic cone.  Check out the line:

Always go to the places with the long lines, it’s usually worth it ;).

I hope you’re having a pleasant Saturday and the rain isn’t ruining your exercise plans.  I think I made the right decision, though, when my mom pointed out, “Bethany, you don’t want to be running in this, especially after Jesus just got struck by lightning.”

So true, so true. (P.S. That statue is just up the highway from my parents’ town)

Hasta luego, friends :).

The Workout That Wasn’t…

May 18, 2010 at 8:28 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Remember earlier today when I wished you well and hoped you had as good a workout as the one I knew I was going to have today?

Hmm.  Yes, that rings a bell.

Ah, that turned out to be the workout that wasn’t.  For the first time in a while, I feel like I have a minute to catch my breath and just have a night off.  I’m going to roll with that feeling.  I lead a very full, busy, fulfilling life.  I wouldn’t ditch anything on my to-do list (well, maybe cleaning…and laundry ;)) because I want to be doing all of it.  Having a full schedule also means sometimes it’s hard to find the margins of time where you can lean up against the wall (figuratively) and take a deep breath.

I’m leaning up against the wall today, breathing deep.

This decision means I am NOT running the three miles on the Hal Higdon 10K Training schedule I’m following.  Am I freaked?  No, but I would have been about 4 months ago.

I learned through training for the half marathon that you should definitely follow a schedule if you’re new to training for a race, but don’t be afraid to make it work for you.  If there was a schedule that absolutely fit the schedule of every runner on the planet, that person would be rolling the dough.  There isn’t.  Don’t look.  You won’t find it.

It’s easy to feel like you can’t waiver from the set days and miles and activities, for fear you won’t reach your goal.  You will, you just have to make sure you’re accounting for it all and staying accountable to your training.  If you’re straying because you need a rest day earlier than the schedule mandates — that’s fine.  If you’re straying because you don’t really want to be doing this any more — um, that’s a different story.

I’m taking Friday’s rest day and using it tonight.  *deep breath*  Then, tomorrow, I’ll run 3 miles, Thursday I’ll cross train, Friday I’ll run 2 miles and strength train and Saturday, I’ll be back on track with a solid hour of cross training.  Whew!  It all makes sense and it will all get done and most importantly, I’ll get the break I need now.

Rewinding a little bit to right after my exam.  I came back to the casa to let the monsters out and my stomach was a-rumbling.  I don’t understand why I was having earthquake-like grumbles from the tum, but obviously, breakfast was NOT enough.  Instantly, that banana-strawberry Green Monster from yesterday sprang to mind.

But instead, what I ended up with was a beige smoothie.  What?  It’s a Cement Monster Smoothie.  I took this picture purposely against our back patio so we can all agree, that’s the sophisticated shade of concrete.  It tasted good…not quite right.  *face palm*  I forgot the soymilk!  This baby was all fruit, veg and protein powder.  I think the only thing making it mobile was the water naturally stored in the produce.  Wow.  Won’t make that mistake again.

Lunch was a little something new…to me.  When I think of egg salad sandwiches, I make this face:

Ewww.  Today, it was all I wanted for lunch.  I don’t even know that I’ve ever had one before…but today, my quest was undeniable.  I mixed up my own concoction of two hard boiled egg whites chopped, a small crank of sea salt and a squirt of mustard.  Work mustard through, then spread on Earth Grains thin with spinach leaves.

Yummy.  Unfortunately, this sammy does not travel well.  It’s a homebody.

I munched on pear slices…


And a clementine throughout the day.  I didn’t munch on lunch until about 2pm because that Cement Monster was enough to fill my belly until then.

I may or may not have had a spoonful of peanut butter while concocting dinner.  If you have a problem with this, we can’t be friends.  PB on a spoon out of the jar, standing at the counter is one of my favorite snacks.  Ever.  It must be eaten just like that.

Voila!  Dinner.  Shrimp stir fry.  I love stir fry because it is speedy, packed with veggies and super easy to make.  Stir fry also makes for awesome leftovers — lunch tomorrow, anyone?

Just kidding!  Imma let Sam have that one.  I’ve got my eye on something else…another something new.  You’ll just have to wait until tomorrow.

I’m off to find the margins, lean up against the wall, take a deep breath and relax.  Why don’t you do the same?  I’m sure you’ve earned it!

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